Monday, November 30, 2009

SurvivalBlog excerpt 1

Sharing Your Faith After TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It), by D.P.B.

I can’t help but notice there being a correlation between preparedness and Christianity. Most people I know who are getting involved, and most of the stuff I read on line is written by Christians. The one thing I haven’t read too much about though is what it will look like to share our faith after a collapse. In the grand scheme of eternity being able to grow in your relationship with Jesus and help others do the same is the most important part of being prepared.

A friend of mine used to own and operate a Christian bookstore. His family bought it in the summer of 2001 and did okay. They were able to make ends meet and they were satisfied knowing they were helping people get closer to God. For the rest of that year following the 9/11 attacks my friend said he was pulling in nearly $10,000 a day. That was more than they made a month during that summer. He told me that people think more about God when tragedy strikes and we are reminded why we need Him.

Everything goes in cycles. If and when the next Crash/Collapse/Outbreak happens it will not be anything that the historical timeline hasn’t seen before. Honestly I’d say we’re overdue. One thing that you will find that comes along with almost every huge upheaval is a revival of the things of God. When the world goes to chaos people want to talk about God. They might start by railing against Him, but it doesn’t stay that way for long.

When reading your Bible I challenge you to find a passage that even alludes to the idea that when all Hell breaks loose we are to hide and let the damned be damned and the saved be saved. Read through the prophets (especially Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk) and you will see what God’s chosen are called to do when the SHTF. Just because things get really bad doesn’t mean God is giving up on us. Don’t start thinking that He has unless he tells you to build an ark and two of every kind of animal show up at your retreat.

When the SHTF we who are Christians we are called to be ever more vigilant. Paul charges Timothy to: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). I firmly believe this charge is to all of us who call ourselves believers. We are not exempt from sharing out faith just because things get really difficult.

You are right to assume that I have never shared my faith after a serious collapse. I have been blessed to live in America and do my ministering here. The closest thing I have is ministering after 9/11. What I have more of is experience in sharing my faith with the desolate, homeless, and forgotten and when the SHTF those people will be the majority.


SurvivalBlog excerpt 2

From that experience I offer these points on Sharing your Faith after TEOTWAWKI:

Take Care of Your Family - I promised my God, family, and self that I would not sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry. In 1 Timothy 3:4+5 Paul says of leaders in the church: “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?).” It will be very difficult after TEOTWAWKI to minister to others if your life (spiritually and physically) is not in order. Our first line of ministry is to our families. We must make sure that in the days after a crash that our family is well fed, healthy, and spiritually sound. While working with teens, most coming from broken homes, I have found one of the most Christian things I can say is, “No, I can’t go hang out with you I have to spend time with my family.” This shows them a better way. Imagine how much we can show by our strong family unit after TEOTWAWKI!

Take Care of Physical Needs of Others - Jesus gave us many beautiful examples of how to minister to both body and spirit. Jesus healed many physically; He fed multitudes, and even made money appear in the mouth of a fish. Jesus never ignored the physical needs of those He was talking to and He never passed up an opportunity to share His faith afterwards. As we prepare, if possible, store up enough provisions for at least another person. Have more than enough ammo, food, junk silver, and supplies to give out freely. This may not be possible right away but as you grow your own food and store it make sure a reasonable portion goes into your “Charity Stash.” This will give you ample opportunity to show others what Christ has done in your life. It is very hard to for a hungry person to hear the Gospel over the sound of their own stomach growling.

Take Care of Spiritual Needs of Others - In the aftermath of a serious crash people will be extremely desperate and searching for answers. In times of trouble people start to turn back to God. There are examples of it in the Bible and through out history. People will be in a very open state when they are destitute. In the package you give the people who come to your door be sure to include a copy of the New Testament. A complete version of the Bible would be best, but New Testaments are considerably cheaper and easier to store and hand out. You can pick up Bibles cheaply off Amazon, or and library book sales. They may not have a lot of the study guides and fancy stuff but it has the Word. This doesn’t mean that everybody you help will fall to their knees and accept Christ on the spot but remember we are called to proclaim the Lord not convert people. Even if somebody leaves your retreat with a bag of rice, some ammo, and a Bible and they don’t seem to care you can’t know what God has in store for them.

