‘Natural’ Disasters

28 October 17

Tens of thousands of people were devastated by the recent ‘NATURAL’ DISASTERS due to the hurricanes Harvey and Irma—two of the most powerful storms that have hit the U.S. mainland in over a decade, and the first time that the U.S. has been hit by two Category 4 hurricanes in the same year.

[ Thankfully, my brother, who lives in Houston, Texas, and my sister and brother-in-law who live in Boca Raton, Florida were both mercifully spared from the havoc! ].

 

Harvey roared ashore on August 25th with 130 mile-per-hour winds, and ‘parked’ itself above the greater Houston area for five devastating days. There was 51.88 inches of rain, setting a record for the continental U.S.; 300,000 people lost power; there were more than 17,000 rescues; 45,000 sought refuge in shelters; over 200,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed; more than 30,000 people have been displaced; over 400,000 have applied for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; the economic loss is estimated to be between $97B and $125B (with a large portion of the losses sustained by uninsured homeowners); and there has been 84 confirmed deaths (as of September 10, 2017). Harvey was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States.

As for the scale of the rebuilding that awaits the region, no one is making any firm estimates yet. FEMA Director Brock Long has merely said that he expects his agency will be there “for years.”

Then, as if on cue, no sooner had Hurricane Harvey spun itself out, Hurricane Irma began forming, churning toward the U.S. as a Category 5 storm with the power to dwarf even the devastation wreaked on Houston. Harvey never exceeded Category 4 (with sustained winds barely topping 130 m.p.h.), but Irma’s sustained winds were an astounding 185 m.p.h. (the most powerful hurricane recorded in the open Atlantic in the satellite era, spending a record three consecutive days as a Category 5 storm, and maintaining wind speeds of at least 185 m.p.h. for a record 37 hours).

Hurricane Irma inflicted both kinds of horror. In the Caribbean, the storm carpet-bombed islands that have few if any defenses. It damaged or destroyed more than 90% of the structures on both Barbuda and St. Martin. It wrecked more than 130 schools across multiple islands including Turks and Caicos, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands, it shuttered hospitals, made food scarce, and demolished infrastructure.

When Irma had finally gone thru Florida, roughly 12 million lost power, over 7 million were evacuated or dislocated, and over 600 shelters had to open across the state. Irma has so far claimed at least 30 people in the U.S. and at least 44 people across the Caribbean, though those numbers will surely go up as the floodwaters recede. However, the undeniable fact is that things could have been worse—much, much worse!

Millions of people are still without power, and the costs of the losses are not yet remotely tallied (estimated to be $70-$100B), especially across the devastated Florida Keys and the Caribbean islands, which face what amounts to annihilation.

 

Then, just as the Caribbean was beginning to ‘heal’ from Irma, then came Jose…and then Maria—which was a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds. It made a direct ‘hit’ on Puerto Rico, bisecting the entire island and drenching it with over 30 inches of rain—the fifth-strongest storm ever to hit a United States territory.

What’s happened since has been truly catastrophic for Puerto Rico. There’s still little power on the island—and it could be that way for many months. In most places, there’s still no water to drink, bathe in, or to flush toilets. There’s limited food and cell service, and dozens of remote villages have been completely cut off from everything for weeks. Carlos Mercader, a spokesperson for the Puerto Rican government, told PBS NewsHour: “We’re talking here about major devastation, and when we say major devastation, that means that in terms of infrastructure, we have full communities that 80 or 90 percent of the homes are a complete disaster. They are totally lost.” Maria is a catastrophe that will scar Puerto Rico for years to come!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sznq2Pl2rlw
“Super Hurricanes” (TLP)

 

As shocking and heart-rending as these recent hurricanes may have seemed, many other natural disasters have occurred in human history that far exceed their destruction. For example, throughout China’s history, extensive flooding has occurred countless times as a result of the mighty 3,000-mile-long Hwang Ho River. Several of the most terrible floods, with their ensuing famines, have been responsible for more than ONE MILLION DEATHS at a time. The southern levee of the river failed in the Hunan Province in 1887, affecting a 50,000 square mile area. More than TWO MILLION DIED from drowning, starvation, or the epidemics that followed!

In reality, such events—hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tornados, floods, tsunamis, droughts, and volcano eruptions—have occurred repetitiously throughout the history of the world, and continue to do so. In fact, natural disasters kill one million people around the world each decade, and leave millions more homeless (according to the 1997 report by the United Nation’s International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction).

 

Natural disasters inevitably elicit the pressing question: “WHY?!” People insist that “if an Infinite Being existed,” He would exercise His perfect compassion and His omnipotence to prevent human suffering. For those who are ‘religious’, they ask: “Why would God allow such loss of life, inflicted on countless numbers of seemingly innocent people, and seemingly purposeless suffering?” Even for many people who do not embrace a formal religion, the fact that some “god” apparently seems willing to allow misery and suffering to run rampant in the world, elicits a gamut of reactions—from perplexity and puzzlement to anger and resentment.

The official statement from the government of Antigua as Hurricane Irma began to tear through the Caribbean was “May God protect us all.” Well, that begs the question, “Is the God of the Bible ‘powerful’ enough to be able to stop storms like this?” Then, if He is capable, a follow-up question would be, “Why didn’t He stop them?”

 

Well, the Bible is very clear about God’s control over nature. “The LORD does whatever pleases Him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths. He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from His storehouses” [ Psalm 135:6-7 ].

In the story of Jonah, the biblical writer leaves no doubt as to Who caused the storm that forced the sailors to throw the stowaway overboard. “The LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart” [ Jonah 1:4 ].

God has also used weather to bring self-sufficient sailors to the end of their skills, and put them into a situation where they were forced to abandon all trust in themselves and call out to Him for deliverance: “Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.” [ Psalm 107:23-29 ]

God can ‘quiet’ a storm just as fast as He can start one: “And they went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey him?’” [ Luke 8:24-25 ].

God controls the skies and the rain (Psalm 77:16-19). God controls the wind (Mark 4:35-41; Jeremiah 51:16). God has power over the clouds (Job 37:11-12, 16). God has power over lightning (Psalm 18:14). God has power over all nature (Job 26).

All of the previous verses put God clearly in charge of the wind, the rain, and the calamities of the earth.

 

So, if God is capable of controlling storms, then why does the Bible tells us that Satan used lightning to kill the sheep and the servants and a powerful wind to kill all ten of Job’s children.

Well, God sets the ‘limits’ on what Satan could or could not do. In effect, God said, “Satan, you can go this far, no further. I’m setting the boundaries here.” That’s why Job, quite rightly, did not say that the death of his children was the devil’s doing. Instead, Job said, “The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” [ Job 1:21 ].

Satan was allowed by God to torment Job in order for God to TEST JOB, and this included “the fire of God” (probably lightning) which “fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants” [ Job 1:16 ]. This was followed by a “mighty wind” (possibly a tornado) that destroyed his eldest son’s home and killed Job’s children (Job 1:18-19). So, even though the natural disasters were somehow caused by Satan, they were still under the ultimate control of God for His purposes.

