Sunday, November 28, 2010

Debt Map

Country foreign exchange reserves minus external debt

Public debt as percent of GDP world map

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Glenn Beck to have a show on Food Storage

I'm sure most of my readers are familar with Glenn and his TV program on Fox News.  Tomorrow he will be doing a special on Food Storage.  I thought I'd pass that along to my readers.  If you don't get cable (like me), you can watch the entire episode (and older episodes) at

FYI, if you are doing gardens (and you all should) now is the time to plant winter rye grass in your garden for green manuring in the spring (turning the grass upside down and letting it decompose).  Also, if you want an early bean crop, it's time to plant broad beans (horse beans).  They will over winter and pop up first thing this spring- they don't climb so don't worry about trellises-  just plant them out 2-3 inches apart in offset rows. 
Now is also the time to turn your compost pile-  keep it moist this winter and let the worms do their thing.  It will be ready this spring. 

I'm strongly considering raising rabbits for food.  I want to build an all-metal cage (for durability and for odor control).  Does anyone here raise rabbits?  Do you compost their urine (absorbed by hay)?  Does that put too much ammonia into the compost?  Help please.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Prepping bible story...

I read daily.  Today's post was excellent and I recommend it.  Today at church we talked about preparation- this post is inline with that.  For those who haven't read it yet, read on:

Seven hundred years before the birth of the Christ, a man named Hezekiah ascended to the throne in Jerusalem. Looking around, Hezekiah saw a nation divided and in spiritual decay. Bold action was needed to set the nation back on track.

Though we may not be kings with the power to lead our country off of a path of destruction, I believe that there are several valuable lessons that can be taken from the experiences of Hezekiah and applied to the life of a Christian prepper. When we look around, we see a nation on the brink of disaster, just like Hezekiah. The question is, what will we do about it? Here are nine things that Hezekiah did:

1. Hezekiah put God back at the center of worship. (2 Chronicles 29:3-19)

Before we launch into our preps, we must be sure that Christ is at the center of our lives. Without his help, any plans we design on our own are destined to fall short or fail all together. Just like Hezekiah worked to put God back into the center of his nation, we must examine our lives and be sure that God is at the center of all we do.

2. Hezekiah restored the tithe. (2 Chronicles 31:4)

When our eyes are first opened to the dangers that are routinely discussed here on Survivalblog, it is tempting to give up on the tithe and use that money to lay up more preps. However, it’s important to remember that the tithe is a form of worship that keeps us from putting ourselves at the center of our lives. That position belongs to God. Giving 10% back to God is a way of acknowledging that all we have is His and thanking Him for intrusting us with it as a steward. While I can’t explain how, I can only say that I live better on the 90% after the tithe than I have ever lived on the 100% without the tithe. In 2 Chronicles 31:20 we see this spiritual principle play out in Hezekiah’s life. “Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.” (NKJV)

3. Hezekiah identified the threats to his nation and made preparations accordingly. (2 Chronicles 32:1-6)

When Hezekiah surveyed his kingdom, he saw Sennacherib, king of Assyria, preparing for war. Just as Hezekiah identified the Assyrian king as a threat to his people, so too we must identify the hazards that threaten our families. Financial collapse, job loss, hurricane, flood… some threats are held in common by all Americans while others are specific to certain regions. Identify the threats and make preparations in accordance with their probability and severity.

As an emergency management student and a member of the National Guard who has responded to Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf, tornados in Tennessee, and deployed to Iraq twice, I know how fragile the thin veneer of civilization is. Our nation is dependant on many things but I’d put cheap oil and the steady flow of electricity at the top of that list. If one of these two things falter, our way of life will change dramatically. As has been clearly articulated many times before on this site, the systems that ensure the distribution of cheap oil and reliable electricity are vulnerable. Therefore, it only makes sense that we prepare for life without them.

