Off The Grid News
The recent polar vortex hit Texas hard. While the entire country suffered with unexpectedly cold temperatures which lasted for days; no other state had as many people without power, without water and dying from the cold weather.
But why should this be so?
First, no other state in the 48 continuous states reaches as far south as Texas does, except Florida. But Florida was left out of the fun and games that the rest of the country was facing. Had the polar vortex and freezing rain reached them, like it did Texas, it’s possible they would have suffered a similar fate. However, the one big difference is that Florida doesn’t have its own power grid.
Texas just isn’t prepared for such cold weather; and the combination of cold weather with freezing rain made it worse. Don’t believe those who say that Texas has a freeze like that every decade; that’s bending the facts considerably. Texas has freezes, but they’re overnight things, not something lasting four days. Nor do they usually come with freezing rain.
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So water pipes aren’t buried as deep in Texas, and home HVAC systems don’t have as much heating capacity. It’s not uncommon for homes to get chilly on the two or three nights of freezing weather that actually hits south Texas. Most people just put up with it, not knowing what else to do.
The standard prepper solution is to install a wood-burning stove in the home for use as an alternative heating method. That’s a good solution for those who own their homes. But people who are renting a house or apartment aren’t able to do that one.
Those who aren’t preppers face the problem of trying to keep their home warm, without having prepared for it. Some turn to using their stove, oven, or barbecue grille for this. That’s dangerous, because of the risk of carbon monoxide buildup in the home. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves don’t create this sort of buildup, even though they produce carbon monoxide, because of the chimney. Whatever carbon monoxide is produced, goes up the chimney and is vented outside the home.
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So, what can someone do for heat, while maintaining a safe environment in their home?
Before answering that question, we need to define something. That is, what is survival heating? If you’re thinking that you need to have your home at 75°F to survive, then good luck. The so-called “comfort zone” is just that—comfort. But comfort is unnecessary for survival. All that’s needed is enough heat to help keep your core body temperature where it should be; anything else is actually a luxury.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, where few homes have any sort of heat at all. Those people aren’t accustomed to the cold, yet they make it through every winter. Up near the border which connects to south Texas, they have freezing temperatures every time south Texas does, yet they survive without central heating or a fireplace.
Warm Clothes and Blankets
The most basic way of keeping warm is to wrap yourself in several layers of warm clothes. While it may not be all that comfortable to eat dinner at the table with a winter coat and hat on, it’s really not a problem. We’re just so used to the idea of having a warm home, that we expect our home to keep us warm, rather than utilizing our body heat.
During the freeze, I wore heavy knit sweaters every day. That may not seem all that unusual to some people, but I rarely wear them, unless I’m going to be out in the cold. I just get hot too easily and I don’t want to be perspiring all over clothes that are hard to launder. But I was sure glad I had those sweaters available to me that week.
If you’re going to be sitting on the sofa, watching TV, what’s wrong with covering yourself with a blanket? We all do that at night to keep warm, so there really shouldn’t be a problem doing so during the day. Just about the same could be said about wearing a hat… which is the fastest way to warm yourself up. Make use of your body heat, rather than complaining that it’s cold.
One of the safest heaters any of us can use in the home is a propane one. I normally don’t recommend propane heaters for survival situations; but that’s because of the problem coming up with enough fuel. However, that’s a non-issue in a short-term survival situation. Just make sure you’ve got an extra tank or two of propane on hand.
If you buy a propane heater, make sure that it’s rated for indoor use, not outdoor use. There is a difference in how they are made and the outdoor ones are not safe for the home.
In olden times people heated soapstones in the coals of the fire, to have portable heat. That could then be carried in a cloth carrier for providing heat in their wagon or set under the family pew in church. With their laps covered by a blanket, the radiated heat would help keep them warm.
Soapstone was used because… of all types of stone available for this purpose… soapstone and marble have the best thermal conductivity. Therefore, they absorb heat well, holding more than some other types of stone might. Then, when it’s time to use that heat, they radiate it out well. Metals, on the other hand, may absorb heat well, but they radiate transferred heat out too fast to be used as an effective heater.
The idea here would be to use the barbecue grille outside to heat up the stone, then bring it indoors to take advantage of that heat. At the same time, the stone could be replaced with another, so the cycle could continue.
But what if you don’t have a soapstone? Then use some other rock. While soapstone and marble are the best possible choices, other types of stone will work too; they just won’t work as well. That’s okay; whatever heat they produce is more than you have without the stone.
Terra Cotta Pot Heater
Finally, people have been using terra cotta flowerpots as a makeshift heater. The pot is placed upside-down over a can of the fuel that is used for chafing dishes. That’s safe to use indoors, because they don’t produce that much carbon monoxide.
The flowerpot is an essential part of this, because it keeps the heat from just rising to the ceiling. Rather, the heat warms the pot which then radiates the heat outwards, where it will do some good. The trick here is that the pot needs to be propped up in a way so that air can come in under the rim and then exist out the hole in the bottom (or top, since it’s upside down), of the pot.
If you have any other useful heating tips, please share them in the comments below.
The post Keeping Warm “Off-Grid” Without A Wood-Burning Stove appeared first on Off The Grid News.
The arctic blast of February 2021 has proved two things. The first is that the disasters of 2020 haven’t ended. Rather, January and February 2021 might as well be the 13th and 14th months of 2020. The end of the problems that many people were expecting hasn’t gone away. Sadly they seem to be increasing in magnitude, even if not in frequency.
While this isn’t the first time our country has been treated to unusually severe weather, it was unique in one thing… how it affected Texas. This once in 100 year weather event caused massive problems across the state and I had a front-row seat to watch it.
Texas is unique because it has its own electrical power grid. That was done intentionally, to avoid federal regulation. The authority for much of what the federal government’s regulatory agencies do comes from the interstate commerce clause, which gives those agencies and Congress an open door when business crosses state lines. But when the business is solely within one state, their ability to meddle and mandate is severely curtailed.
This is coming under scrutiny right now. Some are saying that this lack of federal oversight caused the blackouts in Texas. But then, there has been a lot of finger pointing going on, ever since the freeze started and ERCOT, the state’s grid operator, is the biggest target anyone can find.
But did ERCOT really mess up? That’s the question. Could they have prevented the mess in the first place?
The Loss of the Texas Grid
While much of what happened was due to freak weather and the decisions made in an instant, there are two things that were done by ERCOT’s board, before the freeze came, which added to the problem. The first was to move more towards renewable energy, specifically in the form of wind farms. Texas produces more wind power than any other state in the Union, accounting for 20% of the state’s electricity usage. This move is partly in line with national and even worldwide goals to “go green” and do away with fossil fuels, specifically coal. Roughly 48% of Texas electricity is now produced from natural gas, which fed into the problem as well.
The second decision that ERCOT’s board made, which fed into the problem, was that they adopted the strategy of maintaining a low level of reserve capacity, the lowest in the country. The plan was to buy electricity from neighboring states, should the need exceed the grid’s capacity to produce.
One last piece fits into setting up this puzzle; that of some power plants being down for scheduled maintenance, something that is normally done during the winter, because Texas used more electric power in the summer. So, when the cold weather hit, the margin between what was needed and what was being produced disappeared.
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As cold weather moved in, home use of electricity increased, because of the need to heat homes. At the same time, wind turbines started having ice form on the blades, putting them out of balance. Wind turbines in Texas don’t have built-in de-icing systems, because of the low probability of freezing and rain together. So, in order to prevent damage, the control circuitry of those turbines took them offline, sending production below consumption. This was the beginning of the crisis.
Apparently ERCOT couldn’t rely on their backup plan, as other states were seeing increased electrical usage as well, because of those states experiencing unusually cold weather. It was necessary to institute rolling blackouts, the normal way of dealing with this situation. Unfortunately, perhaps due to lack of experience, that didn’t work out as it should have.
One of the big problems with the rolling blackouts, which really didn’t seem to be rolling, was that electric power was shut down for much of the Permian Basin. This included natural gas wells that were necessary to provide heat for homes and power plants. This caused a further reduction in electric power availability, as gas-fired power plants were stuck without enough fuel, causing some to go offline. A domino effect began, as the load required of remaining power plants increased. More and more went offline, as their safety systems kicked in.
At this point, ERCOT had to make some hard decisions and make them fast. According to a spokesperson, they were within minutes of the entire grid collapsing, with a prognosis of months to get it back online. This left millions of people without electricity for some of the coldest days in Texas history.
The next problem to occur was the loss of water, pretty much statewide. While there was still some water flowing, it was a trickle in most places. Water pipes are only buried about two feet below ground in Texas, because of the rarity of freezing weather. Some of these pipes froze, causing them to break. But that wasn’t as bad as all the pier and beam constructed homes, which had open pipes in the crawl spaces. This made it harder to get the water back online and some people are still without water a week later, waiting for the plumber to make repairs to their home’s pipes.
But the bigger problem wasn’t broken pipes, it was the loss of pressure in municipal water systems. Unfortunately, caused by a lack of sufficient electrical power to keep them running. Almost the entire state was under a water boil advisory, due to low water pressure.
Water purification plants are required by regulation to have backup power and even backup to their backup. That’s a sensible precaution. But in the city where I live, all four diesel-powered generators, any of which should have been enough to keep the city’s water running, all went down. They haven’t figured out the reason all four failed at essentially the same time yet, but I suspect it’s because the diesel wasn’t treated for cold weather. Again, it’s not an issue here in Texas, so there’s no reason to treat it for the cold. Yet, when they break down those generators, I suspect they’ll find a lot of injectors blocked by paraffin.
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With little water available, people rushed to the grocery store, buying them out of water on the first day. While stores tried to keep up shipping water in, there was never enough to meet the demand. Most people had to get by with minimal water for three to four days.
