Friday, July 16, 2010

The ethics of Christian preparedness

My friend Enola Gay’s blog has seen a lively discussion on the ethics of Preparing, based on some criticism she received by a fellow named J. DeWaters. This morning I was inspired to write a rebuttal to Mr. DeWaters’ posts.

I’ve copied his two posts below, followed by my rebuttal. Enola's original post from which this is based - and which I thought was brilliantly written - can be found here.

(first post)
J DeWaters said...

Your preparation is driven by a genuine fear of the future. You do not trust the direction of your country and you do not hold the morality of your neighbors in high regard. You fear violence, dwell on the consequences thereof, and expend resources in an effort to demonstrate both to yourself and others that you are actually doing something about it. You are comforted by a hoard of supplies and a small armory. You take advice from prophets of doom and provide ear and lip to individuals and happenings that corroborate your general state of unease. You raise your children and spend the bulk of your life preparing and training for something that may never come to be.

Why do you choose to live in this prison? Why not harness your God given talents to spread the Good News – to bring peace and comfort to those in pain, to bring hope to those in distress, to be a memorable example to many who have no one to turn to much less look up to?

What if the future events you anticipate never come to be? Your food will rot, your metal will rust, and your batteries will run out of acid. Will you toil to replenish and maintain when He returns and then say to Him, I spent my time guarding your talent that I buried for I knew you were a hard man, reaping what you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter?

Stop doing the bidding of the prince of the air and choose to apply your resources, time and talents to build ever larger hoards’ of treasure in a place where guns and fences are not needed.

July 13, 2010 6:47 PM

(follow-up post)
J DeWaters said...

NoCal Gal, it would be interesting to see the proportion of “good works” vs “selfish prepping”. Not that I recommend “good works” as a primary motive but for the sake of discussion I’ll use the term.

If one spends 50 hours a week to earn a dollar and then turns around and spends a good chunk of the discretionary portion of that dollar on prepping supplies and a good chunk of the remaining weekly hours on prepping work, there isn’t much left for “good works”. At the very least it illustrates that the primary motive is something other than “good works”.

A common thread amongst the prepper and survivalist crowd is the quest for isolation from population centers and possession of land. Enola, as an avid participant in the movement demonstrates this. This tendency is indicative of a selfish motive where one essentially gives up on winning the hearts and minds of fellow man. This is further exacerbated by pulling children out of schools and training them at home. In doing this, they are like Jonah refusing to go to Ninevah. If God wants you to be the salt and light to the world, why do you shy from this role?

The most important goal bar none is the saving of souls. If you focus on that, on doing the bidding of the highest authority, the least of your worries will be running out of food or getting killed when and if in some distant time society falls apart. Until that happens, plenty of capable and powerful people are bound in chains of fear and unease to actually do the work that really, really needs to be done. The prepping is a major distraction. Surely you are more valuable than a sparrow?

July 15, 2010 8:14 PM

(my rebuttal)

This is in reply to J DeWaters’ extraordinary posts on the subject of Preparing in general and Enola Gay’s efforts in particular. I will add that our family knows Enola and her family quite well, which is more than J.D.W. can claim.

J.D.W., Christian families who are preparing for an uncertain future are doing so because we believe we’ve been called by God. It’s hard to ignore that sort of summons.

I find it very amusing that you feel Enola Gay is violating Christian principles by storing food and other resources. I also find it amusing that you think SHE should obey YOUR interpretation of Scripture rather than her own. Since you do not know Enola and her family, you have no way to prove your erroneous assumptions about their ministerial efforts. You assume that she is sacrificing her treasure in heaven in order to accumulate treasure on earth. That would be hilarious if it weren’t so nasty.

I know this might be a difficult concept for you to grasp, but a lot of people are capable of multitasking. In other words, Enola can buy an extra bag or two of beans at the grocery store AND discuss the Gospel to those who are open to hearing it. Wow, she’s talented!

You also imply Enola is “selfish” for following God’s calling to provide for her family. With five children, four of whom are utterly dependent on their parents to provide for them, how can you accuse her of misapplying her talents by ensuring her kids will have full bellies if the bleep hits the fan? Huh?

Speaking as a friend, I can testify that there are few people I’ve met who are as effective at spreading the Gospel as Enola and her family. I don’t know why you think they’re “living in fear” of the future (please see Proverbs 31:25) or why being prepared is mutually exclusive from loving one’s neighbors and spreading the Gospel.

Scripture recognizes as far back as the time of David (Proverbs 6:6-11) or arguably Genesis (when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream) that being prepared against future hardship is not only a smart thing to do, but it brings great peace of mind AND the ability to be charitable to those in need. I cannot fathom why you fail to see the connection.

You mentioned that “A common thread amongst the prepper and survivalist crowd is the quest for isolation from population centers and possession of land.” Um, hate to tell you this, but if you want to farm, you need land. We’re farmers. Nothing sinister about that. And our families are hardly “isolated” except by urban standards. Both of us simply moved where we did because we wanted to raise our children in the country. Nothing sinister in that either. And because it snows a great deal where we live, there are times we’re trapped in our homes during the winter and unable to get to the grocery store for a week or two at a time. Don’t you think it’s wise to have supplies on hand for such an occasion? Now apply that preparedness mentality toward the almost inevitable financial collapse of our economy, and a few pounds of rice and beans start to sound like a darned good idea.

You also say: “This tendency [to live rural] is indicative of a selfish motive where one essentially gives up on winning the hearts and minds of fellow man.” Um, hate to burst your bubble again, but we do have people around us. True, we’re not in the city. But there actually ARE people who live in rural areas, imagine that. And those people just might be open to lending an ear toward Enola’s ministry as well. Imagine that again.

