Monday, November 21, 2011

What Do I Need? -- Part 2

I have been impressed to do a series of posts on the basic necessities of twenty-first century life. Why?  Because independent living means that doing all of that stuff on our own, we need to know exactly what to consider.
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Water.
Our bodies are made up of approximately 60-75% water. Each of our individual cells are largely water; our skin needs water; the digestive process requires water. We need water to remove wastes from our body. Water keeps our blood pressure stay at a normal rate. 

Water is a necessary part of our lives. We need it for consumption, hygiene, preparation of food, and hydrotherapy treatments. So, recognizing this fact, what do we do when we choose to no longer depend on municipal water? Let us look at our options and what they entail...
  1. Well. This is the most readily understood independent water system. Perhaps your current property does utilize well-water. What is different is that when the power goes out, your well might not be helpful because most use an electric pump to carry water to your house. The most reliable resource is a hand pump (though that is only as reliable as your ability to pump it!). Secondarily, you can have electric pump if you have an energy system that is capable of supporting it. You may choose to have both.
  2. Springs. (AccessScience has an article on springs). Some properties have these on the premises; so if you buy the land, you own the water on that land. Some things to note about them is that they may not supply a steady stream of water. If you understand how springs work, you will realize that the amount of water supplied by them varies with the seasons. If you are blessed to have a number of springs on your property, then it would do you well to test them all, or as many as possible, to determine which one has the greatest output. Of course, springs must be developed for use in your plumbing system: an article is available on the Mountain Media Ministries website. They also have a DVD that explains.
  3. Ram Pump. This is a nifty set up that allows your house to be elevated, and yet still able to have a solid water supply. If you find that the nearest water site is below your home site -- meaning that you are unable to take advantage of gravity flow for your water system -- then a ram pump is your deal. The system is extensive, but relatively straightforward, and easy to use. Instead of talking like I know everything, I am going to send you here.
  4. Cistern / Holding Tank. This is a basic need for any water system that you choose. Having a cistern is vital to a ram pump system; but it is also useful for a spring or well. (A) With the spring, since the water is constantly available during whatever season, it is prudent and wise to have that water flow into a tank; and from the tank, flow to the house. That way there is no waste. (B) With a well -- especially a hand-pumped well -- it is a lot of work to pump all of that water. So if you were to pick a certain day out of the month, and pump water into your tank, that might be better. (C) A holding tank within your house is also of value. What happens when your spring-filled cistern gets full? Do you stop the water? Or, is it prudent to keep water sitting in pipes, waiting to be used (especially considering winter)? Not really. Having an indoor tank has its benefits. Especially if you intend to have hot water. But we will get into that on the heat section.
While the information here is minimal, Mountain Media Ministries centered out of Cornelia, Georgia has a great deal of knowledge on the subject. I really encourage all to go through and get the information that they need. Go now.
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"I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."
~Isaiah 41:18~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Do I Need?

I have been impressed to do a series of posts on the basic necessities of twenty-first century life. Why?  Because independent living means that doing all of that stuff on our own, we need to know exactly what to consider.
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Shelter.
It is readily understood that we need to have some place to live. The question is, What are the options? Your final, long-term abode (most likely, a house) will take some time to construct. You would have to decide how you are going to handle your temporary housing. Here are some options:
  1. Stay where I am. This options says that I will (a) remain in my current residence; (b) pay two housing bills; (c) have someone else build my house; (d) possibly visit sometime in between.
  2. Rent closer to the building site. Basically, I am choosing to move twice. I (a) may or may not build my own house; (b) will be able to visit the site more regularly; (c) may be able to enjoy more rural life, whether because of my temp location or through friends. I also give myself the option to move part of the way through the building process.
  3. Buy land that has livable space. This has multiple sub-options. The "livable space" can be a cabin, a house, or a decently sized shed. The building may need to be fixed up to accommodate the persons intended to live there. I can (a) live there permanently if it works for my family; (b) live there temporarily while building. If I choose option "b", I understand the the residence only needs to meet basic needs, as it still requires funds and it will not be the final resting place.
  4. Rent a Recreational Vehicle (RV). If you find land that can support an RV, and you either own or are able to rent such a vehicle, then that is definitely an option. If you know of a friend close to your building site who has an RV site, then you have another option. Whether you intend to build new, or to fix up livable space, an RV is a great option. Just get it hooked up, and you are good!
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"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." 
~Psalm 127:1~

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why This?

Why independent living? What is the significance? Where is the importance? Why do we need it NOW?

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These are some of the same questions that I asked myself when my family first brought this up about a year ago. I was okay with the general concept of moving; but not with the idea of moving to some faraway place, with no people, and definitely no people that I knew. I will be honest: I was resentful. It was not "country living" that had me agitated -- it was "sudden change". While I generally tend to adapt to my environment, I do still hate sudden changes of plan. It was not in my plan to live so far away that I could not see my friends. It was not my plan to give up college options because they were too urbanized. This "out of the cities" business was most definitely ruining my plans!

