Father God said, "Look at the Supermarkets" and then He said, "Don't be anxious when you see what they do". People are getting desperate. Some don't have God and might not know that God is here to cover us if we call on Him in Jesus's name. And, some refuse to turn to God because they serve idols and won't acknowledge Jesus. Or, they think Christianity is a hoax because they don't see proof. Ha! As Christians we see God move everyday beyond our circumstances and we know He's a Living God... Anyway. God has a hedge of protection around us and angels are keeping charge over us so we don't have to worry.
I ordered groceries recently and the Holy Spirit had me say to the delivery worker in the hallway (where ALL my neighbors could hear me), "Stay encouraged. The devil can't touch us." Another encouraging sign? One of my neighbors posted a note to not worry and read Psalm 91. Confirmation!
Image credit: M. Medina
What's the Timeline? The Holy Spirit said, "Look at Italy"
A lot of people already know we have several weeks of self-isolation and quarantines ahead of us. However, some might not know this. Father God spoke through my mom and said we might be able to start going out in the middle of May so please keep this in mind.
From what God said when He spoke through my mom, we have to wait for the coronavirus to peak first and then "when the numbers start to go down", it will be a sign that we're almost over this. The government estimated the end of April but God told my mom it would be the middle of May maybe. Remember, we're on track with Italy so we still have several weeks ahead of us, by some estimates. I praise God for my mother and God speaking through her.
Do Not Panic...But Pray and Prepare
It's a time for God's people to prepare and pray - not panic. And, this is really important to not lose your head because people in the world are panicking because the news is sharing all kinds of headlines. People are also online posting "their feelings" instead of facts. Meaning, they're saying they're afraid which is making more people afraid. This is something to be cautious about because it's a "group-think" that can get out of control.
I used to write a lot about millennials and how they learn differently from other generations. They sometimes go by what they find online and take that as factual information so we have to keep them in prayer. We want everyone to know that God loves us and He is in control and that the devil can't touch us. We also have to pray for all those that don't know God because the devil is trying to cause fear, anxiety, bitterness and depression. And, this is very concerning.
Fear is Getting Worse, Pray About It...
I was online and the news headlines are horrible. I understood now why God said, "Don't even think about coronavirus".
What your epitaph should say you did during coronavirus
A woman recorded all the industrial refrigerators being set up as storage for the dead in NYC and she was panicking as she spoke, "This is my view outside" or something similar
And something about "Writing your will and preparing to die now"
There was a story about a bus driver who complained online about a passenger coughing on him and the driver died a few hours later
The concern is these were from reputable sites and the themes are striking fear if you don't know God and have a relationship with Him. Remember, if it's 9:30 pm, say "Let me get to bed early so I can get up and pray." Our corporate prayers (effective, fervent, from the righteous) are working, Hallelujah! The coronavirus is already defeated in Jesus's name and by God's authority. It's just a matter of time before we SEE more evidence. Remember, with faith we don't see it at first but we speak it and pray it and it then becomes manifest. Okay, back to the supermarket story and part of the reason I think God wants me to write this.
Image credit: Source unknown
My Grocery Order: When NOTHING Was Available
I ordered groceries the other day and the store wasn't out of 1 to 3 items like normal. They were were out of about 16 different items.
The store was out of bread, chicken in the big pack, peanut butter, tuna fish, bacon, apples, beans, frozen vegetables, rice and tomatoes. As you can imagine that's a lot. But, I think that's why it's important that we go to the market or shop online now. We need to prepare for several weeks, as an estimate. But, here's the thing. When my order arrived, I was missing about 20 additional items. The store wasn't sure if it was a driver or packing error but I was missing: 2 packs of chicken, 2 gallon bottles of water, applesauce, 3 loaves of bread, soap, shampoo, pie shells, 2 packs of cheese and other products. Hence, prepare for shortages and be patient. Fortunately, I can place an order with another store as backup. Hallelujah to God!
Dr. Bill Winston's prophet told him that the coronavirus would leave as quickly as it came in. However, given what God said through my mom, we still need to have enough because that's a long stretch. If the U.S. goes through a stretch like Italy did where there are 700 or 800 or even 1,000 deaths a day, we may not be able to get out. Hence, the need to prepare now. It's worth mentioning that as of 4/8, there are over 417,000 cases in the US and over 14,000 deaths, based on recent data. But, we serve Jehovah Jireh, (The Lord who provides), so we praise God this enemy is defeated in Jesus's name and by God's authority.
