May 25, 2015

8 Easy Ways to Start a Fire

This article was written by Dan Sullivan from Survival Sullivan. Check out Dan’s blog, I think you’ll enjoy it.
 
 
8 Easy Ways to Start a Fire

How many ways of starting a fire do you know? No matter how many you answered, I’m sure you can learn a few more after reading this article. You never know when you’re out in the wild, desperately needing a fire and you realize your primary and secondary means of starting a one aren’t working.

Accidents will happen… your bug out bag could fall into a body of water, possibly compromising some of your stuff and, as you’re desperately trying to start a fire using your soaking wet matches, you begin to realize the severity of the situation.

Before we discuss all the different ways to start a fire, it’s worth mentioning you need have tinder readily available to quickly catch those sparks. Bark, dry glass, small sticks, cotton balls and even paper will do the trick. So, without further ado, let’s see all the various ways to start a fire.
 
 
Using an Obvious Fire-Starting Device

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about Bic lighters and waterproof matches. You probably have them in your bug-out bag (BOB) or your get home bag (GHB) already. Bic lighters are great but at some point, they will fail you, so be sure to check that they’re working from time to time. You can do this, for instance, right when you’re rotating your food stockpile, for instance.
 
 
Using the Bow Drill Method

When I think about starting a fire without matches, the thing that always comes to mind is the bow drill method. The reason it’s so popular is that it’s very effective. Not as good as striking a match, obviously, but works really well when all else fails. Under normal circumstances, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to get it going.

The most important thing is to have the right wood. You need dry wood and, ideally, you’ll want to make the spindle and the floorboard from the same tree, even from the same log for best results. Here’s a quick list of types of wood that work well with this method: white cedar, willow, alder, and maple. Willow will work best, particularly if you’re new at this.
 
 
Using the Hand Drill Method

If you don’t have the time or the right items to use the bow drill method, how about just using your bare hands to rotate the stick? It’s hard work but, with the right wood, tinder and your tireless hands, you will eventually get that spark.
 
 
Using a Pocket Knife, a Piece of Flint and Char Cloth

Char cloth ignites with the smallest spark and you can help starting it with your pocket knife and flint.
 
 
Using a Lens

There are a wide variety of lens available to help you start a fire. For example, a Fresnel lens is small, cheap, lightweight and fits just about anywhere in your bug-out bag or get home bag. Of course, if you don’t have one, you can use a magnifying glass, binoculars and even your eyeglasses to achieve the same result.

And if you’re really feeling lucky, you can use unconventional items such as a condom filled with water or even an ice cube. These can both focus the sun rays into a single point, raising the temperature and causing whatever tinder you have there to ignite.
 
 
Using Batteries

Batteries alone can’t do the job but, with the help of some fine grade steel wool or gum paper, it’s totally possible. You’re gonna need a 9V battery and the really good news is, this will work on all weather conditions… and it is fast. The moment the battery makes contact with the wool, sparks start showing up so make sure you have that tinder ready.
 
 
Starting a Fire with Water

First of all, I should say that the water needs to be contained in either a plastic bottle or a lightbulb. You will use them as makeshift magnifying glasses to focus the sun rays on one (or multiple) pieces of paper. If you have paper written in black ink, that’s even better, it’s going to ignite faster.
 
 
Mixing Chlorine and Break Fluid

When it comes to using chemical reactions to start a fire, one of the most popular ways is to use chlorine and break fluid. The reaction doesn’t happen instantly, it takes about 20 to 30 seconds and the flame doesn’t last for more than a few seconds. Use small quantities of each and, whatever you do, do NOT get too close during those first 30 seconds when nothing seems to be happening. Also, wearing a face shield mask is even better to decrease your chances of getting injured.
What’s next?

Practicing all the ways to start a fire is very important as you don’t want your first attempt to be during an SHTF situation, when your life is on the line. Make sure you have everything you need and keep trying if it doesn’t work the first time.

Now that you’ve got that fire going… how about learning how to cook? I’ve put together a comprehensive list of outdoor cooking methods, you can check it out right here and… I have a feeling you might like it!

Stay safe,
Dan F. Sullivan
 
 
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Launch of Preparedness Retreats.com

It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of Preparedness Retreats! I want to thank everyone who provided insight and feedback! Upon counsel with my friend, Kermit Jones, author of the Prepper Pete Prepares books, I will be applying for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. This will provide several benefits that I won’t go into. Suffice to say, I should be able to help more people at a lower cost!

At this moment, there is only one Preparedness Retreat on the calendar and that is at Camp Bethel in Wise, VA June 19-21, 2015. You can see the full class line up and purchase tickets by clicking the Wise, VA link. The price for this event is very reasonable. A day pass is only $20 for Saturday!

