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A Supernatural 2016 Election?

I’ve been really busy and so I’ve been having a hard time lately with this blog. For the most part, that’s because I really only ever wanted to talk about positive things, and not get down in the negative gutter about Christian issues. Even though I occasionally rag on Darwin Speak, I do it to uplift people so that they won’t let anyone tear God down.

But lately the only stuff in the news deals with the ugliest presidential election I’ve ever seen. This has been weighing on me, so I’m going to post this one negative blog and be done with it.

The other day, Donald Trump was at a rally where he asked all “Conservative Christians” to raise their hands. Apparently, he thinks all “Conservative Christians” are for him, because when some didn’t raise their hands, he said, “Well, I suppose we can let them stay,” or something like that. In the story about this meeting, the reporter also talked about Trump’s support by “Evangelical Christians.” All these labels got me thinking about a few basic notions.

I’ve posted this first notion many, many times, so it shouldn’t be a surprise; I’m sick of the term “Conservative Christians.” If Jesus were here, he would undoubtedly show people that he is extremely conservative on some things, and extremely liberal on others. People who identify as “Conservative Christians” only, are thus missing exactly half the message. “Conservative Christians,” to me, are probably better defined as “Political Christians,” and I would never want to be called that. Political Christians use the Bible only when it suits their interests. They pick choose, and in no way did Jesus ever say, “You can use whatever suits you – feel free to disregard some of my teachings if they don’t line up with your world.”

This next notion, though, is new to this blog, which deals with what it means to be an “Evangelical Christian.” To me, if you’re an Evangelical Christian, then you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, and you feel you have a responsibility to help others understand the good news presented in it. That much is clear. But if you believe in the Bible and all it teaches, you must be able to see that the Republican nominee for president is about as far away from the Bible and what it teaches – about as far away from Jesus as a model – as someone can possibly be. In a previous blog, I already wrote that one of the central tenants of Donald Trump’s existence is his belief in doing unto others as or before they do unto you, which is, by the way, a central tenet of Satanism. And since I wrote that blog, I’ve seen one thing after another that makes me think that he could care less about any person other than himself. Certainly not his neighbor, and certainly not God. In short, there’s virtually nothing that this nominee does that in any way looks or feels like something Jesus would do (by the way, I wrote this draft about a week ago – before the amazingly vulgar things reported yesterday). The Bible talks about recognizing certain people by their fruits, and by fruits it doesn’t mean money, or structures, or any other natural world things. It means by their spiritual fruits. Unfortunately, in the case of Mr. Trump, the fruit tree is incredibly barren, maybe even dead. Yes, God loves Donald Trump, and yes, Evangelical Christians should attempt to reach him and minister to him. But for goodness sake, they should never vote for him.

Now this last notion is based on the fact that this blog is designed for Christians, and, in particular, Christians who are charismatic and open to the supernatural in their lives. If you aren’t, then I can guarantee that you’ll simply find what I have to say silly. But here goes. In supernatural and charismatic circles, I’m what’s called a prophet in the church, which only means that I’m really good at sensing good and evil in people and situations around me. And folks, let me tell you that the Republican nominee for president of the United States is operating mostly – if not entirely – out of evil. Some say he has a demon, which is probably true since most demons are incredibly dumb and often tip their hands, which makes them easier to spot. No, I don’t think he’s the antichrist, because the antichrist is supposed to be pretty smart.

But here’s the bigger deal, supernaturally speaking. We all know that God runs everything, and so if this nominee – a person who continually, day after day, does about a million things that would normally disqualify any other candidate for doing only one – actually wins this election, you will most definitely know that it’s a supernatural event. And if it’s that much of a big-deal, supernatural event, then watch out because that means that God wanted him in there for a reason. I believe we’re getting quite close to what we all call the End Times, and electing a president who is more capable than most of triggering events leading to those End Times is something that actually makes a bit of sense in an otherwise crazy, nonsensical election.

Oh, and because someone once questioned my street cred, politically speaking, I should tell you that my family is and was incredibly political. My grandfather was Republican Party Chairman for Kansas and ran around with Alf Landon, who was the Republican nominee for President in 1936. My dad was the state’s youngest party chairman ever, and gave a nominating speech at the Republican National Convention in 1968. I grew up attending conventions, party meetings, and various political campaign events. I worked on countless campaigns before I knew any better, and a presidential campaign when I did know better. My brother worked on two. I’ve been registered as a Republican since I was 18, even though I don’t always vote that way and I vote so less and less every year.

