5 FEB 2015 :: Spiritual Controversies

In the global church, there are some Bible passages that cause friction.  These verses are the reason we have so many denominations.  My focus, with Working Together, is the End Times and the changes that will take place as we see prophecies fulfilled.
I don't know if the topic of today's blog is one of those controversies, but I was reminded of something I discovered some years ago when I chose my Bible verse to share today at an Etsy forum thread for Christians....well, for anyone who reads and is inspired by the Bible.
The passage was Matthew 13:38-40 in the King James Version (KJV), shared below. I have highlighted the parts that apply to my viewpoint for this post and for my Etsy thread.
  • 38   The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one:  
  • 39   The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  
  • 40   As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 
[ If you want to see the full Etsy forum entry, follow this link ::  
It is my understanding that the world we know will end by fire. In trying to find the verses to share what the Bible says, I found Revelation 20 again... a very important chapter.  Verse 11 is one of the references I would like you to keep in mind as I share my remembered theory.  I have highlighted the part that I am referring to ::
  • 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away ; and there was found no place for them.
Many years ago, while watching a science program on PBS, it was mentioned that the sun was expanding and that, one day, it would explode.  I instantly realized that could be the tool that GOD was going to use to end the existence of Man.  Naturally, the program said it would be millions of years before that happened, but I thought, "How would they know what was really going on inside the sun!"  When we reach the point of GOD's final judgment, whatever is going to happen is going to happen.
I didn't do a full study for this post because it was a last-minute effort to look for some of the Bible verses that applied to this argument.  If I tried to share what the End Times verses are and explained them from my view, I would never be able to finish it.
One verse that came up under the search term "sun" was Revelation 16:8, below, which mentions the sun creating fire on earth.  I wanted to share it with you. We know there will be famines, and drought, so the heat of the sun is part of fulfilling prophecy.                                   
It may be that what we call global warming is on of the effects of the sun expanding, and all the pollution we have added to the atmosphere is another.
Let me know what you think.

Please note:  I can't seem to get the post to enter right between paragraphs... will have to let it go after a number of tries.  Just wanted to let you know I tried to fix it.  :-)
Later :: I was finally able to fix most of the html coding to make the post appear right.

4 FEB 2015 :: Cameras everywhere, Privacy nowhere

It is hard to think of something to write about today. 
I spent time going over my Etsy sale, my Facebook pages, my emails, and team digests. I sorted and filed, watched another video from artbizcoach.com on writing about your art, ordered a PayPal payment reader, tried to plan my work, and had to rest because I was not well. The Christian radio station is on most days until the news starts most evenings.  I don't go out much because of my health issues, so my social calendar is pretty empty.  It's not a good thing, but I think that is what seniors face as they get older.

Today I didn't pay attention to the news. It was in the background as I worked on the computer. I caught some of the financial stories from NBR... like the stock market falling because of economic issues in Europe.  I heard some of the major events from national news, like the plane that crashed right after take off, and was recorded as it crashed. Plus I heard some of the news from the local TV station -- including the fact that some parents with drug issues left their children locked in a house that was like a garbage dump for a very long time, until the littlest one was near death.  If I start, I could probably get going on a lot of topics, but I don't know that I want to focus on the news or Facebook or Etsy.  
I was impacted by the news reports featuring dashboard video of a car traveling down the highway at the same time a plane crashed in front of it.  It reminded me how much our lives are affected by the ability to record events as they happen.  I'm not sure I like this kind of progress.  I don't want to have my brain filled with memories of people burning to death in metal cages, or planes crashing, or fires and other disasters, or crimes.  I still cry about the pain of abused animals and people.  I get angry at one-sided political agendas.

I don't like the idea that people have a right to record you in public spaces.  I don't like the reports (which seem to be increasing) of people hiding cameras and microphones in their neighbor's houses and watching them without their knowledge.  I really hate that anyone can record things that should never happen (illegal and immoral) and sell them on the internet...creating an industry that feeds on the worst parts of Mankind.

We can't turn the world around and make it good again. Cameras aren't going away. Instead, they are getting better, smaller, easier to hook up to the internet, and less expensive.  Imagine the future...  when people have no moral foundations, they don't get better, they get worse.
I still remember when the focus on video recording was just beginning. I remember seeing videos I thought were staged violence.  Sometimes I thought the authors were setting up acts of harm and violence to innocent strangers just to film them and see them on the internet --- or sell them to news sources.  Then came the idea of going viral on the internet and the challenge to be the top video.  I think that challenge still exists.
The problem with violence is that it usually goes in one direction
  ---  it usually increases in frequency and intensity. 

