Scripture: 1 Samuel 30:1-6
I. Introduction: Discouragement is a common response to the challenges of life. Even David, who experienced great spiritual triumphs, had tremendous emotional struggles. In Psalm 42:11, he wrote: “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him.” The king’s reaction must have been similar after Ziklag, his home at the time, was destroyed. David was able to find victory in that situation, in part because he knew how to overcome discouragement.
II. David’s Example: While David and his fellow warriors were away, the Amalekites raided their town, burned everything, and captured the women and children. In response, David “strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (1 Sam. 30:6). In other words, he sought encouragement. He turned to God, who promised him victory if he would pursue the attackers (1 Sam. 30:8).
III. Discouragement is:
A. Universal. Almost everyone has been dismayed at one time or another.
B. Recurring. You may overcome discouragement one week, only to face it again the next.
C. Contagious. Watch out for those who want to pull you down by indulging in negativity and self-pity.
D. Unpredictable. You never know when it will strike you or a loved one.
E. Temporary. It will pass if you respond correctly.
III. Discouragement differs from disappointment. When our expectations aren’t met, we feel disappointed. But discouragement, a feeling of despair and despondency, is a choice. We can choose to remain dejected or determine to work through our feelings and overcome them.
IV. The Causes of Discouragement
A. Inability to please others
B. Physical or verbal abuse
C. Unanswered prayer
D. Lack of proper recognition
F. Financial pressure
G. Health problems
H. Unexplained adversity
I. Feelings of worthlessness
V. The Consequences of Discouragement
A. Divided attention—If you are discouraged, you may not be able to work wholeheartedly.
B. Placing blame—When you feel down, be careful not to dwell on the wrongs of others.
C. Anger and depression—Unless you address the inner roots of discouragement, you will never overcome negative feelings.
D. Estrangement—People push others away by constantly grumbling.
E. Loss of confidence—Every aspect of your life will suffer when you feel unsure of yourself.
F. Negative spirit—Don’t rehash painful events.
G. Unwise decisions—Discouragement can cloud your judgment. By working through your feelings first, you can then make a careful, godly decision.
H. Spiritual drift—Depression is fertile ground for seeds of doubt.
VI. The Cure for Discouragement
A. Pride. Some put their trust in themselves and pursue relationships, accomplishments, or possessions instead of a relationship with the Father.
1. Look within yourself. Ask, Why am I discouraged?
2. Look up. God has the ability to rescue you from harmful attitudes.
3. Look back. Don’t dwell on hurtful things in the past. Instead, think about God’s faithfulness to deliver you.
4. Look ahead. Focus on what the Lord is doing now in your life. Be encouraged by what He has planned for the future.
B. Have the right response. Responding correctly to discouragement involves several things.
1. Rest. Physical and emotional exhaustion often lead to discouragement.
2. Reorganize your life. In other words, evaluate your use of time, energy, and other resources. Make sure you’re doing the right things in the right way.
3. Resolve to trust God. Believe that He is in control (Ps. 103:19), loves you, and will never leave you (Heb. 13:5). He can turn adversity into something good.
4. Resist discouragement. Ask God to reveal the best response to difficulty. You will be amazed at the difference a positive attitude makes.
VII. Conclusion: Are you tired of being discouraged? You don’t have to stay that way. Whether or not the situation changes, you can experience joy, peace, and contentment. For the believer, circumstances don’t have to dictate emotions. Allow Scripture to permeate your mind and heart. Discouragement will lose its foothold, and you will become joyous and fruitful again.
2) The 30-Day Reading List That Will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian by Robert Wenzel
by Murray N. Rothbard
There is no clearer demonstration of the essential identity of the two political parties than their position on the minimum wage. The Democrats proposed to raise the legal minimum wage from $3.35 an hour, to which it had been raised by the Reagan administration during its allegedly free-market salad days in 1981. The Republican counter was to allow a "subminimum" wage for teenagers, who, as marginal workers, are the ones who are indeed hardest hit by any legal minimum.
This stand was quickly modified by the Republicans in Congress, who proceeded to argue for a teenage subminimum that would last only a piddling 90 days, after which the rate would rise to the higher Democratic minimum (of $4.55 an hour.) It was left, ironically enough, for Senator Edward Kennedy to point out the ludicrous economic effect of this proposal: to induce employers to hire teenagers and then fire them after 89 days, to rehire others the day after.
Finally, and characteristically, George Bush got the Republicans out of this hole by throwing in the towel altogether, and plumping for a Democratic plan, period. We were left with the Democrats forthrightly proposing a big increase in the minimum wage, and the Republicans, after a series of illogical waffles, finally going along with the program.
In truth, there is only one way to regard a minimum wage law: it is compulsory unemployment, period. The law says: it is illegal, and therefore criminal, for anyone to hire anyone else below the level of X dollars an hour. This means, plainly and simply, that a large number of free and voluntary wage contracts are now outlawed and hence that there will be a large amount of unemployment. Remember that the minimum wage law provides no jobs; it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.
