29 September, 2017

Friday, 29 September 2017

Here I am again...  :-)

I finished the book by Marie Frost.  It was good... maybe an ending to go with the preface, a summary of some kind, would be nice.  It ended with a chapter story.  Maybe I need to read that one over and see if that was the summary.

Been working on my product development today... trying to figure out chocolate... how to use it and make it look good.  I see lots of practice ahead of me.  Good thing the holiday season is upon us!

I finished a loaf of Orowheat bread today and decided to check out the calorie count.  I had to laugh at the name of the manufacturer ::  BIMBO Bakeries USA Inc.  --  :-)  In my youth, BIMBO was not a nice name... for a woman, I think.  I don't know if it's still in use...  I hope the owners are some of those people who gathered together and started a CO-OP, employee-owned, company with a cause.

I have been controlling my caramel consumption pretty good so far.
Now to overcome the exercising problem...

I opened the CD package with Joyce Meyer's 12 Power Thought strategies.  I just started the 3rd of 4 disks.  It will be good to have as a revival message when things get confused by the enemy of our souls.  I will check out the book over the weekend... it is nearly my Sabbath... that will be good to do on the Sabbath.

Our lives are deeply affected by our minds, our thoughts, what we see, what we hear, what we feel... we need to control what goes into our mind because it affects our life... what we choose.  When things enter my life against my will, I sometimes close my eyes and be still, letting my soul talk to GOD through the Holy Spirit.  I pray out loud.  I distract myself, look away, close my eyes, or change something about my situation... go to a different place, get up, go do something else, talk to GOD, pray and wait.  Technologies that have made our lives better have also become tools of evil... we have to find a way to deal with them, keep our faith in GOD, and trust that God is able to walk with us through every problem we face.  Keeping our minds on scripture, on good things, on the power of God, and prayer will help us.

I don't know what all the categories are yet (for her strategies) so I can't share them yet.  Maybe on Monday I will include some of them.

I will try to find a solution to the photo problem for posting here.  There are a lot of photos I would like to be including here with my text.  I just have to find the help section for that problem... I hope!  :-)

I need this rest... I hope I get some.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

Thank you, Lord, for all that we have and are able to do.
Protect those who love You, who trust in Your Word, and believe You are in control.
Bless this weekend, make it restful, fun, joy-filled, meaningful, and special.
Thank you for what I have and often take for granted... food, shelter, life, rest, etc.....
Bring us to your heart, Lord... help us to know your will for our lives... provide for us.

28 September, 2017

28 September 2017

I am barely making this post by midnight again... hope we make it!

I was doing the accounting for my shopping trip yesterday... can't believe I still have a few dollars left for the rest of my month!  :-)  It took awhile to figure out the moving around of the category amounts... I didn't have my budget in the envelope system... I just separated the cash for the budget categories and went by my list, plus other deals and supplies along my path.  I am working on a better way to do this, but it takes time and sometimes I don't have the opportunity to shop, so I overdo it when I go.

I am just thrilled I have more than $2 left... which is what I thought I had left yesterday.

I posted about the book I am reading by Marie Frost from 1979.  I hope you will find it at my Facebook or Twitter pages.  It's hard to keep writing the same thing, so I posted it once at the WT page and then shared the link anywhere I could think of.  I tried to boost the post, but the "order" didn't process.  Not sure what happened as it was the first time I ever filled out the form...

I hope to finish the book tomorrow... I didn't get to it today. 

The cover has a photo of a woman, and I keep wondering if that is the author.

I guess the chapter on her failure is the most impacting... but others are really important to the theme of the book.  We all hate it when we miss hearing GOD "knock" on our door to do something for Him.  It is even more tragic, and life-changing as a lesson from heaven, when there is no way to recover from not doing what we should have because the person dies.  It is hard to keep going with those kinds of memories, but it makes our future actions different... hopefully better.  I cried when I read it.

Today I also watched one of the VHS tapes I bought... one called OUR AMERICA, about life in a project in Chicago, from the early 2000's.  Gangs, wasted lives, poverty, misery, tragedy... government efforts to get rid of the poor.  It was a preview tape, I don't know if it ever was in the theatres or on DVD.

I think I will post again tomorrow.  For now, this will do.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD help us all to understand human needs, and look for better solutions.
May our children find better lives.
May God help us to see poverty as a way to be involved in the struggles of others, more than writing a check or getting mad at the government for helping them, and with the eye of GOD, who loves the poor.

27 September, 2017

27 September 2017

Long day...
It was my shopping day. 
And it became more than I wanted it to be.
That seems to happen when you generally shop one or two times a month.  :-)

I also want to note that I bought a lot of the things on my lists... for the house, for my crafts, and treats for me... which is finding treasures at thrift stores.  :-)  I am way off my budget, maybe... I have to figure all that out tomorrow... but I will be happy with what I bought.

I ate my meal at a fast food restaurant...
Found some great books, DVDs to watch, and a VHS that may wait to be watched (on huntin Mule Deer).  I found a set of book and disk about Joyce Meyer's book on the Battlefield of the Mind.  I have heard something on it and wanted to know what was inside.  The disk will be a plus.  It's a CD of some kind.  My cookbook for this trip is called Baking Without Fat... this should be good!  haha  And my craft choice today was a SUNSET book on pillows.  I think I found a documentary on Wal-Mart, but I'm happy to have found a copy of Faith Like Potatoes.  Another find was another copy of Dave Ramsey's 2007 workbook for Financial Peace University, but this one isn't written in. I decided I needed it.  :-)  I found a bunch more, but they will have to wait until tomorrow or never reach these pages.

I went to TWO thrift stores today!!!  I happened to be by the Teen Challenge store so I decided to look.  I was there over two hours I think.  I found some really nice things, and things I needed... like a trash can for my paper shredder that only cost $3... and a great saw, I think it is called a hack saw, that I hope will help me with my wood projects.  I found a kind of good cheesecake pan, the tall ones, that is also small (only 6 inches wide).  It has a problem with the bottom closure, so I have to try it out to see if it leaks.  If it works, it is really a great find.  My splurge at Teen Challenge was one of those money counting jar/bank.  It worked with the coin I tried it with, and I figured out how to reset it.  Tomorrow I will try it more and see what I think of my find.  It cost me $2.  I am so happy, if it works right.

My main thrift store is the Salvation Army, the sale day, which was today.  It was one of the reasons I went shopping today.  I had to go, even though I was so tired.  It was worth it.

That's about all I can do for tonight.  I left the house at 8am to get to the bus... my son picked me up around 5pm... it took over two and a half hours to get it sorted, washed, and put away...  I am tired.  You are lucky I even am writing this!  :-)

Until tomorrow, when I know I will be doing better and can share more details about things...

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

Thank you, Lord, for such a great day.  Amen.

26 September, 2017

26 September 2017

Another day is over, and I need to journal my thoughts about it. 

I actually am missing this process over the weekends... it's like a diary for the world to see my simple life and goals and efforts and challenges and faith in Something Bigger than me for all the things I cannot control (or fix). 

Trusting GOD for these things can really be a big challenge at times... we want everything bad to go away in a minute and everything good to stay forever... if God doesn't see these things happen, well... we think it's His problem, not ours.  It isn't something you learn once and then you have it conquered.  Every new problem brings a new path through this process... a new thing to learn about God and how we fit into His plans instead of Him fitting into ours.

I keep praying about the same things, it seems... wondering when the answer will get to me... wondering how other Christians fight their enemies... spiritual and human.  I try to find people in the Bible that have struggled in similar ways to help me find out how God deals with these issues, what I may need to do, etc.  I seem to think about things I haven't heard sermons about.  I don't know when an answer will come when I am searching for it, I just keep searching.

My new business cards arrived today.  :-)
I posted photos at Facebook groups, Twitter,  and ??? can't remember where else.
Now I have to get my website updated... new links ready for December... prices and payments figured out, and benefit structures.  It's getting "real" now, my December effort on social media and wherever else I think of by then.  I hope God blesses this effort.

