Category Archives: Senior Citizens

New Book Release: “Still in the Fight”

“Do you really believe God would ask you to do something like this in the twilight years of your life?” asked the young pastor.

Seventy-year old Dylan set his cup down a little too hard. The coffee splashed out of it onto the table.

“Excuse me!” Dylan proclaimed.

The young pastor cleared his throat and sipped coffee while Dylan wiped the spilt liquid up with a napkin. 

“Shouldn’t you just enjoy your children and family for the remaining years of your life? After all, you’ve pretty much run your race. What can you really accomplish this late in the game?” said the young pastor.

Dylan stood up, put his hands on the table and leaned toward him.

“I don’t have any answers right now,” Dylan proclaimed three levels louder than normal. The people sitting nearby stopped their activities and stared at them.

“As far as my legacy, I’m going out to make a new one because I’m not satisfied with mine. And mistakes? Or my age? I couldn’t care less about either one right now. I just want to stay in the fight until I take my last breath.” (Excerpt from Still in the Fight)

Dylan and Jane Matthews, a seventy-year old married couple, decided to toss religious orthodoxy aside. So, they quit sitting in pews, walked out the doors of their institutional church and followed the leading of the Holy Spirit into their divine callings. What began as a way to do church differently ended up being a life and death battle to save the city of San Francisco.

Are the adventures of Dylan and Jane blueprints for other senior citizens? Why not? Our legacies in Christ are not finished until we breathe our last breaths. 

Still in the Fight is a must-read novel for all senior citizens!

Available on Amazon for Kindles and Kindle Apps.

174 Pages Author: Larry Nevenhoven

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Over 60? Is It Too Late To Build A Prayer Life? (Part 3)

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Religious Nut

The first time I heard the term “religious nut” was in the 1950’s when my mom spit those words out of her mouth. It happened when we shopped at Meiners’ Grocery Store in Forreston, Illinois. Mom picked a few items off the shelves and carried them up to the checkout. Lillian Meiners, the cashier, attempted to talk about the Lord to Mom while totaling the purchases on the cash register. It was a one-sided conversation with Mom saying nothing.

“She’s a religious nut!” Mom proclaimed as we walked to our 1955 Pontiac, parked outside the door.

From that day forward, Lillian Meiners personified a religious nut to me. I would often see her and when I did, Mom’s words popped into my mind. Lillian never knew my true feelings about her. It was one of those inner character assassinations I never spoke aloud to anyone.

Lillian’s name was filed on a forgotten corner shelf of my mind until late 1985. It would still be there covered with layers of dust and cobwebs except for the question I asked the Lord one morning during prayer.

“Jesus, why did you save me?”

A clear voice whispered to my heart.

“Because of Lillian Meiners’ prayers for you.”

His words shocked me, but a few years later, I talked with her pastor, Rev. Orin Graff. He told me Lillian was a faithful prayer warrior for kids who attended Bible Camp.

Thus, the first saint I am going to hug upon my arrival in heaven will be Lillian Meiners. I want to thank her for faithfully praying for an agnostic who always thought she was a religious nut. We can have a good laugh about my ignorance and how Jesus set me straight.

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Lillian Meiners died over thirty years ago. So, she would have been in her 60s when she spent time praying for me.

Lillian reminds me of what Wesley said of Whitefield:

John Wesley and George Whitefield certainly had their theological differences which at times caused great problems. With this in mind, a timid lady asked Wesley after Whitefield’s death, “Do you expect to see Whitefield in heaven?”

“No, madam,” replied Wesley.

“Ah, I was afraid you would say that,” said the lady.

“Do not misunderstand me, madam! George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him,” said John Wesley.

I also will need strong field glasses to see the likes of religious nuts like Lillian Meiners and other senior citizens who have faithfully prayed for the generations that followed them.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Over 60? Is it Too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 2)

praying

In a way, I’ve been blessed in that my almost thirty-five years of walking with the Lord has been one long trial. If it wasn’t finances, it was my marriage or my many mistakes forcing me to keep my foot on the prayer accelerator. I really had no other alternatives!

