Category Archives: Headlines

SuperStorm Sandy Update

October 31, 2012

I want to begin this post by conveying my deepest sympathies to all those in the Northeast who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. I grieve with you over the loss of life, and over the many people who have lost homes and property to this storm.

This was a sobering storm. Obviously, any storm that kills upward of fifty people is sobering. The sheer size that Sandy attained is amazing. It impacted tens of millions of people all across the eastern United States. The Northeast will be in recovery mode for a long time. I believe the news anchors and weather reporters have run out of superlatives in their attempts to let us know that Sandy was a record-breaking event. What can you really say about a storm that did what Sandy did to such a large portion of the United States?

I’m really not going to say much, except that the Lord had shown us that there would be cleansing storms this year. I believe the fact that Sandy hit Atlantic City virtually right on the nose is a likely indicator that this was a cleansing storm. Atlantic City is THE gambling Mecca of the Northeast.

Let me refresh your memory about what I wrote about cleansing storms earlier this season (see South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season):

As I wrote in my last post (see Tropical Storm Beryl), the Lord also showed us that we are in for a cleansing year. In fact, he gave some indication that we may see as many as three cleansing events, though I do not know if these events are all for South Florida. Cleansing storms are those that contain a call for repentance, and some level of  judgment on those areas that they hit. Don’t think of them as direct judgments from God (though they can be). Think of them rather as discipline as the Lord attempts to get our attention about inappropriate things in which we are involved. Inappropriate things are things that hurt people. The gambling industry, those areas that promote debauched lifestyles, and those who attempt to lure Spring Breakers with licentious promises, are all included in things that hurt people. If you live in a region that promotes things that hurt people, begin to cry out for mercy already.

I’m certainly not celebrating what Sandy did, just as I didn’t celebrate what Wilma did to my area back in 2005. I knew what Wilma was, and its purpose, but I sure didn’t like it. Of course, I’m not so certain the Lord was concerned about how I would feel about it. He is far more concerned with righteousness, and calling people back from the precipice of poor decisions that have the potential to unleash generations of pain and destruction on the people of an area. Cleansing storms, then, are his mercy in action. They have a tendency to remind us that we really don’t have the last say on things, and that we truly need him.

My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones in this storm. It was truly a killer storm even before it visited the United States. And while loss of property is not near as bad as losing a loved one, it still hurts. Our God is a God of comfort. I pray that the people who live in areas impacted by Sandy will find his comfort, and will turn toward him in all their ways.

——————————————————–

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.


Tropical Storm Sandy

October 23, 2012

The weather has been wonderful for the past several days. Temperatures have hovered around the seventies, humidity has plummeted (by South Florida standards), and there has been a glorious breeze. All of this produces a siren-like influence that draws heat-and-humidity pummeled South Floridians out of doors to work and play. It feels like our glorious winter season has already slipped in the door. But just as we are beginning to plan our outdoor adventures, the National Hurricane Center delivers a dose of reality. Tropical Storm Sandy formed yesterday. Sigh.

The good news is that we are not yet in the cone of uncertainty. The bad news is that when a storm is this far away, it is a simple matter for the track to change in the next couple days to include us. Those of us who remember another late season storm named Wilma are not amused by this development. But we are not all that concerned either. We, and many others, have been manning the prayer walls.

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that the Lord began to speak to me about an active hurricane season already back in December and January (2011/12). The Lord had warned of extreme weather this year, something that we have seen all year. Although the hurricane season has, thankfully, not caused major stress, Sandy is the eighteenth named storm. The 2012 hurricane season has now tied for the seventh most active hurricane season on record. As the graphic to the right shows, it has been busy. However, those manning the prayer walls have been busier, and very effective.

I’m certainly not beginning my post-hurricane season celebration yet. But I have been very pleased about what has transpired this season. Let me remind you of what I posted in early June about this hurricane season (You can read the whole post HERE):

The Lord has shown us that three significant storms will threaten South Florida this year. That does not mean that all three of these storms will hit South Florida. God has given his people authority over weather systems. Like Jesus, his people can take authority over storms (see Matthew 8:23-27). I believe that when God’s people pray, the storms can be turned away, or their strength diminished. So, first and foremost, this article is intended to stir prayer among those who live in South Florida. It is time to man the walls of intercession.

Of the three storms that the Lord has spoken to us about, one of them will be larger than the other two. I also believe that at least one of these storms will move from a minor storm to a major storm extremely quickly. In a dream, the Lord showed me a storm that was riding a motorcycle. While that could speak to a storm’s ability to turn quickly, in this case I believe that it emphasizes the ability for a storm to accelerate quickly.

That second paragraph from my June post keeps me from celebrating the close of the hurricane season prematurely. A fast developing storm that has the ability to quickly change directions can really ruin your day. I don’t want to give Sandy a chance to be that storm.

Whenever the Lord shows us threats, he is showing us threats as they exist before intercessory prayer is applied. He shows us the threats so that we will thwart the threats. Like Jonah, a prophetic voice calls people to do something to change the outcomes that would have occurred without the revelation. The revelation is intended to inspire prayer, repentance, or change in direction so that the disaster/problem is averted.

I’ll give a full update and recap of the hurricane season, and what the Lord has shown us through it, after it is officially over. I will be watching Sandy this week. I will be praying for those in harm’s way, and will continue to stand on the intercessory wall protecting my area of influence.

——————————————————–

Update: With the formation of Tropical Storm Tony on Wednesday, October 24, this hurricane season is now tied for the third busiest since records first began to be kept in 1851.

——————————————————–

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.


