Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"




  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Reformation
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

    Stand

    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold







    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".


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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia



    Pandemic Influenza


    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.



    Seasonal Influenza


    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.



    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."


    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain


    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.



    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".





    Pandemic Severity Index


    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale





    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services



    Isolation


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.



    Quarantine


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at http://www.preparedcitizens.org.




    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.


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Posts Tagged ‘Preparedness’

The Online Preparedness Community Is Growing…Check This Out!

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 12, 2009

An awesome site for an equally awesome bunch of people. This will be a short post but I wanted to make sure that this group and groups like them get the attention that they deserve.

The site is called The Kitchen Table and it is focused on the firefighting community at large.

Welcome to The Kitchen Table

The Kitchen Table blog is a place for the growing online firefighting community to get the daily buzz. As the firehouse kitchen table is where firefighters in a station gather, The Kitchen Table blog brings firefighters together for a global conversation.

and today’s post was about H5N1 which is how I discovered the site.

This is ONE AWESOME WEBSITE!

Kudos!

 

Posted in Community Mitigation and Resilience, H5N1 | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What Are You Throwing Away?

Posted by preparedcitizens on January 2, 2009

 

 

Prepare but prepare because we have hope!

Prepare because we have faith!

Prepare most of all because we have love!

Posted in Christian Ambassadors, Health | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

It’s Not Too Late

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 29, 2008

Flu season is upon us but it is not too late to get a flu shot. And this years flu shot is a very good match to what is circulating.

It takes about 2 weeks for the shot to kick in so if you were already exposed prior to the shot you may still get the flu. The flu shot itself is made from dead viruses which cannot reproduce in the body. The flu shot does not make you ill. (If you are allergic to egg based products the flu shot is probably not for you. If you have had a severe reaction to any vaccine in the past, you should consult your doctor before taking a flu shot or other vaccines.)

This is also about not spreading influenza to others.

Another reason to get a flu shot:

A study at the University of Texas at Houston under the direction of Cardiologist S.Ward Casscells demonstrated that….

“Time and time again, we were seeing people in our practice who had had an upper-respiratory infection and then suffered a heart attack. When we dug into the literature, we saw reports that many heart attacks, as many as 35 percent, were preceded by an upper-respiratory infection. We also saw that patients who had received their flu shots were less likely to have a heart attack.”

Subsequent studies at other major universities have corroborated this report.

And then….if you don’t get the flu you won’t get the secondary complications of the flu either and they also can be deadly. Flu is dangerous and anyone who has truly had influenza will tell you that they do not want to experience it again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My daughter came home the other day and told me that she went and got her flu shot. What a relief to know that this household is now covered. (…..now to encourage the rest of my family and friends)

American Lung Association Flu Clinic Locator

Maxim Health Systems Flu Shot Locator

In Massachusetts: MassPro Flu shot locator

 

 

Posted in Family, Public Health | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What Are We Being Prepared For? Its Sunday Why Not

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 30, 2008

Plagues and pestilences are foretold. They are coming. We do not know when just that they will come. Will H5N1 be the cause or something else? I do not know. H5N1 does seem to be the most likely candidate.

So many times these days it seems as if there is this overarching agenda, a plan, a method, something that is being accomplished behind the scenes. Is a pandemic something that will further accomplish an agenda. Is it a means to an end. I suppose it could be. I cannot do something about that which I have no control over.

I do have control over my families preparedness level, and to some extent my towns level in that I am part of the town. If I am prepared that is one less family, one less individual drawing from resources. We all have this responsibility, I think. I have always thought that my little voice speaking up loudly and clearly may help one more person. If I have reached ONE person then I have succeeded. Although I have wanted to reach as many people as possible.

Have we all realized yet that this world is in trouble? Beware of what we are building.

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
~ Romans 16:17-20

Another’s “agenda” really does not matter when what we do as individuals in our society is above reproach. Isn’t this the heart of the message that we teach. Personal responsibility and the desire to improve one’s behavior, is this not seen as an important moral standard by almost every culture and religious group?

“By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive”.

Don’t be naive. That is like saying don’t be apathetic. There is some effort involved.

We must be aware in order to not be naive. To become aware we must open our eyes. We must work to gather information, we must work to be able to make informed decisions. We must know these things so that we can make decisions for ourselves and our family, for those that we are responsible for.

Sit back and take stock of what you think that you know. I try to do this from time to time

I try to think about what makes me uncomfortable about the world that we are living in. I attempt to think about the direction that we are taking, who we are trusting, who we are looking to for leadership.

What are we being prepared for?

We are being prepared for the battle between God and Satan. A battle which has already been won but what has not been decided is the side that YOU will chose. Will you chose the losing side or the one who has already won? Funny to think of anyone choosing a losing side of anything. But that is what people do when they reject God.

Do you think that there is no war being waged?

We are witnessing a slow fade because of the haughtiness of our approach.

America has collectively turned its back on God and now God is turning His back on us. This IS the judgment and the repercussions will keep coming.

Is Christianity really saying to hate the sinner?

Think again.

Christians realize that we are all sinners, every single one of us. Not one of us is capable of living a perfectly controlled life. There was only one perfect man and our sin killed Him. He died to redeem us from our sin state. He died for each one of us and for all of us. Not one person’s sin, not one homosexual’s sin, not one abortionist’s sin, killed Him…my sin, all of our sin that is the reason that He died.

Our gracious God has given us a way out. Faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God yet fully God, for us who believe in Him we are redeemed. The price has been paid and we are now free from eternal punishment although not from the effects that sin has upon this world and what this world can and will bring into our lives.

I know that this seems so weak, so embarrassing, so belittling, so unintelligent, so, so, so, humbling. And that IS the point isn’t it? Humility. We need God. And God wants us to know this.

