Saturday, July 21, 2018

Patriots' Prayers - Personal Repentance

Patriots' Prayers is about praying for our country, repenting and seeking God's forgiveness as a nation. But we must not forget that a country is made up of individuals, and we need to repent and seek forgiveness as individuals, too.  This week's prayer is a personal prayer of repentance. Please feel free to pray this prayer as is, or to adjust it to your own particular needs and circumstances. 

Prayer of Personal Repentance 

Heavenly Father, my good and loving Lord, I acknowledge all the sins which I have committed every day in my life, whether in thought, word, deed, or by omission.

I am sincerely sorry for having offended you. I ask forgiveness for all the times I failed to make you Lord over my life. Forgive me for those times I have broken your commandments. Forgive me for not loving you with all my heart, soul, and mind; for not loving my neighbor as myself; and for disrespecting the temple of Your Holy Spirit by not taking better care of my health. Forgive me for not treating others as I want to be treated.

Please forgive me for the sins of pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Forgive me for my lack of self-control and discipline, as well as all other forms of unrighteousness. 


I ask for forgiveness from the depths of my heart for offending You and others, and repent of my old ways. Help me by Your grace to change, to sin no more, to embrace your law, and to walk in the way of righteousness. I reject worldly standards, seeking live Your standards instead. May I praise and glorify You all the days of my life. In the Name of Jesus the Messiah I pray. Amen. 
 

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Worst Prepper Advice I've Ever Heard

For the best prepper advice I've ever heard, click here for Tuesday's article.

The Worst Prepper Advice I've Ever Heard

I've told this story before, but it sets up perfectly what I want to say:

Many years ago I was the owner/moderator of a survivalist forum called Surviving the End. One of my group members offered his plan to prepare: He was going to rack up as much credit card debt as possible buying supplies to survive an economic collapse caused by peak oil. He believed such a collapse would happen "within the next 2 or 3 years," which he believed would lead to economic collapse, civil unrest, and even political collapse.  In the ensuing chaos, banks and other lenders would be unable to collect on debts owed to them. He also planned to stop paying his mortgage "about 6 months before the collapse." I'm not sure how he planned to time the event so precisely, but this was his plan, and he was offering it up to others to follow. This was in 2006. It is now 2018 - twelve years later - and the banks are still collecting on mortgages and other debt. If he truly carried out his plan, he and his family suffered absolute financial devastation years ago.

My advice: Getting out-of-debt and improving your financial position should be a part of your preparations for a major collapse, instead of planning on a collapse to get you out-of-debt. A major collapse can be survived, but it will NOT be a good thing. The chaos,  suffering, destruction, and death surrounding such an event will be devasting to everyone, and no one should be eagerly looking forward to experiencing it, or thinking that they can somehow benefit from it.  

Yes. I am preparing to survive such a major event, which I think is likely within my lifetime.  But I pray to God that I am wrong, that it doesn't happen, because I know how difficult it will be, even for those of us who are prepared.

Bottom line: Don't plan on a collapse to get your life in order. Get your life in order so you can survive the collapse. 
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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Best Prepper Advice I've Ever Heard

I've been around the prepper/survivalist community for 15 years. During that time, I've heard and read a lot of advice for prepping for future crises. Some of that advice is good. And some is not so good. In today's post, I reveal the absolute best piece of advice I've heard. On Thursday, I will revel the absolute worst.

The Best Prepper Advice I've Ever Heard 

Preparedness is about your attitude. Its not about tools, or supplies, or even skills. It is about your mind, the way you think. It is about developing a self-reliant mindset. A mindset which says - I am responsible for myself and my family - not government, not corporations, not society, not "experts" or anyone else. Me. I am responsible.

It  is an attitude that says "I need to be informed, therefore it is my responsibility to get informed.  I need to know myself and what I want out of life, and not just go with the flow or otherwise just drift aimlessly through life.  I need to think for myself, and not rely on others to do my thinking for me. I need to make my own decisions, and I need to act on those decisions. I need to adapt to changing circumstances and not just whine when things get difficult."

In many ways, its the exact opposite of the modern way of thinking. Its about not being one of the sheeple - waiting around for some imagined "authority" or "expert" to tell us what to do and when to do it. Its about not worrying what others think or about being liked. Its about not being intimidated into inaction, failing to make decisions and take actions, for whatever reason, be it fear, uncertainty, lack of confidence, or whatever.

