Category Archives: Inspirational

29 Years Ago…

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I started a farm publishing company in Louisville, Kentucky, but from its shoestring beginning, it always needed more money. Hot Line, Inc. purchased the company in 1981. My wife, our two children, and I moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa, in the spring of 1982, purchasing a brick home on Sixth Avenue North. There I managed the new Farm Blue Division for Hot Line.

After a year with Hot Line, I left and started a new publication, still chasing my dreams of being wealthy, as in stinking rich. But it all came crashing down in 1985 because I needed thousands of dollars to start a new publishing company and bail my family out of debt. Our financial resources were maxed out. My inner reservoir was empty and I was finished.

Our only untouched asset was a $125,000 life insurance policy on me. The solution seemed obvious: suicide.

Suicide posed no moral obstacles for me because I was an agnostic. No God equaled zero problems with eternal judgment after carrying out a final business decision. My plan was to enjoy the family for the weekend and commit suicide on the following Monday.

May 20, 1985, arrived with me figuring this was the end of the line. I was not jittery about the decision, but instead I finished up a few loose ends in the morning. I ate leftovers for lunch along with drinking cups of coffee. Later that afternoon, I drove downtown to visit an insurance agent.

Bill Sheridan and I knew each other, but we were not intimate friends. His son played on a youth baseball team, which I had coached the year before. Our relationship was built on after-game conversations, standing in parking lots next to baseball diamonds. He was not even my life insurance agent.

Why did I stop to see him that day? I do not really know for sure, but I think a business partner of mine, suggested I should see him for some reason.

Bill invited me into his office. He sat in a chair behind his desk while I sat in a chair opposite him. We discussed sports and the prospects for our son’s upcoming baseball seasons. In the middle of our conversation, he stared at me.

“You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?” he said, his eyes zeroing in on mine.

His words hit like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday for my family. Words fluttered around my brain, but failed to connect with my tongue. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind showing my old Chevy Vega ramming into a viaduct and killing me. I wept, and although attempting to regain composure, I could not.

“How did you know?” I asked through sobs.

“Oh, the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief because I realized that God was alive and cared about me. We continued talking and he gave me a book: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers. Bill eventually shook my hand and said one more explosive comment before I left.

“I speak in tongues,” he said.

Walking to my car, I thought, this God-stuff is real. It’s not hocus-pocus tomfoolery after all. I wept all the way home.

I walked into our empty house and sat down on the loveseat in the living room, facing the fireplace. I began reading Power in Praise. Each page seemed to have been written with me in mind. After twenty-five pages, I put the book down on the coffee table and walked into the downstairs bathroom. I locked the door behind me. There I knelt on the floor in front of the bathroom sink, using it as an altar for my hands. My reflection in the mirror revealed a desperate man.

“Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I knew Jesus was alive and now lived inside of me. I wept for joy, knowing He loved me. I worshipped Him and prayed verbatim Footprints in the Sand as a personal prayer, but I added a new twist for its ending.

“Lord, I’m never climbing out of Your arms because You’re always going to have to carry me. I’m too weak.”

(The above excerpt is from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, Amazon eBook,  © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven)

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Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?

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One day the Lord got my attention while I was standing at a busy street corner in India waiting for the light to turn green. There were little children everywhere, a common sight at many busy corners in Bombay. Tourists are cautioned not to give them anything because once you do, the others will all mob you.

While I was at this corner, feeling a bit annoyed by little hands grabbing at me, I heard from behind me the voice of a young girl.

“Sahib, Sir, my father died. My mother is sick. She can’t beg anymore. And I have a little brother, who is very hungry. Would you please give me a few pennies so I can buy some bread and take it to him?”

The light turned green, and everybody hurried on. But I couldn’t move. What she said pierced my heart, I turned around and saw this young girl, not yet 10 years old. I will never forget her face − one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen on a child. She had big brown eyes, thick black hair almost the length of her body, dirty fingernails, and dust mingled with sweat running down her face. She was barefoot and in rags. She just stood there with her hand extended.

I put my hands in my pocket and took all the money I could find and gave it to her. Then, I walked on.

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, I felt an unseen stranger joined me on this emotional walk. “So, what do you think about the little girl you just met? Is her life as valuable and precious as…” and the face of another young girl appeared in my mind’s eye. I didn’t know the name of the girl on the street, but I for certain knew the name of this new face; it was my own little daughter, Sarah.

