18 DEC 2014 :: Moving toward 2015...

I made a (tentative) decision to start a craft-related blog and make weekly posts on Fridays... It seems to be the best way to separate the activities I am moving toward.  I will try to get that organized by January, to make it a full year effort... January thru December.

 :-)  This will be interesting. I have some ideas for the blog, but not that many.  I am thinking I will share the sites and products and business articles I come across in my own search for answers. 

Today I spent some time organizing my Yahoo email site/s.  My contacts, notes, calendar... all have been avoided for years.  I especially need to get going on a notification calendar because I check my emails on most days.  I am hoping to see how helpful these things are.

I think Yahoo may have a blog option, if I remember right. I am trying to decide which site to start the new blog at.  I want to separate my WT and personal efforts as much as I can.

I was up very late last night reading a lot of things on Etsy and searching for the best way to build my shop site. I also looked at a few of the Etsy videos available... I still have one or two more to get through.  I long for the day when I can make my own videos.  I think it is a great way to share information.

Linking to other sites from Facebook and other places is becoming a really negative experience.  I keep going to find out information, and end up on a site I would rate extra-R or nearly-X because of the site ads and other choices... the ads make your computer barely function.  I am making a list of sites I will never go back to again unless there is a REALLY urgent need... and I doubt that will happen.  :-(

I can see that the future will be finding the sites you want to participate in, and forgetting the rest.  I am hoping to be part of the Christian movement toward that commitment.

I pray every day about the funding needed to accomplish better choices and resources for the Christian and Jewish communities.  It may not be my task, but GOD is doing something with my life that will lead toward it.

17 DEC 2014 :: Holiday prep and Planning for 2015

What a long day...  I almost took a nap several times, but trudge along. 

I was finally able to make some more of Martha Stewart's Hot Cocoa Mix. This time I used dark chocolate powder and made a full double batch.  It should last me a long time... and I can still share some as a gift if I decide to.  :-)

I also had to make a double batch of fudge, instead of the single batch I wanted to make. I couldn't find the right size pan, so I used a huge spaghetti making pan.  One batch would have been so small, it would have burned, I think.  So I went ahead and made all my fudge for the season at one time.  :-)

As a double batch, and cooking without the candy thermometer, I had to guess at the cooking time.  For one batch, it said to cook for 4 minutes at a full boil on medium heat. When I got the mixture up to a boil, I wasn't sure it was a "full rolling boil" and didn't know if I should boil it for 4 minutes, 8 minutes, or some number in-between. Double batches are different.  Some things get doubled, some don't.  Cooking time doesn't always get doubled. 

I estimated a random time.  It is soft fudge, like I enjoy, but might be too soft for some.  :-)

Everything is a learning experience.  :-)

That was enough holiday food activity for me!   Tomorrow I will see if I can make the granola I need for breakfasts, and something holiday. 

While I was doing all the holiday foods, I was also doing things in my room, in my mind, and in my plans.  I live in one small bedroom so I need to move things around a lot.  In that ongoing activity, I sort and re-sort notes and records I have made for different projects I have "in process."  It is slowly getting organized, but I continue to pray for GOD's provisions for my larger needs. Hopefully, I will be able to create and photograph and list and store the items I want to sell during 2015, including memberships with Working Together.  PayPal links are high on my to-do list now.  Not much time left for the change to 2015.

I find it strange that not one response has come in response to my efforts all these years. Not even a question.  I can see and hear reactions about the topics I raise, but no responses from the Christian community.  I have to wonder why, but I am trusting that GOD knows the details and will deal with it at the appropriate time.  It is a challenge to wait for GOD, but I believe that His Judgments will be the most appropriate.

Lately I have heard a few sermons about the topic of sin and repentance and forgiveness and judgment. One sermon kind of mentioned the thing I also noticed about GOD with David's sin with Bathsheba.  GOD waited a long time for him to admit his sin and seek His forgiveness.  When David chose to ignore it, GOD sent the prophet to confront him.  I think our judgments are worse when we don't do what is right, when we don't admit our sin and seek forgiveness, when we don't repent.