Be part of Community - One of the first things God told Adam in the Garden was: It is not good for man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18). God knows we grow in community. After things start to settle down after the crash it would be good to be part of a community of people both Christians and Non-Christians. Hopefully at your retreat you will be surrounded by people of similar faith and will be able to have daily Bible studies and worship sessions, but after things settle it would be good to meet with others outside the retreat. This may include people from another retreat or refugees squatting in vacant houses and buildings. Starting a church wouldn’t be very hard at all and any one with a love for Jesus and good Bible knowledge could take over as head pastor.

In reading the Bible it is impossible to deny that God will at times crash our world in order to get our attention. Habakkuk prayed for God to bring the Israelites back to Himself and God’s answer was enemy invasion and seventy years of captivity. It is our duty out of God’s love to be prepared to bring others to Christ as long as we draw breath.

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SurvivalBlog is dedicated to family preparedness, survival, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Ekklesia - A New Way of Thinking

Church of England creates ‘minister for mammon’ article link
By staff writers 13 Nov 2009

The Commissioners of the Church of England, responsible for managing the Church’s £5 billion investments, are to fund a new ‘chaplain to the banks’. The new minister for mammon, whose licensing will be held in a bank next week, is a full-time post funded by a three year grant.

"While so much of the church is denouncing the banking community, it is an important time to come and be the new Chaplain to the second largest financial district outside of London and to become part of a Diocese that is wanting to love those who are both taking the flack and at the same time trying to put things right for the industry and the rest of us" he said.

"This is a ministry not just to the financial sector but all areas of the city’s business world." According to their last annual report, the Church Commissioners have £75 million invested in HSBC, £11.8 million in Barclays, £8.4 million in Royal Bank of Scotland, £6.4 million in Lloyds TSB.

The Church also invests in the largest listed hedge fund Man Group.

Church should invest in alternative economics article link
commentary by Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia 17 Sep 2009

Ekklesia home page
Welcome to Ekklesia, the religion and society think-tank at the cutting edge of culture, spirituality and politics.

Ekklesia - A New Way of Thinking

Bankers are doing "God's work", says Goldman Sachs boss article link
By staff writers 10 Nov 2009

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, has suggested that top bankers are doing “God's work”

His comments provoked an angry response from Church Action on Poverty (CAP), who declared themselves “puzzled and offended by the assertion that the continual creation of more wealth - concentrated in the hands of those who are already wealthy - is somehow 'God's work'”.

CAP spokesperson Liam Purcell insisted that, “When we read the Bible, we see a God who is on the side of the poor, and who offers a vision of a fairer, more just society. The big banks, on the other hand, have played a key role in widening the gap between rich and poor, exploiting and abandoning those who are in poverty.”

He told Ekklesia that “God's work is about sharing our resources more fairly, and building stronger communities."

Ekklesia home page
Welcome to Ekklesia, the religion and society think-tank at the cutting edge of culture, spirituality and politics.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mammon as "God's Work"

Reuters article link
Goldman Sachs boss says banks do "God's work"

LONDON (Reuters) - The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which has attracted widespread media attention over the size of its staff bonuses, believes banks serve a social purpose and are doing "God's work."

The Business Insider article link
Goldman Sachs' God's Work Comments Are "Truly Unsettling" (GS)
Lawrence Delevingne Nov. 10, 2009

Goldman Sachs' (GS) latest public relations offensive involves its executives saying their capitalistic endeavors are not just tolerable, but spiritually beatifying. CEO Lloyd Blankfein is recently said to have said he's "doing God's work" by raising money for clients and investing in businesses, according to the Sunday Times. And international adviser Brian Griffiths said last month “The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest...We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” according to Bloomberg.

The Sunday Times article link
November 8, 2009
I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr Goldman Sachs

The world’s most successful investment bank likes to hide behind the tidal wave of money that it generates and sends crashing over Manhattan, the City of London and most of the world’s other financial capitals. But now the dark knights of banking are being forced, blinking, into the cold light of day. The public, politicians and the press blame bankers’ reckless trading for the credit crunch and, as the most successful bank still standing, Goldman is their prime target. Here, politicians and commentators compete to denounce Goldman in ever more robust terms - "robber barons", "economic vandals", "vulture capitalists".

