Category Archives: Senior Citizens

Prayers for a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (4/4/2017)

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I was born in 1946.

This year marks the beginning of what we now call the Boomer Generation. It’s the demographic used to describe the post-World War II baby boom from its beginning in 1946 until 1964.

76 million of us were born during the Baby Boom Years. We now control 80% of all the financial assets, spend half of all consumer spending, consume 77% of all prescription drugs, and enjoy 80% of all leisure travel.

Our numbers include President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Dolly Parton, Cher, Steven Spielberg, Sally Field, and countless others.

Okay, we Boomers have made money and lived for ourselves, but what is our legacy to the following generations? Have we, like King David, fulfilled the purposes of God for our generation?

I am ashamed to say that we have not.

My prayer today:

Lord, forgive us America’s senior citizens for not accomplishing pleasing works in Your sight. And awaken and strengthen us so what still remains in us of You and Your ways will help the generations after us to serve You. (Based on Revelation 3:2)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

 

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Geezer Up (Part 16)

Except for the early moments in Cell 27 when my cellmate wrapped his hands around my neck, the rest of my first twenty-four hours of jail life crept along like a snail on a hot sidewalk. Slowly! Bogart and I reached a tacit truce, which allowed me to speak only when he directed a question at me, but otherwise, I remained silent.

I wandered out into the common area and spent time with eleven other inmates watching TV. Reality shows, especially “Judge Judy” and “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” were the favorites with comments being peppered at the TV throughout each show.

As far as eating, no one noticed that I was not doing so. God’s grace covered my fast and my efforts to do it in secret.

At 10 a.m., a tall guard came to the cell. “Matthews?” he said.

“Yes,” I said, sitting up in my bunk.

“Come down here. Turn around. Put your hands behind your back.”

I followed his instructions as he put handcuffs on my wrists and quickly patted down my body for weapons.

“Turn around. Walk out the door, turn right, and head toward the entrance. Your lawyer is waiting for you in meeting room #2, on your left.”

When I entered the small room, Artie sat at a metal table, wearing a light gray suit and black shirt open at the collar. The guard removed my handcuffs and left the room. I sat down on the opposite side of the table from Artie.

“How are you doing?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

I shrugged. “Well, it’s not a picnic, but so far, I’m doing okay.”

“Well, that’s probably as good as one can hope for right now.”

He opened his brown briefcase and took out my worn black leather Bible.

“Jane brought this over before I left the office this morning.”

I grabbed the Bible and fanned the pages.

“Thank you, just what I need right now.”

“Here are some legal pads and jail approved pencils, too.”

I nodded my head.

Artie blew out a deep breath before explaining the prosecutor’s offer of leniency in exchange for my admittance of guilt and apology.

“No, not interested in that deal.”

He then mentioned how the City Attorney’s office would throw the book at me if I refused the offer, which could result in a log prison sentence for me. Even if the decision were appealed, I might end up being locked up for months or years before the case was settled.

“Still not interested. Sink or swim, live or die, I’m determined to trust the Lord all the way to the end of this.”

Artie stood up and picked up his briefcase. “I will be back in eleven days to ready you for your preliminary hearing. Jane will visit you tomorrow and Sunday.” He paused a moment. “My wife and I are praying for you…just want you to know that.”

We shook hands before the guard returned to take me back to Cell 27.

(Continued in Part 17…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for a Holy Spirit Revival of Senior Citizens (3/28/2017)

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“Honey, the Lord told me on the way home tonight how blessed I should feel to have a godly husband like you,” said Carol as we slipped into bed at the end of a long weekday.

“That may be true, but I’m going to shoot Fern,” I said looking at the ceiling.

“Sweetheart, what?” she said, her green eyes blinking in unbelief.

“After I shoot her, I might hang her by the neck, and then drop her over a steep cliff.”

“Dear, that’s not like you at all. You wouldn’t hurt anyone, especially my mom.”

“After today, I’ve changed my mind about a lot of things. I just might shoot her right between the eyes.”

We rolled over and fell to sleep.

This conversation actually took place in Glidden, Iowa, when Carol and I stayed at her mom’s five-acre farm. Fern was seventy-eight years old at the time, but don’t go thinking her age caused her to be a weak link in the local farming scene. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, she still resembled a pioneer woman ready to hitch up a Conestoga wagon with a pair of oxen and head over the Rockies to Oregon.

