20 NOV 2014 :: The end of the week.

Sorry to report that today has become a bad day for my body, but I got most of my duties done in the early morning hours.  I will be resting again soon.   ---  The most important thing about retirement is your health.  Remember that. You can't do anything unless you are healthy and can get around.  :-)

I have been enjoying visiting Etsy shops that are operated by people all over the world.  I think shipping is an issue, but once you know where they are, you can make your purchasing decision with that in mind. If I ever need a particular gift sent to someone in Bali, and I know an Etsy seller there, I can buy something to send to that person from the Etsy seller.  It goes for all the online retailers.  We just have to create our own records and figure it out.  :-)

Well, maybe I can work on my craft and photo ideas this weekend, in spurts.  :-)

Enjoy your day. I may be back later!  :-)

19 NOV 2014 :: What the world will look like in the future.

The Bible tells us what the world will become in small pieces. We can read prophecies and try to fit them into our knowledge of what is happening now.
  • It is easy for us to associate the Mark of the Beast with the computer, especially the development of the computer chip and scanning equipment.
  • We can see the computer, TV, radio, internet, and satellites as a means of seeing the gospel shared with the whole world, or the death of the two witnesses being seen for 3-plus days by the world. 
  • We can even see how technology used by the false prophet might be able to fool people with pretend miracles.
... I just spent an hour trying to find verses that refer to Noah and Sodom in the End Times, but I can't find the one/s I want. I will have to get back to you on the scripture references.

In America, we are seeing how the cultural shift is affecting simple things we have always thought were "normal."  As the forces that are against GOD grow more powerful, we see the persecution of Christians rise.  What the LGBT/etc. community calls a hate crime is becoming a tool against their enemy...us. The Bible is the only real opposition that they have.

Other countries that are oppressed already understand what it means to be persecuted.  I imagine the LGBT/etc. community clings to its own memories of persecution and wants to help us understand it. The immigration dilemma is really another picture of man's need to feel better, bigger, more in control, dominant, and (for some) violent.  I am wondering how long I will live still, and what will change before I go.

In my desires for Working Together I have believed we will have to separate from the secular world in all ways...including the internet.  I haven't been able to do that yet, but someone will have to.  We already need to protect ourselves. It will only grow worse as the years pass.

This need to gather has both good and difficult issues attached to it.  We will have each other, we will have a greater hope of GOD protecting us as a group, and we will be able to build something that will honor GOD and not force us to be surrounded by sinful lifestyles.  We will also be an easy target for hate groups, cultural abuse, and the Antichrist.  When I was praying about this long ago, I decided it would be better to be together in one place than to be an isolated remnant of one.  But, I am sure there will be those who choose to be on their own.

I think I will have to focus on Membership for 2015. I hope you will think about joining Working Together.  I hope to have the Membership details for 2015 figured out by December.  The end of each year will be our main Membership Drive time, but you can join any day. Your one year will start when your payment is clear.  (Right now it is US$ 75, which is $5/month plus a media fee of $15. To cover expected increased costs, I am debating whether it needs to go up to $10/month plus the same $15 media cost.  That would be $135/year. Monthly payments are something I want to offer, but can't right now. As soon as I can, I will.)

Pray that GOD will help me to help you.  Thanks.

18 NOV 2014 :: Finding a way through

Work, how do we define it?

We tend to say work is only what we get paid for...but that isn't realistic. There is a lot of work that doesn't get paid (household, parenting, volunteer, internships, self-education, learn-as-you-go, etc.).

Online selling efforts fit into this unpaid education category.  It takes time to figure it all out.  Then we find the thing that sells, that we want to do, that works for us.

I hope to make millions and billions... for myself and for Working Together.  Nothing can be achieved without money, and finding out how to create ongoing income is the challenge.  I hope I find at least some of the answers before I die.

Today I spent some time at Etsy again.  I am really looking for answers to creating the best site I can for next year. It takes a lot of time.  Today I played my second networking "game" since I have been exploring Etsy. Teams let sellers join together as a "power group" so they can all help each other. I have signed up for more than 30 teams because I am just trying to decide which ones I want to be more committed to. I now have to decide how many will be my limit.  Time is the big issue... how much time can we spare for each thing?  ...what is more important?  ...what are my limits?

I am looking at craft teams, selling teams, geographic teams, Christian teams, and giving teams.  I found a small team today that is focused on making scrap quilts for preemies... that wouldn't take a lot of time, and it would do some good, and it would be something the mother could take home with her (I think).  I love using scrap fabric, and I love making baby blankets, and I love scrap quilting.  Over the course of time, I should be able to make at least one preemie quilt a year...maybe more.

