Journeys in Glass

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Reflections on Faith 0

Hi Everyone,
 
During another hectic holiday season, I wonder about how many people there are like me who are feeling a little too thinly spread out and fragmented from daily stress, despairing over political and religious differences, tech overload, and, ultimately, lost connections to what matters most.
 
With that running in the back of my head, I wanted to press the pause button for a moment and share a bit about my understanding of faith and why I think finding and living a faith filled life is so critically important. Whether you have identified yourself as Jewish, Muslim, Christian, someone who believes in a universal power, or just someone who considers themselves to be generally a good person with an open mind who wonders from time to time if there’s something out there watching over us, I think the key is to just start to look and listen again (or for the first time). For multiple reasons, I’m convinced that there is a God out there who cares for us and calls us to us everyday if we open ourselves up for even just a moment to seek aid and listen.
 
Being a science-minded type individual with a streak for independence and never wanting to give up control of anything, I’ve been fortunate to have participated in a journey which has provided me with all the evidence I’ve been looking for to convince me that there is a God and a way to be truly happy. Part of that journey is just being aware of how God works among us, sometimes in very subtle ways that many may ascribe to just chance, sometimes in much more direct ways that can’t be reasonably explained by anything other than calling it a miracle. With that in mind, I’ll share just a few stories.
 
One, in thinking about the balance of what some may call coincidence vs. the sometimes seemingly shaped ways our lives are played out, there’s this piece (https://www.foxnews.com/health/haiti-boy-gets-miracle-treatment-for-deadly-tumor-after-meeting-american-missionary-there-is-nothing-god-cannot-do). A brief story about a Haitian boy with a significant facial tumor who was visited by a missionary (who was Christian) who saw a child in need and had the willingness to help, who connected with a visiting doctors group that happened to include an oral surgeon (who was Jewish) who felt the same, and the child’s family was further aided by a family in the US (who was Muslim) who opened up their home to him and his family. At the least, it’s a great story about humanity being basically good to each other. On the other hand, it may be a fine example of how there’s a master plan at work that we don’t often see until the results have become clear.
 
For another view, there’s the story of a way smart kid from Detroit with little means but a very high SAT score. That score got him into Yale where he began his dream of becoming a physician. However, the realities of college life and the stress associated with it put him in danger of failing out of his pre-med program. So he prayed for help and direction to God and fell asleep the night before his big exam. During the night, he had a dream of being alone in a classroom, when in walks someone who starts writing on the class board. He notices that the board is getting filled up with multiple chemistry equations. So he wakes up, tries to jot down everything he can remember. The next day, he goes to class for his exam, opens the test book, and proceeds to see al the chemistry problems that he saw in his dream. He goes on to graduate, receives his medical degree. At 33, he became the youngest director of pediatric neurosurgery in the country, performed the first successful neurosurgery on a human fetus, developed new methods of treating brain stem and spinal cord injuries, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The individual of this story? Ben Carson, previous candidate for president and current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
 
Another story that grabbed my direct attention has to do with a Baptist preacher, Duane Miller, who was struck by a flu virus that took away most of his voice, leaving him with a gravelly, raspy sound to a very faint voice. After 3 years of repeated doctors visits, the diagnosis was that the flu virus had destroyed the nerves of his vocal cords with little or no chance of recovery. So he left active preaching and worked in other areas for a time with varying levels of success until he was called back to speak to his former Sunday school class. While reading a passage about God’s healing grace to the class, his voice suddenly came back to normal. What makes this situation so unique, is that the class he was teaching to was in the habit of recording sessions by presenters and you can actually hear this event unfold (check it out, its pretty awesome). You can learn more of the background story here (https://jamesbishopblog.com/2018/04/01/the-incredible-healing-of-pastor-duane-miller-while-preaching/) and the audio recording is here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuBV3uPxaAc)
 
While I know bad stuff will continue to happen, and life often gets really really hard, and I can’t explain why some of these things happen despite our most fervent hopes and actions, I also know that there are many good people out there, from different faiths, cultures, backgrounds, etc.. who believe in doing good and self-sacrifice to help out those around them. I also know that there’s a God out there who loves us all, who has a plan for us that can lead us to be the best possible people we can be so long as we open our minds and hearts, call for help, and choose to listen.
 