The Street article link
Wall Street Hypocrisy Invokes Jesus to Justify Bonuses: Opinion
By Ron Insana

I couldn't believe it when I read on Bloomberg today that Brian Griffiths, an international adviser at Goldman Sachs (GS Quote), uttered these words in a British church last month:

"The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest," Goldman's Griffiths said Oct. 20, his voice echoing around the gold-mosaic walls of St. Paul's Cathedral, whose 365-feet-high dome towers over the City, London's financial district. "We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rolling Stone Magazine

The Great American Bubble Machine article link
by MATT TAIBBI Posted Jul 13, 2009

From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again.

Inside The Great American Bubble Machine article link
by MATT TAIBBI Posted Jul 02, 2009

Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression.

The Big Takeover article link
by MATT TAIBBI Posted Mar 19, 2009

The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.

Tikkun Magazine

Just Say “NO” to the War in Afghanistan article link
by Michael Lerner

- Acknowledge the Causes of Terrorism
- A Strategy to Disempower Terrorists
- What Keeps the United States from Adopting a Rational Strategy in Afghanistan?

Why Capitalism Shouldn’t Be Saved article link
by John Sanbonmatsu

As of spring 2009, the leading capitalist states in Europe, North America, and Asia have thus either spent outright, or exposed themselves to financial risks totaling, well over $10 trillion - a figure so vast that one searches in vain for any relevant historical parallel. By comparison, the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II cost a mere $9.3 billion (in constant 2005 dollars). According to the United Nations, it would cost $195 billion to eradicate most poverty-related deaths in the Third World, including deaths from malaria, from malnutrition, and from AIDS. So the amount of money committed by policymakers to save capitalism from itself is already fifty times greater than what it would take to save tens of millions of human beings from terrible daily suffering and premature death. If the wealthy nations instead invested that $10 trillion into the economies, health systems, and infrastructure of the Third World, rather than transferring it to the world's richest banks, private financial institutions, and investors, they could usher in a new epoch in the history of the species - a world community in which every human being would be guaranteed a livable life.

Tikkun Current and Previous Issues:
Tikkun Core Vision

Z Magazine - The Spirit of Resistance Lives

Liberation Psychology for the U.S. article link
Are we too demoralized to protest?
By Bruce E. Levine

Shortly before the 2000 U.S. presidential election, millions saw a clip of George W. Bush joking to a wealthy group of people, "What a crowd tonight: the haves and the haves more. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base." Yet, even with this kind of inflammatory remark, millions of U.S. citizens who came to despise Bush and his arrogance remained passive. Thus, the focus of U.S. liberation psychology need not be on U.S. citizens gaining consciousness of injustices, as many of these injustices are already in plain sight. Instead, U.S. liberation psychology must focus on how we can be made whole again, so as to regain strength to fight for ourselves and our communities.

Fundamentalist Consumerism and an Insane Society article link
By Bruce E. Levine

Erich Fromm, 54 years ago, concluded: "Man [sic] today is confronted with the most fundamental choice; not that between Capitalism or Communism, but that between robotism (of both the capitalist and the communist variety), or Humanistic Communitarian Socialism. Most facts seem to indicate that he is choosing robotism and that means, in the long run, insanity and destruction. But all these facts are not strong enough to destroy faith in man's reason, good will, and sanity. As long as we can think of other alternatives, we are not lost."

Notes on Anarchism article link
By Noam Chomsky

[Originally published in For Reasons of State (1973)]

I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence, dignity and human happiness can develop and grow; not the purely formal liberty conceded, measured out and regulated by the State, an eternal lie which in reality represents nothing more than the privilege of some founded on the slavery of the rest; not the individualistic, egoistic, shabby, and fictitious liberty extolled by the School of J.J. Rousseau and other schools of bourgeois liberalism, which considers the would-be rights of all men, represented by the State which limits the rights of each -- an idea that leads inevitably to the reduction of the rights of each to zero. No, I mean the only kind of liberty that is worthy of the name, liberty that consists in the full development of all the material, intellectual and moral powers that are latent in each person; liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the laws of our own individual nature, which cannot properly be regarded as restrictions since these laws are not imposed by any outside legislator beside or above us, but are immanent and inherent, forming the very basis of our material, intellectual and moral being -- they do not limit us but are the real and immediate conditions of our freedom.
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