Undying Love: The Story of Hosea & Gomer

Article By: Bible.org

The calendar on the wall indicated that it was about 760 years before Jesus was born. Jeroboam II was on the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel & his military exploits had extended Israel’s borders farther than they had been since the days of Solomon’s glorious kingdom. Tribute money from subject nations was pouring into the treasury at the capital city of Samaria & the people of Israel were enjoying a period of unprecedented prosperity.

As is often the case, w/prosperity came moral & spiritual degeneration. Secularism & materialism captured the hearts of the people & sin ran rampant. The list reads like twentieth-century America: swearing, lying, killing, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, perversion, perjury, deceit & oppression, to name but a few. But the thing that grieved the heart of God more than anything else was the sin of idolatry (Hos. 4:12, 13; 13:2). The golden calves set up by Jeroboam I about 150 years earlier had opened the floodgates to every evil expression of Canaanite idolatry, including drunkenness, religious prostitution & human sacrifice.

Since the Lord viewed Israel as His wife, He viewed her worship of other gods as spiritual adultery. The Old Testament speaks frequently of Israel whoring after or playing the harlot w/other gods (e.g., Deut. 31:16; Judg. 2:17). Jehovah had told Israel from the beginning that he would not share her w/others. “You shall have no other gods before Me” was the 1st of his 10 great commandments (Exodus 20:3). But she had persistently ignored His command & by the days of Jeroboam II the situation was intolerable. God was about to speak decisively & He chose 1st a prophet named Amos. The former herdsman of Tekoa thundered God’s warning of imminent judgment, but the nation paid little attention. So God spoke again, this time through the prophet Hosea whose name meant “Jehovah is salvation.”

The very 1st thing God ever said to Hosea tells us about his unlikely marriage:

“Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry, and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord” – Hosea 1:2

These instructions have been variously understood by different students of Scripture through the years. Some believe that God was commanding Hosea to marry a woman who had formerly been a prostitute. Others contend that taking a wife of harlotry would merely refer to marrying a woman from the northern kingdom of Israel, a land which was guilty of spiritual adultery. In either case, it is obvious that she was a woman who had been deeply affected by the moral laxity of her society & God intended to use the prophet’s personal relationship w/her as a penetrating object lesson of His own relationship w/His unfaithful people, Israel. Whatever her past, there may have been some evidence of genuine repentance & faith in Jehovah. Maybe she had responded to the Spirit-filled ministry of Hosea himself, & he found his heart drawn to her in deep & unselfish love. God directed him to take her as his wife & so it was that Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, became the unlikely wife of the budding young preacher.

The early days of their marriage were beautiful as their love began to blossom. And God blessed their union with a son. How Hosea’s heart must have swelled w/joy. He was convinced that his marriage would be better than ever w/this little 1 to brighten their home. God named the baby, for his name was to have prophetic significance to the nation. He called him Jezreel bc it was at Jezreel that King Jeroboam’s great grandfather Jehu had 1st come to the throne by ambitious crimes of bloodshed & violence. While his dynasty was prospering at the moment, its destruction was on the horizon & it would happen in the valley of Jezreel (Hos. 1:4, 5).

It was after the birth of Jezreel that Hosea seems to have noticed a change in Gomer. She became restless & unhappy, like a bird trapped in a cage. He went on preaching, encouraging the wayward nation to turn from its sin & trust God for deliverance from the threat of surrounding nations. “Return unto the Lord!” was the theme of his message & he preached it repeatedly w/power (Hosea 6:1; 14:1). But Gomer seemed less & less interested in his ministry. In fact, she may have grown to resent it. She probably even accused Hosea of thinking more about his preaching than he did of her. She began to find other interests to occupy herself & spent more & more time away from home.

The dangers are great when a husband & wife have few interests in common. Sometimes he goes his way & she goes hers. They each have their own set of friends & there is little communication to bring their 2 worlds together. A husband’s preoccupation w/his work may be the major contributing factor to the cleavage. Or it may be a wife’s growing involvement in outside activities & subsequent neglect of the home. It may simply be a disinterest in the things of the Lord on the part of either husband or wife. But it sets the scene for great calamity. Husbands & wives need to do things together & take an interest in each other’s activities. In this inspired story, the responsibility is clearly laid upon Gomer rather than Hosea. She did not share her husband’s love for God.

That brings us, secondly, to his unrelieved agony. Scripture does not give us the details of what happened, but what it does say would permit us some speculation concerning the progressive trend that led to the tragic situation we eventually discover. Gomer’s absences from home probably grew more frequent & prolonged & soon Hosea was feeling pangs of suspicion about her faithfulness to him. He lay awake at night & wrestled w/his fears. He preached with a heavy heart during the day. And his suspicions were confirmed when Gomer got pregnant again. It was a girl this time & Hosea was convinced that the child was not his. At God’s direction, he called her Loruhamah, which means “unpitied” or “unloved,” implying that she would not enjoy her true father’s love. Again the name was symbolic of Israel’s wandering from God’s love & the discipline she would soon experience. But even that spiritual message could not soothe the prophet’s troubled soul.

