29 October, 2021

FAITH FRIDAY :: 29 OCT 2021 - What matters most?

 I am trying to post a little bit earlier this week.  I think about what to share as i go about my activities all day.  Faith is a BIG topic, and I like to add personal details of my life along the way... like a Journal.  I am working to improve my content (posts) so all things may change over time... 2022 is on my planning list these days... for here, for Patreon, for my selling sites and hopes for more income.

My Patron post has become DEBS JOURNAL.  This is working out great.  You have to be one of my supporters to read this post at my Patreon page, but you can always access the Public posts, now called WHATS HAPPENING.  

It has been a great week with the new posting schedule.  I really had a great week.  I think this might work out great.  When I have topic specific details to share with my Patron tiers, I can post just to them.  After I get this schedule going I want to start adding posts to my other blog sites (WT & Crafts).

I went through all my planned Shoebox gifts today -- to see what I had and what I want to try to add to them.  This year has mostly been a Dollar Tree sourcing project because of their pricing and because I always buy some things for gifting there.  I am going to see what else I can get there first, then I will look for the other items at other stores.  COLLECTION WEEK starts the 15th I think... it's always right before Thanksgiving... Monday to Monday.  (samaritanspurse.org)

Working Together is my Christian Ministry effort.  (1987 to present)  Been praying about it again, for this year's Membership Drive in December.  Because I am just one person with no money, I have to be careful about what I do on the Internet.  Any efforts have to pay for themselves.

I wanted to share a quote I want to make into a post graphic soon... I am not a political fan of the Democrats, or Jimmy Carter, but I received a fundraising mailing from him (don't know shy!!!).  One part of the letter stayed with me so I cut it out and saved it to share.  

By the coding I have on the paper, it may have been from an August 2021 mailing.  I don't really remember.  I just saved the quote. 

  • Our dreams are big -- 
  • our hopes high -- 
  • our goals long-term -- 
  • and the path is difficult.  
  • But the only failure is not to try.    
  • Jimmy Carter

Sorry, had to format it that way... on this site.

I love the whole statement, which is a generic call in many spaces, but I kept it for the failure link.  I do love the statement.  :-)  It is something to share on social media, like I do a lot of my graphics.

So, the only real failure is to stop trying.

I saw a short video clip about Elon Musk this week where he was being interviewed by a news person about one of the failures of his spaceships.  I was impressed with his statement that he never quits.  :-)  Then the video went on to show the succession of his efforts to create a spaceship that would carry people into space.  Very impressive.

I think, in reality, if we quit there will always be someone who comes behind us to take up the task and keep trying... until success is found.  I think Science has this process when the goal is very big, like fighting diseases.

Every year I review my efforts for Working Together and try to find a better way forward.  I have tried a lot of different things along the way.  I would try even more if I had a decent budget to work with.  I finally gave it to GOD to provide for what is needed.  I just keep trying, waiting for GOD to act on my behalf.

This year I am trying to decide how to structure the fees for Membership.  Whatever happens, they have to cover the whole year's expenses.  What benefits to offer for the fee that is charges is the other part of the offer.  I am hoping to re-do my webpage before December first this year.

I wanted to share another statement in this post, one about faith and choosing eternity.  I don't know the official source, and I don't know if my version is the exact statement, but it is about the results of our choices and our experiences in this world and eternity.

  • This life is the only sorrow a saved person will ever know.
  • This life is the only joy a lost person will every know.

When I first heard this, I thought about all the pain that comes with a life that is struggling through this world without GOD, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, peace, love, and more.  This is their "joy."  It isn't real joy, but it is all that they know.

My personal experience with what the lost find as fun and meaning is their addictions, money values, crimes and prisons, families that are filled with suffering, friends that betray them, etc.  

A lot of these things exist in saved lives as well.  They are sufferings.  GOD changes the way they exist in a life that is saved.

There is a part of the lost world where people are decent and good and caring and loving, but they are not saved.  I guess this group exists in both the lost and the appear-to-be-saved worlds.  For myself, I was thinking about people who don't want to know about GOD or Jesus, and think they are good enough.

