Category Archives: jesus

A Summer Thanksgiving Story Without Turkey and Stuffing

 

The drive to meet Pastor Rick took me past the Temecula Valley High School baseball field where our son, Cole, played shortstop for the Golden Bears during his four years there. Cole was a good player, but that wasn’t the reason I always thanked the Lord for His mercy when I drove by the field. It was because of a special miracle the Lord did twenty-two years earlier during a state playoff game.

On that particular day, the Golden Bears were playing the Norco High School Cougars. The pitcher for the Cougars was Carson Riley, a right-hander, who threw around ninety-five miles per hour and was a solid major league prospect.

Cole stood in the right side of the batter’s box to lead off the seventh inning. Riley’s first pitch was a fastball, which tailed inside and hit Cole in the middle of his chest, knocking him to the ground. He laid motionless on the ground.

The three coaches for Temecula Valley rushed to him. One of them took out a cell phone and made a call.

Jane and I were sitting in the bleachers above the dugout on the first base side of the field. I grabbed Jane’s hand. “Honey, we need to go out there. Cole’s in danger,” I said.

We stood up and hurried to field.

Jim Dawson, the head coach for the Golden Bears, looked up as we approached home plate. “Dylan, he’s not breathing. I phoned for an ambulance, which should be here in four minutes,” he said.

Jane and I dropped to our knees and began praying. She prayed in tongues while I placed my hand on his chest.

“Father, You gave me a promise when Cole was born that He would preach the gospel and do miracles in Your name. When You made that promise, You looked into the future and saw this day. And yet, You still made that promise to me. I am not leaving until You honor Your promise and Cole stands up, totally healed in Jesus’ name. You did it for Elijah when he prayed for the widow’s son and I’m asking You to do the same thing for Cole, right now,” I prayed.

Coach Dawson grabbed my shoulders. “Dylan, let’s wait for the ambulance,” he whispered.

I shook his hands off me. “Let go of me,” I shouted. “God is doing a miracle here.”

Dawson released his grasp and wandered off. A siren could be heard pulling into the school’s parking lot.

“Father, I didn’t ask You to give me that promise for Cole. You did it on Your own. So, honor Your promise, in Jesus’ name,” I prayed again and again.

“What’s happening here?” asked a paramedic, rushing toward us with a stretcher.

Cole’s green eyes fluttered and opened. He looked into my eyes. “Dad,” he whispered, “I met Jesus. He said I had to come back to life because of your prayers.”

My son was totally healed and wanted to stay in the ballgame, but of course, the two paramedics insisted on him riding in the ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital. Jane and I followed them in our SUV.

All of the tests on Cole proved to be negative. The Lord healed him.

Cole graduated from high school two weeks later and now lives in San Diego with his wife Allyson and their two daughters, Mia and Madison.

If I drove by the baseball field a hundred times in any one day, I always thanked the Lord for His gracious miracle every time. I always wanted Him to know how much I appreciated what He did for our family on that day.

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders. (Psalm 26:7)

(Excerpt from Still in the Fight, an upcoming new novel by me.)

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Inside Israel

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)

Greetings DEAR brothers and sisters, in The precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach – Jesus The Messiah.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you each be deeply grounded, encouraged and blessed.

At this moment, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, I could not stretch my strength further today and travel to Modein tonight to join with brothers and sisters together at the grave of our dear sister and brothers, Sophi, Rodrigo and baby Itai.  It is the shloshim or 30 days and a time for closing of the early days of grieving. Many believers (and many air force soldiers) are  gathering together  as I write, to strengthen the family at the grave site.  I am there in heart.  It was also Rodrigo’s birthday…

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, huge fires are raging in both parts of Alaska that were my home.  In the Valley area and also in Bristol Bay.  The village that my husband was born in, a remote village of some 65 people, is on fire and in danger of being completely destroyed.  It is so remote that there are no fire fighting facilities and residents are attempting to beat it back….

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, my boss of 21 years had a heart attack today.  Thankfully it was a light one and he has already had catheterization, but it was emotionally intense and puts the future of the Doctor’s office where I work in question.

And that was just today.

