Thursday, October 29, 2020

Everyone Needs First Aid Skills, Kits, and Supplies

Everyone needs first-aid skills, kits and supplies. So, if you are looking to provide for yourself and your family, or if you are looking for a practical gift to give someone, consider these selections. 


http://amzn.to/2h6mXzCACEP First Aid Manual, 5th Edition - Everyone, prepper or not, should learn first aid. This first aid manual of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is much more up-to-date (2014) than the American Red Cross manual, which hasn't been updated since 1992. 


http://amzn.to/2gkzXmK 
326-Piece First Aid Kit for Home or Office - This is an affordable and fairly complete first aid kit that meets OSHA and ANSI guidelines. Compartmentalized and very well-organized so you don't waste much time hunting for what you need. 

RATS GEN 2 Rapid Application Tourniquet System is the fastest tourniquet on the market and is used to stop massive hemorrhaging due to trauma. Easy to learn, it is designed to be used rapidly under very stressful conditions. It can be self-applied, or applied to others, including pets. No other tourniquet compares to the RATS when being used under stress in terms of time or ease of use.

As an Amazon affiliate, I make a small % of every sale, which helps support this website. So, thank you!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Final Pre-Election Preps? Here's What and Why

 By Timothy Gamble

The election is Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, things will only get much worse in the short-term. 

If Trump loses, expect major violence, riots, and looting to break out as the Left "celebrates" their victory. Expect the Left, and especially organizations like BLM and Antifa, to be emboldened in their despicable behavior, now that their tactics have proven successful, and as they know they will never be held accountable for their actions. Expect democrats, along with their allies in Big Media, Big Tech, and the Deep State, to exact revenge on republicans, conservatives, Christians, and Trump supporters. In fact, they are already openly talking about this. 

If Trump wins, expect major violence, riots, and looting to break out as the Left utterly lose their minds in anger. Expect the Dems, Deep State, and Big Media to not give up, no matter how overwhelmingly Trump wins. Expect screams, stories, and lawsuits over "Russian interference" and "voter suppression."  Expect pressure on electors to change their votes to vote for Biden in the Electoral College. Expect demands for investigations, impeachment, and article 25 removal. It will be like the aftermath of the 2016 election, only worse. Much worse.

Regardless of the outcome, expect the days and even weeks after the election to be especially dangerous. Physically dangerous. Even to those of us not living in big cities. There are easily triggered anti-Trump folks everywhere, and they are already angry, intolerant, hateful, and even violent.  BLM and Antifa are already threatening to "go out into rural areas." And, remember,,some Trump supporters with signs in their yards have received letters saying they have been added to a database and threatened with arson should Trump win. These people are dangerous, folks. 

Given this situation, I want to be able to "hunker-down" for a week or two after the election, without having to go out in public. Those living in big cities, or other areas prone to riots and looting, should probably bug-out to a safer location (maybe go visit Grandma in her small town) for a week or so. 

I also want to be especially vigilant of the security of my home and neighborhood during this time. To those ends, here are my final election preps, which I plan to accomplish before nightfall on Monday.

1- Make a last-minute grocery run. I have a nice store of food for the long-term, and hopefully you do to, but I will go to the grocery store Monday to pick up a few items that I would be buying this week anyway - particularly perishable items such as bread, milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and fresh fruits & vegetables. The idea is to stock up so I can stay in my home for at least a week. Think of it as last minute shopping that one might do right before an approaching winter storm hits. I will also make sure I have enough water stored for two weeks (actually, I have more). I'll also make sure I have enough food for my dog. 

2- Refill prescription medications. I have no prescriptions, but my Mother does. I'll make sure she has enough for the next couple of weeks. I'll also make sure I have enough of any vitamins and supplements we take. 

3- Get some cash out of the bank. It is always a good idea to have some cash on hand, in case the ATM network goes down, or if it becomes not safe to go out in public. 

4- Make sure both my vehicles are fully gassed-up, and check the oil, tire pressure, etc. 

