Are Natural Disasters God’s Judgment?

Many believers think natural disaster is a result of God’s judgment. This is not surprising since many Christian believers also believe in karma, a Buddhist idea that attributes one’s current situation to a past action. It seems logical at first blush, but a closer look reveals inconsistencies.

For instance, if widespread flooding and wind damage were a result of divine judgment, then why weren’t all the buildings owned by sects who have heretical teachings (i.e. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses) destroyed? Why are faithful believers suffering the same as unbelievers? The idea that natural disasters are a result of divine judgment doesn’t hold to logic, because even if this was God’s method of judgment He would surely operate in a much deeper level of efficiency than to just throw disaster up in the air and let it fall where it may. Even in the Old Testament, when Yahweh pronounced judgment of the false gods of Egypt, there was a separation made between the people of Israel in the land of Goshen and the general population of the Egyptians. (Exodus 9:6)

We must abandon the idea that hurricanes and other natural disasters in our generation are a result of judgment and look deeper.

When God created the heavens and the earth, he made a garden and put a man there to keep it. (Gen 1:16) Man was given dominion over the earth. God sought fellowship with this man and his wife, and would come to commune with them regularly. The man and his wife were tempted to disobey the one thing God had commanded, and that was to not eat of one tree in particular, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve did in fact eat from that tree, and in doing so, handed over their dominion to another being, Lucifer, who had been cast down from heaven. This is where the earth stands today, and all of humanity with it.

The evil and suffering that we observe in the earth is not judgment. That day lies in the future and will completely dwarf any calamity or catastrophe we have seen thus far.  (begin in Rev. 6) The evil we experience is not what God wants for mankind, but a direct result of Man’s disobedience from the very beginning. Death, disease, abuse, slavery, disaster, and all other terrible things in the world are not God’s will. This is the result of man handing over his dominion to the ruler of darkness way back in the garden of Eden thousands of years ago. (Gen 3)

It is now our joy to take it back. Our responsibility as humanity is to humble our hearts before our Maker and allow His grace and power to transform our lives from the inside out. It is the time to take up the name of Jesus and go forth and do exploits. We can trust God’s goodness and His ability to be strong in the midst of our weakness. When we accept Jesus’ sacrifice and become born again children of God, we pick up where Adam left off. We can once again commune with Yahweh in the cool of the day and know Him personally. He longs to father us and lead us in a path of freedom and power that is foreign to the world around us, but that the world longs to see and know for them selves. It is a life of peace and hope that changes everything!

In Luke 13, Jesus referenced Pilate’s murder of certain Galileans and the death of 18 people who were crushed by a tower. He asked if they thought these folks who were killed were especially evil or deserving of such a death. Jesus said “No, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5)

Only those who refuse to accept God’s goodness are condemned.(John 3:17-18) This condemnation is not manifested in loss of property or even loss of life, but an eternity separated from the love of the Father. Jesus came to make a way for mankind to return to the loving intimacy God once had with Adam. Jesus took the penalty of our sin so that we can be restored to this relationship with God. Now what are we going to do with it?

Now is the Time

Hello friends,

Twenty-one years ago everything changed. My search for answers to life’s questions was coming up empty, and I was beginning to overdose on a regular basis. Things had gotten pretty unmanageable and I was scared. One night in a rehab center I surrendered my life to Christ.

I quickly discovered the missing element in my life was a relationship with God, and soon I had developed a veracious appetite for His word. The more I read the Bible, the better I knew Jesus. The more I knew Jesus, the more freedom I began to experience.

I recognized the call to ministry and in 1999 moved to Ohio to attend Bible College. I planned on a five-month semester, which turned into five years. After graduation I worked at the Bible College and attended a 5,000 seat mega church. During this time, I met my wife, Liz. We married in 2006 and moved to her hometown in Texas. Soon, our spirits began to stir with new directives, and we made the move back to North Carolina.

In 2007, we incorporated our ministry and began traveling to preach. That next year, we started a house church that met for 2 years in various homes. These years extended into a prolonged wilderness experience where we spent extended hours in prayer and study. In 2013, I graduated from Heritage Bible College in Dunn, NC. The same year I began working as a teacher in a Christian Academy and for the last 3 years also as a Student Pastor overseeing nursery, children’s church, and teenage youth ministries. I am currently working on a Master’s degree at Liberty University through online classes.