No sooner had little Loruhamah been weaned than Gomer conceived again. It was another boy. God told Hosea to call him Lo-ammi, which meant “not my people,” or “no kin of mine.” It symbolized Israel’s alienation from Jehovah, but it also exposed Gomer’s sinful escapades. That child born in Hosea’s house was not his.

It was all out in the open now. Everyone knew about Gomer’s affairs. While the entire 2nd chapter of Hosea’s prophecy describes Jehovah’s relationship w/his unfaithful wife Israel, it is difficult to escape the feeling that it grows out of Hosea’s relationship w/Gomer, sandwiched as it is between 2 chapters that clearly describe that sad & sordid story. He pleaded w/her (2:2). He threatened to disinherit her (2:3). But still she ran off w/her lovers bc they promised to lavish material things on her (2:5). He tried to stop her on occasion (2:6), but she continued to seek her companions in sin (2:7). Hosea would take her back in loving forgiveness & they would try again. But her repentance would be short-lived & soon she would be off again w/another new lover.

Then the final blow fell. Maybe it was a note, maybe word sent by a friend, but the essence of it seems to have been, “I’m leaving for good this time. I’ve found my true love. I’ll never come back again.” How Hosea must have suffered! He loved her deeply & grieved for her as though she had been taken in death. His heart ached that she should choose a life that would surely bring her to ruin. His friends were probably saying, “Good riddance to her, Hosea. Now you’ll be through w/her adulterous ways once & for all.” But Hosea did not feel that way. He longed for her to come home.

We cannot escape the message of his undying love. Hosea wanted to see Gomer restored to his side as his faithful wife. And he believed that God was great enough to do it. 1 day word came by way of the grapevine gossips that Gomer had been deserted by her lover. She had sold herself into slavery & had hit bottom. This was the last straw. Certainly now Hosea would forget her. But his heart said “No.” He could not give her up. And then God spoke to him:

“Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods” – Hosea 3:1

Gomer was still beloved of Hosea even though she was an adulteress & God wanted him to seek her out & prove his love to her. How could anyone love that deeply? The answer was right there in God’s instructions to Hosea, “even as the Lord loves.” Only 1 who knows the love & forgiveness of God can ever love this perfectly. And 1 who has experienced His loving forgiveness cannot help but love & forgive others. Christian husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the Church (Eph. 5:25), & Hosea is an outstanding biblical example of that kind of love.

So he began his search, driven by that indestructible divine love, love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love that never ends. And he found her, ragged, torn, sick, dirty, disheveled, destitute, chained to an auction block in a filthy slave market, a repulsive shadow of the woman she once was. We wonder how anyone could love her now. But Hosea bought her from her slavery for 15 shekels of silver & 13 bushels of barley (Hos. 3:2). Then he said to her,

“You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you” – Hosea 3:3

He actually paid for her, brought her home & eventually restored her to her position as his wife. While we do not find anything else in Scripture about their relationship w/each other, we assume that God used Hosea’s supreme act of forgiving love to melt her heart & change her life.

How many times should a husband or wife forgive? Some contend, “If I keep forgiving I simply affirm him in his pattern of sin.” Or “If I keep forgiving, she’ll think she can get away w/anything she wants.” Others say, “If I keep forgiving, it’s like putting my seal of approval on his behavior.” Or “I can’t take another hurt like that. If he does that 1 more time, I’m leaving.” Those are human responses. Listen to the response of the Lord Jesus. You see, Peter had asked the Lord this same question:

“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” The Lord’s answer was, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” – Matt. 18:21, 22

That is a great deal of forgiveness. In fact, Christ was simply saying in a captivating way that there is no end to forgiveness.

Sometimes it’s just the little slights & daily agitations that need forgiveness, the occasional sharp word or angry accusation. But we harbor it, let it eat at us & build up bitterness & resentment which erodes our relationship. Maybe it’s a major offense, like Gomer’s, & we can never forget it. We stew on it & fret over it, & we keep bringing it up in a subconscious attempt to punish our mates for the hurts we have suffered. We try to forgive, but a few days later it’s right there again, preying on our consciousness. Big wounds sometimes take longer to heal. They will come back to our minds. There is no way to avoid it. But every time they do, we must 1st remind ourselves that we really did forgive, then rehearse how much God has forgiven us, then ask Him to take the destructive, unforgiving thoughts out of our minds.

Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that we must suffer in silence. The need for open & honest communication would demand that we share what we think & how we feel, what the wrong has done to us & how our mates can help us get over it. God tells us how much our sin grieves Him. Gomer certainly knew how her affairs were tearing at Hosea’s heart. What we say must be said lovingly & kindly, but we have both the need & the obligation to share what is on our hearts.

