Category Archives: Headlines

What About Newt Gingrich?

As I wrote in my previous post (What About Mitt Romney?), I have asked the Lord for an outline of the Republican primary candidates. So far he has given me insight on three different candidates. Only two of them are still actively in the race, so I am sharing what the Lord gave me about those two first.

When I had the dream about Mitt Romney, he was instructing me in a way that gave me insight into his nature and character. The same thing happened with the dream I had about Newt Gingrich. I believe the Lord was giving me some insights into who Newt really is.

On the evening I had the dream about Newt, I had awakened knowing I had been dreaming about Newt, but I really couldn’t remember what it was about because it was so indistinct. I believe that is part of the message about Newt. We all think that we know him because he has been around for so long, but the passage of time, and the distortions of media and memory, have not helped us in our quest to understand this Republican candidate. Since I knew the Lord wanted to show me something beyond that, and help me understand Newt a bit more, I prayed and asked him to give me something I could remember. He graciously did.

In the second dream, Newt was showing me two different apartments. He first showed me the apartment of a man who was working for a living. The apartment was not fancy, but it wasn’t a hovel either. It was an adequate place to live. Then he took me to the apartment of someone whose housing was provided by the government. As we entered the apartment, I recognized the person who lived in this apartment because the person was a fairly well known Olympic athlete. I also noted that the apartment was a much, much nicer apartment than the one we had first seen. It was almost luxurious compared to the first apartment we had toured. It was obvious that Newt did not think that this was appropriate. He did not think that it was right that people who were working for a living were living in less luxurious apartments than those who were receiving their apartments as a part of the government’s welfare programs.

Of course, this dream reminded me of the welfare reform act that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. He and Newt Gingrich worked together to reform welfare in a way that empowered people. As Bill Clinton described it in an editorial in the New York Times,

“In my first State of the Union address, I promised to “end welfare as we know it,” to make welfare a second chance, not a way of life, exactly the change most welfare recipients wanted it to be.”

This reform passed with resounding bipartisan support, and had positive impact on the lives of many people. I believe that the main goal of this act, as outlined by President Clinton above, would be violated if we make not working more advantageous than working. That was the point of the dream. Newt wanted to show me the disparity between the working class apartment and the one provided by the government. I was seeing the Newt who is campaigning to help people help themselves.

When I was working out the interpretation of this dream, I also understood why an Olympian was living in the apartment. The United States government does not support our Olympic athletes. In fact, many of them eke out a living working at odd jobs while they train for the Olympics hoping to do well enough to achieve corporate sponsorships. They are often like the man living in the first apartment that Newt showed me. They work hard and live modestly as they pursue their goals. Even though they bring glory and honor to our nation when they win, we do not provide financially for them.

Unlike the United States, many governments support their Olympic athletes in some way. In fact, because they bring benefit and honor to their government and country when they are successful, some countries support their Olympians at quite a high standard.

I believe that this symbol reveals Newt’s heart a bit more. When we support people who are not producing or bringing tangible benefit to our nation in the same way that many governments support very fruitful members of their culture, we have strayed. When we support them at a higher level than truly productive members of our culture, something is fundamentally wrong. At that point we begin training people to be unproductive because it pays more.

Of course, I’m not saying that is the way things are in the United States at this moment. I do not know. What I do know is that Newt Gingrich does not want it to get that way. That, I believe, was the point of the dream.

While Newt comes with a fair amount of baggage because of his history, I know that the Tea Party would be comfortable with this core part of his belief system. Christians are all about forgiveness when someone repents over his past, as Newt has done, but that doesn’t automatically mean that we think such a person should be president. It also doesn’t mean that we believe they are disqualified because of their past. Our decision-making process is more complex than that. As the Lord gives us insights such as these dreams, he is helping us through the process.

Again, whether Newt is the best candidate or not, I do not know. I have had three dreams of this type. None of the dreams were an endorsement of a candidate, but highlighted the candidate’s heart or circumstance. I believe that will help us as we make our decisions.

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Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?

Many of you who read my previous post on the Northwest (Watch the Northwest) have contacted me to ask if I believed that the storm that hit the Pacific Northwest this week was the storm that the Lord had warned us about. Those of you who were watching the Northwest recognized that something was up when forecasters began to use superlatives to describe the approaching storm earlier in the week. Then, when the storm hit and pummeled the region and we began to understand the ferocity of it, it looked more and more like this was the event that the Lord had spoken to us about. Was it?

Well, we should first understand how this storm impacted the area? I’ll quote the Toronto Sun:

SEATTLE – A historic snow and ice storm paralyzed Seattle on Thursday, shutting the airport and schools, causing car crashes, downing trees and cutting power to at least 90,000 households as blown-out transformers lit up the skies.

The National Weather Service declared an ice storm warning early on Thursday through noon local time for eight western Washington counties.