Yet, eventually, step by step, I accepted it. At first, it was with reluctance. After a while, though, I saw it as a good idea. And I continue to think that.

Let us consider a few major events, namely the following:
  • Earthquake and Flooding in Japan
  • The dying international economy
  • Famine in Somalia
  • International civil unrest
  • Earthquake in Turkey
  • Northeast USA: earthquake and hurricane in the same week, followed two months late by an autumn snowstorm that had people without power for even two weeks.
All of these, including a reevaluation of myself and my connection with God allowed me to see how important this really is. It is not a fanatic movement; it is not fear; it is barely preparation; it is GOD.

In fact, that is the number one reason why I am okay with this. I would still be resentful if it were not for God.

But let us go into some other reasons for an independent lifestyle...

Reason #2 -- Freedom.
For those of us in the United States, we tend to hear that we are in "the land of the free". Let us reevaluate that, shall we? We depend on others for food; for water; for clothes; for housing; for heat; for occupation; for education. In essence, we are giving away our liberty -- the same liberty Christ bought for us (Galatians 5:1). I was on BibleGateway, and I read an interesting verse in Psalms (119:45). I enjoy using virtual Bibles because I can look at the same passage in multiple translations. Compare and contrast:
  • King James: "And I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts."
  • Contemporary English: "I have gained perfect freedom by following Your teaching."
  • English Standard: "And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought Your precepts."
  • Common English Bible: "I will walk around in wide-open spaces, because I have pursued Your precepts."
I found the last one striking because I have never heard freedom described in that manner. Open spaces are a relief after being cooped up for some time. That is why caged birds take off the moment they get the opportunity. I find that little by little, we are losing our independence in itty-bitty things. America is great; don't get me wrong. Right now though, it does not afford me the type of freedom that the Psalmist speaks about. To the mountains I go...


Reason #3 -- Privacy
Who likes having people all up in their business? I surely do not! And I would argue that it is the same for most people. We like to have some sense of individuality and belonging: it is nice to know that something is truly and solely our own. It is frustrating to have something that is not all yours (have you ever wondered why children do not like to share?). I was listening to a seminar on independent living, and the speaker made reference to the following text:
"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies" (Psalm 27:11).
Okay, no big deal. King David said things like that all of the time. But the presenter explained that the word "enemies" more literally means "those who watch me". And, I found two translations that support that!
"Teach me Your way, O Lord. Lead me on a level path because I have enemies who spy on me" (God's Word Translation).
"Shew me, O Jehovah, Thy way, and lead me in a path of uprightness, for the sake of my beholders" (Young's Literal Translation).
So, we can conclude (at least for this particular text) that our enemies are anyone who can be in our business and watch our goings out and our comings in. Not cool. Personally, I would like to make sure that I have less "enemies".

Reason #4 -- Peace
After all of the hustle and bustle of a day at work or school, our bodies need to RELAX. How can we hear God's voice if our ears are ringing and our minds are buzzing?
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Need I say more?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

No, Are You REALLY Ready?

"As the time of their probation was closing, the antediluvians gave themselves up to exciting amusements and festivities. Those who possessed influence and power were bent on keeping the minds of the people engrossed with mirth and pleasure, lest any should be impressed by the last solemn warning. Do we not see the same repeated in our day? While God’s servants are giving the message that the end of all things is at hand, the world is absorbed in amusements and pleasure seeking. There is a constant round of excitement that causes indifference to God and prevents the people from being impressed by the truths which alone can save them from the coming destruction.
"Young Sabbathkeepers who have yielded to the influence of the world will have to be tested and proved. The perils of the last days are upon us, and a trial is before the young which many have not anticipated. They will be brought into distressing perplexity, and the genuineness of their faith will be proved. They profess to be looking for the Son of man, yet some of them have been a miserable example to unbelievers. They have not been willing to give up the world, but have united with the world in attending picnics**  and other gatherings for pleasure, flattering themselves that they were engaging in innocent amusement. Yet it is just such indulgences that separate them from God and make them children of the world....

**[Publishers' Note: the simple outdoor gathering of families or church members is not referred to here, but that in which church members “united with the world” in a carnival type of community gathering quite common then. (PlugIn2God's Note: My dad used block parties as a modern-day example) ]**

"God does not own the pleasure seeker as His follower. Those only who are self-denying and who live lives of sobriety, humility, and holiness are true followers of Jesus. And such cannot enjoy the frivolous, empty conversation of the lover of the world.
"Let none begin to believe that amusements are essential and that a careless disregard of the Holy Spirit during hours of selfish pleasure is to be looked upon as a light matter. God will not be mocked. Let every young man, every young woman, consider: 'Am I prepared today for my life to close? Have I the heart preparation that fits me to do the work which the Lord has given me to do?' "

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The above text is taken from The Adventist Home, pp. 524-525.