 

Now, we cannot ignore the reality of what the Bible terms “this present evil age.” God has, for the present time, turned over much of the control of this world to Satan, the adversary and enemy of mankind. God is allowing Satan considerable sway and latitude over much of what happens on our planet, including the weather.

An examination of Scripture, however, reveals that whatever influence Satan and his demon angels have over the weather, it is restricted by God’s ultimate sovereignty. It is God, not Satan, who controls the weather (Exodus 9:29; Psalm 135:6-7; Jeremiah 10:13).

 

Okay then, it looks like God is totally ‘responsible’ for storms, and He has ordained whatsoever comes to pass (Ephesians 1:11; Romans 11:36). Then, are storms ‘judgments’ of God?

Many of the calamities mentioned in the Bible were acts of judgment by which God expressed how much He abhors disobedience. In Old Testament times, these judgments generally separated godly people from wicked people. However, even back then, sometimes the godly were also victims of these judgments (Job’s children were killed not because they were wicked, but because God wanted to test their father).

Sometimes God uses both weather extremes—rain and drought—at the same time in order to heighten their corrective power: “I also withheld the rain from you when there were yet three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would have rain, and the field on which it did not rain would wither” [ Amos 4:7 ]. The prophet Amos is trying to help us see the connection between extreme weather upsets and human sin.

This was shown most ‘severely’ in the Bible’s first book, Genesis, when God said, “I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die” [ Genesis 6:17 ]. Mankind had become very corrupt with no chance of tuning it around, and God determined the timing, the duration, and the intensity of the rain. It happened according to His will.

 

God primarily uses nature to punish sin: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” [ 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 ].

The Bible tells us that God has also brought judgment upon the wicked—in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah—as an example of the judgments that will come upon the whole world at the “end times” as a result of sin. In His mercy, God allowed His judgment to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah so that many others might be warned. This does not necessarily mean that every earthquake, tornado or a tsunami that strikes is God pouring out His wrath in judgment—it just might be the earth “groaning”: “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God” [ Romans 8:19-21 ]. The fall of humanity into sin effected everything—including this earth we inhabit. Everything in creation is subject to ‘frustration’ and ‘decay’. Sin is the ultimate cause of natural disasters just as it is the cause of death, disease, and suffering for all of mankind.

 

So, sorting out just what is and isn’t God’s judgment isn’t easy. Too often we hear tornado victims extolling the protection of God that saved them and their houses from the storm, while the house across the street was completely destroyed. That is very hard to say absolutely.

But, it is clear in the Bible that God’s justifiable anger is directed at all those who refuse to acknowledge His “Word” to us—the Bible: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” [ Romans 1:18 ]. Yet, He is gracious to those who respond to his mercy, as found in His Son, Jesus: “Since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation” [ Romans 5:9 ].

 

So, when thousands of people are killed, or starve to death, and entire regions are devastated, crops are ruined, and homes are destroyed, we may ask: “How can an all-powerful and all-knowing God, that let’s these things happen, be considered “good” and “loving”?

Well, the essential truth of the Bible is that God IS DEEPLY CONCERNED about helping human beings, but in God’s ‘eyes’ the MOST IMPORTANT thing they NEED TO DO is to OVERCOME SINFULNESS—the thing that leads to all unhappiness, misery, strife, and suffering.

This world has chosen to reject God’s authority, and now He is ‘correcting’ humans in order to bring them back to Him! The Bible is clear that God’s judgment and God’s correction are expressions of God’s love, just like any parent who loves a child that is rebelling would do.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.” [ Hebrews 12:6 ]. Jesus said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” [ Revelation 3:19 ].

If we understand the beautiful purpose of God’s law, then the application of rebuke and chastening for disobedience makes perfect sense. God always aims it at redirecting our errant steps in order to guide us back onto the path of lawkeeping that results in blessings. Yes, God gets angry—but He remains controlled and never punishes beyond what is deserved. God’s anger is not contrary to His love, but a ‘product’ of it.

The God who blesses for obedience also punishes for disobedience. So, hopefully we all can recognize the love in God’s correction.

Well, did you realize that a question about this was actually posed to Jesus? Here’s what He told His disciples: “And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’” [ Luke 13:2-3 ].

 

Now, to be fair, it should also be noted that in both the Old and New Testaments, God sometimes sent a natural disaster to HELP His people.

The tremendous hailstorm, and continuous thunder and lightning that God sent against all of Egypt—that struck down all ‘unprotected’ people, animals, trees and plants—nothing fell in the region of Goshen (Exodus 9:23-29). Later on, God made the Red Sea part to save the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians—and then He ‘closed’ it to destroy all the evil Egyptians (Numbers 16:31-33).

In fact, Scripture is full of promises from God to bless people with good climatic conditions. He has provided a mild climate, seasonal rain and bumper crops (Leviticus 26:4-5; Deuteronomy 28:11-12).

During a battle when Saul’s son, Jonathan killed a Philistine, we read, “Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God” [ 1 Samuel 14:15 ]. In the New Testament, an earthquake delivered Paul and Silas out of prison: “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” [ Acts 16:25-26 ]. Both of these instances had God’s ‘signature’ on them. He uses nature to do His bidding—directly or indirectly.

 

In more recent centuries, there are various examples that seem to show the providence of God using weather to protect and save.

On Christmas night in 1776, General George Washington was crossing the Delaware River. With snow falling, his forces were able to surprise and defeat the enemy. This victory fanned the revolution’s fading embers, and weather continued to play an important role at other times during the Revolutionary War.

In June 1940, 400,000 British and French soldiers were trapped on the north coast of France at Dunkirk. The Nazi forces were only 10 miles away and could have cornered the Allied troops. However, just in the nick of time, a thick fog settled over the beaches. The English Channel also became unusually calm, and many small boats from England were able to ferry soldiers across to safety. The protective weather pattern lasted nine days while the men were evacuated. The Allied army was thus preserved to fight another day. Winston Churchill called it “a miracle of deliverance.”

 

The fact is, for most of us, the weather and the effects of nature are usually favorable. The tornado, drought, or snowstorm are the exception, not the rule. We tend to remember the ‘bad’ weather and take the ‘good’ for granted. However, when Jesus spoke about the weather, He focused on the goodness of God: “That you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). This provision is not merely the result of certain fixed, inexorable physical laws. It’s God’s gracious provision for all of mankind—not just for His ‘children’.

Might I suggest that we humans have a deeply flawed notion that no matter how much evil we perpetuate, or no matter what we do, that God should be ‘obligated’ to shower only blessings upon us.

 

So, I’ve got to believe that all of us have sat through the ‘previews’ in a movie theater before the ‘feature’ starts. Well, it seems that God uses natural disasters to be kind of like that—a heads-up ‘preview warning’ that more severe judgment is ahead. The Bible actually foretells an increasing frequency in natural disasters in what the Bible calls “the last days.”

Prior to Jesus’ return, “there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains” [ Matthew 24:7-8 ]. Interestingly, the number of earthquakes on the earth has increased tremendously in the recent past, and their number is increasing every year—but only the really devastatingly ones make the headlines.

