Items For Bartering in a Post-Disaster Scenario

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Picture some natural disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane, where most everything is broken or wiped out. The stores will be closed. Electricity will be interrupted. Most everything would stop in today’s technologically-dependent world. Bartering could, after a crisis, become a normal way of life — food, water, and shelter being the most important.

Garden Pests – And How to Get Rid of Them

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Rabbit in gardenYou love your garden and all of the vegetables growing in it. Unfortunately, so do the critters living in your neighborhood. Whether you have deer chewing on your tomato plants, birds stealing your strawberries or mice, rats and raccoons walking off with your carrots, you’ll need to do something to protect your crops. After all, you’re trying to grow vegetables, not provide food for  every creature in the neighborhood.

Deer – Deer will wander into your garden in the evenings, early mornings and even the middle of the night, so you may not see them until they have already damaged your drops. You can protect your garden by erecting a tall fence that’s made of wood or chunks of stone, since deer don’t like to jump solid fences. If this is out of the question, then hanging bars of soap from area trees or tying them to stakes sticking out of the ground will keep the deer away.

Rabbit – Rabbits are cute, but they’ll lose their cuteness once you realize that they’ve eaten all of the low-hanging leaves off of your vegetable plants. The best way to keep rabbits out of your garden is by installing a very low fence that is around 2-feet tall all around your growing area. If you have cats, sprinkling some used cat litter around the borders of your garden will also scare away rabbits, since cats are their natural predators. The downfall to this is that it might attract all of the feral cats in your neighborhood.

Birds – Birds like to eat ripe berries right off of your strawberry plants and raspberry bushes. They will also eat any invading insects, which makes them kind of a mixed blessing. Rather than scare off birds altogether, simply protect your fruit plants by covering them with netting. This will prevent the birds from getting to the ripe fruit, but make it easy for you to pick the fruit, as all that you need to do is remove the netting. If you don’t want the birds around at all, setting up plastic replicas of their predators (large owls and snakes) around your garden will scare them away.

Raccoons – Raccoons sneak into your garden at night and eat all that they can get their paws on. Motion-sending lights can scare them off, as will recordings of loud noises. You can also place a low fence around your entire garden (similar to the one that will prevent rabbits from getting in) or place particularly appealing plants in a cage to keep raccoons from getting to them. If none of these measures work, contact your local animal control officers about setting up humane traps to catch the raccoons.

Mice and Rats – Mice and rats will eat just about any fruits or vegetables that they can reach. Rats are mainly nocturnal, but mice will venture out at all times of the day. You will know that you have them when you find small droppings around your garden and bite marks on your vegetables. Placing a series of humane traps around your garden should take care of these pests.

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Step-by-Step Plan to Fill Your Pantry Using Only Your Grocery Budget

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Take control of your grocery budget and meet your goal of a fully stocked preparedness pantry. Saving money by controlling your grocery budget begins as your next payday approaches. Just follow this step-by-step program and you will find your pantry full, your budget controlled, and money saved, no matter how small your pay check might be.

Live a life worth living – part 1 WHY

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Why?

So we are supposed to live a life worth living… Why?  Now that is a basic question that is very easy or hard to answer depending on your viewpoint.

You will have to figure out your own “why” but I’ll suggest a few reasons: It’s God’s plan. You deserve it. Your family and friends deserve it. The world deserves to be full of people who feel they have meaning. And countless other reasons, pick your favorites.

A person could wax philosophical for hours or hundreds of pages on “why”. Pick up one of hundreds of different philosophy, self help, spiritual or even celebrity expose books and they will give you a lot of “why”s. You could spend the rest of your life delving into the meaning of life itself…

My simple answer – every life is worth living. No matter how bad you think things are, or no matter how bad you think things might be – you, everyone, has a purpose here on this earth. If you don’t think you have a purpose here on earth, please seek help immediately.

 

Ok, now that we’ve completely glossed over the “why” at a philosophical level, let’s dig into the why at a strategic level.

I like to suggest examining these buckets that will be used in the next few installments at a deeper level:

  • Family
  • God
  • Friends and community
  • Country
  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Leaving a lasting legacy

You can group/ungroup or add as many as you like but I’ll use these as a starting point. You should have a reason to live, something(s) that bring you pleasure, that you are proud of.

By now I’m sure some of you are asking “what does all of this have to do with survival and preparedness?” My answer is: Everything. Followed by a question back to you: Why do you want to prepare and survive? I’m guessing that most of your answers will correlate back to those buckets above.

It’s just a thought process  to see “why” you are really preparing.  It’s not to survive the zombie hordes. It’s so you can survive the zombie hordes and see your children grow up in safety. Or the goal is to survive and help your friends, community, and church prosper. Or to provide compassion and aid to as many people as you can. The disaster or calamity that you are preparing for can’t be a why in and of itself.

If you don’t know why you are preparing and why you want to survive I suggest you really think about the core drivers for your actions.

All too often people get too caught up in food storage or tactical training, or sometimes people just ‘phone it in’ and buy the designer multi-year food packages without ever really knowing why. It is really easy to get caught up in that rat race, but we aren’t going to be a part of that, we have a purpose for everything we do.

Ok, so I know why, what now?

You have your reasons why? All of them? Some? A few? Write them down, as many as you can think of with as much detail as you can.

Done? Now for a fun exercise: pick the 2 or 3 most important reasons and highlight them somehow. Next pick the 2 or 3 you wish you were doing better in and highlight them somehow. Don’t feel bad if those two groups overlap, after doing this exercise with a few dozen people about half the items highlighted fell into both categories.

So you’ve got your most important reasons why.  Now figure out what can you do today or tomorrow at the latest to improve, even if only a tiny bit, your standing in those areas. Just do it. Don’t think too hard about it. Do it.  Go to church. Call your daughter. Go for that walk in the park. Do something nice for your spouse. Just do it.

 

Ok, enough for today, I’ll have the next installment on ideas of how to live a life worth living up in the next day or two where we will jump into each of those buckets in detail.

