November 1, 2014

Q/A with AlertsUSA on Current Events


In our last Q/A session, North Korea was one of the leading topics in the news. I want to thank AlertsUSA for taking the time to answer these questions. Due to circumstances beyond our control there was a little delay, but the information is still very relevant. I also wanted to let everyone know that AlertsUSA offers $20 their yearly membership to Preparedness Club members. That one benefit pays for half of the yearly Preparedness Club membership alone.
 
 

Attacks by islmists

Chris:
Since 9/11, we have seen multiple jihadi’s calling for attacks on American soil, yet there have only been a few successful lone wolf style attacks. What are the chances that they saw how we chased the Taliban and the terrorist camps out of Afghanistan and Al-Qaida out of Iraq, and now know that if they don’t hurt us worse than before, we’ll roust them from the countries that they are based in?
What are the chances that our enemies are waiting for something big enough to hurt us bad enough for us to not be able to respond?


AlertsUSA:
While there have only been a few successful domestic attacks since 9/11, this is not for lack of trying. As we have written about within our Threat Journal newsletter on multiple occasions, a casual conversation with any federal law enforcement official or member of the special operations community, if directly asked, will reveal there are a constant stream of individuals, organizations and foreign states attempting to do harm to this country as well as our citizens and interests abroad.

As an example, a major counter-terrorism operation was undertaken within the last few weeks in SE Michigan (home to the nations’ largest mosque) and several other locations across the country in order to roll up an active, very serious plot. No, you will not find links to media reports about the operation. It was all done quickly and quietly by specialized CT professionals with no fanfare.

Why are these incidents not shared with the public? There are a multitude of reasons. On one hand, there are few tactical or strategic benefits and it may actually hurt other ongoing efforts by revealing sources and methods. There are also few benefits to having such operations dissected by media organizations and political opportunists. The real professionals don’t want the publicity. There is also a very real concern that if the true tempo and nature of such threats were publicized it would likely result in significant backlash against specific religious / ethnic groups.

In the end, while a majority of Americans have become complacent thinking that terror organizations have stopped trying, or are holding back, or that all terror threats are sprouted by the U.S. government to keep the “sheeple” scared, the truth of the matter is that these attempts happen regularly.

Chris: We’re all aware of ISIS and the way they are slaughtering Christians in the Middle East. Today, FOX News reported this:

“A senior Homeland Security (DHS) official confirmed to Congress on Wednesday that militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) are planning to enter the United States via the porous southern border.”

I think ISIS would obviously love to launch attacks here on the US mainland, but how much of a threat do you think it is? Secondly, do you know how seriously government is or isn’t taking it?

AlertsUSA: The threat is very real and we know from first hand experience and regular interaction with those at the pointed end of the spear that the U.S. government is taking it very seriously.

Here again, while CT professionals prefer to operate outside of the spotlight and not have their actions dissected by media organizations and political opportunists, there are a growing number of U.S. citizens whom have traveled abroad over the last few years to join the jihad and are now returning home. Then there are the literally thousands of Muslims who are citizens of European Union countries whom have done the same. And as citizens of the EU enjoy visa-free travel to the U.S., this only amplifies the threat. Then add to this those Americans who are not inclined to travel abroad, but are nonetheless similarly motivated.

The threat is very real, as can be seen with the recent beheading in of a woman in Oklahoma who refused to convert to Islam. More is coming.

Additional note from Chris. It would seem AlertsUSA is of course correct, the most recent attack by an islamist occurred in Canada. I would also point out that the beheading in Oklahoma is the first killing of that type, but there have been several lone wolf Islamic attacks in recent years.
 
 
Russia

Chris: The cold war may have ended, but Russia has never stopped its saber rattling. I remember in 1991, while on board the USS Abraham Lincoln Air-Craft Carrier, the Russian Bear were flying into our air space and F18s were being scrambled to intercept them. With all of the Russian advances on Ukraine, the US and NATO response, they have stepped up the saber rattling to a level not many are aware of. The Business Insider.com recently said in an article titled “Russian Strategic Bombers Near Canada Practice Cruise Missile Strikes on US “that at least 16 bomber incursions by the bear occurred in just 10 days recently.

“Northern Command has confirmed that Russian strategic bomber flights increased sharply over the past six months.”

Last month, at least 16 bomber incursions by the Russians took place within the northwestern U.S. and Canadian air defense zones over a period 10 days. It was the largest number of incursions since the end of the Cold War. U.S. fighter jets intercepted the Russian aircraft and followed them until they exited the defense zone. The Tu-95 is a nuclear-capable bomber that is outfitted with six AS-15 nuclear-armed cruise missiles. The missiles have a range of over 1,800 miles.”

AlertsUSA: We all believe that Russia is just saber rattling, but Russia is not North Korea, and Putin is not Kim Jung Un. Russia has the capability to deal a knockout blow several times over. With the way they are flying these mock attacks, they could fly several Tu-95s and launch a hundred nukes before we were even aware they were headed our way.

I try not to delve into prophecy often, but those familiar with Ezekiel 39 will know that Russia, or Magog, will lead many of the world’s forces in an attack against Israel. I have said before that I believe for this to happen, something will need to happen to remove America as Israel’s protector.

All that being said, what are your thoughts on Russia, their threat to the US, and their threat to the countries that were a part of the former USSR?

This is complicated, but important.

YES, Russia does pose a threat to the U.S. and NATO.

BUT, the actions of the U.S. and NATO also pose a strategic threat to Russia.

Example: The proposed missile shield the U.S. has been attempting to get placed in the Baltic States is not for protection of Europe from missiles fired from nations such as Iran. It is intended to be able to take out Russian strategic rockets during the boost phase. Russia knows this and has publicly threatened to preemptively strike any such installations.

Example: U.S. meddling in Ukrainian politics poses another strategic threat to Russia.

Consider the following:

In December last year, Asst. Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, delivered a presentation in front of National Press Club during which she revealed that the U.S. government has invested more than 5 BILLION dollars in helping destabilize the pro-Russian Ukrainian government and to develop “democratic institutions and a good form of government,” all in an effort to bring about Ukraine’s entry into the EU, and ultimately, NATO.

