Category Archives: Headlines

More Storms Coming

14035415_sMy last post was about the power that intercessory prayer has released over weather systems this spring. At the time of the post, we had a year-long lull in tornado activity; a lull that was unprecedented since the record keeping started back in 1954. I was, and still am, excited that God’s people have stepped into intercessory authority. However, this is a war. We can never take the armor of God off, and we can never step off the walls, or the violent counter attacks that Satan is capable of unleashing may sweep us away.

In my last post I wrote (you may read the whole thing HERE):

I want to encourage all the intercessors to continue the good work. Even as I write this, severe storms are forecast for Oklahoma and Texas today. The prayers prayed in advance are having an impact, but we can also pray during the events and cut off Satan’s plans to kill, steal, and destroy. That is our job description, and our privilege.

Satan has truly been working to steal, kill, and destroy. Last Wednesday’s storms and tornadoes in Texas were awful. Six people died and dozens were injured. Yesterday’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma was truly horrific. At least 24 people have died, many of them children at a local school. The grief and pain is unimaginable. My heart, my sympathies, and my prayers go out to all those who have suffered loss in these storms.

As intercessors, we may mourn with those who mourn, but we must also stay on the wall and do what we can to bring protection to our areas of influence. We may shed tears, and help in whatever way we can, but we must never forget our primary role, using the authority that God has given us so this does not happen again. We must intercede for our geographic areas. We must raise hedges of protection for the most vulnerable among us. And we must do it now, because more storms are coming.

The Lord has spoken to us about the tornado season this year. He didn’t give us a lot of details, but he did tell us that tornadoes were going to hit some towns. He then told us that we were to pay attention to the names of the towns that they struck. He said that their names would be signposts along the way.

Last week Wednesday tornadoes struck Granbury, Texas. As I explored the meaning of the town’s name, I told Dawn that I really hoped the name—Grand Bury— wasn’t pointing to a large death toll in the next tornado strike. Whether that was the intent of the “signpost” or not, yesterday’s strike certainly had a large and grievous death toll.

The reason I am writing this alert is found in the name of the town struck yesterday, Moore.

When I researched the meaning of the name, Granbury, I found that the town was named after a man named Granberry, but that he had changed the spelling of his name. In this instance, it wasn’t the historic meaning of the  name that mattered, it was the meaning of its current spelling that held prophetic import. In the same way, Moore can mean stately, or noble, that is its historic meaning, but it sounds like “more.” That is what I believe this prophetic signpost is warning us about. There are more devastating storms, like those that hit Granbury and Moore, coming.

If you live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, it is time to call special prayer meetings to raise the hedges of protection. If you don’t have time for prayer meetings, get on the phone with two or three others and pray in agreement binding any storms from hurting your area of influence. We have authority, but we must use it.

More storms are coming. Satan’s agents want to use them to steal, kill, and destroy. We have the authority to take these tools of destruction out of their hands. We must disarm them, or we will see these storms close up and personal. We must disarm Satan so that the youngest and most vulnerable are no longer victimized by his vile schemes.
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Image credits: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo

Our Tornado Drought

NoTornadoZoneI don’t want to call everyone to celebration prematurely, but I think it is worth noting something that is more than a little encouraging. I have spent the last several years encouraging people to pray against severe weather before it comes. We have learned that this is an effective strategy when we face the hurricane season every year, and have encouraged people who live in tornado-prone areas to do the same thing.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that the Lord has warned us about severe weather over the past several years. I have written a great deal about negative weather patterns during that time. However, when I write about extreme weather, I usually include a call for prayer warriors to stand in their authority (see Extreme Weather Grace for an example of this). The Lord has given us authority, but we will not see the benefit of that authority unless we use it.

I haven’t written anything about extreme weather in 2013, because the Lord hasn’t shown me anything. That may be because intercessors are stepping into their authority. While the last couple of years have had major tornado outbreaks, this year has been quiet. In fact, weather folks are so amazed they are calling it a tornado drought.

This quote is from the Washington Post:

We are living through the most anemic one-year period for tornadoes in the modern record – a cause for celebration if you dislike human suffering and destruction. The present lull in these violent storms stands in sharp contrast to 2011, one of the most active years for twisters, with devastating consequences for life and property. (May 6, 2013)

This one is from Harold Brooks on the NOAA Severe Weather Blog:

The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States . . .