I will be speaking on Friday night, covering topics related to faith and preparedness; much of what I cover in the eBook, “Why should I prepare and is it Biblical?”. I’ll also cover topics like: why I believe Christians should specifically be preparing and why doing so is an act of faith.

Saturday, we will be having several classes. I will be covering the five basic needs, broken up by water and food in one class, and shelter, energy and security in another. I will also be doing a class aimed at people who are new to preparedness, giving some advice, and setting aside some time to answer specific questions. Sharon from SimplyCanning.com will be teaching a canning class. Both Sharon and I (as will some of the other instructors) will be teaching our classes twice; once before, and once after lunch. Sunday we will have breakfast, a keynote speaker and worship time together.

This event and website were put together quickly. That isn’t to say it is done shabbily. The site isn’t as nice and I had hoped it would be, and because of the late date, some vendors have had to decline. Future events will appear a little more polished, but I believe this one will still be great!

Speaking of future events, now that I have the site up and things are coming together for the event at Camp Bethel, I would like to start working with some of you who have expressed interest in assisting with putting together events near you. Please use this email for contact so that I can keep things straight. Chris (at Symbol) preparednessretreats (period) com. I am willing to travel just about anywhere, and am willing to do these retreats anywhere we can get adequate class space that has lodging nearby.

I’m really excited by how God is moving things, and by how He is blessing me by putting people in my path that are smarter than I!  I do know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so I will only make major announcements here from now on. I will be updating the blog at Preparedness Retreats. If you are interested in attending a retreat or want to help shape them, I encourage you to head on over and sign up to receive updates!

Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement. I appreciate them more than you know!

Chris

 
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Sheep Dog Seminar for Churches

Sheep Dog Seminar for Churches

As I mentioned in the article Should a Christian Carry a Firearm I recently attended the Sheep Dog Seminar for Churches and thought it important enough that I wanted to share my thoughts on it with all of you. I am not affiliated with them in any way, so when I say, “if you have the opportunity to go to one of their seminars, I believe you should go”, it comes from me knowing that it will open your eyes, and bless you; and not because I get a kickback! Oh, they are offering a 2 for 1 for the rest of the year, though!

I’m not someone who gushes over celebrities or public figures, but I am very glad I got the opportunity to shake the hands of three modern day Nehemiah’s; Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Carl Chin and Jimmy Meeks. These men spend much of their time attempting to wake the Body of Christ to the violence that is exploding at our places of worship; over 1000% since 2006! I join them in their belief that it will continue and will get worse! They are teaching us to keep our eyes open, to work with one hand and keep our sword (firearm) at the ready.
 
 

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

I have read his books On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace and On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society and I believe that if you are someone who carries a firearm for self-defense and believes there is a chance you may have to use it, these books are required reading. They will help you prepare your mind for combat. That’s what the brief extremely violent encounter with Joe Dirtbag will be if you need to draw your firearm and use it for self-defense; COMBAT!

You can send thousands of rounds down range, but if you do not prepare your mind, and know what to expect from your body under extreme duress, you very well could be training against how your body will actually act under duress.

Lt. Col. Grossman also has a seminar called The Bullet Proof Mind. He covers some of the content from that seminar in the “Sheep Dog for Churches Seminars”. I purchased the DVD at the seminar and can’t wait to watch it! In the seminar he covered some of the physiological changes (which I wrote about in this article) that take place under extreme stress.

There was so much information covered, I can’t possibly mention everything, so I will just mention two things now.

Col. Grossman said that if our enemies obtain the ability to use an EMP, they absolutely will. More likely, an attack will be Beslan style, which I covered in Terrorism: Beslan Style Attack At Our Schools Please read the article for more information, here is the first paragraph:

“On September 1, 2004, Chechen Islamic terrorists stormed a school taking over 1,100 people hostage for three days. The terrorists were brutal, killing men and boys old enough to resist their attempts. Hostages were forced to stay in a sweltering hot auditorium with little to no food or water. Russian forces eventually stormed the school. In the end there were over 385 dead, including 31 dead terrorists. Wikipedia has a very detailed write up called Beslan school hostage crisis.

In the article I point out that muslim clerics have said “We have the right to kill four million Americans — 2 million of them children — and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands.” Information has been recovered that indicated Beslan was training for American schools.

The second thing I want to mention that the Col. covered is when he thinks the next attack will come. I can’t remember the conflicts he listed, but he mentioned times when we have fought them, and withdrawn from conflict. It is when we withdraw that they strike us at home. He believes that we are keeping them busy in Afghanistan and once we pull out from there, they will be emboldened and attack us here.

My thought on this is that all it would take is a handful of monsters willing to slaughter innocent children to walk into a daycare center or elementary schools over a few days and massacre as many children as they can, to bring our way of life to a screeching halt.