Think ahead. Ask yourself "What problems and difficulties might I face in the future? What can I do now to help myself and my family overcome those problems if and when they do occur." Find the information you need. Make plans based on that information. Take actions to make those plans reality.

The most important thing you can do to survive and thrive, in good times and bad, is to start taking personal responsibility now for your own life and the lives of your family. This is the attitude you need, and it is the best advice I've ever heard.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Building Community in Your Neighborhood

Want community? Many preppers do. Here are some tips to find and build community right where you live:

You have to play the hand your dealt. It is not a perfect world, and no neighborhood is perfect - mine included (and don't I know it!). But your neighborhood is where you live, for better or worse, so you might as well make the best of it. Sitting around wishing for things to be different is counterproductive.

You don't need everyone.  Not every neighbor is going to be like-minded, or even friendly towards your efforts. That's okay. You don't need to get every single person in your neighborhood on-board with your plans. Its not all or nothing. There will always be a few malcontents you will never be able to reach. Ignore them and build community with those you can. Some community with some folks is better than no community at all. 

Knock on doors. Or at least wave at mailboxes. In other words, you have to take the first step. Waiting around for your neighbors to come to you won't work. Go. Introduce yourself to them. 


Avoid religion and politics, especially in the early stages. Basic preparedness doesn't depend on religion or politics. You don't need to be of a certain religion to store food and water. You don't need to have a certain political viewpoint to learn first aid. You don't need to have the exact same religious or political views to encourage and help your neighbors. 

Don't talk prepping, at least at first.  The preparedness talk can come later, for now simply get to know your neighbors. Find out what you might have in common. As things progress, you can start dropping prepper lines and see how they respond.  

Form a Neighborhood Watch. It can official (working with your local police, posting signs, etc.) or informal (exchanging phone numbers and agreeing to keep an eye out for strangers or anything else suspicious in the neighborhood). The point is you and your neighbors will begin getting to know one another and watching out for each other. You can build from there.

Have a community yard sale. We have been doing this in our neighborhood for a few years now. About twice a year we'll get together and advertise a community yard sale on a Saturday. Not every household participates, but many do. Even many of those that don't participate in the selling walk around looking at what others are selling. Curiosity gets them out of their house. I've actually met several neighbors this way that I otherwise never would have met.

One by one. Two by two. Everyone doesn't have to get together at the same time. A neighborhood-wide barbecue may be too much to put together, but you can host a barbecue maybe once a month and invite one or two neighborhood families over. Invite different families each month. Barbecuing not your thing? Try a Game Night instead. Or a movie night.

Advance slowly but surely.  Turning your neighborhood into a community is a one-step-at-a-time activity. Get to know each other. Then work on building friendships with those who seem willing. Then start talking preparedness with those that seem receptive. 

Building community is about more than just preparedness. Preparedness for some future crisis might be your ultimate goal, but it cannot be your only goal, otherwise you'll scare people off. Community is about building friendships and relationships of trust. Community is about watching out for each other, encouraging each other, and helping each other. The cold fact is that you are extremely unlikely to get your neighborhood converted into a 100% prepared for doomsday survivalist community. But the more of a community that you're neighborhood is, the better off you'll all be if and when the SHTF.
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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Patriots' Prayers for 7-15-2018

There is no audio version of this week's Patriots' Prayers. The audio versions will return next week. 

Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving

Psalm 100: 1 – 6

 1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
 2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
         Come before His presence with singing.
 3 Know that the LORD, He is God;
         It is He who has made us, and we are His;
         We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
    
 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
         And into His courts with praise.
         Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
 5 For the LORD is good;
         His mercy is everlasting,
         And His truth endures to all generations.

Heavenly Father, We humbly and heartily thank You for hearing our prayers.We thank You for the many blessings You have bestowed upon us, both as individuals and as a nation. We thank You for the many rights and freedoms You have given to us, that no man or government may take away. We thank You for our Right to Life, to Liberty, and to pursue our own Happiness according to Your Ways. We thank You for Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and the Freedom to be secure in our own person, among many other Freedoms. We thank You for the authority and perfection of Your Word, providing us with absolute standards of right and wrong. We thank You especially for Your love - a love so great that You sent Your only begotten Son, that we might be saved from our own sins. Thank You for Your forgiveness, undeserved as it may be. For all Your many blessings and mercies, we thank you. In the Name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Understanding Preparedness - Loss of Comforts of Civilization

Sweden recently issued a "Prepare for War" booklet to all Swedish households.  In it, they ask the rhetorical question What would you do if your everyday life was turned upside down? They go on to say "In just a short time, your everyday life can become problematic.