The calamities and catastrophes that engulf our world serve as reminders that this is a world of sin, pain, hate, fear, and tragedy—but this will not last forever. Jesus has promised that He will return to Earth to ‘save’ His followers from this world that is ‘disintegrating’, and God has promised to make EVERYTHING NEW AGAIN, and tells us sin will never rise up again (see Nahum 1:9)—and the beginning of a beautiful new world we can hardly even imagine.

[ Here’s a link to a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post that discusses the “New Heaven and the New Earth”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/a-place-to-retire-v221/
].

 

The Bible tells us that after God restores Paradise, devastating storms will not be a part of this new world. God assures us that a day is coming when such scenes will be unknown to mankind, and the reign of “the god of this age” (Satan) will be no more. He will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the ‘old order’ of things will have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4). This earth, cursed by sin, will be ‘remade’ by God according to His specifications:

“But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.

Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness” [ 2 Peter 3:10-13 ].

 

Jesus will then reign over the greatest period of prosperity that has ever been. Under the wonderful release from bondage that will occur at His return, Jesus will set up God’s government of love, peace, and joy. This world will be blessed with beautiful weather and stable climates. There will be no anxiety over crop failures or famine, and no fear of being killed in a severe weather event.

However, that is a ways off—right now we are just at the “beginning of sorrows.” The disasters occurring today and into the near future are going to get much worse!

 

So then, natural disasters are God’s ‘megaphone’—His way of gaining people’s attention—that they might question whether their own selfish way of life may be the reason for such catastrophes befalling them, and that they might be ‘motivated’ to take the action that will actually save their life and the life of their loved ones from further calamity!

 

God wants this world to know that He ‘controls’ nature, and that most of the so-called “natural disasters” are anything but natural! He will continue to bring such penalties on His people to draw their attention to the reality that they are out of step with His will—and He will do this until repentance occurs and they cry out to Him for mercy.

So, yes, God actually ‘causes’ natural disasters, and yes, He could prevent them if He chose to. The ‘responsibility’ of natural disasters does reflect a side of God’s character that many people don’t want to face—He is a God of ‘wrath’ and He abhors sin!

However, God IS NOT a cruel, merciless ‘Being’ who enjoys witnessing the suffering of human beings! He is just revealing that there is a direct connection between the weather we experience and how we are living—sinfully!

 

Just remember that the Bible speaks plainly about a previous natural disaster of unparalleled proportions—exponentially more destructive than any we have seen recently—that demolished EVERY village and city over the ENTIRE earth! The “Flood” came by the hand of God and wiped out every inhabitant of the earth, save only eight people—Noah and his family (Genesis 7).

So, although we have to look a disasters through our eyes right now, we must try to view them through the ‘eyes’ of the God of the Bible. We see disasters unfold “in time,” but God see them from the standpoint of eternity—And He has a good and all-wise purpose for the heartrending tragedies disasters bring. God’s long-term plans are much more complicated than we could even imagine: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” [ Isaiah 55:8-9 ].

Author and pastor, John Piper says, “[God] has hundreds of thousands of purposes, most of which will remain hidden to us until we are able to grasp them at the end of the age.”

 

Tragedies also rid us of the overconfidence we have that we are in control of our destiny. Disasters, in the words of apologist David Miller, remind us that “Human existence on Earth was not intended to be permanent. Rather, the Creator intended life on Earth to serve as a temporary period in which people are given the opportunity to attend to their spiritual condition as it relates to God’s will for living. Natural disasters provide people with conclusive evidence that life on Earth is brief and uncertain.”

God’s intent for our lives on Earth is to serve as a temporary interval of time for the development of one’s spirit—a probationary period in which people are given the opportunity to attend to their spiritual condition as it relates to God’s will for living now and later with Him in Heaven!

Christians understand that no matter how catastrophic, tragic, or disastrous an event may be, it fits into the overall framework of “soul-making”—the preparation for one’s departure from life into eternity. Likewise, the Christian knows that although the great pain and suffering caused by natural disasters may be unpleasant, and tests one’s ‘mettle’. Nevertheless, such suffering is not intrinsically evil, nor is it a reflection on the existence of an omni-benevolent God. The only ‘intrinsic’ evil is violation of God’s will. What is required of all accountable persons is obedience to God’s revealed Word—given in the Bible—even amid pain, suffering, sickness, disease, natural disasters, and, yes, even death!

The thing is, natural disasters are not “evil” in the usual sense of the word. If a tsunami took place in the middle of the ocean and did not affect any people, we would not think of it as evil. It’s only when humans are affected, and when death and suffering occur, that such disasters become “evil”—in our ‘eyes’.

Natural disasters try to remind us that tomorrow is uncertain, so we must ‘prepare’ for eternity today! “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” [ 2 Corinthians 6:2 ].

 

The disasters we have experienced in recent decades will soon seem tame by comparison. The Bible prophesies of a time—and it is sooner than you may think—when catastrophes will escalate dramatically. The weather will go completely haywire.

God is allowing natural disasters to bring us to the point where we will absolutely loathe and abhor this “present evil world.” He is allowing man to go his own way so we might see the fruits of living contrary to God’s law of love.

God is going to put the people of this world through a ‘great tribulation’ until they know that, without Him, there is no hope at all—there’s nothing man can do. People will be brought to the ‘breaking point’—where they will have to rely completely upon God!

Even for those who watch disasters from a safe distance, God is saying to everyone, “Prepare for your own death…it may be soon, so build your ‘house’ on the ‘Rock’: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” [ Matthew 7:24-27 ].

 

So, how does one escape the coming FINAL ‘NATURAL’ DISASTER? Well, the Apostle John tells us: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” [ John 3:36 ], and Luke said, “you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God” [ Luke 13:3 ].

[ Here’s a link to a previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post that discusses how to be “saved”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/
].

 

God is going to bring us to repentance through His words (the Bible), or through mind-numbing disasters—take your pick! If you heed God’s words, repent, and ‘seek’ His mercy, you will receive relief from His curses. So, what is holding you up from responding?

We must heed God’s warning before time runs out! At some point—a time when the world is saying “peace and safety”—sudden destruction will come (1 Thessalonians 5:3). We need to take action while the warning is still going out, not when calamity is already here! God promises to ‘protect’ each person who repents.

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees in His day because they had become quite good at making weather predictions. You can discern the face of the sky, He told them, but you can’t discern the signs of the times! (Matthew 16:3). Besides weather predictions, these religious zealots were also quite good at reciting Scripture, pointing to significant biblical events, even comparing the events of their day with those of old, as referred to in God’s Word. But they didn’t obey Jesus, and they disregarded His repeated warnings. They could not discern the many signs—advance warnings—of the times in which they lived.

What about you? Will you discern the signs of the times? Will you heed Jesus’ warning or will you ignore it?

 

You CAN ‘ESCAPE’ the perilous times coming on the earth, but you have to turn yourself over to the loving Savior, Jesus Christ, NOW!

Very soon, we ALL will desperately need God’s protection from THE FINAL ‘NATURAL’ DISASTER and the FINAL ‘JUDGMENT’! You CAN GUARANTEE that you will be ‘rescued’ from the ‘storms’—CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU!!!

