06 December, 2016

Looking for GOD in the New Year Ahead

I guess I have been avoiding my blogging efforts because I want to write with a regular computing system instead of this mobile device.  The autofill is about to drive me nuts! 

Of course, the real issue is Christmas.  I used my computer money to get presents.  I don't regret it.  I LOVE this time of year and have been enduring my own financial drought for some time... too long a time.  It was easy to give up my search for a small affordable laptop to meet my current needs for all my online work.  I will continue that quest next year.

This time of year usually changes my flow for other reasons, too.  It is when I evaluate my past year and try to plan some reasonable goals for the next one.  Getting ahead of my challenges is the measure.  It hasn't been going great well the past several past years.  This makes me do a lot of praying and searching for better outcomes.

The choice to spend some of my computer money let me invest in several long-awaited resources. 

I decided to invest in a DVD set about building Tiny Homes...a great idea it turns out, the set will be very helpful to me. 

I purchased items for personal needs, like a blow dryer for my hair. 

I shopped some of the big sales this year and decided to purchase items that are really for craft projects, but I will try them out for kitchen activities first. This would be a very small microwave and a toaster oven.  (I have never really used a toaster oven, so I want to know if it is a good food prep option for living in tiny homes.)

I spent some of my funds on various crafting tools and supplies, which will help my crafting income goals.

Plus, I purchased gifts for Christmas!

It has been the best holiday I've had in years!  I am wondering if you can even understand the depth of that statement....

So 2017 looks more promising, if I can overcome the other challenges I am facing.

Evaluating our lives is a hard thing to do because we only see the best in us and often blame the worst in others for any problems that didn't get fixed.  I know I have heard a simple statement about this common situation, but I can't remember what it was right now.  The principle remains the same no matter whose life you are talking about.  We forgive our own failings, and notice everyone else's faults.

In the days left of 2016 I hope to keep evaluating my goals with GOD's point of view.  When I finally decided on my main goal for next year, I will try to share it with you.  Maybe you can hold me accountable, keep me on track.

Until my next post, and who knows WHEN that will be!!, let me make sure to wish you a very Merry Christmas!  Remember the real reason for our celebrations, and share your bounty with those who don't have enough.

May GOD help each have of us to grow in His love as we face each new day.

With love, in Christ,
Deborah Martin

http://work2gather.us
6 December 2016

01 November, 2016

The Battle to Believe Is Getting Worse

I was just browsing my Facebook posts and came across one about Amy Grant releasing a new album that was evaluated as not being "Christian enough."  As I read the Washington Post (liberal, against GOD) article, there was a link about another media Christian who stated that LGBTetc morals were biblically acceptable.  Lots of words for the politically correct view, none about the right to disagree or the fact that the Bible is adamantly against the sexual choices of the LGBTetc community. 

The greater damage with all these articles is the presentation of falsehoods as truth, which is the ultimate goal of these writers and publishers.  Many people do not know what the Bible says so they can't discern what is true and what is false.  The media they depend on doesn't present the whole truth anymore, but their followers believe they do.

What will it mean to live in a world that once was free and faithful but is now violently opposed to anything having to do with GOD?  I hate to think about living in a fully controlled information environment.  Part of our greatness as a country was the ability to differ, to discuss with a level of respect, to debate concepts and ideas, without propaganda or violence or imprisonment.

When I think of the consequences caused by thought police, I remember movies like Hotel Rwanda and The Hiding Place, of Pharaoh in the days of Jewish slavery, the Jewish leaders in the time of Christ, and any dictator that may exist.  I'm not good at accepting this kind of change.  I doubt any Christian would be.

We never expect life to become so terrible, especially in America, but history has shown us that it happens, all the time, and often in cycles.  Christians understand that Bible prophecy has already described these days, but it isn't easy to watch happening, or live through.

At a personal level, I have tried to understand this global change process.  The best I can say about it is a nation has the right to their spiritual beliefs.  If I go to another country, I am not going to change my faith because they have a national faith that is not the same as mine.  I also don't expect them to change their national faith to what I believe.  Somewhere in our relationships there has to be a mutual respect, and the freedom to discover each other. 