I hope you like this series – if you missed it please jump over to the introduction and leave a comment to be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

And remember: You can’t stop living life. You can’t let any one thing consume your life. You’ve got to live a life worth living.

Hot Weather Loving Plants

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Okra

 

(NOTE: This article is a request from Robert and Phil in comments from this article. If there’s something you want to know. Please comment and let me know!)

Planting vegetables at midsummer can be tricky for many reasons. Earlier we mentioned some that can be planted during this time period because they are impervious or not overly affected by frost. However, in some areas, the concern is more about plants that can thrive in very hot temperatures – not cooler weather. If you live in one of the southern parts of this country, then that is a bigger problem, and one that needs to be addressed. Here are several vegetables that can be planted at mid-summer, especially if you live in a warmer part of the country:

Okra – Okra can be planted up through August and September, as it can tolerate very hot weather. There are a number of different types of okra, but aim for the Emerald, Clemson Spineless and Cajun Delight varieties. This vegetable is very good for you, and contains a number of different vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, vitamin A and potassium, making it a good addition to any garden. Okra can be breaded and fried (which isn’t so good for you) and added to soups and stir-fries. Its leaves are a healthy addition to salads as well.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes can be planted up through July, which doesn’t quite fit into the “mid-summer” category. However, they can tolerate very hot weather, especially if you plant the Vardaman, Centennial and Beauregard varieties of sweet potato. They contain plenty of carbohydrates and vitamin A, among other nutrients, and can be used in casseroles, turned into French fries, and even served baked.

Southern Peas – Several varieties of Southern peas like cow peas, black eyed peas, field peas and Texas cream peas enjoy and even thrive in hot weather. They can be planted throughout the summer and even into the fall without having any difficulties producing. Yes, you can plant these types of peas in mid-summer, August, September and even October, which will give you a chance to balance out your harvests and not leave you with a giant pile of vegetables in the fall. There are many different ways in which these peas can be served, including boiled, mashed, and in soups, salads and other dishes. The nutritional content of Southern peas depends largely on which specific type they are, but all contain plenty of protein, carbohydrates, iron, zinc and other minerals.

Peppers – Thanks to many different hot-weather loving types of peppers, you have your choice between sweet, bell and hot ones to plant mid-summer. All three of these can be planted throughout the summer up until August. Consider adding hot peppers like Habanera, Jalapeno, Long Cayenne, and Hungarian Hot Wax; sweet peppers like Banana, Cubanelle and Mariachi; and bell peppers like Red Knight and California Wonder to your garden. All of these will thrive in hotter climates, and will keep producing peppers throughout the fall. There are many different ways in which these peppers can be used once they are grown. They can be made into salsas, served in salads, and added to many different dishes.

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Live a life worth living – Introduction

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What is all the preparedness, self sufficiency, community building, gardening, etc, all about? Why do we work so hard to help ensure survival? Everyone’s answers will be at least a little different. But the core should be very similar, hopefully at least.

To survive and live no-matter-what.

But is that enough? I don’t think so. This reminds me of one of my favorite book quotes:

“We had a ceremony today. An award, to the kid who caught the most rats this week. And we can look forward to that for the rest of our lives. To our kids growing up as rat catchers and swine herders. Honorable work. Needed work. Nobody puts it down. But … Don’t we want to hope for something better?” Rick Delanty, from Lucifer’s Hammer.

How about we change the answer to: Survive and live a life worth living.

How do we distinguish between the two? How do we work towards surviving and living a life worth living? First you have to start living a life worth living right now, today, this very instant.

How? You will have to ask your self many questions, such as: What is important to you? What isn’t important to you? What is your quality of life, and the quality of life of those you love and care about?

To get there it will be a hard road to walk, at least if you look at a lot of the stats floating around:

  • 1 in 8 adults in the US are on some sort of anti-depressant
  • Over 1 in 4 are labeled as obese (over 1 in 3 are overweight)
  • 1 in 3 have high blood pressure
  • Half of the US reports high levels of stress that lead to physical problems (main causes: Money, work, economy and family responsibilities)
  • The average indebted household has over $15,000 dollars on their credit cards
  • 73% of voters think the country is on the wrong track

I could keep going, but you get the idea. I’d bet you didn’t even need me to tell you any of the above, and could name a dozen more things to add to the list. It’s those types of things that make people want to get prepared in the first place, if right now is so bad – what is the future going to look like?

Today is bad, so we prepare for a worse tomorrow.

But I think we should turn that right around and flip it upside down. Today is bad, how can we make it better so we’re looking forward to a better tomorrow?

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting many follow up parts to this, discussing some key topics including:

  • Health, exercise and diet
  • Family and relationships
  • Community
  • Faith and religion
  • Preparedness
  • Debt and finances
  • Liberty and freedom
  • Habits and actions
  • And more, if I don’t list it please let me know what you would like to see added!

Now for the good stuff – I’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky random person who leaves a comment on this thread about how they currently are – or are working towards living a life worth living. The winner will be selected on 7/27 and I will email them at the address used to enter the comment and it will be announced here and on my Facebook page. (FYI: entering your email for a comment does NOT sign you up for ANYTHING. If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter you can click here or on the mail icon in the top right.)

Living as a Changed Man or Living as a Filthy Pig?

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filthy pig-410-200Once Saved, Always Saved, But Are You Truly Saved?
I have been feeling the need to write a series of articles in these last days of the last days dealing with salvation, due to all the deception taking place in the world today.
To start things off, let me pose to you the situation that we are currently facing.
According to American Religious Identification Survey, 76.5% of America identifies with some form of Christianity in America. This study included Mormons and Jehovah’s Witness in among the title “Christian.” (1)
Now here is another study, one which I find very interesting by George Barna.
Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years

The Definition

“For the purposes of the survey, a “biblical worldview” was defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today. In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview.”

