Sunday, August 18, 2013

Something we all can relate to...

(I wrote this months ago, and I guess I hit "save" instead of "publish".  So, here it is...)

Don't you just love it when you find someone you can relate to?  Someone who feels like you do, who understands how you feel and think?  Someone who likes what you like, wants what you want, has the same goals & passions?  I do!  And that's how I feel about the verse I'd like to share with you.  Paul just spells out how I feel.  And I love that!   The verse is Romans 1:17   Please keep reading!  I know some of you probably don't like the idea that I'm sharing the Bible, but please, keep reading.  It isn't a waste of time, for me writing it or you reading it.  It's important, and you matter.

"For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

I know, it's a lot of religious words that you may not know or understand.  But please keep reading. 

Paul (a man who used to hate Christians and thought he could earn his way to heaven by following all the rules) has just told the Romans he is not only obligated to preach the gospel, but is ready & eager to do so because he isn't ashamed of the gospel because of the eternal salvation it brings to those who believe. 

That's exactly how I feel!!  =)

Here is what this verse is about.

First off, the Gospel (good news) is simple.  It is this:  there is salvation in Jesus when you believe in your heart who He said He was: the Son of God, that He died for the forgiveness of your sins & raised from the dead so that you could have a relationship with God the Father forever. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.   For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but through Him the world might be saved."  John 3:16 & 17   When we ask Him into our hearts & accept His forgiveness, we are then put in right standing with the Father.  That's what it means to be righteous:  to be in right standing with the Father.  Jesus paid for that with His life.  There is nothing we can do to add to that or take away from it.  It is already a done deal.  All we have to do is have the faith to believe it & live by it.  That's what this verse is saying. 

And I like how the Amplified version of the Bible says it:  "For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith."

I love how it says our right standing with God springs from and leads to faith, that it arouses to more faith.  It takes faith to begin with because we didn't live when Jesus did & didn't get to see it all firsthand for ourselves and we have to have faith that God exists.  And it produces more faith in those who believe in Him because God proves Himself over and over as we learn to trust in Him. 

I also like how it says, 'the man who through faith is just'.  That reinforces the fact that Jesus paid it all for us.  It would be kind of like the closed nights at Disneyland, where you have to have a special pass to get in--because you worked for the sponsoring company--and your boss got you one of those special passes.  You could tell your boss you will buy a ticket at the door instead of receiving his free gift, but you would find out when you get to Disneyland that the ticket he paid for & offered you was the only way you could get in.  What a waste--of both his money, and the enjoyment you could have had at Disneyland. 

But there is more to it than that.  It's not just that you get to be in right standing with God and live with Him forever by believing in Him, but you are saved from eternal burning.  Have you ever touched a hot stove, burned yourself with a curling iron, or worse yet, got caught in a car or home fire and were burned severely?  Remember how long the burning sensation lasted and how nothing eased the pain?  Multiply that all over your body without ever being separated from the flame itself and that's only a glimpse of what hell is like.  I don't want to see anyone I know, or don't know, for that matter, end up burning forever when all it takes is simple, child-like faith in Jesus' payment for our sins.  And if you are having trouble believing, it's okay to tell God that.  It's okay to tell Him you are trying to believe and ask Him to help you have faith.  He wants you, in whatever state of faith, sin, etc., you are in, so of course He will help you.  And that's what this verse says anyway!  A little faith leads to more faith!  So take that step, tell Him you believe, even if it is just a little, ask Him to forgive you and be the Lord of your life, and you will be saved.  It really is that simple. 

Jesus also tells us to count the cost, you know, weigh the pros & cons.  The "cons" are that your trials won't be magically wiped away (and they might even get harder), people may turn away from you, ridicule you, not understand you, and hate you, all because you believe.  But the "pros" are that you will have God's help (and soooo much more) through your trials, you get to have a relationship with God that cannot be explained and will last forever, you become part of a world-wide family who will encourage, support and help you, and you get to not burn for eternity.  Even if you think you have the perfect life and are a good person, rejecting what Jesus did for you (just like turning away the Disneyland ticket from your boss) still means you don't get into heaven.  It's an easy choice to me. 

And God was so kind to give us the ability to choose because He loves us and wants us.  But He doesn't force anyone to accept His love.  It wouldn't be love at all if He forced us to love Him.   And it wouldn't be fulfilling or satisfying to either party.  But it is an easy choice, when you look at the whole picture: joy & hardship now on earth, but with the help of God & other believers to get you through it, or burning forever.  I know, you're probably thinking about all the things you will have to "give up".  But I'm telling you, a life with Christ is SOOOOO much better than any of those 'give ups'.  It is far more rewarding, satisfying, fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, and even fun than anything else, money, success, possessions, popularity, whatever it is you are chasing after.  When you finally get it, you'll find it as empty as you feel.  But God who fills all in all wants to fill your life.  (And there are no hangovers or regrets like those "give ups" produce.)  All you have to do is ask and believe.  And remember, He paid the price for you.  You don't have to "clean up" and be perfect to accept Him or for Him to accept you.  You can't anyway, that's why Jesus died.  The debt for your clean-up for your failures, sins, and mistakes, no matter how dark or grave they may or may not be in your eyes, has been paid for by Jesus' blood shed for you.  He already loves you, He died to make the way.  It's your choice.  Hope, help in hardship, satisfaction, contentment & eternal life with God or temporary "fixes" that satisfy momentarily but that produce hangovers, regrets, and disappointments & whose end result is burning forever.