Yes, I love hearing how some believers fall so in love with Jesus after their salvations that they just want to pray all of the time. But that certainly wasn’t me! You see, I just wanted to survive my never-ending battles and had enough wisdom to realize God was my only answer.

So, I plodded along day after day in my prayer life.

Then, one morning the Holy Spirit fell upon me. What happened? I was gone for approximately forty-five minutes and where I was I didn’t have a clue, but there was no worry, no time and just peace, love and the Holy Spirit. It was an awesome experience.

This happened again and again in the following mornings so that I learned how to travel into this “secret place” to be with God.

Now, I didn’t let anyone else know about my daily “secret place” visits with God for about two years. Part of my reasoning was that it was so precious and the other part was that most thought I was a religious nut and I didn’t want to add more lines to my resume.

Yet, it wasn’t until I heard someone teach on Psalm 91 that my eyes were opened:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Can you believe that God has a secret place and He actually wants us to spend time with Him there? I always stand amazed just thinking about that.

Can any believer visit God’s secret place? Young or old?

Absolutely yes!

All you have to do is find a quiet place and open your Bible to Psalm 91. Tell the Lord, “I want to visit Your secret place and abide under Your shadow.” Begin praising Him and thanking Him.

Then, it’s up to the Holy Spirit to escort you into God’s secret place.

For me, it’s been a little over thirty-four years since my first visit. And since then, there has never been a day when I didn’t want to spend time in God’s secret place.

It has radically changed my prayer life from boredom to excitement.

Maybe it will do the same for you.

(Continued in Part 3)

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Over 60? Is it Too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 1)

praying

Although I’m seventy-four years old and have walked with the Lord almost thirty-five years, I still remember what happened on the first morning after my salvation.

That particular morning, I woke up and looked over at the clock radio next to our bed. The clock said, “5:00 a.m.” This was new territory for me. The alarm was set for 6:00 a.m, my usual time for getting out of bed.

Yet, I was so wide awake that I arose and dressed to meet the new day. The rest of my family was sound asleep. Not wanting to awaken anyone, I tiptoed into the family room and sat down on the sofa.

“Now what?” I thought to myself.

A deep impression gripped me at that moment — maybe I should pray.

This may sound normal to most believers now, but you have to remember that only twenty-four hours earlier I was an agnostic set on committing suicide. And now, I felt like praying? It sounds ridiculous in hindsight, right?

But the deep impression did not leave me. So, I began praying.

If prayers are stored up in heaven in a special golden censer, have no fear! My simple two and three word prayers did not take up much room nor did they take up much of the Lord’s time.

“Oh Lord, bless my wife…bless my son…bless my daughter…bless my neighbors…and so forth.”

This is where I was on that morning and for a few mornings after that, but I learned something early in my walk with the Lord:

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Whatever the Lord begins in us,  whether it’s praying, evangelism, prophesying or whatever, He is more than able to make it grow…even if it means He has to mix in numerous trials to stretch a believer’s faith.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Hey Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 4)

A few days ago, another believer asked, “Larry, why are you so passionate? Why not just slow down and enjoy the last days of your life?”

“Because I will soon appear before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and I fear that day,” I replied.

“What? Nobody thinks like that!”

“Well, I do and they should feel the same way,” I said.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others… (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

Not long ago, I started a longterm vacation from Facebook and other social media outlets. Plus, I cut back following sports, watching TV, reading mystery novels and most other hobbies.

Why?

For some reason or another, I recently checked the Social Security Actuarial Life Tables and looked up what the life expectancy was for a man who is 73 years old. It turns out that on the average, I can expect to live 12.43 more years. Now, what this really means is that fifty percent of the men my age will be dead in 12.43 years.

Yes, I could live a lot longer, but the opposite is also true, I could live a lot less.

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming novel:

A terrifying vision awakened me out of my spiritual slumber.

In it, I stood before the Judgment Seat of Christ. I wasn’t alone because hundreds of other believers stood there in numerous rows, waiting for the Judge − Jesus − to appear in front of us. I watched Him off to my left walking down my row with a torch in His right hand. He stopped in front of each believer, looked down and lit piles of what looked like grass and sticks at the feet of each person with His torch. The piles burst into flames. The piles quickly burnt out to reveal gold, silver, precious stones or nothing but scorch marks on the ground. Those who had precious metals and stones bowed down and worshipped the Lord. Those who had scorch marks wailed and screamed like they were in hell, even though they were in heaven.