Problematic? Really? For the scenario the Swedes seemed concerned with, a civilization-altering world war possibly including the use of nukes, problematic doesn't even begin to describe it. Try "your everyday life as you have known it will become impossible."

This goes not only for a possible nuclear war, but for other widespread disasters, including natural disasters (plagues, super-volcanoes, CMEs, etc) and man-made disasters (widespread civil unrest, attempted coups, civil war, economic collapse, etc.). Life as we currently know it could change drastically and suddenly.

Results of a Major Disaster

A major  disaster usually will result in the temporary or permanent loss of many of the “comforts of civilization” we are used to enjoying. Comforts of civilization are those things that are provided to us by modern civilization that we take for granted. So much so that we don't even consider them comforts or luxuries anymore, but rather basic necessities. It would be difficult for most modern people to provide most of these things for themselves, especially without learning new skills, having access to stockpiles of tools and supplies, and preparing well in advance for their loss.


These comforts of civilization we would likely lose include:

  • Readily available running water that is safe to drink.
  • Readily available food from stores and restaurants.
  • “Flush and forget” human waste disposal.
  • Modern medicine and health care.
  • Readily available electricity for lighting, heating, cooling, cooking and hot water.
  • Readily available natural gas for heating, cooking and hot water.
  • Readily available fuel for cars, trucks, tractors and planes.
  • Public transportation (trains, buses, subways, taxis, etc.).
  • Instant long distance communication (phones, email, etc.).
  • Ready access to education (schools) and knowledge (libraries, the Internet, etc).
  • Ready access to emergency services such as fire, police, and paramedics.
  • Most modern luxuries (television, IPods, mobile phones, computers & the Internet, etc.).
  • An economic support infrastructure (electronic funds transfers, shipping & delivery, etc.).
  • Ability to spend money without having it (credit cards, mortgages, installment plans, etc.)
Disasters can also lead to the loss of certain fundamental (inalienable) rights. This loss would, of course, be both immoral and illegal, but may occur because of the imposition of political correctness, a police state, martial law, or even the development or imposition of a dictatorship. The rights which may be lost include:
  • Loss of Privacy.
  • Loss of Freedom of Speech.
  • Loss of Freedom of Religion.
  • Loss of Freedom of the Press.
  • Loss of Free Assembly.
  • Loss of Freedom of Movement.
  • Loss of Self-Defense Rights.
  • Loss of Due Process.
  • Loss of Parental Rights.
  • Removal of children from your home.
  • Confiscation of land, firearms, knives, personal property, or even your stored food, water, and other supplies.
Understanding what a major disaster will likely entail will help us to better plan for such frightening scenarios. Ask yourself questions about how you could realistically handle the loss of these comforts of civilization and even these basic rights.

Detailed planning, rather than hit-or-miss stockpiling of food, guns, and other stuff,  takes time and effort, but will go a long way towards ensuring the survival of you and your family & community.

***You might also be interested in my article Sweden Distributes ‘Prepare for War’ Booklet to All Swedes - Here's What It Advises
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Website Update - Comments Disabled

Hi Folks,

Due to a sharp uptick this year in the number attempted comments that are pure SPAM and/or contain links to phishing sites, virus and malware infested sites, and even potentially illegal content, the comments section has been discontinued. It is simply impossible for me to (safely) check each and every link posted, yet failure to do so not only puts my readers at risk, but also raises the specter of potential legal liability.  Sadly, this is a perfect example of a few "bad apples" ruining things for everyone else.

The software used to build this site has only limited options for maintaining a comments section. I have tried various settings available to me to better manage comments, but this appears to have inadvertently blocked or erased many legitimate comments. A few of my readers have recently expressed their frustration to me that many of their comments aren't being posted. I understand their frustration, and share it.  But the reality of the situation is that this website is a one-man operation with limited funds. Additional tech-support or software upgrades are simply not affordable. So, for now at least, the best option seems to be to discontinue the comments section. 

I sincerely want to thank all of my readers. I greatly appreciate each and every one of you. THANK YOU!!! I will continue to post articles that I hope you will find both useful and enjoyable. 

