Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Timelyness for blogs

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

I just don’t know if Ibelieve it or not but I have to believe it because it happened. A customer sent me an email asking me if I was still open since I had not written a blog for such a long time. But one thing I am happy for is that they were reading my blog even if I haven’t keep up with my writing. Besides knowing that people do read my blog, it tells me that they expect it to be kept up to date.

Being up-to-date shows the company or activity is still “OPEN FOR BUSINESS”. This may not be critical if it is “just a blog” but if the blog shows the activeness of an organization, it is critical. I think I just said this but it doesn’t hurt to repeat important thoughts and ideas.

We  choose the activities we participate in day by day – actually moment by moment. Our choices determine what is accomplished. What is accomplished may determe if we are sucessful in some activity or not. Whether we are successful in some activity or not, then may actually fall on our choices. If it does, we can’t blame anyone except ourself.

The questine that should come to our mind, then is, “What choices caused me to fail?’ (If I don’t want to fail again.) When we examine this question and come to a proper and truthful answer of what choices caused me to fail, I can proceed. It is only by proceeding after the question has been studied and evaluated, can there be hope for success in the next round of endevors. This should be a built-in step as a person looks for improving hopefullness for success in the next round.

God expects us to grow to be more Christlike. To be successful in this day by day task, we must examine our choices. Did we make the right choices.The Holy Spirit is given to each believer as he/she is baptized for the forgiveness of their sin. (Acts 2:38) The Holy Spirit is their to guide us but we are still obligated to make the right choices. If I know it is right to be honest but I choose to be dishonest, I will not be growing as God wants me to grow. I can’t blame it on God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit because it was I who made the final choice to be dishonest. I was not forced to be dishonest. So, from this short illustration, it is very clear, I must be aware of the choices I make because my choices determine my success.

Making Someone Else Successful

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Making yourself successsful is what is taught today. Parents tell this to thier kids. Teachers teach it at schools. Colleges have classes for this thought.

Have you heard of parents telling their children, “do something today that will help make someone successful”? Is it heard of teachers telling their students, “think of ways you can make a classmate successful today”. I wonder if there would be many colleges that could fill their classes that were teaching, “How to make others successful”.

These are not common thoughts but that is what my goal is, “to make someone else successful”. That is the underlying principle of my lapidary work. I want someone else to be successful as they use the stones I sell.

There are several ways in which I try to accomplish my goal. One way is to produce a product they will enjoy using. Recently, I have been reminding my customers that it is God who made the rocks for us to use. I tell them that I am fortunate that God has allowed me to work at cutting and polishing some of his stones. I am thankful for this and this helps me to do the best that he has helped me learn how. I try to produce top quality stones.

The reason I want my stones to have the best polish I can put on them is to help my customers be successful. When my customers have a collection of stones that are well polished, they can feel successful in accomplishing their goal of collecting a variety of good looking stones. When they feel successful, I have been successful in accomplishing my goal.

Some of my customers make pieces of jewelry for family,  friends or their own customers. I want these customers to feel successful in what they produce. They are using the talent God has given them to produce a work of art. I want them to feel successful when they give or sell an item they have put their hands into making. This can come when those who receive the item offers them thanks for a beautiful gift.

As I think about my customers whose main goal is to sell their finished pieces, I want to help  them to be successful. I want their products to sell. I feel I have a part in this process. I will start by again saying that I want  my effort to make a good product so they will enjoy  working with the stones.  I want the stones to have a good polish so that is is pleasant to look at. Another way I try to help them be successful is to have a fair price on each stone. I don’t want to over price any item since it is my goal that they be successful in selling it after they have put their work to it also.

Now, let us look at me. Am I successful? I would say, “Yes, I am successful”. My stones keep selling. (Of coarse, God has something to do with this.) So I am successful in selling my stones.  I make enough to pay for the costs of the opperation. In fact, there is some over that could be called profit.

So as long as I am able to keep making stones to make people happy and successful, I will call myself happy and successful.

If it is worth doing, it is worth starting today.

