LUP010 – Paul & Sherry Zimmer: God’s Engineering, Part 1

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Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 10:

  • Update: Expansion of the Edify Hub website builder pilot program in March.
  • Encouragement: Paul & Sherry Zimmer share how God worked to open tightly-shut doors, allowing them to begin a ministry in the outer islands of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Tech. Tip: I’ll explain how you can use the calendar on your Google account to improve your productivity by mapping out your ideal week – without cluttering up your view of your actual appointments.

Resources

Apply for an invitation to the Edify Hub missionary website builder program.

Update

Well, this week was a week that made me wish I had already doubled my efficiency like I said I wanted to last month.

Normally, I would have recorded this opener and closer back on February 28th for a publication date of March 6th. But last Thursday, I got hit with a cold and fever that just about completely knocked me out. And it really killed my voice. That meant I could either record a groggy, stuffy-headed welcome and tech. tip, or wait until just a few days before publication to record and put everything together.

I edited part 1 of today’s interview with Paul and Sherry Zimmer while my head was still stuffy and my brain felt cloudy.

I’ll tell you what, though, I’m sure glad I already had the mixing automation script completed. Because of that, when I’m done recording right now, it will take me just a couple of minutes to highlight the different sections and automatically mix together the final master copy of this episode.

We’ve also seen quite a bit of progress with the Edify Hub website builder. I’ve been working with my son Joshua, who does all of my software development, to create the whole account management side, so people can upgrade from the forever free plan to one with more advanced premium features, including custom domain names. So, rather than a website address like argentinagospel.edifyhub.com, which they can get for free, someone could upgrade to buy something like argentinagospel.com.

During the month of March, I’ll also be expanding the initial Pilot program for the missionary website builder to invite some of the early applicants who are already on the field. Applications for the initial pilot program are officially closed, but if you want to apply for an invitation for a later round of the program, visit edifyhub.com/wantwebsite and fill out the application there.

And of course, if you visit our show notes page at liftuppodcast.com/10, we’ll have a link to take you directly to that website application form.

Encouragement

Paul & Sherry Zimmer, Missionaries to Yap

Yap, Micronesia can be a difficult place to minister, where relationships are crucial to having opportunities to share the gospel. At the same time, centuries of tradition and culture can make it challenging for outsiders to build those relationships.

Paul and Sherry Zimmer have been ministering in Yap since 2001 with a huge goal – one that seems impossible in a culture so closed to outside influence: to establish a church in each of the ten municipalities in Yap and the 22 surrounding outer islands.

Listen to this episode to hear how God used Paul’s degree in Electrical Engineering to throw locked doors wide open for the gospel in primitive Yap, Micronesia.

And now that these doors are opened, it’s time for Paul Zimmer to walk through them and begin planting seeds and reaping harvests.

But even supernaturally-opened doors don’t always lead to smooth, even paths. No, Paul’s second missionary journey to the outer islands of Yap would turn out to be quite a test of faith. Come back next month to hear what happened during his trip. I’ll give you a hint. Unless you’ve already heard their story, it’s not what you think it is.

Tech. Tip

Today’s tech tip is actually a combination of a couple of ideas that I heard from Michael Hyatt, conference speaker, podcaster, and former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishers. In one of his early podcasts, he talked about the importance of mapping out your ideal week. That is, in an ideal week, how much time would you spend in prayer, Bible Study, eating, studying, sleeping, having fun with the family, doing household chores, serving others?

It seems there’s always so much that we want to do, and it’s so hard to find time for it all. Part of beating our schedule into submission is to realize that no – we really don’t have time for it all. The solution isn’t in finding more time, or in managing our time, but in managing our priorities – allocating time to the things that we deem to be important, and deliberately limiting time for things that get in the way of those things.

My first attempt at doing this was to create an Excel spreadsheet, with a column for every day of the week, and a row for every half-hour of the waking day. I then blocked out the activities of my “ideal week” while attempting to leave some margin to be able to handle unexpected things. This ideal week was not a hard and fast rule, but a guideline to help me see if I was using my time on the most important things each week. I printed that calendar on a single page and hung it on our refrigerator.

That was a good first start, but it was hard to reference unless I was standing in front of the refrigerator.  And with as easy as it is for me to want to pick up food at random times during the day, I really didn’t need anything to compel me to go stand in front of the refrigerator.

So instead, I copied all of those time blocks into my Google Calendar as recurring appointments. Now, from my phone, my tablet, or from any PC, I could check my calendar, and see what my ideal schedule was. On particularly busy days, I could even set Google calendar to give me a popup notification when it’s time for me to switch.  Most of those became more annoying than helpful, but there were some activities that make me lost track of time, and having my phone buzz when it’s time to switch came in handy.

But even that approach has problems.

Remember, this schedule was my ideal week. And no actual week will ever line up completely with your ideal week. And that’s OK! But my calendar didn’t know that. All of my ideal week appointments seemed just as important as my real appointments. With all of those hours booked and double-booked, that calendar became so cluttered it was almost unusable.

The second idea that I heard from Michael Hyatt was a trick some of his other listeners figured out. With your Google account, you don’t have to put everything on one calendar. You do have a main calendar, which is associated with your name. Google also creates additional calendars for you for Birthdays of your friends, or tasks you may put on its to-do list.

But if you click the gear icon in the upper-right of your Google Calendar and click “Settings”, there are a few choices across the top of the screen. One of these is “Calendars.”

From that page, you can create a brand new calendar and call it “Ideal Week.” Then, move all of your “ideal week” activities from your main calendar to your new “Ideal Week” calendar. Now when you look at your calendar on the web, your phone, or your tablet, you can choose to turn off your “ideal week” activities when you want to see what’s real, and turn them on again when you’re in planning mode.

By creating a separate Google calendar for your “ideal week”, you can take control of your schedule without cluttering up your real appointments.

Closing

So today, you heard about progress with the Edify Hub website builder. Again, if you want to apply for an upcoming invitation to that program, visit edifyhub.com/wantwebsite.

We also introduced Paul and Sherry Zimmer. Don’t miss the conclusion of that conversation next month, where we find out what they faced during the outer island trip.

Finally, you learned how to use Google Calendar to create a map for your ideal week – without getting in the way of your actual calendar.

Don’t forget you can subscribe to this podcast to get every monthly episode delivered right to your mobile device by visiting liftuppodcast.com/itunes if you have an iOS device, or visiting liftuppodcast.com/stitcher if you use the stitcher app. If you use some other podcast catcher, you can also subscribe using liftuppodcast.com/rss to subscribe the old-school way.

Take Action

I’d count it a huge honor if you would take a few minutes to visit liftuppodcast.com/itunes and leave an honest rating and review of the show. Like it or not, iTunes ratings and reviews – more than any other factor – have the biggest long-term impact on whether people will find a show when they search. Your simple act of writing an honest review will do more to help encourage me and other listeners than you can imagine.

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