Storm Report and Thoughts

Thank you for your prayers, Friends!!! Praise the Lord, all is well and last night's severe storms ended several hours sooner than they were initially expecting! Instead of being up till 3am, I was able to go to bed a little before midnight! Still feeling the effects of being keyed-up all day, yesterday; but wanted to share a few praises and thoughts.

Walking around this morning, I didn't see any damage. Thankfully, the wind wasn't too much worse than a very heavy thunderstorm; but we got quite a bit of rain. There was one tornado, with damage, about thirty minutes from us. And that same one also tracked very close, just shaving by, south of us; but as it was losing strength. There were about four different tornado warnings that affected, or came very close to, our direct area.

Thankfully, the power stayed on the whole time; and only flickered a few very brief times. It was definitely draining, though! I had to watch the weather almost from 3pm till 10pm, since there were two main fronts. I was definitely praying for you all that were also being affected by these storms!

Especially after the hurricane and nearby damage that we had in November, people here were definitely more keyed up and concerned about the potential for major tornadoes. It also added much more soberness to see the pictures of areas across the state that did receive damage - with several houses completely destroyed - having much more reality and impact with the recent storm. Many more people in our state could relate with what others were going through.

Praise the Lord, here at The Brook Cherith, there is an old 1960ish storm shelter, that they had originally built as a fallout shelter (during the Cuban missile crisis, I think). Unfortunately they didn't seal the outside with tar when they built it (for some reason), so it's always damp as a cave, and you can't store much in there; but, on weather days like this, it is a huge blessing.

Whenever we have severe weather like this, I always remind our four closest neighbors to come on over and use the shelter if need be. It's about 12'x15' inside, so you can easily set up 12 plastic patio chairs, and still have plenty of room [the bottom pic only shows over 1/4th of the room]. Three of the neighbors checked in to make sure it was available again; but we had a new neighbor move in recently that I hadn't met yet. The actual tornado warnings for our area started popping up way earlier than I was expecting, so I quickly drove over to their house (with an actual tornado touching down about 30 minutes away!!!) and let them know the shelter was there, and they should just head straight to it if they need it. The look of relief and gratitude on the young mom's face, as she was holding her very young baby, was very genuine.

I went back to the house and was watching the nearby touchdown, when it started a torrential downpour and the wind picking up. I could barely see past the end of the driveway. In just a few moments, the new neighbors pulled into driveway, looking for where to go. Thankfully, the downpour intensity passed right at that moment [this was the tornado cell that passed south very close to us], and they were greatly relieved. The young mom had panicked (prudently so, with three little ones), so they had rushed over.

It was still storming and lightning around us, but I was able to quickly walk her husband over to the shelter, where it was and show him the inside, so he would know where it was if they needed it later. They went back home to keep an eye on the weather (and thankfully they did not need to rush over again); but from that brief interaction several things stood out. Firstly, it was how much such a demonstrated gesture made on their minds. While it seems rather straightforward, as the neighborly thing to do, they both repeatedly emphasized their gratitude that I would go out of my way to make our storm shelter available to them.

The husband must have mentioned this at least six times, in just the few moments we were standing there in the rain. They were both deeply touched. And, several of those times, he kept intimating that he was surprised a neighbor - who they didn't even know - would reach out to them. They had moved from another nearby county; and apparently didn't have quite so neighborly neighbors. But they were both deeply moved (I'd almost say floored) that such concern was shown. Something expressed, in a tangible form, that someone was thinking about them. Lord willing, we may get opportunity to talk again.

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." - Hebrews 10:24-25

Friend, never underestimate the impact that you can make in someone's life, simply by shewing and demonstrating care, concern, and love. A love put into action by good works. It does no good to tell someone that you love them, if it is only empty words. And we can say far more than words can describe, by simply a good deed, gesture, and action toward others. As I was standing outside in the storm, watching the neighbors drive back to their house, the Lord really impressed upon me the value and impact that all of our left-behind resources, the Rapture Library - and, indeed, our present testimony - will have on people in the days ahead. They are tangible expressions of love, that say (or don't say) more than words can say.

It saddens me - and I daresay it physically sickens me - to see so many Christians apathetic and heartless to the world around them. I'm not talking just about end-times related stuff, I'm talking about in daily life. Most. Christians. Don't. Care. About. Others. They just want to sit on their tail, at home, and do nothing. If you encourage them to be doers, and demonstrate love toward others, consider others, bring forth good works to the glory of our Father - or similar expressions of LOVE, I so often find 'Christians' (quote, unquote) making EXCUSES for their cold-heartedness and lack of love!

What group of people is known by the stereotype of "hypocrites" the most, in our world?? Why is that?? Because it's true. And the world knows it. I've personally heard lost people say that about church goers even in my own community. And, unfortunately, I can't say differently because I know there is much to what they say. The world sees 'Christians' talk about faith and love - but on the Mondays and Tuesdays, they see someone else. They listen to the life and deeds, far more than to the words.

