Are Preppers crazy?

Last week, we talked about what we can tell people when they think we are crazy for prepping. We didn’t mention there is a large group of Christians, who agree we are nuts. They believe that God will take care of everything, so we don’t have to prepare for anything. So are preppers crazy or are we prudent for preparing  for what’s ahead?

Besides God providing all our needs (with no input by us I might add), another very common thought in Christian circles is: “I expect things to get bad, but I’m a Christian. I believe we will be raptured before anything really awful happens.”

Our usual response is:  First, how do you know when Jesus is coming? The Bible is clear, no one knows but God alone. Second, horrible things have happened throughout history and Jesus didn’t return then. What makes you so sure he will come now? I would love to believe we would be swept away when things get bad, but what if it’s not time yet? What if it is just really bad times and not the End Times? Are you ready for that?

To expand on that thought, I have heard people say: “God provided for the Israelites with manna. I’m sure he will take care of all our needs.”

Our answer: That Bible story is true, but what if they are looking at the wrong story of God’s help. What if Joseph’s story is what we should be thinking about. Sold into slavery in Egypt as a young man, Joseph endured years in a jail. Yet he found favor with the jailer. Many hardships and years later, the Pharaoh placed him in charge of preparing for a great famine. He was the ultimate Bible Prepper. What if Joseph is our example?

We believe God will help us. Just as he warned Pharaoh seven years of plenty would be followed by seven years of famine, we believe God is warning his people to get ready for some event that’s on the horizon. If it was just us who believe this, maybe I would think we might have misunderstood God. However, many people all over the world have received this warning. So for us, that is confirmation we have heard God, need to listen and do as he has told us.

So regardless of what others think or believe we urge you to prepare. Prepare your homes, gather your heirloom seeds, gardening tools, equipment, canning jars, lids and equipment, along with other needs that would make your life easier if you had to provide food for yourself and your family. Fill your pantry and keep it full. Learn how to can and preserve food. Learn how to generate electricity. Self-sufficiency is key, but we are not islands. Form a group in your area of like-minded people who you can work with to survive…people you can trade and share with.

In closing, whether people agree or disagree about the future, stay on the path. Prepare your heart and mind. Organize your home and do what needs to be done.  Even if things don’t get bad for a long time, your life will be better, more fulfilling and you will be less dependent on government and grocery stores. It’s better to know we are ready for anything than be caught unaware and unprepared.

What do you say when people think you’re crazy?

We hear, all the time, we are crazy for preparing for hard times ahead. Many people believe because we live in the best country in the world nothing, as bad as we think, will ever happen here. When we disagree, they look at us like we grew two heads. They think we’re lunatics and need to be locked up in the looney bin. So, what do you say when people think you’re crazy? How can you get them to consider we might be right.

First, no amount of explanation can get through to the really stiff neck people who simply refuse to accept all the signs of decay in our country. For these people no amount of reasoning will persuade them. However, if you mention our fears concerning where our country is headed and the person seems to listen…you might be able to plant seeds of understanding by telling them what you believe and what you are doing to prepare.

Tell them about our loss of freedoms little by little through the years and the intrusion of the government into our daily lives. Ask them how we are supposed to sustain the increase of national debt and how long can we continue to over spend?  How long can a decreasing amount of working people support and increasing amount of people who don’t work and expect increased welfare and support? Never in the history of our country has there been more people collecting support from the government than those working and paying taxes. This alone can damage an already weak economy, much less all the other problems.

Next, we have a group of activists, raised in our country, who wish to bring us down to the level of third world countries. They believe Americans have too much and our lives are too cushy. They push the idea of equality for all people and put down the wealthy…even those who worked to build their businesses through hard work and fortitude. They want everyone in the world to live the same…except them of course. They want to rule the world from their lofty places and fancy mansions.

Add the above problems to the fact, whether we want to accept it or not, there are people in our world who hate us and want our country to fall. They hate our free market system, our freedoms and most of all our faith. These people have vowed to destroy us and our way of life. Many of them already live in our country. We never know when they will decide it’s time to push their beliefs and begin our destruction.