As far as keeping our children in public schools so they can minister …well, buddy, you’re living in la-la land if you think that’s an effective way to spread the Gospel to unbelievers. You say, “God wants you to be the salt and light to the world, why do you shy from this role?” Studies have demonstrated over and over and over that keeping Christian children in public schools does little more than turn them into unChristian children.

("Minister to public school kids?" my 14-yr-old daughter exploded while reading this post. "If I tried to minister to public school kids, I'd be stuffed into a trash can with a wedgie!" "Besides," my 12-yr-old daughter added, "The teachers wouldn't let us.")

Since a mother’s highest calling is to raise her children to love the Lord, the best thing she can do is keep them out of government indoctrination centers where peer pressure will turn them away from God. We can be salt and light to anyone whose path we cross, but we’ll be putting that light under a bushel if we fail to raise our children in faith – for which government schools are a well-known detriment.

Bottom line, preppers (especially Christian ones) aren’t living in a prison of fear. On the contrary, we can face an uncertain economic future with calm, with peace, and with comfort because we are obeying our God-driven call to Prepare.

Might I suggest, my friend, that you take your Bible and your holier-than-thou hiney to Costco and buy a fifty pound bag of rice? This way you won’t become a burden to the rest of us if the time comes when you need food. After all, I’m sure you don’t want to be the one knocking on Enola’s door and expecting her to shell out some of her provisions because you were too much in denial to provide for yourself when you had the chance.

To recap Proverbs 31, of which you seem to be lamentably ignorant, here it is from verse 10 on (with a little emphasis added):

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.


21 WHEN IT SNOWS, SHE HAS NO FEAR for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

28 Her children arise and CALL HER BLESSED;
her husband also, and HE PRAISES HER:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Speaking as a friend, in my humble opinion Enola is a true Proverbs 31 woman. I look forward to hearing your reasons as to why she is not.


  1. Thought I would drop a line,
    When I enjoy a day up the river, I take not only my life jacket but provissions as to take care of myself if something would happen. When I get back to the landing I dont get mad because the boat didnt sink and throw my things overboard, I am just thankful that I had a good day and look forward to the next time. When I get home I am not upset that when I see the house it isnt burned down and insurance is to no avail, I am just glad to be home.
    To prepair is prudent and wise. To stick ones head in the sand is just plain stupid. If others dont depend on you then if one doesnt prepair you become a burden on others. Wake up, get your head out of the sand and help yourself and your family. mwp

  2. I believe that throwing our children, who are immature in their Christianity, into public schools is not what Christ meant by being the salt of the earth. I feel it is more applied to Christian Adults who are secure and mature in their relationship with Christ.
    I went to public school almost my whole childhood. Although, looking back, I was probably more mature in Christ than the average teenager, how many times did I share my faith with an unbeliever? Probably less than 3 times in 12 years! Why, because I was immature, focused on trying to "fit in" and dealing with all the issues of growing up. Its foolish to think that our children can be the salt of the earth. We as adults need to fulfill that role and not demand it of our children until they are ready.
    Andrea S

  3. Wanna know what's odd????

    The whole "if you prep, you aren't relying on God" argument is normally the first thing a non-believer says to a Christian when they're trying to pick a fight. Methinks the Devil is in the details.

  4. J DeWaters reminds me of the Wizard of Oz movie. Remember the characters Dorothy met along the way? The Scarecrow needed a brain. The Tinman needed a heart. The Cowardly Lion needed some courage. That pretty much describes DeWaters. Anybody who rants like that without provocation is dumb, heartless, and cowardly. (Was that too judgmental? Ah, he earned it.)

    Let's start a dating service. We could hook-up DeWaters with Quedula and they could blather at each other 'til the STHF.

    Anonymous Twit

  5. The poster is making the mistake of replacing the Lord with the worship of the State which is a common thread these days.

    For one he/she is assuming that the state is a protector of children and therefore it is acceptable to send them out to minister. He/she is also assuming the state will look after us rather than looking after ourselves with the Lord's grace.

    For another it is as easy as turning to Genesis to find scripture pertaining to "stocking up"

    And Take unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

    A person could write volumes on how Christianity and preparing would relate to each other but in the end the real relation is your own person motivations.

    My view is that just like in Cuba when Russian oil was shut down agriculture will need to switch to local production and the more who are ready for the switch the easier the transition.

    Now I admit having some old school Baptist "generalationist" influence from my grandparents so preparing with always a thought to the community as well seems as central to Christian thought as "Love thy Neighbor".

  6. I read Patrice and Enola (I've exchanged emails with Enola) and find their blogs interesting, hopeful, helpful and faith driven. God calls us to prepare and to help ourselves as well as others. For JDW to imply that people are so busy prepping there is no time to help is ridiculous. Is he watching our families?

    My husband and I both work (he runs our family business and I am a fiction author), we give approx 20% of our income to the Lord (that is only told because JDW doesn't think we share) and we each volunteer time in the community and in our churches. Actually, my husband spends 25% of his time volunteering (we're blessed to have an employee help with the business).

    We prep for ourselves, but we also prep for others who did not. We can't do for all, but we can do our bit.

    It is our responsibility to not be a burden on society, to help our children/grandchildren. I couldn't imagine not seeing to them being safe, healthy and with a full belly. That Mr. JDW is not God's way.

    So I would ask that you prayerfully look inward and perhaps be open to seeing other's views as valuable. If not for you, for them/us.

    You don't have to prepare, but don't knock on my door when you and yours are hungry. I'll be busy taking care of me/mine and those others that I know who need help.

    As for public school? We work very hard to help our children pay for private/church school. We don't want the values of the public school system thrust on our children.

  7. OK, why are we trying to explain ourselves to anybody? Really, why do we have to defend our actions or clarify our positions? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of having some progressive crackpot show up and start questioning our prepping as if we're doing something wrong or illogical or cruel or unchristian. What we do is none of the above, and I suspect they know it. But isn't it fun for the elitist pseudo-intellectuals to yank our chains and see us dance to their tune! Sure, they get a thrill up their legs (a reference to Chris Matthews).

