A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Essential Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Essential Books. Show all posts

July 7, 2022

"Let Go or Be Dragged"

I am the most at peace and confident when I am writing. I am able to shut out the world and just receive the thoughts and words that result in something that I hope is worthy of consideration by my fellow inhabitants on this earth. I guess it's that part of me that is made in the image of God; the part that delights in creating the written word. I have shared before about the time a word from the Lord was spoken to me by a man I met only once. He told me the Lord wanted me "to be the pen, and not the blank piece of paper". He shared that God had made me to be a writer, and He wants me use my gift simply to please my Creator, and with no other reward in mind.

So, I have written an unpublished fiction book, an anthology about America under a pen name, a book on the Kingdom of God, and written this blog for 11 years. Now, I am happy [and humbled] to be involved with another anthology titled "Let God or Be Dragged", which includes stories by 13 authors relating how they experienced freedom in their lives from negativity and trauma. I daresay that everyone walking this planet has faced some form of these trials in their life. In the book, I relate a time in my early adulthood when poor choices resulted in a traumatic period of feeling like I was alone with no way to climb out of the hole I had dug for myself. I had to make a choice whether to let go, or be dragged deeper into that well of defeat. For me, Jesus was the answer. And that has had me thinking of the many examples we have in the Bible of men and women who faced that same dejected spirit; who found themselves downcast, disheartened and miserable. They, too, had a decision to make -- cry out to God or stay mired in the situation they found themselves in; whether by their own poor choices or other extenuating circumstances.

Four people come to mind: Job, Joseph, Moses, and Peter. First, let's take a look at the life of Job. He was a man who had it all ... wealth, a beautiful family, standing in the community. Then Satan asked God to allow him to test Job's faith. And he lost it all ... the money and livestock he had accumulated; a storm took his children; disease ravaged his body; and his wife begged him to denounce God. Talk about negativity and trauma! Everyone told him he should reject God and just die! Job could have let himself be dragged into the depths of despair and humiliation, but he decided to let go of all the bad advice and trust in God to deliver him. For thousands of years, the world has known the story of Job's faithfulness.

The next story we take a look at is about Joseph, the youngest and favored son of the patriarch Jacob. In his youthful enthusiasm, Joseph shares with his brothers a dream that he has where God shows that he will have great power and influence to help Israel in a time of significant trouble. But his brothers mistake his enthusiasm for pride, and they react in anger and jealousy, selling Joseph into slavery. This turn of events certainly qualifies as a time of negativity and trauma! But Joseph doesn't give into all the ways that the Enemy tries to divert his purpose. He never gives into the despair or the doubt that his long-ago dream was a mistake. He doesn't let himself be dragged into giving up, but continues to remain steadfast in who God made him to be, and rises to be Pharaoh's right-hand man, delivering Egypt out of a famine and saving his brothers and the families of Israel from starvation. 

Moses is our next hero. His life covered the whole spectrum of negativity and trauma! Born to a poor Hebrew family, he is saved from a death warrant issued by Pharaoh against all Hebrew male babies. He then becomes an adopted son of Pharaoh, himself, only to lose all that power and position when He kills a man and is forced to flee to a life of exile and what he must have felt was failure. Did God really have a calling on his life? He tried every excuse in the book to convince himself [and God] that he was not fit for the job. But it was in that identity of disappointment and inadequacy that Moses came to know the face of Almighty God and surrendered to the sovereignty and majesty of YHWH. It took him a long time, but he was finally able to let go and step into the destiny God had reserved for him, and him alone. He would no longer let himself be dragged along by a spirit of insignificance. He found a way to climb out of the pit and scale the mountain!

Finally, I want to consider the disciple and Apostle, Peter. His story is one of great highs and disparaging lows. It may seem that he was plucked out of obscurity to become the leader of Jesus's disciples; that he was just a simple fisherman who won the lottery ticket of faith. But remember, Jesus has known the purpose for which we are created since the foundations of the world. Peter was very specifically chosen by Jesus. He knew all about the negative situations Peter would face, and was intimately familiar with the trauma Peter would witness and experience. But Peter was created and born to lead the early Church and he would not be dragged away from that divine assignment! He would learn to let go of condemnation and harassment by religious and political leaders. He would learn to let go of ego and pride as he embraced Jesus's mission for the Father. And he would learn to let go of self-condemnation and doubt for denying the Christ. He could have let himself get dragged along by the negativity of hopelessness after Jesus's crucifixion, but by the grace of God, he let go ... and became a spiritual force to introduce the Kingdom of God into a lost world. These men are just a few of the examples throughout the Bible that stand as witness to the power of God in our lives. 

  So, I would like to invite you to read this modern anthology of people who are overcomers.  My part of this little book points to Jesus as my strength to "Let Go or Be Dragged". Every story in this powerhouse of a book is unique to the individual author, and I think you will find inspiration, motivation, and courage in every narrative that is shared. It's not only the heroes of the Bible who overcome. We each have a story to tell, and I pray you let Jesus be the author of yours!

Here is the link to the e-book, Let Go or Be Dragged: https://amzn.to/3IAA8pz  

Ecclesiastes 3:6   A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;


November 4, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: When Will The Heaven Begin?

     It is very rarely that I write a book review with tears streaming down my face.  But this one is personal.  In late 2011, I wrote a blog post about a young man that I was so blessed to have in my life.   PLW and I were present when Ben Breedlove left this troublesome earth for the phenomenal peace he had experienced in heaven.
    You might have heard his story .... he lived for 18 years, struggling with the effects of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a debilitating heart condition that was destined to cut short his promising life.  When he suddenly died on Christmas night, 2011, he left behind a touching video that told of his struggles and of a recent "vision" in which he had visited the "waiting room", so to speak, of heaven during a traumatic incident in which his heart failed.  Call it a "life during death" experience, if you will.  That video, which ends with Ben's question, "Do you believe in Angels or God?  I DO", immediately went viral, and has been seen by millions around the world.
     And now, his older sister, Ally Breedlove, has written a book about her brother, called When Will The Heaven Begin?, in which she details the incredible influence Ben had on others.  The book is so much more than another in the series of "near death experience books" that our culture clings to and is pre-occupied with.
     Ally has written honestly and poignantly about the effects Ben's condition had on him and the family.  Yet, she represents Ben's life as full and vibrant; there is no feeling sorry for themselves or asking "Why?".  And although Ben's life was punctuated with several near-death health scares, the family's faith in God and their wish that Ben live a life as free and uninhibited as he could took precedence.
     As Ally recounts the ups and down, and the hopes and fears of the family concerning Ben's health and his future, one cannot escape the realization that this book is not only a tribute to Ben and his amazing kindness, generosity and courage; but it is a book that is meant to inspire us all through any difficulties that we may be facing.
     As both the author, and his sister, Ally is successful in showing us how her brother and her family were able to live one day at a time, thanking God for his grace, and accepting that He was in control of Ben's life.  They came to understand that each life, no matter how short, is to be lived with purpose and not to be wasted.  Ally shows us how Ben did just that.
     She gives us a full picture of her brother: you will melt at the sight of Ben's irrepressible smile; laugh at his pranks and ever-present mischievous personality; be impressed with his talent and ingenuity; and you will grieve at what might have been from this talented and compassionate young man.   It is quite apparent that Ben lived more in his 18 years than do many in a lifetime.  I feel like I have lived so much of this story, but Ally brings such insightful and perceptive analysis of God's presence through life's joys, as well as difficulties, that I found myself receiving new revelations of what life is all about.  This is more than a "feel good" book.  You can bask in the reflection of God's love for each of us that the life of Ben Breedlove represented.
     I would imagine, that like Ben, many of you feel that your future is uncertain (and who doesn't in today's world?).  Let this book show you that we must go on living; that our lives have purpose; that there is peace in the face of trouble; and there is a promise of an eternal home.
    In the end, Ally Breedlove carries on her brother's legacy.  In the video that moved the world to re-examine their relationship with God, Ben shared his hope of heaven.  Now, in her book, Ally lays down her own challenge: she has written Ben's story.  How will you write yours?

