“Well, what are your plans for your life?” asked Carol, my fiancee of just a few hours.
“I am going to start a large publishing company which will generate millions of dollars to help feed and care for the poor of the world,” I said without hesitation.
Carol giggled. “Sounds great, honey.”
This actual conversation took place sometime during the week of March 10, 1996. Carol and I had first met each other on the previous Friday, had our first date on the following night, and became engaged on that Sunday morning. We eventually communicated our dreams, our hopes, our middle names, and so forth on the fly as we planned for our wedding on April 5, 1996.
Now, let’s fast forward to the various times when we had no money to pay our car payments, our rent or house payments, our creditors, buy groceries, and whatever else over the last eighteen years. The conversations between Carol and me in the midst of our Dunkirk crises generally followed along these lines:
“Larry, what are we going to do? We don’t have enough money to buy a cup of coffee, let alone make the house or car payment,” said Carol.
“I really don’t know,” I replied.
“Well, what do you know?”
“I know the Lord has called me to start a large publishing company which will generate millions of dollars to help feed and care for the poor of the world. So, that means the Lord has a way for us to survive this predicament.”
“O Lord, I’m married to a man who has no clue about the real world and has his head stuck in the sand!”
Yet, the Lord has always brought us through our valleys. It hasn’t always been textbook pretty, but we have survived.
The publishing company, LarryWho, is now alive and on the ground. Its first book, The Day LA Died, is off the printing presses and awaiting release right now. Everything seems to be coming up roses, right?
You see, this series came about because I decided to evaluate my publishing and book marketing qualifications at 3:15 this morning. And guess what? I am clueless. I laid in bed for forty-five minutes before deciding to get up and face my inadequacies.
I walked downstairs, fed the cats a few treats, and sat down, expecting to seek the Lord in my normal manner. But I couldn’t concentrate. So, I walked through the house praising the Lord.
As I praised Him, a revelation dawned on me:
When the Lord created the universe, how much input and advice did He need from me? How about when He set the sun, moon, and stars in place? Or the mountains and seas? Or man and the duckbill platypus? He accomplished it all without my help. Thus, why am I concerned about my lack of publishing and marketing qualifications? The Lord, my CEO, my Sales Manager, knows how to do it all. I need to trust Him to open doors and reveal each step of the journey.
So, this series will be about a blind pilgrim – me – fulfilling a dream of starting a large publishing company. Who knows? Maybe my journey will encourage you to do the same.
“Larry, you will write and own a large publishing company,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in the fall of 1985.
I was ecstatic when I heard these words and made a decision which has guided my life for nearly thirty years. I decided to never accept a job that would hinder my dreams of writing and being a publisher. For the most part, this meant being a car salesman, laborer, house painter, and minimum wage employee.
Looking back, none of my fifty or so jobs since 1985 have offered me much of a chance to be promoted, which was fine with me. Promotions would have been obstacles for my goals because they would have required a greater commitment than I wanted to give.
Let’s be honest, okay?
When the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and I made my career decisions, I did not realize it would take twenty-nine years to publish my first book. Twenty-nine years! It just seems so unbelievable that the dream is still so strong in me, even though my youth has long since disappeared.
I can still remember when Bonnie Chavda prophesied to Jim Goll and me at a 1999 meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. She first pointed at Goll and said, “Your writing career will take off. You will write many books because God has anointed you for now.”
She then turned to me. “God is holding your writing career back. You will be successful, but at a much later time.”
Jim Goll has written over twenty-five books and is a big time prophetic author. Most of his books have been published since that night.
I have just published my first book and have a few eBooks on Amazon right now. That’s the extent of my accomplishments since Bonnie prophesied to me.
If you have any thoughts that God is unfair when he raises up one person compared to another, then you need a greater understanding of God. He is the Boss. He knows what it will take to ready a person for His plans and is not willing to lower His standards in the least.
As far as finances and time goes, God uses these as tools to mold His people.
One experience still brings tears to my eyes.
One of these days, I may write a nonfiction book entitled: God Wouldn’t Do That, Would He? I will fill the pages with these words: “Yes, He would!”
One of the biggest Christian myths is the belief that if God tells us to do something, we should always be able to accomplish it. If we fail to accomplish whatever God told us to do, then it is totally our fault for the failure. After all, why would God ask us to do it in the first place if He knew we couldn’t do it?