As I was writing this, the Holy Spirit said, "Look at your Bible about the end times and famine." We know famine comes to the world but during that time, people that serve God and trust in Him won't experience this. We thrive in famine because God supplies ALL our needs.
As an example, I remember years ago my mom loaded my freezer with all this bread. Tons of it. It had been there about a year or two when I got ready to throw it out. The Holy Spirit said, "Take it back inside." I didn't know that in the next season I would go through a drought - I ate every waffle, English muffin and piece of Texas toast. God provided! Won't He do it? He will not fail. However, we have to be obedient to Him. That's part of the Deuteronomy 28 blessings:
"Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and He shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, (Deuteronomy 28:3-8).
As you can see from the above scriptures, obedience to God is vital. There were about 10 verses in Deuteronomy 28 (verses 3-13) that describe the blessings we receive. There are also about 52 verses (verses 16-68) that describe the curses for disobeying God. Hence, we are covered as long as we obey God. Please remember this is so important. Jesus said, "Not everyone that calls me Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven", (Matthew 7:21).
Remember, Father God is dealing with our enemies. Look at the time just prior to the coronavirus. There were bombs in synagogues, swastikas and nooses everywhere and racism on the jobs, in schools and neighborhoods. So we cried out and God answered. Now, not everyone going through coronavirus is our enemy. No, not at all. It's wheat and chaff. That's why we need to pray that people who don't know God find Him while there's time.
Our enemies are the devil, his workers, those that refuse God, serve false gods and those that have been warring against Christians. But, Jesus says, "EVERY knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." And, the Holy Spirit said just now, "We will see signs of hope and God's goodness soon". He's a God of His promises and He will not fail! Hallelu-Yahweh!
This brings to mind that God is just. He can't stand injustice in any way or abuse to the poor. (Don't tip the scales is an example). And because we have prayed and cried out to God, He is responding. God said in His earlier messages that He was "putting the enemy under our feet". And, it's important to let God work and the Holy Spirit is saying, "Don't look back".
If you look at the passages in Isaiah 41, God says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
How to Prepare and Avoid Panic
First and foremost, remember, you have a Father God who loves you so please don't give up or think "This is it" or grab your heart and say, "I'm coming home Lizzie!" like Fred Sanford (for our Baby Boomer audiences).
A few reminders:
Keep reading your Bible daily and praying to Father God.
Keep speaking in tongues every day.
Keep rebuking the devil and rebuking fear by God's authority and in Jesus's name. We stand on faith, not fear. God doesn't give us the spirit of fear but of POWER and of LOVE and a SOUND MIND.
Keep remembering that you have a guardian angel who is here with you and no weapons formed against you shall prosper.
Lastly, remember, the woman who made the little cake for Elijah? It was her last and she thought she and her son would die? It was all she had for her family but she gave it to Elijah. There's a SUPER that meets up with our NATURAL when we trust God. Meaning, there is no LAST or END with God. Leave room for Him to show up. That's exercising our faith.
There's a quote, "When I'm down to nothing, God is up to something". We're never down to nothing. But, sometimes God lets us get down to the end of us, (flesh, our way of doing things) so He can then show up and show us what He has for us (hidden paths, windows of opportunity). It's one of the reasons that people in third world countries are so close to God. (See the movie, Faith Like Potatoes). They have to call on Him daily for rain, for the sunny weather to grow their crops, etc. And, God will not fail!
When You Shop
A concern is that the stores might run out of food or that workers might become sick and unable to safely deliver food. Remember, these are people delivering groceries now and some only recently started wearing masks. So, these are things to consider.
Here are a few recommendations to help you when you shop. Not everyone is going to need all these tips because there are some moms (God bless you!) who already know how to find the bargains and cook during lean seasons. However, there are a lot of millennials and people of other generations who have never been through a drought, famine or plague before.
