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Further Thoughts on Every Day Carry (EDC)

Here are some more thoughts on your EDC (Every Day Carry) items. First of all, EDC includes everything you have with you at all (well, most) times. In addition to the small survival kit I mentioned previously, it also includes your clothing, eyeglasses, wallet, hat, keys, key chain, shoes/boots, etc. Since those are all an essential part of your EDC, give some thought to them both now and every time you leave your home. For example, are you properly dressed for the weather? How about for how the weather may be at any time and any place before you return home or reach another destination?

Personally, I’d like to be wearing a sturdy pair of boots when an emergency happens. That means that I either leave the house wearing them or I have them with me as I prepare to drive. Those boots can sure be a blessing, but they also can be a curse – if you have a brand new pair that you haven’t broken in yet. I have a nice but inexpensive pair of store brand work boots that are both waterproof and have steel toes. I also wear them just about everywhere I go. That accomplishes two things: I always have them with me, and I’m accustomed to wearing them, even on a multi-mile walk with our dog. Of course, your body itself is “EDC”. That means that it’s a good thing to walk regularly so that you’re in shape to do it in a disaster situation. (If a bicycle is part of your emergency transportation plans, ride it regularly.) At home or away, make sure that you always keep your footwear in one place that you’ll be able to find them in the dark. Next to your side of the bed is ideal. That makes them easier to find and you can protect your feet from any broken glass or other hazards around your house if disaster strikes while you’re in bed. Even a minor injury can be life-threatening if you don’t have access to normal medical care.

Another consideration is cost. If you browse the videos on YouTube about survival, prepping, etc. you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. People review “survival knives” that can cost a couple of hundred dollars, for example. Under certain circumstances, I’m sure they’re worth it, but you need to decide. Personally speaking, I don’t anticipate myself engaging in bush craft, living off the land, etc. for an extended period of time. For EDC, I’m quite content with the $13 folding “rescue” knife I bought over the internet. I might buy a better one later, but now that I have a serviceable knife, upgrading it is considerably down on my list of life’s priorities. Just buy something that is practical and light enough to ensure that you’ll have it with you when you need it. My $13 knife in my pocket is considerably more useful than a $200 Bowie knife that happens to be at home while I’m in another town. Buy the most economically you can to start with, then upgrade later as finances permit. Your original purchases will still be useful as backups and spares. A good starting place is your local Harbor Freight store. Don’t overlook your local “99 cent” and thrift stores, either. Keep an eye out for sales at your local Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, or sporting goods store.

If you’ve got a smart phone, download a Kindle and/or Nook app and go shopping for inexpensive and even free ebooks. You don’t need a dedicated reader. Open an account with one or both of these services and start off searching for free books on survival, prepping, first aid, etc. You can go “shopping” on your PC or laptop, but make sure that you open up the app on your phone and physically download them to your memory card. If you don’t do that, you will have to read them over the internet and they won’t be accessible to you if that internet connection is lost. Since your phone can well be your “library” in a pinch, make sure that you have a way to keep it powered up. That could include a car charging cord as well as one or more charged spare batteries. Very inexpensively you can purchase a “jump start” unit that will recharge your phone off of its internal batteries and also recharge itself with a small, built-in solar panel. You can order it over eBay straight from China for $20 or less including all shipping. It will power anything else that works off of a USB interface cord, which include most phones sold today. As part of my “Bug Out Bag” (BOB), which I will cover in the future, I have a combination radio, flashlight, and siren that is powered by a hand crank. It also has a USB jack so that I can also recharge/power my phone with it. Thus, I have two SUSTAINABLE ways of keeping my smart phone and all of its functionality operating indefinitely.

 Speaking of books, be sure to download a few that will serve as morale boosters. If you’re a person of faith, you can download your holy scriptures and other religious books that may prove to be of immense comfort to you in a disaster. There is quit a bit of fiction available for free, too, ranging from public domain classics like Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick, etc. to some contemporary fiction, sci fi, etc. Just make sure you have a large memory card for your phone, preferably the largest one it can accommodate. One of most overlooked resources in a crisis situation is the will to live, and a few comfort items, like books, a deck of playing cards, or even a pack of chewing gum can and will boost your morale more than you might imagine.

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Practical Urban Prepping 101

It’s time for me to record a few of my thoughts on Disaster Preparedness, also known as “prepping”. First of all, I’m not a “doomsday prepper” I’m more of a practical urban prepper. I prepare for temporary disasters on the assumption that things will eventually get better. I’m not preparing for “the end of the world” (or TEOTWAWKI – “The End Of The World As We Know It”), nor doomsday, nor civil war. I’ve got nothing against those who do, but it’s just not where the current state of my preps are, and maybe never will be. I’m not preparing to survive the rest of my life camping out in the wilderness or hiding out in an underground bunker. If either of those describes you, read on. What I will be sharing here will get you STARTED. You can add to your bushcraft skills and preps later as you gain knowledge and money.

