Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy’

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life…In the world you will have tribulation…For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Genesis 3:17 + John 16:33 + Matthew 24:7-8

My heart aches for the people of Oklahoma. So does yours. Less than a year ago we endured Hurricane Sandy. Soon after, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Then, the Boston Marathon bombings. As we look around the globe we see there have already been about 600 earthquakes in 2013 and last year, in the US alone there were 932 confirmed oktornadoes. Some are saying that this latest one in Moore, Oklahoma was the biggest and worst one ever recorded. We barely recover from one tragedy and then we’re hit with another.


The answer is simple: humanity blew it in the Garden.  Tragedies of this sort have been snowballing exponentially ever since Eden, but don’t blame Adam. He was our best chance at maintaining Paradise, and if you or I were in his fig leaves, we would have done worse. As a result: killings and killer storms. Nothing new here. The only thing that is new is the frequency of these catastrophic events. The Bible snippets from Genesis 3:17, John 16:33 , and Matthew 24:7-8 provide a brief summation, but if we fast-forward a couple thousand years, we might find that perhaps Randy Bachman may have said it best, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Perilous times have come and they will be growing worse and worse.

Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather, And like vinegar on soda, Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. Proverbs 25:20

A Message for You

Some folks in Oklahoma need to hear this message, but this is not the time. They are suffering more than most of us can imagine, and frankly, pulling them aside and saying, “You know, all things work together for good to those who love God,” probably won’t be received well or bring them very much peace. That’s why this verse is for you.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

While it’s probably true that there are no atheists in foxholes, those who know Jesus Christ in a personal way before finding themselves in the valley of death are best equipped to get through adversities in peace and in one piece, eternally speaking. I’m certain that there are Christians in Moore, Oklahoma who have suffered great loss and are in severe emotional pain, but have wrapped their bruised arms and legs around this promise of God…

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt receive me: Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me” Psalm 138:7

Honestly, you do not want to find yourself in this lonely and broken position without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. While it’s true a person might come to a saving faith in a horrific situation (many do), Jesus wants you to know that today is the day of your salvation and there is no guarantee that you will survive the next tragedy that shows up on your doorstep.  And it will. The next tragedy is just around the corner and it is coming quickly.


God has told us in His Word why these things happen, so now you can stop asking. You may not understand it or even believe it, but those two concepts are not relevant now. When the storm is barreling in on you, your perception of it does not negate its reality. So it is with Jesus. He is Lord and Savior regardless if you understand or believe. If you are not a believer, you must stop asking why these things happen, and start asking, “Who will save me from these things.”

These two things have come to you; Who will be sorry for you?– Desolation and destruction, famine and sword– By whom will I comfort you? Your sons have fainted, They lie at the head of all the streets, Like an antelope in a net; They are full of the fury of the Lord, The rebuke of your God. Therefore please hear this, you afflicted, And drunk but not with wine. Thus says your Lord, The Lord and your God, Who pleads the cause of His people: “See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it. But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over.” Isaiah 51:19-23

Jesus is the answer. He is the One who delivers us, and if we should perish, Christ is the One who receives us to His bosom. In Him alone is our hope.  Before the tempest, in the trial, and after the tumult, it’s Jesus. He is our firm foundation that cannot be moved. Your search has ended; Jesus has found you!

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Isaiah 51:1

Hear the Lord’s plea…

My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for me, and for my arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed. Isaiah 51:5-6

The world as we know it is quickly fading. And even if it were not, you still need a Savior, [because] eternity does not fade. You will spend forever somewhere: Heaven, with God, or Hell, without Him. This is true whether tragedy strikes you or not. You need to be saved even if you do not recognize the storm that’s brewing all about you — our sin condemns us.

But know this…

(Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:5-6

In Christ Jesus we are saved. He is the only hope we have. Don’t wait for the next tragedy to strike, for if you do not know Him as your Lord and Savior, calamity is already upon you. Shed that garment of misfortune and put on the clean and pure garment of Christ’s righteousness. It’s free; all you need do is receive it by faith.

Consider this scriptural path to Heaven:

  1. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
  2. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
  3. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
  4. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
  5. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
  6. “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
  7. “We have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
  8. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

If you want to know more, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to assist you.

If you enjoyed the post please like it, share it, subscribe to the blog, or leave a comment. I am blessed that you took the time to read this post today. God bless you.



