The Coming Storm

The storm clouds are gathering. Can you feel it? It’s a palpable feeling of impending danger that strikes fear into our heart. Sometimes it’s a news story, weather forecast, or a tornado siren in the distance. Other times, it’s a feeling welling up within us—an inward warning—that says, “check the locks, make sure there’s plenty of water on hand, and double-check the ammunition.” For farmers and ranchers, it’s most often, “secure the barn, break out the heat lamps, and bring in everything that can blow away or freeze.” That’s what Mr. John and I are doing.

Texas doesn’t see single-digit temperatures too often and if the past ten years here at the Cross-Dubya have taught me nothing else, it’s expect the unexpected. With an impending storm, the first real winter weather of the season, that means being prepared for heavy winds, pouring rain, freezing temperatures, and all that comes with it. Having chickens in the mix this year, our winter storm chores list got longer. We built the coop, knowing that bad weather happens. It’s off the ground and well protected. While not weatherproof, it’s in an enclosed area where we can protect against the wintry winds. It’s also near electricity, which means that if our Generac™ holds out, we can keep the heat lamp going when it gets below 20 degrees.

I’m spending my day helping to get as prepared as possible for what’s expected to arrive in the next few days. That means preparing the drafty barn to keep cold north winds out and storing water because the county water plant almost always goes down in freezing weather. It also means ensuring extra feed is on hand. With cattle and other ruminant animals, if you can keep their stomachs working, they have a built-in furnace. For the other animals, calories help them to not have to forage as much.

Like humans, the key to keeping animals warm in winter storms is keeping them dry and out of the wind. Another lesson I’ve learned is to save births for the spring. I am certain there are many who may disagree, but I’ve learned that young animals (e.g., calves and foals) can’t regulate their body temperature as well as say a yearling. They also haven’t developed a normal shedding pattern to make room for a thicker winter coat. That’s the reason my preference has always been to calve in early spring. There’s less environmental stress on the young animals.

In what ways can we prepare to survive life’s storms? #SurvivingTheStorm #Jesus #OurAnchor Share on X

All this prep work has me thinking about how well I’m prepared for the coming storm? Not this week’s winter storm, that’s easy. Soup, gloves, vitamin C, and a warm coat and I’m good to go. I’m talking about when the health crisis arrives, the stock market crashes, or the grocery store shelves are empty. And worse, when the bank account isn’t large enough to afford what is on the shelves. With all the chaos, social unrest, and hatred in the world today, I see all these things as possible sooner than some may think.

Other life storms I’ve experienced have been divorce, deaths (unexpected or not), and spiritual attacks that caused me to doubt my faith. The question becomes, how well are we prepared for them? For me, it isn’t a question of if, but when. In John 16:33, Christ Jesus Himself tells us to expect troubles in this life.

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have
peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good
cheer, I have overcome the world.
(John 16:33 NKJV)

I have always found great peace in these words. Spoken to His disciples, and I believe for us also, Jesus assured us before He departed to once again be with the Father, that we too can persevere. Another piece of Scripture that I hold on to tightly is 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. Here, Paul reminds us that the storms of life will come, and while they will cause us trouble, they cannot overtake us unless we let them.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the
body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may
be manifested in our body.
(2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NKJV)

God’s Word ensures us that Storms of Life will come. It also promises that He will not allow them to overtake us. #StormsOfLife #GodsPromises #ClingToGodsWord Share on X

I pray that as this new year unfolds, you too find God’s promises to hold on to so we can ride out the Storms of Life together, friends. God never promised that this life would be easy. He promises that with Him, it’s easier. For in Him, we have hope, grace, mercy, and love.

God’s blessings,


Please join me this Thursday evening at 9:00 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.

58 thoughts on “The Coming Storm”

  1. I’ve found solace in those very same passages many times, J.D.
    And, yes, they’re certainly timely for now. I do believe we’re in for a storm and a warm coat will not suffice. To weather what’s coming we’ll need to be wearing the full armor of God and His robe of righteousness. AND be ready to STAND.
    Thanks again for your encouraging and truth-filled lesson.
    God bless and sustain you and your dear family as you stand firm in the many storms of life.

