Who can be Saved……Is it the Chruch

Something that makes me mad, are those churches that only accept the people that look like they got it all together and turn away the ones who have problems. Like you have to be good enough to be saved. You know what i mean. You know what i mean. They gather every sunday and dress all nice. I was reading about a woman’s testimony this week about how her church she had been going to for years wouldn’t accept her because she was getting divorced.  This made her feel so guilty and ashamed. She didn’t feel like she could be saved. That just pisses me off. That is the opposite of what the church is suppose to be. The church is NOT for perfect people. If you are perfect you don’t need a savior. You can save yourself.  The church is for the imperfect people who can’t save themselves. You go to church because you don’t have it all together and need help.

You can’t be good enough to be saved. That is the point. Jesus didn’t come to save the good. The righteous. The don’t need him. He came for the lowly. The poor. The troubled. There is no one beyond God’s ability to save. Have addictions, He is your savior, Committed crimes, He is your savior, Something was done to you that makes you feel ashamed, He is your savior, Were the one who did the something to someone, He is still your savior. Murderers, thieves, adulterers, liars, sinners of all degrees. He is your savior. His offer was not for a select few. It was for anyone who feels they aren’t worthy no exceptions. If you will repent and seek after him you may be saved. Don’t have to look nice, don’t have to have it all together. He can help you in the mist of your troubles. Hair all up in curlers and tattered old bathrobe. There is no right time or place. Seek him where ever you are in life and he may be found and you can be forgiven.

People who try to be exclusive are the ones who are seeking their own glory. They want to look like they are better than everyone around them. God is not with those sort of people. If you walk into a church like that turn around and run. So that you don’t fall into their trap of works. You can not earn God’s forgiveness. He can only give it to those who earnestly seek him. It can not be bought no matter how much you donate. It can only be given to you when you repent.  Meaning you no longer want to live the life you were. You want a change in your life. You no longer want to do wrong. This of course means that you are still not perfect and might slip up still, but you will struggle and try to overcome your problems and God will help you there. It will be a marathon, not a race. Marathons take time and commitment. You will pass mile markers and slowly get towards the finish line. Races are short and you reach the destination quickly and it is over. That is not a realistic view. Very few people will instantly turn their life around after being saved. There will be time s when you fail. That doesn’t mean you have lost your salvation.  God doesn’t say ow well it was worth shot and give up on you. He stays with you and continues to help you keep trying until you make it. Until you can lay down the baggage you have been carrying and stays with you even after. Even when you give up, He doesn’t.

Once you have made that decision to become a Christian, you don’t lose God. Even if you walk away. Once you become his, you are his for life. Salvation isn’t something you loose that easily. Just because you sin again after being saved, doesn’t mean you no longer are. That of course is not an excuse to do whatever you want and still go to heaven. The state of your heart is the real determining factor here. You hae to desire to do right. Your heart has to be in the right place with God. If you run amuck and sin to your hearts content with no regard to God’s will, you are on your way to losing your salvation. Many want to use God’s grace to live however as an excuse. I can do this now and repent later. You never know when you will die. Only God does. You shouldn’t live with unrepented sin in your life. You may not get the chance later.

Christian Adventurer’s EDC

Christian Adventurer’s EDC

20160704_051325EDC stands for Everyday Carry Items. Those few little things you always pick up before you leave the house. This is not what is in your go bag (although i recommend one) Not what you keep in your car. These are the things you keep on your person every day. Things you use or things just in case. Not some bulky things that will be in the way that you will hardly ever use. Simple little things you can slip you your pocket that come in handy. This is where women have us beat guys. You know what i mean. It is customary for women to carry purses and they usually get loaded down with everything and the kitchen sink. Where most guys it is looked down upon to carry anything resembling a purse.

Right now, what do you have on you. Go ahead and turn out your pockets. Look at it. It probably consists of a wallet, some change, keyring with keys, maybe a lighter if you are the type to smoke. What could you do with these items. If you were in a bad spot what could these items do for you. Not much really huh. Flip a coin to make a decision. Maybe you can use a credit card to open  a door. Put your keys between your fingers as a defensive weapon. Did you even think of those things? Not very prepared if you didn’t, but there is a way to maximize what you can do in a situation without a lot of bulk like adding some band aids to a slot in your wallet.

I once carried a messenger bag for a while. I am an Indiana Jones fan. It looked like that. plain canvas bag. I was made fun of for it at work. I kept it light and only carried a bible and first aid kit and what not. I stopped after a week. I switched to a more respectable sling bag back pack. It is actually better for me. pockets and loops , but that is not what we are talking about today.

