Monday, November 11, 2013

Review of American Blackout...

I had the opportunity to watch National Geographic's Video, American Blackout.  The premise of the video follows the lives of at least 4 different families and couples during a nationwide power outage.  It's set in a documentary style that gives the story line a realistic flavor.  I found it very intriguing, disturbing, and very thought provoking.  I recommend watching it but be warned it isn't a "kid friendly" kind of story.  I highly recommend viewer discretion for watching this program with young ones.  Overall, the actors did a great job in portraying the trials and tribulations that can come from a nation wide blackout.  What happens when a disaster lasts more than 3 days?  The first 3 days are the most crucial in any disaster and will determine the level of success of survival as the disaster continues.  The story does a great job in showing the lives of people who were prepared and those who were not prepared.

The show portrayed as realistically as it could splicing together real news stories throughout the program.  The story line, plot, and progression of the program continued at a steady pace that wasn't hard to follow.  The decisions, made by the characters throughout the story, showed great analytical thinking skills as well as ignorant and sometimes dangerous decisions that led to terrible conclusions.  I would suggest that everyone have a chance to watch this video to ask simple questions throughout the program.  You can watch it here.
One aspect of the film that truly intrigued me was the group mentality compared to the "lone wolf' mentality.  An army of one can never replace the safety and support of a community for protection, survival, and support.  

In real world scenarios, what did people do in order to survive?  In Bosnia, Egypt, Uganda, Argentina, and elsewhere, what did real world "Preppers" do in order to survive?  Would individuals in our nation be able to handle a complete an utter breakdown of the rule of law within our nation?  Do "Preppers" here in the United States have the right information to be able to withstand a real world crisis?  These questions are but the tip of an "informational iceberg" that needs to be asked BEFORE a national disaster happens.  The video, in my opinion, did a great job showing the difference between being prepared and not being prepared mentally as well as spiritually.  It even went so far as to show that preparedness doesn't necessarily mean being ready.

The importance of this review is to continue to bring to the forefront dialogue that we all need to be having starting now.  There have been warning signs and little "tests" of how we would do in a crisis situations.  From the "blackout" on usage of EBT cards to the response of the government during a national disaster, over the last couple of months the pictures coming from the news tell an important story.  We will be in serious trouble if we don't recognize the necessity of becoming truly prepared.  There have been numerous signs that our nation IS on the cusp of a major event happening within our borders.  If this is your first time coming to my blog or you've been reading off and on, then I strongly suggest reading over previous blogs.  Start looking at "unconventional means" of preparedness that will not break the bank.  Start thinking outside of the box because your mind will be the greatest asset in a survival situation.  If you are not sure where to begin, email me for more information.

Most importantly, learn how to pray.  And, make sure that whoever that you are praying to DOES ANSWER you when the chips are down and you are in desperate need for a miracle.  Which brings me back to the show, American Blackout.  As much as I recommend this film to watch over and over in order to learn important aspects of the characters and decisions they made, I would not give it an A+ because of the lack of spiritual insight portrayed in the film.  As an individual, family, and community, prayer WILL BE the most important tool to rely on when a natural or man-made disasters hit.  If you need help in the area of prayer, then go to 24-7 Prayer Ministry.  They are an awesome ministry with real people who don't have all the answers but know someone who does.

Until next time, may you be blessed in your lives and be ready for whatever comes your way.

Shalom!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Test...


I guess the reason that I enjoy different adventures or the study of survival scenarios is because of the sense of accomplishment in passing a test.  I didn't always use to think this way.  In school, I would get so worried, stressed, and concerned that when test time came, I had worked my way into a frenzy!  Then something changed in my outlook while I was in the military.  I started facing challenges that were difficult that would range from survival school training to helping to bring one of our children into the world.  So, in the scope of my life, I started to understand that the tests I had to pass in school were not even close to the real life tests that I would face as an adult.  Working with youth, doing team building games, facilitating ropes course activities, etc. seemed to give satisfaction on how to work in seemingly chaotic and difficult situations.
This in turn helps with the reason for this blog.  The Be-Ready-Compass is a set of tools that help in the preparation for the tests that life will give us.  You might not know about the serious test that you will face in the near future, but with the right tools, you can have confidence to be able to handle the situations that may arise.  Knowing your true North is the foundation for the Be-Ready-Compass.  We have mentioned this in many previous blogs that we should really burrow down in our beliefs asking hard questions.  Coming to a very clear and precise understanding as to "why" we believe what we believe.  Going East on the compass, health and wealth aid in the importance of having a sharp mind and body.  Being able to deal with stress when it comes will become much more manageable when in a healthy state of being.  West is about having good gear that you are familiar with using.  You might not have all the gear, but if you are in a great community, then you will not need to have all of the gear when you can pool resources together with your neighbors.  And finally, the South is about self sustainability.  The ability to raise and grow your own food.  Becoming dependent on the environment and how to provide for you, your family, friends, and loved ones.

