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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

30 Days of Knowledge - Day #22

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

Walking in the Holy Spirit

Memory Verse: Galatians 5:16
I. Introduction: Many believers go their entire Christian lives and never understand the necessity the Holy Spirit’s presence and work. Yet, apart from the Holy Spirit, you and I simply cannot lead godly lives. It is His grace that empowers us to resist sin and obey the Father. The Spirit helps us interpret Scripture and fellowship with the Lord. Without Him, no one can have a genuinely fruitful and victorious Christian life.
II. Who is the Holy Spirit?
A. A member of the Trinity (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4)
B. Creator (Gen. 1:2, 26; Job 33:4) 
C. A Person, not an impersonal force (John 14:16-17, 26)
III. What does the Holy Spirit do in our lives?
A. Teaches and reminds us of what we’ve learned (John 14:26)
B. Seeks to testify about Jesus rather than Himself (John 15:26)
C. Convicts us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-13)
D. Guides us into all truth (John 16:13)
E. Glorifies Christ (John 16:14)
F. Dwells within every believer (Rom. 8:11)
G. Reveals the Lord’s plans for us (Rom. 8:14)
H. Assures us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15-16)
I. Equips us with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4, 7-8)
J. Gives power, especially for evangelism (Acts 1:7-8)
K. Intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26)
L. Seals our salvation (Eph. 1:13)
VI. What does it mean to walk in the Spirit?
A. This phrase means to live each moment dependent on the Holy Spirit, sensitive to His voice, and obedient to Him.
B. When the Spirit speaks to your heart, obey immediately. Delayed obedience is disobedience.
C. Sometimes it will become clear why the Holy Spirit directs us one way and not another. Other times, we may never know why. However, the wise man or woman will obey the Spirit’s voice—He knows all things, including the future, and His guidance is always for our benefit.
VII. How can we win the spiritual battle?
A. The Holy Spirit will equip us to live godly lives if we focus on Him. Romans 8:5 says, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
B. Believers have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The Devil can’t make God’s children do anything. He can tempt us and will certainly try to do so. But we can resist sin by allowing the Spirit’s power to work through us.
C. The spiritual battle takes place on two fronts: in our minds and in our behavior. The mind governs how we speak, act, and handle different situations. If we lose the battle on one front, we will also lose it on the other.
D. We must set our minds on obedience to God. Then we can win the battle against sin. The Spirit will speak to our hearts to warn us when we have stumbled into something wrong. At that moment, we must choose to obey.
E. Scripture refers to the importance of being mentally prepared for spiritual battle. First Peter 1:13 says, “Prepare your minds for action,” and Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
G. Setting our minds on spiritual things must be done on a daily basis. Each morning, I surrender to God and ask Him to give me strength and guidance for the day.
E. Apart from Him, we are inadequate to do anything of real value. With Him, we can experience spiritual victory, no matter how weak or unimportant we feel.
VIII. Conclusion: Do you want to live with real peace, contentment, and joy in life? Do you want to have the power to overcome temptation and persevere through adversity? This kind of victorious living is found only through total surrender and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Set your mind on the things of God, and trust the indwelling Spirit to guide, enable, and empower you to obey His voice. When we remain sensitive to the Spirit’s guidance, depend upon Him totally, and obey, we experience life at its very best.


2) The 30-Day Reading List That Will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian by Robert Wenzel
Defending the Slumlord
by Walter Block
Recently by Walter Block: Defending the Speculator