From May 2012-April 2013, the estimate is that there were 197 tornadoes rated EF1 or stronger. Where does that stack up historically? Well, we have pretty good data back to 1954. During that time, the previous low for (E)F1 and stronger tornadoes in a 12 consecutive calendar month period was 247, from June 1991-May 1992 . . .  This apparent record was set less than two years after the record for most EF1+ tornadoes in a 12-month period was set, with 1050 from June 2010-May 2011 . . . (May 1, 2013)

On a a Wunderground post today, Dr. Jeff Masters highlights the fact that there were only three tornadoes during the first week of May. That is the third lowest since 1950. In his article, Harold Brooks also points out that tornadoes claimed the fewest number of lives this past year since 1899. This is worth celebrating. I believe our prayers for tamer weather, and our prayers for preservation of life, are having an effect. When we step into our authority, we can expect to see this type of effect. The Lord has given his people the keys to the Kingdom. When we use them, good things happen.

I want to encourage all the intercessors to continue the good work. Even as I write this, severe storms are forecast for Oklahoma and Texas today. The prayers prayed in advance are having an impact, but we can also pray during the events and cut off Satan’s plans to kill, steal, and destroy. That is our job description, and our privilege.
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Image credits: bigredlynx / 123RF Stock Photo

azazelka / 123RF Stock Photo

Enjoying God Moments

UpsideDownChildLast night I was taken aback by God. It was one of those moments that I knew he had done something, I just couldn’t figure out why.

Here is what he did: Several weeks ago I decided to buy an intermediate pair of boots (that’s Cowboy boots for the truly discerning among us). I have a couple pairs of really nice boots, and one really grizzly pair of work boots that have paint, mortar, dirt, and all sorts of stains on them. I don’t have anything in-between, and I was wearing the nice boots way more than you should wear dress boots. So I decided to get a low end pair for everyday use. Here is where things get interesting. As I checked the boot maker’s website, I found a low end pair of boots that met my needs. However, as I perused their styles, a nice pair of smooth ostrich skin boots caught my eye. As I checked things out, I noted that the ostrich skin boots were twice as much money as the other pair I was looking at. So I decided against the ostrich, found a vendor that had the cheaper boots at a reasonable price, and placed my order.

I received the boots yesterday. Actually, I didn’t receive the boots I ordered. That’s what took me aback. I received the boots I had decided not to order. When I opened the shipping package, I found myself staring at the smooth ostrich skin boots that had caught my eye. I actually sat speechless for a few moments. When Dawn noticed my rather dumbfounded expression, she asked what was up. When I explained, she asked me to check to make sure I hadn’t accidentally ordered the ostrich boots. I knew I had not, but I quickly verified that I had ordered and paid for the other, much less expensive boots.

The truly amazing thing is that the vendor could not have known I had even looked at the ostrich boots. And with hundreds of styles and options, it is impossible to believe that they just somehow accidentally grabbed the exact pair I had been looking at. That is why I was amazed.

Dawn commented, “I guess the Lord wanted you to have those boots.” Yeah, I guess.

Of course, I sent an email to the vendor to alert them to the switch. I am still waiting to hear back from them. But no matter how this turns out, I recognized that the Lord was doing something. I just wanted to figure out what. This morning he gave me a vivid dream that helped me understand.

In the dream, Dawn and I were sitting next to each other as passengers on a large aircraft. After we had taken off, and had been in the air long enough to attain cruising altitude, the pilot announced over the intercom that we had just now received permission to take off. He obviously thought this was humorous. In fact, to punctuate this fact, he put the aircraft into a roll and dive just to play around a bit. At the end of the dive he continued the roll so that we flew upside down for a brief period. I remember thinking apprehensively, “Don’t do that!” as I felt my hair following the direction of gravity. The captain righted the plane, and then just for fun, flew upside down again.

When I woke up, I remembered how real the dream felt, and I remembered the pilot’s playful nature. That’s when I realized what the boots were all about. The Lord was having fun. He enjoyed turning my world upside down for a few seconds as I struggled to comprehend how I held the ostrich skin boots in my hands. I have no doubt that he enjoyed himself a great deal at just how incredulous I must have looked, and I believe he enjoyed it when I knew he was up to something. He was enjoying one of his kids.