Next, consider the geography of the region. Looking at a map you will see that the Black Sea is Western Russia’s singular warm-water access point. All other ports in the North of the country, with the exception of Murmansk near the northeast corner of Finland, are blocked by ice at least 6 months out of each year. The only reason Murmansk remains ice free is due to the warm waters of the N. Atlantic current. Although 9 time zones in size, more than 90% of Russia’s population lives in the Western third of the country. If Crimea, and thus access to the Black Sea, were to end up in NATO hands, Russia would lose access to the world’s oceans for at least half of the year. This is a huge strategic threat to their defenses, to international trade and more.

Next, the Russian Navy has kept its Black Sea Fleet stationed at a naval base on the Crimean peninsula since the late 1700s and the time of Napoleon. The Port of Sevastopol has a large, deep, defensible harbor and is accessible in all seasons. In 2010, Russia negotiated an agreement with Ukraine that allows use of the strategically located Sevastopol naval base through 2042 in exchange for discounts on natural gas.

Ukraine becoming a NATO member would eliminate their ability to use this base, which is critical for their access to the world’s oceans.

Finally, playing “follow the money” it should not be surprising that Ukraine is a critical corridor for oil and gas pipelines from Russia and the Caspian region into Europe. These pipelines and the product they carry generate huge profits (hundreds of billions) annually for the Russian government. To have Ukraine come under Western influence and potentially join NATO would put that Russian state revenue stream at risk. Hence, another strategic threat.

With just these few items (there are many more), it is easy to see how Russia is being backed into a corner and forced to exert their power and to sabre rattle. Their strategic interests and national security are directly threatened.

And this is where the danger comes home.

Russian President Putin, Prime Minister Medvedev and the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov, have on multiple occasions in the last 3 years made explicitly clear that Russia would use nuclear weapons, including in a preemptive capacity, if there is a threat to the integrity of the Russian Federation These scenarios include conventional attacks on Russia or it’s strategic partners, placement of missile shield installations in former Soviet-bloc countries and more.

 
 
Ebola

Chris: I have said in previous articles that I think the Ebola threat here in the USA is minimal. However, you recently had an alert that said:

“Air ambulance company used for Ebola evac flights admits moving “a lot” more cases to US than pub disclosed. State Dept. mum on details & treatment locations.”

AlertsUSA: While I still think the threat of it spreading like it has in Africa is lower here in US, this is more concerning. Do your sources have any other information on the extent of this practice?
In the time since your questions were originally posed, much has transpired.

While we have no further references to “secret” flights, take note that Judicial Watch, the conservative public watchdog group, says in a new report that the President is “actively formulating plans” to admit Ebola-infected non-citizens into the U.S. for treatment.
 
 

Other Threats?

Chris: What other threats should we be paying attention to that I haven’t covered?

AlertsUSA: In the end, I would say that while it is extremely easy for people to become complacent because it seems the U.S. rarely comes under attack or that nothing too bad ever happens, this is an extremely dangerous mindset. Particularly for those of us who profess to be Christians.

Just consider where we are as a Nation:

The dominant political party in America has adopted and ferociously defends the sins listed in Romans 1 as their national platform. Free birth control and the promotion of fornication, abortion on demand up to and including late term (murder), the widespread promotion of homosexuality and the codifying of homosexual marriage into Federal law (and the “hearty approval of those who practice it”), and on and on and on. All of this is a gross violation of God’s law.

With all of this and more happening on a national level, can anyone really think that we are a Nation under God’s blessing and protection? Hardly. Romans 1 is explicitly clear that God WILL judge nations which go down this line.

Pray, Prepare and Stay Aware.

Ten Fall Preparedness Projects

Fall Prepper Projects

The leaves are turning beautiful colors, the temperatures are cooling, the air is crisp; this is my favorite time of year! This is also the time of year where we should take care of a few projects to square away our preps before winter sets in. Even if you don’t live in MinnesSNOWta, there are plenty of things to be done! Here are ten fall preparedness projects I came up with.

  1. Change out the clothing in your BOB from summer gear to fall/winter gear.
  2. Gather and save fallen leaves for next year’s compost. Along with kitchen scraps, a great approach is to add equal parts brown (fallen leaves) and green, (grass clippings). You can save the leaves in plastic bins, or in garbage bags, just make sure they are in a dry area; if they get wet, they’ll rot.
  3. Cover crop or mulch over your garden beds. One great method for this is mulching leaves as you mow, and dumping this on the beds.
  4. I suggest checking your smoke alarms twice a year on daylight savings, which is on November 2nd this year.
  5. Flash lights; if you keep batteries in your flashlights, make sure they haven’t started to corrode and make sure the flashlight still works. Another way to keep the batteries near the flashlight but not inside it is to put them in a plastic bag and secure the bag to the flashlight with a rubber-band.
  6. Winterize your car. By this, I don’t just mean the usual car care. Make sure you have cold weather preps in your car; Blankets, Heat for the gas tank, inspect ice scraper and jumper cables, replace if necessary.
  7. Make sure the medicine cabinet is ready for colder weather, especially if you have a little petri dish, err, sorry, I mean child in public schools. I swear as soon as the kids started back to school, we started in with the sniffles! I include cold and flu meds, cough drops and syrup, throat spray and also lotion for cracking itchy skin and Chap Stick.
  8. Get your heating system inspected and tuned up. Usually less than $100 can get you a good inspection.
  9. Consider your emergency heat and what you might do if power goes out for a few days.
  10. If you live where it snows, get your snow blower tuned up well before the first major snowfall. I see at least one story every year after the first major snowstorm on how there are no new snow blowers available, and small engine repair shops are backed up.

Can you think of any projects that can help us get ready for winter?
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Have You Ever Seen Something That You Just Couldn’t Explain?

Have You Ever Seen Something That You Just Couldn’t Explain

Have you ever experienced something that didn’t make sense? Something that did not compute with your rational self, so you convinced yourself you must not have seen things correctly? I would wager we all have. For the most part, these things are harmless, but it is those times where it could be harmful that I want to concentrate on today.

I saw a video years ago of a church shooting. A man walked down the aisle toward the pastor, shooting as he went. I couldn’t find the video now, but I believe he made it to the front of the church, shooting the pastor several times before he was stopped. Later, when parishioners were questioned, some said they assumed it was a play.