Think about the tower of Babel. Why was it built? (and think of the globalization effort that exists today). “Babel was a city that united humanity, all speaking a single language and migrating from the east; it was the home city of the great king Nimrod, and the first city to be built after the Great Flood. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have "its top in the heavens." (וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם). However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of God, but was dedicated to the glory of man, with a motive of making a ‘name’ for the builders: "Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.’" (Genesis 11:4).”

So what did God do? He scattered man and confused our languages.

Myth?

I don’t think so…although you might and that is your prerogative.

‘Mystery Babylon’ and all that it entails. That is hat we seem to be building today. It isn’t a “tower” its scope and reach far greater and it certainly isn’t being built to honor God as Creator. Mystery Babylon IS globalization of government, economy, health, science, religion, communication, etc. We are building it now and have been since 1948.

This is that generation.

Come out of it. Be overcomers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ask yourself why a person is capable of thinking about many different things and on many different levels would come to the end of their life and accept the Bible as truth.

Were they unwise? What did they know, what did they experience that gave them such confidence in God? I have that same confidence…do you?

  • Nicolaus Copernicus: 1473-1543 Polish Astronomer – Developed the heliocentric theory of the solar system.
  • Galileo Galilei: 1564-1642 Italian Physicist
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
  • Johannes Kepler: 1571-1630 German Astronomer
    The 3 laws of planetary motion. Advanced Copernicus’ heliocentric theory.
    "Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God."
  • Blaise Pascal: 1623-1662 French Mathematician
    "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ." “But by Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ, we prove God and teach doctrine and morals. Jesus Christ, then, is the true God of men."
  • Newton Isaac: 1642-1727 (born Dec 25) English Mathemetician
    Laws of gravitation and motion, developed calculus. Major contributions to optics, physics, math and astronomy. The solar system itself could not have been produced by blind chance or fortuitous causes but only by a cause "very well skilled in mechanics and geometry."
  • Michael Faraday: 1791-1869 English Chemist
    Discovered Benzene, electromagnetic induction, lines of force, relationship between polarized light and magnetic fields. Strong believer in the literal interpretation of Scripture. Deacon and elder in his church. "Since peace is alone in the gift of God; and since it is He who gives it, why should we be afraid? His unspeakable gift in His beloved Son is the ground of no doubtful hope."
  • Lord Kelvin: 1824-1907 (William Thomson) British Physicist
    First and second laws of thermodynamics. Absolute temp scale. Trans-Atlantic cable.
    "I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism."
  • Robert Boyle – “The gospel comprises indeed, and unfolds, the whole mystery of man’s redemption, as far forth as it is necessary to be known for our salvation.”
  • George Washington Carver – “Our creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good on this earth.”
  • Kenneth H. Cooper M.D. M.P.H. – "Father of aerobics" “To maximize life’s potential personally, professionally, and spiritually, you must know the zone in which you are the happiest and most productive. Most people never reach that utopian state because they do not know how to get there.” speaking about Christian author Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life
  • Michael Faraday
  • Jim Irwin – astronaut, Ark Hunter
  • Samuel Morse
  • Isaac Newton – inventor, scientist
  • Louis Pasteur
  • Hugh Ross – physicist
  • Francis Schaeffer – theologian and thinker
  • Wright Brothers
  • Arthur Eddington, mathematical cosmologist
  • Georges Lemaître, proposed the Big Bang theory
  • Henry F. "Fritz" Schaefer, theoretical chemists
  • William Phillips – 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Francis Collins – Director of the U.S. Human Genome Project
  • Rustum Roy, one of the world’s foremost materials scientists, holds three chairs
  • Jimmy Carter – former U.S. President
  • Abigail Adams – first lady, wife of U.S. President Samuel Adams
  • John Ashcroft – former Missouri Gov. & Senator
  • Christopher Darden – Lawyer, prosecutor in O. J. Simpson case
  • Elizabeth Dole – director, American Red Cross
  • Stonewall Jackson
  • Alan Keyes – U.S. Presidential candidate.
  • Steve Largent – U.S. House of Representative
  • Robert E. Lee – Confederate General
  • Abraham Lincoln – U.S. President
  • Don Nickles – U.S. Senator, Virginia
  • J.C. Watts – U.S. House of Representative, former college football player
  • Dan Quayle – former U.S. Vice President.
  • Clarence Thomas – U.S. Supreme Court Judge.
  • George Washington – U.S. President
  • Oswald Chambers – author, My Utmost for His Highest;
  • G. K. Chesterton – science fiction, mystery, non-fiction, Orthodoxy
  • Tim Lehaye – author, "Left Behind"
  • C. S. Lewis – author of fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction religious books such as Mere Christianity;
  • Catherine Marshall – author, "Christy".
  • Norman Vincent Peale – author, Power of Positive Thinking;
  • Frank Peretti – author, This Present Darkness;
  • Charles Sheldon – author, In His Steps
  • Charles Spurgeon – author
  • Danielle Steele – author
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – author, The Hobbit
  • Joni Eareckson Tada – author, Artist & Speaker. Quadriplegic.

the list goes on and on and on….

Posted in Faith based, H5N1, Public Health, World Health Politics | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Myths, Rumors, Outright Lies, and Some Truths Sprinkled In

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 17, 2008

I have spent the better part of the last three years studying pandemics, the H5N1 virus, infectious diseases, vaccines, online and offline as well. I am far from being an “expert”. I do know enough to not buy into some of the stuff being spread by people who always seem to be asking for donations. Ok, donations aren’t always bad when the money is spent wisely.  On some of these websites I just picture the author

laughing all the way to the bank.