    Why don't they explain themselves, instead? Why don't they have to justify to us why they think the government is going to protect them from harm when clearly, time after time, the government proved to be too combersome, too slow, too inept, and too uncaring? Why don't we hear from one of our detractors just how long they can survive with the help of their progressive pals?

    This is the tactic of the left -- to put people on the defensive and to deride us at every opportunity. I'm waiting for J DeWaters to accuse Enola Gay of being a racist, that's the next step in their calculated character assignation.

    I owe no explanations to any human being here. I will not cast my pearls before the swine. I will not argue with idiots. I will live my life as close to what the Bible teaches as I am able. (Admittedly, I should spend more time with the Bible and less time online, I get that.) I will not apologize, explain, refute, rethink, change, nor hide because some godless elitist baiter ridicules my actions or wants to understand my "American psyche."

    Anonynout Twit

  8. Perhaps JDeWaters had in mind Matthew 6.34?
    The Bible is a great source of conflicting advice. Citizens of a modern civilised country will perforce be doing a lot of filtering to stay within the law.

  9. Another thought that I just want to share:
    I have car, home, health and life insurance. Does this make me not dependent on God since I am not putting all my burdens on Him? HA.

    I believe in being self-insured when it comes to prepping. God is equipping me with the time, money and knowledge now, so He doesn't have to worry about me later!
    Andrea S

  10. You have all posted such wonderful responses! Patrice, I love this part:

    "Might I suggest, my friend, that you take your Bible and your holier-than-thou hiney to Costco and buy a fifty pound bag of rice? " LOL!!

    I don't understand the kind of hostility shown by DeWaters, but I have seen it before on other forums. It seems like an unreasonable attitude at best, and sometimes even hostile, as is the case here.

    If one does not see the benefit of prepping, or does not agree with the premise, then fine. Don't prep. But why berate those of us who do? And to accuse Enola Gay of "doing the bidding of the prince of the air" is disgusting.

    I too, feel called by God to prepare, and am doing so. It does not stop me from doing good works or trying to save souls for the Lord.

    God bless all of you - this is such a wonderful blog!

    Jenna in Florida

  11. These people should be happy that some families prepare. Canning and stocking up takes nothing that the criticizers want now and those who have prepared won't be competing with those who didn't when it comes to buying up what's left if it comes to that.

  12. Save the Canning JarsJuly 16, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Thanks Patrice for providing the opportunity for these discussions. Your responses (and A. McSp's responses) have been making me cackle out loud for weeks! You girls are SHARP!!!

    Here are my observations that I'd like to share with Mr. JDW. If Patrice and Enola are isolating themselves, then why are they on-line sharing and encouraging each of us who read this? They do let their light shine...and it's a strong light that is traveling all the way down here to Oklahoma and to so many others over the world wide web! What a ministry!

    As to homeschooling: God instructed ME (not the government) to train up my child.

    All other issues that needed clarifying were beautifully addressed by the other people who posted.

    PS: Something Patrice said above REALLY spoke to me, and it was this: "...a lot of people are capable of multitasking. In other words, Enola can buy an extra bag or two of beans at the grocery store AND discuss the Gospel to those who are open to hearing it."

    Now let me explain WHY that jumped off the page at me. I had a stroke at age 42 and have been unable to multitask ever since. Fast forward a few years where God specifically told me to get my house ready to sell and He added, "...and I'm not kidding!" to make sure I understood. Then a bit later, He told me to prepare my household for "seven bad years". When I'm out power/bargain shopping for my pantry stockpile, I'm kind of hard on myself for not painting the house. And when I'm grouting tile, I'm hard on myself for not catching those chickens on sale for canning. Finally I prayed and asked God which was I supposed to be doing...fixing up the house or stockpiling food? Some prayers take a while to be answered but this one was immediate and it was a one word answer that had all the power of a gunshot, "BOTH!" was the booming answer!

    When I told my daughter, she said, "Well, I guess God thinks you can MULTITASK!!!"

    So I'm in good company...multitasking with Patrice and Enola Gay!

  13. I feel like the timing of these posters' posts makes them particularly foolish looking. When the country has thousands of people looking for work or looking for more work to make ends meet, how can you say that having stored up a year's worth of food was a bad thing? Seems to me if our nation was full of people with a year's worth of food in their pantries instead of big screen tv's and mortgages they can't afford, we wouldn't have this crisis at all. I think people lash out unreasonably like those folks almost defensively because it's easier to ridicule someone else than deal with how much trouble this country is headed for financially. Many prayers for them to wake up and be the ant before they are the grasshopper.

  14. Here we go again, trying to reason with liberals. Yes, it appears they've found you, Patrice! (Enola, too.) A favorite tactic of these arrogant know-it-alls is to use the basis of your beliefs against you. They usually have some knowledge of that of which they speak. Enough to SOUND somewhat reasonable. And they use this small bit of knowledge to try to impress and control others. What this J DeWaters says has some basis in the Word, but he distorts it to make his point. Jesus told us to lay aside treasures in Heaven to prevent us from becoming too enamored with the physical world. But we also need balance in our lives. J DeWaters no doubt gloats when he states that Christians should concentrate on saving souls. What, should we forsake our jobs? Should we abandon our families to fend for themselves, hit the road and become evangelists? Have you Patrice, or Enola, sealed yourselves off from the rest of the world? Are you living in a cave away from everyone? Have you given up on winning the hearts and minds of your fellow man? Of course not. As for saving souls, I'd be willing to bet you do much more of that than this J DeWaters! So he wants to see the proportion of good works vs selfish prepping, does he? What gall! Jesus said when we do good works, to do them in private. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Do good deeds in secret so only our Heavenly Father knows of them. In other words, don't try to please man, please God. Jesus also said a wise man should build his house on a strong foundation. He didn't advise us to sit back and wait for God to take care of us! God expects us to get off our duffs and provide for our families. You're not becoming hermits because of prepping, you're just plain being smart. Liberals have no morals, no true compassion and no consideration for others. They're spoiled children in adult bodies. I've said this before and I'm saying it again: Stop talking to the wall. You will never, EVER get a liberal to see the light. Arrogance and pride are extremely strong sins, and sadly, that's the basis of liberal's lives. The best thing you could do for J DeWaters is pray for him and then ignore him. The more you try to reason with him and explain why you believe and do what you do, the less he will listen and the more he will annoy you. It's what they do. I wouldn't be surprised if they're paid to do this, but most likely they just like to show others how wise they think they are.

