Thursday, June 21, 2018

Six Survival Skills Your Children Need NOW

This article was inspired from a question posed on the Ed That Matters website  from the Conflicted survival card game.  I answered the question on the website, and am expanding on my answer in this article.

Conflicted is a Survival Game. Each card in the deck has a scenario that will test how you would respond to various problems in an SHTF situation. What would you do? (Note: I am not affiliated with the makers of Conflicted.)

The Scenario: The survival group you belong to has lots of children. What are three essential life skills that every child should know in today’s current society? What are three other skills you would add to their education in a post-apocalyptic world? 

My Answer:  There are lots of useful and needed skills, both now and in the aftermath of a SHTF crisis. Limiting my answer to three basics for now and three others for a post-apocalypse is hard, but I came up with the following list, which covers most of the major skills needed.

Three Basics

1) Attitude of Self-Reliance -- Teach your kids to start taking personal responsibility now for their own lives. Taking personal responsibility is the core of self-reliance. And self-reliance is the core of preparedness and survivalism. 

Taking responsibility means doing what needs to be done, not just what is fun or what you want to do. Taking responsibility means not waiting around for others to do it for you. Taking responsibility means not assuming if you don’t do it then someone else will. Be proactive.

Keys To Self-Reliance:
  1. Assuming responsibility for your own life
  2. Accepting responsibility for your mistakes
  3. Being informed
  4. Knowing where we're going (having goals)
  5. Making your own decisions
2) Strong Work Ethic -- Having a strong work ethic is a major key to success in life in any situation, not just during or after a crisis.  Teach your kids the value of hard work. Hard work is good, healthy, and effective.

3) Biblical and Traditional Values -- Teach your kids to have a relationship with God. Make prayer, scripture reading, and worship a regular part of their lives. Teach them the Commandments and the teachings of Jesus. Teach them to look to the perfection of God's Word as the ultimate authority for what is right and wrong. 

Also, teach them traditional American values - including the love of individual freedom & self-reliance, the importance of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the importance of private property rights, the morality of capitalism, the value of hard work, the value of human life, common decency towards others, and the traditional monogamous family as the basic building block of society. Be sure to teach them that our rights come from God, not from government.

Added Shills (start now) 

4) First Aid (including knowledge of wild medicinals) -- If your kids are old enough to be in school, they are old enough to learn basic first aid. They can advance their skills as they grow older. I would also start teaching them early on how to identify wild edibles and medicinals, adding to their skill sets collecting, preserving and using wild medicinals as they mature.

5) Self-Defense Skills -- Teach your kids situational awareness, which is more than just paying attention to what is going on around you, though that is an important start. It means both knowing what to look for, and how to assess (make decisions about) your surroundings. Check out my article on Situational Awareness and start teaching your kids these skills. 

I also urge parents to enroll your kids in a good martial arts class. Learning a martial art such as karate or judo can be a fun hobby, provide considerable health and fitness benefits, improve self-confidence, and give a life-long self-defense skill set. 

If your family or group has guns (and you should), then your kids need to learn gun safety at a very young age. Two resources are the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Club (a program of the NRA) and the recently-published book Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children's Book About Gun Safety.

It is up to you to judge the maturity level of your kids and decide when they should start firearms training. I grew up around guns and was shooting and hunting with my Grandfathers when I was still in my single digits. They were with me to provide guidance and supervision, but I was carrying and shooting my own guns. I also had to help clean anything I shot, even at that early age.

6) Food & Water -- This covers growing and preserving food, and saving seeds for next year, as well as raising and processing chickens, goats, and other livestock. Also, identifying and collecting wild edibles, and collecting and treating water.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Stuff" You Need To Build Self-Reliance

In my opinion, the core of prepping and survivalism is building self-reliance - as individuals, as families, and as communities. The more self-reliant we are, the more prepared we will be to survive whatever the future holds in store. Here is my list of the "stuff" needed to build self-reliance.

1- The right mind-set:  First and foremost, self-reliance is a mindset. It is a willingness "to do as much as we can without outside assistance" (definition of John McCann in his book Practical Self-Reliance, page 14). It is a mindset in which you both assume responsibility for your own life and take the blame for your own life. You are not looking for others (the government, your parents, community organizers, or whoever) to take care of you or to make life "fair." Nor or you whining and blaming others when things don't go your way. As I've said before,  the single most important thing you can do to survive any future chaos is to start taking responsibility for your own life now.