An old friend that is on Facebook had a post about needing to get back into the gym for exercise.  I don't go to gyms but I have been trying to get back to a schedule on my son's eliptical machine.  I was trying to do five minutes at a time, starting with one session and building up to my 30-minute goal.  Winter is indoor season... even more now that I live so far from the bus and am getting older, with health issues.  I have been planning for a long future through being homebound, but aware that I may not make it to tomorrow.  I am still not ready to die, but I am getting the details figured out.  Exercise is part of my long-term effort.  Losing weight, getting back to my normal range, is part of my long-term effort.  Soon I am going to have to get on a scale and see where I am at.  I hate the thought of finding out I barely lost a pound...  :-( 

One of my food control efforts is to learn menu planning for my calories.  It isn't an exact science for me, but I am getting better at it.  I found a grocery shopping form at Every Dollar (daveramsey.com) and wound up using it for a meal planner.  Now I have created a better one for myself on my restarted old computer, not attached to the internet... or wi-fi.  I am working on more fruit and veggies, less fattening foods, and (right now!) I am struggling to stop eating the caramels I made!!! 

I wasn't able to coat them in chocolate and bag them up yet, because I need more chocolate I think.  I wound up eating 2 or 3 more... they are thick so they are lots of calories... and SO GOOD!  I can see this is going to be a problem that needs a solution.  I am thinking :: a separate kitchen for all my products, health department approved, where packaging and shipping are taken care of... far away from my personal space!  That will work for me.  Now, how to get to that solution...............   :-)

I think it was Dr. Lustig, or Dr. Amen, that said "salad is the meal."  I discovered balsamic and olive oil as a dressing that I like, and they are my current dressing choice.  I know it was Lustig that says "a calorie is a calorie..." so you have to make sure the calories you eat are good for you.  Salad is good, caramel is not so good.  They are part of my inspiration for increasing my veggies.  I guess fruits are full of calories as well as health, but veggies are low in calories and big on health... so I am working at increasing my veggies.

It is hard to get away from the meal concept... big meals three times a day, plus snacks.  I am working on smaller meals as a calorie measure.  When you start to see the calories in what you eat, it is amazing how little you can fit into 400 calorie meals.  The 21-Day-Fix teaches this small meal perspective... and has lots of ideas... lots of veggies, too.  Their materials state that 1200 calories are the absolute minimum for ongoing health needs, and I agree.  I have a book by Rocco DiSpirito that says you can go down to 850, I think, and still be OK if you eat the right foods.  I think that seems low, too low.  Even at 1200 calories you have to spread the meals around.  I think I can reach my goal of two meals and a snack at the 1200 calories... that would let me have 500/500/200 as breakfast/dinner/ mid-day snack.  I think that might work.  I'm looking for food ideas to fit into the calories I want to limit myself to.  Pinterest has some great links for that, so does YouTube, I think.  It's all in the search terms.  I can flex if I want to, like my Friday Free Night.  It is getting to be a good thing, but I still have to be careful one exception doesn't turn into a continuous treat.

This caramel binge is really messing up my food challenge!  That's why food is so big on my mind right now.

If you have seen my Facebook posts, you know I finished my big easel chalkboard painting project and posted photos.  My second item is almost done.  My sanding task has a wait on it so I can figure out how to sand it withing ruining it.  I may find a buffer and see what that does.  It is such a mess... tons of bubble holes.  My effort to make a chalkboard gift from recycled materials is also still in progress.  After I get the little easel done tomorrow, I will be able to get on to the FIMO molds I want to do.  I want to get my molded projects listed first... they will be more achievable for orders.

It is all beginning to take shape.  I have so many directions to move in that it takes the whole process longer to move forward.  I have often said I have "conflicting goals" or that I can't decide where to focus first... because it all connects to each other.

I have to pray through every day... and then leave it to GOD.

Well, that is enough for today. I like the new book I am reading so I will try to take notes on the best things to share from it. I tend to get carried away with the moment, the happenings of the day, and then forget to share the deeper thoughts I process about spiritual issues.  I have lived by faith alone for so many years that I consider everything part of my process... trusting God... getting from here to there.  It is probably boring for you, so I hope to find other things to write about.  :-)

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD help me to overcome the spiritual battles I pray about often.
May GOD show His Power in these battles and glorify His Name through the things He does.
May GOD be the One I cling to, the One I remember, the One that matters more in my decisions.
May GOD protect the innocent, have mercy on those who need it, and judge the ones who cannot change.
May GOD bless my efforts, provide what I need, and help me to walk toward His work in my life.

25 September, 2017

25 September 2017

I keep sticking to the counters!  I made caramels today and discovered a drip happened in quite the problem spot.  I am going to hold out for my shower tomorrow... if all the ants in the neighborhood don't find me, I should be OK!   :-)

I watched a free movie this weekend, on TV, called THE HELP.  I didn't get to see it when it came out, so I wondered what it was about.  Hollywood always has objectionable material in their films, but I survived.  I'm not sure I remember all that was going on when it came out... It was quite different from watching HIDDEN FIGURES.  It always make me sad to know that people are mistreated just because another person wants to feel superior.  GOD never condones these things... they are the heart of Man coming out.  It won't go away because we want it to, or because it is right, because we are all equal as humans, because the nature of Man is involved.  This need to feel better than someone else is part of many other problems, including crime, and addictions, and gangs, and wars, and domestic violence, and child abuse of all kinds, and more.

I guess I was impacted by watching it...  I can't say if I was impacted good or bad.

I started my next book today.  I decided to read Max Anders  "21 Unbreakable Laws of Life : Lessons You Don't Have To Learn The Hard Way" -- quite a big theme, don't you think?  It's from 1996.  A few of the topics are ::  Happiness, Holiness, Success, Relationships, Suffering, and Faith... you can tell there are 15 more, but you will have to find the book or see if I decide to write about them.  :-)

I am thinking of sharing the Laws of the Jungle at Facebook because I follow DSWF (elephant sanctuary in Africa) and I love it.  I thought the followers might get a laugh at some of the tips for surviving in a real jungle... like "Never turn your back on a skinny lion" and "If vultures are circling above you, see a doctor soon."  He made up 21 for the list...it would be a big share effort if I do.  :-)

The theme of the book is to survive the jungle of your life.  From the Christian perspective.  So far I finished Chapter One (Law One).

I am heading into OCTOBER with my goal strategies... been working on my budget (done), and revising my recordkeeping forms to keep on track with my goal efforts, and have been using my old computer to get use to it again... it is amazing how much you forget.

My new business cards should arrive soon... I hope they turned out nice.  Ordering online is a challenge, things don't always look the same when they arrive.  This isn't my real design, but I couldn't get to that yet.  I am trying to plan a strategy for using them.  I have no idea what I can do from where I am in my life right now.  This is what faith is all about.  I suppose my theme song is the old saying, If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  I've been trying again for my whole life... I hope this time works!  :-)

Been getting back into my crafting slowly... finishing the chalkboard painting projects, doing the caramel to see how it would work, and finding recipes and supplies.  Art and FIMO are next...  hope I can figure out some nice stuff.

Watched/listened to more of my NO MONEY DOWN tape... very interesting.  I wrote in one of my letters over the weekend that I will be better prepared for when GOD decides to bless me.  :-)  That's part of the goal, why I keep on trying, why learning and planning matter.  It is 90% planned in my head, so I will be able to go faster to get things done when GOD provides.

December is still the plan for WT Memberships, crafts are the plan to help me survive.

I have been avoiding my Medicare challenge so far, trying to decide what to do about it.  I have to call about it soon...

Getting old is bad enough, how do seniors survive the government?  I know poverty and the government, I hoped to be far away from them by the time I retired.  We just never know the effects of life on our dreams.

I am still trying to find out why I can't insert photos in my blogs... I use to do it... so when I overcome that obstacle I will be able to share more with you.  Until tomorrow....

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

Thanks to GOD for life and hope... there were times when I didn't think I would have either.
Thanks for the carmels, which I ate too much of, but it tasted so good!  Now I need to get the rest out of the house!
Thanks for my new book, which will be great to think about.
Thanks for no rain, for the kitty being OK, for food and goals and a budget.

May GOD bless those who are crying out to Him tonight.
May He watch over my sons and others who are being prayed for.
May our country find its way back to economic health and away from substituting more controlling measure to deal with the problems debt brings with it, and their bad decisions.
May the holidays be a good memory for as many as it can be.
May children find happiness, and love, and joy, and peace, and safety, and salvation.
May God's Will be known, and provided for, and blessed in my life.


21 September, 2017

21 September 2017

Thursday...  finally.