  15. hmmmm. this preacher/preaching guy makes me think of a pastor in n.e. miss. a few yrs ago..katrina just hit and rita was on her way..there was a man walking through town towing his tools and belongings behind him on a dolly. he had made it that far from oklahoma and was looking for work. i stopped and picked him up and took him to the salvation army to see if they could do anything for him as the storm was about to hit...from there i had to call my preacher to see if he would help...the answers were no way..i quit my church that day...but not before all those on the towns "church board" and the salvation army board knew how ashamed i was of them for not helping and being the "good shepherds" they were expected to be. i finally managed to get the local police to do a "police check on the homeless guy and into a motel with food for three days and three nights. there were a lot of lessons learned that day...that stranger might have been an angel sent by God..many attitudes have changed since that day and we have a new preacher...i think this particular preacher guy that despises those who prepare has probably had life too good for a long time...he has probably feathered his nest off the backs of his parishioners and expects to be taken care of wtshtf. i think when that time comes he will find that he is gonna be one real lonely guy.

  16. I have found that people like that usually have not developed any skills whatsoever that are useful in a survival situation and want to make everybody that does feel somehow guilty and, of course, they will want you to share your supplies in an emergency.

    I don't feel guilty. My money, my time, I'll spend it however I want.

  17. An insidious voice is whispering that if we follow the council God has given us, we will be in a prison. A wise-seeming Person tells us he wants to be our councilor, against our hearts. He tells us so sweetly that our children should be sent among the wolves to "minister", instead of being in the bosom of family, learning gently as imature children.
    Satan tempted Christ in the desert to throw himself from the cliff. Angels would save him, he counciled. This voice scolds us that we aren't trusting God if we prepare ourselves for the very trials God has warned us is possible. Whence comes this voice?

  18. In regards to quedula's reference to Matthew 6:34 and her statement that "the Bible is a great source of conflicting advice," if she would read ALL of the New Testament and not take passages here and there out of context, she would understand that Matthew 6:34 is compelling us not to worry about tomorrow. It does NOT mean we should not prepare for tomorrow. Many other passages in the Bible verify this. There is no "conflicting advice" in the Bible, only in the minds of those who misinterpret it or who purposely interpret it incorrectly! I'm not addressing quedula about this, for that would be a waste of time. This is for Christians with an open mind and a loving heart who have no devious intentions.

  19. @Anonymous, July 16th, 7.49. "This is for Christians with an open mind and a loving heart who have no devious intentions."
    Are you implying that there are Christians out there with closed minds and non-loving hearts? Shock, horror! If so, what is the point of being a Christian? Why not simply concentrate on opening the mind and developing a "loving heart".

  20. ‎"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." -14th Dalai Lama (not a Christian)

  21. To put the record straight AT I no longer refer to myself as an atheist. My creed is rationalism. While awaiting evidence I try to keep as open a mind on God as I do on the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

  22. It's interesting how prepping critics only see massive collapses as the driving force. If the only factory closes in your small town or an industry vanishes, it would appear to the residents as a catastrophic event. Many things can happen that would cause one to draw on their stores.

    Even if a major paradigm shift occurs and it hits the fan, what do your preps enable you to do? Just survive? No, the larder enables you to be a force on Earth for God's work; you can be around to provide your light and leadership to those who seek guidance or lack direction.

    People can effectively walk from Point A to Point B while looking at their feet. It's a great way to get hit by easily-avoided low hanging branches but you still get there. You can walk from A to B while looking just in front of you, and you avoid the branches but might still get hit by a car. You can walk from A to B while taking in everything in sight, and you can avoid fires blocks away. Considering that your life and health is at stake, would anyone call it foolish or wasteful to look around? Why do some call it foolish when preppers exercise this prudence in a scaled-up fashion?

    It's easy to only look at today and claim that tomorrow will be OK too. Unfortunately, all of human history tells us that the sailing doesn't remain smooth for very long.

  23. The most important thing, is for everyone to have Jesus Christ in heart as Saviour and Lord via humility and repentance unto God when our soul leaves our body - none of us are guaranteed tomorrow!!

    I just experienced an ailment whether it was life threatening or not it sure felt like it going through it but the Lord used it for his glory to get the gospel out where I was unable to before. I stood upon his promises Psalm 103:1-6 especially verse 3 - Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; he proved me on those words that I cling to daily and he healed me! They can take a gun it's my King James Bible (the only English Bible) that I don't want taken! Jesus is my all in all he created me and paid the price for my sins with his shed blood so that I don't have to go to hell and pay for my own sins! I owe him my life!

  24. In responding to JDW, especially in the comments, we shouldn’t resort to general jabs at liberals because it reinforces his point. I certainly wouldn’t take what he says personally unless I knew who he was and besides on these types of blogs its best to stay above ground. I don’t agree with his point of view but certainly understand where he may be coming from. Regardless, this whole thing does smell fishy. You have Patrice (unfortunately) losing her garden this year which may normally decrease things to write about and her husband just recently monetized the blog so controversy may be welcomed. Just suspicion, I’m not accusing Patrice of pulling such a stunt but it sure would increase page views.

