Posted in disaster, jesus, prophecy, superstorm

Manhattan In the Dark

The lights off in NYC made me think of Amos 5.

Drudge Report screen shot, 10-30-12

Stay with me.

“Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20)

First, the earthly hardships that go along with a storm of this size are incredible. Frankly, when the Tribulation hits, the last place you want to be is in a city. Bug OUT if you want to survive.

Anyway, as millions upon millions are discovering now, living on any floor above, say fifth, means a lot of walking up and down stairs. No elevators. No running water. That means you have to lug water up, if you can even find any. No flushing, unless you stored water ahead of time and can use it to flush the toilet. No food, or if you find some, you have to lug it up. If you go out on the street there are a lot of other tired, desperate, hungry, thirsty people. There were twitter meet ups planning a mass looting, so it is even more dangerous than usual to be out and about. Then cabin fever sets in. What to do with the kids for days on end inside an apartment with no internet, tv, or PlayStation? And where would you even go? The subways aren’t running, along with bus and most likely, cabs. The streets are littered with tree limbs, flood sludge, dangling electrical wires, and debris. Even if you want to get out and about it is impossible and dangerous.

And then the rats arrive. The UK Daily Mail helpfully reminds us that “Rats are highly social individuals and live in a fairly stable social structure. If this storm disturbs that, rats could start infesting areas they never did before.’ There are precedents for rats being displaced by floods and forced into buildings. In the UK this summer washed out rats began infesting homes. ‘It’s not just about the high winds and rain,’ said Ostfeld. ‘A rat disturbance is something we should be concerned about.’ “

So the city is a bad place in the best of times. It is downright survival UNfriendly in the worst of times.

But what about spiritual survival? I pray that those who know Jesus have remained peaceful even in the face of terrible fear, adrenaline-pumping protection of your children, in evacuation, or even in the face of loss of all you owned. Jesus is the rock who will provide help to you spiritually to work through these hard times. (Psalm 9:9). What a Savior we have who promises help in times of trouble! Before I was saved I used to mock Jesus because I thought, wrongly, that if you were a Christian that meant you would never have trouble. So when trouble inevitably came to His believers, I thought he was powerless and ineffectual to protect them.

I know different now. Jesus said that in this world you will have trouble,

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”’ (John 16:33)

The difference now is that my faith in Him has shifted my perspective from one of clinging to temporal, earthly things, like a house and clothes and a car or a job, to Him in eternity. I have an eternal perspective and the treasures I am heaping up are hopefully faith, patience, love, kindness and other fruits of the Spirit that point to HIM. If I go through trouble (and I do) I rely on His peace and His grace and His Spirit to get me through. He is my Light. Being in the Light is warm and safe and peaceful. Nothing can trouble me when I am in the Light.

But for those who do not know the Light and are in the dark, it is a dark place indeed. Having an earthly perspective means that we see only to the end of our lifespan on earth, 40 or 70 or 80 years. That is not long. Anyone who is over 50 knows how short life is! And when some of that is taken away, a job or a car or a house, unbelievers get frantic because it takes time to build back up and if all you see are a few short years of life then there is no time!

Back to Manhattan being dark. Imagine the lost people in New York in the dark as the people in Amos’s verse, stumbling around in the dark during the Tribulation, AKA The Day of the Lord.

“Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light, as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20)

They reel from one calamity to another, in gloom with no brightness.

The NYC photo of darkness is a real and scary event that is happening to millions right now. But it is also a spiritual metaphor for those who are stumbling around with no hope, they are in spiritual darkness. After the rapture there will be only darkness. Sin will have its day and the gates of hell will be allowed to prevail and overcome the world and the saints. (Revelation 13:7)

Repent now and be in His Light! In Him was the Light of men and in Him there is no darkness at all. (John 1:4-5). I’m not saying that if you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to forgive them, and become a born again (John 3:14) that you won’t have a tornado slam into your house or a flood carry your car away or that other disasters won’t touch you. Not at all. But you will be able to handle them with the Holy Spirit in you giving you strength, and the forgiveness and sanctification of Jesus giving you peace.

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Please come into the Light, the Light of Jesus and His outstretched hand offering forgiveness of your sins. Repent and believe, for the time is short.

