Category Archives: Headlines

Hurricane Alex/The Rest of the Season

As I write this, Hurricane Alex is just coming ashore along the Mexican coast about 110 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. Alex is a category two hurricane with sustained winds of 100 mph. While it can’t be pleasant on the Mexican coast, and we will know tomorrow whether this barely-category-two storm does any serious damage, we can certainly thank the Lord for his mercy. If Alex had gone up through the oil mess in the northern gulf, things would be even worse than they are.

It certainly is too soon to celebrate, especially since the Lord showed Bob Jones a major hurricane in the gulf for this year. Since these things are not normally foreordained, bur rather warnings for the purpose of prayer, we can certainly continue to pray for mercy, joining with like-minded people of faith to establish a hedge of protection in the northern gulf. We also can already start praying against any hurricane attaining major hurricane status in the gulf this season.

The Lord hasn’t spoken to me personally about hurricanes this year that I am aware. However, he did tell Bob Jones about one that we must be concerned about. While Bob has never told me the name of a hurricane that is coming our way, he has accurately predicted seasons that we were in harms way. So I respect Bob’s prophetic warning, and as in the past, expect to be able to turn any storms away from our immediate area of responsibility through focused prayer. Intercessors to the north and south of our area should already be praying to deflect this storm from their shores. It is always encouraging to see a storm turn from our coast, but it is never fun to see it make landfall further up the coast. Please pray that the Lord raise up intercessors all along the coast of Florida (and beyond) to turn any storms away.

Back in 2002 a friend of mine had a dream that Hurricane Irene’s sister was coming. Those of you who remember the Irene saga (read about it HERE), know that Irene’s sister is Bonnie. The dream did not give any time frames about Bonnie. But in the cycle of hurricane names, the last time the name Bonnie was used was in 2004. There was a tropical storm Bonnie that season, but it did not come anywhere near us. Now that Alex has been named, the next named storm will be Bonnie. Of course, we don’t know if this Bonnie is the one mentioned in the 2002 dream, but it at least piques our interest about this next storm, and keeps us on prayer alert. I’m letting you know about this dream so that you might be on prayer alert with me.

I’ll share more about this season as it develops. In the meantime, keep praying for mercy and grace.

Governors Call to Prayer and Fasting

An incredible thing happened last week, the governors of four gulf states (Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Mississipi) and the Lt. Governor of Florida all issued official calls for prayer because of the gulf oil disaster. Throughout those states, through many of these United States, and in other countries around the world, God’s people came together yesterday and prayed as the representatives of these five states requested.

We know well the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14,

. . . if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Elected representatives from five states humbled themselves in recognition that they needed divine help, and they requested that the residence of their states would also humbly call upon God for help in the gulf. While those that issued the calls to prayer may not have turned from their wicked ways (yet), those who prayed asked for mercy in response to this heartening call for prayer. Now we are watching for God’s response.

As we watch, let’s keep praying.

They Oppose Themselves

A friend of mine mentioned a particular email making the rounds about President Obama. The email encourages Christians to pray an imprecatory psalm over President Obama. I have seen the email because several other friends of mine have forwarded it to me. It says something about praying for our president biblically, then it references one of the imprecatory psalms. Imprecatory psalms are those psalms that curse the psalmist’s enemies (“May their house be desolate” etc.). They were written by Old Covenant people who directed them at God’s enemies under the Old Covenant. The New Testament’s “Love your enemies” and “Pray for those who persecute you” (see Matthew 5:44) had not yet been spoken by Jesus. In the New Testament, things have changed. Because we now have the Holy Spirit, we can pray for our personal enemies. That doesn’t mean that it is wrong to ask  God to hinder the actions of evil people. However, we do not curse the people, and we pray that God will change their heart toward him and salvation—as he did for the Apostle Paul.

When I received the emails that mentioned the imprecatory psalms, I understood they were sent in jest by people who are frustrated by some of the policies and plans of our president. Since I also know the character of the individuals, I know they would never pray against our president in the sense of releasing a personal curse. They understand that they must pray for kings and all those in authority, and that they owe honor to whom honor is due. That doesn’t mean they pray that God bless all of any president’s policies. They pray instead for his personal protection, spiritual blessing and insight, and that our president have wisdom to lead our country.

My friend with whom I had the conversation about the imprecatory email, had recently had to work with someone who has a problem honoring our current president. In fact, the man obviously disrespects him. My friend was so concerned about this that he spoke with the gentleman and told him that he was only hurting himself. Anyone who understands sowing to please the sinful nature, and from that nature reaping destruction (see Galatians 6:8) understands why dishonoring our president, no matter how much we disagree with his policies, is not good for us.

The scripture my friend mentioned to to the man was 2 Timothy 2:24-25 in the KJV:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive;
but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

The servant of the Lord is to instruct those “who oppose themselves.” That isn’t quite how the NIV puts it, but the King James Version’s translation certainly makes you sit up and notice. When we are involved in things contrary to sound doctrine, we oppose ourselves. When we disrespect and disparage one whom God has called us to honor and intercede for, we oppose ourselves. When we gossip and tear down, we oppose ourselves. When we live contrary to whatever is biblically correct, we oppose ourselves.

There are many ways that we can do this, but I will stick with the theme at hand: honor. Let’s not oppose ourselves through tearing down our elected representatives. It is certainly appropriate to pray for the defeat of policies with which we disagree. It is appropriate to pray for the reversal of decisions and actions that we believe hurt rather than help our nation. Since we are a constitutional republic, it is very appropriate to inform others of our beliefs about bad policies, laws, actions, or decisions that our elected representatives are involved in. But it is not appropriate to pray imprecatory psalms over our elected representatives or personally deride them. Instead, let’s pray for them and for their salvation. Let’s pray for their growth in wisdom and integrity. Let’s pray that God raise them up as leaders who are a blessing for our land. In that way, we will not be opposing ourselves.