This is what i recommend for the EDC items for the Christian adventurer.

Here you have the most important thing. A pocket new testament bible with psalms and proverbs. I recommend this version because it has the two extra books. Proverbs is a good book with a lot of practical wisdom and can be used to open up discussions. and psalms has always been regarded as powerful words when recited in prayer. The new testament is a great book to read on a long commute (when not driving) or reading during your break. You can familiarize yourself with Jesus’s teachings and can point out passages to others. You can take a highlighter and mark some good ones. There is a method of finding wisdom where you ask yourself a question like wha to do in a certain situation and open to a random page and verse and try to find guidance there. Of course this is not the only way to receive guidance from God.

A pocket knife. A knife is always useful in many settings. I have here a swiss army knife. Lots of little blades and uses. Even a screw driver, bottle opener and whole punch. Tooth pick and tweezers. If you ever watched MacGyver, you know the importance. I advice adding any pocket knife to your EDC, make sure the blade is a strong one and can be used as a pry bar for at least small projects.

A paracord bracelet, has many uses, a handkerchief. Someone at work once, got something on their face and i pulled out my handkerchief and handed it to them to wipe their face off with. She just stared at me for a moment. She said she was surprised because only old people carry them. Made me feel old. But it shouldn’t be that way. There are many uses for them. Cover your face in a gas leak. Touch something when you don’t want to touch it with your bare hands. Something gross or hot. Blow your nose. I have used them alot for that. Why i started carrying one actually.

A small flashlight. Get one that is small and powerful. They have some better than the one shown. Little button sized that last a long time. They come in different colored lights even black lights. Find one best suited for you. Get one that is a key ring that fits with your keys.

Sacred heart of Jesus badge. A devotional item. I recommend taking up a devotion. Something you do everyday. Keep it up and keep an active prayer life. Wether you are getting up in your tent out in the woods or getting up out of bed at home for the day ahead. God will greet you wherever you are every morning if you make it a habit every day. I like this because it has the image of Jesus on it and promises attached.

Lastly a small set of prayer beads. An active prayer life is very important. Many people find having a small set of bead to hold in their hand help to focus. While praying for many people and to say each name. Most associated with Catholics and the rosary. Angelican catholics have a set of beads too that are grouped in sevens where the rosary is grouped in tens. Prayer beads need not be so strict. This is for you to use in your own worship. Choose your beads as you see fit for your worship. God loves faithful worship. Use your beads as the Holy Spirit moves you to. You can even make your own. IMG_20150214_230452These beads are something that can help you when praying.

These are modeled after the angelican prayer beads. Similar to the rosary. The beads are arranged in weeks instead of decades. Seven beads with a one bead spacer. In these beads you use pony beads and tie them in a way that they can be moved and slid over. As you say your prayer you can slide the bead over leaving space for the next bead to be moved. I don’t believe in repetition in prayer, but I still use these when praying. I find i can concentrate better when holding them and move through my format in praying with the beads.

They needn’t be in a loop. You could even turn it into a bracelet and use glow in the dark beads or your choice. Make it personal to you.

One last thing. Optional for you are wearable accessories. Like a necklace, lanyard, tie if you are a pastor. Consider what you wear. What kind of chain is your necklace. How strong is it what can you do with it. Did you know you can use a tie to tie off a wound to stop bleeding. Make a snare. I don’t like wearing one, but if you do they can be useful. A bright and flash one can be used as a signaling device. I also carry a pen with me. A clicky kind that has a spring and tube that can be taken apart for parts, but that is just me. I have to use a pen every day at work.

Toilet Training

Toilet Training

Deuteronomy 23:12-14 “You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.”

So depending on what exactly is going on you have few options when it comes to bathroom 11951279_10207025424411136_7141755028129867996_n.jpguse. If you are holding out at home when disaster hits as long as water is still running your basic home toilets are still functioning. If for some reason the pipes are broken, or frozen, or the water lines are down, your toilets are not going to function the way they were designed to. However you will get only one good flush once the water goes out. Now for most toilets, as long as you can get water from somewhere, they will still be serviceable. You just have to pour water into the bowl. However it should be noted that doing this you are using up valuable water. If it is hard to come by this may not be the best choice. This has happened to us. Our pipes have frozen more than once during winter and we have had a line rupture before. We were not prepared for it. It lasted a few days and i had to go to the local store and buy  jugs of water. For the water and for the jugs so we could go somewhere to fill them up again.