There is a temptation to be thrown off kilter ( or at least, it is for me) and try to do more than observe all of this and pray. I want to become fully involved with every cell of my being.

It got me thinking about the Indonesian tsunami that happened in 2004 which killed some 230,000 people. What I remember about the calamity was being stunned by a report that the power of the massive movement of all of that water had shifted the earth on its axis.  If you are interested, there is much scientific data.  A cursory google search just now turned up this rather easily read report —

“The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December was so powerful that it has accelerated the Earth’s rotation, geophysicists have declared. They estimate that the shockwave shortened the period of our planet’s rotation by some three microseconds.

The change was caused by a shift of mass towards the planet’s centre, as the Indian Ocean’s heavy tectonic plate lurched underneath Indonesia’s one, say researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This caused the globe to rotate faster, in the same way that a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms.

The blast literally rocked the world on its axis, add Richard Gross and his NASA colleagues. They estimate that Earth now tilts by an extra 2.5 centimetres in the wake of the jolt.

The shortening of Earth’s day is no cause for consternation, particularly in light of the huge humanitarian crisis sparked by Sunday’s events. The death toll from the tsunami that lashed coasts across the Indian Ocean has now passed 100,000.

“I would be stunned if there was any change in the rotation rate that would necessitate addition or subtraction of a leap second.”

But the change will nonetheless be relevant to physicists charged with keeping the world’s official time, which since 1967 has been based on a battery of around 250 highly accurate atomic clocks in 60 labs throughout the world. These labs report to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, which sets the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).”

 

So, those of you who have been commenting on ‘time speeding up’ are scientifically correct. 

But back to “the temptation.”  It seems to me that the temptation is to spin off center.  To be caught up in the intensity of all of this emotion.  Surely Jesus wept!  I am DEFINITELY NOT saying not to be emotionally involved since it is The Lord Who gave us compassion and emotions.  But the same Lord gave us balance and COMMANDED us to follow HIM.  I can’t follow Him very well if my eyes are elsewhere, even on the waves that are about to encompass me.

With this thought in mind, I found myself laughing about this on the train today.

The Jerusalem bus drivers are notorious for using passengers like bowling balls. You know: look in your mirror and there they are!  Passengers!  Lined up for a perfect STRIKE! Step on the brakes and swerve quickly, how many can be knocked over at once?

  Yes, I am exaggerating for humor’s sake, but it really feels as if we are bowling balls sometimes.  Today the train played a similar trick.  Usually the drivers brake slowly but perhaps the brakes were sticky today and WHAM!  Every time there was occasion to brake, we all went flying.   Keeping babies, packages and old people balanced was a challenge.

Physically, I lose my balance more easily these days, and I DON’T want to lose SPIRITUAL balance, too.

“Occupy till I come.” 

The Lord admonished us in the parable in Luke 19.

In John 15-17 and SO many other places He tells us that we are IN the world but not OF the world, and that was spoken in Israel, to Israelis first. So, HOW AM I TO WALK in the streets of Jerusalem when my own personal world is turning upside down? Experiencing an axis-tipping tsunami and my country at the same time is actively fighting wars on each border. Plus, NASTY FILTHY elections taking place AGAIN. I see the streets filthy and people worn with fatigue and cares of this world…

 “Occupy till I come.”

It’s that old Israeli army saying again about standing on your spot and guarding that ONE SPOT assigned to you: h’a’zek b’ma’amad. Hold on!  Stand your ground! Hold on to The Lord AND hold on to the vision. This is what He wants me to do at any given moment.

You are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Well, duh!  OF COURSE!”

But it hasn’t been that easy, and yet I see that it really IS what He is calling me to do.  He keeps telling me to “Walk past the graves…even as HE DID!’  He walked right OUT of them.  His eyes were on His Father and HE AROSE TO GIVE US ETERNAL SALVATION WITH VICTORY.

Keep my eyes on Him when people look at me and ask me about what we believe or reject me and get angry for the same.  Keep my eyes on Him when my boss has a heart attack. The 21 years of work may just be over NOW, BUT I have committed my care and feeding to Him and that is settled.  My eyes on HIM.