 

[ Excerpts from: Jeffrey Kluger; Haley Sweetland; Jack Wellman; Erwin Lutzer; Dale Morgan; Jerry Bridges; David Miller ]

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying the the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

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An Act of God?: Answers to Tough Questions about God’s Role in Natural Disasters
By: Erwin W. Lutzer

How can we begin to understand or explain the tough questions about world disasters? Should we question if God is in control of major disasters, or even ask if he caused them? How do we answer the probing questions of non-Christians? How can God be considered good and just in light of the tsunamis, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and floods that are visited on his creation and his children? An updated, timely, and even more accessible edition of Where Was God? by Erwin Lutzer, bestselling author and senior pastor of The Moody Church, An Act of God? is a faith journey discussion about these and other life dilemmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Act-God-Answers-Questions-Disasters/dp/1414364946/

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Storm Warning: Whether global recession, terrorist threats, or devastating natural disasters, these ominous shadows must bring us back to the Gospel
By: Billy Graham

The daily news is jammed with alarming headlines of conflict in the Middle East, economic crisis, and terrorist threats around the world. In Storm Warning, Billy Graham — the best-known evangelist of our time — examines today’s most challenging problems and adds his voice and perspective to what the Bible says about the storms we are facing… and the storms yet to come.

Since its original publication, Graham has added nearly two decades to his ministry and has lived through several more storms. This completely revised and updated book highlights Graham’s recent experiences, insights, and renewed sense of urgency as he examines the book of Revelation in light of current events—and sees prophetic events become reality.

“Now in the twenty-first century, we see accelerated growth of unrestrained greed and corruption on Wall Street, financial mismanagement in the halls of government, and fraud and perversion at the highest levels of both church and state. While keeping an eye on the showdown that many observers feel may be brewing even now in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America, many people sense the possibility of an even greater unraveling in the world. Can we find any hope in the current world situation? Will there be lasting peace? How should we live in the face of our nation’s new challenges and the magnitude of the world’s crises? These are important—even vital—questions, and I invite you to come with me as we discover the answers God has given us.” — Billy Graham

https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Warning-recession-terrorist-devastating/dp/0849946417/

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God’s Devil: The Incredible Story of How Satan’s Rebellion Serves God’s Purposes
By: Erwin W. Lutzer

“It is the best treatment of the person and work of the enemy I have ever read.” — R.C. Sproul, from the foreword to “God’s Devil”

Many Christians are oblivious to the Devil and his schemes, and this is precisely the problem. If you don’t know why you need to know about the Devil, then this book is especially for you.

In God’s Devil, pastor and scholar Erwin W. Lutzer takes us to the corners of Scripture to which we seldom go. With surprising insights and potent quotes at every turn, God’s Devil will:

Teach you how Satan fits into God’s great plans for the world
Give you confidence in God’s everlasting victory over Satan
Equip you to withstand Satan’s schemes against you
Martin Luther once said, “Even the Devil is God’s devil.” So while this is a book about Satan, it is even more about God’s sovereign power over him. Read it for comfort, read it for peace, and read it for strength.

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Devil-Incredible-Rebellion-Purposes/dp/0802413137/

—————-
Where Was God?: Answers to Tough Questions about God and Natural Disasters
By: Erwin W. Lutzer

When natural disaster strikes, survivors and onlookers alike face questions about whether God is in control or how he could allow such tragedy to occur. Where was God when a deadly tsunami swept through the Indian Ocean killing nearly 250,000 people? And where was God when hurricanes crashed against the Gulf Coast leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless and without hope? Was God there? Does He care? In the wake of such incredible loss and disaster, we struggle to understand how a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing can also be considered good and loving. Pastor and teacher Erwin W. Lutzer tackles this tough subject head-on, offering real answers as well as comfort and hope to those who struggle with these challenges to their faith. In doing so he addresses the questions we all ask.

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Was-God-Erwin-Lutzer/dp/1414343639/

—————-
Weather and the Bible
By: Donald B. DeYoung, Ph.D.

If you know an “amateur Einstein” who loves to explore, experiment, or read about science, you know someone who would truly appreciate and benefit from this book!

What is Saint Elmo’s fire? The jet stream? The ozone layer? Where does a storm come from? Does air have weight? In popular, question-and-answer style, 100 common questions about the weather and weather-related topics are answered by Creationist physics professor, Donald DeYoung.

This interesting book includes many Biblical insights with fascinating commentary that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. It is divided into five sections, beginning with weather basics and moving on to questions about future weather and why Christians should be concerned about the environment. Charts and tables illustrate the phases of the moon, the composition of air, wind-chill and comfort index, etc. Includes a glossary to de-mystify any term that may be hard to understand, plus helpful subject and Scripture indexes.

Dr. DeYoung teaches physics and astronomy at Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana.

Excerpts from the book:
Should Christians be concerned about the environment?
Has our atmosphere evolved over time?
What causes a rainbow?
Has it ever rained frogs or fish or any other strange things?
How might rain forest destruction affect our weather?

https://www.amazon.com/Weather-Bible-100-Questions-Answers/dp/0801030137/

—————-
Where Was God?
By: Travis Palmer (Director)

In May 2013 an EF5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. The magnitude of devastation measured over eight times greater than the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. As the world watched, one question continued to surface Where Was God? Several families and individuals recount the timeline of destruction and share their experiences of both devastating and miraculous events that changed their lives forever. These are their stories of hope after the storm.

DVD

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Was-God-Various/dp/B00UNEJA22/

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Was-God/dp/B00M7HI0FQ?_encoding=UTF8&ref=dp_vse_rvc0

 

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what it really means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d1_1of10.html ].

 

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ARTICLES:

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Natural Disasters

Natural disasters fall into three broad groups:

1. Those caused by movements of the Earth. These occur with the minimum amount of warning and include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. They are difficult to predict and impossible to stop. All that can be done is to take appropriate action to limit damage and loss of life after they occur.

2. Weather related disasters. These will include hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat and extreme cold weather. There will usually be some degree of advanced warning, but since weather is unpredictable, nothing can be done to stop these disasters from developing once the weather system develops. Again, in areas prone to this sort of disaster, some provision can be made to limit damage and loss of life.

3. Floods, mudslides, landslides and famine. These are usually the consequence of extreme weather events, or are supplementary to other natural disasters. Often they are the result of extreme and unforeseen conditions.

Someone living in an area that is prone to one or other of these natural disasters will be well aware of the fact, so the most important factor is to be prepared. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you might not experience one for a number of years, but they can occur with very little warning.

The first indication of an earthquake might be a roaring or rumbling sound that gradually grows louder. There might be a rolling sensation that starts out gently but within a second or two becomes very violent. Alternatively there might be a violent jerk followed by severe shaking that makes it very difficult to stand up or move from room to room.

The strength of an earthquake is usually measured using the moment magnitude scale. An earthquake measuring between 6.1 and 6.9 on this scale could cause a lot of damage in a very populated area. Around 100 of these occur each year. One measuring 7.0 to 7.9 would be considered a major earthquake and would cause significant damage. About 20 of these occur each year. The earthquake that occurred in Japan on 11 March 2011 was measured at magnitude 9.0 by the US Geological Survey and was one of the most powerful ever recorded.