More than once, My Gandpa’s water pump went out and eventually his well became contaminated and they would come over to our house and fill up several jugs of water to keep themselves in water till they got the situation fixed. They can tell you what a pain it is having to haul water around. They filled up ice chests and jugs and bottles. It becomes time-consuming and annoying. Plus there have been times they didn’t realize they were low until late at night and had to make a night run for water. How much of a pain do you think that is.

Other options are use a public restroom. If the disaster is localized and effect just your area and there are public restrooms nearby that you can drive to and use. This is probably the best choice. This could be a pain in the rear, but the other options are to dig an outhouse, (labours and dangerous) or a luggable lu (ten gallon bucket with a toilet seat lid)

Okay outhouse first. (probably your best solution for living out in the country.) You have to be careful where you dig one. You need it to be as deep as possible, but you have to check your local water table. Every place has law for the use of outhouses and septic systems. How deep they can go and drainage systems. You have to make sure that it wont contaminate the ground water. They can be very strict about this sort of thing. If the crisis is going to be a short one and you just have to stay home. Get a little foldable shovel and just did a little hole every time and don’t bother with it. If you want to prepare ahead of time you could get a professional to do it. To have one just in case. You want it as far from your home as practical.

A luggable lu is basically just a porta potty. (Best solution for city or urban living.) They actually come in many sizes, shapes, and functions. Also called a chemical toilet. They all work about the same really. It is something that collect your waste for disposal later. Not a good idea for the long haul.  I have one my dad bought at a yard sale what has a sort of flushing mechagnizm. It has a handle and a wire cage inside that mashes the top of the bag together to keep smells from rising i guess. There are many sold in sporting good stores in the hunting section that are buckets with toilet seats on them. In most cases you would be wise to put a trash bag of some sort to catch-all the wast and tie it up for later disposal. There are tablets or chemical kits that you use to keep bacteria down and keep the smell from stinking up the area or spreading diseases.

Keep wet wipes and hand sanitizer handy ready for this event. You will want to stress sanitizing to keep healthy. (and regular)

Okay i am going to indulge in a little toilet terror. This is not a legend i heard about when i was little, but it is one that many children have heard about growing up in various regions. Pinky-Pinky.  It is a south African legend, but spread to most countries. It was a creature that was half man and half woman. The exact nature of that is vague. It has pink deformed skin (hence the name) It terrorizes children in public bathrooms. Mostly girls, but terrorizing young boys is not unheard of. It will walk into a bathroom while you have the door locked and announce it’s presence by singing in some fashion then bang on the stall door and stand right out side of it. It will demand money or something and if you don’t give it it will reach under the door with it’s pink deformed hands and grab your pants and underwear and steals your underwear or panties. Also will demand anything pink you have on you.  Many cite this as why girls always go to the bathroom in pairs or small groups, but really women are just more social than men. Although it may also have something to do with an underlying sense of safety in numbers.

Pinky- Pinky  7/6/8   (game stats)

The Jews believed in demons that inhabited the privy and recorded such traditions in the Talmud. Here is a bit.   Privy Demon  6/6/9

“Whoever behaves modestly in a privy is delivered from three things: from snakes, from scorpions, and from evil spirits. Some say also that he will not have disturbing dreams. There was a certain privy in Tiberias which if two persons entered together even by day, they came to harm. Rabbi Ammi and Rabbi Assi used to enter it separately, and they suffered no harm. The Rabbis said to them, Are you not afraid? They replied: We have learnt a certain tradition. The tradition for [avoiding harm in] the privy is modesty and silence; the tradition relating to sufferings is silence [resignation] and prayer.”

Further writings “Before Raba became head of the Academy, the daughter of Rabbi Hisda [his wife] used to rattle a nut in a brass dish. [to frighten away evil spirits]”

Similar to the the Jew’s demon of the privy the Babylonians have a demon called the Lurker of the latrine. The Lurker waits to catch victims when they are alone and vulnerable.  Lurker   8/5/8  (cause i like the name)

You should always use modesty, but if the situation seems dangerous use the buddy system. If you live out in the country and have to use the outhouse at night when predators are about, or you are going to an unfamiliar public restroom. (there are other predators to worry about that don’t have four legs) Such predators are on the rise in our current world. They should be of the same gender so they can accompany you into a public restroom. But if that is not an option have them wait outside the door. Carry a defensive weapon with you and always lock the stall door after you. I say this as caution and as a curtesy. People that i work with often use the stall and don’t lock the door. You don’t know they are in there unless you bend way down and look for feet. The handle has an indicator that says whether it is locked or not. I have learned not to trust that and you have to look for feet. I have pushed the door open on a few people a few times. Usually with it being slammed and then locked angrily. Sorry! But lock it in the first place and it wont happen (Common sense) I don’t want it to happen any more than you want it to. (I hope) But enough of that.