  25. I do not prep for massive disasters and world wide collapse. I prep for the next few years. Whatever may come, for the next few years I have what my family needs. If our income dries up, if the factory closes, if Zombies attack, I have what my family needs.
    How is this nefarious? How is this anti-social? I have burn ointment in case somebody gets burned. I have lemonade in case somebody gets hungry. Doesn't everybody? The only difference is, I don't want to go get these things constantly. I want to get it all now.

  26. An "anti-preparationist" must, by definition, be a hypocrite if they ever consume foods such as: jams, dried foods, frozen foods, canned foods, store-bought mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, or any other type of condiment, salt, dried herbs or bottled spices, jerky, tea, coffee, sugar or honey from any source but an active hive.

    Get my drift?

    Whether it's a pound of butter, a jar of mayonnaise, a week's worth of groceries or a well-stocked pantry, everyone prepares, to some extent. It's called LIFE.

    So unless these trollish higher critics have empty cabinets, refrigerators and pantries they're openly revealing themselves as total hypocrites who need to get a life, and who certainly don't merit the time or effort of a response from their targets.

    And A.T. if your stuff gets any hotter (as in hot stuff...really good...) I'm gonna hafta start refrigerating my laptop before I read your posts. Girl you have got it goin' on.

    And 'jars'...all I can say is...Okfuskee and Creek Counties!

    A. McSp

  27. Save the Canning JarsJuly 17, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Dear Anonymous poster from July 17th 12:27 pm,

    Your Zombie attack comment cracked me up!!!
    Like you, I keep a large stock and have done so for at least 10 years. Nothing tragic has happened in our family over that time, but I'm so glad to have my supplies.

    For starters, when my husband runs out of deodorant at 10 pm just before the news, I don't have to run to WalMart. I just yell from the cellar, "Do you want Right Guard or Sure or Suave?" I use and rotate through me stock and have never been sorry I have it.

    I can think of four times since I started keeping a stockpile that I have been able to help families when a neighbor's husband/father/provided has SUDDENLY died. A young widow is probably asking God "How are we going to make it?" and then the community starts pouring in with food.

    I like to go to my stockpile and pull one of everything and show up with 10 or more grocery sacks of non-parishable items like laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper, flour, sugar, canned goods...everything. It is no strain on our family whatsoever and a blessing to the recipient. After such outpouring of love from the town, perhaps the new widow goes to bed at night and thanks God for His provision and can more readily put her trust in Him, knowing His eye is on her and everything will eventually turn out fine.

    Take it from me, you will never be sorry you kept a stock of food/supplies.

  28. Save the Canning Jars; Nicknamed "jars" and "C.J." by A. McSp.July 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    To: A. McSp:

    Gotcha! And my reply is "Canadian".

    It's James Bond code folks, don't try to figure it out! This message will self destruct in 5 seconds. (Not really..sheesh!)

  29. C.J....

    Copy that, neighbor!

    Now in the pacific northwest, but roots is roots, huh?

    No wonder you're such an avid canner. It's genetic! lol

    I think the big schism in thought and world view that gives rise to a lot of the polarity we face today is the radically imbalanced distribution of rural vs. urban population in the US and, I suppose, in the UK as well. When 90% of the population live in cities and towns it means a whole bunch of folks think of produce, meat, milk and eggs as simply coming from the supermarket. So many are so far removed from the source of their food they have no clue as to the realities of how they're fed and sustained. This is a radical shift from 50 years ago, and it's a recipe for disaster. I shudder to think of the implications for major urban and surrounding areas, and I pray it's something we never have to witness. Then I get up and go put up some greens, thank you.

    After one of the ice storms year before last, some of my folks were without electrical power for over three weeks. That's more than twenty one days, for those who are unprepared for the hardships of the unexpected. No running to the store. No pressing a button and using the microwave. (I don't own one, so it wouldn't be missed around here.) How much would a variety of canned, ready to eat food mean in such circumstances?

    One subject that hasn't come up yet in this discussion is the need for an emergency supply of medications for those who must take daily meds like insulin or those to control high blood pressure, for example. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was advised and easy to keep a 3 month supply on hand. It's a different story now, it seems. The 'brave new world' of medicine we're faced with today makes it all but impossible. My prescriber won't even seriously discuss it. I'm looking for natural remedies and other viable, safe alternatives, as it seems likely this problem will get worse if the "healthcare" bill isn't repealed. Thoughts anyone?

    A. McSp

  30. July 17, 2010 12:01PM - to you I say Balderdash! Could you be more cynical? Or more wroong? Unlikely!

    To quedula I say: My FRIENDS call me AT. You may call me Ms. Twit.

    Anonymous Twit

  31. I HEART A.T.

    A. McSp

  32. Ok Ms Twit & you may call me Mrs Quedula.

  33. I prefer to call you Mrs. Quedibility.

    Anonymous Twit

  34. The one thing that jumped out at me about JDW's comments is that "we" convert people. "We" cannot do that, only God can. It shows how utterly self rightiouse this guy is to think that we humans bring others to God. It is true that we can present the good news, we can be amazing examples of God's grace in how we live our lives, and we can reach out to others. But they have to have that "AHA!" moment where they realize they need God.

    No amount of preaching or testimonies will force a person to reach that moment. In fact many people come to Christ by witnessing the simple loving life changes of a Christian friend or relative that had been an unbeliever before. Just seeing the way that persons life changes after accepting Christ is sooo powerfull.

    This guy takes to much upon himself!

  35. First I want to apologize for the prince of the air remark. It came out of genuine concern that Enola and some preppers appear to have crossed the threshold of prudent preparedness and entered, at least by their visible actions, a state of, albeit slight, independence from God. That is my OPINION and I expect you to deny it and justify it away (especially since your life is now in part defined by this) but it doesn’t change my duty to forcefully and bluntly make it obvious when perceived, considering the devastating consequences of that state.