The Conclusion
“The same questions were asked of respondents in national surveys by Barna in 1995, 2000 and 2005. The results indicate that the percentage of adults with a biblical worldview, as defined above, has remained unchanged for more than a decade. The numbers show that 7% had such a worldview in 1995, compared to 10% in 2000, 11% in 2005, and 9% now.” (2)

The numbers are going down with those who maintain a biblical worldview.
So my question is, how can you claim to be a Christian, when only 7% – 9% of America maintains a true biblical world view?
But here is a more interesting question, which percentage factor do you fall into; the 90% who do NOT hold to a biblical worldview or the 7%-9% who do?
Now to narrow this down even further, if you are part of the 7% -9% that maintains a biblical worldview, are you truly saved and how do you know / prove it?
6 two-roads-gates
The Strait Gate or The Wide Gate
I want to present to you some if not THE scariest verses to a Christian that there is in the bible. Folks, these verses should terrify you if you claim the title Christian.

Matthew 7:13 – 23 (KJV) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I have been doing a lot of study on Matthew 7. I have been reading commentaries, listening to sermons, ect. My conclusion is that Matthew 7 of God’s Word is one of the most profound chapters for Christians living in these last days of the last days.
The Profound facts are…
1. In Matthew 7 Christ was talking to and addressing professing believers and not the unbelievers as has been taught for the past 50 or so years.
2. That many who are claimed “Christian” and think they are believers, are in fact non-believers sold a lie and are destined to hell.
3. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing deceiving and selling many the lie thus leading many to hell.
4. Nothing good at all comes from a false teacher… NOTHING.
5. Finally, it is not our acts / works / fruit that save us, it is our acts / works / fruit that prove we have been saved.

two-gates

Are You Truly Saved And Walking The Way?
I am a person that stands on the fact that once a person is truly saved, they cannot loose their salvation. In other words I stand on the doctrine of Eternal Security.
Eternal Security is the idea that once a person is truly saved, he can never lose his salvation.
The primary verses I stand upon are the following…

1 John 5:13 (KJV) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

John 6:37 (KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:39-40 (KJV) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 10:27-28 (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

But here is the point that I am getting to with a question to consider. How does a person know he was ever saved in the first place?
I want to point back to Matthew 7:13-14

Matthew 7:13-14 (KJV) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

If you read these two verses you see that there are actually two gates and two ways.
You see, we have been teaching about the gate since the day of Pentecost, but it seems that in the last 50 or so years, we have forgotten to teach about The Way, which is also spoken of by Christ.
If you remember, my first profound point that I made about Matthew 7 is that Christ is addressing the professing believer / Christian and NOT the unbeliever or heathen. We know that this is fact due to the context Christ was speaking.
Who else in the world’s religions truly call Jesus Christ “Lord Lord”? No one but a professing Christian. Not even the Mormons, who DO NOT admit to Jesus as THE LORD, but “a lord” and the same goes with many of the other cults out there that claim connections to Christianity.
It is only the professing believer, as we read in context that Christ was addressing and talking about and who addresses Him as LORD.
So when we read in verse 13 about the Wide Gate and the Broadway, it is professing “Christians” who have entered that Wide Gate and are walking that Broadway.
But there is more. We learn in reading Matthew 7 about false teachers and how we are called to judge them by their fruit, but in reading, we see that we are judged by our fruit also.

Matthew 7:20 (KJV) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

See, that is the $500,000.00 question that has been forgotten these past 50 or so years.
How Do We Know People Are Christians?
filthy pigWe know by the fact that they are walking upon the narrow way as Christ clearly teaches. It is by our fruit that we are producing. If we are walking upon the narrow way, we will produce fruit according to that path.
Another point, is that if you are truly born again the World will hate your fruit, but if you are a “Christiain In Name Only (C.I.N.O) then the world will love the fruit you are producing.
Examples of the Religious World Fruit…
– Fighting against Global Warming
– Fighting for equal rights for homosexuals (Sodomites) and Gay Marriage.
– Fighting for pluralism in the religious world.
– The end justifies the means.
– All roads lead to Heaven.

Where we learn in scripture that the world loves it’s own and the love of the father is not in that person.

1 John 2:15-17 (KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

But that is if we are walking The Narrow Way, our fruit is as follows…
– Obeying God’s Word and a thirst to learn the deeper things of God.
– Living a Holy and acceptable Life pleasing unto God
– Our love for the brethren, delight in church and fellowship
– Our desire not to sin and a life of continued repentance
– Judging all through the lens of God’s Word and not of the World.

To the world, those things above seem foolish and to the person walking the Broadway, these things seem impossible. You see we can not achieve those things listed unless we have the Holy Sprit working in our lives and the power of the Lord giving us His strength to do so on a daily basis.
The sad thing is that many believe we are on the Narrow Way, but we often forget the most terrifying part that Christ speaks of about this… FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.
How Do We Know That We Are Walking Upon The Narrow Way?

James 2:14 -19 (KJV) What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

NOTE – here that I am not talking about Salvation, also known as The Gate.
I am addressing The Way.
See there is a true salvation and a false salvation. Christ calls it the Wide Gate & Broad way the false salvation vs. the Strait Gate & Narrow Way which is the true salvation.
“For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat.”
If you have chosen the false Christ – the wide gate – and you are walking upon the broad ways, you are leading a life destined to destruction believing you are one of God’s children, when in fact you have been lied to and believing a deception.
How do we know we are on The Narrow Way? We know because our life reflects a life growing more and more in Christ. We live a life where we have presented our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, not only in our public life, but our private life as well. We have not conformed to this world: but we were transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is good, and acceptable, and the perfect will of God.
Let’s read what Romans 12:1-2 states…

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

If you are walking on the narrow path you will naturally show an outward practical holiness as a mark of one saved by grace.
Let me be very clear here; I am also not talking being saved by works here either. One cannot be saved by works, and in fact if someone tells you can get to heaven from works, run away from them as fast as you can. It is only through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which we are saved.
For Christ said…