There days you don’t want to let your children go to a public restroom alone if they are under the age 11. You should go with them to make sure they are safe even if it is inconvenient. That is what you do for your children. If it is not the same gender restroom then wait outside the door. Some places have family restrooms available for such an event and for changing diapers. But these are rare. The fact that our children are not safe to use a public restroom is a sad fact. Such predators are on the rise and you hear about it in the news more and more each day. It use to be that we all looked out for each other’s children, but selfishness and perversity is taking over our world.  Sit your children down and have a talk with them about safety and to tell you if anything happens no matter what someone might threaten them if they tell. Secure that line of trust.

On another note, even if you are not worried about evil spirits hanging around your toilets, you should keep the seat down for two good reasons. One when you flush it sends germs and bacteria into the air, and two things CAN come up through your pipes. Rare, but it can happen. Rats and snakes primarily. In the news recently a man was attacked by a huge python that was stuck in his pipes. It bit his penis and he had to fight it off. Yeah just think about that for a moment guys. (shiver)

So i would say this, if you have to use an outhouse or travel to a bathroom, prepare a 20160528_081339toiletries kit ahead of time. a little zipper bad with essentials in it. Toilet paper (may not always be available) Someone from my work made a habit of taking the rolls from the stalls. Wet wipes and a little bottle of hand sanitizer. Feminine items if you are a woman. A little flashlight or headlamp. If outside at night. Maybe a monkey’s fist for a defensive weapon. It is a paracord construct with a heave ball or rock in one end wrapped with paracord making a ball with a handle for swinging. Can be painful if used right. basically and easy to carry club.  Toilet seat cover if you have germ issues or it is just really nasty. (don’t even ask about the ones at work)

Scenario: You are driving along and really have to go. You spot a rest area nd pull over. You don’t see anyone around. It seems to be deserted. You walk in and pass the first few stalls and walk in one that seems clean enough. There is graffiti on the walls from vandals. The usual now i sit here broken hearted. tried to poop but only farted. The mirrors are cracked and does not seem a safe place. You lock the door and sit. Pants around your ankles. You suddenly become aware of someone else in the restroom. You can hear their footsteps  moving across the room. You shift your weight and make noise. They stop suddenly. Like they are trying to go unnoticed. This makes you nervous. Why would they be trying to hide their presence. They stop in front of your door. You can sort of see their shadow blocking light from the outside. They suddenly bang on the door violently trying to break it open. What do you do in this situation? Physical strength Tactics require <6> to work. Strategic plans require mind <5> Scaring or bluffing requires spirit <7>
Pervy Thug 6/3/5 <3<3

Another scenario: less violent. You are at a park. You are alone and suddenly need to go. There is a blue porta potty at the edge of the park. You sprint on over and go in to do your business. After you have you turn to leave. The door is locked. You shake the handle, but it wont give. You try with all your force, but it wont budge. You know that there is no one near by your side, all you have on you is your EDC every day carry items. How are you going to get out of this situation? Any tactic requiring strength has a challenge of <8> Any clever trick using tools has a mind challenge of <6> Getting help from the outside has a spirit challenge of <5> Any help that arrives has stats of 5/5/5

The Outhouse Song

Little Shack Outback

Here is a coloring page. I did this in a hurry because i wanted something to add for an activity. Coloring is the easiest. I wanted to have someone with a  newspaper sitting there, but ran short on time. Maybe later.