I can't remember who else was mentioned in these sermons because this passage about David has always been a huge revelation to me about sin and judgment.  It also defined, for me, the difference between killing in war and murder.  David only murdered one person in his entire life...  that was the husband of Bathsheba, to hide his sin. For committing this murder, the judgment was huge...I believe it was that violence would never leave his household.  At one point, I wondered if David cried about Absalom because he felt the problems were caused by his sin. 

In another sermon, by John MacArthur, I heard that this kind of judgment from GOD lasted for ten generations...but I have never heard that before.  There is a judgment against Eli that is stated to be forever.  We can see a lot of things in the Bible that GOD never meant, but our version isn't the one that matters. GOD will do what He says, not what we say.

When the Bible tells us to fear the Lord, it is a wise warning. If I have to choose between avenging myself and waiting for GOD to judge those who have wronged me, I try to "let it roll off like water" and give GOD time to be the Judge. It isn't always easy to do, but I focus on that response. I don't want GOD to have to judge me, too.

Please, continue to pray for me and for provisions for Working Together. I hear every ministry calling for end-of-the-year donations, and I just want to be able to start WT the way it should have been started in 1987.  Some situations are dire in my life...pray that GOD will provide ASAP.  Thanks.

16 DEC 2014 :: Keeping up with things and finding our values

Another day of trying to catch up with my various tasks on a to-do list.   Mundane things like doing the dishes become "critical" when the pile is almost a foot high in my little dish pan.  :-)   I started the day trying to get one Christmas message in the mail and wound up writing to almost everyone I thought I should, and sending off one more gift letter.  I think I did nine letters... this is a big deal because I haven't had stamps to write anyone for a long time.  :-)

That was enough for my body... I rested on the computer, checking everything, and now getting my blog post done.  The news was on the TV since 5:30, and I just turned it to a PBS music channel with a jazz emphasis (but I know I have heard non-jazz on it when I keep it on for the whole night). I like the mostly slow tempo... it is soothing for me... and takes care of background noise when I want it.

I don't want to think about the news I heard today... I can't imagine how it happened...all those children killed for political reasons.  It was on Facebook, too.

I think we are all on overload emotionally. It is hard to deal with all this tragedy 24-hours a day. It numbs the mind and heart and soul.  It may be why violence has no sense of wrong attached to it anymore...

Time slips away from us...

I watched an old Christmas movie I happened on last night [Christmas Without Snow]. It was from 1980, with Michael Learned as the main star, and John Houseman as an elderly church choir director, and John Cromwell as the third main star (I think). I remember faces better than names. I watched a lot of the Walton's on TV, so I knew Michael Learned from there.  John Houseman looked different, but I can't remember which show I remember him from.

The main thing I am trying to say is that the movie was over 30 years old.  the subjects and their presentation were different than what you would see in a movie today. Old movies are more about the characters I think.  Today it's all about sex and skin.

It's funny what we remember.  Sometimes I try to remember the things I have read, seen on a video, on TV, or heard on the radio. It all seems to blend together because there is so much coming into the brain and only the really interesting things rise above the rest. It takes some time to get through the haze, searching for something that will push my memory.

When I can't remember these things, I think about the time I used up watching them. I wonder if it was worth it.  There is a need to rest, to balance work and other activities, and there is the situation we live in...  we create the values we put on things.

I am searching my life for what my values are and how to honor them in my choices. I don't have much time left, and my situation is limiting, but how do we as individuals, cities, schools, businesses, governments, etc., honor the differences between us? 

America was founded because Christians were forced to worship something they didn't believe in. A new kind of government was formed because of it.  But do we build America on that same foundation of individual freedoms, or change it into a pureed soup of social regulation?

