Christian Adventurer’s Almanac: Seasons

Genesis 1:14 “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,”

God gave us seasons and times for change. Those were all part of his grand design. By observing nature we can recognize the changing of the times.

There is lore about the spiritual battle between day and night and light and dark. God separated the light from the dark. Now they battle to take control. As they seasons change for half the year the light (summer/ spring) rules and for the other half dark (winter/fall) rules. There are also old Irish folklore about the two fairy Courts. The Unseelie Court, the vicious and bloodthirsty fairies. Also called the Winter Court. and the Seelie Court, the more reasonable, but still mischievous fairies (nature spirits) also called the Summer court.

Summer

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Summer Solstice The longest day of the year. By that i mean the day with the most hours of daylight. If you have a lot to get done this is the best day to do it. After this day the days will begin to get shorter and nights will get longer. They wont be much noticeable until closer to the next equinox.
Easterly winds from May 19 to the 21 indicate a dry summer.
If there are many falling stars during a clear summer evening, expect thunder. If there are none, expect fine weather.

Half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice is the festival of Bel-fire. This signifies the changing of the time of Earth to the time of Fire. From this day to the Summer Solstice the elements are overlapping and is a time when the p-brain between the spiritual dimensions are thinned.

Winter

winter.jpgWinter Solstice The first day of winter. The day of the longest night and shortest day. This is the darkest and coldest part of the year. On this day, Day begins to win the age old battle and beating back Night. From this point the amount of daylight will start to increase and the amount of darkness will start to shorten until the spring equinox and the day and night are about equal again. By now all the grass is dead and turned brown and the trees are all bare. However this season is not without it’s beauty. We all love to see the snow and ice. When the white blanket covers the ground and makes all things look pure and clean. Many cultures view winter as the end, but also a new beginning. As one year ends an new year begins with the coming of spring.

Winter is the time of year when the earth rests from it’s work. The planting and harvesting time is over and families lived off of what they stored up the rest of the year. Things are a little different now with all our modern technology, most people don’t even think about it anymore, but this was a dangerous time for many. There is a lot of superstition about this time of year. It is called the Darkest days, not just because of night being longer. If you didn’t store up enough you wouldn’t have enough to feed your families. This could drive some to desperation including attacking others to steal what you need or just starving. So proper planning was important to surviving the harshness of winter.

Halfway between the Fall Equinox and the Winter solstice is the day of Samhain known better as Halloween. It is celebrated by lighting large bonfires believed to be protective. People would set out food for the spirits of their departed loved ones who were thought to come back to visit on this day. A good celebration was thought to ensure a good harvest and livestock season. This day was thought to be a good day for divination as the mystical energies were strongest. I will do more about Halloween separately.

Fall

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There’s an old weather proverb that states, “If autumn leaves are slow to fall, prepare for a cold winter.”
Trees snapping and cracking in the autumn indicate dry weather.
Of autumn’s wine, now drink your fill; the frost’s on the pumpkin, and snow’s on the hill.
–The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1993
It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Half way between the Summer Solstice and the Fall Equinox is the day of Lammas. This marks the ending of the time of fire and the time of air. The days between are a time of overlapping. This is a festival of the first harvest. Usually celebrated with competitions of strength and skill. Two groups would spar off and build a tower and top it with a flag. At the appointed time the two groups would compete in a capture the flag sort of event. Also a time for matchmaking if you know a yenta.

Spring

spring.jpgVernal (Spring) Equinox This marks the first day of spring. Day and night are almost equal again. From here the days will start to get Longer and the night will get shorter until the Summer solstice the longest day of the year. This is the time for new birth. The flowers start popping up and birds start showing up with their songs. Furry critters come out of hibernation. Even worms start coming up out of the ground. This is the time for planting.
There is an old folklore that you can stand a raw egg on it’s end during the equinox.