Anything could tip the scales and bring devastation in our nation. If or when any major event happens, our country could totter. From there it wouldn’t take much to make it collapse. If that happens, even those of us who have prepared will have a difficult time. Those who have not will suffer greatly and many will die.

If people will listen at all, tell them your preparations. Most are practical things everyone can do to make themselves more independent. Share the idea of heirloom seeds, canning more of their own food and raising a vegetable garden. Having three to six months or more of food is a great start. It’s important to gather seeds, canning jars and lids, gardening needs, along with medical supplies, guns and ammo, etc. while we can.

Most of all, encourage them to prepare their hearts. We must come to realize we cannot help everyone. That in itself will be challenging. But knowing you may have to defend yourself from those who would steal your provisions will be very hard. However, it could make the difference between life and death for you and your family. You must be prepared to make the difficult decisions. Being a Prepper is challenging, but we are sure you’re up to the task.

Why do I struggle?

Glorious Wonderful Savior and Lord,

With a grateful heart, I praise You for Your many blessings. I’m awed by Your mercy and grace for I’m so unworthy. Yet, You love me. You came, taught, died and rose again…for me…and all who believe, past, present and future.  Through Your sacrifice we are reconciled to our Father God in Heaven. Your loving kindness is wondrous to behold, in the lives changed and the great care you have for us. You send the rain to water the crops, livestock, and our needs alike. You provide for all our needs day after day.

Since I accept all this, why do I struggle? Why do I have so much trouble trusting some things in Your Word? I see the great works of your hand across the land and even in my life, but still I battle to believe. Your Word says: “Believe and receive.” Or “Believe in things that are not as though they are.” I know this means I’m to believe in things that have not happened yet, but that you have told me will happen. I want to believe… so help me with my unbelief. Help me to be anxious for nothing. Worry is a sign of the unbelief I’m battling to rid myself of. I lack nothing. You provide all my needs (and many of my wants.) Help me walk in this truth. Help me build up my Shield of Faith. My heart seeks you, Lord Jesus. Be with me. Help me hear your voice. I want and need your direction in all areas of my life. I want your love to flow through me like a river to others. I give you my praise, glory, honor and love. I will walk with you forever and ever. Cloth me in your righteousness, hope and love. Shield me with increased faith day by day.    Amen!

To my readers:  I give you a peek into my spiritual life so you know that doubting is normal. Someone once told me doubting is not bad as long as you don’t take the thought captive and accept the false thought as truth. The fact is Satan would not bother us with false thoughts if we weren’t a threat to him. So whenever you are bothered with doubt and unbelief…cast the thought away and Praise God instead.

Are there weeds in your life?

Are there weeds in your life? To answer this question everyone needs to be on the same page…understanding what a weed is.

The official definition of a weed according to Webster’s is: 1. A plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially:  one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants 2. a: an obnoxious growth, thing, or person b: something like a weed is a detrimental quality

As you can see weeds are any unwanted plants that grow in gardens, walkways, driveways or any other place you don’t want them. They come up without your planting them from seeds that blow in and take root. They can survive without care, many times without even water. Weeds can overgrow a garden and choke out the good plants.Thistles are one type of weed we have in our yard. Though they have thorns, they can be pretty. Problem is they spread their seeds and soon you have so many they take over.

This is true of weeds that spring up in our life. These can be bad habits, attitudes, or behaviors. They include thoughts, suspicions, or feelings.   These weeds in our life can become a great nuisance to our Christian walk and they can damage our Christian witness. As with all weeds, if we pull them out by the roots when they are small, they are relatively easy to remove. However, once established, these weeds can be difficult to eliminate. They can spread until they take over entire areas of our life and cloud our reason or feelings. A bad attitude can take over and soon we behave poorly and without consideration for others.

We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this life…at least those of us to claim Him as Lord and Savior. When we allow gossip, rumors, impatience, upset, or any other negative emotion to take over, we can choke out Jesus’ love until His love is stifled and stops flowing. I am saying this not only to you, but to myself as well. I can be very impatient at times. If I allow that impatience to claim me, I can get short with those around me. I can become unkind and unloving. Most importantly, I can say things I will regret later.

