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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Was New Orleans disaster prophesied? Let's seek God's Voice!

Continue to pray earnestly for our entire nation as we witness the aftermath of Katrina. Let us be attuned to the Voice of the Spirit and hear what He is saying to our nation.

Prophetic minister Chuck Pierce prophesied in 2004 winds and waters coming to New Orleans, and refugees heading north. Although I try to avoid lengthy quotes, read these excerpts from the End Time Prophecy and Vision site:

"After Chuck discussed traveling from Wisconsin directly to Louisiana, he prophesied:

"From the North to the South I am ready to awaken two winds that will awake the nation. There are resisting forces in both states that will cause our nation to not move forward. Go up and down and decree the wind of God will awaken in both places. The states will shift in a new way or the nation will not shift and will go backwards."

Later when addressing the Saul structure in Baton Rouge, Chuck prophesied:

…. The WIND and WATER will rise in the midst of New Orleans. Many from the south will come north for refuge. Prepare. Prepare now for winds and water that will surprise you. I will renew the pattern not fully seen before. Worship will be here, and birthed in a new way from here. Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Shift! Saul will be no more. David will arise from this day forward. The wind from the south will begin to blow. Watch for the effects. This will purify the land and bring great change."

Then in Alexandria that night Chuck shared from Song of Solomon 4:16 (Awake the north wind; come, o south wind. Blow upon the garden of this nation). He led the people to pray for the south wind to come. This south wind would be a purifying wind, cause corruption to be blown on and cause corruption to shake and initiate a righteous move starting with the children, then moving to the youth. We were to watch the government and the Catholic Church shake, and watch New Orleans change.

Then Chuck prophesied, 'I will put a mantle on African Americans in this land. That which was brought in through parts of this state and held people captive will let go. I will send the wind up the Mississippi River and this wind will shake Missouri. You will see the land shake in Missouri because of the wind from Louisiana. Get ready. Don't brace yourself. Throw yourself up. Get ready for the new is coming. Every place I blow on will shake. The wind is coming on Louisiana and it will shake the entire state. I will fill churches. The south purifying wind of My holiness will sweep across Louisiana. People will be on their faces in malls and shopping centers. Boldness will come upon My people in Louisiana. There is a worship call. Get ready - the wind is about to blow. The river is changing courses. You will be one of the first that changes.'"

Let’s endeavor to hear His Voice and respond. Pray for His Purposes to be accomplished more than concentrating on what the Devil seems to be doing.

(A note about sources:
You may verify that this was predictive prophecy by going here for Google’s cached version of this report, dated February, 2005.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Connecticut Red Cross info

This is the address of the
Connecticut Red Cross. You can donate on line or call using the phone numbers provided, etc.

Governor sues to prevent loss of Air Guard planes; wrap-up of other stories

There is a little bit of news in the Constitution State, even while we are all looking towards New Orleans. Lost in the hurricane watch is the news that Governor Rell has sued to stop the BRAC from closing out the Air Guard base. This afternoon, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the recommendation. A hearing will take place on September 7.

Former Governor Rowland may be arrested for illegally doing business with the state after leaving office.

The business community is twisted about the problems and costs of doing business in Connecticut.

Hedge funds have been popping up like mushrooms in Connecticut, particularly in lower Fairfield County, but apparently there is a dark side.

Connecticut comes in second in per capita income according to census data released today.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Barna Group research shows Connecticut has nation's lowest incidence of Evangelicals

What do we have lots of in Connecticut? Well, we have lots of corporations, nice town greens, lots of cars, still quite a few cows, and apparently we're still going to have submarines for a while. But do we have lots of Evangelical Christians? Well...

If you're not familiar with them, the Barna Group is a Christian research organization devoted to checking the nation's spiritual barometer and regularly provides polling and other data on spiritual trends of all kinds. Their most recent report indicates that Connecticut has the lowest incidence of Evangelicals of any State in the nation. By Barna's defintion, Evangelicals are a subset of born-again Christians holding to certain doctrinal positions. While such criteria can be somewhat subjective, these factoids should give you pause:

"Of the 86 largest metropolitan areas in the nation, those with the lowest proportion of evangelicals were Salt Lake City, Utah; Hartford, Connecticut; and Providence, Rhode Island."