I didn’t want to rely on the internet alone as a source of information because, well, it is the internet and anyone can say anything. It’s a new method of communication and relying on collaborative efforts could mean that we are collectively wrong.

Lately I have been reading a lot of myths and outright hyped fearmongering about influenza, H5N1, and “deliberate” pandemics. Pandemics happen and they have for centuries. Even if deliberately started, which I am not conceding by any stretch of the imagination, but even if – my response does not change. How I act responsibly would not change.

That’s what I do, and I think that it works for me.

I cut to the chase of what this all means to me, my family, my neighborhood, my town and how I, personally, can be of service to them in the difficult days ahead.

I am not in service to my government since I am not employed by it. I have not taken any oaths to uphold the government, but neither am I an anarchist. I believe that we get the government that we deserve. I truly do try to think every day “what would Jesus do” and then I try to do it.

The Roman Empire during the time that Jesus lived was a brutal government. We have some way to go. In some ways, it was because of the Roman Empire that the Gospel got its start, not in spite of it. God’s desire and purpose is never thwarted by anything man can and will do. In season and out of season, God’s will will be done.

In all of the New Testament I do not recall a single verse where Jesus spoke against the rulers of His day. He did speak against what rules our hearts when we are at enmity with God. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the thing that are God’s”.

While rendering unto Caesar, we work within Caesar’s system in order to influence that system. We are citizens within that system and have the freedom, right and responsibility to try to influence our lawmakers and leaders. We live in a representative democratic republic, which is not the same as an absolute democracy. The people do not rule. In a representative republic, a certain body of electorate – the people – is represented by those we elect. These representatives are responsible to us.

This makes the days ahead very local to me. My local representative needs to understand my needs, my families needs, my towns needs, and he needs to represent our needs to the rest of the government.

I am an American citizen whose primary focus is on the health and well being of others. I can control what I do and my response to what the world throws at me. I can control how I respond to people who want to stir up feelings and emotions causing us to act without reason and responsibility.

It is not that I am in denial of the very precarious place we find ourselves, or the times that we are living in, I know full well most of the implications. I have actively sought to see the black swans amongst the white ones.

We are to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”.

I hear what people are saying and I hear the fear that they have. I just don’t share in it, but neither do I want to promote it. When I read websites that are promoting fear, angst, rebellion, and when they seem to be twisting words, I ask how this person could possibly know that what they are saying is true.

Could what they are saying be true, I suppose they could get a few things right but probably not all. And the sheer number of websites popping up after all this time of relative silence simply because more people are now paying attention tells me something. Making a name for yourself so you can make a quick buck in these economic times at the expense of others is shameful.

Learn to discern and rightly divide the truth.

Posted in Christianity, Public Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Respiratory Etiquette and Healthy Habits

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 13, 2008

It goes without saying good health hygiene is always wise.

With cold and flu season upon us, along with a flu shot, a little more concentration on our healthy habits will protect us through the winter.

It is also a good idea to pay particular attention to developing our good habits now in order to be more prepared for other serious infectious disease outbreaks like a pandemic.

While most folks won’t want to don masks for seasonal flu or colds, we may be asked to especially when we are around those whose immune system puts them at particular risk for infection, the elderly, and very young children.

Respiratory illnesses like whooping cough, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by coughing and sneezing, by touching our eyes, ears, mouth, and nose with unclean hands.


Minnesota Department of Health

If you are coughing or sneezing you should:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Be sure to dispose of used tissues in waste containers.
  • After coughing or sneezing wash your hands with soap and water. Effective hand hygiene includes washing with soap and warm water for 15 seconds or cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand cleaners after contact with respiratory secretions.
  • You may be asked to wear a mask.
  • Proper cold and flu etiquette: stand or sit at least 3 feet from other persons, if possible.

Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often and thoroughly will help protect you from germs.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds – friction matters. When soap and water are not available use alcohol based hand-sanitizers.

Good Hand Hygiene is crucial

Wash your hands:

  • before preparing food
  • before meals and snacks
  • after using the restroom
  • after touching animals
  • when hands are dirty
  • when you or someone around you is ill

  from the CDC:

    • Clean Hands Saves Lives!
      Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
    • Wash Your Hands Often
      Fact sheet and video clip from “An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away”
    • Take Action Clean Hands Campaign
      Facts and survey results, educational materials From American Society for Microbiology
    • Consumer Advice: Clean: Handwashing
      Links to lots of educational materials, including those for schoolchildren. From www.foodsafety.gov
    • It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing
      Handwashing materials. Part of It’s A SNAP program aimed at preventing school absenteeism. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Soap and Detergent Association
    • Handwashing
      Brief facts and quiz questions. From “Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide” part of middle school food safety science program produced by the FDA and the National Science Teachers Association

Free Flu Materials available from the CDC are located here.

Posted in mitigation, Public Health | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

H5N1 News Update and the Latest Innovations

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 12, 2008

The test results came back positive that a fifteen year old Indonesian girl from the city of Semarang in Central Java died from an H5N1 avian influenza infection. Living near a poultry slaughterhouse, the girl became infected after coming in contract with infected poultry.

Hospitalized for 10 days, the girl died on November 7, 2008. Test results for two laboratories confirmed the H5N1 virus was the cause of her death.

We must not become complacent about H5N1

In June of this year Indonesia’s Health Minister, Siti Fadilah Supari stated that she would no longer announce deaths from H5N1 immediately after that were confirmed promising instead to make the information available “eventually”. Supari’s decision was a source of frustration for many and came after she stopped sharing bird flu samples with global infectious disease experts in January 2008.

Indonesia’s timely announcement is step in the right direction for improving global relations and cooperation on the avian influenza front.

The World Health Organization website H5N1 virus has infected 388 people worldwide, killing 246.