We really need to hear this message. We live in dire times. The world is getting to be a dark place. But I don’t believe our Captain is one bit concerned. He is so far ahead of this game, that his plans are already in flight before those on the ground, those who look at things from the natural perspective, even know he has taken off. He is so far ahead of the game, he can even afford to have a bit of fun with those who are going along for the ride.

This is an encouragement to everyone who has been so focused on goals and purposes that you have forgotten to enjoy the relationship we have with our Captain. Last time I looked, the joy of the Lord was still our strength. Give him some room the turn your world upside down for a few moments today. He might just surprise you.
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Image credit: seenad / 123RF Stock Photo

Unless You Also Repent

15794713_s“Unless you repent.” Jesus repeated these three words twice while speaking to a crowd of his followers. He spoke them the first time while referring to the actions of a homicidal maniac who had murdered tourists who had come to a special event. He spoke them the second time while referring to people who were victims of an industrial accident at a work site. Since we have been traumatized by similar events this week, we should probably pay attention to what Jesus said about them.

We can find what Jesus said in the book of Luke, chapter 13.

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

While Jesus was meeting with a group of people, someone decided to let him know the latest headlines. The Roman governor of Judea once again demonstrated his brutal nature by viciously attacking pilgrims in Jerusalem. It was a shocking and unexpected attack that would have grieved the nation. Rather than raging against the perpetrators of the massacre and calling for justice, Jesus directed his listeners toward the fragile nature of life.

To consolidate his point, he told about the tragedy in Siloam. We have no other description of this event, but some believe this was a construction accident, and that the majority of those who died were workers who were building the tower. Again, this was a shocking event that would have grieved the nation because of the orphaned children and widows left behind by this tragedy. Rather than attempting to assign blame for the accident, Jesus again directed his listeners toward the fragile nature of life.

Why did Jesus do this? We live in a world where bad things happen. Homicidal maniacs, industrial accidents, and myriads of other threats and diseases are always threatening to strike down friends and family. These things happen to good people, people we enjoy as friends, family, and neighbors. They can also happen to us, unless we take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our families. That necessary step is repentance.

Repentance is an oft misunderstood word. People don’t like it all that much because it conjures up images of froth-mouthed preachers slamming pulpits and condemning sinners. Images such as that do not have a whole lot to do with repentance. The Greek word that is translated “repentance,” literally speaks to a change of mind. When Jesus uses it in Luke 13, he is calling on his listeners to turn their minds away from their self-reliance, to repent of their lack of God-focus, and to agree with God that they desperately need him for life and protection. That is the repentance of which Jesus spoke. The wondrous thing about this repentance, this agreement with God, is that it can protect us while we live in a world where bad things happen. It can stop us from perishing in events caused by homicidal maniacs, negligent building owners, or the myriad of other threats we face in this world.

I was once walking down the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia with a friend of mine during a Spring thaw. I wasn’t very comfortable walking down the street we were on, because workers were clearing ice from the roofs of the five and six story buildings on that street. When I asked about it, my friend, who lived there, told me that it was common for large chunks of ice to fall unexpectedly from the buildings during a thaw. He explained that many people had been killed in this way. The workers were making certain that this street was safe.

We walked back on that same street a bit later that day. Since the workers had already finished the street, I didn’t feel uneasy about the ice. As my friend and I were walking down the street, he was telling me a story about some ministry he had done in India. The story included a particular van that they had used in India. Just as he was telling me this story, one of those exact vans passed by us in the street. This so surprised him that he stopped short, thrust out his arm, and pointed at the van in amazement. He stopped so quickly that I almost ran into him, and had to stop abruptly to avoid him. Just as I was turning my head to look where he was pointing, a massive chunk of ice slammed onto the sidewalk right where we would have been if he had not stopped so abruptly. The chunk was easily large enough to have killed us both. If that van had not gone by right then, we would have become two more victims of a senseless tragedy.

Why did we receive such obvious protection where others had not? I cannot speak to their stories, and would do them a disservice if I tried. I only know our stories. Both of us were walking in repentance. We understood our vital need for God’s protection in our lives. This is not about religion, sincerity, or merit. It is about humility agreeing that we cannot do it on our own. Because we had repented in this way, we did not perish.