Neither does forgiveness necessarily mean we cannot take positive steps to guard against the sin recurring. That might require some extended counseling; it might demand an honest reappraisal of our personalities or habit patterns; it might mean a change in our life-style or a relocation. God takes positive steps to help us want to please Him. That is what divine discipline is all about. We do not discipline each other, but we can discuss steps that will help us avoid these same pitfalls in the future.

Forgiveness does mean, however, that we will pay for the other person’s offenses. We will refuse to retaliate in any way to make the guilty person pay. We will absolve him of all guilt. God can use that forgiving love to melt hardened hearts & change callused lives quicker than anything else in this whole wide world. That is the lesson of Hosea & Gomer, the lesson of forgiveness. God’s love & forgiveness pervade Hosea’s entire prophecy. Please do not misunderstand it. God hates sin; it grieves His heart; He cannot condone it; His perfect righteousness & justice demand that He deal w/it. But He still loves sinners & diligently seeks them out & offers them His loving forgiveness.

God’s ancient people Israel kept going back to their sins.

“What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud, and like the dew which goes away early” – Hosea 6:4

But God never stopped loving them.

“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” – Hosea 11:1

“I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love” – Hosea 11:4

“How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel?” – Hosea 11:8

And bc He never stopped loving them, He never stopped pleading w/them:

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity” – Hosea 14:1

We need to love like that. We need to forgive like that. We need to drag the festering hurts we have been harboring in our hearts to the cross of Christ -where we laid our own burden of guilt 1 day & where we found God’s loving forgiveness – & we must leave them all there. When we fully forgive, our minds will be released from the bondage of resentment that has been building a wall between us & we shall be free to grow in our relationship w/each other.

View full passage at: https://bible.org/seriespage/8-undying-love-story-hosea-and-gomer

Indonesia earthquake: Huge surge in death toll

Article By: BBC News

At least 832 people were killed in the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the national disaster agency says. Many people were reported trapped in the rubble of buildings that collapsed in Friday’s 7.5-magnitude earthquake, agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference. The quake triggered tsunami waves as high as 6m (20ft), he added.

Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said the final death toll could be thousands.

Rescuers have been digging by hand in the search for survivors in the city of Palu.

“What we now desperately need is heavy machinery to clear the rubble. I have my staff on the ground, but it’s impossible just to rely on their strength alone to clear this,” Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search-and-rescue agency, told AFP news agency.

There have also been concerns about the town of Donggala, where the impact is still unclear.

The Red Cross estimates that more than 1.6 million people have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami which it described as a tragedy that “could get much worse”.

Palu map

Strong aftershocks have continued to hit the island since Friday’s earthquake. President Joko Widodo visited Palu to view sites affected by the disaster, including Talise Beach – the main tourist area that was badly affected by the tsunami.

“I know there are many problems that need to be solved in a short time, including communications,” he said.

What is the situation in Palu?

Many remain missing in the city of 335,000, some thought to be trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings. Rescue teams dug by hand to free 24 people trapped in the rubble of the Roa-Roa hotel in the city of Palu, but there are fears that dozens more remain trapped.A tsunami-devastated area in Talise beach, Palu, central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 30 September 2018Image copyrightEP

Bodies have been lying in city streets and the injured are being treated in tents because of damage to hospitals. Anxious survivors in Palu bedded down in the open air on Saturday night, heeding advice by officials not to return to their homes as a precaution.

“It feels very tense,” Risa Kusuma, who was with her feverish baby boy at an evacuation centre, told AFP. “Every minute an ambulance brings in bodies. Clean water is scarce. The minimarkets are looted everywhere.”


‘Supplies running out’

By Rebecca Henschke, in Poso

In Poso, a four-hour drive from Palu, supplies are running out. State-owned petrol stations have closed as they have run dry. People are queuing up at roadside stalls, buying petrol in bottles to take into the affected area and to find missing loved ones. Supermarkets have limited food left and it is difficult to find bottled water. Ermi Liana, who is travelling with our BBC team, doesn’t know if her parents are alive.

“They live close to a bridge that collapsed. I can’t reach them by phone,” she says. “I can only pray they are alive.”

We haven’t seen any aid heading in and there is still no communication link to the town of Donggala.


Why were so many killed on Friday?

The 7.5 magnitude quake occurred at a shallow depth of 10km (6.2 miles) just off the central island of Sulawesi at 18:03 (10:03 GMT), triggering a tsunami, US monitors say. Many people were on the beach in Palu, preparing for a festival, and were caught when waves swept in. Video shows people screaming and fleeing in panic.

Map showing population density in Sulawesi
As well as destroying homes, the quake wrecked a shopping centre, a mosque, a hotel and a road bridge.

An air traffic controller at Palu airport died ensuring a plane took off safely after the quake.

What do survivors say?