America was created as a place to worship the GOD of the Bible freely, without fear of retribution, imprisonment, or death.  We have a right, as a nation, to be true to that Christian foundation.  It seems we have been forced to change our laws to accomodate every non-biblical faith and personal choice that exists because of media claiming there is some basis for the separation of church and state.  Our national laws can reflect our spiritual foundation, in marriage, in abortion, and in restrooms.  It is our heritage.

The issue of national faith is kind of like the national language issue.  We speak English as a nation.  If we offer help to strangers who speak other languages, it needs to be seen as an act of kindness, not a requirement.  We can be a Christian nation without sacrificing compassion toward other faiths in our global citizens.

The only problem I have with this "respect" theory is the issue of harming others.  Some religions involve their followers in activities that cause harm to other creatures, whether human or animal.  Some use the idea of religious protections as a way to engage in illegal acts.  That is not what I would consider real spiritual faith.

Some religions force children or adults into sexual activities they dont want to participate in.  That is not what I would consider a valid right of faith.  I would call that self-indulgence, letchery, abusive, rape, a crime. 

Some religions require maiming or killing animals or human beings as a sacrifice to their "god."  I would not consider these actions evidence of a valid faith claim.   They are evidence of abuse, violence, murder... and are a crime against others. 

Hazy areas do exist in faiths that depend on the GOD of the Bible for the contents of their lives, including not choosing medical interventions.  If a person with this kind faith dies of what would be natural causes in other circumstances, and this act of their faith is not coerced by anyone in a position of leadership, the result is not suicide or murder... it is the natural causes they believe in.

A person with this kind of faith trusts that GOD has the ability to intervene, the ability to heal, the ability to change the current circumstance.  If GOD does not intervene, someone with this kind of faith accepts the results as part of a larger divine plan.  Medical intervention does not guarantee life will continue.  People who have no spiritual faith and do everything they can to stay alive still die.  Basing one's inaction on how you see GOD is not the same as actively harming someone in a claimed act of "worship."

We now live in a social and governmental climate that eliminates elderly or disabled people by forced starvation and encourages others to commit suicide to avoid the costs of their medical care.  We are moving into a selective elimination morality.  Letting GOD decide your time of death is not the same as forced euthanasia or premeditated murder.  The legal rights of government to kill people who cannot stop them is not the same as trusting GOD and ending up dying.

These are the issues we are facing now.  They are related to faith in GOD, the GOD of the Bible...no other faith is attacked at this level.  The government that once protected us is now becoming our enemy.  The Bible warns that laws will be changed to suit the needs of prophecy and fulfill the Word.

The sexual choices of the LGBTetc community are not matters of faith.  They may exist, but they do not have  the approval of the GOD of the Bible.  Making them appear as if they do is evidence of premeditated deception.  There is nothing that can make these opinions acceptable to Christians, or to GOD.  These sexual choices are not genetic in nature so they don't deserve the protection of our national laws. 

In a Christian nation, we can show kindness and compassion toward those who do not believe the way our Bible teaches, but elevating this behavior to a protected status is like legalizing pedophilia, rape, abuse, or murder.  It isn't deserved, and shouldn't be necessary for any reason.

The LGBTetc community will become what they have fought against for themselves.  It seems to be the results of power without morality. 

We, as Christians, will lose this moral war eventually... we just don't know when, how long it will take, or what we can do to protect ourselves on the way down.

I hope you will consider joining Working
Together as part of this process of change in our nation and in the world.  My goal is to join us all into one place so we can begin to be the ONE Body of Christ we should already be and find answers for the growing issues we will have to face.  For as long as possible, we can help each other to survive.

Right now I have a PayPal link on my main web page for a TRIAL membership.  It is only $5 for one year of quarterly emailed newsletters (March, June, September, and December).  It will be a way to start growing this resource for all of us.  Please join today.

I am currently working on the details and PayPal links for my planned annual December Membership Drive for the next year. Rates for 2017 are being worked out now.  I will post them as soon as I can, and post the purchase link in December.

The goal is to offer the Trial Membership all year and offer the one-year CHRISTIAN  or  PUBLIC memberships every December.  There are currently twelve planned global regions, but those will expand as membership levels increase. 

I will be updating my website with all the details as soon as I can.