Our federal agencies have not been complacent over this issue. Recently several agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Customs and Border Protection, and state, local departments along with the airline industry, took part in a full-scale exercise at Miami International Airport in order to test the government’s strategy to slow the spread of a novel human to human virus into the US.

Clearly educating the public long before a full fledged pandemic begins would be the best approach.

Innovative thinking like googles flu trends which monitors real time search queries in order to determine if there are outbreaks in areas around the country will be crucial in giving the public the head’s up that we will need in order to make decisions at the local level on when to close schools and implement other mitigation strategies. Having a public that is already aware and ready to jump right in with their own tools and planned approaches is the best strategy of all.

This truly is the first time that the world has had an opportunity to plan ahead for a pandemic…and we aren’t doing a bad job of it at all. But clearly more effort and planning is needed.

Onward and upward!

Posted in Public Health | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Birthday Martin Luther

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 11, 2008

Compelled to Defiance, Martin Luther understood by faith what it means to be a “Christian”, a Christ follower.

The time that we live in demands of us spiritual preparedness. I believe that Martin Luther would have stood firm for that preparedness.

The path of a Christian is not one of prosperity or ease, it is one that marked with sacrifice, service, and the realization that nothing, nothing, is more powerful or more important that the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God Himself as only the living Trinity can reveal to us by grace.

And the gates of hell will not prevail against this truth.

Martin Luther understood that the upheaval of his time and all the efforts of the great thinkers of his day are in vain when they oppose God.

Martin Luther understood that spiritual domination by anything or anyone other than God himself, through His son Jesus Christ and the personal relationship that we can have with the Godhead through faith, is the spirit of antichrist by definition. Martin Luther knew that faith in a church, faith in a pope, or a hierarchy – or any other man made thing, was and is today a way of eternal death.

God doesn’t need our money, our institutions, our UN, our WHO, our government, our help, in order to fulfill His promises. His promises will be fulfilled no matter what. Our works are dead unless they are deeds done from faith and the blessing is to us, not God. We are blessed by our own obedience through faith and our service to God strengthens us, not Him.

Martin Luther thought that “indulgences are most pernicious because they induce complacency and hereby imperil salvation”.

Indulgences in the Roman Catholic sense are the release from punishment for sin. In Martin Luther’s day these were sold by the Catholic Church. A practice that continues to this day.

Today the even bigger issue that looms is the spirit of antichrist that is alive in the world. And it is this that breeds indulgences of all types, churched and unchurched.

Making allowances for sin has become the vogue. It is no wonder people are confused. And confusion does not come from God.

If Martin Luther were alive today, I suppose that he would be speaking about much the same thing, indulgences. I think that he may also be addressing more broadly the spirit of antichrist which is at the heart of all indulgence and excess. 

The spirit of antichrist is accepted and taken on in our hearts when we worship and find hope in man, or a man. The spirit of antichrist is alive when we embrace other gospels. The true “Good News” is only found in the Bible. The spirit of antichrist is very much alive in this world today and in due time God will allow the man of lawlessness, the final antichrist, to be revealed.

The spirit of antichrist is in all who reject Jesus Christ. This is true by definition – anti-christ. There is only one way to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ, and that is through faith that He is the Son of God, which is silliness and anti-intellectual to all who do not know Him. It saddens me to get to know people of great intellect who cannot see, understand, or embrace, the simplest of truths. They are haughty and boastful, assured of their intellect. They heart of pride.

I see the foolhardiness of those who thing their great intellect amounts to anything more that hole in the snow. I do not boast about having a great intellect, I do boast in the Glory of God. Ask yourself why.

The spirit of antichrist comes also from within the church but not the body of Christ that is the true Church. It comes from those who claim the name of Jesus Christ but are truly not His. They say that they are Christ followers but they do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and fully God. They may say that they pray to Jesus, they may say that they are “saved”, even Satan believes in Jesus Christ. Believing that Jesus lived and breathed is not saving faith.

Praying to the historical Jesus is not a prayer of faith. Allowing yourself to be a mocker of all that is Holy is not evidence of saving faith. It is evidence of all that is anti Christ.

I pray for all who believe that they are His and are not. They are deceiving themselves and that is a very sorry place to be. They are self assured and are tragically wrong.

see “Romans Road to Salvation

There will be wrath…

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,who  is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.  They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Do you want to have a bebased mind? Do you care that you are filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice, envy, strife, deceit, and maliciousness. Do you care that you are a gossip, slanderer, hater of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, an inventor of evil, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless?

to reiterate…

“Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them”.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done”.

Salvation is possible for all, God desires all to be saved, and by the grace of God we can be saved.

Like Judas Iscariot who healed and cast out demons, they will be able to show all power, signs and lying wonders in order to deceive for their own gain. They will enslave and destroy but like Hitler, Genghis Kahn, Nero, Stalin, they do so with deception. Do not be deceived.

What the world is looking for is anyone who will lift the world out of its misery.

"What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be god or devil, we will receive him".

~Paul Henri Spaak of Belgium, (25 January 1899 – 31 July 1972) was a Belgian Socialist politician and statesman. He was one of the organizational leaders of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications

Martin Luther did a very loving thing when he stood up and stood firm.

So in honor of his birthday…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There will be a time…

when strong delusion will come. We are in a time of increasing lawlessness and falling away.

Care about what will happen to you and your loved ones when the restrainer is taken away.

Care about a time when the Gospel will no longer be able to be preached throughout the world. We do not know when that time will come – today, tomorrow?

2 Thessalonians 2

The Man of Lawlessness

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Stand Firm

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Do Not Be Deceived

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What Has Not Changed With The Election of A New President

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 7, 2008

Eternal truths do not change, thankfully so.