When the quake hit, “we all panicked and ran out of the house,” Anser Bachmid, 39, told AFP news agency. “People here need aid – food, drink, clean water. We don’t know what to eat for dinner tonight. I just ran when I saw the waves hitting homes on the coastline,” Palu resident Rusidanto said.

Dwi Haris, who was in the city for a wedding, was staying in a hotel with his wife and daughter when the quake struck.

“There was no time to save ourselves,” he told the Associated Press news agency. “I was squeezed into the ruins of the wall… I heard my wife cry for help but then silence. I don’t know what happened to her and my child. I hope they are safe.”

With back and shoulder injuries, he is being treated outdoors at Palu’s Army Hospital.

What is being done to help?

Aid is being flown from the capital Jakarta into Palu airport, using the part of its runway still intact. Patients are being treated in the open outside city hospitals and at least one military field hospital has been erected. The regional head of the Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI), Komang, asked the authorities for immediate help.

“We need tents, medicines, medical personnel, tarpaulins, blankets and more of other things,” he said.

The UK-based charity Save the Children is sending an assessment team to the disaster zone.

“Unfortunately the more information that we’re getting, the worse the situation appears to be,” charity spokesman Tom Howells told the BBC from Jakarta.


Have you been affected by the earthquake? If it is safe to do so, share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

View full article at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45697553

“Threat becomes a reality”: Hurricane Florence’s onslaught begins

Article By: CBS News

Hurricane Florence fast facts:

  • Hurricane Florence, a Category 2 storm, has started lashing North Carolina, with tropical storm-force winds carrying drenching bands of rainfall onto some beach communities
  • As of 8 p.m. ET, the storm is centered about 85 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 145 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving northwest at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC)
  • Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from Florence’s center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, NHC says
  • Forecasters don’t expect the storm to strengthen before it moves ashore, but they say the real problem will be water as it lingers along the coast through Saturday
  • Nearly 1,500 flights canceled through Saturday; Duke Energy in the Carolinas anticipates 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses losing power
  • 1.7 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuations orders, and more than 10 million people live in places currently under storm watches or warnings

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WILMINGTON, N.C. — The big slosh has begun, and the consequences could be disastrous. The leading edge of Hurricane Florence battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 100 mph winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. Tens of thousands are without power. The monster storm was moving in for a prolonged and potentially catastrophic stay along the Southeast coast that could drench the homes of as many as 10 million people.

Florence’s top sustained wind speeds dropped from a high of 140 mph to 100 mph early Thursday, reducing Florence from a Category 4 to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which rates hurricanes based on sustained wind speed.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he knows many people are watching the changing storm predictions and categories, and he’s concerned because some are even saying that “North Carolina is getting a break.” It’s not.

“Please hear my message,” he said. “We cannot underestimate this storm. Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard,” he said. “This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality.”

South Carolina’s most popular tourist destination, North Myrtle Beach, is like a ghost town. It was nearly empty Thursday as the first bands of Florence approached. A few locals briefly walked into the sand, but were quickly sandblasted back by stiff winds. One man tried to skimboard, but gave up after a few minutes as winds from the land cut down the waves. He called the ocean “Lake Myrtle” as he walked back to his car.

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Latest Hurricane Florence advisory from the National Hurricane Center

The hurricane center said in its 8 p.m. advisory Thursday that Florence is centered about 85 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 145 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and is moving at a speed of about 5 mph. Hurricane-force winds are blowing 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 195 miles from the eye.

Hurricane-force winds are moving closer to North Carolina’s Outer Banks and the southeastern part of the state, the NHC said.  Florence’s center will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later Thursday. It will move near — or over — the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area Friday.

“A slow motion across portions of eastern and central South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night,” the center said.

Forecasters warned that Florence is deadly because of its size and slow forward speed.

“It truly is really about the whole size of this storm,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. “The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact — and we have that.”

NWS WPC

@NWSWPC

Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern/central Appalachians into the middle of next week, as is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

The NHC said life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected. The storm is expected to push up to 13 feet of storm surge and dump water on both North and South Carolina. The forecast calls for as much as 40 inches of rain over seven days along the coast, with the deluge continuing even as the center of the storm slogs away over the Appalachian Mountains.

The result could be what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farms and industrial sites.

NWS

@NWS

Florence is a very large storm, with an area of winds greater than tropical storm force stretching more than 325 miles across. This will generate a very large area of dangerous storm surge flooding in the coming days.
Follow your local NWS office: http://weather.gov/socialmedia 

Tornadoes also remain a threat. The NHC said it is possible “a few tornadoes” will hit eastern North Carolina through Friday. The forecast track throws Georgia into potential peril, as well, as Florence moves inland. On Wednesday afternoon, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency.

FEMA urged people to have multiple ways to receive local weather alerts — through a weather radio, phone and TV. It also warned against the spread of false information and said it created a “rumor control page” for Florence that will be regularly updated.

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Hurricane Florence watches, warnings & evacuations

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the NWS said.