John 14:6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is Jesus and Jesus alone who is the Strait Gate. The problem is that many have chosen the Wide Gate thinking it is The Narrow Gate. That is because we preach about “The Gate”, but no longer “The Way.”
Living as a Changed Man or Living as a Filthy Pig?
Charles Spurgeon stated the following…

“The man who is born for heaven “hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity.” All men have their joys, by which their souls are lifted up; the worldling lifts up his soul in carnal delights, which are mere empty vanities; but the saint loves more substantial things; like Jehoshaphat, he is lifted up in the ways of the Lord. He who is content with husks, will be reckoned with the swine. Does the world satisfy thee? Then thou hast thy reward and portion in this life; make much of it, for thou shalt know no other joy.”

pigImagine that there is a pig and I am standing about 100 ft away from a pig. To one side of me is a beautiful 7 course dinner and to the other side of me is a large bucket of slop.
The pig is released, which side is he going to run to?
To the slop side of course!
Why?
Because he is a pig and that is all that pigs know.
Now imagine if you will that we were able to change that pig into a man, all the while he is eating the slop. What will happen?
The odds are that he will lift up his head and look around at his environment and then spit out the slop he was feeding upon when he was a pig.
Why?
Because he is no longer a pig that is able to feed upon slop, but a man needing a form of food to give him nutrition so that he might live.
This man is now a new creature and is no longer a pig.
Now from time to time he may even have pig thoughts about the wonderful slop he once ate when he was a pig. He may even go to the slop bucket from time to time, smell it, look at it. But the moment he feeds upon it what will happen? He will spit it out because he is no longer a pig but a man. Even if he as a man he forces himself to eat the slop, which men are able to do, it will eventually cause him to vomit it all up and make him sick possibly unto death because his body no longer accepts slop because he is a new creature.Now if one thinks he is a man and can still stomach the slop day in and day out, what makes him think he was changed into a new creature in the first place? If he is feeding upon the slop of the world and does not get sick to his stomach, maybe he was never changed into new creature in the first place and to this day remains a pig.
Scripture says…

2Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 5:5(KJV) For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Hebrews 12:6(KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

When we are truly converted, we can no longer stomach the slop of the world, the fleshly sin that we once indulged in.
When we entertain the sin, and all of us do from time to time, it makes us sick with guilt and shame because it is the Holy Spirit working in our lives chastening us from the inside out because God loves us as His children. Scripture says that God chastens His own.
…That my friend is part of walking The Narrow Way.
repentant-manThe man can not be changed back into a pig no matter what. He is now a new creature and that change can never be reversed. He will be that way forever, a new creature.
Now what you need to fear is if you are living a double life and living in sin; AND… God isn’t chastising you.
You may ask, how do you know God is chastening you? Oh believe me you will know. Your life will be absolutely miserable, that is until you repent and get back on the narrow path.
But more importantly, you as one of His children KNOWS that you are called to repent and a refusal to do so is rebellion unto the Lord. Your own heart, soul and mind call you to repent, but you may choose to still run.
Friend; God will let you run, but for only a short distance, then he will chastise you, bringing you to your knees and bringing you back as His own.
If you do not have God working and changing and chastening you in your life and you are claiming to be a Christian, you need to rethink your salvation and ask if you are truly saved in the first place.
There is no such thing as a Carnal Christian living long periods in the world. In fact there is no such thing as a “carnal Christian” in the first place. Either you are saved (a new creature) or you are not ( a filthy pig)
If you are, you are not saved. God does not let you run very long if you are one of His and if you are one of His, you know this for a fact because you yourself have experienced exactly what I am stating and you know it is true.
If your ways are not His ways and you do not feel God’s Hand chastening your life, odds are that you are not born again and are just one of those who checked of a box, raised a hand and that is about all. You are one who has walked throw the Wide Gate and is upon the Broadway bound for hell.
You have no fruit showing that your life has been changed by Christ. Instead your life reflects that of the world and a love for the world. It is the worldly music you listen to, the sex driven TV shows you watch the things of the world you indulge in. They are not the ways of the Lord, but the ways of the world. In fact you are like the many, indulging in the world, your sin, the flesh and walking upon the broad way which leads to hell and your fruit show it.
How Do I Know That I Am Truly Saved And Walking Upon The Narrow Way?
First John lists ways we can know that we are one of God’s elect…
(1) If we keep His commandments

1 John 2:3 (KJV) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

(2) If we keep His Word

1 John 2:4 (KJV) He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him

rejection-collage(3) if we walk in love

1 John 2:5 (KJV) But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

(4) If we love the brethren

1 John 3:14 (KJV) We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death

(5) If we love in deed, not only in word

1 John 3:19 (KJV) And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

(6) If we have the Holy Spirit within us

1 John 3:24 (KJV) And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

(7) If we love one another

1 John 4:13 (KJV) Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

(8) If we don’t continue in sin

1 John 5:18 (KJV) We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Walking through the gate, is the first part, but we must make sure WHICH gate it is that we have truly walked through and this is why Matthew 7 is one of the most terrifying chapters in all of scripture.
Christ said the following…

Matthew 13:3-9 (KJV) And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

If you are truly saved, you are as the good ground that brought forth good fruit, but if you are not, the seed that was sown was cast upon stony place, where the sun scorched or among the thorns. All of that seed did not produce good fruit and in all cases withered away and died.
jesus is the only way
What Did Christ Tell Us?

Matthew 7:20 (KJV) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

If you have gotten this far with me and are asking yourself “ Are You Saved?” You need to examine yourself.
Do you love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind? Do you obey His commandments? When someone looks at you, do they see the world or do they see someone who reflects a life of Christ?
OR… do you make excuses and tell half truths about yourself.
Folks, a half truth is a full lie and you are not fooling anyone, but more than that, God knows and you are not fooling Him either.
Folks, if you are not saved, it is true that you can fake a lot of this. But as we have seen by many of the false teachers out there, it is only for a season and sooner or later they fall and their true secret lives are reveled. What do you do when you are alone and no one is watching? What are your private pet sins that you indulge in and truly enjoy? What “Christian” masks do you wear, fooling those around you and even yourself?

