Monday, August 12, 2013

30 Days of Knowledge - Day 21

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

Obedience Always Brings Blessing

Memory Verse: Psalm 24:1-5
I. Introduction: I define a blessing as any expression of God’s goodness and love toward us. Answered prayer, miraculous provision, and unexpected favor are some examples. We easily recognize these as God’s gifts. But sometimes He chooses to bless us in different ways. For instance, He grants us strength and joy in the midst of hardship, and He uses our suffering to help us mature spiritually.
When we obey God, we can trust that He will display His goodness and love to us. Those who are wise will watch for His blessings in all their different forms.
II. Biblical Examples
A. Noah’s obedience saved his family from the flood.
B. Abraham’s obedience resulted in his becoming the father of a great nation, God’s chosen people, Israel.
C. Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.
D. Joshua won the battle of Jericho by following God’s supernatural strategy.
E. David refused to harm Saul, the anointed king.
F. Jehoshaphat relied on God’s word when the Ammonites attacked Judah.
G. Peter obeyed Jesus’ command to fish in the heat of day.
H. Paul followed God’s will and took the gospel to the Gentiles.
III. Types of Blessing
God’s gifts aren’t always obvious. But when you obey Him, He may bless you with:
A. Peace, joy, and contentment. These internal qualities often result when we step out in faith and obey God.
B. Spiritual growth. We will have more faith to obey the next time God challenges us to do something.
C. Eternal blessings. When we stand before God on judgment day, we will be rewarded for our obedience (see Mark 9:41; Luke 6:21-23).
IV. Suffering Before Blessing
Often, the first effect of obedience is not blessing, but suffering. Sometimes, what God requires of us will initially lead to pain and sadness. We shouldn’t assume that difficulty means we’ve made a mistake or that He has abandoned us. Let’s look at two significant examples of suffering as an initial result of obedience:
A. Moses followed God’s command to lead His people out of Egypt. Not only did the leader experience difficulty in freeing the Israelites from bondage; the people also complained bitterly about life in the dessert once they were released. Despite these and other challenges, Moses is known as the most important leader in the Old Testament.
B. Paul obeyed God by preaching the gospel. As a result, he suffered tremendous persecution, danger, and physical abuse (2 Cor. 11:23-27). However, because he was imprisoned, the apostle had time to write his epistles to the Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians, and Philemon. His obedience resulted in supernatural blessing (see 2 Tim. 4:7).
V. God’s Purposes for Our Suffering
A. To bring us to the end of ourselves. We become most useful to the Lord when we rely on Him completely. If we respond correctly to loss and suffering, we will find blessing through it.
B. To prevent pride. Suffering reminds us that all good things are gifts from God and not earned by our own efforts.
C. To remove idols from our lives. Worshipping anything other than God is a problem. He causes all things to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). So if He removes a good thing from our lives, He must have a purpose, even if we can’t see it at the time.
D. To deepen our understanding of His ways. When God does something and we aren’t sure why, we can anticipate learning something new about how He operates.
E. To demonstrate His faithfulness to His children. In suffering, you and I have the opportunity to become living examples of the goodness of God. As others watch how we respond to overwhelming adversity, they recognize His loving care. 
VI. Conclusion:
If you obey God, can you expect His blessings? Yes. But remember that His choice of blessing may be different from yours. Perhaps He will use suffering to draw you closer to Himself. Or He may use it to remove from your life those things that hinder fruitfulness for Him. No matter what, if you walk in His will, He will bless you in surprising ways.

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

Who Owns Water?

