1 Thessalonians 5:6 – Wake Up

1 Thessalonians is a letter from Paul, the apostle, to the people of Thessaloniki, a Greek port city on the Thermic Gulf. Paul and Silas established the first church of Thessalonica. Following the teaching of Jesus Christ put the people at odds with Caeser. The idea that Jesus was a greater king made Caeser very angry, obviously.  So he persecuted the people, which forced Silas and Paul to flee. Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians in an attempt to reconnect with the Christians in Thessalonica. Despite the persecution of Caeser, at this point, they were doing remarkably well.

Paul praised the people for their love towards others, as well as their hope and faithfulness in the face of Caeser’s injustices. The people of Thessaloniki treated Paul like family and he felt especially close to them. Paul was persecuted by his fellow Jews and the Christians were persecuted by Caeser. Paul felt a certain level of comradery with the people because of their shared experiences. Paul wanted the Christians in Thessaloniki to be known for there hard work. He wanted them to work hard not only to provide for themselves but to provide for the needy as well.

Caeser promised to bring Pax Roma, peace and security, to the people. Unfortunately, this peace was maintained through terrible violence. Paul explained that true hope and security came from Jesus Christ. He invited the people to stay sober and awake, to live as if Jesus had already returned.

“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”

 1 Thessalonians 5:6 

Wake Up Paul wanted the people to be aware of the world around them, to see a need and to fill that need. How does this relate to your life today? How are you asleep and not aware of those around you? How can you wake up and see others’ needs better?  “Let us not be like others, who are asleep…” Wake up and see the world around you, the good and the bad. Beung aware of the negative things in life will help you prepare for the bad and enjoy the good. Prepare for the worst and hope the best.

Be Sober Caeser’s treatment of the Christians was cruel, yet the people continued to persevere. They remained hopeful in against terrible odds. During an emergency, it is easy to lose your head. It is difficult to remain cool and collected in a chaotic environment. Not surprisingly, psychologists often see a spike in depression during a disaster. Would you be able to persevere during trying times? As Paul advises in this scripture, don’t drown yourself in distractions, “be awake and sober.” Face the difficulties head-on. Some suggestions to do so include:

Adjust your attitude. Paul also said, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) Attitude is a general determinant of how you feel. Look at the trial you are facing and ask yourself what you can learn from this.

Pray for understanding and support. “The Spirit … bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:16-18). Whether your crisis is financial, spiritual, the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a lifestyle due to a calamity, turn to Him for the guidance and support you need.

Be Prepared. Of course, you don’t know the future. However, there are some things you can do to be ready for unknown trials. Store up your goods, your food storage and money, so that you can focus on coming out of the the trial instead of worrying about the necessities of life.

What do you do to ensure you are “awake and sober” in case of an emergency?

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Thessalonians+5%3A6&version=NIV

https://www.ancient.eu/Pax_Romana/

Proverbs 21:20 – The Wise Store Up Food

The Old Testament Book of Proverbs is full of ancient thinkers and prophets who collected choice phrases and stories in order to pass down their wisdom through the generations. The book of Proverbs is a guide to living well or wisely in God’s universe. It is filled with short sayings and longer poems which teach moral values. Proverbs divides actions into God’s idea of good and bad. The teachings form a moral compass to live by.

Of course, Proverbs has something to say about spiritual preparedness, as well as temporal preparedness. In a day and time where food didn’t come in cans from grocery stores, these wise people understood the importance of storage and preparedness.

“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but the fools gulp theirs down”

Proverbs 21:20 

Proverbs 21:20 is mixed in with literally hundreds of other ancient words of wisdom.  This passage clearly defines the wise as those who save and store food. Whereas the foolish quickly use up their supplies. What can we learn from this ancient phrase? Proverbs 21:20 can be divided into two ideas; food storage and financial independence.

Food Storage Food storage is an obvious takeaway, the passage clearly states “the wise store up choice food.” Emergency food storage is an important and necessary part of any emergency plan. In ancient times extra food from the harvest season was stored to keep people fed throughout the cold winter months. Those with a meager harvest or those who failed to store food often died from starvation.