If you haven’t taken the time in a while to engage in your faith community, I hope you’ll consider doing so, If you don’t feel like you have one yet or you feel something critical is missing from your life, study up on the different faiths, ask for help from God, and renew your journey as I believe there’s something to be learned from everyone around us about God, our purpose for being here, how to live a full life, and come closer to a true sense of happiness. (ps. If you are interested in learning more about the chronicling of modern-day miracles, check out the work from Lee Strobel (former atheist and editor for the Chicago Tribune) titled The Case for Miracles (which includes the references to Ben Carson and Duane Miller.) - you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Case-Miracles-Journalist-Investigates-Supernatural/dp/0310259185/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1545668823&sr=8-3&keywords=strobel
 
If you have your own version of a miracle story you’d like to share here and help lift up each other’s spirits, please feel free to do so. Blessings to you all, Peter
  • Peter Antal
  • Tags: Faith

The most difficult thing about building a workshop 0

 

The most difficult part of this process? Well, raising the funds is up there, then there's getting permission to decimate my wife's garden, spending 2-3 months finding an electrician who would return my calls, then there's the general issue of trying to line things up among contractors, but the worst part? Finding my gas line.... Here's a sample of what I've gone through.

* Call Dig Safe - sure, they'll come out and check for power and gas.

* 1 week later - electric flags pop up on my lawn, likely freaking out the local gopher population. but, no gas flags. I call up Dig Safe wondering if the gophers have taken the flags out because they didn't like the color, and they say... "oh, you have PROPANE, we don't scan for that"

* :(

* Call up the gas company with their name emblazoned on my tank. They don't have any plans on where the lines are dug (even though they installed it). They're willing to send someone out and guesstimate where they might have laid it. I told them I have some trained gophers that could do just as good a job. They send me to their repair / service branch.

* They have no records either and no way to scan for a gas line but I think they are secretly interested in hiring my trained gophers to do their work

* I go back to the main group, they said I should buy a metal detector. I ask how a gopher can hold a metal detector? But, in an effort to be hands on, I go out and buy one.

* Can't detect anything beyond 10 inches from the house. I think I hear the gophers chortling at me.

* I call the service people up and tell them I'm willing to pay them per hour to spot dig and clearly id where my gas line is so that I don't blow up my family or the gophers that are now laughing in hysterics. They tell me that they are not sure they can do that service. They forward me on to their manager for questioning.

* I think the gophers got to him first as its several weeks later and still no call.

* After several weeks pass and giving up $200, I finally find an outfit that is properly equipped and can id the line for me (but, sadly, not the hideout of the gophers or where they've stashed that business manager).

 So - the trench is dug, electric hardwiring is going in next week and my last hurdle will be getting the gas folks in to finish the gas piping into the garage (that and buying the last few thousand dollars worth of equipment). No prob. Hoping to be up and running now in January.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Peter Antal
Pay it Forward Giveaway!

Pay it Forward Giveaway! 0

**** 12.16.18 Update - Congrats to Kari Canfield - this month's winner!

Been a while, so its definitely past time for a giveaway event...

Introducing the “Pay it Forward” Holiday Giveaway

This month's giveaway item is a unique large artglass snowflake (5” diameter), handmade with patternings of blue and white with a heart of shimmering dichroic glass in the center. Works great as a suncatcher for the window or décor for your Christmas tree!

To enter, just:

  • Twitter Followers
  • 1) Like the event tweet
  • 2) Retweet
  • 3) Message me that you'd like to participate
  • Pinterest
  • 1) Repin the event pin
  • 2) Message me that you'd like to participate
  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Follow the directions on the event page (typically like and comment)

Optional Extra Chances to Win!
* 3 Extra Chances if you are on my Email list (spiritglassllc@gmail.com)
* 3 Extra Chances if you are on my Rewards program (join via the blue tab at https://www.spiritglassllc.com)
* 10 Extra Chances if you go out of your way to help someone out / do a good deed over the next couple weeks and share a comment about your activity here (note that comments may be shared across my social media channels). Helping me with my workshop building efforts is appreciated but doesn’t count for this event 😊

IMPORTANT: If you are a member of the email distribution list and/or rewards program, you need to note this in your comment/message in order to gain the extra chances.

