December 21, 2014

Winter Is Coming. Will You Help?

Imagine you’re awakened in the middle of the night by something so terrifying and dangerous that you only have time to get your family and flee with the clothes on your backs and maybe some minimal supplies.

As time goes on, the danger has only increased and is preventing you from returning to your home or job. You’ve taken shelter in an abandoned building and must rely on others to get by day to day.

Now imagine that the reason you fled was because of your faith and that the danger was from a mob on a murderous rampage, slaughtering others who share your faith.

This is reality for many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Iraq and Syria who fled when ISIS gave some an ultimatum and slaughtered others.

Winter Is Coming. Will You Help.
Trudee and I use part of our tithe to give to Voice of the Martyrs and they recently sent us this:

VOM1
It gets very cold in northern Iraq, and winter is coming. Christian refugees from Mosul need our help now.

When IS (Islamic State) advanced into Iraq this summer, 100,000 Christians were displaced. Many fled to the Kurdish region and camped in unfinished or abandoned buildings, schools and empty fields. Now that winter is coming, these Christian refugees need our help to stay warm for the next few months.

The Voice of the Martyrs is already at work providing warm clothing, heaters and better shelters for our brothers and sisters in need. Since this past summer, VOM has been supporting Christians in Iraq with food, generators for churches, shelter, Bibles, emergency medical care and water purifiers. Now we’re helping them prepare for winter by providing warm clothing, including coats and long underwear, and gas heaters. You can help support our ongoing efforts with a gift to “Help Iraqi Christians.”

“We thought we had been forgotten by the whole world!”

—IRAQI CHRISTIAN WHO RECEIVED AN ACTION PACK

VOM2VOM partners have been distributing aid items to Christian refugees since summer, and now is your chance to personally fill an Action Pack that will be distributed to Iraqi Christians. Action Packs are special bags that you fill with approved items and send back to VOM for distribution. You will fill these Action Packs with warm clothing and other items that will be given directly to the displaced Iraqi Christians as an encouragement. Get your family or small group involved in filling several Action Packs, and include a photo and a note telling them they are not forgotten.

While this might not be a preparedness topic, it is a kingdom topic. If it is in your budget, please consider supporting persecuted Christians in Iraq.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” ~ Mathew 25:40

To donate to Iraqi Christians, just click on the image below.

Support Iraqi Christians

 
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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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Are You Willing to be an Ark?

My mom told me years ago that she had a dream that people were coming to Trudee and I for help. We would give them a white container of supplies and send them on to a safer location. I’m not claiming this dream to be prophetic, but it has been on my mind lately. I was emailing with a reader a couple years ago and she said she felt like God was calling believers to prepare so we could be sent out like thousands of Noah’s Ark’s. This too has been on my mind lately.

I’m not going to tell you that it is your Christian responsibility to take care of those who didn’t prepare. In Why Should Christian’s Specifically Be Preparing? I cover this in greater detail, so I’m only going to touch on it here.

There are examples of us being told to care for the needy, and examples where God clearly states that if people do not prepare, they must suffer the consequences; what are we to do?

God told His people through Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream to stockpile food to last through a seven year draught. But when He called His people out of Egypt He had them depend on Him for daily manna. What are we to do?

Be obedient.

I’m not being holier-than-thou here; I struggle with this. I am of the belief that you get out what you put in. One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 27:12: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simpleton pass on and suffer for it.”

I have spent a lot of time, energy and money to prepare for my family. I feel, like I am sure many of you feel, that I am not going to take care of those who chose not to take care of themselves.

However, what if God is telling some not to prepare? What if there are people that, through no fault of their own, find themselves in need during a time of turmoil?

Does this mean that we have to help everyone who ever needs anything, regardless of the reason? “The simpleton passes on and suffers for it” tell me this isn’t the case.

So what do we do? How do we reconcile and make peace with the two viewpoints that could be seen as competing? Being prudent and preparing, and possibly being God’s hands and feet and taking care of someone who “Is suffering for it”?

Listen for the still small voice and be obedient!

I believe that everything I own is God’s, and I am just the steward of it. A good steward doesn’t give away everything he is charged with taking care of. But a good steward isn’t prideful, thinking “I have spent a lot of time, energy and money to prepare for my family and everyone else be damned.”

Like I said, I am struggling through this.