5- Make sure my extra gas storage is full.  I keep several 5-gallon gas cans safely stored on my property, but away from my house.

6- Make sure I have plenty of batteries for my flashlights and emergency radio. 

7- Review with my family, and others as appropriate, our plans for bugging-in security and safety, and when/how we will bug out if necessary. I will take a "night watch" and sllep during the day for at least the first few days, depending how how things do down. I will also be paying close attention to not only national news, but also local news. 

8- Talk to my neighbors about keeping alert. We don't have an official neighborhood watch (I've tried to no avail), but several of us keep a watchful eye on the neighborhood, and know how to communicate with each other in an emergency. 

9- I don't use propane or heating oil, but if I did, I would make sure I had full tanks.

This isn't a complete preparedness & survival plan, of course. You should already be working diligently on such a plan (if not, start here). But these are a few good ideas to do, ASAP.
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Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio. This one has is all: AM/FM/SW/NOAA (weather alert) bands; powered five ways (electrical cord, USB port, AA batteries, solar, and hand-crank); plus flashlight, reading lamp, and cellphone charger.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Are Your Finances Ready For Disaster? (Part 1)

Money on the Twos is a regular feature on Dystopian Survival. Every 2nd, 12th, and 22nd of the month will feature a new article on  Financial Preparedness, one of the most import aspects of modern dystopian survival. 

By Timothy Gamble 

As we all learned this year, you never know when disaster will strike or what form it will take. And it is not just global pandemics and politically-motivated economic shutdowns that we have to worry about. At some point in our lives, most of us will face a sudden emergency of some sort, be it a job loss, an unexpected illness or death in the family, a house fire, long-term disability or catastrophic damage from a hurricane or tornado. If the worst did happen, could you manage? Being prepared financially for an unexpected emergency is one of the best ways to make sure that, when disaster happens, you’ll land on your feet again.

Here are some important steps in getting your finances ready for disaster:

1- Have an Emergency Fund. Money experts say that you should have an emergency fund of at least three to six months of living expenses. That is okay for a start, but I say more is even better. For most families, I would set the goal at one to two years of living expenses.  That is a lot, I know. But it can be done, with time, effort, determination, discipline, and a willingness to sacrifice now so you and your family will be safe later. As Dave Ramsey says, “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Living expenses are your mortgage or rent; power, phone, and other utility bills; regular payments such as credit card bills and car payments; and food, gas, and other necessities.  Not included are luxury items like entertainment, eating out, and vacations. Once you figure out what your living expenses for a month are, then it will be easy to determine your goals. 

Let's say you figure out that you living expenses are $1,500 a month. Your three-month emergency fund goal would be $4,500. A six-month goal is $9,000. A one-year goal is $18,000. A two-year goal is $36,000.

Those are some daunting numbers, but don't let numbers intimidate you from achieving this goal. Start with a smaller goal, such as saving an initial $1,000. Then move on to the three-month goal, of which you now have $1,000 and therefore only need another $3,500. Then move on to the six-month, one-year, and two-year goals.  No one expects you to quickly achieve the two-year goal. Do it as you would eat an elephant, one bite at a time. It is going to take time and effort, but the best things in life are worth it. 

By the way, if you become debt-free, you lower your living expenses, making your goals smaller and easier to achieve. Let's say that $300 of that $1,500 living expenses example is a car payment. By getting out of that payment, perhaps trading down, your living expenses drop to $1,200 a month. This makes your 3 month goal  $3,600 instead of $4,500. Your six-month goal becomes $7,200 instead of $9,000. Your one-year goal $14,400 and your two-year goal $28,800, which is $7,200 less than it would be with the car payment. Do you see now how much easier your life will be if you get debt-free? Or maybe you are too worried about what your neighbors will think if you aren't driving a brand new car?

Your emergency fund should be kept in a a separate account (savings or money market) from your other financial accounts and ONLY used for emergencies. You may need to wait until you can meet the minimum balance requirement to avoid fees, but move the money into a separate account as soon as possible. You should also keep a small amount in cash (a few hundred dollars) at home in a safe, hidden place that only you and your spouse know about, in case the ATM system goes down due to a power outage. 