Practical prepping shouldn’t cost you much money in the long run. You’ll mainly be stocking up on things which you’ll eventually use anyway, and they’ll probably be CHEAPER if you buy them NOW. How to get started? Next time you go grocery shopping, just buy a few extras of the non-perishable items you consume anyway, and put them aside. When you buy more of what you use, use the oldest ones first so nothing goes stale. Buy (mainly) food items that you normally like to eat anyway. Don’t buy a whole case of something you’re unfamiliar with. You’ll be under enough stress in a disaster without having to force down food you (and your children!) may not like. Store water, too. If your family drinks bottled water, buy an extra case or two every so often and rotate it to use the oldest water first. If an item requires some sort of preparation, make sure you will be able to do that in a crisis situation, even if it means heating something up on a camp stove or barbeque grill. That means having spare fuel for your cooking means, plus a manual can opener for canned goods in case the power is out. (How many “disasters” can you think of where the power will still be on, and be something you can count on?)

More on disaster stockpiles in a future installment… Let me just clue you in on something. You’ve probably heard that you need enough supplies to last you three days. That’s only a STARTING point, since so many people can’t be self-sufficient for even that long. Make your first priority getting that “three day kit” (some may call it a “bug out bag”), then add on to it as you are able.

 I’d like to discuss something I like to call Every Day Carry (which preppers abbreviate as EDC). It involves just about anything you could put your hands on and grab within 5 minutes’ notice, regardless of wherever you are. If you are away from home, perhaps on the road, it’s whatever you have stored in your car, for example. If you’re walking your dog around the neighborhood, it may be whatever you’re carrying on your person at the time.

The most important “EDC” items are those you store between your two ears – education and training. Get trained. It’s inexpensive. I recommend Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. It takes 20 hours and includes such things as emergency first aid, fire suppression, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, etc. It’s often sponsored by your local city or county fire department or office of emergency management. At our local chapter in the city of Riverside, California it’s sponsored by the Riverside City Fire Department, costs $15, and you will be provided with a backpack full of useful gear. I mention this first because there’s often a waiting list, so get signed up for the next class before you forget. (DISCLAIMER: I’m a team member of CERT, but I’m not speaking on their behalf in any official capacity. See your local CERT website for further info.)

What do you “need” for your EDC? You’ll have to decide. For me, at a minimum, I carry a flashlight, BIC lighter, tiny first aid kid, rescue knife (a folding pocket knife with a glass breaker and seat belt cutter), some paracord (more on that in a future blog), a large heavy duty trash bag, a non-lethal stun gun, cell phone with a spare charged battery, pen/pencil and notepad. Find something to put it in, and then start packing it and see how much it will hold and prioritize. I use an old “geeky” fanny pack. (I’m not trying to be a “fashion statement”.) Just put it in something that you’ll be sure to take with you WHENEVER you leave the house. Decide what you need, decide what you’ll carry it in, and then make the most of the space you have. A lot of what I include in my EDC is actually inside my cell phone. In a disaster, you may or may not have cell, text, or internet service. But if you have a “smart phone” with GPS capability, you can store some valuable maps on your phone itself. (Don’t rely on having internet service to download them when you need them. Download an app that lets you download the maps you need in advance of a disaster.)

I’m personally going to avoid the issue of firearms. That’s up to you. If you decide to carry a gun as part of your EDC, then check your state and local laws, choose the weapon carefully, get trained on it, both physically and morally. Decide when and if you would/could/should shoot someone, and plan accordingly. (I am pro-2nd Amendment, but I’m not your conscience.)

Beyond that, EDC is up to you. Sure, a large, fixed blade “Bowie” knife is probably “better” than a folding “pocket” knife, but is it something that you would REALLY take with you wherever you go? There’s an old question: “What’s the best survival knife?” The answer is, “the one you HAVE WITH YOU when you need it”. A tiny knife in your pocket is infinitely more useful than the machete you left at home! (Check your local laws about carrying knives, too.)

 More on prepping later. Consider what I’ve said. If you’re a person of faith, make it a matter of prayer.

Watch and Pray

Friends, I just had a very SOBERING experience that I feel that God would have me share with you. I was watching the news on TV “Studio B with Shepard Smith” on the Fox News Channel. They were covering one of those increasingly common high speed car chases in AZ. The suspect managed to get well ahead of the police (being followed by a news helicopter). He drove off the road into a field, then got out of the car and started running in a very disoriented fashion, then suddenly he stopped…

Shepard Smith was practically screaming at his news people to cut away, and they finally went to a commercial. After the commercial, he came back and profusely apologized for what we had seen. But what had I seen? Since I have a DVR, I backed up a few minutes and saw the man running, then stop, put what looked like a gun to his head, then he fell forward!