Spanning from March to June, that is from the Spring Equinox to the summer solstice, the Spring period is the Earth period. When growth is most abundant. This is the time of Earth.
Candlemas is the halfway point between the Winter solstice and the Spring Equinox. The Spring Equinox is the official end of the time of Water and the Start of the Time of Earth. The Winter solstice is when Night is strongest and Day is weakest. Candlemas is the point at which Day starts getting stronger again. Taking back the daylight hours and at the equinox Day and Night are about equal and then Day starts winning until the Summer solstice when it is at it’s strongest the longest day of the year. So from the time of Candlemas to the Spring Equinox is a period of overlapping elements. Water and Earth overlap and this is the time when you will see the most storms and weather changes.
So what is Candlemas. It is a day for celebrating the home and family basically. As the weather tries to change between winter and spring there comes with it rainy and sometimes stormy weather. The earth is being baptized in a way. The end of the old year and beginning of the new. This is a great time for getting baptized yourself if you haven’t’ been. At this point you have been cooped up inside mostly and the weather should be getting better and winter is ending. Now is a time to start getting your home life in order. If you are a homesteader then now is the time to get ready to plant. On Candlemas you start your Spring Cleaning. You light a fire in the fireplace or hearth and light candles in every room and ask God for blessings for your home and family. Sprinkle holy water around in each room. Hang a Brigid Cross over your entry way for protection of your home and family. Since the coming season will bring with it lots of rain and storms. Change out your bed clothes and fresh sheets. Time to start anew. Clean home and soul.
Candlemas also signifies the beginning of the Time of Water and Time of Earth overlap. This is a dangerous time spiritually. This is a time when the P-brain (membrane between dimensions) is weak and it is believed that spirits can cross over more easily. Both good and bad ones. It is a time when loved ones can visit the living, but also demons or evil spirits can take advantage of divinations to cross over and attach to people. You must be careful and pray to God for protection to cleanse you and your home from lingering spirits. Make sure by the end of the Spring Equinox to sweep them out the door and pray to God to seal your home and protect it from any coming back. (well the bad ones anyway)
The Green man is a common spiritual symbol for this time of year. He is a protector spirit of nature. Old Christians have a problem believing in such spirits, but i don’t see it as a problem. I don’t see why we can’t believe in nature spirits and such. God created all things and as long as we aren’t worshiping them as gods, this doesn’t go against any beliefs or practices. He is often seen on historic buildings and decorations on old churches. If you have ever visited any you probably have seen a few. He is depicted as a man or face with a body made of vines or leaves. Sometimes the vines are coming out of his nose or mouth. My witchy friend has a green shirt that has his face on it and wears it during the spring when we celebrate Spring.

 

Baptism

Baptism

So you’re standing near a man waist deep in water. You’re nervous. All eyes are on you. Someone places a hand on you and pushes you down. The cold water moves up around you. Over you arms. Your shoulders. It moves over your face. For a moment the world disappears.
Silence.
There is an absence of sound.
Darkness.
There is an absence of light.
Cold.
There is a absence of warmth.
Your senses are gone. Everything you received from your senses is gone.  It is as if you have moved out of the world you knew. In that moment who are you. What are you. If the world you knew is gone, what are you then. What are you now.  Up. You move up. Sound rushes back, light rushes back, warmth rushes back. You are not what you were. You are still you, but not the same you. You are the same, but now different. You are a something new that didn’t exist before.

Baptism is how we show our commitment. It is like a second birth. We go down into the water and we leave the old man there. The person we were. We are made new creatures in Christ. We are not just committing our lives to God, but also to not living as who we were anymore. After becoming a Christian everything we were or did no longer matters to God. He wipes the slate clean. If there was any baggage you have been carrying, let it go. Be made new again. This is part of your identity in Christ Jesus.
So, Jesus was baptized and we model our lives after him. That is why  do it in most cases, but what does it really mean. There are actually two types of baptisms. The physical and the spiritual. We must have the spiritual, which happens automatically when we become Christians. The physical is the one most thought of. Where we go to the front of the church and  get dunked under the water. Both serve an important purpose.

Lets start with the physical. It is a symbol of our new life and the joining of ourselves with Jesus. When we are baptized we are joined with him in his death and also in his resurrection. The old us dies and is crucified with him and we are made a new creature in Christ Jesus. Born again. Emerging from the waters is symbolic of a new birth.

It is also considered a type of minor exorcism. The devil will flee before such statements of faith. Before dunked you are asked  to make a public confession of belief in the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the main purpose of the  physical baptism. As it is said, Confess him before man and He will confess you before the Father. The physical baptism is not required for salvation, but many who become Christians want to do it for the public statement before people for the above reason and because Jesus did it in his life and wish to follow in his steps. It is good to have such memories to fall back on when times get hard. We can place this moment as the moment we were born again and the start of our new life with God. When you are baptized in a church setting by a pastor you will usually receive a dated certificate and a bible. Being the Christian adventurer you are you may opt out of the church baptism for the outdoor lake baptism like in the bible. It is how Jesus was baptized and how Philip baptized the Eunuch in Acts 8. 38”And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.”

Anyone can perform a baptism, as it is from God not man. If the church setting is not for you and you don’t want to wait and wish to be baptized immediately as you are reading this. You can have anyone you wish to perform it. There are only a few requirements.