This article originally appeared in the letters section of The Freeman, March 1956.
Dear Mr. Read:
Congratulations on publishing the stimulating and challenging article on "Ownership and Control of Water" in the November issue of Ideas On Liberty.
It is highly important that we think more about such fine points of complexity in our societal system. I offer these further thoughts on water rights, not as the final solution, but in an effort to help find answers to some of the questions raised in the article by the anonymous professor.
For some time, I have believed that a crucial point in our societal system has to do with land ownership, land meaning original nature-given resources of whatever physical type. This problem of ownership is at the crux of our dispute with the Socialists.
The Socialists argue that the State is or should be the property owner of the entire land area. If you grant this socialist premise, the control of the people follows.
The key question then is ownership. How should ownership be established? We contend, of course, that an adult individual should be a self-owner, so that he owns his own person. He also is entitled to all the property he creates and has a right to give that property to others, if he chooses, or to exchange it for other property. Hence, the right of bequest and inheritance. But this still leaves the question about nature-given property, which is not created by anyone. Who should own the land?
Without attempting here to develop the argument at length, it seems clear to me that neither society nor the State has a right – a moral or an economic claim – to ownership of land. Production clearly means to me that human labor works with nature-given material and transforms it into more usable condition. All production does this. If a man is entitled to the product he creates, he also is entitled to the nature-given land that he first finds and brings into productivity. In other words, land including water, mines, and the like – in an unused, primitive state is economically unowned and worthless and therefore should be legally unowned. It should be owned legally by that person who first makes use of it. This is a principle which we might call "first ownership to first user."
It seems to me that this principle is consistent with libertarian doctrine, and that it is only the principle of first ownership that makes sense in terms of that doctrine. Now, the first-ownership-to-first-user principle is a method of bringing unused, unowned property into ownership – into the market. After this is done, it is clear that the property, having been mixed with the labor and other effort of the first owner, passes completely and absolutely into his hands. From then on, it is his property to do with as he wishes. It may turn out to be uneconomic to use the property after a few years, and it will lie fallow. To leave his land fallow, however, should be an owner's privilege, for he should continue to have the unquestioned right to do with the property as he sees fit. Once the first user obtains the property, it must be absolutely his.
We now have a libertarian benchmark to apply to the difficult problem of water ownership. Where there is no scarcity but unlimited abundance for purposes of human use, there should be no ownership; hence, there is no need or call for anyone's owning any part of the shipping routes on the high seas.
Fisheries, on the other hand, pose a different problem. Private individuals and firms should definitely be able to own parts of the sea for fishing purposes. The present communism in the sea has led, inevitably, to progressive extermination of the fisheries, since it is to everyone's interest to grab as many fish as he can before the other fellow does, and to no one's interest to preserve the fishery resource. The problem would be solved if, on the first-ownership-to-first-user principle, parts of the sea could be owned by private enterprise.
Fixing the ownership of flowing water, as the professor points out, is more difficult. What's the solution? We must concentrate first, not on extricating ourselves from the present property relations in water, should that be necessary, but in trying to visualize an ideal arrangement. After the ideal is known, then one can begin working toward it, given the present situation. But it is crucial not to confuse the two. The ideal for scarce goods, then, is first-ownership-to-first-user.
It is immediately clear that the route to justice lies along the appropriation rather than the riparian path. Why riparian? What claim does a landowner have to any part of a stream just because his land adjoins the stream? No moral claim whatever. His riparian claim is not based on his having made use of the water; in fact, his only purpose seems to be to block anyone else from using the water, and the result is criminal waste of rivers and streams. Why should a riparian owner have a claim to a flow of water?
The appropriation method is therefore far closer to the just one. Its chief flaw is that it has been too limited, and we are all indebted to the professor for his clear explanation of the various methods of property allocation. The way to amend the appropriation method is as follows:
1.     eliminate all requirements for "beneficial" use – the term is meaningless, and can only be concretely decided on the free market;
2.     the water must be the appropriator's absolute property, not at the sufferance of the State.
Hence, he must be free to sell his right to the water to anyone else for any purpose, or to stop using it altogether. If he fails either to use his property right or sell it, the inference is that it is not worth using on the market. At any rate, the decision must be the property owner's – the appropriator's.
How to establish the absolute appropriation method in the Eastern states – whether with or without compensation to the present riparian owners – is something that must be settled. If downstream owners want to avoid pollution, there is one simple way they can do so, under the appropriation method: buy the stream altogether – as a corporation, perhaps – from the first appropriators, and then put it to non-polluting uses, or keep it "fallow" altogether.
Where there are underground rivers, the first appropriator can own his portion of water and use it however he wishes. There is no reason for him to own the whole river, however. Thus, for both the underground and surface rivers, the first appropriator and later buyers own the first used portion of a river flow, and the next appropriator owns the next downstream portion used.
Further, if downstream citizens wish to build a dam and flood upstream land in order to protect themselves against floods, they must, in a libertarian society, do two things:
1.     buy the rights to the water they propose to control, and
2.     buy the land to be flooded. If they want to preserve forests to avoid droughts, they can buy the forests from their private owners.
I hope these remarks may prove helpful.
Murray N. Rothbard, Economist
New York City

