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Friday, February 15, 2013

30 Days of Knowledge - Day #10

1) Dr. Charles F. Stanley's 30 Life Principles

God Will Show You His Will

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11-13

I. The Lord has a plan for our lives. And if necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will (Life Principle #10). Fully understanding this truth is essential to discovering the Father’s plan and purpose for you.

II. Why can we trust God to reveal His will?

A. To follow the Lord’s plan for our life, we must know what He has called us to be and do. It would be out of character for God to hide His will and still expect us to walk in it.

B. The Bible also promises His guidance—all we need to do is ask Him (Prov. 3:5-6).

C. The apostle Paul indicated that it’s possible to know the Father’s will (Col. 1:9).

D. The Lord is faithful to reveal “the path of life” to those who seek it (Ps. 16:11).

III. How can you discover God’s plan for you?

A. The Bible: Apply scriptural truth so you won’t drift away from God’s will (Ps. 119:105).

B. Prayer: The Lord promises to guide us when we pray according to His will (1 John 5:14-15).

C. Circumstances: For a child of God, there is no such thing as coincidence. .

D. Godly counsel: Before taking advice, make sure the person counseling you leads a righteous life. Ask, “What do you think the Word of God says I should do?”

E. Your conscience: It is the moral filter of your life. Develop a godly conscience by saturating your mind with the Word of God, and your decisions will become more Christlike over time.

F. Restless spirit: Dr. Stanley has always felt restless before major life changes. When this happens, it’s wise to ask God, “What are You saying to me?”

G. Unusual manifestations: The Lord sometimes reveals His will in unusual ways (Ex. 3:2; Acts 16:9).

IV. What are some hindrances to discovering God’s will?

A. Self-will: If you have already made up your mind, it will be difficult to hear what the Lord wants you to do.

B. The influence of others: They may comment that God wouldn’t expect you to make such a large sacrifice—and thereby discourage you from obeying.

C. Ignorance of God’s Word: The next generation knows almost nothing about the Bible. Children need to sit in the worship service with their parents—even if they don’t understand everything.

D. Doubt: Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find.” Don’t second-guess God’s promises will (James 1:6-8).

E. Unworthiness: Don’t believe the lie that you are undeserving of the Lord’s guidance or grace.

F. Busyness: If your life is too full to pray, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.

G. Fear: When revealed, God’s will can seem impossible or foolish. But remember, the Lord can bring good out of every situation (Rom. 8:28).

H. Known sin: If you are determined to live a rebellious life, the Father will not fully reveal His will to you.

V. How can you know for sure that you’ve heard Him correctly? Ask yourself these questions:

A. Is it consistent with the Word of God?

B. Is it a wise decision?

C. Can I honestly ask the Lord to help me achieve this?

D. Do I have genuine peace about it?

E. Does this decision fit who I am as a follower of Jesus? Does it fit the Lord’s overall plan for my life?

F. Will this decision honor God?

VI. A Personal Example: During Dr. Stanley’s senior year of college, he saw two falling stars that confirmed his call to preach. The Father graciously revealed His guidance for Dr. Stanley’s life. He will do the same for you.

VII. Conclusion: If you will faithfully apply biblical principles, you can know God’s plans for your life. Once you know His will, don’t let doubt, fear, or willful sin keep you from obeying Him. Your own plans can’t compare to the good things the Father has in store. The wisest thing you can do is obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him.

 

 

2) The 30-Day Reading List That Will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian by Robert Wenzel

Seeing the Unseen

 


 

Even now, people think nothing of professing their attachment to socialist ideology at cocktail parties, at restaurants serving abundant foods, and lounging in the fanciest apartments and homes that mankind has ever enjoyed. Yes, it is still fashionable to be a socialist, and — in some circles within the arts and academia — socially required. No one will recoil. Someone will openly congratulate you for your idealism. In the same way, you can always count on eliciting agreement by decrying the evils of Wal-Mart and Microsoft.