 Proverbs 13:12     "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."    

April 10, 2013

Suggested Reading: Persecuted; The Global Assault On Christians

     I have mentioned before that we Christians in America are just beginning to feel the spread of persecution against our faith.  For those who share our faith around the world, persecution is a very real and threatening reality.  I am not trying to be a fear-monger, but I think it is time that we prepare ourselves for the spread of this threat to our doorsteps.   It does us no good to think that we will escape what the Bible tells us is coming.
     It is for this reason, that I highly recommend the book, Persecuted; The Global Assault on Christians.  The book paints an honest picture of the forces attacking Christianity around the world.  Christians in Ethiopia are undergoing extreme attacks; many mirroring this alarming story:  In May 2011, Abraham Abera, a worker at an Evangelical church, was walking home with his pregnant wife, Bertukan. Suddenly, six Muslim men wielding machetes assailed them beating Abraham to death and leaving Bertukan unconscious. She and the baby survived and as Bertukan recounts the attack she recalls the men's words: "You [Christians] are growing in number in our area. You are spreading your message. We will destroy you."
     And opposition to our faith is violent and persistent in Mother Russia, as this story demonstrates:  In Russia, police with automatic weapons and attack dogs stormed St. George's Lutheran Church during Sunday morning worship. Blocking all exits, they announced that they were searching for "extremist literature" and proceeded to ransack Bibles and hymnals. Justifying the raid, the police commander said, "There were indications that terrorists were gathering there, and distributing terrorist literature." In fact, the raid was part of a growing program of hostility toward the Lutheran congregation that has been oddly branded "a Catholic sect."
     These are just two of the stories as told by authors Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert, and Nina Shea in their book.  They write, "[Christianity in America] doesn't require us to keep looking over our shoulders, unsure if we will be arrested for praying or be attacked for having a Bible."  Unfortunately, the majority of the world's 2.2 billion Christians DO look over their shoulders.  They have to.
     The authors point out that the sources of persecution are threefold: Communist and post-Communist regimes that still "hunger for total political control"; Hindu and Buddhist nationalists who see Christianity as a political as well as a religious threat; and radical Islam with its "urge for religious dominance."  The book goes on to illustrate that, across the world, Christians are harassed, arrested, jailed, tortured, raped, beaten, and killed. Their churches and homes are bombed or burned to the ground. And children are taken from their Christian parents lest they too become tainted with faith in Jesus.
     Eric Metaxas, who wrote the best-selling book Bonhoeffer (the story of German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who fought Hitler's extermination of the Jews and paid with his life), wrote this in the forward to Persecuted, "we [in America] have been blessed with such a bounty of religious freedom that we can hardly imagine what such suffering must be like." But imagine it or not, we ignore it at our own peril.
     The book is hard to read.  The suffering is there on every page.   But as Christians, we are not to turn away from the truth or hope to escape the trials and tribulations of declaring our faith in Jesus Christ.  For that reason alone, you will find that the book will strengthen your faith. The lives of those who witness to the truth of Christianity in the midst of unspeakable pressure are inspirational.
     Another reason I recommend the book: you'll understand the world better.  Metaxas cuts right to the point in his assessment:  "This blood-spattered world is the world Jesus came to save and for which we need to pray." Finally, it will prepare us to act.  Metaxas is forceful when he says, "As Christians in America, we're in a position to put pressure on our government and in so doing come to the aid of our suffering brothers and sisters-and we must."  He is right.  But I want to go one step further.... it will prepare us to act in the sense that we must shore up our faith; our comfortable, easy, casual American faith.  Because I'm not sure how most American Christians would respond to the kind of attacks and persecution that others around the world have faced.  It's time to get grounded and strengthen the very foundations of our faith.
     As Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput writes in the book's Afterword, "Ignorance of the world is a luxury we cannot afford. We must know our faith, know our world and its struggles; and then open our hearts, engage our minds, and lift our hands."  I would add .... and prepare our hearts and minds to understand that word that is so foreign to our souls .... Persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12     "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

October 19, 2012

Book Review: Joe Nobody's "The Home-Schooled Shootist"

     Many of you will be familiar with Joe Nobody, but just in case you're unacquainted with this Everyman, he expresses all those thoughts and "politically incorrect" questions you have about Big Brother.  He also has a collection of informative and "How To" books that should be in every preppers library.  Joe has asked me to review his book, The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight With a Carbine.  This latest book is an instruction guide for intermediate to advanced shooters, and since I don't feel adequately qualified to give my opinion on such a subject, I thought I would invite my very first guest writer to offer his insight on the book.  
     I have asked my husband, Peace-Loving Warrior, (who is incidentally, quite a shooter, himself) to give an honest review from an experienced shooter.  Here is PLW's critique:

     Before giving you my unbiased opinion on this book, I feel I should give you some credentials, and tell you why Belle felt I was qualified to give you my assessment.
     I just wrapped up a 3-day Advanced Carbine Course with Travis Haley, formally the front man for Magpul Industries, the premiere firearms designer.  He now runs his own gig, called Haley Strategic Partners.  I spent three mentally and physically challenging days learning how to manipulate my carbine under every stress situation imaginable.
     Along with the other handgun and carbine training classes I've taken, I think I'm a pretty good judge as to whether an instruction guide is legitimate and useful for the reader.  So in keeping with an outlaw theme, I'm going to present my opinion as The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

     The Good.  There is a lot to like about Joe's book.  The reader can tell that Joe has poured out his fountain of knowledge and experience in a sincere effort to get those who are awake up to speed on their skills and training.  Joe starts off this guide with a powerful statement, which if taken to heart, may be the most important mission statement in the entire book:  "This book is about dominating in a gunfight."  
     Joe gets to the point and tells the truth.  His book is really about setting a baseline from which untrained shooters can assess where they are on a scale of skill levels.  This is done through a series of various drills.  After all, how can you improve, if you don't know where your baseline is?
     This book is very comprehensive and informative.  To go into detail about all the drills would be exhaustive, but they are all helpful and instructive.  So let's just talk about generalities, OK?  If you purchase this book, here's what you will learn on your way to becoming a formidable gunfighter:
1.    The OODA Loop - if this is new lingo to you, purchase this book!
2.    Natural Point of Aim
3.    Weak and Strong Hand Shooting
4.    Mag reloads and "immediate action drills" (Joe teaches some fantastic drills in Chapter 3.  If you don't know how to run your gun, then get this book!
5.    Equipment Checklist
6.    Stance - Grip - Sight Picture and Trigger
7.    Zeroing and Dry Firing
8.    Barriers & Corners
9.    Ballistics of the 5.56
10.  Reloading the 5.56

     This is just a taste of what you will learn.  Will it make you a better gunfighter?  Well, my friend, that's up to you.  Will you be willing to find the time to train, and improve, and commit his drills and actions to muscle memory?  If the answer is "yes", then get this book.  In all honesty, this isn't a book to read and leave stored in your hard drive.  To really learn from it, this book will take effort and training on your part.