All demand curves are falling, and the demand for hiring labor is no exception. Hence, laws that prohibit employment at any wage that is relevant to the market (a minimum wage of 10 cents an hour would have little or no impact) must result in outlawing employment and hence causing unemployment.
If the minimum wage is, in short, raised from $3.35 to $4.55 an hour, the consequence is to disemploy, permanently, those who would have been hired at rates in between these two rates. Since the demand curve for any sort of labor (as for any factor of production) is set by the perceived marginal productivity of that labor, this means that the people who will be disemployed and devastated by this prohibition will be precisely the "marginal" (lowest wage) workers, e.g. blacks and teenagers, the very workers whom the advocates of the minimum wage are claiming to foster and protect.
The advocates of the minimum wage and its periodic boosting reply that all this is scare talk and that minimum wage rates do not and never have caused any unemployment. The proper riposte is to raise them one better; all right, if the minimum wage is such a wonderful anti-poverty measure, and can have no unemployment-raising effects, why are you such pikers? Why you are helping the working poor by such piddling amounts? Why stop at $4.55 an hour? Why not $10 an hour? $100? $1,000?
It is obvious that the minimum wage advocates do not pursue their own logic, because if they push it to such heights, virtually the entire labor force will be disemployed. In short, you can have as much unemployment as you want, simply by pushing the legally minimum wage high enough.
It is conventional among economists to be polite, to assume that economic fallacy is solely the result of intellectual error. But there are times when decorousness is seriously misleading, or, as Oscar Wilde once wrote, "when speaking one's mind becomes more than a duty; it becomes a positive pleasure." For if proponents of the higher minimum wage were simply wrongheaded people of good will, they would not stop at $3 or $4 an hour, but indeed would pursue their dimwit logic into the stratosphere.
The fact is that they have always been shrewd enough to stop their minimum wage demands at the point where only marginal workers are affected, and where there is no danger of disemploying, for example, white adult male workers with union seniority. When we see that the most ardent advocates of the minimum wage law have been the AFL-CIO, and that the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.
This is only one of a large number of cases where a seemingly purblind persistence in economic fallacy only serves as a mask for special privilege at the expense of those who are supposedly to be "helped."
In the current agitation, inflation – supposedly brought to a halt by the Reagan administration – has eroded the impact of the last minimum wage hike in 1981, reducing the real impact of the minimum wage by 23%. Partially as a result, the unemployment rate has fallen from 11% in 1982 to under six percent in 1988. Possibly chagrined by this drop, the AFL-CIO and its allies are pushing to rectify this condition, and to boost the minimum wage rate by 34%.
Once in a while, AFL-CIO economists and other knowledgeable liberals will drop their mask of economic fallacy and candidly admit that their actions will cause unemployment; they then proceed to justify themselves by claiming that it is more "dignified" for a worker to be on welfare than to work at a low wage. This of course, is the doctrine of many people on welfare themselves. It is truly a strange concept of "dignity" that has been fostered by the interlocking minimum wage-welfare system.
Unfortunately, this system does not give those numerous workers who still prefer to be producers rather than parasites the privilege of making their own free choice.
3) Roger’s Rangers Rules or Plan of Discipline by Major Robert Rogers
If you have to pass by lakes, keep at some distance from the edge of the water, lest, in case of an ambuscade, or an attack from the enemy, when in that situation, your retreat should be cut off.
4) 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington
Week 31 of 52: Inventory Management
Keeping your preps organized can be very challenging to say the least. Most of us do not have ideal storage areas and are putting our preparedness and food supplies in every free nook and cranny that is available to us. If you’re not careful, this can lead to an unorganized mess. However, in order to know how much you have and how much more you need, you must to be able to account for it. The reality of this situation is if you are ever truly in an emergency, you want these preparedness items and equipment to be accessible and easy to find when you need it the most.
There is no clear cut way to store preparedness supplies. Some store their like preparedness items in groups (i.e. stored foods, tools, equipment, tack and household items), while others store them according to need (baking needs, short-term food supply, long-term supply, etc.) Whichever way you choose to organize, ensure that the area chosen is free from natural elements and insects. This also helps reduce other pest issues. The best way to keep track of your preps is with a master inventory list. Here are some suggestions for organization and for creating a Master List.
Organizing the Storage Area:
- Take out all your preparedness items from the area they are being stored in.
- Thoroughly clean the area you are storing your preparedness items and food.
- Ensure that the area you are choosing to store your food is free of the enemies (natural elements and insects).
- Label each container, bucket, tub or package with it’s contents, pack date/year and any necessary instructions.
- Assign locations in storage area helps to keep items more organized (Med. Supplies, Baking, Sanitation, Breakfast, Canned Goods, etc.).
- Grouping items that are used together can be convenient. For example, keep baking needs such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc. next to one another for easy access.
- Place goods with the longest expiration date in the back and work forward to the closest expiration date.
- Systematically rotate and organize your storage.
- Food storage inventory should be checked every 6 months to make sure that food items are properly rotated and are used within their expiration date.