Everything had been great between Fern and me up until that week. Her humor and intelligence made her a joy to be around, but all of the warm fuzzies ended when sweet corn season arrived.

 

Now, let me set the stage, okay?

The late July temperatures hovered near one hundred degrees with the humidity approaching tropical rainforest levels. No air conditioning. Ten zillion, pesty, ornery farm flies, and two acres of sweet corn. Carol worked for a company in Carroll, Iowa, and I had just finished detasseling for a hybrid seed corn company.

“Larry, would you like to help harvest some sweet corn?” asked Fern one morning.

“Sure, of course,” I said, not foreseeing any problems.

The next four days were an absolute “hell on earth” for me. The heat, humidity, and flies took their toll, but what pushed me over the edge were Fern’s drill sergeant’s tactics.

“Do this. Don’t do that. Be careful. Watch out. Grab this. Let go. It’s not that hot outside. Can’t you go a little faster? What’s wrong with you?”

She counted the number of pints of corn already done on the fourth day.

“We’ve already done one hundred and twenty pints so far, which is a record for me, but I know we can do at least two hundred pints, maybe even more.”

Her eyes gleamed with the possibilities of being listed in the Guinness World Records and the Prairie Farmer. That night I spouted off to Carol about offing her mom.

The next morning I crept out of bed at an early hour and tiptoed down to the family room. There I dropped to my knees on the carpet.

“Lord, what’s my problem? Why do I want to shoot a sweet, seventy-eight year old lady?” I prayed.

The Lord spoke to my heart after a long while: “You’ve given up on senior citizens. You think they just want to collect their social security checks and sit on porches, taking it easy until they die. You don’t believe I will use them in a move of My Spirit in America.” Then, He added, “I haven’t given up on them and neither should you. Repent of your attitudes.”

I repented before the Lord that morning.

Fern Fielder, a great mother-in-law (1920 to 2008).

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

The above event took place in July of 1997.

My prayer today:

Lord, breathe Your Spirit upon the senior citizens of America to bring them back to life so that they stand on their feet and become an exceedingly great army for Your glory. (Based on Ezekiel 37:10)

Join with me on Tuesdays to pray and fast for senior citizens in America to undergo a Holy Spirit revival.

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Geezer Up (Part 15-b)

Jane

Two hours later, I sat in the lobby of Effingham and Effingham between J. C. and Shira. A thin middle-aged secretary with auburn hair typed on a computer keyboard at the receptionist desk in front of us. Off to our left, two suit-clad men sat huddled over their iPads.

“Jane Matthews, Mr. Effingham is ready for you now,” said the receptionist, looking over the top of her reading glasses and pointing to the right. “Go down that hallway and take the first left. His office is the last one with his name on the door. Just knock on the door.”

The three of us stood up and walked past her desk down a cherry paneled hallway. After we turned the corner, Effingham’s office was straight ahead.

“Jane, how are you feeling?” asked Shira.

“Scared to death and like throwing up.

J. C. patted me on the back. “You must be ready for the big game then?”

“How can you say that?”

“Bill Russell, Hall of Fame Boston Celtic basketball center, vomited before every big game he ever played in. His coach thought it was the team’s good luck charm and would not let the team run onto the court until Bill vomited.”

“Thanks for encouraging me…I guess.”

J. C. tapped on the tall six-panel door. A deep voice directed us to enter. J. C. then opened the door and ushered us into an office that in my wildest dreams I could never have imagined ever existed. It was a basketball court with a large walnut executive desk in the right corner. A round table with four chairs sat on one side of the desk and a leather sofa sat on the other. Prints and photos of the Golden State Warriors’ stars hung on the walls.

A tall man wearing a blue Warrior’s basketball warm up suit stood up and pointed toward the round table. He appeared to be in his middle forties, but it was hard to judge his age because of his fit shape and dark hair.

“Hi J. C. and Shira. This must be Jane Matthews, right?” he said, holding his huge hand out to me.

I shook his hand and nodded at him.

“Do you actually play basketball here?” I asked, looking around the gigantic room.

“All the time,” he said. “In fact, my dad purchased the glass backboard and hoop from the Warriors when they moved their games from the Cow Palace in Daly City to Oakland. It’s a one of a kind.”