  2. Jesus didn’t leave this earth without preparing His disciples and us for what was to come. We know we can face hardships thru His power and overcome by the blood of the Lamb. The signs reflect He must be returning soon.

  3. Thank you for your writing. We all need to be ready but are we? Thank you for this thought provoking reminder. I as well love John 16:33. I know God spoke this to me back in 2001 when I was a new Christian and was having turmoil in my life. I have clung to that vs and shared it many times.
    Praying for you and Mr Johns strength, health and endurance to keep on keeping on protecting your lovely ranch and livestock. I love love love that you added chickens ❤️
    May God favor remain on you always
    Lil sis

  4. Raymond Vogtner

    Great thoughts and truths J.D. some storms, like a hurricane, you have some time to prepare. Other times, like tornadoes, you might have a split second to find safety. I’m thankful that in and through every storm of like, Jesus command, “peace be still” in my heart!
    God bless you, brother.

  5. As Psalm 136 assures us, His mercy endures forever. As you rightly point out, we have a duty to be prepared (old scout). With that comes action, not only in regular chores, but also to respond when critical mass seems eminent.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. Although not clear, our paths have a lamp unto our feet to guide us if only we would follow it by trusting Him.

    Best blessings, Mr J.D.

    1. Amen Mr. Warren. We must be prepared, and two ways we can do that is to be rooted firmly in His Word and understand history and how it repeats itself. There really is very little that is “new” in this world.

  6. Wendy Dellinger

    Wonderful word of encouragement this morning! The intentional prep you tell about on the ranch is such a good parallel to the need for us to keep ‘shored up’ in our spiritual lives every day to deal with the storms of life. Truly, the Lord is our safe place and shelter. Blessings ~

    1. Exactly Ms. Wendy. We must each prepare for the storms of life that will find us all. How well prepared we are, and in whom we place our trust, makes all the difference ma’am. Thank you for your wise thoughts.

  7. The bad storms arrived in the east yesterday and last night. We, too, were making the preparations. We emerged relatively unscathed this time. I’m so thankful God is always with us through the storms of life. Although sometimes He chooses not to block the most painful storms (loss of loved one, health problems, career challenges, family issues, weather damage, etc.), our loving Father is always with us through the storms. Thank you for this timely message, my friend. Praying for safety for you and the Cross-Dubya.

  8. I cannot even tell you how many times I have shared those very words of Jesus found in John 16:33. They often bring me the same comfort, J.D.. Life may not be easy at times, and the storms may come, but I am so very grateful He promises to be with us. “For in Him, we have hope, grace, mercy, and love.” Amen!

    1. Yes ma’am. I’m so grateful for the buoys He has sent, many in the form of wonderful Christian friends like yourself, that help keep my head above water when the tossing waves try to overtake me.

  9. I’m so glad Mr John is there to help you around the Cross Dubya. Another hand. Another eye. And you can’t be in two places at once. The Lord knows we need others to help us get ready for and to ride out those storms.

  10. Thanks for sharing. Storms abound. Some much harsher than others. But we have a Savior who promises never to leave nor forsake us. How I praise Him.

  11. Praying for you all. I have found the scriptures you mentioned encouraging as well. And this one:
    “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).

    1. Amen and Amen Ms. Sally. I’ve learned that being fearful and being afraid are not the same my friend. Being fearful helps me to remain alert and aware. Being afraid says I don’t have confidence in God’s Word. let us not be afraid sweet sister.

  12. I can’t even imagine what life would be like without Jesus in it, J. D. He is our anchor and our hope in this turbulent, troubling world. May we surrender to His will and His way each and every day of our lives.
    Together, we can weather all the storms that may come.

    1. I hear ya Ms. Martha. I try and look back at my pre-salvation life sometimes and it always leads me to praise for all He has done for me, in me, and with me. I realize though, He’s only scratched the surface.