The problem of domestic violence is an example of how violence escalates.  The first act is often small and often easily forgiven. Then it happens again, a slap turns into a fist, words become weapons, controls tighten.  These may also be forgiven.  Then it happens again, and again, and again, until the abused is unable to escape.  Like any other kind of violence, it always increases and rarely stops.  Depending on the circumstances, I might advocate forgiving the first offence, but if it happens twice, you better RUN out the door.  Love is not about abuse.

Terrorists and dictators are pretty much the same kind of people as a those involved in domestic violence.  They "grow" in power by the level of violence they can get away with.  ISIS is just one example of how violence increases.  Cameras and the internet are tools of the process... and we feed them every time we do what they want us to do :: watch. 

Privacy and freedom are going away, constant surveillance and control are growing.

3 FEB 2015 :: Networking Games

Today is the day for my first  BNR game at an Etsy team.  The team is Christian Crafters in Business, and BNR  means "Buy n Replace" in a team treasury.  What happens is that people buy an item from one of the treasury shops and then can replace the space with an item they want to promote.

As I have explained in other posts, here or at crafts-explored.blogspot.com ,  treasuries are a collection of up to 16 different listings from 16 different shops on Etsy.  Some are exceptional. You have to browse at the main treasury page, or link from the profile page of a shop you are already at.  Treasuries encourage sellers to help each other by not promoting themselves, but by highlighting shops and listings that they like.

Someone was kind enough to purchase one of my writings, which was my very first order on Etsy.  I have already said I need to frame my printed order like brick-and-mortar stores use to frame their first sale as a one dollar bill.  :-)  That would be great.  Since I laminate everything that is important to protect, I may laminate my first copy and make another for my other records.  :-)

Part of the process is sharing the news of your team event.  I made posts on Facebook and Twitter, made posts on Etsy Forums called Promos, and remembered to include my Crafts page on FB and an Etsy group I just joined on FB.  It was quite a task.  I am trying to decide how to get the word out for the next BNR the team has.

I also discovered the effects of time zones on events like this.  The Curator is on the East Coast, I am on the West Coast of the USA... I don't know if there are global team members.  I can see that the leadership role is long and draining. I have to discover the hours that the event was open and active. I think it had to be at least 12 hours, but I'm not sure.  In a global environment, the main location affects any event's reach... in time, in sharing, in ability to participate.  I'm not sure how this is handled in the corporate world, I am learning all this for myself.

I hope you enjoy exploring the networking process I have shared with you.  It is probably similar to other sales sites.  The parts are all connected...and learning the way they are connected is the challenge sellers have for EACH site they are established at.

Who ever said selling online was easy?   (Don't believe them!!!)

2 FEB 2015 :: Plan your work. Work your plan.

My goodness... it sure is hard to work a schedule!   :-)

I think I shared in this blog about watching a video from one of the blogs I have been exploring ::  artbizcoach.com with Alyson B Stanfield.  The blog is focused on creative people and how to build a business selling creative works.  If you follow the link, you will see the email sign-up offer, which is the video series I am referring to. 

The first video was about creating a permanent "studio time" -- which is time to make your craft, whether it is art, fiber, clay, music, books, etc.  This has been a challenge for me for a long time.  Over the weekend I was trying to decide on the best time to commit to, but by Monday I still didn't know.  So all day today I have been trying to find the best time to work on what I will sell.

I originally thought mornings would be the best, but there are so many things to catch up with, and it's not always my best time of day. Neither are evenings, when I seem to end up doing blog posts of my own.  I know these could be considered part of my craft work (business), but I am trying to find the best time for artwork, beading, writing, fabrics, etc.  It may be that my optimum time to commit to is before lunch and after lunch.  I will have to try that out.

On the workspace... well, I'm living in one small room so finding a space and getting all my supplies together and organized is more of a challenge, but I found a possible answer to my need for an art table.  I will try that out tomorrow, too.  Seeing other crafters work spaces is encouraging... and once I get my process organized and flowing, I hope to see a quick fulfillment of my listing goals for 2015.  I missed January, but we'll see how we do for February... maybe we can catch up and go beyond the goal.

I am crawling forward... slowly, as usual -- doing the best I can right now.

I guess I have overtaxed my body and it is rebelling... I will have to get going for now. 

I'm working on blogging about some of the major issues of poverty and Working Together, but that will have to wait right now...  I am beginning to get a better focus on my Crafts Explored blog, which is mostly Etsy shops that I favor right now, but will expand as I find other crafts and creators.

One day at a time is the only way I know to survive...
it's all we're promised
and all we have to spend. 

May the GOD of heaven, the Creator of our "eco-system called Earth, and the omnipotent ruler of our existence, look down on those who love Him and provide for all their needs. Amen.