What a time we live in! With what I see every day, I truly believe the end must be near. I don’t want to come across as overly pessimistic or negative. I am very sensitive that the topic is tough for folks – especially as we continue to battle with a pandemic, record high inflation, nuclear threats, and food shortages. People are looking for hope – and here I come and dash that hope with a claim that the End must be near. The fact is, I think most folks have pondered that thought.
I must state that for many years I’ve heard so many preachers and doomsday folks proclaim … “The End is Near”. That message has gotten louder with every difficulty that our world has faced over the years. Today, it is blaring! The Bible makes it clear that the closer to the return of the Messiah, the more turbulence, famines, and wars we would see. No-one knows exactly when that will occur.
In my life-time I have never seen the intensity of difficulties like we’re now seeing on a global scale. Wars and rumors of wars are a daily reporting. Pandemics, famine, shootings … you name it, and we’re seeing it like no other time in history.
I personally believe we will soon be engulfed in another major war, NOT because the media says so – but because the stirring of anger and bitterness is rampant.
The toxic attitudes and callous abrasion has taken over our politics – and our churches. As I went to the store today, I noticed so many people who’s countenance showed that they were bothered and worried. You could hardly draw a smile out of them. There seems to be so much anger and resentment in the hearts of people.
The Bible clearly proclaims that in the last days, this is what it will look like. I can’t read the following scripture without seeing this very clearly and active in our world today. You don’t have to look much farther than Social Media to see this very vividly.
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
2 Timothy 3:1-3 (NLT)
I certainly do not claim to know “when” the end will come. I know this … there are a lot of folks making “prophetic” claims based on signs and dreams they’ve had. We must be extremely careful with what we are hearing and seeing. The Bible makes it clear that in the last days there will be FALSE PROPHETS who will come and deceive many.
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24 NIV
For me, I do believe the end is near. I believe we are also about to enter the most turbulent time we have seen in our Country. We should be preparing ourselves and strengthening our families. Be Careful who you follow – and get Prepared!
Today, I have a heavy heart and I just need to share and get it off my chest.
The Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe V. Wade is being celebrated by the Pro-Lifers, Church, and people of Faith. Groups all over the Country are gathering in public places to celebrate this ruling. No doubt, Churches will be rejoicing at the good news that the life of a fetus is being given an opportunity to survive.
While I am happy that we have laws to protect life, I’m not sure I can really rejoice in the Supreme Court decision. I don’t see a great victory for the Church in this ruling. In fact, I see it as more of a defeat. If the courts legislate moral decision, will the courts also stand before God at judgement day to advocate our individual choices? Absolutely, I believe in the protection of life of the unborn. That’s not why my heart is so burdened.
I am also certainly NOT standing on the side of anyone’s right to take a life, whether it is a fetus, adult, or elderly person. But, I believe we have so politicized the issue and placed so much energy into protecting the voiceless, we have missed so many opportunities to witness and share the Gospel with those who perhaps need someone to give them love. I fear we often have chosen to stand in our hubris self-righteousness and proclaim the goodness of God to advocate for the unborn, while we ignore the hurts of the wounded adult facing a scary life decision.
Has the Church really won with the Supreme Court decision? Have we been doing all we can to show love, grace and mercy as our Messiah showed us? Are we welcoming to others into our congregations without judgement and per-conceived opinions based on how someone looks or dresses? If I am not showing true love and concern for others that might show them a desire and reason to get to know my Messiah, how can I gloat in a victory that I’ve somehow saved a life of a child? Perhaps if I had been more loving and caring, the mother of that child would have seen hope in giving birth.
Believers need to carefully examine their hearts. Taking a victory lap now is disgusting – when we as a body have miserably failed with sharing the good news of salvation with those who need our Messiah. We want people to come “pre-cleaned” into our sanctuaries and congregations. We are uncomfortable with the flaws that we see in others, while we often ignore our own filth and refuse to believe we are flawed ourselves.