The NHC said in its advisory that the following watches and warnings are in effect:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
  • Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina
  • North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
  • Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • North of Duck North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia
  • Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort
  • Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

More than 1.7 million people in North and South Carolina and Virginia were warned to clear out. In South Carolina alone, more than 421,000 people have evacuated, the state’s governor, Henry McMaster, said Thursday afternoon.

At a news conference just before 3 p.m. ET, he urged those in evacuation zones to leave now “because time is running out, and remember this: once these winds start blowing at that tropical-storm rate, it will be virtually impossible for the rescuers to get in to rescue you.”

“So if you have not left, if you are in a place of danger, if you are in these zones, now is the time to go because that window of opportunity is closing on you very quickly,” he said.

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An emergency management official in one of the most populated areas of coastal North Carolina said Thursday afternoon that winds from the storm have arrived and other impacts won’t be far behind. New Hanover County Emergency Management Director Steven Still said residents who didn’t evacuate should expect 60 mph winds by Thursday n ight that would eventually increase to 100 mph or more. He said residents “can expect to have that wind to the tune of 100 mph-plus stay on us for considerable period of time.”

He said landfall is expected around 8 a.m. Friday in the Wrightsville Beach area, and that the area could see 20 to 30 inches of rain and beaches could get 9 to 10 to feet of storm surge.

SCEMD

@SCEMD

6 inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. STAY AWAY from moving water!

Thursday afternoon, North Carolina Gov. Cooper said more than 1 million people have evacuated. At least 12,000 evacuees have settled at 126 shelters in the region. He also said that 2,800 National Guard troops have been activated.

President Trump took to Twitter again Thursday to warn about Florence, urging people to be careful and saying “we are completely ready” for the storm. On Wednesday, he said, “Don’t play games with it. It’s a big one.”

Power outages along the coast

Power outages in North Carolina have increased as a weakened and slower Hurricane Florence moves closer to the coast. The two major electric utilities covering the state — Duke Energy and Dominion — and a consortium of electric cooperatives reported more than 80,000 customers without power as of early Thursday evening. That doesn’t include numbers from dozens of city-operated electricity providers.

Almost two-thirds of the reported outages originated in Carteret County, along the coast about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. There were also several thousand outages each in Craven, Pamlico and Onslow counties.

The numbers are expected to soar as the storm’s winds and torrential rains sweep over more land. Duke anticipates 1 million to 3 million of their 4 million customers in the Carolinas will lose power from Florence.

Hurricane Florence could inflict the hardest hurricane punch North Carolina has seen in more than 60 years. In 1954, the state was hit by a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Hazel.

“Hazel stands as a benchmark storm in North Carolina’s history,” said Jay Barnes, author of books on the hurricane histories of both North Carolina and Florida. “We had a tremendous amount of destruction all across the state.”

Hurricane Florence

A spray painted message is left on a boarded up condominium as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence being to affect the coast on Thu., Sept. 13, 2018, in Atlantic Beach, N.C.

 GETTY

Hurricane Florence affecting flights & car travel

Airlines canceled about 1,200 flights and counting. As of Thursday afternoon, total cancellations within, into or out of the U.S. was 603 for the day, while 650 flights were cancelled for Friday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported this week that people living in the barrier island community of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, were bracing for a possible direct impact. Long lines formed at service stations, and some started running out of gas as far west as Raleigh, with bright yellow bags, signs or rags placed over the pumps to show they were out of order. Some store shelves were picked clean.

“There’s no water. There’s no juices. There’s no canned goods,” Kristin Harrington said as she shopped at a Wal-Mart in Wilmington.

Hurricane Florence

Lisa Evers and her daughter Amanda Hamilton decorate their storm shutters before evacuating ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Oak Island, N.C., on Wed., Sept. 12, 2018.

 REUTERS

South Carolina said it is planning to end the reversal of some interstate lanes that were switched to help move people away from the state’s coast. Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith told reporters that, starting Thursday at 6 p.m., officers will close Interstate 26 lanes that had been switched from eastbound to westbound to move people away from the Charleston area toward the center of the state.

Many officers are on the road during lane reversals, manning each exit and ensuring drivers don’t drive around barricades. The change allows agencies like Smith’s to pull back their officers when tropical storm-force winds are expected to arrive in the state.

West Virginia prepares for Hurricane Florence

West Virginia agencies are mobilizing to respond to problems arising from the storm. The governor’s office said in a new release the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated its emergency operations center Wednesday. The statement said 50 National Guard members are prepared to assist in locations across the state.

Nearly 70 tractor-trailer loads of supplies have arrived at the Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg. In June 2016, a series of thunderstorms pelted a wide swath of West Virginia. Nine inches of rain fell in 36 hours in some areas, leaving 23 dead statewide and destroying thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure.

The NWS forecast said up to 4 inches of rain is possible in parts of the state through next week.