You can contact me by email at ::
office@work2gather.us

or write to me at ::
PO Box 828
Eugene  OR  97440

I will get back to you as soon as I can.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

23 October, 2016

Looking for the best way to share...

I have been working on my goal pages again, reviewing my effots, my challenges (problems), and my priorities.  My life is passing before my eyes and I am wondering why I am not the billionaire I should have been by now !!  😊  I won't know that answer until I get to heaven.

Right now, I am still searching for solutions to my individual challenges in life and business, seeking GOD for direction, provision, protection, and more.  It can seem impossible to make a good decision when there are so many directions to look at. 

Financial limitations are the chains many have to work through, and I am no different.  It has been a lifetime challenge for me... my calling for this life, I think.  When I hear all the political comments about poverty, about what kind of people are poor, and about how to solve the problems associated with poverty, I wish I had a better way to share my thoughts about how to change things.

As a Christian, my feelings are mixed.  We hear every day that our level of faith is measured by our material success.  GOD is often seen as a "sugar daddy" that will give you everything you want (pray for)... if He doesn't, the problem is you. 

I don't believe that way, but I have wondered where all those Bible promises about provision went to for my life.  My needs were basic, my goals were good, my faith was true.  I used to say that my husband (spiritually, that was Jesus) wasn't as great a provider as I hoped He would be.

When I was younger, I was ready and willing to take on the world.  Right now, I am wondering how much I can accomplish within my limitations.  At the bottom line of the budget, it seems to be a money issue still.  I could hire help.  I am kind of trying to decide how much money I would need to get it all started...and wondering if crowd-funding might be worth the effort.

Faith and presumption have always been a spiritual battle in my spiritual quest for GOD's blessings.  Forcing my way forward always seems like I am not really doing GOD's Will, but making my own desires the focus. 

There are biblical verses to fit every viewpoint... I remember one verse that says we shouldn't strive because GOD lifts us up to the places we need to be.  And then there is that famous verse about knocking and seeking.  Finding the right verse isn't the real issue, GOD is... what does He want ME to do and be and strive for.  I seem to vascillate between waiting and seeking.

Well, that is where I am in my spiritual walk today... I am planning to enter more posts at this blog since spiritual issues are the content of my life. That is ONE of the decisions I have made.  😃

Until next time, may GOD bless those who love Him with all they need to accomplish His Will for their life.  May He watch over those we love, keep them safe from harm, lead them to heaven, and be the GOD we believe Him to be.  Amen.

In Christ,
Deb  💛

18 October, 2016

The Way Forward

I spend a lot of my time thinking about the problems in the world... mine, America's, and global issues that affect us.  We know about every disaster and tragedy that is reported, but we cannot solve every problem, as individuals or as nations. 

How do we help as many people (and other living creatures) as we can?  The previous charity models will not work for the future.  We can only reach out when we have enough to give.  We have to be financially healthy ourselves to reach out to those in need.  This is true for our own citizens as much as it is for the requests of other nations for financial assistance to deal with their problems

Without realizing it, this endless outreach has moved us into a government intervention model.  We have come to think of the government as the solution for every problem, especially the ones we cannot afford ourselves. 

Many think it is the poor that cause this imbalance in our financial status, but I think we would see a different picture if we really looked at government spending, if we connected the dots between elections and contracts, if we explored the supports for legislation that should never have been funded, and if we followed the trails of controversial court decisions.  Ending Welfare is not going to solve the core of our problems... attacking innocent immigrants is not going to solve our financial crises... and printing more money to meet our debt needs or fund generous commitments to other countries or programs will not make the threat of bankruptcy go away.

The taxes we pay collectively cannot support the desires of every organized group in the nation, it cannot support the healthcare we want it to provide, and it cannot support all the unfunded legislation that gets passed... taxes already cannot support the services they have been committed to.

Why is this important to the people of GOD?

Because all of these issues are leading us toward the Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast, which is really just a money system, like a credit card. 

Those who don't know about prophecy, about the Antichrist, or about the Mark of the
Beast, have no idea what technology is heading into.  Computers seem to offer the way to the future.  The Mark will seem like a safety issue, a logical way to do business, a great way to function in a world of too many passwords, increasing crime, decreasing morality, and the ongoing effort to pretend GOD doesn't exist.