Isn't it remarkable? Socialism (the real-life version) collapsed nearly twenty years ago — vicious regimes founded on the principles of Marxism, overthrown by the will of the people. Following that event we've seen these once decrepit societies come back to life and become a major source for the world's prosperity. Trade has expanded. The technological revolution is achieving miracles by the day right under our noses. Millions have been made far better off, in ever-widening circles. The credit is wholly due to the free market, which possesses a creative power that has been underestimated by even its most passionate proponents.

What's more, it should not have required the collapse of socialism to demonstrate this. Socialism has been failing since the ancient world. And since Mises's book Socialism (1922) we have understood that the precise reason is due to the economic impossibility of the emergence of social order in absence of private property in the means of production. No one has ever refuted him.

And yet, even now, after all this, professors stand in front of their students and decry the evil of capitalism. Best-selling books make anti-capitalism the theme. Politicians parade around telling us about the glorious things that the government will accomplish when they are in charge. And every evil of the day, even those directly caused by the government (airline delays, the housing crisis, the never-ending crisis in public schooling, the lack of health care for everyone) are blamed on the market economy.

As an example: the Bush administration nationalized airline security after 9-11, and hardly anyone — except Ron Paul, of course — even questioned that this was necessary. The result was an amazing mess that is visible to every traveler, as delays pile on delays and humiliations became part of the rubric of travel by flight. And yet who gets the blame? Read the letters to the editor. Read the mountains of copy written by journalists covering this issue. The blame is heaped on the private airlines. The solution follows: more regulation, more nationalization.

How can we account for this appalling display? There are two primary factors. The first is the failure of people to understand economics and its elucidation of cause and effect in society. The second is the absence of imagination that such ignorance reinforces. If you don't know what causes what in society, it is impossible to intellectually grasp the proper solutions or imagine how the world would work in the absence of the state.

The educational gap can be overcome. To think in economic terms is to realize that wealth is not a given or an accident of history. It is not bestowed on us like rain from above. It is the product of human creativity in an environment of freedom. The freedom to own, to make contracts, to save, to invest, to associate, and to trade: these are the key to prosperity.

Without them, where would we be? In a state of nature, which means a dramatically shrunken population hiding in caves and living off what we can hunt and gather. This is the world in which human beings found themselves until we made something of it, and it is the world we can slip back into should any government ever manage to take away freedom and private property rights completely.

This seems like a simple point but it is one that evades vast swaths of even the educated public. The problem comes down to a failure to understand that scarcity is a pervasive feature of the world and the need for a system that rationally allocates scarce resources to socially optimal ends. There is only one system for doing so, and it is not central planning but the free-market price system.

Government distorts the price system in myriad ways. Subsidies short-circuit market judgments. Product bans cause the ascendance of less desirable goods and services over more desirable ones. Other regulations slow down the wheels of commerce, thwart the dreams of entrepreneurs, and foil the plans of consumers and investors. Then there is the most deceptive form of price manipulation: monetary management by a central bank.

The larger the government, the more our living standards are reduced. We are fortunate as a civilization that the progress of free enterprise generally outpaces the regress of government growth, for, if that were not the case, we would be poorer each year not just in relative terms but absolutely poorer too. The market is smart and the government is dumb, and to these attributes do we owe the whole of our economic well-being.

The second part of our educational task — imagining how a market-run world would function — is much more difficult. Murray Rothbard once remarked that if the government were the only producer of shoes, most people would be unable to imagine how the market could possibly do it. How can the market accommodate all sizes? Isn't it wasteful to produce styles for every taste? What about fraudulent shoes and poor quality producers? And shoes are arguably a good too important to turn over to the vicissitudes of market anarchy.

Well, so it is with many issues today, such as welfare. Among the first objections to the idea of a market society is that the poor will suffer and have no one to care for them. One response is that private charity can handle it, and yet we look around and see private charities handling comparatively small tasks. The sector just isn't big enough to pick up where government leaves off.

This is where imagination is required. The problem is that government services have crowded out private ones and reduced private-sector services below which they would be in a free market. Before the age of the welfare state, charities in the 19th century were a vast operation comparable in size to the largest industries. They expanded according to need. They were mostly provided by the churches through donations, and the ethic was there: everyone gave a portion of the family budget to the charitable sector. A nun like Mother Cabrini ran a charitable empire.