  1. You must be a believer. You must understand the basics of being a Christian. That all are sinners and that Christ Jesus was the son of God come in flesh and died for the remission of sin.
  2. That this baptism is not a requirement of salvation. It does not save you and only by Jesus is salvation found.
  3. The person officiating must also be a believer.
    If you are planning to be baptized there are a few things you can do to prepare. First search your continence. Then pack a change of clothes and a towel. Don’t forget underwear. It is a good idea to pick something easy and fast to change out of and into. Your first set of clothes are going to be wet. Wet clothes are heavy and hard to get off. When i was baptized by brother Jarrell Woodhull, in our little church i brought a plastic sack with a change of clothes in it. I thought i should look nice and dressed in a long sleeve button down shirt and even an undershirt. Bad idea. It was wet and heavy and got tangled up when i tried to take it off. My shirt clumped and got caught on my glasses. My pats legs rolled tight and i couldn’t get my foot out and my boxers rolled up. Go simple. T-shit and jeans or even shorts would be a good idea. It took me a while to change because i was self conscious and the changing room was just a little open room and the pastor stood just out the doorway that had no door and waited for me to change out of my wet clothes and i was embarrassed to get completely nude. But, this was a small church with little rooms. If this is a concern or embarrassment would keep you from following Christ just talk to your pastor before hand. It is understandable and something can be done about it.
                              The Spiritual Baptism. This is performed by God at the moment we begin to believe. It is when the Holy Spirit come into us to live and teach and to guide us in our lives. He never leaves us. This happens when you are hearing the word or reading it, or maybe right now as you are reading my blog and making the decision to become a Christian. The Holy Spirit moves into you and makes his dwelling there. You accept that Jesus died for you and He begins working in you to root out all evil. He will slowly start to change you for the better. This happens suddenly and without bells or whistles some even wonder if it has happened. If you believe in Christ Jesus, then it did, don’t worry about it, but this is another reason why some desire the physical baptism as well. Some believe that the Holy Spirit is given at the point of physical baptism. In the story of Jesus’s baptism the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, but later on the apostles and many other later received the Holy Spirit without being baptized again and many without being baptized. So being physically baptized in water is NOT a requirement of receiving the Holy Spirit. If you want it you may receive it. If you are not certain right now ask. God doesn’t hold back any good thing that is asked for in faith. He will send it straight away to anyone who asks. While your at it ask for wisdom.
Some practice the Christening. The sprinkling of water. Usually over infants. A sort of dedicating them to Christ. They will still have to make the decision when they are older to be baptized. This is more for the parents and God parents. They make a public statement to raise the child in a Christian home and teach them Christian values. They also use this ceremony to name the child. This is not a baptism, but is sometimes called a baptism. My dad was baptized in this manner when he was in the hospital as an adult because he had a trake in his throat and couldn’t be submerged in water. It was close to the end of his life and he wanted to be baptized. The pastor at the hospital did it for him after talking to him a while to make sure he understood salvation. It is not liked by most Baptists such as us, but when the person is incapable of being properly baptized, there is no real harm in it. It is only an outward statement of faith after all.
Also in a like manner, in Catholicism there is the rite of confirmation which is the point at which a person is mature enough to understand the law of God and to be held accountable. Usually in their teenage years. Similar to the bar mitzvah in Jewdism. The idea is you are not an adult and will be held accountable for breaking the law. Before this your parents were responsible for you and in teaching you. In confirmation you take on a saint’s name. One that you identify with and you add their name to your own as a sort of second middle name. The idea is that you study their life and learn from their examples. I have done this because it is now a secret name between me and God. If i were to receive a messenger from God they will know this name. It is a way of testing them to know they are from God. Also if you believe in black magic (which is mentioned in the Bible) curses are more effective if the caster knows your full name. Thereby adding this extra name adds to protection. Not that you need more than God for protection.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find a nice cold lake and take a few friends or your survival team and get baptized. In fact get your whole team baptized. This would make a good start for your journey together. Dedicate your lives and families to God. This will prepare you for the hard times to come. Good bonding experience too. If you have already been baptized (some say not to do it again,) but i say go ahead. No harm. Do it as a group. Some are more comfortable that way.
The usual formula for the ceremony is that the one who is performing the rite goes out first and states why they are there. Asks the person to be baptized to come out to him. He then asks him, “Do you believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God and accept him as your lord and savior who died for the remission of sins.” The person being baptized will say “Yes” and he goes on to say “Then I baptize you in the name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.” Bend at the knees a little and support your weight too. They will lower you into the water and then pull you back up. Hold your nose and close your eyes. After that is done everyone sometimes sings a hymn.
                     So why should you go through with the water baptism if only the spiritual baptism is needed for salvation? The physical act of the baptism is important. It is a public display of faith. Not for everyone who is watching, but for you. It is you moving forward. It is easy to do something and then stay right where you are. (spiritually) Doing something especially in a public setting gets you out of your comfort zone. Doing something physically causes something spiritually as well. Starts changes inside. Makes you more determined.  As long as you are serious about your commitment. It is about taking that first step. Once you make the first step the Holy Spirit help you take another and another. But fear can cause us to stall out. Back away. Stay where we are. Where we are comfortable. Taking the physical baptism is your first step in a new life with Jesus.
            Further, It is an act of faith. It is the first step to further your faith. Faith needs action behind it. It can be a tangible force that effect the world around it, but it must be put into action. Faith is power. Strong faith can act as a defense, 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.
Here is a simple certificate you can print out and use if you like.
baptism