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

The thought in this title is for me.

I have been thinking of starting to again do some work making jewelry. Since it is a thought, I must examine the basis of the thought. Where does this thought come from? Is it a product of greed? Is it a product of pride? Is it a Holy Spirit motivated thought? I must determine the source of the thought.

I the thought of start doing some jewelry work is because of greed or pride, the thought is of Satan. It is not worth doing. If the thought to start making some jewelry is of the Holy Spirit, it is worth doing. That is when it is worth starting today.

I may not have everything I might need but if I have enough to start, then it is worth starting today. Just because I do not have one special took to do one certain task, that does not mean I can’t start today.

If I have some designs already in mind or some old designs that I could work on, then it is worth starting today. Just because I haven’t come up with some new design doesn’t mean I can’t work on some simple piece today.

When I have decided that it is the Holy Spirit that is urging me, it is time to put that thought into action. It is therefore time to start.

Is it time for you to start a project that has been in your mind lately? Maybe it is God letting you know that it is something you should be doing.

Do we take time to live?

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Our lifetime is a small part of eternity. It is only a whisper. Small indeed. What then is  a year compared to eternity? Or a month? Or a week? Or even a day?

When we look at from this perspective, an hour is nothing compared to eternity. Now I have a question. Because we see an hour as nothing compared to eternity, is this why wasting an hour of time seems to be of no consequence?

An hour is an hour. This hour may be our last. What we make of each hour is important, not because it may be our last but because it is an hour God has given to us to use while here on earth during this part of eternity. Eternity does not start when we die but when we are born. We spend what we call our life time living in our flesh and blood bodies. When our flesh and blood bodies die, the spirit God gave us for our bodies continues on and lives throughout the rest of eternity.

The God who created all things and all people, is our savior while our bodies are alive. His plan is to save us for the new heaven and earth Jesus went back to prepare for those who yield themselves in obedience to him. When we die, God becomes our judge. Are we ready? That is an important question, especially if this is our last hour of time to live.

God is patient but our time will come. Our time will end. Are we ready? The New Testament part of the Bible will help you find out. Study to book of Acts after you read the first four Gospels (the stories about Jesus coming.). Jesus is Lord. He deserves reverence and obedience. When we have put him first in our life, our lives will be lived pleasing to God our judge. Email me with your questions:

What Gets Me Going?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Time or lack of time is one thing that gets me going. Time is one item needed to produce a product. If there is no time, there is no product produced. If there is only a little time, this can be just as problematic. Little time may produce little product but it may also produce a product of less quality. This could be just as bad as no products. Time yet to be may be necessary to repair the product of poorer quality so there is still future time wasted.

Another thing that gets me going is customer orders. This is especially true of special requests. Some orders are easier than others but they will all take time. Besides the time, other tools or equipment may be needed. The right tools and equipment make a job easier to do. I like that as it saves time for another job or project that may just show up.

Another thing that gets me going is the word “SOLD” I find showing up on my web site. This means that an item has been ordered and probably already shipped. When there are many of these bold red “SOLD’S” on any page, it means more work and this gets me going. More items are needed for that page. More photography work, more uploading of pictures, more writing descriptions. These all get me going.

Now you might get the idea that everything is work related but you are completely wrong. I can really get going when the fish are biting or at least they should be biting. Another relaxing yet very physical activity is gold panning. Yes, I did  say gold panning. I don’t have to find very much to get excited about finding a speck of yellow gold. I just enjoy the activity. As an example of my crazyness, I like to look for gold where none has ever been found before. And yes, I have found gold in places where it hasn’t been reported yet. Not enough to start a gold rush but at least a rush to me as being the first one to find gold in that particular place.

So as you can see, there are several things that get me going. And speaking of goin, that is what I am going to do, going.

What is a Fair Price?

Friday, March 21st, 2014

I have to ask this question every time I put an item on my web site. Yes, what is a fair price for this item?

I don’t purchase my stones from another source so I can’t just double the price and come up with a price since all of my stones are what I have cut and/or polished.

