Tag Archives: Geezers

Downsizing Without a Roadmap (Part 1)

 

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One morning in late July 2017, Carol threw her hands in the air. “What are we going to do?”

“About what?” I said.

“About paying the rent!” she proclaimed. “We don’t have enough money to pay our rent by August 5th.”

“Maybe God will send us a miracle.”

“Or maybe not. We need to give our moving out notice to Gary.”

“Okay, let’s do this,” I said. “If we don’t have a miracle by the 31st, then we’ll give our thirty days notice to Gary.”

She nodded in agreement.

 

How did we ever end up in such a tight spot?

Carol had passed her real estate exam over a year earlier, but continued working as a furniture sales person in San Marcos, California. Then, in March 2017, she felt the Lord wanted her to quit her furniture sales job and become a full time real estate agent. She eventually chose to work at Realty ONE Group Southwest in Temecula.

I worked as a cashier at Walmart Supercenter in Temecula, beginning in August 2016. I also passed my real estate exam in May 2017, but continued working at Walmart. I would have stayed there except for some answered prayers.

For three years, I prayed to see our two sons and their families. My prayers were answered when our son Mike and his wife Shannon flew us out to Pittsburgh for Ginger’s (our eighteen year old granddaughter) high school graduation party in late June 2017. Then, our son Scott and his wife Liza and our two grandchildren flew out to visit us in the first week of July 2017.

I applied for two weeks vacation from Walmart, but management only gave me one week off. So I felt I had no choice but to quit, which I did on June 30, 2017.

Maybe your thoughts are: “Hey man, you quit a good job that helped support Carol and you just to spend time with your family! What kind of stupid are you?”

He made known His ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. (Psalm 103:7)

To understand the ways of God, one has to spend time with Him. It is in His presence where we can learn about the Father’s heart and how He loves our families.

I felt both trips were answers to my prayers and that I needed to trust the Lord to provide the finances for us.

Now, in the midst of all of this, Carol was holding open houses and working real estate as hard as she could with no results.

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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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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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O Lord, I’m 71 Years Old Today!

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The rootin’ tootin’ square shooting’ young hombre riding his imaginary steed and wearing black KEDS sneakers has turned seventy years old  today. O Lord!

The Searchers, starring John Wayne, Jeff Hunter, Ward Bond, Vera Miles, and Natalie Wood, is one of my favorite western movies. It tells the story of Ethan and Martin tracking down fifteen year-old Debbie, who had been captured in an Indian raid years earlier. But a side story holds my interest today.

Mose Harper, an old Indian scout for the U.S. Calvary, had one hope for his senior years: sitting in a rocking chair on a front porch so he could watch time pass by. Mose eventually got his wish at the end of the movie.

Well, I’m not a Mose Harper.

The passion the Lord placed in my heart almost thirty-two years ago has not lessened in the least. Oh, it’s been contained and hidden on the back side of the desert for years, but it’s still ready to explode forth for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

You see, my heroes are not John Wayne and Jeff Hunter, but rather, Paul the Apostle, General William Booth of the Salvation Army, Hudson Taylor, and every believer who has advanced the Kingdom in his generation without regard to his own welfare.

“When the Apostle Paul traveled to a city, a riot or a revival was the end result.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

So, hopefully by my 72nd birthday, I will either be stirring up believers or in jail.

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