It’s not that I was shocked. Maybe I should have been. But it hadn’t hit me yet. I had seen a video during my chaplaincy training of a suicide intervention case where a trained negotiator tried to talk an ex-cop out of killing himself. The video ended with him doing precisely that. We had been warned in advance that we were going to see something shocking, and we were given the option of leaving the room. But that was different. The results had long since come to pass by the time we viewed the video. Today’s situation was different… A man entered eternity on live television. While I watched. I must sadly admit I was watching intensely, but I was not praying as I should have been. At least I hope someone else was. I think that God grants us the privilege to watch history happening sometimes so that we can intercede in prayer. Sadly, I wasn’t doing that. Shepard Smith said that what we had inadvertently viewed (it was supposed to have been on a five second delay) would never again happen on his watch. I hope that’s also true of my prayerlessness!

Pray for that man’s family and loved ones. That’s what remains for us to do.

The Religious Left — At it Again

The religious lefties are at it again… I was looking at the right side of my Facebook timeline and I saw an ad for a new Facebook page called “Evangelicals for Social Action” . The name intrigued me, but I was hesitant, so I resisted the impulse to click “LIKE” and decided to look at the page. There was very little there except for a link to their website. Upon arriving there, my suspicions were confirmed. The best line I could find was the following:

A Call to Compassion from Our Brothers the Animals

Really? I like animals, but … “our brothers“? Really? Only an evolutionist would think that way, implying that we’re merely highly evolved animals. Oh, and it’s FROM the animals? Was it written by a dog-whisperer, or an animal-channeler? This section was labelled something about “Bible questions” … hmmm … maybe Balaam’s donkey was asking that question? I guess I should have taken the hint when Ron Sider was mentioned. (He’s a proponent of a “graduated tithe”, where the rich pay a higher percentage than the poor! Mr. Sider, if it’s such a great idea, why didn’t God think of it when He gave the rules for the tithe? He defined a tithe as 10% — PERIOD! It was the world’s first “flat tax” on income and was designed to be FAIR. Everyone paid the same percentage. If you were poor, you paid very little. If you were rich, you paid a lot.

To summarize in a single sentence how I disagree with the religious lefties like Ron Sider and Alexander MacLaren is that they take Jesus’ commands out of context. They take what Jesus commanded individuals and the church to do, and translate it into a government entitlement program. Doing anything through the government “sanitizes” it from any Christian outreach. If the government provides it, it’s no longer “a cup of cold water IN JESUS’ NAME“. It’s done in Caesar’s name, not Christ’s. The government gets the credit, not the church. Entitlements are designed to keep people dependent on the government and thus inclined to keep voting for the people who began the entitlements. In addition, the money is filtered through a government bureaucracy, so less of the actual money reaches the intended recipients. And the government bureaucracies almost invariably hire union employees, who are forced to pay dues to the union and a large portion of those mandatory dues are used for … guess what … getting the people who voted for the entitlement re-elected.  It’s enough to make you wonder what the REAL purpose of the entitlement was. We’ve spent TRILLIONS on the “war on poverty” over the decades, yet we have MORE poor people than when it started. And, finally, the church is prevented from using it’s God-given ministry gifts to optimize how the money is distributed, such as using Scriptural wisdom as to who is worthy to receive aid and who isn’t.

The moral of the story is to read before you click “LIKE” on one of those tempting Facebook page ads/promos you’re offered up on the right hand side of your screen..

Capital Punishment and God’s Covenants with Mankind

Capital Punishment and God’s Covenants with Mankind

 I will deal with three key Biblical covenants. First of all, what is a “covenant”. I like to think of it as “a contract on steroids”. It’s a form of agreement between two or more persons, one of them being God. For example, marriage is a covenant between one man, one woman, and the one God. The covenants I will cover not only bind the human beings who are parties to the covenant, but also their descendants. God’s covenants continue until they are fulfilled, replaced by another covenant, or, in the case of a CONDITIONAL covenant, until one party violates its terms.

The first covenant I will deal with is called the “Noahide covenant” because it bound God in a relationship with Noah and his descendants. It was made after the flood and included Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives, or a total of eight people. Since the rest of the earth’s population drowned in the flood, it covered all mankind. Everyone alive today is a descendant of Noah and his family.

The Noahide Covenant included provisions most of us are familiar with: the sign of the rainbow and God’s promise to never again destroy mankind with a flood. A less familiar provision is contained in Genesis 9:6: God’s command of capital punishment for murder.