Last year God began speaking to Liz and I about stepping boldly into the next phase of our calling. What began as a small spark was fanned into a flame by no less than 10 prophetic words of confirmation from trusted sources. At the direction of the Lord, we resigned our positions and moved back to Harnett County. God has graciously made a way for us, and now is the time to move into a new season. We are very excited to see what God is going to do!

August 20th, we are launching Hope Family Church in Dunn. Meetings will be on Sunday mornings at 10:30. The address is Dream Big Christian Academy located at 1409 South Clinton Ave. Dunn, NC. Signs will be posted at the road. Everyone is welcome to come and bring friends and family. For questions or directions, contact us at 919-902-1124.

We love you, and look forward to seeing you soon.


Self Esteem

Dear friend,

The longer I work with people the more I discover about relationships. One glaring complication I’ve observed is how low self-esteem negatively affects the human personality. Whenever someone is not walking in healthy self-esteem it affects their relationships with everyone around them every single time.

When I look back on my earlier life I can plainly see that I suffered greatly with low self-esteem. Especially in my teen years, I became very introverted and mainly kept to myself. It got to the point I would not even participate in activities that I was good at for fear my success would draw unwanted attention. Needless to say, trying something new was out of the question…how much worse would it be to gain attention for failing than succeeding? This was a chance I was not willing to take.

The resulting life was one of seclusion and anxiety. I became very afraid, and lived life on the fringes of society. The low view I had of myself closed me off to the world around me, and I became like a zombie…walking through my existence with a lifeless gaze and devoid of hope. That was not God’s plan for my life, and it is not His plan for your life, either!

“When we are living a life of fellowship with God, we receive a revelation of His love for us that we can identify with”.

God has a plan to give you an abundant, rich life of peace and fulfillment. That doesn’t mean we do not face challenges, but we face them together, with our heavenly Father. We experience life in the joy and strength of His presence. When we are living a life of fellowship with God, we receive a revelation of His love for us that we can identify with. We discover that we are His children, and He is our Father, and His plans are to proper us and give us a hope and a future. This revelation changes everything!

It didn’t happen quickly. At first, I barely trusted God with my day to day. Only as I spent more time with God in prayer and Bible study did I begin to see that God had a plan for a wonderful future. A future…for me! Hope had been birthed from my relationship with a loving Heavenly Father and I began to see the world in a different way. Instead of fear and failure I was filled with hopeful expectation and possibility. In Christ, everything had changed. I wasn’t some low-life worthless piece of trash, but a son of God, an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ Jesus.

Being saved and placed into God’s family by faith changed my perspective on everything. It can change your perspective as well. For me, one of the most interesting things God has to say about our relationships with others is contained in Luke 10:27. Jesus declares:

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,”fn] and “your neighbor as yourself.” NKJV

This is huge. You are to love your neighbor AS yourself. In other words, Jesus is saying you are to love others, in a similar way or in like manner that you love yourself. This begs the question: Do I love myself? And if not, how can I then be expected to love others? This I believe is a very good question and underlines the point I’m trying to make. If I can only love others as much as I love myself, then it stands to reason if I have a low self-esteem I will have problems displaying God’s love to others.

This is why fellowship and personal devotion with God is so very important. It’s in our times of prayer and fellowship with God that He reveals his love into our hearts. It’s in spending time with Him that we come to realize our relationship as children of God. It’s a position of peace and provision, not fear and striving. When we embrace this reality of son-ship, we experience God’s love for our lives and develop a healthy self-esteem. It is a self worth not based on our works, but the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is out of this view of our selves that we are made free and empowered to really love and serve others.

Things began to change for me as I turned the corner into my 20’s. It got even better as I passed my 30’s. The more I spent time with God, the more I came to peace with who I was and who I was not. Fear is gone. Self-pity and hopelessness have passed away. I want to encourage you to tread the same path. Turn from the lies of our defeated enemy and embrace the truth: You are a child of God! Repent where you need to. Commit to spending time with God in the Word and prayer and see your self worth soar from zero to hero. There’s an abundant life of God’s peace and provision waiting for you.

With love,