That brought about the next domino to fall, as people bought out the grocery stores again, just as they had in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bare shelves abounded, as people were panic buying everything they could, just in case they needed it.
Finally, after all this, the temperature rose again. Which meant, after five days of freezing weather, Texans were back wearing T-shirts and turning their air conditioners on. Fortunately, ERCOT got things sorted out just in time for those air conditioners, or the whole thing could have come crashing down once again.
Avoiding the Cascade
One thing this whole scenario really pointed out was how easy it is for problems to cascade, growing with time; very little time. We all tend to look at disasters as isolated incidents; but they’re not. Even something as simple as a hurricane tends to cause cascading problems, but we lump it all together as a hurricane, not thinking of what the actual elements of the disaster entail for our survival.
Fortunately, most of us are preparing for some cataclysmic event, such as an EMP; so we’re ready to lose much of the infrastructure we depend on every day. But we should never forget that even something that seems like it really isn’t a major problem, like some unusually cold weather, can cause us to lose those things.
The other thing that’s fascinating about this particular disaster is the cascading nature of it. Everything that happened after the first loss of wind turbines was cascading effects. While the loss of water was a serious problem, it wouldn’t have happened, has not the grid encountered a situation where there was insufficient capacity.
Finally, this serves as an excellent example of how disasters grow. From what I’ve seen in the prepping community, we’re all expecting a sudden disaster that shuts everything down. Yet that’s not what happened in this case. While it all went down rather quickly, it took a day for that to happen. With that being the case, it could be very easy for any of us to not recognize a TEOTWAWKI event, just because it manifests through the same sort of cascading series of systems breaking down.
Over the past decade, the desire for a simpler existence has become a popular lifestyle. Off-grid living in many forms is now the goal for many families. Each living situation in the off-grid style is different. However, living off the grid essentially means that you are leaving behind much of the technology that aids in daily life, like grid-provided electricity, water, and sewer services.
People looking to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle are moving off the grid in record numbers. It begins with the purchase of land, building an eco-conscious home, and creating your electricity and utilities. This type of lifestyle can be both rewarding and challenging.
Although living off-grid comes from the desire to separate from many of the modern facets of life, there are still elements that need to be secured, like home insurance. Let’s take a look at how homeowners insurance works for off-grid homes and what the challenges are in obtaining the protection that you need.
How Off-Grid Home Insurance Works
Getting home insurance for your off-grid property could be a challenge. When leaving behind many of the modern conveniences of home ownership, you may also be putting yourself at higher risk for property damage.
Many off-grid homes are reliant on wood-burning stoves or fireplaces for their heat rather than a modern furnace. Although convenient and reliable, this type of heating also carries a higher risk of a fire starting in your home. Many off-grid homes are located in remote regions, making it harder for fire rescue teams to help if there is an emergency, resulting in more severe damage.
Before you start building your off-grid home, it’s a good idea to speak to your insurance agent. They will be able to give you a list of restrictions to follow so you can improve your chances of getting the right coverage for your home.
Choosing to leave the electrical grid behind means that you will need to find an electricity source on your own. Many off-grid homes are reliant on solar power collected on panels. If you plan to have solar power for your off-grid home, make sure that you have a professional do the installation and wiring. Your insurance broker will want to see that your system is done properly and correctly certified.
If you are relying on wood-burning for your heat, you will need to take every precaution to make sure that it is safe. Having your stove or fireplace professionally installed is a wise move. Make sure to install proper ventilation, heat shield protection, and proper fire fighting equipment like multiple extinguishers onsite.
How to Lower the Cost of Off-Grid Insurance
Qualifying for homeowner’s insurance with your off-grid property can be a challenge, but it’s possible to reduce your rates with these strategies:
- If your off-grid property is only being used recreationally, you could rent it out when you are away. Locations that are rented out regularly could qualify for different insurance coverage that is easier to obtain.
- Sharing your off-grid property with multiple owners makes it easier to ensure that your broker knows that there is always someone onsite to ensure safety.
- Make improvements to your off-grid home to ensure safety by listing close neighbors that are available in an emergency, proximity to rescue teams, security systems installed, and fire prevention.
The off-grid lifestyle can be fulfilling and rewarding. Making the right moves as you get settled is the best way to ensure that you will qualify for a homeowner’s insurance policy that will keep you and your dreams protected.
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Often, our grandparents’ medicine worked more effectively and faster compared to the conventional, traditional treatments. These lost remedies found a way to obliterate diseases and improve ailment conditions. Regardless of whether you have a sore throat, headache or stomach upset, you can find something to relieve the pain.
When you compare conventional medicine to traditional medicine, you’ll learn that there are numerous advantages to using traditional medicine. These lost remedies found a way to save you money and avoid unpleasant side effects at the same time. Modern medicine, rather than curing diseases, more often than not shifts symptoms. These lost remedies found a way to restore health in this post-disaster era.
The Lost Remedies Found
Claude Davis wrote the book “The Lost Book of Remedies” that is action packed with simple remedies for day to day ailments.
He writes,” In our modern world, herbal remedies have mostly been forgotten. We see a movement back to natural healing and a renewed interest in medicinal plants, but I fear that many remedies have been lost already. My grandfather’s book, the very book you now hold in your hands, is one of the last and most complete repositories of our forefathers healing knowledge left.”
My admiration for this masterpiece of compression is unfathomable. The book encompasses texts from both modern scholars and ancient studies. Claude Davis has summarized the current scholarship applied in ancient medicine and showed remarkable courage in presenting us with his views on diverse aspects of medicine.
The Lost Book of Remedies is the closest and most complete examination of medicine in the ancient world. Claude Davis, a diligent student of his grandfather “Doctor Davis” pays particular attention to natural medicines, remedies, and cures that people employed in the past.
Some Ancient Remedies
Our ancestors did not have the luxury of advanced prescription drugs, sterile treatment environment, and sophisticated machinery. They, however, used what they had and boy were the results magnificent. Not so much has changed between then and now. Below are some of the remedies discussed in the book.1. Aloe Vera
Despite the reveling and disputing of ancient civilizations, they all agreed on Aloe. This plant was known as the “plant of immortality” and was used to heal wounds, skin conditions and as a laxative. The writer also used the gelatinous substance for sunburns and soothing heartburn.2. Honey
Well, what else could be sweeter and double up as a medicine at the same time? Most of the ancient civilizations in these lost remedies found a cure for intestinal diseases and external wounds. Other than treating infected wounds, honey treated pain and fever.3. Stinging Nettle
An encounter with stinging nettle is almost always unforgettable. Well, I learned to avoid the plant unless I certainly need it.
The plant is perennial. The leaves are edible with a flavor similar to spinach when cooked. Other than its nutritional values, stinging nettle stimulates blood flow, treats arthritis, rheumatism, gout pain, and inflammation.
How did Claude Find Out about these remedies?
Well, by now, this question must be ringing in your head. Combined with the tireless efforts of his grandfather, “Doctor Davis,” Claude has searched ancient manuscripts throughout the world. He also followed the antique book market for more insights into ancient medico-pharmaceutical literature.
In the practice of medicine in any culture, the terms “disease” and “health” are distinctively discussed, and Claude’s book carries the marks of this debate. The Lost Book of Remedies attempts to incorporate the particulars in medicine, and the lost remedies found a way to achieve greater success compared to modern medicine.
Claude’s volume on The Lost Book of Remedies is the first in undertaking the enormous task of laying out detailed summaries on the narrative of ancient medicine. The cacophony of approaches signals intellect fused with empirical observations, history, and expertise. The most innovative aspect of the book is the nature of folk medicine. The new drugs and new techniques emerge in the “popular lore,” but the rigid traditions of the ancient medicine underpin what the foundation of our modern pharmacology is.
The achievements in the Lost Book of Remedies are striking in the view of the numerous flaws in modern medicine. Claude has accomplished compaction of an enormous body of evidence. Both graduates in any aspect of medicine and members of every household will enjoy the pieces of evidence presented in this book. The prose has too many examples giving literary evidence dissected for the use of generations to come.
Doubtlessly, future authors can use this book as a foundation of their studies. The Lost Book of Remedies is a large quarry for exploitation by anyone with the right vision.
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We all know there’s a lot going on in the Christmas story. And we’ve heard it all before, right? Well maybe. True, there is something for everybody in the Christmas story. But the deeper you go, the better it gets. You can play in the shallow water and have a lot of fun. You can also put the scuba gear on and do a deeper dive. Warning though: Deep dives require a trustworthy air supply. You’ll need full tanks for this one. All set? Onward. Let’s review a few deeper truths that Christmas needs… to be fully Christmas.For He Shall Save. . .
“You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). That’s what the angel told Joseph. “Jesus” means “Yahweh saves.” The secular Roman world at the time was indeed weary and very much in need of salvation, no doubt. But the salvation Jesus came to accomplish was not first political or sociological or economic. Jesus came to save sinners from their sins which includes not only sin’s power, but sin’s penalty. This was a mission only God could accomplish, of course. But it was also a comprehensive mission that could afford no shortcuts. To understand why this is so, we need to learn more about who God really is. So first…God Is One
There is only one God, and He is simple in His essence (Deut. 6:4). This means He isn’t made of parts and pieces. Nope, He isn’t “partly this and partly that.” For example, He isn’t mostly love with a smidgen of justice thrown in. He is Love. He is also Justice. We, from our finite perspective, often distinguish between or among God’s attributes as we see Him act in our history. That is, sometimes we see His mercy with more clarity than at other times. At other times, His wrath gets real clear to us and so on. As humans, our perspective is always limited in scope.