Spirit/Attitude Pride

Pride

They say scratch the surface of any sin and you’ll find pride just underneath. Pride corrupts everything it touches and infects every part of your life if you let it. It can give you a self inflated opinion of yourself and cause you to look down on others. A false sense of entitlement. That you deserve whatever you want and it is alright to use others to get it. It can blind you to how you use or hurt others. perhaps worst of all you may wind up hurting others to make yourself feel better. They have insecurities and try to build themselves up by picking on others. Which only reinforces the victims’ insecurities.

This leads to low self esteem and feelings of loneliness. A sense of worthlessness. This can lead to depression and serious problems. For the bullies this will lead to no respect of anyone else. They will believe they can just take what they want from others. That rules or laws don’t apply to them and they can avoid consequences.
Others will just live a life of vanity. using others to get complements. Seeking praise from others. Look what I have done. Aren’t I such a great person. That can be a slippery slope. Doing things for others to get attention. You may appear to be doing good, but it is all for ego. In the end they will say, but look at all the good I did, but al they will have is emptiness inside because it was built on a false self image. The problem with pride is that there is no such thing as a selfless act.

Pride can cause you to develop the idea you are always right. That you alone know how to do something or the RIGHT way to do anything. When you become so full of yourself you stop listening to those around you. Doesn’t everyone hate bossy people. You should always listen to others. Even if they are not right, it is respectful. Respect others to get respect. You know what happens to those bossy people. They get left behind by others. People don’t like them so they begin to avoid them. Sometimes even plot against them. Those are the people who get backstabbed. However the ones who are respectful, even when telling others what to do, they are exalted by others. Lifted up and called wise. If someone has a problem they say “Oh, Go talk to so-n-so, they always know what to do.”  But when the prideful try to tell someone how to handle a problem they respond “Oh no, there they go again. I can’t stand them.”

 

 

To develop Humility
Look at someone. Pick five people you know and really look at them. Their lives. Their families and find one good thing about them that you admire. Tell them about. It is good for people to hear that.
Use coupons.
Yeah not much of an experiment. Coupon clipping in many areas has always carried a stigma with it

Change of Spirit Change of Attitude

Change of Spirit Change of Attitude

Here is where the real changes begin. I don’ exactly believe in karma, but I do believe you get out of life what you put into it. If you want anything to change you must first start with you. Think about your attitude. Everyone has things about themselves they want to change. If you are looking for a new and improved life that means you will need a new and improved attitude. Looking inside. Imagine you are in a dark room. It is big and empty. You can’t see, you’re feeling around, stumbling in the dark. You don’t know where you are. You are lost. As you are feeling around you find a chair. So, now you have a navigation point. Where ever you go from this point you will be able to navigate from this position. It becomes a fixed point for you. You know where you are relative from your fixed position. You are no longer completely lost.
It is the same for our moral compass. You have to have a fixed point. Some place that the needle points to. Some thing completely pure and moral. An absolute good. Will we ever be that perfect, no, obviously not, but we need that point of reference to determine right from wrong. The immoral world wants to remove such a fixed point of reference to slide that point wherever they want to justify themselves doing anything they want. Steal, murder, rape. Would you go out and do these things? Why, we were raised with a fixed moral compass, but there are many who do. We know these are wrong. Why, we were raised this way, but many are falling away from that in this world.
Consider this. What is a monster? Monsters are very real. A monster is a creature with no conscience. No one is born this way. People fall into the darkness and are consumed. Darkness exists at the very end of a broad spectrum of light. You get there after a long period of bad choices one after the other. Eventually you loose sight of goodness and yourself. People end up there for many reasons. Usually from influence of others. They fall into the pitfalls of hatred, jealousy, anger, fear, greed, pride, loneliness. Once they get to the end of the spectrum and they fall off, they can’t see the good anymore. Not in the world and not in themselves. They feel as though the world hates them and is against them. They can only see it if someone else shows it to them. People can be influenced in the right ways also, by others actions. Everyone is a force in the world. It is up to you to decide which direction you will go. It is up to you to decide how you will effect the world and how you relate to others. Will you be a force of good or a force of selfishness.

