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2012 Hurricane Season Recap

December 1, 2012

The hurricane season officially ended yesterday. However, this morning the National Hurricane Center has flagged a system in the Atlantic that has a forty percent chance of becoming a tropical storm. While the season is officially over, we may yet see some activity, but I can still say a few things about the season, and how the things that the Lord showed me appeared to have played out this season. If you have not done so, you may want to read South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season as a refresher.

The first thing that struck me this season, is how much more effect our prayers are having. When the Lord told us that Hurricane Irene was going to hit our area in 1999, he warned us over a year in advance. He called us to lead a prayer charge that started seven months before the event. He showed us that the storm would be a strong category four at minimum. We, and other area churches, prayed for seven months and the storm still hit us. Our prayers were effective; the storm was barely a hurricane when it hit. However, we prayed fervently for seven months (You can read an outline of how the Lord spoke to us about Irene, and even watch a video of a news report about our prayer effort that was made before Irene formed HERE). This year, few of the threats came close to our area of influence. That is a testament to our increased effectiveness.

Obviously, that doesn’t mean that there were not threats, or that all areas of the United States were unscathed. Hurricane Sandy is certainly one of the threats that the Lord began to speak about all the way back in January (see Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?). He did not name Sandy, but warned that severe weather was coming to the United States. That, of course, has proved true throughout this year, and we certainly are not done with the year. I expect that we will have some intense winter storms to finish things off.

I did want to start this recap by admitting a mistake this season. When I published what the Lord had shown us, I should not have called it South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season. After I published it, and linked it to a variety of sources, I realized the title made it sound too regional in nature. It was certainly about far more than South Florida’s season. Hurricane Sandy, without a doubt, was the large storm that the Lord showed me. It threatened South Florida, but then did its real damage in the northeast. In the future, I will make certain that my article titles do not make it appear that South Florida is my only focus, or that the threats are only for South Florida (unless, of course, they are only for South Florida).

How did my predictions fare this year? I started out my 2012 report by writing,

South Florida has enjoyed a six year respite from significant hurricane threats. That respite is over. This year will see significant threats, not just to South Florida, but to many other areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

I think we can score this one as accurate. The 2012 Hurricane Season is currently the fifth (some say the third) busiest on record. We had nineteen named storms, and it may not be over yet. We saw many records broken by this storm season, and we saw many more threats than in the previous years.

The major part of what I said, though, was about three storms. This is what I wrote:

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 have great respect for the power of prayer when God’s people heed prophetic warnings. A prophetic warning is intended to stir prayer so that the thing that is prophesied is diminished in intensity or impact. In the case of a storm, they can even be turned away. As a result, when I write about storms, I will call for prayer so that they do not happen. That is the goal. However, I also know that the Lord knows how we are wired, and that we need encouragements about accuracy of prophecy and intercessory effectiveness. So, he will usually give us enough information to encourage us even when we have had spectacular success in prayer. This year was a spectacular success for South Florida. We have a lot of practice every year, so you would expect that practice would help us develop our intercessory prayer wall.

Before the season began, the Lord had shown me three whales that represented storms. One of them, which turned out to be Sandy, was huge. In the prophetic experience, all of them were a concern for South Florida in some way. At this point, I believe those three whales were Isaac, Patty, and Sandy. You may not have heard of Patty. She didn’t last long. But unless there is another event yet this season, she is certainly a candidate for one of the whales.

Isaac formed on August 21st and made a run for Florida. Isaac became known to us as the storm that thought it could, but could not. Virtually every forecast about Isaac indicated that it would strengthen significantly. All the conditions were ripe for it to strengthen, but it did not happen. I believe prayer impacted Isaac so significantly that it was held to a minor storm for most of its existence. Even when it became a hurricane, it remained a minor hurricane (though a destructive event) when it finally made landfall in Louisiana.

Patty formed on October 11th, and only had a short run. The only people that really knew about Patty were weather geeks and intercessors. Yet she was a threat to South Florida, but could not get past the wall of intercession. If you note the graphic for Patty, you can see that she was forecast to be a threat to South Florida, however, to the surprise of the Hurricane Center, she died before she could fulfill her threat. That is the way we like storms to behave.

I don’t need to say much about Sandy; she formed on October 22nd. As one forecaster put it, if Sandy had wobbled only slightly to the west as she passed South Florida, we would have gotten to know her way more than we wanted. South Florida experienced tropical storm force winds from Sandy, but again, the wall of intercession kept her about as far away as Patty.

In addition to the three storm threats for the South Florida area, I also mentioned that this would be a cleansing year. Both Isaac and Sandy fulfilled that aspect of the prediction. I am still saddened about the devastation and loss of life that Sandy brought to the northeast. Out of empathy for their continued struggle and pain, that is all I am going to say on this topic. For first time readers, you may want to read South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season, or SuperStorm Sandy for more information.

I had also mentioned that one storm had potential to accelerate in strength quickly.

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.

