SURVIVAL THINKING AND PLANNING
By Steve Van Nattan
There is much to cause fear and trembling these days.
Fear is useful if it is stimulated by real events or threats. The stove is hot, do not touch. The problem is, 90% of our fears today are caused by perceptions.
Obama and the Democrats are NOT knocking at our door with a gun in hand to haul us off to concentration camps. Glenn Beck and Alex Jones would like it if they were so that their show would get even better viewer ratings.
So, where do we start if we are to deal with fear and threats.
Answer: Start with YOU.
You are responsible for what you do about what you hear and see around you. God has given you a mind to reason with, and he has given you the Word of God as a guide book for survival. There are ten circles of life which determine if we will survive mentally and spiritually. If we survive mentally and spiritually, we have a tremendous opportunity to survive physically.
These circles are:
One reason we prefer to fall into fear so easily, and get stalled there indefinitely, is that it can be justified from the outside by some perceived threat. Obama is talking Maoist Marxist talk, and it is not too hard to connect the dots and tell that he is a man on a mission to destroy American democracy. At least that is the perception.
This fear needs to be dealt with. But, in diving into the fear pond, we miss the real reason we have no Joy at the center. It is not really because of Obama. That is almost a joke. Obama is all hat and no cattle. He has done nothing to destroy anyone's Joy if they are thinking right.
The problem is Guilt, and that is caused by sin and rebellion against our conscience and God's Word. Guilty people need a crisis and conspiracy to devote themselves to so that they can be busy on the minor issues and avoid the deadly issue in their own life-- sin.
Psalms 66:18 (KJV) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
No Bible believer will have Joy, no matter what he does to divert his attention, if he has sin in his heart and refuses to do anything about it. So, deal with the sin first. You will find that the Sadness then goes away also.
Now, fear DOES call for a response. Fear of REAL issues is the first step to Joy. We can either be rational in our thinking, or we can react with anger (above). There sure is plenty of anger in the USA and the world right now. And, much of it is caused by perceived threats and fear. Anger is a dead end street if it does not lead to Action.
God has given man the same life processes that he, God, uses because man is created in the image of God. Unlike the animals which run from any sense of fear, man has far higher resources available to him. Here they are in the order they should be used:
1. Attention to what is perceived--
This ranges all the way from colors, to movement, to facial expressions, to words spoken, to guns in your face.
The source of fear is only one fact in the data available to you in your daily life. Some things get our attention faster than others. Opening the door to a man with a gun in his hand is a lot more arresting to the attention than the color of Obama's ties. But, the color of ties is actually a tiny factor with some men.
A man's posture and eye movement is a rational detail. That is why Arabs wear sun glasses. They do not want you so see their pupils dilate when they are excited or mad. Bible believers need to watch people's eyes when they are talking. In fact, we miss the vast majority of life data signals that happen before us every day.
Being attentive is an ongoing exercise. Reading on the web is the only attention factor some people have.
Asking questions of friends to get opinions, and watching life flow by, are becoming dull stuff to most people. The Christ centered survivor will be alert and restful at all times. He will note and store perceptions all day long, and he may even make notes to look into something his attentive life uncovers. But, now you have all the data, maybe what some have called a "data overload". What next?
People are not inclined to think. They are prone to react. This is endemic with the era of media hype and fast paced TV productions.
Movies on TV have scene changes every two seconds. Check it out. News shows pop back and forth from the talking head to shots of people and places that really may have nothing to do with the story. The point is, keep the viewer's mind jumping around-- captive, so he that he does not think too much. We have a word for that- amusement. "A-muse" is Latin for "against thinking."
If you go to a local church that is thrills and chills and platform performances all morning, you are being amused- you are not thinking. You are a dumb fool. Sorry about that, but that is what amusement is for- cheap thrills for diddle heads. The thoughtful person takes time to sit still, no interruptions, and process the day's data. David talked about meditation. Meditation today is assumed, by many Bible believers, to be an exercise of TM and New Age thinking- something from Hinduism. Read this:
Psalms 4:4 (KJV) Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. Why do you think shrinks use couches to talk to patients? They talk and meditate better laying down.
Psalms 49:3 (KJV) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
How do you understand what you fear, what you see, what your attention grabbed, what you read here on the web-- all the data? Shut off the world, sit still, and meditate. Sort the useful stuff from the rubbish, and reject the rubbish forever. God gave you a brain, and YOU are the one most gifted in using it.