potty

Skill: Peeing Outside

11880556_10206903706168256_1907525563727763931_nThis may seem like a lame skill, after all who doesn’t know how to go number one. However a large portion of the population has a condition called shy bladder syndrome. This I where they are too nervous to go in an open environment or when others are around. It is not so easy then and can be frustrating especially if you are in hurry. This is the reason I couldn’t use urinals for a long time, which led to problems at work when I was in a hurry and a stall was not available. Something about standing there next to other people and sometimes very  inconsiderate people who will stand directly behind you at the urinal that you can practically feel their breath on the back of your neck. Not to mention that where I work half the time the small dividers will be ripped out of the wall by someone. They still haven’t caught who is doing it.
However if you can get past your shy bladder it can be beneficial to being able to go outdoors when needed. Mostly a benefit for guys, but they do make a device for women that allows them to go standing up. It is basically a specially shaped funnel. If you can get past the idea of carrying around a pee funnel in your bag or purse. Just be careful about where you go.
Normally I avoid doing this, but there was this one time I drank too much coffee before going to work. Luckily it was early in the morning before daylight. When I go to the longest stretch of road that I could see in both directions clearly I pulled over to the shoulder away from any houses and hurried around to the other side of the car. It was a relief.
Okay for this adventurous experiment, you need a bottle of water and privacy. This very male experience, does have a purpose of sorts. It is very straight forward and interesting. Have you ever tried this. Everyone urinates, fewer than you would think have done it outside. There is a sense of freedom in it. Hard to explain unless you have done it for yourself. A feeling of out of the norm. A sense of adventure really. Anyway the point of this experiment is a psychological one. You will need to really go so that you will have time for this.  You will need a large bottle of water. When you begin to urinate, start drinking. As far as possible you should try to drink the water straight down without pausing. (Don’t choke yourself though) You will feel quite bizarre sensations almost immediately. The water you expel seems to be synchronized with the water you are pouring into yourself. You should then visualize  your body to be organized in a way that the water you are drinking is directly exiting your body. It will feel as though your body has become simple and pulled inside out. Your complex intestinal system is absent.
Okay I admit this has little to do with Christianity and i am ready a new book on simple experiments for everyday life. I am trying to tie them in with Christianity and this one seemed so simple and fit with outdoor living. In biblical times it was common to use the great outdoors.

There are references to “those who pissesth against the wall” It was a common practice. Anyone who camps, hikes, or does any out door activity has done it at least once. This is an experiment that few have done i expect and thought i would post it to enhance anyone interested outdoor adventure. Just do it away from the campsite or ground water.

peecert

This goes with the post toilet training.

Minimal on Physical Fitness

“Do younot know that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit?” This is true your body is a temple. It houses the Holey Spirit of God. We should treat our bodies with respect. We will have to rely on them for the rest of our lives after all.

1510657_10204729755460847_5175648384554608488_nEven if your path is not the way of the body you should maintain a minimal physical form. Like how to throw a decent punch, Being able to do at least three pull ups, Able to run a mile, and able to hold your breath for 2 to 3 minuets. To some one who is in great physical shape these things may seem like nothing, to someone who is not (like me) getting there seems like a chore. However i think i can do thee pull ups (yeah).

The basic idea is you want to be in some kind of shape to be able to deal with a dangerous situation. Those of the path of body find maintaining a physical form a way of life. They can’t think of any way of living that doesn’t include it and have never been that out of shape. They also can already go beyond the few things listed here. For the rest of us we need to get to at least here. We can make up for what we lack in physical prowess with our other natural abilities. But there will always come up things that we will need al leat a little muscle for. Such as being able to do three pull ups means the ability to lift our own body weight. Like pulling ourselves (or someone similar to us or a child smaller than us) out of harms way. If our car goes off the road and we need to pull up out of the water or climb up to a higher elevation or even lower ourselves down. If we can’t pull our own weight where does that leave us.

The ability to run (or jog) a mile that does seem like a lot it was just what came to mind. What if something was chasing you though. Like a big angry bear or a maniac with a knife. You need to be able to get away from a pursuer. The ability to hold your breath would come in handy for  swimming and times when you are in danger of drowning like being trapped in a car that has gone out of control and plunged into the water. However there is more to breathing than just being able to hold your breath. It is a good idea to learn good breathing technique. This will help your body to stay oxygenated and give your muscles more strength during physical exertion.

Throwing a good punch is an obvious way of self defence. It wont do you much good if while hitting someone you also hurt yourself in the process. Learning good form and how to hold your body is key to fighting. Also in breaking through a barrier that is in your way. It could mean the difference between life and death. I would sugest taking up something like either jogging or swimming. Both will maintain a over all physical body once you get in good shape. My mom goes walking (she is over 60) out to the creek behind our home and takes a small draw string back pack with a bottle of water, her cell phone (to call for help) and her walking stick. It is improtant ot stay hydrated. Keep that in mind when you start working out.

So you know that maintaining a good body is important. What is the next step. Learn some good exercises to start off with. You don’t have to go all crazy counting calories and all that. Honestly you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise too. Just don’t gorge yourself till you can’t move. Just you know keep it simple. In the post Path of the Body i listed some simple exercises that will help with common survival skills. Do these every day. You don’t have to do it for hours just set aside a few minutes at first and build up to whatever you have time for. Add in some vitamins at least some one a days. I know what you are thinking. Vitamins those chalky nasty things. They have gummy versions now that are like eating candy. I love them. I also add in  a d3 for immune booster, garlic for a healthy heart and to prevent blood clots, and ginkgo belobo for brain function. Get a little seven day pill organizer and set it up for each week to take them every day.