As for me, I'm not ashamed to say I choose Jesus, I choose life. 

God Called Me to Be Free!

God Called Me to Be Free!

Devotional thoughts for 8/18/13
from Bible Gateway (

“38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Most likely, Mary planned to marry and raise a family—every Jewish girl’s dream, nothing unusual. Then God revealed his plans for her, and the future Mary envisioned suddenly vanished before her eyes. She had no way of knowing what this change would mean in her life. Did she argue with God? Try to cling to her own plans? Ignore what God was doing? No. Mary humbly accepted what God had for her because she knew her life belonged to him. She saw herself as God’s servant. How do you respond to the changes God brings into your life?”

               Last night Gary & I were talking about the childless issue.  I have always had this dark cloud hovering over my head about this.  I thought, that because I saw parents who I thought were “bad parents”, like drug addicts, or people that acted like they hated their kids and had “made” it happen through one means or another, that we must be pretty awful for God to give someone like them kids and not us.  I always thought it was some kind of punishment because I just wasn’t good enough.  Afterall, it is God who opens and closes the womb, as the Scripture clearly states.  And for the last few weeks, God has been speaking to me about my fears.  It all started when I started messaging a Christian friend on FACEBOOK and told him my lifelong verse was Is. 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  That was on the tail of our pastor, Mark Copeland, doing a series on fear based on 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  He said that when God is after something, it can take a lot of work on our part to deal with it.  He had been there, so he was speaking from experience.  I knew God was after my fears and wanted me to deal with them once and for all.  So, I have asked different people to pray.  I know they have been, as God has really been speaking to me through them & on His own about my fears.    
               Last night, Gary & I talked about it again.  I expressed to him the same thought about feeling like not having kids was punishment.  He said, of course, that it isn’t—that God is not like that.  Somewhere in my heart I know that is right, but this deep-seated fear shouts otherwise.  As we talked, I kept remembering how when I was a little girl, I wrote down in my school years book one year, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wanted to be a horse-back rider.  I told Gary I didn’t put that I wanted to be a mom, or wife, or have a career, but that was an expression of freedom—I wanted to be free (not that I didn’t want to be married).  I never had that longing to have kids, not like other women do.  I wanted them because it is the acceptable thing to do.  And from time to time I have missed having them, but I never felt the need or drive to have them.  And I felt like somehow God was showing me that He put that in my heart because that is what He wanted for me—freedom to do what He wanted, to be able to pick up and go when He called without the worry of kids.   So, last night I prayed before I went to bed & asked God to speak to me through Bible Gateway’s verse of the day.  Well, it wasn’t the verse of the day that hit me, but the above devotional I found on there.  And this confirmed to me that He had written on my heart His desire for me.  He had put that desire for freedom in me so I would be unencumbered and available to go when He sends me.  There isn’t anything wrong with me.  He created me with this desire.  And it’s okay.  I can reach people no one else can.  He made me this way, so I would fulfill His purpose in my life.  And He encouraged me that it is an honor to be in our position because not everyone could handle it.  (I know this is true because I know of a couple who divorced because they couldn’t have children.)  It truly is a marvelous thing that God has done. 
               I know there are a lot of other things that I need to work out, and God will help me.  But, I can close this chapter now.  It’s over.  God made me the way He wanted me to be.  And He will shape me as He desires for His use to do the works He called me to do and planned for me to walk in.  Thank You, Lord. 

               Maybe you are struggling with your station in life, too, wondering why God has allowed something in your life, feeling tortured inside, fearful or angry.  Rest assured, God has you right where He wants you.  He isn't punishing you.  He made you the way He wanted you.  Keep trusting His loving hand to lead you, strengthen you, and help you.  Keep trusting Him.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has planned beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Eph. 2:10

Monday, June 24, 2013

Threading Discoveries, Part 4

Happy Monday! 
      Well, my beading adventures continued Saturday with the completion of my necklace!  I found that working with shorter thread was much easier to do and required little adjustment to the pattern.  It went much faster and I discovered that my nine yards  of thread was supposed to be nine feet of thread. Hee hee.  Because of the reinforcements and half hitch knots used to finish of the thread and to start a new one, the piece is perfectly secure and looks just as nice. You can't even see the knots or the start and end spots.