The difference between the Bible as our foundation and Man as his own master is like the difference between Leave It To Beaver and Married With Children, Archie Bunker and the Cosby Show, Roseanne and the Waltons. We are becoming the land of media values (maybe the world governed by media values), and they affect our concepts about all different kinds of values.

As Christians, we need to think about how fast things are changing, too.  We don't know how long the End Times will last, only what some of its characteristics will be.  The loss of godly perspectives is one of those signs.  Values matter. 

15 DEC 2014 :: Another week

I want to get this done for the day. I am on the computer (had to review and try to submit my healthcare.gov application) and have other things to do. I was up until about 3 am catching up with the weekend online, and will need a nap later on (I think!).  :-)  

I haven't received my first check from Social Security and I am already hating the system.  :-(   This is not good.  ---   I thought  you would receive a check from the month you were eligible for it.  I thought you received your first check in the month that you had your birthday.  I made plans using that as the foundation.  Now that I have applied  (for early retirement), I have discovered that I am eligible for my first payment the month after my birthday, but it takes two months to get the first check.  That messed up my budget.  :-(

Today, just a little while ago, I finally went to the healthcare.gov site to finish my application. I had gone there on the 2nd of December to get it out of the way, but the computer wouldn't process it. Today was the deadline for renewals, so I hoped it would go well.  I had heard a program segment about the business side of the website that said you had to have every detail right or the computer wouldn't process it.  So, I decided to do a full review of my application and then try again.

I changed my income amount for 2015 because I thought that might be the problem.  I only counted the actual expected income (11 months of $375), but then decided the government may count January because it would be considered their January payment... so now I have $4500 to look forward to in 2015.   :-)   (as my income so far)

My other efforts have not resulted in income, so I didn't include them.  Not sure how that will change, but I hope that the problems will be dealt with soon.

I was finally able to go food shopping this weekend, so that was a need taken care of.  I have food variety again.  :-)  Not many food stamps left now, but enough for fresh fruits and veggies or any emergency need.

Poverty is a strange process.  I went for many years depriving myself as much as possible... I remember I finally made the decision to buy myself a treat each month... I think it started with a candy bar or something, and then I remember it grew to the specialty coffee I like.  It's hard to recall all those details anymore... it has been a long hard struggle with lots of bad memories and lots of prayers and lots of efforts. 

I guess I said that because I bought a lot of baking supplies and staples that I don't always buy.  I have been making bread again... so I bought some dark rye flour (it looks like white flour to me) to see how it works. I also bought some polenta, which I have never had before. I watched a cooking show about making graham crackers so I decided to see how graham flour works in bread and other recipes. I may try to make something like a graham cracker.  :-)  I really made a leap of faith in the health food arena when I decided to purchase some date sugar.  I like the concept of sweetening with dates, but have only tried one teaspoon so far in my coffee.  I think baked goods will be good...and the package says it is good on cereals.  It is like gold to my budget, so I will have to use it carefully.

I am single now. If I had children to care for and feed, I wouldn't be able to take these chances with the food money.  I still eat a lot of the pasta and other items I have eaten most of my life, but I am trying now to change to some better food options.  I eat a lot of brown rice now, and have just started eating steel cut oats.  I made my own granola when the kids were young, and our own granola bars. I also made my own bread and whatever else I could.

Our needs and abilities and options change with every age, location, and budget. Now I am trying to prepare for my senior issues and death.

I don't know what it will be like, I never expected to have the life I did...but I keep searching for GOD's purpose in all of it.  Somehow, this all has meaning in His Plans for my life, for our world, for the future.  I hope to see some good come of it, but I may have to wait until I get to heaven.

I do hope and pray that you will consider the needs of our world in your holiday celebrations.  Start thinking about your past, your present, and your future.  What matters most?  What has GOD created you for?  How can you make your life reflect the best of what you are?  ---  Make plans to change the things that are wrong in your life.  This is the best time to do that, we are starting a new year soon.