Now Is The Time

When I have not written here for a while, you can know I am busy with Life, but I am thinking and praying about what I should next write as a post here.  Today I have some time and feel I need to share some emergency preparedness tips as I have been building up to the past few posts.

With that giant storm predicted on the east coast, we will have a good example of what happens when people are, or are not, prepared for an emergency.  It sounds like at the very least, people will lose power for some amount of time.  Please do not think you can run to the store after a storm hits to get supplies for non-electric lighting or heating.  I suspect people in the predicted path of hurricane Sandy are gearing up for it right now.  Some might think they will wait until they really see it is going their direction before getting supplies.  That is not a good idea.  What harm is it to plan for the worst, but hope for the best?  Even here on the west coast, we know there will be rain and wind storms every winter that knock out electricity for hours or days.  At the very least, everyone should at least have stored water and a portable water filter(in case you must leave your home).  Water is the second priority after a prepared attitude(talked about in my last post).  A supply of your favorite comfort-type foods are nice to have, especially if you have children.  Do not suddenly bring out foods totally unfamiliar in an emergency!  You will be dealing with so many other things, you do not need a change in diet too.  If you think of how God prepared Noah and the ark, that might help you get at least some food and water stored up.  It can be simply a couple big covered plastic bins (like you might keep Christmas decorations in) full of canned foods, easily reconstituted foods, sugar, salt, instant coffee, tea, paper plates, plastic utensils and cups, can opener, energy bars,  favorite candy, and any other thing you might like to eat when things are sort of out of whack.  Those are things you can get when doing your regular shopping- just get a few more of what you buy and store it away.  Of course, if you have no emergencies for a while, be sure to use up what you have and replace it with new items.  One bin should also have a supply of extra batteries, flash lights, candles, matches, lanterns- things you would take camping.  Those are the minimum supplies one should have at all times.  We can talk about other things, such as “bug out bags”, but for now, if you just get those things I mentioned, you will be far ahead of most people who think emergencies will not happen to them.  Those things will not over tax your budget, especially if you just add a few things at a time.

Hope that helps.  I know it is not very interesting or inspiring to talk about this, but if it helps just one of you to get prepared, I have done what I hoped to do. 🙂

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Come Learn With Me

If you have read my last two posts, you may be thinking I am going to tell you how to prepare for difficult times.  Well, I did say how to begin.  Having the right attitude is going to go a long way for us when facing difficult times, no matter what form they may take.   Knowing you are in the Father’s care, no matter what, is essential.  Being armed with a solid foundation in the Word of God is so important, too.  I think of Corey Ten Boom’s story and how she and her sister lived a quiet, peaceful life in Holland until the German’s took over during World War II.  Then they were thrust into very difficult times!  If you have never read The Hiding Place, I recommend it.  It is their story of great hardship after being caught helping hide Jewish neighbors and friends.  I bring their story up because they had studied God’s Word, lived lives of friendship and service before facing such suffering.  They both shared their faith and God’s Word with the other inmates in the concentration camp.  Corey’s sister died there, but Corey was miraculously released and lived to tell their story.

We never know when or how our lives may take sudden turns that put us in difficult circumstances.  But we can know that the best preparation is to believe in the Lord Jesus and know His Word- not just in our head, but in our hearts as well.

I have also been learning a little bit here and there about other forms of emergency-type preparations and will share those here.  They will be suggestions, of course, but you must prayerfully ask for God’s wisdom for you and your family as to how you should be preparing.  Some may not have any extra funds to go toward these preparations, but I have found ways to still do some simple things and not really spend any extra money.  Some may be ready to buy extra supplies, but do not know where to begin.  Hopefully I will be able to supply you with useful and timely information and resources to help.

I need to think and pray about how I organize the information, so I still am putting off the specifics for a bit longer.  🙂

 

Attitude

In my last post, I mentioned the subject of preparation for difficult times.  We are told in God’s Word to expect persecution if we are followers of and believers in Jesus Christ.  Philippians 2:29  says, ” For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,”.  James 1:2-4 tells us to even “consider it all joy”  when we encounter trials,  because the testing of our faith produces endurance.  Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)

People do not like to talk about suffering or coming difficulties.  They want to think things will continue on the same, or maybe even get better and better as time goes on.  I hope for better times, but I also know what God’s Word says.  As believers, we need to be prepared to suffer for Christ’s sake.  How do we prepare for suffering?  I believe we need to prepare our attitude first and foremost.  Philippians 2:5-8 says,”Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

If we are to have that same attitude of obedience to the Father, even to death, then we can have confidence that we are also in the Father’s care, no matter what we will face in this world.  Starting our preparations for difficult times at this point will help as we do other preparations, because then we will not be caught off guard when persecution does come- our attitude will already be focused on doing the Father’s will in any and all situations.

With a good attitude now, we may look into other ways to prepare ourselves for coming hard times.  That will need to be my topic for next time.  🙂

Seasons

Around here today, we finally had a day that looked Fall-ish, with a little fog and mist and cooler temperatures.  I was ready for it!  After a good two months with no rain, warm, sunny days and having to water the garden almost every day, I was longing for a good old fashioned dreary rainy day!  Here we are, the 10th of October, and I am still picking blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries!  Normally, by the middle of September, the rain has started and all the berries start getting moldy and we can’t pick them anymore.  Not this year, though!  But, I am thankful for such an abundant harvest.  I’ve made jams and jellies, apple pies, crisps, and sauces, not to mention plum desserts and sauces.  Our tomatoes are still bearing beautifully, too.  I have even dehydrated tomato slices!  God is so good!

When someone asks me what my favorite season is, I usually say the one we are in at that time, because I love all the seasons.  Our Lord God of heaven and earth has created this world in such a way that it is constantly revealing His glory.  Therefore, each season has a purpose and a message for those who are willing to take the time to notice.  In fact, all of Creation proclaims the glory of the Lord(read Psalm 19).

Fall reminds me of transitions.  God is so gentle and merciful to take us into difficult times, or just different seasons of life, with little notices that change is coming.  Sometimes we miss the quiet messages and suddenly we are in the midst of a big change.  Fall is like a reminder that it isn’t summer anymore and that bleak, difficult weather is coming.  It is a preparation time.  Time to gather the harvest, weatherize the house, put in wood for the fire, and get ready for some storms ahead.  I feel like we are in a Fall season right now in our nation, and possibly, our world.  For sure, we all know there are possible storms ahead, because so many indicators point to rough economic times, unstable political times, and even weird weather times coming.  How are we preparing?   Think about that and I will talk more about it in my next post.

God Provides/His Word is Everlasting

I can’t believe it is already October 8th!  We have had two very busy weeks at our house!  God has provided an apartment for our son, who has now officially moved out on his own new adventure, my husband found out he can work from home most of his work week, and I am tutoring more than ever.  Last week I was privileged to lead the discussion of our Precept Bible study as we finished up the book of Micah.  It is always a joy to do, but also time and energy consuming.  I face it with fear and trembling, knowing I am held accountable for the words I speak concerning the Lord and His Word.  About 100 women are in the class, so it is a bit intimidating, but they are all so gracious and kind that I enjoy the time in front of them, leading the discussion.  Invariably I come away marvelling at their insights and discernment as we discuss the lesson.  If you are not part of a Bible study, I urge you to find one or start one yourself.  Precept Ministries have so many good resources available online and in hard copy form, you are without excuse.  What better use of your time is there?  All else will wither and fade!

The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass.  The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.(Isaiah 40:7-8)