3) Roger’s Rangers Rules or Plan of Discipline by Major Robert Rogers
Rule #21

21. If the enemy pursue your rear, take a circle till you come to your own tracks, and there form am ambush to receive them, and give them the first fire.

4) 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington

Week 33 of 52: Essential Fats and Oils

More or less, we live a very blissful reality where strenuous physical activity is not required. Due to this sedentary lifestyle, obesity has become a major health factor in our country. As a result, the government and multiple health organizations have advocated restricting fats in your diet. As much as we would like to eliminate these fats, in a SHTF reality, this food source will actually serve a purpose in our survival. So, why are fats so important in your diet? How can our survival be dependent on our fat intake?
Bear in mind, a 2,000 calorie per day diet equals 67 grams fat and 75 grams protein per day. No matter how afraid we are of fats, having substantial fat sources in our storage is vital. Here’s why:
1.     Fats are an essential component in any diet for proper vitamin absorption. Specifically, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
2.     Fats also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
3.     They also serve as energy stores for the body.
4.     Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, which are an important dietary requirement and also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. (Source)
5.     The USDA suggests that about 30-35% of your daily calorie intake should come from fat.
6.     Fats are one of the 4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition.
We need to be smart about our survival. In the article, Vitamins, Minerals, and Surviving, the author wrote about a man who died in a survival situation living primarily on small game:
I remember one old grizzled survival instructor who commented about the victim, “He starved to death on a full stomach.”
The instructor went on to say that the man might have survived, if he had the guts, if he had only known more about nutrition, “A rabbit is a lean critter. Not much fat on ‘em and a man in a survival situation needs fat and oils. See, that man was only eating the lean flesh of the animal. He discarded the other parts that may have kept him alive. If he had eaten the contents of the rabbit’s stomach, which contains essentially green leafy grasses, (vitamins B, C, E), the rabbits eyes (which contain salt), along with the liver, heart, and kidneys (which contain vitamin A), as well as other vitamins, he might have made it. I suspect he just plain didn’t know about it. Or, he didn’t like the idea of eating a critter’s innards. Keep in mind, in a prolong survival situation protein along won’t keep you alive”
Best Types of Fats to Store
  • Infant formula – The oil content in this food source makes it a viable choice for a shtf fat source. An unopened can of powdered infant formula has a shelf life of 12 months. Once a can of formula has been opened, it should be used within a month and then discarded.
  • Ensure - This supplement drink has 6 grams of fat, which provides your body with 9 percent of the recommended daily intake. The powdered version of Ensure will last longer than the pre-made drink. Plan on a can of powdered Ensure to last the same as a can of infant formula, which is roughly about 12 months.
  • Oil – The plant based oils are best to store in your emergency supplies. A light colored oil, such as vegetable or olive oil can last up to a year, if stored properly. Once it’s opened, the oil could turn within a matter of weeks or months depending on how it was processed and the storage environment.
  • Peanut butter – Any type of butter made from nuts is a healthy source of fat and if stored properly can last up to 12 months.
  • Nuts and seeds – Because of the high oil content in nuts and seeds their shelf life is usually affected. Nuts and seeds typically last about 12 months.
  • Crisco – With a shelf life that ranges from 2-8 years, this fat source is the longest lasting. That being said, it is probably the most unhealthiest of the choices.
  • Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise has a relatively short shelf life of 6 months. Therefore, if you plan to stock up on this, ensure that it is frequently rotated in your food supply.
  • Salad dressing – Salad dressing lasts anywhere from 9-12 months.
  • Canned meats - Some canned meats, such as spam, fish and canned ham can also provide an adequate source of fat for your survival diet. Due to the high salt content of some of these canned meats, they have a relatively long shelf life of anywhere between 2-5 years.
  • Chocolate – Although chocolate is considered a high-calorie, high-fat food, it does provide some health benefits as well. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits. Studies have shown that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as provides more antioxidants than blueberries. A chocolate has a shelf life of 12 months, however, if the chocolate is repackaged in Mylar or stored in a plastic container, it could last much longer.
Storing fats are good for short-term emergencies, however if you are planning for extended or long-term emergencies, it is advised to get your fat sources by natural means. The following list are fat sources that one can get living in a homesteading environment and most importantly, your health will be far better off:
  • Whole Milk – Milk from animals can provide essential fat to our diets, and can also be used for cooking, making cheeses and other dishes.
  • Eggs – Eggs have 5 grams of fat per egg. I am including this in the list as I believe that fresh eggs would provide an adequate amount of calories, protein and fat if consumed on a regular basis.
  • Fatty fish – If you have a water source on your property, consider stocking it with a fish source. Many homesteaders have found great success in stocking their ponds with : Tilapia, Channel and Blue Catfish, Hybrid Stripers, Largemouth Bass, Trout, Bluegill, and Freshwater Shrimp. Other sources of fatty fish are: salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines. Ensure that you have fishing gear to get those fish with.
  • Fresh animal fats from animals. Livestock, wild animals can be used as a source of fat. These natural fats can be rendered for other uses or preserved through canning to have a natural source of fat on hand.
  • Nut trees – Look for the dwarf variety of nut trees (and fruit trees). Dwarf trees bear their fruit earlier than the standard varieties, and can produce higher yields in a shorter period of time. They have also been known to be more adaptable. Mother Earth News has a great article if you are interesting in learning more.
  • Fruit trees – Specifically avocado and olive trees provide a substantial amount of healthy fats for the body. Obviously, the following examples are region specific and prefer a Mediterranean-like climate, however check with the USDA zoning map to see if you can can plant them in your area. Living in the coastal South, I have seen many gardeners who have grown avocado trees.
To learn more about these different sources of fat, click here.
In an amazing homesteading reference, The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emry, she indicates that fat can also be used as a preservation method:
“The fat seals the air out… After slaughtering a hog, the fat was rendered into lard. Those cuts of the hog that were not cured for smoking, or made into sausage, like the shoulder, were fried. While still hot, these slices of pork steak were preserved through the winter by larding . In a large crock, layer on layer of the fried steaks was covered with hot lard. This meat was then used through the winter by scraping the lard off each layer. The amount necessary for a meal was removed and reheated. The used lard was reused in pies or other baking or cooking and ultimately for soap.”
To conclude, in a SHTF reality our diets will be very different from how they are today. Our activity levels will be centered around physical activities to promote our survival and as a result, our diets should reflect those changes. Continuing to have fat in the diet can help physiologically, as well as psychologically. Ensure that you have incorporated enough fats into your survival supplies.