I say all this merely to note that in the natural world I suppose I’m a Republican. In the supernatural world, though, I’m a follower of Jesus, which means I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I’m a follower of Jesus. I suppose most would call that a Christian, and maybe even an Evangelical or Charismatic Christian, but I’m definitely not “conservative” or a “liberal” Christian. And in any event, I can’t possibly vote for Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quotable Quotes

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“Darwin Speak” Casual Quote of the Day

“An evolutionary change like that can take millions of years.”  

(Matthew Fox, in the movie Extinction, describing a zombie mutant).

And On The Other Side

“In one graduate class, the professor told us we didn’t have to memorize the dates of the geologic systems since they were far too uncertain and conflicting. Then in geophysics we went over all of the assumptions that go into radiometric dating. Afterwards, the professor said, “If a fundamentalist ever got hold of this stuff, he would make havoc out of the radiometric dating system. So, keep the faith.” That’s what he told us, ‘keep the faith.’”

(Biologist Gary Parker, in From Evolution to Creation, quoted in James Perloff, Tornado in a Junkyard.)

The Big Question

Why are sunsets orange and blue?

 

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Because God is a Broncos fan!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

 

Tim and Denise

Let’s Try This Again . . .

When we first formed the “Arming the Saints Ministries,” Denise and I were figuring that we’d actually be ministering. And, in fact, we have been. It just hasn’t appeared that way, though, and so I thought I’d at least explain why.

Those of you who know us know that we try to follow God wherever He takes us, and we try to do whatever He tells us to do without question. But that doesn’t always lead to the kinds of lives that we would have predicted for ourselves. For example, until God wanted me to go back to live with my dad when he was so sick, I never would have predicted that I would become a 24-hour-a-day home health care worker. But that’s what I became, and I soon realized that my ministry was right there, taking care of my dad. So until all of that happened, and until Denise got a new job not too long ago, I think we both just figured that we’d gradually work on our ATS ministry until that was what we would be doing full time. We predicted a certain life together, but it turns out that God had other plans.

In fact, what God wanted me to do after taking care of my dad was to help re-design our country’s system of criminal justice to be more fair and more loving (if you can call a thing like a criminal justice system “loving”) for all people. For the last two years, that’s all I’ve done, but I could never have done it without God also guiding Denise into a job that would pay for all of my free work. If you’ve read her book, you know that Denise and I don’t believe in coincidences, and so we believe that everything has worked out exactly the way God planned it. We still consider ourselves blessed; we’ve never really wanted or needed much, and God has allowed us to continue a ministry through our work.

Still, there’s so much going on with us and our walk that it would be a shame not to at least write about it here. Unfortunately, Denise simply doesn’t have the time; she’s doing what she probably does best – spending her entire day (and well into the night) helping people through their world problems with a supernatural perspective. A lot of folks call it a “workplace ministry,” and that’s exactly what it is. There’s no pulpit and no pews, but she demonstrates God’s love by showing how that love can play out in the world each day. But that’s no excuse for me. I have time. In fact, I’m going to start making time because I honestly just feel a lot better if I spend a portion of every day talking about God.

So, anyway, I’ll be the one writing this blog for a while, but Denise will always be right here with me. We pretty much think exactly the same way on just about everything, anyway, and so you might not even notice too much of a difference.

And since I was talking about trying to predict our lives, let’s start with something about prediction that I saw the other day in a magazine. The editors of the magazine asked a variety of historians, legal scholars, and authors, “What is the greatest upset in history?” The answers were all over the map, and included sporting events, battles, and other historical happenings. But the one that got my attention was from a legal type (like me), who said that Christianity was the biggest upset because nobody “would have predicted that today the faith of billions would bear [Jesus’s] name.” Of course, we know that’s wrong. God knew it, and in fact Jesus even told his disciples, just as the scriptures foretold, that the story of Christ, and repentance, and forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations. When Jesus told them this, the Bible says that he “opened their minds” so that they could understand the scriptures. The phrase “opened their minds,” according to John MacArthur in his Bible commentary, “seems to convey a supernatural opening of their minds to receive the truths He unfolded.” But really, these truths were foretold as prophesy in the OT, and so pretty much everyone back then had some ability to predict that when the Messiah came, his following would ultimately span the earth.

So even when things seem like they don’t go as predicted, when you follow God you should take solace in the fact that they are likely going exactly as predicted by Him. God has us all in His hands, there’s nothing to fear, and if you decide to follow Him, you’ll end up doing a ministry somewhere, somehow. He has it all figured out, and it’s all part of that amazing plan that He has for your life. There are no coincidences, and there really aren’t any upsets. There’s only the truth as unfolded by Jesus.

I’m Denise’s husband, Timothy Crane, and I’m going to do my best to talk about our walk with God more often because I think that’s what God wants me to do. I hope you will, too.