If parents don’t feel safe sending their kids to school, they have to stay home from work to stay with them. How many people do you work with who have kids that might stay home?

This doesn’t even take into account the emotional damage that would be caused by such an event. The impact would be far greater than that of 9-11, as we mourned for all the children killed.
 
 
Carl Chinn

I first discovered Carl’s site when I was researching my first article on the Rise of Crime at Churches. Carl records every fatality that happens at a church, or faith based center. He was involved in a hostage situation some years ago at Focus on the Family, and was one of the church security members that responded to the shooter at New Life Church in Colorado. While he was not the one who shot the murderer, he was within seconds of engaging him before another security team member did from another direction.

Carl has a book called Evil Invades the Sanctuary, which I read shortly after its release. You can purchase the book from his site. In it, he goes into the details of both incidents and gives some good information for church security teams. He delves into this in the seminar as well and gives some very good tips on church security.

If you are a part of a church security team or someone concerned with it, I recommend this book.
 
 
Jimmy Meeks

Jimmy might not be the most popular guy with some people and churches because while he does say church violence is a big problem, he also says that the biggest issue we face isn’t violence in the church, but sexual sin. There are 23 sexual crimes reported at Protestant Churches every day. We have just as many people calling themselves Christians addicted to porn as we do non-believers.

Jimmy does talk a fair bit about church violence as well. Some of the stories he gives are heart-breaking. He points out that:
There have been over 549 violent deaths at churches since 1999! In the 36 months of 2012 (75), 2013 (45), 2014 (74), there were more deaths at churches than at schools! Remember that this was the time period for one of the bloodiest, most horrific school massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary.
(Chris Says: “Since 2006 the rate of deaths at churches or at church functions or buildings has skyrocketed over 1000%! That is NOT a typo!”)
Jimmy saw that I mentioned him in Should a Christian Carry a Firearm and asked me to call him. We spoke for a few minutes, and on the chance that you see this Jimmy, thanks again! I really enjoyed the seminar! Keep up the much needed, and great work!

 
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Interview on the Destiny Survival Radio Show

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by John Wesley Smith from Destiny Survival. You can find the interview here.

We talked about some of the topics regarding faith and preparedness that I have covered here on the blog, subjects like why I believe Christians should be prepping, my thoughts on dreams and prophecy as well as eschatology.

We also discuss the upcoming retreats a bit as well!

If you listen to podcasts, you might enjoy the show!
 
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Ten Foods to Include in Your Emergency Food Storage Supply

This article was guest written by Lee Flynn.

 

Keeping your body fueled in an emergency isn’t the same thing as eating a typical daily diet. In an emergency type situation, you’ll probably be using a great deal more energy than normal, which is why you’ll need more high-protein, high-energy type foods. Furthermore, because your food storage supply is limited, you need to eat better quality foods overall. In an emergency or disaster, those extra calories will come in handy. Eat foods high in nutrients as well as fiber to keep your system running smoothly.

 

  1. Whole-Wheat Crackers

Crackers are not only a comfort food, but make a great replacement for bread as well as good substitute for making a quick sandwich. Because whole-grain/wheat crackers have more fat content, their shelf life isn’t particularly long. But, the extra dose of fiber is appreciated if you’re really hungry. Store any opened crackers in an airtight, food-safe container after opening the box.

 

  1. Bulk Nuts

On your next visit to your local grocery store, look for bulk nuts/seeds, especially for the un-shelled, un-salted varieties. It’s best to pick emergency foods low in sodium since salt will only make you thirstier. Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, and many other seeds and nuts generally sold in grocery stores are very high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids.

 

  1. Dried Beans

Pinto beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, and other beans have a high calorie content, contain a good amount of protein, and also have many essential vitamins overall. Dried beans are available in packages that are bigger than canned beans but weigh a great deal less for the amount you actually get.

 

  1. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is known for packing essential fatty acids and proteins as well as several key vital minerals including iron and copper. For ideal health, choose ‘natural’ peanut butter. Just a few tablespoons a day of natural peanut butter can help someone adequately survive a relatively long period without any ‘normal’ food.

 

  1. Trail Mix

A classic favorite among hikers, tasty trail mix has various ingredients, including peanuts, raisins, and other nutritious nuts along with dried fruit and sometimes chocolate. The simple sugars the dried fruits, chocolate, and raisins provide are a short-term energy and mood booster that tend to satisfy in a crisis situation.

 

  1. Power Bars

Filling and nutritious, portable power bars and granola bars usually retain their freshness for six months or more. They’re a superb source of energy-boosting carbohydrates. Foods high in carbohydrates provide more energy than eating foods with none.

 

  1. Instant Coffee

Instant coffee may not seem like a survival food, but try telling that to someone who’s been drinking it for years throughout the day. Not only is coffee good for your morale, but helps boost your energy level as well. In an emergency situation, it could be considered a “godsend” to some people.

