What Do We Need To Prepare For?

20 10 2008

The first Question of the Week is:

What are some of the contingencies (catastrophes, disasters, emergencies) that we need to be prepared for, and what are some ways that we can prepare for them?

These could be on a personal, family, societal, or church level. Let’s think about them all.

Feel free to share examples and concerns, or just ask questions. Through collaboration we can learn from others, and teach others what we have learned.

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9 responses

20 10 2008
Boyd

The book of Proverbs states twice that the “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.” The ESV translates it as “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” The passage covers a variety of possibilities, from temptation to God’s judgments. Adam Clarke’s Commentary concludes:

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil God in mercy has denied man the knowledge of futurity; but in its place he has given him hope and prudence. By hope he is continually expecting and anticipating good; by prudence he derives and employs means to secure it. His experience shows him that there are many natural evils in a current state, the course of which he can neither stem nor divert: prudence shows him beforehand the means he may use to step out of their way, and hide himself.”

It should be our desire to be as the sons of Issachar, “men who had knowledge of the times and knew what Israeal must do.” We need men to arise in our churches that have a certain air of chivalry, men who are devoted to thoughtful consideration of those things that are necessary and are faithful to labor to do what is in their power to provide for their families and to place themselves into a position “to do good unto all men, especially unto those within the household of faith.”

Our first consideration is personal and spiritual. The foundational platform upon which preparedness is established is to recall that we are to “fear God and obey his commandments, for our good always that he might preserve us alive” We must first look inward, confessing and repenting of sin, desiring to follow Christ in all that we do. Preparing our hearts requires us to know the Scriptures, be fervent in prayer, and establishing friendships with other godly men that will be faithful to instruct, exhort, reprove, and rebuke as necessary.

Our second consideration is to our families. We must establish godly patterns of conduct within our home. We should employ sound thinking in every aspect, from spiritual training to financial planning. If God has been pleased to provide us with children, we must be devoted to caring for their needs. “A man who provides not for his own household is worse than infidel.”

Our third consideration is to our church and these issues are also both spiritual and physical. We must prepare ourselves to deal with fiery spiritual trials that might be designed to pierce us asunder. We must purpose to be peace makers and lovers of the unity which we have in Christ Jesus. If we are unable to have “all things common” during times of prosperity, how will we manage during times of drought, when temptations to be stingy and divisive are augmented?

Finally, we have consideration to our neighbors. The second table deals with the requirements of how to love our neighbors as ourselves. While it might be difficult to be able to provide relief for every man outside the church, we certainly should be prepared in such a way so as to be able to do good as God grants us the opportunity. Pure religion and undefiled is to provide for widows and orphands, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.

Some of the specifics might include:

Personal: temptation, sinful conduct, stubborn and hard heart, unwillingness to be sacrificial in our employment of what God has given us.

Ecclesiastical: discerning divise elements within, considering our faithfulness (or lack therof) to meet one another’s needs, examining our beliefs and conduct,

perils of living in a fallen world: There are many situations that required diligence in contemplating upcoming danger:

Pestilence: icestorms, fire, drought, etc.

Personal: loss of health, loss of job, family problems etc.

National: economic (collapse of economy, inflationary measures, problems of banking etc.), war (what do we do when a draft notice comes for our daughter, unlawful and evasive legislation (how do we respond to legal same sex marriage, gun control laws, etc.)

21 10 2008
Christopher

Thanks for sharing those thoughts with us, Boyd, they are very helpful.

I like the order of progression you lay out for preparedness, almost like a table of duties. Truly, the only one that can “be prepared” to meet the needs of others is one that God has led to be prepared on the personal level.

Those are some good specific items that we should think about preparing for also. Here’s a couple of additional items I thought of:

*Your parents lose their health, home, social security, etc. and need someone to take care of them. Are you prepared to do that?

*Being targeted for robbery or assault while out in town. Does your family make themselves an easy target?

*You or your family is stranded in the car during a snowstorm. Have you got boots, blankets, water, snacks, etc. in the vehicle.?

23 10 2008
Scott

With most people trading labor for money and using the money to pay for food, clothing and shelter; people should be asking themselves a few hard questions. One question is, “if I lost my ability to generate money (or the money became worthless overnight), could I provide these basic things for my family ? ” I don’t think most people have the foggiest idea how they would provide food and clothing for their families. While there are many things to “be prepared for”, I think this most basic need (food/clothing) is a good starting place for most people.