I looked down at my feet and saw a puny pile. I knew this small heap represented all of my works done on earth for the Lord. Not much for a whole lifetime, I thought. A holy fear enveloped me.

I turned and looked at the person next to me and realized he was a successful Christian businessman, whom I greatly admired. He was an elder at Jedidiah Smith Community Church, Sunday school teacher, weekend street evangelist and well-known benefactor. The newspapers were always reporting on his philanthropy and many works.

I watched Judge Jesus bend over and light the businessman’s pile with His torch. The pile quickly burnt out to reveal nothing but scorch marks on the ground. The businessman fell to the ground and wailed at the top of his lungs. His screams echoed through my mind.

Oh no, I thought. If this businessman’s life did not please the Lord, how will mine be any better?

The Lord stood in front of me.

I looked into His eyes and knew His love was not on trial, but mine was at that moment. He bent over, ready to touch my puny pile with His torch.

“Lord, give me a second chance,” I pleaded.

He looked at me without straightening up. His torch remained close to my pile. “And what would you do differently?”

“I will serve you night and day without complaining. If need be, I will crawl on my knees across San Francisco on streets covered with broken glass to be Your ambassador. I will gladly carry cups of cold water to people, minister to them as Your servant and if you need a martyr for Your kingdom purposes, I volunteer myself for that assignment.”

He straightened up and looked me squarely in the eyes. His love melted every hindrance in my heart. “Remember to do your works to please Me, not to please other people like this businessman did during his life. He received his reward on earth. Go and be My servant.” (From upcoming novel, Still in the Fight)

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to check out the whole series to date, click here.)

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Prayers for Senior Citizens (6/6/2019)

 

One of the greatest geezer preachers of all time was Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947).

Wigglesworth was born in 1859 in Yorkshire, England. His parents were so poor that Smith had to miss school as a child and work to help support his family. Even so he became born again when he was eight years old. Later, he became an apprentice and then a plumber.

He married his wife Polly in 1882. She taught him how to read and encouraged him to preach, but he was tongue-tied and couldn’t speak in front of crowds. So, his wife was the anointed preacher until her death in 1913.

When Polly died, he was so grief-stricken that he commanded death to leave her. She came back to life, opened her eyes and said, “Smith, the Lord wants me. It’s your season now.”

Smith looked into her eyes. “If the Lord wants you, I will not hold you,” he replied.

The day after the funeral, Smith Wigglesworth threw himself on his wife’s grave and wept. The Holy Spirit spoke: “Smith, get up. It’s time for you to travel the world and preach the gospel.”

Then, an argument followed between the Holy Spirit and Wigglesworth. He refused to get off the grave because he was too heart-broken and didn’t want to minister without his wife.

Finally, Wigglesworth said, “Lord, I’ll get up and go to the world, if You’ll give me her anointing, too.”

That day, Smith Wigglesworth, fifty-four years of age, began his ministry to the world and continued until he died at eighty-eight years of age.

Because of Wigglesworth’s lack of schooling, he normally spoke with a working-class cockney accent, hard to understand. But when he preached and ministered, he talked like an Oxford professor. Perfect English.

There has never been a man like Smith Wigglesworth. As many as nineteen people (some say only twelve) were raised from the dead through his ministry. Tens of thousands were healed and saved in his meetings.

And he did all this while he was a senior citizen.

What’s our excuse, right?

My prayer today:

Lord, Your word states that You do not show favoritism toward one person over another. So, I ask You to move on the senior citizens here in American and raise up dozens of people who will walk in the same anointing that You gave to Smith Wigglesworth. (Based on Acts 10:34)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Hey Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 3)

 

When I turned fifty years of age, I wrote down as many of the dreams and prophecies for my life as I could remember. Then, I wrote down how many of them had been fulfilled up to that date. This part only took seconds because none of them had been fulfilled.