2- Good health and fitness: This should be obvious, but achieving and maintaining good health and fitness is crucial to self-reliance. It will be hard work, but almost everyone can do something to improve their health and fitness. Yes, even if you are old, have bad knees, or "just don't have time to go to a gym," you can do something to improve your health and fitness. No excuses. Quit smoking. Eat right. Get adequate sleep. Be physically active. Walk more. Take a pass on second helpings tonight. Eat a piece of fruit for dessert instead of a piece of pie. Lose weight. Get a check-up.  

3- Land (productive land). Productive land is an amazing asset for building self-reliance. You can produce much of your own food (fruit & nut trees, vegetable gardens, chickens, goats), provide your own water (well, pond/stream, rain water collecting), and harvest wood for heat, cooking, and timber. Sure, it would be nice to have a 1,000 acre homestead, but most of us will never be able to afford it. But maybe we can afford 20 acres. Or 10 acres. Or one acre. Even a quarter-acre in a small town or suburban neighborhood could be turned into a productive asset (see the book Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre for ideas).

4- Knowledge, skills, and experience: Just having "stuff" isn't enough to build self-reliance. You have to know, or be able to figure out, what to do with that stuff. That's why you need to develop your knowledge, skills and experience now, before war comes or disaster strikes. Knowledge is what you learn from articles, books, videos, and other people. Skills are what you develop by practicing what you learned. Experience is what you gain by putting knowledge and skills to work in your everyday life.

5 - Tools: Finally, we get to what most people consider "stuff" - actual things we can easily buy from a store or over the Internet. And we do need tools. Tools enable use to make use of our right mind-set. our health & fitness, our productive land, and all those skills & experience we've acquired. Knives, multi-tools, guns, hammers, screwdrivers, saws, axes, shovels, hoes, tractors, and even a pick-up truck are just a few examples of tools that can enable self-reliance (if we have those other building blocks).

6- Supplies: I separate supplies from tools due to their disposable nature. Supplies would mostly be one use and that's it. You'll then have to replace what you used. Seeds, ammo, duct tape, nails, spare parts, food, water, aspirin, and bandages are some examples. When planning on being self-reliant, ask yourself "How can I replace the supplies I use?" Food you stored and used can be replaced by food you grow (can you garden?). Seeds you used to grow your garden can be replaced by seeds you saved from your garden (do you know how to save seeds? Do you understand the importance of heirloom plants and avoiding GMOs?). Ammo you use can be replaced by reloading (do you know how?). The aspirin you use can be replaced by Willow Bark Tea (do you know how to make it?).

In coming weeks, I'll be posting articles on each of these six areas of self-reliance, going into more detail on each. Please check back often. 
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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Patriots' Prayers for 6-17-2018

Thank you for praying this week's Patriots' Prayers with me. A video version of this week's prayers is at the bottom of this transcript. Please help make Patriots' Prayers a success by sharing it with others by posting links to it on Facebook, Twitter, GAB and other social media. 

A Healing Prayer for America 

Heavenly Father, we thank you for Your enduring love -  a love so great that You sent Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus died a cruel and violent death to pay the penalty for our sins, to free us from the powers of darkness. On the third day, He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at Your right hand. He will return in glory to judge both the living and the dead.

As individuals, we are all sinners. As a people, as a nation, we also have sinned and turned away from You. We have replaced the authority and perfection of Your Word with the whim of our own opinions for our standards of right and wrong. We no longer keep Your commandments, or follow Your teachings.

We come before You now to place all our sins upon the cross of Jesus, and ask to be washed clean by His precious blood. Forgive us, and help us to truly repent - to turn back to You as our Lord, our Standard, our Authority. We confess Your lordship over every aspect of our lives and our nation. Help us to turn back to You, and follow Your ways once again.

In the Name of our Savior, Jesus the Messiah, we pray. Amen. 

An Additional Prayer

Save, O Lord, and have mercy upon the old, the young, the unborn, the needy and poor, the orphans and widows, the sick, the disabled, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Especially have mercy on those suffering for Your sake. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

Closing Thought

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -- Joshua 1:9 




The Pine Tree Flag: https://www.timgamble.com/2014/12/the-pine-tree-flag.html

The Pine Tree Riot of 1772: http://www.timgamble.com/2015/09/the-pine-tree-riot-of-1772.html

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Building Community? Warning Signs of People to Avoid

There is a fair amount of talk within the prepper/survivalist community about building community.  Much of this talk revolves around how to find folks to build community with, or what skills you need to look for. In this article I want to come at the idea of building community from a different direction - who you need to exclude from your community and why. Almost nothing will doom a group faster than a toxic or disruptive individual. Avoid the following problem folks (even if they are your wife's cousin). 