The BP Oil Spill and the End of the World

I knew the title would get your attention. I think it is a good title simply because I have done a lot of reading today on the BP oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. Depending on what sites you visit, the spill is either a terrible environmental disaster, an apocalyptic fulfillment of prophetic scriptures, or the end of all coastal communities around the gulf up to fifty miles inland (except for Florida, which will be total toast).

As I have perused these sites today, I have seen recommendations for all families with small children to leave the gulf coast, as well as recommendations for everyone to leave Florida. Fortunately, none of these recommendations are coming from credible authorities, or anyone who isn’t obviously dealing with a spirit of fear, manipulation, or in some cases, an obvious case of emotional instability. I have also noticed sites that are publishing lurid scenarios in an attempt to boost their page count and make more money on their advertising (people can be wicked).

My favorite scenario involves a volcanic steam reaction at the bottom of the gulf that sends a tsunami of between twenty and eighty feet in height that totally destroys Florida. One person who posted this stated that this makes sense because Florida is only a couple inches above sea level. The folks in Orlando, at 106 feet above sea level, would be a bit surprised to hear that. Florida’s mean elevation is 98 feet above sea level. Even in southeast Florida, where things are pretty low, we are more than a “couple inches” above sea level (Coral Springs is at thirteen feet above sea level). The idea that an eighty foot tsunami would devastate all of Florida is ludicrous beyond belief, and yet it is being spread by email and web site posts even as you read this. Fear does not have to be rational.

I did a bit of study on how far a tsunami would travel inland in Florida. As I looked around, I noted that even the scientists that have promulgated the Canary Island Tsunami canard (an impossible scenario that cable television runs again and again for ratings) have the decency to point out that a 50 meter (164 feet) high tsunami smashing into Florida would only inundate a couple of kilometers of coastal area (slightly over a mile inland). Anyone that states that an oil/steam/methane (take your pick) explosion in the gulf would generate a tsunami that would destroy Florida is writing fiction. Unfortunately, when you haven’t taken the time to research the scenarios, that fiction can stir a lot of fear and anxiety in people.

The BP oil spill is bad. It will probably get a lot worse and it could change all of our lives for the worse in some ways. However, we must respond to that bad news with focused prayer, not fear. We don’t need to make things up about it, nor do we need to listen to those who do. When Bob Jones spoke to me about this in May, he told me that it was worse than most people realized, and that we needed to persevere in prayer over it. We will need God’s help to stop this thing. He responds to faith. Let’s stay far away from the fear. After all, it is not the end of the world.

Submarines on My Mind

Yesterday I read an article that reported on new tensions that are being revealed between the United States and China. Several high ranking Chinese military and political figures have made strongly antagonistic statements about the United States and its relationship with China. While State Department officials have attempted to downplay the fissure, there is no denying that the Chinese Foreign Ministry pulled in the welcome mat for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. His long-scheduled trip to China was abruptly canceled by the Chinese on June 3. While much of this type of behavior is normal between competing major powers who really don’t trust each other, it does demonstrate how fragile our relationships can be with other major players on the world scene.

Perhaps it was because of my ruminations on this issue, that I had a rather odd dream last night. I believe it contains a message about Russia’s relationship with the United States, and it did not present a trouble-free picture. In the dream, I was aware that a nuclear submarine had gone up the Potomac River. I woke up with the impression that it was a Russian submarine, but I don’t know if that point was ever specifically spelled out in the dream.

As the dream progressed, I had an opportunity to speak to the crew after they were discovered, and after the situation had been peacefully resolved. I thanked the crew for their professional manner. They had been given an assignment, and they had fulfilled that assignment sailing up the Potomac. When they were discovered, tensions understandably flared, and their cool response under intense pressure helped prevent the incident from becoming a tragedy and provocation to war. I remember specifically mentioning that it was good that military people were involved simply because they responded tactically and strategically rather than emotionally. I knew that an emotional response would have resulted in great loss.

I have to admit, I don’t often think of international politics, provocations, and all of the thrusts and parries of modern military preparedness. But I did understand that the dream was about the types of tests that our Commander-in-Chief must be prepared to confront. I can’t even imagine the response that the discovery of a foreign-flagged nuclear submarine in the Potomac would engender. Let’s just assume that it would be an extremely tense, and an extremely dangerous, situation.

I do believe this dream was from the Lord, but I’m certainly not prepared to say that a submarine is going to show up in the Potomac. What I do believe is that nations with competing military interests have taken the measure of our current Commander-in-Chief for the last year and a half, and now may be ready and willing to test him with calculated provocations to gain strategic advantage. Back in 2008 Vice-President Joe Biden famously prophesied that the world would test President Obama just like they tested President Kennedy. I believe the dream portends this type of testing.

How does one respond to such provocation? One must respond to any provocation calmly, firmly, and with strategic and tactical vision. If world events or deliberate provocations are about to test our president, we must pray that he and his advisers have the wisdom and ability to avoid emotional responses in favor of a calm, tactical and strategic vision.

Many people doubt that our president has the ability to respond in such an appropriate fashion. Perhaps on his own he does not. But if we undergird him with prayer, the Lord may have continued mercy on our president and our country.

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UPDATE (Thursday Morning)

I posted this article some time before 6:00 PM last night. When I was on the Sun-Sentinel website this morning, I noticed they posted a story at 6:19 PM last night entitled, “Boater Chases Mysterious Periscope.” You can read it HERE until the link expires. I guess I’m not the only one with submarines on his mind.