This election is showing us how far we have fallen from the values of the Bible.  Neither candidate is a model American or a committed Christian.  We can see the media controls our political conversations.  The issues we currently face are more than any party, or individual, can solve.  No matter who wins, the next four years are going to be dramatic, and critical to the survival of the US and its effect in the world.

Our biggest problem, in my view, is the debt.  As a new recipient of Social Security, I was alarmed to recently discover my very small allotment of less than $400 a month is paid to me as a credit expense... meaning that it is paid like a credit card withdrawal of cash, adding to the debt that threatens to destroy us.

How many more Social Security payments are made with a credit card every month?  It is my understanding that Social Security is broke, there is no more funding in the ransacked trust fund... so all of the funds paid to any Social Security recipient every month are cash withdrawals from the government's ATM machine.

The debt takes away our ability to meet the many crises that happen every year, like fires and floods and tornados, and unforeseen events like 9/11, Katrina, and the housing/bank crisis.

How can we hold the government accountable for its own bad decisions?  If we rise up and pay the debt down to a reasonable amount, what will keep our financially desperate government from replacing our efforts with another escalation of national debt?  We have to find a way... soon!!

Changing the mindset of government is the one thing I hope Donald Trump will accomplish if he wins the presidency.  We need to change from a government totally reliant on tax income to a government limited to ONE TAX that is invested for ongoing and increasing profits and savings and growth.  We need a government that is self-sufficient instead of always desperate for more money.

Our government has become a tax addict and withdrawals will be painful for everyone.

Reducing its tax income, reducing government paychecks and benefits, eliminating jobs by eliminating departments and programs, limiting its outreach to those most in need, will force the government to save money and eliminate wasteful legislation.

Changing to income-producing investments with tax dollars instead of grants and repeated program funding, organizing for rapid changes in jobs and industries because of increasing use of technologies that replace humans, moving social intervention efforts back to the community level, and bracing for the consequences of changes in laws concerning drugs like marijuana, will also take us into major social upheaval.

We must deal with these issues as Christians, as citizens of our country, and as global outreach providers.  Lives are in danger... near to us and beyond our borders.

I keep remembering something about the Great Depression that motivates me to prepare as much as I can for harder times than we have ever known.  I remember the stock market crashed in a relative moment in time... without any acknowledged warning.

I also keep remembering the Dust Bowl, caused by our ignorance and our belief that "science," or maybe it was progress, was infallible.

And I keep thinking of biblical prophecies about these days... wondering if there is anything we can do to stop this downward trend... if there is any way to prepare.

I wish the media would search for these kinds of answers, for solutions that will work for America and not just those with the power to manipulate the system.

We are in grave financial peril... who will be able to steer us through this swamp of debt and politics?

25 August, 2016

Whale post from Facebook - trying to get it to work !! :-)

I tried the "embed" code for a video on Facebook, but couldn't get it to copy, so I am trying it here...
Hope you get to see it !!




Isn't it beautiful !!  That would be so great to see in person.   :-)

18 August, 2016

Money and Ministry

I happened on a link to a website that listed an article on the incomes of mega-pastors... it turned out to be one of those link from photo to photo presentations with no indication of how many times you would have to go to the next page.  After more than two hours of trying to reach the end of the story pages, a pop-up informed me I was looking at a series of 70 links.  I was at 29... and deeply frustrated.  It was a horrid website, with photos and ads surrounding the main topic that would be considered pornography, slander, and more.   This is what we have to deal with now...

I didn't recognize many of the names, some of which were big in other countries.  I don't know how many are on TBN, the only Christian TV station I know of, but the text of some indicated they had global outreaches and relatively small numbers of supporters for the size of their incomes.  Others had very large followings and millions in net worth.  Many of the incomes were guessed... only a few were verified, and some were from many years back.  The intent was to say that people in ministry need to live as paupers... the motive for this is so they won't have a spiritual outreach to the lives of others.  Ministries need money, too.

Some made money through their book efforts, which is a legitimate income source for anyone, but seems to be an easy target for the secular (unfriendly) media.  This form of income is used by secular personalities as well... it spreads their message and their "brand" -- and it allows either income for them, their ministries, or both.  Each situation seems to be different according to the people involved.