3. Feelings- Your thinking will at once call your emotions to the center, and your feelings about life, Bible verses you call to memory, politics, sin, appetites, right living, and evil will start defining the data you have gathered. Trust yourself if you are right with God. Distrust the conclusions of everyone else until you have made a final verdict on the data at hand. Do not go read some expert to make up your mind for you. If you need help, get into the Word of God (not a trendy book from Zondervan please). The Word of God is the only Truth higher than your mind that you need:
James 1:5 (KJV) If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Psalms 111:10 (KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Do you have the qualifications, education, Bible knowledge, and history of life experiences to justify your making a final verdict on the useful data at hand?
If not, make a tentative verdict, and stick with it until proven wrong.
This is now where you can go look for feelings of other people WHO HAVE GOD CENTERED LIVES.
Proverbs 24:6 (KJV) For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.
The best sources are Bible believers who are attentive and thinking. What is their take on the data you have observed? You may modify your final verdict now if you sense the Holy Spirit is leading these people and they are not just doing knee jerk reactions to fear and life issues.
But, test these friends against the Word of God again. You may also have to read from books giving you information on the issue at hand. Survival books are easily found, but, PLEASE, find one that puts YOU in control. Avoid books about the coming holocaust, how nasty Obama is, the mark of the beast, 666, and conspiracy theories. If you feel unqualified, then you need information, not another panic button to push.
The first overt response to fear, life, circumstances-- the whole data with feelings modifying it-- is to speak. Matthew 12:37 (KJV) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Psalms 45:1 (KJV) (To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, for the sons of Korah, Maschil, A Song of loves.) My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psalms 49:3 (KJV) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.
Be careful to Speak only after you have the Word of God shining on your thoughts:
73:13 (KJV) Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
Asaph was very disturbed by the prosperity of the wicked in Psalm 73. This was the turning point. He was ready to speak, but he realized he would sin if he spoke based upon his observations (attention) and feelings. So, he went to the sanctuary of God. The Word was there, both being sung and read all day long. He got more data, changed his perceptions, and spoke the words that solved his frustration: Psalms 73:17 (KJV) Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
We are not saying you have to wait until Sunday morning to hear the preacher before you Speak on a life issue. Asaph did not have the Bible in his hand. It was at the temple, so he went there to hear from God. You have a Bible in every room I would guess. Go there at once to see how God wants you to speak.
Obama, and 95% of our politicians, are in deep trouble. They are just like the people in this Psalm. The final verdict I want to have henceforth is verse 26-28 above.
These three verses answer the most terrifying data I have, and they resolve my feelings and anger. They bring me to the Truth (list above) and on to Love, Happiness, and Joy. I no longer have to respond to Obama and the wicked in regard to perceptions.
In fact, we have nothing in common. Now, if Obama came to my front door with a gun in his hand, well, that is another matter. But, I trust you can see the extreme difference between perceived threats and real threats in the illustration. In America we are bombarded with perceived threats 99% of the time. Real horrendous threats are rather rare.
The most common real threats are mosquitoes, the car behind you in traffic, and under cooked pork.
Take for example swine flu. Even our government has been guilty of trying to stampede the whole nation on this one. They claimed they were making 200 million vaccinations, and, after all the hype, the CDC has refused to make any comments on the real numbers as of two days ago. Only about 60 million vaccine doses have been made. The whole fear and panic party has turned out to be a crock. Even those who catch swine flu are not dying any more often than any other flu that has come along in recent years.
In fact, when ANY crisis goes down, like 9/11 or the flu, and when Caesar stands up to define the crisis, you can bet that Caesar will prey on your tendency to go into a state of fear. If you did not have fear before Caesar spoke, you will afterward because the media and those who govern know fear is the most effective tool for change in any nation. One you have a good helping of fear on your mind, Caesar will then point you in a direction that serves his objectives. His objectives may be correct, and they may be pure madness and folly.
So, after you have paid Attention, Thought, and dealt with your Feelings, do not hesitate to Speak of you plan of action. It may be in the presence of an enemy, or it may be to a brother in Christ. Your words must reflect that you have done your own thinking and are ready for action.
I have a neighbor who has told a number of people he is ready to shoot anyone who comes to his door to make trouble for him. He shoots off his guns regularly to punctuate his words. I believe him. I will phone before I go over there every time :-)
4:5 (KJV) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Never allow Speaking to take the place of Action when it is needed. Read that again please.
Let us talk about self-defense as one example of action:
It would be very good to be attentive to stories about people defending themselves. Learn how having a gun greatly reduces the possibility of someone being killed at a crime scene. Learn what gun to use. Listen quietly when people with guns talk about them. Deal with your feelings and the Word of God:
22:36 (KJV) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take
it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment,
and buy one.
Two swords for 12 people is enough. You want defense, not a revolution. Stay away from people who talk about revolution as an alternative. The Bible believer is NEVER told to enter into rebellion against Caesar.
Now, take action-- Buy a gun that will do what your situation calls for.
