• sonnyholmes

Then there is the human storm, the atmospheric downgrade when the dark clouds of human nature explode. It's more scattered storms by type, moral and ethical squalls stirred by heat and condensation of emotion where optimum conditions exist. Still, Hominum is a consistent front across the national landscape. These thunderclouds hover over lines at the discount store, cars in the morning commute, criminals seeking satisfaction, in the cubicles at work, or in church pews. Interestingly, even with the advances in forecasting technology the professionals can't find agreement about the conditions that produce these anomalies. But, storm Hominum, the Latin word for "human", unloads streams of deadly force where storm dynamics exist.

Take, for example, gun violence in the United States. As of yesterday there have been

38,048 American gun deaths in our nation this year. There have been another 34,722 gun related injuries in that same time period. And, there are many more shocking statistics about this particular Hominum storm. If you'd like to examine the data gathered at the Gun Violence Archive, click here. Of course, many forecasting professionals affirm that these storms are the result of United States gun laws. Then again, there's Hominum, the storm of human nature. These stats are most likely the result of the human storm.

Another example? How about abortion. This may be storm central for many people, especially those holding a Christian worldview. From 1973-2018 there have been 61.8 million abortions in America. This storm took 862,320 lives in 2017. Storm professionals have given a wide series of conditions that produce these high pressure systems in so many people. Just the same, many others cite storm Hominum, the dark clouds of human nature that permits conception outside the bounds of marriage.

What can we learn from storm Hominum?

1. Human nature is sinfully distant from God.

Culture has envisioned and taught the essential goodness of mankind. It is true that human beings are the image bearers of God, created in his image. Even so, we chose a sinful path and exist as sinful humans. Hominum is the result of this human storm. The Apostle Paul wrote, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2: 14, ESV). Hominum resists spiritual direction.

2. Sinful humans can be redeemed from Hominum.

Who of us doesn't know the lifetime storm of Hominum, the struggle with our basic human instincts. Yet, there is the truth of redemption written about by the Apostle Paul, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5: 8, ESV). Sinful humans can be relieved of storm Hominum and the dreadful results of human nature. Thank God. Hominum doesn't have to rule us.

3. We should love and care for the victims of Hominum.

Loving and caring for others isn't a strange, uncertain theme of Scripture. Even those guilty of Hominum disruption or evil storms should be the recipients of our most blessed spiritual responses. Simon Peter wrote, "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4: 8, ESV). Genuine love brings pleasant weather conditions that can see through the darkest clouds.

4. Only faith in Christ can calm the storms of Hominum.

Human nature is evil. Our contemporary forecasters prescribe many atmospheric solutions to calm the storms of Hominum. Scripture teaches the essential redemptive truth written by Simon Peter, "By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire" (2 Peter 1: 4, ESV). No human institution can calm this calamity.

Hominum is the constant storm of human nature. It's clouds hover over us in every life circumstance. Only God in Christ can dispel and scatter the clouds of this destructive storm system.

Copyright: <a href=''>thampapon1 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

  • sonnyholmes

Alpha Omega isn't a single storm. Instead, it's the name I've applied to the series of hurricanes and cyclones that have lashed our coasts this year. Meteorologists around the world started predicting an active 2020 storm season back in December, 2019. You and I know the the basic uncertainty of most weather forecasts, especially in the Low-country of South Carolina. Still, the professionals in the National Hurricane Center could foresee the atmospheric conditions for an unusual storm year. To date, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) has identified 31 tropical depressions from May through November 16. Of that number, 29 reached tropical storm status, 13 were classified as hurricanes, and 6 as major hurricanes. The Atlantic Hurricane season actually ends November 30. Hold on to your hats, Alpha Omega is still working.

Of course, the NOAA keeps lists of potential names for these storms. In 2020 they ran through their lists and started naming the storms after the letters in the Greek alphabet. With Alpha and Omega the first and last letters, they were chosen as the best identification of these weather disturbances in total. Of course, it was appealing to me because my Christian worldview identifies God as the Alpha and Omega of history. Revelation 21: 6 declares God's voice over history: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end". So, there's some spiritual significance in this title as well.

Alpha Omega, the storms, have been costly. More than 300 souls were lost in this storm year. In addition, thru July 27, the first storms lashed our nation with close to $1 billion in destructive costs. Later storms totaled $6 billion, and Hurricane Laura alone resulted in $10-12 billion in damage. Hurricane Sally is estimated to have rendered more than $8-10 billion in destructive force. Delta, Zeta, Eta, and Iota totals have not been estimated to date. Epsilon is still forming. And, these storms have taught us a thing or two---

1. God's presence in promised in uncertain weather.

Isaiah wrote a promise from the Father that guides and comforts us in any life uncertainty, including the weather---"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned" (Isaiah 43: 2, ESV). There is eternal blessing in even these storms.