This much is true: in all of God’s divine acts, we find ”triune” harmony, congruity and consistency. Everything God does is full of love, justice and wisdom, for example. But more than that, the Father and Son don’t “go their own way” as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks would have them do. Otherwise, God would in fact be more like the famed rock-and-roll band… a bit schizophrenic, never satisfied and there would be constant conflict… inside the band.
Or, what if God was forever trying to “find himself.” This God would be constantly evolving, changing from this to that… as He becomes aware of His limitations and failures. That’s the “Plan B” God. But Scripture tells of a God who is infinite in His perfections, immutable, and wholly self-conscious. He “is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). This means within the Trinity you won’t find variation, incongruity or “Platonic” shadows whatsoever (Jas. 1:17) as form and substance match up quite nicely. That’s an important thing if you think about it a while. Now secondly…
God Is Triune
Though God is one, God is also Three. Not three parts of a whole, or three members of a band or club, but three inter-related Persons sharing the same essence. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. These Three are distinct in that they bear specific relationships to one another: The Father begets the Son and breathes forth the Spirit to the Son (John 3:16; 15:26).
The Son is begotten of the Father and breathes forth the Spirit to the Father (Gal. 4:6). The Spirit is the divine Breath, the eternal Love, who eternally proceeds from the Father to the Son, and from the Son to the Father. And so the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father (John 14:31; 17:24). Each makes promises to the other that the Holy Spirit brings to fruition (Titus 1:2).
Despite these real distinctions among the three Persons, Jesus tells us He is “in” the Father and that the Father is “in” Him (John 14:10-11, 20; 17:21). This means on some level, at least, that we never encounter one Person of the Trinity in isolation from the other two. We can’t meet the Father without meeting the Son. We can’t meet the Son without meeting the Father. In the Trinity, distinction never means separation. Even as Jesus goes to the cross, He says, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). Here is perfect communion, perfect unity and perfect love.
But we also fail to see Christmas properly if the doctrine of justice is missing. So we must consider the fact that…
God Is Just
Some background: God knows His own perfections. Even more, the Father delights in the Son (Matt. 3:17), and the Son rejoices before the Father (Prov. 8:30). The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son (John 6:13-14); the Son glorifies the Father; the Father glorifies the Son (John 17:1-5). After all, we read the “chief end” of God is to glorify Himself and to enjoy Himself forever (Isa. 6:3; Hab. 2:14).
Now here’s a thought. What if one of God’s creatures rages against this glory? What happens if a creature lashes out against God’s perfections? What happens when each Person of the Trinity sees the others offended? Well, God who is love and holiness, but also justice… responds. In fact, He responds in wrath. Scripture bears eloquent witness to this. Hundreds and hundreds of examples. Here are three:
“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Ps. 5:4-5).
“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him” (Nah. 1:2-6).
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:11).
Ouch. Hell is real. Hell is eternal. According to God then, hell is the holy and just punishment due all those who hate and rebel against Him and His law. The good news of Christmas is that…
God Is Love
Yep, even though God is just… God is love. Boy, that is good news! He is infinitely wise and infinitely creative in expression too. Most importantly, representation and “image bearing” seem to be keys to His expression. So God, who is Triune, exists and presents Himself to us in terms of representation. Big take-away alert. The Son is the image of the Father (Col. 1:15) and the eternal Word spoken by the Father (John 1:1). The Son always does the Father’s will, and the Father is infinitely pleased with Him (John 8:29). Remember, the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father.
What we see here is infinite harmony. God, in His wisdom found a way for divine love and justice to join hands without a smirk. No classical dialectic. No abstract opposites either. Instead, a divine “way out” for sinners. The reasoning? Any justice that requires the death of the sinner, simultaneously recognizes the validity of covenantal representation. A proper substitute, a Kinsman-Redeemer, for example, can lawfully take the place of another. And so, under the proper terms, God could punish another, a representative, for our sins.
But the dilemma in human terms is this: Man’s offense against God is infinite. Which means any substitute would also have to bear “infinite wrath” to save even one sinner, let alone to save some great multitude.
So what are the options? Well first, the Trinity can’t die, so we should probably throw that one out. And second, since no mere creature can bear God’s eternal, infinite wrath either…
Who then could be man’s Savior? Well, as you know, that’s the Christmas story.
The Elegant Reality of Christmas Story
God’s solution was profound and elegant. God became man so He could be man’s Savior. In the womb of the virgin Mary, the eternal Son of God became human. He took to Himself a true human nature without giving up in any measure His divinity. A real big deal. The virgin’s baby was God in the flesh (John 1:14). And so the angels called Him “the Savior, Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
In Jesus, God became our legal “law abiding” substitute. As a true man, He obeyed the law that we had broken and bore the punishment that we deserve. Jesus died for sinners, the Just for the unjust, so He could lawfully deliver His people to God (1 Pet. 3:18). He bore our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). He was made a substitute “sin offering” (Isa. 53:10) and so accomplished reconciliation between God and man (2 Cor. 5:18-21).
In other words, God bore His own wrath against sinners. The Son freely gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Interestingly, this made him a Hero in the Hebrew sense, not in the Greek “victim of circumstance” sense… because he paid an actual price. He gave His life to save His people (Eph. 5:25). After that, He rose from the dead. He overcame death so all of God’s wrath was satisfied. He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:25). He then ascended into heaven and sat down on the right hand of God as our Advocate, our Propitiation, and the Lord of heaven and earth (1 Jn. 2:1-2; Eph. 1:19-23).
Good News of Great Joy
Here is the Christmas message in full color. Something joyful and profound for everyone here. What Augustine said of scripture… is most certainly true of Christmas… shallow enough for kids to play in… but deep and profound enough to blow an angel’s mind, let alone a mortal’s.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and we’re all sinners. But please understand that the eternal Son of God died to satisfy the lawful claims of God’s wrath. We simply can’t miss that. He rose from the dead in history… in real time and space and is alive today offering forgiveness to all who will trust Him. This has big implications for all of life and should be cause for great rejoicing.
The culmination of the marriage of two loving people is a wedding trip — a moment of relaxation and recreation after such a grueling and intense preparation for the wedding celebration. A honeymoon is a journey that almost all newlyweds dream of.What is Honeymoon
The first few weeks after marriage is the time for young spouses. Nowadays, it is difficult to talk about 30-day trips in an era of lack of time and constant rush. That is why it has become customary to travel for several weeks, usually for one or two. Therefore, the notorious honeymoon was replaced by the beautiful phrase — honeymoon trip. For many guys, such a short rest after dating a Slavic woman from brides4love.com is enough. Hardly anyone can afford a longer trip and leave their professional duties.The Best Places for Honeymoon Travel
Are you thinking about how to spend the money? It’s best to go on an unusual wedding tour! To help you find this unique place, we want to give you some ideas on where to go on your honeymoon.1. Koh Tao, Thailand
Imagine a small tropical island with crystal clear waters, amazing snorkeling, and diving, a wild jungle in the center of the island, romantic beaches decorated with palm trees — these are the benefits of Koh Tao, a small gem on the southern coast of Thailand. It is also worth wandering around the island and discovering the real jungle. If you want to combine beach holidays, diving, and hiking — this is the island for you.2. London, The United Kingdom
A London vacation can be as tempting as Bora-Bora if you are a couple who love enchanted walks through picturesque parks, visits to world-class museums, dinners in famous restaurants, and discover numerous cultures.3. Santorini, Greece
Why travel there? For amazing sunsets and white houses with blue roofs. Besides, the red and black sand beaches and the surrounding wine cellars will impress the newlyweds.4. Positano, Italy
The Mediterranean coastline of Almafi is associated with fabulously colorful cliff-top buildings and blue waters around them. Besides, the best pizza and Italian coffee are served nearby the charismatic town of Naples! In this country, even the most experienced tourists will spend the most romantic and truly amazing honeymoon in their family life.5. Tulum, Mexico
Wonderful beaches, Mayan villages — here you can combine cultural activities with relaxing on the beach. If you want to see Cancun, you can get there in less than two hours. Cave and diving fans will also be attracted to Tulum — the Gran Cenote Cave is a must-visit if you like the atmosphere and the incredible energy of the sacred ruins.
Japan is beautiful any time — especially in autumn when the trees shimmer in color. Kyoto impresses with temples and beautiful gardens, tea-houses, and canals. It is definitely a scenic honeymoon.7. Iceland
The Icelandic landscape is so diverse and picturesque that no one can leave this place disappointed — volcanoes, green or lunar landscapes, amazing waterfalls, geysers, lagoons, hot springs, and Icelandic horses!
Choose one of the destinations and get ready for the most memorable trip in your life!
It can be a struggle to maintain your compost bin or pile over the winter. Whether you’re dealing with severe cold and/or heavy snow in northerly regions, excessive moisture in the Pacific Northwest, or desert conditions in the American Southwest, your compost pile may need a little extra help during the winter months. It’s worth it, though. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be rich in black gold.
There are two basic composting methods. With any waste material, microorganisms (aerobic bacteria) naturally work on decomposition, and you can speed that process along by doing things like maintaining the correct ratio of green to brown waste and turning the pile regularly. Vermicomposting relies on worms to eat organic matter and then cast (poop) rich soil as a byproduct. If you keep your organic waste on bare ground, your pile likely hosts both vermicomposting and composting processes.
As bacteria break down waste material, they generate heat. That heat is crucial for the bacteria to keep growing, multiplying, and just generally doing their job. While most people refer to this process simply as “composting,” the more technical term is “thermophilic composting” or, more informally, “hot composting.” And “hot composting” it is: Compost piles can reach internal temperatures of 150℉!
Even though compost naturally generates heat, cold weather, of course, brings the temperature of the compost pile down. That affects the ability of the bacteria to do their job, particularly on the outside edges of the pile. If the temperatures dip too far — and especially if the compost isn’t tended to — microbial activity will cease completely. If you’re willing to wait for warmer spring temps for the decomposition to resume, then that’s not a big deal. But if you would prefer to keep generating compost over the winter months, there are a few ways to help your compost’s microorganisms chug along.