I encourage your to root out any weeds in your life that can crowd out the Word of God. If you see negative things in your life, pull them out before they can take root. If they are already there, dig them out…make sure you get the entire root or it could come back.

God asks us to wait on Him. Be slow to anger or upset and quick to show His love to others. 2 Corn 10:5 says to take every thought captive. Don’t allow negative thoughts or feelings to mess with you. Our lives here on this earth are relatively short compared to an eternity with Jesus. Living an upbeat positive life will bring you happiness and peace. More importantly, it will be a positive witness to the love of our Heavenly Father.

Work is Good for Our Spirit

God worked six days in creation and then rested. That’s an example we are to follow. Besides, work is good for our spirit. Throughout the Bible, we are given examples of God’s people in their work. Jesus was a carpenter and teacher. Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul worked to support himself noting that he would not put that burden on the people he served. (Please note: this does not mean we aren’t supposed to pay our pastors or ministers today. Later, the Bible says it’s important that people are to provide for those who minister and teach to us.)

As you can see people worked. Since the time of Adam, humans must labor to support ourselves and our family. In fact, the Bible teaches if we don’t work, we don’t eat. However, that said, we must support widows and orphans. Those who are ill also need our help. All others…should hold a job, they need to work.

We are created in God’s image. He worked. He created the heavens and the earth. Now, he holds the universe in his hands and keeps things in proper order. Over and over, God shows us it’s important to work.

Every year we celebrate Labor Day. However, today more and more people are not working. I don’t wish to put down those who are diligently seeking to find work if you are out of a job. That is your job right now…finding a new one. But, others who have given up or just don’t want to work need to change their thinking. It’s not good for our spiritual life to take handouts when we can do for ourselves and simply choose not to.

Times ahead are going to get rough. It will take work to survive. Some will simply try to take from others, but that is not our way and we may have to protect what is ours. But that is a subject for another post. The fact is we will need to work to stay alive. Gardening, canning and farming may be our only means of providing for ourselves. It will take long days and great effort to provide enough food for our families, especially in northern areas where you must have enough to get through the winter.

Again, we urge you to prepare for the future. Work to gather or purchase seeds, canning supplies and trade ideas with other like-minded people. Start canning so you can learn how now. We don’t know how much time we have, so day by day, item by item, begin gathering and doing what you can today. Stay focused and continue to work as long as you can.

Do you live a Kintsugi life?

Have you ever heard of the Japanese art of Kintsugi? It is the art of taking broken pieces of pottery and repairing it using glue mixed with gold. The procedure fixes the damage and leaves the pot with a pretty gold filled seam. It enhances both the appearance and the value of the piece. It also returns the pot to usable and water tight condition. My question to you is: Do you live a Kintsugi life?

God’s people are spoken of as vessels or pots several times in the Bible. God is the potter and we are the clay. He created us beautiful and lovely (in His image). But through the years, we can become damaged through events in our lives. Cracks occur in our heart through illness, loss, pain. Many things can damage us in ways no one can see. These cracks can affect our spirit greatly and reduce our ability to do God’s will.

When you apply the principal of Kintsugi art to how God deals with us, our lives become a beautiful story of restoring our brokenness using the gold of His loving kindness. All the cracks in of our lives are fully restored with our acceptance of the love God has for us. His mercy and grace is more than sufficient to repair any hurt, pain, or mar resulting from the sins, shame, regret that caused the cracks in our being.  Just as in the broken pottery in Kintsugi art, the broken pieces of our life come back together with the glue of God’s love holding it together. The once ugly broken life is restored to a beautiful, functioning and strong existence through the power of the love of God.

All we have to do is believe in Jesus, rest in Him, and allow Him to do the mending. If we try to do the patching in our own strength, our vessel…our life can either crack again leaving us worse than before or leak badly reducing our strength and effectiveness. With the glue of God’s loving kindness, we can and will become whole again…stronger than before. Then, we can do the work of Jesus, working through His power and strength not our own.