Numerous scriptures can be used to back up this erroneous mindset, but if you view the Mosaic Law in total, which God commanded Israel to keep, you will soon realize an important fact. God knew Israel would fail to keep the Law. There is no possible way any man or nation could ever keep the 613 Mosaic Laws. So, why did God command Israel to keep the Law, knowing they could never do it?
Now we know whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:19-20).
Paul makes the case in the book of Romans that the Law was given to reveal our sin and strip away every excuse we could ever have about making ourselves acceptable to God, apart from Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. The Law points us to Christ.
Thus, when God asks us to do something, knowing we will fail in our attempts to do it, He has a purpose in it. It often strips us of our fleshly ways and excuses so we are more dependent on Him.
I became a licensed California real estate agent working for Tarbell Realtors in 2003. My total number of sales while working for the firm was one home and that was to Carol and me, a new two-story in Rancho Cucamonga.
But something else happened in my year with Tarbell because I felt the Lord wanted me to start a newspaper for real estate agents. It was to be a humor/satire periodical. I checked about mailing lists, computer software, printing companies, mailing costs, credit card machines, billing statements, and countless other things.
Carol and I prayed about the whole plan, its costs, and felt we should do it. I believed the periodical would be part of the fulfillment to what the Lord had whispered to my heart as a young believer: “You will own a publishing company.”
I ran a test mailing of 1,000 copies. The test showed a few problems, which needed to be addressed. It also caused Tarbell Realtors to ask for my resignation, which I agreed to do.
After the test, I sent out 8,000 copies to agents at various real estate and mortgage firms, hoping for a ten to fifteen percent return. If the mailing proved successful, the following mailing would have been to 30,000 agents. My goal was to have 30,000 paid subscribers in the publication’s first year.
Carol and I flew to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the day after the large mass mailing. She had sold over a million dollars of furniture in 2003, which placed her in the top one percent of all sales people in the nation, earning her a week’s paid vacation at Thomasville’s Top Sales Writers Conference. Thomasville wined and dined her for the whole week while I sat in the audience and applauded her accomplishments.
Although I enjoyed Carol’s success, I could not wait to return to Rancho Cucamonga and count all the subscriptions from my mailing. I rushed to the post office soon after we landed in California. I expected to see 800 to 1200 orders inside the box, but it was empty. None. Zero. Zilch for 8,000. It was statistically impossible to be that unsuccessful. The only way it could have happened was for God to slam the door in my face.
I felt crushed and humiliated by my failure. I wept and asked the Lord why He did that to me. A little while later the Lord spoke to my heart: “Now I can use you.”
I eventually found comfort in the following:
“Pioneers [prophetic people] therefore have to dwell in the constant reality that they may be mistaken. Being men and women who learn more from their mistakes than from their successes, pioneers have the privileged opportunity of providing both personal wisdom and compassion when others make errors. They must keep a careful balance: maintaining a deep hunger to follow God’s instructions exactly, while at the same time, having the courage to live with the mistakes they’ve created out of their imperfect hearing and circumstances. If you are afraid to take chances and fail, you will never make it as a pioneer.” (Pioneering by Dennis Peacocke, The Morning Star Journal, ©1991, Vol. 1, No. 4, page 21)
The above is an excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, an Amazon eBook.
“I would much rather be the trusting child of a rich Father, than a beggar at the door of worldly men.” (Tramp for the Lord by Corrie the Boom)
I have read Tramp for the Lord over and over again. The book’s thirty-five chapters are spread over nearly two hundred pages and filled with godly wisdom. Chapter Twelve – God Will Provide – has helped to shape part of my business approach to publishing.
The people in America seem to feel I should not hesitate to ask for money for my ministry, which supports other ministries such as Bible and book translations in many parts of the world. However from the very beginning of my ministry, I have felt it was wrong to ask for money – even to ask for travel expenses. I did not want to be paid for “services rendered.” I simply wanted to preach the gospel and let the Lord provide for me.
…Was God speaking to me? Was it wrong to speak of my own work while at the same time I urged people to be converted or to forgive their enemies? Was it wrong to listen to these Americans who were urging me to receive collections for my ministry? I dropped to my knees in prayer. God knew my needs.
The answer was very clear from the Lord. “From now on you must never again ask for money.” (Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom, excerpt from Chapter 12)
Just so you know: I do not believe every believer has to run their business like I do, and to be honest, I have no problem in asking for offerings for missionary ministries.