Tips for Getting Prepared for Disaster

Preparedness – part II

As Christians, we are called to be prepared for things to come.  If you have been watching the news over the past couple of years it is no surprise that our world has a lot of difficulties from civil unrest, to all sorts of disasters (natural and man made.)  I am amazed at the seemingly ever-increasing reports of food being recalled due to salmonella or other contamination problems.  I know of many people that have received a prophetic word from God to get prepared.  I also know of many others that see the writing on the wall and are preparing.  My husband, Tim, received a word from God to start getting prepared over 5 years ago.  He knew that God was giving us time to get prepared and now the time is upon us to be ready.  We are happy to share with you the things we have done, the knowledge we have obtained and our other resources.

There are a lot of sites out there with information for disaster preparedness such as FEMA and the Red Cross.  Both of these have guides for preparedness.  As you may surmise, the level of preparedness needed is largely dependent on the type of disaster.  I believe that part of being prepared is thinking about the worst-case scenarios – other than nuclear inhalation.  When we think about what we would do we set our brain in motion to problem solve and come up with solutions.  Then when the disaster occurs we are able to adapt and react with some semblance of organization.  Have you ever been involved in an accident?  Think about the things you learned from that experience that would help you if you come upon an accident later.  It is the same principle.

Communication

One of the first things to do is to make a communication plan.  How will you communicate with your family if there is a difficulty?  Where will you meet?  How will you communicate if you are separated?  Experts recommend that you have an evacuation plan including a plan of whom you would all call outside of the area in case communications are just down locally.  Of course you will want an evacuation plan for just leaving your house in case of fire and a larger one for evacuating the area.

We have a plan of where to meet if we are working outside of our home area.  We also have people outside the area that we will check in with to let them know we are ok as well as to communicate with each other.  We have acquired some hand held battery operated radios (and extra batteries) and a portable battery operated radio.  You will definitely want a portable radio so that you can hear the news if there is a disaster and a major power outage.  Also think about what you might need if you need to leave work and evacuate on foot.  I have small backpack at work that I can carry a few water bottles and some snacks as well as some emergency cash.

Water

The next most important thing is to make sure you have plenty of water for your family and pets (do not forget to plan for pets – they are family members too.)  We are able to survive longer without food than without water.  The Red Cross recommends 1 gallon of water for each person per day.  I have attached the emergency guide from the Red Cross for you.

You may recall from some of our recent disasters like Katrina, that water was the crucial supply that everyone needed.  Do you have a plan of how to collect water if our water system goes down or becomes compromised?  Many emergency preparedness experts recommend filling up your bathtubs, sinks, buckets, pots, pans and other containers at the first sign of potential emergency.  You will want water to help flush toilets and that is the point of filling bathtubs, etc.  The Red Cross also says to have a minimum of a 3-day supply on hand at all times.  You can do this with bottled water and the big gallons of water from the grocery store.

For more extreme situations, you might consider how you would purify water if needed.  Water purification can be as simple as boiling, purifying tablets, household beach, and purifying systems. Washington State has a great handout on basic water purification located at http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm .  I have attached a copy for you.  If you want to step up your game and purchase a purification system take a look at your outdoor and sporting goods stores like REI.

We have buckets to catch rainwater, or fill from the sink.  We also make sure to have regular beach on hand at all times and we have a couple of different purifying systems.

Food

Having food on hand is a bit easier, at least initially than storing up water.  I am sure that most of us have a freezer and a pantry with extra food items.  But some things to consider are how will you cook it if the power is out?  And if the power is out how fast can you cook and eat up the freezer items before they spoil?

This past summer, my phase of our preparedness plan kicked in and I spent the summer learning how to can, dehydrate and store food for long term.  If you are not feeling quite so domestic you might consider looking into packaged emergency preparedness food items.  Check out Sams Club and Costco for dehydrated/dried meal packs.  They range from less than $100 for a few week supplies to over $4,000 for a one-year supply.  Costco has a 10 pack of 6 gallon food storage buckets and separate food package sets for vegetables, fruits and meats.

Honeyville Grain at http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ has a lot of food that is already dried and ready to use.  I also get my oxygen absorbers that I use in my dried food packaging.  No matter how much you order, the shipping is only about $5.

In case you are interested in preparing food for storage on your own, here is the information that I learned.  I love this site for how to can, freeze, dry anything.  I use it to figure out how to can food.  It has great instructions and pictures.

How to can, freeze, dry any fruit or vegetable at home  www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

This is a fabulous site for learning how to dehydrate and package food for short term and long term use.  They have about 8 videos showing exactly what to do and what the end product should look like.  Dehydrate 2 store

www.dehydrate2store.com/  This site also teaches you how to vacuum-seal food for long term storage and how to cook with dehydrated items.