Romans 8:5-8 (KJV) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Peter 1:15-16 (KJV) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1John 2:3-6 (KJV) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

I pray to continue this series as the Lord leads me. I am deeply concerned about the church today. Many have chosen the Broadway because that is what they have been taught. The sad thing is that it is a lie that leads to hell.
But more importantly, you need to sit yourself down right here and right now and really examine yourself.
Scripture says…

2 Corinthians 13:5 (KJV) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

After that, ask yourself…
Who Do You Serve?
Jesus stated the following…

John 14:6 (KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If you do not have Christ in your life, you will spend eternity in hell. This is a fact. It does not matter if you believe this or not, it is the truth spoken by Jesus himself. If your name is not written in the Lambs Book of Life you will go to hell for what you have not done and that is accepting Christ as your personal savior. To be placed in the Lamb Book of Life, you need to turn your life completely over to Him. Having “head” knowledge or “just believing in Christ” is not the same as having “heart” knowledge with Christ living in your heart. Even the “devils” believe in God.

James 2:19 (KJV) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

We work hard at Prophezine to show that Bible Prophecy is coming to pass. Because of this fact, we know that the Bible is true. Since the Bible is the true and is the inerrant word of God, there is a heaven and there is a hell.
If you claim the title of “Christian” then take account of yourself this day. Many claim the title, but we read in God’s Word that the title does not get you into heaven.

Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Who you serve will determine where you will spend eternity. If you are not serving Christ and a true child of God, then you are serving Satan and a child of the enemy.
If you are not 110% sure, then take account of yourself, your very life depends upon it.

1 John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


ray-gano-med

By Ray Gano




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In His Service,
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Prophezine

The Debt and Quantitative Easing

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The Problem:

If you haven’t heard, our national debt (for those readers in the US) is stuck at $16,699,396,000,000.00. It has been sitting at that level for almost 60 days now. No we didn’t stop borrowing money, we have borrowed many billions of additional dollars over this period but the treasury is playing different games and books are being cooked. Pretty soon the game will be up, although it might be weeks, months or even years. I, like many others, never thought the game could go on as long as it already has – so who knows how much longer they can keep it going.

How does this and the ever foretold, but never carried out, end of quantitative easing affect the average person? Negatively.

The financial problems we face are going to be a problem for everyone, except maybe the top 1% of the top 1%. They are connected and get knowledge prior to everyone else. So they get to profit by front running everyone else, making money off of(read: stealing) everyone elses losses.  But I digress…

How will it affect the average person? Rise in interest rates? Inflation? Deflation? Recession? D-d-depression? The answer is simple; yes.

Will we see hyperinflation? I doubt it, as do most economists. Even the vast majority of doom and gloom – perma bear economist don’t see hyperinflation. Though high inflation or stagflation just might be part of the plan.

But no one (except for that .01% who are changing the rules of the game) will know for sure when and how it will play out.

 

The solution:

Get out of debt. Interest rates will rise even more, but don’t buy into the ‘buy now when rates are low’ pitch. There is too much pressure on prices when rates go up; so prices come down. Think about it: when most people buy a house or a car, do they look at the cost or the monthly payment?  (answer: people have been conditioned to look at the payment!)

You also don’t know if you will have enough to make your already necessary payments. Or if you’ll have a job. Or if you’ll be able to afford gas to get to work. Or. Or. Or.

Get out of debt, it makes you more flexible in your future decision making. And don’t try to bet on hyperinflation. That is something you shouldn’t want to happen, and even if it does you won’t really be able to pay off your mortgage for ‘next to nothing’ because you will need that cool $10 mill to buy gas, or pay the tax man! (You really think that if you were to benefit from hyperinflation the IRS wouldn’t come and tag you for some huge assessment? Just Google IRS scandal, and that is in relatively normal times!)

If you need help I highly suggest Dave Ramsey’s book!

Next, work towards self sufficiency and save as much as you can. Grow a garden, start an orchard, cut any non-necessary services and expenses (lawn mowing? House cleaning? Smoking/drinking? Car wash? Anything you can live without…). The less you are paying for or depending on others for the better. Our supply chain is too stretched and fragile, you won’t have much warning when random things become hard or even impossible to find. (although I just read Twinkies are back on the shelf…)

Lastly, get in shape, get healthy. Our healthcare system is a huge behemoth and is already about to topple and I believe it will be one of the first casualties in the next wave down. Lose weight, exercise, eat right. If you are on daily medications do everything in your power to limit your need. Almost all ailments can be reduced if you get into good shape. From diabetes to blood pressure to depression, eating right and exercising can help dramatically.

There are a million other things you can do, but these three are the most important. Heck everyone should be working towards these three anyway!

Seeing in the dark, and owning the night

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Everybody always talks about owning the night, and it’s a pretty easy concept to understand. What people generally mean when they say owning a night is that they are in control and those opposed them are powerless against them. In prepper circles this usually means that they have night vision devices to allow them to see at night or other setups, usually some sort of technology, that help give them a great advantage in the dark.

While it’s all good and fun to talk about this concept, and especially the gear, it’s not always easy to get accurate and unbiased information. I’m not an expert and have never used any of the devices going to talk about here in a sort combat heart use application. So take it as a good explanation of why did what I did.

Start out I’ll break the topics into four groups the first three of which are technologies and the fourth is a tactic, you can use all of these technologies and tactic in conjunction or independently. More is better, and always remember the role “one is none, and to his one”. The three technologies I talk about are A. Light B. Light amplification (NVG/NVD) C. Thermal imaging (FLIR) the tactic is just passive and active alarms and monitoring.

Light: pretty simple, flashlights, candles, floodlights, flares, glow sticks, fire, and many more. This can be somewhat counter-intuitive, if you’re using lie you don’t necessarily own the night because using light will also aid anybody else, even those who you don’t want to aid. It should not be overlooked however because if you control the light you control that portion of the playing field. And that control can be the difference between winning and losing, or noticing and not noticing.