Again, I understand these are big numbers and an intimidating task, especially for folks struggling to get by paycheck to paycheck. Rarely is anyone's situation truly hopeless, just really difficult. But you need to do this to survive and prosper in our emerging dystopian future. It is up to YOU to figure out how to do this. That is part of taking responsibility for your own life, also known as self-reliance. To help you out, I have a lot of financial articles on this website, many with very specific suggestions. Here are just a few of those articles:

    Financial Preparedness: Back to the Basics

    18 Easy Tips to Save Money

    Money Mistakes of the Poor & Middle Class (plus solutions)

    The NEW Financial Tips for Preppers and Survivalists

Make financial preparedness a MAJOR priority in your life!  

Part 2 of this article will be posted on November 2. 

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If you’re looking for practical information to answer all your “How?” “What?” and “Why?” questions about money, this book is for you. Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money covers the A to Z of Dave’s money teaching, including how to budget, save, dump debt, and invest. You’ll also learn all about insurance, mortgage options, marketing, bargain hunting and the most important element of all―giving.

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Protecting Yourself and Your Family in Cyberspace

By Timothy Gamble

Cyberspace sī′bər-spās noun: 1) The interconnected world of computer networks, digital communications, and the Internet. 2) The interdependent systems of digital information, telecommunications networks, and digital infrastructure. 3) The whole of the Internet, including all devices capable of accessing the Internet, as well as all associated infrastructure.  

Cyberspace. The word has its origins in science fiction, but today it is simply reality. Virtually every human is connected to cyberspace in some way. If you have a smart phone, you are in cyberspace. If you have a computer or use a computer, you are in cyberspace. If you have email, you are in cyberspace. If you have a Facebook account, or are on Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media, you are in cyberspace. If you have GPS in your car, you are in cyberspace. If you buy things from Amazon, or any other online retailer, you are in cyberspace. If you have a bank account, retirement account, or any other financial account, you are in cyberspace. If you are reading this article, you are in cyberspace. And the list goes on... 

Cyberspace has many advantages. It facilitates easy and quick communication. It disseminates  knowledge. It enhances markets. It is even a source of entertainment. But, dangers do lurk in cyberspace. As in the real world, there are bad guys, ranging from bullies and troublemakers to actual criminals and others seeking to do great harm, Being in cyberspace  puts you at risk to viruses, spyware, ransomware and other forms of malware. It puts you at risk of fraud, identity theft, and loss of privacy. It puts your life on display to nosy neighbors, self-righteous activists, intolerant social justice warriors, snooping employers, and petty government bureaucrats. For small businesses, being in cyberspace brings with it potential legal liabilities, as they have an obligation to protect their customers' and clients' personal and financial information. 

In today's world, being in cyberspace is a necessity. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to live a modern life completely separate from cyberspace. That being the case, how do we protect ourselves and our families from the threats found in cyberspace? Here are some suggestions:

1- Use security software and keep it updated. Security software includes antivirus programs, firewalls, anti-spyware, anti-ransomware, and anti-malware programs. Make sure you are updating your security programs on a regular basis (daily is best). Be aware that the "free" software that came with your new computer or laptop was most likely only for a "limited time," during which you had to subscribe (pay money) to the software maker to continue using it. After the limited time period expired, often in 30-days or less, your security software either turned off, in full or in part, or quit doing automatic updates.

2- Update your operating system and other programs on a regular basis. Keeping your computer and smartphone updated is a hassle, but these updates often include security fixes. Not updating your computer and smartphone on a regular basis puts you at risk as new threats emerge daily in cyberspace.

3-  Secure your Wi-Fi.  Your Wi-Fi router is the physical device that controls who can connect to your wireless network. Make sure you are using one with at least WPA2 encryption, and enable encryption on the router. Make sure you are using a strong password, and are keeping that password private. 