My God Bless You,

Tim Gamble 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Precepts of Scriptural Survivalism

I use a notebook to plan out my prepepr and survivalism activities. This is the first pages of that notebook, the foundation upon which everything else rests. The Bible actually says a lot about preparedness, both spiritual and physical. In these precepts I attempt to summarize those teachings.


Precepts of Scriptural Preparedness

1- In all things, God first and foremost. Our relationship with God is by far the most important preparation we can make. Everything we say, do, or even think should rest on, or point the way to, that relationship with God. God is our first priority.

2- Follow God's ways; Reject worldly ways.
It isn't about survival at all costs, but rather about following God in the ways He would have us follow Him. This means living by God's Commandments and teachings, not by the current (and constantly shifting) worldly ways. We are to actively reject political correctness, popular opinions, modern "societal norms," secular wisdom, and even legal and governmental authority when those are opposed to God's Word. There is no compromising with the modern world for God's people.
We are to live to please God, not man.

3- Agrarianism is God's intent for His people. Humans were originally designed by God to live in and tend to the Garden of Eden. Later, after the Fall, we were commanded by God to till the soil and to raise our own food. Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of God telling His followers to avoid large cities (a Worldly invention), to live in the mountains and other rural areas, and to basically be "simple country folk" (in my words). Biblical agrarianism doesn't  mean everyone must be a farmer or homesteader - after all, there are plenty of support functions that must be done - but that as God's people, our lives/culture/economy/civilization should reflect the primary importance of agriculture.

[Tim's Note: I am aware of others using the term "Biblical Agrarianism." For the sake of clarity, I am not a part of that group and am not familiar with all their teachings. My use of that term is coincidental, and is limited to what I have written here.]

4- Hard Work is Good. In fact, hard work is ordained by God. His example of Creation, six days of work and one day of rest, is the template we are to follow. 

5- Preparedness & Self-Reliance are Biblical concepts. Not only is physical preparedness allowed, it is in fact commanded by God. Multiple times in Proverbs (6:6-8 for just one example), God points us to the industrious ant's example, who constantly prepares for the future. In Galatians 6:1-5, Paul teaches that we are to both help one another AND to not be a burden to others (self-reliance).

A host of other verses could be quoted also, including Proverbs 27:12 (its prudent to prepare), Genesis 6:21 (food storage), Genesis 41:47-57 (food storage), Exodus 22:2 (self-defense), Psalm 144:1(self-defense training!), Proverbs 21:20 (store food & oil), Proverbs 22:7 (avoid debt), 1 Corinthians 16:13 (stay alert, be brave, be strong), Luke 22:36 (self-defense), 1 Timothy 5:8 (provide for yourself and your family), 1 Thessalonians 5:6 (stay alert, situational awareness), Hebrews 11:7 (points to Noah's example of preparedness to save his family), and Matthew 25:1-13 (the wisdom of the five prepared virgins compared to the foolishness of the five ill-prepared virgins).

6- All human life is valuable. All human life is created in the image of God. All human life belongs to God, not man. Murder, which is biblically-defined as the taking of innocent human life (intentionally or through negligence), is forbidden by God. 

7- Self-defense is allowed by God. God has granted us the right to kill in defense of ourselves or others, and in a few other very limited circumstances.  However, we are never permitted to kill for revenge or out of a sense of vengeance. 

8- There is but one race - the human race. All humans, regardless of the shade of their skin, belong to the same family, the same race - the human race. All people are descended from Adam and Eve, and later through Noah and his wife. There are ethnic and cultural differences that have developed over the centuries, of course, but there are no racial differences. Racism is a worldly (Satanic) concept.

9- The traditional family unit is the building block of civilization. This includes traditional monogamous marriage,  traditional gender roles, sex only within marriage, honoring your father and mother, etc.

10- Our Rights come from God, not from Government, or even by majority vote. Therefore, no government, nor any voting majority no matter how big, may take away any of those God-given Rights.

11-Debt is slavery.
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender." -- Proverbs 22:7


12- Remember the Golden Rule. In Matthew 7:12, Jesus teaches "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Common decency should definitely be a part of our everyday lives, including in the area of preparedness. We are to help one another, according to our abilities to do so. We are even to defend the poor and defenseless (Psalm 82:3) to the extent that we can (God never expects more from us than we are able to give). 
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Monday, July 9, 2018

Thought of the Day for Christians

I just want to post a brief thought I've had lately that will likely form the basis for one or more articles in the near future.

