Why Random?

Why Random?

Ok, so I have another topic I am adding to my arsenal of topics. Random. Yup. I thought it was a good idea to have a spot to put random thoughts that don’t fit into any other topic…We will see how it goes.

Why random? why not…

First random topic. Triple rainbows! What do they mean? No, I’m kidding. This is not going to be about any kind of rainbow.

Why is it though, that when I want to write a post, it’s at 12:30 at night? For some reason my mind goes crazy when I want to go to sleep. Sleepy time is apparently time for all my good ideas to surface. My wife on the other hand, she can sleep through anything, and falls asleep in no time. I wish. I don’t know what that feels like. Falling asleep when your head hits the pillow. If any of you would like to let me know that would be great!

Had a good time with my family today. We had easter dinner at my parents place this week. Me and my brothers talked about preparedness stuff. I think we are going to go check out some stores this up coming weekend. See what cool ideas we can get for our 72 hour kits and the like. Possibly check out knives. I think I need to get an axe next. I cut wood this weekend with my hunting knife…would have been much easier with an axe.

I am thinking I will hit on the zombie topic soon. Possibly next post. I think it is an awesome topic. I am currently picturing it in a 4 or 5 part series. Ya, I know. More than one post?? Zombies is a detailed subject. I am already getting excited for it. So all you zombie fans out there…stay tuned!

It is every boys (and mans) dream to be an unstoppable hero. Not really the superman hero, more like the swat team hero, or the zombie destroying hero. Be so stockpiled with weapons and sweet grilled up trucks with more weapons on it. Haha, makes me think of the GI Joes I played with as a kid. Man, I should have joined the army. I suppose it’s never too late…(no, my wife would never allow it)

Well, I think that is all for my post this time. Felt good to get some random thoughts out there. More to come I’m sure. I want my blog to be more fun that just a blog. So you will see me change things up a bit. I’m still trying to find more ways to get my blog out to the masses. Any suggestions?

What to Prepare First?

With being prepared, where does one start?

In my opinion EDC is a good place to start. EDC stands for “Every Day Carry.” EDC’s are things you have to have with you every where you go, every day. It may change depending on what your activities are for that day but for the most part it is the same.

Everyone has different items in their EDC. Some have 2 or 3 items, others have 9 or 10. I have about 7 at the moment.

Heres a photo of mine. I’ve got my iPhone 5s, my work phone, my wallet/iPhone case with my most used plastic(DL, debit card) and some cash, a second wallet with my less used plastic, a business card holder, a paracord bracelet (12′ of paracord), and a pocket knife. I plan on adding a couple more things to it soon, but for now this has been sufficient. I see a lot of people who also have watches and flashlights. Its really up to you what you want to carry with you every day. My swiss army knife has a flash light and a pen in it. Pretty handy (if the batteries worked, mine are currently dead…so…not helpful with the flashlight thing…talk about being prepared 😉 ).

EDC’s are never complete. You can always add more to it, but making sure you have the essentials covered is the important part. A huge plus about EDC’s is that you have most of the stuff already. Wallet, phone, watch. So what else do you put into an EDC?

The Essentials

$$$ Money is always an essential. Cash and coinage in particular. You should always have some cash on hand. My total amount varies. Again, it is up to you how much you want to carry. You never know when someones debit machine wont work, or you need to pay a loonie for parking.  Plus, using cash saves you on bank fees.

Phone. Communication is always a must. Since the arrival of cell phones, life has become much more convenient. Anything happens and it’s quick and easy to get in contact with loved ones or the authorities. One thing to consider with your phone is a spare charger. I have one in my car. Too many times my battery has died before my day was over.

Time. Have a watch or a phone that has the time on it. This one is more handy when your not in the city where clocks are everywhere. When you’re on a hike its smart to always know what time it is. You don’t want to be in a situation where you lose track of time and all of a sudden it’s getting dark, with not enough daylight to get back.

Light. You never know when you need a handy flash light. Drop your phone under your seat? Can’t see while hiking in the dark? Can’t see the keyhole on your door? Jogging in the dark?

Pen and paper. Its always a good idea to be able to write things down. I’m sure everyone can think of a time when you needed a pen but no one had one. If not pen and paper then an app to record notes. I have a recorder app. I have had ideas pop into my head I wanted to write down but I couldn’t at the time (driving, no pen…), so I speak into my phone and listen to it later.

Utility tool/swiss army knife. This tool has been very handy many times. I have even picked a lock with it (my filing cabinet…). Cutting tape, tightening your eye glasses. There are many examples of when having a screw driver would be handy. I am very happy that I made the investment and bought one. I have used it for many things that could have been accomplished without it but man, it made the task way easier.

Paracord. Very handy in emergency situations. If I ever need it, I have 12′ of rope around my wrist. I have never had to use it but who knows. The whole idea is being prepared for the worst. They are very easy to make and buying paracord in bulk is fairly cheap. You should check out paracord grenades. Fantastic idea.

Why start with an EDC?
They are cheap. You don’t have to add a lot of things into your EDC. Most of what is on the list you already have. It gets you into motion. It is the beginning of a good habit. Once you have a good EDC set up it will seep into other areas of preparedness. I believe an EDC is a gateway into being better prepared.