So our attitudes and our spirit are connected and how we present ourselves towards others shows this in how we effect the world. This conversation between me and my hippy friend came about after a bad week at work.  I loaned my brother 200 to get his car fixed and my uncle Gary 200 for gas to get him back to his job in another state. My friend asked me “Why” She claims to be nice, but it is only as far as very close people and if it suits her. She said you only have a responsibility to your mother, not anybody else. I thought about that. I disagree.
No that doesn’t mean I should financially support anybody else, but as Christian we do have a responsibility to others in our life. To help others whenever we can. The Bible says that in the end God will open the books and judge everyone according to what they have done. This also includes what we have not done. As in when others were in need and we knowingly did nothing.
In the near death experiences I have been reading, many people had a life review where they say their life flash before their eyes and saw all the things they did and how they effected other people. Even in ways they couldn’t see in life. Both good and the bad. One day we will be called into account for all the good and evil or just selfish acts we did in life.
Even if you are not a Christian, look at the state of the world. As a human being you are called to be better. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution.  Just because others are self serving gutter brains doesn’t mean you have to be.
One more thing as far as it goes with my family, I may be in need one day myself. I may have to count on these people. They are less likely to be willing to help me if I shunned them now. Life goes in circles like that.

We are called to be influential to the people in our lives. There are some people you can not  help. They have chosen a path of self destruction, but did you stand back and let it happen or did you try. Sometimes a person has to hit bottom before they can get back up on their feet. The words you say to them can come back to them at that point and or can bury them if they were words spoken in anger or hatred. A sharp tong cuts deep. You can not control them, and you can not do everything for them. You can live as an example and help them to see the options around them. You can show them the light or you can be the light for them.
You can also be the final not in the noose. You can just as easily tear someone apart. You have to choose your words carefully to someone at the end of their rope. But in summary, We are responsible for those around us. Family or friends. No you can’t do everything for them, but you can be an influence. An ear, a kind word, criticism (in loving kindness), advice on matters. We are our brother’s keeper. Their life is their own, but our lives are intertwined like a knitted blanket. If one breaks there is a whole and it can’t be fixed. Every thread has to work together.

A friend of my brother had a death in the family. Her brother was in a car accident. Thankfully he got his life straight and found God before this happened. He was texting on the phone about his new job when it happened. Before this he had a drug and alcohol problem. He went through rehab. I know it must be hard on them. I can’t help wonder what kind of influence she was on him. I know she is a heavy drinker. So is her husband and my brother. I know when i was younger i idolized my brother and our cousin Randall, who he ran around with. I wanted to be like him and I would have done anything they did, but I saw how their actions hurt other people and even still to this day. They drink a lot and he has a gambling problem. What kind of influence did She have on him or didn’t have on him. She was his older sister, could some of the things he did been avoided. What path could he have taken if she had lived differently. Our cousin Tommy followed in Randall’s footsteps. He did everything Randall did. He was a big influence on him. Tommy fell into drugs and eventually into gangs where he once got kidnapped by them. Both have turned their lives around now after a long hard road, but how much of that could have been avoided.
We always influence the people around us even if we don’t see it. Every day we cross paths with someone and people see how we behave and treat other people. Even if you are not a Christian you can agree that we should be an influence of good on other people. Let the children see an example of how people should be. Every action we make will effect someone weather it is immediately in front of us or unseen down the road. Some people say we have a choice of  influencing and directing the path of someone’s life. I disagree. We don’t have that choice, we always direct the path of someone’s life every day by our own choices. We only have the choice of whether it is in a positive way or a negative way.
We should always remember that our lives and how we choose to live have an impact on other people. What we put out into the world will not only come back to us, but also to those around us and the people we care about. It can easily turn into a vicious cycle if we let it. Change is inevitable and we can direct the direction of it as a positive force. We need to focus on our attitudes and our relationships towards others.

These are some other posts to help with our attitudes.

