20 September, 2018

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Been working on my budget today... and then I found some new videos with different ideas about how to do it.  I discovered Bullet Journals... an interesting way to keep track of things.  :-)  Lots of artistic people out there.  I tend to favor Excel sheets because they can be modified more easily... and I am ALWAYS changing my strategies.

I've been trying to work on saving monthly for the things that only come due once or twice a year... but haven't quite gotten it to work yet.  Today, or recently, I discovered they have a name in budget circles... SINKING FUNDS!  So, I have been trying to work on getting those bills into a monthly flow so it isn't so difficult the month they have to be paid.

I discovered a lot of people on You Tube are using a fill-in-the-square method to keep track of some of their savings and spending efforts.  The chart I shared yesterday is a fill-in-the-line kind of graph.  I saw one video with a great adaptation that was like a game board with the small bills at the start and the bigger bills at the squares near the end... with each square equaling a certain amount of money.  I am going to try to tackle my Emergency Fund with the squares.  I am making a page with several of my goals on it in squares.  I won't have to have a bunch of pages for them... or repeat them every month in my budget tracking.

I was glad to see other people use binders... and journals... I think it also makes a back-up option when you find a way to do both... somehow.  That is my recordkeeping goal.

I also am seeing that there might be income to be made in my efforts... eventually.  I love to make forms, and now I need to see if I can make the designs work for others.

It has been a strange day, but that's OK.

I did a  l-i-t-t-l-e  more of my yardwork. I mailed three of my monthly letters.  I had to rest today.  Am fighting a second headache.  Made a great soup.  And some other things that just have to get done.  After this post, I'm not sure what will happen.

My elephant calendar arrived today... faster than it was scheduled to come.  I am trying to find out if this is the first year they are offering calendars.  I think it could have been much better, so maybe by next year it will be.  I may make some notes for myself and try to share the ideas with them.  I have seen some amazing photos of elephants, so I guess I thought that is what I would see in the calendar.  I think some text with the photos, some of them, would have been even better... especially when they know who the elephant is that is pictured... some background info, stories that make them come alive... inset photos of their rescue... where they are now... details that would make it more than just an elephant photo.  Sharing more about the helpers would be great, too.  I think they used a fundraising fill-in-the-space format, but an original design would be fantastic.  I am still thinking about it... I spent $25 on this calendar... a lot of money for me.  It is something I will look at all year long.  I think it could have been so much more.  I want the future editions to be much better, so I will be glad to spend that much on my elephant calendar.

I have their address, and their email... I will try to send them a good letter after I have some time to mull over the details.

I got a beautiful oversized postcard kind of insert with it... I put that right up on the wall over my desk space, and I love it immensely.  I share stickers for my favorite charity on my letters, I would love to share more of these cards somehow.  I am also trying to figure out how I can do that.  :-)

Maybe I will share this post with them on social media.  I will think about it.

With all these fundraising ideas, and businesses online that I am discovering lately (at YouTube), I am beginning to think of things that might help me raise the funds I need... something that can be mass-produced or sold easily.

Budgets make you want more money... I keep trying to find the options that will work for me... in my current situation/s.  I have been very inspired by the people I have seen on YouTube.

It looks like the weather will be decent in the week ahead.  I may get most (or ALL) of my ivy patch done soon.  It is mostly cleaning up the debris.  Only a little more clearing it out... for this year.  :-)

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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May we all find the best future for us and for our world.
Amen.



19 September, 2018

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

I just finished watching about 30 videos from a YouTuber called Budget Bootcamp !!!  My eyes are bugged out, but I had to finish the set.  I can't remember how I got started with this... I think I found video #2 somewhere, and then linked to the set.  All the videos are not in the collection I found, but I did find the missing ones on my auto-play page.  Some are out of order, too. So you have to keep up with the process.

The presenter is Canadian, but a teacher of some kind, so she presents the material well.  The set is also a New Year presentation for January 2016.  She is part of the Dave Ramsey process, and shares the differences between his program and their life choices.  Where I connected with her videos had a link to their Ramsey shouting thing after they paid of about $60K of debt in about two years.  I was impressed, but I later noticed other debt overcomers as I watched... one was paying off about 120K in less than a year!