The issue of money and ministry has been around for a long time.  Finding the balance is hard.  How much of our efforts are for our own personal future, how much for GOD?  I had to pray for many years about this issue myself... trying to find what would be a fair and reasonable balance for my life needs and the purpose of Working Together.  I knew that a global ministry like I was planning would create enormous sums of money. 

For myself, I created a for-profit corporation that was wholly owned by me (until it could be handed off to the next caretaker or developed into a better governing format).  This meant that I could allow GOD to do what He wanted in the income area as the SEC only requires a corporation to disperse 10% of the profits to shareholders, and that was my income goal :: me 10%, GOD 90%... it worked out fine for me.  It was also ideal because the income GOD provided through this source could be used to fund other projects that are equally important, but may not be Christian in nature.  It was suppose to be my retirement plan.

The issue of wages came up repeatedly in this series of ministry attacks... it is a big concern, especially in the current war on executive salaries in business arenas.  It is also a money and ministry problem.  How much is enough?  What is fair?  If the ministry is doing well, shouldn't the main focus of the ministry (the pastor out front) be compensated for his work?  The issue with ministry wages is the needs of the work... the more you pay the employees, the less there is for the reason it exists.

This has been another prayer issue for me...  Working Together is an unusual ministry focus, so the guidelines I chose may not be the same ones other ministries would use.  The End Times will be a time of great needs, people will be trying to survive, and we don't know what they will need to survive from.  I chose to make the wages fairly equal for all employees.  I guess I haven't fully decided about the responsibility levels of trainee, staff, management, but the differences I am considering are nominal financially. 

For now, the plan is to pay everyone by the hour, the same wage no matter your position or responsibility, making us equal, like we are in the Body of Christ.  If you have private income, that is your income, Working Together is only concerned about the wages it pays to its employees for work done on behalf of the organization.  In time, as we build, staff benefits will include housing, food, medical, and other basic survival needs as part of the wage package.  It is a permanent commitment to Christian members, who will make up the bulk of our employee base.  I hope that we will be able to create these resources in each region of the world, becoming self-sufficient in each place we exist, to care for the members in that region.

Ministries that deal in global locations have more money issues than those existing only in the United States.  How do you translate the difference in living standard into a wage?  It has been one of my concerns for years.  Gospel for Asia and Voice of the Martyrs employees in their local regions are going to have different economic needs than its US employee base, but the level of lifestyle is still a big question.  Do we value our wages at minimum wage, a decent wage, or in comparison to middle or upper class workers in each location?  The difference can be huge.  For Working Together I have developed a percentage option for housing and for food costs... but I am trying to figure out the base amount to use. 

When I was reading the different salary amounts other ministries provide their "executives," I had mixed feelings.  The costs of their lifestyles, their ministry-related activities, are not always noted in these wage figures... and they are always gross wages/salaries, before tax deductions, and with no indication if medical or other benefits are included in the figures. 

In my life, I have broken the $10K level of income only once.  Current minimum wages for full-time (40 hours a week) can range from $15,080  a year at $7.25 to Oregon's current minimum wage of $9.75, which equals $20,280  a year in gross wages.  The push to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour would make the yearly gross income of that worker $31,200 -- approximately $2600/month.  All of these minimum wages are a lot less than the $100 to $550,000 a year some mega-pastors were reported as receiving for a base salary.

What is fair?

Do ministry employees work any less hard than secular counterparts in business?
Is their salary an indication of GOD's blessings on their life and work?
How do we value the experience of ministry workers to the organization's mission?

It isn't an easy question to answer.  Ministry workers are often like employees in social services, community organizations, and other non-profit works that serve people with needs  --  all of whom seem to be notoriously underpaid, but choosing to dedicate their lives to a purpose greater than their wages.  The difference between small and large organizations is another part of this wage conversation.

So far, Working Together has not been able to hire anyone, even me.  It has been a challenge just to keep existing.  Praying through these money issues has been important for me.  I am more worried about GOD's opinions than the media's... I want to be at peace with Him, His blessings are the important part of this business-ministry hybrid. 