4- Use a strong password. And use a different password for each account. This means not using "password" or "12345" or your wife's maiden name, or your favorite sports team, or you kid's birthday, or any other common and easily-guessed password. Don't make it easy for a hacker by using the same password for every account. Use different passwords for your bank, email, social media, Amazon, PayPal, and other accounts. Consider using two-step or multi-factor authentication when available, especially on your bank and other financial accounts. Sure, it is a hassle. But it is much less of a hassle than having some bad guy drain all the money from your bank account.  

5- Don't fall for the phishing bait. Phishing is an attempt by bad guys to trick you into giving away passwords or other private information by pretending to be an official email, text message, or website from a trusted source. Be wary of unsolicited emails and text messages. Be very wary of emails or text messages that insist you must respond immediately, or you'll be locked out of your account. These are almost always scams. 

Make sure the email address or website url is spelled correctly (bad guys often use slight misspellings of the company's url to trick folks who aren't paying close attention). Be wary of websites that contain a lot of misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or pages that won't open. Legitimate companies will be more professional. 

Large companies use email addresses tied to their domain name, not to public email services. For example, your bank uses email addresses similar to employee@BankName.com, but never employee@yahoo.com or employee@gmail.com.

Remember, deals that seem too good to be true, probably are to good to be true. Don't let your greed overtake your commonsense. 

6- If you can't verify, delete. It is best to simply delete SPAM without opening it. Also, delete, without opening any links, suspicious emails and text messages from unknown and unidentifiable sources. 

7- Make back-ups often. Important data can be lost multiple ways, including computer malfunctions, loss or theft of your device, viruses, or ransomware attacks. Backing up your your important data on a regular basis will make your life easier if your data is lost, and will make it less likely you'll have to give in to a ransomware attack.  

Data can be backed-up in multiple ways, including online or cloud storage, portable external hard drives (here's a good one on Amazon: Seagate 2TB for less than $65), or USB flash drives (I use and recommend the GorilaDrive brand). 

8- Stay away from the "red light districts" and bad neighborhoods of cyberspace. Just like in real life, cyberspace has its share of places to avoid. You can become a victim anywhere, but you are much more likely to become one if you hang out in bad places, both in real life and online. Stay away from porn sites, illicit pharmaceutical sites, gambling sites, and other vice-associated sites. Even if those websites are legitimate and safe, they often link to very shady websites that may be infested with phishing attempts, viruses, malware, and ransomware. Deal only with companies and websites that you know and trust. 

9- Don't overshare on social media. Privacy is important, but it is virtually non-existent in cyberspace. Once you put it on the Internet, it is out there forever. Just ask any celebrity or politician who said something stupid, then tried to delete it. Screenshots are forever.  Even if you have your social media account set to "private," your information is still available to the social media company, government and law enforcement, and those people who you allow to follow you. Any of those people can, accidentally or on purpose, leak that information publicly. Think carefully about what you share on social media, and who might see it.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

How to Survive the Emerging Dystopia - Seven Steps

By Timothy Gamble 

Many people talk (justifiably) about how bad the year 2020 is. But 2021 may well be a worse year, no matter who wins the election. The problems of 2020 will not magically disappear once Trump wins the election. Nor will the problems of 2020 magically disappear if the Left manages to steal the election. 

In fact, both scenarios probably mean things will get worse. If Trump wins, our enemies - be they China, George Soros, Western Elites, the Deep State, Big Tech, the Democrats, the Left, the mainstream media, BLM, Antifa, and so forth - will only be enraged, and their behavior will worsen. And don't forget, even if Trump wins, the Left will still control many states and large cities, as well as the news media and Big Tech. 

If Trump loses,  those same enemies will only be emboldened, their behavior having been rewarded. And a Biden administration will let them run havoc against Trump supporters, traditional Christians, conservatives, and whoever else they want to get revenge against. 

And separate from politics, we still have numerous problems, ranging from a massive and quickly growing deficit to the challenges posed by the rise of technology and artificial intelligence changing the world. 

Our future is growing increasing dystopian, and the election will not stop it. The question becomes, how can we survive the emerging Dystopia?