I certainly don’t want anyone to feel guilty about lovingly caring for our own children and grandchildren. But the question remains: Is there room in our hearts for one or two of the world’s suffering children, and can we also care for them in Jesus’ name? Can we see them as Jesus does, so special to Him, their worth like jewels beyond compare?

(Excerpts from No Longer A Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan, © 2011, pages 69-72. Order your copy here.)

When I read No Longer A Slumdog, I saw the face of my daughter, Susan, and became a sponsor in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry. I pray this happens to thousands and thousands of Americans, maybe even you. (Larry Who)

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Do You Really Believe The Gospel?

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Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses. The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the replay. Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”? All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!” (Why Revival Tarries, Leonard Ravenhill, ©1959, 1987, Behtany House, Page 32.)

Do we really believe the Gospel? Do we really believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus?

If so, what are we going to do with our beliefs? Will we continue sleep walking like the prison chaplain, ignoring the people around us who are facing an eternity in Hell? Or are we willing to crawl on our hands and knees over broken glass to save one soul from Hell?

The answers to these questions reveal the depths of our love for Jesus.

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Struggling as a Christian Writer?

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A  lifetime ago, I normally preached three times per week. Although I wasn’t a pastor of a church, I preached wherever a door opened.

Once, I taught a series on Christian business practices in a small Iowa town hall. On the second evening, I sat alone, wondering if anyone would show up. At five minutes till seven, a woman walked in and sat down in the middle of fifty chairs. The clock creeped forward, but no one else showed up.

“Sir,” said the woman, “will you be starting on time?”

I nodded my head. “Sure,” I replied, moving toward the stage.

At seven o’clock, I prayed and began teaching to an audience of one. My teaching lasted forty-five minutes and a few others arrived in the last five minutes of it.

I closed the meeting and asked the lady if she needed personal prayer. She did. When I prayed, she received a physical healing for a long term ailment.

Another time, I held breakfast meetings in a restaurant where I gave ten minute teachings. A discussion followed the teachings.

No one showed up on one morning. So there I was in the middle of a restaurant, a preacher with a Bible, a teaching, and no audience. I picked up the menu to check it out when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “I’m here. Start your teaching.”

I opened with prayer and taught my message while all the other customers in the restaurant looked on, probably thinking, “That guy’s a nut!”

Not exactly a successful prototype for others to follow, right?

Yet, I learned a valuable lesson through these efforts. I learned who I needed to please: Jesus. My calling, my ministry, and my life must be focused on pleasing Him. If others are blessed, it will be because I first pleased Him.

So, when the Lord told me to write books and blogs, I did. And of course, I’d love to sell thousands of books, but that is a distant second to pleasing Him.

Now here’s a nugget for us writers: “If an author is willing to go through the various dry seasons of being humbled before God and man, God will eventually reveal mysteries and secrets to the person which may catapult the author onto a gigantic stage.”

Yet, it all begins with just pleasing Him.

Are you willing to pay the price?

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Hold on to the Word of the Lord for Your Life

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Two or three months after my salvation in 1985, I felt the Lord whisper to my heart: “You are going to write books.”

At the time, I was the president of a farm publishing company which published advertising booklets. Although I could write ad blurbs like, “Taste great! Less filling,” for agricultural companies, I was a lousy writer who split infinitives, mangled verb tenses, and jumbled grammar rules.

Yet, I believed this was the word of the Lord for my life.

From that moment forward, I thought of myself as a writer. The jobs I accepted were never long term, career oriented because I already had a career as a writer. I worked in hotel maintenance, car sales, parts delivery, construction, and whatever else to allow myself time to write.

Numerous pastors, prophets, believers, and even family members have told me, “I don’t really believe God has called you to write books. No one knows you.”

Not one of the naysayers were present in my prayer closet when the Lord spoke to my heart about my writing career. So, I made up my mind to ignore them all.

Thus, I rise each morning and ask, “Lord, what do You want me to write today?”

Some days, I write on my blog. Somedays, I write emails. Somedays, books. Somedays, nothing. Yet, even on my nothing days, I’m a writer, looking for stories to write.

What about successes?

The total royalties on my ten e-Books so far might purchase Honey and me a good meal at a Ruth Chris Steakhouse, but not much more. 