Four storms churning in the Atlantic

Florence is the most dangerous of four tropical systems in the Atlantic. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

NHC announced Wednesday they are now monitoring a fourth storm that is far out in the Atlantic. That storm is Subtropical Storm Joyce. It has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving southwest near 6 mph.

https://www.cbsnews.com/embed/video/?v=1b92b2b8f87d58b8c3d400ac0117f983cf0d1104#xVdbc6PGEv4rFC85qdJYXAQCvTle73pvjstanzo5S0o1MA3MGhgyDJa1W%2Fnv6QZkWXtJKkkl1otgpqe7v68v03yy76QAZa8%2B2aLX3EjV2Ks4mNl1e38N%2BUthr%2BydePncTc1%2F0%2Bh5pd7%2BdONF%2F4%2FX6cfFT%2BLd4vTZBbdntin7Om24rFC8NKbtVsk8mWdp18C280%2FwQXYGtWcnmaqTedmnyVwmc53MPceNkrkTJ3PXT%2BZRtvBC8FwWcx6zRe4ELPYyl0VBnrpLzwHXQ6kHa8k8XDj3fugk89zxgzyIQm8Z%2Bsso9V3Xc5aL1HcEz8MQcrLh%2BgwalldKQ5MBK%2FCBuWGwDLyYTYpOPrQF4VGtzBpeA%2BI5%2B2Ftnd9BI5vCukQ4%2B%2B0rjmrMuuoLFIJRgDWjALSyUwJPuzO7A94Rq7Zr00tR46lxQ2fEe1l19JdKg%2FzjkcCh38xuJZF%2F54WXcCpDmb56RZZ3LflEZ2Z2r%2Fd8D3TLlgvWGQ28RldOJvZHxmsQkuNfe%2F855a7vxjHytvCjMBpZ2pxfbt4iSSVwsXmBLG2uz6%2FenJ6db4it0A026OOfED2p%2FT5Cf3Ola47Ybd62lcyGbEvm96xuobi5fmP%2FOiNgmzuuJW%2FMpi1VA0fUuI%2BI%2BaU%2FDzZhKK9uvOsjYj47%2F5Q0DR78RfSGpxWYb8J%2FnTXxfX35%2BvVH%2Fuzr8CcFT4l%2FdOEvEqDMt9Hn8c36oo9e%2Fi9Is6%2Bjp9NPCR3t%2FwncfnEE1Vs8bgFvTzdndf7OvLjm8QGsX3yJT6htUyku%2FkFk%2FgadO6nbxWNgwx1CFhYEZitzeQRneQRn86GRF7f6pXrx9scDnOHQ0wBa%2Fj4gRNT1aZdpmYI4U40Z%2BvcnlIEt5be9MrqHR0LaXuW86nBJdqGDmZZr3mSl7OBo4%2Fwe6TlaWURXGkjttDpYblsNHd4QTV9Vs9ExIw2Zta8B7xadlaA7C3Vlt9ZFrzVmWAPW8%2BmWs4yyUIOQmbFMCVYD98Yq92JHjI%2BX9na7PWZ74kIfjLHBGHvQcrhSjWKTMYbGGBk7iCVzugDH%2B%2FLvayPX%2ByGhhB%2FhTb9w2CKOBQ4NscfSPAoZBJgKgciDkAf2RJ2AWzyxziQGEUeSzsJL3OIVdgSxswqOZjTd84IbbuVa1d9gNAVjQH9JLLV7K%2FliZEhsizJAaesV5LlFWWjVYKytNKXFrcsfT0%2BtPSNWt3fO2pbKkp1V8Z7SB3WVsiiZARTawuCr1UHTKQy%2FbNArcqOWQlRgqXx46wxm9MkefIuAVAnia6lD6vcIqYh5b9RVxXf2Cgt3L0FpL7vzhtJe7POea5zrKjjtDQKkgfG9TVNXJtKMhTzizHXBY7FwPeZgseYQccdJHfvnz45eDuPWe3tKPus%2FJUKBxkp3lWzg%2B0fyw1QqwOVumoYsChccow4pi2O%2BZH7k%2BSnk4AQO5ch05KpPnw29yKaGwZyYub7l%2BCs%2FXDnuQezdVFkJTrSYEwYDjTUAmCYYH15Js0vs1aF8rH2qftdh6DsMVFHSmUI23SOlY4fLxtaxmVZxX2CxZ%2FttAd0tzpU2tYJncEee4nPLi70AkbKRBmqqIvy%2FkNRp3tt9R9TQyhqycYCntXFpOovJ1aKD8g4wc9L9BDvwmC8dAZGfstSDfIwV93OHOV7sutHCjZZBvD8whmjU3negJ%2B28QaMzO71do0VS6vs%2BZk0la4mdcvFAxFr1OhuoSLtkzglriq1RYJ4Zar2DP1P4N%2BT95kAKvU7mJ4mBwFoVmrelzF7DriM2Pqj0OZbLwMOM3s4w7IXSOyK2ET3e%2FvSIUW17LOErrXJJBZftV3mzW8uPFJ4CGoEUo%2FsFvNCqbweJviENyLihhOhrqomWtFSPfCNv6TOgoTjirqCSGmrw5t9ttxnFBl%2BrP7RbYXIMny%2F4faUp2LxiQ%2Fs4mGux57BWbUEz1RtkhbaUoO8ejCB0hk1t6ZGvmsuGPdRcMDhFSf2H%2FoyufAV0NgWUeaND%2B%2Bb0uQ%2BYUZBxXGiURrGMa4WNhB%2Bc8dmAuW8FHXzwbMqyJ%2FJAdheg1cNYMIw6VwrzCRN6KjeocRDBueQ3

