Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Whitman: Don't confuse 'Irmageddon' with Armageddon

RECOMMENDED READING


Irmageddon. The term really caught on before and after September's record storm. Appearing as everything from a hashtag to a news headline, Irmageddon took panic and made it a pun.

It's the kind of term people plaster on cheap hats for profit. The kind used to reference 'that time' when things got a little scary. Irmageddon belongs to the 'Let's make a joke so we don't cry,' crowd. And I get it.

There are fires and hurricanes, death missiles and social media accounts. Mankind's actions alone can make it seem our world is, to quote my late grandma, 'Headed to Hell in a handbasket.' But obsessing about the Apocalypse doesn't make it real.

David Speicher, pastor at South Bay Church in Riverview, addressed the topic post-Irma. A firm believer in the Biblical Revelation, he urged his congregation not to confuse today's tragedies with Apocalyptic events.

"I told them we didn't think it was the Apocalypse when Harvey hit Houston, it wasn't even a thought, but when a storm comes at us we start thinking it's the end times," said Speicher, who will deliver a series of sermons on Armageddon through October.

"Calamities happen all the time all over the world. The Bible says when it is the Apocalypse people will shake their fists at God and blame him. If you look at things now, people aren't blaming God, they are reaching out and helping one another. They are showing love."

Following Irma, Speicher delivered donations to those hit in the Florida Keys. Multiple Hillsborough County churches helped with relief efforts. When Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the same churches made plans to assist in any way possible.

Whether we study Revelation or physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, at this moment, we remain on earth together. We need to retire the 'End is Near' signs and take care of each other because, like it or not, humans may not go the way of the dinosaurs. The rapture might hold off. This may be the end times. But it may just be the beginning.

My children are one and four years old, if the globe keeps spinning, they could see the year 2100. If so, they will need fresh air and kindness. If people give up now, in 2017, what world will my grandchildren inherit?

Every generation contemplates Armageddon. Like us, our ancestors experienced war and disaster, hunger and sickness. They shouted 'Anti-Christ' and got it wrong.

David Meade, a Christian numerologist, predicted the end of days to begin Sept. 23, 2017. If it's Sept. 24 and you are reading this column unfazed, he evidently missed the mark. If you are scoffing at me from a doomsday bunker, well, okay then.

Contact Sarah Whitman at [email protected]

Comments
Neighborhood watched

Neighborhood watched

MONICA HERNDON | TimesTampa Police Department mounted patrol Officer William Wagner-Hart rides Pike near Osceola Place and E Henry Avenue in Seminole Heights on Friday. The mounted patrol units join other officers already patrolling the area in t...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-UCF

Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-UCF

1. Props to Charlie Strong — and the Bulls veterans — for underplaying USF’s final offensive play, which ended with TE Mitchell Wilcox fumbling while fighting for extra yardage after a catch. "His heart is truly broken," Strong said. "And it’s so har...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

SAFETY HARBOR — A pregnant 22-year-old had to stab her family dog to death after it "turned" on his owners Friday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Sierra Willson stabbed the dog after it began viciously attacking two other dogs and...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

Florida-Florida State: What’s really riding on Saturday’s game

GAINESVILLE — If misery loves company, at least the Gators and Seminoles have each other.That’s about the only positive in the least-appealing Florida-Florida State showdown in decades. Both enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium today 4-6 — only the second ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Black Friday still a brick-and-mortar experience for some

Black Friday still a brick-and-mortar experience for some

TAMPA — Standing in a frantic line at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, one young woman beat the system when she showed off the receipt for her new TV, which she had just purchased on her phone. She was waiting to pick it up."I didn’t know you could do that,...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Bucs journal: DE Will Gholston likely to return from neck injury

Bucs journal: DE Will Gholston likely to return from neck injury

TAMPA — Bucs DE Will Gholston is expected to make a healthy return Sunday in Atlanta after missing two games with a neck injury, and he’s thankful and relieved not to have to deal with anything more severe."It was knee-buckling," said Gholston, offic...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Chip Kelly unlikely to be Florida’s coach, report says

It doesn’t look as if Chip Kelly will be Florida’s football coach after all.The Gators’ search to replace Jim McElwain has moved on from the former Oregon coach, Yahoo Sports reported Friday. UCLA also has been pursuing Kelly. UF had a high-profile c...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

TAMPA — Sick and injured people at MacDill Air Force Base now rely on crews from Tampa Fire Rescue for help, and soon, they’ll have their own dedicated ambulance.Last month, the Tampa City Council approved the purchase of a $323,000 Braun Super Chief...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

TAMPA — For 15 years, Republicans have held a majority of seats on the Hillsborough County Commission.It’s the longest stretch one party has controlled the board since a corruption scandal expanded the body to seven members in 1985.But all five Repub...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami spent the better part of 13 months cultivating the nation’s longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to "The U" in all of its "Turnover Chain" glory. Sluggish through the first half against Pitt...
Updated: 1 hour ago