For most of the developed world, starvation might not seem like much of a problem. However, some predict that the world may face massive food storage as little as 10 years. According to Sara Menker, chief executive of Gro Intelligence, world food supplies are currently measured by weight and not nutritional value. Estimates put the world’s population at over 9 billion people by 2050. Demands for higher calorie foods such as red meat could be problematic. Ensure your family is prepared. Be wise, store emergency food and water.

Financial Independence Living within your means is an important life skill. Proverbs 21:20 tells us that the foolish people “gulp down” their supplies. In the ancient world, crops and livestock were your wealth. Say you have a good harvest and feast on all the spoils, then you will have nothing eat later. Saving money works on the same principle.

Financial experts recommend having an emergency fund, obviously. This should be money set aside for unexpected medical bills, car repairs, job loss, etc. This shouldn’t be saved for a home or a vacation. Experts suggest you set aside 6-12 months of earned income. This will allow you to manage unexpected expenses while still paying your everyday bills. Don’t be foolish and spend every penny you earn, when disaster strikes you won’t be able to fund your needs. Instead be wise and set aside a rainy day fund.

Principles from Proverbs 21:20

  • Spend less than you earn
  • Store food and water

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+21%3A20&version=NIV

http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/world-could-run-out-of-food-in-10-years/news-story/3f5777be99e52abaf8fe562112629f69

Photo Credit: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/travel-tips-and-articles/more-than-ouzo-a-drinkers-guide-to-greece/40625c8c-8a11-5710-a052-1479d2762cf9

http://biram.info/old-weight-scale/old-weight-balance-scale-old-weighing-scale-images-old-body-weight-scale-balance-scale/

Understanding Julian Dates

If you’re new to the food storage world, you may be a bit confused about expiration dates and Julian dates, the string of numbers you see on some MREs and  #10 cans. These numbers represent the manufacturer’s Julian dates.  While initially this system can seem confusing, there’s an easy way to decipher these numbers.

The Julian Calendar – Julian dates are based on the Julian calendar which started over 4000 BC. It started by simply qualifying each day as Day 1, Day 2, etc. So, January 1, 4713 BC was Day 1.  January 30 4713 BC was Day 30.

That doesn’t do much for us since we work with the Gregorian calendar now, using days, months, and years. However, many manufacturers, especially MRE and food storage manufacturers depend on Julian dates simply because it’s easier for their computer systems to calculate them.

It’s Like Military Time – Think of it this way, the military uses continuous military time as a 24-hour system so it doesn’t have to differentiate between AM and PM. It takes a bit to get used to military time, but once you do, it’s a very clear way to document time. A Julian date is also a very easy, clear way to document dates. Manufacturers don’t need to use a mix of letters and numbers, work with shorter months/longer months, or adjust to leap year days. It’s simply a number.

Breaking it down – A Julian date is usually a 4 or 5 digit number starting with the last 2 digits of the year the item is made. The last three numbers correlate with the day of the year the product is made.  Here are a couple examples:
Product made January 12, 2018.  Julian Date: 18012.
Product made August 24, 2016.  Julian Date: 16237. (2016 was a leap year.)

If you’d like a Julian cheat sheet, here you go.

Just a reminder- MREs have a 1-5 year shelf-life. The Julian date is NOT the expiration date, but rather the manufacture date. Look at the date and add 1-5 years to figure out when you need to restock.

 

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How Long Does an Open Can Last?

One of the questions we get a lot here at Daily Bread is, “How long will my can last once I open it?” Here’s a simple guide to getting the most out of your open can of Daily Bread food.

How long will my food be good? Easy. 6-12 months, depending on the conditions you store them.

Where should I store my open cans? That’s a common follow-up question. The best place to store an open container is in a cool, dark, humidity-controlled place. If your pantry is cool and dark, store it there. It’ll probably last about 6 months in the pantry after you’ve opened it. If you have room in your refrigerator, it’ll last closer to the 12 months. (Just a personal preference, I always store open freeze-dried meat in the refrigerator, just to be safe.)