And also: The Lord dealt with my attitude about my books one day when He asked, “Do you believe people should read your books?”
I hemmed and hawed without really answering His question, but it did not take long before I realized He did not like my equivocating and false humility.
So, do I now believe in my books? Yes! Do I believe others should read them? Yes!
Another lady helped to further shape my business attitudes.
Basilea Schlink (1904 – 2001) was born in Darmstadt, Germany. After World War II, Schlink felt the need to repent for Germany’s cruel deeds. She then became a Lutheran nun and along with Erika Madauss founded The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in 1947. Schlink wrote over fifty-five books, but my favorite is Realities of Faith:
In 1949, a year after the currency reform, the first products of the publishing house and our works of art were ready to be placed on the market. The question arose, should we actually sell our products?…
Within me a concept took shape, clear and sharply defined – a mental picture painted by the Sermon on the Mount, that for those who seek first the kingdom of God “all these things shall be yours as well” (Matthew 6:33). A word began to sound clearly in my heart – “Father.” He will provide, He will prove Himself a Father to His children. But that meant that we, as His children, must provide the opportunity for Him to do so…
How could all this take place? It became more and more clear to me. We must let loose our security and protection; we must surrender ourselves to utter dependence upon our Heavenly Father. This would give Him the opportunity to care for us and show His miracles. It meant the surrender of all security and steady income. We would depend on Him for everything. By faith and prayer we would stand upon His word, “give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” (Luke 6:38)
…We set no fee on our services. Our literary works, our arts and crafts carried no price tag. This meant that now we would be totally dependent upon the Father in heaven…
We began from that point to walk in this pathway. It made our Sisterhood truly a fellowship of prayer. Every day we started out with nothing. From a human viewpoint we stood before mountains of worries which had to be prayed away. So we had endless opportunities to present God with the many promises of Scripture – bringing them like an “IOU,” asking Him to redeem them. (Realities of Faith by M. Basilea Schlink, Bethany House, excerpts from pages 33 – 35)
That’s right! Schlink and her sisters did not put prices on her books. Did this cause them any problems?
Schlink tells the story about how the sisterhood had spent all of their money on printing books and pamphlets for a booth at an outdoor fair. A young man walked up with a black suitcase and learned that their publications were free. He dumped every book and pamphlet into his suitcase and walked away. Schlink wrote: “Wouldn’t this way of doing things bankrupt us?”
Yet, God always provided for them.
Okay, how can a businessman, like me, possibly hope to survive in the cutthroat publishing industry?
Have you ever heard of Fred Smith?
When Smith attended Yale in the 1960s, he wrote a term paper, which invented an industry and dreamed of changing the impossible into the possible. His professor couldn’t visualize the revolutionary implications of Smith’s ideas and gave Smith’s term paper an average grade. The professor’s reasoning: the business was not feasible.
Smith’s impossible dream became a reality on April 17, 1973, when Federal Express began operations with 389 employees, 14 planes, and 186 packages in Memphis, Tennessee. The packages were flown to 25 cities and delivered the following day.
Today, we think little about dropping a package off at a Federal Express site or a competitive carrier and then expecting the package to be delivered the next day or soon after. Yet, the whole air/land express industry was just a dream fifty years ago and pooh-poohed by experts at the time.
Let’s say that I sat next to Fred Smith in his business class at Yale and also had to write a term paper on a proposed business, just like Smith did. For my business model, being the believer that I am today, I would have written:
1. My publishing company will have no partners, except for family.
2. It will never ask for money.
3. With the exception of book stores and eBook publishers, my publishing company will not set prices for its books.
4. My publishing company will operate under the U.S. and state business laws as a business and not as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt organization.
5. The millions of dollars generated by my publishing company will help feed and care for the poor and needy of the world.
What do you think the professor would have said to me after reading my paper?
The professor probably would have called me into his office, closed the door, and stared at me for a few minutes in total quiet. Maybe he would have shaken his head and blown out a deep breath before saying, “Son, you remind me of the two guys who came up with the brilliant idea of buying watermelons in San Diego for $1 each and then hauling them to LA and selling them for 50¢ each. It wasn’t long before the two men learned they were losing lots of money. One of the guys came up with an idea and said, ‘We need a bigger truck so we can be like K-Mart and make up our losses with volume sales.'”