Craft teams are interesting to me because they are a group of people who are interested in the same craft you are... so there is a good place to ask questions, share ideas, post your projects, get opinions. I have found recycling teams, candle-making teams, crochet teams, mixed media teams, and others I don't remember right now.

There seems to be a large amount of Christian teams.  I have found around 3-5 so far, I think.  Discovered my first online Bible Study and started my own Bible verse thread to find out what other Christians see in the Bible and why.  It is a new activity for me.  There seems to be a negative bias toward Christians, and staff is really the key to that perspective.  Global websites are going to have great problems dealing with issues that are handled differently in separate countries.  I am not sure how the laws work in global business applications.  I see problems in America already.

How the Etsy programming works is an interest to me.  Finding out how the shop is set, what the variable options are, and what can apply to my goals is ongoing.  I have no idea how difficult it is to change operation points... I see things I like and things I don't like. 

I am looking forward to developing my craft interests and the sales I hope will result from them. It is my retirement plan.  I don't get much from Social Security. If the government financially collapses one day, I need to have other income.  Making and selling things I want to make is a natural goal for me. I hope I don't have ongoing problems with Etsy because of their activist staff members.  It is becoming an American tragedy.  :-(

I better get going if I want to have more listings done by Black Friday... that is kind of my goal date for this year.  I won't have a lot of things to sell this year, but next year should be really great... as long as some health issues and money problems don't interfere.  I have been depending on GOD to help me through this.  I am hoping that will happen real soon.        Amen!

17 NOV 2014 :: Shoebox Collection Week Begins!

I went to the Samaritan's Purse website over the weekend and watched the longest video that I could find...then I downloaded it and hope to watch it again through the coming year.  It makes me cry to see all these children getting simple little boxes of toys and clothes and things that some poor children in very poor areas don't get, like toothbrushes and toothpaste.

When I first started making boxes to donate, I thought it was ridiculous to put hygiene items in there, or a lot of school supplies.  Christmas and kids are about toys, art and craft supplies, education aids, stuffed animals and dolls.  Later, I discovered how deep their poverty goes and how hard it is to get things we take for granted.

  • I try to fill my boxes with as many small and sturdy toys as I can, including one main toy, like a doll or stuffed toy.
  • Because they are so much more important than I realized, I add a smaller tube of toothpaste and a packaged toothbrush. The seem to like travel tissues. You can't put liquids of any kind into the boxes, so no shampoo or sanitary gel. I try to add a washcloth as a small item.
  • School supplies are a lot like hygiene products for me. I put in a few small things that can be used for many things, and might be fun.  Pencil sharpeners are a learning curve.  The need the hand-held kind, no electric items, just in case the box goes to a very rural area. Pencils can be purchase in singles and small packages. For paper, I try to find a little pocket book that can be for notes or art or school. I always try to find solar calculators for the age group...they have huge ones for young kids, and regular ones for the older children.
  • I am really big on art and craft supplies. What goes in depends on what I can find. You can find little art kits at a lot of stores, small packages of sidewalk chalk are great, art pencils can be for writing or making pictures, crayons are available for toddlers to teens.
  • If there is any room left, I try to fill it with the hard candy that is allowed when securely packed.
These boxes are delivered all year long...some go to places that can only be reached by rivers or mountain trails -- very far away. They can't contain anything that might leak, explode, or melt. Because so many countries are involved in war, no toy weapons are allowed. The boxes are screened for customs, so these items are removed. I suppose, if a box has empty spaces because of forbidden items, it will be filled again with items available at the distribution centers. This is a guess, I don't really know.  I try to pack my boxes carefully so they can hold as much as I can put in them and not be "violated" by staff changes.  :-)

It has long been a goal of mine to collect items for these boxes all year long.  There are great sales throughout the year. Sometimes you can find wonderful items at Valentine's Day, Resurrection Sunday, Fourth of July, Back to School, and other major holidays and selling events.  It spreads the expense out, too.  If you have a storage space, you can have boxes ready for the different age groups. What doesn't go with Samaritan's Purse might go perfect for Toys for Tots, Salvation Army Giving Trees, and other programs. It depends on what your favorite charities are.

I hope you are able to share at least one Shoebox filled with gifts this year.  If you order the label online, I think they send you emails telling you where that box is being shipped as it goes through the process. I believe you get a UPC code, which they scan for processing.

You have until the 24th to take it to a collection location, but you can mail them to the main office all year.  Postage might be a problem if you do that, but it is an available option.  :-)

I don't know if they need volunteers still... you can find all that at the website.

Make sure you find the videos and watch them... at least one of them.