THE Foundation

The single most important thing you can do is to "get right" with God. I won't try to convince you, but I will tell you what I get out of it (in addition to my salvation!). Being in relationship with God gives me peace, calmness, comfort, joy. strength, courage, and it helps focus my priorities. All good things when going through bad times!

Seven Steps to Survive the Emerging Dystopia

1 - Improve your health and fitness. Being sick doesn't just feel bad, it is expensive! In our emerging Dystopian world, healthcare will only get more expensive, more rationed, and more intrusive to our private lives. Don't forget, the Left wanted to use Obamacare to force doctors to ask about and report on the presence of guns in their patients homes. Expect more of this from the Left in the future. 

A top priority for you and your family should be improving and maintaining your good health. The less you need the healthcare system, the better off you will be. 

Stop smoking and abusing drugs or alcohol. Get adequate sleep on a consistent basis. Eat healthy. Eat less sugar (a lot less). Build your strength & endurance. Be physically active every day (walking, hiking, gardening, yard-work, biking, swimming, tennis, yoga, and exercise videos are just a few ideas). Take care of any issues with your health, teeth or vision, sooner rather than later. 

2- Pay attention to the world around you. Be alert. Practice Situational Awareness. Also, go beyond just paying attention to you immediate surroundings, and to the larger context in which we live out lives (Sociopolitical Awareness). Pay attention to the news - locally, nationally, and internationally. Watch for developing trends, and for possible unexpected/unintended consequences. Get a good AM/FM/NOAA weather radio (here is a good one available on Amazon) with multiple power options so you can listen even when the power is out.

3- Pay off debt and establish an emergency fund. Personal finances is one of the most overlooked areas of preparedness, in my opinion. Probably because it is so difficult to do. And it often involves sacrifice on our part, which modern folks don't like to do.  Please read my article, Foundational Advice: Eliminate Debt and Build Savings, for more information on the importance of doing this, and for suggestions on how to do accomplish this difficult task. 

4- Take Personal and Home Security very seriously. As anger and violence grows, and police departments get defunded, our dystopian world will become very dangerous. And justice will be decided by political correctness, not traditional notions of right and wrong. 

Harden your home by installing security doors and deadbolt locks, improving outdoor lighting, using security cameras (here's a good four-camera system with DVR recorder for under $200 on Amazon), and so forth. Take a self-defense course. Have your family take a self-defense course. Buy a gun and learn how to use it safely and effectively. New to guns? Check out The Gun Guide for People Who Know Nothing About Firearms or The Total Gun Manual.

Talk over with your family ideas about staying safe when away from home, including shopping in groups, parking in well-light, highly-visible locations, avoiding dangerous areas of town, letting people know where you are going and when to expect you back, and paying attention to your surroundings. 


5 - Be employable in the new economy.  Technology is already disrupting the traditional job market. Its not just blue-collar jobs falling to robots. It is also white-collar jobs falling to artificial intelligence. Even if your job doesn't get eliminated, it will most likely change radically in the next five years. Adaptability, networking, and skills will be the way to survive.  Computer skills, coding, and electronics will be extremely important, but so will other skills. 

Take some classes at a local community college. Improve your computer skills. Learn coding. Take a marketing and/or public relations class (surprisingly useful to most jobs/careers). Learn to sell (read the book SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham - considered a business classic). Learn bookkeeping & accounting. Learn Spanish for the workplace. Consider learning a trade (electrician, plumber, welder, HVAC repair, small engine repair, etc.). Electronics repair will be a career in demand. The more you know, the more employable you will be. 

6 - Take basic precautions.  Have a good first aid kit at home (and one in the car). Take a first aid & CPR course. Have smoke & CO2 detectors in your home (check the batteries). Have (and learn to use) a fire extinguisher. Do a home safety inspection (if you know a boy or girl scout, they have to learn to do these for various merit badges). Have a good flashlight (or several) at home. Keep your cell phone fully charged at all times.