4. Hezekiah sought the counsel of wise individuals. (2 Chronicles 32:3)

We weren’t designed to live this life alone. Find godly people that you can trust and seek their counsel. Proverbs 15:22 is one of my favorite verses on this matter. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (NKJV)

5. Hezekiah made preparations for hard times. (2 Chronicles 32:4-6)

In his preparations against Sennacherib, Hezekiah repaired the walls around Jerusalem, built weapons, organized the civilian population under military leadership, and redirected springs to flow inside the walls of Jerusalem. In fact, you can still wade through the water in Hezekiah’s tunnel to this day. The preparations that you choose to make will rely heavily on the threats that you identify. Having said that, food, water, and the means to defend your family make sense in just about any disaster mitigation plan.

6. Hezekiah trusted in the Lord in spite of the danger that faced him. He didn’t let fear paralyze him. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8)

In Hezekiah’s day, the nation of Israel was divided. Hezekiah ruled a small portion of it called Judah with Jerusalem as its capital. The rest of the nation had long since fallen into spiritual decay and had been dragged into captivity by invading armies. By all rights, Hezekiah could have given into the fear that the same fate would find him and his people. Instead, Hezekiah called on the people to be “strong and courageous” and to not be afraid. (2 Chronicles 32:7 NKJV).

The shadow of economic collapse hangs heavy over America. We cannot allow ourselves to get lost in fear. Fear paralyzes and robs us of the strength and presence of mind needed for prudent action. We must be strong and courageous for the sake of our family, friends, and community. The majority of our nation is living in denial. They need us to stand up and lead like Hezekiah. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV) If you’re living in fear, you didn’t get that from your Father in heaven.

7. Hezekiah prayed. (2 Chronicles 32:20)

Hezekiah prayed for help. We too must pray for God’s help. I pray that our nation would be spared the collapse that we see on the horizon. If it can’t be stopped, I pray for more time to prepare. I pray that God would help me to open the eyes of my friends and family members. I pray that God would help me to find trustworthy people to work with in my preparations. When Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah prayed, God sent an angel that struck down the leaders of Sennacherib’s army. Sennacherib fled and was later struck down by one of his sons while in worship in the temple of his god.

8. Hezekiah let pride set in. (2 Chronicles 32:22-25)

The Bible is great at reminding us that no man is perfect. After the victory over Assyria, Hezekiah’s stature grew. For a while, Hezekiah lost sight of the fact that it was God that had pulled them through when Sennacherib threatened Jerusalem. Once all our preps are laid in and we build up our skills, it’s easy to trust in those preps instead of God. When you feel you are ready for the worst, remember that God is still the only one that can pull you through. Trust in Him and not your preps.

9. Hezekiah failed to practice good OPSEC and it cost his nation dearly. (2 Kings 20:1-6, 12-18)

Hezekiah failed to point to God as the true source of the nation’s victory. So, in the face of Hezekiah’s pride, God allowed sickness to bring Hezekiah low. In fact, the prophet Isaiah even came to Hezekiah and told him to prepare for death. At this news Hezekiah wept bitterly and prayed. God heard this prayer and healed him. The news of this miraculous recovery went far and wide. Several nations sent envoys with gifts to Hezekiah. One of these nations was Babylon. Hezekiah hid nothing from the Babylonian envoys. He showed them his treasury and armory.

Revealing your preps to the wrong people can put you and your family at risk. Many years after Hezekiah’s death, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, laid siege to Jerusalem. He stripped the city of everything valuable and carried the people off into captivity. This wasn’t a coincidence. Isaiah the prophet had confronted Hezekiah about his OPSEC breach shortly after the Babylonians left. He told Hezekiah that the Babylonians would carry off everything that they had stored up.

The story of Hezekiah is a story of a God fearing man preparing for disaster. If it teaches us anything, it’s that making preparations for disaster is not a failure to trust in the Lord’s ability to provide. He has given us the wisdom to see the world as it is and to take action accordingly. May we all take the threats seriously and store up a little extra for those who don’t.

God bless this community and may God lift up more leaders who can see the threats and take action against them.