Go to a safe place in the country and TARGET PRACTICE. Learn to use the gun. Learn what the laws in your state say about guns. If you live in a city that forbids guns, move. Because of the consequences of using guns in self-defense, you cannot gather too much data on them.
When we were in Ethiopia we gave two workers a wheel barrow and told them to go get some sand for making cement. One worker picked up the front wheel, and the other worker picked up the handles, and they carried the wheel barrow to the sand.
These men were not stupid- they were in a traditional culture with no exposure to the outside world. Once we showed them that one man could maneuver a wheel barrow alone, they caught on at once.
Your first Action must not be to pick up a gun when you hear a knock at the door at 3AM. Thus, target practice is essential for anyone who may need to use the gun. Safety in storing and handling a gun must be chiseled in granite for everyone in your home.
Here is another example of Action: Your first time to grow a survival garden must not be after the stock market crashes. You need a garden in progress from the first day you make the final verdict that you better be able to produce your own food.
Let's get on down to the real basics. If the stores closed, what would you use for toilet paper? The first Action is to buy enough to last through a long crisis. Using toilet paper is not something I would think you need to learn about. Action, thus, is often about getting the resources for action in place.
Finally, when the crisis comes (assuming you have all the resources in place), ACT. You will not have to go through any deliberation as to the data, the justifications, the moral issues, and your feelings. You will ACT as well as you possibly can because you have already done "all of the above" to be ready. To stop and think some more could mean disaster and death to someone.
I have some driving issues I have taken care of long ago:
Your driving rules will be different than mine, but if you have never dealt with any of these things, BE FRIGHTENED my friend. You will be the dummy who goes head on into a car on your side of the road when there was an open field next to the road. Ask any cop-- it happens all to often.
Some people never get past Speak while they drive. They scold all the drivers around them for their bad driving, which is pointless. I hope I never have to take the ultimate action, but I know that my brain can go into emergency mode and do amazing things (which is not usually the case :-) under crisis.
But I have to program the data base of my brain with a line of Action-- all the perceptions, feelings, and data have to be past history, and then I can just ACT when the time comes.
If you ride a motor cycle (you are crazy) in traffic, you MUST have done this. You must have a plan for the times you will be cut off in traffic. I did this long ago, and I had to act instantly one day. I had to try to get into that space between the traffic lanes to avoid crashing into the car in front of me. It partly worked, and God placed a car in the oncoming lane just perfectly to catch my luggage carrier and bring me to a stop. Seven stitches, and I was OK.
I had planned to do that if the time ever came, and it did come. Without the Attention, Thought, Feeling, and Action plan behind me, I would have crashed into the back of a big station wagon and probably been killed or maimed for life. That was the last time I rode a motor cycle too. I want to be INSIDE when the excitement starts.
So, what about atomic warfare, Obama and his Marxist plans for America, anthrax attacks, a child molester in the neighborhood, a dog killing your chickens, a crooked sheriff in your county, on and on it goes? If you run to Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, or ME for all your preparation, you are in trouble bunkie. YOU are the one with the brain and the resources to deal with life as God helps you.
Neither Glenn Beck nor I will be there to answer the door when the Feds or a criminal knock. YOU have to have dealt with it in the model above with the Word of God so that you can ACT at once without fear and trembling.
The nice thing about doing your own thinking and acting is this-- once you are ready to act, you can get on with more important things in life, and you can relax-- you can live in Joy, and you can read to your kids at night instead of being here reading my blather on life's issues.
Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
How did the people reach a state of Joy in Nehemiah's day? Answer: They prepared for a coming crisis-- an attack on Jerusalem. They rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and they set up new gates for the city. The city was safe, they were safe, and they could have Joy and a big celebration and feast.
No one is stronger than a saint who has reached this state of Joy in the Lord.
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
It is your mind, use it. God gave it to you in his image, and I can assure you, HE is ready for anything that comes along. He is never surprised.
Think about it-- when did Jesus ever express surprise at ANYTHING? He had done all the pre-thought, called predestination, and he took Action all his life. Even his death was premeditated and resolved so that he needed to say nothing in his defense before Pilate. And, he had Joy in it.
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Now, let me ask you a question-- Are you paying Attention? :-) __
7. Healthy Skepticism
I have added this because so many people all around the world have lost the ability to exercise the positive force of scepticism. The Bible believing sceptic has good reason to be a sceptic when he receives information from ANY source on earth:
Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Romans 3:4 (KJV) God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
We cannot understand and "know thyself", as Thoreau suggested, because our heart is naturally wicked and prone to run to wrong conclusions. Only the Bible believer, with the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit to teach him, can "think straight". Nor can we know and trust the mind of any other man on earth who is not walking in the way of the Word of God.