If you live in a suburb and see what you think, at first, is a bear, don’t dismiss it as a large dog. I live 30 miles from Minneapolis, in a fairly large suburb. The town next door had a bear wander in just a couple months ago. If you were walking your dog or small child, a hungry bear could be a big problem! The same can be said for any wildlife! In the last five years, I have seen reports of a puma, coyote, and an alligator all within 15 miles of me.

A few years back, while driving to work one morning I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It was, at the time, what looked like a very large model plane, flying fast and very low, less than fifty yards from the road. This was after we started hearing about drones being used in combat but before we started seeing images of them. I knew this was too big and fast to be a model plane, and too small and low to be even a small passenger plane, not to mention too military-looking to be a civilian passenger plane. At the time, I figured it had to be a drone. Later, when images started popping up of some of the drones used, I saw one very similar to the “UFO” I had seen earlier.

Big deal, I saw a flying object I believed at the time to be a drone. I’ll admit I was fascinated by how this thing was flying. Having been an aviation electrician in the Navy, attached to an Aircraft carrier for four years, I have seen hundreds of planes fly. I had never seen anything this small move like this. The operator was clearly trying to get somewhere before rush hour set in and the sun was fully up.

Now, let’s say this happened ten years from now and drone strikes on American soil are rare but do happen. What if the car in front of me was believed to be a terrorist and the drone opened fire on it? If I don’t trust and believe my eyes and act immediately, I could be caught up in the attack.

In the book The Survivors Club, Author Ben Sherwood explores a theory developed by a man named John Leach called “The 10/80/10 rule”. In summary, the rule states that the top 10% of people in a crisis excel; they think clearly and take immediate action. The middle group comprises 80% of people; they are “quite simply stunned and bewildered”; “reasoning is significantly impaired and thinking is difficult”. The last 10% of people are the “ones you definitely want to avoid in an emergency”.

A few pages later, he explains something called ‘behavioral inaction’; “The current theory of behavioral inaction goes like this: As your frontal lobes process the site of an airplane wing on fire, they seek to match the information with memories of similar situations in the past. If you have no stored experience of a plane crash, your brain can’t find a match and gets stuck in a loop trying and failing to come up with the right response. Hence: immobility.”

We can prepare ourselves for a great many things that we’ve never actually lived through. I do this by inserting myself in situations I see in movies, TV, news stories, books and so on. But we should also try and condition ourselves to take action immediately even if we can’t understand, process or make sense of what we are seeing.

If you ever see something that doesn’t jive with how things should be or normally are, that is your intuition telling you to pay attention! Don’t let your intellect silence it! Pay attention to whatever is out of place, if it turns out to be nothing, move on. If it turns out to be something, your mind is primed to take action.

If you see a 75 foot lizard spewing fire, a spaceship descend from the sky, Super Mario and Big foot playing checkers, someone may have slipped you a funky mushroom. Seriously though, there is a saying that goes, “If you hear the thunder of hooves, think horses, not zebras”. While I agree, you should still get out of the way and make sure what it is once you’re safe.

 
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The Ups and Downs of Finding Like Minded People To Group With

From the beginning of time, humans have sought out each other to form community. “God did not make man to be alone”, “there is safety in numbers”, “it takes a village to raise a child” and countless other adages, quips, sayings and so forth exist about this topic. They all boil down to the same core point; we need other people for protection, to provide the things that we are unable to provide and for comradery just to name a few.

The goal of this article is to take a look at why you may want to consider forming a group, how we can find some likeminded people now, some things to consider before opening up your group to others, and some governing principles you may want to consider.
 
 
The Myth of Self-Reliance

While I think being self-reliant is a noble goal and that we should strive to be as self-sufficient and self-reliant as we can be, it is my belief that it is impossible to be truly independent of anyone else for all but the extremely wealthy.

Consider every item you’ve purchased over the last year; clothing, food, energy, paper goods, gasoline, self-defense items, entertainment. How many of those things did you have to rely on someone else to provide?

If someone owns acreage with a large garden, fruit trees and livestock and can grow all the food needed to feed themselves and their livestock, they have some of the biggest issues solved. Say they have enough solar panels to provide for all of their electricity and wood for heat. You might correctly assume that they are self-reliant.

Are they able to provide all of the labor needed to manage that property? How will they provide clothing? What if they need medical attention? Pay for taxes? All of these things mean they need to depend on others. If they produce a surplus from their land, both in terms of livestock and crops, they could sell that surplus to pay for some of these things, but then they would be dependent on people to purchase from them.
 
 
Where, oh Where, Oh Where Can They Be?

I am frequently asked, “where can one find likeminded people nearby, to get to know and possibly form a group with?” Here is every idea I have! I am hoping others add to it in the comment section.

Here is the most realistic answer, and one you might not like; your backyard. Through my church, I have been blessed to meet several other prepper’s, some of whom I’ve become close friends with. However, my church is 20 miles away and some of those close friends live even further than that! In a major survival event, the chances that we’ll be able to group up are low.

I’m not completely discounting the idea of forming long distance MAG’s (Mutual Aid Group). However, in the majority of small to medium scenarios, those that live near you, while possibly not as likeminded as we would prefer, are far more available.

Take these recent riots in Ferguson, MO. If one lived in Ferguson, they could have talked with their neighbors and agreed to watch over each other’s property. They could be from completely different political spectrums, but in that situation, an agreement could probably have been made for added vigilance. Now they might frown on what your response is if thugs try getting into one of your homes, but you don’t have to agree on every aspect to agree to look out for each other and keep each other alerted.

How can you introduce the subject of preparedness or an agreement to have each other’s backs? As with anytime you talk to others about preparedness, speak in generalities and don’t let on to how prepared you are.

This isn’t a one size fits all question. If you don’t know your neighbors well, consider getting to know them first. You might find out they are not the kind of people you want to be grouped with, or you might find they are the perfect prepping neighbor!

Social media isn’t going away, and it can be a great tool. You could create a facebook group and invite all of your neighbors. There is, however, an alternative, specifically created for this called Nextdoor.com. It is a social networking site for neighbors; you can find out more Nextdoor.com here.

