Prepared

Our Crazy World – A Serious Conversation!

crazy world

Do you feel like you’re living in a crazy world?  I first penned this letter on December 2011.  Back then, I was very concerned about our crazy world and the direction that I saw it going.  The signs have been there for a while.  For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is.  But now, the problems are glaring and in your face!  You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong! It seems like our world is going crazy!

From our economy to terrorism, to natural disasters, to deadly viruses, crime and more, you can easily find reasons to be concerned for yourself and your family!

There Are Major Problems in Our Crazy World!

The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared.  Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible!  Responsibility is a problem in today’s world!  We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us!  And what if they don’t?  Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt?

People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens?  Well I say, that is good!  You don’t really want anything to happen!  Or, you don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long!  You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job!  Neither do you don’t want the drought or an earthquake in California to affect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive!  You don’t want any of that stuff to happen!  But if it does….you want to be ready!

It’s Crazy, So What Should You Do?

Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods.  Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day!  There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different!  But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!

You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above!  Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out.  I wanted them to think critically!  But now, I think people need a wake-up call!

After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!

Peace,
Todd
July 2019

An Open Letter to Family & Friends

I’m writing this letter because I care about you.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.

Why the Letter?

Our lives are crazy and sometimes it seems like we live in a crazy world!  We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc.  When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain-numbing pictures flicker across the screen.  We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.

And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable.  We move from one task, event, errand, or chore to the other.

The problem is when we look at our lives from a big-picture perspective.  What if our lives, all of a sudden changed?  What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once?  How could this happen?  This can easily happen during an emergency.  I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency.  I’m talking about the BIG stuff.

The Big Emergency

The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks.  It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide.  But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.

The problem is that most people are not prepared for a BIG one.

Prepared?

Are you and your family most people?  Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies?  Or, do you have insurance for medical emergencies?  Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency?  What about having another means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available?  Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand?  Can you rely on some basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?

This is the whole reason for my letter.  I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant.  It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort.  But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency?  You’ll be glad you did!

Getting Prepared Action Steps:

Make a planWhat are you preparing for?  What needs to be done?  Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks.  In reality, you will never be “prepared.”  You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.”  Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…

Set goals – When do you want _____ accomplished?

  1. Get a 3 day supply of food.  Then move to a 3 week supply.
  2. Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
  3. Think about home and personal security.
  4. Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
  5. Start a garden
  6. Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
  7. Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
  8. Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping
  9. Listen to Podcasts that deal with the topic of preparedness.

Get active – go meet your goals!

Warning

The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one.  It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing are already crazy world in an even crazier way!  It is always best to approach preparedness within community.  You should go it alone only if no one else is willing.  Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.

It’s A Crazy World and It’s Fragile!

It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for.  But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation.  Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse!  At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now.  What happens over there, affects us over here.

There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there.  One such scenario is an economic collapse.  Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.”  The fact is that it is way different this time.  Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now.  And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek.  It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it.  The concern has gone beyond the tin-foil hat people.  Just research it!

Do Something

Please take this letter seriously.  If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies.  But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!

Peace,
Todd

Crazy World

Our Crazy World – A Serious Conversation! Read More »

Outlaw Faith: Could Your Church Go Underground? Part 1

Undergrou

 

I hate AND love to think that the church in America might have to go underground one day.  It is scary and at the same time, an exhilarating thought.  Some Christians might think I’ve lost my mind, but let me share some thoughts on why I’m suggesting that the “true” church in America might one day be an underground church.

But first, is it too hard to think that the church MIGHT have to go underground at some point?  I mean the true church, not the one that is approved, ok’d or will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to keep their 503(c) status by the government.  I’m talking about the church that will follow the Bible and choose to live for Jesus regardless of what the culture, government or anyone says.  I mean the church that will be the church, even in the face of threats and persecution!  Is it too hard to think that we could be there at some point in the near future?

Can You See It Happening?

It will (is) easy to blame us.  I mean, come on!  We are people who are unbending when it comes to just accepting what everyone (the world) is doing.  Biblical Worldview Christians say no to abortion, homosexuality, etc.., etc.., etc..  We are just not tolerant.  So why would the world want to put up with us?  “Let’s remove these troublemakers and things will be easier,” you can almost hear them say!  It’s happened before in other places in this world, at other times.  And more importantly, Jesus warned about it.

18 “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. 21 But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don’t know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin.  Now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 The one who hates Me also hates My Father. 24 If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened so that the statement written in their scripture might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason.

 

26 “When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me. 27 You also will testify, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

 

John 15:18-27 (HCSB)

What If?  Could Christian’s Accept an Underground Church?