"The report also explores the faith of residents in the 27 most populous states. The state with the highest percentage of adults who are evangelical is Alabama (at 13%, nearly double the national average). Its polar opposite – i.e., the state with the lowest incidence of evangelicals – is Connecticut."

"Connecticut retains the bragging rights to having the fewest adults who are evangelical, with just 26,000 of them in a state of more than two and a half million adults."

"One out of every six residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington are atheist or agnostic – nearly double the national average."

The full report is actually $3500.00 so you won't be seeing it posted here in the near future, but go here to read the abstract at the Barna site. It is very informative and, I hope, sobering to Bible-believing Christians in Connecticut.

Keep praying!

Air Guard Base to empty out...

After dodging the big bullet, Connecticut has lost a component of its Air National Guard, as the Base Realignment and Closing Commission voted 9-0 to move 17 A-10 attack planes out of Bradley International Airport.

On Wednesday, the Commission voted to close three Army Reserve centers in the State, costing us over 50 jobs.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Episcopal clergy and lay leaders take action against Connecticut's Episcopal Bishop

Ready for some news that does not involve submarines?

Nineteen Connecticut Episcopal leaders have filed formal charges against Bishop Andrew Smith, claiming a variety of violations of canon law, including violating the due process rights of the so-called "Connecticut Six."

As usual, you will find the fullest reporting and blogging from a traditional prespective about this and other Anglican and Episcopal issues at the Virtue Online website, which is run by Orthodox Anglicans. The site is a great resource for articles and trends.

Virtue Online has more on the Connecticut story here, including the text of the filing against Bishop Smith.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Wrap-Up of Sub Stories

Here are a few stories to check out on this. We'll move on and leave the analysis to others after this.

Church in Groton has been busy praying over the decision. We know this pastor and he's a great guy.

Here's the Courant/AP report. Did Sen. Lieberman really say, "Yahoo!" Well, I guess he did.

Robert Ballard opines on the link between the Navy and New England oceanographers here. Very interesting stuff.

Sub Base Dodges Bullet!

Just happened. Final vote was 7-1-1 in favor of keeping the Groton base. The Commission Chairman had a lovely tirade in favor of the base.

Thank the Lord for His mercies to our State. Clearly not deserved, but that's why they call it mercy.

BRAC Commission meeting at this moment

Listen live at WTIC.

So far it sounds good for the Sub Base.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

How Can We Pray for Connecticut? (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, we talked about how God has given "redemptive gifts" to different places and regions. These are gifts and abilities he has given to advance his cause and make us a blessing. We talked about how Connecticut has a call to be "The Arsenal of the Nation." In the natural, this reflects our traditional connection to the military. In the spirit, it speaks of how we have advanced the Kingdom through intercession.

Connecticut also has a calling to leadership and demonstration of godly government ("The Constitution State.")

  • In 1639, Connecticut's English settlers, recognizing their need for a form of government, wrote the world's first modern constitution, the Fundamental Orders. This was the first written document in history to create a government of limited powers, but its primary goal was the preservation of "the liberty and purity of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus...." Thus Connecticut became known as the Constitution State.
  • Numerous first in American law and government came out of Connecticut or were proposed by its citizens, such as the first law school, and the idea for the structure of the U. S. House and Senate, known as the Connecticut Compromise. It has been speculated that the Constitutional Convention would have failed without this concept, offered by Connecticut's Roger Sherman. Connecticut was also the first State to provide a full public defender system.
  • In recent decades, however, our State and local governments have been plagued by extreme corruption and other, even viler criminal activity which has resulted in the jailing of high public officials.
Let's pray for:
  • the restoration of good government to our State
  • Connecticut to again be a model and forerunner of good leadership practices
  • good leadership in churches and society at large

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Weird Connecticut This Week (Vol. 6)

In part, this week's post is another "stupid criminals" edition. A man who claimed to be have been carjacked as part of the recent bank robbery in Waterbury was actually in on it according to the police. He even let himself be interviewed on TV about having been carjacked - but the police say he was actually the getaway driver all along.