Another way you could build relationships within your community is by having a block party/potluck. Everyone could bring a different side dish and their own main dish and you could grill.

One solid way to gauge someone’s level of interest or acceptance of prepping is through gardening, sharing your extra produce. Conversations about the extra veggies can lead to the reasons you grow them, which can lead to conversations on preserving, which can lead to conversations on having some extra food around. While they might not have a garden, you could offer to teach them how to can, freeze and otherwise store veggies they might buy at the local farmers market.

You could gauge someone’s willingness for an agreement to watch each other’s backs by their interest in a neighborhood watch. You could provide the neighborhood crime statistics from the local police department. If people aren’t interested, you’ve planted a seed. If things start to fall apart, they’ll probably be much more interested, and you’ve already laid the groundwork.
 
 
What Kind of People Should You Group With?

I think you should group with people that are as likeminded as possible. You might think I would say only Christian, but I have met some great non-believers, and have met some Christians that I don’t care to spend another minute with this side of heaven. To be ideal for me, it would be a group of preparedness-minded believers in Christ, because I think that could have a lot of upside. More on this later.

There are preppers from all walks of life. There are extremists from both sides of the spectrum. There are actually the stereotypical Rambo-wannabe-survivalists, and there are pot growing, tree hugging hippies. To me the term “Preppers” means anyone who prepares. So, if you’re forming a group or looking to join one, make sure they are truly your type of preppers.
 
 
Not In Your Area

Let’s say that you, for whatever reason, really want to look for people outside of your neighborhood to group up with. If you’re seeking them out online, you’ve probably already determined they are at least preparedness-minded. If they’re smart, they won’t divulge how well prepared and neither will you. I, personally, would be hesitant to trust someone who is a completely open book unless they’ve got a good reason to be. If you’re looking to join with them, anyone else they’ve been an open book with is now a liability to you. On the other hand, someone who is vague and cannot or will not answer direct questions that don’t reveal their complete level of preparedness should raise some concern as well.

I suppose there are different reasons to look for someone to join with that lives outside of one’s area. For the sake of this article, my reason is to have a remote bug out location. Before I would consider meeting in person, I would get to know them as best as I could online. If you meet on a forum, search through their old forum posts. If you meet on facebook, look through their old postings. Spend some time getting to know them via email.

Before you go in person, make sure their situation is what they claim it to be. If you have the address, doing a satellite map search will show you the approximate terrain but won’t show you the exact boundaries of the land they own. If they claimed it to be on a lake and the lake is five miles away, that would be a hint that something isn’t right.

Here are some resources I have found that can aid in finding likeminded people. I am not endorsing any of them, and if you decide to use them, please use caution.

ArkHaven Ministries: Acts Model Christian Community.

PrepperLink: Social media outlet for preppers.

AbleHaven: Social network for wandering families.

PrepperGroups.com Blog and forum

American Preppers Network One of the largest forums with the goals of connecting people in your area.

Meet Up Not just for prepping, but a great way to connect with those near you interested in various topics.

Other ways to connect with prepper’s is by conversation on facebook and twitter. I haven’t been a regular to any forums in years but I know there are some very high quality ones out there.

If you have a suggestion please post it in the comment or via email to Chris {at} preparedchristian [dot] net and I will add it to this list.
 
 
Interview Potential Members

I would really treat a meeting with potential group members as a job interview. You don’t need to know how many beans they’ve got but knowing what got them interested, when they started, if their family is on board, what they would do if money was no object are pertinent questions. Ask questions about them and their preparedness journey; how they handle conflict, what benefits they see in a group, what potential conflicts they might see, etc. Ask questions that matter to your group. If you think it is important that every child learn to shoot and every adult carries a firearm, you might want to see if that is a problem as well.

My all-time favorite prepper fiction book is Lights Out. I think this is probably the most realistic depiction of how things would unfold in a large scale event. One of the things I liked is that the group of neighbors in Lights Out have limited space but realize they need to bring in other people. They decide to bring in people that complement their skills sets.

If you decide to form a group with others, it might be a good idea to do the same. If you’re an avid hunter with all the gear one could possibly need but have no idea how to grow a carrot, someone with gardening experience might be a good idea. More than a few people have contacted me or written a comment that they would really like to join a group. The best advice I can give you is to know various skills.

Your physical condition and the equipment you bring to the table could matter. If things go sideways and I form a group, if an elderly person who has gardened all their life and knows what will grow in this area, how to propagate, how to store excess, etc. is looking to join, in my opinion, they are just as valuable as a 25 year old man who is in great shape and is willing to work. I’m simplifying this because it would really depend on what holes my group had but you get the idea.
 
 
Leadership and Conflict Resolution

If your group consists of more than a couple families, coming up with some form of leadership might be a good idea. I mentioned before that in my ideal group it would be like minded Christian preppers and I would add “that I get along with”. The reason for this is that we are given a leadership model in the book of Act’s; a group of people chosen to be the head, all looking to Christ for Guidance. Acts doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of the workings of this group but I would imagine they spent time together to discuss important topics, each giving their take on the subject. I imagine they prayed together, seeking Gods will on important topics. We’re told they rolled bones to decide who would join as a Disciple; this tells me that even they had a hard time now and then knowing His will. We’re also told they delegated some lower responsibilities to other trusted people.

We’re given a good guide as to what the standard should be for the leadership council. To me, the same standards suggested for an Elder in 1st Timothy 3:2-7 and Acts 6:3 make good sense;

“So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.

He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.

He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.

For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?

An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.

Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.”

Act’s 6:3

“And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.”

I don’t know that I would say being a man was a qualification, but I think the same standards should apply to women who want to be in the leadership role.

If your group is formed the group decides who will be in charge, I would make sure there is a contract of sorts in place; something that places some checks and balances on the leader and offers protection to everyone.

I think that no matter what leadership route you take, a contract is a good idea. On it, have an agreement that no one will sue anyone for any reason; deal with your strife internally.

Jesus gave us the model for this in Mathew 18:15-17:

”If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.

But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

Even if you join with a group not using a Christian model, deal with your “stuff” internally. If someone wrongs you and refuses to make it right, there is mediation. If they break the law and we are living in a time where the rule of law stands, have them arrested. If we are WROL, take it to the leadership head and deal with it internally.