To many people, the slumlord — alias ghetto landlord and rent gouger — is proof that man can, while still alive, attain a satanic image. Recipient of vile curses, pincushion for needle-bearing tenants with a penchant for voodoo, perceived as exploiter of the downtrodden, the slumlord is surely one of the most hated figures of the day.
The indictment is manifold: he charges unconscionably high rents; he allows his buildings to fall into disrepair; his apartments are painted with cheap lead paint, which poisons babies, and he allows junkies, rapists, and drunks to harass the tenants. The falling plaster, the overflowing garbage, the omnipresent roaches, the leaky plumbing, the roof cave-ins and the fires, are all integral parts of the slumlord's domain. And the only creatures who thrive in his premises are the rats.
The indictment, highly charged though it is, is spurious. The owner of ghetto housing differs little from any other purveyor of low-cost merchandise. In fact, he is no different from any purveyor of any kind of merchandise. They all charge as much as they can.
First consider the purveyors of cheap, inferior, and secondhand merchandise as a class. One thing above all else stands out about merchandise they buy and sell: it is cheaply built, inferior in quality, or secondhand. A rational person would not expect high quality, exquisite workmanship, or superior new merchandise at bargain rate prices; he would not feel outraged and cheated if bargain rate merchandise proved to have only bargain rate qualities. Our expectations from margarine are not those of butter. We are satisfied with lesser qualities from a used car than from a new car. However, when it comes to housing, especially in the urban setting, people expect, even insist upon, quality housing at bargain prices.
But what of the claim that the slumlord overcharges for his decrepit housing? This is erroneous. Everyone tries to obtain the highest price possible for what he produces, and to pay the lowest price possible for what he buys. Landlords operate this way, as do workers, minority group members, socialists, babysitters, and communal farmers. Even widows and pensioners who save their money for an emergency try to get the highest interest rates possible for their savings.
According to the reasoning that finds slumlords contemptible, all these people must also be condemned. For they "exploit" the people to whom they sell or rent their services and capital in the same way when they try to obtain the highest return possible.
But, of course, they are not contemptible — at least not because of their desire to obtain as high a return as possible from their products and services. And neither are slumlords. Landlords of dilapidated houses are singled out for something that is almost a basic part of human nature — the desire to barter and trade and to get the best possible bargain.
The critics of the slumlord fail to distinguish between the desire to charge high prices, which everyone has, and the ability to do so, which not everyone has. Slumlords are distinct, not because they want to charge high prices, but because they can. The question that is therefore central to the issue — and that critics totally disregard — is why this is so.
What usually stops people from charging inordinately high prices is the competition that arises as soon as the price and profit margin of any given product or service begins to rise. If the price of Frisbees, for example, starts to rise, established manufacturers will expand production, new entrepreneurs will enter the industry, used Frisbees will perhaps be sold in secondhand markets, etc. All these activities tend to counter the original rise in price.
If the price of rental apartments suddenly began to rise because of a sudden housing shortage, similar forces would come into play. New housing would be built by established real estate owners and by new ones who would be drawn into the industry by the price rise. Old housing would tend to be renovated; basements and attics would be pressed into use. All these activities would tend to drive the price of housing down, and cure the housing shortage.
If landlords tried to raise the rents in the absence of a housing shortage, they would find it difficult to keep their apartments rented. For both old and new tenants would be tempted away by the relatively lower rents charged elsewhere.
Even if landlords banded together to raise rents, they would not be able to maintain the rise in the absence of a housing shortage. Such an attempt would be countered by new entrepreneurs, not party to the cartel agreement, who would rush in to meet the demand for lower priced housing. They would buy existing housing, and build new housing.
Tenants would, of course, flock to the noncartel housing. Those who remained in the high-price buildings would tend to use less space, either by doubling up or by seeking less space than before. As this occurs it would become more difficult for the cartel landlords to keep their buildings fully rented.
Inevitably, the cartel would break up, as the landlords sought to find and keep tenants in the only way possible: by lowering rents. It is, therefore, specious to claim that landlords charge whatever they please. They charge whatever the market will bear, as does everyone else.
An additional reason for calling the claim unwarranted is that there is, at bottom, no really legitimate sense to the concept of overcharging. "Overcharging" can only mean "charging more than the buyer would like to pay." But since we would all really like to pay nothing for our dwelling space (or perhaps minus infinity, which would be equivalent to the landlord paying the tenant an infinite amount of money for living in his building), landlords who charge anything at all can be said to be overcharging. Everyone who sells at any price greater than zero can be said to be overcharging, because we would all like to pay nothing (or minus infinity) for what we buy.
Disregarding as spurious the claim that the slumlord overcharges, what of the vision of rats, garbage, falling plaster, etc.? Is the slumlord responsible for these conditions?
Although it is fashionable in the extreme to say "yes," this will not do. For the problem of slum housing is not really a problem of slums or of housing at all. It is a problem of poverty — a problem for which the landlord cannot be held responsible. And when it is not the result of poverty, it is not a social problem at all.
Slum housing with all its horrors is not a problem when the inhabitants are people who can afford higher-quality housing, but prefer to live in slum housing because of the money they can save thereby.
Such a choice might not be a popular one, but other people's freely made choices that affect only them cannot be classified as a social problem. If that could be done, we would all be in danger of having our most deliberate choices, our most cherished tastes and desires characterized as "social problems" by people whose taste differs from ours.