But then in the progressive era, ideology changed. Charity should be considered a public good and it should be professionalized. The state began to encroach on territory once reserved to the private sector. And as the welfare state grew throughout the 20th century, the comparative size of the private sector shrank. As bad off as we are in the US, it is nothing compared with Europe, the continent that gave birth to charitable services. Today, few Europeans donate a dime to charity, because everyone is of the belief that this is a government service, and, moreover, after taxes and high prices, there isn't much left over to donate.

It is the same in every area the government has monopolized. Until Fed-Ex and UPS came along to exploit a loophole in the letter law, people couldn't imagine how the private sector could deliver mail. There are many similar blind spots today in the area of justice provision, security, schooling, medical care, monetary policy, and coinage services. People are aghast at the suggestion that the market should provide all these, but only because it requires mental experiments and a bit of imagination to see how it is possible.

Once you understand economics, the reality that everyone sees takes on a new significance. Wal-Mart is not a pariah but a glorious achievement of civilization, an institution that has finally put to rest that great fear that has pervaded all of human history: the fear that the food will run out. In fact, even the smallest products dazzle the mind once you understand the incredible complexity of the production process and how the market manages to coordinate it all toward the end of human betterment. The achievements of the market suddenly appear in sharp relief all around you.

And then you begin to see the unseen: how much more secure we would be with private security, how much more just society would be if justice were privatized, how much more compassionate we would be if the human heart were trained by private experience rather than government bureaucracies.

And what makes the difference? The socialist and the advocate of free markets observe the same facts. But the person with economic knowledge understands their significance and implications. For example, only Ron Paul, of all American public officials, really understands economics. This is why we must never underestimate the central role of teaching about economics. Facts will always be with us. Wisdom, however, must be taught. Achieving a culture-wide understanding of liberty and its implications has never been more important.



Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail] is founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author of Speaking of Liberty.

 

 

3) Roger’s Rangers Rules or Plan of Discipline by Major Robert Rogers

Rule #10

 

If the enemy is so superior that you are in danger of being surrounded by them, let the whole body disperse, and every one take a different road to the place of rendezvous appointed for that evening, which must every morning be altered and fixed for evening ensuing, in order to bring the whole party, or as many of them as possible, together, after any separation that may happen in the day; but if you should happen to be actually surrounded, form yourselves into a square, or if in the woods, a circle is best, and, if possible, make a stand till the darkness of the night favours your escape.

 

 

4) 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington

Week 10 of 52: Dental Preparedness (List 1)

 

How many of us have dental supplies on hand? I’m guessing not very many of us. Dental emergencies can hit out the blue. Without a warning, pain and soreness can occur in the gums or teeth and cause an extreme amount of discomfort. Ensuring that you have some dental supplies on hand can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and assist in not further aggravating any existing dental problems.

Be proactive and take the time to schedule regular dental visits and develop good dental hygiene habits, and in doing this, it will ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. When your family dentist suggests elective procedures, take the opportunity to the extra mile for your teeth because the last thing you would want to face during a disaster scenario is a dental emergency. Two proactive solutions to maintain good oral health is to floss regularly and to invest in a water pick.

Anticipating a dental emergency is difficult to say the least, but, there are seven likely dental emergencies that could affect your health in a long-term emergency. To learn more about them, click here. I cannot stress how important it is to take your oral health seriously, and failure to treat a dental emergencies could result in one of the following:

  • Loss of the tooth
  • Mediastinitis
  • Sepsis
  • Spread of infection to soft tissue (e.g., facial cellulitis, Ludwig’s angina)
  • Spread of infection to the jaw bone (osteomyelitis of the jaw)
  • Spread of infection to other areas of the body resulting in brain abscess, endocarditis, pneumonia, or other complications

Dental experts have suggested there is a correlation between overall health and oral health. As a result, those that have a healthy diet tend to have healthier teeth and gums. Consequently, vitamins play a vital roll in oral health too. These 7 vitamins would be essential to have in a long-term emergency. In addition to a regimen of vitamins, having natural alternatives to turn to when dealing with oral pain would also be beneficial. Some natural alternatives to look into would be:

  • Valerian Root – pain reliever
  • Kava Kava – muscle relaxants and mild sedative
  • Passionflower – pain reliever
  • Clove oil – relieves teeth pain
  • Charcoal – can make a compress that relieves swelling and pain.