So, ALL infomation must be filtered through the tool of godly scepticisim. One of the simplest lessons of history is that we respond not so much to what is happening around us as to what we believe is happening-- not to what we see, but to what we believe we see. We have all been told about Area 51, and there are photos of it all over the web. The insane thing about this Federal installation is that people come up with so many bizarre explanations for it.
Take a look at the two aliens from outer space at the right. Terrifying, is it not? Actually these are the noses of two blue nosed mules from Missouri. Admit it, your heart raced just an instant didn't it. Could it really be? Is Roswell, New Mexico where Martians may land and take over the world?
We must be sceptical of even things we are standing in front of-- which we think we understand. Whether a missionary is telling a story about casting out demons in Bangladesh, or Glen Beck is telling us how the Counsel on Foreign Relations plans to trash the US economy, what basis do you have to PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the facts represent reality?
Ecclesiastes 8:17 (KJV) Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
You cannot even understand God some of the time, and God never lies. What makes you think you can understand and depend on man and his "inside information" ANY of the time?
We are back to YOU. YOU are the one responsible for taking the data in, sorting it, pitching out ANYTHING suspect, and then taking action that is needed where it applies to your life, family, and local church.
It is very common today for people to totally ignore the past. Yet, our parents and grandparents have walked there, and their anecdotal experiences are priceless. Also, world and national history will inform us of many human, spiritual, and political events that can help us put the present into perspective.
To ignore the past is utterly stupid. To be ignorant of the past is understandable because our national education system has laundered reality from past history. The vast bulk of alleged "history" taught in school and university is carefully presented to support, not examine, present trends and politically correct notions.
So, you are on your own. Fortunately, there are two great sources to learn about the past, and we can now zero in on the crashes and political offenses of our world which brought people down into crashes, wars, and depressions.
If you cannot see the parallels with our day, you are brain dead.
Here is Bill Moyers helping you put it together. This video makes it VERY clear that playing the stock market is not for YOU. It is deadly to the pros. Also, about 80% of the market is managed by computers that buy and sell in seconds. You have not choice to beat that system. The algorithms are massive and way ahead of the most brilliant thinker.
Please stay away from Alex Jones and panic mongers. Learn from thinking people, and people who lived the crisis long ago. Also, beware of web sources who sell gold and other investment opportunities. They ALWAYS skew the facts to drive you to them. I have caught ALL of them dropping out key facts and data to try to cause me to believe I need them.
Google and Gloogle. There is a massive body of historic information online, and it may disappear after a crash.
Also, Google topics like Solar Flares, power grid failure, earthquakes, and nuclear energy sources. The US economy is not the only possible source so crisis. We tend to watch for news that speaks to our pocket book. That is wicked, for God is not limited to cash flow when he sets out of judge a nation.
It is common, when we talk to people who want to prepare, but they have no experience from the past regarding crisis, that we are stampeded to the gun shop, gold investment, self defense, and stocking up on food.
If your life is stable now, the chances are that your best plan is to stay right where you are, even if order breaks down. You know the people around you, but if you hit the road, you will be in strange territory 24/7.
Do not invest in gold. Twice in our history the government has forced the citizens to turn in all their gold. They will give you worthless dollars for your gold, and they will not pay the going price. Buy junk silver (old US coins that have silver in them). Silver has never been called in.
If you live in a large city, where will you go to find food and water? A prudent option is to move to the outer suburbs of your city, and get onto a piece of land where you can grow food. You will have to commute to work, but the money you save on a lower priced home will offset that.
Seek fellowship with survivors. This means a church where there are some older people who think rationally. Avoid churches where the table talk is all about conspiracies. 99% of all conspiracies never happen, and the energy used in mulling them over in your idle time will drive you mad. Practical survivors spend their time preparing, and they leave the terror talk to Alex Jones.
Make a list of all the things you would need to survive if all services and law enforcement went south. Start down the list with the most urgent thing. This is usually water. Move on to food and other issues. Find solutions that will be useful even if there is never a crisis. This will prevent you wasting your substance on rubbish that will sit and rot if life is good.
Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
The key is to avoid a guide or overseer. Your authority should be the anecdotal accounts of people who have lived through crises of all sorts. They may be dead, but their stories are still being told. You just need to find them.
Do not discuss or ponder these things late at night. You need sleep to survive also. Anxiety is worthless to prepare for the future.
Psalms 37:1-3 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalms 4:1-8 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
When we get into discussions of conspiracy and civil corruption and political wickedness during our local church fellowships, we encourage depression and anxiety instead of edifying one another. This is a common evil in conservative Bible believing churches, and leaders of these churches must call it off openly.
We had to do this in a church I pastored in Michigan during the Clinton era. Once we all agreed to not talk about Clinton during church dinners and fellowship times, virtually everyone was relieved.