 

  1. Powdered Super Greens/ Sea Vegetables

Some of the most popular items found in health stores today are the pill or powdered form of sea vegetables. In times of disaster, it’s likely that fresh produce will be nowhere to be found. Sea vegetables are considered a ‘superfood’, chock-full of nutrients, vitamins, and offer incredible health benefits that boost your immune system, provide wound healing and tissue repair, and even have key anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

 

  1. Beef Jerky

Natural varieties of beef and turkey jerky no longer contain any or at least as much of the harmful ingredients they add while processing it. Basically, jerky is a kind of dried meat. And, dried meat has long been a survival food used by American pioneers and Native Americans alike.

 

  1. Canned Tuna, Turkey, Salmon, or Chicken

Various canned meats have vital protein and can last as long as two years on the shelf, although the vacuum-packed pouches only last about six months. They’re the ideal food in an emergency situation since they pack a lot of punch in terms of nutrition for such a small, inexpensive, convenient food.

Overall, when choosing which foods to incorporate into your emergency food storage supply, think about the ease of preparation, calorie count, shelf life, and of course the taste of the food before you buy it. Consider these 10 best survival foods to get you started building your emergency food stockpile.

Review of Valley Food Storage; Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato

I was offered the chance to sample and review Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato Soup, and it’s unlike me to turn down free food (lol) so I said, “yes”.

Valley Food Storage started in 2005 after they purchased some LTS food. Upon checking it a few short years later, they discovered it was all rancid. Bear in mind this was food claiming to have a 25 year shelf life. They teamed up with food scientists and worked to come up with a viable solution to this problem.

What they found was that other companies had included ingredients that wouldn’t last more than a few years. It also seemed that every company out there packed their food with preservatives and hydrogenated oils.

They vowed to only use ingredients with a long shelf life, and do not use GMO’s or MSG.

I also appreciate that they put their entrees into a Mylar pouch instead of a #10 can.
 
 
Irish Pub Style Cheddar Potato Soup

Pub-Style-Ched-Potato

I was presented with a few options. This one sounded really good. As you can see in the image on the left (click to enlarge), none of the ingredients need a PhD to pronounce. Also, the directions are easy enough for me to prepare!

I got the water to a boil and added the mix. I stirred it in and walked away for a bit. What I didn’t expect was the smell when I came back. I didn’t care for it. I actually planned on eating this for lunch and told my wife I would taste it, eat enough to review, but that if it wasn’t good, I was finding something else.

Soup boiling

I like thicker soups and was a little concerned about how watery it was about half way through. I figured it would thicken up and it did, as you can see in this photo.

I was blown away by how good it tasted, as was my son, who can be picky at times. He actually finished it off! I don’t like the taste of cooked peppers, and was a little leery, but could hardly taste them!

Spoonful

The consistency of freeze dried foods might be an issue for some people, as they are often mushy. The texture of the potato was interesting, and not like I had expected. It was firmer than what I thought it would be. It reminded me of what a hard marshmallow might be like biting into; not hard, but not squishy either. I didn’t mind it, but thought it was worth mentioning.

I had two scoops with a punch bowl sized ladle. I ate two dinner rolls with my bowl of soup and was full. I would guess that I ate two of the five servings.

The price for one pouch is $11.95 or $203 for a case of 20.

All in all I was very impressed with the company. I don’t do many affiliates on this site, but like what I see with this company and have applied for their affiliate program, and was accepted, so if you click on one of the images and purchase anything, I will get a small commission. I am also impressed with the food, and when I add more freeze dried foods to my pantry, they will most likely be coming from Valley Food Storage!

Click here to see a chart comparing many of the top food storage companies to Valley Foods; look into this before you make a purchase from another company.

 
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Jesus is

Jesus is

Jesus reigns, He is love, He is righteous, He is power, He is King, HE is RISEN!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Should a Christian Carry a Firearm?

Should a Christian Carry a Firearm
 
 
I was originally going to write about whether a Christian should carry at church, but the issue is broader than that, so I decided to expand it, and discuss carrying at church as a part of this topic.
 
 

Should a Christian Use Self-Defense?

I covered this topic thoroughly in Should Christians Practice Self-Defense. In an attempt to keep this article slightly less than a novel, I am only going to bring up a couple issues here about Christians and self-defense.

I have been accused of twisting God’s Word and told that I should be ashamed for telling people that God is in favor of people using self-defense. First, I have come to my belief based on what scripture says and the use of common sense. I have not twisted scripture to fit my already held belief. If you are of that opinion, do me a favor and show me where I am wrong in scripture. We’re both entitled to our opinions about the use of violence. However, we are not entitled to making scripture say something it doesn’t say. I can show you several verses where God either used violence, or mandated it.
 