The Bad.   I've read other reviews of this book, and they see it as a replacement for real training.  But I strongly disagree.  This opinion doesn't reflect on Joe or his book, but when a gunfight starts, you will only be as good as your training.  If that training is not committed to muscle memory, and you are stuck in your adversary's OODA loop; then you, my friend, are in trouble.  So get some qualified, professional training, and add Joe's drills to your routines and range sessions.  This book is a great addendum to your training regimen.

The Ugly.  OK, this may be unimportant to most people, but I'm not wild about the cover of this book.  As a prepper, I can appreciate Joe's target audience.  But this book is a legitimate guide and cross-over book --- both preppers and shooters have much to gain from Joe's base of knowledge.  For me, the cartoonish aspect of the cover minimizes the important information within.  But, hey, maybe it's just me.
     So, all in all, I give Joe five stars on content, and three on the cover art.  To sum it up .... Get this book!

Proverbs 15:31-32       "If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.  If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. "

September 7, 2012

An Answer For Your College-Aged Kids

     A pastor in our small Southern town shared this story with me .... A Baby Boomer dad felt he was just not reaching his Generation Y son.  Each time the college sophomore came home during a school break or holiday, they had heated discussions on the topic of the day.  They just couldn't seem to find common ground on subjects such as increasing taxes on the rich, social justice and same-sex marriage.
     The college professors seemed to have indoctrinated his son with a foreign ideology.  Not only was the father concerned that American history was being revised; but he just could not support the theories his son was being asked to accept.  He knew the problem was twofold.  First, our universities have been infiltrated with uncompromising and dogmatic academics who slant their teachings to reflect their partisan political views.  Secondly, his son's generation has no real perspective.  By that, he knew that the technology explosion that brought them iPhones, Facebook, and perpetual texting kept them focused on the here and now, and on themselves.  They don't know that this Recession that affects their future is not the first time such an economic event has happened.  They don't know that history repeats itself, and that history is important.  It is important to know the Principles upon which this country was founded, and it is important to seek out the truth about our history.  The advent of computers had allowed his son to gain instant knowledge on any subject.  But knowledge does not always mean one has wisdom.
     So, with Thanksgiving looming just days away, Dad almost dreaded the heated disagreements that he knew were coming.  How could he reach his son?  He needed to find a way to illustrate why the policies and the direction our nation was headed were not working.  Words were just words, and the professors had taught his son how to counter-argue every point he tried to make.  He needed a simple story; almost a parable, like Jesus used to get his deeper meanings across to the disciples.
     Then he found it!  A slim volume with a cautionary tale that demonstrated our history; where we've been and where we're headed if we don't get back on track.  It's called Animal Colony.  The dedication at the front of the book says it all ..... "We dedicated this book to our children and grandchildren. May the American experiment in self-government continue to guarantee each of them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  May they be allowed to prosper to the point that they can share abundantly with others."
     That week when his son arrived home, Dad gave him the small book and asked him to read it.  "I don't want to argue with you anymore, Son.  Do me a favor and read this book and then let's talk.  If we still disagree about the future of America, then I won't try to persuade you anymore."  His son agreed to read it that night.
     In the easy-to-read, fable-like story the son read about a small colony of animals who grew tired of the oppression by their Masters, and decided to break away from the compound and escape to a new land.  They traveled across dangerous waters and suffered through near starvation that first winter.  At first they tried a communal approach to planting seeds and harvesting their food, but soon found out that the same small group always seemed to be doing the labor, while the majority sat back and waited for the harvest to be shared equally.  Since fewer people volunteered to do the planting, the yield was far smaller than was needed for the population.  They then decided that it would be best if everyone became responsible for providing their own food.  And the Animal Colony flourished.
     The goose stated their newfound ideology well, "Equal opportunity for everyone has to be one of our foundations.  We all have the same rights and freedoms, and those have to translate into equal opportunity."  The horse agreed.  "Opportunity, yes, but the outcome has to depend on how hard the individual works."  The dog spoke up.  "The work of some Animals is benefitting others who will not work.  By trying to be fair to everyone, we've destroyed the natural incentive to work and benefit from our own labors.  We should try giving everyone the freedom to succeed or fail on their own."
     With that, they set up the Four Great Truths of the Colony:  First, any Animal who refused to work cannot expect to eat.  Second, Everyone deserves an equal opportunity.  Third, The harvest belongs to those who toil for it.  Fourth, Whatever behavior we reward will increase, and whatever we punish or penalize will decrease.
     By now you are getting the picture.  In a delightful, and thinly disguised allegory, the son was reading about the story of the Pilgrims escape to the New World; their failed attempt at socialism to feed their newfound colony; the embracing of a philosophy that all men are created equal and should have the opportunity to succeed or fail by their own efforts; and the adoption of a Constitution that would guarantee those rights to all men.
     The son read through the night.  He read that the Animal Colony prospered because they valued liberty and self-determination.   There were those in the Colony who worked hard and set aside some grain for a rainy day, while others ate everything they had with no thought of saving for hard times.  Then a series of cold winters, followed by droughts brought hardships upon the Colony.  Those that didn't have a surplus of set-aside grain accused those who had been wiser of stealing from the poorer citizens and abusing their power.  "He who is hungry has a right to eat!", declared the pig.  And thus began a policy they called the Great Sharing.
     Well, you can guess where this story is going.  I read the book in one or two sittings and it is quite engaging.  It presents the Progressive movement's ideology in a simple and transparent manner.  It's all there .... the less fortunate animals are victims; they are entitled to basic rights like food and a home; economic injustice is a crime; the harder the goose worked, the more of his harvest was taken for the Sharing; the Sharing never goes away - it just expands; and those animals with once prosperous businesses (like the beavers who built the dams for the Colony's water supply) moved away from the Animal Colony to places with lower Sharing rates.
     So back to our father and son.  How does their story end?  Well, the son stayed up all night reading the book and the next morning at breakfast, he sat down at the kitchen table, quieter than usual.  The father didn't press him; he waited for his son to bring up the subject of the book on his own.  Finally, the son looked up with tears in his eyes, and said, "Dad, I've been wrong.  I get it now.  This book makes it so easy to understand.  I now know what this country is all about, and I can see where we're headed."
     So my question to you is this:  Do you have a son or daughter coming home from college this Thanksgiving?  Could they benefit from this simple cautionary tale?  The symbols and metaphors are in plain sight and hard to ignore.  If nothing else, it will bring your discussions down to basics and specific issues that you can intelligently discuss.  This little book will never be lauded by lofty professors, but it has a clear message that is hard to ignore.  Maybe it will open some eyes and some minds in your family.