And, in another highly unnecessary event, some older gentlemen are posing in the buff to sell a calendar to raise money for affordable housing in Lyme. Apparently, one of the men posing nude is 70 years old and was a state legislator for 30 years. We'll pass on the calendar. Lyme is a beautiful town (see photo!) and it sure would be great if anyone who really wanted to live there could afford to do so. But what happened to the Land of Steady Habits anyway?

You probably can guess that I don't approve of this but I'm only making light of it because it's unlikely to be inimical to morals...

(Photo courtesy State of Connecticut.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Is Connecticut percolating?

Those of us who are looking for reformation and transformation in our State would be lying if we said Connecticut was boiling over spiritually. But maybe we are starting to percolate a bit. Our friends at the Family Institute of Connecticut have been blogging this week about how frequently religion and culture have been popping up in the Connecticut newspapers. Check out the August 18th entry in their Connecticut in the Crosshairs blog. (You can also find them at any time in our new blogroll on the right-hand side of this page.)

And while I'm at it, rather than railing against mainstream media columnists, wouldn't it be a great idea (and more Christlike) to have some organized prayer for them?

Over fifty years ago, the ministry of Billy Graham was heavily promoted by publisher William Randolph Hearst - most likely not out of any desire to see people come to Christ, but for reasons of his own. But how many souls came to know the Lord because of the increased visibility Dr. Graham got from Time magazine? Don't get me wrong - the Lord doesn't need the Hartford Courant or Channel 8 to get His message out. But what if more members of the press knew that we actually cared about them as individuals? Would a Christlike spirit affect how Christians and other pro-family activists are viewed and reported upon?

That's just something to think about . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Update on New London Sub Base

Please continue to pray for the Base Realignment and Closure Commission which is reviewing possible closure of military bases. Some decisions are expected very soon. (Earlier post with more complete info here.)

Today we received some support at very high levels, as Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert wrote to the Commission and expresssed his belief that closing the base would be wasteful and also harmful to national security. He urged the Commission to remove New London from the list of bases to be closed.

Let's give thanks for this support and continue to ask the Lord to safeguard our economy as well as our security.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More unwelcome news on the economic front...

International Paper announces it will leave Stamford, taking numerous good-paying jobs with them down to Memphis. The linked article gives some interesting details about what was done to try to keep them in state, and comments on our economic woes such as job stagnation and the threatened loss of the sub base and its associated jobs.

The AP business writer of that story also notes that we are ranked the 5th most expensive State in which to do business. The Milken Institute, an economic think tank, puts out an annual ranking of such things, and among its 2005 findings is the revelation that Connecticut has the highest wages in the nation. This is good for those of us who are here already and can keep our jobs, but not so good for attracting new business. (And of course our high cost of living can soak up those high wages pretty quickly, too...)

It's way past time to begin to pray for the health of our State economy and go to the Lord in repentance for excluding Him and His ways from more and more areas of our everyday life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How can we pray for Connecticut? (Part 1)

Is there a way to pray specifically for a State or region rather than just praying about events as they happen? A better question is, "Can we actually know and then pray God's purposes for a certain place?"

It seems God has given certain "redemptive gifts" to peoples, nations, and states - gifts and abilities which he desires to have us use to bless others and advance His Kingdom. However, the enemy of our souls perverts and twists these gifts. For example, in Connecticut, our call to be a provider and a storehouse has been perverted such that we are now known nationwide for casino gambling, greed, and economic inequality.

I believe our gifts and callings as a State can be perceived through the lens of history and the aptitudes of our people. Over several posts, I want to share three particular callings or gifts that we possess as a State. We can then
pray more targeted prayers and, as we do, we will see God using our State for His Glory!

Connecticut has a Calling to Prayer (“The Arsenal of the Nation”).