 
The Lord Abhors Violence

“The Lord hates violence” is a saying I have heard a few times in my life. It never really made sense to me, because of how He used violence to defeat His enemies throughout the Old Testament and will in Revelation.

I have a hunch that the person who came up with that saying and those who espouse it now, are actually the ones that hate violence! Doing a search for the word violence at Blue Letter Bible brings up over 50 verses and not one of them includes “The Lord hates violence”.

There are several verses decrying the use of violence, but what these people either don’t see, or leave out is that these verses decry the use of violence by those who clothe themselves in it and love it. Not one mention is made of never using violence to defend oneself.

Here are some examples:

Psalms 11:5 “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”

Psalms 7:9 “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.”

Proverbs 21:7 “The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.“

Now one might say that doesn’t say we’re permitted to use violence. There are several verses where God commands the use of force to destroy His enemies or uses it Himself.

Where is the line; when are we permitted to use violence then? Let’s take a look at David.
As a very young man, he stood before an entire army and condemned them for their blasphemy against God. He then proceeded to kill Goliath and cut off his head. He entered into many wars and smaller conflicts throughout his life. It wasn’t until David turned away from God, murdered Uriah and let his bloodlust take over that he got into trouble with the Lord. David’s love of violence and unrighteous use of it, is what almost led to his being eternally separated from God.
 
 
Jesus is a Pacifist

No, no He is not. He was non-violent. There is a big difference! A non-violent person is non-violent until they need to be. A pacifist refrains from it even at the cost of their own or a loved one’s welfare.

Jesus practiced avoidance and de-escalation at various times; when they went to get stones to kill Him and again when He said “he who is without sin cast the first stone” are two examples that come to mind.

I have read a few articles that say that the angel referred to as the Angel of the Lord, was actually Jesus, before He was born of the flesh. I don’t know if this is true or not and is something I have wanted to look into, but have not yet. If this is true, then read the Old Testament again and look at the different accounts the Angel of the Lord using violence. One would be killing 185,000 Assyrians for example.

Even if that is not true, it does not change His use of violence in the end of days. He kills with the very word of His mouth:

Revelations 19:15 “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.”

Revelations 19:21 “The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”
 
 
Turn the Other Cheek

There are so many people who think this verse means, offer the other cheek to be slapped, to not only not defend yourself, but to ask for more. The trouble with this is that context is important. I have done a fair bit of research and I have found four theories that take the verse in context of the Jewish people at the time of Christ.

The following are some things to keep in mind.

Many cultures have used the left hand for “unclean” tasks and I believe some still do. I remember my father, who is left handed, telling me that when he was a child his parents tried to force him to use his right hand for writing and other tasks. I mention this only to give some example of how widespread this practice was. Because the left hand was used for unclean tasks you would not use it, not even to strike someone you deemed less honorable than yourself.

Honor is something else that is lost on western culture. In many cultures, even today, honor is valued higher than life. This is why there are honor killings in some religions and cultures. Honor was also very important in the days when Jesus walked the earth. He condemned the Pharisees for always wanting to sit in the place of honor. He also rebuked the disciples, telling them in Mark 9:35 “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” One would only slap someone they considered less honorable than themselves and Jesus states, “If your right cheek is slapped.” Since the left hand would not be used, one would have to use their right hand for a backhand slap. A backhanded slap carries more dishonor than a palm.

To see the full list of theories please see Should Christians Practice Self-Defense

After my research, I believe that what was meant was to not react to insults, not that we should offer the other check to be slapped.
 
 
Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs

Here is an excellent excerpt from the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. More can be read from this excerpt on his website Killology Research Group.

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another….

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. However, the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it! There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial!

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

I only have a few things to add to this. The Sheep Dog Mottos is “Only a predator can stop a predator.” This is absolute fact. Watch any place with a bully in action. People may tell the bully to stop picking on the lamb, but the young wolf ignores them. That is until a sheepdog steps in front of the sheep to confront the wolf.

I was a sheep during my childhood. Back then Autism and Asperger’s wasn’t well known, so I was looked at as being quiet and, well, a little odd. Because of this, I was picked on horrifically from 1st grade until 10th grade. The summer after 9th grade, I made a decision not to be bullied any more and hit the weights. God blessed me with a growth spurt as well. Oh there were still insults, but the violence had stopped, and I was now mostly ignored, which was fine with me.

Civilization continues on because of sheep dogs; in uniform, wearing a badge or civilian. The choice must be made to stop being a sheep, and anyone can make that choice. A 4’, 90lb woman with the mindset and will to use a firearm is just as capable as a 6’, 200lb man is of stopping a wolf!