If You Build It
Help your compost stay toasty by enclosing it with three walls and a roof. (Leave the south-facing side uncovered, so that it can absorb warmth from the sun.) This can be as easy or as complex as you make it. Stack cinder blocks or nail together scrap lumber for the walls. For the roof, you can just balance a loose piece of lumber on top or throw a tarp over the whole thing. Even easier: Buy a compost tumbler. Enclosing compost not only helps trap its heat, but also to moderate the effects of wind and excessive moisture.
If your region experiences extreme cold, adding insulation is a good idea. Again, this does not have to be done at great cost or effort. Surround your enclosure with straw bales, line the walls with several layers of cardboard, or pile snow, straw, or leaves around it. Don’t forget to insulate the roof, as well.
The bigger your compost pile is, the more bacteria it will have, and the more heat it will generate. According to the University of Illinois Extension, compost piles that are at least one cubic yard in size will weather Midwestern American winters best.
Adding new waste material regularly is crucial — but you need to be careful about what kind of material you add and its size.
Maintaining the ideal proportion of green to brown waste (a.k.a. the C:N ratio) is especially important in the winter, when we want our compost piles to work at maximum efficiency. Check this site for detailed information about the C:N ratio to shoot for depending on which brown waste you add.
If you bag leaves in the fall with the intent of adding those to your compost over the winter, bring a bag inside overnight before dumping it in, so that the cold leaves don’t bring down the temperature of the pile.
It’s also a good idea to shred waste before dumping it in. Waste that’s roughly two inches in size will break down more quickly, keeping heat levels consistently high.
Not too Wet, Not too Dry
Ideally, compost should be just lightly moist. If it’s too wet, the bacteria can’t get the oxygen they need to survive. But if it’s too dry, the bacteria can’t do their job, either.
If you live in an area that experiences heavy moisture in the winter, plan your compost enclosure accordingly: a South-facing opening so that the sun can warm and dry the waste; and a roof or other covering to keep moisture out. If your compost pile unexpectedly gets too wet, stirring it up with a pitchfork should help dry things out. Additionally, adding more brown waste will help soak up excess moisture.
If you live in a desert area, keep your compost uncovered. Make a crater (or craters) in the top, to catch all the moisture you can. If worst comes to worst, you can always break out the hose.
As might be expected, vermicomposting can be problematic during cold winter months. That said, a simple workaround is to keep your vermicompost bin indoors. If the thought of a bin full of worms under your kitchen sink grosses you out (and I’ll admit I’m in that camp), the bin can be kept in an insulated garage or outbuilding, or elsewhere in your house, such as the basement or laundry room.
Depending on your location, it may be possible to keep your vermicompost box outdoors during the winter. Keep in mind that the worms will die if they get either too cold or too hot. You’ll need to experiment to find a balance of insulating the bin enough to keep it warm, but not so much that the insulation along with the heat from the hot compost process plus any heat from the sun fries your worms.
Do you keep your compost pile active all winter long? If so, share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.
The post How To Keep Your Compost Pile Churning … All Winter Long appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Spring is the time for flower planting, but autumn can also be a convenient time to plant flowers. Today, we will discuss the options for beginner gardeners that are suitable for autumn. For those who have any doubts — below are considered the benefits of such a decision. So let’s start!
Benefits of Planting Flowers in Autumn
When the spring comes, in addition to flowers, people are busy with planting vegetables and other farming tasks. Therefore, autumn is a perfect time to pay your whole attention to planting dutch-bulbs from the online garden centre or beautiful daffodils. Here are some arguments in favor:
- At the end of summer, you can buy seeds or other planting materials for sale at a lower price;
- The cool temperature in the fall makes the transplant easier for plants. In autumn, pests and diseases disappear or decrease in numbers. The soil is still warm; the roots grow until the ground is frozen. In the spring, plants don’t appear until the soil warms up;
- Plants take root better and adapt to weather conditions. If a part of the crops dies, the strongest ones remain.
- In spring, the flowers start growing faster, they begin growing and flowering earlier.
- In autumn, it usually rains, which saves us from watering the bulbs.
Planting Bulbs in Autumn
The first candidates for fall planting are bulbous plants. First of all, because spring-flowering bulbs need a period of cold rest for flowering. From late August to mid-September, you can plant crocuses and daffodils, and at the end of September, the turn of tulips, lilies, and daylilies comes.
Make sure you buy bulbs from trusted sources — a garden center, farmer market, or a reputable online store. Do not buy unsold bulbs that show signs of rot, mold, or drying out. Second-class material will not sprout at all.
The planting depth of the bulbous is determined by the specific species, if there is no certainty, then the layer of soil should be equal to three diameters of the planted bulb. If the soil is heavy, be sure to add sand to the planting hole, but do not greatly reduce the planting depth.
If the weather is dry, the flower beds covered with the earth should be watered abundantly and then mulched.
Hyacinths and tulips are planted in late September — early October, preferably no later than the first decade. Specific dates may vary depending on the region and weather, the general rule is to plant when the average daily temperature is not lower than + 5C.
Many garden flowers reproduce by seeds that require stratification — they need to lie in the cold at the temperatures close to zero. So, we often buy seeds in the spring and keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. However, you can sow the same seeds collected from your flowers in autumn and enjoy the result. Good luck!
The post What Flowers to Plant in Autumn: Tips for Beginner Gardeners appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Moving is a large-scale and extraordinary event that can become not just a change of residence, but a new stage of life. It is important to carefully plan the transportation of things to a new house and also take into account many unobvious moments before and after the move. Therefore, we have prepared several tips for you that will help organize the process correctly and simplify the preliminary preparation.
Things to Do Before Moving
Before you start moving, make in advance a detailed to-do list with a timeline in a relaxed atmosphere, so you can keep track of what has been done and what has not. In this way, you won’t miss anything:
- Decide on the moving company that will help you with the relocation. For instance, Gentlemen’s Moving Company offers A to Z moving services within California.
- Do some general calculations. Packaging materials, car rental, cleaning, necessary household services – all these expenses should be calculated in advance.
- Make a complete audit of things and furniture in advance. Do not regret getting rid of unnecessary things. For this purpose, you can arrange a “garage sale” or just eliminate things that you are unlikely to use.
- Draw up a scheme for the furniture arrangement in the new house. Think about the order, so a sofa in the middle of the living room does not interfere with the installation of the wardrobe.
- When packing furniture, be sure to indicate the top and bottom of the things. If you still have assembly instructions, do not pack them separately, but attach to one of the parts. So the assembly of furniture in a new home will be easier and faster.
Take care of everyone’s comfort. Moving is not only a fuss but also a truly important event for all family members. If the move includes young children, prepare them for the upcoming changes, think in advance about how the child will participate in the move.
Things to Do After Moving
Once all the things are in the new house, check all the stuff according to the pre-compiled list and make sure everything has moved safely. Organize your unpacking wisely. It is worth starting with the assembly of furniture. After assembling and placing large furniture, determine where the essentials will be located. Then, unpack the remaining boxes in a relaxed atmosphere.
If you haven’t purchased new furniture yet or haven’t had time to deliver or assemble it, organize a temporary storage system. For convenient placement of clothes on hangers, special wardrobe boxes are optimal.
Even if things have not yet been unpacked, and the furniture has not been assembled, try to arrange life for all households as comfortably as possible. A favorite book for a child, the usual cups at breakfast, a bed for a pet – these small attributes will help a family feel at home.
Finally, you should celebrate a housewarming! This special holiday will help you forget about the worries and start a new life.
Final cleaning after construction is not easy and requires a lot of effort. To ensure that expensive repairs will not be spoiled by your attempts to remove dust and spots, it is better to involve professionals in cleaning. Having spent a lot of money on your home repair, you have probably come up with a question of whether it is worth cleaning your house yourself or hire the cleanup team. Let’s consider all the major pros and cons of using a construction cleanup service.
If you live in a large city like Spokane, it will be easy for you to hire personnel to clean your house. The construction cleanup service in Spokane will guarantee the high result in the shortest possible time. With professional help, your home transformed by the renovation will become not only stylish and comfortable but also cozy and clean. After all, the arsenal of a cleaning company has special means and technical equipment for proper cleaning, moreover, this work requires skills and careful approach.
As you can conclude, using the services of the cleanup company has its obvious advantages:
- The specialists of the cleaning company are able to provide an excellent cleaning result within a strictly agreed time;
- The work is carried out in strict compliance with hygienic and technological requirements;
- They can use professional, high-quality cleaning products that are hypoallergenic and safe for the environment;
- The staff of the company is usually experienced and well trained;
- You can make sure that the company provides high-quality services by reading feedbacks of regular clients;
- You can always take advantage of promotions and favorable conditions for regular customers.
However, there is always a reverse side, which makes some people doubt when making a decision.
If you consider the key disadvantages of using the cleanup service, you will primarily think about the following points:
- You can do the cleaning on your own. Well, this is, of course, true, but you should also think if it is worth your time and effort.
- It may cost you a fortune! This is not always true, because there is a competition in the market of cleanup services, so the companies are trying to compete in price with their competitors.
As you can see, even the disadvantages have their own counterarguments. With a decent cleanup service, you will get rid of exhausting and time-consuming work, entrusting it to specialists, and use the free time at your disposal.
Repair is a test undergone by almost every family. However, upon completion of the repair, the house is still to be cleaned. To simplify this task for your family, you can use the professional cleanup services and enjoy the result as soon as possible. Anyway, now you know the main pros and cons of this decision. Good luck!
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If you could own only five guns, what would they be?