Obviously, I do not know the people who have been killed and injured in our most current tragedies. I do not know their stories, nor do I pretend to know their stories. I am grieved and horrified by their senseless loss. My heart aches for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have to experience a long healing process. If I think about it too closely, it is overwhelming to me and my heart becomes heavy with sorrow. I recognize that some are heroes who put their lives in harms way in order to save others. I am not thinking about them as I write these words, nor would it be appropriate to do so.

Instead, like Jesus, I am pointing in another direction. I am pointing at you. The losses we have experienced this week remind us of how fragile our hold on life can be. Jesus’ prescription for certainty still rings through the centuries, “Unless you repent, you too cannot be certain that life’s uncertainties will take you out. However, if you agree that you desperately need God’s help and protection, he will give it.” That is a lesson we can take to heart.
——————————————————–

My sympathies and my condolences to those who are mourning this week. The Lord can lift heavy burdens. The same Lord who would not let his listeners speculate about the moral or spiritual qualities of the victims of tragedy, also reached out to those who grieved. His invitation still stands, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Image credit: grgroup / 123RF Stock Photo

The Last Enemy Falls

Calendar
I don’t remember being concerned about my execution date. I just knew it was coming. The leaders had decided that it was best that I die. I knew I had not committed some noteworthy crime, but I also knew that this fact didn’t matter. They had planned the execution, and they intended to go through with it. Apart from the fact that they planned on killing me, everything else seemed normal. I wasn’t even confined, but I did have an appointment that I had to keep.

The day of the execution came. I kept my appointment and walked to the appointed place. The leader was there, and so were his executioners. However, things took a difficult turn for them when I looked at them and said, “This isn’t going to happen.” As I spoke these words, everyone in the room became painfully aware that I was far better armed, and far better trained than anyone else in the room. Everyone knew that they could not force me to submit to their plans. They could not even hinder me. I turned and walked away from them, knowing they had no authority over me.

That is the dream that I had last week Friday. It is about our authority over death.

Death has reigned on this earth since Adam and Eve fell into sin. Every person born in previous generations, with very few exceptions, has died. Those of us who are still alive are walking around under a death sentence. There is a date marked on a calendar that we cannot see. We walk around living our lives as if everything is normal, just like in my dream, even as the day of execution draws near. This is an appointment that few have been able to avoid.

However, that will change. In 1 Corinthians 15 the Apostle Paul states that Jesus must reign at the right hand of the Father until all of his enemies are put under his feet. Then Paul teaches us about Jesus’ last enemy: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26 NIV).

Before Jesus returns, death will be dethroned. Jesus must sit at the right hand of the Father until he puts all his enemies under his feet. As the head of the Church, Jesus is guiding and directing us to batter down the gates of hell. The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. The Church, at Jesus direction and using his authority and gifts, will put all Jesus’ enemies under his feet. Jesus will not return until every last one of his enemies is vanquished. At a certain point, death will be the only remaining enemy; then death, too, will fall.

My dream was about death’s fall. One day in the future, hopefully the not-so-distant future, a generation of Christians will wake up to find that they have more spiritual authority and more spiritual power than death. They will realize that Jesus has given them so many spiritual weapons, and has trained them so well, that they no longer have to submit to death. They will gladly and victoriously say to death, “This isn’t going to happen anymore!”

When will this happen? Before Jesus comes again. He will remain seated at the Father’s right hand reigning until the last enemy is defeated. I believe he gave me the dream to let me know that he has been training his Church so well, that even though they might not realize it, they are gaining the authority and equipment necessary to defeat death. One day they will be confronted with death, and realize that they do not have to put up with it anymore. On that day, death will fall, and the stage will be set for Jesus’ return.

The Lord gave me a dream to let me know this is on his agenda. I saw death fall. The day is scheduled on the Lord’s cosmic calendar. I am praying that day come quickly.
——————————————————–

Subscription Notice: I have found that the most dependable way of notifying subscribers of a new post is through email. So I have added an email subscribe option below. Just add your email address and click subscribe (you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription—so check your spam folders if you don’t). You will receive an email alert whenever I publish an article. Your emails will be used for no other purpose.


 

Image credit: ladyann / 123RF Stock Photo