*** It is time - past time, actually - for Christians to walk away from modern, liberal denominations, churches, and pastors who embrace political correctness and Worldly-ways over Biblical-values and God's Way. Choose God, not your "church." ***

More to come in the near future...
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Patriots' Prayers - Prayer for the Church and the Clergy

Continuing the Summer of Patriots' Prayers, this week's theme is Prayer for the Church and Prayer for the Clergy. In your prayers this week, be sure to pray by name for your church, your pastor/priest, your Sunday School teachers, and any others you know who are involved in ministry.



Supporting Verse

"Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith." -- 2 Thessalonians 3:1–2, in which the Apostle Paul requests prayer for himself and others proclaiming the Gospel.


Prayer for the Church and Clergy in 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. This is the Gospel message - the Good News we are to proclaim to the world.

Remember, O Lord, Your Church, which You purchased with Your precious blood – protect it, strengthen it and multiply it. Keep Your Church in peace. Reveal and eliminate any false teachings and heresies, heal all schisms, and bring to nought all plots and threats against Your Church.

Bless, O Lord, and have mercy upon the whole clergy of Your Church - pastors, priests, missionaries, monastics, Sunday School teachers, and any & all others in positions of leadership within the Church in America and abroad.  Grant them all the strength, wisdom, and courage they need to boldly and clearly preach Your Word and to do Your will during these perilous times. Remove all obstacles that stand in their way, including political correctness and Worldly ideologies. Enable them to stand firm on the authority and perfection of Your Word, resisting all temptations to conform to the ever-changing whims of modern times. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Fall Gardening Tips


Its only July, and the sun is blazing hot. But now is the time to start planning your fall gardening. August will be here in a matter of weeks, and that is when you need to plant many fall crops. 

Here are some tips to keep you busy over the next few months:

Grow a Fall Garden. In many places across the country, mid-August through mid-September is the time to plant your Fall Garden. Crops to consider for the Fall include lettuce, radishes, beets, leeks, onions, rutabaga, cabbage, Chinese cabbage (examples: Napa cabbage, bok choy), kohlrabi, turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, spinach, and kale. The exact timing of your planting will depend on the crops you want, and your plant hardiness zone (your local agricultural extension office can help you with that).

Plant Garlic Bulbs. September is the time to plant garlic bulbs for next year. Consider planting a couple of interesting varieties from the Seed Savers Exchange.

Harvest Apples. Many areas have u-pick apple orchards. A visit to one would make for a fun and useful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. You can also visit your local farmers' market or attend one of the many small town apple festivals that are typically held in September or early October.

Pick Nuts. September through November is the time to harvest pecans and black walnuts.

Plant Trees and Shrubs. Fall is a great time to plant most trees and shrubs.

Start Composting and Improving Your Soil. See my earlier article on Composting and Vermiculture

Start Making Your Lasagna Garden. Now is a great time to mark off your lasagna-garden beds for next year, lay down the newspaper and use the falling leaves and yard waste in the layers.

Start Building Your Raised Garden Beds. Raised-bed gardening is a relatively easy and very productive method of gardening. Get a jump on next year by building your raised-beds this fall.

Grow Indoor Herbs. Many herbs, such as chives, oregano, basil, mint, and rosemary, can be grown in pots indoors during the fall and winter.

Transplant Perennials. Fall is the best time to divide and transplant most perennials.

Order Seed Catalogs. Don't forget to request seed catalogs for next year from your favorite companies. You can spend the winter months thumbing through the catalogs and dreaming big dreams.

Good Luck and Happy Gardening!
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Raised Bed Gardening: Growing Vegetables for Beginners

Great intro to raised bed gardening. 4.5 stars on Amazon. 










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Monday, July 2, 2018

Lessons Learned From My Experience With ID Theft

I got the call at about 8:20 on a Monday morning a few years ago. It was my Credit Union. They had detected some "unusual activity" on my Visa check card and had put a hold on the account. The lady on the line read me the charges in question and asked if I had made them. I hadn't. The lady then asked me to go in to the nearest Credit Union location, where I needed to fill out a report.

Turns out that someone had made a number of charges to my account overnight. They had bought about $120 in songs from I-tunes, opened up a Netflix account, bought something online from an electronics store, and tried to buy a bunch of cosmetics from Amazon. In all, about $650 went through before the Credit Union put a hold on the account.