I hope I have been able to give you some things to consider and some resources to use to find others. If you have any, please add them to the comments.

 
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Awareness and Security in Crowds

Awareness and Security in Crowds
I did something recently that I have not done in many years! I went to the mall; not just any mall, mind you, but the Mall of America, the nation’s biggest mall! I went for a work event, and since I hadn’t been there in almost a decade, I thought I would walk around and see what I could see.

I came up with several observations and suggestions that could help one stay alert and safe in a crowded situation. This could be a mall, a state fair, or, in an emergency, it could be an evacuation route or center.
 
 
Awareness

Practicing situational awareness in any public setting can be difficult at times. It can be nearly impossible when you add hundreds or thousands of people. I’m a big believer in the Cooper Color Code. For those unaware, this is a system of mental readiness that uses four colors to differentiate the levels.
Read the link above for a deeper explanation. Below is a brief overview.

White: This is a state of being unaware; the state you’re in when at home.

Yellow: Relaxed but aware of your surroundings; the state you should be in any time you’re away from home. This is where you scan for potential threats.

Orange: Alerted on a single threat; must make decision on when and how you will react if the threat escalates.

Red: You are ready to fight.

Using the Cooper color code is an effective way to gauge potential threats in low to moderately busy situations. However, if you are in a situation where you have, not only to scan for threats, but also need/want to take in the sites or look for someone you’re meeting, it is quite difficult to assess every passerby for more than a second or two.

In large groups of people, I change my scanning method somewhat. For example, a young teenage girl who is giggling with a friend is usually not going to be a threat. This being the case, I then dismissed groups of teenage girls as potential threats. The same could be said for a group of elderly gentleman, or any group of similar people. Now, of course, they would get a second look if they did something that got my attention, such as following me.

Because I was in a setting where people were there with purpose, I expected them to act in certain ways; looking at merchandise, walking to or from a store, looking for the next store to shop at, you get the idea. Anyone who did anything outside of these expected behaviors got more of my attention.

For example, there was a group of people sitting on benches. Some of them were talking, others were people watching and one of them was watching me. Because I thought it odd that a man in his late thirties or early forties was watching me, I made a point to look behind me as I passed. I then noticed that he got up and followed me. This could have been a total coincidence, but knowing my biggest threat in the mall is pickpockets, I decided to act instead of waiting to see what happened. I moved off to the side of the walkway and stopped, watching him as he passed. When he got a bit ahead of me, I went on my way again, making sure I knew where he was.

Maintaining awareness also makes you much more polite than the average person. At 6’0 tall and 220 pounds, I’m a fairly big guy. I lost count of how many people I had to dodge to keep from knocking them over or, in one case, getting run over by a motorized scooter. Playing this kind of leapfrog and trying to keep people at as much distance as I could also made me a harder target to pickpocket.
 
 
Sliding Into Condition White

I don’t care who you are, it is impossible to maintain perfect situational awareness at all times, especially when you’re in an environment where you need to split your attention between looking for someone in particular, finding a gift, maintaining a conversation, eating a meal and so on.

One sure fire way to slide back into condition white is using your phone. Below are some tips I used both on the occasions when had to use the phone, or when I was looking at an item.

I only used the phone in a non-busy area, and made sure my back was to the wall. I made sure to continue to scan every five to ten seconds. I also kept the phone close to my body and kept a solid grasp on it. I’ve watched footage of people getting their phones stolen right from their hands. They almost always have it as far from them as possible, yet not quite a full arm’s length away. I had my wrists touching my frame and checked my peripherals frequently.
 
 
Limiting Mr. Murphy

Because I dislike Mr. Murphy and his law and want to limit the amount of things that do go wrong, special precautions should be taken in large groups of people. Below are some random security related ideas when in a large group of people.

  •  Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. The front is much harder to pickpocket from.
  • Women, if you carry a purse, carrying it cross body won’t keep it from being stolen but can limit pickpocketing.
  • At the mall there were some parents using those kid “leashes”. I used to think those were a bad idea until I watched a young couple with two kids. The wife was pushing the stroller, the husband was carrying bags and had the kid that could walk tethered to him with one of these. He frequently checked on him but the tether gave them a little more freedom than they would have had otherwise.
  •  Men – When using public restrooms, either do like the ladies and use the buddy system, or if going solo, use the stall. There was a crime wave here a few years back where a man was targeting men who were alone standing at the urinal. He would walk behind them and give them an elbow strike to the back of the head, then while they lay there unconscious he would empty their pockets.
  • Women – When using a public restroom, the safest stall is the one with a solid wall to one side. You can place your purse on the floor in the corner. There is then no risk of someone taking it off the door hook or reaching under and grabbing it.
    Always know the quickest way out of the area as well as an alternative route.
  • Pay attention to anyone paying more attention to you than they are anything else. A nod and a smile can let them know you are aware of them. They might just think that you remind them of someone or they may have sinister intentions.
  • If there is an emergency and everyone is heading for the exits; depending on the emergency, it might be best to let the crowd pass by and then leave. If you did as suggested above, you know where an alternate route is.
  • One would think that evil couldn’t hide in large groups of people. However, some very evil things were done at the Superdome during hurricane Katrina. The point here is that even in large crowds of people, those who want to do you harm can find pockets where foot traffic is light. This is one of the reasons to use the buddy system.
  • Make your valuables hard to get to. I usually wear cargo pants and button the pockets. If you carry a bag or purse, make sure it is zipped. If you have one that doesn’t close, while it might be handy, it is not secure from someone willing and with nimble fingers.

Staying alert and secure in crowds of people has different challenges and might need a different approach than around a low population setting. Please add any other thoughts or security ideas to the comments section.

 
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Thoughts on Some Current Events

I don’t normally talk about news stories unless they could directly impact us. Today, however, I want to weigh in on a couple issues and give an update on the Preparedness Club.
 
 
The Preparedness Club

I have negotiated a pretty sweet deal for Preparedness Club members with Wise Foods. Preparedness Club members can now get a 12% discount on all purchases! See the member’s only page for the coupon code. Please know that registering for e-mails is different than subscribing to the Preparedness Club! Paying members have access to exclusive discount codes, while emails are sent to everyone daily for publically advertised sales free of charge.