Posted in abandon ship, Coast Guard, hms bounty, hurricane sandy, superstorm

HMS Bounty abandons ship in Hurricane Sandy. Please pray for mariners, Navy personnel and Coast Guard responders

Update to the update: Originally it was thought that there were 17 crew members. There are 16. This means that the CG is still looking for two missing. The other 14 have landed safely at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. Please continue to pray for the 2 missing, the Coast Guard looking for them and all mariners in this monster storm.

Twitter @Reuters update: “FLASH – 14 of 17 crew members who abandoned HMS Bounty rescued by U.S. coast guard.” Praise the Lord! Please pray for the other three

The three-masted Tall Ship HMS Bounty has abandoned ship. BNO News reports,

HMS Bounty

“The Coast Guard has received word that the crew of the HMS Bounty has abandoned ship approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C., Monday. The 17 person crew donned cold water survival suits and lifejackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies. The Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation and assess the weather conditions to determine the soonest Coast Guard aircraft or surface assets can be on scene to conduct effective rescue operations. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina initially received a call from the owner of the 180-foot, three mast tall ship, HMS Bounty, saying she had lost communication with the vessel’s crew late Sunday evening.”

“The Coast Guard 5th District command center in Portsmouth subsequently received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the Bounty, confirming the distress and position. An air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which later arrived on scene and reestablished communications with the Bounty’s crew. The vessel was reportedly taking on water and was without propulsion. On scene weather is reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.”

The Coast Guard also put out a press release, saying much the same thing.

I had mentioned in last night’s blog entry that I had lived aboard a sailboat for two years. I am a mariner. I was living aboard when the 1993 Storm of the Century” struck, also known as the ’93 Superstorm. This was a storm that reached from Cuba to Halifax. These facts from Wikipedia remind me of the terrible losses we experienced:

“In the United States, the storm was responsible for the loss of electric power to over 10 million customers. It is purported to have been directly experienced by nearly 40 percent of the country’s population at that time. A total of 310 people, including 10 from Cuba, perished during this storm.”

It spawned rain, wind, blizzards and tornadoes. As for us in the Bahamas, I’ll never forget the train-sound of straight line winds that barreled toward us. The dark clouds were scary beyond anything I’d ever experienced up until then. We heard it coming and we saw it coming and though we were in a protected anchorage, it still knocked our 23,000 lb, 40 foot yacht flat on its side like a toothpick. We had three anchors out and the Yanmar diesel running at top speed and we still dragged.

After the initial arrival like a bomb, the storm remained in a high wind pattern for days. By then our anchors were holding and we sustained no damage to our vessel. One boat did sink near the harbor as it attempted to get into port. The people were rescued but the boat was a total loss. So the worst part for us was hearing the distress of other mariners on our radios…and there was nothing we could do to help them.

But Coast Guard did. The brave men and women who flew out into the terrible storm are the ones who have my undying gratitude. We rightly honor the policemen and firemen and transit workers for helping in times of storm and distress. We tend to honor them more often because their bravery and dedication to saving lives is on the television news afterward. The Coast Guard does their work alone, far from land, in the dark, and battling monstrous winds and waves. For the mariner, scared and helpless, far from shore and facing a cold and lonely death, just knowing that the Guard will respond is hope that offers sanity-saving clinging to during the terrible hours of waiting.

As today’s storm approaches, the Coast Guard has elevated the port status along many of the Eastern Seaboard’s ports to Port Condition Yankee. “The U.S. Coast Guard has elevated New York and New Jersey port condition status to Yankee. Large vessels must vacate New York’s ports, and other mariners are cautioned to avoid being on the water. The Coast Guard’s search and rescue operations will be hampered, and they may not be able to provide help until after the storm. Drawbridges will remain closed as wind picks up speed.”

Port Condition Yankee also means “No vessels may enter, transit or remain within this safety zone without the permission of the Captain of the Port.”

So for those mariners who did not seek safe harbor or who were too far from harbor, the ports are now restricted. A port Condition Zulu (closed, period) may be issued later.

Please pray for the mariners, the Coast Guard and the Navy men and women who are out to sea right now.