Tag Archives: Senior Citizens

What God Taught Me In My 310 Days At Walmart (Part 2)

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I interviewed for a cashier position at the the Temecula Walmart Supercenter on August 12, 2016, and was hired at that time. One of the questions asked was about any physical problems that I might have which might cause me problems in carrying out my duties as a cashier. I answered, “No.”

Did I lie about my physical problems? No, I don’t believe I did because it was my belief that if God called me to be a cashier, He would enable me to fulfill the job. The significance of my answer in writing was that I removed all liability from Walmart for any injuries to my wrists, knees, and back.

The Temecula Walmart Supercenter is ranked between number 5 and number 10 in dollar volume out of all the nearly 12,000 Walmart stores in the world. The store does around 165 million dollars in sales per year. A little over four hundred people work at the 24 hour store, with nearly eighty cashiers manning the registers at various times.

My first day was August 25, 2016. For the following two weeks, I worked with veteran cashiers who trained me. Then, I began working on my own in early September.

One of the lessons I have learned over the years is that when God calls you to do something, there is no use in being timid, just jump in with both feet, trusting that God will protect you. I call it reckless faith, much like Paul demonstrated in Acts 16:37. After being beaten, thrown in prison, and fastened in stocks, Paul refused to leave prison until the authorities came and apologized to Silas and him. That takes godly chutzpa!

So, I made up my mind to not protect myself in any way and to do every job asked of me as if I had no in juries. This resulted in some interesting situations, like trying to help a woman with a bad back put a heavy piece of furniture (150 pounds) into her vehicle. It so happened that a strong man walking down the parking lot aisle volunteered to help me. That was lucky, right? No, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in a heavenly Father who loves me so much that He will always be there to help in my time of need.

Did my hands, knees, and back hurt? Yes, so much so, that I could hardly sleep at night.

In fact, if anyone would have noticed me stepping out of my car in the Walmart parking lot and walking the one hundred yards to the store’s entrance, they would have wondered how a crippled, one hundred-year old man could possibly work at Walmart. Or that’s what it seemed to me.

Yet, when I walked in the door at Walmart, His grace fell upon me and I became Larry, the cashier with a big smile for everyone. The pain was still there, but it was only on the surface. And as long as I trusted in His grace, which I was forced to do at all times, I could walk through each day.

Just so you know: I averaged nearly 930 scans per hour – which is above average – and I even had quite a few customers who chose to go through my line when I was on duty. Why? They liked my smile and attitude and speed.

What major lesson did God teach me at Walmart:

If we want to serve God, especially us senior citizens, we can’t pray away every one of our problems. If we choose to wait, hoping miracles will heal or prosper us, we may miss our opportunities and if that happens, how many more can we expect to have in the future. But even so, we can always trust in this verse:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

One experience, out of many, was worth every ounce of pain that I suffered working as a cashier. It happened on a busy day when I first opened my register. A elderly man wearing a U. S. Marine veterans cap, rode an electric cart up to the register and placed his few groceries on the conveyer belt.

I looked at him and said, “How are you today?”

“I don’t know,” he replied.

“What does that mean?”

“Well, to be honest, the old Sarge is not doing well today.”

“Would you like some prayer?”

“Yes.”

I walked around the bagging console, grabbed his hands, and prayed for him. The presence of God fell upon us. We both wept like little children who just opened the best Christmas gift ever.

“Wow, that was awesome!” he proclaimed.

“Yeah,” I said.

I walked back and became a Walmart Cashier at register 6, scanning items. Customers moved to the line and life continued in a normal fashion or normal for Walmart.

(Conclusion)

 

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What God Taught Me In My 310 Days At Walmart (Part 1)

 

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When I felt the Lord speaking to my heart about applying for a job at Walmart, I must admit that I scratched my head a few times. You see, I was nearly 71 years old and had a few physical issues: both knees are bone on bone due to long ago football injuries, back problems from climbing ladders and falling off a few of them, and carpal tunnels in both wrists from gripping a paint brush and typing for hours and hours at a time.

I was certainly not a poster-perfect candidate for being a cashier at a high volume Walmart Super Center, but yet, I knew the Lord was asking me to do just that.

To better understand what the Lord was asking of me, I need to relate an experience I had almost thirty years beforehand.

At the time, I was employed by a Best Western Motel in maintenance and delivering “meals on wheels” to senior citizen centers. It was a bottom-rung, minimum wage job.

I had just read Fox’s Book of Martyrs, which relates the lives, sufferings, and deaths of the early Christians and Protestant martyrs. As I finished the book, I spoke aloud, “Lord, if this is my destiny, then let me die with a bullet to the head or by guillotine, but not by being burnt to death at a stake. That would be too much for me!”

A few days later, I was hurrying around the kitchen of the motel, readying the meals for the senior centers. I pulled a large tray of roast beef out of a top oven. As I pulled it out, the tray slipped, pouring out its 165° of scalding water and juices over my left hand. I somehow set the tray down without spilling the roast beef.

Then, I stood there looking at my hand. The chefs and kitchen workers were screaming at me to put my hand under the cold water faucet, but I ignored their pleas.

My hand fascinated me because there was no pain inside it – in the muscles, fatty tissues, or nerve endings. The pain was just located on the surface of my skin where it was a bright red in color, but it was really bearable. Not a problem for me to endure it at all.

The chef grabbed my hand and stuck it under the faucet. “Now, you have to go to the doctor and have it checked,” she screamed at me.

I laughed. “No, I’m okay and will deliver the meals to the senior centers.”

“Nevenhoven, you’re a nut.”

“Yeah, that’s probably true, but it’s only because of Jesus and His love for me.”

From that day onward, I have never feared what people could do to me because I knew His grace would help me through it.

(Part 2)

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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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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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