I only went over $10K income one year, I think... It is hard for me to imagine high numbers, like spending $800 a month on food (and maybe household supplies) - which they pared down to $600 for the budget challenge, and down another $100 for another spending challenge.

A link from one of the first videos went to a site called Debt Free Charts that offers motivational sheets you can download free, purchase, and subscribe to on a  yearly basis... I am thinking of how I could use that option for my own life!  :-)  I decided to "purchase" one to see what it was like.  Free items just go through the registration part of the purchase, no payment page.  I had a little trouble with the download link, but then figured it out and printed out my Starter Emergency Fund page.  It's a lot of printer ink for me, but I wanted to see it, and try to decide if it would be useful for my money challenges.

I taped it to my fridge.  Tomorrow I may fill it in, but I am not sure... the graphic is so large that it is a great reminder just having it on my fridge.

It was a lot to do to watch all thirty days of videos at one sitting.  They aren't long, but together they take some time... especially with the ads.

I liked the information about being able to make a little money from her YouTube efforts, and that was in 2016.  I could see the difference in her presentations as they went along... experience is always a great thing... so I may check up on her more recent efforts.  I guess they started the budget process in March of 2014, so it was almost two years after her budget challenge (to become debt free) began.  Other videos showed they finished the challenge in 25 months... somewhere around April of 2016, so they were at the end of the process. Their snowball started with around $400 I think, and ended with about $4500 or so... that the monthly amount applied to their debt reduction plan.

It is always great to see other people succeed in these financial issues.  I hope I can be one of them someday soon.  :-)  The big issue seems to be using the credit card as an income option, and then being broke before you even get your paychecks because all your income goes to pay the debt payments.  I think Dave Ramsey says, which I still remember as being a great awakening for my own life views of everyone that looks richer than I am, that it usually isn't an income problem, it's a spending problem.  I think I watched all those videos to see what their issues were and how they dealt with their debt.

I love YouTube for things like this.  :-)

Well, I am beat.  I will try to catch up with everything else in my personal world tomorrow.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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May we all become debt free, including our nation.
It helps our lives in so many ways.
Amen.



18 September, 2018

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Almost forgot this... I decided to check my email first, and then it was link to link to link... reading some materials on the path... and finally getting here.  This is the online challenge.  :-)

Today was not a rainy day and I actually made it outside for my yard project...

Been doing a lot of reading today... from different sources.  Old newspapers (from the weekend) that I didn't see before... trying to get through my new books... online.  I get really involved in the problems of our world.

I wish I could do more about them.

In this place where I live, it is late in the evening.  I try to find quiet things to do.  I don't always manage to be completely quiet, but I try to keep it down.  I suppose I need a good pair of earphones, and to find the place for the cord to work.  :-)

I am thinking about poverty all over the world because of some of the things I read or linked to tonight.  When you read reports, the details can be masked in nice sounding words... I am wondering how ordinary people can find out the details of far away places.  Sometimes, "progress" is another word for money in someone's pockets, not the well-being of the people who trust them.  It is hard to decide what is the real truth.

I found an ad in the old paper I read that was about an atheist groups dislike of GOD in our heritage. It is a sign of America's future, and not a good sign.  People think they are "good" and yet have no concept of their abuse of others.

I have been complaining about the definition of "freedom" recently... and mentioned we may need to re-do it... repeat it?  Something.  We seem to have forgotten what it means to be free.  Maybe the reach of the internet, and hacking, and terrorism, and other crimes, are changing what we do.  Freedom isn't easy, it means you have to allow people to have different opinions than yours, and find some way to respect each other in the process.

I see a lot of regulations and laws and manipulations of our freedoms.

I guess it could be the elections coming up.  Things always get muddled when elections are near.  We never seem to end the cycle anymore.  The 2020 elections are already in the loop.

I suppose this is too much for a blog post... and it isn't organized.  I tend to ramble with my thoughts... and I don't always want to share the reasons my thoughts are traveling in those directions.

Freedom...
Success...
Money...
Power...
Life...
Death...
Control...

This is our life, our trends, our world.  The small people (the poor, weak, helpless...) only matter enough to get what is being sought... funding, elections, power.

Is this because of mankind's genetics, or because of greed, or because of sin... our fallen nature.  I am trying to decide how much compassion fits into this picture.