If an earthquake occurs under the sea it can cause a tsunami. The most destructive of these are generated from large shallow earthquakes with an epicentre or fault line near or on the ocean floor. The sudden vertical displacement generates waves that can travel great distances at high speed. While out in the ocean these waves can be no more than a few centimetres high, but as they approach the shore the waves are compressed and become very much higher.

The tsunami that hit northeastern Japan following the 11 March earthquake was 15 metres high some areas and it travelled 10 km inland. Moving at high speed it washed away everything in its path including people and property. It also devastated the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. As a result of this natural disaster the number of people dead or missing is put at around 30,000 and the Japanese economy has suffered a major blow.

Tsunamis are not uncommon in Japan and usually there is a limited amount of warning before they hit. There are well-rehearsed procedures that are followed when they occur, but the one on 11 March exceeded all previous expectations.

Volcanoes are mountains that are characterised by having a crater that opens downwards to a reservoir of molten rock. When pressure from gases within the molten rock becomes too great, an eruption occurs. These can be quite modest and result in little more than a trickle, or they can explode with considerable force and be accompanied by lava flows, flattened landscapes, poisonous gases, flying rock and ash.

Due to their great heat the lava flows are a great fire hazard and in forested areas wildfires often result. Lava flows destroy everything in their path, interrupting watercourses and causing flooding and mudslides, but since they generally move fairly slowly, people can usually get out of their way.

The volcanic ash is mainly pulverised rock. This can be abrasive, acidic, gritty and smelly, but apart from infants, elderly people and those suffering from respiratory problems, to most adults it is relatively harmless, although it can prove lethal to machinery. Following an Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010, when large clouds of volcanic dust were released into the atmosphere, concern about possible damage to aero engines severely disrupted air traffic in Europe and North America.

Volcanoes also give out gases such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide. These are normally quickly dispersed by the wind, but can collect in hollows. High concentrations can cause suffocation. This is the most common cause of death following a volcanic eruption.

Tropical cyclones have been the cause of a number of natural disasters. They are storms with large low-pressure centres and numerous thunderstorms that produce high winds and heavy rain. Generally they are known as hurricanes, but in the northwest pacific region they are known as typhoons. A hurricane is defined as having a wind speed in excess of 73 mph (117 kph), but maximum sustained winds in the strongest tropical cyclones have been estimated to reach 195 mph.

Cyclones form out in the ocean and there are distinct hurricane seasons in different parts of the world, lasting for between five and eight months. Special weather watches are kept during these times and in populated areas there are generally well-rehearsed plans that are put in place when a tropical cyclone approaches.

They often hit the coast with tremendous force causing significant damage, but having hit land, friction slows them down. While the winds will abate somewhat, heavy rains will continue and can cause serious flooding. Coastal storm surges can produce extensive flooding up to 25 miles (40 km) inland.

Hurricane Katrina struck the states of Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2008. 1,836 people died as a result and overall damage was estimated as exceeding $100 billion. Although this was America’s costliest natural disaster, the deadliest natural disaster in US history was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people in Galveston.

Tornadoes can also be a lethal weather event. A tornado is a violent, dangerous rotating column of air that is in contact with the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud. Because of their appearance they are often call twisters.

Most tornadoes are about 250 feet across, have wind speeds of up to 110 mph and blow themselves out after a few miles, but in extreme cases they can be 2 miles across, attain speeds of more than 300 mph and stay on the ground for considerable distances.

Although they can occur almost anywhere, the vast majority occur in the US, where the average is about 1,200 a year. They are most common in the spring, but they can occur at any time of the year. Worldwide the peak time for them is 5 pm, but one of deadliest in history, the Gainesville Tornado, occurred at 8.30 am local time.

In areas prone to tornadoes many people will have an underground shelter. Without this kind of protection the only hope is to get out of the way or get underneath something strong, like a heavy table.

It is not easy to escape extreme cold and this can also cause fatalities, especially among the old and chronically sick. These groups are not so mobile and it is particularly important for them to keep warm.

In extremely cold weather and in the event of heavy snowfall it is fairly usual for transport to grind to a halt. Roads and railways become blocked, aircraft are grounded and schools close. Diesel fuel often gels in extremely cold weather, causing further disruption. Farm animals can suffer and vegetable crops are difficult to harvest. Fuel consumption rises and water mains often burst.

All in all it is a pretty bleak picture. Then when the snow and ice thaws we often have floods. Rivers burst their banks, roads and bridges are washed away and normal communication can become impossible. There will be widespread destruction to homes and property. In serious cases those who are not drowned will have to find somewhere relatively safe and wait to be rescued.

Floods can also come from the sea. Early in 1953 there was a major natural disaster when serious floods hit countries bordering the North Sea. The Netherlands was particularly badly hit with a tidal surge that reached 5.6 metres in places, completely overwhelming the sea defences. 1,835 people and an estimated 30,000 animals drowned.

Coincidentally the number of people drowned in the Dutch flood was almost identical to the number of people who died when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. In this case the estimated number of deaths was 1,836.

Periods of prolonged extreme heat seem to be getting more frequent. In addition to causing illness and significant loss of life, they can have a serious economic effect on transportation, agriculture production, energy and infrastructure. Extreme heat can disrupt railways by twisting rails and roads can buckle or tarmac can melt. Aircraft lose lift in extreme temperatures and stress is placed on the cooling systems of the engines of raid and rail vehicles that can lead to an increase in mechanical failure.

Agricultural crop production can be ruined, milk production is reduced and animals are distressed. Excessive heat causes power lines to sag and short out. As more people use fans or air conditioning, demand for electricity is pushed to the point where supply companies can no longer cope.

Extreme heat can kill people, even though most of the deaths are preventable. It is reported that in the 24 years between 1979 and 2003 more people died in the United States of extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined.

The golden rules are to drink plenty of fluids, dress in cool clothes and stay in the shade if possible. A cool shower can help, as can air conditioning. Since most shopping malls, public libraries and big stores are air conditioned, if all else fails a trip there might be worth the journey, especially if the bus is also air-conditioned.

Extreme heat can also bring wild fires. A UN study reported that in almost every case drought is a major factor that prolonged or exacerbated a blaze. Often after many months without rain a single spark is all that is necessary to create an inferno. Wildfires can move at tremendous speed and will devour everything in their path. They can quickly change direction, which makes it very difficult for someone on the ground to escape.

These mega-fires as they are sometimes called are mainly caused by humans and are characterised by their massive destruction. The February 2009 Black Saturday blazes in Australia killed 173 people and completely obliterated several towns. In 2010 similar fires in Russia killed 62 people and destroyed about 23,000 square kilometres, an area more than half the size of The Netherlands.

A recent UN report (May 2011) suggests that the growing number of mega-fires around the world may be contributing to global warming. In its report the Food an Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that policy makers should improve their monitoring of carbon gas emissions from wildfires to better determine their potential impact on climate change.

It is a vicious circle; climate change causes drought; drought causes wildfires; and wildfires cause further climate change.