Everybody should have many sources of light with several redundancies, but even if this is your strategy in any sort of grid down situation light discipline is a must. Practicing light discipline in doing a “light audit” to see where light can be seen and can’t be seen are both important projects. The last thing you’d want to do is to be signaling people “hey look at me!” By having light and a power when nobody else does.

For what it’s worth I’m a fan of Streamlight and Surefire flashlights. Streamlight makes very good and VERY bright flashlights, while Surefires are just as good and bright and are made to withstand a tremendous beating. (they are even designed to be used as impact weapons)

 

Light amplification: this encompasses the majority of night vision goggles were night vision devices that people normally talk about. These are generally broken out into different generations but for simplicity sake I’ll describe them as three; GEN 1, GEN 3 and then everything else. (there are some places that will reference a Gen 4, but this isn’t a ‘real’ designation and these devices actually fall into the GEN 3 category)

Why? Because I can only recommend, based on my research and observations, GEN 1 and GEN 3 units.

GEN 1units are the cheapest and generally least effective, so why would I recommend these? Because they’re the cheapest. And because they give you a great bang for your buck, if you get a good unit. I personally have two GEN 1 units made by Yukon, and for the price they work great. Many people say to stay away from these kinds of things and only go for the PVS 14 military grade hardware. But like many others, I can’t afford to spend that kind of money on hardware that we hopefully will never have to use. After doing a ton of research online and testing out a few different options I ended up on the monocular version from Yukon, although some of the versions from ATN were also very good and highly rated. If you go this route I recommend a monocle over a binoculars and also recommend something without magnification. It’s much easier in my experiences to walk at night with a monocle using a “take your path, then walk it” and it is with binoculars and working with magnification is always a little trickier than not.

GEN three units,specifically those that meet the PVS 14 designation, are high-end and usually military grade equipment. These are definetly worth what it costs but at $2000 or more per unit it does cost a lot. There are many people selling these, if you are looking to spend the money most of the reputable dealers will be able to point you in the right direction without too much hassle. I feel there is a lot of bias out there towards the GEN 3units, especially by those who have used them for actual tactical purposes. While I don’t have that background I do have a limited budget, unlike Uncle Sam and I need to make sure that I get the best bang for my buck. I also hope that I won’t ever have to use mine for anything other than walking, working or hunting at night. For those purposes it works very well!

All of the other stuff, GEN 2 and Gen x+s and anything in between. I don’t recommend the stuff. Why? I personally tested a couple and saw no noticeable difference between them and the GEN 1 at least until I started getting in to the near/over $2000 mark again. If you are going to spend that much, go ahead and spend a little more to get the really good stuff.

With GEN 1 I suggest getting ancillary infrared flashlights or floodlights to use with them and make sure that the device you get can have the IR light turned off. GEN 1 will allow you to walk and navigate easily, and aid in movement detection. Nothing like the GEN 3, but way better than nothing at all!

 

Thermal imaging: Forward-looking infrared, FLIR, looking at a completely different light spectrum than you’re used to. These devices look at heat signatures, just like the Predator does. The best way I’ve been able to explain it is to point people towards classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator. Okay so maybe that’s not the best way, but it’s an easy one, and its a pretty fun movie too.

To me, this is the most effective way to own the night and a lot of the experts will agree with me. FL IR comes into its own by being able to pick out heat signatures of people and animals or things such as fires or cars, at a distance usually measured in the hundreds of yards. It’s very hard to hide from this  technology. (Not impossible, but hard) Using thermal imaging to scan your surroundings will allow you to pick up anybody or anything approaching you very easily. Very often you won’t even be able to see them with your naked eye but the thermal signature they give off makes them stick out like a sore thumb. This also works in the middle of the day. If you ever have a chance to play with one try couple of exercises like hiding in thick brush were you can’t be seen even though somebody knows where you are, your thermal image will stick out no problem. Or try to have somebody come through grasses in a field or other vegetation, once again concealing your whole person from normal eyesight, and you’ll easily be picked out with the thermal imager. The two biggest drawbacks of FLIR are cost and the fact that you can’t look through glass. (no peering out your window like you can with NVG)

A short and great FLIR vs. NVG example, although the limitations they are showing on NVG wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be found on a PVS14, but would be an issue with gen 1s.

These capabilities are what’s moving a handheld thermal imager to the top of my list of things about me, the very top. For the same price as a single PVS 14 I’ll be able to have my two GEN one monocle’s and a thermal imager.

The tactic of alarms and monitoring: I just wanted to bring this up very briefly to help round out the discussion. If you are having some sort of problem or are afraid of some sort of problem; whether it’s two or four-legged creatures, alarms and monitoring solutions should be set up. Whether their electronic like a motion detector or electronic alarm, or if they’re just very basic can of rocks tied to a trip line. They should be used to help alert you to the breach of your perimeter. These help back up any other method you’re using and should always be used to that end.

 

That’s about the extent of my knowledge, once again I didn’t say I was in expert, but hopefully what I put here and links to these videos that I’ve provided can really help you get up to speed and make a good decision.

Not only are these tools useful in a prepper’s sense but they can be a lot of fun, if for when you get any of these devices I highly suggest going out and playing with them. Yes, playing. If you are so inclined I also suggest training and practicing, but sometimes you just need to go out and play with your toys. Speaking of that I just got a new knife back from Cassel knives here in Indiana, handmade by a true craftsman and I’m going to go outside and play with that. Hopefully I won’t be playing with my first aid kit too.

Powdered Milk – Why and How to Store It

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Powdered milk is one of the staples of food storage and is a basic ingredient for so many recipes. But if you’re not able to run to the store for a gallon, powdered milk is handy and easy to use. That’s why it’s so important to include it in your food storage plans.