At seventy-three years of age, I could do the same thing today. The only difference is that I would be able to check off one from my list: marriage to a godly woman. That’s it! All of the rest have not been fulfilled as yet.

Oh dear, right?

At this moment, I work as a delivery driver for Panera Bread in Tempe, Arizona, which is about as far from my dreams and prophetic words for my life as possible. So, why would I invest my small amount of remaining time in a job like this?

On April 6, I met a prophetic friend for breakfast in Chandler, Arizona. We enjoyed fellowshipping with each other for a couple of hours. During this time, he said to me, “I see you delivering products mainly to businesses. Seek the Lord about this.”

I sought the Lord and ended up delivering Panera menu items mainly to workers at businesses and schools.

Am I any closer to fulfilling the callings on my life?

Of course, I am.

You see, I can’t fulfill any of the promises for my life apart from the Lord’s help. It’s futile to even attempt to do so. Thus, if the Lord wants me to deliver Panera products, I’m all-in!

Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)

If you’re a senior citizen and you’re seeking the Lord on unfulfilled prophetic promises for your life, don’t give up. He who called you is faithful. You can trust Him to do what He said He would do in your life. Be all-in!

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for Senior Citizens (5/30/2019)

 

Let’s stop blaming Democrats, Republicans, the media, social media and anyone else for America’s problems. And let’s start looking in the mirror at the major causes for our problems: me and almost every senior citizen in our nation.

We are the ones who inherited this nation from what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Geneation” and then allowed it to be turned into a selfish, government-reliant, money-hungry, anti-God, abortion-loving, self-absorbing, comfort-adoring, gender-confused generation, filled with our children and grandchildren.

The buck stops here for me…and hopefully for millions of others.

I refuse to spend my twilight years sitting in a rocking chair and just passing time until I die. I want to make-up for those years I failed to pray, fast and help shape my children and grandchildren into men and women of God who build His kingdom for His purposes.

My prayer today:

Lord, I repent of my apathy and lethargy over the last fifty years. Help me to deny myself, pick up my cross daily and follow You. And Lord, give me Your grace to be what You desire me to be now.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Hey, Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 2)

 

I signaled for a right turn onto CA-76, heading southwest toward Oceanside and the Pacific Ocean. Although the state worked on the highway every so often, drivers needed to stay alert to avoid potholes. A few were big enough to send vehicles to repair garages for thousand-dollar front-end suspension and alignment overhauls.

“Look at how beautiful the −”

“Shush,” said Jane, holding up her left hand in a stop sign manner. Her Pandora bracelet mirrored the sunlight. “Now it’s my turn.”

I nodded, knowing she wanted details.

“What do you plan on doing?”

“I don’t know.”

“The pastor will call and so will some of your friends, especially Phil and Vinnie.”

“I know, but I don’t have any answers. I walked out during the sermon because I looked at that young pastor and saw the beginning of another preacher’s ministry at Jedidiah Smith Community Church. Yet, I wondered to myself, what about me. What about my ministry? When will I speak the words in my heart?”

“That’s the reason you walked out?”

“Partly.”

“What else caused you to do such a silly thing?”

I sat for a few beats with my eyes glued to the road. A red Corvette convertible with its top down blew past us on our left. Within seconds, the sports car disappeared around the next curve. Our Honda’s speedometer stayed at sixty-five miles per hour, my normal speed on the highway.

Then I blew out a deep breath.

“The other day, I read a statement which summed up the philosophy of the U. S. Navy SEALS. It said, ‘I will never quit. If knocked down, I will get back up every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates. I am never out of the fight.’ Those words brought tears to my eyes.”

“Why should those words affect you so much?”

“What price have I paid over the years for the Kingdom of God? Not much. As far as I know, I’ve sat on the sidelines in a comfortable pew, far from any raging battles. Who knows if I would be willing to use every remaining ounce of strength to help my brothers and sisters in a spiritual battle? Only Jesus knows that answer, which I fear He may end up telling me at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

Jane’s green eyes filled with tears. Drops streamed down her face while her lower lip trembled.

