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Danny, Erika, and Grace, Oh My!

Erika1When I was contemplating this year’s hurricane season earlier today, I heard this line from The Wizard of Oz: “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” Except I didn’t hear it in quite that way. I heard, “Danny, and Erika, and Grace, oh my!” Of course, Danny, Erika, and Grace are three tropical cyclones that we have exercised authority over this year.

As I wrote in my post about Erika (see post HERE), we used Danny for intercessory practice even though it was never a threat to Florida. Virtually as soon as Danny disappeared, the Lord showed us that Erika would be a threat to Florida. While I do not believe that Erika would have been the type of storm that would have brought widespread destruction to Florida, it would have taken a bite out of a particular testimony that I have been privileged to use as I explain the Church’s intercessory authority over storms of all types.

That testimony is this: Since 1851 when records started to be kept, Florida has been hit by a hurricane every two years on average. Prior to 2005, the longest stretch without a hurricane was only five years, and that only happened once. There were several times that there have been four-year stretches with no storms. Otherwise, prior to 2005, Florida has been hit by at least one hurricane every two or three years. As I write this, we are currently in our tenth year without a hurricane strike. If we have anything to say about it—and we do—we will finish our tenth year without a hurricane strike.

The Lord spoke to us about Erika because it posed a threat to that wonderful testimony of God’s grace. The National Hurricane Center predicted that Erika would hit Florida as a hurricane. The graphic above was the storm center’s prediction on Thursday, August 27 at 5:00 PM. That evening our congregation came together for a night of intercessory prayer. We specifically commanded the storm, in many creative ways, to shift and dissipate. We left that evening Erika3recognizing that we had an impact. This hurricane center released the graphic to the right on Friday morning. By Friday at 8:00 AM Erika had shifted to the west enough that the high mountains of Hispaniola promised to neuter its power, and the hurricane center downgraded Erika’s potential impact on Florida to that of only a tropical storm. By later on Friday, it had shifted even further west and its survival was in question.

On Friday afternoon and early evening, I was contacted by two different ministries that were meeting to pray about Erika. One was a ministry from Tampa, and one was from Boca Raton. They both asked if I had any insights or direction on Erika. Essentially, I told them both to drive a stake through its heart so that Hispaniola would end any storm threat. As a result, it was no surprise to me that even though the hurricane center had predicted Erika would last another week, it was gone by Saturday morning. That is the authority that God has given as we pray in agreement, linking shields to protect our areas of geographic influence. To me, that is exciting stuff.

I only mentioned Grace in the title, because it is a storm that we prayed about last Sunday. It was headed in our general direction, so we simply commanded it to dissipate before it got anywhere close. It disappeared by Wednesday. Oh my!

I am sharing this report as an encouragement to all those who are linking shields together against hurricane threats. We are doing the job that the Lord has called us to do. We have been called to stand in the gap for our areas of influence. I am pleased to be linking shields with many through these articles who have the heart to stand in the gap as the Lord has invited us to do. We are making an amazing difference.
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Images credit: National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Erika

blueberriesTropical Storm Erika has the attention of most of Florida. A tropical storm, especially one projected to become a hurricane, will grab your attention when its potential path covers most of our state. However, as forecasters point out, there are still major uncertainties about Erika’s future. One of the biggest variables that forecasters have is us. Will we stand in our authority, or won’t we?

We have had a problem the last several years. We haven’t had enough storms to pray against. I didn’t say it was a painful problem, just that it was a problem. When you don’t exercise your authority in a particular area in a specific way, you can begin to wonder if you have some rust around the edges of your prayer.

So earlier this week, even though Hurricane Danny was never projected to be a real threat to our area, we practiced a bit on Danny. On Sunday morning, the 11:00 AM report predicted that Danny would hit Cuba before becoming extra-tropical on Thursday (see graphic at right). However, I invited the congregation to step into intercessory authoritySundayAM with me and “mess with” Danny (and the National Hurricane Center) by commanding Danny to disintegrate. We then picked up the keys, and commanded Danny to disintegrate. We didn’t pray long, but we prayed with faith. From that point on the Hurricane Center’s forecast reflected a disintegrating Danny until it ceased to exist on Monday morning, days earlier than the forecast had stated when we prayed on Sunday morning.

You can imagine that I felt pretty good about our effectiveness when I saw the impact of our prayer. However, the Lord soon spoke to us about our real work. He let us know it would be Erika. He told us Erika was going to try to take a bite out of us. That let me know that while Danny was a normal storm, Erika has been sent with an evil agenda.

As a result, we have been praying and watching Erika since then. We held our first congregational prayer meeting on Thursday evening. A group of us gathered together to take up the keys of authority that Jesus promised his church would wield (see Matthew 18:18-19). We stood in the promises of Jesus, and commanded Erika to leave us alone. We did not pray out of desperation, we prayed from victory. Jesus won the victory, and has given authority to his Church. When we pick up the keys, we are praying from his victory. We are releasing the results of his victory into the world (on earth as it is in heaven).

I’m writing this shortly after Thursday’s prayer meeting. I am looking forward to see the result. In the meantime, especially if you live in Florida, I invite you to pick up the keys with us. Jesus paid an awful price to give us authority. Let us honor him by using it.
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Images credit: National Hurricane Center

Four Years of Increase

blueberriesAlmost everywhere I turn recently, I have found secular observers and prophetic sources stating their concern over what is going to happen this fall. I know that many Christians have spoken about what is coming, and the news has gone out through books, Christian television, and pulpits around the western world. When people have asked me about it, I have only been able to respond, “The Lord hasn’t shown me those things.” That statement was not a rejection of what other people were saying could be on the horizon. It was just a clear statement that the Lord had not given me the ability to affirm what other people were saying. However, I can no longer state that the Lord has not spoken to me about these things. He spoke to me in a dream last week about the next four years.

The Lord often speaks to me in dreams about specific things. He has given me dreams, and at the same time he often gives me the ability to interpret them. In the past, through a series of dreams that I have been able to interpret, the Lord has given us the name of a hurricane that was going to hit our area, the exact location of its most intense impact, the year it would hit, how strong it would be, and that it would hit without hurricane warnings being posted. He also invited us to pray so that it would not be the devastating storm that it would have been without our prayers and the prayers of churches throughout our county. All of those things happened just as he had shown to us in dreams.

If you are unfamiliar with the details of that last paragraph, I invite you to click over to Amazon and purchase my book on the topic (click HERE). Alternately, you can do a search of the name Irene on this blog, and read the posts that mention the history of 1999’s Hurricane Irene.

More recently, back on November 10, 2004, the Lord spoke to me in a dream about economic reforms that were coming to Cuba. He made it clear in that dream that those reforms would begin seven years from the time of the dream. Seven years later to the day, on November 10, 2011, Cuba’s laws on the possession of personal property were changed so that Cubans can now own land and other property. You can read about that HERE and HERE.

Of course, there are far more recent dreams I could reference, but the two situations mentioned above are the most documented of our dreams. You can easily verify that I wrote articles about the dreams, and my interpretation of them, before the events predicted in the dreams came to pass. In that sense, I have a positive track record.

I am rehearsing all of this for a reason. What I am about to write is counter to the current tsunami of articles and opinions about what is going to happen this fall. Last week Thursday, the Lord gave me a dream that has given me some insights that do not necessarily fit the current narrative. What caught my attention, is that the dream felt much like the economic dream he had given me about Cuba. That dream proved spectacularly prescient. That leads me to believe that this one is also.

There really wasn’t much to the dream. I was told that house prices would continue to rise for another four years. At the end of the four years they would go down, and anyone that sold at that time would reap a windfall if they positioned themselves appropriately.

Obviously, there is good news and bad news in this dream. The good news is that the U.S. economy would have to remain fairly consistent over the next four years in order for house prices to continue their upward march. The real estate market is based on a functioning banking system. I cannot see how a banking crisis of any type could occur this fall, or any time in the next four years, without negatively impacting the housing market. Therefore I conclude that we have at least four years before a significant crisis hits.

That, of course, is where the bad news comes in. As far as I understand, the only way that a homeowner reaps a windfall from selling during a housing downturn, is when the housing downturn is significant. We went through such a downturn in 2008, and most would agree that it was not fun. It shook our economy. But even then there were people who sold properties just before the housing crash that year, and they will testify that they made a windfall as a result.

There are other implications of this dream that those who major in economics would see far more clearly than I do. I am neither an economist nor a financial advisor. I simply had a dream that I believe was from the Lord, and have drawn a few basic interpretive conclusions from it.

Those of you who have been anxious about this fall might not be convinced that things will not shake. I’m not certain that I would disagree with you. There is so much in flux at this time, that certainly some things will shake. However, the dream encourages me to believe that it will not be such a severe shaking that real estate prices would stop increasing. For me, that is a significant bit of supernatural information.

So what about all of the contrary predictions that are out there? I certainly cannot answer for them. Based upon what I have now received, I’m not certain that they are correct. However, we only know in part, and we will soon see how things shake out. If we do indeed avoid a major economic shaking this fall, then my faith in how I have understood this dream will be strengthened, and I will turn my eyes with expectation toward a specific point in time four years hence. Of one thing I am certain in all of this: Deus gubernat navem.
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Satan’s Counterfeit Flood

blueberriesThe flood is coming. It is intended to wipe away truth. It will overwhelm those who are not prepared. It must not succeed in overwhelming us.

Last November, the Lord began to direct our attention to this flood. He did it by telling Dawn and I that it was important to watch the season of the blueberry festivals. We did not quite understand his purpose, but when the Lord speaks, we listen. We checked when Florida’s blueberry festivals were held, and learned that April was an important month for blueberries in Florida. While we didn’t commit a lot of time to our investigation, April came and went without any real insight.

However, last week we had the opportunity to connect with a friend of ours at the annual conference for our ministry stream, the MorningStar Fellowship of Ministries. Our friend is a blueberry grower, so we knew he would provide insight into why the Lord may have spoken this to us. When we asked him about the blueberry festivals, he pointed out that the festivals are marketing events timed around the harvest. He then pointed out something about this year that helped us understand why the Lord had directed our attention to this year’s harvest.

This year, the blueberry crop in Florida was incredibly good. The crop was abundant, had a pleasing appearance, and was tasty. It looked to be a good year for Florida’s blueberry farmers. But then, just before Florida’s blueberry growers sent their fruit to market, the country of Chile flooded the United States’ market with lower quality blueberries. In a move that damaged U.S. growers, Chilean exporters held their blueberries in special storage—a move that greatly decreases the fruit’s flavor—waiting for just the right moment to gain market share in the United States. This Chilean intervention in the U.S. market harmed Florida’s growers, even though Chile’s blueberries were inferior to those produced by Florida’s growers.

While I listened to my friend’s explanation of this year’s harvest, the Lord showed me why he had drawn our attention to the plight of Florida’s blueberry growers. It parallels a battle that will be fought in the Kingdom.

Things are looking up in the Body of Christ. There is abundant evidence that it has been maturing. The Holy Spirit has been working diligently to prepare us. The yeast of the Kingdom of God has begun to permeate the Church in earnest. The Kingdom mustard seed is even growing to provide shade for the inhabitants of the world (see Matthew 13:31-33). We are approaching a time when the Lord’s Kingdom agents are going to release amazing fruit. It will be abundant, have a pleasing appearance, and be very appealing. We are looking to the harvest season with expectation.

But Satan has a plan to gain market share in spite of what God has planned. He plans to flood the market at harvest time with his inferior counterfeits in order to harm as many people as possible. Fortunately, the Lord is revealing Satan’s plans to us in advance so that we can sound the warning. When we are adequately prepared, Satan’s false fruit is easily distinguished from the good fruit. The writer to the Hebrews stated that those who have been ingesting solid food “have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (see Hebrews 5:14 ESV). Satan’s counterfeits may look good to the unpracticed, but they will always be apparent to those who have grown in righteousness.

The only people in danger of being taken in by Satan’s plans are those who have not been ingesting the solid food of the Word. This means that this is a time to hunger for the Word as never before. It is our protection from Satan’s deceptions. The apostle Paul wrote of Satan’s end times plan in 2 Thessalonians 2.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

When we ingest God’s Word, we are demonstrating a love for the truth that will see us through the flood of deception that is about to be released. The only ones who will be fully and completely deceived are those who refuse to love the truth.

I learned something else as we spoke with my friend. He shared how he was responding to Chile’s attempts to seize advantage in the Florida market. He has been crossbreeding different varieties of blueberry bushes in order to produce larger blueberries that are sweet and flavorful.

The spiritual parallels to his plans are clear. In order to counter Satan’s plan, we must press into the Lord for even better fruit than we are producing now. We must be willing to cross our denominational streams (crossbreeding) to combine key truths in ways that produce even more fruit. When the true fruit of the Kingdom is then produced at an even higher level, the counterfeits become obvious.

I walked away from my discussion with my blueberry-growing friend with a two-pronged strategy. The first is to encourage all of God’s people to dive into the Word even more persistently. It is time for us to leave behind the sin and distractions that so easily entangle us, and to demonstrate a love for the truth. That will protect us from the deceptions of our spiritual enemy.

The second part of the strategy involves pressing in to the Lord for even more obvious and attractive displays of fruitfulness. It involves learning from each other as we each share what the Lord has taught us so that we might together produce even greater fruit.

We are approaching days in which Satan’s false works will flood the spiritual market. But we can withstand this flood. When we consistently step into the character and power of God, the imitations will appear faded and pale by comparison. More than that, we can expose this flood for what it is, a last desperate attempt by the forces of darkness to counter the growing spiritual fruit being produced by the Kingdom of God. This attempt will most certainly fail.

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President Obama’s Trip to Iran

turkeyNo, our president has not yet announced that he plans a trip to Iran. However, rumors of a planned visit to Tehran have been swirling for a year or more, and those rumors take on even more plausibility as Washington and Iran edge closer to a historic nuclear treaty.

Until Tuesday morning I had given zero thought about a presidential trip to Iran. That changed because of a detailed dream I had on Tuesday morning about just such a trip and its awful result. I dream often, and I can tell when a dream is personal, or when it describes events that are beyond my personal spheres of experience. This was a dream that stretched far beyond my personal experience to touch on world affairs.

Without getting into all the details of the dream, Iran is not a safe place for our president. I do not believe that we can trust the leaders of Iran, especially in view of their overt antipathy to the United States. Iran is a dangerous place to put the president of the Great Satan, the term Iran’s leaders use to describe the United States of America. When you have indoctrinated an entire population for almost a generation in the belief that a country is the Great Satan, it is certainly not circumspect for the man who is the face of that country to attempt a cozy visit.

That was clearly the message of the dream. In it, our president visited Iran, but things took a disastrous turn during the visit. As a result, the United States was forced to take critical action, including unleashing an intense military response. During the course of this dream, I was first an observer of the president’s trip, then a participant in the planning session about how to respond to Iran’s actions, and finally an Iranian citizen watching as the United State’s response unfolded in Iran. The fact that I played so many different roles, and saw so many details, made this dream even more disturbing. It had the marks of a visionary experience rather than a dream.

Do I believe that our president is planning a visit to Iran? I would not be surprised to discover that he is, especially since he has been working toward what many perceive as a significant nuclear agreement with Iran. Do I believe that such a trip would expose him and the people of both countries to grave dangers? That certainly is what the dream was about. But if the dream truly represents a future reality, why would Iran risk doing something that would provoke a destructive military response?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech to the United Nations on September 29, 2014, has helped us with the answer to this question. In his speech, available at the C-SPAN website, he shares insights about the type of militant Islam that Iran represents. Iran is seeking to restore a worldwide Islamic Caliphate that it would lead. At its root, this militant strain of Islam is anti-American and anti-Israel. This fact alone is sufficient answer to the question.

However, there is even more cause for concern. Many militant Islamists look to the return of the Mahdi, a messianic warrior, who will lead Islam to victory around the world. Many from militant Islam believe this messianic figure will be revealed, as Prime Minister Netanyahu stated at the UN, when the militants trigger the Mahdi’s apocalyptic return through their violent actions. Many strains of Islam, some present among the highest ranks of Iranian leadership, look for the return of Mahdi during a time of apocalyptic war, and perhaps even nuclear exchange.

The beliefs espoused by militant Islam, and held by many in Iran, certainly are cause for concern. They provide a theological basis for something that would be entirely incomprehensible to the western mind. It would simply never enter our minds that someone might see a state visit as the perfect opportunity to release the apocalyptic events that are said to precede the Mahdi’s return. People who are rooted in western Christian culture, and even the now prevalent western humanistic culture, simply do not think in those terms. But Iran is not western.

If this dream was from the Lord, he gave it so that his people would reverse the real Satan’s plans in this arena. We have been given the keys of authority by Jesus (see Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18-19). While Satan would love to stir up hatred and death, Christians can release peace and life. Where Satan would love to release irrational action and confusion, we can pray for wisdom and clarity.

President Obama has slightly over a year and a half left of his term. I do not know if a trip to Iran is in his plans. However, at this point, if such a trip is announced, I know how I will pray. I will pray that every one of Satan’s plans against him, our country, and Iran’s people will fall to the ground without being accomplished. I will pray that those who have a fevered vision for chaos are absolutely disappointed by what does transpire. I will pray for peace.
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