Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TEOTWAWKI and Relationships

The first time I read the book Patriots, I thought, "Oh, this was obviously written by a man!" There was no way that 5 women could live under the same roof and not kill each other, much less work together.  As a society, we are just not geared to co-exist in harmony.  We are unapologetically selfish.

Over the last 100 years or so, we have moved away from interconnected community into isolated family units.  Gone are the days when survival depended upon neighbor helping neighbor, and mutual respect was earned by the sweat of the brow - denying self in order to help another.  We have replaced Sunday dinners with Facebook updates and old fashioned letters with impersonal computer communications.  We simply don't need each other anymore.  That doesn't bode well for end of the world survival.

Relationship, in the modern age, has become a disposable commodity.  We don't need to get together for tea when we get all of the relationship we need from our online friends.  If the neighbors don't come help get in the harvest, we will just buy what we need.  If we lose our job, the government will step in and take care of our needs.  In reality, friends and neighbors are a bother.  They might hold us accountable for how we live our lives.  They may question our decisions.  They are certain to require an investment of our time and emotions.  If we form a relationship with someone, it will make it all the harder to toss them out like so much rubbish when they are no longer useful or have the audacity to disagree with us.  Real relationship is inconvenient.  But, in TEOTWAWKI, we will not survive without strong community, without relationship.

I am guilty of the death of relationships.  I have judged harshly, not been merciful and have been self-serving.  I have watched friendships die from lack of maintenance.  I have made a stand when I should have lent a hand.  I have been a poor friend.  But God, being a God of mercy, is showing me a better way.  As I prepare for the end of the world as we know it, I realize I must prepare for relationships if my family and I are going to survive.

In order to survive a serious grid-down situation, we are going to have to work together.  We are going to have to rely on each other's strengths and maximize the talents of our group.  If we don't start working on our own character now, we will be lacking the basic tools to allow us to function relationally when TSHTF.

One of the most important character traits to poses when you are building relationship is the trait of mercy.  As much as it goes against our grain, we have to see our friends and neighbors positive attributes and be blind to their shortcomings.  In reality, that is what all of us want - we long for people to see the good in us and never the bad.  We have to stifle that self-important part of ourselves that wants to gloat over others' shortcomings and instead encourage and exhort, putting ourselves in the position of servant rather than master.

We need to cultivate a humble spirit, given to building others up.  When things get bad, the last thing we need to deal with is each others petty power plays.  A humble attitude will go a long way toward building community.

Putting other peoples needs before our own will, in reality, serve us far more than demanding our own way.  It is hard enough in our regular, daily life to be more concerned with others than ourselves, but in a grid-down situation, it will be nearly impossible.  If we don't practice selflessness now, we won't stand a chance when things get really bad.  Being selfless is one of the truly great characteristics of a human being.  Putting all others before his own wants and desires is what Jesus did when he sacrificed himself on the cross.  And see where His selflessness got us?!  Everywhere.  Can you imagine what we could do if we actively pursued selflessness in our daily life?  We could move mountains! Selflessness will be the hallmark of the survivors at the end of the world.

Relationships can be challenging.  They can be inconvenient and messy.  But they also hold the key to survival when the world is turned upside down.  We were created for relationship with each other, not with computer friends or a few choice people who tell us what we want to hear, but with our neighbors, our families, our churches.

Yes, we all have warts.  We all are ugly and sinful.  But we need each other.  We need to develop mercy, grace and selflessness.  In order to reap the benefits of relationship, we must cultivate the tools of relationship.  Our only hope of survival is each other.  We have to learn to care for each other now, or we will not have the ability to survive the coming collapse.

After reading Patriots again, I decided that yes, it was written by a man, but a man who understood relationships and the necessity of banding together to overcome great odds.  He understood what it takes not just to survive, but to flourish.  He understood TEOTWAWKI and relationships.


  1. Our bible study has been all about forgiving offenses. Hard to do, easy to say. How to avoid defending yourself, how with God's strength and grace we can forgive anything. Especially if we keep in mind what God has forgiven us. I think it ties in with what you're saying. Thanks for a confirming post.

  2. Enola, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your posts here. I only recently found your blog but must say I am quickly growing quite fond of you and your family. God has blessed you with a depth of wisdom and insight that seems to be so rare today. It is a true blessing that you are willing to take the time to share that wisdom with others. You bring honor to God in doing so and the fact that you are willing to put yourself out there so openly and give the glory to Him is such a blessing. Especially in a nation that that is increasingly becoming so 'not politically correct'. (Are you as sick of that as I am?) The more I read the more I see how our beliefs line up and it is so refreshing to find another like minded friend. Makes me wish I could invite you over for tea! :) It is clear that none of this is stated for your own glorification and that makes it all the better. I want you to know that your obedience to the Lords leading is very much appreciated. I pray the Lord blesses you abundantly for it.

    I had come here this morning to find the post regarding Youth Groups so I could show it to my husband. We are dealing with that very situation at our small church right now. Some are wanting to start one and we, along with a couple other families, oppose it. When I found your article last night it seemed to hit the nail on the head of the issue. There is much good reading here at this blog and I look forward to exploring it further.

    Enola, your posts speak clearly of what a godly woman you are. Not lifting you up, but giving Him praise and the glory for the work He's done in another sister. You bring honor to our Father. God bless you!