After I filled out and signed the report for my Credit Union, they replaced 100% of the money to my account. But it did take two days for the money to show back up. The Credit Union handled everything with the police (they caught the woman who used my numbers - more on that in a moment). In the end the incident didn't cost me anything, other than some of my time and a sick feeling in my stomach.

How my information was stolen

About six weeks prior to this, I had eaten lunch at one of my favorite restaurants - a somewhat upscale Asian restaurant in Hickory, NC (I won't name the restaurant because it really wasn't their fault). Its one of those restaurants where the waitress brings your check to you in one of those small leather folders, you put the cash or credit card inside, she then takes the payment, bringing back your change and/or receipt in the folder.

Apparently, in the few minutes my waitress had my check card, she jotted down my card number, expiration date, my name, and even the 3-digit security code (the CVV number) off the back of the card. It was everything she needed to use my card online.

Then she actually did something smart (from her point of view). She didn't use my number right away. Instead she waited more than a month before using it. I guess her thought process was to wait until I had made many other purchases with the card so as to obscure who might have stolen the numbers.

Unfortunately for her, it just happened that the card/account I used for that meal was not my main account. It was an emergency back-up account I rarely use. In fact, I only use that card a couple of times a year - just enough to keep it active.  That meal was the only time I used that card in about six-months, which made it real easy to pinpoint where & who stole the number. The police investigated and actually traced several other stolen account numbers to her. Same method of operation each time, waiting a month or more before using the stolen numbers.

Lessons learned

1) Your information can be stolen anywhere. This restaurant isn't some low-class dive, but is actually a fairly upscale establishment. A place that I am a semi-regular. Not somewhere I would expect to have to worry about such things.

2) Your information can be stolen by anyone. I remember the waitress in question. She was young, very nice, friendly, even sweet. And quite attractive, frankly. I don't know her motivations, but she wasn't some crack-head, meth addict, or homeless person. Quite the contrary, she seemed to have a lot going for her. Definitely not someone I would expect to be an identity thief.

3) They don't actually have to have your card to use it. As long as they have the basic information, a thief can easily use your accounts online.

4) Identity thieves can be quite sneaky. Had I used my regular card, she probably would have gotten away with it by waiting more than a month like she did. My regular account would have had dozens of other transactions on it by the time she had used it, making it almost impossible to pinpoint a likely culprit. It was just bad luck on her part that she got caught.

5) Never, ever let your cards out-of-sight. My waitress only had possession of my card for maybe two minutes, but it was long enough to jot down all the information she needed. If I can't keep my eyes on my card at all times, I now pay with cash - even if it is a bit inconvenient.

Identity theft is now a $20+ billion dollar industry with more than 10 million people a year having their identity stolen, according to the latest stats from the FBI. It is also the fastest growing crime in America. Please take the security of your financial information very seriously.
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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Why Your Anti-Virus May Not Be Working

A slow computer, lost data, privacy concerns, and even identity theft are some of the problems you may face if your computer gets infected with viruses, spyware, and other malware.  Yet, there are a lot of people - perhaps even you - who don't realize their anti-virus software isn't working.

The problem is that most computers come from the factory with anti-virus software already installed. However, what many people fail to realize, or simply forget, is that this software is a limited-time only free trial. After the trial period is up, often in as little as 30 days, the software either stops updating, or even shuts down completely. Either way, it leaves your machine vulnerable.

If you computer is more than 30-days old and you have not bought and activated the paid-version of the preinstalled anti-virus software, then you may not have any effective protection from computer viruses. If that is the case, you have three options:

Option 1: Do nothing (which is what most people do without realizing it). This leaves your computer vulnerable to viruses, and you vulnerable to a loss of privacy and even identity theft.

Option 2: Buy and activate the full version of the preinstalled software (or some other paid antivirus software).

Option 3: Download and install a free anti-virus software package. I personally use the free version of Panda (I'm not affiliated with them other than being a satisfied customer). After more than two years of using Panda, I haven't had a single problem with viruses. There are also a number of other free anti-virus options available - see the anti-virus page at MajorGeeks.com. Please be aware that many free programs also offer paid versions with some extra bells-and-whistles, but really all you likely need is the free version. Also, some free versions don't offer automatic updating, so you may have to manually update the virus definitions (its easy - usually just click on the update button), so be aware if you need to do this or not.
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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Patriots' Prayers for Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement is a dangerous and often thankless job. The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line everyday for our protection. It is my hope that folks all across America will join with me this week in praying for our law enforcement officers everywhere and at all levels. 