Almost everywhere you look you find references to climate change associate with natural disasters. A UN report on climate change observed that the increase in tropical cyclone intensity was larger than climate models had predicted and the conclusion was drawn that it was more likely than not that there had been some human contribution to increase this intensity.

It is clear that the world is getting warmer, probably due to a natural process, but it is reasonable to assume that this process is being speeded up by mankind’s release into the atmosphere of large amounts of greenhouse gas. It is also reasonable to assume that these greenhouse gas emissions are having a profound effect on the world’s weather.

It is easy to blame every natural disaster on global warming, but meteorology is not an exact science and while in some cases this blame might be quite justified, in many cases these natural disaster occur for purely natural reasons.

[ Michael Evans ]

Read more at:
http://www.earthtimes.org/encyclopaedia/environmental-issues/natural-disasters/#X2v0Ud0Ldh7vlx7s.99

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What Causes Hurricanes?
Learn about these violent storms and why they’re dangerous.

Every year, coastal regions brace themselves for violent windstorms known as hurricanes. But how do these storms form and grow?

The oversimplified answer: Warm ocean water plus the Earth’s eastward rotation.

“They’re heat engines,” said meteorologist Jeff Masters of the website Weather Underground in a previous interview. “They take heat from the oceans and convert it to the energy of their winds. They’re taking thermal energy and making mechanical energy out of it.”

The natural engine that is a hurricane is fueled by warm, moist air. The storms move heat from the ocean surface high into Earth’s atmosphere. They can travel thousands of miles from the tropics toward the Earth’s poles.

According to NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, the average hurricane eye—the still center where pressure is lowest and air temperature is highest—stretches 20 to 30 miles across, with some even growing as large as 120 miles wide.

The strongest storms, equivalent to Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, have sustained winds that exceed 155 miles an hour.

WHY ARE HURRICANES DANGEROUS?
While hurricanes are categorized based on their wind speeds, wind isn’t typically the most dangerous part of such storms. “It’s the storm surge,” said Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at MIT, in an earlier interview. The storm surge is the bulge of water built up in front of a cyclone or hurricane courtesy of its winds.

It’s the number one killer in hurricanes, Emanuel explained. “That’s what killed people in Katrina, it’s what killed people in Sandy and in Haiyan.” (Read “Charts Show How Hurricane Katrina Changed New Orleans.”)

Emanuel likened a storm surge to a tsunami. One just happens to be caused by earthquakes (tsunamis), while the other is generated by hurricanes.

Flash flooding caused by intense rains is also a major killer, Emanuel said. “Hurricane Mitch [in 1998] killed 12,000 people and it was all from flash flooding.”

Then comes wind that blows around debris. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 is an example of this. “It didn’t really cause too much of a storm surge,” the atmospheric scientist said, “but boy did it blow a lot of buildings down.”

Climate change will likely increase the frequency of “the high-end hurricanes,” Emanuel said.

And those powerful storms have the potential to produce a lot of rain, flooding, and strong storm surges.

What’s the difference between hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons? Actually, they’re all the same weather phenomenon. Scientists just call these storms different things depending on where they occur.

In the Atlantic and northern Pacific, the storms are called hurricanes, after the Caribbean god of evil, named Hurrican.

In the northwestern Pacific, the same powerful storms are called typhoons. In the southeastern Indian Ocean and southwestern Pacific, they are called severe tropical cyclones.

In the northern Indian Ocean, they’re called severe cyclonic storms. In the southwestern Indian Ocean, they’re just called tropical cyclones.

To be classified as a hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone, a storm must reach wind speeds of at least 74 miles an hour.

If a hurricane’s winds reach speeds of 111 miles an hour, it is upgraded to an “intense hurricane.”

If a typhoon hits 150 miles an hour—as Usagi did in 2013—then it becomes a “supertyphoon.”

While the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, the typhoon and cyclone seasons follow slightly different patterns.

In the northeastern Pacific, the official season runs from May 15 to November 30. In the northwestern Pacific, typhoons are most common from late June through December. And the northern Indian Ocean sees cyclones from April to December.

[ National Geographic Staff ]

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/hurricanes-facts-storms-weather-science/

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Worlds’s Worst Storms
(National Geographic Documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMf-mJxYqlI

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Wild Weather
(BBC Documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8Ds7KgbKZs

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Super Hurricanes: Inside Monster Storms

https://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/super-hurricanes-inside-monster-storms/

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God Causes Hurricanes?

“Weather is sent to cause us to respond to God in humility, in awe, and in repentance.” [ Kirk Cameron ]

Job 37:11-13; Psalm 107:23-27; Isaiah 45:5-7; Luke 8:25

[ WWUTT – Paster Gabriel Hughes ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQrJbcKuSsI

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God Moves in a Mysterious Way

The eighteenth-century English poet William Cowper put the mysteries of God in perspective:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessing on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain

[ William Cowper ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z0e_xSC8to

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Jesus Calms The Storm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyzwCpofQSA

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Calming The Storm

Open your Bible, if you will, to the fourth chapter of the gospel of Mark and we come to the final paragraph in this fourth chapter, verses 35 through 41…verses 35 through 41. Now remember that Mark’s purpose in writing the gospel is stated in chapter 1 verse 1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

Mark, like all the other writers, Matthew, Luke and John, has as his goal and his objective to make it clear, unmistakably clear that Jesus is none other than God, that He is man, to be sure, but that He is God as well, the God-Man. That will be demonstrated magnificently, unforgettably in the passage that is before us. We will see a beautiful portrait of His humanity and we will see a staggering demonstration of His deity.

Let’s look at the story, starting in verse 35. “On that day when evening came, He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat just as He was. And other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion and they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still.’ And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?’ They became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'” [ more… ]

[ John MacArthur ]

Article:
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/41-21/calming-the-storm

Sermon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw75cuad5WA

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The Calming of the Storm

Sermon Text: Luke 8:22-25

“One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

[ R.C. Sproul ]

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/sermons/calming-storm/

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Calming The Storm

When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm you and hopelessness is all you know, there is One who can bring peace to troubled lives. Jesus spoke the winds and the waves into submission, and He can calm your storm too. Just ask Him.

[ Our Daily Bread ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aDejXLwrjE

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C.A.L.M.

Write down the C.A.L.M. acronym, and place it somewhere
accessible to remind yourself that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds.”

CELEBRATE GOD’S GOODNESS.
“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).

How will you express your joy for God’s goodness today?

ASK GOD FOR HELP.
“Let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6).
If you don’t already keep a prayer journal, start one. Begin
with today’s requests.

LEAVE YOUR CONCERNS WITH HIM.
“With thanksgiving . . .” (v. 6).
At bedtime review the concerns you left with God this morning. Thank him for relieving you of your anxious thoughts.

MEDITATE ON GOOD THINGS.
“Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise”
(v. 8).
Plan your day to include time alone with God.