  • In the natural, Connecticut has long been known as "The Arsenal of the Nation." Since Colonial times we have been a center for firearms and military production. Even today, despite our small size, we are a leader in the production of firearms, military engines, submarines, and helicopters. In the spiritual realm, it has been prophesied that Connecticut will again be an arsenal for war, but in the realm of prayer.
  • Indeed, we do seem to have a call to be a praying State. Connecticut ministers such as David Brainerd were at the forefront of the work of prayer and evangelism during the Great Awakening of the 1740's.
  • Our governors once proclaimed annual days of fasting as well as days of thanksgiving. In March, 1775, Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. proclaimed a statewide fast for April 19, 1775. Providentially, that ended up being the date of the Battle of Lexington and Concord! Thus, on the very day that the American Revolution was born, the Church in Connecticut was actually in church, help to birth our national freedom through prayer.
With this in mind, let's pray:
  • for the churches of our State to rise up in unified prayer once again
  • for God to raise up an army of intercessors throughout the State
  • for people to take to heart a burden for State issues as well as National and local ones

Monday, August 15, 2005

Two Connecticut cities among the most "liberal"

The Gospel is not about "right" or "left," and neither is this blog. However, I found it interesting that two Connecticut cities are among the 15 most liberal in the country, according to The Bay Area Center for Voting Research.

According to their reports, derived from voting patterns, Hartford is # 12 and New Haven is # 15. A full listing of the most liberal cities can be found here. Or, if you want to know where the most conservative places are, go here instead.

The New Britain Herald has more info on this here.

Photo courtesy State of Connecticut.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Weird Connecticut This Week (Vol. 5)

I've been away on vacation this week, so blogging has been at a minimum. Thanks for visiting!

This edition of WCTW is not actually an example of homegrown Connecticut weirdness per se, but is about what may be the most offensive thing that has happened in Connecticut this summer. About some people who came into Connecticut and acted, well, weirdly.

Whatever you think about animal rights, PETA's summertime trip to New Haven firmly established them as being inhumane. On August 8, PETA displayed photos of dead animals in New Haven together with photos of dead people such as lynched African-Americans, in a misguided effort to equate slavery with the use of animals, or something. Fortunately, New Haven residents let them have it. So much so that PETA is now rethinking its campaign.

According to the New Haven Register, PETA banners compared African-Americans' sufferings to those of cattle, sheep, a seal, an elephant, and a rooster.

(In other PETA highlights: PETA protested the eating of fish, with one protestor actually dressing as a fish. Fox News reporting on PETA also noted that they were protesting the eating of sushi at an aquarium fundraiser - saying it would be like eating poodleburgers at a dog show.)

Anyway, well done, New Haven. For all their high-mindedness, PETA's grandstanding only serves to devalue human life. Our culture needs to value life and uphold the dignity of all persons.

Monday, August 08, 2005

SOS: Save Our Subs!

The Danbury News-Times editorial board (no right-wingers, they) expressed concern in their lead editorial Sunday over the rise of Chinese naval power and the seeming rush to gut our own submarine force, which only includes 55 attack boats. There is also alarm about unprecedented joint Russian-Chinese war games involving some 100,000 troops.

Of course, this also has much to do with trying to prevent the powers that be from torpedoing our own state's economy by closing the New London sub base. The Norwich Bulletin reports there are hopeful signs in the last few days that the Commission reviewing base closures may give us a last-minute reprieve.

Let's pray that our officials will make wise decisions as they review our bases and that God will bless our economy. Pray for the Commission, known as the BRAC.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Praying for prayer

What does it mean to "pray for prayer?"

Some people use prayer lists, some don't. Some like to "pray the news." Others just pray for whatever or whoever comes into their head, as the Spirit leads them. Some are "governmental intercessors" who feel called to pray for those in leadership. But with all the praying we do for different things, I think it's also important that we pray for God to make us a praying people and raise up more works of prayer in our State. We can pray for prayer!

Remember that a prayerless people seems to be the only thing in Scripture that can actually astonish God.

Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. (Isa. 59:15-16)

Let's pray for prayer this coming week by asking God for the "spirit of grace and intercession" to fall upon Connecticut. I believe that God can cause us to be a praying people once again. Let faith arise in your heart that God can make a change - not just in your family, but in your town and your State!