Will the oxygen absorber help keep the food fresh after it’s been opened? Nope. You can throw that little square away. However, if you keep the lid on the container, it helps keep excess oxygen out of the container, keeping your food fresh longer.

My apples are softer than when I opened the can. Are they good? Oxygen and humidity change the texture of freeze-dried food. That’s why they are stored in a cool, dry place. Opened foods will get softer over time. Chances are, your food is still good if it’s in the 6-12 month window.

How do I know if it’s not good anymore? Freeze-dried food should not have any strong odors and shouldn’t have anything growing on it. If it does, throw it out. If not, and it’s in the safe storage time, it’s probably just fine. Use your judgment, though.

I don’t know if I can use the food that quickly. Yes, you definitely can. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are simply foods that you use every day, just preserved. An open can of chicken can be used in every single chicken recipe you have. Those green beans? Rehydrate them with some freeze-dried corn and add a little butter and salt. Your family won’t know the difference. Daily Bread food is perfectly convenient for your emergency needs, as well as your daily nutrition.

What other questions do you have about freeze-dried foods?

Ideal Conditions for Food Storage

Starting your emergency food storage can be a daunting endeavor. We get it. Figuring out how much food to store can be overwhelming. Not to mention, what kinds of food do you want to store? What kinds should you store? Even more so, when you get that food home, where are you going to put it? Are there ideal conditions for food storage?

We’re going to help answer all of those questions today and we’re always here to answer any other questions that you might have.

So, first, are there ideal storage locations for food storage? The short answer is, yes. Freeze-dried food has a potential of up to 30 years of shelf life and dehydrated food will stay good for up to 20 years if stored correctly.

Ideal storage for food storage includes:

– Under 65 degrees Fahrenheit (Actually, the cooler the better without reaching freezing)
– Consistent temperatures. The more the temperature varies, the worse it is for the food
– In a room that has no direct sunlight
– In a room with low humidity

In other words, your perfect storage area would probably be a cold storage room in a basement.

You don’t have a cold storage room? Don’t stress. People store their food storage in less-than-perfect conditions all the time. You just have to be more creative. Here are some ideas that customers have shared with us.

Under the stairs – We have one resourceful customer who didn’t have a good place to store her food storage. She was looking at her house and realized that she had wasted, open space under her stairs. She cut out a rectangle in the wall, insulated the space, put in a door, and filled it with her food storage. She chose the area because it was not against an outside wall so it wouldn’t get too hot in the summer. But really, she chose the space because it was her only real option.

Under beds- Many people don’t have any extra room to pile their cans and water containers. That’s when they get creative. Daily Bread customers have found great ways to find that space in places like under beds, linen closets, and other nooks inside their houses. Look around to see where you can hide/store your cans in plain sight. You might be surprised. Your food storage doesn’t need to be clumped together. In fact, it might be good to have it spread on different levels of the house.

Pantry- Our favorite way to store food is to simply use the pantry. A rotating food storage system lets you use your food storage throughout the year, never letting it near its expiration date. An open can stays good for 6-12 months, so you can keep it in your pantry and go to it for your favorite recipes. Simply rehydrate and add it in.

Things to avoid when storing food:

– Great temperature variations. Places like your attic and your garage may be your only option. Just be aware that these areas can fluctuate in temperature greatly, compromising the shelf-life of your food.

– Areas against outside walls. While you may not feel the temperature variation, outside walls can absorb quite a bit of heat. Be careful when storing there.

Most of us don’t have perfect conditions for food storage. That’s okay. Like most things, you can adapt. With a little bit of creativity, you can make an ideal-for-you food storage system.

We’d love to hear from you. Where have you found to store your emergency food? Let us know in the comments below

Storing Rainwater – Your Guide to a Safe Water Supply

Water is, of course, one of the most important resources to have in your emergency supplies. Traditionally, people tend to store tap water. However, many of you may want to use the natural resources you have. One of those natural resources is rainwater. Is rainwater safe to store? If so, what is the best way to gather and store it?