[ Adapted from “Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado ]

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Ridin’ The Storm Out

Ridin’ the storm out, waitin’ for the thaw out
On a full moon night in the Rocky Mountain winter
My wine bottle’s low, watching for the snow
Thinkin’ about what I’ve been missin’ in the city

And I’m not missin’ a thing
Watchin’ the full moon crossing the range
Ridin’ the storm out
Ridin’ the storm out

My lady’s beside me, she’s there to guide me
She says that alone we’ve finally found home
The wind outside is frightening
but it’s kinder than the lightning life in the city
It’s a hard life to live but it gives back what you give

[ REO Speedwagon ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVFgEBq0EKM

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Maker Of The Wind

Dark skies overhead and I remember what You said,
that You would never leave
Rough waters all around but here I am on Solid Ground
as You reach down to me
And if You are on my side whom shall I fear

I know the Maker of the wind
The Master of the waves
Forgiver of my sin

And I know the One Who holds my hope
So I won’t be afraid when storms come blowing in
I know that Maker of the wind

When trouble finds me, sneaks up behind me
It trips me up and it makes me fall
But when I’m broken then You remind me
That You have overcome it all

You know the number of my days
And what I need to understand
God I can trust in You as long as I can say

[ Big Daddy Weave ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZissYDzLWo

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Spirit Of A Storm

There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul
A restlessness that I can’t seem to tame
Thunder and lightning follow everywhere I go
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul.

There’s a hurricane that’s raging through my blood
I can’t find a way to calm the sea
Maybe I’ll find someday the waters aren’t so rushed
Right now they’ve got the best of me
And oh, it’s been a long, long time
Since I had real peace of mind
So I’m just going to sit right here
In this old chair till this storm rolls by.

Oh, maybe it’s just the way I am
Maybe I won’t ever change
So I’m just going to sit right here
In this old chair and just soak up the rain.

There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul
Every time I think it’s gone away
Dark clouds gather, that old wind begins to blow
The sun’s going to shine someday I hope
There’s a spirit of a storm in my soul, in my soul.

[ Kenny Chesney ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiE11353tAE

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The Storm Is Over Now

I was in a tunnel
And couldn’t see the light
And whenever I’d look up
I couldn’t see the sky
Sometimes when I’m standin’
It seems like I done walked for miles
And my heart could be cryin’
Dead in the middle of a smile

But then I climbed the hills
And saw the mountains
I hollered help ’cause I was lost
Then I felt the strong wind
Heard a small voice sayin’

The storm is over
(The storm is over now)
And I can see the sunshine
(Somewhere beyond the clouds)
I feel Heaven, yeah
(Heaven is over me)
Come on and set me free, whoa

Now in the midst of my battle
All hope was gone
Downtown in a rushed crowd
And felt all alone
And every now and then
I felt like I would lose my mind
I’ve been racin’ for years
And still no finish line, oh

But then I climbed the hills
And saw the mountains (Mountains)
I hollered help ’cause I was lost
Then I felt the strong wind
And then a small voice sayin’

The storm is over
(The storm is over now)
And I can see the sunshine
(Somewhere beyond the clouds)
I can feel Heaven, yeah
(Heaven is over me)

Come on and set me free

Somehow my beginning stepped right in (Right in)
Then faith became my friend (My friend)
And now I can depend
On the voices of the wind
When it’s sayin’ (Sayin’)

The storm is over
(The storm is over now)
And I can see the sunshine
(Somewhere beyond the clouds)
I can feel Heaven, yeah
(Heaven is over me)

Won’t you come and set me free
Won’t you set me free

The storm is over
(The storm is over now)
And I can see the sunshine
(Somewhere beyond the clouds)
I can feel Heaven, yeah
(Heaven is over me)
Won’t you come and set me free

[ R. Kelly ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cg_A-zCkIE

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The Storm Is Over Now

It’s over now
it’s over now
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[verse 1 boy]
It’s over now
It’s over now
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[girl]
No more cloudly days
there all gone, gone away
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[chorus 2]
no more cloudy days
there are gone away
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[verse2 boy and girl]
If i walk alone
I’m not on my own
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[chorus 3]
if i walk alone
i’m not on my own
i feel like i can make it
the storm is over now

[chorus 1]

[girl]
ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhh
ooohhhh

[vamp]
no more
(no more)
cloudy day
(cloudy day)
the storm is
(the strom is)
over now
(over now)
[repeat 2x]

no more
(no more)
cryin at night
(cryin at night)
the storm is

(the storm is)
over now
(over now)

no more
(no more)
sickness in my body
(sickness in my body)
the storm is
(the storm is)
over now
(over now)
no more
(no more)
cryin at night
(cryin at night)
the storm is
(the storm is)
over now
(over now)
[repeat 3x]

[boy]
no more
(no more)
tears and sorrow
(no more)
no more
(no more)
heartache and pain
(over now)
no more
(no more)
suffering
(no more)
no more
(no more)
it’s over now
(over now)

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
oh, oh , oh
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oooh
[repeat 2x]

over noowwwwwwww

[ Kirk Franklin ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z8HMEb_gms

*****************************
Blessing In the Storm

Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh, ah
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh, ah
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh, ah
Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh, ah

When I cannot hear the sparrow sing
And I cannot feel the melody
There’s a secret place that’s full of grace
There’s a blessing in the storm
Help me sing it
There’s a blessing in the storm

When the sickness won’t leave my body
And the pain just won’t leave my soul
I get on my knees and say, “Jesus please”
There’s a blessing in the storm
Help me sing it
There’s a blessing in the storm

When I cannot seem to love again
And the raindrops won’t ever end
If you just hold on
Those clouds will soon be gone

There’s a blessing in the storm
Help me sing it
There’s a blessing in the storm

Sweet, sweet, the storm, sweet

When I cannot seem to love again
And the raindrops won’t ever end
If you just hold on
Those clouds will soon be gone

There’s a blessing in the storm
Help me sing it
There’s a blessing in the storm

[ Kirk Franklin ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3YLn9xAq1c

*****************************
Lightning Flashes
(Parody of “Lightning Crashes” by Live )

Lightning flashes all over the sky
Weather center calls for a storm
This ain’t no ordinary sky
The invasion begins
Who thought that God would step in and stop the war?
Lightning flashes … an old book of mine
Clearly mentioned all this before
We ain’t supposed to be surprised
But the few who prepared
Are gone now as we face the wrath of God
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
Faces fallin’ as the Son returns to earth again … I can see Him
Lightning flashes … the moment of Christ
This moment He’s been waitin’ for
The angel hosts have arrived!
Pale and paralyzed, we face the Son
But the glory is too bright! Bright!
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
Voices callin’ out as sinners on the earth confess, “I believe it!”
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like the lightning comes from east to the west
We’re so sorry, but repentence doesn’t work right then, I can see it
Ooh, I see Him comin’ back again
Like He told in Matthew’s Gospel back then
Chapter 24 the 27th verse, amen … I believe it

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Ticked” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOpzUnPlMBU

*****************************
Walk On The Water
(Parody of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple)

We saw Him on the water
On the lake when it was storming
The waves crashed against the boat, but
He didn’t seem to mind
James, Andrew and the others
Were wishin’ they were safe and sound
It sounds stupid, but I cried out
“Let me take a walk around!”
Walk on the water – Messiah, let me try!
Walk on the water
He turned ‘round and said, “Come out!”
I started to walk around
I looked about and started feelin’ doubt
Thought for sure I would drown
When it all was over
He had to drag me from the lake
As I was drying out
Said, “Peter, why’d you lose your faith?”
Walk on the water – your eyes on Messiah
Walk on the water