Bringing this back to the top of this article; are you willing to be an Ark? Maybe that means giving aid to someone in dire need; maybe that means giving them some meager supplies and sending them on to a safer place. It could mean you do nothing, as sometimes I think Father just wants to see that we’re listening and willing.

I’ll ask again, are you willing to be an Ark?

EDIT:

There have been some comments made about how to give, and it was mentioned that James Wesley Rawles encourages people to give to their local Church. I do as well, for a few different reasons, you can read about it here: Lessons from the Bible on Anonymity

 
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Have We Been Warned to Flee America?

Have We Been Warned to Flee America

We normally prepare for possible future events. For Christians, those possibilities should always include the biblically prophetic. That said, if you knew that a major, nation-changing, prophecy-fulfilling event were to occur in your lifetime, an event that would forever change America and alter the course of the world, would it change how you prepare?

Trudee and I recently read a book called The End of America. It is my opinion that every Christian should read this book and do their own study, pray on it and see if they come to the same conclusion as the author John Price has.

I have received many emails over the years, commenting on how America is not mentioned in the Bible. I usually say something to the effect that many nations are not mentioned, that for America to be unmentioned only means that it’s not a key player in the end times. When I look at the world as it is today, I wonder what would it take for the world’s only superpower to be absent? One thing I have considered is that something would have to be done to remove the USA as a defender of Israel from the armies and allies of Gog and Magog. This book offers a very plausible explanation.

The book covers so much information that there is no way I can touch on everything. I will cover key points and give my take on a few things. I also want to say that while I do read the Bible every day, I did not attend seminary and have an intermediate level of understanding. For this reason, I have a favor to ask; join with me in a study of this subject. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify.” I think it is prudent to study the topic John Price brings to light. While Mr. Price has done most of the legwork, it’s absolutely essential that we all verify through study and prayer how this translates to our lives.

I don’t want this study to go on in the comments of this blog post. It would get too cluttered and hard to follow. I have created a new section on the Prepared Christian forum, called “Have We Been Warned to Flee America?”. It requires people to sign up and I have to manually approve each membership. This makes things a little slower to get rolling, but it is the only way I can keep the spammers and hackers from posting their filth. Your membership will not be approved immediately, but I will be keeping a close eye on the forum this week to approve memberships. If I reject your membership, please send me an email to let me know. I have roughly 50 spammers creating accounts every day and sometimes I reject a legitimate membership by accident. You will need to log into the forum to be able to see the “Have We Been Warned to Flee America?” forum, once logged in you will find it under the Preparedness forum. You can get to the forum by clicking on the link above.

Mr. Price offers a lot of material on his site, the EndofAmericaBook.com. One item he offers is called PROPHECY 101: A Brief History of Prophetic Interpretation and another is Hebrew and Greek Annotation about the Daughter of Babylon verses.. He also offers a study guide, which I didn’t know about until we were almost finished with the book, that he gives away. He has given me permission to host a copy, which you can download by clicking here. If you need the study guide as another file type, please email me at Chris (at) preparedchristian (dot) net, and I will take care of it.

I have asked John Price if he would be willing to answer questions on the blog post and on the forum. He has agreed to do so. If you have a question for him, please ask and he may answer.

The Kindle version of The End of America is available for $.99 and should be affordable for most of us. You don’t need a Kindle to read kindle books, Amazon offers free Kindle software that allows you to read it on your PC. Click this link to download a free copy of the kindle software.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you read this article: I am a skeptical by nature. I like to have things proven to me. I like to see how people come to their decisions. When people make claims about the Bible or prophesy I scrutinize them even more. There are just too many false teachers who want to tickle ears to take anything on face value without scripture to support it. Mr. Price gives scripture to back up his findings. It is up to us to verify and see if we come to the same conclusion. He also gives several verses from the Koran when he explains the “religion of peace”.

 
The End of America

The book starts off looking at prophesy, specifically those dealing with the end times. It touches on Israel, and the timing of the Jews again entering the Holy Land in the form of their own nation, Israel.

Mr. Price explains that Israel getting its homeland back as well as the revived Roman Empire (the European Union) are two key prophesy events pointing to us being in the end times.
 

The Religion of Peace

In chapter two, entitled “The Religion of Peace”, Mr. Price gives a brief history of Islam. He follows the history of Muhammad and the creation of Islam, following the roots of Jihad through Wahabism, which is the dominant form of Islam in Saudi Arabia. What the Wahabists believe is explained and many examples of worldwide terrorism are given.