There are many things I like about Wise foods; one is that you can call and get a free sample of an entrée, a nice option before buying a case of something, and another is that each meal comes in a single vacuum sealed bag. I actually prefer this over a #10 can, as they both have the same shelf life while closed, but, once open, the food in a #10 can needs to be eaten fairly quickly.

Nitro-Pak has agreed to offer a $10 discount on orders over $100 through October. I’m going to let anyone use this code. Simply enter PCNITRO at checkout.
 
 
Ebola

In What You Need to Know About Pandemics, I give my thoughts on pandemics. Here is what I said about Ebola.

“The scare right now is Ebola. While Ebola is incredibly nasty and I mourn for the families who’ve been affected by it, it isn’t what scares me the most. Ebola most often comes from West Africa and patient zero is infected by direct contact with infected animals, some of which are used as a food supply, such as bats. It is then possible for human to human infection via the exchange of bodily fluids. Some of the numbers I have seen for mortality rate of Ebola are 50%-90%. However, I found data that suggests there have been less than 4,000 cases since Ebola was discovered in 1976, including the cases from the recent outbreaks.

What scares me is the illness that doesn’t exist yet or a mutation of an existing one that takes on more deadly qualities. For example, if a form of SARS, which has a high mortality rate, married a version of H1N1, we could then be faced with something that infects a large percentage of people and kills 15%-25% of those infected. To be clear, I am not saying that Ebola isn’t a threat. It is decimating countries in Western Africa, killing civilians and healthcare workers. We need to be vigilant and stay informed on any local cases of it. I’m just not sure Ebola has the same threat level as a more virulent strain of the flu. Here is an article from Canada published on June 23, 2014 where a physician and professor stated the following:

“If we had a case in Canada we’d isolate the case, the patient would live or die, and we’d be highly unlikely to have it transmit,”

At the time I wrote this, there had only been one confirmed case of Ebola stateside, and that was a doctor who had been flown to a hospital stateside. In the last two weeks or so AlertsUSA has done a great job of alerting me to several cases of Ebola stateside, often times before the media has the story.
In each of these reported cases, I believe the infected person traveled via airplane, risking the potential infection of everyone on board. I saw that the head of the CDC said that we could not close the boarder stating:

“Even if we tried to close the border, it wouldn’t work,” the top health official added. “People have a right to return. People transiting through could come in. And it would backfire, because by isolating these countries, it’ll make it harder to help them, it will spread more there and we’d be more likely to be exposed here.”

This might just be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard! Yes, I agree that those returning have a right to re-enter the country. If they are returning from a region with a risk of Ebola exposure, I am fine with them re-entering once they have passed a screening. They do not have the right to get anyone else here sick!

By isolating those countries, it does not make it harder to help them. We can still send money to aid in their fight against Ebola. If anyone understands how, by isolating those countries it would make us more likely to be exposed here, please help me understand.

If our government was serious about protecting our citizens from Ebola, we would have already implemented restriction for entering the country from anyone who had traveled to a hot zone. They would be quarantined until passing a screening.
 
What Can We Do?

If you haven’t given thought to when you will implement your own quarantine to avoid exposure, now is the time to do so! If you do not have PPE (personal protective) gear, now is the time! Masks and gloves should be in every prepper’s home at a minimum. We’re actually looking at disposable suits.

Right now Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids. I have seen some express fear of it becoming airborne. If any of you know if this is in fact possible, and what would need to occur for it to happen, please either add a comment or send me an email!

Because it is transmitted by bodily fluid, if someone is even a little sick, treat it all as infectious. If it does become air born, I plan on hunkering down and taking no chances.
 
 
Islam and Beheadings

As many of you are aware, ISIS has begun beheading Christians in Iraq and in Syria. There has recently been a woman beheaded in Oklahoma by a muslim, who first tried to convert her.

I don’t want this, or the comments to turn into a muslim bashing rant, but there are some things you need to know.

It is my understanding that when it comes to infidels, muslims must either convert them and charge them a tax, or kill them.

Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

Of course, not all muslim’s are people that want to kill you. However, there are 1,800,000,000 (1.8 billion) muslims in the world and it is estimated that 15-25% of them are radicalized. That means that between 270,000,000 to 450,000,000 muslims are radicalized. As we have seen, they have killed several times on American soil, most recently the beheading in Oklahoma.

I am actually shocked we have not seen this style of attack sooner, and I believe we will see many more. What are we believers in Jesus to do?

Jesus said “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Here are my thoughts on this: Islamists made themselves my enemy, not the other way around. I pray for them now. I pray that they experience Christ in their lives. If an Islamist ever poses a real threat to me, I will be a danger to my enemy. If you are someone who believes Jesus called us to be pacifists, I have debunked that in an article called Should Christians Practice Self Defense?

If a muslim attempts to convert you, do not say the prayer or creed that declares Allah as the one true god and Mohamad as his prophet. This would, in fact, be turning your back on your salvation and would not guarantee your safety. One of the men beheaded on camera in Syria did, in fact, say the creed. He was killed anyway.

If a muslim does try to convert me, I realize it does not necessarily mean they have plans to behead me. They will still instantly and forever be placed in condition orange. Knowing me, I will probably poke the bear and declare myself a Christian. If this happened at work, as it did with the woman in Oklahoma, I would seriously consider breaking the rules about being armed at work.

I look forward to your input on these subjects!

 
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How to Grow Red Mustard in your Home Garden

How to Grow Red Mustard in your Home Garden

Mustard is a delicious leafy vegetable that is easy to grow. Mustard is also an excellent nutritional choice as it is a great source of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Mustard is cold tolerant, a prolific producer and when you grow one of the red varieties; it is aesthetically pleasing as well. That makes red mustard perfect for all you front yard gardeners.

The taste of mustard leaves, in my opinion, has a mild to slightly spicy flavor that is just as enjoyable raw as it is cooked or steamed. My personal favorite is to eat it raw mixed with other greens such as spinach, chard or lettuce. Here is a really good step by step red mustard recipe.
 