The fair price question has alway “bugged” me since I never wanted to over price any items so it was priced more than a person could purchase it somewhere else. I also want to make them a “good deal” for those who were using the stones to make jewelry items they planned on selling. If my prices were lower, they would be able to also sell their items at a lower price. This would mean more customers for them.

So to begin, I look at each piece and imagine what a fair price might be. I use the infoformation I gain from the prices I see at rock shows as a general starting point.  After I have photograpyhed each piece and have the photo uploaded to my site, I then work of the description and priceing. I put down what I think would be a fair price. I know that there is a difference in pricing across the USA. Prices are just different in different areas. I don’t try to be either the lowest average price or the highest price. It is just my price.

As I look at the items on any page that sell compared to the items that don’t sell, I get an idea of which items may be “over priced”. These are the ones I am most concerned about. What would really be a fair price for these items. I don’t normally have “SALES” on my items. What I do from time to time is just reduce the price of items that haven’t sold. These items with the reduced price may sell more redily than they had before the price reduction. I don’t announce that any page had been repriced so the next customer won’t know that the item might have been ariginally been priced slightly higher. I still price the items in easy increments: 50 cent increments. This make it easy for me and my customers to count and total.

I will have to explain one thing about some information of two of my pages. You will find that it said, this is a Home Based Business. This is only partly true. The part that is true is that it is “home based”. The part that is not really true is the word “Business”. This is not really carried on as a busines but as a hobby. It pays for the expenses but for the time I put in, I wouldn’t make minium wages. But I am not complaining nor am I going to raise the prices. Most all will find my prices very reasonable and even quite low compared to what they would pay for them in their area.

My goal then is to have my items pay for themselves and still be a good value to my customers. I want my customers to “get a good deal” when they order from me. I am sure God is pleased with my desire to make sure my customers feel very satisfied with the price and quality of the stones they pruchase from me.

If I tried to “over price” items, I am sure God would be displeased with such actions. God has given me these stones to work on and he would not want me to misuse his gift to me.

Thank you for reading to the end.   Larry

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I am embarassed. Completely embarassed.

One of my customers logged onto my blog and found out that I had not written anything for WAY TOO LONG.

Shame on me. I have no real excuse. I know that in the time I played a game on this very computer, I could have written an article to update my blog.

This is an example of my bad use of my time and at 76 years old, I can say I don’t have a lot of time to waste. Time is what God gives to us. This is not the only thing he give but it is one of the things we are responsible for using. Did I use my time for the best or right use. NO. Again Shame on me.

One other gift God gives each of of is different interests and abilities. Kids in school see this. They see that some of their friends love MATH while others fight MATH. Usually if they loved MATH they did not like or do as well in reading or English. This is the way God made us or as I like to say Gifted us.

God gives gifts according to how he wants us to function in life. He wants and expects us to use the gifts he gives us. Some of us recognize our gifts early on while others find their gifts at a later time. No matter when we discouver them, we must put them to good use.

I did not put my writing ability (I did not say gift) to good use. What did I lose by failing to do so? I lost the joy and satisfaction of using what God has given to me. I may have lost confidence in at least one customer who was “brave” enough to tell me that I had not made an entrance for a long time. I may have lost a customer’s order if they thought I was not even in business anymore.

Devestating. Devestating. How sad to think I might not have been able to share the results of my other interest and abilities with another person. If they thought this was not a “live website” and did not try to check or send an order – I missed out and they also missed out. They missed out on not receiving some of the pretty rocks they saw on my site.

So what have I learned from this?

The use of my time is critical not only to myself but to others. If I waste (do not use correctly) my time, I waste other’s time. When I have wasted time, I have not been faithful to God who has let me fill in the time he gives me with “good things.

Let this be a lesson to me. God provide the time but he expect me to use it wisely.

I have some things to be working on and it is “I”.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

There is always work to do. Sometimes I get so busy I forget to ask for God’s guidance in the choices of activities to do. God knows when I should get things done better that I do and his Spirit will sometimes urge me to do certain things that seem out of order. It is only later that I can see that it was done at the correct time.