We elect new presidents, new ideologies are promoted, new ideas explored, yet the Glory of God is the eternal light that illuminates the path ahead.

To be honest, this election stirred up fear deep within my soul. The outcome of the election caused me to become depressed and disillusioned – I had the opposite of hope. I had deep despair. I was brought so low by this despair especially for the unborn, so low that I could have lost sight of the much larger vision of all that is under God’s control.

Even within my despair this verse kept weighing heavily on me. For good reason. The Holy Spirit was and is continually reminding me of the right heart response.

We must do what is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Often when I find myself unable to see my way through to heart full of thanksgiving I grab Foxe’s Book of Martyrs or Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings. I live in less trying times for now and searching out the wisdom and insight of others who have lived in more difficult times or under more difficult circumstances and remained true, well, there is light unto my own path.

Not knowing what is ahead – how our young president will be tested, how we all will be tested, I found this gem that spoke to me. Perhaps it will speak to you also.

“To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things.

The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.

But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge.

To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.

The wise man is aware of the limited receptiveness of reality for principles; for he knows that reality is not built upon principles but that it rests upon the living and creating God.

He knows too, therefore that reality cannot be helped by even the purest of principles or even the best of wills, but only by the living God.

Principles are only the tools in God’s hand, soon to be thrown away as unserviceable.

To look in freedom at God and at reality, which rests solely upon him, this is to combine simplicity with wisdom.

There is no true simplicity without wisdom and there is no wisdom without simplicity.

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

So what has changed over the last 72 hours other than the realization that change is coming – for better, for worse – no man can know.

We still must be about our day, living and loving with the same intensity, the same morality, the same devotion to Christ Jesus that causes us to love our neighbor and even our enemy as well as our friend – in season and out of season.

We still must be respectful and obedient to authority, rendering unto Caesar all that is Caesar’s and unto God all that is God’s. And we still must do so being wise as serpent’s and harmless as doves.

A pandemic threat remains. And even now there is yet another death in Indonesia where H5N1 is suspected as the cause

Could this be the international crisis that tests the mettle of our new, young, president and our mettle as Americans? It could very well be. This is the simple reality that we must face. And there is wisdom in this simplicity.

Paul tells us what our response must be, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” I is health for us to desire a peaceful and quiet life in order that we may live godly and dignified. He tells us how this is accomplished – through supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings made for ALL people, for kings and all who are in high positions.

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

By heaping coals of kindness.

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

~Romans 12:9-21

Our world is our mission field and we are all ambassadors of Christ Jesus. Through death, illness, pain, suffering – I pray for the strength and resilience of all.

Onward and Upwards

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The Christian Manifesto – A Sunday Post

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 2, 2008

Citizenship, Allegiance, and Ambassadorship

Prepared Citizens. I like to think of myself as a prepared citizen. I may not have three months of food or medications, yet, but I still consider myself almost fully prepared for whatever comes my way. Our world is changing. Many things threaten to overtake us. Yet I am not afraid. It is wonderful to be prepared – I am prepared to face change (good or bad).

I am prepared to face economic hard times. I am prepared to face grave illness. I am prepared to face death. I am prepared to have unspeakable joy. I am prepared to have peace. I am prepared to be thankful in all circumstances, I am prepared to put my needs last, I am prepared to bring glory to God.

I am prepared.

And I am prepared to help others. Whether that be helping ill neighbors by bringing them food or information or praying with them over their ill loved ones, I am prepared to love others.

I am prepared to give a reason for the hope that is inside of me. In faith, I am prepared to love – and I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus to be prepared as well.

I have dual citizenship. Primarily I am a citizen of heaven and my allegiance is to God first. As a U.S. citizen, I must serve with integrity obeying the laws of my earthly abode unless those laws conflict with God’s law, and to that law I will always obey first fully prepared to accept the consequences of my actions and my stand if there is a conflict. The only way that there would be a conflict is if I am an ambassador in a country that is hostile to the Word of God. We have been blessed in the United States. Our laws, as many as I am aware of, have been in harmony with the Truth that we have been given. On the eve of change, I hope that this always is the case. Recognizing my own legal alien status, I have been thinking a great deal about what it means to be a Christian Ambassador in what may become a post-Christian world.

 

The Christian Ambassador

 

Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. ~1 Peter 3:13-16

I am a resident ambassador, and I do try to be a good representative on behalf of Jesus Christ. As an ambassador I realize that I must be equipped to serve…

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. ~Ephesians 4:11-16

And I am willing to be recalled to my primary home at any time. As a Christian ambassador my primary message is one of hope. Yes, prepare. Yes, be ready for the day of trouble. But always remember that God our Father is in control and cares deeply for us. We prepare, and allow others to see us prepare, but we must also speak of our hope because that IS the primary message. We must be ready in season and out of season to give an explanation for the unworried hope that we do have.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  ~Matthew 6:24-34

 

The purpose of each believer, each ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven is to do all for the glory of God…

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~1 Corinthians 10:31

In order to accomplish this, we are to be like Jesus Christ. Our example, our perfect model ambassador.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.

But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

~Philippians 2:3-18

I do not read this as stay home, stay away from the world, stay disengaged, stay out of the darkness. We are “as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life”….”in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation”.

As ambassadors our relationship with God is pre-eminent…. We are the Lord’s.

For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  ~Romans 14:7-8

Our relationships with others…we are slaves to all.

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.

~1 Corinthians 9:19-22

And we are to walk our path with confidence and unafraid.

We are ministers of a new covenant.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you?

You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. ~2 Corinthians 3:1-6

Why we are ambassadors

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake.

For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death works in us, but life in you.

