Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Prepper's Prayer

 "The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it." -- Proverbs 22:3

A Prepper's Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are our refuge, our fortress. In You we find the courage and strength and wisdom we need to live and thrive and do your will in all things. You call us to live lives set apart from the worldly system of the Evil One. Have mercy on us and help us as we seek to live according to your will.

In Proverbs*, Solomon teaches us that a wise man, a prudent man, foresees danger and prepares for it, while a worldly man, a foolish man, ignores danger and suffers the consequences. O Lord, help us to be wise, not worldly. Help us be prudent, not foolish.

All wisdom flows from You, Father, so help us with our most important preparation for dangerous times: building a deep relationship with You. Give us a love for your laws. Give us your wisdom. Make the words of the Psalmist** ring true for us: Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.

Paul teaches us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.*** Help us to care for your temple properly, to keep it healthy and fit, both spiritually and physically. Help us to make wise moves financially, for Solomon teaches us that the borrower is slave to the lender,**** therefore let us be enslaved to no one, so that we can live our lives for You unimpeded.

Help us, Lord, to not be lazy or indulgent, but rather to be industrious and thrifty. Help us to save and store up food and other necessities for difficult times, for we are commanded to provide for ourselves and our family at all times.*****

Help us, Lord, to be able to defend ourselves, our families, and those who cannot defend themselves, for You have given us the right of self-defense against those who would do us harm.******

Lord, You have also taught us the value of Charity,******* to be a help to those who cannot help themselves - orphans, widows, the elderly, the disabled, and others in need. Help us to live wisely, so that in times of great need we are not in need ourselves, but therefore are able to provide generously to those who are in need.

In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

-----------------
* Proverbs 22:3
** Psalm 119:97-98
*** 1 Corinthians 6:19
**** Proverbs 22:7
***** 1 Timothy 5:8
****** Exodus 22:2 & Luke 22:35-36 among many other passages
******* Matthew 5:3-12, Matthew 25:35, Acts 11:27-30, Et. al. 


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Skills Every Real Man Should Have

A War against manhood has been going on for generations now. It is part of the larger war on the traditional family unit waged by progressives in their attempt to eliminate opposition to their dreams of highly-centralized authoritarian government (controlled by them, of course). The ideal of manhood used to be one of courage, strength, integrity, leadership, responsibility, and self-reliance. That ideal has been dismissed and even actively discouraged for generations now.

Men, as husbands and fathers, are no longer seen as serving a needed role in society.  Far from the days of Father Knows Best, husbands and fathers are now shown in pop culture as inept dofusses at best (think Al Bundy or Homer Simpson), if they are shown as being around at all, while women are shown as quite capable to getting along without, or despite, men in their lives.  In our schools, boys are now treated as broken girls, needing to have their masculinity fixed. Traditional masculinity is now seen as a vice, not a virtue. The new ideal of manhood is the hyper-feminized, weak and submissive pajama boy.

This sad situation is in desperate need of correcting. As a small step in that direction, I offer a list of skills every real man should have. These are skills, in that they can be learned and developed, if you are willing to put in the necessary work to do so.

Courage - Courage isn't about not being afraid. We are willing to face danger and  the right thing even when we are afraid.

Strength - I'm not talking about physical strength, though real men should develop their health and fitness. I'm talking about strength of character, strength of will, and staying power. Real me don't run away when the going gets tough. 

Integrity - Real men are honest, are true to their word, and can be trusted to do the right thing. We keep our promises, and do what we say.

A Relationship with God - Real men have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Worship, prayer, and Bible study are a part of our lives. We accept the Lordship of God over our lives, and accept His Will for us. 

[You may be interested in Patriot's Prayers to help jump start your prayer life.]

Love for Wife and Family - A real men is steadfast in his love for his wife and family. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25). We are to put our wife and family first - even to the point of being willing to die for them - above ourselves, our career, our friends, or our hobbies. 

[Questions: Do you pray for your wife everyday? When is the last time you lead your wife in prayer?]

Leadership - Real men are leaders, not "bosses." It is their vision and their example that makes them leaders, not their orders. They guide, protect, and serve those they lead. 

[You may be interested in my article On Leadership for some tips on what it takes to be a good leader.]

Self-Defense and Defending Others. Real men are willing and able to defend themselves, their wife, their families, and those that cannot defend themselves.

[You may be interested in my article Jesus, Self-Defense, and the Pajama Boy.]

Personal Finance - Real men are skilled at personal finance. That doesn't necessarily mean we have a lot of money. It does mean we know how to spend less than we earn (budgeting), save money (have an emergency fund), barter & haggle (get the best price), and have a good understanding of economics and finances.  