Fighting the battles of faith in an ungodly world brings so much pain with it...  we tend to expect GOD to make that hedge around us and prevent all pain from reaching us, but He doesn't.  We suffer for many reasons, some are because of our relationship with God, Jesus, and the Bible. 

I finished the last chapter in the book by Dr. Cho today... and it was about faith in our daily lives.

I guess this would be a good quote from that chapter...  "Whether I live or die, succeed or fail, increase or decrease I will do according to God's word."  It was sharing the idea that we follow God's directions to us, at a personal level, despite what the consequences may be to us...even though it is hard... sometimes when we don't understand.  The big key to this is knowing it is GOD speaking to you, and making sure the enemy isn't pretending to be GOD.

We live in an age that no one in the past could have imagined.  The power of the internet is beyond our ability to fully understand, and we are victims of what it can do to us and those we love.  In my own search for a way through these issues, I keep remembering that GOD warned us we would have to endure to the end... it seems a bit early for that prophecy, but the advice is pertinent to our situations now.  As the internet grows, as our ability to control it becomes more obvious, and as we begin to see the potential details of prophecy happening around us, our need to keep our focus on GOD and to endure the new kinds of suffering ahead of us will be very important.

I am a senior citizen.  I don't know how much longer I will be alive, and I don't know how many years we have as Christians until the Antichrist is revealed.  Instead of a rapture out of this world, I think we will have to die in our faith because of the global power the Antichrist will have... we will be leaving this Earth, but the way will be different.  The goal of Working Together is to make places for Christians to help each other until that time gets here. 

I received a comment from someone claiming to be a pasor in India.  I have been trying to decide what to do with this comment.  It doesn't interpret my goals for WT correctly, and posting it on the blog is not a solution.  It is one of many problems to deal with as I continue to work to establish Working Together in the midst of my own trials and tribulations.  It makes me see how the enemy seems to have more power than God... because this world is all we know, what we can see, where we suffer... but GOD is the one with a larger power, and the ability to make sure His Will is done even when Satan would like to thwart it.

In the chapter I read today, the example of Moses and the Red Sea was used.  How the people trembled at the thought of dying, how Moses was the only one who really understood the power of God, and how God speaks and does things.  I noticed in the scripture quoted that they would no longer see the Egyptians that were chasing after them, that God would fight for them... and what God did to fulfill that word.

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

GOD protected His people, and destroyed the Egyptian army.

I also noticed how God does these things... through natural sources, like the river.  When they put lambs blood over the doorposts, the angel of death passed them by.  When Pharaoh declared he would kill the firstborn of the Israelites, the firstborn of the Egyptians were killed.  In the Bible, these themes are repeated over and over again, including in the life of Christ.

Knowing this makes it hard for Christians to accept suffering and death in their lives, believing it to be judgment for something.  I guess this is also a theme of the Bible... why people were considered cursed when they suffered, etc.

I have been working through these mixed thoughts all my life.  I want to know, but there is no clear answer.  It is suffering that makes us seek God for the answers.

Today I also entered a post at a Christian group,  "Praying for God to intervene..." -- because I want to see a Red Sea open in my own life, and the Egyptians that plague me to be destroyed. 

How will GOD answer this prayer?  I don't know.

The sun was shining today, and that was good.  I did take some cold medicine to ward off the illness that is trying to get me.  :-)  I will know by the end of the weekend.  It takes about a week to get a cold, about a week of being sick with it, and then another week as it goes away...  I found this out when my kids were young.  It seemed to take so long for them to get better I worried about pneumonia and all kinds of things.  Naturally, I went to the doctor in the third week, when it was going away on its own!

This weekend I should be able to get some art and crafting done.  If I figure out how to post photos with my blogs, I may share some with you.  I think I need a real computer to do that.  I can post photos, but haven't been able to post a photo in the blog... like I use to do way back when.  I'm still searching for the path on that one.

This is a personal journaling-style blog... please try to remember that.  I will be posting separately to WT blogs about those issues.  I also have a separate Crafting blog for those activities.

Time to go.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD watch over the good people who love Him as the days pass by.
May He help us to see His path for us.
May our hearts be willing to do our tasks in the Body of Christ.
May the enemies we face be overcome.

20 September, 2017

20 September 2017

I made it this far... one more to go!  :-)

Today I opened the can of chalkboard paint for the first time... what an experience.  It was not thick and creamy like I thought it would be.  Must be the water clean-up that does that.  I had to pour a load on one of the things I was trying to turn into a chalkboard, but the air bubbles were a killer... on all of the things I tried to make.  By the end of the can I will have to figure out the best way to do chalkboard paint... or find out the best brand name.

I looked all day for the missing black cat, who is currently not very mobile -- not able to walk well, which I hadn't seen for days.  I called, and called, and called.  I wandered the whole yard while I called.  I worried.  I watched.  I wondered if it had died somewhere, all alone, in the rainy cold.  It was a horrible thought.  The cat suddenly appeared on the porch when my son came home... so I carried it, through the forbidden house (so I could get my shoes) to the back area, and its food/water and shelter space.  I hope it is still there.  I will check again tomorrow.

In a moment of rest, I decided to watch the VHS tape I bought last time I was at the thrift store... The Bells of St. Mary's ...with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.  Anyone remember them?  :-)  It was nice to see it.  Different than I remembered.  Later I noticed it was a "Special Edition," but I wasn't sure what that meant.  I did notice they left the "Under God" part of the Pledge of Allegiance off of the scene when the kids were shown saying it.  Made me wonder....

Today was a mixed day... getting things done, cleared off my work space/table, moved around some more.  So glad I didn't go shopping.  I would have regretted getting caught in those repeated down pours.

My life isn't that exciting, but it is life... I have heard that life is 90% boring stuff you have to do and 10% exciting stuff that the movies like to show at 100%...  I can see that.  I really want to share more details about my serious efforts, but that isn't rising to the top right now.  It seems to come in spurts, when the details move into those kinds of conversations.  I am getting into more of the answers I was seeking about my blogging.  I hope you will bear with me.

Today I checked on eBay selling and printed off a lot of details to review.  It's been awhile.  I end up going through this cycle over and over because I have to start over and over again.  I hope this time my efforts will begin to bear some fruit.  There isn't much time left for this holiday season.  I am working on it.  I guess checking things off my list helps me to get closer to those goals.

Tomorrow I will need to make a better list.

No news today.  I can check the weather on my mobile devices, but getting whole programs is a problem.  I'm looking for the best solutions for my situation.  There aren't many.

I noticed a post by Georgene Rice (KPDQ radio) today about the term "Gay Christian" and I was motivated to reply.  It's one of those gray statements.  Technically, someone could be a saved Christian doing battle with their chosen sin of participating in gay sexual activities, like those who commit adultery, pedophilia, fornication, and other sexual sins.  The difference is in attitude... in commitment to GOD and Christ... in knowing it is sin.  There is a movement in our day to say that you can be a committed Christian and still be a practicing homosexual, that it is not a sin.  That kind of definition is a problem.  It is just trying to justify something God has plainly called sin, an abominable sin.

Since these are the days of the world falling toward its destruction, and sexual sins are the primary sign of how close we are to that destruction, these word battles seem like something we have to expect.  There won't be a winner.  In prophecy, the sins that win are just paths to hell and the Lake of Fire.

I don't know what it will be like to live in this kind of a degrading world... even in the US.  I think Christians are going to have to create their own safe spaces, if that is possible, where they can be near each other to protect the group... kind of like Nehemiah on the wall... or like the Amish who have their own communities.  Jesus People have also created workable communities.  It isn't what we want, but what we have to do.

God needs to help us... financially, community-wise, governmentally, physically...  I hope He does something soon.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

In God We Trust... May He carry us into the future and protect us from our enemies.
May our things become the resources we need for the Body of Christ.
As we gather, help us to be wise about how to meet the larger needs of those nearest to us.
May our lives be joined in community as we learn to share individually.
Provide for these needs, Lord... help us to prepare a place of relative safety for our children, our grandchildren, and for our elderly.
Help us to save the places that honor you, our spiritual heritage, our fellowship... and become the safety net for Christians in the future.
As families die, as relationships fracture and are destroyed by the enemy, help us to love the strangers from the Body of Christ.
Help us to prepare, Lord... help us to make places of relative safety, comfort, recovery, unity, love, and joy... until you call us Home.

