19 August, 2023

When I spend more than I planned to...

I went shopping yesterday.

I had a list.  I had a budget.  Then I "siezed the opportunity" to get things I needed or wanted or that had been on my "list" a long time.  And I had my "treat" meal for lunch.  Now I have to recover my budget.

It was fun!  I hardly ever spend money like that, but it seems to happen every now and then.  I don't really regret doing this, but it does require some recovery efforts.

I am hoping to make some online sales from the money I spent, which makes it an investment in my future.

Right now, though, I am working on my income goals and strategies.  I have my goal statements for the year now.  I am trying to build up my Etsy sales, increase my Patreon supporters, my check some items off my Bucket List.  I need MONEY!!!  I think all of this kind of builds up and then I go shopping with money available to spend.  :-) 

I could have spent more than I did, and that would have been a very serious problem.

Christmas is coming and I need to get some items made to sell in the season.  Every year I try to do this, and every year I seem to fail.  I hope to change that this year.

With my new venture into creating and selling artworks, This year may be different.  I can create lots of items to sell online, especially with some of the new tools and supplies I bought yesterday.

So, did I really commit a financial crime?  I don't know.  It depends on what happens now.  Once I get my items done, listed online somewhere, and sold, it may prove to be the best year yet.

I have always lamented that GOD has not provided what I seriously expected Him to provide.  Keeping my efforts within a boundary I can deal with has been the core issue.  There have been so many times GOD could have blessed my finances and efforts to build my income and Working Together's.  At this point, I am not sure what to expect.  

I still have LARGE goals, dreams, hopes... and still wait for GOD to bless my efforts.  

I really wanted to win those BILLION dollar lotteries.  I could have spent it really good.  :-)  I have been waiting all my adult life (mostly) to spend money on Working Together, Christians, and people in great need.  I have a lot of plans that just need money.  (Like everyone else, including every church or ministry.)  I still look to GOD to provide for them somehow.

I guess all we can do is keep going, keep trying, keep praying, keep hoping...  We are GOD's servants and His Plan is all that matters, even if we don't understand it.  

I am sure GOD has reasons for what He does and doesn't do.

Keep your faith in GOD, He will provide what we need to accomplish HIS Will.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin


14 August, 2023

Faith in Persecution

My life has always been focused on the Antichrist because he is the main turning point for all Christians (and Jews) in our lifetime.  I haven't always understood the impact this has on our everyday lives.  I looked for things in life that would/could somehow be attached to when he would show up.  I didn't realize what this search would do to my own life.

We don't seem to see the spiritual battles that are going on all around us.  We think they are caused by other things, so we don't even register their spiritual nature.  Our lives become filled with struggles we can't understand and don't seem to be able to overcome.  We wonder where GOD is, and why He has allowed these problems, and why He doesn't "fix them."  

Our faith seems to falter when some of these trials enter our lives.

We blame GOD, not the Enemy.  

In my own life, I was so confused by all the struggles I didn't understand.  It made me seek GOD for the reasons why.  It made me find answers I never saw before.  I began to understand all those people in the Bible I never really thought about.  I learned more about our true relationship with GOD.

We study the stories of the Bible to learn more about GOD and our relationship to Him.  Because the stories in the Bible are about people from way back in history, we think our lives don't really compare to them.  But that isn't true.  They were people like us.  Every human being throughout life on Earth has the same nature.

We like to lift up the blessings GOD gave them.  We tend to make them holier than they were.  We believe there must have been something supernatural about them to have done the things they did.  But the struggles are the same for ALL humans.

We don't seem to have the same kind of faith GOD's best people had.

I have wished I had that kind of Faith.  I wondered why GOD even put the desire to make places to help Christians on the way to the Antichrist and then didn't provide.  Was it my Faith that wasn't big enough to deserve His provision?  I didn't know.  Something was wrong, but what was it?

I still don't know, and GOD still hasn't provided what Working Together needs to build any resources for Christians as persecutions rise.  I can't make anything happen.  I believe there is a very thin line between prayer and presumption.  We can ask GOD for the things we need, or we can push our own plans into being.  If GOD is going to use Working Together to provide for His People, then He has to provide for its needs.  I know GOD has created this direction in my life, so I continue to wait for His path to making it a reality.