Psalm 78:1-3       "My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.  I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us."    

July 26, 2012

Book Review: "Founders" by James Wesley Rawles

     I am extremely honored to have the privilege of providing you with an early review of James Wesley Rawles' latest book, Founders, A Novel of the Coming Collapse.   As you are well aware, I am an avid fan of his writing, and from the moment I read his first book, I must credit him with giving me my wake-up call in a style that was meant to inform, not panic; to educate, not radicalize; and to give sound instruction on how to prepare for the impending disintegration of our country.  And he has done it all in compelling stories that capture your imagination.
     As I began this final novel in the Collapse trilogy, it dawned on me how the idea of "The Group" and a survival retreat in remote Idaho was such a foreign idea back in 2008.  When we were introduced to Ken and Terry Layton in Patriots, they seemed on the fringes of the "Survival" movement.  Were they visionaries, or merely extremists?  Time has proven that both Rawles and his characters possessed clairvoyance.
     In Founders, we now find the Laytons in the midst of the full-blown "Crunch", and executing their plan to reach the Idaho retreat.  What I loved about reading this book was how skillfully Rawles has woven "teachable" moments into the riveting storyline.  Through Ken and Terry's cross-country trek we are introduced to countless survival tips that we should consider and implement.  If your circumstances could find you traveling long distance on foot, you would do well to pay attention to what they include in their backpacks; their methods of travel and how to avoid "refugees" on the road; and the way they barter their security services for room and board during the non-travelable winter months.
     And true to form, the book abounds with other fascinating characters.  There is Sheila Randall, the innovative owner of a microstore during the Crunch; Maynard Hutchings, who abdicates the sovereignty of America to become the head of the Provisional Government; Ben Fielding, a Messianic Jew and member of the Resistance; and Captain Andy Laine, our hero from Survivors, who agrees, along with his wife, Kaylee, to work undercover for the Resistance.
     There are countless other personalities that contribute to the story, and demonstrate the mindset and skills that will be necessary to survive the very real collapse we are facing.  For me, perhaps the most beneficial element of Founders, is the mental picture Rawles paints of just how this country might change when the economic collapse finally occurs.  It helps me to visualize what that could look like; how the structure of this country might be reshaped and how we are most likely to respond.  He vividly portrays what hyperinflation will look like with empty store shelves, a rush to buy tangibles; and a race to pay off mortgages with inflated dollars before the reset button is activated.
     At first, there will be a "benevolent" new administration; a seemingly well-intentioned "Provisional Government" (PROVGOV).  Then we begin to see controls gradually increase, and key industries and utilities "nationalized".  Wage, price, currency and credit controls are instituted and the PROVGOV establishes a "New Army" to maintain domestic tranquility; only to find out that they are a foreign occupational force and the UN is calling the shots.  This may be a novel of fiction, but it reads like the real world.
     There will be Christians who planned on being raptured before this SHTF, and thought that prepping showed a lack of faith in God's providence.  This is the same mindset that the people of Stalingrad held during WWII, and just like those poor souls, millions will starve and freeze during the first winter of the Crunch.  And then there is the looting of America by the foreign UN-sponsored troops who are hired to "pacify" the "terrorist sympathizers" who don't agree to be taxed at 40%.  The New Army then helps themselves to the priceless inventory of jewelers, coin dealers and gun shops across the U.S.  All those that resist will be shot or arrested.
      But don't think that Rawles leaves us without hope.  There is the Resistance, and the author makes it quite plain that this type of totalitarian regime will fail in America for a multitude of reasons, including  the spirit of liberty that resides in the bosom of every patriot.  Never count us out, and never think you've defeated us.  Like the patriots of '76, we know how to fight against foreign tyranny on our home soil.  Rawles is able to capture that uniquely American resolve and you'll be proud of how we acquit ourselves.  In the end, his novel leaves you with a portrait of our country in the far future-off that will both surprise you and confound you.  And that's the goal of any good novel.  Well done!

(The release date for Founders, A Novel of the Coming Collapse, is September 25, 2012.  Wait until that day and order your copy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!) 

Numbers 10:9     "When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies."

May 23, 2012

Recommended Book: "Where There Is No Doctor"

     Well, I have another book from my personal library that I think you will find exceptional.  Where There Is No Doctor was originally written for those who live far from medical centers, and in remote places where there (obviously) is no doctor.   While at this time, our society has no problem getting expert and quality medical care, I think we can all imagine a point in time when we might be responsible for our own health care.  When that time comes, you will want to have this book on hand.

     This book will give the average, medically untrained person a good sense of how to look at a health care situation and respond to it intelligently.  The writers assume that you have no training and your level of medical knowledge is minimal.  As you can imagine, this book has been valuable for anyone going into Third World countries such as missionaries and Peace Corps volunteers.  And their praise for the book was what convinced me it was a must.
     The book gives clear and concise instructions on topics such as "How To Examine A Sick Person"; "How to Make Homemade Casts"; "Guidelines For The Use of Antibiotics"; and "Preparing For Birth".  There are great sections on First Aid, Nutrition, Skin Problems, and Health and Sicknesses of Children and Older People.  It's all here!
     There is a lot of information in this book dealing with cleanliness due to lack of plumbing, etc., and in a Katrina type situation, or TEOTWAWKI, you will find this information invaluable.  Most Americans already know the basics of sanitation, but if the SHTF, we could be faced with a whole new world.
     I want to caution you that this book will not make you a medical expert, and you should supplement it with other books I've recommended, such as Dare To Prepare and The Prepared Family Guide to Uncommon Diseases.  But I'm one that believes we can never have enough medical reference material for all kinds of emergency situations.  Granted, the book was not written specifically for the types of emergencies and chaos we might face, and the drawings are sometimes simplistic and crude, but I promise you, the practical information between its covers far outweighs its original purpose and presentation.  It's available on Amazon for less than $20, and at that price, it is a bargain.

Isaiah 58:8     "Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard."