These tools aid in the bigger picture.  Because we don't know what a day may bring forth or what tomorrow will hold.  Many people who were thrust into situations that required their utmost attention, meaning life or death, would generally agree that they didn't intend on being caught in a situation that could prove dangerous.  Over the Summer, we have been busy with teaching fitness classes and principles from the Compass to families, groups, and individuals.   There have been numerous stories of unexpected events happening in our nation and around the world.  From economies being shaken to governments being toppled, it seems that all of humanity is being tested in this time of history.  Why is this so important now?

Because THE TEST has already begun...  The test for our hearts, minds, and even our souls.  Our lives at this moment in history are at the brink of testing that will continue until Jesus returns.  A testing that has been talked about in the Bible for over 2000 years.  Our hope is to help provide the tools that will be needed in order to pass this great test.  Let's establish what's at stake.  There is a great movement among groups and other religions to downgrade the importance of anything that has to do with God, The Bible, or the church.  To dismiss the "religious" mind as a foundation of fantasy thought up by mankind.  The only problem with this line of reasoning is the forgotten aspect of prophecy that was written thousands of years ago that IS happening today.  To further drive this point home regarding the importance of prophecy and the Bible, watch the following documentary.  It's one of the best documentaries I have watched in many years.  It's very clear and concise with research.  So, there are two options...

1) Simply discard the prophecies of the Bible and go back to living life as usual thinking that everything will eventually get back to "normal".
2) Take the prophecies of the Bible as well as the entire Bible very seriously.  Get to know The Author of this inspired book of antiquity.  Don't believe me or anyone else's opinion.  Test it for yourselves by asking a simple question.  "If the God of the Bible is real, then can You reveal Yourself to me?"  If He does, then obey Him completely and follow the Scriptures.  If not, then continue to live your life and at least use the Compass tools as life preparation for the tests that come.  It is this author's reason for the very air that he breathes about the reality of a God who cares.  My hope is that each person who reads this blog will research for themselves the reality of the Bible because it is written, "That you shall know the truth.  And, the truth shall set you free!"

Until next time.  Blessings! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spring is here! Are you ready?


The sun is out!  Birds are singing!  The bees are coming out from their slumber.  Leaves are green and flowers are budding!  It's starting to become warmer and everyone is slowly awakening from the Winter Slumber.  We are preparing for another year of being survival ready.  The seasons dictate change in our environment and preparation for the year.  Surveying our family's current status, then looking out over our community and throughout the nation, there seems to be a growing anticipation for more changes over the horizon.  I love living in Colorado and breathing the fresh air and admiring the scenery.  Being able to take a deep breath and slowly exhale is a great exercise to do in order to clear the cobwebs in my mind and relax.  The scenery is majestic with towering mountains, lush valleys, and beautiful wildlife.  Spring is such a wonderful time for "new beginnings" and prepping for the new year.  It's time to get outside, plant gardens, plan for the Summer with trips, camps, and adventures.  Kids are trying to stay focused on school ending now with graduation in sight!

Then the unexpected happens...a family's home has just been ransacked and robbed.  Luckily, they were not
home when the incident occurred, but they lost some important valuables and keepsakes.  A mother and a daughter are home when a burglar breaks in so they hide in a closet for safety.  A family is sitting at home during a storm and begin to hear what sounds like a train coming only to realize that it's a tornado baring down on their neighborhood.  The above scenarios are real and have happened.  The question is would you be ready?  Are you ready for the unexpected realities of life to rear its head?  Do you have a plan in the event of any of the above scenarios were to happen?  Is your home protected?  Do you have escape routes from your home?  Do you have rendezvous areas in the event you are separated from your family during an emergency?  What precautions have you taken for you and your family?