Many generations later, after Jacob’s descendants were freed from Egyptian slavery through Moses, God made a covenant with Israel known as the “Mosaic Covenant”. It expanded the use of capital punishment and basically instituted a theocracy is Israel’s government.

Finally, after the death of Christ on the cross for our sins, God ushered in the “New Covenant” of grace. For believers in Christ, the New Covenant replaced the Mosaic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was never ABOLISHED, and Scripture says it remains in force as a tutor to lead unbelievers to Christ.

The argument, presented by the “religious left” is that since the New Covenant supersedes the Mosaic, that capital punishment has somehow been abolished, since it is not part of the New. Arguments are typically from Romans whee God forbade human REVENGE, and from the Sermon on the Mount, where we are commanded to forgive sinners.

But the New Covenant in Christ superseded the Mosaic Covenant, not the Noahide Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant only bound Israel, not all mankind. Furthermore, the Mosaic Covenant remains in force for unbelievers, which would presumably include most murderers. Think about it. If God’s covenant with Noah were no longer in effect, we should no longer be seeing rainbows, and we presumably would once again be in danger of dying in another worldwide flood. In Genesis 9:6, God COMMANDED justice for murder victims by the execution of the murderer. It was not human “revenge” but obedience to God’s command. In Romans 13, under the New Covenant, human government is specifically given the responsibility to administer capital punishment.

Forgiveness of sin does not negate its consequences, including prison or death for crimes. Jesus forgave the repentant thief on the cross, but he was still executed for crimes to which he ADMITTED his guilt. Survivors of a murder victim can and have attended the execution, forgiven the convict, and then witnessed the execution without trying to stop it. Properly administered, it is justice not human revenge. Since it was commanded by God, it is his “vengeance”, which Romans tells us to allow.

Let me speculate as to God’s reasons for instituting capital punishment. Humans were created in God’s image, which remains despite being marred by the fall of Adam. Murder of a human being is the destruction of God’s image. In the Mosaic Law, there were lesser punishments for other offenses, but for murder, God seems to be saying “You can handle the other ones, but for serious offenses, refer them to me for justice”. Terminating an earthly life transfers the venue for justice to God’s judgment. It could be argued that there is no Biblical precedent for the execution of a Gentile for any sin other than murder, and so I will not attempt to make that case here.

Why the change of venue for murder? God’s only other remedy for crime was restitution to the victim. That’s not possible for murder. Nor is execution the end of justice. If an old man who murdered a child is executed, the number of years he forfeited on earth is not equal to the number of years the murdered child lost. Nor is it “a life for a life” if a man is a serial killer who murdered several victims. Murdering an unsaved person seals their fate in hell. The chance to repent in later years is taken away. Murdering a Christian takes away their years for potential ministry, the lives that could have been impacted for God’s Kingdom, and especially the souls who could have been saved.

You are welcome to visit my Facebook page, Chappy’s Corner and follow me on Twitter @MisterDave12 .

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

 

The Foreclosure and Homelessness Problems

I just saw a statistic that there are 3.5 million people homeless in the USA and 18.5 million foreclosed homes. There’s got to be a way to remedy both problems. In California, we just heard news that a woman got West Nile virus because Bank of America foreclosed on the house next door to her, then failed to maintain the place. Stagnant water in the swimming pool bred mosquitoes, after calls to both the Bank of America as well as the health department went unheeded. Now she has West Nile virus!

Something is terribly wrong with this situation. Why evict a family from their home because they can’t make their payments just to leave it vacant to deteriorate both in condition as well as resale value, and to bring down property values in the whole neighborhood? Perhaps there’s a way they could do a technical foreclosure and take legal ownership, but still leave the former owners in the house, paying whatever they can afford in rent, until they have someone else ready to move in. Even if they get NOTHING in rent, they still have someone who could maintain the place without COSTING the bank anything.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a free market capitalist. The bank has every right to take back a home if the owner defaults on their mortgage. I’m not questioning that. But they need to do it intelligently, and the way they’re doing it now in many cases just doesn’t make sense. It seems to be a lose-lose situation to foreclose, evict, then leave the property vacant to deteriorate for YEARS!

Please feel free to visit my Chappy’s Corner Facebook page. Have a blessed day.

Welcome to Chappy’s Corner

This is my very first post, so don’t expect too much too soon. As time goes by, I’ll get around something that will interest each of you and in the process probably offend you at some time or another.

In the meantime check back for new posts. I don’t know how often I will blog. That will depend on the other demands on my time.

My initial philosophy of blogging about the things that interest me and, along the way, share them with kindred spirits. My interests are quite eclectic, and the content here will undoubtedly reflect that fact.

I plan to start out by introducing myself, but that will come later.