Well... if I ever find the answer, I am sure I will share it with you.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Time

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May our hearts be good, and our actions be better than we are good.
May we find our joy and our destiny in helping others to rise and grow and live.
May life be long, and healthy, and filled with all that we need to be truly happy in a deep and satisfying way.
May we see our differences and not seek to control the opposition.
May our actions be mutually respectful.
May Truth win.
May Freedom be real.
May every small detail of our lives not be regulated.
May the future find a way to become better for all of us.
Thank you GOD for all that you do for us.
Help us to understand your love and mercy.
Amen.




17 September, 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

I have been listening to some motivational presentations at YouTube again... and the topic was money and wealth and "success" for all.  It gave me a headache, so I had to take a nap.  :-)

I even found a Christian channel video with a fantastic logo that had a cross for the t in Ambition... but there were only videos from 2016, some Facebook in early 2017, and a website that was like the blog.  I am still trying to see if I like it... old or not.  I really just wonder if the guy is still around.

My many online efforts have suffered from neglect, too... just not enough time to do everything, sometimes no access to the internet, other times no computer...etc.  It is a big commitment to have an online presence, and I have been trying to decide what to focus on most... first... and with more energy and commitment (schedule).

I am still working on those goals.

In the course of my explorations, I discovered a quote by Peter Drucker, a name I am familiar with a little.  In the link I followed there was a list of quotes, and lots I hadn't heard.  I have shared one I like below.

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“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices


https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/12008.Peter_F_Drucker


*****
I guess he almost lived to be 100, but not quite.  I think the reference I saw stated he died in 2005.  I didn't realize he was that old.  I had browsed one or more of his business books along my path... trying to find the knowledge I didn't have and could go to school for.  I will be checking out at least one of his books at Amazon after I finish this.

I saved a bunch of the YouTube titles I want to check out later, too.  There is always more than anyone can spend time on, but I would never see them again if I didn't save them.

My books from Hamilton Books (.com) arrived today... it took them six days, with the weekend.

My clog making book/let has some great photos and style ideas at the end... not that I will be making any wood clogs soon, but the need for shoes was why I purchased it... so see how hard it might be.  I watched a video the other day of a man making a pair of shoes for someone out of tires, like the ones on the really small cars they make today.  He had this sharp knife and cut off parts here and parts there, and it became a cheap but functional shoe for someone in those countries where they don't have shoes for everyone.  I was amazed.  I have been wondering about moccasins as an option, but winter and rain would be a problem.  There would be a lot to learn about making leather shoes.  I wore moccasins as a teen, and loved them.

I have only browsed the other two books, one on negotiating and one on writing.  I will be looking at them closer soon.

I watched/listened to something today about the differences between the rich and the poor... and reading (education on your own, not forced by school) was one of the big ones.  I will try to find that link.  It was short and good.  Here it is ::  https://youtu.be/nr76bupxjco  It is a nice visual presentation with key points.

 It has been a day of needing rest... I think I took two naps, at least... and didn't get any of my yardwork done.  Tomorrow... I have to get to it tomorrow.  :-)   If it doesn't rain.

I am still pondering some of the "wealth is the only success, things are all that matters" issues I had to deal with today.  I like motivation, but the values of our world are not so good anymore.  Money is often just a weapon to hurt others.  I don't want to be a part of that kind of "success" but I don't know how to amass the wealth I need to accomplish the good that I am trying to do.  Opposing forces seem to be stronger than I, and my time is running out.  It is a constant issue.  I don't quite fit into any category.

So, I better go do some more thinking and trying to find answers for my current situation.  Pray for me.  I believe GOD is the author of many things, and the Bible says He gives us the power to gain wealth (believers, I should say... the devil seems to have that power for bad people, too) so I am in need of understanding.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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May our lives be protected from the darts of the Enemy, and our hearts remain pure and filled with as much love as possible.  May we want to be better than we are, and see the pain in others as important of our attention.  I guess I am saying, how much does one person need to live on... who could we personally help with our excess, freely, without the force of law, or church, or social media... I pray for the many needs we have right now... just to keep living on this planet.  Amen.




13 September, 2018

Thursday, 13 September 2018

It was tempting to let this go, to stay in bed and try to sleep... I had to have a nap earlier.  :-)  But, I was wide awake in a few minutes, so I got up.  Napping seems to be a requirement these days.  I remember reading in business articles awhile back that a "power nap" helped busy executives to recharge mid-day.  I don't have to feel bad about this. haha.