    A number of matters that are Biblically acceptable become sins when abused. Sex is an obvious one, preparedness is another. These matters lay in a continuum where the boundary between right and wrong is shifted (sometimes grossly) as a matter of convenience by those providing the definition.

    Where is this call for excessive preparation? Biblically speaking there is much written about spiritual preparation much less about physical preparation. The verses you cite, Prov 6:6-11 and 31:25 espouse the virtue of general industriousness and seasonal preparation. 31:21 explicitly mentions snow and the comfort in having food and clothing to weather the cold season. This type of preparation is required and only a foolish woman would skirt it. My qualm is with years and preparing for multiple seasons. If Joseph is your example in this scenario, then if like him, God has explicitly instructed you to do what you’re doing, then by all means hasten to make good on it. “We believe we’ve been called by God” isn’t quite up to the Joseph standard. Were Jacob and Joseph’s 11 brothers aware of the coming famine and did they prepare? Did God let them down? Was God not praised by them through the famine for providentially providing? Will your kids praise God if there is a famine or will they (even slightly) glorify you?

    Even if God did explicitly instruct you to do what you’re doing, it may not necessarily apply to the rest of us. For all we know a tornado will blow through your small town and wipe out power and sources of food. This is where normal seasonal preparation would suffice wonderfully. However, when you start accumulating years of food reserves and growing stock or arms and ammo, IMO you have crossed the line of reasonableness and start entering the realm of Luke 12:16-31. For you it may not be larger barns, but it could be more shelving units, more jars for canning, and more bags of rice.

    Now, regarding that bag of rice and the accompanying “holier-than-thou hiney”, if you’re anticipating some sort of widespread SHTF scenario what makes you think you’re special? If something like this does come to be, will it not be a judgment of a nation? Are you not a citizen of this nation? You think you will avoid judgment because you have more bags of rice then me? Maybe you won’t starve, but you may suffer from some pestilence or one of a million other things that you cannot possibly be prepared for. If a time comes when you need to utilize assault weapons to defend yourself from your fellow man, by then you will undoubtedly be part of the full blown judgment. Where is the scriptural basis for your arsenal?

    You mean to tell me that since you live out in the country and you hunt that when SHTF those deer and rabbits are going to turn into zombies and you’ll need 50-cal full auto with hand grenades to take them down. Right. They must not teach that in schools as it obviously goes without saying…

    The Biblical precedent for wide scale judgment is nearly always preceded by the call for repentance. Prophets of old would tear their garments, cover themselves with ashes and spend their time imploring the people to repent. That is the real solution to the problem not a band-aid to deal with the symptoms. Your blog would be an excellent channel.

  36. I'll give JD this, he's right about needing to repent. We all do, our whole country. I'm of the opinion that THAT is the only thing that's going to save our nation.

    As to the rest of this surprisingly civil debate, I think several assumptions have been made that could likely be easily ironed out in person but not so much in text. Tends to be the way of the interweb thingy. Just my opinion though.

  37. Enola Gay has 5 children, a husband, a home/shop to maintain, neighbors to befriend, and other people in her life whom she cares about - she's not prepping just for herself. If she has lots of food stored, it's not for her sole consumption. For you to accuse her of excesses is outrageous. You, sir, are the excessive person.

    Where did Enola or anyone else say they had 50 caliber fully automatic weapons? Surely you exaggerate, again.

    Why are you attacking Enola Gay? A less offensive person seems hard to find. I don't know her personally, but she appears to be kind, generous, loving, a good wife and mother, a good neighbor and friend, and a good citizen.
    If you want to attack someone, why do it in this way? Why not debate her husband, why attack a woman you don't know? How can you be so judgmental and claim to be a religious person? You really aren't setting a very good example for anyone. Perhaps you should practice what you preach.

    I dare say you aren't a man of religion, you are a serpent with a wicked, lashing tongue who shields himself behind a computer screen and rales against a hard working woman because he hasn't the backbone to go face-to-face with anybody. You, sir, are a fraud.

    People like you give Christians a bad name.

    Anonymous Twit

  38. To me it seems this is a big misunderstanding. J. DeWaters has valid points that we do not need to spend our lives in fear of something we don't know is coming. What he doesn't seem to notice is that is not what the note was about. The note on preparedness was about making sure you are ready for the things that can happen in daily life. It was about making sure you do not have to rely on others to take care of you if times do get hard. This is not a call to throw everything else aside and spend your life in fear doing nothing but gathering store.
    I saw the note completely different than he did. I take it to say that life can throw curve balls at you and you want to stay ahead of the game. There is good reason to be prepared for what can come. I wish I was better able to do this myself. Being prepared does not take glory from God. It does not say you don't trust God. In preparing you can still say you know God is in control. He has given people the ability to do be self-sufficient with His help. Being prepared can be used to the glory of God in that if you have food stored, you are better able to bless someone else in hard times.
    As a last thought, to the question of what to do with the items stored so they don't go bad. that would be a good reason to date items. that way you can make use of them before they do go bad if they are being stored that long. I don't see anyone taking the time to prepare these things and then just letting them go to waste.

  39. I'll agree most heartily that there is the chance that some are prepping in a sort of Tower of Babel syndrome. "If God is going to bring great dearth and trial on the world, I'll prepare so I don't have to suffer, nor learn the lesson that trial is intended to teach."

    But, JD, you're digging yourself deeper into trying to judge where you have no authority. They say they feel called of God, and you question that? You are not trying to discuss how one makes the distinction, you are only proclaiming your surety that these women are just plain wrong. Have you heard the still small voice of the Angel on your shoulder?

  40. So you are saying that many of us are abusing preparedness, which is a sin? Comparable to abusing sex? Are you serious?