Stock up on food, water, cleaning & hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, medicine & medical supplies, batteries, ammunition, sturdy clothes & shoes, and other supplies. Don't get overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once. Aim for two weeks worth of food and water. Then build it up to a month's worth. Then two months worth, and so forth.

In your car, have a first aid kit, flashlight, and jumper cables. Make sure your spare is in good condition, and that all drivers in your family know how to change a tire. Keep your gas tank full. Keep up with basic maintenance, such as oil changes, brake jobs, tires in good shapes, headlights and taillights working. In winter, keep a blanket or extra jacket and gloves in your vehicle, just in case.

For my basic recommendations on preparedness, see my articles 
A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End and My NEW Recommendations for Preparedness and Survival

7 - Build Long Term Self-Reliance. In the long-term you need to get out of the worldly system of dependence and learn how to do things for yourself - car and home repairs, sewing, gardening, home canning, and so-forth. Develop your DIY skills. Learn how to raise food. Develop homesteading skills. Accumulate a good tool kit. But, mostly, it means to develop an attitude of taking care of yourself and your family, instead of waiting around for others or the government to take care of you.

Remember New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Remember all those people standing around in knee-deep water waiting for the government or someone else to help them? That is called "learned helplessness." Don't be like them.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

The Family Budget - Tips for Reducing Entertainment and Telecommunications Expenses

Money on the Twos is a regular feature on Dystopian Survival. Every 2nd, 12th, and 22nd of the month will feature a new article on  Financial Preparedness, one of the most import aspects of modern dystopian survival. 

The Family Budget - Tips for Reducing Entertainment and Telecommunications Expenses

By Timothy Gamble 

We all have busy schedules, and eating out, getting take-out, and ordering in, is quicker and more convenient than making a meal at home. But it can be expensive, and it really adds up over time. Eating out is a huge piece of most people's budget. A piece that can be easily reduced.

Taking a bag lunch of leftovers to work with you instead of buying lunch at the local fast food eatery will save you big bucks over the course of a year. How much? If you spend five dollars a day for lunch, that is over $1,200 a year. If you are a two-income family with both of you eating out at lunch, this doubles to over $2,400 a year. And we haven't even talked about family dinners out, yet.

Entertainment is a purely optional budget expense. Eliminate it. You can be entertained without spending much, or even any, money. Learn (or re-learn) how to have a good time for free or nearly free. Take a walk with your spouse or with a friend. Start a family game night. Play with your kids in the backyard. Invite friends over for a weekend cook-out, or a movie night (with a DVD checked out from your local library for free). Next week they can invite you over.

Read a book (checked out from the library for free, of course) instead of going to a movie. Libraries are a wonderful source of free entertainment. In addition to books and magazines, many libraries today also offer audio books, movies on DVD, music CDs, and even board games that you can check out. Many have story times for young children and lecture series for adults you can attend for free (at least they did before the Left shut down the world in response to coronavirus) .

Exercise is free. You don't need a gym membership. Go for a walk or a run. Go hiking on a local greenway, or at a nearby park or national forest. Do your yardwork yourself. Check out a workout video from the library, or find one of You Tube. A set of dumbbells or exercise bands are inexpensive compared to a gym membership, and can give you a great workout 

Telecommunications is THE Modern Budget-Buster

When I was a child (the 1970s and early 80s)) the only telecommunications expense my family, most families, had was the telephone, and that was a land line, of course. TV programs were free over-the-air, and there was no Internet. Today, many families pay for a land line, multiple smart cell phones, cable or satellite TV subscriptions, extra movie channels, Internet connections, gaming and movie subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), $500 (or a lot more) smart phones, even satellite radio subscriptions. For most families major savings can be found in this budget category.

Do you really need a smart phone? In today's world, probably. But, do you really need the absolute latest (and most expensive) version of your smart phone? I have a Samsung, but not the very newest model. Mine cost me less than $100 on sale, and I didn't have to commit to a plan. It does everything I need it to do, runs all my apps that I use, and even has a high-quality camera. A smart phone may be a necessity for many today, but all the expensive bells and whistles of the absolute latest versions are luxuries you probably can do without. 