  3. Enola,
    It is befitting to equate that if our relationship with God is genuine and truly interactive, then we should also have healthy relationships that are interactive and beneficent with others.

    The relationships in "Patriots" are based on the simple framework of a shared philosophy by the books characters...Study this carefully!
    God's beneficence toward man, and man's beneficence to others, who also BELIEVE.
    In order to SURVIVE and thrive in this earthly life, we must pray intently for and rely on God's gift of wisdom, to place us, or lead us into the company of others who will mutually together, honor and respect each other according to HIS philosophy of beneficence toward mankind.

    Pray and use HIS direction to chose your relationships wisely. For we were NOT meant to be isolated and alone.


  4. This is a most befitting sermon by Pastor Chuck Baldwin, Enemy Within The Gates
    click on the free (Play sermon audio.)

  5. OUCH! That hit home. Our first obligation is to our brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why finding a true church family is very important. We can help each other to keep our eyes and hearts turned heavenward where they should be focused. I am guilty of the isolationism, it is much easier to stay to one's self than it is to interact with others, especially those who may ridicule you or who are selfish in their own ways. Thank you for this post.

  6. Enola,
    You convict me every time I read one of your posts, and this is no different.... THANK YOU for that. I am blessed every time I come to your site...May God continue to bless you and yours.

  7. Enola,
    Thanks so much for the wonderful reminder. Last fall our family of 15 planted sorghum for the first time in order to press it and have our years worth of sweetener for things like making our bread and such. Some Amish people in a different state very kindly answered our many questions along the way. My son said to one of them that a lot of our friends and neighbors had expressed an interest in helping or watching. We were uncertain of having them do so because WE knew that WE didn't know what we were doing. Perhaps they should wait until next year when we have a little experience. This Amish gentlemen said, "they don't know that you don't know"! So they came and helped and observed and we all had a wonderful time and made lots and lots of syrup which now lines our pantry shelves. We also had a lot to give away. I think people really do long to take part in other peoples lives and learn from one another. I only recently found your site and I have been blessed by your writing.

  8. AMEN sister what a beautiful piece!! I am so guilty of not wanting to put time and energy into relationships, but what I am losing out on is not only friendships but knowledge . People depended on each other to learn from them as well. God bless you and your family and I am gonna go and seek out my friends and rekindle .
    Thank You!!

  9. One day after, SHTF, only one thing matters.
    Beans, Bullets, and band aids. That is lead and brass.
    to survive. Walking live meat to eat. Lastly, cloth from
    woman dress to cover bullet holes. Mark your words,
    NOBAMA will put your a$$ on a train to FEMA death camp.
    What ever the GORDEN HORDES will want is gone, no matter
    how much five women protect the house. Five dead men will
    display the path to a house of food, ready for slaughter.
    Militia of none, no guns, no ammo. April 2011

  10. Good thoughts. Some of us do need to be more forgiving. Just be careful not to go to far the other direction, and be a door mat to be taken advantage of. I have been at both ends of the spectrum, and with Gods direction have found the middle ground. Being so "forgiving" as to be taken advantage of by so called friends is not good. That causes one eventually to go to the other extreme and become harsh, quick to judge, and slow to forgive. I guess it is self preservation that kicks in.

  11. Please prove God exists so that I may be better able to understand your mysticism and fascination with superstition and ethereal nonsense. Thanks in advance.

  12. Dear Anonymous;

    You are proof that God exists! The proof is in the fact He loved you enough to breath life into you, that He continues to love you enough to raise your head every morning. Creation itself speaks to His existence. He is calling your name. Will you answer?


  13. after reading this post i started thinking what it was like in the years prior to the late 1960's...when families were large, and took care of each other. if extended families did not live under the same roof they were just up the road or just on the other side of town. these days an extended family means major roadtrips for most and many of those whose families have stayed rooted in an area no longer eat together, or even speak to one another.

  14. It's so funny that you should mention this book. I seriously just finished reading it yesterday. I also just found your blog.

    You are a blessing and it is a joy to read your thoughts and opinions.

  15. I thought that very same thing after reading Patriots. Not just the relationships as being a bit...er...phony, but also the fact that the book simply skims past raising an infant to a child in TEOTWAWKI environment...seriously, that's the stuff I really want to know!

  16. http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/media/sermons/03.27.11.mp3

    Identifying Our Friends

    A must listen to this audio.

  17. In response to Lee Family- it's very cool that you shared your knowledge (little though it was at the time)! They say you learn best by teaching someone else. Another way to share is to engage children in the process. You'd be surprised how many would give up their video games for an adult who will spend time showing them a skill. In today's latchkey world, kids will eat up the attention! We adopted our daughter as a 10 year old and didn't think she'd be OK with our lack of video game systems and 24 hr. TV. However, she thinks we're lots of fun: we make homemade bread and butter, garden and can, spin and knit, and she's now learning to sew. I never thought she'd like that kind of thing. She LOVES it! But I've also had students I teach beg to stay after school to spin, knit and weave with me, and all the grades who see it want to join. Another plus to connecting and sharing skills-- you're less likely to have to fight off your neighbors if they also possess the skills to care for themselves, and they may be more likely to share and help defend the community together.