If a long-term disaster situation were to occur, many people would face malnutrition, be vitamin deficient, and have poor dental hygiene, as a result, they could face some painful dental repercussions that may become life threatening. Here are some dental preps to purchase this week:

Preps to buy:


  • Dental emergency resource
  • Dental exam gloves
  • Toothpaste (for 3 months)
  • Toothbrushes (for 3 months)
  • Floss (3)
  • Baking soda
  • Toothpicks
  • Fluoride rinse (3 bottles)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Oral-gel
  • cotton balls
  • cotton gauze pads
  • Pain reliever such as Tylenol or Aspirin
  • Temporary cap filler
  • Instant ice packs
  • Dental mirror
  • Salt (for rinsing)
  • Clove oil (for tooth aches)
  • penlight or headlamp

Action Items:


1. Go to the dentist and get an annual check-up and cleaning.

2. Start taking a vitamin regimen that will assist in oral health.

3. Begin brushing your teeth for at least 1-2 minutes, and teach your children to do the same.

4. Floss at least once daily.

5. Read your dental emergency resource to be familiar with treatment plans.

6. Read a dental emergency resource to be familiar with treatment plans.

Note: If you plan to have older adults staying with you during a short or long-term disaster, do not forget to anticipate their dental needs.

 

Week 11 of 52: Short Term Food Supply (List 2)

 

When an impending disaster threatens our area, the first instinct is to run to the store and stock up on emergency food and supplies. However, everyone else has the same brilliant idea, which means emergency food and supplies will be in high demand and depleted if you didn’t time your trip to the store well. There is nothing worse than leaving a crowded store with no storm supplies and a disaster bearing down upon you.

Storing food for storms is not the only reason you should have an emergency food supply. In fact, due to current state of the economy, you are more likely to run into an emergency with a disappearing budget. Food prices have been soaring during the past few years, and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. Have you considered looking at your emergency supply as an investment? Many of the food items you will be purchasing over the next year are considered commodities (e.g., sugar, wheat, corn, rice, etc). Why not make the investment and purchase food at today’s prices and consume at tomorrow’s higher prices?

Those of you who have water stored know that it takes up a lot of space. When storing a short term water supply, purchase the 5- or 10-gallon water containers. Note: The 5-gallon water containers are easier to organize if you place them on their sides and stack them.

Another suggestion is to reuse your juice and soda bottles. As long as the container is comprised of food grade plastic, it is safe to reuse; however, make sure that the plastic container is washed well before reusing. I recommend investing in a water filtration system. While water filters, such as Katadyn or even Berkey, are a little pricey, they can be used multiple times and would be a good preparedness item to have on hand in case of a longer-term emergency.

The following items will create a broad selection of foods that can be consumed in an emergency situation. You can create foods like biscuits and jelly, cereal and milk, oatmeal, sandwiches, soups, pastas, casseroles, etc. Constructing an emergency menu now before a disaster happens will enable you to see what foods you have and what foods you may need.

Preps to buy:


  • 1 gallon of water per day for each member of the family (i.e., 1-2 weeks worth).
  • 2 bottles of juice per family member
  • 2 canned goods (e.g., meat, veggies, soup, and fruit) per family member.
  • 1 each of the following food condiments: Peanut butter, jelly, honey, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce
  • 2 drink mixes/tea/coffee per family member
  • Spices (e.g., salt, pepper, taco seasoning, apple pie seasoning, etc.)
  • 1 gallon of cooking oil
  • 2 each of the following pre-packaged foods: beans, dried peas, rice, noodles, oats, grains, cereals and pasta
  • 2 bags of flour (Note: Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.)
  • Ramen noodles
  • Powdered milk
  • Powdered potatoes
  • Infant Formula – Note: Call me crazy, but this has a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients and could be utilized for immune boosts.

Action Items:


1. Date perishable goods with a permanent marker.

2. Find a storage area in the home where emergency food supplies can be placed. Those who are living in small living spaces have rented air conditioned storage facilities to store their supplies.