The real concern is that in March, 70% of non-essential personnel were told to stay home. But, what happens when they tell everyone to stay home in every state? Meaning, the whole country? Again, now's the time to prepare but not panic. God doesn't give us the spirit of fear. What you do want is a plan so you have enough in place before they shift to panic-mode. It's something that's coming because the Holy Spirit keeps pushing and prompting me on this supermarket topic. Glory to God. Thank You, Holy Ghost for wisdom! He speaks what He hears from Father God.
If You Can Get Out to Shop (For Seniors)
Check with the stores in your area. Some are opening an hour earlier or they might set aside the first hour or two specifically for senior shoppers. This helps ensure you can navigate the aisles, find what you need and not have to stand in long lines.
If you have a pre-existing health condition or respiratory condition, please don't go out. Reach out to a friend, neighbor or relative who can shop for you.
You might also want to check with local churches, AARP and charitable organizations in your area.
If you're interested in ordering groceries online, ask a trusted friend or close relative to help you navigate the websites. Or, you can call the online grocery store's support line.
If You Can Get Out to Shop (In General)
First and foremost, pray and stay in peace. My mom reminded me of this, "Thou [God] wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on Thee, (Isaiah 26:3)."
To avoid panic in stores, shop extra early or drive to remote, rural areas that may not be as busy as urban shopping centers.
Rebuke the devil and stay in prayer. We are God's property and should put on the whole armor of God AND fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has also said, "Quit complaining". There are some that gripe, murmur and complain about being inconvenienced. Don't see it that way. We are set apart and we have to let God have His way and defend us. He is putting the enemy under our feet.
If your local stores are out of food, shop in a more rural area. Shop in larger stores like Costco or Super Walmart.
If the larger stores are out, try shopping with online stores.
If your local store lets you save items to your online shopping cart, do that and then pay for your order so you don't risk going to the store only to find out they're sold out.
If you have special needs or a lot of children, ask the manager or staff politely when they get their next shipment in. It might mean early mornings but if you can beat the rush, you might find more of the items you need.
When shopping in stores, wear a mask as coronavirus is respiratory, meaning it's airborne and you can breathe it in through your nose or mouth.
Use a wet wipe to wipe off the shopping cart handle if you're not wearing gloves. Assume that surfaces might not be clean so don't touch your face: eyes, mouth or nose.
Pay with a credit card and not cash if you can avoid it so you won't have to touch money with your hands. If you don't have gloves on, wipe your hands after using the credit card terminal and/or pen to complete your transaction.
Do not eat anything that's open in the stores, i.e., free samples or any food that's uncovered. Most stores have removed deli meats so don't shop for things that are exposed to the air or have been sitting out. That also goes for vegetables and fruit. Some people get hungry and will eat grapes or strawberries or trail mix as they shop. Avoid eating anything while you are out especially if you're walking up and down the aisles. Remember, people may have the coronavirus and may not show symptoms. There are also people who might be coughing and sneezing who don't realize it's not the flu or a "bug".
Remember in most areas you have to stay 6-feet away from other people (social distancing). Try to be observant of this and be very patient and polite. People are short-tempered, frustrated and some are scared.
If you want to say something reassuring and kind (and God tells you it's okay), by all means, say it. On an episode of Marilyn and Sarah, Sarah Bowling said that you never know who might need a kind word and in that 6-feet of space, you never know who might be listening. Sometimes people just need to know that Jesus is with us, to not worry, don't be afraid and that, God's got us. Remember, this is "not the end". Jesus is coming back to a unified church that's on one accord (His bride). We're not there yet. And, we haven't had the wealth transfer or the Gospel of God preached to every person yet.
When you take your bags to your vehicle, have a sheet down where you will put your bags (like in the trunk). Try not to put them in the back seat and then have the windows open. The coronavirus can live on plastic, cardboard for a specific period of time (see below). So, you'll want to avoid causing the particles to get into the air and then breathing them in. Another reason a surgical mask can help. But, not the N95 masks as our healthcare workers are in desperate need of these.
When you get ready to drive your vehicle, if you don't have gloves on, consider how you'll wipe your steering wheel and console down. If you do have gloves on, use a fresh wipe to rid your hands of any germs. Some people take their gloves off after they leave the store but you still need them to get your bags inside unless you're going to wipe your hands down again. I watched a delivery driver today get back into his vehicle. He touched the lock on the driver side and I guess he remembered that he hadn't washed his hands so he wiped it down.