23 10 2008
Missouri Rev

Getting prepared to provide food, clothing, and shelter for one’s family is essential and an arduous though rewarding process that is not learned over night. Buying a few packs of vegetable seeds and a cheap Chinese hoe at Wal-Mart at the last minute will not do the trick. There is, however, a whole other element that needs to be taken into consideration . . . relational preparation. As hard as an economic collapse will be, the provisional problems it will cause are likely to become secondary, as deteriorating circumstances will reveal who we and our neighbors are. When lifestyles crash and people grow hungry, what they do manifests who they worship . . . their belly or the Lord Almighty.

My mother grew up during the Great Depression in a very conservative, rural, Christian town in North Dakota. Back then over 70% of the American populace lived a rural life. The majority of farmers grew nearly all their own food and town’s folk had significant gardens. Her father was a railroad engineer and had frequent contact with the many unemployed men that rode the trains looking for work. When the Great Depression started he put nearly every inch of his property into garden, utilizing every bit of land right up to the curb of the street. During the summer he would direct some of these men to his place where they could work the garden, earn an evening meal, and having something to take with them as they moved on looking for work. Having been born and raised in a sod house out on the remote cold plains of eastern North Dakota in the 1890’s, my petite grandmother with her feisty disposition and nerves of steel would manage these men as they labored in the garden and ate on her porch, all the while keeping an eye on them with a loaded 38 revolver in her apron pocket. My grandparents never had a problem with these hobos, as they were called. However, the theft problem by “neighbors” was nearly epidemic, and this was back in 1930’s when there still was a society wide regard for work and honesty! Night or day, if it wasn’t locked up, nailed down, or fenced in it disappeared. One could not leave their house for long without a break in and so everyone had to rely upon their neighbor to keep an eye out for their gardens and homes. More so, the farmers in the boonies had even greater problems protecting their own because they were isolated.

Today, less than 5% of the populace lives a rural life and the vast majority of farmers buy their food at the super market. America now imports more food then it produces and the average American has no clue what it takes to provide for themselves and nowhere to do it well, especially in the mega cities. What they have been bred and trained to do over the last several generations is be a consumer of credit and worshipper of the state, being taught that they have an automatic right to food and provision which allows for the government to take from whoever to meet their needs. The modern theft mentality of our socialist state that makes up the wordview of most Americans is far greater than the common theft mentality of 1930’s and when the great government trough runs dry many of our neighbors will take from whomever they can, believing it is their right. Having more than a few days provisions will be considered by many as hoarding.

My mother recently warned me that by the look of things we are descending into a depression. Depressions do not just last for a few weeks like the short-term disasters of Hollywood lore that end well with all things back in order and the birds singing. No, they last for years . . . long hard years. One must prepare for the long haul and this means community with likeminded neighbors that truly fear the Lord, especially when they are hungry or cold.

23 10 2008
Rob

Just adding my two cents here, preparedness should be a natural overflow of what one is already doing. In saying that, if one is studying and showing themselves approved within the confines of scripture he/she is ‘preparing’ themselves by simply performing the action of study. While I will not go into all the facets of the idea of ‘worship’, suffice it to say that an in-depth study of scripture will more than point this out and that the Holy Spirit will ‘guide you in all things’.

Preparedness through financial and physical manifestations is also a natural overflow of simply fulfilling the ‘dominion mandate’ as outlined in scripture. An agrarian lifestyle is necessary and a pre-requisite for the fulfillment of this mandate. I am not saying that all Christians must be farmers (although it wouldn’t be a bad thing) but what I am saying is that Christians should constantly be seeking their role in fulfilling the mandate and not just seeking places in our American-consumer based modernist society.

Aside from all this, I am currently engaged in a project to do just this, fulfill my role as a dominion mandate, to love God and enjoy him forever, and many of my projects are agrarian by nature. I began to undertake this adventure about two years ago and have been using the blog to document my progress and serve as a guide for others who have decided to take up this call.