 
WHEN AND WHERE TO PLANT

You will want to select a sunny location and sow your seeds as soon as the ground can be worked when you are starting them in the spring. If red mustard is going to be part of your fall garden, you will want to plant your seeds 30 days out from your first frost. If you are closer to your frost than 30 days, be sure to start your mustard in a cold frame. Mustard is perfect for cold frame gardening.

For the best results for germination and plant growth, loosen your soil to help with aeration. This also makes it easier for your red mustard’s roots to grow and spread.
 
 
CARING FOR YOUR RED MUSTARD

Red mustard likes the soil to be moist at all times. A moderate watering every other day should suffice. You want to make sure you are not overwatering though. You do not want to saturate your soil. Be sure to keep the garden bed weed free and feed your mustard plants with a good organic fertilizer every couple of weeks.
 
 
HARVESTING

Red mustard (and other varieties of mustard) is a great vegetable to harvest. You can harvest mature leaves, leaving the rest of the plant alone to continue to produce. You can keep doing this so as long as the weather stays cool.

On a final note, as noted before, if your red mustard is going to be a part of your fall garden, be sure to use a cold frame once temperatures drop below freezing. This will help you extend your red mustard season through a good part of the winter.

Enjoy!
 
 
About the Author

mike_bio_picMike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

 
 
 
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Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Is Preparedness a Sin; Take Two

Any time I get questions on the same topic that I haven’t covered in a while, I take it as a sign to go over it again. In the last few weeks, the question has been raised by what I’m assuming are newer Prepper’s who are questioning if prepping is in line with God’s will. I can relate to this, as I struggled with it as well. Study led to the creation of this blog. For some of you, this might seem like a silly question, but this is an important issue for those struggling with it. Because of this, I’m going to ask that you keep any comments that aren’t encouraging to yourself or they’ll just be deleted. Words of encouragement are always appreciated, of course.

I try not to tell people what they should believe or what they should do. Your situation could be very different from mine! For example, what is important here in Minnesota might not be so important in Texas. I, instead, give you my thoughts on issues. This topic is not going to be any different. If asked to give a one word answer to “Is preparedness a sin?” I think the overwhelming majority of answers would be “no”. My answer, however, would be “possibly”. I don’t know your motives, your lifestyle, your finances or your relationship with Christ; so it’s not my place to tell you whether or not it might be sin. Instead, I’ll give you some things to think and pray about.
 
 
Could Preparedness Be a Sin?

The short answer for me is, “possibly”; which I think is the answer to many “Could (You name it) be a sin?” questions. For example let’s use fishing; could fishing be a sin?

Many of the disciples were fisherman, so how could fishing possibly be a sin? If I spend so much time fishing that I neglect my family, I could be walking in sin. If I spend money I don’t really have to buy the latest rod, reel, depth finder, fish finder, tackle and so on, so that I can make the most out of my time fishing, I could be walking in sin. If I blow off family, church, work and other commitments to go fishing, I could be walking in sin.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is, just about anything could be sin! Like many things, preparedness being a sin is a matter of the heart. If you’ve wrestled with this question, I believe your heart to be in the right place. Your concern of the issue shows that you care more about your walk with the Lord than being prepared for “come what may”.
 
 
For Most of Human History

For most of human history people have stored food from the harvest to last until the next. In fact, for much of our history, our ancestors lived subsistence lifestyles; hunting and gathering for food. They had to know how to dry, smoke, salt or otherwise preserve it for later use.

The idea of being prepared is not new! If we were to go back just a couple generations, we would see that the tables were turned. Most people had more than two weeks’ worth of food in their pantry! Many people grew their own garden and knew how to preserve the abundance from it! Many people hunted, trapped and fished, not for sport but for a way to put protein on the table!

I doubt most people from this era thought of themselves as “Prepper’s”. They would have considered the things they did “normal” and “prudent”. Do you think they were sinning?
My personal opinion on self-reliance is: (this can happen in any area of your life, not just preparedness) if, at any point, someone doesn’t leave room for the Lord, they might be acting in pride and God hates pride. What I mean is this; if you don’t talk to Him about your plans, if you feel Him speaking to you, but ignore it, if you (knowingly or not) decide this is your life, and you’ll do “X” because you want to, then you might be acting out of pride. Again, this could be the case for someone who is a fantastic baker and wants to open a bakery or someone who wakes up to how fragile the world really is and wants to make sure they can feed their family if hard times fall.
 
 
Supporting Scripture

I’m not going to cover all of the scripture I have found that I believe supports preparedness. For the full list, see Scripture Related To Preparedness. Here, I will cover just a couple that I think build the case nicely.

 
Proverbs 6:6 –11 (NLT)

“6:6 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! 6:7 Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, 6:8 they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. 6:9 But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? 6:10 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—6:11 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.”

To me, this verse makes it clear that God values people storing for hard times. It is also clear that He is accepting of people who did not prepare for facing the hard times that they may fall on.

 
Proverbs 21:20

“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”

This one is pretty cut and dry.
 

1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

I look at this verse like this; if someone who could work but is lazy and chooses not to, they have denied the faith. I, however, do not see anything in that verse that says you are not subject to this if hard times fall.
 

Proverbs 27:12

“A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

This is, to me, the most important verse! I used it to convince Trudee that God gave us permission to prepare for the dangers that I was finding when I “woke up” and started seeing how fragile things are. If you need help discovering some of those dangers, I have written over 40 articles in the category Signs of the Times.
 
 
Opposing Scripture?

There are a couple scriptures that I have seen used as arguments against preparedness, or from people who just want to make sure they aren’t going against God’s will. If you have one that I don’t cover here please let me know.
 
1 Kings 17:1-6 (verse 6 shown)

“The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

This was a command to one man, not a dictate on how people should live going forward. The same can be said about the Jews being led out of Egypt with Moses. God commanded them to look to Him for manna a0
nd not to save any. This was God loving His people, and teaching them how to depend on Him, not a command for modern day believers to wait for manna.
 

Mathew 6:25-26

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

This verse is not about preparedness! It is about worry! God cannot contradict Himself! Look again at the scriptures I listed above. He clearly places value on being prepared for the dangers in our lives.
 
 
Other Arguments
 
Aren’t We to Look to God to Provide?