19 September, 2017

19 September 2017

Another rainy day, with a little bit of sunshine!  It is taking time to get use to the rain, and the changes it brings.  Instead of running out for a few minutes without a coat, I think of getting a cold and grab my warmest covering.  It isn't fun to get sick.

I did take the dogs out for a bit in the afternoon, and it was beautiful out... sunshine, no rain, nice.  I didn't want to come back in, and I don't think the dogs did either.

Right now I hear heavy drops falling outside.  I am trying to decide if I want to brave the wet weather and go shopping tomorrow to get some things on my lists.

Christian radio is on right now.  It is a program with a guy talking about marriage relationship issues.  I like the way he shares his wisdom, gleaned from years of learning through his own life.  I guess it is Focus on the Family, and the speaker is Bob Crane... they just told us all that information.

Marriage is not something I can witness about.  It wasn't really a part of my life.  It would have been nice to experience, but the Bible is right, if I would have married, everything else in my life would have been different. 

I finally ordered some business cards for myself associated with Working Together.  I tried Vistaprint.  I hope they turn out the way I think they will.  It isn't the final design I will have for WT, but it will do for today.  I am trying a membership drive in December, so I need something.  I'm not sure how to utilize them yet.  Once they get here, I will decide.

I moved things around in my room today, too.  Getting my computer and VHS player to a better spot, and listening to some of my Carleton Sheets tapes on buying real estate for no money down.  If I prepare for the day when GOD provides for me, then I will be able to use my money more wisely.

My art supplies got better organized in the process, too.  :-)  If I wasn't so tired, I would stay up and paint, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

There is still some finishing work to do on all the changes from today, but it is getting better each time I make the effort to find a better way.  My lists of things to get become more specific, and my budget is helped.

Some goals get done faster than others, too. 

Maybe I should say my goals are getting done faster than they were before, but still not fast enough for me.

What can we do when our lives are not our own?  We have to trust GOD for all the details.  That is what I do... every day... for many years. 

I hope to have more to share tomorrow.  I am getting a notebook created to keep notes for my blog posts, and Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest posts.  It will all become better as time and money and supplies merge to provide for it.  Business cards, online marketing, finding the right things to sell, updating my webpage and other accounts to see where I am and make it all connect... Finding peace and safety, making a place for other Christians to do the same... these are my prayers.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD provide what is needed.  Amen.

18 September, 2017

18 September 2017

So, what a weekend...  I kind of vegetated, watching TV and Netflix (documentaries) and free movies (Hidden Figures from HBO I think).  Is learning the same as vegetating?  I'm not sure.  I am still working on my Sabbath rest boundaries... everything I do seems to somehow apply to my various​ work involvements.  It's a challenge.

I have already posted some comments on my Facebook page for Fixing America about the documentaries I watched yesterday (Sugar Coated) and today (GMO OMG), but here is some of the list from my Sabbath effort to rest by watching the tv... I actually can't remember all of them.

Feel Rich (food/health documentary on hip-hop/rap culture.  I am not involved in either genre, so all the people were new to me, except I recognized a photo of Eminem  :-)  but the end of the movie showed a lot of their people who died young.  I guess I recognized Quincy Jones, too.  :-)   It was hard for me to watch some of it... I'm not into the profanity that is normal for some people.  I did like the healthy focus, and how we change.  I think this was the one talking about Meatless Mondays not being enough.  To me the challenge of Meatless Mondays is a starting point, a first step on the way to better health.  You have to glean what matters.)

Facing Darkness (so good, Christian film by Samaritan's Purse about ebola outbreak in Africa... I couldn't afford to see it in the theatres or buy the DVD, so when I saw it was on Netflix, I watched it right away.  EVERY Christian needs to see this... it shows how wonderful we are as people, missionaries, and organizations...  I was so glad I watched it.)

Banking on Bitcoin (documentary about the start of Bitcoin and some of it's problems... one of two I noticed.  I will have to watch the other one at a different time.  I am wondering about Bitcoin, especially if there is a global financial crisis.)

Cowspiracy  (documentary about animal agriculture's effect on global warming, but the host lost me - and the people he interviewed - when he took it into a vegan/meat eaters issue.  There was a lot of good detail, and the presentation was OK, but the bias changed the focus of the issue.  How our food supplies are raised and processed is a real issue, and needs some solutions.  I wish I could recall the parts that meant a lot to me, but watching too many documentaries at one time mixes all the details up.  I already plan to take notes the next time I binge watch!  :-)

Rancher Farmer Fisherman (a movie I found while looking through the free movie section.  Nice.  It looks into the livelihoods of three areas, with an emphasis on major players.  It helps you to see the desperate need we have to protect our existence from the greed of government... and shows how dependent we are on these food supplies.)

Hidden Figures (was another movie I couldn't see when it came out.  Loved it.  It was funny and sad to see our country behaving like it did, but it was also nice to see some "normal" black families... as opposed to criminals and drug involved or violent....  I hope more of the details were from real history than created for the dramatic effect movies need to have... it was based on real events.)

These all gave me a lot to think about, especially food issues.

Rain has begun in the Northwest.  I call it a warning from God that winter is coming, so get ready!  :-)   I had to get out my thermals and wore my warm coat for the first time in months.  I think I am fighting off a cold from the change in drafty spaces and cold air.  I have to decide how I can do my shopping in the rain again.

I saw some of the news today... about two more hurricanes coming to the US, and video of a terrible accident.  With all the cameras being put up for surveillance issues, we are able to see things we may not want to see... it brings the horrors of the world too close.  The need to be first, have the most alarming details, shock the world, be seen, get noticed, and more... it has changed our lives.  It will change the future even more.  I always think of Matrix when I think of this issue... how facial recognition and computer surveillance guarded every human being...and it's the same theme in lots of movies.  Computers, cameras, and time... they don't cost as much as human surveillance use to... and aren't always noticed.  I liked the film loop in the movie SPEED, too... showing that they can be manipulated, too.  It's a legal problem that hasn't been solved yet... how much to rely on computer-generated evidence.

In the battle between good and evil, GOD and Satan, love and hate, it is hard to endure the hardships the Bible tells us are part of being human, and are going to come into our lives, and we must find a way to overcome.  No one likes to hurt.  When we hurt, we try to make sure someone else hurts, too.  I have had to work through this myself.  I don't know if I will ever reach the status of being Christ-like, as we are suppose to become. 

The Bible says this world has been released into the hands of Satan, for a time.  That means we will suffer, even when we are good people, do good things, and don't deserve it.  There is no easy answer to what is wrong with our world and how to make it better.  Salvation creates better people, over time, but it doesn't solve every problem in humanity.

I have been praying about situations in my own life for a long time.  It is hard to see evil win small battles and think it has won the war.  It is hard not to be able to change the status quo.  It is hard to see your loved ones make wrong choices.  It is hard to endure the consequences of our mistakes, but it is even harder to endure when we haven't done anything to deserve our suffering. 

In this conflict between the forces of evil and our lives, we have to find a way through, regain our balance, and continue on. When I pray, I may not get the answer I want, but I know God is still busy with the details of our existence.  He is making prophecy come true, He is trying to save as many souls as possible, He is doing what is best for the bigger picture of existence.  I may suffer, the people I care about may suffer, and the cause is not always GOD.

I guess documentaries remind me that problems we face as humanity are consequences of the ongoing battles between good and evil, and our choices about which side we are on. 

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD help us to see the impact of our choices.
May we find the courage to do what is right.
May our lives focus on God rather than money.
May our hopes be in having enough, not in having more than we need.
May our government not become our enemy.
May GOD provide for those who love Him and trust Him and sacrifice for Him.
May time help us to change.
May we find ways to rectify our wrong choices and the effects they have on others.
May freedom continue to exist in America, and the world.
May we face our global challenges with honesty and courage.
May life last long enough to reach our best goals.

14 September, 2017

14 September 2017

I was watching NBR and they had a segment on San Francisco wanting to tax robots because they take away jobs... desperate government... beware!  The people discussing the topic were also wondering how this would work... what would be next... how they can justify this approach.  I think we need to get rid of all taxes except ONE... and sales tax is the only one that would apply equally to all income levels.  TEN percent, maximum, forever.  The government would have to learn how to budget, and they wouldn't be able to bargain for votes... maybe... but it would also tie every decision they make to the health of the economy.