So, it's Thursday.  It's still a rainy forecast.  The weekend is near.

I was able to catch up with some of my budget issues.  How I will get through the rest of the month - that is going to be the challenge.

I received the packet of materials I ordered from Samaritan's Purse Shoebox program for the holidays.  It has become my "insert" for September, so I am beginning my monthly letters.  That will keep me busy.  I am almost up to 30 letters now... and still need more family addresses.  I see this "senior project" is going to be a long challenge, but I hope that I will one day get letters back in the mail... once GOD deals with other things.

No news today.
I did read some articles from yesterday's local paper.
Naturally, I gravitate to the ones that show the slow, ongoing, demise of our country.
I find so many of those... it makes me very sad.

My food challenge is getting difficult.  I do think I bought too much fresh produce.  I will have to see what I can save by freezing it.

Life is different for the poor, I hope my sharing the details of my life help others to see that the challenges are long... by the month as well as by the day... simple and complex... very repetitive and depressing when you want to do so much more.  I often wonder how people in other countries deal with their poverty, which seems to be so much worse that the USA version.

Hoping for that big money win, I keep trying to find ways to make change possible for all the poor all over the world... especially Christians.

It's hard to know what the future might hold, so I hope for a better life.

I suspect all those other poor people do, too.


Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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May the GOD of our hearts help us to see His love for us, and how it is part of our lives.
May we see the difference between the work of GOD and the evil of Satan so we can make the right decisions about this life.
May we learn to be better people.
May our lives have meaning in the long historical view.
May we help our country to be great again, because it is filled with good people.
Amen.




12 September, 2018

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

What a day...

Food prep to make room in my small fridge, to use up the old foods and make new meals, and eating too much along the way!  That is how it goes!  :-)

I'm still working on my budget crunch for the month, and spent more money that I didn't plan on.  :-)  Christmas is getting real, and my gifting list for every year is beginning to get figured out.

Yesterday I discovered that my favorite elephant group in Africa has a calendar for sale at eBay... the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has wonderful posts to see on Facebook... I hope you will look at them.  I hope to paint some elephant pictures when I can get a group of photos to use as a guide.  I can't afford to foster one of the elephants (or more), so I made the leap and spent the money to get one of their 2019 calendars.  It was my first eBay purchase at an international level... and it is expected to take a month to reach me!!  :-)  I discovered the difference between UK funds and USA funds...

I am so excited to have one of their calendars.  I decided it was an early Christmas present for me.

I also decided to purchase three badly wanted used books at Hamilton Books (.com)… before any other purchases were made!  I use this site for all my inmate gifts.  They are one of the few sites that is reasonable, can be searched by paperback category (essential for prison gifting), and ships at a reasonable cost (now a flat $4.00 per order).  They don't put the publication year into the information, but I haven't received a bad book... only great ones.  Of course, I am picky and try to choose carefully.  The older ones can have great information to glean from the pages.

One day soon, I will be learning how to make clogs, Negotiate With Giants, and write better.  :-)  I am looking forward to it.  Each book was less than $5, but that is high for me... I usually get my books at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $1 or less... but it's been hard for me to get out anymore.  This will have to do.

I discovered scribd.com today, and lots of their books and other media are like thrift store offerings, so there is still a lot to be said for old books.  They also offer audio-books.  I found this link when I read an article about tax issues for retirees and wanted a copy of the tax info offered.  I still haven't decided what online book/media source I will end up with.

My Fire tablet is owned by Amazon so it may become my Kindle Reader... I'm still thinking about that.  It wasn't a purchase that worked out the way I planned, so I'm looking for a Plan B for it.

This is how things "evolve" in our lives.  :-)  If at first you don't succeed, try, Try, TRY again!!!  (My version of the old saying! haha)  The internet says it was made popular by a man named William Edward Hickson around 1836, but the origins are cloudy.  I thought it was a Shakespeare quote!  :-)  We learn new things every day, right?!