Muslim End times prophesies are given. I have studied these a bit from other sources as well. When you consider them along with the Christian End times prophesies, it is as if you’re looking at two sides of the same coin. The Twelfth Imam or the Mahdi is their Messiah, and is a great political and military leader. Mr. Price makes the connection, calling the Twelfth Imam the Antichrist.

The Caliphate is also spoken of. The Caliph is the united religious leader of all of Islam. It was abolished in 1924 by Turkey. However, there have been calls from some countries to have it restored. This would greatly help in establishing a one world religion.

 
The Mystery and Identity of the Daughter of Babylon

I have received emails about the possibility of the United States being the Daughter of Babylon. It is a topic that has interested me but is something I haven’t had time to research. There are several prophesies from both the Old and New Testaments listed, giving the Greek definition of some words to better understand the verse. In fact, here are (–LINK Hebrew and Greek Annotation about the Daughter of Babylon verses.–) (Warning: There are 223 verses on 69 pages).

There have been many claims as to what the Daughter of Babylon is. I have heard claims of the ancient city of Babylon, Rome and even the Catholic Church or New York City. Mr. Price gives 23 clues and the scriptures for each as to what the Daughter of Babylon is. Here are just a few:

• Is the Daughter of Babylon the same as the Mother of Babylon?
• The Hammer of the Whole Earth
• A Latter Day Nation
• A Nation of Wealth and Luxury
• You who live on many waters
• Center of World Commerce
• The Great Voice
• They are Mad Upon Your Idols
• Where other Nations Gather
• She Has Been Proud Against the Lord

The above list is only 10 of the 23 clues. Mr. Price goes into these clues in detail, explaining why he believes America fits the description as the Daughter of Babylon, and why these verses rule out other countries and entities. These clues are very helpful, as is his explanation of how various scriptures just can’t be applied to certain places like ancient Babylon or Rome. If you believe that the Daughter of Babylon is in fact ancient Babylon, Rome or some other place or entity, please read his book and see how his arguments stack up.

 
How Does God View The Daughter of Babylon?

In this chapter the immorality of the Daughter of Babylon is mentioned, they are:

• Abortion
• Pornography
• Adultery/Divorce
• Same Sex Marriage
• Violence
• Drug Culture
• Witchcraft
• Sumptuous, Self-Indulgent Lifestyles
• Other Abomination

 
Summarization of the Future of America

This article is getting a little long, so I am going to summarize a few key points that need to be made. Mr. Price mentions a book called Eye to Eye, Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel. This book lists several times over the last twenty years where America has tried to force Israel to give up land and explains how God has judged us each and every time, usually within a single day. These are natural disasters, from Katrina to the economic crash in 2008. I’ve heard these claims before and was skeptical, but when we ask Israel to give up land twenty times and each of those twenty times, we face historic weather events and economic ruin, well, let’s just say I’m more of a believer now.

There is prophesy starting in Ezekiel 38, where Gog and Magog along with a host of other nations attack Israel. I’m not going to go into great detail, but Mr. Price describes how Russia, Iran and many other nations may attack Israel, and how America will turns its back on her, ignoring the treaty we’ve had for many years.

Because of this, God curses America, lifting the protection He has provided for so many years. Mr. Price goes on to explain that the Jihadists have asked for and have been granted permission from their clerics to use nuclear weapons on Americans. They have also attained a nuclear Fatwa, which is added as attachment A to The End of America. He also explains that Jihadists could seek nuclear weapons from Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Russia.

In Revelation 18:8 we’re told:

“Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”

Mr. Price explains how from scripture he believes that multiple nuclear detonations on key American cities including:

• America’s national capitol – Washington DC
• America’s financial capital – New York
• America’s major oil refineries
• America’s cultural pollution capitol – Hollywood, Las Vegas, Los Angeles
• For good measure the major centers of commerce, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Boston and so on.

As he points out it, it would take more than just a few nukes to bring down America, so he believes there will be an EMP as well. While true terrorist groups don’t have the missile capabilities to put a nuclear tipped missile into the American ionosphere, they could purchase missiles easier than they could the nuclear bomb to arm it. Both could be purchased from countries that are not friendly to America and, as I have covered in other articles, the nuke doesn’t need to be launched from a country thousands of miles away. They could load the nuke on a specially fitted cargo ship and launch it a hundred miles off of the coast of the USA. He says that this could result in millions of deaths during and immediately following the attack. Those not killed will face radiation sickness and a lack of food.