Record-setting daily snowfall of 6.8 inches was measured early Thursday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, shattering the previous record of 2.9 inches in 1954, said meteorologist Dan DePodwin on Accuweather.com.

As a result of the storm which arrived on Tuesday evening and was nicknamed “Snowmageddon,” the airport remained closed with its three runways and ramps coated with ice.

Weather.com added this insight:

Parts of two states are under states of emergency after a powerful, deadly storm brought heavy snow and ice to western Washington and torrential rain to parts of Oregon.

Since Wednesday, portions of Washington State have been hammered by winter weather. First came the snow, then the freezing rain, which left cities, including Seattle, slick and dangerous. The governor declared the hardest-hit areas under the emergency declaration around mid-day.

Puget Sound Energy company says 200,000 customers had lost power as of Thursday night. According to a statement on the utility’s website, Puget Sound Energy “Can’t make full estimate of how long the restoration effort could take … we think it will be three to four days, maybe longer.”

Yes, I would say that this is definitely part of what the Lord showed us for the Pacific Northwest. He showed us that a storm was coming and that it would be a major storm. When I wrote about it on December 30, I left the door open for something other than a weather event, though indications were that it would be a weather event. We also knew that it would happen fairly soon. I don’t know if what has happened so far is the totality of what the Lord was showing Dawn and I in our first two dreams and experiences (please reread Watch the Northwest to understand what I am referring to), but I do believe it fulfills the most obvious parts of what I saw and wrote about in the final dream.

One of the reasons that I wrote my previous post was to stir up intercession for the Northwest. I know that intercessors from the Seattle and Tacoma areas responded to the call. I also know that intercessors across the region and nation added their prayers. The Watch the Northwest article has been the most read article I have had on my blog. Thousands and thousands of people read the article, and many let me know they were praying. I wrote the article to stir up prayer for the Northwest, and I am gratified that so many people responded.

Since I know that prayers have authority, I can tell you that the storm was not as severe as it could have been. When I alerted the friends whom I had dreamed about in Washington state, they shared that they were already praying against negative weather patterns. They then took the alert I issued to heart and prayed with more focus. As a result, I was not surprised that the Seattle-Tacoma area (where they live) was not hit as hard as had been forecast. At the last minute one of the Low pressure areas dropped a bit further south than expected, and forced the worst weather just to the south of their area. I don’t believe that was an accident. I believe that was a sign of their intercessory authority.

Because of this shift to the south, the worst winds also shifted south. The Seattle Times reported that “Winds gusting as high as 110 mph hammered parts of the Oregon coast Wednesday, knocking down trees, causing power outages and disrupting traffic.” When the Lord spoke to me about this storm, he showed me that it would be a major storm. He used the image of a category three hurricane to convey that to me. I really didn’t expect to see sustained wind speeds of a category three hurricane, since I believed he was emphasizing that it was a major winter storm, not a tropical wind storm. However, the wind certainly played a part in this storm, and caused disruptions along the Oregon coast. Again, the intercessors and intercession was important. When the Lord first spoke to us about 1999’s Hurricane Irene, he showed us that it would be a high category four/low category five hurricane. As intercessors throughout our county prayed, the Lord let us know that our prayers were having an impact on the wind speeds. When the storm did hit us, as he showed us that it would for over a year, it was a low level category one storm (You can read about it HERE). I have no doubt that prayer also did a lot to protect the Pacific Northwest from the winds of this storm.

So, I’m going to continue to “watch” the Northwest, because I believe I have some more things to learn from this watching. The Lord has showed us a lot about what is coming for the rest of us through this event. I will be writing more about that in the future. For now, be aware that we can all expect to see record breaking weather this year. That is the import of the first dream I had about waiting to get on the highway. My friends in the Northwest were going to experience something before the rest of us did, but we are all heading in the same direction. They have just experienced a record breaking weather event that is continuing to have negative impact. The rest of us can expect to see some pretty bad weather throughout 2012.

But we can also expect our prayers to have an impact if we will pray. The intercession did not stop the storm, but it did diminish the impact, especially in the area that my friends live. They got the shutters of prayer up and were able to protect their immediate area of influence.

So, while the bad news is that we may not be able to stop all the bad weather, the good news is that we can raise a hedge around our areas of influence. We are overcomers. We are not victims. Even when the Lord is the one releasing a particular shaking, he has given us authority to cover our areas of influence with mercy. That is really good news.

Are we done watching the Northwest? Stay tuned. God is still speaking.

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Did Peace Just Run Aground?

There is something about a giant cruise ship running aground that catches one’s attention. The headlines are currently filled with the news of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia running aground and tipping over next to the island of Giglio. Three people are confirmed dead, and many more are missing—though they hope the missing are not casualties, but are on the island being sheltered by residents. I trust that is true.