Slum housing is a problem when the inhabitants live there of necessity — not wishing to remain there, but unable to afford anything better. Their situation is certainly distressing, but the fault does not lie with the landlord. On the contrary, he is providing a necessary service, given the poverty of the tenants.
For proof, consider a law prohibiting the existence of slums, and therefore of slumlords, without making provisions for the slum dwellers in any other way, such as providing decent housing for the poor or an adequate income to buy or rent good housing. The argument is that if the slumlord truly harms the slum dweller, then his elimination, with everything else unchanged, ought to increase the net well-being of the slum tenant.
But the law would not accomplish this. It would greatly harm not only the slumlords but the slum dwellers as well. If anything, it would harm the slum dwellers even more, for the slumlords would lose only one of perhaps many sources of income; the slum dwellers would lose their very homes.
They would be forced to rent more expensive dwelling space, with consequent decreases in the amount of money available for food, medicines, and other necessities. No. The problem is not the slumlord — it is poverty. Only if the slumlord were the cause of poverty could he be legitimately blamed for the evils of slum housing.
Why is it then, if he is no more guilty of underhandedness than other merchants, that the slumlord has been singled out for vilification? After all, those who sell used clothes to Bowery bums are not reviled, even though their wares are inferior, the prices high, and the purchasers poor and helpless. Instead of blaming the merchants, however, we seem to know where the blame lies — in the poverty and hopeless condition of the Bowery bum.
In like manner, people do not blame the owners of junkyards for the poor condition of their wares or the dire straits of their customers. People do not blame the owners of "day-old bakeries" for the staleness of the bread. They realize, instead, that were it not for junkyards and these bakeries, poor people would be in an even worse condition than they are now in.
Although the answer can only be speculative, it would seem that there is a positive relationship between the amount of governmental interference in an economic arena, and the abuse and invective heaped upon the businessmen serving that arena. There have been few laws interfering with the "day-old bakeries" or junkyards, but many in the housing area. The link between government involvement in the housing market and the plight of the slumlord's public image should, therefore, be pinpointed.
That there is strong and varied government involvement in the housing market cannot be denied. Scatter-site housing projects, "public" housing and urban renewal projects, and zoning ordinances and building codes, are just a few examples. Each of these has created more problems than it has solved. More housing has been destroyed than created, racial tensions have been exacerbated, and neighborhoods and community life have been shattered.
In each case, it seems that the spillover effects of bureaucratic red tape and bungling are visited upon the slumlord. He bears the blame for much of the overcrowding engendered by the urban renewal program. He is blamed for not keeping his buildings up to the standards set forth in unrealistic building codes that, if met, would radically worsen the situation of the slum dweller. Compelling "Cadillac housing" can only harm the inhabitants of "Volkswagen housing." It puts all housing out of the financial reach of the poor.
Perhaps the most critical link between the government and the disrepute in which the slumlord is held is the rent control law. For rent control legislation changes the usual profit incentives, which put the entrepreneur in the service of his customers, to incentives that make him the direct enemy of his tenant-customers.
Ordinarily the landlord (or any other businessman) earns money by serving the needs of his tenants. If he fails to meet these needs, the tenants will tend to move out. Vacant apartments mean, of course, a loss of income. Advertising, rental agents, repairs, painting, and other conditions involved in re-renting an apartment mean extra expenditures.
In addition, the landlord who fails to meet the needs of the tenants may have to charge lower rents than he otherwise could. As in other businesses, the customer is "always right," and the merchant ignores this dictum only at his own peril.
But with rent control, the incentive system is turned around. Here the landlord can earn the greatest return not by serving his tenants well, but by mistreating them, by malingering, by refusing to make repairs, by insulting them. When the rents are legally controlled at rates below their market value, the landlord earns the greatest return not by serving his tenants, but by getting rid of them. For then he can replace them with higher-paying non-rent-controlled tenants.
If the incentive system is turned around under rent control, it is the self-selection process through which entry to the landlord "industry" is determined. The types of people attracted to an occupation are influenced by the type of work that must be done in the industry.
If the occupation calls (financially) for service to consumers, one type of landlord will be attracted. If the occupation calls (financially) for harassment of consumers, then quite a different type of landlord will be attracted. In other words, in many cases the reputation of the slumlord as cunning, avaricious, etc., might be well-deserved, but it is the rent control program in the first place that encourages people of this type to become landlords.
If the slumlord were prohibited from lording over slums, and if this prohibition were actively enforced, the welfare of the poor slum dweller would be immeasurably worsened, as we have seen. It is the prohibition of high rents by rent control and similar legislation that causes the deterioration of housing. It is the prohibition of low-quality housing by housing codes and the like that causes landlords to leave the field of housing.
The result is that tenants have fewer choices, and the choices they have are of low quality. If landlords cannot make as much profit in supplying housing to the poor as they can in other endeavors, they will leave the field. Attempts to lower rents and maintain high quality through prohibitions only lower profits and drive slumlords out of the field, leaving poor tenants immeasurably worse off.
It should be remembered that the basic cause of slums is not the slumlord, and that the worst "excesses" of the slumlord are due to governmental programs, especially rent control. The slumlord does make a positive contribution to society; without him, the economy would be worse off. That he continues in his thankless task, amidst all the abuse and vilification, can only be evidence of his basically heroic nature.
August 12, 2010
Dr. Block is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.