If looking better is something you want in life, then here is a method for you. The tighter the muscles are in the abbs and chest will pull the the skin ward making you look slimmer without looking so thin you look like  a skeleton someone stretched skin over. If you want or need to loose weight this is something a friends doctor told her. Keep you calorie intake under 1500 a day. I know i said i don’t like calorie counting, but you can eat anything you want, just keep your calories near that goal. Also that is for a day of not doing anything. If you are exercising every day you can fudge that a little and go over and still loose weight. A word of advice here though, don’t go all in on this sort of thing. What i mean is pace yourself. If you try to do too much way at the begining you will either hurt yourself or give up because uou are taking on more than you can handle. Take it easy at first and build up to what you can do. It is easy to get discouraged especially when life gets in the way. Usually at least twice a year i really get serious about getting in some kind of shape. Usually that is when my work picks up and i start working weekends and 11 hours a day and my plans go into the crapper. I have half a dozen exercise pieces laying around not being used at any given time. I’m not even sure how much money i have wasted on stuff. Take it easy, but be committed.

Stand up. Okay try to reach your toes. Can you do it? Now place you hand over you shoulder and try to touch your shoulder blades. Now do it from behind your back. Can you? Now lower yourself down into a squat formation and hold it for one minuet and now stand and stretch yourself as tall as possible and hold that for one minuet. There is a reason for this. You are testing your range of motion. How flexible are you? This will give you an idea fo what areas you need to work on. There are other tests our there if you want to google it.

 

scenario: Imagine you are just walking around the block. You are happy and not paying attention. Suddenly in front of you there are three vicious individuals. One has tattoos all up his arms and the other is holding a knife.  They have been going around slashing tires for kicks. They spot you and charge. You are out numbered so you run. How likely are you to get away? If you are limber you can leap over obstacles that they can’t.

scenario: You are driving along at dusk. You reach down and turn up the radio. Your favorite song just came on. You start bobbing your head to the music and singing along. Suddenly something runs out in front of your vehicle. All you really see is a shadow it happened so fast. You pull on the wheel and go off the road. To the side of the road is a shallow ravine. Your car lands on it’s side. You are okay, but the door wont open. How are you going to get out and up out of the ravine?

 

How Committed to Jesus are you

Are you a Christian? Do you know what it means to be a Christian? This may seem like a simple question to ask, but it isn’t really. However they are questions you will have to answer. A Christian is a follower of Christ Jesus who died to save us from our sins. Most people know this, but how many KNOW HIM.

Imagine he comes to your door. You open the door and receive him in. He sits with you at the table. You are happy. Then you turn on the tv. Something R rated. Then sports comes on and you start cussing at the teams and refs. Does this sound like Christian behavior. Does your life reflect your beliefs. If Jesus is truly in your heart and your Lord then your actions and way you live your life must reflect it or your faith is not genuine. It doesn’t matter if you can quote every word of the Bible and go to church on sunday if you don’t live your life accordingly the rest of the days. The Pharisees knew all the laws, but didn’t follow them either. It also doesn’t matter if you love Jesus, but don’t follow his commands. We all want to be saved and love the one who saves us, but if you don’t follow his commands how genuine is that love.  Like saying thanks for pulling me out of that flood and then jumping back into the raging waters again. There has to be change in your behavior. If you give your life to Christ you can’t just live any way you want. You have to refrain from doing evil and do good towards others in your life. Faith without works is dead. You can see someone in need and feel bad for them. A sign of a kind heart, but what are you doing about it. What do you do when you see someone asking for money for food. True you don’t know what they will do with that money, but the credit is still yours. You still did a good deed. What they do with it is between them and God.

However actions alone are not enough to be a Christian either. Matthew 7 says that  many will say to Jesus didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons, and perform miracles.” And Jesus will say to them away i never knew you. They may have done many good deeds, but their hearts were not in the right place. They just went through the motions. You may go to church on sunday, but why are you doing it. You may give money to the poor or help the homeless at the shelter, but why do you do it. Some people will do good deeds, because they are tangible. You can measure them, and count them. It is something they can show effort in. I must be a good person see the list of things i’ve done.

More than belief and good works, you need to know Jesus. He wants your attention.

Okay imagine this. A man and his wife are sitting at the table. They are arguing. She is upset and wont say why. He knows she is upset and yelling. She says that she doesn’t feel like he loves her. He gets all upset and yells off a list of things he has done for her. Buying her a new dress, putting up a shelf in the hall way, taking the trash to the curb, picking up her mother at the airport. Then she turns and says yes, ” but you have barely spoken to me all week. I don’t feel like i even know you anymore.” He may have done all these things for her, but he was living at a distance from her. They didn’t talk they didn’t share. You have to do more than follow a list of rules and go to church on sunday or do some good deeds. You have to live in his presence. Be aware of him, talk to him. We need to do good to others yes. We need to do it for him. Because of him and because we are living in his presence. He wants to know you and be known by you.