We have allowed them to make us addicted to our smart phones and other electronic devices. Maybe its time to overcome our addictions and spend our money on getting ready for the future instead of funding those million-dollar bonuses of telecom executives.  

The same thing goes for cable or satellite TV. Do you really need to have all the movie channels? Do you really need all the HD channels? Do you really need the expanded package with all the sports channels and all the music channels? Or can you get by just fine with the much less expensive basic package?

Or better yet, do away with TV altogether. Radical idea, but somehow humanity survived for thousands of years before TV, so technically it is possible. 

Drop the Vacation

Vacations can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Staycations are a hot new trend. Instead of heading for the beach, or Disneyland, or wherever, stay home. Spend a week visiting local museums, zoos, botanical gardens, historical sites, parks, or wildlife refuges. Go on a picnic or nature hike. Go fishing at a local lake. Play frisbee with your kids in the backyard. Or just relax at home, thinking of all the money you are saving.

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Preparing For Persecution In America

By Timothy Gamble

Persecution of Christians is epidemic around the world, and it is starting to happen more frequently in the USA. Over the last several years we have seen a number of churches in America vandalized and even set on fire. There have been a number of mass shootings at churches. Several clergy members have been physically attacked. Other believers have been targeted on their jobs or at school because of their faith. 

Fortunately, these instances are relatively uncommon, and the level of persecution American Christians face is no where near as high as in certain other parts of the world. But there is a definite upward trend here in America. And it is moving into the mainstream. Christians have long been mocked in pop culture, and political correctness and the madness of the mob is pushing that hatred of Christianity into the mainstream media, academia, and even politics. Certain politicians, leftist activists, and talking heads in the media are openly hostile to Christianity, and want to use the courts and so-called hate speech laws (defined as anything they disagree with) to control Christians.  

Future crackdowns on churches and individual Christians by the government and other activists are very likely in the coming years. The excuse will be stopping "hate speech," which, of course, is whatever government decides is "hate speech." 


Churches will also come under increasing attack by leftist activists, social justice warriors, and other "triggered" individuals offended by traditional Christian teachings and values. These attacks will range from simple harassment to the life-threatening and even fatal. 

Here are some ideas on how Christians can prepare for persecution:

1 - Don't let persecution frighten you away from Church, and don't be intimidated into changing your views to fit in with modern society. Christians are to live in the world, not be be of the world. We should never compromise on Biblical truths and the long-held teachings of the Church. Hold fast to those truths and teachings. Don't feel pressured to hold "acceptable" modern beliefs, or to reject those truths deemed "outdated" by the modern world. Whenever the views of the modern world conflict with the Bible and the teachings of the early Church, it is the modern world which is wrong, even if they don't realize it. 

2 - Get right with God and know what you believe. Pray often, read the Bible daily, attend regular worship services, and study apologetics. The more you know, and the more mature you are in your relationship with God, then the stronger you will be when facing persecution. 

Understanding why you believe what you believe as a Christian is vital. I am convinced this is why so many young people leave the Church when they become adults. Parents teach them what to believe, but do a poor job of explaining **why** they should believe. (By the way parents, "you should believe it because I believe it" is a horrible reason to believe anything.)  Thus, their faith is rooted in shallow soil, and is easily washed away as they are exposed to other viewpoints.  

Is your faith, and that of your family, rooted in shallow soil, or in deep, rich soil?  See my article Spiritual Preparedness for more on this topic. 

3 - Consider forming or joining a home church, even as you continue to participate in your larger church.  Alternately, having a small group Bible study that meets in private homes that could become a worship group (home church) may be very useful should the Church in America ever be forced underground. Your current church could & should work on such a "break up into smaller private house churches" plan that would be implemented under certain circumstances.

