Thursday, August 28, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - The Detrimental Brain Flatulence 8/28/2014

In "The Chronicles of Narnia" there is the book, "The Silver Chair" by C.S. Lewis. The more I listen to the dramatized version of this series, the deeper I understand how inspired this "children's series" really is. I re-learned something very valuable.
Aslan is telling a young girl named Jill how she is to find the heir to the throne. He gives her very specific signs to look for. He asks her to repeat them because they are very important for success in their journey. She can only remember a little, and it is in the wrong order. He asks her again and corrects her when she messes up again and again. Before she sets on her journey, he says this:

"Remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning, and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And what ever strange things happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And second I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly, I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain the air is clear, and your mind is clear. As you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned up here will not look at all as you expect them to look when you meet them there. That is why it is important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs, and believe the signs. Nothing else matters. And now daughter of Eve, farewell."
I have felt similar feelings while during sacrament meeting or after visiting the temple. The life hits and it is so easy to forget. Enter...the brain flatulence.
When we are called to stand before our Father in Heaven to account for our obedience (or lack of) the answer, "Uh, I forgot." Sorry ladies (and gents) it just won't fly.
One of the things we have been told over and over, is the wise counsel to set some money aside for a rainy day and to get and stay out of debt. In fact, that is the message this month written by President Monson. It is wise counsel. If you haven't seen your Home Teachers this month, you can find that message here:
There are two paragraphs that is nothing new, but easily overlooked when the air is thick where we might live (not much smog here, but thick with other things). Here they are:

“Latter-day Saints have been counseled for many years to prepare for adversity by having a little money set aside. Doing so adds immeasurably to security and well-being. Every family has a responsibility to provide for its own needs to the extent possible.

“We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from this bondage. Save a little money regularly to gradually build a financial reserve.”

Only you can create a budget for your family. Only you can follow that budget for your family.
Lets take a quick look at some of the things that happened in the late 20's before the stock market crash.

- Over exuberance -- > Are we seeing that today? Are there people borrowing more than they can feasibly pay back because of a possibility?

- False expectations" --> Are we seeing that today? Do we see people counting their eggs before they hatch?

- Buying on credit --> Are we seeing that today? We even see countries borrowing from other countries on credit...what can happen to the people if the borrower defaults?

- Mismatch between production and consumption --> Our country used to produce more than it consumed...that is no longer the case.

- Agriculture recession --> Because of new mass production, the little farmer guys couldn't compete and they lost income drastically. What about small businesses today?

- Weaknesses in the banking system --> Are we seeing that today? FDIC only means so much if there was a true crisis.

Follow the signs. Follow the prophet. Remember, remember, remember.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - WHAT IS UP in the Middle East? August 21, 2014

Cornerstone for Jerusalem's Temple

With all the pandemonium, tumult, and maelstrom (i.e. chaos) in the Middle East, it makes you wonder WHAT IS UP?? It always seems to center around Israel. What is so important about the Israelites anyway? I mean they make a mean Ruben sandwich (which is disputed because other people want to take credit for this amazing culinary indulgence) and schnitzel, but who are they and why do so many "last days" prophecies surround them?

These questions may seem to be a bigger bite than I can chew, but prophecies from Old Testament times concerning these people are intertwined with the things we believe. It is much deeper than you might be aware. I saw a documentary recently that helped me to understand some of these prophecies and why understanding them can help us grow spiritually and strengthen our spiritual self-reliance. 

So, the documentary is called "The Daniel Project" (viewer discretion is advised - not terrible, but not for small children either) and it can be found on Netflix for anyone who may be interested. This will be an overview of what I learned. Some I knew already, others I didn't. 

Prophesy #1: The Jews will be scattered Deut 28:64-66

They were. They were scattered and persecuted from Russia to America, and Europe to Africa. They had no place to call home. 

Prophesy #2: They will be despised and killed. Lev 26

They were...and continue to be. We don't have to look very far back in recent history where it was done in the masses...*shudder* moving on...