As times become darker, it will be even more important than ever to rest in God/Jesus. We cannot do all the planning, preparation and work in our own power. Well, we could, but why would we want to? When we can rest in Jesus and know He will guide and direct us, there’s no reason to go it alone. Besides, the results will be greatly improved with God on our side. Humans have a long history of trying to go it on our own, only to fall flat on our faces. Yet, we have many examples in the Bible showing normal everyday folk doing extraordinary things through God’s power and strength in their lives.

I encourage you to turn your preparations over to God. Seek His guidance in your plans. Rely on Him and others who walk with Him to assist you. A three cord rope is stronger than a single one. So consider yourself as one part of the rope, others who are like-minded the second, and God as the third. When you do, you’ll be strong and sure as you walk along.

Allow Jesus to Seep into Your Spirit

It is the hope of every sincere believer to allow Jesus to seep into your spirit. Consider how our relationship with Jesus is very similar to the transformation tea brings to water.

As the tea steeps into the water it changes the color of the liquid. First, light brown tendrils flow into the water spreading until it is no longer clear but golden brown. As time goes on, the liquid gets darker and darker in color and richer and richer in flavor. This reflects our life with Jesus. At first only minor changes can be seen in our lives. As time goes on we see the more lasting changes Jesus brings into our life. Maybe we stopped cussing or smoking or gossiping. Perhaps we are kinder, more patient or giving. Whatever the change is the flavor of our life is changing and will continue every day until our life on earth is over.
Jesus and His Word (Bible) is our tea bag. The more we hear, read, mediate upon and study the Word, the more changes come into our life. If we stop reading, stop listening, or stop seeking the Word, it’s like removing the tea bag and over time the tea becomes weak. If we put the bag (Bible) back into our life, the flavor becomes strong again. If we water down our life with cares, worry, busyness of life, or vain human philosophies, we’re again in danger of becoming spiritually weak. Yet again the problem can be reversed by simply getting back into the Bible by hearing, reading, study, and prayer.

There is one more variable I want to throw in. What happens when you add another tea bag, a different kind or type to your cup? Does it change the flavor? The color? For good or for bad? What about cream or sugar? We have to take care to guard our heart and not allow another message to change our walk with Jesus. He and He alone is our way to God. If we try to add to the truth of Jesus Christ or listen to voices that don’t come from our source the Bible, we are in danger of changing the final brew. We can listen to and consider the different interpretations of the Bible, but we must take care to discard anything that doesn’t ring true or does not line up with the core of the message the Bible presents.

All this brings us to your choice. Do you want a deep faith rich in flavor? Or will you settle for a weak watered down flavor? The closer you walk with Jesus, the richer fuller flavor (faith) you will have.

The point is, you must allow Jesus to seep into your heart and mind. Anything less will only bring a weak flavor to your life instead of a strong vibrant flavor.

On the lighter side, consider my husband’s idea that a hamburger tells a better story. Jesus is the meat. We are the bun. When you add hearing (pickles), reading (lettuce), study (mayo/ketchup), and study (onion), your sandwich is full of flavor. When you bite in and juices run down your arm, you can really savor the richness of meat. More importantly, you can eat all the spiritual hamburgers you want because becoming fat in the spirit (full of faith) is a good thing. LOL

What is it about Yield that You don’t understand?

As some of you know, our day job is driving as a Long Haul Owner Operator Team. We drive an 18-wheel semi-truck and trailer throughout the US and Canada. Yesterday as I drove, I saw a car coming down the freeway ramp as I traveled 70 mph in the slow lane. The car didn’t seem to even see me…my semi’s so little, I guess that’s why. LOL! When the car got to the freeway he pulled out right in front of me going about 50 mph. All I could think is “What is it about yield that you don’t understand?” The law requires vehicles entering the freeway to yield to those already on the freeway, yet this guy figured he owned the road and I had to yield to avoid an accident.  Of course, I did rather than hit the guy.

I bring this up because as I thought about it, I realized that’s how we are with God much of the time.  We come to the Lord, some in a great spiritual wakening and others in a slow easy acceptance. Either way, our live is supposed to change…change to a life pursuing and seeking Jesus and His ways not our own. Yet, just as the driver who did not yield the right of way as he entered the flow of traffic, many believers don’t yield to Jesus. We pull ahead of Him, lag behind, or forget He’s there until something happens. Then we either run to Him in desperation or yell at Him because He let it happen. Other times, we cut Him off.  We get mad because He didn’t do things the way, when or how we wanted….like He’s some kind of fairy Godmother who should act upon our every whim…so when He doesn’t, we run Him off the road.