We hear about this in pastors who discover they really don't know the Lord personally.  It's a scary thought.  Good people who do lots of good things, but they aren't truly saved.  This life would be the only joy they know.

I was really impacted by studying Revelations and seeing the people under the altar were martyrs, souls who suffered so much more than I have (and hope not to have to suffer!).  They become the priests of GOD.  They are separated from all the other believers because they became martyrs.  It means something.  I don't think we have given this passage the deeper meaning it has.

This life, what we suffer because we are believers, is painful, sorrowful, hurtful, and more.  We hear about the JOY of the Lord in our spiritual places, we see smiles on the popular leaders and teachers faces and want to have that in our lives, and we wonder why our lives are not what we hear they are suppose to be as Christians.  I don't know what exists in the hearts and lives of others, I only know the struggles I have to work through.  I keep seeking GOD to understand what happens in my life so I can understand how GOD works in our world.

We have reached a place in time where there are people who don't have any idea there is a Bible or Jesus or salvation... we think everyone knows about our spiritual foundations, but they don't.  The world is getting darker and darker and darker, now the battles are getting more open.  What is my place in the evolving world of spiritual choices?  I don't know.  I am trying to figure that out.

I hope to have more answers by the time WT's 2021 Membership Drive gets here.  (http://work2gather.us)

CHRISTMAS is near.  I am still working on how to sell online and make more income for me and my goals.

I discovered the EBAY app and how to research prices on EBAY for your listings.  I hope to sell a lot of my downsizing items there.  (ebay.com/usr/work2gather)

Working on my crafting for ETSY listings.  (etsy.com/shop/work2gather)

Let me know your thoughts about Bible issues I bring up... 

In Christ,  Deborah Martin

23 October, 2021

FAITH FRIDAY :: 22 OCT 2021 - Time to plan ahead

 Almost didn't make it here!

I was busy with something else and didn't watch the clock.  

I have been working on my posting schedule and made more changes at Patreon (https://patreon.com/DebsRetirementPlan).  I need to make a public post to try to find supporters, so that stayed on MONDAYS.  All my tier posts were pointless because I only have one supporter (in Jewelry), so I decided to make just one post a week (WEDNESDAYS) for all my tiers until I grow my support.  I will also post anything important to individual tiers on the way.  I kind of write to the future patrons I hope to have... keeping my process shared for them.

Been trying to start my WT MEMBERSHIP details.  They have to get posted online soon.  On the way I will be trying to improve my webpage  (http://work2gather.us).  It's been looking bad since last Drive, but I hope to get it better for this year.

I think about FAITH issues every day -- all my waking hours.  It is the main issue of our times.  How GOD opposes what MAN wants to do, or what Satan makes Man think he wants.  It's hard not to see it in the news, in the world, in our families.  I wish I could find a good answer for all the pain Satan causes our world.

I found a church nearby that will be collecting Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes this year.  I made my 2021 Yearly Project about filling 10 of the plastic shoeboxes I already had and sending in $10 fees for each of the 31 brochures I had from other years.  I made it to 9 fees this month.  I hope to add another fee by collection week.  I decided to try to continue the fees effort into 2022.  I want to cover the costs of each unused brochure... however long it takes me.

I wasn't able to fill all the shoeboxes so far.  I'm going to do an inventory of the boxes and then my budget to see what else I can do before I deliver them.

I love doing these shoeboxes for the holidays.  I haven't been able to fill any for some years.  That is why I decided to make it a yearly project.  After this year, the fee effort will be enough for my budget.  :-)

This is the holiday season... Christians like to really stretch their budget to give this time of year.  I wonder if there will be many more to care about because of all the COVID problems.  I hope we find a way to help them.

What is my biggest battle in Faith issues?  I suppose it is always keeping my focus on GOD and trusting Him to take care of all the things I can't.  That is really a BIG topic, and every day that is defined in new ways.

When I really get deep in my troubles I remember that this life is not the place I care about most.  I want to spend my eternity in heaven.  I don't like pain, but I want to stay true to what I know is GOD's Will, His Truth, what I know is right and good and worth dying for.

It's not easy to stay faithful in our world.

