Category Archives: Prophetic Themes

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.

Prophetic Fulfillments on the Uptick

Earlier this year, a long time member of New Dawn congregation had a dream. In that dream she was pregnant, and it was the end of October. She knew she was supposed to have the baby in November, so even though the baby wanted to come, she was trying to make it to November.

That is a pretty simple dream. As she reminded me of it this past Sunday, it was apparent to me that the dream had been about what God was intending to birth at New Dawn during the month of November. We wanted things come sooner, but the Lord’s plan was for November.

Tom and Mary Anne Hardiman helped us dedicate our new facility on the second weekend of November. We have been in the building since September, but we delayed the dedication until Tom and Mary Anne were able to make it to South Florida. Tom is the head of the MorningStar Fellowship of Churches, and Mary Anne is one of the elders of the MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries. As such, they are a significant part of our spiritual covering. The Lord clearly showed us that they needed to be involved in dedicating our new place of worship. We didn’t know all the Lord’s reasons, but it was apparent that they were here to help deliver the baby.

What is the baby? God is birthing things here that he has prophesied for years. We have seen prophecies fulfilled from 2002, 2004, and 2008 in just a week and a half. When you wait years to see a prophecy fulfilled, and then you see three significant ones fulfilled in a week and a half, you know God is up to something.

I’ll take the prophecies in order. Back in 2002 Bob Jones (a prophetic mentor) prophesied about a particular healing angel that would be released to minister in our congregation. On Saturday of last week the Lord told me that the angel had arrived. Since I believe this angel is supposed to have immediate impact, I expected to have immediate confirmation as we prayed for people on Sunday that healing was being released on a higher level. We prayed for a lot of people on Sunday, but the prayer was for digestive and stomach issues. You can’t instantaneously verify healing of the digestive tract since many issues are intermittent and take time to see if healing has taken place. However, a couple of our folks went to pray for a friend with a blood clot in her leg on Sunday afternoon. When they prayed for her swollen foot and ankle, the foot and ankle returned to normal size in front of their eyes. As they told me about it, they described the “whooping and hollering” that started taking place because of the obvious supernatural touch from God. I had expected to see confirmation of the angel’s healing presence, and I wasn’t disappointed. I believe Bob’s prophecy is being fulfilled.

In 2004, the Lord spoke to me about Cuba. I have written about that in two different blog posts (you can read them HERE and HERE). What the Lord told me came to pass on November 10th. Check out those two articles for the details, but the point is, that long awaited prophecies are being fulfilled during this season.

The final one I will highlight (there is a lot more happening), is from 2008. This one is just a bit odd. Let me start by sharing what happened on Saturday afternoon. I came home from an event that I had been at, and as I drove in our driveway I saw that my wife, Dawn, was working around the house outside. It was a beautiful day, so I walked over by her just to enjoy the weather with her. As we talked, she told me that she had been stung by a bee.* The reason that she was telling me is that it did not have any effect on her arm. She showed me the spot she was stung, and it was only slightly red (and fading), and there was no swelling, though you could see the spot that the stinger had gone in. You can believe she was pretty happy about the lack of negative impact.

It was only later that she remembered that the Lord had spoken to her years ago about this event. He had told her that when she was stung by a bee, and it had no impact, that would be a sign that a particular word would be fulfilled. But she could not remember what it was all about. So we began our search of old journals to find out what this was all about. It took a couple hours, but we found the word from March, 2008. The Lord has told Dawn some things for our congregation that would be coming. When Dawn asked when, the Lord told her that it would happen when she was stung by a bee, but the sting would have no negative impact.

You just have to enjoy the Lord. His creative way of showing us things, and even the quirky stuff he chooses to communicate through, all highlight his personal attention to each individual. Dawn, like most people, absolutely loathes the idea of being stung by a bee or hornet. Her loathing has made her into a terror to the hornet population around our house. But the Lord was able to use this particular part of her personality to make an impression she would not forget when the event finally occurred.

So what had the Lord told Dawn that this event would signify? I can’t get into details, but I can say that what he told her fits perfectly well with the healing angel being released to us. So we had one more prophetic confirmation that the Lord is doing something in this arena.

There are other things happening that demonstrate the birthing that is occurring. I wanted to share these things as an encouragement. The writer to the Hebrews taught us that “through faith and patience” we inherit the promises of the Kingdom (Hebrews 6:12). We have been patiently waiting for these particular things to happen. Now, their fulfillment is upon us.