With all the struggles I have had to this point in time, I understand more about the unseen battles that go on in GOD's Work on Earth.  In the beginning, I expected GOD to quickly provide whatever was needed in ways that were normal for our time in history.  It was a godly work, so naturally GOD would provide.  Then a lot of problems seemed to happen.

GOD provided for our individual needs as each day happened, but not in the ways I thought He would.

Persecutions entered our lives.  Hidden attacks we couldn't really fight against.  Miracles happened that we would be hard-pressed to verify.  

Eventually, I gave it all to GOD and tried to walk through each day as it happened, trusting that GOD was bigger than Satan, believing GOD would do with Working Together what He wanted.  I guess I began to see I might die because of my place in GOD's Work, but only when it was GOD's time for me to go.  I couldn't do anything without GOD's provision so I tried to find things I could do in my circumstances.

We are heading into greater persecutions than anyone thought possible.  Technology has changed the battlefield.  I don't know how I will deal with what is coming, or how the greater Church will change, but I know we can survive each day and trust that GOD knows all the hidden details.  He will be with us as we walk each step.  We may not get all the "goodies" we think we need, but we will have enough for the moment.

Trusting GOD in the middle of really hard times is not easy.  We lose things that matter to us.  We might only have the clothes on our back and a piece of bread.  It is what we need for the moment.  

The Bible doesn't say GOD promises everything we want.  He only promises food and clothes.  It was a hard lesson to learn. 

We see the blessings of Job, not the suffering of Job.  The prophet had only a brook for water and ravens for food.  The apostles left everything behind to follow Jesus.  

Faith isn't easy.  It has a price.

I hope I can stay faithful to the end.  I want to spend my eternity in Heaven, with those I love.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin


05 August, 2023

What If... God's definitions are not the same as ours?

Reading the Bible is a challenge when we see different views of what the words say.  It's been the same way since Man was created.  In our day, the challenges can be worse.  Do you realize that online information can be hacked, changed, and we would never know.

I haven't memorized the Bible.  I can hardly repeat any full verses.  When I read Bible quotes these days I don't see the version attribute that once was "required" information.  I am not sure why, but that is how it is in my limited access.

I remember reading that Zondervan was purchased by a non-Christian company, but later on another company was listed as its owner.  The reason I mention this is because when someone buys a company they acquire all their assets... including the primary manuscripts.  Anything could be altered and we wouldn't know it.

The purpose of this theme is to share how vulnerable our spiritural lives are in a day when Christ is the target and the Bible is something we depend upon.  

I keep trying to think of ways to protect God's WORD for the future and for us.

I don't know Hebrew or Greek, or the Latin of some other versions.  I don't have access to authorized (trusted) versions of the original manuscripts.  My collection of Bibles is small, in English, and mostly kept for referencing.  I don't remember if I still have my concordance/s.  I barely have the ability to study my Bible these days, and struggle to know why GOD has not provided more for me to do the work I know He put in my heart to do.

We live in hard times for godly things.

We are also not the first in history to suffer for our faith.  It is just new to us.

I worry about how fear will change the faith of so many who believe they are saved.  I try to think of things we could do to help each other as things get worse.  I want to save our resources for taking care of God's People, not watch the Enemy sieze them to build evil weapons that will be used to harm and kill us.  And God has not provided for this work.  I just don't understand why.

I know there is a reason.  God always has a reason.  I just cannot think of what that might be.  So I wait, trust, seek GOD for what to do, and wait more. 

That is what we do.

I think the Bible shares this process over and over again.

I used to think of all the people who were forced to wait long times for GOD to do what He promised to do.  Abraham and Sarah are the most obvious.  I also thought of the judgements of GOD that lasted many years... 70, I think, in one story; over 400 years in another.

It always makes me realize that I am not the focus, GOD is, His Word is, His Plan is.  Whatever happens, our task is to stay true to our salvation, to keep believing that GOD does what He promises, that His Word always comes true.

One of these days I will have to die.  How and when that happens is in GOD's Hands.  I just want to stay faithful and meet as many of my loved ones in heaven some day.

I can see GOD's patience in the long years of waiting.  He wishes for all to be saved, and stays true to His promise to let us make our own choice about being in heaven with Him one day.  The Bible tells us what those requirements are.  This is why the Bibles we read are so important.  How do we protect God's Word from the violations technology is capable of causing?

Maybe you know the answer.  I hope you find a way to share it and help all of us.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin