Tag Archives: hurricanes

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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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.
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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.”
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South Florida’s 2012 Hurricane Season

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.

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. However, we are just entering the hurricane season. Hurricanes, by their very nature, bring definition to the term Extreme Weather.

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.

Many Texas and Louisiana residents will remember Hurricane Humberto from 2007. That storm went from a 35 mph tropical depression to a strong category one hurricane overnight. Texas residents fell asleep knowing that they might be in for a minor tropical disturbance, and found themselves battered by a hurricane just hours later. If the motorcycle represents such fast acceleration, we must watch every system carefully. We cannot assume that a low-level disturbance will stay a low-level disturbance.

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.

We are also going to have to face fear this year. The storm pictured at the start of this article is Hurricane Floyd. Floyd threatened Florida in 1999. Immediately after Floyd missed Florida, I sat down with one of our city’s emergency management officials to warn him that we were going to be hit by Hurricane Irene that year.* While I was pleased that he received this information graciously, I most remember his eyes as he described the fear in South Florida when Floyd threatened. I remember him asking, “Where do you hide when a storm that big is coming right at you?” He then described the fear that enveloped South Florida. That type of fear wants to make a comeback this year. We must not allow it. We must remain in rest, even when monstrous storms approach. We must have our feet firmly fitted with the good news that brings peace (see Ephesians 6:15). When we walk in peace, we can stand in victory, no matter what happens.

I will provide more updates on the season as the Lord gives us more information. This is all I feel I have the liberty to share at this point. This feels like it is going to be a whale of a season. However, if God’s people stand in the authority he has given, we may come out of it with a whale of a tale.

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* I also told him that it would be a surprise when it hit, but that the Lord had given us authority so that it would not be catastrophic. Please see www.hurricaneirene.com or New Dawn Community Church’s website for more information on this event.

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Tropical Storm Beryl

“The last time two tropical storms formed before the official June 1 start of hurricane season, Theodore Roosevelt was president and the year was 1908.” That quote from this morning’s (05/26/12) South Florida Sun-Sentinel just about says it all. The Lord showed us back in January that we would have some intense weather this year (see Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?). The hurricane season isn’t even here—it begins June 1—and we have already broken a record of over one hundred years.

Those of us who are praying for South Florida have a lot on our plate this year. I will update this more fully after the hurricane season begins, but what I will say now is that we will see some hurricane threats this year. The Lord has given us many encouraging words about our authority over the storms. However, hurricanes are going to be a threat, and as we turn them away from our area, our neighbors also need to provide hedges of protection for their areas. If they don’t, we will see repeats of 2004 and 2005.

Back in 2004 both Francis and Jeanne were on track to bring hurricane force winds into Broward County. In both cases, the hurricane force winds were stopped
at the eastern county line, and the storms could not proceed across Florida until the hurricane force winds were north of Broward County. The top picture on the right is of Hurricane Francis. Notice the significant jump to the north that the eye took at the last minute. That jump spared Broward hurricane force winds. The bottom picture on the right is of Hurricane Jeanne’s wind field. The red area represents the hurricane force winds. Notice how the wind field contracts on the southern edge of the wind field as it approaches landfall with Florida. That contraction on the southern edge of the wind field spared Broward County hurricane force winds.

In 2005 Katrina was headed right for Fort Lauderdale as a tropical storm (map on left). At the moment the National Hurricane Center declared it a hurricane, it took a sharp turn south and did not come across Florida until it reached the county line. The south side of Katrina brought damage to Miami-Dade county, but the north side of the storm had no strength and Broward was spared. The only storm that made it through was Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Without getting into all the details of why we could not turn that storm I will simply point out two things: 1. She came in the back door. We had been trained to think that any storm coming from the west and crossing Florida would not be a big deal for us (we’ve learned that lesson); and 2. Wilma was one of the cleansing storms of 2005 that could not be turned.*

The Lord has clearly shown us that the respite of the last six years is over. While we’ve never stopped manning the wall, it is time to be on the alert, to stay in spiritual rest, and listen for the Lord’s direction. We will man the walls for our area. Those of you who live in areas threatened by hurricanes must also man your walls.

The hurricane season has not yet officially started, and yet we have already broken a hundred year old record. It is time to be on the alert.

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*Cleansing Storms are those storms that contain a cleansing call to repentance. The Lord uses such storms to call us to evaluate our ways—Wilma sat on top of Cancun and Cozumel for twenty-four hours as a category five storm. The message to them, which has been ignored, was about repenting of the debauchery and excess of Spring Break. Fort Lauderdale, the location that originated and popularized this major stumbling block to college age youth, also came in for some judgment as a result.

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