But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE," we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

~2 Corinthians 4:1-18

The power of the Gospel, how does Our Lord want you, me, us, to stand in THAT day? For surely that day is now. Every life lives in that day.

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

The treasure entrusted to us is the gospel of Our Lord. Are we to bury that treasure? I think not.

As ambassadors we are to be ready, ever vigilant for opportunities to represent Jesus Christ, unashamedly, unabashedly, ever-willing to seize the opportunity to live and die for His gospel. Without compromise, stepping up to each challenge that presents itself.

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. ~Galatians 1:6-10

As ambassadors we are to be patient and reasonable. Not quarrelsome, but not without courage. Respectful and gentle, reasonable but not boasting in ourselves. We are to engage others and listen to their fears and concerns and always must be ready to give the reason for our inner convictions and hope. We are to speak so that we may be understood, and not with lofty words and ego driven phrases. We are to be empathetic and understanding of the hurt and brokenness that leads people away from the gospel of Christ and the Father, understanding always that people think they way they do because there is merit in what they think.

We should never misrepresent the difficulties a Christian faces. We should always be honest and forthright, humble and meek fully aware that we do not know everything and completely understanding that we are still imperfect and fallible. We must always remember that we are dependent on God’s grace and mercy in all things and we ourselves cannot act or speak honorably of Jesus Christ apart from this grace.

There is but one path to God, and one gate that we must enter through, Jesus Christ.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead –by this name this man stands here before you in good health.”

He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." ~Acts 4:8-12

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Faith, Health, These, That and Those

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 25, 2008

I speak about my faith every single day. I think and live my faith every waking minute of my day. I cannot separate me from my faith. It simply cannot be divided out of me and I cannot leave it at the door like some used cloak checked in a coatroom.

Whether I am speaking about my faith, or not, my expression of faith remains the same. It is my heart where my expression comes from. I have a new heart, you see. It is not mine anymore. Mine is dead and gone.

Do my words alone express my faith?

Even when I reassure others that I am not trying to convince them of anything. That they are free to believe as they will, and even express all of their beliefs to me as it pleases them, I still offend.

I have not hated one person because of their lack of faith in what I believe. And I have only walked away when others malign my God. He does not NEED me to defend Him. He is quite capable of defending Himself. And I cannot convince a hater to not hate.

If I spent the rest of my days in silence…

…but wore a cross or a habit or some other visual representation of my faith, would that have the same power to offend? I think not

It is all about THAT name and THOSE words.

If I spend the rest of my days in silence…

…but have a smile on my face and love in my heart that I freely give to anyone I come in contact with, would that offend?

I would be the same person, with the same beliefs, with the same expression of my beliefs, and the same lack of desire to impose my beliefs on anyone.

There is something about THAT name.

There is something about THOSE verses.

There is a power there that deeply offends so many.

The power isn’t mine.

These are Living Words and that is what offends. They are God breathed and if you are at odds with God these Living Words will offend you. You will bristle at the sound of them.

At times expressions of my faith are welcomed. Especially by those on the receiving end of some service or benefit that I can provide. I do not resent this. It is such an unspeakable joy to be able to serve others.

Yet, I must speak THAT name and THOSE words. They are my life, inseparable from who and what I am.

So, most times I am free to go where I want and do as I please as long as I don’t say THOSE words or THAT name.

But see now “THAT” and “THOSE” are now offensive because by inference you know what I mean when I say THAT and THOSE. So if THESE people want help but help comes from THOSE people speaking THOSE words about THAT man, and THAT man is the reason why they do amazing things that they have been gifted to do in helping THESE people, why are you offended when THOSE people are not telling you to believe THOSE words they are simply showing you the power of THOSE words by living THEIR lives?

Doesn’t this sound like silliness?

Faith and Health

“In 2006 the World Health Organization estimated that there was a global shortfall of 4.3 million trained health workers”.

If 4.3 million trained health care workers came forth but were speaking THAT name and THOSE words, would the world say NO to their help?

So, it is ok to help just as long as we don’t say THAT name or THOSE words.

And, respectfully and very meekly I add this, we are called hypocrites.

 

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Because we must revisited

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 14, 2008

King County to lay off up to 255 more workers

By Keith Ervin

Seattle Times staff reporter

Financially ailing King County will send layoff notices to as many as 255 employees today, on top of 150 jobs already eliminated.

<snip>

Without help from Olympia, the “lifeboat” programs would be halted and 135 more jobs eliminated June 30, according to the county budget office. Lifeboat programs include the Northshore public-health clinic; the White Center family-planning clinic; winter shelter for the homeless; vaccinations; and efforts to control tuberculosis, pandemic flu and sexually transmitted diseases.

the article, in it’s entirety, is located here

Imagine that. Wow! What a blow.

Seattle and King County had taken the lead as a pandemic preparedness planners. From comic books to DVDs, under the leadership of director, David Fleming, Seattle and King County led the charge.

Their website contains is a treasure chest of preparedness information.

If these types of budget cuts can happen there – they will happen here. There really is only one answer and only one response.

Citizens have to rise up to the occasion simply because we must. Our health, the health of our families, the health of members of our communities who are at risk is at stake.

The cost of reinventing the wheel – In today’s economy maybe the wheel would not have been invented.

I am not complaining about money, not in the least. In my very humble opinion, money isn’t going to be the end all and be all in the answer to pandemic preparedness. Once again, we have to rethink how we have traditionally solved our problems.

We have absolutely NO MONEY. We have had $17 dollars in our savings account for about a year now and after bills are paid $0 in checking <b>yet we go on</b>. We eat, we sleep, and we volunteer. No funds coming in but we do what we can. Perhaps if we had had money I wouldn’t be doing what I try to do, increase awareness. If money was available I may have been busy feathering our retirement nest instead. Doing what you love to do with whatever resources that you may have is a wonderful challenge.