Rainwater Collection
Rainwater is generally safe to drink. After all, that’s where all of our water supply originates. Granted, the water that most of us use is generally filtered and treated. However, there are some things to consider when gathering rainwater.
Legality. Some areas (especially places with farming irrigation systems nearby) have laws against rainwater collection. Look for those laws and learn how to work with them, if necessary.
Areas to Avoid. Rainwater has to pass through layers of atmosphere before it hits the ground. If you live close to any radioactive sites, power plants, or other pollution-emitting facilities, you probably don’t want to collect water. It has the risk of adhering to air particulates that you probably don’t want to ingest.
Direct Collection. If you do choose to collect rainwater, the best way to do it is directly from a bucket or other wide-mouth container.You may be tempted to expedite the process by cleaning your downspout and collecting all the rain from there, but due to bacteria and other germs that can grow on your roof and downspout, that is not a safe idea.

Cleaning
Once your rainwater has been gathered, you want to make sure it’s clean before you store it. Make sure that the bucket you’ve used hasn’t gathered bird droppings, bugs, or other debris.
After collection, let the water sit for an hour or so. This will allow any larger particles that have fallen with the rain to settle at the bottom. You may also want to pass the water through a simple filter, like a coffee filter as you pour it into storage containers. To be sure there are no contaminants, you may want to look into stronger water filters that eliminate protozoa and other harmful bacteria.

Storing
Once your water is collected and placed in storage containers, you need to make sure the water stays safe.
BPA-Free Plastic. Make sure your containers are BPA-free plastic containers. If the container isn’t BPA free, you risk carcinogenic particles seeping into your water. Most containers made after 2008 and sold in the US are BPA free. However, you should always look for BPA free labels on your containers. If your container was purchased before 2008, it is probably not BPA free and should not be used.
Treatment. Water never goes bad. In fact, if you think about it, we have the same water that was on the earth when it was formed. It’s lived through millions of years of water cycles. However, even clean water needs to be protected against bacteria that can grow in it. The best way to protect water is to use a water preserver. A Sodium Hypochlorite solution with about 5.25% potency is a proven way to safely protect water. Use about 8 drops of the solution per gallon of water.
Storage Location. Store in a cool, dry place with minimal light. Light and heat cause bacterial growth. Since rainwater is never treated, it has a higher chance of bacterial growth. Even treated water will grow bacteria eventually. If you have a basement storage room, this is the ideal place for your water storage. You can store treated water in a cool, dark room for up to 5 years. Remember to check for bacterial growth every few months, even if your water is stored in an ideal climate.
Of course, you may not have an ideal water storage situation. That’s okay. It just means that you need to rotate it regularly. Use your stored rainwater to water your plants once a year, then regather rainwater during the next rainy days.

Collecting rainwater is one of the many ways you can be proactive with your preparedness goals. If you do so correctly, it can be a safe, efficient way of storing water. We’d love to hear your tips and ideas. If you’ve collected and stored rainwater, what advice do you have?

 

The Good Samaritan

The parable of The Good Samaritan can be found in Luke chapter 10 in the New Testament in the Bible. It is the story of a man on his way to Jerico. Along the way, he was set upon by robbers. He was robbed and beaten and left for dead. Several people passed the poor injured soul. A priest and a Levite passed the man and did nothing. A Samaritan came along and saw the injured man. He dressed the man’s wounds, gave him water, took him to a safe place to recover, and paid for his treatment.

What can we learn from this sad tale? A simple kindness can go a long way. The Samaritan didn’t have to stop and help the injured man. Perhaps the Samaritan was in a rush and was low and supplies. He still took the time out of his day to care for another’s needs. 

The priest and the Levite didn’t even take a second glance at the dying man. In ancient Jerusalem, priests were held in high regard. Levites were a chosen few, their character was above reproach. Priest and Levites worked together in holy temple to ensure that the blessings of God followed unto the people. So why would holy men leave someone to died?

For our purposes, the priest and Levite can represent governments or charity organizations. Those individuals tasked with helping during a disaster situation. For whatever reason, they were unable or unwilling to help. You might be self-reliant and help yourself and those in your community. 