Library Addition: An introduction to prepping and a guide to fire

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Over the holiday weekend I picked up a copy of Zion Preppers  An Introduction to Prepping and a Guide to Fire and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the content of this book. The book is broken into two main parts, as the title might suggest.

Part 1: An Introduction to Prepping

This part of the book explains in thought provoking ways Zion Preppers philosphy, tenets and reasons for prepping.  Even after reading dozens of similar books, thousands of articles, and being a prepper for going on 6 years now, he was able to break  down a lot of logic into very simple to understand ideas that helped expand my understanding of what prepping is.

Part 2: Introduction to Fire

This is the part of the book that really shines! It is an A-Z survival fire handbook and would be a great addition to anyones survival library. You can find a lot of the information goes along with the YouTube videos he has posted Fire Videos but with easy to follow instructions already laid out for you. This will come in handy as both a learning/training aid (I can’t wait to start making a fire piston from his blue prints that are included!) and also as an invuable resource should a crisis ever arise. Instead of hunting, printing and collating a bunch of different articles I now have a one stop, neatly and professionaly presented source of information.

 

(Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book but have no financial interests in it.)

Easy-to-Store Non-Food Items

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Storing non-food items is nearly as important as storing food products. No, it’s not life or death without them, and you could improvise. They will not feed your family but they sure will come in handy if/when they are no longer available in the stores.

How Do I Know I am Really Saved?

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forgiven1410-200God commands us to repent and to believe. He does not ask, does not invite, or any of these other warm fuzzy ideas that are so popular today.
Even though so many say it, He is not standing at a door knocking.
What He wants is for us to repent and come to Him.
I know that what I am saying is causing people’s hackles to raise, but it is the truth.
He commands…

Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

What is Repentance?
It is a change of mind. We were going one way and now we have turned a full 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
Repentance is not knowing you are a sinner. Repentance is where God opens your eyes to the fact that the littlest of sin breaks you, and breaks your heart. Repentance is the realization that one single sin separates us from a Holy and Just God. Repentance through the Holy Spirit’s conviction makes your sin real, you are disgusted.
It is repentance that causes you to make a choice.
It is through conviction and repentance that God presses upon our hearts that we are sinners. He causes us to wake up and realize that we are lost and we are going to hell.
We are all sinners and there is nothing that we can do to change that.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The question that we need to be asking ourselves is “are we truly saved?”
In today’s sugar coated churches what is being preached today is not the gospel.
Salvation is not sitting in church on Sunday mornings.
Salvation is not checking some boxes on a 3×5 card.
Salvation is not raising your hand when the pastor asks.
Salvation is not saying some mantra prayer.
Now can all these lead to salvation?
Yes they can. But what these things really lead to is repentance which then leads to salvation.
Here is the scary thing, if you have only checked a card, raised a hand, repeated some mantra, odds are you are not saved.
Sure you go to church, live a good life, and say all the right things.
But until you have come the point where you realize that you are a sinner who is completely lost, you will continue to be lost.
It is only when you come to the realization that you are a sinner in need of a savior. That point where you realize you are truly lost. It is only at that time that you can then ask God to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
There is nothing that you can do, no good works, nothing. There is not one good work that will get you into heaven.
jesus woman washes feetThere is only one thing.
The only thing that you are able to do is seek God’s forgiveness and believing upon Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
See, before you can be saved you need to realize that you are lost and until you come that realization, you will continue to be lost.
Here is God’s promise to us.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What many people today miss is that to come to that realization, one needs to understand that they are sinners. But not only sinners, they need to understand that it is their sin that is holding them back from a loving father.
It is the Holy Spirit that illuminates our sins to us. It is at that moment that we have the free will to either accept that we are sinners and have remorse over that and repent…
Or we ignore the Holy Spirits convicting voice and harden our hearts till the next time.
That is if there is a next time.
If one continues in their sin, we harden our hearts. It gets harder and harder to hear the Holy Spirits convicting voice.
But here is a fact. Sooner or later the Holy Spirit will stop convicting us and then He will turn us over to a reprobate mind.

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Easy-Beliefism is Rampant
In scripture it states…

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In today’s world the word “believe” has changed greatly.
To believe as spoken of in John 3:16 is to fully trust in God. A belief and trust that your very life depends upon it.
Scripture tells us that even the devils believe. In fact do you know that the devils are more pious than us? Yes it is true. They KNOW God and BELIEVE. So much so that they even tremble with respect.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

See, even the devils believe, but are they saved?
How many of us tremble with respect?
The seventh chapter of Matthew is the most terrifying chapter in scripture, at least in my opinion.
What many people do not realize is that in chapter seven of Matthew, Christ is talking to us, the believer, the Christian. It is a chapter that warns us to not buy into the easy-beliefism that is taught today.

Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Many will say to Him “Lord Lord.”
We Christians are the only ones who call Christ Lord.
“We have done this in your name and have done that in your name.”
In the following verse the Galatians are talking to Paul about what they have done.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

THEM – “ Hey Paul, well I am circumcised”
PAUL – Yea, so what.”
THEM – “ Well Paul, I am UNcircumcised’
PAUL – “Yea so what, that does not get you into heaven”
Get what Paul is saying?
faith4sUS – “hey we go to church — we have been baptized – we have raised our hand – we have checked a 3×5 card.”
CHRIST – “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
It is only by grace thru faith. The very act of believing in Him, your life for Him, your all, your faith, your trust, your very being.
You want to understand what it means to really believe?
Here is the definition…