Mr. Price spends a chapter explaining that God demands an accounting for innocent blood. He notes that in the 38 years since abortion was legalized, there have been roughly 700,000 homicidal deaths, and in that same timespan there have been roughly 53,000,000 (or 75 babies for every person) murdered.

He makes note that God says in Numbers 25:33:

“Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”

He makes the point that because of the innocent blood of millions of babies, God demands an accounting and we could lose just as many American lives.
 

Warning to Leave the Daughter of Babylon

Mr. Price says there are nine separate warnings to flee and lists the verses for them. Seven of them to Christians and nine to Jews, commanding His people to flee the Daughter of Babylon.

He also explains that the “religion of peace” will give the rest of the world a warning to accept Islam or suffer the same fate as America. Mr. Price explains how Christians will be executed in the last days and asks who beheads people in the modern day? That’s correct, the “religion of peace”. Mr. Price then gives a brief history explaining why Muslims behead people.

We are given a history of Christians and Jews immigrating to other countries to flee religious persecution. Mr. Price spends a chapter covering what a Christian might look for in a new homeland.

John Price is not a prepper. In emailing, he said he sees it as something contrary to following Gods command to flee. I happen to disagree with John. I believe that God has called many of us to prepare. Even if I come to same conclusion Mr. Price has, deciding to leave America, I will still prep where ever I live. I’m not preparing just for the downfall of America, I prepare for the myriad of things that can and do happen every day, up to and including unemployment, floods and wildfires.

 
My Take:

Trudee and I spent a lot of time talking about the possibility of America being the Daughter of Babylon, and the implications from it. I knew early on that this was something I wanted to talk to all of you about. To be honest, while I think my Biblical knowledge is above average, it isn’t deep enough to answer the important questions I have. I know I need to study this material and I am hoping some of you will be willing to read the book and study it along with me.

If we come to a different conclusion than Mr. Price did, we’ve only wasted a small bit of time and will gain Biblical knowledge. If, however, we come to the same conclusions, there are some very, very big implications we must face.

I love America. I thank God frequently for the privilege of being born here. The thought of moving to another country saddens and overwhelms me. I honestly have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. However, while I have a very hard time hearing God’s voice in the moment, there have been two times where I have clearly known He was telling me this: “Do not put your love of country before me!” The first time was a few years ago, the second was while reading this book.

Are we considering moving? We want to be obedient. If further prayer and study tells us that the USA is in fact the daughter Babylon, yes, we’ll consider it or more.

Trudee and I were talking about the implications of this book and decided that we first needed to make sure we came to the same conclusions after study and prayer. We decided if we came to the same conclusion, we had to make the choice to leave or face the coming destruction. I felt convicted. When the God of the Universe tells you to do something, there isn’t an “if you want to” attached to it. It is a command!

If the scriptures on the Daughter of Babylon and the commands to leave are, in fact, aimed at America, the commands are no different than the commands God gave the Jews when taking them to the Promised Land. Remember what happened when they disobeyed?

I have studied prophecy and I have spent considerable time researching, thinking about and writing on what effect various threats may impact America. I have seen quotes by numerous American leaders, some in very high positions saying that it is not “if”, but “when” America is attacked with nuclear weapons (conventional or dirty bombs).

I believe it is very possible, if not probable that nuclear weapons could be smuggled in via ship, as only 3% of cargo is inspected. They could also be brought in through our ridiculously porous borders. I also know that EMP is a very real concern and is something our government is worried about.

There are some consequences to a nuclear attack that were not mentioned. The main one is the damage to nuclear power plants. They have generators that will run the cooling systems, with enough diesel to run for two weeks. If, after those two weeks, the power is not restored or more diesel brought in, we will see multiple Fukushima’s all over the country.
 

Closing

I hope you’ll get a copy of this book and join me in the forum to study and pray over these issues. If you join in reading this book and the study of the related scripture, please continually be asking for the Fathers guidance and wisdom for us as a group.