I can guess what my grade would have been on the paper. Can you?
One of my favorite prophetic words was spoken to me in the Spring of 1994. It happened when a friend and her husband stopped by the house to see me on their way to a restaurant.
“Larry, the Lord knows how much you love to preach, but He wants you to do something first for Him, before you do any more preaching. Then afterward, you can preach all you want,” she said.
The “something” the Lord wanted me to do first turned out to be – start a paint contracting company, which ended up being a total disaster. I am still suffering from its fallout, twenty years later.
And preaching? I still laugh when I think about the Lord saying to me: “Then afterward, you can preach all you want.”
You see, what was missing in the prophetic words was that the Lord was going to squeeze every drop of desire out of me to preach and be on a stage ever again. The guy who used to love to preach died often in countless trials over the last twenty years. I absolutely do not miss him and, in fact, I abhor the guy I used to be.
Okay, how does this fit into publishing?
I have two thousand copies of The Day LA Died, ready to be marketed through whatever way the Lord shows me, like Christian book stores, churches, and advertisements. The two thousand copies weigh a total of 1900 pounds and are stored in closets throughout the house. It would be nice to free up the closet space again.
But first, I feel the Lord wants me to do something for Him, something which, of course, has nothing to do with publishing.
So, if you believe that walking with the Lord is the shortest distance between point A and point B, I have bad news for you. That is usually not the case. There will be plenty of time-consuming zigs and zags and stops along the way, but I also guarantee, it will be the greatest adventure of your life.
Ten thousand and seventy-four days ago, a female minister named Linda Sutter (Olson) pointed to me as I sat in a pew of a small church and asked me to stand up. She then began prophesying to me: “God is doing a quick work in you…”
Even today when I look at her prophetic words, which I wrote down in the back of my Bible, I laugh at God’s idea of a “quick work” versus mine. I thought it would be months, certainly not 10,074 days or nearly thirty years.
But let me tell you a little bit about Linda Sutter Olson.
During the early 1970’s, the Lord told her to go into full-time ministry as a teacher and a prophetess, but she had at least three problems. First, she was a woman. Second, her pastor would not endorse her ministry. Third, she did not have any contacts.
What could she do?
She sent out a few flyers to area churches, but had no responses. No one seemed to need her ministry.
One day, Linda was driving through rural Iowa and stopped at a diner in a small town. She sat down at a table and ordered her lunch. Linda noticed the couple sitting at the table next to her had received their meals and were praying before they ate.
She leaned over and said, “It’s nice to see a couple pray together in a restaurant.”
“Oh, you’re a Christian,” replied the husband. “Why don’t you join us for lunch? We would enjoy fellowshipping with you.”
The couple turned out to be a pastor and his wife. The pastor ended up inviting Linda to minister at his church that evening.
Linda eventually ministered in numerous large churches and then traveled to Russia, Albania, India, Eastern Europe, China, and the Philippines. But every door that opened to her calling could be traced back to that chance encounter at a diner in a small town in Iowa.
So, when I look at the boxes of books in our closets, I like to think that I’m just one divine encounter away from publishing success.
From the articles I have read, most of today’s authors follow fairly rigid disciplines and begin writing at a set hour. Each has a certain amount of words they hope to write for the day. The number of words falls generally in the 1000 to 2000 words range.
Since, I did not know any better when the Lord told me to write, I set my early goals at 1200 words per day. This worked out to about four or five pages of new material per day.
Yet, I remember many, many days when I would bang away on the computer for a couple of hours and maybe had 650 words done, but then realized something was missing. Sadly, that something was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I would then end up deleting every word I wrote.
It would be great to pretend that I am a quick learner, but the truth is that it took months and months for me to learn this process for myself. I now sit down and if the presence of the Holy Spirit isn’t there, I don’t write.
Just so you know, I do not claim to write straight from the mouth of the Lord…oh I wish I did! But I do claim that His presence needs to be there to comfort and encourage me as I write.
Okay, a few days ago, I came up with what I think was an inspired opening for the next Luke and Cat Stoner novel. And almost 700 words later, the book was on its way. I saw the characters coming to life, where they lived, and a little bit of what would happen in the early stages. It was so exciting that I now fall asleep thinking about the story.
So, the other day, I sought the presence of the Lord and this is my latest writing:
Yep, we’re talking about what looks like another major detour in my publishing career. What’s new, huh?