“How can you say that? You have faithfully attended church for over thirty years. You’ve always paid tithes to the church. You’ve prayed and studied the Word. You’ve been a godly husband, father and grandfather. Everyone loves you and thinks you’re a great believer −”

“Honey, that’s the least I should have done. The very least.”

“Is this about turning seventy last month and both of us arriving at the silver-haired years of our lives?” she said, reaching into her purse for a Kleenex.

I nodded.

“As soon as the young pastor opened his mouth for his sermon, a quick memory flooded my mind. It was when we gave our lives to the Lord forty years ago at that little Baptist Church in Murrieta. At the time, I had a deep impression that the Lord wanted me to do something for Him. Preach, teach, I didn’t know for sure what it was, but we had two young children, a new home and I had just started Foxfire Realty. So, I ignored it.”

“I vaguely remember you telling me about that,” she whispered, wiping her eyes with a tissue.

“I’ve had that same impression at various times over the last forty years, but I’ve always ignored it until today. ”

“Are you kidding? You plan on being a seventy year-old preacher, looking for a church to pastor?”

“I have no idea what the Lord wants me to do, but I felt that today was my last chance to obey Him. So, I stood up and turned my back on those things that seemed so important to me for the last forty years. From now on, I plan on getting up in the morning and proclaiming, ‘Here I am, Lord, reporting for duty. I’m still in the fight.'”

(Excerpt from an upcoming novel, Still in the Fight by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2019)

Somebody recently asked, “Why do you write novels?”

“To make a prophetic point,” I replied.

Does that mean I believe every senior citizen should walk out of their present  churches?

Read the rest of this series.

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Hey, Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 1)

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Thirty years ago, I attended a small church which would from time to time host traveling ministries for two or three nights of meetings. One time, a prophet held some meetings there. The prophet preached a message and afterward he pointed at certain people in the audience, had them stand up and then he spoke prophetic words to them.

One evening, he asked me to stand up and then spoke a long prophetic message about my calling and future ministry. I was absolutely floored by his words.

Afterward, a seventy-five year old woman walked up to me. “Many years ago, I used to get prophetic words just like yours for my life,” she said.

“Really?” I replied. “What did you do with them?”

“Oh, I wrote them down in a notebook,” she said.

“What else did you do with them?” I asked.

“I’m just waiting on the Lord…just waiting on the Lord,” she replied.

Two or three years later, she died.

I don’t know what happened to her notebook after her death, but I don’t think she ever walked one day in her divine calling. How sad, right?

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

There are many reasons why believers don’t ever fulfill the divine callings the Lord places on their lives. Sometimes, it’s bad teaching. Sometimes, it’s religious bondage. Or fear. Or doubt. Or maybe, the price was too high and the believer didn’t want to pay it. Or countless other reasons.

But whatever the reasons, if the Lord places a calling on a believer’s life, He has a plan on how the believer can fulfill his/her calling. We need to trust Him.

Are callings important to the Lord?

I had a dream many years ago in which I walked into heaven. It was glorious there, full of peace and life. But soon, I was met by a bronze-skinned little boy who looked up at me and said, “I died as a youngster and never made it into my calling because you did not fulfill your calling.”

All of sudden, there was a long, long line of bronze-skinned boys waiting to talk with me. Each one said, “I died as a youngster and never made it into my calling because you did not fulfill you’re calling.”

Finally, I cried out to the Lord. “Jesus, help me! I can’t handle this,” I said.

The dream ended.

That dream put the fear of the Lord in me about doing the best I can to fulfill the calling the Lord has placed on my life. You see, if you and I don’t make it into our callings, we may end up hurting the Lord’s plans for other people. I don’t want any blood on my hands when I stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. What about you?

So, why have I singled out senior citizens?

First of all, I am seventy-three years old. The largest part of my calling has not been fulfilled as yet. So, I’m still beating on the throne-room’s doors every morning, seeking Him. I refuse to quit and allow my calling to pass me by!

Secondly, I just attended a large church and discerned numerous callings for many of the senior Christians sitting in the pews there. And these seniors are not walking in their callings. This bugged me enough to write these articles.

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers… (Acts 13:36)

(Continued in Part 2)

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