This site has a lot of information for dehydrating meat and fish.

Preservation of Game Meats and Fish

www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he155w.htm

I purchased my canning equipment (about $100 for the canner and a few supplies – not including jars) at Bed Bath and Beyond (BB&Y); I purchased my Nesco (700 watt) food dehydrator from Amazon for around $100; and I purchased my food storage sealer at Amazon for around $170 (I also saw them at Sams Club and BB&Y).

I purchased 40 pounds of beans and rice and vacuum sealed it smaller 2 and 3-cup packages.  I have successfully dehydrated and vacuum-sealed apples, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, zucchini, collard greens, papaya, green pepper, carrots and cucumber.  I have not started dehydrating meat, but I have purchased a dehydrated meat pack from Costco.  I have taken a sampling of all the dehydrated and packaged foods and packaged them in 6 gallon plastic buckets (honeyville grain or Costco online.)  I used oxygen absorbers (Honeyville grain) in the vacuum-sealed bags and the buckets to assist in keeping the food dry and fresh longer.

I know several people who have purchased seeds for growing their own food.  The key is to get seeds that are not GMO (genetically modified organism) and that can be stored for several years.  I saw some at Sams Club on line and at Survival Seed Bank at

http://www.survivalseedbank.com/?gclid=CJGPp4yUgqkCFRG4KgodCTygSA   I put in a few gardens over the past couple of years with an idea to start growing more produce and then canning or dehydrating it for future use.

You might also watch for canned and dry good items to go on sale and start building your storehouse.  Remember that you will want to rotate these items by using and replacing them, whereas, most prepared dehydrated foods can be stored up to 25 years.

We figure we can use our gas grill to cook or a backyard fire pit.  You might consider a camp stove and extra propane.

Other Things to Consider

Heat/light – think about what you will do if the heat or electricity is out.  Did you know that when you travel in your car during the winter it is a good idea to carry a few candles and matches?  Candles do put out heat and can help heat your car.  The same might be true of a room in your home.  We have a very large bathroom in our basement that we could “camp” in and I believe that we could heat it with candles.  Do you have sleeping bags and extra bedding to help keep warm?

Faraday cages – A faraday cage can protect your electronics from an Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMP).  This is the type of pulse that will knock out ALL electronics – it is like a lightning strike that surges through your outlet and fries your computer except that it will strike EVERYTHING at once and surge protectors will not help us.  These pulses can come from extreme solar activity or from a device detonated over our country by an unfriendly country – I have heard a few of them are already trying to figure out how to get a boat off of one of our coasts to do this very thing.  Here is a site that discusses how to put a faraday cage together

http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/emp-101-part-iv-faraday-cage/  – An easy one seems to be an old microwave (with the cord cut off) since they are designed to keep microwaves inside, it is thought that they will keep the EMP out.  You will want to put your battery operated portable radio in here as well as any other radios, phones, electronics, GPS, batteries, etc.  This website talks about using a microwave as a faraday cage

http://apps.onesecondafter.com/Forum/message/index.cfm?topicgroupID=10569&topicID=15495&messageID=46444&start=0&isLast=0

Evacuation gear – Do you have supplies and gear in case you need to hit the road?  You know, tents, sleeping bags, cold weather gear, camping equipment, backpacks.  Also, do you have everything stored and labeled in one or two areas so that you can grab the stuff and hit the road?  Don’t forget important papers, car titles, proof of residence, etc.

We discovered that we were not prepared to evacuate this past summer when there was a forest fire very near to our house.  We started going through the house and packing up what we thought we had room to take and what we would need.  We were surprised at how little we could take with us in our cars and at how useless a lot of our stuff was for helping us survive.  We also needed to prepare to bring out cat and all his cat stuff with us – don’t forget to plan for your furry kids!

Bartering – think about things that you can easily collect that you can use to bargain for other goods or services such as jewelry, extra cash at home, liquor, toilet paper, extra food, etc.

I know that all of this may seem a bit extreme, and you may think we are a couple of paranoid freaks, but we have had over five years to prepare and we have done a ton of research.  Now we can share this information with you to help you prepare for your families and friends.  We believe that a time may come when we might need to come together to survive some tragedy or disaster.  We also believe that if we are not here to use our supplies someone else may be able to use them.

Please note that we are fully aware that Matthew 6:20 states, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  We are called to make sure that we are keeping our focus and faith on our Lord and we are to know that He will provide for us, however, we are also called to listen to His Word and His promptings and to act in the world to prepare for things to come.   We are also called to take care of our families and that includes anyone that we come across because everyone on earth is our family because they are created in the image of God, whether they know or accept it or not.

1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.


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