 
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Christmas Spirit

Spirit of Christmas

This is the time of year that was chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus. As the song goes, “born is the king of Israel.” God chose to send us His only son, giving us the gift of eternal life. I think that satan uses everything in his power to cloud that, and to take the focus away from it.

We cling to traditions, both secular and religious. We get hung up on what presents we’re going to give and receive. For some, Christmas might have just lost its luster. Maybe that’s because we hear the same songs and we see the same shows on TV year after year.

Others might say that Christmas has been commercialized or that the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our savior isn’t when He was actually born. Both of these are valid claims, but if we’re not careful we can unintentionally take away from the awe of this gift.

Please don’t misunderstand, traditions are important, the receiving of and giving gifts is not a bad thing. But they can and do take over as the reason for the celebrating. I was guilty of this for many years. Then I went to the other extreme, being frustrated that people refused to say “Merry Christmas” and said “Happy Holidays” instead. I wasn’t a total bahumbugger, but gave scrooge a run for his money.

Now I try not to take on how others deal with Christmas. It is between them and God. If they say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, that’s ok. But I’m also not going to worry if they’re offended by my wishing them a “Merry Christmas”.

There were some traditions over the years that caused stress, so I stopped doing them. I realize that some traditions are incredibly important to some people but Christmas is supposed to be joyful! If there are some traditions that cause stress and ruin the spirit of the celebration, pray about and consider stopping them.

I treat Christmas like I do Veterans Day. I am thankful for the men and women who have served our country every day. I often thank vets for their service throughout the year, but on Veterans Day I make it a point to tell vets “Thank you!” Likewise, I am grateful for the gift of Christ every day. I praise Him throughout the year, giving thanks for all of my blessings every day. On Christmas, I make a point to thank God for Immanuel, God with us!

Merry Christmas everyone!
 
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A Preparedness and Life Lesson From Noah

A Preparedness and Life Lesson From Noah

I’ve covered Scripture Related To Preparedness already, but I have decided to take a deeper look at some of them. Today I want take a deeper look at Noah. Starting in Genesis 6:8, we’re told that Noah found favor with God, that he was the only blameless person on earth. God would spare Noah and his family, but would destroy every other living creature except for those that would be on the Arc.

A reader once told me she believed that God was calling us Prepared Christians to be many Noah’s going out to the world; and I believe that to be truth. I know God called me to prepare, as I believe He has called many of you and many others who are unaware of this blog to prepare as well.
 
 
Build the Arc

In Genesis 6:14 God gave Noah a task:

(14)“Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. (15) Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. (16) Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.”

So Noah has to find suitable lumber, fell it, mill it, haul it to the build site and then build this huge arc that was 1.5 football fields long. That’s about half as long as a modern day aircraft carrier!
 
 
Gather the Animals

Genesis 6:19 tells us:

“19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. (20) Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive”

At least he didn’t have to round them all up! Can you imagine lions, bears, snakes and all of the other dangerous animals you have lived your life fearing showing up? Can you imagine the noise and the smell? Do you think God tamed them so they were not predator nor prey while they waited for the Arc to be built and for the water to recede after the flood?
 
 
Gather the Food

Genesis 6:21 we’re told:

“And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

Imagine that! Noah had to store enough food for a minimum of eight people; Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives (it doesn’t say if any of Noah’s sons had more than one wife so it could have been more than eight) and all of the animals, for an unknown amount of time! We’re told that it took ten and a half months for the flood waters to mostly dry but Noah didn’t know that. This food storage is all without a Costco, freeze drying, canning or any other modern method of food storage! They had to grow it, hunt it, gather it, and preserve it all by themselves! Oh, and they still had to build the arc and tend the animals.
 
 
Noah’s Shoes

Let’s not forget that Noah was also 600 years old! Have you ever thought about being in Noah’s shoes? I wonder what he did for a living. Knowing God’s sense of humor, Noah was probably a shepherd who had never ridden in a boat or built anything in his life. I wonder if Noah ever felt overwhelmed. I wonder if his family supported him. I wonder if there were days he felt like keeping his 600 year old back in bed.

All the while Noah knew God’s plan to wipe out the majority of the human race. Everyone Noah had ever laid eyes on, except for his family, would perish. Do you think that grieved him? Yes they brought it upon themselves, but to know their fate and to listen to their begging day after day as the rain rose had to take its toll on Noah.
 
 
What Can We Learn?