I recently asked myself this question and the task proved surprisingly difficult, because there are a lot of different guns that I like — and it’s not easy making sacrifices.
In the end, though, I was able to narrow my selection by first determining the five basic types of guns that I would want to own before choosing the specific models for each of those types.
So what are the five types? They are:
- 9mm semi-automatic pistol
- .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol
- .22 semi-automatic rifle
- 12-gauge pump action shotgun
- .308 semi-automatic rifle
I’ll explain my reasons for choosing these categories below, as well as the specific make and model of gun I chose per category.
9MM Pistol (Walther PPQ M2)
I believe the pistol is the most important firearm you can own, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it. I also believe that if you could own only one pistol, it should be a 9mm because it’s the most abundant and the cheapest to shoot.
While some may expect me to say the Glock 19 or 17 is my pick for a 9mm pistol, the truth is I would opt for the Walther PPQ M2. The ergonomics on the PPQ are incredible and it melts into my hand seamlessly. The trigger is also a wonder in its own right and is much more light and crisp than any other striker-fired pistol I’ve used. Reliability, of course, is excellent.
Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.
The fairly compact size of the PPQ means I easily can hide it on my person for concealed carry, while the 15+1 capacity (or 17+1 with the extended mag) offers plenty of firepower in a self-defensive situation. For these reasons, I find it to be equally as versatile as it is pleasurable to fire.
Granted, I am fully aware of the PPQ’s shortcomings as a survivalist sidearm. Because it has a short track record, spare parts and accessories are not nearly as available as, say a Glock or a Smith & Wesson M&P.
Nonetheless, the PPQ is one of my favorite handguns and one I have found great use and enjoyment out of over the years. It would be my personal pick for a 9mm pistol if I could only have one.
.45 ACP Pistol – Colt Mark IV Series 70
If I could own five guns, two of them would need to be handguns (at least for me). I was very close to making my second handgun a .357 Magnum revolver (likely a Ruger GP100), as it would be very versatile in that I could shoot both .357s and .38s through it.
Ultimately, though, I decided if anything were to happen to my PPQ as my concealed carry gun, I would want another semi-automatic pistol that I could use as an alternative. I also wanted this pistol to be in .45, so that I would have a slightly greater variety of calibers instead of just 9mm.
Many people will disagree with my choice here, but I pick the 1911 (and specifically the Colt Mark IV Series 70) simply because it’s one of my favorite guns to shoot. There is no other handgun that balances as well for me as the 1911, and it’s the pistol I find myself enjoying the most each time I visit the shooting range.
The Series 70 I own, in particular, has proven to be very reliable, with only one malfunction during the break-in period (as most 1911s require) and none since then. Even though magazine capacity is limited at 7-8 rounds, the trade-off is that the 1911 is slim and easily concealable on my person.
Beyond that, the 1911 is endlessly customizable with no shortage of spare accessories and parts on the market, something that contrasts heavily with the PPQ, where aftermarket options are more limited.Emergency Relocating” To The Absolute Safest Places In The United States”
.22 Rifle – Ruger 10/22
No gun collection is complete without a .22 of some kind, so I knew immediately that one of my top 5 guns to own would have to be a .22 semi-automatic rifle. A .22 is perfect for small game hunting, pest control, plinking, and for introducing new people to shooting. The ammunition is also so small that I can carry literally hundreds of rounds on my person without really noticing the weight.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, my pick for a .22 rifle is the Ruger 10/22. The very first gun that I ever owned was a Ruger 10/22, so it’s a weapon with which I have much experience. I have found the 10/22 to be a robust, accurate and dependable weapon. I could easily use it for tactical purposes if needed.
Another reason that makes the 10/22 my choice for a .22 rifle is how spare parts and accessories are literally everywhere. During a disaster scenario, this would be an advantage where I would have a greater chance of finding spare magazines or other parts in the event that anything broke over other .22 rifles.
12 Gauge Shotgun – Mossberg 500
I’ve heard many arguments supporting the idea that the pump-action 12-gauge is the most critical gun to own. No one can deny that the 12-gauge shotgun is highly versatile. When loaded with buckshot it’s devastating for home defense. With birdshot you can use it for bird hunting or clay pigeon shooting. And with slugs you easily could use it for big-game hunting.
My preferred shotgun is the Mossberg 500. The controls are convenient for me (more so than the Remington 870) and the fact that this was the only pump shotgun to pass the U.S. military’s brutal Mil-Spec 3443G torture test says a lot about its quality.
The specific 500 that I would choose would be a Mariner model with a 6+1 capacity. The Mariner, coated in Mossberg’s trademark silver Marinecote, has much greater rust and corrosion-resistant capabilities than standard bluing does. I would also pick the 6+1 version so I could alternate between a 28-inch vented rib barrel for hunting and a shorter 18.5-inch barrel for home defense. This option essentially gives me two shotguns in one.
.308 Semi-Auto Rifle – Springfield M1A
Finally, I need a center fire rifle to top off my five favorite guns. It makes perfect sense to choose a .308 semi-automatic in this scenario, as I can use it for both big game hunting and tactical training.
My choice here would be the Springfield M1A, over the AR-10, FAL, and G3/C308. The M1A first entered U.S. service in the 1950s and continues to be used by some marksmen in the military today. There’s good reason why: It is a very well-built, rugged, and accurate rifle that will do everything you ask it to do.
I fully understand the M1A is heavy (and long with the full-length version) and that .308 ammunition is not as cheap as 5.56x45mm NATO. However, a rifle that fires the 5.56 like the AR-15 is simply not as multi-purpose for me, as the 5.56 round is far too light for elk hunting (something I do each fall). Ideally I would own both, but since I have only one gun left to choose in my list of five, I would settle for the M1A or any .308 semi-auto rifle over a rifle that fires a lighter bullet.
What would be in your top five? Let us know in the section below:
. . . appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions. . . .
—The Declaration of Independence (1776)
…and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge, we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.
—The Declaration of Arbroath (1320)
“Blessing” is God’s favor or goodwill towards His people. In Adam mankind fell from blessing and righteousness into sin and death. But Jesus Christ in His death bore the wrath and curse of God against sin and so purchased righteousness and life and the blessing for all who trust in Him.
Christs Atoning Death And The Blessings of Liberty
The central blessing that flows from Christ’s atoning death has two critical dimensions:
Forgiveness of sins (justification) and the gift of God’s Spirit (Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:7-14). Anyone blessed of God has the “right” legal standing before God. Sins are forgiven, and the individual is now legally righteous. Further, the person now has the indwelling of the Spirit of God and is united with Jesus Christ in resurrection life (Rom. 4; 6; 8).
The believer now has the Spiritual power to overcome sin and obey God. Every other blessing has as its source and framework this central blessing of the gospel, the forgiveness of sin and union with Christ through His Spirit.
This is true liberty, and it is the root of all other kinds of liberty. The man enslaved by guilt and bound by wickedness can never truly be free. He will be captive to the sins of his past. That means slavishly serving his appetites and lusts. It means running from responsibility and commitment. And booking more time with his psychiatrist as well as asking for more prescription drugs. For some, it means looking to alcohol as a way to forget. And perhaps most importantly, deep inside, his life will inwardly be characterized by fear.
But the man who trusts in Christ is free from the spirit of fear. Instead, he has the Spirit “of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). He is no longer a slave to sin but an adopted child of God and “free indeed” (Rom. 8:15; John 8:36).
Blessings of Liberty And The Civil Impact Of The Gospel
This new liberty is more than a private matter of the heart or of a man’s right relationship with God alone. The promise of the gospel was always that of blessing for the whole world (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:8). God plan is to bring gospel blessings upon all the families and nations of the earth.
In terms of these promises, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, foretold the redemption that Messiah would bring. The consequence of that redemption, he said, would be that God “would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (Luke 1:74-75).
This is Scripture’s conception of civil liberty. The freedom to serve God within the sphere of His blessing and under His law without fear of violence or oppression.
There is a direct relationship, then, between the spiritual freedom brought by the gospel and the civil freedom and peace that God wants His people to enjoy. The second depends on the first. Civil liberty flows out of spiritual liberty and out of redemption through Christ.
Liberty As A Divine Blessing
Liberty is a divine blessing. This means it can’t be bought and sold. It can’t be seized with guns or legislated into existence. It flows out of the covenant life of those who trust in Christ and obey His law in the Spirit’s power. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 3:17 says …
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
No constitution, form of civil government, or set of laws can secure the blessings of liberty where God’s Spirit is absent. Sometimes God restrains tyranny as an expression of His common grace.
Only the gospel secures liberty. Only faith in Christ can lay hold on the gospel blessing of spiritual freedom. It starts with freedom from guilt and sin and then the gospel sows a future harvest of civil liberty, peace, and productivity under God’s law.
The Blessings of Liberty From An Appeal to Heaven
Of course, as the gospel brings the blessings of civil liberty, it becomes the responsibility of free men to defend that liberty by all means lawful. Paul writes, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The apostle is speaking most directly to those false doctrines that tear at the gospel and lead men into superficial moralism and carnality.
But a broader application follows: God wills that His people serve Him without hindrance. Once He has broken our chains, of whatever sort they may be, we fail in His service if we don’t maintain our freedom. This includes our freedom to serve Him. And when we see our liberty slipping away, we sin if we don’t do something about it.
The Tools God Gives Us To Achieve The Blessings Of Liberty
We must begin with true repentance and it starts with the individual. (our own personal repentance) We must turn from our own private sins. It’s imperative that we turn from our sins. So, we cast off all forms of infidelity, pride, self-righteousness, hatred and fear, greed and materialism, drunkenness and drug abuse. We must repent of our own idolatry. And we must turn with our hearts and all that we have … time, energy, strength, intellect, and passions … to the God of heaven. We must confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness through Christ.