AngerLustEnvy, PrideGluttony, Greed, Sloth

Further Study: (movies)
Edges of the Lord
What if
Sliding Doors

Prayer Mapping

This is something I happened to stumble on, that I had never heard of. I had heard of praying for your country, but this is more personalized. This can be a good idea to do for your surrounding area or homestead as well as any traveling or hiking trips. Don’t forget while out and about to make the sign of the cross on the ground of areas you are praying for. (not required, but can’t hurt)

What is Prayer Mapping?

If you look at a state map, what does it tell you? Roads, highways, directions, points of interest, topical information like mountains and waterways and elevations, city and town names, locations of parks. The map makes it easy to navigate around the state. A prayer map or spiritual map tries to provide information in the spiritual realm as a regular map does in the natural realm. It is looking at a geographic territory from a spiritual perspective. The purpose? There is only one bottom line reason to prepare a prayer map for a city, town or region: in order to pray effectively to bring that territory under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The prayer map assesses the current spiritual conditions in the area so that a strategy can be drawn to recover any ground currently in the possession of the enemy, Satan, and his demonic hoard.

For those who don’t think the occult has any power, or is not real. Read 1 Samuel chapter 28. Where king Saul finds a medium who practices the occult and summons the spirit of the dead prophet Samuel. If you believe the Bible then this would seem to imply that psychic phenomena is real as well as performing séances. Then things like witchcraft and voodoo are not far from believable to. Of course we should never do this. Summoning spirits, quiji boards and  such things are dangerous and opens your lives up to the demonic. I have read many such encounters.

This is my plan to use prayer mapping. With it to break the spirit of darkness in my surrounding area and to protect it. I am constructing a crude map of the area I live in and sectioning off areas. I along with my trusted friends will pray every day for our area and each other. Asking in intercessory prayer and for the protection of the angels. If you are planning on a trip somewhere or hiking/ camping get a map of the area or google map and plot out your location and pray for the area ahead of time to loosen it from any negative energy. Some locations have a history of accidents or tragic events. Do your research ahead of time.

Here is Anthony’s podcast about accidents and violent crimes on trail hikes.

Episode 66 haunted hikes

Episode 52 trouble on the trailhead

What goes into a prayer map?

The prayer map consists of all the scraps of information that can be gathered about a region that will give clues to what is really going on behind the scenes, supernaturally. If you have a detective’s heart or love mysteries you may be made for prayer mapping. You gather clues, piece them together, apply some natural and supernatural wisdom, pray for help and come up with a prayer map that can be the basis of effective prayer.

You are looking specifically for blessings and curses that influence the territory of interest. You are determining how far the gospel has penetrated your region and how much work still needs to be done.

In my area I know that satanic worship has been going on. In ft. Smith the machete guy was a Satanist who was summoning demons. So there are probably curses going on around that area. We have also been having weird weather. Thousands of drum fish have died off in the Ozark river and black birds have been falling out of the sky in the thousands each year around new years day. Plus natural disasters such as tornadoes and bad storms. Oh and lots of house fires. I know of several friends who have lost everything. One I would like to note about happened Friday. A friend’s house burned down and her living room was completely burned and her coffee table. It was completely destroyed but she had a Holy Bible sitting on top of it. It was untouched. The table was lost, but the Bible was perfectly fine.

In addition to prayer

In addition to prayer you can hang symbols of faith. Like crosses and crucifixes. (Of course it is one’s faith that protects.) You can sprinkle blessed salt in the area around your base camp or homestead. Scratch the sign of the cross in places in the ground along the perimeter of the area you desire to be blessed. Pray for any lingering spirits to be laid to rest or to vacate the area. Sprinkle holy water on rocks trees and your home said with the Lord’s prayer. Some burry a statue of a saint in the yard (homestead only unless you plan to dig it up again.) Park rangers wont be to happy about you digging up camp sites.

Making good use of your prayer map

Suppose you have now gathered a substantial amount of material about your city. You need a strategy to use it for maximum effectiveness. You need discernment to understand what is important and what is not. You now need prayer and fasting and a plan.

Hopefully you are not in this alone. There should be others who are sharing this prayer load with you and who will be able to help you discern various pieces of the puzzle. For best results gather a small band together who all had different personalities and gifts. No one person had all the insight or all the answers. But together we can have an amazing amount of accurate discernment and a good working strategy to utilize it.

As you begin delving into a strategy for reclaiming your community for Jesus Christ, it is important to understand spiritual authority and legal rights. Satan only possesses the territory in any city where he has the legal right and spiritual authority to do so. Where sin has entered in or curses have been placed on the land, Satan controls it.