    1. Thank you Ms. Priscilla. So great to hear from you ma’am. Yes, 3F is C-C-C-COLD! I can remember temps like that when I lived near Chicago. And I remember shoveling snow for seven hours straight too. Don’t miss those winter storms at all. Praying all is safe through yours ma’am. God’s blessings.

  13. J.D. Such a powerful analogy and imagery here. Preparing for the storms in life is a must because we know to “expect the unexpected” as you so wisely state. The scripture passages you share bring us comfort, peace, and encouragement. The Lord is with us and we prepare our minds and hearts with the Word, suit up with the full armour of God, walk in the Spirit, and pray.

  14. I’m so thankful for God and His Word. Where would I be without it? Adrift in a stormy sea, I’m sure. We may not always be able to prepare for life’s storms, but we can trust that Jesus is forever and always prepared.

  15. Sorry to be so late getting to thank you for this very insightful and pragmatic dose of encouragement, J.D. Yesterday was a bit disorganized, to say the least–not filled with the kinds of challenges you face, but enough to kick my normal routine out of gear. It’s geat to have you back, by the way, and I love how you once again brought the kind of eternal perspective that God wants us to have into the realm of life like life is down here. None of us can know quite what kinds of storms will be coming our way as 2024 unfolds, but we can be absolutely sure that they will be coming, and some of them will be pretty intense.

    The details you included about how you make different preparations for the various non-human residents at the ranch was especially instructive for me. Even though the means of protecting them was different, the things they needed were roughly the same–food, water, shelter from wind, rain, and snow, and warmth. The nature of the anticipated storm gave you the direction you needed to know what to provide ahead of it. What that said to me was that I should pay attention to the atmospheric indicators and the prognosticators to know what kind of conditions are coming. Then, I need to check my inventory of protective supplies and replenish them if needed. Finally, I should look around to see if I’m ready to provide for each category of those who might be depending on me. Diane and I don’t have livestock, but we have family, friends, and spiritual brothers and sisters who could be in need of support that we could provide.

    We got some of that rough weather up here in Middle Tennessee a couple of days ago, and the recent exposure to a storm made the impact of your post feel fresh. God bless you for once again making life around the Gallagher compound feel richer.

    1. Amen Mr. Ron. Daddy taught me long ago that, “It’s better to have and not need than to need and not have.” The time to prepare is before the emergency, because there’s no chance to do so afterwards.

  16. Praying for the ranch as you prepare for this winter storm. We’re expecting an inch of snow tonight and then 4 or 5 inches on Saturday night. And of course, the crazy cold.

    May the Lord protect us and care for us the way you do the animals. Thanks for the insights JD

  17. Storms, sometimes are anticipated and others times come in unexpected. We have a “polar Vortex” coming in the next few days with temps staying in the lower teens. I am preparing as much as I can, but almost defenseless if the power goes out for a long period. My small generator needs some attention.
    When those other storms come, we should be equally as prepared. James 1 tells us “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Joy might not be my first reaction to those storms, but joy is possible if we are prepared and prayed up.
    Thanks for your life lessons my friend.

  18. I’m thinking of you all and praying. Hope today’s weather will not cause worry. I’m thankful God is with us during all trials. I wish we didn’t have to face those troubles, but knowing He is always with us brings comfort and peace. Have a blessed day dear friend! 🙂

  19. I’m gonna say it – I do NOT like winter. Not just for myself, but for the animals. It hurts my brain and heart to wonder if they will survive nights of severe winter weather. Thank you for taking care of all of your creatures. I know it is a lot of trouble but this Alabamian gal appreciates knowing that there is at least one rancher in Texas that cares. Alabama may be in the south but it gets dang cold with our humidity. And the wind bites something awful.
    A frigid spiritual barometer needs the same kind of TLC. I am warming my “chilly” Bible reading with a new chronological Study Bible, which I am excited about. I like that it is the Bible, not a book. Thanks for the encouragement to start fending off the winter setbacks NOW. Be sure to take care of YOU, too.

    1. Amen Ms. Cathy. Not all the storms in life are weather related, but regardless of its kind, we know that God is faithful to see us through them. God’s blessings precious sister-in-Christ.

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