View full article at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hurricane-florence-category-2-path-tracking-latest-weather-forecast-north-carolina-2018-09-13-live-updates/

Another mass fish kill hits Indonesia’s largest lake

Article By: Ayat S. Karokaro

Millions of fish in floating cages died suddenly this week in Lake Toba, the biggest lake in Indonesia. E. Naibaho, a local aquafarmer, noticed the fish in his floating pens moving in an odd manner in the days leading up to the incident. The water had become cloudy as well.When he and his workers went to feed the fish on the morning of Aug. 24, none of them could be seen rising to the surface. They tried adding oxygen to the water, but it didn’t work. Before the long the fish began floating to the surface, dead.

“My capital is gone,” Naibaho said. “Hundreds of millions of rupiah.”

Another farmer, M. Nadeak, estimated the total losses for all the farmers at 5 billion rupiah ($342,000). “Our economy is disturbed,” he said. “That’s going to create social problems.”

It was the second mass fish kill in as many years in the lake, which is located in North Sumatra. In 2016, millions of fish also turned up dead. Researchers attributed that incident to a sudden depletion of oxygen in the water, the result of a buildup of pollutants in the lake, unfavorable weather conditions and unsustainable practices by local aquafarmers.

Where the 2016 incident was concentrated in Haranggaol Bay of Lake Toba, this one happened in Pintusona, just off the giant island of Samosir in the center of the lake.

Other Indonesian lakes have experienced mass fish kills, too. In 2016, 3,000 tons of fish died suddenly in Lake Maninjau, West Sumatra — twice as many as that year’s incident in Lake Toba.

Both Toba and Maninjau are among the 17 lakes classified by the Indonesian government as being in “critical” condition, meaning they suffer from a host of environmental problems. Last year, government officials and academics from around the country gathered in Jakarta, the capital, to declare that a national body should be created to direct attention and funds to the nation’s more than 800 lakes.

With regard to the latest incident, an initial study by the district government indicated that the proximate cause of the fish kill was a rapid change in the temperature of the oxygen-poor water at the bottom of the lake, causing a sudden upwelling of water that made the lower layer rise to the surface, said Jhunellis Sinaga, the Samosir district government official in charge of fisheries. Waste produced by the fish farms contributed to the conditions behind the fish kill, he said.

Jhunelis estimated that the farmers had lost a total of 4 billion rupiah ($273,000), with 180 tons of fish dead. “Water samples, fish carcasses and more are being examined in the laboratory,” he said.

Local residents helped government workers carry the fish carcasses, with heavy equipment used to bury the fish.

The lake’s waters have been polluted by waste from the fish farms, according to the Lake Toba Lovers Foundation, a local NGO. The fish farms are run by local entrepreneurs as well as by several companies, said Maruap Siahaan, the chairperson of the foundation.

The foundation is demanding that the government halt all fish farming activities to improve the water quality of the lake.

As part of its plan to turn Lake Toba into a tourism hotspot, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s administration has announced its intention to clean up the polluted lake, including by cutting down on the number of fish farms there.

View full article at: https://news.mongabay.com/2018/08/another-mass-fish-kill-hits-indonesias-largest-lake/

Two dead, 241 injured in Iran earthquake

Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11

Article By: Eric Randolph

A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck western Iran near the border with Iraq early Sunday, killing two people and injuring more than 200, officials said. The shallow quake hit 26 kilometres (16 miles) southwest of the city of Javanrud in Kermanshah province, the US Geological Survey said, near the site of a powerful quake last year that killed hundreds.Dozens have been injured in a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck western Iran near the border with IraqThe head of the emergency department at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Saeb Sharidari, told state news agency IRNA that two people were killed and 241 injured, six critically.

Sharidari said the two dead were a pregnant woman and a 70-year-old man who suffered a heart attack. IRNA quoted local officials saying that electricity had been cut to 70 villages but that it was restored to at least 50 by dawn. The provincial head of the Red Crescent, Mohammad Reza Amirian, said there had been at least 21 aftershocks.