     A note about threading medium... With this necklace in particular, I decided to use nylon beading thread, such as one G, instead of Fireline because it lays much nicer, like a fine quality piece of jewelry. I tried making it first with Fireline, and found that it gave it a plastic feel even though I was using crystals.  And when you are making an elegant piece like this, it should feel expensive, too.
     I also came up with this great idea to end my necklaces with ribbon instead of chain to make the size adjustable.  I had made a very casual piece using all ribbon for the necklace and it looks so cute with the bow closure that I thought, "Why not finish my other pieces like that?"  It reduces the cost of having to use expensive chain, and looks nice on a bare neck, in case you wear your hair up.  The only trouble that you might encounter is tying the bow so that the necklace lays correctly,  but with a little effort, that really shouldn't be a challenge.

     Here is a picture of the finished work. Let me know what you think.

And thanks again for reading. Contact me at for classes and to purchase patterns or finished pieces. Thank you!  Check out Happy New Minute on Facebook as well as Misti's Jewelry on Etsy.  Check back for upcoming blogs by Happy New Minute  about my last jewelry discoveries.  Thank you!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Threading Discoveries, Part 3

 I was trying to use my Galaxy S3 to blog from, but blogspot doesn`t seem to like swype`s or swiftkey`s word prediction function, so I am now happily typing away on my Tablet.  So, because of the endless typo fixes I had to make last night  while attempting to blog from my phone, and that with great difficulty, I didn`t get very far on my necklace.  I did, however, move my project to the other end of the table.  Next discovery:  moving the thread causes it to tangle, even when you are careful!  But, gentle action to loosen and detangle has been sufficient to redeem my efforts and I am busily making my loop fraework.

(Well, now I am finding blogspot doesn't want to upload photos from my Tablet!  So, I will add them in after I am done writing.)

Oh! And I found that taping the thread tail close to me instead of on the far side of my bead mat makes it much easier to work with and far less likely to come off.


Something else I have found to be helpful is that when you are pulling the thread through, make sure to pull it through onto a different part of the table, not where the bunch of thread already is or it will tangle.  It is a little hard to see in the picture below, so I posted a couple different ones.

See how the threads coming away from the bead mat are going away from each other in the last 2 pictures? And it helps to put your finger on the beads to hold them down on the mat while you are pulling the thread through.

Okay, as much as I would rather stick to one long piece of thread, I am realizing that others might not have the time to or find pleasure in detangling the thread as is necessary when working with long pieces.  So lest you become discouraged if you decide to try this pattern, I will find a reasonable stopping place, cut the thread after tying it off and use smaller pieces.  But don't worry, I'll explain how you tie it off and start a new thread as well in my next blog.

Thanks for reading!  If you would like to take a class with me, please email me for my current schedule. And don't forget to tweet and update your facebook friends about this blog!  Thanks again!

Check back soon!
Happy new minute!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Threading Discoveries, Part 2

Ok, I am back.
     I added a comment on the first post, before I figured out how to post from my phone.  LOL.  
     I mentioned in my first post that to help keep the thread from tangling, pull the thread through with long gestures, and not bunch it up on the table.   Here is a picture of what NOT to do.
See the glob of thread on the instruction sheet?  That is a quick way to get a tangle.  And with nylon  beading thread, you really want to avoid that.  But I have found that if it looks like a tangle is forming to un-bunch it while the thread is still loose,  like this :

I hope you can see that the thread is now stretched out across the table and over the edge. 
     I also discovered that the tape doesn't want to stick to the beading mat like I had expected, so I stuck it to the table instead.  : ) 

    Because the thread is fine and slick, it wants to come off the needle.   (And you thought thread was an inanimate object without feelings! Ha!)  So to overcome this issue, when you hold onto the needle, also hold onto the thread with the same hand.  

     More to come, please check back soon and please share my blogs to your twitter and Facebook pages.  Thank you.  : )

Threading Discoveries, Part 1

     Hello, all you beading & Misti's Jewelry fans out there!  I am excited to share my very first blog with you!  Thank you JB for helping me with this.  So, here it goes!  I welcome your comments!   

     I am happily working away in our sunny nook on my Baroque Beauty Necklace pattern.  Supplies of choice: the Swarovskitm Crystal Copper Baroque 50mm Pendant, some tan nylon beading thread, seed beads, and size 3 & 5mm Crystal Copper Swarovskitm bicones.  As I am working, I am contemplating a conversation I had with Jan & Anita who came to Beading Day last week.  We agreed that when doing an intricate pattern that takes a lot of thread, we would rather work with one long piece than several short ones that have to be pieced together.  We agreed that the minor tangles that arise from using a long piece are worth the added stability of a single thread. I must say, though, I am finding that 9 yards of beading thread is very easily tangled.  Hee hee.  I am also finding that what helps prevent tangling is to pull the thread through with long gestures so the thread hangs off the edge of the table, instead of piling up in a bunch on the table.  I will try that for awhile and let you know how it works out.  So check back to read  more about my beading adventure du jour.