We sat down around the table. Effingham had a legal pad and silver pen in front of him.

“Okay now, you’re planning on pleading your husband’s right to free speech versus San Francisco’s new hate crime law by taking your case to the media, right?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“Have you done much public speaking before?”

“No, none at all.”

“Do you have idea what you will say?”

“No.”

“Do you realize the interviewers will infer that you and your husband are hate filled Christian bigots and will paint you as being worse than the most vile member of the Westboro Baptist Church? How do you plan on handling this?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “I have no clue.”

He dropped his pen and blew out a deep breath. “So, you want me to help you without letting me know ahead of time what you will say or do? Is that correct?”

Before I could answer, a mantle of boldness draped itself over my shoulders. I smashed my fist on the table without planning to do so, causing his pen to fly onto the floor.

“Listen up, Effingham, the Lord said not to worry about what I would say ahead of time because He would give me a mouth and words which my adversaries would not be able to contradict or resist. I plan on trusting Him. How do you feel about that?”

Effingham’s dark eyes bulged out for a second and then a smile etched his lips. “I think we’ll make a great team. But what I’m really going to do is just stay out of your way and toss you into the toughest lion dens in the city. I pity them. They won’t know what hit them.”

He stood up and shook my hand. “So, give me the rest of today to work out the details. I’ll should have a speaking schedule ready for you sometime tomorrow.”

“Thanks,” I said. “Do you have a restroom? I think I’m going to throw up.”

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 16…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Geezer Up (Part 15)

Jane

“Okay, what’s your problem?” asked J. C. when we walked into the tiled foyer of their townhouse.

“Nothing,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Sorry, that doesn’t work with me,” he said. “We can’t help if you don’t open up to us. Now, what’s you problem?”

We walked down a short picture lined hallway and into the family room. I sat down on a soft brown leather sofa while J. C. and Shira sat on a matching one on the opposite side of a glass-topped coffee table. I turned to look out the windows at the Golden Gate Bridge. No fog. Sunny and clear. Traffic seemed light on the bridge for 10:30 in the morning. I turned to face my friends.

“Here’s the deal,” I said, blowing out a deep breath. “The Lord wants me to go on TV, radio, to churches, and wherever He opens the door to defend Dylan’s stand and plead his cause.”

“What a great idea!” proclaimed Shira.

“Not really because I hate public speaking. I just can’t do it!”

Shira moved over next to me and put her arm around me. The gentle scent of her Estée Lauder perfume cajoled my emotions, calming me down a notch or two on my inner Richter scale.

“Jane, what’s the worse that could happen?” she asked.

“I might fail.”

“Really? The Lord would put Dylan’s future into your hands so He could watch you fail. How would that advance the kingdom of God?”

Although still sweet, a different side of Shira emerged at that moment: the exhorter. She had her periscope up, torpedo tubes loaded, and I was in her crosshairs.

“Okay, maybe I won’t fail, but I will most certainly make a fool of myself.”

The words skated past my brain and out my mouth before I could filter them. Shira looked into my eyes and grinned.

“Ah, at last, the truth.”

I wrinkled my nose.

“My answer didn’t sound very good, right?”

Shira shook her head. “No, darling.”

I raised my hands in surrender. “Okay, do either of you know how I can carry out this assignment from the Lord?”

“Hobart Effingham III,” said J. C., pulling his iPhone out of his pocket.

“Hobart Effingham? What’s that?”

“Effingham is a Christian businessman who happens to be the president of the largest public relations firm in San Francisco. A few phone calls by him will land you on the top-rated TV and radio programs in the area. As for churches, I can make some contacts to help you.”

Okay Lord, I thought, here I am. Use me.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 16…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Screech! Halt! Last Chance!

Vinnie opened the door and greeted us with hugs. He then gave me an odd look.

“What?” I said.

“You’re not fifteen minutes early, which means you’re late.”

I pointed at Jane as she walked ahead of me, past the small office on the left and into the great room.

Vinnie and Gracie had completely remodeled the condo, removing two walls, adding dark hardwood floors, white crown molding, and painting the walls a soft yellow. The place sparkled and was perfect for Wednesday night home church meetings. The Sunday meeting still remained at our home, but we also had a morning women’s meeting, a men’s meeting, and an outdoor prayer meeting in a park. We were now a community that enjoyed being with one another.