3) Roger’s Rangers Rules or Plan of Discipline by Major Robert Rogers
Rule #22

22. When you return from a scout, and come near our forts, avoid the usual roads, and avenues thereto, lest the enemy should have headed you, and lay in ambush to receive you, when almost exhausted with fatigues. 

4) 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington

Week 35 of 52: Surviving with Carbohydrates

Have you ever noticed how many options and varieties of food there are at the grocery store? In a previous article on food pantry preparedness I wrote, “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s pleasure.” To put it simply, having a well-rounded food storage pantry will cut down on culinary boredom, as well as balance your diet.
With this in mind, when the veritable “S” to hits the fan, you will want variety. By diversifying your emergency pantry will ensure you have plenty to choose from. Remember, food has more than one purpose. It comforts us, powers us with nutrition, and provides us with energy to withstand what may come our way. Choosing the right carbohydrates helps ensure power within diversification. Even if you don’t eat many carbs now, in a survival situation, activity levels increase due to the escalated necessity of physical labor (i.e. chopping firewood, planting a survival garden, standing guard or securing a perimeter, hunting, hand washing clothes or dishes, etc.). Harsh weather conditions can also play a role in the amount of carbohydrates we will need to consume. Bear in mind that the colder the temperatures there are, the more carbohydrates you will require.
U.S. guidelines suggest that between 45 and 65 percent of your calories come from carbs. The best carbohydrates are those that are complex carbohydrates and come from natural sources that contain a lot of fiber, such as from fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low fat milk. These types of carbohydrates take longer to break down into glucose and give you the most nutrients along with your calories. As a whole, we underestimate how many carbohydrates we need stored for a long-term emergency. For example, one adult should have the following different types of carbs in their food pantry: 150 lbs. of wheat, 50 lbs. of rice and 25 lbs. of pasta to live off of for one year. To get an idea of how many carbohydrate sources you or your family will need, use the food calculator at Ready Nutrition.  Those of you who have allergies to wheat or prefer to have  a variety of carbohydrate sources, consider these alternatives.
When putting this food source away, remember that you will need a mill to turn your carbohydrates into flour. Therefore, start researching and saving up for a quality mill now. These can be a costly, but a necessary preparedness investment. Initially, when my family started preparing for a long-term disaster, we purchased a low cost hand-powered grain mill for around $70. We practiced and used the low cost grain mill until we had money saved up to purchase our primary mill. Those of you who may be wondering, we invested in a Country Living Grain Mill; and although the cost is on the higher end, we feel satisfied with our purchase. Not to mention, now that we have two working mills, we have designated our old a back up grinder to our primary one.
Many preppers like to choose a multi-barrier system to store their food.  This barrier system is for long term purposes, and will keep natural elements such as sunlight, moisture and air out of the container when sealed. To learn more about this storage process, click here.
For the last four years, my family and I have stocked up on long-term food items from a variety of places, including super stores, the LDS food storage warehouse, emergency preparedness websites such as Emergency Essentials, Five Star Preparedness and the Ready Store.
From a survival standpoint, if you must forage to find carbohydrates, know in advance which wild food sources are available in your area. When food is scarce, chaos and fear begin to set in. However, instead of panicking, step outside and go for a walk and more than likely, food will be right around the corner or right under your nose. Consider the following:
  • Look for bees (honey)
  • Wild apples
  • Cattail roots
  • Wild potatoes
  • Wild fruits
  • Roots and tubers (cook these well).
Do you remember when we first began the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series? Our goals were simple: to find multipurpose preparedness items that will help you conserve space, provide versatility and give you the biggest bang for your buck. Well long-term storable carbohydrates are in this classification. Did you know that there are over 20 different types of grains? How’s that for a variety! Because I want for you all the make the most of your investments, most of the suggested carbohydrates have a lifespan of 20 years and longer.

  Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]
*These items have a 20 year+ shelf life
  • Corn (whole kernel lasts longer)
  • Pasta
  • Wheat – Hard red wheat or white wheat
  • Rice – white rice
  • Oats – Steel cut oats, not the instant kind
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth

Action Items:

1.     Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
2.     Further, research how versatile these foods can be for your food pantry.
3.     Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how much protein you need to add to your storage supply.
4.     Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
5.     Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more nutrition and calories daily, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
6.     Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage.
7.     Store your purchased products in a suitable environment where it is not exposed to natural elements. Click here to learn about your food’s worst enemies

Week 36: SHTF Sugars

I might get a lot of flack for posting this, but before the haters get all up in arms, be honest with yourself, do you honestly want to sit  out TEOTWAWKI without sugar or honey?
I realize there is a long list of diseases attributed to refined sugar in our diet. According to the American College of Sports Medicine a mere 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories should come from sugars. But, have you ever considered that there may be more than one reason for storing these sweet supplies for a long-term emergency? Some uses include:
  • Curing/Food Preservation
  • Alcohol
  • Medicinal Use
  • Bartering
We are all a bit particular when it comes to our favorite sweeteners. Good thing there are so many options! That being said, this article’s sweetener list is meant to be a general overview of some of the more popular storage choices. If there is a sweetener that you prefer, by all means purchase some for your preparedness pantry. Since we are stocking up for long-term preparedness, I will be discussing the sweeteners that have the longest shelf lives. The four most popular long-term sugars to store are:
  • Honey -  Sugar lasts forever if stored properly. Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey.  Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment. Uses include: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead).
  • White Sugar - Like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container. Sugar lasts forever if stored properly. Uses include: sweetener for beverages, baked goods, preservative, curing agent, making alcohol, gardening, insecticide.
  • Maple Syrup - Maple syrup is another consideration for your food storage. Because of it’s high sugar level (which is antibacterial), it lasts practically forever. The higher the quality and sugar level, the longer it lasts. Uses include: Baking, medicinal, food preservation, curing agent.
  • Molasses - This product is a by-product of the refining process of sugar cane into table sugar and it actually possesses health promoting properties. Molasses can last up to two years unopened. Uses include: Baking, preservative, food preservation, curing agent, soil amendment.
Although many of the above listed items can last a lifetime, if you are planning for extended or long-term emergencies, it is advised that you educate yourself on some other sugar options. The following list are some sugar sources that you can grow or raise yourself in a homesteading environment:
  • Sugar beets - Learning how to extract the sugar from beets can be tricky. During wartime, many people used ordinary red garden beets to make sugar. To learn more about this process click here: Making sugar from sugar beets. Please note that getting sugar from beets will require a lot of fuel, so prepare accordingly.
  • Sugar cane - This is a region-specific plant and one that thrives in tropical-like weather conditions. However, the entire plant can be used. The tops and remaining pulp can be eaten or fed to livestock.
  • Bees/honey - There are also many books on beekeeping that can be quite useful. Sometimes it is difficult to keep the bee colony thriving, so find a person in your area that is willing to share his or her experience.
  • Sugar maple trees - The sap from the sugar maple tree will produce maple syrup. There are many how-to articles and videos on the Internet that can take you step-by-step through the process. Please note, on average you will need 400-500 gallons of sap to make 10 gallons of maple syrup.
  • Stevia - A fairly easy to grow herb that is good for sweetening drinks, simple syrups and making jams. Here’s a trick to keep your stevia producing its sweet leaves: when you see the plant trying to flower, cut the tops off.
  • Sorghum - Sorghum is a grain cultivated for it’s sweetness. Amish folk love this grain and use as a syrup. It is also a popular grain to grow in impoverished regions of the world, and remains a principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Grain sorghum has been utilized by the ethanol industry for quite some time because it yields approximately the same amount of ethanol per bushel as corn. Take note: Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plant’s growth.
Have you noticed the price of sugar increasing? In all honesty, the price of everything is going up! Sugar in many parts of the region has gone up 22% in the past 12 months, so stocking up on it now would be a good investment for the future. Hard assets such as sugar, wheat, beans, and food preservation tools are an investment one could make that will have a reliable return on investment, as well as securing one’s future. Further, these types of investments could make lofty sums in a bartering situation.
The following is a general list of long-term sugars that can be stored:

  Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]
Honey
Sugar
Brown Sugar
Molasses
Corn Syrup
Jams
Fruit drink – powdered
Flavored Gelatin

Action Items:

1.     Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
2.     Further, research how versatile this food source can be for your food pantry and for your overall survival.
3.     Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how many sugar items you need to add to your storage supply.
4.     Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
5.     Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more nutrition and calories daily, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
6.     Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage.
7.     Store your purchased products in a suitable environment where it is not exposed to natural elements. Click here to learn about yourfood’s worst enemies.

5) 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington
#64 - Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, though there Seem to be Some cause.

#65 - Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.

#66 - Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.


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