May 10, 2012

Book Review: Castigo Cay

     Maybe I'm an anomaly.  But as my senses are becoming more and more attuned to "something evil this way comes", I want to read everything I can to help me gain the proper mindset and skills to traverse the minefield.  There are a myriad of "How To" books and while you can glean much information from them, they start to become repetitive.
     For me, I love the novels that allow my imagination to see just what I will be facing.  Do they scare me?  Of course!  But most of these books are written by men with military and government experience; so while fictional, their books speak of real experiences and real solutions.  I'd rather face the monster than pretend he doesn't exist.
     That's why Matthew Bracken's latest novel, Castigo Cay, is such a winner.  And I'm assuming you are familiar with his trilogy, beginning with Enemies Foreign and Domestic.  In this new series, Bracken introduces us to Dan Kilmer, a former Marine Corps scout-sniper who is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.  America's status as a global superpower has seriously slipped, the national economy is deteriorating, which has resulted in the decline and death of the dollar.  Hyperinflation rules the day; there are riots in the street, runs on the banks and Big Brother is eroding any real freedom left.
     Our protagonist decides to skip all the chaos of the Greater Depression by taking to the open seas aboard his sixty-foot steel schooner, Rebel Yell.  He has become a reluctant ex-patriot, unable to return to his home country because all his assets (which are tied up in his boat) will be seized for back taxes, fines, and other penalties imposed by the increasingly tyrannical government.
     Unlike post-Collapse books, Castigo Cay takes place while America is still a shadow of her former self.  It is not apocalyptic; it gives us a realistic view of how we will look as we slide into a gradual decay of reduced freedoms and non-existent privacy. Cameras are on every corner, recording our every move. So Dan Kilmer creates an unconventional life, off the radar of an overt police state back home.  He sails the ocean blue, scamming his way around the Caribbean, living off his ingenuity and his skills.
     Of course, you wouldn't have a story if all Dan did was sail from port to port, so without spoiling the novel, let me just say that the plot involves beautiful women, sneaking back into the USA, and thwarting the despotic government authorities and the local thugs and strongmen; who rise in a natural power struggle.
     What I like about Bracken's books is the fact that they are so realistic.  Because he is a former Navy Seal and an avid ocean sailor, his character performs sensible and reasonable maneuvers.  His weaponry is accurate and true.  The action scenes are written convincingly and authentically.  You believe the story could happen tomorrow!  And when a character parachutes at night, or slogs through a lagoon with a scoped bolt-action rifle slung over his back, and an AK-47 slung across his chest, you know Bracken is writing about something he knows.
     This book helped me to think outside the box.  The scenario is visible on our horizon, and helped me to plot how I would handle each situation.  And even more exciting, Dan Kilmer's vocation as an ocean-crossing skipper allows future novels to take on new subject matter and issues.  Expect to see Dan navigate a wide variety of political systems, economical situations, and cultural and power structures.  With the way our world is crumbling, Matthew Bracken and his alter-ego Dan Kilmer will have no trouble getting involved in more scrapes and adventures.  I look forward to seeing how they steers us through the treacherous waters.

1 Chronicles 19:13      "Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight."

May 9, 2012

10 Skills That Increase Your Worth in The Community

     When we finally reach the SHTF scenario that I think we all believe is coming, how do you see yourself?  By that I mean, what will be your role?  What skills can you offer in return for material goods?  Because skills, whether trained or learned, will always be a valuable asset to any community.
     In today's post, I'm going to list 10 essential skills that give you not only the knowledge to survive any disaster or form of chaos, but make you a beneficial member of any group.
1)    Medical Training.   Due to the increase use of saws, axes and knives, there will be more medical emergencies involving deep lacerated cuts.  Knowing how to properly clean wounds, stitch wounds, as well as knowing how to treat infected wounds will be extremely important.  Additionally, there will be an increase in burns from being in closer contact to fires.  Burns can get infected very quickly, and knowing how to decipher the degree of the burn and how to treat it will be a concern among survivalists and preppers.  Knowing basic CPR and First Aid will be very important.  You can do that online.  And if you want to take it further, get trained as an EMT.
2)    Disaster Training.  While there are courses in how to handle disaster situations offered by the Red Cross and FEMA, I know many people who I think probably have more knowledge about how to survive a disaster by reading "How To" manuals from the Survival/Prepper community.  Read James Wesley Rawles, Cody Lundin and others.  You can learn practical skills and pass on your knowledge.
3)    Gardening Skills.  In a long term survival situation, seeds will mean the difference between life and death.  The only problem is, many have lost the necessary skill of gardening because there is a grocery store on every corner of the streets these days!  It’s time to get your hands dirty and get back in touch with nature.  Learning necessary gardening skills such as companion plants, crop rotations, beneficial insects, natural ways to replenish soil, and knowledge on proper gardening tools will be beneficial.  Community gardens will become an essential component of survival, and someone needs to know how to plant, nurture and harvest.  Another relevant knowledge source is understanding the medicinal value of plants and herbs.  It is amazing how many uses there are for plants!
4)    Firearms Training.   This is one survival skill that a person should be as proficient as possible.  Also, practicing gun safety, especially around children, as well as being able to educate others is essential when a firearm is around.  And let's face it, when you are in a situation where you have to defend ourselves, you're gonna want a gun!  And even though we still have our Second Amendment Rights, you would be amazed at how many people in this country fear guns, don't have a gun, don't know how to use a gun, or all of the above.  If you have these skills, you will be one of the most popular people in your community!
5)    Canning and Food Preparation.   Again, these are skills that have been lost over the last couple of generations.  As we turned from an agricultural society to an industrial one, somehow we determined that buying store-bought foods was better, easier, etc. than doing it ourselves.  I, for one, am planning on taking a refresher course in the next month on canning and freezing.  And when TEOTWAWKI happens, there will be no chain grocery store or Whole Foods to shop at.  We will be growing our own vegetables and fruits and we will need to know how to preserve them.
6)    Amateur Radio Skills.   Having a radio is encouraged by many disaster relief organizations, during natural disasters.  And in a SHTF scenario, having knowledge on how to work and maneuver a HAMM radio will provide you and your community with an emergency communication source during a time when most communication is down.  You'll be able to monitor activity in your area and stay in touch with other like-minded groups.
7)    Sewing Skills.   Everyone has heard of how their great-grandmothers would sew quilts out of material from tattered or worn clothing.  Not many of us have this skill anymore.  Sewing classes will not only teach a necessary skill, but it will also get the survival mindset in place: make something new out of what you have available.  So if you have a sewing machine, pull it out of the bottom of the closet, dust it off, and make sure it is oiled and properly maintained.  If you don't have one, consider investing in one.  You will be a valuable asset to your family and others.
8)    Outdoor/Survival Skills.   Again, survival skills are a learned talent.  My husband has been an outdoorsman his whole life, but he has greatly increased his knowledge simply by reading.  You can research books online and find ones that give detailed instruction on fire-making, building a shelter, sharpening knives, hunting small game, etc.  These will be absolutely necessary for your family to survive any kind of disaster.  It can mean the difference between life and death. Among his favorites are Mykel Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual, and Bradford Angiers' How To Stay Alive In The Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation Anywhere. 
9)    Candle/Soap-Making.   Soap and candle-making are a lost art form.  Having a background knowledge of these skills would also be a great bartering skill.  I recently took a class and posted about my experience.  There is something about the feel and smell of natural soap that is comforting.  And believe me, we are going to need these essential items for a simpler life-style, and if they bring comfort, too, then that's a plus.
10)  Hunting Skills.   It goes without saying, that we will need to hunt wild game for a food source.  This also becoming a lost art.  A century ago, every red-blooded American male knew how to gut and skin the carcass, and process the meat.  Even today, among Peace-Loving Warriors friends, many are good marksmen and can deliver the shot, but he's constantly amazed how many don't handle the processing of their animal properly.  If you can do it all, from A to Z, your skills will mean the difference between hunger and feast.
     These are just a few of the skills that will be important and essential in the near future.  I'm sure you all have ideas of your own, and I welcome your input.  Let's share our knowledge and skills, and make life a little easier for our fellow man, while ensuring a position of importance in our communities.  There will be no "entitlement" in our new existence, and we will all need to be productive members of the population.