In every age God’s promise to His covenant people holds true:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14).
Revival And Reformation
Once we have made our own peace with God, we need to pray for revival and reform. This is both a personal and collective thing. In our private prayers and with our families we must pray that God will move. And that He will change the hearts of senators, presidents, and judges. That God will protect and free the persecuted church. That He will reform His churches in doctrine and practice. We must pray that God will raise up preachers who will declare His truth without equivocation or apology. We must pray that He will strike down all those who persecute His Church and try to subvert His law/word. Our churches need to do the same.
Then we must continue to act. God is not just providential concerning “ends.” God’s providence involves “means.” He uses us. He uses His people. We must evangelize and learn to defend the faith. Our churches must evangelize and defend the faith. Churches must preach the gospel of free grace without dilution. As churches and individuals, we must learn to apply God’s word/law to real-world issues. We need to cut back our screen time as we educate ourselves and our families in history, economics, and the principles of civil government from a Christian worldview. We need to involve ourselves in civil government according to the gifts and opportunities God gives us. Voting in terms of God’s word is essential. Understand, this is responsibility and not just a privilege.
The Blessings Of Liberty That Come From Resistance To Tyranny
Finally, if all this fails, if the enemies of Christ raise bloody persecution against the churches, if they try to take our children, if they forbid the preaching of the gospel, God’s people may need to take further steps. From the Scots’ War for Independence to our own Declaration of Independence, those facing extreme tyranny have argued that the people have the right before God to offer resistance to tyranny: petitions, civil protests, appeals to higher courts, the sanctions of church courts, refusal to submit, as well as flight from persecution.
In the most extreme of circumstances, the people may even take up arms under the leadership of lesser legitimate magistrates. There’s an essential qualification here. God doesn’t sanction anarchy or revolutions of chaos. The Scottish War for Independence, the English Civil Wars, the Glorious Revolution and our own War for Independence were all appeals to God, but they were all led by lawfully established rulers.
The struggle to maintain or regain liberty is a serious business. It requires vigilance. It’s also a long-term proposition. That means it’s a multi-generational, investment and commitment.
Above all, it requires faith in Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.
The post Regaining The Blessings of Liberty by “Appealing To Heaven” appeared first on Off The Grid News.
There are two major categories you need to consider before making any final decisions when looking to buy land for off the grid living. On the one hand, you need to determine if the physical aspects of the property suit your needs; on the other, you have to see what legal or financial issues you might encounter.Physical Considerations
What it comes down to is sustainability. There’ a lot of empty land out there to choose from, but not all property has the same amount of resources necessary to sustain life off the grid.Water
Is there ready access to water? Moreso, will your water source be one you can have come to you rather than having to carry water each day? We might be talking a well. We might be talking about a river, stream, or lake. Whether it’s for drinking, cooking, or cleaning, you need to have consistent, reliable water access. The cleaner, the better. While you may have some filtration and purification methods already in hand, you’re going to want to be prepared for instances when they won’t be so available. Clean water is a must.Building materials
Are there plenty of trees around suitable for converting to wood for construction? How about clay, gravel, or build-worthy stone? Being able to source your building materials yourself will save you time and money in the long run. While you may cart in some building materials for initial construction, as you grow, you’re going to find nearby building materials a boon.Soil
Do you plan to keep a garden? How about animals that need to graze? How suitable is the soil on the land you intend to purchase for sustaining crops for yourself and any animals you keep? Test the soil to make sure it’s fertile and rich. Also, examine if there any potential erosion issues that may come up during heavy rains or snowmelt.Year-round weather
Speaking of erosion, what’s the weather going to be year-round? Check government-recorded data for the area on average rain and snowfalls, high and low temperatures, wind speed, and sunlight averages if you’re planning on powering your homestead with the wind, solar panels, or a combination of both.Access
Finally, for physical considerations, do you have access to the land? We’re talking more than just being able to reach your property via snowmobile or horse or even 4×4. Can you legally access the land, or are there properties hemming it in that restrict travel? And how remote is your land? People who live off the grid prefer remote areas, but sometimes an area can be too remote, particularly in medical emergencies, communication needs, or natural disasters.Legal and Financial Issues
Depending on where in the country you’re planning to settle, you’re going to want to look at what sort of legal or financial baggage your land might have. Are there liens or encumbrances?
In other words, is the land genuinely free and clear for you to own? This is where a property dispute lawyer will come in handy in assisting you in finding out what ownership issues and encumbrances are going to be a problem for you. They can even get you started at looking at zoning ordinances and land covenants that might restrict what you can build and where.
Living off the grid can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning. The frontiersmen who settled the West back in the day didn’t just ride out on horses, pick a spot, and call it a day. They engaged in a lot of planning, preparation, and expert research before committing to the perfect place for them.
You should do no less
Romantic relationships with your best female friend — what could be more stupid? In comparison, even the idea of friendship sex doesn’t seem so absurd. And yet, according to statistics, more than half of the happy couples were good friends at first, and then discovered something more.1. She Knows What You Like
Most likely, you are constantly discussing men and women, so she knows for sure that you value straightforwardness, personal space, and evenings spent together watching movies or hockey. This means that she will not flood you with messages if you decide to spend the evening online for Russian women dating on https://ladadate.com/russian-brides or simply chatting with your friends, will immediately tell you if something does not suit her, and will not forget to buy a double portion of pistachios before an important match.2. You Have Shared Memories
Pleasant and not very ones, but always amazing and incredible. How that time at the country house you crawled to your neighbor for strawberries, how you rested on the seaside, how you took her home after graduation, and how you laughed hysterically at a completely unfunny joke. All this will become a part of your common future and will make the relationship even stronger.
You gave her advice about guys, help her to prepare for a couple of first dates, and became the person she could trust after a painful breakup. So her behavior in relationships, as well as the methods by which she shows her affection, are familiar to you. And if you are considering going over the line, then it seems that all her qualities are quite suitable for you.4. You Already Know Her Parents
And her friends. And all the people the first meeting with whom could theoretically make you nervous. Just think, you don’t have to pray that her father and best friends like you because her parents already adore you.5. You Are Aware of All Her “Terrible Secrets”
As well as she, by the way, is aware of yours. How many guys she had, why she is afraid of clowns and cockroaches, where and why she goes every summer for two weeks. Due to this, your relationship, even if you are at a friend zone stage now, will be at a level higher than that of other couples in the same period.
6. Your Social Life will Hardly Change
Because you already spend enough time together. Add to this the fact that you will be spared this painful anxiety: how to explain to your girlfriend that the best friend is just a friend, not a pretty girl who is always nearby.7. You Are Comfortable With Each Other
This is a girl who has seen you in any condition, so now there is little that can surprise her. She went through the best and the worst with you and then promised to keep it a secret (we are talking about the worst) and kept her word.
One question remains: do you still think that a relationship with your best friend is a bad idea?
The post 7 Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start With Friendship appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Now that your vegetable garden is planted and off to a good start, you need to stay vigilant if you want to have a productive crop this summer. Here are some steps you can take to get the most out of your garden this year.
Your tomato plants need frequent and deep watering. Add a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and to help regulate soil temperature. When you see the fruit beginning to form, work some additional all-natural fertilizer into the soil around the base of your plants.
Because tomato plants are basically vines, they require support. Purchase tomato tripods from your nursery or make your own out of wire or bamboo stakes. Make sure the supports are strong enough and provide enough tension to support the growing plants.
You will be able to pull a ripe tomato easily from its vine. Take hold of the fruit, gently twisting to remove it and taking care not to break the main stem.
Consider lightweight row covers for your carrot seedlings to help them retain moisture while allowing sunlight to pass through. When you notice your seedlings beginning to sprout, remove the covers. Carrots do not grow well when they are too close together. After the young plants reach two inches in height, thin them to one plant every four to six inches or so by gently snipping the foliage at ground level. Pulling them up can disturb the plants you want to keep.
Carrots like damp soil and need about one inch of water each week. A generous layer of mulch around the base of the plants will help them stay moist and help prevent weeds. Protect your growing carrots by mounding soil over them. You can also make a liquid fertilizer by mixing one tablespoon of fish emulsion with one gallon of water.
Most carrots are ready for harvest 60 to 80 days after sowing. Check the carrot’s color; usually the brighter, the better. To harvest, loosen the soil around the root with a small spade before pulling it up by its greens. You can harvest carrots as needed, since they will be fine in the ground for weeks.
When your bean seedlings sprout, thin them to one plant every six to eight inches for optimum growth. As with your other plants, add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and to prevent weeds. Water your bean plants early in the morning so that the foliage has plenty of daylight time to dry. Don’t harvest or work around your bean plants when they are wet, since disease can spread more quickly when the plants are damp.
Apply an organic fertilizer every two weeks for the first six weeks, then about once every four weeks after that. If you notice bean beetles, you can pick them off by hand and dispose of them.
Since beans are vining plants that need to climb, be sure to offer them poles or other tall objects to wrap around as they grow. Bush beans are ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days, and pole beans are ready in 60 to 90 days. Harvest beans when the pods are four to six inches long. For best flavor, harvest beans frequently. Frequent harvesting also encourages continued production. Gently pull the pods from the vine, taking care to avoid knocking the blooms off the plant.
After your cucumber plants germinate, add a generous layer of mulch to conserve moisture. Be careful to avoid the stems of the plants, however, or they might rot. Feed your cucumber plants every two weeks with liquid fertilizer and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.
To protect your plants from bugs and beetles, cover the plants with floating row covers until they start blooming. If you notice cucumber beetles, you can hand pick them off.
Cucumbers grow fast — seemingly overnight – so keep a close eye on them. Harvest them when they are still dark green by holding the fruit in one hand and snipping the vine about a half-inch above the fruit.