I write about this when I can... I'm sure it is somewhere in my blogs, and on Facebook, and on Twitter, and.... who knows where else.

Imagine no income taxes or property taxes or estate taxes or capital gains taxes or foreign taxes or lots of other taxes... many I don't even know about.  It would mean a seriously reduced government payroll... and office overhead... and policing.  I suppose the government would still be able to investigate businesses, but personal lives would be more free.  No reporting, the business would be linked to the government... no receipts, records, etc.  No need for tax incentives, subsidies, limits on your retirement accounts, sudden incomes, expenses, dependents, and....  You pay your tax bill when you buy something, it gets adjusted when you return something, the government shares the collected funds equally (federal, state, county) and international costs get their own 1%.  Everyone pays the same amount... no more fighting over loopholes, rich and poor, middle class, etc.

I get more convinced it is the best future for America (and everyone else, eventually) every time I think about it.

Rain is coming this weekend and staying for awhile!  Today I started cleaning up all my piles of yard debris by different areas.  What a big job, tiring, and more than I expected... but, I am going to do as much as I can before the rain gets here.  It will be nice to see what it does for the plant life, and if we still have a small river passing through our yard still... :-)  The groundwater here is something I have never seen before in my entire life.  I'm waiting to see what it does this winter.

Part of the area I am cleaning out is a path where the water is suppose to go... pre-sewers, it runs in gullies, downhill, in large and small amounts that depend on the rain.  The area has well water, so when I first saw how much water came above ground, I thought it must be from a full well.  I know nothing about these things... no real details, just big picture concepts from city life.

I think we need to make this problem work for us... make little pools of water for the gardens and animals, create electricity from water wheels or something like that, maybe a water-feature for the beautiful effect it has.  :-)  I love water features.

Last winter the chicken cage was in a spot away from the broken pipe area in the yard, which was blamed for everything involving water.  The poor chicken had clean feet even when it didn't want them... I never saw a chicken with feet like that... and when I had to pick it up for some reason, it was so strange.  The chicken space has moved now, so I am wondering how they will do this winter.

The weekend is near.  There's a list of things to do.  I'm working on how to get it all done.

My FIMO projects are coming along.  I have been filing them down and they are beginning to look really good.  I am getting excited.  Once I have the process figured out, it will be easier to get them done, faster.  I will spend more time on pre-bake details so I don't have to fix the designs after baking.

My salt dough efforts are beginning to figured out.  I see painting as one of the issues for these possible products.  I may tackle that this weekend... maybe.

I want to mail an auction donation to OREGON RIGHT TO LIFE for their annual auction, and that has to be done soon.  I am trying to get something finished and mailed to them by the 20th or 21st.  I am not sure I will make it, but I am trying to see what I can make that would be good for their auction, within my meager talents, developing skills, and limited supplies.  :-)   I can do this!

Well, the terror of the hurricanes is leaving our attention span and other tragedies are replacing it... another school shooting, government debt ceilings and walls around our borders, elderly people dying needlessly while being housed across the street from a hospital... that's all I can remember right now.

You have heard a goldfish has a longer attention span than we do... sad, don't you think?!  Sesame Street has been blamed for that pathway.  Now it is technology... or maybe technology just encourages it.

I read my book one chapter at a time... as a daily goal... do you think that counts as a short attention span?

Time to go.
Enjoy your weekend.
Spend time with your loved ones.
Give to as many needs as you can afford to give to.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May God bless our efforts to care for each other.
May life be good to us, and may we be good because of it.
Help the world to slow down, to enjoy the people that matter.
May our goals be God's goals for us.

13 September, 2017

13 September 2017

Hello on Wednesday!

I almost went to bed without doing my post... I had a busy day and got carried away with my yardwork challenge.  I will probably be too sore to move much tomorrow.

I am busy with the same things every day... all my ongoing goals and daily duties...  A boring life to some.  I do hope to make it a little bit better by next year, and expand my lists of things to do in 2018.

I was inspired recently to try again to sell my digital product at Etsy.  I currently have just one item, my writing called "Servants." but it is a good item for the Christian household, as daily inspiration and reminder or as a gift item. 

The big problem with digital sales is that they are hard to monitor once they leave you.  I remember my teen years had people sharing audio tapes of the things they loved, then disks were copied and shared, and now we have file sharing.  The issue still exists, but the methods have changed.

In trying to solve this problem for myself, I decided that someone who wanted to give the file as a gift could purchase a separate file for each person on their list.  That would make it an honest transaction... no guilt, no fear, no problems.  The file contents can be printed, framed for giving, and then shared with the intended recipient.  Later you can send them their file copy.

I have been thinking of this for some time, but not sure what is already in place.  Once I get the funds to work this out on my own website, it would be a great sales option.  Until then, I am trusting my customers to do what is right -- especially the intended audience of Christians.

Sound good?
I think so.
I just need to make my first million to implement all my plans !!  :-)

I may use this sales effort as a practice run for my first social media membership drive for Working Together this December... well, my first real effort, with outreach advertising.  I hope this works out this time.  I will be updating my website with PayPal sales links... and working out the final details by then.

I have to go now.
Talk to you tomorrow, GOD willing.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May we all see tomorrow.
May we find the answers we need.
May GOD provide for our efforts.
Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings.
Watch over all the people who are suffering right now.
Bring them speedy recoveries... help them to make it through each day...
Touch their lives in a special way so they know you love them.

12 September, 2017

12 September 2017

Today I have been trying to imagine living weeks without power...
I heard some news about the hurricane damages and recovery efforts
and some people may not have power for weeks, or longer!

I was remembering my few hours without electricity in a house without alternative options.
I was remembering my meals in my van as a homeless person.
I heard on the news that people are getting tired of crackers and peanut butter.

I am trying to create an emergency supply of things for different needs,
hoping to last a little while, depending on what emergency hits.

We might have earthquakes here.
Some places flood.
Fire is always a danger no matter where you are.
I'm not sure what other natural disasters might happen,
but economic disasters are always an issue when you are poor.

How to live without electricity... that is a really hard challenge.

Candles would have to serve as light,
and fireplaces,
and flashlights as long as you have batteries.
Some have oil lamps, lanterns, kerosene lamps, and things like that.
I have used my open cell phone for a light source,
but that would be for great needs as it would drain my battery.
I remember how dark it was without any options for light.
We forget how vulnerable it makes us.
How it limits the things we can do.
It makes us remember the people who lived before electricity...
they pretty much slept according to the sun's light.

When I heard the comment on peanut butter I laughed.
Yes, that would be one food option that wouldn't spoil without electricity.
I use dry milk, so that would allow me to eat things like dry cereal.
You can make just one cup of dry milk at a time.
You would need water to be able to make it.

Water was mentioned so many times.
It seems to be the first supply that everyone wants.
No one stores enough water for their families...
it would take so much space!
I use to fill my empty milk gallons with water and store it under my sink,
when I had my kids, when they were young.
I use a few of the big juice containers these days...
just to have some available.
I also bought some packaged water when I started this quest to prepare.
I need more.

Life is very different without all the communication devices we rely on without thinking.
When I was living in my van, it didn't seem to matter.
The news was always bad, always so much suffering,
and I had to find a way to survive.
One of the missions in Portland had a morning room with a TV
so homeless people could see what was happening at that time.
I guess the library would be the only other source,
with the free computer access,
but who watches the news when you only have 15 minutes of public access !?
Not me.
I guess we would find out from each other...
neighbors, maybe... anyone willing to talk to us, maybe...
I hope to buy one of those cranking radios someday...
they are suppose to be great for emergencies.
I am thinking of a walkie-talkie set, too.  :-)
That would be fun to try out, even now... without an emergency.

After water, food is a big need.
I could do with a little weight loss, so a short period of suffering might be ok,
but I don't know how my health would do without food.
No refrigeration...
No cooking...
No stores...
I use to have to buy meals one at a time as a homeless person.
It is very expensive... especially when you aren't near a regular, low-cost, grocery store.
I remember I had to pick a fruit from the produce section,
maybe some cheese and/or a sandwich meat package,
a tuna pouch would work,
something to drink, like juice or milk,
and sometimes I would use ramen noodles soaked in water
to make a pasta salad.
Of course, this would only be possible after the stores had power.
I discovered cooking over tea lights when I lived in my van.
I had one special bowl that I could heat stuff in.
I used five tea lights to make a stove...
in a small round pyrex dish with a small round metal grate-like thing over it.
It was quite the accomplishment... it allowed me to have warm/hot food.
Now my goal is to get one of those propane can stoves I have seen.