Cruise ship tragedies touch us, because they are the quintessential vacation romp turned into a calamity. They often become a metaphor for a country’s (or the world’s) pleasant circumstance coming to an end.

The reason this event caught my eye is that the name of the Costa Cruise line vessel is Concordia. Concordia means peace. Peace ran aground off the coast of Italy yesterday. At the same time, Italy’s credit rating, along with eight other countries in the euro-zone, caused financial markets to shake because their credit ratings were downgraded yesterday. Just like the Concordia, the world’s financial ship is running aground off the shore of Italy. When economies collapse, peace usually goes with them.

The other intriguing thing about this tragedy, is that it occurred just off the coast of the island of Giglio. In English, that would by the island of Lily. The imagery is a bit too obvious to pass up. Jesus Christ is the Lily of the Valley. If you do a web search on the symbolism of this lily, you will find out that it symbolizes the return of Christ. Garden Guides summarizes it this way:

In Christian symbolism, lily of the valley represents the Advent or coming of Christ, because the flowers appear so early in the spring.

So, metaphorically, the good ship peace runs aground on the approach to the second coming. Honestly, you really can’t make this stuff up. If the Lord were using current events to send prophetic warnings, could he have made it any more obvious?

Voices, both secular and prophetic, have been concerned that 2012 will be a year filled with shaking. I believe the Lord is confirming this, and giving advance notice to those with ears to hear. Of course, those with ears to hear will not be filled with fear, but hope and confidence. Those who have built their house on the Rock, the Lily of the Valley, have nothing to fear. The apostle Paul instructed us on this:

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5)

The kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. And he will reign forever and ever.

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Update 1/16/12

Authorities have now found six bodies, and are concerned the death toll will rise. I did not specifically issue condolences to those most effected by this tragedy when I first posted. I am correcting that deficiency today. May God’s peace fill all those who are in mourning. My prayer is that God touch them all with his Life.

Watch the Northwest

Last week, while the Lord was speaking to Dawn, my wife, about some of the things that we should be aware of in 2012 (or in the near future beyond 2012), she saw a vision of a compass dropping down in front of her. She knew that the Lord was telling her to watch the Northwest United States. Since the Lord was speaking to her about things that could shake, we assumed it meant that we would see some level of shaking there in the coming year.

When the Lord tells us to watch something, we do just that. We pay close attention to what is currently happening in that place, and we ask that the Lord release more revelation and understanding. If the Lord has mentioned shaking, we understand that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). So we pray for shock absorbers for all the people that live in the area, and especially for his people who live there.

This week, the Lord gave me two dreams on the same night that directed my attention Northwest. In the first dream, I saw a friend of mine from Washington state drive his vehicle onto a highway that we all were waiting to get on. I believe that the highway represented the highway into 2012 and beyond. Streams of cars were getting on this highway, and I was waiting to get on the highway. My friend began his trip several hours ahead of me. As I approached the highway, I saw some police officers, so I asked them about the road. They told me there was a major problem a couple hours up the road. I instantly knew that my friend would be drawing near the problem, and that I needed to call him to warn him about it.

This first dream is pretty self-evident. As we all prepare to launch into our 2012 destinies, some of us will get to significant events, and even major problems, ahead of the majority. Those who first encounter the problems will teach the rest of us about the types of things we could encounter on the road ahead. However, even those who encounter the problems first can have warning. I believe the police officers represent the spiritual authorities of the Kingdom of God who have advance information and are willing to share it with us. When we get the information, we pass it along to those who need it.

So, from Dawn’s experience and my dream, I can share this insight: We need to watch the Northwest, and pray for it, because there is going to be a major problem that will teach us about the types of things we can expect as we advance into 2012. We also can alert folks in the Northwest to step into a heightened state of intercessory alert so that they are able to handle whatever is coming their way.

So what kind of problem could be coming to the Northwest? The same night I had the first dream about my friend from Washington state, I also had a second. In the second dream, I was in the state of Washington. I knew a severe storm was coming. In fact, the atmosphere felt like the atmosphere we experience in Florida before a threatening hurricane makes landfall. At one point in this dream, I saw the storm coming across a large bay from another populated area. It was dark and foreboding, and I knew it would be at our location within the hour. At that point, I checked out the house I was going to shelter in. By south Florida standards, the house was ill-prepared to weather the storm. Instead of the concrete, block, and stucco construction that enables us to withstand high winds, the house was a frame house that appeared a little dilapidated. As I took shelter in the basement, I noted that the basement was not secure against the high winds and moisture that I expected. When I listened to the weather report, I learned that the storm had become a category three storm (a major hurricane). As I listened to the report, I realized that it would be a lot safer to stay in the house of the same friend that I had seen in the previous dream. However, I knew he was not home and had not put his shutters up, because the storm was unexpected.