To keep my eyes on Him when the tiny remote village so key in my family history just might fade into the past before my eyes. MY EYES ON HIM.  When the bank tells me that if I don’t make an appointment via an “app.” (Sorry guys, but I’m in technological rebellion perhaps.)

I can not cash my paycheck (deposited by law) or do any other banking business. The world is changing SO QUICKLY and yet He is giving me NO SLACK to fret or become indignant or to go anywhere for help but to HIM.

The changes aren’t letting me catch my breath. And here is a good one … make that two:

One thing that I have lacked for so long has been a steady prayer partner.  I am all for closet prayer and enjoy it daily, but I have been unable to get out at night when our prayer meetings take place aside from on Friday morning. Then I am there for such a short time.  The Lord has brought a DEAR close friend to stay with us for awhile and we have been able to pray DAILY together.  It made me realize how I was starved for a prayer partner, true fellowship before the throne.  THANK  YOU LORD!

 Thank you for praying for my trip to England and my time of sharing my testimony with my family.

My 15 year old Grandson, our oldest Grandchild, had been to a Bible camp in California while they lived there. This year, he chose to go back to the camp. This time, he gave his heart to The Lord. I have received a few messages from him and of course am praying for him to be ROOTED, GROUNDED, FRUIT BEARING, SUBMITTING TO GOD AND RESISTING THE DEVIL, LOVING THE WORD AND RIGHTLY DIVIDING IT AS THE WORD OF TRUTH AND NOT BEING DECEIVED OR TURNED ASIDE.  I believe, that HE Who has begun a good work in Noah, will perform it until that last day.  And even in THIS I must keep my balance.

Thank you for your prayers for me, my family,  and for this country, which IS  central in the Heart of God and pivotal in the last days, as from the beginning. May The Lord be blessed and Alone may He be glorified and adored.  May you be encouraged and blessed.

Lovingly,

Your sister J

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Filed under Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, One new man, Prophecy, Terrorist attacks

Prayers to Open Our Eyes About the End-Times (3/12/2019)

The main reasons we Americans do not understand the End-Times are:

  1. We do not study the Bible.
  2. We do not understand that Jesus is Jewish.

Problem #1 can be handled by asking the Lord to open our eyes as we study the Bible to understand the End-Times. My recommendation is that we begin our studies in the Book of Revelation, Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, 1 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 2 Peter 3:1-13, Daniel 11 and Daniel 12.

Problem #2 will take a total change of our Gentile mindsets.

We have been indoctrinated by the Americanized portraits of Jesus supposedly resembling Him, by the non-Biblical holidays of  Easter and Christmas, by our total lack of understanding about the Jewish feasts or Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath), not understanding the Bible was written by Jewish authors and more.

Why is this important?

Jesus fulfilled the spring feasts of Pesach (Passover), Chag HaMotzi (Unleavened Bread), Reshit Katzir (First Fruits), Shavu’ot (Pentecost) and also dozens of Old Covenant prophecies when He was crucified, buried, rose from the grave and ascended into heaven.

Our Lord will fulfill the fall feasts of Yom Teru’ah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles) and hundreds of Old Covenant prophecies when He returns.

Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, will rule and reign forever in Jerusalem as the Son of David, and we Gentile believers have been grafted into a Jewish olive tree.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to change our mindsets so the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles is broken down and that the one new man will come forth here on earth, prepared for the End-Times. (Based on Ephesians 2:14-15)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for our eyes to be opened about the End-Times.

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Does Jesus Really Delight in Us?

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David was in his early 20s when he fled to the wilderness to escape from King Saul. His parents, four hundred men and eventually his wife, Abigail joined him there.

His adversary, King Saul, handpicked three thousand warriors to hunt David down, hoping to kill him. This kept David looking over his shoulder for seven years, never allowing him a moment’s rest, day or night.

When David moved his parents to safety in Moab, the prophet Gad came to him there and said, “David, you can’t stay here, you have to go back to Judah.”

Wait a second!

God – who loved David – wanted him to continue in his life-threatening trial?

YES!

Why?