Deuteronomy 33:11    "Bless all his skills, LORD, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Strike down those who rise against him, his foes till they rise no more."

April 30, 2012

Recommended Book: "Survivors" by James Wesley Rawles

     Ever since reading his book, "How To Survive The End of The World As We Know It", I have been a fan of James Wesley Rawles.  His blog, called "Survivalblog.com" is one of the first things I read each morning, after my Bible.  His no-nonsense, practical advise on preparing for a socio-economic collapse lends a voice of credence to the maelstrom of "experts" on the subject.
     The fact that he is an avowed Christian also gives his opinions merit, as far as I'm concerned.  In his own words:  "As a Christian, I feel morally obligated to assist others who are less fortunate. Following the Old Testament laws of tzedakah (charity and tithing), I believe that my responsibility begins with my immediate family and expands in successive rings to supporting my immediate neighborhood and church, to my community, and beyond, as resources allow. My philosophy is to give until it hurts in times of disaster."  
     But he doesn't mince words when it comes to your responsibility to prepare for your family:  "If you are serious about preparedness, then it is time to get out of your armchair and start training and preparing. It will take time. It will take some sweat. It will take money. But once you’ve prepared, you can sleep well, knowing that you’ve done your best to protect and provide for your family, regardless of what the future brings. Don’t get stuck in the rut of simply *studying* preparedness. Unless the shelves in your pantry and garage are filling with supplies, and unless you are growing muscles and calluses, you are not preparing."

     And that brings me to his latest book, titled "Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse".  It is set in the very near future, and The Crunch is in full swing.  American society quickly disintegrates after the Federal Reserve's fiat currency collapses.  Roving gangs and competing governmental factions result in chaos for millions of people as they struggle with adapting to a "new way" of American life; one that has no use for an industrialized, technological society with no life skills.
     The protagonist in Rawles's latest novel is a young Army officer, Andrew Laine, who is serving in Afghanistan.  The book relates his travels and trials as he fights his way home to his family in New Mexico from half a world away.  In keeping with the author's Christian principles, our hero maintains his moral standards in obviously difficult situations, but is capable of applying righteous violence when necessary to protect his own life or the lives of innocent victims.
     As with anything written by James Wesley Rawles, the reader will find themselves taking notes, or committing to memory, many of the skills and survival techniques that are portrayed throughout the book.  His career in the military; his extensive research on family preparedness and food storage; and his staunch support of the Second Amendment, make him one of the foremost authorities on preparing for a natural or manufactured crisis.
     And if you are just discovering this wonderful writer, I urge you to also check out his other book, "Patriots".  Each of his books will provide you with valuable information and help you adopt a "survivor" mentality, which will serve you well, come what may.
     My copy of Patriots is dog-eared and highlighted, and I'm still finding new solutions and resources for possible hardships and challenges.  And in my first reading of Survivors, two things really jumped off the page at me.  (I promise not to spoil the book for you!)  The first is how important small denominations of gold will be to barter through dangerous economies.  Andrew Laine was able to make his way towards home because of the resources he had, and you should consider them as an essential part of your BOB, as well.
     Secondly, I realized how deficient my husband and I are in radio communications.  You'll have to read the novel, but Andrew is able to communicate and receive intel from the States by employing a little Kaito KX1 transceiver and some wire.  And because of reading this book, we now know this is an area we need to work on.
     Many people (including members of my own family) will avoid these books because they are a scary look into a different world that is fast approaching, and they choose not to confront their fears or the worries of an uncertain future.  Or you can choose to face the monster, prepare, and move forward with a moral and godly foundation.
    Whatever your reasons for exploring these books, read them to take advantage of Mr. Rawles' vast knowledge.  And then, like me, if you start out your day seeking knowledge from the Word of God, followed by some practical education from the accepted "survival guru" of our day.....well, you've prepared the best you can.   

Luke 6:49     "But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

March 16, 2012

Who Is Ragnar Benson?

     Let's say for the sake of discussion that you are in a car that's gone completely off the cliff and you've landed squarely in Crazy Town.  If that describes you, and you're looking for some cool, "out there" skills, may I suggest you do some research on Ragnar Benson and Paladin Press.  He's a particular favorite of my husband, the Peace-Loving Warrior, and I can almost guarantee that you and your husband will find his writings intriguing, to say the least.
     According to Wikipedia, Ragnar Benson is the pen name of a prolific survivalist author who specializes in preparedness topics, particularly survival retreats, hunting, trapping, austere medicine, explosives, firearms and improvised weapons.  As you can tell by the topics he favors, he and his publications are construed as controversial, and some of his books have been banned from importation into Canada.
     No one knows very much about his background or personal life.  His real name has not been revealed publicly.  He is apparently the son of a German immigrant and in his book Urban Survival he recounts some of his father's experiences growing up in Germany after World War I.  As of 1999, he supposedly lived ".... on nine acres in southern Idaho with his pet skunks and his wife and 100-plus guns of varying calibre."  Can you see why he would drive the Elites crazy?
     His travels have taken him to Rhodesia, Southeast Asia, as well as some type of military stint at Fort Benning, Georgia.  On a radio show in 2010, Benson mentioned that he had traveled to more than 90 countries.   He has also been a private investigator for 25 years.
     You can tell when your read his books that Ragnar knows his stuff---- you're just not sure where he learned his stuff, or in what capacity.  PLW's favorite book was Survivalist Medicine Chest, and he has loved the opportunity to vicariously experience all of Ragnar's adventures.  Survival Poaching was not so much a favorite because of the poaching aspect of the book, but for the many interesting ways to secure game animals for food.
     Ragnar's books cover politics to weapons to survival.  Urban Survival is an interesting read, debunking the myth that one needs to "bug out" to a mountain retreat to survive a SHTF scenario.  Although you definitely need a whole different set of survival skills to make it in the city, it can be done , and Ragnar tells you how to find water, trap and butcher game, preserve food, position a retreat for maximum safety and how to barter with other survivors.
     Live off the Land in the City and Country is written specifically for survivalists and retreaters, and reveals a totally practical survival program.  Ragnar even offers old Indian secrets and advice on survival medicine, firearms, preserving food and diesel generation.  His topics are relevant and timely.
     I have to warn you, Ragnar's survival world is a scary place, but the knowledge he imparts is so valuable.  His books should be a part of any Prepper or Survivalist's library.
     So now that you've been introduced to Ragnar Benson, it's safe to steer your car away from Crazy Town.  Just be ready to make a detour if you see a sign for the Highway to Hell ..... Ragnar's probably been there, too, and can give you directions to a safe haven.