“Hey, Gunsmoke, over here,” said Phil, standing by the large maple harvest table.

We hugged and patted each other on the backs.

I turned to greet seventy-eight year old Randy Greenfield with a hug, even though he breathed through a nose cannula and held his compact oxygen tank in his left hand. He had been a pack a day smoker until quitting at age sixty-five. His wife, Jessie, sitting at the table, reached up, and held my hands in hers. She suffered from diabetes and vision problems.

I greeted Faye and Gracie who were busy preparing the food. Both Ruth Harden and Pamela Walters waved at me and I moved in their direction. Seventy-six year old Ruth sat in a wheelchair because of a stroke from a year earlier. Pamela was an eighty-four year old woman who suffered stage-three bone cancer, but never let it get her down. The two women hugged and kissed me.

“Where are Mason and Flo?” I asked.

“They called and said they might be a few minutes late,” replied Vinnie.

Ding dong!

Vinnie left to answer the doorbell. He soon returned with Mason and Florence Prewitt, an African-American couple, who were both in their early seventies. Everyone greeted them with hugs.

“Let’s sit down and eat,” said Gracie, carrying a bowl of vegetable soup to the table.

The twelve of us sat around the large table and held hands while Vinnie blessed the meal. Then, the fellowship began in earnest. Different ones testified what the Lord was doing in their lives. A few shared scripture revelations. Faye sang a new song. On and on, it went while we ate. As someone once wrote: home churches that meat together stay together.

“Hey everyone, can you guess what our friends at Jedidiah Smith Community Church call us?” asked Faye during a lull in the conversation.

The clanking of spoons against bowls of vegetable soup ceased. The room became quiet. All looked toward Faye with blank looks on their faces.

“No, what?” said Gracie, not willing to play along with the guessing game.

“The geezer church!” proclaimed Faye. Her dark eyes narrowed and lips puckered to show the acrid taste in her mouth from the name.

“What a great name? I love it,” said Vinnie.

“Yeah, me, too,” replied Randy.

Phil looked at Faye first before giving the thumbs up sign.

“Maybe we should register the name. Then, we can print ‘Geezer Church’ logos on caps and t-shirts. Maybe even bumper stickers,” I said, thinking about royalties.

Jane elbowed me in the ribs and gave me her look, the one that sends me to the guest bedroom to sleep if I step over the line.

“I hate it!” she proclaimed, crossing her arms in her ‘don’t mess with Jane’ manner.

“Why?” I asked.

“I don’t like being defined as an old bloke.”

“Well?”

“We may be approaching the sunsets of our lives, but I don’t have to be reminded of it with a comedic term. I can still pray and worship the Lord as well as I did in my younger years and maybe even better.

Pamela put her two forefingers to her lips and whistled a shrill-pitched note.

“I agree with Jane,” she added.

“Do we need a name?” I asked.

“Yes,” all the women said in unison.

The men shrugged and gritted their teeth.

“Let’s hear your ideas,” said Faye, looking around the table.

The suggested names ranged from the Agape Home Church to the Temecula Valley Home Group, with numerous cutesy ones in between.

“What about Last Chance?” I said as the conversation died down.

“Last Chance? Why?” asked Ruth.

“For most of us it’s our last chance to serve the Lord. It’s the last chance to speak what is in our hearts to others. It’s our last chance to earn eternal rewards. It’s our last chance to know Jesus better on this side of heaven.”

Phil waved his hand in the air. All turned toward him.

“I’m convinced that Last Chance is a great name for our group. What about the rest of you?” he said, lightly elbowing Faye in the ribs.

That night, we upgraded our name from Geezer Church to Last Chance in a unanimous vote, but yet the slight shiver still remained in place when we drove home.

(Excerpt from Unhinged Geezer by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2015, Amazon eBook)

For many years, I have prayed and fasted on Tuesdays for various reasons. It all began with praying for the suffering Christians of North Korea. Then it included praying for Christians held as prisoners in Asia. Then for India. Then for all of Asia. Then for “one new man.” Then for healing and deliverance.