We have to find ways to help each other through the hard times, now and what is coming in the future.

I hope we do find those priorities.

In Christ,  Deborah Martin,  Working Together Inc

15 October, 2021

FAITH FRIDAY :: 15 OCT 2021 - Believing what the Bible says

 Just finished watching a tear jerker called FAITH UNDER FIRE. It makes me think about GOD in our daily lives, in our greatest pain, and as we come out of all that suffering.  

Movies are always about the big things... like cancer, like losing those we love, like not knowing about GOD or blaming Him for everything.  

I guess we all have to face our burdens.  We have to find answers.  I don't know if we ever can, but we try.  The characters in movies don't know what the Bible says, so the movie can tell them (and the audience).  We all have to put our trust in what the Bible says.  That is Faith.

I don't remember when I wrote this, but it wasn't too long ago.  I didn't always have a deep faith in GOD.  I went through some very hard times and watched GOD work in the middle of them.  I learned to trust Him.  I learned what kind of GOD He is.

It is what every single person has to do.  No one else can do this for you.  It's all part of our final judgment... we don't get punished for the sins of others, only our own life choices.

This is really important to understand.

I think it helped me to separate myself from people who wanted me to do things I knew were wrong.  It helped me to say "No!"

It took a long time to reach that place.

We don't stand alone very well.  Friends, family, groups we belong to, our church, any place we are with a lot of other people who may not believe the way we do.

It is so much easier to follow.  Saying no is always a battle.  People we know don't want us to say there is something wrong with what they say, do, believe.  We are the same way about what we believe.

In passages about the End Times and others about Faith and some about standing firm for GOD/Christ, we see the losses we might encounter.  I think about them more as the world becomes so divided.  We may even lose our life.  

I had a different life planned than the one I got.  

If GOD is the One who creates the winding paths we all follow, then I believe there is a reason for them.  I will keep trusting Him for "the end of the story."  

09 October, 2021

FAITH FRIDAY :: 8OCT2021 - Watching Some Christian Movies

 I seem to find my movies on YouTube now... since I decided to pay for no-ads every month.  It is so great... I hope I can afford it until I die!  haha  I guess it's my entertainment budget, but it is also a research tool and income tool someday.

I am getting to the point where I have watched most of the ones that come up on my feed.  I don't know how that equals what is available.  I tend to go through spurts of movie watching... most of the time on my Sabbath time, or the weekends.

In the search for a decent movie, I end up clicking on some that are very bad in terms of content.  There isn't a real way to decide what a movie will have in it when it's on YouTube.  And I sometimes wonder if it's not a good thing to watch them if I have no idea where they are sourced from.

I find it's an ongoing battle for me.  No answers yet.  

Hallmark movies come up all the time. Tonight I checked on one that was called a Hallmark movie but it wasn't.  It turned out to be an R rated movie.  I found out when I searched for the title on a new page.  This seems to be a tool of the Enemy... trying to deceive with false information.  I don't always find out before I start watching, but this time I did.

It is always a question for me because it directly relates to my faith and the choices I keep trying to make to honor GOD more with my life.  These battles get worse as my desire to honor GOD gets bigger.  I wonder how to deal with hidden "temptations" that become sins if we don't fight them.

What the digital age has brought to us is algorithms that can be manipulated to force on us things we would never choose on our own... including those terrible ads that are pushed on us at every website.  I can't afford to pay every website to remove the ads from my view.  So, how do we deal with the new future of our world?

I don't know.

It is the ongoing topic in my prayers and seeking GOD for answers.  Morality is a big thought in my head and heart these days... and it will get even bigger as the world grows darker.

In terms of wanting to build a Christian Community through Working Together, the need to decide about these problems is important.  There are technical issues to consider... security, content, costs... how do we function as Christians in a global internet world if we are attached to the world by our "internet provider?"  There's no way to build our own system, other than a small community in a defined space... by acres, by houses, by location.

I don't know what would be possible for us as we work to survive a world leading up to the Antichrist.

Plus, what do we do now... this is the time when the internet is growing to cover the world.  When the gospel is shared with every person, it will fulfill prophecy.