The short answer is yes, of course! However, let me ask you this; do you consider yourself to be a steward of the money you make? If so, are you using that money to provide for your daily bread from the grocery store now, or do you depend on Him for daily manna? If He is providing daily manna please let me know as I would truly love to try some! If you are using His money to provide for your daily bread, do you think He cares if you buy it now or acted as the ants and stored it in the past for a potential future danger?

My view is; our Heavenly Father wants us to be good stewards and to be grateful for the things He has provided for us. I personally don’t think He cares if I use canned goods I bought two years ago, as long as I thank Him for them when I eat them.

I answer several questions on this topic in the first article I wrote on the subject called, you guessed it…Is Preparedness a Sin?
 
 
Final Thoughts

I have spent significant amounts of time studying the Word, thinking about, praying about, and conversing with others on this issue. I have come to the conclusion that not only does God condone preparedness, He actually encourages it! He knows we live in a fallen world that is full of dangers and He wants us to take precautions against them!

I wrote another article where I ask Why Should Christians, Specifically, Be Preparing? In it I build the case for why believers should be preparing now, so in an emergency we can be God’s hands and feet and help others.

 
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Prepared Blogger Mega Giveaway

sep giveaway

In honor of this month being Preparedness Month, The Prepared Bloggers are proud to present a Mega giveaway.

We are proud to partner with 6 great companies for seven great prizes. These prizes are the perfect way to either begin your preparedness journey or add to your preps. We will have seven winners in this giveaway. Each winner will win one of the following prizes listed below. The giveaway starts September 22nd, 2014 @12:15 am (CST) and ends September 29th, 2014 @ 11:55 pm (CST). This giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age and older who is a US resident of the 48 Continental US States only. Each winner will be sent an email and the winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.

Berkey

1 Royal Berkey System–From LPC Survival–This system is perfect for 2-6 people, filtering 3.25 gallons in about 2 hours. It comes with  2 Black Elements and is perfect for large families but is small enough for travel.
 
 


sun-oven

1 Sun Oven–From Sun Oven–This is a great off-grid cooking solution using only solar energy. This Sun Oven includes a cookbook, dehydrating and baking rack set, two easy stack pots, a WAPI, and two loaf pans.
 
 


new-kelly-kettle

1 Scout Kelly Kettle–From Kelly Kettle–The Kelly Kettle boils water quick and with very little fuel. It’s great for camping trips, hunting trips and emergencies.
 
 


grainmill

1 Wonder Junior Deluxe–From Wonder Mill–This is the perfect solution for making your own bread off-grid. It’s one of the easiest to use hand mills on the market. A great mill to use in an emergency situation, an off-grid environment or for everyday use.
 
 


propur

1 Propur Big with 2 ProOne 7″ G2.0 Filters–From End Times Warehouse–A clean water supply is super important in every situation. This gravity fed water treatment system makes it super easy to always have clean water.
 
 


72-hour-kit

2 Seventy Two Hour Kits–From Survival Based–Be prepared for a sudden storm or power outage with this all in one 72 hour kit. Complete with fuel to cook the food contained in the kit. Keep this kit in your car, house, or grab it if you need to evacuate.  Two lucky people will each win one 72 hour kit.

 

Cox-Honey-two

1 Case of Six 5lb Creamed Honey (30lb total)–From Cox’s Honey–Honey is the prefect item to place in you food storage. It’s also great for a number of other uses. Cox honey is raw and unfiltered making it some of the best honey on the market.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors.
 
 
Enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sep giveaway two

Review of Essential Oil Introductory Kit from doTERRA

Review of Essential Oil Introductory Kit from doTERRA

Essential Oils are something I didn’t have a lot of experience with until this year. I was contacted earlier in the year by Julie “The Oily Old Lady”, who is a doTerra Wellness Advocate. She offered to send me the doTerra Introductory Kit. Here is the write up on it from doTerra.

“As an additional tool for sharing dōTERRA® with customers and new consultants, the Introduction to Essential Oils Kit includes the introductory audio CD and booklet and a 5 ml bottle of dōTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils. The stunning presentation box also includes suggested uses of the included oils providing your prospects with an immediate experience of the life-changing benefits of essential oils.”

Since, as I said, I didn’t have any experience with essential oils, the CD and booklet were very helpful. Julie also sent me a product guide which you can get an online version of here. This lists all of their products, with some information about them, and general information about essential oils as well. I also did more research on three of the oils online. Here are the oils in the kit, some of the things we used them for, plus some other uses I found!
 
 
Lemon Essential Oil

Soften skin callouses
Ear Infection Relief
Relieve lymph nodes
Freshen air naturally
Get rid of sticky residue
Aroma therapy for improving concentration
Antibacterial agent
Makes Chris want lemon flavored desserts (note from Trudee: that happens if he’s awake! The guy loves lemon desserts!)
 
 
Lavender Essential Oil

Trudee really enjoyed it in a bath; very relaxing.
Effective sleep aid
Insect repellent
Ease pain from bug bites or bee stings
Skin ailments such as scars, burns, oily skin
Ease an upset stomach
 
 
Peppermint

Great at fighting nausea; in fact peppermint can alleviate abdominal cramping and even diarrhea.
Joint pain; the effect was short lived, but that probably has more to do with us then the peppermint.
Great when added to water or tea.
Can help with mental alertness.
Breath in with a meal to feel full faster.
Makes Chris want peppermint candies (are you seeing a pattern here?)
 

I’m just scratching the surface on the many, MANY uses for these three oils. doTerra actually created a list of 101 Uses for the Intro Kit. If you’re just starting out with essential oils, you might also be interested in another document they wrote that covers the following: What is an essential oil? Essential Oils throughout History; Uses of Essential Oils; Extraction Methods and Essential Oil Quality Grades.

There is so much to learn with essential oils that I feel like I am just brushing the snow off of the tip of the iceberg with the information I’ve given you on these three. If you are just starting out, the introductory kit is a great way to go! If you decide to really delve in, doTERRA had buyers programs you can join. If you have questions about that, or any doTERRA products, I recommend you contact Julie. She is passionate about essential oils, very informative and a fellow Prepared Christian! Here is her contact information:

Julie Anderson, The Oily Old Lady
doTERRA Wellness Advocate #217221
www.mydoterra.com/andersonoils4u
andersonoils4u@yahoo.com
815-871-4469

 
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