I’m sure many of you will agree with this; I don’t ever want to use violence. I will try to deescalate, and avoid violence if possible, only using it as a last resort. However, if the wolf comes and tries to hurt my family or myself, I don’t care if it’s bigger, stronger or if there are more of them; I will be a danger to my enemy. Trust me, the cost they will pay in pain and blood is not worth whatever benefit they were after. I may not go unscathed, but “baa” is not in my vocabulary, and it is not in my nature to allow my loved ones or myself to be victimized.
 
 
Violence at Church

“Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.”
~Mathew 10:17

This is a subject I have covered before in Rising Church Crime and Security back in 2011. Things have only gotten worse. I recently attended the Sheep Dog for Churches Seminar with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Carl Chin and Jimmy Meeks.

While I knew some of what was covered from my past research, I learned a lot and was blessed by listening to these men of God and sheepdog trainers. I will cover the seminar in more detail in a future post, but will just cover some high points now.

Since 2006 the rate of deaths at churches or at church functions or buildings has skyrocketed over 1000%! That is NOT a typo! There have been over 549 violent deaths at churches since 1999!

In the 36 months of 2012 (75), 2013 (45), 2014 (74), there were more deaths at churches than at schools! Remember that this was the time period for one of the bloodiest, most horrific school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I’m not trying to diminish the problem of school violence, I’m simply trying to make you more aware of the problem of violence at faith-based centers.
 
 
Should a Christian Carry a Firearm?

If you have read everything thus far, you would think my answer is “yes”. However, my answer is, “actually, it depends”. If you cannot get your mind ready to take the life of another, do not carry, as you would be a liability.

If you have a prepared mind, then yes, I do believe, if you are legally able, you should carry. I support law enforcement but it is not possible for an officer to be everywhere at all times. If they are there, they will try to protect and serve. If they are not, they will document the crime scene.

God has called us each to serve Him in some manner that no one else could do like we do. Not to toot my own horn, but when I started this site, there were two other sites that looked at some of the same issues but they were posted to and updated infrequently. I have heard from scores of people who thank me for putting a Christian perspective on preparedness topics. If I had decided I wasn’t up to the task, would there be a Christian voice on these topics? It’s possible, but they wouldn’t have covered them the way I have.

Now, we all have a calling. However, because He gave us free will, it is possible that Joe Dirtbag may come along and interrupt God’s plan. Is it not our duty to defend ourselves and protect God’s plan so we can further work for His glory?

I believe that if we see a wrong being done to another person and choose to do nothing we then bare some guilt for that wrong. Not only that, but for future wrongs the evildoer will accomplish as a result of not being stopped. Because Joe Dirtbag doesn’t like being stopped and doesn’t want to possibly go to jail, he sometimes uses force to stop the Sheepdog. “A predator is the only thing that can stop a predator” and a gun is what gives that predator, the sheepdog, teeth.
 
 
Should We Carry at Church?

In some states, carrying a gun in places of worship is illegal. In states where it is not, whether or not to carry is a debated issue. With everything I have listed here and what I will cover soon in my review of the Sheep Dog for Church Seminar, I absolutely will carry in every church I attend.

I believe it was LT. Col. Grossman who said that “if we love the people we worship with, we should carry the tools to protect them.”

Again, Jesus Himself said violence would be done to believers in our places of worship. History, over the last 2,000 years, has shown Him to be correct. I believe the future will continue to prove so as well.

 
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What Would You Do if You Had a Gas Leak?

Its 10:00pm on a February night and the temperature is in the teens. You turn on the oven to make a snack and a few minutes later you come back in the kitchen to the smell of gas. You crack the oven door and a small fireball shoots out. You quickly shut the door and turn off the gas.

This recently happened to us. My stepson was the one getting a snack. He told us what had happened, so I went to the kitchen. There was a smell of gas, but it seemed to be dissipating to me. Trudee didn’t think so and called the gas company.

They said we should evacuate the house immediately, explaining not to turn on or off any switches, not to even hang up the phone, and they would send someone out as soon as possible. The gas didn’t smell very strong to me so I didn’t think it was that big of a dead, but those are probably famous last words. The three of us and the four dogs bugged out.

I always thought I would have some kind of warning, and at least a few minutes to get the car packed, but that’s not the way it went down. We put on our coats, grabbed the keys, and jumped in the truck, where we sat at the end of the driveway, waiting for the service man.

We had one BOB in the truck, a couple blankets and some cash, with access to my BOB in my car, which was in the garage and my stepson’s BOB, which was in the driveway. That’s it! I really didn’t think we would be forced to stay out of the house, but I kept thinking, “what if we can’t go back in?”

We have the basics in our BOBs. I don’t know about you, but I want more than the basics to get by if I’m not in a survival situation. I was so focused on getting leashes on the dogs and all of us dressed and outside as safely and as quickly as possible, that I forgot to grab my money clip. We did have some cash, so if we needed to we could have bought some short term supplies.