Spring is the opportunity to "spring" into action.  Now is the time to take stock of what you currently have within your home and prepare accordingly for possible real life scenarios that could happen at any time.  From emergency situations that range from natural disasters to national pandemics, how will you prepare to "weather" the storms in your life?  Going through the Be-Ready Compass site, there are stories and tools that you can use to get a picture of your current readiness level.  You can also use the tools on this site to find out what you may need.  However, no amount of preparation can substitute the need to have your "True North" set on your compass.  Knowing what you believe and believing what you know as well as having a mission for living.  For when tough times come in unexpected times, a strong faith and community will help minimize the fear that could easily engulf an individual.

If you haven't started an exercise regimen, then I would recommend getting a fitness goal that is attainable and apply it to your life starting now.  The Internet has a plethora of information on exercise regimens for all types of people.  Regardless if you don't have weights, calisthenics work effectively in establishing a foundation in order to workout with weights at a later time.  There is a workout in our archives that you can use to help jump start your routine for now.  Start eating healthy with organic fruits and vegetables.  Support your local farmers and purchase your food through them to help your local economy.  Or you can start growing your own food and raising your own animals for food so you know where your food IS coming from.  Buy essential survival equipment from water filters to multi-tools that can be needed during times of emergencies.

There are many ways that you can secure your home.  The most important is making sure you have a community that you trust and neighbors that will watch out for each other and their belongings.  Now is not the time to go on "autopilot" in life and cruise along with business as usual.  There seems to be a ramping up of anxiety, concern, and stress that are criss-crossing the globe at present.  Find out who is in your neighborhood as a resource for being prepared.  Connect with your vets because they have wealth of information.  They are also one of your lines of defense in the event of civil unrest.

And, I want to close out with an important reminder that honors our Veterans on Memorial Day Weekend. Almost 2 weeks ago, 60 Minutes aired the Rescue of Jessica Buchanan. You can watch the segment here.  My hat goes off to the brave woman and coworker that held on for 3 months as hostages in Somalia.  But, I'd like to honor our Navy S.E.A.L. on Team 6 for their chivalry and dedication in bringing Jessica home.  Thank you to all servicemen and women who have fought, died, and retired in the service of our nation.  Each time I write this blog, it's in honor of your sacrifice and values instilled in me when I served in the military.  Thank you!  
   

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Church Relations

In the Bible, Revelation 3:14-22 it states, “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

As promised, I felt led to talk about the Church of the United States for this month.  Our nation is in the midst of a struggle between truth and lies that permeate our education, technology, government, business sector, media arts, and more importantly, our families.  There are different battles that are taking shape across our nation with regards to freedom, morality, the definition of the family, and direction for the nation.  There are also rumblings within our world regarding economic stability as well as the future of the dollar.  Unless the Church of the United States changes how it conducts itself in the near future, then there will be dire consequences for it surviving the trials ahead.

Since 1992, I was involved heavily in various youth and church ministries up until 2010.  Over the years, I've experienced amazing adventures with meeting people who genuinely want to know the God of the Bible.  I've also met people who used the church as an organization to further his or her own agenda.  At times, I was over zealous in proclaiming my Lord and Saviour, Jesus.  And quite frankly, it was turn off at times for people.  Sometimes, I found myself playing along the religious games to fit in the church culture.  But, in my deepest beliefs within my heart, I wanted to experience God like when I first became a Believer in order to share this experience with others. 

Then something interesting happened to me.  In 2010, I really read Zechariah 14 in the Bible and started to ask some questions regarding the text I was reading.  Why don't we celebrate the Feast Days of the Old Testament?  Why did the Church stop celebrating those Holy Days?  I started reading other passages regarding the Sabbath and how Father God felt about the Sabbath.  I asked more questions regarding why we didn't rest on the Sabbath?  Didn't Jesus honor the Sabbath while He lived on Earth?  Why did we stop believing that the Old Testament had relevance for us today?  The more and more that I started really reading the Bible and asking questions, the more I didn't understand why, as a culture, the church stopped observing certain aspects of Scripture.

Then, something very profound happened to us.  Our whole family started studying the Bible and taking it literally for what it said and understanding the Old Testament's importance for today.  And then, asking Father God to help us become more like His Son, Jesus.  Because, He observed the Old Testament Scriptures and lived by them too.  You know what happened to us?  We experienced such an amazing closeness to Father God.  We learned what it meant to really rest.  We also learned that we could no longer continue in church the way we had been experiencing it.  Because we wanted to pursue our relationship with Father God in this manner, we became estranged from the world of church that we had experienced over the years.  And, we started meeting other people who had also came to the same realization that we had in great numbers.  