Give your peppers about an inch of water every week and fertilize them when the plants reach about half their full size, and again when they begin displaying fruit. Once again, mulch will help with retaining moisture and with limiting weed growth.
You can harvest and eat peppers at just about any stage, but most gardeners wait until they are fully grown and their color is fully developed. You can pull a ripe pepper easily from the plant, but use pruners to remove fruit at an earlier time to avoid damage.
Onion seedlings need daily watering until they get established. A thick layer of mulch will help keep the ground moist.
Onions develop in two steps. During the first stage, the top leaves fill out, and then the plant uses the energy from those leaves to nourish the bulb. You can pull and eat green onions at almost any stage. Larger onions are ready when their tops begin to bend over. Use your hands to harvest onions, garlic and shallots so that you don’t damage the tender bulbs. Let the newly harvested onions set outside in a dry, shady place before bringing them inside.
You will need to “hill” your potatoes – or pile soil around the stems — about five weeks after planting or when your plants reach eight to 10 inches in height. By bringing soil up around the vines on all sides, you force new potatoes to grow above the seed potatoes you planted earlier.
Potatoes usually mature in about 70 to 100 days. When potatoes are about ready to harvest, their leaves will yellow and their foliage will begin to droop. Leave them in the ground for several weeks so that their skins will toughen. Then carefully dig them up using a pitch fork and your hands. Wash and eat or store for later use in a dry, cool spot.
No matter what you are growing this summer be diligent in watering, mulching, weeding and harvesting for best results. When you pick your produce as soon as it is ready, you allow the plant’s energy to go into growing and supporting more fruit.
What tips would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.
The post Summer Tricks For Blue-Ribbon Tomatoes And Record Harvests appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Offering to help you prep the most extensive of feasts, a double oven doubles up your cooking space, so you can work on more than a single meal component at a time. Save time by checking out the list of the best double ovens available today.
Any modern kitchen would benefit from these nifty meal prep wonders. And if you’re hoping to double the convenience for that upcoming get-together, here’s what you need to know about choosing a double oven.Size Considerations
Most double ovens feature two ovens of the same size, but there are others that combine one full-sized oven and a microwave oven or a half-sized oven. The half-sized oven can be significantly smaller and may have limited features compared to its full-sized counterpart.
To find out how much space you need, consider the kinds of meals you want to prepare with your oven set-up. For households that see lots of guests throughout the year, going all out with two full-sized ovens should be a smarter choice.Placement
There are three different types of double ovens based on placement. Choosing the right one depends on the kind of space that you have in your kitchen and the purpose that you intend to use your double oven for.
- Built-in – The built-in double ovens are often the most expensive for residential kitchens, fitted directly into your kitchen space for easy accessibility. They come with either two full-sized ovens, or with one that’s slightly smaller than the other.
- Freestanding – Freestanding ovens are those that quite literally stand on your floor, making them easier to install and more affordable. They work just as well as built-in double ovens, but they can feature a range top as well. However, they are also a little more difficult to access especially since the lower oven can be particularly close to the ground.
- Side-by-side – You won’t usually see a side-by-side double oven in a residential kitchen. Typically found in commercial kitchens, these heavy-duty models come with a full range of features and cost a bit more than built-ins.
Double ovens can perform all the various functions that your average, run-of-the-mill oven might do. But what you need to consider is whether you need both ovens to be able to execute all of the same functions. For instance, a full-sized oven capable of baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, drying, heating, and everything in between might become your go-to workhorse if it’s paired with a limited half-size oven.
Then again, there are households that need the force of two fully equipped ovens operating simultaneously. In this case, a half-sized oven might not be enough to satisfy your meal prep needs.Added Features
- Pyrolytic ovens are fitted with a system that allows the appliance to reach exceedingly high heat, turning any residue into ash for easier cleaning.
- Fan forced ovens use heated air that pushes through the interior to achieve a more even, consistent roast.
- Warm and hold is another intuitive feature that lowers temperature down to a suitable warmth to keep food hot and ready to serve after it’s done cooking. Consider which features you’ll find most helpful, and try not to be persuaded by functions that look nice on the surface, but won’t really be practical later on.
A double oven is no simple purchase. So, before you take the leap, make sure you consider all of the features that can make or break your brand-new kitchen addition. Know your needs and go for a double oven that matches your unique dynamic to guarantee your satisfaction.
During a serious threat or disaster, all of your prepping and preparedness will come into play. But you will immediately be confronted with a major decision to make: Do you bug in, or bug out to protect your family?
Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Bugging in is very similar to digging in or fortifying. You simply remain in your home and decide to hold out.
Bugging out means that you decide to book it; you pack up and evacuate your home as soon as possible.
Whether you bug in or bug out could be a life-and-death decision not only for you, but for your family as well.
The world we live in today is filled with threats and risks. The economy could tank. Terrorists could strike. The grid could go down. A natural disaster could wipe out nearly everything in your area.
An Amazing Breakthrough In Compact Portable Backup Power — Easily Fits In Your Pocket Or Backpack!
It’s a fact: Fewer and fewer people trust the government or the “system.” As a result, many of those people have turned to survival and preparation. They’re not the stereotypical preppers seen on reality TV. They’re simply neighbors who are buying a gun or setting some supplies back for what they think could be the inevitable.
So, should you bug in or bug out? There is no definitive answer to that question in general, but there is a definitive answer for you. You must carefully evaluate your specific circumstances in the event of a disaster, and then make that snap decision.
First, evaluate what limitations and dilemmas you face regardless of bugging in or bugging out. Are you and your family in very good health? What is the age of each member of the family? What is the climate outside? What geographical location are you in? What is the population of the local area? Do you have any strong relationships with local friends or family members? Is your local area under immediate threat? Is your home easily defensible?
Bugging In? Or Bugging Out…
Bugging in may be a better option for protecting your family, if your children are too young to travel, or if you have strong bonds with local friends and family members.
But if there is an immediate threat to your area, then bugging out may seem more viable.
There are risks and rewards with both bugging in and bugging out. For instance, if you bug in, then you already know the area, you have all of your supplies with you, and you can form strong alliances with your neighbors or your friends and family. But at the same time, your area could be dangerous and under immediate threat. For all you know, you could be right in the middle of the chaos.
If you bug out, you can link up with friends and family outside of your local area, and can also make it to an area more supplied and more easily defensible than your home. But traveling is very risky. Not to mention the endless lines of traffic, a lot of desperate people, and you can’t control what goes on around you.
Is Your Family Prepared For A Food Shortage?
With the risks and rewards of bugging in and bugging out defined, you still may be undecided at which is the better option.
Here is a general rule of thumb when it comes to bugging in vs. bugging out: You should only bug out if staying in your home is likely to bring imminent injury or death to you and your family, and if you are more likely to survive on the open road than fortified in your home.
How do you know if you are more likely to survive on the open road than fortified in your home?
Ask these questions:
- Is my home easily defensible?
- Do I have a safe room in my home or property?
- Do I have a good mode of transportation if bugging out is necessary?
- Do I have adequate supplies of fuel at my home to last at least a month?
- Do I have an alternative source of electricity at my home?
- Do I have enough food to provide each member of my family (or group) with 2,000 calories a day for at least a month?
- Do I have adequate supplies of drinking water (at least one gallon per day) and cleaning water to last for at least a month, and the ability to purify new water?
- Do I have weapons at home?
- Do I live in a more rural setting, away from urbanized areas, but close enough to town?
- Do I have strong support and good relations with the rest of my community?
If you have answered yes to many of these questions, then bugging in may be a more viable option to bugging out. But once again, only you are aware of the circumstances that pertain to protecting your family and therefore, only you can decide.
When disaster strikes, are you more likely to bug in or bug out? Share your tips in the section below:
The post Protecting Your Family By Bugging In Or Bugging Out? appeared first on Off The Grid News.
Who doesn’t want to rid their home of infectious bacteria and viruses? Many people purchase chemical-laced cleaners to try and accomplish this daunting task, but in doing so they may be doing more harm than good. Chemical cleaners are not naturally antibacterial nor antiviral and can actually cause resistant strains of viruses to develop. Furthermore, harsh chemicals create fumes which can be toxic, especially for children and pets.
Instead, you can eliminate bacteria and viruses with natural essential oils. Here are eight of the best:
1. Tea tree
Tea tree essential oil is incredibly useful for killing topical and airborne bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, tea tree is a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal oil which can kill mold. It is ideal to use tea tree to treat fungus infections, to eliminate the growth of mold, and to destroy viruses and bacteria.
To create an even more potent formula, combine it with eucalyptus essential oil. This mixture is known to kill E. coli and to fight staff infections.
Peppermint has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties and is an ingredient in massage and chest rubs used to reduce the symptoms of the common cold. In test tubes, peppermint essential oil kills many types of fungi, viruses and bacteria.
With all of its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, peppermint essential oil is an excellent way to boost your immune system, as well. It comprises compounds such as camphor, carvacrol and menthol which are resistant to many perilous strains of bacteria such as E. coli, staph infections and salmonella.
Furthermore, peppermint is a great essential oil for purifying the air in your home. It is effective at killing germs and has a fresh, minty scent which is uplifting and refreshing.
Since lemon essential oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, it makes an excellent cleaner. Lemon essential oil can be used for disinfecting metal surfaces, dishes, clothes and even the body.
To make a homemade, all-purpose cleaner, add lemon essential oil to white or cider vinegar for a green and very efficient cleaner.
Disinfect your clothes after being ill by adding several drops of lemon essential oil to your laundry wash cycle.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong camphor content and scent which gives it potent germicide properties. These properties make eucalyptus essential oil ideal for fighting infections, bacteria and viruses.