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You Need Jesus

I just finished reading an article from FEMA called, “Help Available for Sandy Survivors Stressed by the Holidays.’ griefHere is a short excerpt:

The holiday season can create its own stress. This stress can be especially trying for those recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Free help is available just a phone call away for New Jersey survivors who feel overwhelmed during the holidays…Rest, exercise and healthy eating help the body deal with stress. But disaster-induced mental distress may include:

  • Stomach aches or headaches.
  • Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why.
  • Lack of energy or always feeling tired.
  • Severe disorientation or confusion.
  • Overwhelming sense of guilt.
  • Depression, sadness and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Increased use of substances like drugs or alcohol.
As you can see, it prompted me to write you all a little something. Now don’t panic, I’m still going to post all the toll-free numbers and web-links FEMA provided in their article, but please hear me out in regard to this Jesus stuff. First, check out this passage from the Bible:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peaceof God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
The first thing you must understand about this verse is that it’s a promise for the Christian, those who believe and follow Jesus Christ. It assures the Christian that if they follow the exhortation, they will experience peace, the likes of which the world cannot know. Stop for a moment and chew on that.
Isn’t peace of heart and mind what you’re looking for? Mull over the other things you have tried and how they worked out for you. While it’s true you may have found temporary relief, temporary was probably not what you were looking for. You should know that everything Christ Jesus offers, He delivers. The promises of God are true — He cannot lie.
How to Get Started
Relax. It’s free. And best of all, you don’t have to do anything; Jesus finished all the work when He suffered and died on the cross. Jesus willingly did this and in so doing He carried all our shame and sin to the grave. Even if you refuse His free gift of grace, or deny it happened, it doesn’t undo His awesome deed. The reality is that it’s a done deal — Jesus paid the price so you don’t have to.The other reality is that you are a sinner. Everybody is. Yes, even Mother Teresa. All you have to do is agree with God on this issue. Mother Teresa did! Are you still not sure you’re a sinner? Have you ever lied, cheated, stole, desired something that someone owned, looked at a woman (or man) with lust, disrespected your parents or God? Then guess what. One sin, in one life time, qualifies you. Doing a gazillion good deeds will never erase one sin. This made God sad, so He sent His perfect, sinless Son to earth to take our sin upon Himself and carry it away for ever. Now, when God looks at a believer, He sees him or her as if they have never sinned.


You’ve already confessed that you’re sinner, now make a commitment before God that you don’t want to sin any longer. The word repent simply means to ‘turn away from,’ but in this realm it also means to turn towards Jesus Christ. The fact is that you’re going to have to, because you won’t be able to successfully stop sinning on your own. People who grit their teeth and fight the urge to sin under their own power, always fail. However, those who rely solely on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, have tremendous success! Here’s the best part — if you take your focus off of Jesus and sin, you’re still forgiven. Confess it and be done with it. God knows your heart better than you do, so if your commitment to Christ is sincere, your Father in Heaven knows it.
Just talk to God respectfully. Tell Him what He already knows — that you’re a sinner. Now tell Him you believe what Jesus did on the cross is true and you desire that Jesus would come and rule in your life. Be humble, knowing that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather thinking of your self less. Tell Him you want to do things His way, acknowledging that your own ways have failed. Tell Him you want to learn more about Him, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the truth, and the His way of life.

Jesus Doesn’t Want Converts

Did you know that? If God wanted to, He could make us all zombie-like followers. But in His infinite wisdom, He desires that His believers choose to follow Him. May I be frank? If Jesus forced Himself upon us, that would be akin to rape. But God has given us all a free will knowing that after we have examined the truth, wise folks would choose Him. Those who choose Jesus are not converts; they are called disciples, which is a fancy word for an earnest student. How will you know if you are an earnest student? You will understand that you don’t have to go to church, but that it is something you get to do. The same holds true for reading the Bible; you don’t have to, you get to!

Are You Ready for Peace?

That’s awesome. If you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, know that at this very second, angels in Heaven are having a party for you in God’s presence. They are celebrating your wisdom and your salvation, giving all the honor, glory, and praise to God the Father!

Now please, go find a Bible-believing church. You might already know this, but not all churches are the same. Some exist for reasons other than what God has prescribed. The Bible says that you will recognize these by their fruit. Here’s a link to help you find a church where God is glorified, worshiped and praised. Click HERE, enter your zip code to find a church near you.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Here are the other numbers and links I promised I would share with you, but please let me warn you that the services and results they offer are only temporary and might very well leave you worse off than when you started.
Choose Jesus instead.

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“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

At Low Tide

When Hurricane Sandy hit our home (on whatever day that was), I was asleep with earplugs crammed deep into each side of my head. We all decided to go to bed once the electricity went out about 8 PM. The next morning we awoke to a chilly, un-electrified house. From what I could determine, our home, and those in my neighborhood, were spared. There were trees and wires down everywhere, but most of the houses were intact. The rain had not been that bad; even our basement was dry. In fact, the portion of ceiling that usually leaks when we get a driving rain never proffered a drop of water. There was one tree down in my yard, but with the aid of a floor jack and my Jeep, I was able to get it up off the lawn and re-planted. I lost about 8 shingles off my roof, but wouldn’t you know it, I had exactly 8 shingles in my garage and was able to make a repair in about 30 minutes or so.