He said there were potential problems with drinking water due to damaged infrastructure in villages, but that it had not yet been necessary to distribute food and tents. Kermanshah governor Houshang Bazvand told the Tasnim news agency that electricity had been temporarily cut to several villages.

A crisis centre was set up, with hospitals and relief organisations placed on alert. But the local director of crisis management, Reza Mahmoudian, told the Mehr news agency that “the situation was under control” and no request for help had been sent to neighbouring provinces.

There were reports that the quake was felt far across the border into Iraq. Images on social media showed people being rushed to hospitals, but suggested relatively light damage to infrastructure. Iran sits on top of two major tectonic plates and sees frequent seismic activity.

Kermanshah is still recovering from a devastating 7.3-magnitude quake that struck last November, killing 620 people in the province and another eight people in Iraq. That quake left more than 12,000 people injured and damaged some 30,000 houses, leaving huge numbers homeless at the start of the cold season in the mountainous region.

There was criticism that much of the new social housing built as part of a scheme championed by ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had failed to withstand the tremor. President Hassan Rouhani said those responsible would be held to account.

Iran’s deadliest quake in recent years was a 6.6-magnitude tremor that struck the southeast in 2003, decimating the ancient mud-brick city of Bam and killing at least 31,000 people. In 1990, a 7.4-magnitude quake in northern Iran killed 40,000 people, injured 300,000 and left half a million homeless, reducing dozens of towns and nearly 2,000 villages to rubble.

View full article at: https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/two-dead-241-injured-in-iran-earthquake/ar-BBMrfzI

2 Timothy 3

Post By: Albert Mascheroni

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David Castellanos
David Castellanos Hey what bible is this I’m ready to start a new book I’m almost done with thee niv version please let me know thank you
Albert Mascheroni
Albert Mascheroni Read 1611 King’s James Version. There is a reason that the enemy wanted the King killed before his Bible release. Gun Powder Treason of 1605. Had the Catholic order been successful (doubtful for God would never leave us without His word—not yet anyway Amos 8:11) then we’d be stuck with revised versions that subtract His words and add to His word. I’ve read the differences myself and it’s alarming how much is missing from revised translations. I always read my King’s James Bible side by side to other translations. I also always frequent history to see if the enemy has sabotaged or attempted to sabotage and pervert God’s word

Acts 13:10And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

Tina Mcswain
Tina Mcswain The niv is the non inspired version! Stay with KJV is my upmost advice!
David Castellanos
David Castellanos Yes but I promise myself I was gonna read it front to back
Albert Mascheroni
Albert Mascheroni I also read the NIV front to back thinking it was easier to translate. Second time around was KJV. My suggestion if you continue with the NIV is that you have online an KJV side by side. So you question why is Jesus words cut in portions. Why are so many references of Jesus being our Messiah King of Kings Son of God cut out. And why in the heck is Jesus referenced as Lucifer in NIV’s Revelation.
Tina Mcswain
Tina Mcswain I like what you said about showing the comparison because people really need to see what gets changed because somebody didn’t want to read it a particular way in the KJV.
Felipe No Apellido
Felipe No Apellido Albert Mascheroni what verse is this???
Albert Mascheroni
Albert Mascheroni 2 Timothy 3
Alka Julie
Alka Julie I think if you have a pure and good heart for God then you will understand bible very easily God will help to understand and reveal every truth through his spirit and then you will not have to take or read all version of bible to understand the truth…
View full post at: https://www.facebook.com/al.masch.50/posts/1018084881704525?__tn__=-R

 

7.1-magnitude earthquake reported on border of Peru & Brazil

Matthew 24:7; Luke 21:11

Article By: The Associated Press

 

LIMA, PERU—The U.S. Geological Survey says a 7.1-magnitude has struck in eastern Peru, close to its borders with Brazil and Bolivia.

The quake was recorded at 4:04 a.m. Friday at a depth of 609 kilometres (378 miles). The epicenter was 135 kilometres (83 miles) west of the Peruvian village of Inapari, and 226 kilometres (140 miles) west of the Bolivian city of Cobija.

Thousands of residents remain stranded at the Indonesian island of Lombok as they struggle to recover from earlier earthquakes which claimed the lives of over 450 people in recent weeks while at least 10 more people were killed after tremors shook the region. The U.S. Geological Survey says a 7.1-magnitude earthquake has struck in eastern Peru Friday, close to its borders with Brazil and Bolivia.
Thousands of residents remain stranded at the Indonesian island of Lombok as they struggle to recover from earlier earthquakes which claimed the lives of over 450 people in recent weeks while at least 10 more people were killed after tremors shook the region. The U.S. Geological Survey says a 7.1-magnitude earthquake has struck in eastern Peru Friday, close to its borders with Brazil and Bolivia.  (ULET IFANSASTI / GETTY IMAGES)

There was no immediate information on damage or casualties.

View full article at: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/08/24/71-magnitude-earthquake-reported-on-perubrazil-border.html