Faith Testimonies for Weak Kneed Believers Like Me (Part 6)

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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 diligent prayer warrior for kids who attended Bible Camp.

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.

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

(Continued in Part 7)

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Faith Testimonies For Weak Kneed Geezers Like Me (Part 5)

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Anyone who converts from Islam is an apostate. Apostasy is punishable by death. (Islamic Law)

Padina lives in Iran. This is her story:

As a young child, I recited my daily prayers. Before I would go to school, I would memorize the Koran. I hated Christians. I became very happy when I heard Christians were being persecuted. They always told us if we killed a Christian, we had a one-way ticket to heaven.

I worked very hard to follow every rule of Islam. If I thought that I hadn’t washed properly, I would stop in the middle of my prayer, wash properly, and start all over again. This would happen ten times in one prayer session.

I became very depressed and suicidal. I felt so distant from Allah, and my mom was sick with multiple sclerosis and dying.

“I’m going to kill myself,” I said to my mom.

“If you are going to kill yourself, you have to kill me as well,” she said.

“I will do this for you and we will both die,” I said.

My mom then turned on a satellite TV station and listened to a Christian evangelist. “Brothers and sisters, I am with you tonight. If you are hopeless and depressed and you’re planning to commit suicide, the Lord says, ‘Stop, He has a hope and a future for you.’ If you’re planning on killing yourself, stop and call me now,” the evangelist said.

Padina’s mother called the evangelist. She spoke to him for half an hour.

“I’m going to do this. Nothing is going to stop me tonight,” I yelled at mom.

I then saw that my mom was repenting and saying the prayer of salvation.

I became furious. “Why in the last seconds of your life are you doing this? Now, you’re going to Hell,” I screamed at her.

“Please Padina,” said my mom. “Please talk to him about Jesus.”

“Jesus can do nothing. He is nothing! I will not blaspheme Mohammed by speaking to an infidel.”

My mother broke down in weeping and sobs. I grabbed the phone.

The evangelist stated that Padina was cold and angry when he talked with her. Padina told him that she was going to kill herself and his Jesus could do nothing for her.

The evangelist and Padina talked for an hour, but he could not change her mind.

“You said it yourself, ‘Allah has done nothing for you.’ Give Jesus one chance, you can always kill yourself next week.”

When he gave me this challenge, I thought to myself, “This is the best way I can serve Allah, this one last time before I commit suicide.”

My plan was to call the following week and say that I tried Jesus for a week and nothing has changed. I will kill myself on the air that night.

When I kill myself on the air, I can tell Allah, “Even taking my life was for you.”

 

Early the next morning, I was awakened by a sound. I saw my mom walking perfectly. I told her we needed to go to the hospital immediately. The doctors checked the results of her blood work and MRI.

“This is a miracle,” the doctors said. “There is no MS in her body.

“That is impossible. Something must be wrong,” I said.

“There is nothing wrong. This is a miracle! What imam did you pray to?” asked the doctor.

I said nothing.

“What imam did you pray to?” asked the doctor again.

“It wasn’t an imam,” Padina replied. “It was Jesus.”

When I said those words, my heart changed. I told Jesus, “You are the living God. You cleansed me and filled me. I give up my life for You.”

Today, Padina and her mom are apostates. They risk their lives ministering in Iran’s underground church.

You can see the powerful 7 minute and 10 second video here.

(Continued in Part 6)

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Faith Testimonies for Weak-Kneed Geezers Like Me (Part 4)

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In the late fall of 1995, I lived with another man in an apartment in Ames, Iowa. To say I was going through bad times would be a classic understatement. My truck had been repossessed. My painting company had collapsed. There were a couple of dollars in my billfold with little hope of earning more. I had to stand on a stepladder to touch bottom in my life.

My roommate and I felt we should pray for Northern Ireland on one particular morning. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us how to intercede for that war-torn area.