    First of all, you have no idea whether Enola or anybody else is preparing excessively, as you put it. Each person's individual situation is different, and you cannot possibly know what they might need or who they are preparing for, besides their family.

    Yet you judge, assume, and imply that we are not good Christians. That we are sinning by taking our preparations to extremes, according to you.

    Where did any of us - Patrice, Enola, or any other poster - ever say that we think we will be immune to chastisement because we prep? Which person said that because we are preparing for hard times, we can survive anything? Nobody.

    I know that no matter how much I prepare, it could all be gone in a flash. Or I might die tonight in my sleep. Or maybe the one thing that I haven't prepared for will be the thing that gets me. Any of those scenarios are within the realm of possibility. That doesn't mean that it is pointless, or selfish (as you earlier stated), to do whatever I can in case my family, friends, or neighbors need help.

    I think most preppers understand this as well. Your attitude seems to be that since we can't possibly cover all of the bases, we should not even try.

    I agree that balance is important in all things, but being prepared does not mean one does not have balance. It means one has forethought and prudence. I also agree with the fact that we need to repent - all of us.

    Repentance and preparedness are not mutually exclusive undertakings. We can do both.

    Jenna in Florida

  41. Doesn't everybody wonder why people that claim to be against "preppers" and are not Christians continue to frequent this obviously Christian/preparedness blog and others like it? Every thinking person knows that when you TRULY are not interested in something you don't visit it over and over and over. In fact, you don't entertain thoughts about it at all.

    So why keep coming back?

    My dad is as anti-Christ as they come, proudly proclaiming to be an athiest, a liberal and a rationalist (LOL--that's a good one). Yet his favorite cuss words are Jesus Christ! and God Damn You! And his favorite subjects are pastor's salaries, Catholic priests that are pedophiles, church's that are involved in scandal, etc.

    I suspect that there are a whole lot of people out there (my dad included) with a God-shaped hole in their hearts and I think that they know, deep down in their souls that these folks that are not afraid to proclaim their allegiance to Christ may be the real deal. Or, as the Bible frequently called it, The Way.

    I believe with all of my heart that is why these non-believers keep comin' round.

  42. You may be onto something, GTB. I like..."a God-shaped hole in their hearts." That is a great description.

    Anonymous Twit

  43. Save the Canning JarsJuly 18, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Mr. JDW mentioned Joseph's brothers not being prepared. If I remember correctly, they showed up in Egypt in the 2nd year after the famine began. That's right...they made it TWO YEARS before they needed help. So I ask anyone reading this...Are you at least stocked up for two years and after that where will you go for food?

    You mention this thought "...some preppers appear to have crossed the threshold of prudent preparedness...". I'm not trying to take your words out of context, just condensing that line and a few other thoughts that suggest that those preparing could take it too far. My reply is that, like Joseph, I'll stop preparing for those around me after I've stocked that 7th year...and then I'll call it good. Joseph is a great biblical example so a 7 year stock does not indicate excess (and God never accused Joseph or hoarding).

    You warn that what we store could go bad. Well, what did God instruct Joseph to lay up in the good years? WHEAT! And what do we see Enola and Patrice posting pictures of? WHEAT! Step by step they teach YOU how YOU can correctly store grain too! Why wheat? It is a living grain and when stored properly, will sprout and give nourishment even 20 plus years from now. And I'm sure a learned man such as yourself has heard how wheat put in the pyramids has been successfully sprouted thousands of years later. God is amazing! I am happy for you that you can chose whether or not preparing is something you would like to do.

    Now, for anyone reading this, there is something I'd like to say to you:

    Airing on TV today, John Hagee preached one of the best sermons I think I've heard in a very, very long time. It is the last of the
    Can America Survive (3 part series.) This final part was called A Nuclear Iran. Hagee preached from Ezekiel. He explained the
    nations that would be coming together (namely Iran and Russia primarily because of their need for oil) and each country the Bible says will come against Israel in the last days. He tried to explain why America will not be coming to Israel's rescue (nor England for that matter).

    He explained how vulnerable we are if Iran is not stopped. He vividly described to the American people what an EMP device is, and what your world would look like after one explodes over the plains states (Nebraska or Kansas especially).

    He also explained about terrorist cells in 7 U.S. cities...already there, and he named the cities and what would happen if suitcase devices went off simultaneously. I'm telling you, some people are really going to wake up after this message!!!

    He discussed food (or rather the lack thereof), transportation stopping, no health care for those experiencing fallout. He was graphic as to say those who live and those who die will depend on which way the wind is blowing on that day.

    The prayer at the end was amazing, repentance for our nation, admitting our total need for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The congregation sang "God Bless America".

    As you know, 1/2 of the sermon should air again tomorrow, (Check TBN or Daystar or John Hagee Ministries for airings)and then the other 1/2 Tuesday. I was crying because of the holiness of that message and when it was over, my husband said, "That was powerful!!!"

    If there was EVER anyone you wanted to reach with the seriousness of this hour and the need to surrender all to Christ, and to prepare the household...This is the message to hear.

    I hope you read this in time to watch/tape his sermon.

  44. Aaaah, I think I get it now. If the sugar hits the fan, that was obviously God's will and, if we we do any sort of preparations for disaster mitigation, then we are thwarting God's will and we are BAD. (I guess that umbrella in the vehicle in case it rains while I'm out is thwarting God's will, too.)

    OTOH, maybe God is whispering to his chosen people to prepare now. I have found that a lot of people, formally religious or not, are obeying an inner voice that is telling them that the time is growing close and we need to be ready. They are seeking out websites to see how others that have gotten the message are preparing. At least, that's been my experience.

    If you don't hear the voice telling you to prepare, then don't. Simple, really.

  45. So many words! Being a xian does seem to make life complicated.

  46. Sorry, JDW,

    But you remind me of the guy in the old joke who refuses to help himself in a flood even though rescuers in 4WDs, boats, and helicopters tried to convince him to get in. "God will save me!" he kept saying.