You see, it was this agonizing, painful, fearful trial that God used to change David into the man who would eventually become the King of Israel, a noted psalmist and an encouragement for future believers like you and me. Look at the words he wrote in Psalm 23:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me… (Psalm 23:4)

David lived these words for seven years while King Saul hunted him down.

But even David, who had such great revelations about the heart of the Father,  could only handle so much stress. He ended up rebelling against the prophetic word spoken to him by Gad and spending his last sixteen months of the trial in Gath. He stayed there until King Saul was killed.

What did the back-slidden rebel David say was the reason that God delivered him from King Saul?

He rescued me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19 AMP)

Hey, most of us are going through seemingly endless trials right now. Some of the time, we are walking in faith and victory, but  during others, we may be standing on the edge of a cliff, thinking about jumping off and quitting altogether.

Yet, no matter where we are right now, let’s remember this: if the Lord delighted in a back-slidden David, He delights in us.

Why?

Because we are His beloved.

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8 Exchanges at the Cross

 

My Aussie friend, Roger Williams, at Reality Revelations had the above video on his blog site. The video is 5 minutes long and well worth viewing, but what caught my attention was when Derek Prince spoke about the 8 exchanges which happened at the cross.

Prince said:

The cross is the center of the whole Christian faith. All the evil that was due us was thrust on Jesus. All the good that was due Jesus was made available to us. At the cross, 8 exchanges took place.

1. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.

2. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.

3. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be righteous with His righteousness.

4. Jesus died our death that we might receive His life.

5. Jesus endured our poverty that we might endure His abundance.

6. Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.

7. Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance with God the Father.

8. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.

(This is a rerun from May 28, 2013)

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If We’re All Created In God’s Image, Why Must Gays Change? (Part 1)

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I recently read an eye-opening article by an ex-ex-gay entitled, To Straight and Back. The author, John Paulk, now a food caterer in Portland, Oregon, related his journey from being gay to being straight to being gay again. The article was framed around a recent statement by a possible Republican presidential candidate:

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.” (Texas Gov. Rick Perry, June 12, 2014)

John Paulk told how he became despondent and almost suicidal when he was in his mid-20s. He went to a campus pastor at Ohio State University and said, “God can’t love me because I’m gay.”

The pastor stated that God could love Paulk, but that God would not be pleased with him if he continued in his gay lifestyle. Young Paulk wanted to please God.

So, Paulk joined Exodus, a ministry that believed gays could be changed through strong determination and a relationship with Jesus Christ. He went through a year-long residential program called “Steps Out of Homosexuality.” The twelve-man group lived together, ate together, attended church together, and studied the Bible together.

At Exodus, Paulk met Anne, a former lesbian. They fell in love, were married, and had three sons.

The couple wrote a book: Love Won Out: How God’s Love Helped 2 People Leave Homosexuality and Find Each OtherPaulk became a manager and speaker for Focus on the Family’s Homosexuality and Gender Division and also Chairman of the board for Exodus International.

In 2000, all of this came crashing down, when John Paulk was photographed leaving a gay bar in Washington, D. C. He then dropped out of sight, hoping to protect his family and start a new business in Portland.

But Paulk couldn’t shake his loneliness. He went to a Christian therapist who told Paulk that he was “on a journey of self-discovery” and that he didn’t have to change fundamentally who he was to be acceptable to God. Paulk embraced the therapist’s words and became a gay again.

Paulk wrote:

As long as this widespread misunderstanding in the straight world about homosexuality persists, that it is a choice or a “lifestyle,” as Perry put it, not only will we never be fully accepted by society, some of us will remain unable to accept ourselves. It’s internalized homophobia: you hate what you are. It is a form of self-inflicted torture that has haunted me my entire life, and I do not want young gay women and men today to go through what I went through. I want to tell them—and Rick Perry: We are not broken, damaged, inferior or throwaways. We are created in the image of God—just like everyone else. (To Straight and Back, Politico Magazine, June 19, 2014.

My series is not written to criticize John Paulk − in fact, may the Lord bless him and his family − but it is written for us Christians to understand where gays are coming from and what we need to do.

(Continued in Part 2)

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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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