Warning Signs of People to Avoid

1- Addictions.   Addictions of any kind – drugs, alcohol, gambling, TV, etc – are a MAJOR warning sign.  These people are not in control of their lives - their addiction is in control. They will create chaos and ultimately be a danger to other group members. Avoid anyone with any form of addiction. Pray for them. Offer to help them find assistance in overcoming their addiction. But do not make them a part of your group until they have successfully and completely overcome their addiction.   
    
2- Mental Illness.  I'm not referring to people who are a little unusual, or that "march to a different drummer." Rather, I'm referring to those individuals who have actual long-term mental health issues. Avoid them. Remember, at some point during the crisis, their meds will run out. Besides, the stress and chaos of a crisis will likely make their illness even more serious. This might seem heartless, but including them in the group will put everyone else in the group at risk. You can help people without making them part of your group. Pray for them. Help them find assistance and treatment for their illness before a crisis hits.  But, don't bring them into the group until their mental health issue is brought under control without the need for drugs.

 But what about my 8-year-old son who has epilepsy? What about my 77-year-old Mother who has Alzheimer's? I am not telling you to abandon close family members who need help. You will need to make special accommodations to your plans for them, but don't abandon them. This advice is about bringing in strangers and other outsiders into your group. Your first responsibility is your household, family & true friends, not strangers or even distant relations.


3- Bizarre or Unusual Requests Early On.   If you are just getting to know someone and they suddenly hit you with a bizarre or very unusual request, tread carefully. These people don't understand boundaries, and probably have additional underlying problems. 

Examples of bizarre requests might be to borrow a significant sum of money, or to keep a major secret they inexplicably told you about, or to quickly make a serious commitment, or to do something illegal or unethical. Those are the type of requests you might make of a life-long best friend, not of someone you have only recently met. Beware.

4- Dishonesty.  Its one thing (and probably a good thing) to be guarded with personal information, and concerned with maintaining privacy.  We should all be that way. However, it is something else entirely to outright lie. Don't expect someone to completely open up to you and tell you everything about their life, especially early on. But you should expect them to be honest in what they do tell you. 


5- Chaos in Their Personal Life.  A lack of stability in their life may be a major warning sign.  If they bounce in and out of work often or spend large stretches of time unemployed  - it is probably a bad sign. Same goes for other areas of their lives – friendships, relationships, living arrangements, and so on. Do they bounce in and out of relationships often? Does their life seem full of drama where things seem to constantly go wrong and they always seem to have problems of one sort or another? A chaotic life now will certainly carry over to a chaotic life after SHTF,  Of course context matters, so use common sense. Anyone can be laid off from work, or go through a rough patch in their relationships.  However, constant chaos is not normal.  Look for trends within their life, not one time events.

6- Don't Share Your Values and Worldview.  If they don't share your same worldview, values, and religious & political beliefs, then they won't be a good fit for your group or community. Minor differences of opinion are okay, but major differences on important topics will hinder group dynamics. In fact, a major crisis or SHTF event will only exacerbate these differences. 
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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Patriots' Prayers for 6-10-2018

What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. Please join me each Sunday this summer in praying for America*.

Patriots' Prayers for 6-10-2018

We are to pray for our government and our leaders. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul writes "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and [c]reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Therefore, I ask you to join me this week in praying for our government leaders - that God direct them in all things according to His ways and His will.

Prayer for This Week: Heavenly Father,  save and have mercy upon all leaders, politicians and civil authorities of this world and our nation. I especially hold up to You President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and all members of their Administration; Chief Justice Roberts and all members of the Supreme Court, as well as all federal, state, and local judges; Speaker Ryan and all members of the House of Representatives; Majority Leader McConnell and all members of the Senate; as well as all Governors, state legislators and local authorities. Grant them all wisdom and courage in their duties and decisions. Block any and all plots, schemes and ambitions that run counter to Your good and perfect will or that threaten the unalienable rights you have given to us. In all things, may we and our leaders always follow Your ways above worldly ways. In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Additional Prayers: 
  • Grant, O Lord, blessings and mercies to all current members of our armed forces. Protect them and keep them safe. Likewise, bless and have mercy on our veterans. Watch over them and provide for their needs.
  • Bless, O Lord, and have mercy on those who serve as police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, and other first responders. Watch over them, protect them and give them wisdom, courage, and strength in their duties.
  • Remember, O Lord, and have mercy upon the whole clergy of Your Church in America and abroad. Grant them the wisdom and courage needed to boldly preach Your Word and to do Your will during these perilous times. 
 In the Name of our Lord, Our Savior, and our God, Jesus the Messiah, we pray these and all prayers. Amen.

* Supporting Verse for Patriots' Prayers: "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." --2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Video Version:


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