I guess I keep doing battle with the idea of how to live without the internet, without YouTube, without all the growing necessities of contact through the internet.  I have movies that are VHS and DVD.  As long as I have a device to watch them on, I can still enjoy movies... the ones without too much dirt in them.  

I have some that are not fully clean, that are violent, that are not about godly topics, etc.  I don't watch them all the time, but I want them as a reference...  Are they choosing to sin?  I suppose they are.  I'm not yet able to decide if I MUST get rid of them.  Will it cause GOD to reject me?  

I can't recall all the titles I have right now, but some in this category might be Hotel Rwand - about the genocide of a people group. Maybe Waterworld - about a man becoming a fish creature as a testament to evolution.  Anything with profanity, violence, crime, sex, lying, nudity, or other sinful things.

In listening to music I face the same problems.

I am going through my belongings again, trying to downsize the the very least amount of possessions I can.  I say downsizing to the things I still want to have when I die, for whatever reasons.  My treasures have changed in that new definition.

How do we make our lives holy in a world like ours?  What does GOD expect of us?  Are we a true example to others when we haven't eliminated all these questionable possessions from our daily lives?  Can we even control what is pushed on us - like the ads we are forced to see in our emails, on search results, etc.?

If you have some answers, please share them with me so I can think about them.  I am still searching for answers I can believe in.

In Christ,  Deb  <3

01 October, 2021

FAITH FRIDAY :: 1 OCT 2021 - When GOD is 24-hours

I have a hard time separating life from GOD... compartments of life that some think GOD is not involved in.  Every day, 24-hours-a-day, that's the real GOD.

So, where is He when people are hurting?  When I am hurting.  I still think about that, more when I am in the middle of a hard season.  The answers are never clear.  We want Him to do everything for our suffering, but that is not GOD.

As I search for my answers, different parts of the Bible come to mind.

This week I remembered Paul's sufferings.  They didn't go away, they weren't prevented, he didn't see his ministry as separated from his sufferings.  

This week I thought of the martyrs under the throne.  I think of them a lot.  Some are linked to the sufferings of the Tribulation.  All have died for their faith.  As I have often thought about them, and their place in the 1000 years of being with the Lord as priests, I decided that suffering is what leads to our place in heaven.  These martyrs will not experience the second death, those of us who just die in salvation will have to go through that event.

I wonder if I am strong enough to die because I am faithful.

The Bible tells us our family might become our enemies because they choose not to believe.  That has been a hard one for me.  Watching this world take over their faith, lead them astray.  

I understand Brittany Spears was raised Christian.  It must be very hard for her parents.  

I have heard that Marilyn Manson was raised Christian.  

Now I hear that the children and grandchildren of Anita Bryant have fallen away from their godly heritage.  

How hard it is to think of our loved ones in the suffering of hell and the Lake of Fire forever.  The daily hurts we have to endure.

The world wants the eternities of those we care about.  That is when I think of Samson and his parents.

My children know the difference between right and wrong, have been baptized, and battle the problems of surviving and addictions and choosing GOD over the temptations of this world.  It is their choice, and sometimes their pain.

I had to choose.  You have to choose.  Each of us can only save ourselves.

With the internet I suffer with the things I see done to women and children because men are the "leaders" in their cultures.  I thought we need to find a way to share how GOD sees a man's place in a family, in a community.  

How can we live in this world that keeps growing more evil?

I really don't know.

I keep seeking GOD for the answers -- for myself and for all Christians.

I think about these global problems in case GOD allows me to do something about them, through Working Together, as myself, in the final years of my life.  What would you do to solve some of these problems if GOD provided you with the ability to do something?

It all takes money.

What is the priority of our ministries when our own are suffering?

With the pandemic we have seen a huge change in what it means to live, work, spend.  We have lost faith, freedoms, and our future.  What will we become now?  

The Antichrist is near.  Maybe not in our lifetimes (Boomers), but soon.  All these changes with the government in the pandemic seem to be orchestrated to get us to be willing to let the government be our absolute ruler and authority, without GOD.

Prophecy is true.  It will happen.  It is happening.  How can we prepare for it?

How can we become the ONE Body of Christ in this world?

Deb  <3