That’s One Down

August 29, 2012

Well, I’m glad that is past. I’m sure that the residents of Louisiana and surrounding areas will be saying the same thing when Hurricane Isaac finally passes them by. Although Isaac was only a tropical storm while it was in our vicinity, and it never came close to our county, it was a large enough system to cause widespread flooding and minor wind related damage.

But that is not the story that could have been. All last week we were told that Isaac was going to increase in strength and become a hurricane by the time it hit the Florida mainland or the Florida Keys, but that didn’t happen. We were told repeatedly that Isaac was strengthening, or trying to strengthen, but something always prevented it from doing so. Even after it passed us, it did not strengthen as forecast. Without a doubt, the prayers of thousands of God’s people prevented Isaac from being a violent wind event.

That doesn’t mean that the people of Louisiana are enjoying themselves right now. Isaac has slowed down to a crawl. A category one hurricane is still no walk in the park. And if it is sitting right on top of you for an extended period of time, bad things can happen. We will find out just how bad when it moves inland from the gulf coast. The latest report from the National Hurricane Center is that Isaac has slowed to 6 mph as it buffets New Orleans and its environs. This is not a good thing.

We learn from every one of these storms. Most intercessors would have been praying to diminish the strength of the winds in the storm. I believe we accomplished that goal. However, in the future, we will probably want to pray that the storms do not spend a long time over any one area. If you are like me, I did not pray that over Isaac. I would suspect, since it is now sitting on top of Louisiana, that very few people did. I’m taking notes for the future.

Let me share an encouraging graphic from Sunday morning. I have noted the storms position at 11:00 AM and 11:00 PM on the graphic below. Please note that until 11:00 AM Tropical Storm Isaac was making a beeline northwest toward the Florida Keys. Right at the time that churches were meeting across South Florida praying against the storm, it veered west down the center of the Florida Straits and never made the expected landfall in the Keys. When the storm got past the Keys, it resumed its march northwestward. To me, that is ample testimony to the power of the praying Church.

Of course, folks have asked if I believe that this storm is one of the three that the Lord has shown to me for this year (see South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season). My answer is, yes, I do believe this is one of the storms that was on our plate this year. If I am correct, then we have two more to go. After seeing how effectively the prayers of God’s people covered South Florida, I am breathing easier about them.

Thanks for praying with us. Please keep it up.
——————————————————–

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.


 

The Hurricane Season Heats Up

August 20, 2012

We have now entered into the busy part of the hurricane season. The National Hurricane Center is tracking four different disturbances at this point; three of them have some potential to impact the United States. The next named storm will be Isaac, which tells us that we have already had quite a few named systems this year, though none have been of real concern for the mainland United States. But things will probably change as we move forward into the season.

At the beginning of the season, I mentioned that the Lord showed us three potential problems for South Florida this season. When he shows us things about the hurricane season, he also gives us authority to pray against those problems. We have alerted intercessors across South Florida to what the Lord has shown us, and are hopeful that the prayer coverage will make such a difference that we will only experience the beneficial effects the storms (appropriate rainfall and such).

The Lord did give us one more bit of information over this past weekend. He showed us some sort of spirit rising up out of the Atlantic off the coast of St. Augustine, and then moving over the city. Since the Lord speaks to us about storms, and a spirit coming up out of the water often refers to a storm, I believe that there is a very good chance that St. Augustine, Florida is under threat from a storm at this time. This is an alert for intercessors, and for those who live in that area, to stay on the prayer wall so that St. Augustine is not victimized by whatever this spirit represents. When the Lord shows us something, we have authority over it. We can pray and have a positive impact for that part of Florida.

I have no doubt I will be posting a bit more frequently in the days ahead. Summer is a nice time for rest and respite, even from blogging. But we have still been on the wall, and the Lord has been speaking to us of many things. I will be sharing some of them in the days ahead.
——————————————————–

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.


 

Extreme Weather: Sixth Worst Drought Since 1895

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a report that we are now in the sixth worst drought since records first began to be kept in 1895. Fifty-six percent of the continental United States is experiencing some form of drought. NOAA reports that fifty-five years have passed since the last time so much of the United States experienced this type of drought (since 1956). This year, NOAA predicts that the drought will only get worse through the end of July.

I haven’t posted on the weather lately because everything has appeared calm. Then I read this report and realized that the extreme weather about which the Lord spoke to us isn’t just about storms, it is also about the lack of rainfall. Drought is extreme weather. The drought is just another fulfillment of what the Lord has spoken.

As a reminder, I wrote this in a post on Tropical Storm Debby (see Tropical Storm Debby):

The Lord began to speak to me about the hurricane season back in December and January (see Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?). He told us that we would see some very difficult weather systems throughout this year. Those of you who have followed this year’s weather patterns know that prophecy has been validated by the last five months of extreme weather.

We are going to continue to see extreme weather. For this reason we must continue to stand prayer watch over our nation. The part of the year with the most severe weather potential is still ahead of us. I’m sure we will still have plenty of opportunities to pray.

I was very encouraged over a conversation that my wife, Dawn, had with a relative from a drought-stricken area of the United States. The lack of rain has taken a major toll on their crops this summer, and people are very concerned. Dawn asked the relative, who attends a very traditional conservative church, whether the church has been praying for rain. Their church has been praying. That is great news. This particular denomination, though very focused on the Bible, isn’t known for its prayer meetings. But extreme weather brings out the prayer in us. That is certainly a God-pleasing result of this year’s extreme weather. It reminds us that there are things we cannot control with our own ingenuity, and that we must step toward the Kingdom of God.

Though we are experiencing a calm on the violent weather front, we can still pray and help those who are experiencing the drought. We can lean toward the Kingdom of God, and pray as he taught us, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
——————————————————–

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.