I don’t know about you, but when I break down each of the tasks given to Noah, it sounds near impossible. God has a history of asking unlikely people to do big things, and then working through them to complete the task.

With todays advanced technology, our modern tools, 24/7 stores and a large budget, the tasks set before Noah would still be near impossible. I can’t imagine how much harder they were when Noah built the Arc. The only explanation is God.

I mentioned above that I believed some of you reading this were called by God to prepare. Some of you have been doing so for many years and others have just started. Some have a support network in your families and some of you are the only one in your families, who may or may not be against you.

Some days you might feel overwhelmed with everything you have left to do, so much left to prepare for. God knows what you have left to do. He knows exactly what is coming and if He has called you to prepare, He may just work through you as well! To be clear, the story of Noah can be a life lesson as well. Whenever life has you feeling overwhelmed, just remember to share His yoke.

Mathew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 
 
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Spiritual Preparedness

anchoredtoChrist

Since starting the blog my goal has been to bring a Christian worldview to preparedness, to show Christians that preparedness isn’t a sin and is, in fact, it’s very biblical.

Most articles are about preparedness. I wouldn’t say this means faith took a backseat. This is mainly because I have covered all of the areas of the Bible that I know of that pertain to preparedness. Today the tables turn, and preparedness, while still involved, IS going to take a back seat to faith.

I’ve put in a lot of road time over the last month, some of which was spent in prayer and some enjoying God’s creation. I also spent some of that time listening to audio books, one of which some of you have recommended; The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I’m not done with the Harbinger, so this isn’t a review. In truth, it is only part of the reason for me writing this article. Before I go any further, I want to say that this isn’t Chris on his high horse judging anyone. What I have to say in this article goes just as much for me as anyone else.

I’m not a prophet, just a watchman on the wall. That being said I am not trying to be alarmist either, but I am concerned that something is on the horizon that will require us to be anchored in Christ. I am reminded of the parable of the sower. Jesus tells of a farmer who spread seed. Much of the seed perished for various reasons and only the seed that fell on fertile soil flourished.

Anyone who knows anything about gardening knows that you have to pamper soil to ensure it stays fertile, adding compost and mulch, as well as making sure it’s watered. My point is, just because you were in fertile soil when you took the seed of faith and you grew in Christ, that doesn’t mean you can rest. No, you must tend the soil, feed it and protect it. If you don’t, the weeds can come back in and choke out any growth or pests can damage it.

 

Training

Professional athletes spend a good portion of their lives training for a season that is a few short months long, in a sport they’ll only be able to compete professionally in for a limited amount of years. Some pro-boxers train for months for one night. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”

Are you living to win the race? I hate to admit it, but I’m not. My walk with Christ is stronger than it was in my past. I am in the word daily, I pray, but I still stumble far more than I care to admit. Let’s face it, if a pro athlete had to be in training all year, year after year, I don’t think we would have as many sports teams.

I think that modern day Christians in America and other developed nations might have a harder time with their walk than early Christians. Sure early Christians in the first church were persecuted but they wore it as a badge of honor. Modern day Christians are surrounded by temptation on the internet, TV, Radio, not to mention every-day life. The first church consisted of people who lived with Christ for three years and people who grew to know those eleven. We’re some 2,000 years removed and we only have what we read in the texts, published throughout those 2,000 years. What we all have in common is the indwelling of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Like I mentioned above, we must tend the soil to keep it fertile, lest we let the thistle in and it choke out the growth. When that happens, we allow the quieting of that still small voice and the indwelling of Christ is muted.

Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean we get an easy out. On the contrary, this means we have to be more aggressive at tending the soil, at keeping our walk with Christ as close to Him as we can. I have heard many people say that there is nothing we can do, Christ has done it all. This is not completely true; He made it possible for us to be redeemed to the Father, but we still have to, as Paul said, “run to win”.

 

The Danger

As I mentioned above, I feel like there is something on the horizon that will require us to be anchored in Christ. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is important. First if we are firmly affixed to something we are not likely to be shaken from it. I have witnessed people who, when faced with something terrible, lose faith and turn from God. I had a friend who, at one time, was planted in fertile soil. His wife left him and he started to lose faith. He quit tending the soil. He then was diagnosed with colon cancer and the thistle took over. In the end, he blamed God and was bitter, not wanting to talk at all about faith.