A simple thought on prayer and consistency from Corrie ten Boom:

"Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Another reminder it's not too early to pray...

Yes, there are elections for Governor in 2006 - and by the way, 2006 is coming up fast. New Haven's Mayor DeStefano , a candidate for the Democratic nomination, has already released a DVD linking Gov. Jodi Rell to the corruption of the Rowland Administration.

This week, a New Haven Advocate writer poked Mr. DeStefano about his fundraising, and named some names. I don't know that the Advocate would come out for Mrs. Rell, but it doesn't look like this will be a very genteel contest for Governor.

Let's begin to pray now for the elections of 2006 and ask God for leaders after his own heart!

Weird Connecticut This Week (Vol. 4)

Usually the easiest post of the week to create, here's this week's edition. Maybe there really is something in the water.

  • Connecticut may have a new entry in the annals of stupid criminals on account of this man's alleged actions. Must be read to be believed. Bonus - check out the very funny response by the men in blue.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Episcopal Priest Formally Denies Charges

The Rev. Mark Hansen of St. John's Episcopal Church in Bristol, who was prohibited by the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut from performing his duties, has formally denied any wrongdoing. Rev. Hansen is one of six Episcopal priests disagreeing with their bishop over the ordination of an openly homosexual man as Bishop of New Hampshire. No action has been taken thus far against any of the other five priests.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Activists continue to push for same-sex marriage in Connecticut

The group GLAD ("Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders") has already sued in New Haven Superior Court on behalf of some same-sex couples who are seeking the imposition of full-fledged gay marriage in Connecticut. Click here to read their brief, filed last week, seeking summary judgment in their favor. [A summary judgment motion seeks judgment without the necessity of a trial on the merits of the case.] (Hat tip to Brian Brown et al at the Family Institute of Connecticut.)

In general, you can track the progress of any family or civil court case in Connecticut through our States' excellent Judicial Department website. If you are into safeguarding privacy, this site may scare you a little bit. Track the case here. You will need to scroll down a bit to get through the names of the parties and their attorneys. At the bottom you will see the motions and what action was taken upon them. The Connecticut court system does not yet provide digital copies of the actual motions themselves, so there is no way to read them without going to the courthouse. Pray for all involved.

Apparent Rituals Arouse Curiosity in Danbury Area

As I mentioned in last week's Weird Connecticut post, someone left an offering of a pig's head, together with vegetables and wine, in a Bethel cemetery. This week, the top headline on the Danbury News-Times shouted out that the leaver-behind of the pig had struck again. This time, police found a pig's head in a Danbury cemetery. They explained it as possibly an Asian custom to honor deceased ancestors. This makes sense on some level, as Danbury does have a somewhat large Cambodian population.

However, a third pig's head has now turned up, this time in a park. This story contains some background. Looks like the reporter called some West Coast contacts to find out more about Asian customs of honoring the dead. The quoted expert thinks this is the work of Tongans or Samoans. Without wanting to talk about this in any depth, lots of cultures perform these kinds of sacrifices. (Don't Google it, it's gross.) Anyway, it will not hurt us to pray against anything that was designed to be released if indeed this was a sacrifice. It may also be bored teenagers trying to raise a scare.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Earthquakes Aplenty

This takes us beyond the realm of Connecticut obviously, but I couldn't help but notice the large amount of strong earthquakes around the world in the last couple of weeks. This is not just anecdotal evidence on my part, as I do track them with a nifty RSS feed from the U. S. Geological Survey.

(There are several different RSS feeds available for quakes depending on the size, but the only one I was able to make work was the feed listing all quakes size 2.5 or above. This gives perhaps too many results, but is very interesting. Anyway, I was alarmed to see how many quakes there have been size 5.0 and above lately, including a 5.6 in Montana that I did not hear about elsewhere in the press. If you are new to the world of RSS feeds, my own personal recommendation is RSS Reader, which still a free download. It does not integrate into Outlook or Internet Explorer but I think it's a great program.)

Please, let's pray for God's mercies on our State. Earthquakes are not unknown here, just not prevalent or powerful.