A day of reckoning is coming and we need to be prepared. There are billions of unborn people who are walking by us every day that we can actually save from eternal death – and it won’t come through legislation or Supreme Court rulings. It comes with a personal decision each of us has to surrender. There will be no Republican, or Democrat, or Supreme Court justice standing for me when our Messiah returns. It will be me standing and answering for my own actions and decisions.
Beyond the personal heart-challenge I’m wrestling with, I believe this new court decision has altered our opportunities as a body. We will see new oppression and violence. Those who are content to gather in the mega-comfort of a congregation and feel they have done their true service to God by sitting in a pew for an hour, may find the birth pangs a little more difficult going forward.
I have always been fascinated by the subject of preparedness and really have been impressed with a preparation call. I have never been one to panic, or go into a survival mode. I am not afraid to face my fears and I am certainly not afraid to die. Of course, like most people, I am concerned for my family and friends. And I am concerned about the Country we live in.
I remember thinking how I wanted to be prepared, but I also felt like I did not know what to do. My dad had already started preparing for the worst case scenario. He had already purchased a small amount of food and supplies. But I did not feel comfortable with the idea of being forced to stay in a shelter underground. I was not comfortable with the idea of being separated from my wife and kids.
So I decided to take some classes on survival skills. I learned how to build a fire, how to find water, how to survive off the land. I even learned how to start a small farm. I felt much more prepared than I did when I was just learning the Bible.
My wife and I started to get ready for a possible emergency. We started to think about what we would need in case of an emergency. We bought a small generator so we could power up the radio. We purchased some camping gear so we could spend time together as a family. We purchased a few books on survival so we could learn how to be self sufficient.
But it was only after 9/11 that I really started to get serious about being prepared. It is funny how things happen. We were watching TV one day and saw a report on how people were being evacuated from New York City. They said that the terrorists were going to fly airplanes into buildings.
We immediately got scared. We decided that we needed to get prepared. So we went out and bought a couple of flashlights. We stocked up on food and water. We started to look for ways to be self sufficient.
And then it happened. The next day we watched the news and heard that the World Trade Center towers had collapsed.
That was the moment when we realized that this was no longer just a possibility. This was something that was happening. We were now in the middle of a war. And we were going to be involved in it.
I was not prepared for that. I did not know what to expect. But I knew that I had to be prepared. I had to be ready to defend myself. I had to be ready for anything.
Today I am very thankful that I took the time to prepare for the worst case scenario. Today I am very thankful that I was able to prepare my family and my home for whatever may come.
It is hard to find a topic that has more questions than “preparedness”. It is not only a matter of “what can I do”, but it is also a matter of “when will it happen”. There are those who believe that we are in the end times and there are others who think that it is all bunk. So, what do you believe? Do you have any idea what is going on with the world around you? Have you ever thought about how your family might be affected by what is happening around you? Are you prepared for the things that could happen? What are you going to do if there is a natural disaster? Will you be able to handle it? How will you survive without food, water, electricity, etc.?
What do I need to do?
First, you need to know what you need to do. This is not as easy as it sounds. You need to know what you need and then you need to get it. If you are like most people, you probably don’t even know where to begin. Where do you start? Where do you buy your supplies? What type of supplies should you buy? Do you need to get a generator? What about fuel? Should you get a solar panel? How do you protect yourself from the elements? How much money should you spend on supplies? How much should you spend on food? How much should you spend for your home?
The first thing that you should do is talk to someone who knows about this stuff. Find out what you need to do. Don’t rely on the Internet for answers. There are a lot of people who want to sell you stuff that you don’t need. They may tell you that they have the answer for you. They may even be able to help you get the supplies that you need. But, you have to ask the right questions. Don’t just go off of what you hear. Ask them if they have heard of a specific product or company that they would recommend. Don’t just rely on their opinion. Take their advice and then make an informed decision.
Are we in the end times?
Some people believe that the end times are upon us now. Others think that it will take place at some point in the future. If you are one of the people who thinks that the end times are coming soon, then you need to make sure that you are prepared. You need to be able to take care of yourself and your family. You need to know how to survive in case something happens.
If you are one of the people that believes that the end times are coming, then you need to do your research. You need to find out what the signs are that we are in the end time. You need to find out when these events will occur. You need to know what to expect. Then, you need to plan accordingly.