With that said, I'm not sure why GOD hasn't blessed Working Together already.  :-)   It would have been easier to have had a nominal income as one of its employees, to have had the finances to grow, to have built the resources Christians will need for the future, but that is GOD's domain.  My purpose is to keep trying to reach the Body of Christ with the message that the may not be "saved" by the Rapture they are expecting... that we will need to prepare alternatives for support and fellowship in a combative and violent environment... that what we have always known is not what is coming.

I don't expect to live too much longer, but I hope to see GOD provide for the real needs of His people before I go.  In the meantime, I keep praying for the solutions to our problems so I will be ready for that day.  I don't need hundreds of thousands of dollars for myself, I just need enough for my survival needs, for now and for when I can't do anything to earn my support, shelter, food, transportation, and personal income for a few luxuries.  I suppose being poor all my life helps me to be satisfied at the minimum wage level...  it is harder to go down the ladder of "success" than it is to go up.


01 July, 2016

Finding the way to GOD's Peace

Friday, 1 July 2016
faith-and-prayer.blogspot.com
Deborah Martin, work2gather.us



It is hard to be Christian in the face of evil.
 
 
Today starts another month !!  As each month passes, I am reminded of how quickly time passes by, and how little I have left.  I would like to use my remaining time to do as much as I can toward the goals GOD has put in my heart to work toward, especially Working Together.

This understanding of GOD's Will in my small life is a challenge I face each day.  I wonder why the past happened and what the future will be.  How much of our pain is a consequence of previous bad choices we have made, how much comes from the sin of others, and how much is a message from GOD to direct our course?  The inability to change some of the parts of our lives makes us dependent on GOD for the details we have to live with (against our chosen will).  My quest is to know what I need to do -- today, and tomorrow, and the days after that.  With a focus on the End Times, I want to prepare myself for the unknown challenges that lie ahead.

For me, it is hard to imagine living in a country that was once free, good, and powerful and have to watch as it disintegrates morally, financially, and spiritually.  The Bible tells us the End Times will be like the days of Noah.  (verses 37-38)  The story of Noah (Genesis 6) tells us that he was the only righteous man of his time.  What would our world be like with just one righteous man?  As I was reading these Bible sections to write this post, I was reminded that all those people who filled the earth in Noah's time were unsaved.  The Bible tells us they were corrupt, violent, wicked, evil continually.  It is beyond my comprehension what it would be like to live in a place like that, but we are on our way there.  I hope I am long gone before it gets to that point.

We hate the crime and violence we already have to deal with... and GOD's good people are still plentiful.  How will Christians continue to exist in the middle of this increasing violence and persecution?  We seem to think that creating a law will make the struggle go away.  It won't.  The Bible warns us the changing of laws (verse 25) will be part of the End Time process.

I don't do very well in suffering.  I have had to endure a lot of terrible things in my life, but that doesn't mean they were easy for me, or that I suffered them well.  I did what I could, what I had to do to survive them at the time.  After I committed my life to the path of GOD, I endured suffering with prayer and a daily act of trust in where GOD was taking me through them.  I don't want to suffer any more than I already have.


I need to find my sense of peace again...
 about GOD
 and LIFE
 and SUFFERING

I have been watching Facebook posts from the Corrie ten Boom page go by on my timeline.  They make me think about how terrible it was to endure the actions of the Nazis against the Jews.  It is the only effort at global genocide I know of.  With the advances we are experiencing in technology, the reach and persecutions of the Antichrist (and his followers) will be far worse.  I'm not sure how well any of us will do when this "war" begins to live in America.  The path of least resistance will lead to the possibility of comfort today, but the path of faith leads to eternal comfort.

I want to remind myself of the things I know from the Bible. 
I want to keep my focus on GOD.
I want to keep my faith in His Word.
I want to keep my life on the narrow path to heaven.
I want to make sure I am making the right choices. 
I want to be ready for the future. 

 
I know there is a large group in the Body of Christ who believe the pre-Tribulation rapture will keep them from this suffering.  I haven't found any guarantees that interpretation of the Bible is the correct one.  We may all have to pass through the days of the Antichrist and his Mark of the Beast, dying because of our faith in GOD, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. 

I hope I am able to die with some level of spiritual dignity.  Preparing my heart and life for it helps me to think I will.