4 - Activists and others may infiltrate our churches to both spy on the "hate speech" and other disapproved activities within the church, as well as to sow discord among members. I suggest your church plan now for how to spot and deal with (remove) such individuals. This is actually a Biblical mandate:


"Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning, knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned." -- Titus 3:10-11 

We want people, even non-believers, to feel welcome by the Church, but NEVER at the expensive of our relationship with God or other Christians. 
 
5 - Be prepared especially for attempts by LGBT activists to force your Church to accept modern views on marriage, sexuality, and gender. Imagine this: An openly gay couple starts attending your Church, and asks to join, but are unwilling to change their homosexual relationship. Perhaps they even demand 
that your pastor/priest performs their gay marriage at your church. How do you deal with their requests without violating their  "civil rights" and running afoul of laws that are growing progressively liberal.  How do you deal with the bad press if they choose to challenge your Church in court, especially given that most modern media outlets will be decisively on their side? 

What happens if your Church is ultimately ordered by a court to perform a gay marriage?  At that point, you may be forced to dissolve your church as a legal entity, going underground and implementing your house church plan. Figure out the details of how to dissolve the church now. Talk to a Christian lawyer about this.

6 - Be diligent about Church security. Direct attacks on churches are already starting to happen (shootings in SC, TX; fire bombs in WA, NY; attacks on clergy in NC,WA; multiple instances of vandalism and arson of churches across the country) and likely will increase in the future. Consider installing security cameras, which are not that expensive. A
multi-camera CCTV system with DVR recorder can be had for under $200 (here's one such system on Amazon). Other ideas include creating an active shooter plan, installing physical barriers, training for ushers to spot and stop potential problems, and designing certain rooms to be bulletproof and lockable 
(perhaps the Sunday School rooms), in order to act as "safe rooms" or "panic rooms" in an emergency.  Every church should have well-stocked first aid station, and people who know how to use it. Perhaps your church could even offer first aid classes to its members several times a year. 

Some churches are also deciding to have armed security present during services. This can be as simple as having one or two trained church members carry during the service (a good option if you have police officers or military veterans in your congregation), or as formal as hiring professional security. Be sure to find out and follow your local gun laws, if you pursue this option. 

Of course, we want our churches to be open and welcoming to the general public. But, we also want our churches to be safe. Finding the right balance in times of persecution is difficult, and require thought and planning. Whatever you do, just don't avoid the issue.  

7 - Know and aggressively protect your First Amendment rights. If you don't know the important difference between Freedom of Religion (a broad Freedom guaranteed by the Constitution) and Freedom of Worship (a much weaker concept), please read my 2015 article on the subject for an eye-opening experience. 

The short version is this: Freedom of Religion is the right to worship,or not, as you please, AND it is the right to live your life according to the dictates of your religion. Freedom of Religion means you have the right to pray and worship in any style you wish. It also means that you have the right to live your entire life, in private and in public, according to the beliefs, principles, and teachings of your religion, and to pass on those ideas to your children. 

On the other hand, Freedom of Worship is a much watered-down concept, applying to only your worship and not to any other aspect of your life. It is limited to acts of worship only, and even then is further limited to the four corners of the church building and maybe the privacy of your home. And it does not guarantee you the right to pass on your beliefs to your children. 

This conflict between Freedom of Religion (which is what is actually in the Constitution) and Freedom of Worship (which is being pushed in some legal and political circles) is one of the greatest, and least reported, threats to the Church in America today. Again, please read my 2015 article for more details. 

There are a number of Christian law organizations specializing in providing legal services in defense of Freedom of Religion. 

Legal Help with Freedom of Religion Issues

American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)
Legal helpline: 1-757-226-2489
Website: http://aclj.org/

Christian Law Association (ALC)
Telephone: 1-888-252-1969
Website: http://www.christianlaw.org/

Liberty Counsel
Telephone: 1-407-875-1776
Website: http://www.lc.org/

Liberty Institute
Telephone: 1-972-941-4444
Website: https://www.libertyinstitute.org

Alliance Defending Freedom
Toll Free: 1-800-835-5233
Website: http://www.adflegal.org

 

Got more suggestions? Great. Please leave them in the comments section! 

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