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

That is the definition of belief that John 3:16 talks about.
It is the faith and understanding that you alone can do nothing to get to heaven, it is only through Jesus Christ who paid the price that you will one day be able to be with our heavenly father.
Belief is not the sugar coated “believing” that is preached today.
It is waking up at 3:00 AM in the morning, in a cold sweat realizing that we are all filthy sinners and that all of us fall short of the Glory of God.
It is a belief where you cry out to God and ask, no almost beg because you are so convicted to forgive you of the sins you have committed in light of all that Christ did for you by dying on that cross.
You beg for forgiveness and that He become your savior.
It is at that time that we truly believe, it is at that time we submit our all and say “my life for you God.”
It is at that time that you really understand.
See, we all walk around saying that we are Christians and know Christ.
But in reality that is not the important thing.
What is important is that Christ knows us.
For example, we may all say we know the president. But if we showed up on the front lawn heading into the white house the secret service would tackle us to the ground and take us away.
All this time we are screaming “I know the president! – I know the president!”
It does not matter.
Now, if the president came out of the white house and pointed to you and called you by name, then the secret service would let you be, because he, the president, knows you.
It is the same way being a Christian.
This is why it does not matter what we do, it will not get us into heaven.
What matters is who we know, or better yet, who knows us.
It is at the moment of our salvation that God does a literal miracle in our lives. He recreates us into a new being.
So if we are not truly saved, we are not that new creature.
Just Another Carnal Christian – You Will Know Them By Their Fruits
If you are a new creation, then God will be working in your life changing you from the inside out. Sometime this change is fast, sometimes slow, but we are always changing. What is taking place is that our old fleshly selves are being changed more into the likeness of Christ.
When we are saved / born again we are instantly created a new. This is how Christ knows us.
See if we are not saved, Christ will not know us.
So how do we know we are saved?
Scripture tells us the following…

Matthew 7:16-20 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

If we are saved, we produce good fruit. If we are not saved, then we do not produce good fruit. This is why I say that good things do not come out of bad people. Scripture backs that up. It is by our fruit that we know we are His or not.
Now do we who are saved still sin?
Yea sure we still sin, in fact we sin the moment we wake up till we sleep and even when we sleep we may be having not so good dreams.
So the big question is this, “How do we know we are saved?”
PZ Insider Pastor Mark Thomas told me the following…

What distinguishes a true Christian from a C.I.N.O.? (Christian In Name Only) 
In most cases the answer is one word – guilt. 
Those who are truly Christians are convicted when they sin and feel guilt whenever they do sin (and we all sin). 
Those who aren’t true Christians don’t feel guilt, either because they have quenched the Holy Spirit or because they were never saved in the first place. 
In fact, one of the sure ways to find out if you are really saved is how you react to sin. 
If you just shrug it off and say “everyone sins”. Then you have problems. 
If you hate every sin you have committed and feel guilt every time, you are saved.

So How Do You React When You Sin?
Me, I hate it. Just sitting here writing this causes conviction over things I have done. I hate that all I seem to do is sin. If it isn’t one thing, it is another. An angry or impure thought, a slip of the tongue, an unchristian gesture, a sinful gaze.
I understand when Paul calls himself the chief of all sinners. I am in line right behind him.
I try and try and try, but no matter what I fall from grace. It is a battle that we fight and will continue to fight till the day we are with Him.
But it is His grace that is sufficient for me. It is His loving forgiveness knowing that I will mess up. It is His understanding that I am trying and it is my hope that when the day comes I hear Him say “Enter my kingdom my good and faithful servant.”
I hate that I sin and here I am in the ministry, shouldn’t I be more “holy” or something?
Living a right life in the last days is a minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month journey.
Those of us who are called His children, we need to continue to fight the good fight. Keep pushing forward. Never stop walking up hill, never stop rowing against the current. To stop is to understand that we start slipping backwards towards the world and further from Him.
Do you want to see an example of good fruit? Here is something that a friend send me from a pastor in Zimbabwe…

“I am a disciple of the Messiah.
I will not let up, look back or slow down.
My past is redeemed, my future is secure. I am done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised or rewarded.
My face is set; my goal is sure. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few.
My God is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, delayed or deluded.
I will not flinch in the face of adversity, not negotiate at the table of the enemy or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I am a disciple of the Messiah.
I must go until He comes, speak of all I know of Him and work until He stops me. And when He comes for His own, by the grace of God, He will have no problem recognizing me, because my colors are clear.”
– Unknown Zimbabwean Pastor

How many of us are that sold out for Christ?
How many of us display this sort of fruit?
How many of us burn with this sort of zeal?
Are we one of His?
Will He know us?
Are You One of His?
19-forgivenessIf Christ came back today, would He know you?
Have you truly believed in Him?
Have you come to a point in your life where the realization of your sin disgusts you and you know that there is nothing that you can do to get to heaven?
Have you come to a point of conviction and turned to Christ asking for real forgiveness?
Would you truly lay down your life, paying the ultimate price, before you renounced Christ?
If you answered NO to any of these, you need to do a check-up from the neck up.
There is a chance that you are not born again and a new creature in Christ.
I know that I would you rather live in a cardboard box and give up everything instead of going back to that old sinful life I once lived.
I look back at what I was and there are times a pit grows in my stomach and I can’t believe the things that I did before I truly committed my life to Him.
If you are not sure that you are one of His, you need to ask the Holy Spirit to do a work in your life. You need to ask forgiveness and repent, believing and trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before you can be saved, you need to realize that you are first lost.
That lost means that you are going to hell and forever be apart from our loving Father. Hell is the absolute separation from God. But on top of that we will burn for all eternity, never having peace, never having joy. It will be utter misery, pain, suffering and the ultimate in being alone.
That is what will be your destination if you are not saved.
Are you saved?
Christ COMMANDS us to repent so that we can be saved.

Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

But Christ also gives us this promise.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I know that you want more.
You thought you prayed a prayer, maybe you raised your hand in church, checked a 3×5 card.
You thought that you were born again.
You bought into easy beliefs which is NOT scriptural no matter what you think or what you may have been told.
If you call yourself Christian and want more, stop right now and give your all to Him. Ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you of all your sins. Submit to Him and ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.
If you honestly believed in Him, you are now a new creation, God will start changing you daily. Walk away from the things of the world and start living your life for Him.
If I can help answer any questions you may have, please feel free to contact me, my wife and I are here to serve.

ray-gano-med

By Ray Gano

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In His Service,
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