So back to my statement, I hate and love to think that Christians, we, might find ourselves one day having to go underground to meet, fellowship and share God’s Word.

I hate the idea because I know that many Christians won’t be able to make the transition.  Church is done in a “church.”  We drive there every Sunday morning.  It has rows of chairs and children’s church and maybe a cafeteria and a gym.

It would come as a shock that many wouldn’t be able to handle.  As a result, many will lose faith and think that God is dead.  Some will argue that these people were never really Christians to begin with.  Maybe, Maybe not!  I just know that sometimes we have such thoughts and ideas that normalcy bias sets in and we can’t imagine anything else…or meeting together in any other way.

Shaking the Church

I love the idea that churches might have to go underground one day because it will shake the very core of American Christianity!  We have built our faith around a building, great preachers, great music and great amenities (Children’s church, Youth Group, Singles, etc…).  There is nothing wrong with all of this, but it has become more of “this is church” than we come together to worship and serve God!

We have come to expect that we “go to church” to get fed or to grow spiritually.  Christians have come to expect that the pastor needs to be a great speaker, who is energetic, positive and entertaining.  We go to church to “feel” it.  And if we don’t, we go find another one.

Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t the case for ALL churches in America.  However, I bet I would get more that agree with me than not!

Going underground means that we will have to be more relational.  The church would more than likely meet in homes.  It would be more participatory.  There would probably be more prayer and seeking God.

Relational

Let’s face it, you can walk into many churches today and absent the “Good morning” from the greeters at the door, if your church does that, you don’t have to actually speak to anyone.  A smile and a nod will suffice most of the time.  This is good and bad.  Sometimes you just want to walk in and focus on God.  You might not want social club time!  But most of the time we like to talk to people.  We like to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, we want to belong.  Yes, you can always get involved in some aspect of church, they always need volunteers, but some just don’t naturally gravitate to that.

In an underground church or small home church setting, you can’t just get away with showing up and leaving without interacting with others.  And if you don’t show up for some reason, people will know it.  There is usually food and sharing and times of fellowship that you just don’t experience in a large church setting.  You become part of the family, you belong.

Participatory

You’ve probably heard the term “sit and get.”  This is usually the case in churches where the preacher gets up to preach.  There isn’t really a lot of participation, outside of signing some songs.  Yes, you can join a small group and get involved in ministry.  But the main thrust of any church is the Sunday morning service.

Home churches or small groups are just by nature more participatory. Coming together, maybe sitting in a circle, just lends itself to times where people can ask questions and discuss spiritual matters.  As this happens, it becomes easier and easier to share faith with others.  It also allows others to see that they are not in it alone.  The person sitting across the room is going through the same concerns, fears, situations…

Prayer

Prayer in a church setting usually means the pastor or someone is called to the front, given a microphone and says a prayer.  This is usually already set up before the service, again nothing wrong with that.  Some churches allow for prayer at the end of the service.  They will call prayer partners up and you can come up for special prayer.

In a smaller setting, prayer can be spontaneous.  It can take as long as needed.  Those that feel that they should pray, can.  And more importantly, if Christian’s are meeting in an underground church, then there will be plenty of reasons to pray!

Seeking God

In a larger church setting, most of the “spiritual food” is provided by the pastor.  I hate to say it, but many times it is programmed, sermon series based on a given passage are easy and don’t take too much hearing from God. I know, I’ve been there and done that!  There might be more available for members in small groups, but it depends on how the groups are laid out and the focus that the leader wants to share.

In a home church/small group setting, there is still usually someone in charge of providing a message or sermon or the sharing of Scripture.  However, it doesn’t always have to be the same person and the discussion and sharing can always lead it where the Holy Spirit would like it to go.  Again, there is freedom to discuss Scriptures more or pray more or take however long it takes.

Conclusion

The focus of this article is about a time when churches might have to go underground.  In no way am I saying that churches need to do this now or that it is the only way!  I have pastored a home church for many years and I currently pastor a small church that doesn’t meet in a home, so I’m not against small or larger churches.

I do think that churches should really think about this topic.  Certain issues are causing more and more pastors to think about what their churches would look like in a tyrannical government scenario.  Pastors, elders and church officials should be thinking about contingencies so that their members are “looked after” and can continue meeting together in the faith.

In part 2, I will share some specifics, from my years of pastoring a home church, that Christians should think about when considering meeting in small congregational settings.

Peace,
Todd

 

This article was previously posted on Prepper Church.

 

Outlaw Faith

 

Outlaw Faith: Could Your Church Go Underground? Part 1 Read More »

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