Prophesy #3: The Jews would return to their homeland Ezek 37: 21

They did. There has never been a point in history where the Jews gather back to the land of Israel...that is until May 19, 1948. They gathered together from all over the world. They hadn't been able to do that in over 2000 years! Can you imagine the all-you-can-eat buffet from the wide range of crazy cookery? We have egg rolls next to Russian dumplings, next to sauerkraut and filet makes my mouth water!  Now if we could only find the genius who added katsup to icecream - my life would be complete... haha just kidding.

Prophesy #4:  Jerusalem will become the center of world tension. 

Oh, THAT'S what's up. We are seeing it today...on a daily basis! It will keep happening until the return of Jesus. In 1967 there was "The Six Day War" which was a complete miracle because there were three major armies trying to take their land away, and the Jews won. 

Prophesy #5: The old, lost Hebrew language would be restored to them. Zeph 3:9

It has. It is their main language today. What a miracle it would be to take these people who speak many dozens of languages and bring them home where they all  learn and speak the same language. AMAZING!

Prophesy # 5 1/2 : The old currency of the shekel would also be revived. Ezek 45:12

It has. BOOM!

Prophesy #6: In the last days, water pools will appear in the desert. Isaiah 41:18 - 20

Some of this has happened in the Negev desert, but I don't think we've seen the last of it. Ezekial had a dream that water will flow from the threshold of the temple. It may be symbolic, but it may also be literal. Ezek 47:1 There are A LOT of underground springs. Earthquakes can do funny things. 

Prophesy #7: Fruits, forests, vineyards and olive groves will rise from the dust. From a wasteland to the likes of the Garden of Eden Ezek 35, Isaiah 27:6, Isaiah 35:1

 Because of springs and irrigation practices (and hard work), this desert does blossom as a rose. Israel's neighbors would love to take it from them. Many other cultures had lived there before without making it beautiful. It was either desert or swamp land. They are producing enough to export some of their products like pomegranate, olive oil, bell peppers, melons, wine and...CHOCOLATE!!! 

Prophesy #8: Man-made and natural disasters will increase with intensity and destructive force. 

Well, we've seen a lot of these lately...and we'll see many more. I recently received a document comparing natural disasters that have happened at the same time presidents of the United States have tried to make land agreements to Palestinian leaders, thus taking Israel's land a little at a time. It includes Hurricane Katrina and Isaac.  It is a VERY interesting read.

The prophecies below haven't happened yet, but with our running toll of what was predicted and what happened...hold on to your seat - it is going to be a bumpy ride!
Prophesy(s) # 14 & 15: An earthquake will split the Mount of Olives in two. Water will flow from under Jerusalem - it will also split in two half flowing to the Dead Sea and half to the Mediterranean sea. Zech 14:4-8

Prophesy # 16:  A great temple will be built in Jerusalem 

There is a Temple Institute that is currently collecting and restoring artifacts necessary for temple worship.  DID YOU KNOW that on May 21, 2009 the Cornerstone of the temple was "presented to the world by Temple Mount Faithful Movement" in Jerusalem. They can't lay the cornerstone yet because where          they believe the temple used to be (before its destruction the last time), is where the Muslim monument "Dome of the Rock" is currently. If they lay it now, it could start a holy war.  But...the Temple Institute currently has all the furniture and priestly garments ready for the Third Temple.

For more information on the challenges they face (from within their people and without), here is a great article if you are interested:

These are only a few of HUNDREDS of prophecies for the last days. I encourage you to look into it further and become educated about more of them. The prophet Daniel (Dan 12:10) said that only the wise would understand these were happening and would prepare accordingly. The wicked would keep picking their noses (like in the days of Noah) not even aware what was beyond the horizon. See, look at that, I am helping to make you wise.

You're welcome :).

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Egg Whites for Burns? That HAS To Be A Hoax! 8/14/14

I feel like they're watching me....

Have you ever gotten those "hoax" emails where people encourage you to use wasp spray for self-defense, or that WD-40 contains fish oil and CURES arthritis, or that rhythmically coughing during a heart attack is like giving yourself CPR, thus helping you survive the attack? Rubbish. I suppose next "they" will come out with an email about the benefits of using a weed-eater to trim your nose hairs...humans can be so gullible. :)

But I did get a suspicious email about using egg whites for burns. I tend to believe many "natural" remedies...but would this one work? Snopes says "no" . 