Store extra food, water, and other supplies to help those less able to help themselves in your community. Samaritans were thought of as a lesser population in the ancient world. They weren’t anything important or special, they were just regular folk. The Good Samaritan was just a regular man on his merry way but he saw a need and stopped to help. You can do the same with those around you. You can help tend to a wound with your first-aid kit, give water from your storage, and provide a safe place to sleep with extra blankets or sleeping bags.

Donate what you can to your local food banks. There are always people in need even if there isn’t a disaster. When disaster strikes, be aware of who needs help in your community. Work together to set up a medical center in order to quickly and efficiently treat wounds. Create a group kitchen to make sure everyone is fed. Pull out tents and sleeping bags to camp in backyards or garages. Ideally, others in your area will have prepared as well. Joining your resources together might give everyone access to things they didn’t have themselves. Store enough supplies for your family and then some, the more you have the more you can share or barter with. 

DIY Water Filter

Access to clean drinking water is vital to survival. During a crisis, freshwater stores may be limited. Charcoal water filters have been used since the Ancient Egyptians. They work by absorption, negatively charged ion in contaminants are attracted to the positive ions in the charcoal. The contaminants are then trapped in the charcoal thereby cleaning the water.

You can make a water filter at home out of a few household items. By layering dirt and gravel in a plastic bottle you can recreate the layers of the Earth. As water follows through the ground it is naturally filtered and cleaned.

Materials

  • Plastic Bottle
  • Gravel
  • Activated Charcol
  • Fine Sand
  • Newspaper
  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Coffee Filter
  • Non-toxic Glue
  • 2 plastic buckets with lids
  • Beverage dispensing faucet
  • Sifter

Steps 

  1. Push a wadded up piece of newspaper into the neck of the bottle. It should be a tight fit, this will prevent the dirt and gravel from falling out.
  2. Use scissors or a knife to cut the bottom off the of the plastic bottle.
  3. Break up the charcoal into small manageable pieces so they will fit inside the plastic bottle easier.
  4. Fill the bottle with a layer of the activated charcoal in first.
  5. Place a layer of sand on top of the charcoal next.
  6. Mix the dirt and gravel.
  7. Place the dirt and gravel mixture in last. The water should pass through the layers biggest particles to smallest.
  8. The buckets should be about the same height as the plastic bottle. The water should pass through the filter slowly for best results. The buckets will allow you to storage and access fresh water when needed.
  9. Removed the cap from the plastic bottle and set it aside for now.
  10. Cut a hole in the bottom bucket and attach the beverage dispensing faucet. This will allow you to easily access the filtered water.
  11. Cut a hole in the bucket lid to fit the plastic bottle.
  12. Cut a hole in the bottom of the second bucket to hold the plastic bottle in place.
  13. Use non-toxic glue to stack the two buckets on top of each other.
  14.  Push the plastic bottle filter through the hole. It should be a snug fit. Glue in place so it doesn’t move.
  15. Cut a hole for the sifter in the lid of the top bucket. This will catch any large particles as the water passes through it.
  16. Glue the sifter in place. Line it with fabric or a coffee filter to trap fine particles.
  17. Fill the filter with water. The filter will take a while to work.
  18. Open the faucet to access the newly filtered water.

The filter material should be changed regularly to prevent trapped bacteria from growing inside the filter. The charcoal will trap many contaminants, but it is unable to get rid of viruses or bacteria. Boil the filtered water to be safe.

Source: http://all-about-water-filters.com/guide-to-charcoal-water-filters/

Why is BPA Dangerous in Water Storage?

You’ve probably seen “BPA Free” on many of the plastic bottles at your local grocery store. You might be wondering what is BPA and does it matter if the products you buy are BPA free or not. The research is divided on how harmful BPA is, but researchers do agree that BPA does leach into food and water stored in containers made with BPA.

Bisphenol A better known as BPA is a chemical added to plastics. It is used to make the plastics hard and clear. BPA is used in everything from compact discs to baby bottles. 90% of people have a detectable amount of BPA in their urine. BPA gets into the body through food or water stored in containers made with the chemical.