There seemed to us that an "exodus" from the current church was taking place.  Families were meeting in their homes and meeting with other families.  Potlucks were common and we started to dive into Scripture like never before.  We could ask in depth questions without feeling that we were disturbing the preacher as he talked to us when we were in a building.  We could sing praise and worship songs without worrying about how much time we needed to be on stage.  But, what was most wonderful was that our kids didn't have to go to children's church or youth ministry.  We came together as a family to worship, study, and pray. 

So what does this have to do with the Be Ready Compass?

Glad you asked!  Our family's true North is set on Jesus.  Period.  Nothing will ever compromise that fact, and not even the establishment of the Church in the United States or the world.  We believe that the Church of the US will go through some serious changes in the near future.  In the event of an economic meltdown, what will churches do to maintain salaries?  How will churches pay off loans on the building and other projects?  Where will churches get food to support the community?  What will pastors and priests do to pay their bills as well as minister to their flock who will also be facing the same issues?  How will the church prepare the community for the coming changes in our world?

The Church in the US is not paying attention to the times.  There are historical and biblical events that are happening right now that were prophesied and foretold in the Bible thousands of years ago.  We are living in days in which will be the greatest chapter in the history of the world in terms of a major changeover in the way we all live our lives.  This is the culmination of the devil and God's battle over the souls of men before Jesus comes back to reign on the Earth.  If you don't believe that a battle actually exists, then check out this link and watch the testimonies of those who reportedly have been brought back to life.  Pretty soon, we will see some unbelievable and miraculous events take place. 

The dire warning that I have for the Church of the US is to wake up.  Pull yourself from your slumber and belief in a rapture to save you from the trials to come.  We are in the midst of a major deception that will catch the Church unawares unless we all repent, forsake our idols (things we put before God), and return to the entirety of Scripture.  We must be careful of the "leaven (yeast) that permeates the entire lump".  The leaven is the teachings of men that have dominated for years and want to become more relevant to a world that IS fading away.  The teachings of men NEVER replace the authoritative reliability of Scripture.  Church, wake up and live... 

    



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Financial: News You Can Use

I remember growing up believing that someday I would be rich, successful, and famous just like the tv shows I watched in my youth!  I wanted to travel around the world, live in a big house, be on television, and be my own boss.  Now that I am 40 years old, I am surprised at how my idea of being "financially wealthy" and "successful" have drastically changed since my earlier years.  I did have the opportunity to travel around the world through serving in the US Air Force.  I have lived in several big houses over the years due to being blessed with a wonderful, large family.  I've been my own boss in my own business.  And, I had the great opportunity of being on television.  How I arrived to reap these benefits came from trust in my Heavenly Father, working hard, and looking for opportunities.  But, I am not a millionaire by any stretch of the imagination.  I am not considered wealthy in terms of our nation's idea of finances either.

I do consider myself wealthy in terms of my family, friends, and ability to trust that Father God continues to take care of me.  Compared to the rest of the world, I am considered to live in the top 5% of the world's population by just living in the United States.  So, what does this have to do with finances?  And, what does this have to do with the Be Ready Compass?  The answer is about perspective.

Why do we use the term "financial cliff" when describing our economy?
I recently listened to a talk of a friend of mine who is a whiz at our financial picture within the US.  He was a millionaire a few years ago and then decided over a year ago to simply walk away from it.  He believed that his family needed a husband and a father more than they needed the finances.  So, here is the deal.  He said something pretty profound that made an important impression on me.  My friend, Chris, summed up our financial picture that is currently in our nation.  He stated that our economy is based off of infinite debt ceiling while living in a finite world.  That's right!  The debt cannot continue to grow infinitely without a correction since our world is a finite place. Why is this important?  Because change is going to come.

In addition, it is written in the Bible that the borrower is servant to the lender.  We become slaves to whomever holds our debt.  You know that feeling when you get when the credit card company calls during hours of the day when you don't pay them their money on time?  Or, when you owe the government money?  Or, when you owe a family member/friend money?  They basically "own" you until you pay your debt to them or the debt is forgiven (absolved).  Unless a person pays cash, a person doesn't own anything unless legal tender (money) was exchanged in order for the item to be purchased.  Now, here's where it gets interesting.  The United States Dollar is not "true" money.  It's similar to a promissory note.  The dollar was introduced as money backed by gold long ago.  Since that time, it has moved away from the gold standard, and is more of an instrument of debt.  You can exchange the dollar for goods with the belief that the value of the dollar is strong on it own merit for exchange.  As long as confidence in the dollar is high, then it can continue to work for exchange of goods for now.