Peanut butter... not my most favorite food.
When I didn't have anything else,
I would make myself eat 2 tablespoons of it as my meat source,
my protein.
I like to eat real peanuts instead of peanut butter.

No money in an emergency is so hard.
Poverty doesn't allow you to have extra funds for things like that.
I guess we just suffer without the things we can't buy.
These days I am still working on Baby Step One
of the Dave Ramsey program.  (daveramsey.com)
It is to save $500 to $1000 as your initial emergency fund
to help you survive until you get to the main back-up fund.
Anything is better than nothing.
I have mentioned before (somewhere)
that I tried every month to save just $25,
but something drastic always happened.
I wonder if I would be able to achieve that goal now...
I don't know.
I am now trying to decide how much to save for things like that.
Is $20 enough?
Should it be in ones and fives?
You can't use a debit card when there isn't a machine to process it,
or can you?

I wondered about electric transit in situations like disaster recovery.
I travel by public transit.
Busses would eventually be running,
but until they do, there's not much you can do.
Here we have electric transit.
It's the main source for getting around.

Living without electricity for weeks would be tough.
I hope I don't ever have to do it.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

Lord, help those people who have to endure so much as they recover their lives.
Bless the poor, bring them comfort, lead them to better place, use this tragedy to make their lives better.
Help us all to be patient with each other in the midst of so much hardship.  I heard that many people are getting tired of this event... cover our hearts and minds with your wings and help us to rely on you... keep us calm, and patient, and loving.
Lift up the needs of the poor and the elderly and the ill... bring the best people to help them.
Protect the innocent from those who take advantage of situations like this.  Judge the evil, have mercy on the desperate, and guide us all through our suffering, our needs, our recovery.
Bless America.
Help us to see your Hand in our lives.
Make us better people because of this.

11 September, 2017

11 September 2017

Today is a day filled with tragedy and memories of tragedies.  Two major hurricanes have caused immense destruction throughout our southern regions; we are remembering the great hurricanes of the past, including Katrina; and this is the anniversary of the attacks of 9/11.  It reminds us of how little we control the world, and how vulnerable we are.  Life can change in a moment.

9/11 is always an emotional memory for me.  Today I heard the early broadcast of a Focus on the Family program about a man who survived the twin towers and credited GOD with that blessing.  (http://focusonthefamily.org)  I cried a lot during the short testimony about that day, but I wasn't just crying for the program's content... I was crying because it happened.  I was remembering.  I was thinking about what it meant to our country.

For me, the attacks of 9/11 are a turning point in America's history... I call it the the day God's Hand of Protection left America.  We have been denying GOD in our national decisions, it was only a matter of time before God would stop protecting us from judgment.  Pearl Harbor was the only attack from outside sources I could think of as the last time we suffered like this...and that was so far away.  We might have lost our President or our Congressional leaders if Flight 93 had made it to their destination.  Our military was attacked via the Pentagon.  I don't know what was in those two buildings, but they had great meaning to the attackers... They went first.

The attacks of 9/11 changed the fields of battle, too.  Planes of any kind are now potential weapons.  Since that time, suicide car bombs in foreign nations have become backpack bombs left at big events here in the USA... or heavy trucks that roll over innocent spectators or holiday shoppers.  To avoid gun control issues, we are seeing simple everyday knives or cheap machetes become desperate weapons of terrorism against ordinary people in ordinary spaces.  Schools and churches are easy targets for anyone with a cause to get into the media.  We can never really be safe again... we are vulnerable in ways no one ever considered before.  Technology battles are a field of battle we don't know if we will keep winning.

Even if we were a police state, we would still be vulnerable.  How we continue our lives in the face of these growing threats will define us as a nation.  Fear may destroy us if we try to control every possibility...every person... every potential weapon.  Controlling every detail of millions of people's lives is an impossible goal.  The best we can do is to find a rational way to prepare... for prevention, fighting back, and recovery.  I guess my key word here is "rational" -- something reasonable... not becoming a police state, maintaining our personal freedoms.

I was homeless when 9/11 happened.  I was living in my van in Oregon.  I don't remember how many days it was before I discovered what had happened, but it was years before I watched any of the video coverage of the planes hitting the twin towers.  I didn't have a smartphone, or internet, or computer, or tv, or radio.  I was too busy surviving being homeless.

For me 9/11 is a spiritual event... it is a turning point in our relationship with GOD.  I don't know if we can ever go back to our blessed status.  We were attacked on our own soil.  It is a sign about our place in the world, how things are changing, and a warning about what is coming.  I wrote "America" because of 9/11... You can link to it at my website homepage ::  http://work2gather.us

We need to change the way we do things, individually and as a nation.

It's almost time to end this post, but I want to add that I have been seeing some of the destruction from the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and the surrounding areas.  I heard on a news report somewhere that recovering from Katrina, which is still not done, cost over 100 BILLION dollars.  Some expect the bill to be that and more for these natural disasters.  The debt ceiling has again been lifted to meet these needs.

I see the debt as a credit card for government.  Basically, they are raising their own maximums... and the payments are going to rise with each increase.  We can't afford what we pay now.  Somehow, we need to get the debt down so we have an emergency cushion and our dollar doesn't become worthless, like the Confederacy dollars in the Civil War.  Detroit said it took them 60 years to reach the stage of bankruptcy.  How long will it take the US government?

I have been praying about these issues for years, looking for answers, looking for better ways of doing things.  I know we can find them, but how will they ever get implemented ?!?  The government controls the process, including taxation for their budget desires.  We cannot continue in these directions financially... It is really impossible.  The consequences will be devastating for every American, but our actions do affect the world so the entire globe will be affected.

I am in tears sometimes when I watch the pain of other people and there is nothing I can do.  We can't control the weather, or earthquakes, or fires, or any natural disaster... but we can control our budget, our wages to government employees, our programs for subsidies, our tax levels and sources, our program contributions, our priorities.  Government is just one source of funding.  We need a solution that creates opportunities for other community-level involvements.

I know we can find them, but is government really able to decrease its power, its wages, its control, its bargaining for benefits mentality.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May God help us to find a way to change.
May our priorities be better than they are.
May we put our nation ahead of ourselves.
May our people find good solutions to our problems.
May we see the ability of the government to earn through other ways than taxation.
May our taxes be fair, to all Americans.
May America discover the protection of God again.

May those who are suffering find strength to make it through this difficult time.
May the water recede quickly, may power be restored soon, may food and shelter be available for all who need it.
May those spending the money we give use it wisely, frugally, as it is needed... saving what they can for later.
May those who can give money find a place to share their bounty.
May this Christmas season become a time of renewed joy for those who cannot see happiness in their future.
May we all remember the suffering for as long as they need our help.

07 September, 2017

7 September 2017

Starting over, again...
I'm not sure why it disappears...
It use to auto-save, but that may be with regular computers.
This is life for the non-technical people in the world.

I hope this doesn't keep happening.
I can't even think of what I had written.
I uploaded a photo, but it seems to have created its own photo blog.

Learning these details of communication is new on every device, I think.
I will try to create a photo upload again,
with lots of lines to write on before and after it...
Maybe that will work!

... guess not... can't find the photo option.
I don't remember having these kinds of problems when I used a regular computer to make my posts... I wonder if its the mobile device.  :-(

I was trying to replace the photo that always comes up when I post my blogs.  I have no idea why it gets attached to my posts, but it does, and I haven't been able to eliminate it... yet.  I'm looking for a solution.

The photo I took was my little baby feet FIMO project.  It's just my first ever FIMO effort, so it still needs a lot of development.  I have been sorting and organizing my project supplies, figuring out how many to make, what colors to use, what colors I need to get... and all those things. 

Today I processed some small bamboo stalks that were intruding into the yard space I was working on cleaning up.  They are small stalks of growing bamboo, and I was going to put them in the yard waste pile, but on Wednesday I happened to catch a PBS craft program about making a flute from bamboo.  It made me wonder if I could figure out some way to use these bamboo shoots.  So, I have just cut them up into smaller sections and will do some experimenting and research as the days go by.  When I figure out the photo posting problems, I will share some of my discoveries with you.