LEAD
I ended up with a lot more faith
Learned a lesson on that day
That when you’re on the boat and He says to walk outside You keep your eyes on Christ
‘Cause if you know Christ and you trust Him
No matter where you sail
No matter what you set out to do
I know, I know you never will fail
Walk on the water – beside Jesus Christ
Walk on the water

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Hits: The Road” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5Ql4ViTZxE

*****************************
Turning a Little Seasick
(Parody of “Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects)

Let me know what I’ve done wrong That You won’t respond at all
I’m going down this time it’s true If You wait then I am through
Tell me how You are not awake
Right now facing a hurricane
You are the only one asleep You know
Lord please move – I’m turning a little seasick
(Turning a little seasick)
Lord help us at once or we’ll be just another shipwreck Sitting on the sea bed, I mean you no disrespect
I’m turning a little seasick
You have to know
Lord preserve our fragile lives
If the next wave we survive
I don’t think now’s the time to snooze
Chapter 8 here in Matthew
Help please now or we’ll all be dead
While You lay on a waterbed
You are the only one asleep you know
I need You – I’m turning a little seasick
(Turning a little seasick)
Lord tell me now what did You think when You fell asleep and Did You count Your sheep then?
Hope that You can keep them
From going off the deep end
You have to know
Lord wake up or we’ll die
The water’s getting high
It’s filling up the boat
And You’re our only hope
Please make things all right
Save us Lord Christ
I need you – I’m turning a little seasick
(Turning a little seasick)
I’m losing my lunch for sure I wish I didn’t eat it
(Wish I didn’t eat it)
I need You – I’m turning a little seasick
(Turning a little seasick)
Lake Galilee’s wonderful now if the weather’s decent
It hasn’t been of recent, we’re in a stormy season
I’m turning a little seasick
(Turning a little seasick)
I’m urning a little seasick – You have to know
You have to know

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Ticked” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJv3fzVLLiQ

*****************************
Swimmer
(Parody of “Slither” by Velvet Revolver)

Hey Hey Hey
When we looked the sea turned gloomy
Got so rough we feared tsunamis
On the boat we’d never seen such tides
Our Lord deep in slumber lingered
Past the point where we might sink we cried
Jesus Christ please save us or we’ll die
Then He calmed the waters
The One who hushed the waves can save both you and I It’s time you see
Hey Hey Hey
When the sea was cruel and stormy
Late one night we saw Him walking
On the water, gravity defied
Always eager Simon Peter
Starts to walk but gets cold feet
He cries Jesus Christ please save me or I’ll die
When you’re on the water
You’ve got to call His name forsake your foolish pride It’s time you see
That like those others
You’ve got to call the name that saves or else you’ll die Eternally
In the Book you’ll see quite clearly
Matthew chapter 8 and 14
Call on the Lord – whosoever will won’t die
When you’re underwater
You’ve got to call the name that saves all humankind Verse 10:13
In Romans, brother, and Joel 2:32
And Acts 2:21, listen to me

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Wordplay” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dRwdhv8k8I

*****************************
The Whole Darn Roof Leaks
(Parody of “Hold on Loosely” by 38 Special)

You see it all around you – good comin’ from bad
He uses things that you hate to bless you – and realign somethin’ sad
And my mind goes back to a verse I read some years ago
That showed me
The whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow
Yet when things get dicey, the Lord assumes control
You may think it’s come for no good reason, but hold onto faith in Jesus
This road ain’t easy – when you feel it’s not just So open the Scriptures – to learn how to trust
And my mind goes back to a verse I read some years ago
That showed me
The whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow
Yet when things get dicey, the Lord assumes control
You may think it’s come for no good reason, but hold onto faith in Jesus
Don’t let a dismal day – set your mental mood Don’t let a hardship dim your faith, yeah
You see it all around you – good comin’ from bad
He uses things that you wouldn’t think to – bring about something grand
The whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow
Yet when things get dicey, the Lord assumes control
You may think it’s come for no good reason, but hold onto faith in Jesus
The whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow
Yet when things get dicey, you can assume that – the Lord is in control
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
The whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow Yet when things get dicey, the Lord assumes control
Whole darn roof leaks when storm winds blow
Yet when things get dicey, ooh yeah, the Lord assumes control
Yeah, yeah, yeah

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Ticked” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Exkgpdjh07A

*****************************
Come, Whale, Away
(Parody of “Come Sail Away” by Styx)

I’m sailing to Spain
Yet I know the Lord has a work for me
But I’ve got to retreat
Or He might save the life of my enemies
A port back in Joppa – I climbed aboard
But misfortune followed – a deadly storm
And I defied the Lord on high – a scary thought I’m pushed into the sea
I guess those windy waves spell the death of me Some trip here I’ve had
I think of how this ends, and it seems real bad But they had to throw me over
So the storm would go
And so now I’m kicked out of that rotten boat But I’ll die just as I am – a scary thought
A rather big and strange whale
Appeared from up ahead
It swam to me and not the boat
I guess I’ll just play dead – play dead
Come, whale, away, come, whale, away
Come, whale, away with me, yeah
Come, whale, away, come, whale, away
Come, whale, away with me
Come, whale, away, come, whale, away
Come, whale, away with me, Jonah
Come, whale, away, come, whale, away
Come, whale, away with me
I thought that great whale ate me
Much to my surprise
It’s nice and warm and doesn’t drip
I stayed there for three nights

[ ApologetiX – Album: “Recovery” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC-u-gx3MBg

 

*****************************
*****************************

DEEP THOUGHTS:

“Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable.”
[ Diane Ackerman ]

“Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.”
[ George Herbert ]

“Giant oak trees… have deep root systems that can extend two-and-one-half times their height. Such trees rarely are blown down regardless of how violent the storms may be.”
[ Joseph B. Wirthlin ]

“Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.”
[ Charles de Saint-Évremond ]

“We simply can’t abandon ship every time we encounter a storm in our marriage. Real love is about weathering the storms of life together.”
[ Seth Adan Smith ]

“There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love.”
[ Charles Stanley ]

“When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally, to my family or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand and be a strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody else.”
[ Anne Graham Lotz ]

“The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage.”
[ Henry B. Eyring ]

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
[ Louisa May Alcott ]

“There are some things we learn on stormy seas that we never learn on calm smooth waters. We don’t look for storms but they will surely find us. The “God of the Storm” has something to teach us, and His love always drives His actions.”
[ Danny L Deaubé ]

“What is a storm? Is it a test, a challenge, an obstacle? You never really understand a storm until you are in one, but the other side of the storm, that is another thing altogether. The storm is going to cost you something, there is no getting around it. Whether it gives something back is entirely up to you.”
[ R.A. Delmonico ]

“Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, ‘convulsions of nature’, etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God’s love.”
[ John Muir ]

*****************************
*****************************

Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSES:

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
[ 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 ].

“And they went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who then is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey him?’”
[ Luke 8:24-25 ].

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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