Acts 27:34     "Now I urge you to take some food.  You need it to survive.  Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head."

March 1, 2012

Enemies Foreign and Domestic

       I am pleased to recommend the Enemies trilogy, a series of books by ex-Navy Seal Matthew Bracken, who happens to be a friend of myself and my Peace-Loving Warrior husband.  These fictional books are straight out of the headlines.  They speak to current issues that are on everyone's mind in the turbulence of today's world.
      Enemies Foreign and Domestic is a novel about the true meaning of loyalty and the high cost of freedom in the age of terror.  The hero of the novel is a woman and she does much to stand up against a fictional assault on our Second Amendment gun rights that doesn't seem too far from reality.

      Domestic Enemies:  The Reconquista is a novel about the deconstruction of the American national identity and the loss of the Southwest.  With the Immigration issues we are facing in this country and the chaos on the Border, this book seems frighteningly prophetic.
     Foreign Enemies and Traitors is a novel about defending the Constitution during a dirty civil war and the Greater Depression.  Sound familiar?  Now you might think that this author is smart enough to write about current events from today's important news items, but here's the amazing thing.....the first novel was written in 2003!  The second and third novels were written in 2006 and 2009, respectively.  So I think it's safe to say that our friend, Mr. Bracken, has tremendous insight to the cancer that is spreading throughout our nation.
     He has bravely served his country and no doubt, witnessed and heard much to influence his story lines.  My husband and I read these novels a couple of years ago and were astonished at the accuracy with which he predicted what we see on the American landscape today.
     BUT HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS AND THE REASON FOR TODAY'S POST!  Today, March 1st, you can order the first novel, Enemies Foreign and Domestic for FREE ON KINDLE!  For the next 5 days, this amazing novel can be purchased at no cost, and I promise you that you won't be able to put it down.  Besides being able to read about a powerful and believable heroine, it will open your eyes to just how quick we could lose our Second Amendment Rights.  It's almost as if you are seeing the handwriting on the wall.
     So what are you waiting for?  Go to Amazon this minute and order your free copy of Enemies Foreign and Domestic.  And silence your phone, because you won't want to be disturbed for the next couple of days!

Numbers 10:9     "When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets.  Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies."

February 13, 2012

First Hand Experience With A Micro Store

     I recently read an amazing post on survivalblog.com, called Barter, Post-TEOTWAWKI: The Micro Store.  It was a very well-thought-out and comprehensive article on the wisdom and need for entrepreneur/retailers should we find ourselves in SHTF territory.  My husband referred me to the post, and was blown away when he realized that unknowingly, he had personally experienced just such a business while traveling in Argentina.
     The year was 1998, and through a local travel agency, he scheduled a photography trip to the marshlands near Corrientes, a town which was situated close to the border of Uruguay.  Unbeknownst to him, the country was only a year away from plunging into a devastating economic collapse that would last until 2002.  High unemployment, inflation, a drop in the GDP, and instability with their currency were the results of poor economic and political decisions.
     Upon arriving in Buenas Aires, he was picked up by a local representative arranged by the travel agency.  He thought nothing of it at the time, but looking back, he remembers that he was taken to choice restaurants for breakfast and lunch, and shown only the best sights until his connecting flight to his final destination.  He remembers them being very hungry for American dollars.  He saw nothing of the collapsing infrastructure.
     He stayed at a popular tourist destination, a working cattle ranch known for attracting German bird-watchers in the Argentinian winter, and hunters in the spring and summer.  The once wealthy ranch still showed signs of its magnificence, but the first sign that something was wrong should have been that all the power was provided by generators, and they were shut off each night at 9:00 pm sharp.  At the time, he just thought it was due to the remoteness of the ranch.
     A trip to a small, nearby village was the real eye-opener.  The struggles of the Gauchos and their families, the lowest strata of the population, were obvious and unmistakable.  The area had just suffered a devastating 21 inches of rain in 3 days, and homes and land were flooded.  Being an American, even of very modest means, he was regarded as affluent and wealthy.  And he was the only one in the village who could run some heavy equipment, so when he finished helping the villagers scoop up the debris and rubble, it was time to enjoy each other's company after hours of back-breaking work.
     The village consisted of a dozen or more poor and simple homes and a little general store, where the ranch owner purchased him a cold drink.  Between their limited English and Spanish skills, my husband and the store owner were able to converse and make themselves understood.  It seems that the store owner would travel to Miami and buy products wholesale at a local Sam's store and bring it back to his micro store.  Villagers lined up to make their purchases:  an elderly man bought 1 cigarette lighter and 4 cigarettes; a young mother bought 3 plastic diapers; a teenager bought 2 tampons; an old woman bought 2 immodium and a bottled water.
     It seemed that everyone had to pay in cash, and the people were so impoverished, that the store owner allowed them to run a tab until the end of the month, when they had to settle up.  The currency was so devalued that the total tab for the entire village was only $200.  My husband wanted to pay the tab, in exchange for the villagers allowing him to photograph them, but the ranch owner warned that they would be offended.  So he bartered American money and cheap Pakistani knives for some of their beautiful handiwork (braided reatas and yerba mate cups).  Cash and utilitarian items is what they wanted, but they did not want to be charity cases.
     The purpose of this post is to, first of all, encourage you to read the article on survivalblog; secondly, to let you know that micro stores could absolutely become beneficial and profitable during TEOTWAWKI; and thirdly to invite you to read The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving The Economic Collapse.  It is a first-hand experience of the Argentinian economic collapse, that my husband also personally witnessed.
     I think we can all agree that there is much to learn from those who have seen the monster up close and personal.  A Micro store is not a new idea, but one that has proven both useful and lucrative.  It is a way to survive and to help others.   Consider the ideas promoted by the author of the article, and come up with your own.  You are only limited by your imagination.
Psalm 140:12       "I know the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy."

February 3, 2012

If You Don't Know Your Rights....You Have None!