I received a fundraising letter from one of the local missions today -- for the annual Thanksgiving meal.  I was impressed by their shopping list on the back of the envelope.  I thought I would share it with you.

Their fundraising letter said they are planning to feed 700 people, but that they have been serving increased numbers of diners this year... up to 900 persons one day.  That's a lot of hungry people.  Imagine trying to have this much food for just one meal!

35  Turkeys
200 lbs of potatoes
6 gallons of gravy
160 lbs of vegetables
600 dinner rolls
600 butter pats
4 gallons cranberry sauce
10 gallons milk
20 lbs of coffee
1000 mini coffee creamers
100 pies
24 cannisters of whipped cream

:-)  That's a big shopping list !!!   And it has to be duplicated at other meal events for the big day.

In Eugene there is a big community event put on by secular people and groups.  The battles against Christianity are big in all of Oregon, but the main cities are adversarial in so many ways.  The community meal event is one of those platforms for taking sides.  It is still a great event for those who attend, and for those who volunteer to serve at it.  The community uses it as a time to share socks, clothes, and other needs with those who attend... maybe haircuts, massages, and other things like that.  The bus doesn't operate on Thanksgiving there, so I was never able to attend, but it is an important part of the community.

The local Christian mission holds a meal, too.  I don't know if more than the client population attends, but it is filled with the foods that the above list shares... traditional Thanksgiving foods.  I think some of the larger churches in different parts of the city also host meals.  I don't remember right now, and I haven't been there since the 2012 holiday year.

Having been a recipient of Thanksgiving food boxes, and attending some of the meals available during various years, I try to give the equivalent of a holiday food box each year, when I can.  I hope you are able to support these special outreach events, too.

It is so hard to believe the year is nearly gone, again.  Christmas is just beyond Thanksgiving, but it needs a lot more time and money to survive... at least, for me.  It is my favorite time of year and I could spend everything I have if I didn't have to restrain myself.  My budget efforts are helping me get a balanced goal for Christmas, and this year I am finally able to create some of my crafting projects.  It may help this year to be very nice, especially when compared with the past.

Have you been planning your Black Friday shopping list?
Or Small Business Saturday?
Or Cyber Monday?
Maybe Giving Tuesday?

This year there might be a new addition to the group for Sundays... what do you think?  :-)

I never have that much money to spend, so I never attended any of those sales... Toys for Tots was my Christmas, or something similar... or nothing.  Last year was my first time shopping, really shopping, the Black Friday sales... and last year they were week long events!  Who knows what the economy will bring this year.

It's time to finish this... I will talk to you again next Monday, God willing.  Hopefully, I will be able to post photos and offer some deeper topics within my journaling format.  Enjoy your weekend.  Volunteer in the recovery zones if you are near them, can afford to go, have some badly needed skills, are not encumbered with the work grind, and have a wonderful heart.  If you have money to spare, that is always needed.  Pray for those who are suffering so much loss right now.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May the GOD of heaven, creator of all we know and depend on, have mercy on us and show us all His love for us... and may we be able to recognize His Love when we see it.
May our hearts find rest in Him, in His ability to overcome our sorrows and lead us to a better place.
May the weather be kind, and our faith strong, and our sharing bountiful.  We don't have to give everything, but we can try to give as much as we are able to... to those who mean the most to our hearts.  The battle for our souls is always the choice between the money of this world (and what it buys) and the GOD of heaven...choose wisely, your eternity is going to be decided by your choice.
May Christmas be a special season again, with joy and happiness for as many people as possible, especially children.
May our country be kept safe and secure from all those who would like to harm us.
May the world be kept from the miseries we read about every day in the news, and find a way to peace amongst our differences.
May God bless those who love Him.  Amen.

06 September, 2017

6 September 2017

What has been important about today...

I suppose it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your life at the moment. 

In the effort to increase my income with online sales, developing my crafted projects is up at the top of the list for me.  With Christmas right down the road, I need to find my products and get them listed online, with photos and descriptions.

I managed to sand down some of my crafting projects, but still needed to find You Tube videos about how to fix the sanding marks on FIMO clays.  I found a bunch of polymer clay videos on various topics... link to link to link. It gets hard to stop.  Tutorials and product reviews are plentiful.  Finding the best ones is a long and random process.  I did find some amazing polymer clay artists and crafters.  It gave me more hope for my own creative efforts as time goes by.  I didn't realize it was such a versatile crafting medium.  I watched how you can use paints and stamps for design elements, mold it into amazing shapes, and embellish pieces in ways I had no idea were possible.  It was a great investment of my time to watch these videos.  I expect to start some new experiments tomorrow as I continue to work on my other "clay" type projects... salt dough, diy porcelain clay, air dry clay....

I wasn't able to see my PBS news programs today, but did see local news on the local fires.  It isn't over, and everything still depends on the weather... the wind, possibilities of rain, how much equipment they have to fight it, how many people there are to battle it on the ground.  People are still evacuated from their homes and waiting to return to them, worried about thieves taking advantage of their suffering.

It was still a bit smoky in the air, but not as bad as it was.  Even so, we didn't stay out too long.  I did my main yardwork in the morning hours, and that would have been enough for me, but the apples still needed to be raked up when I took the dogs out for their breaks.  :-)   We survived.

I can't think of anything extraordinary about today. 

I did some of the things that I wanted to get done. 

Does that mean it was a good day? 

If I don't save the world, is it still a good day? 
Am I a worthwhile person?

Measuring the value of our lives is a big deal these days... I'm at the senior end of the world now... we are being starved to death in the same hospitals that use to take care of us... forced by judges to die slow and agonizing deaths, supervised by doctors and nurses that once cared for life and did all they could to keep it going.  Now it is all about the costs.  There's just not enough money to pay the bills, and poor, elderly, sick people don't help solve the problem.  They have no purpose in our economy so they would help the money flow by just dying, voluntarily or involuntarily.  This is the world we live in.

It has been this way all of my life... as one of the poor.  Here I am, heading into retirement at the same income level.  I didn't plan to be here... I tried to find a way out... my efforts just didn't work.  Without money, I am still not a worthwhile person in the eyes of this society, probably even less worthwhile than others who have overcome their poverty. 

The Bible tells us a lot of things about our relationship with money.  I know I thought the church would be the answer, but the church has problems dealing with poverty just as much as the government does.  If you take too long to get "better," you become a burden to the process.  We want problems to be fixed, fixed very fast, and then to move on to the next challenge.

It's like the news...  Texas has moved on to recovery, Irma is the next challenge.  Texas gets lost, Irma gets found.  The long-term needs of Texas are still there, but our attention is moved to the newest disaster.

In my life, I have discovered that help is a temporary situation, wrapped in qualifications you can't always meet, time-limited, and more about the giver than the receiver.  As I write this, I can see that it is about all we can do.  All our resources are limited.  Our needs are many.  Eventually, we all have to "recover" from our suffering on our own.

In my faith I am helped to find a path forward... I grow through my struggles.  I think our pain becomes the outreach for the next generation of people suffering from the same thing we did.

I guess this means that all the people who have been through a devastating hurricane are heading for Texas now, and will plan on being there as long as it takes. 

I hope so.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May GOD help us to "give what we can, take only what we need" to those who share this life with us. 
May our lives be filled with joy, mercy, compassion, sharing, trust, faith, giving, and hope.
May we find that peace we need to enjoy our blessings when others are suffering, and share our plenty when we can.
May life become a good thing in our hearts... for the unborn, for the less than perfect, for the old.
May our laws protect the innocent. 
May our government honor the laws of GOD.
May our society be a good example, not just an example of expediency, profit, or controlling force.
May the church rise up to care for the vulnerable.
May our hearts be filled with people priorities, godly values, and time for the things that really matter.

05 September, 2017

5 September 2017

My blog disappeared... again.
May the internet thieves be struck with lightning bolts from GOD...

Starting over, even with a blog post is impossible... very hard, nothing can ever be the same, you have to make a new life... or blog.  There is no way to recover what I previously had written... I will just try to remember what I can. 

