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Practical Action Steps

The 2020 series
Facilitating study & discussion among Christians
on critical topics that we prefer to ignore.

Last modified Oct. 16, 2020

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There are good reasons for the prudent to have a plan for making it through a time of social/ political/economic upheaval or natural disaster. A responsible approach might be to prepare for 15-30 days without needing to go out very often. Here are some seed-thoughts for you to grow a plan from:
FOOD, SUPPLIES: I see no need to adopt a fearful, hoarding, Doomsday mentality. Those who advocate such are often motivated by the profit they make in selling you their survival packages. I do however, see a place for responsible planning for what seems to be a likely eventuality.
Doesn't it seem reasonable to have some dried and/or canned fruits and vegetable on hand, maybe including nuts? And consider items that can be "stretched" like rice, beans, quinoa, pasta, and rolled oats, for example, which have a good shelf life and don't take a lot of space. Things like peanut butter and similar can provide good nutrition. We're not talking about megabucks here! Many families will lose their frozen food if the power goes off for an extended time.
A basic factor in how we prepare is whether we only want to preserve our own comfort and well-being, or to also represent the heart of God to those in need around us. "Would you like to come to our house for a dinner of rice and beans cooked in chicken broth?"
Have we thought about partnering with others, where one has access to certain foods, and another, to other foods? What do you have, and what might you need, and who might you partner with?
WATER: Safe drinking water is essential. Clorox or something similar to make untreated water safe, is an option. See instruction here on how to do that. Maybe we should be keeping some containers for storing water, especially drinking water, if we need to get it from an alternate source. Could we learn to do sponge baths instead taking showers? How about adapting to the "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" approach that we used during a drought while living in Kenya? Could we cheerfully do that or are we too pampered?
HEALTH RELATED/MEDICAL: Prescriptions, supplements and frequently used medications, along with first-aid supplies. And are you in relationship with doctors or nurses who could help you at least minimally if needed?
OTHER ESSENTIALS: Things like TP, soap, feminine supplies, diapers, cleaning supplies and other basics can be stocked in adequate measure without becoming a selfish or fearful hoarder. Hand sanitizer will be important if we have another round of Covid or similar.
SAFETY/SECURITY: Do you have several flashlights and adequate batteries? A battery-powered radio? Are their vulnerable entry points into your home or garage that could easily be addressed? The big thing for me is that I don't want to be caught by surprise.
GIFTS/ABILITIES: Everyone has strengths and deficits. Some are "natural" at fixing things, and others at breaking them, but all have something to offer. Each strength is potentially accompanied by a deficit. What strengths do you have, to offer to others? And what deficits, where you will need help from others? The absence of a strength is not a weakness unless we deny it and refuse to allow others to fill that gap.
DISABILITIES: Are you or others you are in relationship with disabled or handicapped in a way that will require special help in a time of chaos? Do you have plans to cover those needs?
UTILITIES: Are we prepared for the loss of electrical power and/or natural gas? Options for cooking, and alternate power and heat sources ought to be considered. Camping gear is an option. If we have a generator, are we prepared to run extension cords to our neighbor to keep their fridge, freezer or CPAC going? If a portable generator, are we knowledgeable about how to use it, i.e. the dangers of back-feeding and of carbon monoxide in the living area?
SELF DEFENSE: Many, including guys I respect highly, are stocking up on guns and ammo. I wouldn't take another's life to save myself nor would Elaine want me to do so to protect her, and I'm certainly not going to kill to protect "stuff" or to defend "rights." I am not a fatalist or a Calvinist but I do believe in a sovereign and all-powerful God who knows my days, as in Psa. 139:16. I plan to follow Jesus to the end and to entrust myself to His care, as He entrusted Himself to the Father. I Peter 2:23 Trusting in the sovereignty and the care of God takes us to places that the mind of the flesh can never go. I encourage followers of Jesus to consider that seriously. Live or die, "we win," and there's nothing that we would kill another for that we can take to heaven with us!
CHRISTIAN PATRIOTISM: I struggle to define for myself exactly what that means because of our dual citizenship, i.e. in the Kingdom of God and as Americans. Bottom line might be that if Christian patriots are half as serious as they think they are, they ought to start by fasting and praying for repentance in America, and by inviting others to join them in that. Consider TWO KINGDOMS.
MONEY: It seems likely that in a time of financial collapse, Marshall Law or similar disruption, we might be without financial services and other support systems for a period of time.
A friend suggested having enough cash on hand to see you through a limited time when financial institutions are closed. There may be some merit in that, but there won't be much in our house. It will be interesting to see what happens to gold in that time, but I don't have any and don't plan to. (Brother #1, "I'm buying gold and you need to too." Brother #2, "I'm buying brass and if I need gold I'll come get some of yours." :-) It is probably true that there will be a lot of bartering going on and it might be good to consider things that others would need.
GOD: God's Presence and miraculous power are being manifested in many ways around the world today. Those who know Him deeply will see more of that in provision, protection, direction, healing and etc in the days ahead. I fully expect to see Him multiply food and other resources, for those who serve Him with pure hearts and are generous toward others with their resources. We are responsible to act wisely, and then trust Him for the rest, whether it means prosperity or adversity, life or death, - - - - or - - - ! "Rest" in that!
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