The gasman showed up and said his meter was pegged in the kitchen when he walked in. He opened the oven and discovered our issue. Trudee had very recently inserted a cover to catch oven gunk, and it turns out it was covering a vent she hadn’t noticed, causing gas to build up and cause carbon monoxide and gas fumes to flood the kitchen.

This little event exposed some normalcy bias I didn’t know I had. I expected to have time to load up before bugging out. This just goes to show you that we all have opinions on how this or that will go down, but the truth is, we never know exactly what, or how things will happen!

Do you have some normalcy bias that needs to be put in check?
 
 
What Would You Do?

Put yourself in my position and think about what you would do. Had I done that previously, I would have thought I would have done better than I did. This just goes to show that theory is great, but simply can’t replace application and practice!

 
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Update on Christian Preparedness Retreats

There was so much interest in the Christian preparedness retreat that I have an exciting update that I want to share with all of you! Many of you said that you were interested but would not be willing to drive. This led me to contemplate “what if” with Trudee, with me saying how fantastic it would be if I could do this full time and we prayed about it. The next day I was contacted by a reader who is associated with a Bible camp in Virginia and they want to host a retreat as well! This has led me to the decision to start a company offering these retreats around the country, to any Bible camp, regular camp or Church that is willing to host one.

I have a few things I really could use your help with! First; prayer! I am completely out of my depth here and trusting God to lead the way! Please pray for wisdom and that I am able to see His direction.

Second is the name, as I am stumped! Here are a few I have come up with, but I am open to suggestions.

A. Practical Readiness Retreats
B. Practical Christian Readiness Retreats
C. Christian Readiness Retreats
D. Readiness Retreats
E. Prepared Christian Retreats

I have a few thoughts here; I want to stay away from “prepper” or “preparedness” in the name, as I want the class to draw non-preppers who might be put off by “prepper” because of shows like Doomsday Preppers and the like. I try to keep everything I do rooted in the practical and I think readiness is pretty non-threatening. I go back and forth on having “Christian” in the name. I want believers to know the retreat is rooted in Christ but that will be easily distinguished by looking at the content. I also need to keep in mind what people type into the search engines or address bar when they do an internet search. I almost didn’t add option E, as I am not sure if I want to keep this completely separated or not and it has “Prepared” in the title.

The last thing I need your help with is finding other venues that may be interested in hosting a retreat. If you’re affiliated with or spend time at a Bible camp, gauge the interest and have them contact me at Chris {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net. The same goes for a church or other venue that might be interested! This is a great opportunity to bring in extra income for the camp.

My church did a one day seminar and I know others have told me their church put on a seminar or held a bible study, but many more of you have told me that your church seemed apathetic or against the idea. This is why I think a Bible camp is such a great idea! The classroom setting is great for some topics, but teaching about making fire really needs to be done outdoors.

 
 
Retreat Design

The retreats will be designed to fit the venue and attendance. If there are enough people attending, we could have as many as four classes going on at one time in breakout sessions, with everyone attending the main sessions.

This brings up an inevitable problem; missing a class that you wanted to take because you’re taking a class you wanted to attend a little more. For the time being, the only solution I have for this is to have popular classes taught multiple times, though I don’t know if this will be done either. If these retreats catches on, I could eventually offer recordings of classes available for a small fee for those who attend a retreat and possibly offer them to those who can’t attend as well.

The two camps I am working with now have both expressed interest in holding a retreat multiple times a year. I think this is a great idea because, for example, spring isn’t hunting season! Therefore, holding a class on the basics of hunting and dressing game isn’t ideal then, but in the fall it would be a great fit! The same could be said for canning, foraging and other classes as well. It also gives those who have jobs with busy seasons a chance to come when their work load is less.

To protect anonymity, I will not be maintaining attendee information after the retreat.

The layout for the weekend will contain 2-3 main sessions, and 6-8 breakout sessions. If there is enough people attending, we can have 2-3 breakout sessions going on at one time.
 
 
Price

The price will vary by venue, but a ballpark price will be $300-$500 per person; this price includes lodging and food and the usual camp entertainment activities. If you want to camp in a tent the price would be less. Some of the camps will have varying levels of cabins. The prices could reflect this with dormitory style cabins being cheaper than private 2-4 person cabins.

I am going to try and arrange it so that financial aid is available for a certain amount of guests per retreat for those who would like to attend but are on a restricted budget.

I am going to try to work with the camps to have a day pass, for those who don’t want to sleep there for whatever reason.
 
 
Instructors

Obviously, with multiple classes being taught at the same time, I will need other instructors. Some classes will require local instructors, like bee keeping and foraging for local plants. I am also hoping that I can find some high caliber instructors willing to travel with me. These instructors will be vetted by me to ensure quality of their topic and instruction. I will also be doing background checks on instructors to ensure guest safety. All instructors will be paid for their time, plus other incentives.