Prayer for Law Enforcement 

Heavenly Father, bless and have mercy on all law enforcement officers at every level and throughout these United States of America. Save them, protect them, and keep them safe from all evil. Guide them in their duties, and grant them courage, strength, and wisdom in all that they do. Enable them to carry out their duties according to Your will, and free from the politics and agendas of this world. Bring them home safely to their families and friends. Watch over and protect their families, also. 

As You know, Father, there have already been 75 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty this year in America. Comfort those who have lost friends and loved ones in the line of duty. Provide for the families of the fallen. Let them know Your love and saving grace. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

For a listing of all the fallen so far in 2018, see the Officer Down Memorial Page.


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Friday, June 29, 2018

5 Keys To a Self-Reliant Mindset

In this first of a series of follow-ups to my article "Stuff" You Need To Build Self-Reliance, I discuss the first of the "stuff" you need - the right mindset. 

The core of prepping and survivalism is the building self-reliance - as individuals, as families, and as communities.  More than just knowledge and skills, self-reliance is first and foremost 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).

People have long-identified four or five keys to a self-reliant life. Those keys are in how we think. They are:

1- Assume responsibility for your own life. Don't wait around for the government, society, your parents, union leaders, community organizers, or anyone else to take care of you. Don't sit around whining that life is unfair, or that someone else has it so much better than you. Learn to take care of yourself. You are in charge of your life, so act like it. The single most important thing you can do to survive any future chaos is to start taking responsibility for your own life now.
 
2- Take the blame for your own life. We all make mistakes. Own up to yours. Don't scapegoat others. Don't "pass the buck." If you are blaming someone else, you are not being self-reliant. Even when things happen beyond your control - such as being robbed, being laid-off, or even your house burning down - you are still in control of how you react to those things.

3- Be informed. It is your responsibility to find out the facts and information you need to make informed decisions. Pay attention to the world around you. Keep up with current events. Keep up with the trends in your industry. Know where and how to get information. Ask questions. Be a lifelong learner. Remember the acronym ASK - Always Seek Knowledge.

4- Know where your going. Know yourself. What are your beliefs and values? What are your goals? What is your purpose? What do you hope to accomplish? What is, and isn't, important to you? Don't just drift through life, being aimless. Think. Plan ahead. And take careful aim, and action, at what you want in life.

5- Make your own decisions. Don't let others run your life for you - and that especially includes the government. Don't wait around for others to make the decision for you. Don't worry about what others think of you. Don't worry about being politically correct or socially acceptable. Don't give in to peer pressure. Don't just "go along to get along." Be informed of the issues, and decide for yourself. Make you own choices. 


Above all, don't be indecisive. Failing to make a decision, for whatever reason (fear, uncertainty, lack of confidence...) is a decision, and a bad one.  Take responsibility for your life, know what you want, gather what information you can, decide as best you can, act on that decision, and let the chips fall where they may. If it happens not to work out, at least you can accept the blame knowing you did your best under the circumstances.  

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Patriots' Prayers - Against Demonic Influence

Thank you for praying this week's Patriots' Prayers with me. I do believe that our nation is under demonic attack. This week's prayer combines both a prayer asking for forgiveness for our nation and a traditional prayer for protection against demonic influence. Please pray this prayer now, and several times throughout the week. A video version of this week's prayers is at the bottom of this transcript. 

 Patriots' Prayers - Against Demonic Influence

Heavenly Father, we have sinned and deserve the just punishment for our sins as a nation that has rejected you in every possible way. And yet, Lord, we cry out for mercy for ourselves, our families, and our nation. 

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 turn back to You as our Lord and our God. 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.

But we need Your help. There is much work to be done to turn our nation and its people back to You. And there is much standing in out way, trying to prevent our return to You.

Almighty God, who delivered Your people from the bondage of the adversary, and through Your Son cast down Satan like lightning, deliver these United States of America also from every influence of the unclean spirits. Command Satan to depart far from these United States by the power of Your only begotten Son. Rescue this nation and its people from demonic delusion and darkness. Fill the American people with the light of the Holy Spirit that we may be guarded against the snares of the crafty demons. Grant that angels always watch over our nation and lead us to the path of righteousness forever, to the honor of Your glorious name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.


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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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