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)

Any successes I will ever have on earth in my writing career will be determined by His anointing, and not by my skillful marketing efforts. But yet, it’s still up to me  to hold on to the word of the Lord and be diligent in putting forth an effort each and everyday. You see, God rewards faithfulness.

So, has the Lord spoken a prophetic word to your heart? If so, are you holding on to the word of the Lord for your life? Or do you need to repent and pick the word back up again?

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Taco Tuesday Special! Free e-Book on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, a computer, or smart phone with Kindle apps on it, my e-book novel, Jonah, is FREE April 9 – 10, through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

The novel, Jonah, consists of two novellas written specifically for people who live in a post-911 America and who no longer see hope in a watered down, same-o same-o religion.

The main character in the first novella, “Jeremiah,” has his dreams wrecked by a late night visitation with an angel. Then, he receives a prophetic message for San Francisco. Will the city heed Jeremiah’s warning or is the city doomed?

In the second novella, “Jonah,” two prophets receive identical messages for the West Coast. Though each faces different struggles, it comes down to whether or not the people believe the prophets’ words. If the prophetic words are ignored, what will happen?

Fiction or prophecy? Time will soon reveal the answer to all of us.

Print Length: 225 pages.  File Size: 388 KB  Regular Price: $2.99

Free April 9 and April 10, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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Moving Again?

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In 17 years of marriage, Honey and I have moved at least 33 times, with stops in 9 different states and 18 different cities. The latest move was from a home on the north side of Temecula to one in central Temecula, a four mile hop, skip, and a jump for us.

A well-meaning pastor once took me aside and gave one of those lectures no one ever likes to hear.

“Larry, you need stability in your life and marriage,” he said, shaking his head at our wanderings. “No one will ever take your ministry seriously if you don’t settle down. You need to find yourself a city and a good church to park yourself so others will take you more seriously. Please, seek the Lord on this advice.”

If you think about it, his words make sense, right? Shouldn’t a prophetic person build a reputation with a pastor and a body of believers so he won’t look like a wandering gadfly to everyone?

Maybe.

It all comes down to this one single point: obeying the voice of God.

You see, if Honey and I have obeyed the voice of God to the best of our abilities with our moves, then who cares what the pastor and others think. In God’s eyes, our reputations were excess baggage in comparison to the open-door policy at His throne of grace where we can come at anytime for grace and mercy to help us in times of need.

Walking by faith carries with it the possibility we will not always hit the bullseye on the target when we set out on our journeys. Yes, I know we can fast and pray and wait and seek, but eventually we have to get off our knees and walk it out. And from experience, I can tell you there is plenty of wiggle room in the will of God which will end up costing us time and money. All of this will frustrate and drive us to the end of ourselves until we trust Him for everything.

Looking back on the 33 moves, would I do it all over again?

Yes, in a heartbeat! His grace is sufficient and that’s good enough for me.

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“Everyone Pushes Their Version of Morality” by Joseph Farah

 

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The following appeared in Joseph Farah’s Between the Lines Commentary on WND (March 27, 2013).

I got an interesting letter from someone going by the name of Jack O’Scratch recently.

“I know you won’t reply because that is the way you people deal with criticism, but why can’t you just let people live their lives?” he asked rhetorically. “Why must you continue to PUSH your morality on the rest of the world? Do you honestly think your god is so intolerant that he will punish YOU because other people don’t follow YOUR god? Thanks again for reinforcing my belief that I did the right thing by renouncing your evil, pathetic religion.”

I’m going to surprise Jack by replying.

Jack begins by saying he doesn’t like the way “you people,” meaning me, I presume, deal with criticism.

That, of course, acknowledges that my views are often under criticism.

The way I respond, when I think I’m right, is to defend my views – something I would expect everyone to do.

He asserts that I am not letting people live their lives.

Let the record show I have never taken the life of anyone. Neither have I forcefully obstructed people from living their lives the way they want – unless they were threatening the lives of others. I believe in treating people the way I would like to be treated as Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

I have been in error at times in my life. I’m thankful to those who offered me correction. And I try to offer correction to those who are straying from the teachings of their Creator. That strikes me as the loving thing to do.

I don’t want to see people lost. I don’t want to see people miss out on the rewards of obedience to God. I don’t want to see people separated from the love of God for all eternity because of bad decisions they made.

That’s the spirit in which I approach what the Bible defines as “sin.”

I’m not pushing my morality on anyone. My morality is weak. But I do try to promote the morality of the One who defined right from wrong for us.