I don't think these things are all accidents, but I don't have control over my life these days.  I am trusting that GOD will deal with these problems, and doing my best to survive each day.  I can't control the world, so I have to find a way to deal with what comes my way, what I can deal with.  The rest belongs to GOD.  He is able to rectify what I can't... to judge rightly... to make sure consequences are dealt to those who deserve them, and mercy is felt by those who deserve it.  This is faith, this is where I strive to go when hard times happen.  It is why I believe, and how I believe.

Smoke from nearby forest fires was the main issue today... it was terrible today.  It burns the nostrils, burns the eyes, hurts the lungs.  I went out this morning and did a little yardwork just to get it done.  It wasn't so bad in the early hours.  Later on, when I took the dogs out to do their business, exercise, and play, I spent my waiting time raking up some of the fallen apples in the yard.  The smoke was pretty bad by then, so I tried to keep my efforts low energy... not to exert too much effort and hurt my lungs.  The dogs couldn't be out too long either. 

There are chickens here, so they didn't have much choice in the matter.  I noticed they rested a lot during the day.

There are cats here also, and they seemed to disappear, hiding where they could be cooler and not breathe this difficult air.

My son has a friend who had to evacuate because of the fire.  That is a hard thing to deal with.  They recently bought their property there.  I understand the wind has calmed down, so maybe their new home will still be there when they go home.  It is so hard to lose your possessions, no matter how it happens.  We just don't realize how many little things we collect on the way through our lives... and they all cost money to replace, if they can be replaced.  Memories stay, but not forever.  Photos are the things that help us remember all the little moments.  I hate to see anyone suffer through these losses... It is just never the same again.

I received two letters from my sons in jail/prison today.  Well, one of them was a postcard with a short message, but at least I know he is still alive.  You have no idea how difficult it is to be the parent of a child in trouble... in any correction facility.

The other letter was from my son in a California jail.  The differences between jails and prisons, between cities, counties, and states, is enormous just for writing letters.  In Oregon you can use return address stickers (at least, you use to be able to... ), which I finally had, but my letters to the CA jail were returned because I used them.  In Oregon you can send newspaper clippings, puzzles, magazine articles, small booklets... I received my letters to CA back with a notice that all printed materials need to come from the publisher.  :-(  How do you do that with a single article torn from the magazine or newspaper !?!  I had to start photocopying everything.  I received letters to CA back because I added a small "I love you" type message inside the pen-created heart I put on the back of the envelope.  I think there are more important things to focus on in the corrections systems.

In my area of Oregon, Multnomah County built a new prison and then never used it.  Millions of tax dollars are involved in this project.  Now they want to sell it.  There is a huge gang problem here.  They could use the facility to separate inmates who want to leave the gang life and focus on the things they need to accomplish that... education, job skills, tatoo removals, addiction counseling, work experience, budgeting help, family recovery, a plan to make it when they get out, and more.  If they don't want to focus on gang rehab activities, maybe they need to separate the hard-core gang members from the rest of the inmate population, or separate the people who aren't in gangs from the gang populations.  There are tons of needs for the prison facility, and no money to build a new one again.

Part of Working Together's goals is prison reforms.  Inmate Project is the program focused on that topic.  I know from my own long experiences with my two sons that there has to be a better way, with GOD as a foundation to help change the future of inmates and their families.  Information is one key to change.  I hope that I can find a way to create the support services I would like available for future families trying to deal with our corrections systems.  A monthly newspaper is the starting point for inmate communications in my plan... let me know if you want to subscribe.  It will take about $25/year for the print edition, which is necessary for inmates.  I'm working on the digital options, but may offer an email, PDF, or similar version for online/internet sharing... with different benefits and the same price.  Advertising will be limited for each edition, but it will be an important income source for the program.  Let me know if you want to subscribe... as soon as we have some funding, we can move forward.

I am having a big problem remembering what was lost to the huge black hole in digital land...  I guess I better end here.  I will be making notes for my posts as I go forward, but having to rewrite content created "in the now" is still going to be an issue.  How to overcome this problem is something I am searching for.

Imagine life in openly oppressed countries... how do they exist?  I feel the oppression growing in America, but I don't have the resources to protect myself from it.  How do we keep our country from becoming a prison that looks like it is freedom?  The internet is changing a lot of things... including the simple act of writing your own private blog posts.  If we can be hacked from another part of the world, who will enforce our rights?  It's getting to be a new world that we don't want to see happening.

Now that I am thoroughly depressed, I will end this day's entry.

Pray for all of us... all of us.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May we all find a way to be free in our good choices, protected in our kindness, loved in our outreaches, safe in our communities.

04 September, 2017

4 September 2017

Labor Day...
We have so many holidays they tend to become meaningless now...
Which ones should be the ones we really care about... all of us... as a nation?
I have my own favorites, but I respect some other ones.

I think there is a global calendar somewhere online.  I know I have raced by it in the past.  It had so many holidays listed for places all over the world.  I think it was a business aid, to help people who sell in other countries.

I do miss celebrating the real holidays... instead of the convenient Monday ones.

This has been a long weekend, but I have been reading some new books, finally baked my very first FIMO shapes, tried out a salt-dough recipe, went shopping for some supplies to do other things (projects), and more... This week should be busy, too.  I may actually get a new sales listing posted at Etsy or another one of my sites by next weekend.  I'm trying for that.

The DECEMBER Membership Drive for Working Together is also progressing.  I have to work out a few details, and then it may be nearly planned.  I need to learn about email list collecting, decide what social media ads I want to try, figure out scheduling posts at my main efforts, decide on the pricing, work out the payment process, and pray that GOD will finally bless this effort.

Membership is the foundation I planned for Working Together.  It's been a difficult challenge finding a way to connect with other Christians and build it up, but maybe this time we can overcome that hurdle.  Poverty is a canyon that isn't easily jumped!

What does membership mean?  It means we can connect across denominations, build up financial resources, protect what we have, create a path through the future unknowns.  It is how we can discover each other.  It identifies us as a group, and begins a conversation about what we need.  It is really the only way to move forward as we begin to suffer the effects of an ungodly civilization.  Our collective funds become the bank we need to grow and share.

It's hard not to keep talking about this, but I will.

I like the book I started by Pastor Cho of South Korea.  It is an older book, and it is about an organization he was a part of that has changed a lot since the founder died.  I don't even know if Dr. Cho is still alive... I heard about their Prayer Mountain awhile back and was very impressed.  The book is his speeches as leader of a group called Full Gospel Businessmen... I assume it is the same Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship I was familiar with in those years.  I know I put a link on my resource page at work2gather.us -- and that I had trouble getting it to work.  I am finding it very interesting to read the voice of the ministry, even though it is from a time when he was younger.

We have lots of smoke from local fires tonight... very choking.  I hate to think of being out in this air. 

Some posts on the internet, at Facebook most likely, were angry that the flooding in Texas was getting all the attention... and money.  As the future begins to be too financially burdensome, local areas will need to take care of their own disasters.  We don't have the money to cover them, at any governmental level, but someone will have to.  Local banks and business people will need to work out a plan to recover their areas.  Churches and ministries will need to meet more needs.

I am always amazed at the disconnect in the issue of taxes.  We talk about Federal taxes, State taxes, etc., and see it as separate funding, but it is all taxes... it is paid by the same citizens.  When a federal program has funds for clean up, it is our tax dollars.  When a state program has funding, it is our tax dollars.  County, city, roads, gas, building, property, driving, everything... taxes are all from "us!"

It seems like we are raising different taxes, but we are just raising taxes... nationally.  Changing the tax structure is something we can't avoid.  Sooner would be better than later.

Well, this will have to be it for today.  I don't want to get going because serious topics really make me want to talk.  It seems like the big issues are the same issues over and over.  I need to find a way to share them here, without being too repetitive.  :-)  It is beginning to be organized, but it will take a little more time.  I am hoping these issues will be figured out by the end of this year.

In Christ,
Deborah Martin

May God watch over all the suffering people tonight.
May He find a way to touch their lives to let them know He understands their pain and is walking through their valley with them.
May we all discover the need for local involvement, for changes in how we do things, for better answers to our many problems.
May the finances we need to build, to build again, to build better, become available to us.
May those who have share with those who have not... to see their blessings as from God, to share the loads of the suffering, to find ways to meet needs without destroying the dignity of others.
May our world become more focused on solutions than expansions... wiser than faster... merciful than selfish... giving than greedy....
May we love one another so people will not be desperate to survive.

Help us to find answers.  Amen.