Persecution is also something that may drive others from the faith. We in America are very lucky, as persecution only rarely happens. The following is a story from the ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom. The article is called “The Longest Night”.. It is a story of modern day persecution of a pro-life Christian group that was unlawfully arrested and subjected to “strip searches” all because they held anti-abortion signs along public freeways. The ADF was able to get the following accomplished.

“Harford County and the state troopers formally acknowledged that the officers’ behavior was unconstitutional, and agreed to train officers about First Amendment and free-speech issues.”

We are told that persecution will increase. Is your faith strong enough to see you through mocking, verbal abuse, being called a hater or a bigot, beatings, arrest or more? It is easy to say “yes” from the privacy of a keyboard, but when put to the test, with threat of violence or death, is your faith strong enough to stand for Christ? Might you falter as Peter did?

Completely falling from Christ isn’t the only danger. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:15-16

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 3:16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”

I’ve never attended seminary, so maybe there is another meaning to this verse. To me, any time I have ever spit anything from my mouth is was because it disgusted me. If I breakdown the above verse to me “hot” would be of God, and “cold” of the world. If you are neither, maybe you are a mix of both.

For many years I walked with both feet in the world, then one foot in each. I have whittled away many of the things that cause me to sin. There are still so many areas that trip me up. It is a good thing we have a graceful and loving God!

Revelation 3:19-20 “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

If you have areas of your life that cause you to be “lukewarm”, with one foot in the world, be it Internet sites you shouldn’t visit, TV you shouldn’t watch, magazines you shouldn’t be reading or relationships that are not biblical, it might be time to repent and press into the Lord. Let Him correct you and open the door for Him!

While we are individually responsible for our walk, we do not walk alone. One of the things that I am grateful to God for is how this community has formed. We share, encourage and pray for one another. If you have a verse that brings you encouragement or strength, feel free to post it. Do the same for any prayer requests.

 

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Two Preparedness Pearls from the New Testament

newtestament

During my daily devotional, a verse jumped off the page at me like it never has before. In Mathew 4:6 we see that Jesus is being tempted by the original Mr. Dirtbag; satan.

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”

Christ’s rebuttal is what I saw in a new light, He tells Satan: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

When it comes to preparedness, how many times have you heard someone say “I have faith that the Lord will provide”? From now on, I think my response will be “if God’s own son wouldn’t put the Lord to the test, why would you?”

Jesus could have jumped off of the building and, I am sure satan was right, there would have been a swarm of angles to keep Christ from reaching the earth. But Jesus took personal responsibility and did not put the Lord thy God to the test.

Yes it is true that after doing spiritual warfare with satan, the angles came to attend to Jesus. But I think the message still stands; we are not to put God on the spot.

This same rebuttal could be used when it comes to self-defense, for those who say they’ll just look to God to protect them and will not use a firearm for self-defense.
 
 
The second pearl comes from “Bluebird” in a recent comment on the article “Christianity and the Bibles Case for Self-Defense”.

“Please don’t forget the story about the seven wise virgins, who prepared ahead of time in case the wait for the bridegroom was a long one. Even though they were prepared, they did not share with the virgins who did not prepare. They told them if they shared, neither of them would have enough. When Jesus told this story, there was no reprimand to the wise virgins for refusing to share with the foolish ones.”

I really like this point! I made a similar point in the article “Christian Hospitality and Preparedness”. I think that we are called to be hospitable and to give when the Lord calls us to. We are not, however, required to be a food bank to everyone who didn’t use their ears to hear or their eyes to see. There are many verses where the punishments are defined for not following the Word. In Proverbs 27:12 we’re told that those who do not prepare for danger will suffer for it. It is not our job to keep them from suffering. We are, however, called to be hospitable and called to be the hands and feet of our God when He asks us to be. We must pray for discernment to know the difference!

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Preparedness Lesson from the Bible on Anonymity

give in secret
Image taken from Van Allsblog

Mathew 6 1-4 NIV

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

 

Granted, I think Jesus was trying to teach that when we give, we should do so quietly and not draw attention to it.  I think this is great advice every prepper should heed.  There are two points that I take away from those verses that I think relate to preparedness; “being gray” and “pat on the back”.

 

Being Gray

I have covered “being gray” in previous articles, so I’ll just touch on it now.  Being gray or maintaining OP-SEC (operational Security) is part keeping a low profile, part not letting others know what you have and part doing what is expected of you, so as not to raise undo attention.