And make no mistake about it: Everyone involved and engaged in debating social issues is pushing some form of morality.

Every law passed in the history of the world, whether by king’s edict or through the votes of elected officials, is the reflection of someone’s morality – be it a highway speed limit, a seatbelt law, a law involving restrictions on firearms or the very definition of when life begins. Tax laws are reflections of morality. Deficit spending decisions are reflections of morality. There’s just no such thing as a law or regulation that is not a reflection of someone’s morality.

Take another look at Jack’s criticism with that in mind.

Who is pushing his morality?

He rejects God.

Atheists have their own morality, too – and they are among the most vociferous advocates of their view of right and wrong.

Do I push morality? Yes, I plead guilty as charged. But I don’t enforce it. I don’t coerce anyone to follow my view of morality.

Interestingly, I find the very people who attack me for advocating a certain moral worldview attempt to do just that – force their morality on everyone else.

They do it through legislation. They do it through court edicts. They do it through bullying. They do it through heavy-handed pressure tactics. They do it through violence. They do it through intimidation and coercion and name-calling.

So what I’m asking Jack to do today – along with all those who think like Jack – is to take a look in the mirror. He might also want to re-examine that Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

You might also want to contemplate Leviticus 19:18: “[T]hou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

What’s the best way to love your neighbor? Is it not to share the truth? Is it not to save them from death? Is it not to provide them with the key to everlasting life?

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Taco Tuesday Special! Free e-Book on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle,  Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, or any computer with Kindle apps on it, my e-book, What’s In It For Me? is free on March 26 and March 27 through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

Every decision we make in life, we ask ourselves: “What’s in it for me?”

Admittedly, we Christians hate conceding this question sprints across our cranial synapses before we make spiritual decisions, but it always does. For more mature believers, the answers arrive in nanoseconds. Younger Christians may struggle and wrestle within themselves for a longer period of time before making their decisions.

But the result is always the same: the what’s-in it-for me-question is answered before decisions are made.

For example, who would ever give his life to the Lord? Or who would travel as a missionary to a distant land? Or who would willingly become a martyr? No one would do these things unless the Lord offered us something better in return for our decisions.

Okay, what about giving hard earned money to poor Asians? What’s in it for me?

Two thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia, with China and India accounting for approximately 60% of the total population. Less than 5% of Asians know the Lord and many have never even heard of Jesus. Thousands of Christians are imprisoned for their faith in China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos. Other believers are harassed and murdered. Millions now face starvation with no hope in sight and gendercide is being carried out against females in China and India.

So what’s in it for me?

What’s In It For Me? reveals how helping the least, the Asians,  may be the perfect insurance policies for our futures here on earth, especially those of us who live on the West Coast.

I believe this may be one of the most important books any believer will ever read.

Print Length:  56 pages    File Size:  193 KB    Regular Price: $  .99

Free March 26 and March 27, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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Today’s Taco Tuesday! My New e-Book is Free on Amazon.

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If you have a Kindle,  Kindle Fire, iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, or any computer with Kindle apps on it, my e-book, Forget About Yesterday. It’s Gone, is free on March 19 and March 20 through Amazon.

Amazon Book Description:

Would I like America to return to the simplicity of the 1950’s? Yes. Or the 1960’s? Yes. Or the 1970’s? Yes. Or the 1980’s? Yes. Or the 1990’s? Yes. Or even the year 2000? Yes.

But let’s be honest, America is never returning to those time periods again. That’s water under the bridge, long since dumped into the seas of time.

Do I get upset when I hear politicians talk out of both sides of their mouths, as if they really care about us? Or do I get upset when I see what’s happening to our economy? Or what’s happening to our cities and states? Or what’s happening to Christianity?

Actually, not so much anymore.

I’ve long since resigned myself that America is on a track, heading full bore for a deep gorge where the bridge is out. It seems to matter little whether the engineer is Obama, Romney, Perry, Cain, Palin, or whoever because the train does not look to be slowing down until it reaches the rocks at the bottom of the gorge.

Forget About Yesterday. It’s Gone is a wake-up slap for the Church. We believers can either shake ourselves out of our slumber or wait until the wheels quit spinning. The choice is ours to make now.

Print Length:  32 pages    File Size:  174 KB    Regular Price: $  .99

Free March 19 and March 20, 2013. So, check it out here and while you’re there check out my nine other e-books here.

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