Who ever thought that I would end up attempting to start a Noontime Prayer Meeting For Geezers?
Twenty years ago, if you would have asked, “What will you say when your publishing company is successful?”
I would have quickly answered by singing a Toby Keith song: “How do you like me now? Now that I’m on my way. Do you still think I’m crazy, standing here today? I couldn’t make you love me, but I always dreamed about…How do you like me now?”
You see, when you’re walking through the wildernesses designed just for you by God, there’s not a lot of people who believe in you because of your mistakes and how unsuccessful you appear to them. If you bother to mention your dreams to others, you invite ridicule and the inevitable questions: “How?” and “When?”
And all you can do is shrug your shoulders at their queries.
But in all this, you have to hold onto the promises given to you by God. You can’t ever let go of them. Each day, you must thank the Lord for your publishing company and your promises being fulfilled, even if you’re sleeping in a car and eating out of dumpsters. Walking by faith is not an easy path for anyone.
So, for a major part of my journey through the wilderness, I kept going for one major reason: the desire to prove my worth to others. I wanted to show them that I heard God’s voice and that He honored me for my perseverance.
Today, if you asked me the same question, I would answer, “It was by His grace and I deserve no credit for any success.”
Somehow, in the wilderness, it no longer became about me and my quest, it became all about Him.
As a young Christian, the Lord spoke to my heart, “Don’t ask Me why I want you to do something. Just do it.”
So, it’s been my desire to obey these words over the last thirty years. Have I made mistakes? Yes, but even then, I have learned to rely on the following —
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Every command or direction we feel the Lord is speaking to us, we must accept by faith, and then act on it in faith, which is one way to test the spirits. If it turns out not to be the Lord’s voice, we have to trust that the Lord’s grace will cover our errors.
Okay, in Part 9, I wrote that I felt the Lord wanted me to start a Noontime Prayer Meeting for Geezers. What happened?
I delivered flyers to every church in the city (75 or so) and posted signs directing people to the outdoor noontime prayer meeting along the roadway. For weeks, I fasted and prayed each Friday at an open air park shelter with numerous people watching on.
My results were perfect: I always showed up and no one else did – as in zero, zilch, nada.
Did this discourage me? No, not at all.
I’ve learned over the years that it’s my job to obey what I believe are His commands and it’s His job to act. If He wants me to look like a fool or to fail, that’s His choice, not mine because I’m His servant, always ready to follow His commands.
But then, four weeks ago, the Lord spoke a new word to my heart.
It was only a dream, but it seemed so real.
I stood on a starting line for a race. A man dressed in a long white robe stood off to my left, wearing leather sandals on his feet. His dark beard and long hair framed his bronze face. He held a starter’s gun in his hand and nodded at me.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
I pulled up my red track shorts, yanked my white athletic t-shirt outside my shorts for more freedom of movement, and checked to see if my shoestrings were tied tightly on my Nike running shoes. Everything seemed ready. I nodded back at him.
“Now remember,” he said, “you need to go as fast as you can. This is a timed race. You only have a limited amount of time to finish it, okay?
I looked over the racecourse. In the distance, I saw the finish line with healing, deliverance, prosperity, miracles, wonders, peace, and joy awaiting me on the other side. Between the starting and finishing lines stretched an obstacle course. Posts sticking out of the ground. Fences. Brick walls. Quicksand pits. Mud bogs. Trees. Rivers. Water falls. Railroad tracks. Highways. Tunnels. Dangerous cliffs. A narrow path zigzagged its way through the course like a switchback jungle road. It looks easy enough, I thought, just stay on the path and run as fast as I can.
I nodded again to him.
I got down on my haunches.
I rose into a sprinter’s position. My feet and legs strained, set to slingshot my body forward.
“But first, you’ll need this,” he said before firing the gun.
He walked over and covered my eyes with a black blindfold. Not one ray of light touched my eyes. I could not see a thing, not even my feet.
“Now, don’t forget, you must go as fast as you can.”
I heard a faint whispering behind me, a soft voice saying something. I paid no attention to it.
I took off like an Olympic sprinter, running as fast as I could.
I hit a post and fell to the ground. My nose felt like it was broken with blood gushing from it. The warm wetness soaked through my t-shirt. It hurt so much I wanted to just lie there and quit.
The dark haired starter walked over and stood above me.