Each day as I awake, I talk to myself about what to do. It seems I always have customer orders to work on and always there is more work I can do for my web site.

Today as I was getting an order ready for mailing, Carol talked about going to the food bank to get some work done. Because the PO is the same direction, I decided to go with her so after I got my work done I could help her. It ended up that we spent 4 hours at the food bank. I felt good at the decision of going and helping. Maybe this was another of those Spirit led activities.

I am now home and after a little rest, I will begin some rock related activity. As I said to start with, “There is always something to do.”

Vacations Bring Work

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

I am back from Nebraska. It was a great trip. My 95 year old Mother felt good and she was glad to have me back. I also got to see my brother and two sisters. We were happy to get 35 MPG on the freeway as it is a long drive from Portland, OR to Auburn, Nebraska and back.

Now that I am back, as I said, vacations bring work. There is a box of mail that is still unsorted. I’ll get to it. There were the rock orders that came in while I was gone. They are filled and on their way. (except for one that did not send me their mailing address.) There were two drop-in customers wanting some thunder eggs cut and polished. I had to get started on one of these since the customer will be heading back to Denmark. She was a foreign exchange student. She wants to take some of her rocks back all polished so I have some work to do in the next four days.

Oh, did I say that the grass grew while we were gone. I got the back yard done this evening. I am thankful that our neighbor mowed our front lawn. I will need to do it in a few days since it has been cool and rainy. Roses need care as well as some other bushes. So, what am I to do? It is like I said, “Vacations Bring Work”.

But with that thought still on my mind, I am very thankful to God for blessings I don’t always remember to count. I had orders that needed shipped. I should be thankful for each one. I met new customers. This is something to also be thankful for. (Did I end that sentence with a preposition?) Our Mail was kept safe while we were gone as well as our house. It is nice to come back home. I am thankful for that. God kept us safe over the many miles we traveled. Did I mention I should be thankful for that? The volunteers at the Food Bank where I volunteer were glad to see me back – well and able to jump right back in to help out. Yes, I need to be thankful for each day I am well and able to fulfill my obligations even if it is a volunteer position.

As I am getting nearer to the end of this blog, I can see that do “Vacations Bring Work” but they also bring about a lot of thankfulness to the great God who provided not only for the vacation but also for the health to do the work the vacation brought on. (Another preposition at the end of the sentence. I think we will have to legalize that sentence construction.) I don’t think that God would really mind one way or the other.

Some Things Are A Must

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

It is time. I am 74. I live in Portland, OR. My Mom is still alive and well but lives in Auburn, Nebraska. So, it is time. It is time for a visit to see my Mom. She is hard of hearing so these visits can’t be done by phone. It will be a live visit. My wife and I will be traveling this summer for that visit.

What preparations are needed for that trip and visit? Route and destination are planned. Start time has been set. Ending time is open. So, what else?

I am planning on doing some “gold panning” while back there. Yes, there is gold in Nebraska. I wrote about it years ago and had an article published in the Mining Journal. There isn’t enough gold for a commercial mining project, just recreational mining. I will pack the supplies for this activity as the car will hold what will be needed. There will still be room for our clothes. When all is packed for what is needed, what then. What I have left to do may be the hard part.

I would like to have my web site up to date. I would like to have all “SOLD” items replaced by new items. I would like to have all shop equipment ready for the break while I will not be working on them. I would like to have materials and projects “laid out” for my return so I will be able to “dive right in” and get to work. So these are my projects for a while.

In the mean time, it is OK to contemplate on the trip and visit. Thinking about the good time we’ll have as well as remembering those past times where memory serves us so well. BUT!!!

But, there should be caution used when dwelling on memories. Don’t dwell on hurtful times unless the hurtful times produced a benefit that is remembered. Also, don’t dwell on painful times unless it produces peace.

Sometimes memories are a must but there should be care taken in how they are used.