2. We should pray for and assist those ravaged by Alpha Omega.

This storm season has taken lives, homes, property, and in many ways the human spirit. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ", (Galatians 6: 2, ESV). The anonymous author of the Epistle to the Hebrews also wrote, "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God" (Hebrews 13: 16, ESV). Praying for and helping others is a blessed lesson plan.

3. Our prayers should also be for first responders and emergency personnel.

Natural tragedy and hardship are occasions for thousands of professional and volunteer workers to enter dangerous environments to provide care and assistance for those who have suffered. To the Colossians the Apostle Paul wrote, " And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (1:9, ESV). Hearing the news about tragic weather circumstances should automatically result in our prayers for those who will respond.

We Americans are a little manic about our weather forecasting because we know the lessons of history, especially Alpha Omega 2020. It was so in Jesus' day as well. One day he said, "You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times" (Matthew 16: 3, ESV). Predicting the weather is certainly one thing. Responding to those with need is another. Let's be ready to pray and help as a sign of the times when Alpha Omega is threatening. And, remember. It is still 2020.

Copyright: <a href=''>thampapon1 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

  • sonnyholmes

Electa has been the strongest sustaining storm in the past four years, perhaps the most severe since 1900. While the atmospheric pressure of our nation typically rises to potential tempest level every four years, none has to date flooded us with such violent waves and disruptive winds as Electa. Of course, you can see through my flimsy and inadequate metaphor. In my simple mind Electa is actually Election 2020, the

pressurized system that continues to pose hazardous conditions in the population centers of our nation. Electa has raised temperatures, created dangerous currents, clouded human relationships, and blinded the vision of many citizens. It has produced squalls and disturbances in the vast ocean of American life. Today Electa lingers as the professionals plot its course and diagnose its potential landfall. Storm Central warns of its continued threat.

So, yes, we've all blanched at the strong pulse of energy Electa has sent through our atmosphere. Early in development Electa generated waves of opinion and dissent in the waters of American life. Studies of the troposphere have given us insight into the mysteries of storm life. And, we must learn from them---

1. Electa has gained the attention of more Americans than any like storm.

More Americans voted in Election 2020 than any time in American history. While the actual number of ballots is yet to be determined, it is believe that more than 161+ million Americans voted in this election. The candidates and party platforms have influenced more of our population than ever before. Electa swept us to the polls.

2. Electa has proven the sharp division that exists in the American population.

Political analysts insist that the American voting population is not divided, However, the vote count, which continues to this day, indicates that the candidates and parties have created division in our political systems. The Democratic candidate for President of the United States has received, based on current ballot count, more than 78 million votes, while the Republican has received more than 73 million votes. Each presented a vastly different vision for our nation. Like it or not, we are divided in political concept.

3. Electa reminds us of the biblical truth of human nature.

The continuing threat of storm Electa is realized in the truth of human nature. There are warnings and study of voter fraud and illegal balloting that will keep us guessing until each state announces final ballot count results. On December 14 the electoral college votes will be tabulated and announced. The inauguration of the new President will occur on January 20, 2021. Until those dates, election and government officials will count, recount, and deal with legal challenges about the vote. All of these are elements of our human nature, that is, to do what is necessary to accomplish what we desire, whether legal or out of bounds or moral. We humans can complicate any organized and noble system. Jesus reminded his followers, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander" (Matthew 15: 19, ESV). Electa certifies this truth.

4. Electa verifies our need for trust in God.

Scripture teaches the fallibility of human thought and our need for God to guide and direct us. Solomon wrote, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" (Proverbs 3: 506, ESV). This truth underlies all that we do, and especially as we encounter the storms of life. Electa is certainly a storm.

5. Electa underscores our need to practice what we believe.

Well, yes, I'm talking about this Christian worldview and the challenge of living at peace in a world of sharp division. We've witnessed violent interactions between people with varying religious, political, social, racial, and cultural views. People of faith, at the least, should model the mind of Christ in a society at odds. Jesus taught his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (john 14:27, ESV). The Apostle Paul amplified this truth when he wrote to the Roman Christians, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Romans 12: 18, ESV). Living this life is a means of countering the strong forces of storms like Electa.

Electa, the most visible and threatening storm of 2020.

Copyright: <a href=''>thampapon1 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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