My blog is written from a ‘novices’ perspective so my readers get to learn from MY mistakes, and so they can avoid them. In addition, I undertake all my projects from a financially reasonable perspective as well. Most if not all of the projects can be accomplished with little to no financial investment, and with a little elbow grease. This is my contribution to a society that is ever increasingly going into the commode.

In the Old Testament God sent Israel the ‘Sons of Issachaar’ to ‘know the times’ and serve as a beacon, a kind of early warning detection device. However now that the Son has come into our houses the need for such people is only moderately necessary, since God has given EVERY Christian the understanding with regard to a society that has turned its face from Him. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that God will eventually allow the United States to fall. It has been the same story with nation after nation through out the annals of time. America is no different. I will not enumerate the reasons I believe a calamity is close at hand, however one has only to evaluate the major systems that keep this country afloat and ask themselves whether or not it is a Godly enterprise. The major systems are 1. Financial, 2. Governmental, 3. Family/Social, 4. Educational, 5. Spiritual. A simple look at these system will quite easily reveal completely broken and compromised systems that have been turned over to baal. All systems have been tainted by ‘Greed Theory’ and many foster even a hatred of God. As these national pillars begin to fall it is only natural that the nation fall with it.

I don’t see this as apocalyptic whatsoever, as God has used ‘nation destruction’ to clarify His Church time, after time after time. If one is a Christian, he and his heritage will be preserved in one way shape or fashion. While it does please God to call some of His home during times like this, we should not be dis-heartened by such things, but count it all glory and revel in the fact that God is doing His work and is preserving His Church even if it be at our suffering, even our lives.

Final Note: My blog is not directed towards these spiritual things so much as the practical and pragmatic undertaking of the Dominion Mandate as I understand it. I do not consider myself qualified to lead Gods people in such matters, however I will do as directed and will give an answer to the modernists re-writing of scripture. However God is not mocked, and he will deal justice in His measure not mine.

I don’t often troll other websites for traffic to my blog, however if preparedness and fulfilling the Dominion Mandate is a concern of yours feel free to stop by. I also answer emails, and there is a listing of links on the left-hand side of my page that I believe are much more qualified to lead in the spiritual arenas. One such site I do not have on my site as of now but have been meaning to add it, and that is the ‘Process Driven Life’ and the writings of Michael Bunker.

24 10 2008
Christopher

Scott, those are good questions! You are probably right that most people don’t have the foggiest idea of how to feed and clothe a family if they didn’t have the ability to buy them with their wages.

But there’s probably a lot of people, such as myself, that do have at least some idea, and just knowing how little we know in terms of old-world skills can be both frightening and overwhelming. I look at my meager attempts at food production, and I know that I am making progress, but I am nowhere close to being able to feed my family. I don’t know half of what my grandfather had to know as he grew up on a small family farm.

That’s why its important to share our knowledge and skills with one another, along with a healthy dose of encouragement.

24 10 2008
Christopher

Missouri Rev – you are absolutely right about the necessity of “relational” preparedness. Thanks for sharing that wisdom from your mother as well!

I was thinking to myself the other night, that the guy most likely to have something to eat during a crisis is not the guy with the most gold, or the biggest garden, etc. Although those things are helpful, the guy with the best network of friends is probably the most likely to avoid going hungry. Even that steward in Jesus’ parable, the one who was getting fired by his master, knew that. He made friends with as many of his master’s debtors as possible, so that they would receive him after he was cast out.

24 10 2008
Christopher

Rob, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us! It appears we share a lot of common perspectives. I think the “Feeding Yourself” series that you’re working on is a great idea!

25 10 2008
Christopher

Here’s an interesting article I read this morning – The Failure of Networked Systems: The Repercussions of Systematic Risk, which illustrates a principle that reveals the risks we are vulnerable to in every area of society due to government “management”, just-in-time networks, and linked exposure.

This ties into Missouri Rev’s comments above about “relational” preparation. The reason our society is on the brink of systemic collapse is that we have “anonymized” our culture. We do business with, and make ourselves surety for complete strangers. Thus a defaulted mortgage in California can literally bankrupt a small town in Norway, causing lost jobs and hungry children who thought they were secure.

When profits and risk become separated from real people and places, real people and places will eventually suffer. Not only should we prepare for this, but we should be working to make the world a better place by localizing our business and investing in our own communities.

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