When the Apostle Paul was exhorting and provoking to 1) love and to 2) good works - and SO MUCH THE MORE as we see the day approaching - WHAT GROUP OF PEOPLE WAS HE TELLING THAT TO?????

Sadly, Paul knew that in the perilous times - when people are lovers of their own selves, unthankful, without natural affection, highminded, and having a form of godliness (II Tim 3:1-5) - that the ones who will need to work on it the most will be CHRISTIANS. Yes, there are many God-fearing Christians who do shine bright for Christ; and you may be one of them. But, I think we all know, that the majority do not; and as a result, genuine Christians should - SO MUCH THE MORE - shine hard brighter, if only to help make up for the slack and poor testimony of those we are associated with.

The Apostle Paul knew exactly what most Christians would be lacking - and what most Christians should go overboard doing - so much the more as we see the day approaching. There's also a reason why, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus Christ contrasted the injured Samaritan with two religious folk; two caricatures of those most prone to walk right on by.

"And he [Jesus] saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other." - Mark 3:4-5

Friend, how does our Saviour look on us, right now? How will He look on us, shortly, when we stand before Him and give account? Will the look be of "Well, done, thou good and faithful servant" - or will it be a look of disgust, that says, "Why couldn't you have done anything?"

At this late hour, I would be remiss if I didn't - as Paul also did - exhort, admonish, and provoke you unto LOVE and GOOD WORKS. Not talk or mere words. PROOF of LOVE; demonstrated by GOOD WORKS. Christ repeatedly warned us that He will reward us according as our works shall be. And - as much as I hate to point it out - we must consider that includes angrily treating cold-hearted, and hardhearted, hypocrites like hypocrites.

Friend, I don't want that to be you; but, unfortunately, I am soberly reminded that the majority acts just like that; so I must use a broad brush here. Now is the time to self-assess, whether we merely have a form of godliness, or are we actually bringing forth fruits of the Spirit? Like demonstrated Love. Where there is no fruit, one must start questioning whether the heart of the tree is really alive or not. I haven't met hardly any of you, so I don't know you. But as I reflect on the Good Samaritan, and what the Apostle Paul directed right square at "Christians", I do know that our actions in one area are often a good indicator of how they are in other areas.

Show me a "Christian" who does not love or care for those whom they call their brethren - of the same household of faith - and I will show you a "Christian" who does not care much for their neighbors, either. It has been my observation, that the majority of Christians won't even lift a finger to help give a cup of cold water to watchmen who have given up well paying jobs to produce resources that they crave. Even when asked. Repeatedly. They will resort to high-horse excuses such as "Well, I don't agree with everything single thing that they say"; and yet - like a hypocrite - continue to watch, expect, and hope for more resources and videos from those same brethren that they walk over like a carpet. With whipped cream and cherries on top, too, please.

The overwhelming majority (99%+ of our viewers (and I've heard similar from other watchmen)) muzzle the ox by deliberately not feeding them. Any excuse will do; while at the same time they continue to ride the ox expecting more work. It amazes me that watchmen can oftentimes get a few (few) more donations for specific projects, than if they simply asked for a cup of cold water, or help paying the bills, and putting food on the table. After all the work that they do and give. Christ also made it clear that if His servants are ill-received in one area, He will send them elsewhere to work - and the subject will be brought up again one day, by the Master (Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, James 5:4).

Friend, I hate to even bring up the subject; but - like Paul - it is so glaring and obvious what group of people will be looked on with anger and grief when Christ comes. Those who knew they should shew love - and are actually the group that needed to shew good works so much the more - because they are the ones lacking it the most! So many Christians use the EXCUSE of the rapture to treat their fellow brethren less than dirt - the very ones working so hard to tell them about the day approaching!! And they will act all shocked when Christ treats the hypocrites like Grade A hypocrites!

Friend (and I think I have demonstrated that quite well; although largely one-sided...), these are the thoughts that the Lord brought to mind so heavily during these stormy last few hours: our actions - of love and good works - in one area will be a good indicator overall, across the board. And if we can't even lift a finger for those watchmen who work tirelessly for us, then we are in a world of hurt; and blinded by a form of godliness. I don't know your life, or what you are involved in; but, I know that when a brother or sister in Christ can demonstrate a beautiful gesture of sending a letter or card of encouragement, or sending a token of gratitude and concern for one's well-being and needs - then it warms my heart immensely to know that they are most likely shining so beautifully in other areas of their life, too. Light is only good if it is seen; not if it is just talked about.

I am deeply grateful for the very few brethren that make an effort and gesture to uplift these weary arms; many, many, many thanks to you (and I talk with the Father, very often, about your genuine kindness).

Friend, we see the day approaching. Do we see ourselves? Are we watching ourselves? Are we taking heed to ourselves? And are we rising up - knowing what group needs to be exercising love and good works so much the more? Will we be found foolishly with our heart lamps cold and dead; or will we be found girded in forward steps, with our lamps burning hot and bright in a dark world? Tangible light, that is seen and felt.

How will Christ look on our heart lamps when He comes...

Brother Daniel


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