Week 34 of 52: Essential Legumes

Ideally, in and extended emergency, many of us would prefer to be living in a self-reliant environment where we have access to fresh foods and meats. However, since we are preppers, we are making preparations to have back ups for our back ups. If, for some reason, our homesteading environment isn’t thriving, we will need to fall upon on our food pantry. Therefore, we want to have a well-rounded pantry to meet all of our dietary needs.
Last week, we discussed essential fats and oils to store in our deep larder. Another layer we need to focus on for our long-term dietary needs is a protein source capable of being stored long-term for shtf emergencies. Legumes are the most versatile option for storable proteins. Best of all, they are low cost and have the capacity to last a decade if properly stored. So, why do we need protein in our regular diets?
In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. Whenbeans are accompanied with a grain source such as rice or quinoa, it becomes a complete protein. Having protein in your diet not only provides energy, but also creates a special form of nitrogen that the body cannot get from carbohydrates or lipids. In the case of starvation, the body may actually “eat itself” (called wasting) to acquire the necessary amino acids, or borrow the amino acids from the immune system or body functions to meet its protein needs. Beans, peas and lentils are the richest source of vegetable protein, as well as a good source of fiber, calcium, and iron. Aside from using legumes in the usual manner, legumes can also be ground into an alternative flour source, sprouted for a fresh vegetable source, or made into spreads such as hummus. To learn more about why having a protein in your shtf diet is essential, click here.
Like most of our preparedness foods, beans should be stored in the absence of the enemies: oxygen, moisture, insects and sunlight. Beans in their original plastic packaging have roughly about 13 servings and a shelf life of 1 year or more. However re-packaging the dry goods in heavy duty Mylar and/or plastic containers can prolong legumes for up to 10 years or longer! Ensure that you have proper storage conditions or else your hard work could be all for nothing. Beans that are improperly stored could lead to rancidity of bean oils, color fade and an overall “off” flavor taste. To make the most of your legume storage, consider these 5 tips:
1.     When storing larger amounts of food, plastic containers, #10 cans, or Mylar-type bags are best for long-term food storage.
2.     If you are using one of the above long-term storage containers, you can keep the beans in their original packaging, or remove the plastic wrapping and pour the contents into a long-term container and properly seal.
3.     Oxygen absorbers should be used to remove oxygen from the packages to extend shelf life and minimize off-flavors caused by oxidation.
4.     For smaller quantities of storing beans, consider using canning jars. Ensure that the jars are stored in a dark place.
5.     Like most stored foods, colder storage temperatures will increase shelf life. 40-75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature range for keeping your long-term food storage safe.
Lentils have the highest nutrition value of legumes next to soybeans, so keep this in mind when purchasing for long-term storage. Further, consider the cooking time that legumes require. Larger beans take more time cooking and may require more of your fuel source to cook them. If this is an issue, purchase smaller legumes such as lentils and split peas. They cook faster, thus decreasing your fuel usage. Soaking beans for 6-12 hours can also reduce the cooking time by about one half, saves vitamins, minerals and proteins which can be lost during hours of cooking.
Those of you planning on putting away bulk quantities of beans may want to consider finding a super store or larger scale grocery store near you. These stores typically carry the 25 lb. bags of beans. Further, the Latter Day Saints have food storage warehouses that usually carry legumes and an assortment of other food related items. Check online to see if one of these LDS warehouses are near you. By far, the larger quantity bags will be a better investment compared to purchasing mass amounts of the smaller bags. If you want to purchase these items online, doing a simple search for “buy legumes in bulk” will connect you many online companies that can take your order.

Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]
  • Lima Beans, Dry
  • Soy Beans, Dry
  • Split Peas, Dry
  • Lentils, Dry
  • Dry Soup Mix, Dry
  • Chickpeas, Dry
  • Black beans, Dry
  • Navy Beans, Dry
  • Sprouts

Action Items:

1.     Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
2.     Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how much protein you need to add to your storage supply.
3.     Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
4.     Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more protein sources, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
5.     Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage.
6.     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.

5) 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation by George Washington
#61 - Utter not base and frivolous things amongst grave and Learned Men nor very Difficult Questions or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.

#62 - Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.

#63 - A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.

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