As we prayed, I had a vision in which I saw the bodies of young people piled up in the streets of Belfast. There were thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. We eventually prayed as best we could to stop this vision from happening in Ireland, but I had no inner peace. I also knew I had an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

I went to my bedroom and prayed some more. I asked the Lord to give the prophecy to a well-known preacher. After all, who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed these words, I knew it was a bad idea so I quickly repented.

“Okay, Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,” I prayed and with those words, I finally had peace.

A couple of days later, the Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the university campus. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They laughed, but one person told me to talk with a secretary in the basement.

I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines, Iowa. “Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.

I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines. “I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”

Her husband got on the line and gave me the phone number.

I phoned the number in England early the next morning and talked with the leader’s wife because the leader was busy at some meetings in London. I told her why I was calling and what I needed.

“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.” She then gave me the information for the man.

After hanging up, I sat down at the table and wrote the prophetic word, which I had for Northern Ireland. I mailed it to the Charismatic leader in Belfast.

Now, this whole experience was by faith, and as soon as I dropped the letter into the mailbox all of my faith was used up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten letter, and laugh.

But in the midst of those doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace and ask for grace and mercy to help me.

A week or so later on a Sunday afternoon, the telephone rang.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland,” he said, “and I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me.  Our prayer group had been waiting for weeks for just such a word and we are already praying it into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”

We talked for a few minutes and then we said goodbye. As soon as I hung up, I fell on my knees and cried. I can still feel the same emotions of that moment and how I felt so small compared to a big, big God.

The next day, our phone was disconnected because we owed two months of phone bills.

(An excerpt from Prophecy 101 by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2013, Amazon eBook)

 

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Faith Testimonies for Weak-Kneed Geezers Like Me (Part 3)

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Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses.

The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the replay.

Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”?

All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!”

(Excerpt from Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, ©1959, Bethany House Publishers, p. 32)

(Continued in Part 4)

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Faith Testimonies for Weak-Kneed Geezers Like Me (Part 2)

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Most Christians want to do the works of Jesus, like healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. I have seen a few miracles over the years, but only once have I been involved in raising the dead. It happened in Louisville when we rented a home with a big backyard.

Carol and I kissed common sense bye-bye when we purchased two dogs. The Golden Labrador was named Casey and the liver and white spotted English Pointer was named Kelly. Both were females and about fifteen months old at the time of this story.

The two dogs loved each other. They dug holes in the yard, chewed on phone cables, barked at squirrels, raced around with tennis balls in their mouths, but they especially loved to puppy fight. Casey weighed seventy-five pounds while Kelly was a forty-pound lightweight, but Kelly was the alpha dog in the twosome. She always won the fights.

Carol and I had a lunchtime appointment on that particular day. I opened the gate to the dog run before we left so the dogs could play in the backyard. They took off running as we drove away.

When we returned and parked in the driveway, a loud wailing could be heard in the backyard. We scrambled out of the truck and raced to see what was the problem. There in the backyard next to the dog run, the two dogs were tangled together. Casey’s lower jaw, somehow, caught itself under Kelly’s dog collar, and in the struggle to get free, Kelly had flipped over. This maneuver caused the cloth collar to strangle the smaller Kelly. Her eyes were glazed over and her breathing faint.

I tried to release the collar, but it was too tight. Carol ran to the house for a pair of scissors. She was gone only a few minutes, but by the time she returned and cut the cloth collar, Kelly quit breathing. She died in my arms with her eyes staring off into space.

Carol kneeled down next to me on the ground by Kelly in the backyard. We began praying in tongues with our hands touching the dead dog.

I wept.

“Father, You can’t let our dog die. You gave her to us. You have to raise her up. You can’t let her die. It’s not right. Father, I’m asking You to raise her up from the dead right now,” I cried.

I prayed over and over in this fashion with tears flowing down my face for five or six minutes.

Then, Kelly opened her eyes. She wobbled to her feet and walked over to Casey who stood by the house, watching on. They touched noses as if to say, “That was a close one, but everything is okay now.”

Carol and I remained on our knees, praising our Father for His grace and mercy.

Later, Carol asked, “How long would you have continued praying for Kelly?”