Okay, I don’t know you. Look at yourself. How is your life? Are you where you want to be? Is your life a mess with problems? Take a good look at yourself and your life. No one is pointing fingers here by the way. We all got crap stuck to the walls. Just take a serious look and think about yourself. God can help if you are serious about following him. It’s not always easy following him. You might even get rejected by others or even your own family, but it is worth it in the end. Jesus wants us all in. You can find a peace you never knew. A love that satisfies.

So Jesus is sitting at your table. What are you going to do?

Survival Skill: Fire Starting

Okay, One of the most important skills for surviving is the ability to make a fire. Without this skill you can’t cook, wont have warmth, can’t keep predators away from your camp. You don’t want to be stuck out in the wilderness without a fire to keep you warm. The first thing you should do is find a safe place to build it. You don’t want anything nearby to catch fire so your space needs to be clear of clutter and debris. If you are doing this in the winter with snow around check above the fire as well so that any over hanging limbs with snow on them wont melt and fall and put out your fire.

Pictured above i built a fire in our small grill just for practice. In my survival kit and from my cairn subscription i have a few methods to choose from. My kit came with steel wool and a square battery. If you touch the steel wool to the battery ends it will catch fire. Simple method anyone can do. Wind and water proof matches. Also a simple method. You can find these at most stores. From Cairn i got a flint and steel striker. A good thing to   learn. I have a paracord bracelet that also has a flint fire starter in the buckle. So this is the method i chose to learn. It is not all that hard. You just have to make a good spark and when the tinder catches blow on it until it takes off. Also from Cairn i got a bee bellows. It is basically just a easy catch starter to help you get a fire going. Works great.

Anthony’s Audio Journal Fire Starting

First consider the fire triangle. The three things you must have to have a fire.

Fuel

Ignition         Oxygen

Ignition is the source of  heat like  a spark or the sun’s rays. Something hot enough to initiate a fire. Fuel is of course something flammable that will burn and oxygen is like breath to the fire without it a fire can not burn. If you have ever had a fire safety program at your elementary school where you get to wear the cool little badge sticker and be a deputy fire fighter this is what you have to know by heart. It really is simple.

So first you want tinder. Or fuel.  Dry grass or small sticks. This will catch and burn fast so you want plenty. Newspaper also works great. That is what we do when we start a fire in our fireplace. Then some larger sticks on top of that. Then we put a few large limb and logs to burn for a while. Then you Strike your flint close to the tinder for the sparks to catch. Or touch you match or lighter to it,or whatever the method you are using. Blow on it to help it take off if it needs. Be sure to keep your hands and face away from the flames. Don’t get burned.

Make sure you have plenty of water on hand to douse it with to put out the fire. If you are doing this at a camp site, stir and then repeat to make sure it is out. Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires. This is important and not a joke. God expects us to take care of this planet he gave us. Fire is dangerous so treat it with respect. It is not a toy to play around with. One little spark can take off and we can have problems like California has right now. They have been fighting forest fires that have been going for months now and no end in sight yet.

The Israelites knew how to start fires. They spent a lot of time traveling in the wilderness following God’s command. It was a very important skill the head of the families had to know how to do. If they couldn’t provide for their family they were disgraced. It is a manly skill. If you are going to be a survivor you will need to know how.

If you have the skill (and patience), you can start a with a magnifying glass. Have you ever burned ants with one by focusing the light from the sun. I am a little sorry to say that i have. I learned to do it at school with other boys. Poor ants 😦  But anyway, you can start a fire this way as well. focus the light onto the tinder in a single little dot until it starts smoking and then blow on it lightly to get it to take off.

Something else to consider learning is how to put out a fire. Come one you are deputy fire fighters. For a start take away the oxygen. If it is a small fire you might can throw dirt up on it or even smother it with a blanket. Pat it out with the blanket or swing it hitting it hard.  My uncle did this with his thick fishing blanket once when my dad caught the field on fire when the riding lawnmower back fired. (See ignition mower backfiring sent small sparks out. Fuel, dry grass, oxegyn= fire).

You can also douse it in water if you have enough to do it quickly and soak everything around it. Or a fire extinguisher. I learned to use one at work. Really simple. Pull pin, aim at base of fire and spray. Always aim at the base. Lowest part of the fire. The flames will just burn up the chemicals otherwise. Get it on the ground and smother the flames and prevent it from spreading. You can also make a homemade fire extinguisher like on Macgyver. You need a bottle baking soda and vinegar. Pour the baking soda into a bottle and then pour in the vinegar. This will cause the mix to erupt and you can place your thumb over the hole in the bottle and make it spray. This will only help with a small fire. Don’t risk your life. Call for help.