“Now, don’t forget this is a timed race. You need to run as fast as you can.”
I struggled to my feet. As I did, the same soft voice whispered words behind me. But again, I paid no attention and took off running.
I fell into a quicksand pit and found myself sinking under the heavy glop. The more I flailed my arms and legs, the faster I sank. The sandy goop soon reached my neck, not far from my nose.
“Help me, Lord,” I shouted.
My body relaxed and I floated over to the edge, crawling out of the pit. I flopped down there. It was all I could do to catch my breath from the all-out physical effort of trying to survive. I wanted to quit.
“Don’t forget. This is a timed race. You need to go as fast as you can,” the starter exclaimed.
Why I stood up, I don’t know. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment or possibly a modern day Don Quixote searching for futile endeavors to joust against. I brushed the sand off my legs and attempted to clean my shoes. I once more heard what sounded like soft whispers in the background, but like the earlier times, I ignored them.
My sense of direction was completely out of kilter. I could not figure up from down, let alone north, south, east, or west. However, I gave it the old college try and took off running.
I feel into a deep river with fast-moving waters rushing over me. The hurtling rapids sent me flying downstream in a haphazard manner, smashing my body against rocks and floating logs. I attempted to swim toward shore, but the full force of the current battered my body, flinging me about like a rag doll in a typhoon.
“Lord, help me!” I screamed.
My hand reached out and grasped a tree limb. I pulled myself across the stream, hand over hand on the limb, and climbed onto the shore. This was the end. I couldn’t handle anymore.
I heard the soft voice whispering to me once again. This time I gave it my full attention and listened.
“Stand up,” said the gentle voice.
I obeyed it.
“Okay, now turn to your right ninety degrees.”
Again, I obeyed.
“Walk four steps ahead and stop.”
I walked ahead and waited for the next command.
“Turn forty-five degrees to your left.”
“You went too far. Turn to your right five degrees.”
I adjusted myself in accordance with the instructions.
“Walk ten steps forward and wait.”
I stopped after walking ten steps.
“Won’t this take a long time to finish the obstacle course,” I said.
The gentle voice laughed.
“My system is the fastest way through the obstacle course. However, you can always choose to return to your running blindly method, but as you have learned, that can be extremely painful. What do you want to do?” the voice said.
“Lord, what’s Your next instruction?”
Then I awoke with a Bible verse on my mind:
“Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).
The dream made perfect sense to me: wait on Him and follow the voice of the Holy Spirit when He spoke to me. It seemed so easy at the time, but soon things became more complicated.
(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)
This dream certainly depicts my journey to building a publishing company.
A Catholic friend of mine hungered for the baptism of the Holy Spirit for many months. Her trips to large Charismatic Renewal conferences in Des Moines and Kansas City resulted in nothing happening for her.
So, she came up with a Plan B. When her husband left for work and her children attended school, she would go into the living room, place candles on the floor, light them, and bow down in the middle of the lit candles. There she cried out to God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Plan B failed, too.
On a July 4th holiday weekend, she invited another family over to their house for a picnic. What says Independence Day more than hot dogs, potato salad, and a picnic, right? While she stirred a large batch of potato salad, she looked out the window at her friends and husband, and at that precise moment, she was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
Now, think about this for a few seconds. What was God thinking when He baptized her in the Holy Spirit at that awkward moment? Couldn’t He have performed it at a more opportune time?
REMEMBER: God is Boss and He chooses the breakthrough times in our lives. We don’t!
A little over four weeks ago, I turned on the water, stepped into the shower, and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship.”
I was absolutely shocked because I had not thought about that particular men’s fellowship in over twenty-five years. The FGBF had been an important part of my life in my early Christian years, but I had drifted away when I moved to Ames, Iowa.
As soon as I dried myself and slipped on some clothes, I rushed downstairs to check on the computer for the nearest FGBF chapter. None were nearby or within fifty miles. Yet, in my Google searches, I ran across another businessmen’s group: Business Men’s Fellowship. There was a local phone number for BMF and I phoned it.
My call resulted in a meeting at Starbucks with Bill Keith, who had moved to Temecula a few months before and happens to be a great guy and the national president for Business Men’s Fellowship. What a remarkable coincidence, right?
We talked for a few minutes and then I looked at him and said, “I’ve been waiting for twenty-two years for you. Where have you been?”
(Continued in Part 14)