You will not be able to reverse all that unless you first understand your own authority level and unless you are properly submitted to the authority over you. Sin in your own life will not only cancel your efforts to eject the enemy, it will open you and your family to attack, sometimes quite severely. The spirit of darkness will not be happy with your interference. However you can be protected under the Lord’s authority.

Your next step is to hold a prayer meeting with all the interested prayer partners and all the materials laid out for investigation. Begin by humbling yourselves and asking God to reveal what strongholds and curses are holding your community back from receiving the gospel. Pray over the materials and ask God to show you what is important. Usually, certain things will begin to jump out and there will be confirmation among the group.

The individual plan for each area or city will be different so there is no absolute formula to follow. What I believe will be part of every strategy is prayer, fasting, prayer walking and a constant seeking of the Holy Spirit about what step to take next and exactly how to proceed.

Generally you will be taking down strongholds in your community by uncovering what they are, repenting of any original sins which enabled them to stake a legal claim on your land, cleansing and re-consecrating the ground and pronouncing blessings where there were once curses. There may be times when you need to pray about certain individuals or entire families that you know of.

Also you should note to pray for your local Law enforcement, Fire fighters, and first responders. These individuals are the ones putting themselves in physical harms way and will be doing the arm-work in the areas you are praying for. Also it should be important to list and pray for your community leaders.

Mathew 18 :18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Pray for cursed broken, blessings to be given, light shine down on areas. Pray for love to be spread. For people to open their hearts ect.

As we take back authority from the enemy we are proclaiming; “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) as Jesus taught in the prayer we call the “The Lord’s Prayer.” Prayer mapping is just one tool in our arsenal to bring the kingdom of God alive in our city or community. By praying with divine insight our prayers are targeted and effective.
Don’t forget to pray for the animals in your area as well. Many go forgotten or over looked. Thank you.

I am doing the history research thing. Here in my area we have had weird weather. I live along highway 22 which spans several small towns to Ft. Smith. I work in Ozark and have a few friends there as well as scattered family. This is the area I am going to pray for. I have located the local fire departments and law enforcement. I have chosen a few names to pray for specifically.  We have  had more than a few house fires around here. There have been so many it is scary. Including a few friends who lost everything. I am going to recruit a few of my friends to pray with me. Try to set up a network or something.  We may pray each week or on some kind of schedule. Of course I pray for my family and home each night. The Lord said where every two or more are gathered, there shall I be. Matthew 18:19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

First search your heart and confess any sin and talk with God about how you feel. Free yourself from anything that would hinder your prayer.

We will start off with simple prayers for the towns and cities.

In Jeremiah 29:7 we are told “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper”  If we can protect our area, the misfortune and spirit of darkness that is infecting the rest of the nation will be kept out and not be able to spread through out our cities and lives. Kind of like a little bubble in the ocean. But if we stay faithful we can hold it back.

“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24–‐26

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”Psalm 29:11

 Then for the local law enforcements to be protected and to protect the innocent and bring evil to light. Then for the fire departments. For their protection and for them to save lives and animals. Then for the first responders for them to be swift and effective. For God to use them for the benefit of the people.

Then for God to place his holy angels over these areas. For the angels to influence these areas and for a spiritual rising for the people.

Such spiritual oppression often stems from things such as involvement in the occult, false teaching, and sexual immorality, or from keeping idols or magic books in the house (Deut. 7:24-26).

Oppression can also come from outside through curses and witchcraft or from within ourselves because we harbor hatred, bitterness , malice and unforgiveness in our hearts

(Matthew 18:21-35).

The symptoms of demonic oppression include:

1. Hopelessness, despair, loss of confidence, spiritual anguish and struggle, the constant feeling of accusation or of being ‘unclean’ in some way.

2. The sense of being cursed or of being the victim of some malicious spiritual force. A feeling that hatred, malice or envy is being directed at you in order to destroy you.

3. An out-of-control thought life, very vivid fantasies and daydreams, being unable to think straight. Numerous fears.

4. A sense of being ‘blocked’ or stifled in one’s Christian life. A pronounced loss of enthusiasm for spiritual things.

5. Addictions, compulsions, lying, impulsiveness, habitual folly, excessive materialism, being hyper-critical, outbursts of anger, a long line of broken relationships.

6. The feeling of being attacked, strangled or seduced by spirits during one’s sleep. Seeing dark shapes. Hearing seducing, accusing or very demanding voices.