See the section below on bringing groceries in. You'll want a designated area for your groceries until you wipe down all cans, containers and bottles. This is important as the coronavirus can live on cardboard, metal and glass for specific time frames.
If You Can't Get Out and Need to Shop Online
Depending on where you live, you might be able to set up accounts through Peapod.com, Instacart.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods or FreshDirect.com.
Another option is to shop with your local store and see if they offer online delivery.
An important aspect of shopping online is picking out substitutions if your store gives you this option. For example, if you shop with Instacart, let's say you pick wheat bread. You'll want to select the substitution option to pick out a substitute so that you still get bread if it's available. Some newer delivery personnel might not readily make a substitution or text you about a replacement so make a substitution and leave a note like, "If they're low on bread, okay to buy what's left".
When you order from your preferred store, make a list of the items they are out of and shop online at another store. For example, I shop with Peapod but as they were out of 16 items, I found them online with Instacart.
Note with the online store their coronavirus policy or any special message they give about contactless shopping. With contactless shopping, instead of the driver handing you the bags, they will leave them at your door. Use the notes/comments section when you check out to let them know if it should be your front door, back door, etc. Remember, you don't want to stand face-to-face with the driver (to reduce the spread of the coronavirus). That means negotiate your tip online (not in cash) and follow-up with the store online if any items are missing or you're not happy with substitutions.
If you want to pay your tip in cash, once you know the driver is near the door, Peapod recommends taping the tip to the door. I would only do this if I can see the driver approaching so no one walks off with the envelope.
If you're in an apartment building, you might not want to make several trips to the lobby for your groceries. Again, to keep it contactless, ask the driver to bring them to your door. My neighbor, for example, orders a lot of groceries and food deliveries. When she knows a delivery is coming, the delivery person leaves the package in front of the door and then sends her a text message or knocks. She doesn't open the door until he leaves. She then sprays a little Lysol into the hallway before going out to get her package. I haven't seen her wear gloves or a mask but I would have those on, as well to avoid any particles in the air like if the driver or another neighbor has coughed or sneezed. We rebuke the coronavirus, but again, it's airborne and respiratory so be cautious with this.
The Holy Spirit said also as a reminder to be careful with "price gouging" and prices based on demand. For example, I normally buy the 2.5 dozen pack of eggs that's usually $4.99 when it's on sale. However, with the demand now, the price went up to $5.99 but when I checked out and double-checked the prices to make sure I wasn't missing any new sales, the price had gone up to $7.19. Be careful with this because with some stores, they will raise the prices and you might not realize it as the items are in your cart. I've seen this with Amazon Fresh. However, stores like Peapod honor prices for 7-days. If the item is something you can order online and you don't need it right away, price it to see if you can find it cheaper. You might even catch a sale!
Types of Substitutions to Consider
When shopping for groceries, a lot of items might be out of stock. However, making substitutions can help you still get the groceries you need even when store supplies are low. For example, I ordered 2 different types of bread and ordered 4 total loaves of bread but only received 1 loaf.
Consider these substitutions:
Beans: If traditional beans like kidney and red beans are out, try pinto, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, fava beans or soy beans (look for recipes online or mix them into soups and stews)
Bread: If you buy white, look for wheat or vice versa, other options include dinner rolls, fresh or frozen bagels, waffles, pancake mix, frozen bread, frozen pizza dough, crescent rolls, potato bread, bread mix
Butter: Margarine, oil, coconut oil, lard (keep in mind some of these options are not heart-healthy)
Cereal: Oatmeal, grits, farina, instant hot cereals, steel cut oats
Chicken: Turkey, pork (diet, religious beliefs permitting), game hens, rabbit, vegetarian options (see above)
Chips and crackers: cut potatoes and other veggies into paper-thin slices and fry or bake them; look for cracker recipes online as some only require flour, butter and a little salt
Fruit (fresh):If you buy fresh and they're out, look for canned or frozen, you can also try Bolt House drinks, V-8 fruit juice and Tropicana
Juice: If juices are out, look for canned juice (concentrated) or buy fresh fruit and make smoothies.