Sandy went from a tropical disturbance to a hurricane in just two days and then slammed Jamaica. I believe she was the fast developing storm that the Lord showed me. However, Isaac had all sorts of potential to develop, but as previously mentioned, was smothered by prayer in such a way that it could not. In any case, I believe this prediction was also fulfilled.*

I believe these are the significant things that I prophesied about the hurricane season. I believe not only that the major thrust of the prophecy was fulfilled, but also that the individual parts were fulfilled. Even the warning against fear was necessary and important, as the hype surrounding the advance of SuperStorm Sandy became a breathtaking phenomenon in and of itself.

I am doing this recap because I believe in prophetic accountability. When I make prophetic predictions that are easily verifiable as time goes on, I believe it is important to weigh them. If Florida had experienced no threats, I would have still written this recap. While I would have still been encouraged by the amount of prayer that I stirred up by the predictions, I would have apologized that there was no evidence to offer that would encourage prayer for next year’s storm cycle. I would have owned the fact that I may have misinterpreted what the Lord had given me. Since that is obviously not the case this year, I am instead praising and thanking the Lord that he spoke so clearly about this season.

If there are further threats to note during this post-hurricane season, I will mention them in the future. However, at this point I am saying, “Thank you, Jesus” and “So long, 2012 Hurricane Season.”
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*In the future I will also be more precise with terminology. The word “major” when applied to a hurricane implies a category three storm or above. While the context and examples I used in the prediction clearly indicated the meaning was “weak storm” and “strong storm,” I could not fault someone if they believe I was speaking of a Category Three hurricane or above. That doesn’t change the application much, since we were praying against such an event, and prayer may have stopped both Sandy and Isaac from gaining major hurricane status. But precision is certainly desired in these types of prophecies.
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Don’t Be a Cowardly Spy

Once upon a time, God rescued his people in an amazing way. A bad king had made the people slaves. The people were very sad. God told the bad king to let the people go. When the bad king would not let the people go, God used supernatural power to force the bad king to let the people go. But the bad king was stubborn. God sent ten supernatural storms to shake the bad king’s land. Finally, the bad king let the people go.

But the bad king changed his mind. He was sad that he let the people go. So he chased them with his big army. When the people saw the big army, they were afraid. Once again God did supernatural things. He divided an entire sea so that the people could get away from the bad king by walking on the bottom of the sea (they could even pick up fish along the way for their evening fish fry). When the bad king tried to follow the people, he and his big army were covered by the water when God stopped doing the supernatural thing. The people rejoiced over what God had done for them.

Then God led the people and did more supernatural things. He even lived among them in a giant flame at night, and a giant smoke cloud during the day. God even let the people hear his voice. Finally, God led his people through a dry and dusty country to their new land.

When the people arrived at their new land, they saw that some bad giants already lived there. So the people sent twelve spies into their new land to see how many bad giants lived there. When the twelve spies returned, they were very excited because the new land was so nice. It was filled with green grass and wonderful fruit trees. The spies told the people about all the milk in the land, and how they were able to mix it with honey for a tasty drink like they had never tasted before. All the people got excited about their new land.

But then, ten of the spies forgot about the supernatural things of God. They forgot that God lived in the giant flame at night, and the giant smoke cloud during the day. They forgot about how God led them through the dry and dusty country. They forgot about walking on the bottom of the sea (and frying the fish at night). They forgot about the ten supernatural storms God sent to deliver the people. They thought about the giants. They became afraid.

The ten cowardly spies decided to tell the people how afraid they were. They told stories about the giants. They told the people how the giants would not leave the people’s new land. They told the people that the giants would not let the people live there. They told them how mean the giants would be. The ten cowardly spies forgot that God would help them.

Two of the spies were not afraid. They remembered the supernatural things of God. They remembered that God lived in the giant flame at night, and the giant smoke cloud during the day. They remembered about how God led them through the dry and dusty country. They remembered about walking on the bottom of the sea (and frying fish at night). They remembered about the ten supernatural storms God sent to deliver the people. They thought about God. They were not afraid.

The two brave spies were happy because they knew God would do supernatural things for them. They told stories about God. They told the people how God would not let the giants live in their new land. They told the people that God would not let the giants be mean. They told the people how big God is. The two brave spies remembered that God would help them.

But the people did not listen to the two brave spies. The people listened to the ten cowardly spies. The people forgot about the supernatural things of God. The people forgot that God lived in the giant flame at night, and the giant smoke cloud during the day. The people forgot about how God led them through the dry and dusty country. The people forgot about walking on the bottom of the sea (and frying the fish at night). The people forgot about the ten supernatural storms God sent to deliver them. The people thought about the giants. The people became afraid.

Then the people told God they didn’t want to live in their new land. God was very sad that the people did not trust him. He was sad that they listened to the ten cowardly spies. He was sad that they were afraid. But he told the people that they did not have to live in their new land. He told them they could live in the dry and dusty country for a long time. He told them that their children would be brave enough to live in the new land. The brave children would trust God and not be afraid.

God was happy with the two brave spies. God told them that they would live a long time. He told them that they would get to lead the brave children out of the dry and dusty country into their new land.

God was not happy with the ten cowardly spies. They had made the people afraid. God killed the ten cowardly spies who had discouraged his people. He did not want the ten cowardly spies to discourage his people any longer.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting
our hearts on evil things as they did. (1 Corinthians 10:6 NIV)

There may be giants in land (even in Washington D.C.), but God still leads his people.
Discourage the people at your peril.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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