Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 15:
- Update: Progress and embarrassment with Edify Hub’s missionary website builder.
- Encouragement: General Director for Vision Baptist Missions in Alpharetta, Georgia, shares why a desire to serve God isn’t enough, and how he helps missionaries find the knowledge to support their desire.
- Tech. Tip: When your computer’s disk space is almost full, I’ll show you how to find the files and folders that are taking up the most room. By deleting or archiving a few of those huge space wasters, you can give your computer some much needed breathing room without having to upgrade your hard drive.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Why a Free Website is a Bad Idea
- Apply for a Free* Website
- Vision Baptist Missions
- Our Generation Summit (Register)
- Our Generation 2015 Summit: A Review
- TreeSize Free (Windows)
- Grand Perspective (Mac OS)
This month has had a lot of focus on our system to create missionary websites in five minutes or less.
First, we’ve finally automated the steps to process the applications. Now, when a missionary visits edifyhub.com and clicks the “Apply Now” link to apply for a free website, they’ll automatically be put on the waiting list, and we have a schedule for automatically sending out the invitations as each missionary reaches the front of the waiting list.
Getting that completed was pretty exciting, but we also had a couple of embarrassing stumbles.
- In one case, hackers were trying to log in with as many passwords as they could, as fast as they could.
- Not successful, but it did make the system work rather hard rejecting them all.
- While that was going on, our scheduled system backup kicked off. That would have been OK, except for a strange problem that made it create several backup copies all at the same time whenever the system was under heavy load (like it was with the fake login attempts). The two problems worked together to create more work than the system could handle, making it unable to serve any new web pages.
- Two solutions: 1) Fixed the backup problem – now it only makes one backup copy. That’ll also save us some money on storage. 2) Gave the system a clearer understanding of what password hacking looks like so it can slam the door earlier, without taxing the system quite so much.
- How did we know this was happening? We have monitors in place that alert us when bad things happen. And we take those alerts seriously. After all, missionaries are trusting Edify Hub to make their websites available to communicate to their supporters. We were able to fix the problems without a missionary ever having to discover that something was wrong.
Why would I mention these embarrassing outages, immediately after announcing that we’re ready to handle more applicants for missionary websites?
- Problems like these are embarrassing, but they’re also common whenever computers are involved. I’ve gone through many exercises like these throughout my years in healthcare technology.
- Sharing this also helps explain why we have an application process and a waiting list for missionary websites – why we won’t just let someone create websites as soon as they request one. Growing too fast can creates problems that are even harder to recover from than these, and we’re committed to offering a stable, reliable platform for missionary communication. To honor that commitment, we have to be deliberate about how fast we grow.
- I wrote an article several weeks ago, entitled Why a Free Website is a Bad Idea. When a “friend of a friend” offers to set up a ministry website for free, problems like those we resolved this month often go unnoticed and unresolved.
Edify Hub’s commitment to long-term support sets us apart from most other offers to help set up a free website for your ministry, and I believe that what happened this month – both our progress and our response to challenges – shows that we’re serious about that commitment.
And that’s what’s happening with Edify Hub.
Do you have a desire to serve God? Is there a passion for a particular place of service, but you’re not quite sure what steps to take to turn that desire into action? Keep listening to hear my conversation with a man who seeks to help missionaries gain the knowledge to make their zeal as useful as possible in serving God.
My guest today served the Lord for 12 years as a missionary in Argentina, South America. During his time there, God blessed his ministry with four churches and a Bible college to train those called to the ministry.
He currently works with church-planting missionaries both to complete their pre-field ministry, and to become successful missionaries once they arrive to the field.
I’m excited to welcome to the Lift Up Podcast the General Director of Vision Baptist Missions in Alpharetta, Georgia, Brother Jeff Bush.
“A desire is not enough. You have to have the knowledge to know what to do with that zeal.” That’s what Jeff Bush said.
What desire has God placed in your life? Do you know what to do to take the next step? Ask God to lead you to a peer, a mentor, or a course or maybe even a program or institution to help you transform your God-given desire into action steps. Maybe that will be a program like Vision Baptist Mission or the upcoming Our Generation Summit. Check out my review of last year’s summit at edifyhub.com/OG2015 or visit visionmissions.com/summit for more information or to register for this year’s summit.
As part of the previous episode, I explained how you can see what’s taking up room in your Google account so you can free up some of your quota. But what if you’re running out of space on your computer itself? Where are those huge files that you forgot about – or the ones you don’t need any more? How do you find where they’re hiding so you can delete them – or archive them somewhere?
On today’s tech. tip, I’ll introduce free tools for Windows and Mac OS that will let you see exactly what’s taking up all of your space.
With either of these applications, your first step is to have it scan your hard drive. This can take several minutes. When the scanning is done, you’ll see a visual representation of the different files and folders on your computer, along with how much total space is taken up by each one.
TreeSize Free shows your files and folders much like Windows Explorer does, with a hierarchical tree structure, but beside each row in the list is a sort of a histogram bar showing a relative indication of how much space that file or folder takes up compared to everything else, with the largest files or folders on top. As you open folders deeper and deeper, you’ll find the large files that are taking up unnecessary space, and you can delete them. Tree Size Free starts showing results almost immediately, even while it’s still scanning, so don’t be surprised to see your results change out from underneath you while you’re watching. In order to make sure that you’re seeing completely accurate results, you may want to wait until it shows that it’s 100% done scanning.
When Grand Perspective for the Mac is scanning, it only shows the number of total scanned files and folders while the names of files whiz past your eyes. When it’s all done scanning, it shows its results in a kind of block diagram. In that diagram, each block represents an individual file on your computer, with the size of the block representing the size of the file. Files that live in the same folder are grouped together and colored with similar colors. This kind of a view gives you a visual representation of what’s taking up your space. By pointing your mouse at a block, you can look at the status bar at the bottom of the window to see exactly what file that block represents, and what folder it’s in. When you find large files that you don’t need to keep, just right-click the block, and choose “Reveal in Finder” to open the folder where that file is. From there you can delete or archive that file and free up space.
So, on today’s episode, you learned how you can clean up space on your computer for free using TreeSize Free for Windows or Grand Perspective for your Mac. You also met Jeff Bush, General Director of Vision Baptist Missions in Alpharetta Georgia. Just a reminder to visit visionmissions.com/summit for more information about the Our Generation Summit coming up in January, or to sign up. Or visit edifyhub.com/OGSummit to read my review of last year’s event. Finally, you heard an update on the progress and challenges we’ve overcome with Edify Hub’s missionary website builder. If you’re a missionary looking to help communicate your work to your supporters, visit edifyhub.com and click Apply Now in the big white box in the middle of the screen.
And if someone you know would be interested in the summit from Vision Baptist Missions or a missionary website from Edify Hub, please invite them to subscribe to the Lift Up podcast on their iPhone, iPad, Stitcher, or other podcast player. When you help a friend subscribe, you can follow the encouragement in Hebrews 12:12 to lift up someone today.