     That's a line written in a handy little book called You and the Police by Boston T. Party.  My husband ran across this slim little paperback, after reading another of his titles, Molon Labe.  And it has had a profound affect on the way we perceive the world around us.
     By the author's own admission, You and the Police is not an exhaustive legal handbook.  Rather, it is important case law that has been condensed and neatly packaged so you can understand your constitutional rights and the power of the police.
     I would venture to guess that if you read this little book, you would know as much as the average beat cop.  That is not an insult!  And let me make it real clear --- I am pro-Police!  We are fortunate in our state to have friendly, professional and principled law enforcement officers.  But during a trip through Arizona a couple of years ago, my husband, Peace-Loving Warrior, had quite a run-in with a borderline "Rogue Cop" (a term Boston uses) over a weight issue with our single-axle 6 x 8 Wells Cargo trailer.
     It seems that in Arizona a 3/4-ton Dodge truck, pulling a measly little 6 x 8 trailer, qualifies as a commercial rig---which requires a log book, medical clearance, a fire extinguisher, and orange reflective safety triangles, among other compulsory items.
     PLW put on an admirable display of walking the fine line between cooperation and maintaining our legal rights; and all because he knew the law.  We were eventually cut loose with 6 warning tickets.  Go figure.  Guess he saw the out-of-state license plate and thought he could throw his weight around that day.
     Before reading this book, we were like most Americans, sadly deficient in knowing our rights and how to assert them.  The reason I like this book so much is that Boston explains the game in an easy-to-understand format that can be instrumental in keeping you out of jail.  Here is a short list of some of Boston's key topics:
1.   Know the three kinds of cops:  The Good Cop; The Rogue Cop; The Intimidating Cop.
2.   Understand a Cop's Fears
3.    Prepare Your Person
4.   Car Preparations To Make In Advance
5.   Never Consent!
6.   Contact, Detention, Search and Seizure; the Terry Frisk
7.   Arrest
8.   At the Airport
9.   Checkpoints
10. You and Your Guns
     These are just the high points.  The main objective of the book is to teach you to deal with the police on an equal level of civility.  But you need to know how to play the game.  And I think this book is especially important for women.  Typically, we are easy targets for those less-than-ethical members of law enforcement.  So if you want to gain more practical knowledge than most police officers or attorneys, then get this book.  If you want to carry concealed in the car, get this book.  If you don't know what a Terry Frisk is, get this book.  If you don't know what "Articulable Reasonable Suspicion" or "Probable Cause" are, get this book.  If you don't want to waive your rights, either intentionally or accidentally.... then please, please get this book!   

Proverbs 17:27    "The one who has knowledge, uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered."

January 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Commentary: Religious Fanaticism Combined With Economic Terrorism

     I recently saw an interview with Kevin Freeman, financial analyst and author of a 2009 paper for the Department of Defense, titled Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses, and a new book titled, Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It Could Happen Again.  Got your attention?
     I want to make it very clear that I am no financial wizard; I'm just an American woman who is paying attention and becoming increasingly alarmed at the vulnerability of our economic status.  Unless you're living on Mars or have your head buried 10 feet underground, it's apparent that we (and the world) are teetering on the edge of economic collapse.
     Mr. Freeman hasn't really uncovered some new diabolical plot, but seems to have connected the dots in a murky and confusing sequence of events.  In the rearview mirror, we have always viewed 9/11 as the actions of radical Islamic fanatics, who hated the West and were bent on destroying "the infidels" and "the Great Satan".  But Mr. Freeman carries that theory a step further and introduces the proposition that besides fanatical religious ideology, there was an economic objective in the evil plot, and it is not the only maneuvering that is taking place to destroy the economy of the United States and the West.
     Osama Bin Laden made no secret that "attacking the U.S. economy is our goal."  But what if he was not the only player?  Who else could be involved?  I have to admit that this runs so deep, and is so complicated that I will never understand it's full implication, but I'm not stupid.  I can see the veracity of some of Mr. Freeman's conjectures, and they make sense to me.
     The West's dependence on foreign oil has left us VERY vulnerable to economic attacks, and it doesn't take a genius to see that a conglomeration of Islamic States could control us at will.   Our reliance on foreign oil for our massive transportation system, and our reluctance to pursue drilling our own massive reserves, OR explore alternative energy sources leave us wide open to attack on several fronts.   I mean, when we use over 20,000,000 barrels of oil a day, wouldn't you say we have put a big bulls-eye on ourselves?  The fact that Iran and Venezuela are playing "buddy-buddy" and attempting to control the oil reserves in the Middle East and elsewhere should make us all lose sleep.
     And I was stunned to discover that Russia and China owned our Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds, which put us at great risk, and may have contributed to our financial crisis in 2008.   Apparently Fed Chairman Bernanke was aware that they had discussed dumping these bonds.  I have only heard Mr. Freeman speak, and have not read his book yet, so I don't know the details of all these schemes and the plot to destroy us economically--- what he calls "Phase One".  But I do know that the corruption appears to run deep.
     Mr. Freeman reveals in "Phase Two" that Sovereign Wealth Funds of foreign countries, (mostly in the Middle East - no surprise!) have undertaken major market manipulations--- like naked short selling, high frequency trading, etc. --- and used our rules against us.  He even alleges that Nasdaq was hacked, which helped bring the markets down in 2008.  Combined with attacks on European markets and  "Sharia-complicit trading" (more on this term in a future post), the economies of the world are under full-blown attack.
     According to the author, we are now involved in "Phase Three", where Brazil, Russia, India and China are trading in their own currencies, and we are seriously threatened with losing our Reserve Currency.  If that happens....well, let's just say we don't want to go there!   Finally, he hints that a "nontransparent and hidden (dark) market" exists--even more manipulation!  Who is it?  I don't know, and an even scarier thought emerges..... what can we, the average American citizen, do to protect ourselves against all this intrigue and maneuvering?  Well, you will have to tune in on Monday, to see what, if anything, Mr. Freeman offers us.  In the meantime, I suggest you go to Amazon and order Secret Weapon , and another insightful book, Confessions Of An Economic Hitman.  
     Don't cower in the corner.  Become informed and know what we're dealing with.  And remember that God is in control!

Psalm 5:10-11      "Declare them guilty, O God!  Let their intrigues be their downfall.  Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you."


January 19, 2012

Book Review: Homesteading

    This little book is a nice addition to your library on self-sustainable living.  It is not an in-depth encyclopedia, but does have lots of valuable and basic information on a wide variety of topics.  This is a book for you if you are interested in living simpler, and as all of you are beginning to realize, I believe we will be living much simpler lives in the near future.  And whether we do that by choice or by necessity, you can never have enough reference material to turn to.

     Also, in it's favor is the incredibly low price on Amazon.  For just under $17, you have easy-to-read and easy-to-follow instructions on a variety of subjects:  from sections on "The Home Garden" which includes improving your soil, organic gardening, and pest and disease management; to "Simple Structures for Your Land" which provides information on birdhouses, smokehouses, fences, gates and pens; to "Energy" and instruction on solar, wind, hydropower, and even composting toilets.

     The "Crafts" section includes information on handmade candles, making your own soap, knitting, and basketweaving.  A section on "Well Being" did not impress me that much, but offered entertaining advice on massage, wallpapering, and feng shui, (somehow I don't think we will be worried about the "balance" of our homes when faced with TEOTWAWKI).  This section also included more applicable information on herbal medicine and natural cosmetics, natural disasters, and first aid, which made it more relevant for my uses.

     So while this may not be the most comprehensive or exhaustively researched book, you can glean quite a bit of valuable information to live a simpler, self-sufficient lifestyle.  By definition, "homesteads" consist of a farmhouse and outbuildings, (or pretty basic living) and this 456-page book is about creating a lifestyle that meets your basic needs---including energy, food, financial and health needs.  So if you want to be a responsible steward of your family in the coming hard times, you can gain inspiration, information and basic directions from this "Backyard Guide" to a leaner lifestyle.  

John 6:35    "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."