Maximum chances to win for this event is 17 (initial entry (1), rewards program (bonus 3), email participant (bonus 3), help someone out comment (bonus 10))

Unless you've earned additional entry credits, only one entry per person for those following me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (entries are collected via all my social media outlets, not just here).

No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18+ and have entered by 5 pm EST 12/16/18. Void where prohibited by law.

Winner will be announced here evening of 12/16/18.
Family members can enter but the prize will be different - if a family member wins, you'll get a store credit equal to the value of the prize and I'll randomly redraw from the list of non-family entrants to select a new winner.

Please help me out by sharing this post with your friends and family and letting them know about my work.

My stores are: online: https://www.spiritglassllc.com (check out my growing winter collection here: https://spirit-glass.myshopify.com/collections/winter), at the Library Arts CenterGallery of Gifts Event in Newport, NH and at the Manchester Craft Market in the Manchester NH Mall. Please support your local artisans!

Thanks and Good Luck!
Peter

  • Peter Antal
Final Workshop Stage!

Final Workshop Stage! 0

As I get ready to lay down the new power line that will run my workshop, I wanted to offer folks a final opportunity to contribute to the crafting of the workshop and take advantage of some exceptional deals. 

Through 12/31, I will honor any contributions made with glass perks similar to what was offered via my Indiegogo campaign. As follows:

Contribute...and get...

$5: thank you card
$13: Egg paperweight ($15 value)

$21: Heart paperweight ($25 value)
$29: $36 in rewards points
$30: one hour lesson (2 available) ($40 value)
$50: art glass vase or bowl ($65 value)
$70: $100 in rewards points
$93: set of 4 tumblers ($140 value)
$150: $250 in rewards points
$300: 10 hours of lessons (1 available) ($400 value)
$500: $1,111 in rewards points
$1,000: $3,333 in rewards points
Payments can be made via PayPal (SpiritGlassLLC@gmail.com) or by check to
Spirit Glass
PO Box 201
Bradford, NH 03221
Rewards points are redeemable via my rewards program. Any questions, please let me know.
Many thanks for your support!
Peter 
  • Peter Antal
Let Your Heart Shine Giveaway!

Let Your Heart Shine Giveaway! 0

Just in time for your annual Halloween celebrations - this month's giveaway item is a unique handmade art glass glow in the dark heart.

To participate in the giveaway, just do ONE of the following...

  • Join my newsletter email list (just 1 regular email / mth and you get 3 base chances to win plus more benefits) and let me know via email that you'd like to participate (more details and subscribe button at bottom of page). 
  • Facebook: Like the related post and leave a comment on the giveaway post that you'd like to participate. 
  • Twitter: Follow @spiritglassllc, retweet my post with the same name, tag with @spiritglassllc AND msg me that you want to participate
  • Instagram: Follow @spiritglassllc, like and comment on my post pic and say that you'd like to participate!
  • Pinterest: Follow one or more of my boards, repin my giveaway pin (see the Giveaway Board), AND msg me that you want to participate 

Optional Extra Chances to Win!

  • 4 Extra Chances if you are on my rewards program (click on the blue Rewards tab on my home page to sign up)
  • 5 Extra Chances if you share a comment about something that makes your heart shine (please note comments may be shared on social media)

If you are a member of the email distribution list and/or rewards program, you need to note this in your comment on social media / email in order to gain the extra chances. If you think you are on the list but did not get an email from me, please let me know (spiritglassllc@gmail.com).

Maximum chances to win for this event is 12 (initial entry (1), rewards program (bonus 4), email participant (bonus 2), heart shine comment (bonus 5))

Unless you've earned additional entry credits, only one entry per person for those following me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (entries are collected via all my social media outlets, including email, not just here).

No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18+ and have entered by 5 pm EST 10/20/17. Void where prohibited by law.