My husbands employer forgot to pay him this week (an oversight, which will be corrected, from going from disability to front line pay). The mortgage and car insurance won’t get paid for a few weeks while this is corrected. I mention this not as a complaint – not at all. We slept well last night. When things are beyond your control, you work on them but you don’t let them order your day.

We go on because we must. We help others because we must. We volunteer because we must. There simply will be no other way to knock over this huge wall that is pandemic preparedness awareness.

When the wall finally does topple we will all realize a much brighter day as long as we do not allow the things that are challenges to our success, the bricks falling on us in the process, to knock us out of the process.

Onward and upward

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Preparedness for the disabled and other abled

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 8, 2008

Please do not forget the disabled and other abled in your preparedness plans.

Countless times I have watched absolutely wonderful podcasts and informative video presentations of the subject of pandemic influenza preparedness. Many times there is no closed-captioning.

Preparedness becomes even more difficult for those who can least afford more barriers than they already have.

It will be increasingly difficult to fight off the tunnel vision that occurs during any crisis situation. That tunnel vision allows us to see our own needs and not always the needs of others. A typical response to ensuring our own survival but as sentient human beings looking outwardly will be crucial to the survival of our society as a whole.

Thank you for all that you are doing for others!

Onward and upward!

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The Financial Crisis has another lesson for us

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 30, 2008

When those who understand the complexities of an issue do not do a good job educating us in the public about the nuances of any particular crisis and the effects of each reaction, people in turn react with shortsightedness and self protection. Chaos results, vengeful feelings take control and these feelings that govern our thoughts rather than rational thinking and planning govern our actions and reactions.

This is not the proper way to react to any crisis.
Political expedience must not be a factor when making decisions that effect us all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reminder – What should I do to prepare for a flu pandemic?

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 25, 2008

PlanFirst Webinar today!

from Individuals & Families Planning @ Pandemicflu.gov

An outline of today’s PlanFirst Webinar

The following is an outline of the visual presentation made by Dr. Richard Benjamin, Chief Medical Officer, American Red Cross, at the September 25 live Webcast. The Webcast provides information to help citizens learn more about pandemic flu and the steps they can take now to plan for a pandemic.

What should I do to prepare for a flu pandemic?

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • What if my children’s schools were closed?
  • What if a family member were to become ill?
  • What if I could not go to work?
  • What if I had to stay home for an extended period of time?

Gather essential supplies

  • Water
  • Easy-to-prepare food
  • Medications and medical supplies
  • Medical history and contact information
  • Health and cleaning supplies

Easy-to-prepare foods

  • Canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups
  • Protein/fruit bars, dried fruit and crackers
  • Cereal/granola, peanut butter and nuts
  • Juice (jarred or boxed)
  • Milk (boxed or powdered)
  • Baby food and formula

Get in the habit of….

  • Washing hands often with soap and water
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Cleaning and disinfecting commonly shared items
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet
  • Getting a seasonal flu shot every year.

Caregiving Tips

  • Designate one person as caregiver
  • Keep personal items separate
  • Use very hot water for washing dishes and clothes
  • Wear disposable gloves

For more information from the Red Cross about how to prepare for a flu pandemic go to:

www.redcross.org/pandemicflu

Contact your local chapter to request a Pandemic Flu Family Preparedness Guide. To find the chapter closest to you go to http://www.redcross.org and type in your zipcode.

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A Glimmer of Hope

Posted by preparedcitizens on July 22, 2008

I am truly convinced that our society is experiencing the normal reactive stages to trauma. We have been wounded and we are healing. During this process it is difficult for us as a society to process more hurt and more potential problems. So what we do is go into a protective mode where we have a type of tunnel vision. We become numb to the horrors around us and we become unable to process what may come. In this state we are vulnerable. We are protecting our psyche but we are also further endangering our lives.

It is no wonder that we are doing so and this is all expected and predictable. But doing so allows us to bury our heads in the sand while we recuperate….and this we must not do. We must not have hardened hearts to what may come our way. Read the rest of this entry »

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So…the results are in

Posted by preparedcitizens on July 9, 2008

A drill was the best thing to do after all is said and done. Acting on our fears in a positive way.

I found that stocking up is a whole lot harder to do on a strict budget. Food costs are up slightly in our are and fuel is cutting into the budget a lot more. 

Keeping ourselves healthy and following our medication protocols, exercise routines, and eating as healthy as possible with fresh foods is actually a good idea. Stocking up we will mostly be eating starches because that seems to be what we can afford. 

I also discovered that too much energy is expended trying to get back to maintenance level when we become lazy in our routines although it is easier to start up again than it is to begin for the first time. So establishing routines now is a good idea.

Part of my drill was to make sure that what we will need for at least 8 weeks is on-hand. I am not talking living a princesses life. I am talking *survival* for at least 8 weeks. Toilet paper (or even a resourceful alternative), supplies for good hygiene, entertainment (books mostly but other things to occupy active minds), Food, water, and some extra things for exchange or barter with neighbors.

If I had to characterize our state of readiness on some sort of scale I would say that we are at “barely survivable” on our own.

This time around, as far as drills go, I found myself much more able to brainstorm through unexpected events. Losing power, running out of fuel during the winter, no hot water for cooking or cleaning, fire, even some security type issues, I was much more able to think of solutions and even come up with the problems. They seem far less threatening since I have thought through these things.

Treating a life threatening illness in the case of medical system collapse is something that I still struggle with brainstorming through. I know what to do but I still have not wrapped my mind around actually doing this yet. Maybe next drill.

What I do know is that drilling, even if it is running through these checklists mentally, is tremendously helpful. At least it has been for me and mine so I thought that I would pass along this information.