Unfortunately, there will ALWAYS be a day when the lenders call in the debt to be paid.  If the lenders want something more substantial besides dollars, then how will the debt be paid?  If the debt cannot be paid, then the borrower(s) are at the lender's discretion to exact however the debt is to be paid.  For a more in depth picture, I suggest clicking here.  For example, if our debt WERE to be called in, what would happen to the dollar?  What would happen to its value?  401k's, IRA's, Bonds, Stocks, etc.? (Feel free to email me if you need more information on how to better prepare your finances for the future.) What would happen to their value in holdings?  What would be used for exchange in its stead?  And most importantly, who owns our debt?

Regardless of the answers, the Be Ready Compass can help in thinking differently in regards to our current financial picture.  Being out of debt would be the highest priority for anyone who reads this blog.  Aside from the Northern direction of the compass, diversifying dollars into commodities like precious metals, energy, food, etc. would help in the event of a financial correction.  Learning how to barter for exchange of goods has worked for 1,000's of years throughout history.  Learning what items that would be necessary to barter in society would be prudent to learn; especially, studying how other countries managed through their financial difficulties.  But, I would venture to share another perspective.  In the Bible, Acts 2:44-45, it states, "Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and good, and divided them among all, as anyone had need."  We mention this passage because of our belief that being in a committed community will aid in survival when financial hardships come.  We also believe that being personally prepared will help the community survive IF everyone contributes SOMETHING of themselves to their community.  Instead of being part of the problem, becoming part of the solution.

In order for this to work, there has to be a selfless attitude by everyone involved that comes from a divine influence.  If you read all of Act 1 and 2 in the Bible, then you can start to understand where that divine influence could come from.  Are we living in that community yet?  No, but we do believe that as times become more and more difficult within our economy, miraculous events could inspire communities throughout our nation to adopt this method of survival.  We hope that this blog can be one of many methods of information to start preparing now BEFORE an economic blip happens.  

May you all be blessed and prepared for the changes that are happening and will happen in our world!  Until next time...

WARNING: Be careful those in the Church of the United States or financial ruin will be swift and devastating to you unless the signs are discerned and you are prepared.  Next blog will specifically focus on the Church of the United States.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Deception

2013 is here!  Over the past few days, I've been thinking about the importance of what lays ahead for our family, community, and nation.  Our last blog for December 2012 focused on prayer being the ultimate survival tool!  Prayer is also the ultimate tool to help in planning and direction for the year.  As a part of the Be Ready Compass, setting our "True North" is also key in preparation.  As a part of preparation, prayer is our essential life line to overcoming the deception that pervades our nation as well as our world.

Now, deception is a strong word to write a blog about.  Why focus on deception?  Because Jesus stated in the Bible that in the last days before He returns to be careful about deception. He shared from Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you."  As a prayer request for our family, we have asked to not be deceived and to have discernment.  Deception is a tactic that is employed through our culture to portray a different picture from what truly is happening.  Deception has been a stumbling block in my own life when I attempt to employ this method to get what I want.  I become tempted at times to mirror back to individuals when I believe that it is being used against me.  At times, I find the pull of not walking in truth out of fear of how people would react if I truly shared what I thought.

Father God has been ruminating in my heart to let go of deceptive ways of thinking.  Trying to get over on the next person before they deceive me.  Father God has also been gracious towards me in that I am still alive even after my many, many mistakes.  As I see this working through my own way of thinking, I tend to see it play out in family, friends, and community.  I catch myself really questioning motives of people at times.  As I am being challenged to live a life of holiness and righteousness, I am also being challenged to look at my surroundings and question what could be possible deceptions that I have allowed into my thinking or input of information.  I sometimes catch movies, television, radio, news, and individuals practicing this art.  From newscasters to politicians, the manipulation of information causes me to question the "truth".  What is really going on around me?