My other budget-busting purchase was making a donation to get a "free" booklet about budgeting.  I think they call that irony.  It's called Financial 30 and it is suppose to be about a 30-day plan for improving your finances.  I have a growing collection of materials from different sources about budgets and debt and other similar issues... I thought it was something I needed to add to my collection.  Crown.org is a good group, and I am beginning to explore their materials when I can.  I was aware of Larry Burkett (the founder) when I was younger.  Here is a link I found just now ::  The Family Budget Workbook by Larry Burkett (1993 in the details).  There may be other items at Crown.org

Following my wild spending spree, I had to recover my financial plan.  SO, that is what this morning was about.  I still have to finish that chore.

There is always something that needs to be done.

I wonder if I will EVER catch up... I doubt it.  :-)  I was looking at Time Management aids when I was exploring the Scribd website... One tip I found in comments at a page was "do the hardest thing first" and then the plan to make a list of over a hundred things and just get them done.  I have heard these ideas in some version before.  It was a great reminder... and will be helpful for my list-making goals.  :-)

So, that is it for now... the rain is still here, and seems to want to stay, so staying indoors will help me get my lists pared down this week -- I hope.

Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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In my prayers these days, I am crying out to GOD for change... for the provisions I need to get things moving, for the ability to control my circumstances, and for the opposition to be overcome.  I am praying for my sons' souls to be found again.  I am hoping to see the world get better.  I am praying for a way to make things better at a lot of levels and in a lot of countries.  I have a big dream, and I am hoping my big GOD will provide for it soon.  Amen.





11 September, 2018

The Anniversary of Terrorism in the USA -- Tuesday, 11 SEP 2018

Time passes and we forget things that have happened... so many disasters happen every year.  To me they are not all important, but the ones that affect me remain in my heart and mind and prayers.  If you have read my past blogs, you know how deeply I feel about this event, that I consider it a turning point in America's protection by GOD.

Here is a link to Billy Graham's speech at that time for the prayer memorial that was held...


Paul Ryan sent out an email message with a link to his video about it.  It reminds us how little we expected this to happen in our country.

Because I am always thinking about the Antichrist and what will happen in the world before and after he arrives, I see our vulnerability.  It is foolish to believe we can protect ourselves from future attacks, as politicians like Paul Ryan and his Democratic counterparts believe.  The attacks will just be different... and more organized than the one that caught us by surprise.

We are slipping into a fear mode as a country, with immigration issues, and the terrorism we think they will bring to us.  Fear affects our thinking.  We don't see the problems in healthy ways.  We make bad judgments.  Somehow, the thing we fear comes into our lives.

I have been thinking about all these things for some time now... with my own focus on the Christian populations first, but everyone good included.  9/11 was just a huge look into the destruction that war brings... and it is coming to America... eventually.

I guess I am really wondering about a Bible verse I read one day (and didn't keep track of, so I haven't been able to find it again) that was about those times when a third of the earth will be destroyed.  In that passage I read it said one third of the people who existed would be destroyed, and then shortly after that it mentioned that 5000 were killed.  It means the world will be reduced to 15,000 people at some point... and then down to 10,000.  I can't imagine what GOD means by this verse, and how it will happen.  It is part of my wonderings about America, about terrorism, about the timeline of GOD, and about Mankind.

I imagine this will be long after the Antichrist takes Christians out of the world.

It has been a long time since I have been able to study my Bible/s, so memory is selective.  I recall the big issues, the main details, the ones that affect my focus.  Technology is going to make our lives so very different.  The Mark of the Beast takes on a whole new meaning as the details about technology are developed.  We are becoming robots for the computer... there is the gradual move to depend more and more on automated processes, for everything.  The chip in our body seems, to the unsaved, to be the most logical move to take.  Wireless biological parts, wireless communications, wireless life... in time, there won't be a choice... it is all more visible to us now, but how long will it take?  We don't know.  All we can do is watch as it all unfolds.

I still cry when I see the Twin Towers attacked.

I hope GOD allows us to gather together for our own protections as these End Times unravel into the Antichrist... we are easier target when we are alone, and aging, and unable to fight.  We can do more if we are together.

Think about joining Working Together so we can start in that direction.


Until next time,
In Christ,

Deborah Martin

work2gather.us
Working Together Inc
Building for the End Times

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May we discover our need for each other.
May our lives be meaningful to the world we are in.
May life be good and shared and protected from unnecessary harms.
May we not fear, but be wise.
May GOD provide for us, and save us from our Enemy.
May we all be able to share.
Amen.