Is this Bible Prophesy?
Many people believe that the Bible prophecies are being fulfilled right now. Some people believe that they are already in the middle of the fulfillment. Others believe that they are still in the beginning stages of the fulfillment. Whatever you believe, you need to understand what the Bible says about these things. You need to understand what the signs are. Then, you need to decide if the Bible prophecies are being realized or not.
The Bible speaks of many different things. It talks about wars, famines, earthquakes, floods, plagues, and many other things. These things are happening today. The question is, are they happening because of the end times? Is it possible that they are happening because of natural disasters? The Bible does say that there are signs that are being seen today. These signs include wars, earthquakes, and famines. These things are happening today, but are they happening because of the Bible prophesies?
Is it possible that these things are happening because of natural disasters and not because of the end times?
There are some who believe that the Bible prophecies have already been fulfilled. There are some who believe that the end times are already here. There are others who think that the end times are yet to come. What do you believe?
These are some of the questions I hear regularly from people as I am out-and-about.
Understandably, people all over are very concerned about what is going on in the world and are looking for ways to be prepare their families for the future. Even the very wealthy are preparing for an uncertain future, as they are constructing elaborate “bug-out” facilities to provide safety for themselves and their families.
Obviously, I believe Preparedness is important. In fact, throughout scripture we see how God offers preparedness planning. Whether it was a flood or famine, God gave instruction to prepare. Those who heeded the Call and instruction, were saved.
Regardless of what is ahead, I have great hope for the future. That hope if firmly planted in our Returning Messiah.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
PSALM 33: 20-22
As we consider what may be coming in our future, there are prudent things we can (and should) do to prepare. One of those things is to consider food storage. Here are some seven suggestions for storing fresh food longer:
Experts say the average family throws out nearly 15 percent of all fresh foods they purchase each year. Depending upon where you live and the time of year, which could add up to quite a bit of money. It is important to find ways to store fresh food for longer. Here are seven ways to accomplish this.
- Homemakers of years past had a root cellar to place root vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots. They may have also used the root cellar to store home canned goods. Perhaps you do not have a root cellar, but you can use the same basic idea. The goal is to keep these vegetables in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Storing them in the refrigerator will actually make them spoil quicker. An alternative is to store root vegetables in paper bags stored in the cabinet. Be sure to keep onions and potatoes separate or they will spoil.
- Cheese is another food that spoils if not used quickly. Wrap cheese in wax paper before storing it in the refrigerator. This will allow the cheese to breathe but will not allow excess moisture to reach it. Be sure to keep each type of cheese separate from the others to stop flavors from mixing.
- Fresh herbs are similar to cut flowers; they need water to stay fresh. Keep herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley on the cabinet in a glass with about an inch of water. On the other hand, non-leafy herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary keep best if stored in a moistened paper towel and then put in a reusable bag. Put the bag in the refrigerator.
- Canning fruits and vegetables is another way to store them for a longer period. Home canning really is not difficult and you know what you have added to the foods. Store-bought canned goods, however, may contain chemical preservatives to maintain freshness. Jelly, jam, sauces, fruit halves or vegetables can be stored for a year or longer if they are processed correctly.
- A vacuum sealer is also a good investment for storing food. This option may cost more than others, but vacuum-sealed foods can last for months past the normal storage time. When you vacuum seal the food and then place it in the freezer, your storage time increases even further. A quality vacuum sealer will cost between $100 and $300, but they are definitely worth the price when you consider how much food you can save.
- If you have stored as much of your food as you can and you still have fresh fruits or vegetables that are starting to look too ripe, find recipes that will use the food rather than letting it go to waste. Your family will enjoy a great meal and you will have saved money by keeping the food out of the trashcan.
- Finally, if you do find some of the food is too far gone to eat, do not simply throw it away. Start a compost pile for all non-protein leftovers or foods that have gone bad. Composting the food will at least provide nutrition for the soil in a flower or vegetable garden.
By using these seven ideas for storing fresh food longer, you can save money, keep food out of your trashcan and in the stomachs of those you love.