Maybe the truth is so much harder to swallow than the lie?  Maybe if we dealt honestly with one another, we would actually hear how messed up each of us truly are.  Or there is the other end of the spectrum when the truth can be used as a club to "bludgeon" someone into submission, and so we become scared in sharing truth. Whatever the reason, the danger becomes evident when a person, community, or a nation refuses to acknowledge that deception IS happening.  For example, what has happened to the people most affected by Hurricane Sandy back in October, 2012?  There are still people without power or a home!  Why are we not hearing more about their plight?  Is there an assumption that they are doing well?  What about the unemployment rate across the nation and its continual rise?  More and more people are applying for welfare and unemployment now than the Great Depression.  Why are we not hearing more about the people who have lost their homes due to foreclosure or inability to pay mortgages?  Could it be to continue to prop up our economy with a false outlook.  What about the Sandy Hook incident?  Yes, it was a terrible scenario that played out, but what about the kids that are killed every day in inner cities across the nation?  Why don't we hear about them and how it affects their communities?  Maybe we believe that it's not our problem and so it doesn't affect us.

I keep thinking about the scene in the first Matrix movie where the "Judas" character, Cypher, is making the deal with Agent Smith to betray the group.  You can see it here.  This scene is one of the most poignant scenes throughout the whole movie for me because of Cypher's choice to go along WITH the deception.  He knows the truth, yet he would rather forget and live a life of bliss and happiness in the Matrix as a wealthy actor.  How telling.

What in our world, is "The Matrix"?  What is truly going on in our nation and our world?  Where is the economy heading?  Does our debt load even matter?  Is the housing market recovering?  Is our nation any safer now than when it was during September 11th, 2001?  Do we accept the "reality" that is laid before us or do we seek to find truth no matter where it leads? 

If you are "awake" and seeking support to navigate our world, then first and foremost get a Bible.  Read and study it.  It has more on prophecy then any other book in print and answers, IF one is serious about seeking the truth.  Pray to and obey Yahweh (God).  He does speak to His people and directs their steps in what they should do.  And ask the question of why Jesus is so important?  Get your body and mind prepared by exercising and eating right.  Learn how to farm as well as wild harvest.  Become self sustainable.  Get off any subsidies or government programs as soon as possible.  Become part of a thriving community that supports and helps one another.  Don't take your lives for granted.  Practice situational awareness and be aware of what's happening around you.  Situations can change in the blink of an eye. 

 I close with this thought.  History is full of examples of civilizations and nations that rise and fall.  Sometimes, I believe that we put too much faith in our leaders to govern our nation truthfully.  More and more I am being challenged to watch what our leaders are saying and doing.  We are supposed to hold them accountable to the will of the people.  There seems to be a sense of unease in regards to the direction of our nation.  This unease encourages me to study history regarding powerful nations of the past.  Their examples can give us a blueprint of the stages of life in a nation.  A famous quote regarding the stages of a nation is as follows:  "The first stage moves from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage."

What stage is our nation in currently?  What do we do about it?  And, how do we pass on a legacy to our children and their children and so on?  I tend to look on the history of Israel and try to mirror the actions of great men in The Bible.  In the book of Joshua, he, Joshua, commissioned Israel and warned them regarding their future.  He says something that resonates to me today regardless if Israel heeded his advice.  In Joshua 24:15, it states, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  May we be counted great in the times ahead.

Until next time, peace and blessings!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayer: The Ultimate Survival Skill

Prayer is the ultimate skill for survival.  It's the ultimate tool within the Be Ready Compass.  It's the Northern area of the compass that is part of the Spirit.  Sometimes it is the most undervalued yet important skill in an emergency situation.  There are a number of stories over the years of people who have prayed and have seen the miraculous take place.  From George Mueller to Louis Zamperini, stories of unthinkable obstacles being overcome through the power of prayer.  But, I want to make really clear about the kind of prayer that I am talking about.  I am talking about prayer in the terms of talking with a very powerful, holy, loving, and righteous Being.  The type of prayer I am discussing isn't an esoteric and nebulous exercise to meditate and clear one's mind.  I am talking about the spirit of an individual having a living and breathing conversation with the God of the Universe, the Supreme God of the world, the all powerful Being to whom many nations and peoples recognize as the Almighty.  I am wanting to make sure that there isn't any question as to where I am coming from because I want to set the stage for the last blog of the year and probably the most important one.