Hope it helps.

Jackie

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To each their own – talent that is

Posted by preparedcitizens on May 7, 2008

Communities are planning for a pandemic – Monson is – but for me it is time to implement what I personally can do to contribute to the health of my community.

Communication, food, and the underserved of any age seem to be who I am most concerned about helping. My mind is churning with how to make this work in my little neighborhood. I love sharing vegetables and flowers with my neighbors. I hate seeing anything go to waste out of a garden. I am not sure if everyone loves getting fresh from the garden vegies but I bet most do. So sticking to my set parameter is it has to start small and build outward… building a neighborhood garden produce swap area may be very helpful to my neighbors with prices going up and up —and encourage them to plant and share what they grow as well. With the help and brilliant thinking of Rob and a friend of the family, Nicole, ideas are building.

I love the energy of young folks. Not that I am that old but years have worn down the old “can do” excitement that I had in my 20’s. Now its thats a good idea BUT…..a good balance but sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet.

A neighborhood garden produce swap area. We can make it inviting by utilizing our outdoor fire pit for a gathering spot, etc…. camraderie, cohesiveness and above all communication.

So we will see where we go from here….start small and build.

I do know that sitting around and not doing what needs to be done is squandering God given preparedness time that some day I will kick myself for wasting. I keep saying everyday “push on”. But now I have to people helping who are capable of leading the whole effort. I am still dogged tired so as they say “more hands make for lighter work”, and I am so thankful for more hands.

All we can do is try, try again, and keep trying — and always learn from our failures.

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Clinging to faith in rural America with joy in my heart!

Posted by preparedcitizens on April 18, 2008

Yes, I cling to faith and we are familiar with firearms. Um, we even live in a rural area. Bitter? Oh my, not in the least. Full of joy and sense of purpose is how I would describe my life. No bitterness and I don’t know many bitter people.

A Christian perspective…

Read the rest of this entry »

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People Are Speaking! Are You Listening?

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 28, 2008

Are you telling others?

Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services – State of MA

Local Government Info – State of MA

For the Public – State of MA

For the Public – Local Monson

For the Public – Local Monson

Build up. Prepare.

Please share this information with others around town.

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What Can I Do in Monson MA? Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 28, 2008

What Can I Do? Western MA Medical Reserve Corps needs YOU!

All are needed. A many handed approach.

I became familiar early on with the Medical Reserve Corps system and its potential during a pandemic. Medical Reserve Corps are part of the “President’s Challenge Program“.

For the faith based response:

As a Christian I ask: How should I as a Christian best serve during a time of crisis? Read the rest of this entry »

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Steadfast During Dire Circumstances

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 28, 2008

Will our lampstand remain burning?

A Christian Perspective Read the rest of this entry »

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Social Equilibristics and the Christian Response

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 3, 2008

Social equilibrium: A working balance among its interdependent parts (Davis & Newstrom, 1985)Each subsystem will adjust to any change in the other subsystems and will continue to do so until equilibrium is retained. The process of achieving equilibrium will only work if the changes happen slowly, but for rapid changes it would throw the social system into chaos, unless and until a new equilibrium can be reached.

Equilibristics, Juggling – balancing or maintaining a moving equilibrium – there will never be an end to our ever-changing needs and new conditions in our society. A balancing act will constantly be acted out in order to ensure our survival.

For the short time of the history of this country, most of our needs have been met without demanding a duty from the majority of us. We have become complacent, we have become fat and satisfied, and we have become stuck in our nation’s “adolescence”. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Sunday Sermon this is not — An appeal to the heart it is.

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 2, 2008

A message to my brothers and sisters……wherever they are.

Saying “please” and “thank you” I have always appreciated these kindnesses.

Not speaking about religion or politics – I think that is an etiquette long forgotten – and probably for the better. Passion in discourse defines who one is and what they believe. I do still appreciate the niceties, things that seem so far gone sometimes when I focus on headlines and top playing news stories. I appreciate the inclined ear, the soft touch, the compassionate heart.

These are not etiquettes, these are kindnesses that come from deep wells within a person and when the deep wells are dry, it is obvious. Read the rest of this entry »

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A faith based web resource encouraging disaster preparedness

Posted by preparedcitizens on February 16, 2008

Searching around the net today at all the resources for disaster and pandemic preparedness I happened upon this website.

http://www.christianemergencynetwork.org/

 From their web page:

AWARE – READY – THERE!

The Christian Emergency Network (CEN) rallies Christians in emergencies of all kinds. Our goal is for the network to be the first point of contact for any person facing a life-threatening situation who does not know Jesus Christ. CEN unites with thousands of Christian organizations, ministries, churches, media and millions of individuals to offer Hope to the hopeless.

The Lord says:
“I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call upon me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation.”   Psalms 91:14-16

CEN ENCOURAGES CHRISTIANS TO FOLLOW A THREE-STEP READINESS AND RESPONSE PROCESS:

  1. “Be Aware” of our uncertain times from a Biblical worldview;
  2. Be Readyphysically, emotionally and spiritually; and
  3. “Be There” responding as courageous disciples who are praying, caring and sharing Christ  effectively.

             It’s as simple as 1-2-3.

There are many resources available including a “Together We Will Stand Worship CD”, a “Free Preparedness Checklist” plus much, much, more.

Kudos to the creators of the site. Great job!

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More hope for a New Year?

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 29, 2007

What do we know? We know a pandemic is coming. We don’t know when. With all of our testing and tracking, we still do not have that crucial piece of information which would help us to announce to the public the need to get ready NOW.

We hem and haw because we say “well, if we are wrong then the public will never believe us again”, “it’s like crying wolf, you can only warn with assurance once”. Read the rest of this entry »

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