Winner will be announced here evening of 10/20/17.

Family members can enter but the prize will be different - if a family member wins, you'll get a store credit equal to the value of the prize and I'll randomly redraw from the list of non-family entrants to select a new winner.

Please help me out by sharing this post with your friends and family and letting them know about my work.

Stores are at: my home page (https://www.spiritglassllc.com), and on Artyah! (https://www.artyah.com/seller/spiritglassllc)

The best way to ensure the giveaways keep coming is to keep me in business!

Thanks and Good Luck!
Peter

FYI: Benefits of Membership on the Spirit Glass Email List. For reading just 1 regular email a month, you get...

  • triple the base chances for winning a giveaway event
  • buy one get one half off for any pendants, earrings, jewelry sets, or suncatchers (2nd item must be of equal or lesser value)*
  • you can offer 50% of the listed price for any item listed as a "Second" on my home page*
  • opportunities to earn store credit throughout the year
  • sneak peaks into some of the best items I create
  • better coupon deals than any of my other social media outlets, and, of course,
  • my very deep appreciation for your support!

* To take advantage of these offers, you need to reference this bonus at the time of purchase and confirm that you are an email subscriber. If you meet these requirements, I'll reimburse you!

  • Peter Antal
Falling Into Pie Giveaway!

Falling Into Pie Giveaway! 0

Congratulations to Tammy Boyd - September's Winner!

Up for grabs is this unique large art glass fall maple leaf 8" by 7" - works great as a home decor piece or for serving up your favorite piece of pie.

To participate in the giveaway, just do ONE of the following...

  • Join my newsletter email list (just 1 regular email / mth and you get 3 base chances to win plus more benefits) and let me know via email that you'd like to participate (more details and subscribe button at bottom of page). 
  • Facebook: Like the related post and leave a comment on the giveaway post that you'd like to participate. 
  • Twitter: Follow @spiritglassllc, retweet my post with the same name, tag with @spiritglassllc AND msg me that you want to participate
  • Instagram: Follow @spiritglassllc, like and comment on my post pic and say that you'd like to participate!
  • Pinterest: Follow one or more of my boards, repin my giveaway pin (see the Giveaway Board), AND msg me that you want to participate 

Optional Extra Chances to Win!

  • 1 Extra Chance if you are on my rewards program (click on the blue Rewards tab on my home page to sign up)
  • 3 Extra Chances if you share a recipe for your favorite fall pie (please note recipes may be shared on social media)

If you are a member of the email distribution list and/or rewards program, you need to note this in your comment on social media in order to gain the extra chances. If you think you are on the list but did not get an email from me, please let me know (spiritglassllc@gmail.com).

Maximum chances to win for this event is 7 (initial entry (1), rewards program (bonus 1), email participant (bonus 2), recipe (bonus 3))

Unless you've earned additional entry credits, only one entry per person for those following me on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (entries are collected via all my social media outlets, including email, not just here).

No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18+ and have entered by 5 pm EST 9/22/17. Void where prohibited by law.

Winner will be announced here evening of 9/22/17.

Family members can enter but the prize will be different - if a family member wins, you'll get a store credit equal to the value of the prize and I'll randomly redraw from the list of non-family entrants to select a new winner.

Please help me out by sharing this post with your friends and family and letting them know about my work.

Stores are at: my home page (https://www.spiritglassllc.com), and on Artyah! (https://www.artyah.com/seller/spiritglassllc)

The best way to ensure the giveaways keep coming is to keep me in business!

Thanks and Good Luck!
Peter

FYI: Benefits of Membership on the Spirit Glass Email List. For reading just 1 regular email a month, you get...

  • triple the base chances for winning a giveaway event
  • buy one get one half off for any pendants, earrings, jewelry sets, or suncatchers (2nd item must be of equal or lesser value)
  • you can offer 50% of the listed price for any item listed as a "Second" on my home page
  • opportunities to earn store credit throughout the year
  • sneak peaks into some of the best items I create
  • better coupon deals than any of my other social media outlets, and, of course,
  • my very deep appreciation for your support!
  • Peter Antal