At the beginning of the year, we wanted to focus on specific survival themes as to focus time and energy for the average person or family to manage.  The year has literally flown by!  This year has also been quite memorable with powerful occurrences happening around the world.  Earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, typhoons, volcano eruptions, celestial events, natural disasters, shootings, a volatile election, economic collapse in countries around the world, and other unlikely events have happened over the course of 2012.  But, the main event that everyone is waiting to walk through is the Mayan Calendar event of December 21st, 2012.  Contrary to popular belief, this is not the end of the world.  It is the beginning of a new age of belief and reality.

People from various beliefs of New Age refer to this as an age of Aquarius or the next evolution in consciousness for human beings.  It's been interesting to hear from a Christian perspective that December 21st is seen as another day on the calendar and hope that it doesn't turn out to be another Y2K farce.  Our perspective in terms of survival comes from our research and contacts that something IS about to take place.  Some believe something wonderful is about to happen.  Other individuals believe in the total destruction of our world.  We believe that there is going to be a spiritual shift all over the world instead.  Depending on where a person is on the pendulum of belief will dictate the response to this spiritual shift.  An interesting video can be seen here for more background on this spiritual shift.

Hence, the focus of this blog is prayer.  Whether someone meditates or prays, the question comes back as to what's the benefit?  If an individual wants to center his/her mind, then mediation is a tool that helps to relax and focus on breathing techniques to find "peace" that can last for the moment.  Meditation can be centered on ancients texts for inspiration; like Bible verses.  Prayer on the other hand is a lifelong skill that doesn't grade on experience.  It's just as easy as talking from one person to the other.  It's about talking with someone whom a person believes hears and will answer them.  My background and instruction regarding prayer has revolved around the wonderful ministry of 24-7 Prayer.  In the history of the United States of America, the God of the Bible has been associated with our nation.  The amazing aspect of our history was that we were never a perfect nation and yet, He offered His leading and guidance towards us.  We had a heart that wanted to follow and trust Him to guide us.  Whether in times of peace or war, our nation has been connected with the God of the Bible.

Over the last 20 years, this connection has become almost completely severed as a nation.  People are now being ridiculed and openly mocked for professing faith in the God of the Bible.  Since September 11, 2001, when was the last time our nation went to churches in record numbers?  During terrible tragedies and horrible experiences within our nation, what has America done to overcome?  Pray.  We have prayed for our neighbors, fellow Americans, service men and women, and sometimes even for our enemies.   Louis Zamperini was mentioned in the beginning of this blog.  He was a World War 2 serviceman and Olympic athlete.  The book Unbroken details his life as a young boy to becoming a WWII bombadier on a B24 Bomber.  His plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean where he had to survive 47 days in the open ocean.  Like many other people in his survival situations, he prayed.  I won't ruin the story as to what miraculous events happened in the course of his life, but I will encourage you to read the book.  His story reminded me that prayer is so important now more than ever.

In the course of our history as a nation, there have been many stories of individuals who have prayed to the God of the Bible and become acutely aware of His reality!  From unexplained events to divine appointments, the God of the Bible has answered those whom have truly sought after Him.  As the year ends, what peace will anyone have as world events unfold?  Threat of war, the coming new age, deception, global leaders abusing power, and natural disasters are just a few issues that we all will be facing in the coming year.  All the gear, gold, or guns in the world won't make a difference UNLESS there is a true connection with this same God of the Bible to guide us through the coming events in our world.

In closing, I want to give a gift to all of my family and friends.  I want to give a gift of encouragement that changed my life over 12 years ago.  There is an audio book that will only be available via an unlisted link on this blog for a small window of time.  This audio book hopefully will be an inspiration as it was to me.  I want to thank my family and friends who helped us raise funds towards our missions trip to Hawaii.  We did not make the amount needed to cover the costs of the missions trip and so we will be unable to attend this session of YWAM on January 4th, 2013.  The funds will go towards inviting orphans and youth to become a part of our family in the not too distant future.  We are now looking at how to adopt and where we are led to adopt from currently.  The community we are currently serving in, wants to build a greater infrastructure for being survival ready through creating a People's Emergency Action Team (P.E.A.T.).  We are currently building a very unique team that will work with the local county sheriff. There has been interest shown by at least one other notable sheriff in the nation in sharing our community findings.  We are very excited for what the New Year holds and want to express our thanks in sharing our gift of an audio book.  In encouragement of prayer, the theme of the book will be inspiring as well as challenging.  Listen to it and give us your feedback as to how it impacts you.  Go to this link to listen to the audio book.  Enjoy and have a safe and Happy New Year!