    Finally, clinging desperately to his chimney, he drowns. Facing God, he is quite upset. "I've been a Bible-quoting Christian all my life! Why didn't you save me?!"

    God says, "For crying out loud! I sent you a 4WD, a boat, and a helicopter! What do you want from me?!"

    I don't expect you'll see the point as you seem bent on performing your "duty" of pointing out what you, in your superior wisdom, think are OTHER people's faults. Well, that's your right, and I fear, your fate.

    Bill Smith

  47. To use Mr.JDW's comparison about the abuse of sex... I think he is saying that once a month is sufficient for God's purpose in his life (procreation). However, other married couples may see that God's purpose for sex in their lives is also to improve their relationship, to draw the couple closer to each other, and therefore they have it more often. Now, neither view is defined as wrong in the Bible, and neither view will keep anyone out of Heaven, but one of those views may provide a better quality of life on earth. Preparedness works the same way.

    God may tell one person who needs to strengthen his faith in God's provision, to walk across the country with nothing but the clothes on his back, and to depend on God to provide for all his needs. I'm good with that. But He also tells us in His Word to provide for ourselves and our families by our toil here. If my refusal to prepare for the future causes my children to go hungry or thirsty, or sleep in the Superdome, etc., then I have failed to do as God has commanded. Why is this so hard to acknowledge?

    Re: "excessive"...If my prepping causes me to cease from tithing, then I am failing to do as God commanded. This is the definition of "excessive" for me - when something I am doing causes me to stop doing something else that God has commanded me to do. As long as that does not happen, my behavior is aligned with His Will, and I could not care less what the worldly opinion of my actions is.


  48. JDW's comment's are indicative of the problems we face as a country today. The idea that one can define what is "extreme", or "excessive" without providing some sort of scale of measurement is also ridiculous. Its all relative..... Talk to an 85 year old farmer who has lived through the depression and then talk to a 25 year old city person about what is "extreme" when it comes to preparedness and resourcefullness will get black and white responses. A majority of our country is too reliant on others for just about everything. Whether it be food(grocery stores/resturaunts), supplies(Home depot), skills(we can't fix anything ourselves), and in the worst cases welfare and education. That is the status quo today, and if I was Enola(don't know her) I'd be proud to be labelled extreme in the face of today's pitiful standards.


  49. Swamp Woman... I suspect God is whispering (or even shouting) to nearly everybody. He loves us all, even sinners. He's saying in different ways to different people, the age-old "Repent, The End Is Near. Prepare, For I am Coming."
    It's just that, as always, Most of the people can't hear, because the devil is playing his music in their ears, and they like that music.
    Noah tried to get the people to listen about the flood. Lot tried to get the people to listen about the fire.
    It's all about who's listening.

  50. I enjoy so many of these comments. Many are better and more instructive than most sermons I have heard.

    One should always prepare to the best of his ability. If worse come to worse and you perish when the sugar hits the fan (visualizing that, it is realy worse than the other item. Imagine, sugar all over everything and every high humidity day it is all sticky again) there will always be your stash to hep whomever finds it if God directs them to your door after you are gone.

    JDW comments about arms reminds me that Jesus said if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Having fenced in college, I think I will stick with my rifle. Besides I am too old and decrepit to engage some young hoodlum armed with a knife and a crack high.

    I admire almost to the point of envy the preparations that Patrice, Enola and so many others who post here have made and seek to emulate much of what you have done. I have a small and growing pantry and next trip to town I start gathering materials for a storage shed to be built in my barn that will house some of what I have accumulated, the back room and shop are starting to become cluttered. I have so far to go to accomplish what you ladies have already done. My hat is off to all of you Proverbs 31 Ladies. Wold like to try some of your bread and cookies but will have to do with my own.

    I find that I have been taking notes when reading this blog. So much useful advice. This blog has helped me make preparations, so much I had not thought of. Who would have thought of canning butter? Love it, gotta try it.

    Solar, so much good data here and I am learning. Considered a small setup but now see that so much more is possible without breaking the bank. Anyone found any decent LED lighting?

    I know people like you folks and can so readily identify. Neighbors on the internet. Thanks to one and all.

  51. Amen to all of this. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what I have tried to explain to certain friends and members of my family for many years now.

  52. What does it hurt for people who choose to do so to prepare for disaster? Where do these worms in the woodwork crawl in from who denigrate and insult preparers for their beliefs? How is their business to come onto forums like these and preach their twisted gospels? Why don't they start their own blogs. To me, this is like walking into someone else's yard and taking a poop. It's just RUDE. I believe God is telling me to prepare. Right now I'm stuck in the DFW metroplex, but doing everything I can to try to figure out how to get out of here and move onto my 40 acres in the Ozarks because I feel a BIG STORM coming. Fine if these nuts think I'm crazy. But they need not seek me out to tell me so. Wasn't it FORTUNATE that Joseph in the old testament did as God instructed and prepared for a famine. He saved thousands of lives. I hope none of you think I'm not being Christian when I say this, but if these people who JUDGE and MOCK come to my door wanting my provision when disaster hits all corners of this country, my door will be firmly closed in their face. I willm be selfishly taking care of my family and friends.

  53. I know this posting is old, but I did want to say that in the the Bible it says:
    First Corinthians - Chapter 7:2-5

    2. Since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
    3. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
    4. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
    5. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    Just thought that was interesting...
    Also there is nothing wrong with being prepared.
    I was raised LDS (Latter Day Saints) my family and those around me were always prepared, it did NOT take over our lives, that's not all you think about 24/7/365. It maybe in the back of our minds but it's not a bad thing, GOD want us to be prepared.
    After all if you don't Want to help yourself why should He?
    Just saying...

  54. your daughters are 100% correct