Ground beef: Ground turkey, ground chicken, vegetarian meat crumbles by Gardein, Boca, LightLife or Morningstar
Milk: Vitamin D, 2%, 1%, almond, walnut or hazelnut milk, soy milk, and even canned evaporated milk (keep in mind some options might include added sugar)
Pasta: If spaghetti noodles and elbow macaroni are out, try linguine noodles, ravioli, gnocchi, penne, farfalle, tagliatelle or capellini (angel hair pasta)
Pizza: Frozen pizza, frozen pizza dough, crescent rolls or bagels with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella
Rice: Couscous, quinoa, risotto, millet, flax, barley, buckwheat, brown rice or riced broccoli or cauliflower
Soda: Seltzer water
Sour cream: Plain and plain Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream, other options include cream cheese and milk, cottage cheese and milk in a blender
Vegetables (fresh): If you buy fresh and they're out, look for canned or frozen, you can also try V-8 vegetable juice and make it into a soup or buy vegetable soup
When You Get Groceries and Takeout Food Home
To ensure your safety and protect your family. There are special precautions to take when bringing food (groceries, takeout) into the home.
Here are a few points to keep in mind:
3-Hours: That's how long the coronavirus can live in small aerosol droplets like if someone sneezes or coughs.
4-Hours: That's how long the coronavirus can live on a copper surface.
24-Hours: That's how long the coronavirus can live on a bag or cardboard item. That doesn't include organic cardboard.
3-Days: That's how long the virus can live on a standard plastic food container.
Another helpful tip is how to clean your surfaces at home to keep all family members safe. Here is a short but helpful video on cleaning to prevent coronavirus.
This is a short video that explains hand washing and how to safely bring food into your home albeit they don't discuss the length of time that the virus can live on surfaces.
Here's a helpful video on food safety tips (grocery stores, restaurants). The only thing I don't agree with is he didn't wear a mask while he was unpacking the groceries. He said later to wash fruit/veggies with water, not water and soap. I prefer a little soapy water (a nutritionist taught me that, thought it was an angel at the grocery store).
Grocery Tips to Make Food Last
Defrost your freezer so you'll have extra space. When you pull everything out, write a list of what you have. As you put items back, date them and update your list as you remove and add items.
Wrap meats in butcher paper. If you don't have that, try saran wrap and foil. You can do this with casseroles, too.
If you're short on space, use sandwich bags like the Zip-lock type in quart sizes. This is great for smaller servings if you only want to thaw out a little spaghetti and sauce or a few slices of meatloaf or apple pie. Pastas, macaroni and stews can go into these bags.
Don't freeze food in glass as the glass can crack and shatter. Ensure your bags are upright (zip part at the top), food is not hot when freezing (to reduce bacteria) and that the seal works.
Label your bags with the item and date. This helps especially if you're freezing sauces as you might not be able to tell beef sauce from teriyaki without thawing it out.
You can freeze most food items but some will break down. For example, freeze beef stew but potatoes in the stew won't hold their form. An option is to eat any remaining potatoes before freezing the rest. Or, eat the potatoes but expect them to be a little soft and spongy.
When you're ready to defrost your food, do it in the fridge, cold water or use the microwave. Never defrost at room temperature as you want to prevent bacteria growth. If you're in a rush, use cool water. It only takes a short time to thaw meat.
Watch the shelf-life of your food. Bread should be stored in double bags to prevent freezer burn which can occur after 6-months. You can always trim a tiny portion of freezer burn off meats but if it's all freezer burned it might be better to discard it. For accurate temps, check with the FDA. If you have items that smell like the freezer like bread and you have to use them, make bread pudding or use them with a stew or spaghetti to mask the freezer taste.
Remember to hang in there. The Holy Spirit said, "It gets better" and Job 8:7 states, "Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase". Additionally, God says in Haggai 2:9, "'The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former,' saith the LORD of hosts. 'And, in this place will I give peace', saith the LORD of hosts."Wait until we're all crowded together again back in the malls, beaches, restaurants and movie theaters (I want my NCAA tournament back)! Oh happy day!
I wonder if golf is considered a social distancing sport? Anyway... Hallelujah to God! Great is His faithfulness. (Write to us and let us know if there are any tips we should include). We're praying for you and your family!