Many people feel a need to share their preparations with those less fortunate.  That is their right.  I will side with the King and say “do so in private”, but probably for different reasons than He gave.  If you share either openly, not hiding it from anyone, or openly with the people you choose to assist, too many people know that you have preparations to share.

One thought I have is to share secretly, leaving care packages late at night on the doorsteps of people who are in need.  This way they get some assistance and OP-SEC is maintained.

 

Pat on the Back

Many of us like to do good things for others.  Let’s face it, being able to help someone in need and receiving their thanks feels good.  At Christmas time, I always make sure to have change on me so I can put some in every Salvation Army kettle I pass by.  I do this for a few reasons; one is that I know this is the time of year they make most of their operating money and I also do it so the bell ringer feels like their time is well spent.  If I’m truly honest, I also do it because it feels good to have the bell ringer acknowledge my putting something in the kettle, though I still donate if they’re on a break. 

My point is that if you feel like you must give publicly to others “when it hits the fan”, do some soul searching and find out why you’re giving.  Is it out of Christian obligation?  Is it just easier to give face to face?  Is it because seeing the joy on their face makes you feel good?

We can eliminate any potential sin issues and keep our OP-SEC by giving privately.  Our Father who sees what is done in secret will reward us.

 

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Christianity and the Bible’s Case for Self-Defense

Today we have a guest post, an author published by Prepper Press named John Elliot.  John writes about Christianity and self-defense.  This is a subject I covered a couple years ago, please see the comment section for my thoughts on John’s article, and on the subject in general.

 

Christianity and the Bible’s Case for Self-Defense

As the author of books having to do with self-preservation and, far more importantly, as a Christian, I have had to answer some rather deeply personal questions that require a considerable level of introspection. At the forefront of those questions is the one that asks, “What does God say about Believers protecting themselves from criminals, terrorists, or anyone else who may wish to harm us?”

Since my last book came out, Don’t Be A Victim!, I have been asked that question no less than six times. Well, part of the answer can be found in various books of the Bible. Was Moses condemned by God for going to the defense of a fellow Israelite and killing an Egyptian? The answer is no. In the book of Acts, chapter 7:24, it clearly demonstrates that the act of killing that Egyptian who was mistreating an Israelite was in fact part of Moses’ acceptance by the Israelites.

Nowhere in the Bible does it show that Christians are to be the doormats for the evil people of the world; but are we as Christians called upon to turn the other cheek? Well, yes. Matthew 5:39 instructs us about just that thing. There is even a time when Believers in Christ may have to suffer and die. We can read about that in Matthew5:11, Philippians 1:29, 2 Timothy 2:3, and in some other passages found in the Bible. All of that is true; there is no argument here at all.

What is also true is the Christian doctrine of self-defense and preservation, of preparedness and good common sense. The Apostle Paul implied that Christian men ought to defend their families. In 1 Timothy 5:8, after speaking about how the law applies to criminals and other violators of the trust God gives to men and women, it reads, “But those who won’t care for their relatives; especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” We are told by those words, and so many other passages, that we as Christians have a right, a duty and an obligation to protect the innocent amongst us.

If you are lying in bed at night and you waken by the sound of breaking glass, what do you do? You dial 911 right away, but what happens if an intruder is then heard climbing the stairs to where your wife and children are sleeping? The police may be on their way, but they are still several minutes away. You are a Christian, you are told to love your enemy, but you also know that the burglar in your home is probably capable of unspeakable violence. What now? If you are like me, you reach for that Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol, and before the burglar makes it to the top of the stairs, you send him off to meet his Maker.

We live in a violence-prone world, gone mad with horrible crime each day, with horrific acts of terrorism across the globe, with the knowledge that eventually we may all have to face our worst fears in life. Being a born-again Believer in Christ helps to relieve so much of that fear and anxiety, but being prepared for the unexpected is what God expects from each of us.

John Elliott is the author of Don’t Be A Victim!: An Officer’s Advice on Preventing Crime, published by Prepper Press. He is a law enforcement veteran who worked for police agencies in Virginia, Rhode Island and Florida, as well as for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Customs Service. He also spent many years working with Interpol, and was a bomb disposal technician conducting land mine and unexploded military ordnance disposal in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and North Africa.
 
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