“Until Father raised her from the dead,” I said without thinking.

Was it my great faith that brought about this miracle? No, not really. My words were not filled with mountain-moving faith. I tugged on Abba Father’s heart like a four-year old child, begging a parent for an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. I knew He would eventually give in and do it because He is head over heels in love with me.

Our God is a good Daddy.

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

(Continued in Part 3)

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Faith Testimonies For Weak-Kneed Geezers Like Me (Part 1)

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Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947) was born to a poor couple in Yorkshire, England. He seldom attended school and at the age of six worked in the fields pulling turnips. When he turned seven, he went with his father to the local wool mill and put in a full day’s work. His wife, Polly, eventually taught him how to read when he was in his mid-twenties and living in Liverpool.

Yet, this disadvantaged youth – by today’s standards – ended up having a world-wide healing ministry and was known as the “Apostle of Faith.”

There are many reports and even some old videos showing him praying for the sick, but this is a great example of his bold faith:

A pastor took Smith Wigglesworth along with him to a wake for a dead man, which was held in a home. Wigglesworth walked into the house, ignored everyone, and just looked around. The dead man lay in a casket in a small dining room with closed glass French doors that allowed people to view the corpse.

Wigglesworth walked through the glass doors into the dining room, reached into the casket, grabbed the dead man, and stood him up in the corner. He backed off a few steps and shouted, “In the name of Jesus, walk.”

The dead man slid down the wall.

Now, while this was happening, everyone at the wake, watched in flabbergasted unbelief.

Wigglesworth walked over to the dead man, picked him up, and stood him in the corner again, but before Smith could speak, the dead man slid down the wall once more.

This time, Wigglesworth grabbed the dead man and threw him into the wall and shouted, “I said, ‘By God, walk.'”

The dead man began to stir, waving his arms to balance himself. A few minutes later, Wigglesworth and the now-healed man walked through the glass French doors, arm in arm, to greet the guests.

Has the power that Smith Wigglesworth walked in left the earth? Did it go with him when he died? Of course not! The same power Wigglesworth operated in is here for us today, we don’t need more power. We just need to use our faith and compassion for that power to operate. Wigglesworth operated in the boldest faith since the book of Acts, but that faith was ignited by compassion. He took God at His Word and was moved by compassion for the people, and that combination produces miracles. (God’s Generals by Roberts Lardon, Albury Publishing, ©1996, p. 224)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12 NLT)

Jesus raised the dead and healed the sick, shouldn’t we geezers do the same?

(Continued in Part 2)

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Next Scheduled Stop: The Judgment Seat of Christ (Part 5)

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The ancient words of a centuries-old poem haunt me. They’re carved in a gothic, medieval alphabet on a towering, ornate cathedral door right in the heart of a small town in Germany. From the looks of that door, the words carved therein date back to the days of Martin Luther. For all I know, Luther read them one day, and maybe the message contained in that poem started him on his spiritual journey that eventually led him to re-form first his own life, and then the Church of 16th-century Germany.

Translated into modern English, the words take the form of a frightening poem. No, surely, I misspoke. It’s a terrifying poem. Here is what the poem says:

You  call me eternal, then do not seek me. You call me fair, then do not love me.

You call me gracious, then do not trust me. You call me just, then do not fear me.

You call me life, then do not choose me. You call me light, then do not see me.

You call me Lord, then do not respect Me. You call me Master, then do not obey me.

You call me merciful, then do not thank me. You call me mighty, then do not honor me.

You call me noble, then do not serve me. You call me rich, then do not ask me.

You call me Savior, then do not praise me. You call me shepherd, then do not follow me.

You call me Way, then do not walk with me. You call me wise, then do not heed me.

You call me Son of God, then do not worship me.

When I sentence you, then do not blame me.

(Excerpt from The Kingdom, Power, & Glory: The Overcomer’s Handbook by Chuck and Nancy Missler, ©2012, King’s High Way Ministries, pp. Foreword)

For we must appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…(2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

(Conclusion)

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