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*At first Dawn didn’t quite know what stung her, a hornet or a bee. She knew it was dark like a hornet, but it looked odd to her. We later saw that there were carpenter bees at the place she was stung. They are a darker colored bee.

What’s Up With Cuba? Part Two

Cuba is no longer a communist regime. It is still socialist and dictatorial, but it is no longer communist.

That is a strong statement, but I believe it is justified. The latest of Raul Castro’s economic reforms, a reform that becomes law in Cuba today (November 10, 2011), moves Cuba firmly away from its communist roots. Today, Cubans can buy and sell homes for the first time in fifty years. They not only can hold real estate, they can now buy and sell it.

One of the first planks of communism is the abolition of personal property rights. If you do a Google search of communism and personal property, you will find enough material to educate you quickly on the topic. The Communist Manifesto stated it clearly: “In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” When property rights are restored, communism is no longer the dominant principle in the culture.

The Guardian summarizes this change here:

Shortly after the Cuban revolution brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959, all homes effectively became the property of the state. Cubans who remained on the island were given the right to live in the homes they occupied and pass them on to friends or relatives. They were also permitted to swap houses. However, selling or buying was prohibited.

All that changed last week, when the Cuban government announced – with significant understatement – an “amendment” to the existing property law. What it amounts to is the creation of a legal property market and the most significant loosening of the state’s dominance of Cubans’ lives since the revolution.

The LA Times summarizes the changes here:

Starting Thursday, Cubans will be able to buy and sell their homes, and even set their own prices, without government intervention. That’s a sea change in a country where, until recently, private ownership was strictly forbidden and the accumulation of wealth considered a sin against the revolution. Fidel Castro confiscated most land titles after the 1959 revolution. Since then, Cuba’s version of property rights has amounted to little more than allowing citizens to occupy or swap homes. Even bequeathing homes to relatives who did not live in them was prohibited.

Today, Cuba is a far freer country than yesterday. Many Cubans suddenly have a wealth of equity, where before they had none. This is an amazing day for Cuba.

The Lord spoke to me about this day seven years ago (November 10, 2004). I published an article in February of this year entitled, “What’s Up with Cuba?” (you can read it here). In that article I explained a revelation the Lord had given me about Cuba seven years ago. The Lord used economic terms to speak to me about Cuba opening up. Using the economic terms the Lord had used with me, I figured out that the Lord was telling me that Cuba would open up seven years (to-the-day) from when He spoke to me.

Of course, we only know in part and prophesy in part (1 Corinthians 13:9), so I wasn’t exactly certain how this “opening up” would take place. I wasn’t even certain it would be something that you could point to out in the open, or if it would be something “behind the scenes” that we would not know about. Last week, when I saw the Associated Press article about this new Cuban property law, and then saw that it was scheduled to be implemented today, I knew that this was the reason that the Lord pointed to this day. This law will change everything in Cuba. This is the day that Cubans have been waiting for.

This is an amazing day for Cuba, but it is only the beginning. New life and prosperity are on the horizon. I do not know exactly how it will unfold, but it will unfold. Cuba is opening up.

Want A Straw With That Shake?

“Is the shaking over yet?,” ask a myriad of voices across the globe. “Can we get back to normal?”

The answer, unfortunately, is, “No.” I don’t believe that things will ever get back to the normal we have experienced over the past several decades. I’m not saying that the United States and the world will not recover from the current mess in which we find ourselves. I am saying that when we do, we will be a wiser and more understanding people than when we started the shaking. As a result, we will never get back to the normals that marked the immediate past. But that is not a bad thing.

At the start of 2011, the Lord spoke to us in a variety of ways about the fact that he was about to shake things up.I wrote about something he shared with my wife, Dawn (you can read it HERE). He told her that he was about to shake things up, but that no harm would come near her tent. Those words from Psalm 91 are a key comfort for God’s people whenever things are shaking.

Recently, the Lord spoke again on this topic. He shared the fact that there was going to be a lot more shaking, but then he said he was going to provide a lot of straws. That sounds a bit odd, until you realize that straws are needed in order to enjoy a good shake. The Lord often communicates with his people in the same way that he communicated to the Old Testament prophets. He used puns and word plays then, and he still does today. When he tells us that everything is going to shake, but he also wants to remind us that he will provide a prosperous path for his people to navigate the shaking, what better way than to flip the picture into something we all understand?

