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I happened to listen to an interesting conversation between two men over New Year’s. They used a word I was not familiar with: “prepper”, as in someone who is prepared for hard times – be it war, natural disaster or terrorism attack – a survivalist. The conversation was sparked by the book, One Second After, by William Forstchen. I have not read it yet but apparently it is about the United States being brought to its knees by electronic terrorists. The plot is quite plausible.

These two discussed the need to have guns with plenty of ammunition, foodstuffs to carry you through…being self-sufficient. I listened and asked a few questions. Neither of these men is on the “fringe” of society. They are believers. They said we’d have to have a car built before 1975 because that’s when the electronics were first introduced in cars.

I am not unfamiliar with the idea of being prepared for disaster…Years go when I lived in Texas, there was the same kind of discussion. There were programs where you could buy food that lasted for many years for a certain price. The Mormon Church sells food products that can be stored for long periods of time. I know I stored water, cans of tuna and rice during the Y2K non-event. I hear on the radio that we need gold and silver coins “just in case” – to be safe.

Later, I looked on the Internet to see what was being said about food storage and preparedness! Whoa! There is a lot! Lots of survival guides. Hundreds of blogs on the subject. Which ones are trustworthy?

King Solomon said, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”” (Proverbs 6:6-10) So…

Do we build a theology on one passage? Where does trusting God come in? If I store food but my neighbor does not, do I shoot him if he comes after mine? If I have a car that doesn’t have electronics, where will I buy gas – the pumps won’t work. Think about it – everything has electronics.

Do I huddle in the mountains with other survivalists somewhere to band together, pooling our resources? There is a whole “prepper” community in Central Florida. Is that living in fear or is that being wise like the ant? I am far from an alarmist but I do want to be wise.

Living alone as I do, it is hard for me to think how I could prepare myself.

Where do you go with all of this? I’d appreciate some feedback on this. Do you think about this issue? How do you think about it? It might be a valuable discussion to have.

18 replies
  1. carolanneandbilliehanks
    carolanneandbilliehanks says:

    We think about it–have not acted yet–our neighbor in Texas does this in a very large way!! We do have several places to go that will house many if you ever need the place!!! Interesting, a little disconcerting, yet I am like you….what is wisdom for this subject?

  2. Alan
    Alan says:

    Hello Ruth I live in the UK so I know or should I say I hope to be safe here I was sent this video news letter very interesting.
    If I lived in America I would be getting together with people I know and trust and work out some sort of plan should anything untoward’s happen.plus I would be stocking up on dried foods stuffs electric generator self protection apparel. EST

  3. Donna
    Donna says:

    There’s no sin in preparing for possible disasters if trust in Jesus is behind the preparing. But at the risk of sounding too spiritual, I believe that there is an even better way to be ready for the “last days”, the “end times”, the “revealing of the antichrist”, etc. This is to obey what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments: for me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as I love myself. Besides, there is no way that we could protect ourselves from every potential trial that could come upon this earth. Seeking His kingdom and not worrying about “what will we eat?” and “what will we drink?” etc. is the answer.

  4. Diana Gresham Stratton
    Diana Gresham Stratton says:

    If martial law is called there will be no food or products on shelves. It’s wise to keep some bottle water and can goods extra just in case. I buy progressive soup because you don’t have to add water. Have something out can cook on in case you have no electricity. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  5. Bob
    Bob says:

    I agree with Alan on this one Ruth , there’s safety in numbers, and the good old American community spirit would come to the fore . Fortunately America has a lot more truly born again believers than we have in the UK , that is obvious from the scenes we see after the devastating tornadoes where Christian folks are just so thankful that their lives have been spared. I may sound selfish but I just pray that the Lord will come and take us all home before these things happen , He may not, but I look forward with anticipation “Maranatha ! ” Even so come Lord Jesus !

  6. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I too am alone, and without any children, so it would be real easy for me to be ruled by fear. I have to remind myself often of God’s sovereign rule over all, and believe that His will for us is to warn others of His coming judgment. People spend millions of dollars on so called “panic rooms” when they could simply put their trust in Jesus. I choose the safest of
    all rooms, the throne room! An interesting subject nonetheless. All blessings for the New Year! Lisa

  7. Nell Tiller
    Nell Tiller says:

    I have not heard the word “prepper ” but I have heard of people, particularly in the US, almost possessed with the idea of ” being ready” for all kind of things. “Be ready to fight for your Constitutional rights”, be ready for the “coming of The Messiah”, “be ready for…” Some seems to come from a displeasure with government. Some of it from general unease about everything around us. People are not pleased with the education of our children.
    It is very easy to find passages In the Bible (and in other religions) to backup whatever belief we express. Find the passage and quote it. An entity like face book and twitter throw comments at us throughout the day if we choose to play. Depending on the posts we can change our emotions very quickly .
    Discussion about the stimulus for preparing and how to prepare, and how much would fill a weekend conference!

  8. LB
    LB says:

    The question, “If I store food but my neighbor does not, do I shoot him if he comes after mine?” is a good one to ponder. If he does not know Christ, then we have the greater Gift of Christ that we are commanded to share. If he does know Christ, would we kill our brother? My heart’s temptation is to protect self and family. Is this salt losing it’s saltiness? I keep thinking of 1 Corin. 10:12-13, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I ponder both sides and also think of, Matt. 10:39, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” One thing is for sure, God will be there, in each unique situation.

  9. Don
    Don says:

    I was scared for a long time about the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strike. I could even feel explosions. I felt terrorized. Then I learned to stop fearing the bomb, and you go about life, but thre is a sort of fatalism in that – a sense that you have your head in the sand. I also understand that these weapons are good in deterring aggression- even on our side, and without them, there is no deterance.

    It is a common human theme for there have always been immanent dangers possible, and people who prey on the fear of others.

  10. Laurent Bachmann
    Laurent Bachmann says:

    Dear Ruth,

    We met at the Grain of Wheat event in 2012 in Florida, I’m Anne-Christine’s cousin.

    I do read your posts from time to time and find them well written, personal and often challenging, thank you.

    What you address below is in my view very much a US anxiety. Paradoxically, is is probably the safest country in the world (regarding major disruptive events) and it is one in which the people are some of the most afraid and need weapons at their homes, etc. It has probably in part to do with its history and the mentality of pioneers breaking new frontiers and acutely aware of their vulnerability. At the same time, the American people are one of the most resilient and cooperative when disaster actually happens.

    It seems to me that in regions where disaster happens more frequently in actual fact (most African countries for instance), people tend to be more relaxed.

    the first Bible passage that comes to my mind when i think about this is the Sermon on the Mount.

    Have blessed year and thank you for your commitment to writing, it is hard work.

    Laurent Bachmann

    Trelex, Switzerland

    • ruthgraham
      ruthgraham says:

      Thank you for writing, Laurent. I do think we in the US think we are the center of the world…and we tend to be myopic. But we have seen such a rapid disintegration of values and morals in this country – not to mention the rest of the world – as well as the rise of leftist thinking and terorism…It makes me pause. We know that God has His timetable and we are safe in His hands. I refuse to live in fear.


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