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Game scenario: You are hiking through the woods. You are following a trail and listening to your earbuds. All you have with you are your EDC. Every day carry items. You notice your nose is stinging suddenly like smoke is nearby. Suddenly in front of you is a raging fire. You turn to run, but a tree that is on fire falls about a yard behind you  and blocks the only path back. There is a stream nearby and a section of forest that doesn’t look like the fire has reached it yet, but you don’t know how far the fire goes and where it extends to. You know  a ranger station is to the east.

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Hope, Faith, Love, and Coffee

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

You can’t talk about survival without these aspects. Without hope, you can not see surviving any situation. Without hope you would give up and never succeed. What is hope? Hope is trustful expectation. Hope is an optomistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation” The opposite of hope is despair and dejection. Hope is an anchor that will keep you from falling into an abyss. With hope you can set goals and find paths to achieve those goals and believe that you can instigate real change.

As Christians our hope is in Christ. We can trust him to be for us. To bring us through tough situations. He has our best interests at heart. That we have a place in Heaven and will never and can never be separated from Him.

Faith it the trust in things unseen. Similar to hope, but fundamentally different, but also deeply connected. Faith is trusting in the spirit and not in our own strength. Relying on God for strength and guidance.  Without faith it is impossible to have a relationship with God.

Faith is power. Strong faith can act as a defence, a shield, or a guide in times of uncertainty, an inner strength and calm when troubled. A grounding force to keep one from flying off the handle or loosing control. Faith is an expression of the person who brings it and is shaped by their beliefs and moral compass. Faith does require a commitment. A loose commitment will result in weak faith that will falter and fail quickly.

Love, always the tricky one to explain. Most people have some idea of what love is, and most of them are different. That is because love is big. It covers so many ranges. Life without love is empty. But there are so many different loves. Love of things, family, lovers, friendships. The love that is spoken of in the verse above, is the kind of love that transcends all things, it is more than a passion it is infused with the soul, and will. It is not just a kind of love you feel, it is also the kind of love you choose. You can choose to love someone even when the passion is not there. Like friends. They screw up big and you really could hate them forever, but you choose to forgive them and love them anyway. Your kids will screw up and it will hurt, but you continue to love them anyway. They may even walk out on you, but you love them anyway and will wait  for their return. This type of love can go beyond all barriers. This is the kind of love that comes from God and will allow you to love God more and love others more than even yourself.

without love you feel empty and life seems meaningless. God can give you love, Can help you to feel it and to find meaning in your life. We all have times in our life when we feel like we can’t go on. Especially after a big loss or a disaster has happened. Times when we feel helpless or powerless to our circumstances. In these times it can be to give up or quite. It is in these moments when we need God the most and he WILL draw near to us. He will give us the strength we need. This is a promise from Him.

Coffee, the elixir of life. obviously added as a joke, it is a very great substance that allows me to get motivated in the morning and really any time of day. It is a staple in our house. With sugar and creamer it has calories, it gives you energy and makes you more aware. Many people will say it is bad for you, but how many things do they say is bad for you these days. Everything! Plus they change it all the time. It’s bad for you this week next week it might be good for you again. Just keep it in moderation people. Life is to short to worry about all the little things, besides you got a home in heaven waiting for you anyway.

Someone who is without hope or faith can fall into an abyss. A dark void that seems hopeless. So hopeless in fact that they see no way out. When they reach that point there are few options for them. They could lash out and become violent and dangerous capable of harming others which will lead them to a chaotic spiral they can’t recover from once they cross that line. Or they will take the isolated road that leads them to take their own life. Either way leads to destruction. God does not want anyone to end up on this road. That is why he will not abandon anyone. He will place options in their path, they just have to see them. There is alway help, you just have to ask. If you find yourself here, Stop, Look around you, Ask for help. There is someone there. If you feel you just can’t talk to the people in your life there is a phone number for a suicide hotline. 1-800-273-8255. Or just dial 911. The operator can help you.

Consider, what would you do if you came across someone who looked like they were about to commit suicide. What would you say. Imagine you are driving accross a bridge and you notice someone standing off to one side. They look withdrawn and edgy. They wont make eye contact. As you pull over they step over the guard rail. What do you say to them?

 

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Okay in the space provided draw something that symbolizes the virtues above. If you like you can include coffee.