Creating a Master List:
- Use Excel or a spreadsheet software program to better organize and categorize your preps.
- List everything! Nothing should be exempt from your inventory list.
- Add the location of where the prep items are stored.
- Alphabetizing the list and including the location of where it is stored can be helpful when you’re in a pinch.
- Store your Master List in your Emergency Binder.
As you have found in the last 30 weeks, preparedness involves acquiring a lot of gear, tools and food. Knowing what you have, how much you have and where to find it is imperative in keeping track of your preparedness supplies.
To learn more tips for organizing your emergency preps, click here.
To find out how to better inventory your preparedness supplies, click here.
- Take all of your preparedness items out of the storage area and thoroughly clean the area.
- Organize your preparedness supplies.
- Develop a master list of your inventory supplies.
- Store the master list in your Emergency Binder.
Preps to Buy:
- Three Ring Binder (the larger the better)
- Printer Paper
- Highlighter Pen (optional)
- Printed Out Information
- Plastic containers or bins or under bed storage containers
- Shelving units
Week 32 of 52: 1 Month Supply of Food (List 2)
Investing in food is similar to investing in an insurance policy. Food storage, just like insurance plans, allow you to invest a little time and money each month, in order to fall back on a safety net when you need it the most. You might even say food storage is more fruitful, because you can reap the benefits of your food throughout the year. My family and I are still living off of dry goods that I first stored three years ago. Since that time, I have noticed food prices increase considerably and am thankful for the forethought in investing in my family’s well being. Did we have to sacrifice and forgo certain luxuries, yes. But that initial investment of food has paid off and gives me a sense of relief to know that I made a decision to benefit my family for years to come.
One of the golden rules of prepping is “it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.” A great prep, therefore, would be to ensure your family has the right foods stored to maintain a healthy diet in an emergency. Stock up on food with essential nutrients to maintain body functions: proteins and carbohydrates, fats for energy, as well as foods that are not high in salt (the more salty your food is, the more water you will drink). To calculate how many calories you will need in your diet, click here.
Those who are thinking of solely investing in canned goods could be surprised at the amount needed and expense of such an investment. Keep in mind that on average, one person’s rations of canned goods for a month is equivalent to:
- 20 cans of canned meat
- 34 cans of canned vegetables
- 26 cans of canned fruit
Many of us do not have adequate storage space, therefore consider other foods that can help to supplement the dietary concerns of the family as well as provide variety. A food storage calculator can be of help in this process. Take notice of the canned items or pre-packaged foods you typically buy and pick up a few extra the next time you are at the store. Stock the same food items you normally eat. Buying food you don’t normally consume is one of 8 Rookie Mistakes made by preppers. To read more tips of which types of foods to purchase for your food pantry, consider reading the 10 food pantry considerations.
Since we are concentrating on preparing for extended emergencies, we must anticipate and prepare for the scenario that our stored food supplies could dwindle. This could occur from improper food storage calculations, survival garden difficulties, or dry good depletion over time. In Week 18 of this preparedness series, we started learning different skills to preserve your perishable food storage for future use. Food dehydration happens to be one of the easiest ways to preserve food for long-term storage. Nutritious snacks can be made from dehydrating fruits, vegetables and meat. Dehydrated soup mixes can also be made for families on-the-go or can be added to bug out bags or emergency vehicle supplies. Canning foods is another suggestion to preserving food. Because the food is canned at the plants’ peak prime nutrient content, they will retain most of their nutritional content, if not gain more nutrients from the canning process. Canned food will keep 12 months or longer in some cases. Start learning these essential skills today in order to be more self reliant in emergency situations. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel in your abilities.
Can you imagine the nightmare of living through an extended emergency? Being prepared can put you way ahead of the game. While many who are unprepared for disasters will be battling to find a way to meet their basic needs, being prepared can keep your mind on what matters most: your family’s well being.
Preps to Buy:
- Dehydrated vegetables and fruit
- High energy snacks (trail mixes, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, etc.)
- 2-gallons cooking oil (plant based oils lasts longer)
- Bulk quantities of canned vegetables, fruit, meat and soups
- Monthly dry and packaged goods (pastas, pasta dinners, rice dinners, cereal, dry oats, etc.)
- Bulk quantities of baking goods such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, vinegar (white and cider vinegars), corn meal
- Tea and coffee – 1 box with 16 bags or 1 (2-ounce) jar instant coffee
- Drink mixes
- Emergency food bars
- Specialty foods for those with special diet concerns
- Pet food
- Begin practicing dehydrating different types of fruits, vegetables and meats to feel confidant in this skill set.
- Remember to take into account the calories and nutrients your food storage will provide you.
- Store any special diet needs along with your existing food supply.
- Don’t forget to include pet supplies to your emergency food storage. You’re furry friends want to eat too!
5) 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington
#58 – Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy, for 'is a Sign of a Tractable and Commendable Nature: And in all Causes of Passion admit Reason to Govern.
#59 – Never express anything unbecoming, nor Act against the Rules Moral before your inferiors.
#60 – Be not immodest in urging your Friends to Discover a Secret.