[You may be interested in my article Prepping 101: Finance - Get Back to Basics, which covers personal finance in some detail.]

Self-Reliance - Real men don't rely on others (parents, government, etc.) to take care of our needs. Instead, we rely on our own knowledge, skills, abilities, and judgment to make our way in the world. We develop the skills to do as much as we can for ourselves without outside help or assistance. 

Abilities to develop include:
  • Assuming responsibility for our own life
  • Accepting responsibility for our mistakes
  • Being informed
  • Knowing where we're going (having goals)
  • Making our own decisions
Skills to develop may include:
  • Basic Auto Mechanics
  • Small Engine Repair
  • First Aid/CPR
  • Basic Home Repair/DIY Skills
  • Grow/Produce Food
  • Shooting/Hunting/Fishing 
  • Bushcraft/Wilderness Survival
  • Knife-Sharpening/Maintaining Tools
  • Water Collecting/Purification

This list, of course, is only a partial list of manly skills to develop. There are many other important skills that could be added, but this is a good start. 

[You may be interested in my article Top 10 Skills You Really Need to Survive.]


Friday, December 2, 2016

Urban Camouflage (more than just the "Gray Man")

How is your Urban Camouflage? No, I'm not talking about a new fashion trend. Rather, I'm talking about fitting in with your surrounding community, and not drawing attention to yourself as a potential victim or as a malcontent. This is sometimes called the "gray man" disguise, but it is more than that. You don't want to draw the attention of criminals & thugs by looking like a potential target or easy prey. You also don't draw the attention of the government as a serious malcontent and potential trouble-maker. 

Every neighborhood has at least one Gladys Kravitz.
Additionally, you need to be very private and guarded with your personal information and plans. The idea is to not draw unwanted attention to yourself and your family, regardless of if that attention is from identity thieves, criminals, thugs, law enforcement, government officials, or even just nosy neighbors. 

Don't paint yourself as a potential target. 

Bad guys look for easy prey and rich targets. They prefer someone who is both, but most will choose easy over rich every time. Avoid looking like a rich target by not wearing expensive or flashy clothes, expensive jewellery, or driving a high-priced car. Avoid looking like easy prey by wearing practical clothes & shoes, and by walking confidently, head up, while paying attention to your surroundings. Muggers, pick-pockets, and other bad folks especially look for victims who are distracted. Try to walk, shop, and travel in groups whenever possible. Groups look less like a potential target than someone walking by alone. 

Sadly, folks with obvious physical restrictions will look like easy prey to bad guys. The elderly, pregnant women, folks with mobility problems and other physical disabilities, should take extra precautions when out in public. 

For more on being the "Gray Man," please see my earlier article Results from the "Grayman" Training Exercise. 

Don't draw unwanted attention.

Don't draw negative attention from law enforcement, government officials, or local bureaucrats. Don't come across as a potential trouble-maker or serious malcontent. We have learned from a number of scandals in recent years that many government officials and bureaucrats can and do hold grudges, and are willing to abuse their power to "get even."

Never make personal threats, especially against government officials or law enforcement (not even in "jest"). Remember that nothing you say or do online is truly anonymous. Don't flout laws, even when you disagree passionately with them (speak out against them, but don't break laws just to make a point unless you are willing to pay a price). 

Stress to family members, especially school-age children, the importance of privacy. Its not just identity theft you have to worry about. Public school officials often question students about personal family information, such as parents' political and religious affiliations, the presence of guns in the household, or even whether or not the family recycles! All to "protect the children," of course. Many schools now routinely go so far as to spy on students through social media. Maje sure your children understand that "what happens in the family, stays in the family."  

Its not just schools that are invading people's privacy.  Employers now routinely spy on employees and applicants through social media. Its a great way for employers to get information that is otherwise illegal for them to ask about, such as whether or not a female applicant may have a baby in the near future. In the wake of the recent election, several employers have made national news by expressing a wish to "punish" employees that voted for Trump. Social media is a great way to identify an employees politics. For goodness sake, don't overshare on social media!!!

Finally, it is now very politically correct for government and law enforcement to consider preppers, tea party conservatives, and traditional Bible-believing Christians, to be "potential domestic terrorists." In today's environment, its quite probable that Trump supporters are now on that list of potential threats. 

We have also seen that wearing a Trump shirt or a Make America Great Again hat can make you a target for violence from the Left. I'm not saying to hide your affiliations or political support. Just to be aware of the possible consequences for doing so.

The Bottom Line

In an urban environment, whether a large city or small town, you need to be aware of how you are perceived by others, and all the possible consequences that may result. The art of Urban Camouflage is to use this awareness to attract as little attention to yourself as possible, thereby avoiding much of the potential negative consequences.