Animals studies have shown an increased risk for cancer when exposed to BPA. Researchers are looking at a possible link between BPA and heart problems. BPA could have an effect on obesity, diabetes, and ADHD. Though more research is still needed.

BPA seems to affects the endocrine system, the body’s hormone center. BPA disrupts the body’s natural levels. Children are at an increased risk since their bodies are still developing and are less able to eliminate substances from their bodies. Babies whose mothers were exposed to BPA during their pregnancy had BPA present in their system at birth. Pregnant women should avoid products with BPA at all costs. It is still unclear what all the effects of BPA are.

Microwaving increases the amount of BPA that leaches out of the container and into the food or water. Heating up plastic containers should be avoided. Don’t leave water bottles in your car on a hot day. The heat can increase BPA leaching. Water storage containers should be kept in a cool dry place.

Several countries are phasing out BPA. Canada has even banned all products made with BPA. Companies are labeling their products “BPA Free” to help the public identify what is safe and what is not. When in doubt check for the recycle symbol. Most plastic goods will have a number 1-7 in the recycle triangle somewhere, typically on the bottom of the container. This indicates how easy the plastic is to recycle, in other words, what chemicals they might contain. A number 7 usually means BPA is present. Many large water storage containers are number 7 plastic, look for containers that are labeled “BPA Free” to ensure your water supply is safe.

 

Source: https://www.webmd.com/children/bpa#1

Photo Credit: https://ksenvironmental.com.au/plastic-recycling-codes/

DIY 72-Hour Kit

The first three days after a disaster are the most important. Emergency officials might not be able to reach you for the first few days. A 72-hour kit should contain your go-to emergency supplies.  At a minimum, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for at least three days, more if space and budget allow. Take a backpack and fill it with bottles of water, granola bars, trail mix, etc. The food should be high in calories, no low calory diet bars here. Items should be lightweight. Canned goods are great, but carrying a heavy bag be trying after a while. Heavy bags will be difficult for children to carry as well.

Keeping all of your emergency gear in one place will make an evacuation that much easier.  Gathering supplies can get expensive quickly. Start with the basics and upgrade as funds become available. Focus on items that will help you survive until help arrives. Plan ahead so you are prepared when the time comes.

A rain poncho will allow you to stay dry and keep moving. Staying dry will lower your risk of hypothermia. A rain poncho can also be used to make a shelter using some rope. Rope can be used for just about anything from tying bottles of water together or climbing to safety. Matches or a lighter will help you get a fire going to stay warm, single for help, or cook food. A pocket knife is a great tool. A knife could come in handy for self-defense or hunting. Don’t forget about personal hygiene items such as toilet paper.

A first-aid kit is an essential part of a 72-hour kit. Getting injured during a crisis could be disastrous. Hand sanitizer can help clean wounds and prevent illness. An emergency blanket doesn’t take up much room but it will keep you warm and help when treating someone for shock. If you take prescription medications, talk to your doctor about getting a few extras for an emergency situation.

Keep everything in a waterproof bag. You can put your supplies in a wet-dry bag or just line a backpack with a trash bag. The supplies won’t be much use if they are damaged in a flood. Disasters are especially difficult for children, pack their favorite snack or toy. Even just a small stuffed animal can help them cope. Make a plan for your pets as well, your 72-hour kit should have enough food and water for your pets for three days as well. Keep an extra leash with a carabiner for your dog. Attach the carabiner to the leash handle, it can be used as a tie down in an emergency.

Essentials

    • 3 day supply of water
    • 3 day supply of food
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Rain poncho
    • Rope
    • Lighter or matches
    • First-aid kit
    • Prescription medications
    • Waterproof bag
    • Pocket knife
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Toliet Paper
    • Emergency blanket
  • Comfort items for children
  • Leash for dog
  • Important documents (medical records, birth certificates, etc.)
  • Cash

A 72-hour kit can be customized to meet your family’s needs. The most important thing is that each member of your family has enough food and water to last three days.