I burned my thumb on Wednesday and thought it would be a good time to experiment. I love my honey/aloe vera/ lavender oil combo, but if I didn't have it, would egg whites work?

A blister appeared pretty quick and it hurt pretty good. I rinsed it off with cool water first. Then I cracked an egg into a small bow and saved the yolk for later. I soaked my blister for about 10 minutes. It felt really good. Was it just the cold egg white that felt good? Or was it actually doing something?

I had an errand to run so I soaked a small piece of paper towel in the egg white and wrapped my thumb in it and covered it with a clean paper towel. Within a few hours, the pain was completely gone. I later removed the paper towel to add some more egg white. I couldn't even find the blister. Weird..but AWESOME!!
So, even though snopes can be helpful in identifying some rumors and hoaxes, they got it wrong this time.
Do you know what else egg whites are good for? ANGEL FOOD CAKE!!!
I am so thankful that Heavenly Father provides more than one way to skin a cat...I mean, heal a burn - FANTASTISCH! ("splendid" in German)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Ya'll Ready For This? August 7, 2014

Oh the quarentine flag...yellow is so my color :)
( Please read most of the following with a large dose of sarcasm - in an Irish accent if you will...or maybe are free to choose :) )

Can you imagine what a huge blessing a pandemic (a world wide epidemic) would be? I mean seriously...think of all the people who annoy you on a daily basis. If there were a pandemic, you could voluntarily isolate (aka social distancing) yourself and you family from all of these obnoxious people:

- The tax guy (he's number one for a reason)
- The neighbor that ALWAYS wants that stinkin' cup of sugar!
- Any type of solicitor who tries to sell you something you don't really need or want
- Neighborhood kids that want to come play AGAIN today....
- I could go on and on....

Isolation would give you the opportunity to write that book you've always wanted to write, or spend lots of quality time with your family. Just think, 90 days in a row would be a WONDERFUL family vacation - in the comfort of your own home (wink with a little tooth sparkle). 

*Sigh* - I'm just dreamin' though. That could never happen here. 

Well, wait a sec, that's what they thought in 1918 when the "Spanish Flu" (which did not originate in or around Spain...just fyi) wiped out 5% of the infected population. The only country who lost NO ONE to the flu was...the Samoans. Why? They closed their ports. They would allow no one in or out. Japan lost only a few using the same tactic. Total isolation. It takes about three months for a pandemic to come into an area, do its damage and be done. 

So, let's list the things you'd need for your "cave dwelling, hermit like" holiday :

Water ( to drink, bathe, clean etc)
Food (At least three months...where have I heard that before???? Think....think....)
Sanitation (if a pandemic hits infrastructure like utilities - toilets, running water, and other utilities may work for a short time...what is your plan B?)
Fuel (to cook your stored food, and stay warm)
Deodorant - (I mean seriously people...)

Things you'll probably want: 

Communication - (phones may work for a little while, but what is your plan B? - HAM Radio? CB radio?)
Cabin Fever Distractions ( games, paper, writing utensils, books, craft stuff etc. )
Comfort foods: CHOCOLATE!!! 

After you are prepared, then what?

Timing is important - what signs should you be looking for before you take this once-in-a-lifetime vacation? I mean, you don't want to look to peculiar too early right? Your boss might not accept a "I'm not gonna make it in today...I am socially distancing" for a no show at work. If there is an outbreak in the U.S., consider completing your preparations. By "outbreak" I am referring to numbers into the hundreds...if it is less than that, it isn't anything to worry about. That many people die sneezing in traffic. If there is an outbreak that hits closer to home, that would be a good time to get crackin' and hunker down. If you wait for the CDC to tell you to isolate yourself, chances are they were playing an intense card game with FEMA and lost track of may be too late. Then all your extra long Spring Break  plans are foiled.
So, ya'll get ready for this?