So now, beginning next week, I will be praying and fasting for senior citizens (geezers) to be revived, set on fire by the Holy Spirit, take their places in a new move of God, and for some Last Chance groups to be planted in America, especially on the West Coast.

 

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Prayers for America (3/16/2017)

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I was tired that morning when we parked the Honda next to Phil’s Jeep in Pamela’s driveway. The record seventy-degree temperatures and bright sunny skies did little to energize me. The previous seven weeks had ground me down with Pamela’s wasting away day by day. Her increased reliance on the morphine pump for pain had caused her body organs to begin shutting down. The end loomed near.

Jane opened her door and stepped out of the car. She walked in front of the bumper and stopped to look through the windshield at me, still sitting behind the steering wheel. She mouthed, “What’s wrong,” at me. I shrugged my shoulders and opened the door.

“Sorry, honey,” I said, stepping outside to walk with her. “I’m just tired today.”

“Me, too,” she said, placing her arm around my waist and leaning her head against my shoulder.

“No one should ever die on sunny days like this, especially seven days before Christmas.”

She nodded her head.

We walked into the house without knocking or ringing the doorbell. Formality had lost its meaning on us.

“We’re out in the kitchen,” shouted Phil.

Faye greeted us with hugs while Phil saluted from the breakfast nook table. The four of us were dressed in our normal garb of jeans and t-shirts with nearby sweatshirts draped over chairs, just in case the weather changed.

“I’ve made some coffee. Help yourself,” said Faye, pointing at the coffee maker on the black tile counter.

We poured ourselves a cup and sat down with them at the table.

“How’s she doing,” asked Jane.

“The hospice gal stopped by and told us that she’s slipped into a shallow coma and probably won’t wake up again. The end may happen today,” said Phil.

We chitchatted a while longer. Faye and Phil then left to do some Christmas shopping.

Jane and I drifted into the great room where I sat down in the recliner. My eyes closed almost immediately. A dreamless sleep engulfed me.

“Dylan, Dylan, wake up.”

I struggled to open my eyes and when I did, Jane’s head was next to my ear. She had whispered to me.

“What happened? What time is it? What’s wrong?” I said in rapid-fire bursts, straining to sit up.

“Shush. Listen.”

Someone was singing in a cherubic voice.

Jane pointed at me and motioned for me to follow her. We tiptoed down the hallway to Pamela’s room. We peeked around the corner and saw Pamela with her hands in the air, praising the Lord. I winked at Jane, not knowing what else to do.

“Dylan and Jane come in here,” Pamela said. “Don’t make me whistle, okay?”

A quick memory crossed my mind of Pamela putting her two forefingers in her mouth to form a shrill whistle. She had done it many times at our Last Chance meetings, which always made me laugh aloud at the ridiculousness of an eighty-four year old woman doing such a thing.

Jane walked to one side of the bed while I went to the other side. Pamela lay under the sheets, almost nothing left of her. The cancer had exacted its vicious toll on her muscles and fatty tissues. She reached out her blue veined hands to us. We gently held them in our own.

“The Lord is taking me home today,” she said with a big smile on her face, ” and I’m ready to go. I want to see Jesus and my husband Eldon. I’m so excited.”

What can you add to a statement like this? Nothing.

“But the Lord wants me to tell you two something before I leave.”

“Really?” said Jane, her eyes looking straight at me.

I shrugged.

“Yes, now listen up.”

We nodded in agreement, turning our attention to her.

“The Lord wants the Last Chance groups, like yours, to spread all along the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle. He wants to use senior citizens as His last chance army to touch millions of people −”

“We don’t know how to do this,” I blurted out, not thinking beforehand.

“Shush! Of course, you don’t, but He knows how to do it. Fast and pray and He will show you.”

“Can you tell us more?” I asked, desperately seeking more details.

She smiled at my words and then gasped. Her eyes stared upward as she stepped into eternity.

We stood there for a few minutes, not saying anything or even moving, until Jane pulled the sheet over Pamela’s head.

“Well, what do you think?” she asked.

“I don’t have any answers,” I said.

“Then, Dylan, it looks like we need to fast and pray, right?”

I nodded.

(Excerpt from Unhinged Geezer by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2015, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up Your army of Simeons and Annas and other senior citizens to bring last chance messages to America. (Based on Luke 2:25-38)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

 

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