When we accept Jesus, we’re supposed to give our life to Him…our life is no longer our own. We have been purchased with His blood. Yet, instead of treating us as slaves, God adopts us into His family and Jesus welcomes us as brothers and sisters. We are to enter the highway in God’s kingdom and join the flow heading toward the throne of God. Unfortunately, after all Jesus has done, many still refuse to yield and take the first exit ramp.

In the case of the car, I backed off and allowed him to enter the freeway ahead of me. You need to understand, Jesus will back off too. He will never force us to do His will. Free will is fundamental to our relationship with Him. Just as we must accept Him as Savior, we must choose to yield and serve Him.

We encourage you to examine your life. Are you yielding your life to Jesus? Every day, every minute or only when you want God to do something for you? Or are you still doing things your way without any consideration of the sacrifice Jesus made for you?

Learning to yield to our Lord Jesus is an important lesson to learn in our Christian walk. Nothing happens overnight, so be patient with yourself and others. But step by step and day by day, yield your will to the Savior. If you mess up one day, start fresh the next. Whether the days ahead are dark or sunny, living life yielded to God’s way is more fulfilling, productive and happy than one that is not.

Surviving Loss

How do we go on when all we want to do is curl into a ball when we are learning to cope with the loss of a loved one? Surviving loss is the topic of numerous books and movies. Some struggle to go on, others bounce back quickly and others take years to come to terms with death.

First, I want to proclaim, death was never part of God’s original plan. He created us to live and reign with Him forever. Sin brought death into the world. Yet, Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross. Now, all who believe in Him will have everlasting life. We know when our earthly body dies, our spirit lives on. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will be received into His presence. This truth is our hope and our promise.

For many, this is not much of a comfort. But for me, it is foundational to my faith. I know I will see my loved ones again. However, that truth does not diminish the pain of loss and sorrow deep in our heart. But we know Jesus knows our sorrow and He brings us comfort through His undying love. He sends people to remind us we aren’t alone, share the burden, bring encouragement and share memories.

So if you are grieving, be kind to yourself. It will take time to move on, don’t rush things. However, don’t cut yourself off from others. No one is an island. We need each other. Next, put on the spirit of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isa 61:3) Spend time with Jesus and His people. Remember the good times and let go of anything negative. Finally, hold fast to our promise that we will see our loved ones again. Honor them by living your life to the fullest as you stay the course God places before you.

When the hard times come, we believe many will die. We must prepare our hearts now for that awful truth. Live each day in love. Life is precious, never take it for granted.

In loving memory of all our loved ones who have gone on before us.

Garden Lesson

Garden Lesson was written by my friend Michell Brown. She gave me permission to share this with you. Please enjoy it.

I was just in my Raspberry patch picking berries. I was sure I had searched all around and had gotten all the beautifully ripe ones on the vines. Now you have to understand that my raspberry patch is NOT in nice, neat, lined up rows. It is an overgrown, tangled mess (just like my life). I was starting to wiggle my way out of the deepest part, when I lost my balance and fell backwards, hard, right on my backside. So picture this. My legs were caught underneath me. My arms, legs and head, were scratched. There was nothing stable to grab in order to lift myself up. Got the visual? NOW STOP LAUGHING!
Off to my left, I see the biggest, reddest, perfectly ripe bunch of berries! Softly, The Lord said to me, “See Michell, sometimes, when you fall and feel trapped, I am able to show you a brand new view of your life. Often, it is something beautiful which you have over looked and would have missed out on. ”
I LOVE THESE GARDEN LESSONS!! I hope that you do too.
BTW…..I don’t think that God pushed me down to show me something. Bad things happen to everyone and I think He took the BAD and made it something GOOD.

Added note from Bob and Donna: We love these kinds of stories. All we have to do is look at our everyday life to see God’s hand in it. If you have a story like this and would like to share it, let us know. We’d love to post it here on this blog.