Do you have to start with an EDC? No, of course not. Start with what ever you want. Many start with food storage. I find the EDC is the cheapest and quickest way to become prepared. From the list of things you need to do to be prepared, this one you can check off rather quickly. It gives you a good feeling to say you have completed something, and as a result, you are more prepared for today, and tomorrow.

Names

Names

I will not be listing all biblical names and giving meanings here. That would make for one long post. What I did want to do was talk about a few names and what I have found interesting about them.

I taught sunday school yesterday. It was on the story of Moses freeing the children of Israel. I found it quite interesting that Moses is named Moses because Pharaohs daughter “drew him out of the water”. “Moses” in the hebrew language literally means “to draw out.” How fitting for Moses to be named Moses. His life mission was to “draw out” the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage.

One thing about biblical names compared to names today is that biblical names would often change. Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Solomon to Jedediah to name a few. A lot of names would change because the persons purpose would change, or they would reach a milestone. According to some sources, Abram means “exalted father” and Abraham means “father of many”. Considering the covenant God made with Abraham, “for a father of many nations have I made thee.”( Gen. 17:5), I think it is quite fitting. Another example is Jacob, which means “supplanter” and Israel is “one who prevails(fights) with God.” Jacob wrestled with an Angel before receiving his name change. Another possible meaning of Israel is “one who rules with God,” and this may be the reason his name was changed because God says this ” for as a prince hast thou power with God…”

Today names don’t mean the same thing. We don’t have our names changed when we reach milestones in our lives. Last names are different. Last names came about because given names were being repeated and the population was growing. You would have David son of Richard, which is now more commonly known as David Richardson. The tradition has been for women to take on the name of the husband, and even that is fading. The trend is now leaning toward both keeping their names and hyphenating them.

Today we are trying to be creative with names. They don’t have any particular meaning other than being original. I personally think it is becoming a bit ridiculous the extent some go to be original with their names. What are your children going to think about their names when they realize that their parents just tried to get a name no one else had?

I am grateful my dad picked my names for their meanings. I have been able to look at my name and think “wow, my dad saw that in me.” I have tried to do the same with my kids. Give them names that they can look at to help them realize who they are.

We all go through that phase of “who am I?” It’s nice for us to be able to look at our names and think “well, my parents saw this in me when I was born, maybe I could see it in myself.” It can become part of who we are; help us find our identity.

If you don’t know the meaning of your name I would recommend you look it up and see what you find. I would also ask your parents why they chose that name. Maybe you are named after a relative or a very important person in your parents lives.

I hope some of you learn something really cool about yourselves this week that you didn’t previously know 😉

Why Scriptural Symbolism?

Why Scriptural Symbolism?

“Symbolism…stretches the capacity of both expression and comprehension and becomes the medium through which some of the most universal, elemental, and intangible concepts of man are conveyed.” ~ Funk and Wagnalls company Dictionary

“Why?”
It’s my favourite question. (When I ask it, not my 4 yr old).  Why use trees as symbols? Why are certain colours or numbers mentioned more than others? Why use the same symbol but convey opposing meanings at different times?

If I understand it correctly, the easterners, those who wrote the bible, wrote more in a painting style. The details aren’t important as long as the message gets across. We westerners, write more in a architectural style, where all the details have to be perfect. So, we “architects” are reading a book written by “painters” expecting every detail to be perfect and literal. We are looking at a painting and expecting it to be a blue print. Seeing it as such is a very big mistake. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe the bible is an inspired work. I believe it is the word of God. But the authors wrote in a way as to paint a picture in our minds, not give us a blue print. Hence the dilemma in the world of whose interpretation is correct? A lot of what was written is symbolic, and I love searching it out and finding the true meaning behind it.

My interest in scriptural symbols began on my mission. I served for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints* in Connecticut U.S.A. I can’t remember when I first got a fascination with symbols, but I do remember the first book I bought. “Symbols in Stone” by Brown and Smith. It talks about some of the symbols and images on our Temples. Since that book I have had a new way of approaching scripture. It opened my eyes and mind to different possibilities. I find it very interesting that a simple image, a tree or a snake for example, can send different messages to different people. That the same symbol or image can be used for different purposes in the same book. Whole cultures can see a symbol one way and another culture can see the same symbol in a complete opposite way. The swastika is a great example of that. (no, the swastika is not in the scriptures).

That brings up a good point. Many of the symbols I talk about wont be based in the scriptures. I mentioned in my first post, “Welcome”, that I may be changing things around in my blog while I get more comfortable with certain names and titles for my topics. This one may change to just “Symbolism”. We will see.

I also ran into Freemasonry* on my mission. I will talk about this in more detail later. Freemasonry is an organization based around using symbols to teach biblical principles. It is fascinating seeing what symbols they choose and the meanings they have behind them.

Symbols are a way for us to communicate entire messages in a single image. It is our responsibility to discover the meanings of these symbols and what hidden messages lie within.

*DISCLAIMER*
I want to mention a couple things about this subject. I am coming at this from the perspective of an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and an active Freemason. The purpose of this blog is NOT to persuade anyone to believe the same as me, it is merely a study journal for my studies and a spot where I can share my thoughts with others who are interested. I am always open to your point of view of symbols and what they mean to you. 
Also, I am not going to do an exposé on Freemasonry. I will only be giving examples of masonic symbols and their meanings. 
I hope you can enjoy my insights.