Hurricane Sandy, I surmised, wasn’t that bad. Once again, the media over-hyped the weather report.

I jumped into the car and drove down to the beach front. It soon became apparent that my assessment of the storm’s intensity and destruction was askew. It pained me to admit it, but the media had gotten this one right (it was bound to happen eventually). Sections of boardwalk were flipped over, mountains of beach sand covered the roads, buildings were collapsed (or missing), and piers that once jutted into the Atlantic Ocean for decades, and through countless storms, were no more.  I snapped pictures until the battery in my camera went dead, jumped in the Jeep, and drove home.

Again I thought to myself, it wasn’t that bad. After all, much of what was lost could be characterized as extracurricular entertainment — the boardwalk, the piers with their roller coasters and fishing facilities, the food concessions and games, all of it for our amusement. These businesses would all, in due time, recover, I concluded. They would likely come back better than before. And a lot of the homes that were damaged or destroyed, well, these folks are wealthy; they all have insurance, and eventually they would all be restored.

I went home to my family and dark house where we prayed and played board games until the electricity came back on about a week later. No TV, no internet.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

When the power eventually was restored and I was able to get back online, I began to witness the relief effort that was going on all around me. Honestly, I was shocked. I kept thinking, What for? With the exception of millions of people not having electricity, there really wasn’t much need for relief.

I soon learned that our church joined in the effort. A church from Pennsylvania was coming to join forces with us, and together we were going to join forces with a church in a place called Highlands, NJ. I knew the area. It was misnamed, because there is nothing high about it. This small, bay front community is about 10 feet above sea level. I wasn’t sure why we were going there, after all, I had seen the damage in other areas, and it didn’t seem so bad, but nevertheless I prayed and I went.

As we drove our cars down the hill into the Highlands, the devastation was immediately apparent. The folks had already begun the process of cleaning up and the curbs were filled with garbage.

But wait. This garbage was different.

On both sides of the street; every street, piled has high as a person could throw a wet blanket, were the personal belongings and contents of the citizens of Highlands. Their furniture,  their clothes, their appliances, their mattresses, their toys, their walls, their baby pictures, their rugs, their floors, their insulation, their blood, their sweat, their tears.

What in hell happened here?

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13)

As far as I could tell, not one home was spared. The first floor of practically every single home (and most homes were only one level) were flooded out. The water had long since receded, but in every direction there was ruin. Even the church we were partnering with lost everything on their first floor. But as God would have it, this turned out to be a blessing, because as soon as it was emptied and gutted, it was filled with relief supplies for the community.

I spent the next few days here helping residents empty their homes of all their possessions, pulling down sheet rock, and pulling up floors, in order that they might be able to rebuild when their insurance checks came in; if they had insurance that is. Not all of them did. You see, Highlands is not such a highfalutin kind of place. Most who live here are middle-to-very-low income families. Not all; there are some higher-end condos closer to the water’s edge, but the majority of the folks in Highlands are struggling to make ends meet. In most instances, Sandy came in and stole all they had.

This was the case in most of these communities along the coast: complete ruin. I had no idea. So sad, but these people did not need our tears.

Why am I telling you all this? 

Because there is a great need here and the need will continue for months. Oh not just in Highlands, NJ, but in every shore town that Sandy touched. I figured you may not be aware. I thought that because I live here and I didn’t even realize how bad it was. Less than 3 miles from my house, people were putting out to the curb everything they own, and I was oblivious to it. Thousands upon thousands of homes and lives were destroyed, and I thought to myself, “Gee, Sandy wasn’t so bad.”

As it turns out, I did one thing right — I prayed.

While I didn’t understand the scope of the problem initially, I prayed for people who may be suffering loss. Despite my ignorance, God answered those prayers and changed me. God woke me up to the reality of the situation and in the process made me an effective tool in His hand. Had I not prayed at all, the likelihood is that I would have sat in my warm and happy home unconscious to the needs around me. Because of God, through prayer, something better occurred. Oh, it wasn’t much, but it was something. Without the prayer, it would have been nothing. Yesterday I helped a guy named Eugene gut his home. Today, as my aching back heals a bit, I write to exhort and encourage you to pray.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)

What will your prayer do?

I do not know specifically, except to say, that if your prayers are sincere, God will change you in some manner. Maybe all God will do is make you a prayer warrior. Maybe He’ll make you a helper or a giver. Maybe He’ll get you moving in an entirely different direction altogether. The reality is that nothing will change until you pray. And consider the notion that if you’re reluctant to pray, maybe the underlying problem is that you are not submitted to the change God wants to do in you. Stop saying that you hate change and pray.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

Please pray for the victims of Sandy and wait for the change in you. If you want to help in some small or big way, first pray. 

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