Many of us have ordered a chocolate shake at the drive through of a fast food restaurant, and discovered as we drove away, that the attendant had forgotten to provide straws. While we can still consume the shake, it is inconvenient and messy. The straws limit the mess, and enhance the experience in a good way.

I think that many of us have begun to grimace at the idea of the shaking which is upon us. We trust God to watch over his people and to protect us from harm, but we also don’t like the idea of the inconvenience and mess that such shaking will release around us (and on us). This promise of a straw changes the picture radically. It reminds us that God is able to make a way, not only for us to survive, but actually to benefit from the shaking because of the grace and wisdom that he will provide.

This is an incredible picture of prosperity in the midst of shaking. I don’t believe the Lord wants us merely to survive, but he wants us to grow strong in him and prosper so that we are able to help those who are in need. When he showed us this picture, he showed us many, many straws so that we would understand that there will be lots of grace for this no matter how much the world shakes.

I love when the Lord uses word pictures. It paints a picture that we understand and appreciate. From now on, whenever shaking happens, I’m going to be looking for the straws of opportunity that the Lord is releasing in the midst of the shaking. I hope you do too.

Filling Lake Okeechobee

On the evening of August 7, the evening that starts Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the Lord told Dawn that we were going to hit a number of home runs at our meeting that night. When Dawn shared this with me, I knew that one of the home runs needed to be our prayer that Lake Okeechobee would fill up.

Lake Okeechobee is an important part of South Florida’s water supply. We have been having problems with the lake’s water levels, because the South Florida Water Management District and the Army Corp of Engineers will not let the lake fill to its normal level of eighteen feet above sea level. The Dikes and Levees surrounding the lake are so compromised and in need of repair (currently being done), that they will not allow the lake to get over fifteen feet above sea level. While this is an important safety measure, it creates a problem for South Florida’s water supply.

Sometimes the dry seasons in South Florida are so dry, that Lake Okeechobee can drop four or five feet before the summer rains fall. When the lake drops below ten feet, we are in trouble. When it drops below nine feet, we are in big trouble, and water restrictions become draconian.

You will understand our need, then, when I report that as of October 1, Lake Okeechobee was at eleven feet above sea level. To make matters worse, our winter dry season has started weeks earlier than normal. Things were looking very bad.

In view of the negative outlook, I knew we must use our authority and pray that Lake Okeechobee would receive abundant amounts of rain quickly. The weather forecasters had stated that there was some sort of tropical disturbance over the Bahamas that would impact Florida on some level over Yom Kippur, so we decided to call it over Lake Okeechobee’s watershed. I really wanted a home run. What would a home run look like? I didn’t really know, but I was hoping we could get close to the twelve foot mark.

In retrospect, that would have only been a double. Yom Kippur turned out to be very wet as the tropical disturbance over the Bahamas did move over South Florida. We didn’t realize how wet things were until the Sun-Sentinel published an article on Saturday calling the weather on October 8, Yom Kippur, a hundred year rain event.

Here are the important quotes from the article in the Sun-Sentinel:

The lake, South Florida’s primary backup water supply, is expected to rise as much as 2 feet because of water draining in from storms in Central Florida . . . . Oct. 8 turned into the wettest day in nearly 100 years for areas near the Kissimmee River, which drains into Lake Okeechobee. Rainfall averaged about 6 inches across 3,000 square miles, with some areas getting as much as 14 inches.

I am already prepared to call this a home run, but I’m really not certain that is the only impact that our prayer has had. We are having a very wet and soggy day in South Florida because of another tropical disturbance some distance to our southwest. I saw the system developing near Mexico on Saturday, and made a mental note to call it in over Lake Okeechobee on Sunday. So, yesterday, we again prayed for rain over Lake Okeechobee and called this system to head toward our area. Today, for the first time, I saw the computer models for this system. As you can see from the graphic, things could get a lot wetter before this system disappears. That can only help the lake’s water levels. Most of the models put the system right over Lake Okeechobee’s watershed on its way over Florida (Lake Okeechobee is marked in blue on the graphic). That would certainly help the lake’s water levels and alleviate a lot of our concern about the dry season.

When you are playing baseball, home runs are beneficial and fun. When you are praying for rain which will help the people and economy of an area, a home run is a powerful reminder of God’s mercy and the authority he has given his people in prayer. We’ve just hit one of those. Let’s keep going after more.