Furthermore, eucalyptus essential oil’s germicidal quality makes it an antiseptic, which means it is suitable to treat burns, cuts, wounds, ulcers, abrasions and sores.
Mix eucalyptus essential oil with tree tea essential oil to make the ultimate germicide cleaning solution for your home.
Lemon has a rich history as an antibacterial cleanser. However, lemongrass is sweeter, gentler and not as sour-smelling. Even though lemongrass essential oil does not smell as strong, it is still a potent antibacterial essential oil.
The antimicrobial properties of lemongrass essential oil impede the development of bacteria when used as a massage rub. It can aid in destroying such bacterial infections as malaria, typhoid, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, body odor and various skin conditions.
Lemongrass is also antiseptic in nature and is useful for treating wounds and preventing them from becoming septic. As a potent fungicide, lemongrass essential oil is ideal for treating fungal infections of the skin.
Don’t be fooled by this wonderfully smelling essential oil! The name “lavender” is derived from the Latin name Lavare, which translates to “wash.”
Lavender essential oil is an authoritative antibacterial oil which can boost your immune system and resist diseases and viruses.
Because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, lavender essential oil is useful in treating various skin ailments such as psoriasis, acne and other inflammatory conditions of the skin, as well as stopping infection in cuts, wounds and burns.
Cinnamon essential oil is an extremely potent antibacterial essential oil. Since cinnamon essential oil contains cinnamaldehyde, it is used widely for treatment of various ailments and has been reported to kill germs such as viruses and bacteria.
Oregano essential oil is a potent essential oil which not only causes noteworthy damage to the strains of bacteria, but it also helps to minimalize the bacteria’s ability to generate toxins which can be severely hazardous to human health.
If you have an ingestible form of oil of oregano, then place several drops under your tongue as soon as you feel the symptoms of a cold or the flu coming on. It will begin to fight the infection immediately.
Ways to Use Essential Oils to Fight Viruses, Bacteria and Germs
- Topically: To use any of the mentioned essential oils, or a blend of your choice, add about 8 drops of essential oil per 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil. You can use this massage mixture as a chest and body rub when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. Not only will it help to diminish any symptoms that you might have, but it also will attack the bacteria and viruses which are causing your infection and sickness.
- A cleanser: To kill germs on surfaces, add 25 drops of essential oils in an 8-ounce spray bottle with distilled water and spray and wipe down all surfaces in your home, office and car. Also, use essential oils in your mopping solutions to cleanse your floors.
- Air purification: To purify germs and viruses from the air, diffuse about 8-10 drops of essential oils in a room diffuser.
What is your favorite antibacterial and antiviral essential oil? Share your tips in the section below:
The post Antiviral, Antibacterial Essential Oils That Are Healthier Than Lysol appeared first on Off The Grid News.
In the not-so-distant past, antibiotics and antibacterial wipes, lotions and hand sanitizers had not been invented, so one had to rely on your immune system and foods to fight off any type of virus or bacterial infection.
Too many of us take these important medicines for granted. My maternal grandfather nearly died from a simple cut on his hand. It became infected and soon involved his entire arm. The doctor tried his best, but was unable to stop the infection. The doctor finally asked my grandmother if she was willing to try an “experimental” — yes, he really called it that — drug called penicillin. Thankfully, my grandfather wasn’t allergic, and he was up and around in a few days.
What would we do, though, if we suddenly went back in time 100 years and were unable to find antibiotics, anti-virals, or other types of germ-fighting medicine? You got it! We would be back to relying on our immune system.
Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina
Let’s take a look at six of the top immune-boosting foods and herbs.Top 3 Food Sources
We want to provide the immune system with all of the vitamins, minerals and essentials that it needs to do its job properly.
1. Foods rich in iron
Too little iron can weaken the immune system. So eat foods that are rich in iron, such as meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, fish and dried fruits.
2. Foods rich in Vitamin C
Especially when combined with iron-rich foods which help the body absorb iron, vitamin C is a well-known immune system supporter! Think beyond the typical oranges and grapefruits; bell peppers have more vitamin C than an orange! You also can consume dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, snap peas, and papaya alongside that morning glass of juice.
While you won’t win the most kissable prize, garlic has been used for centuries to fight off upper respiratory infections. Garlic improves the body’s immune system by allowing it to fight off those annoying viruses. Fresh garlic works better than supplements, so add garlic to everything and feel the burn!
Top 3 Herbs
By now almost everyone has heard of Echinacea and goldenrod, but what if you needed other choices? Check out these three little-known herbs that have been used for centuries to help support the immune system function.
Try growing and storing ginger at home so that you always have access to this super anti-nausea and immune-supporting root. Ginger can help the body defend itself against opportunistic infection. Ginger is also super anti-inflammatory, which means faster healing when you do get sick.
2. Cat’s claw
This is the herb with the funny name, but there is no denying that cat’s claw has huge effects on the immune system. The root and bark are the parts most often used in tea form. They contain compounds that trigger the immune system and help to improve the ability of white blood cells to fight off pathogens. This herb is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, similar to ginger.
This herb has been used in Chinese medicine for untold centuries. Astragalus helps the immune system by increasing the immune cells in the bone marrow and lymph tissues. The root of Astragalus is commonly cooked in soups or stews to help soften it. You also can take this as a capsule.
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The post Six Natural Immune Boosting Foods Your Ancestors Used. appeared first on Off The Grid News.
It’s a simple fact. Power outages happen. Any outage always presents challenges, but a winter power outage presents a whole new set of challenges.
Some outages affect a city block, others a whole neighborhood or region. The cause is typically an ice storm, and the outages can be far-reaching. In Quebec, Canada, an ice storm left millions without power for up to six months in the cold of the Canadian winter. The result was a desperate lack of resources and support to any who needed any kind of assistance.
Preparing for a Winter Power Outage
A gas-powered generator with an ample supply of gas can make a lot of things easier. If you’re really ambitious, you could have a gas-powered, whole house generator installed. If you’re lacking both, you’ll have to get resourceful
Fireplace. This is probably the most common heating alternative that people have in their homes. It’s not as efficient as a wood-burning stove, but during a winter power outage, it’s a welcome resource. The ability of a fireplace to provide heat to one room is significant, but you may find that other rooms don’t receive as much heat depending on the size of your house.
However, it will keep the rest of the house relatively above freezing, but I would hunker down with family next to the fireplace on couches and sleeping bags. You’ll also want to open cabinets under sinks and make sure bathroom doors are open to prevent pipes from freezing.
Wood burning stove. Perhaps the best alternative heat source and capable of spreading heat beyond one room.
Black blankets in the sun. A curious suggesting from the Emergency Management Agency suggests putting black blankets on the floor where sunlight comes through the windows. The black color absorbs heat and will provide a bit of extra heat to the house.
Dangerous sources of heat include kerosene heaters, gas stoves or charcoal grills. They produce carbon monoxide over time. A gas range can be used occasionally for cooking, but should not be used as a heat source for a long duration.
Flashlights with plenty of backup batteries and candles are the lighting options of choice. LED flashlights are a good choice because of the amount of light they cast with a minimal power drain on batteries.
Perfect Backup Power For The Ultimate Disaster Or Emergency Situation!
If your water is from a municipal water source, there’s a good chance you’ll still have water during a winter power outage. Municipal water is gravity-fed from tall water tanks, but they need to be refilled from time to time. If you have a well dependent on an electric pump, you’ll have to find alternatives.
- Stored and filled 5-gallon water bottles.
- Melt snow and ice in a 5-gallon bucket set in the sun indoors.
- If you hear a weather report that portends the possibility of an outage, fill your bathtub with water but use it only for flushing the toilet. A bucket in the toilet will give it a good flush.
- Avoid frozen pipes by letting the faucets slowly drip if you are on municipal water. If the heat in your house is a problem and you have a well, you’re wise to drain the pipes to prevent them from freezing.
- Refrigerator and freezer. Food will last in a refrigerator for 24 hours and in a freezer for 48 hours if you open the doors minimally. You also can place ice into plastic bags and turn your fridge/freezer into a large cooler. Alternatively, of course, you could place food outdoors — provided you take precautions to protect it from wildlife.
- Stock up on foods that don’t require refrigeration or freezing. It’s easy to do. If it’s on the shelf in a store, it will survive a power outage.
- You have some options here:
- Outdoor on a grill
- On a gas range
- On top of the wood-burning stove
- Next to the fire in the fireplace in a Dutch oven
- Refrigerator realities
- Set to coldest settings if you suspect an outage is possible
- Coolers in the garage filled with plastic bags of snow and ice
- Outside in a snowdrift but beware the animals. Use a 5-gallon bucket with a locking lid
Dependable Backup Power In The Palm Of Your Hand
- Cell phones and the charging challenge. It’s hard to charge a cell phone without electricity, but you could use a car charger in the car, a solar charger about the size of a notebook, a generator or a cell charger power pack.
If you determine the situation is unbearable for you and your family, you’ll need to bail out. This assumes you have somewhere to go that’s at least comfortable like a neighbor, friend or family member who has better resources, or a local shelter housing people and families who are ill-equipped to handle the winter power outage. But before you bail, there are some steps you should take:
- Drain the water pipes
- Turn all of your circuit breakers to the off position. This will prevent a power surge when the power come back on. In fact, some people take this step the minute a power outage occurs at any time of year except for a room with a few lamps to signal that the power is back on.
- Pour anti-freeze into your toilets and drains for every sink, bathtub and shower
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked, and drapes and curtains drawn
- Take or dispose of any food in fridge or freezer or other perishables like bread
Preparation is the key when it comes to a winter power outage
Any power outage presents problems. It’s a good idea to think ahead to what alternative resources you will need during a power outage and make sure you have them in place.
What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:
The post Stuff You’ll Need To Survive A Winter Power Outage appeared first on Off The Grid News.