3. Organize the food and begin creating a list of the items you have according to categories (e.g., condiments, baking supplies, canned goods, medical supplies, etc.).

 

Week 12 of 52: Financial Preparedness

There was a time in the not too distant past where I was enslaved to debt. I supplemented my income with credit cards in order to maintain an overindulgent lifestyle, and when my daughter needed emergency medical care, my financial situation worsened because I didn’t have medical insurance. The medical bills were a nightmare, and paying them off seemed like a never ending uphill battle. For years we had to live below our means in order to sort out our financial mess. During this time frame, I repeatedly asked myself, “Why didn’t I set some money aside for harder times? Why didn’t I prepare for this?” It was these questions that led me on a journey of financial discovery. Instead of wallowing in self pity, I educated myself in finding practical ways to fight back and to simplify my lifestyle, which became a huge lesson in self control.

Emergency agencies suggest a person have at a minimum 3 months pay saved up to fall back on. Although, this can be a difficult amount to save in our economy, it is possible if you simplify your lifestyle. Here are 7 Ways To Save a Buck :

1. Counteract financial emergencies by preparing for them in advance. Even when times are financially prosperous, it is a good idea to have a financial contingency plan in place and some emergency funds set aside to fall back on; this money can act as a buffer when things do go financially awry.
2. Focus on meeting your practical needs, i.e., food, water, shelter. As long as you have shelter and food to provide for your family, you are ok. The rest of the financial mess will eventually sort itself out.
3. Stop spending frivolously. Cut the following from your budget: restaurants, manicures, and Starbucks (my sister just fainted). Set a goal to save as much money as you can.
4. Take advantage of grocery store advertisements and coupons. You can save a substantial amount of money when you search for discounted goods; throw away brand loyalty.
5. Buy products in bulk. Purchase a few extra
short term food supply items (e.g., canned goods, formula, flour, sugar, etc.) each time you visit the store. Accumulating a few extra items will not break the budget, and when the money gets tight, you have the items on hand.
6. Trim the budget and shift your focus to the bare necessities. If you have children and one of the parents isn’t working, don’t spend money on daycare. If you are concerned about a lay off, start conserving your money by cutting back on energy bills, cable bills, etc. Speak with family members and let them know that you may be losing your job. Sometimes friends and family have good advice and possibly some contacts.
7. Have a garage sale to get rid of items that are no longer used. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” You may be surprised at how much money you could get for your gently used items that are collecting dust in your garage.


Finding ways to cut corners can be a proactive way to learn new skills. Rather than paying a company to landscape your yard or paint your home, do it yourself. The more skills you allow yourself to learn, the more self-sufficient you will become, which is the reason we are trying to become prepared. As an example, one of the ways I cut back and became more self-sufficient was to start baking my own bread and making my own condiments. If I hadn’t made the choice to be more frugal, then I never would have learned how to make fresh bread and can vegetables.

Preps to buy:


Rather than purchasing emergency supplies this week, concentrate your attention on your family’s short-term and long-term financial goals and discover ways to trim your budget.

Action Items:


1. Create a financial contingency plan.
2. Look at your budget and begin eliminating unnecessary debt.
3. Try and save 5-10% of your paycheck to use as a back-up plan.


Finding ways to cut corners can be a proactive way to learn new skills. Rather than paying a company to landscape your yard or paint your home, do it yourself. The more skills you allow yourself to learn, the more self-sufficient you will become, which is the reason we are trying to become prepared. As an example, one of the ways I cut back and became more self-sufficient was to start baking my own bread and making my own condiments. If I hadn’t made the choice to be more frugal, then I never would have learned how to make fresh bread and can vegetables.

 

5) 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington

#28If any one come to Speak to you while you are are Sitting Stand up though he be your Inferior, and when you Present Seats let it be to every one according to his Degree.

 

#29When you meet with one of Greater Quality than yourself, Stop, and retire especially if it be at a Door or any Straight place to give way for him to Pass.

 

#30In walking the highest Place in most Countries Seems to be on the right hand therefore Place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to Honor: but if three walk together the middest Place is the most Honorable the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.

 

 

 

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