I believe these dreams, and Dawn’s experience, are about a storm coming to Washington state and its vicinity. I am not suggesting that it is a literal hurricane, since water temperatures are too cold for tropical systems. However, the Lord has spoken to me about weather events in the past. Since I live in South Florida, it makes sense he would speak to me in terms I can understand. When a hurricane becomes a category 3 storm, they call it a major hurricane because its winds are between 111 and 130 mph. Winds of that speed do major damage. So, even if the dream is not about a weather event, it is still highlighting a major problem on the road ahead.

One thing I did not mention about the dream may indicate that this is about a weather event. When I was checking out the basement of the house I would be sheltering in, I noted that the basement windows had been replaced by the working end of thin, flimsy, snow shovels. I was a bit disgusted in the dream because I knew that the shovels would provide inadequate protection for what was coming. These shovels could be an interpretative key. They may show us that the problem is a major winter storm.

This would not be the first major winter storm that the Lord has spoken to us about. Back in the summer of 2000, the Lord showed us that a terrible storm was coming to the Mid-Atlantic states. He showed us it would be a Perfect Storm scenario (three storms coming together). He also told us that he could not find anyone to pray about it. I began to share this information with folks who lived in the Mid-Atlantic, but everyone, and I mean everyone, I shared it with, did not believe it referred to a real storm. They thought it symbolized something. So I shared the information with our South Florida congregation, and we began to pray against a perfect storm in the Mid-Atlantic states. We experienced supernatural encounters and confirmations along the way, so we kept praying. Eventually we got to March, 2001. The weather forecasters began to forecast a perfect storm scenario in the Mid-Atlantic for March 5. On March 2, 2001 they began to call it the storm of the century as three systems targeted it. Several governors shut down their states for the expected storm on March 5th. But, embarrassingly, nothing happened. The March 6th, 2001 USA Today called it the Imperfect Storm because it missed. I happen to know why it missed. The Lord found someone to pray.

Now, back to Washington state. I know a storm is approaching, and that it is bringing major problems, but I’m not absolutely certain it’s winter weather, though it could be. Whatever the storm is, they need our help. I have alerted some of the folks there that it is time to pray over a quickly approaching problem. This blog post is intended to alert even more intercessors. This is advance warning so that the Church is able to get it shutters in place. Shutters represent intercessory authority that brings protection to the people of an area. We have been given keys to open and shut (shutters). When things hit us by surprise, we do not have enough time to get the shutters up. The Lord spoke to us about 1999’s Hurricane Irene in 1998 so that we would have enough time to get the shutters up (you can read about that HERE). He spoke to us about the Perfect Storm of 2001 in the summer of 2000 so that we would have time to get the shutters up. He is now giving advance notice of a fast approaching problem so that we can get the shutters up.

We must keep prayer watch over the Northwest at this time. Not only so that we can provide shock absorbers for those who must go through this particular shaking, but also because we will learn about what we can expect in the near future for other parts of the United States. Watching includes praying, and it includes learning from what we see.

Watch the Northwest.

A Season of Praise

Christmas is here, with all of its complexity. It comes every year as a joyous reminder of the birth of our Savior. It comes with celebrations and families gathering, with holiday decorations and gifts. But it is also a bit more complex, in that every year it seems there is less and less of the Savior, and more and more of the Santa.

I’m not a Santa hater. I don’t think the Lord is all that upset about a figure patterned on one of his saints of old, who reminds us that Christmas is a season of giving. When the Lord wanted to speak to our congregation about our new location, he used the movie Miracle on 34th Street to let us know that he was up to something. In case you haven’t seen the movie lately, it is about Santa.

So, while I’m not a Santa hater, I’m not a fan of the fact that Santa has become the de facto reason for Christmas in the hearts and souls of many people. This truth is what makes the season more complex. When people lose the real meaning of Christmas to the veneer of the holiday traditions, they lose the very thing that makes this holiday, and our very existence, worthwhile.

I believe this is the reason that psychologists remind us that Christmas can be one of the most depressing seasons of the year. There are many lonely people who do not have relatives or friends with whom to celebrate the holidays. There are many dysfunctional families who come together for the holidays and hurt each other more than they help each other. Hurting people find out that gifts only make them feel good for a couple hours, and then the pain and futility of life without true purpose returns. Santa just doesn’t help people deal with the real issues of life.

The Savior does help people deal with those issues. In fact, we can really enjoy this holiday no matter what our current situation, no matter if we celebrate alone, with a dysfunctional group, or a healthy family, we can celebrate Christmas because it is about redemption. It is about the one who came to make all our efforts, all our relationships, and all our life worthwhile. Christ came into the world with purpose for our lives. He broke the bonds of futility and released eternal purpose and meaning.

When Zechariah, the father of John, got his voice back, he declared that the Messiah was coming

“to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” (Luke 1:74-75)

Santa just can’t measure up to that.

 

Merry Christmas!