The vetting process is still something I am trying to work out. The easiest way would be for me to watch them teach their material; either in person or by video. However, not everyone has a youtube channel, a recording of them teaching or has taught a class like this. If anyone has any ideas, I am open to hearing them. For now, maybe a conversation by phone with all potential instructors is in order.

If you are an instructor who would like to be considered as either a local instructor or one who would be willing to fly to other locations, please send an email to instructor {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net containing:

• Your name and phone number
• Topic(s) you want to instruct on.
• If you have an example of your content, send it as well.
 
 
Vendors

I am looking for high quality vendors to showcase their products and/or services and be available to answer questions from guests. If you offer preparedness, homesteading, survival, outdoors, gardening, self-defense or other related products and/or services and would be interested in having a booth, please contact me at chris {at} Preparedchristian {dot} net.
 
 
Topics

This list is not inclusive of every topic, just what I have had time to scratch together so far. I have a lot more to add and a lot more filling in to do. However, if you see something missing, feel free to add a comment and let me know. After all, these retreats are for you. Tell me what you want to learn about! If I don’t know about it, I will try to find someone who does.
Here is a shortened outline. The full one is 10 pages so far.

These are potential for all future retreats. I am still deciding which breakout sessions will be covered for the retreat at Camp Bethel in Virginia.
 
 
Main Sessions:

Why Should I prepare and Is It Biblical?
o Taken from the free eBook I wrote. This class will cover the meat of why I started to prepare and why I believe God not only allows preparedness, but mandates it.

5 Basic Human needs part one
o Water
 How to purify
 Where to find it
 Storage
o Food
 Food storage rules
 What to store
 Building Food Storage
 Shelf life
 How to store it
 Enemies of food storage
o Medical
 OTC meds to store
 Ways to stock a small surplus of meds
 Shelf life of meds
 Veterinarian meds

5 Basic Human needs part two
o Shelter
 Some topics could be taken from “Off grid (for short term outages)”
 Duct Tape and Plastic, Really?
 Expedient nuclear shelters in the home
 Home security
• Safe rooms
• How to handle an intruder
• Harden access points
• Hardening your yard

o Energy
 Generator
 Battery bank that can be charged from a car
 Rocket mass heater
 Off grid fuels (what and how to store)
 Solar
 Wind
 Fuel Storage

o Security
 Is it Christian to practice self-defense?
 Security is a women’s responsibility too
 Willingness to use force and permission to do so
 Use of violence to stop violence
 Awareness
 Personal security
 Neighborhood security
 Personal security plans
 Family security plans
 Keeping watch after SHTF
 Building a defensive battery
 
 
Breakout Sessions

• Miscellaneous topics:
o Christians and Preparedness
o Preparedness Mindset
o Threat assessment
o Bugging out
o Off Grid (short term outages)
o Communicating during a disaster
o Staying informed now and post StuffHTF
o I am NOT a victim
o Car Safety
o When spouses don’t agree (on prepping or a firearm)
o Building a House Church
o Building a preparedness community
o Money and the future or the American Economy
o Wood Gas
o Prepper Tips
o Securing data and personal information
o Family preparedness
o Fire safety now and after SHTF

• Outdoor topics:
o Hunting
o Fishing
o Wilderness skills
o High ropes/rock climbing
o Tracking
o Archery
o Trapping
o Forestry management
o Fire building
o Permaculture (basic introduction)
o Gardening topics
o Hugelkultur
o Introduction to livestock for a homestead
o Aquaponics
o Hydroponics
o Foraging
o Bee Keeping

• Cooking:
o Butchering livestock or wild game
o Wild game recipes & cooking
o Cooking with dried foods (from food you’ve stored or purchased such as dried beans)
o Canning or pickling
o Cheese making
o Cooking with various outdoor methods
o Canning

• Medical/first aid
o General first aid
o AED
o Wilderness first aid
o Home remedies
o Colloidal silver
o Essential oils

• Self-defense:
o Situational Awareness
o Physiological changes
o Verbal de-escalation
o Martial arts
o How to escape from zip ties and duct tape
o Firearm Training
o Non-lethal self-defense
o Force on force training aka stress inoculation
o Spiritual self-defense
 
 
The First Retreat

Camp Bethel, located in Virginia will be hosting the first retreat! The tentative (fairly firm) date is June 19-23. This is father’s day weekend! What a great gift and event for father and son or daughter! Ladies don’t feel left out, you’re more than welcome as well.

I am working very hard to get things ready. Once I have the name decided upon, I will be purchasing the domain and will be using that as the source for distributing information. However, if you are interested in receiving information, you can sign up on the form below. You will only get updates on the Retreat at Camp Bethel.


 
 
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