7. Unusual , even bizarre accidents and illnesses, constant financial problems, a continual lack of success in life despite one’s best efforts.

“The Lord will keep you from all harm–‐He will watch over your life: the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and evermore.”Psalm 121:7–‐8

Also we are going to pray for the animals in our region. The strays, the cattle, the pets, the animal shelters. I have always cared deeply about the lost animals and abused. I would include a prayer for God to loose a special angel of light to attend to these animals and see to their welfare.

God shine your light on us and your name be praised. May this post bring you glory and may all those who read it start praying for their homes and cities.

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.

Gear Shop

Game Mechanics Gear and weight
Here is an overview of what was in a previous post on the starter gear for each path. Those of the body path can carry more. They have a bigger bag with a larger weight limit. Those of the mental path have the in between bag and those of the spirit path have the lightest bag. This can teach you about weight limits and packing. Each one starts with a 100 cash. Use the shop to change out gear and buy new stuff, but each item has a weight and will take up space in your bag. So make sure what you pack is what you want/need. You also must have something to cover each of the ten essentials.
Gear Shop
Refer back here as for changing and buying new gear.
Bags Can only have one at a time except for belt pouch.
Weight Limit             Price
The Expedition backpack      weight limit 40 lbs      80
Wiz bang Rucksack               weight limit 30 lbs       60
Messenger bag                   weight limit 20 lbs          30
Belt Pouch may have with another bag.
 adds 10 lbs to limit Limit of 1                                      50
Clothing                                          Weight             Price
Heavy weather clothing              8 lbs                 30
Spring weather clothing             6 lbs                  20
Summer weather clothing         5 lbs                 15
Fall weather clothing               6 lbs                   25
Rain gear clothing                      5 lbs                 15
Pajamas                                     2 lbs                    10
Tools                              weight        modifiers              price
Hunting knife              3 lbs             +2 to body          15
Heavy duty flashlight  3 lbs                                       10
Pocket tool set               3 lbs                                         5
Swiss army knife         1 lbs   +1 to body +1 mental    5
Machete                     4 lbs        +3  to body                  20
Club                        6 lbs          +5 to body                    25
Sword                     7 lbs        +6 to body                       40
Map/Compass     2 lbs                                                  5
Flint and steel    2 lbs                                                    4
Head lamp         1 lbs                                                   3
Lighter               1 lbs                                                   1
Guide book          lbs          +2 mental                      10
Multi tool         2 lbs              +2 mind                        4
Pocket knife   1 lbs              +1 body                         4
Pen light        1 lbs                                                     3
Matches  5 uses  .05 lbs                                            2
First aid kit       2 lbs      +1 heart life                  30
Rope                   4 lbs                                                10
Duct Tape      3 lbs                                                    4
Small Spade (emergency toilet)        1 lbs         5
Toilet Paper    .50 lbs                                             3
Empty plastic bottle
(after using bottled water can be refilled for free at a water source)
.50
Food                     weight                   price
Jerky                         6 lbs                          8
Energy bars             5 lbs                     5
Powder Drink mix  2 lbs                  3
Bag of Fries                  2 lbs                5
Dehydrated Burger    4 lbs              8
Instant Coffee         1 lbs                10
Hot Chocolate Powder 1 lbs           12
Gas Station Sandwich 2 lbs        5
Food and water is assumed consumed after each adventure.
Hydration              weight                price
Thermos                4 lbs                     3
Bladder Bottle      3 lbs                    4
Bottled water       1 lbs                   2
Drinks/Soda (local Brand)                    Weight         Price
Effect must be drank at the start of each turn used. Effects last only one turn.(one use each)Does not count for 10 essentialsLumina Cola                                                1          2.50
Lumina Nova (Cherry)                             1            3.50
Sharpens mind for one challenge +2 to mind

Lumina Edge (Vanilla)                               1          2.50
+2 to Spirit

Lumina Nebula (Coffee infused)               1         4.50
Provides energy. +2 to Body

Lumina Eclipse (Root beer)                         1      4.50

Shelters                      weight                      price
Dome tent                 5 lbs                          10
Hammock Tarp      8 lbs                            8
Tarp                           2 lbs                          5
2 Person tent           9 lbs                         15
Sandwich Lady
Small Church
Item                     weight                    effect                                      donation
Holy Water          1 lbs                    Dispel one low level                      4
                                                       demon or sprinkle on
                                            yourself for +1 to Spirit (one use)
Pocket Cross             2 lbs           +1 to Spirit                                            3
Holy Bible               1 lbs                    +1 to Spirit                                  5