LUP017 – You Can’t Be A Missionary: Jerry Dwire (Part 2)

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Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 17:

  • Update: Some usability improvements for missionaries managing their websites.
  • Encouragement: Hear the conclusion of my conversation with my dad, whose paralyzing childhood accident had people tell him he could never serve in missions. Find out how he found his way to serve.
  • Tech. Tip: Learn how to create small PDFs even if your publishing program doesn’t give you the options I talked about last week.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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  • via iTunes for your iPad or iPhone
  • via Stitcher on Stitcher Radio
  • via RSS for other podcast players

Update

  • With a couple of weeks of travelling and spending time with both Lana’s parents and mine, I was able to get a little bit done between last week and this.
  • Updated my “Safe Internet For Smartphones” article to include a reference to the solution we found for whole-house parental controls.
  • Improving usability for missionaries with websites.
    • Challenge: When a missionary isn’t logged in, how do they get to the place where they can enter their username and password to update their website?
      • There’s a link in the welcome email – not everyone remembers where the email is.
      • Bookmark – Relies on the missionary to remember to create the bookmark. Not all of them do, and it’s not something I can do for them.
      • Do I create a “Log In” link on your home page? But then everybody sees it – including all of their supporters. That’s pretty distracting.
      • My temporary solution – “my account” item on the main edifyhub.com website. Log in there, and you can see any websites you created. From there, there’s a link to your dashboard.
      • If you have seen an elegant solution to let website owners find their login page without presenting a login option to all of their visitors, let me know.

Encouragement

I mentioned last week how people had told my dad that with his physical condition, there’s no way he would be able to serve in missions. Today, you’ll find out that he wasn’t the only one who was given that message.

“God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.”

Despite colorblindness and failing grades in geography, Jerry Dwire has been instrumental in helping multitudes of missionaries create and edit scripts and graphics for their deputation and furlough presentations. And – even without an architectural degree – he has been able to design building projects to serve missionaries and other local ministries. And through all of this, God has granted him the opportunity to realize his other love – serving in Christian radio by editing the daily Moments For Missions broadcast from BIMI.

Do you have a passion to serve? Is there some reason you just don’t feel qualified? I have a not-so-well-kept secret for you. Most of those people you believe are so “successful” don’t feel qualified, either. For a couple of Biblical examples, Moses and Gideon come to mind.

If God has given you a desire to serve Him in a specific way, can I encourage you to pursue it? Go for it! Don’t be deflated by those who may tell you you’re not good enough. As you obey God’s leading, he will provide the opportunities and the help you need to make your way prosperous and have good success.

Tech. Tip

Today’s Tech Tip is an unplanned extension to last week’s tip. If you recall, last week I gave four steps to keep the PDFs for your newsletter or ministry information packet small enough for your website visitors to download quickly. But this week, I was working with someone who couldn’t use those four steps because they publish everything from their iPad, and Pages for iPad doesn’t offer any options when it exports to a PDF. A four-page newsletter ended up being 45MB. For you non-geeks, that’s absolutely huge, and there was no way to shrink it.

We tried opening the original file using Pages for Mac where the extra options were available, but some of the iPad fonts weren’t available on the Mac, and the replacement fonts the Mac chose caused some of the words to overlap, making it unreadable.

So, what do you do if your publishing program doesn’t give you the option to optimize for screen viewing to create a small PDF?

Well, there’s a solution for just about everything. In this case, the answer was a free service that’s available at SmallPDF.com. The Compress PDF page on this free website lets you upload a large PDF file, and it will automatically compress the photographs inside it to optimize them for web viewing. All of the fonts, text, and line-drawn graphics will stay unchanged –  just as crisp and clear as ever. But the photographs will be compressed. In the case I was working with this week, that 45MB PDF was shrunk down to just 1.3MB – well within the website upload limit. And this was with two pages of the newsletter almost completely full of photographs from a recent event.

So if the publishing program you use for your newsletter or ministry information packet doesn’t give you optimization choices when it exports a PDF, use the Compress PDF page at SmallPDF.com to build an optimized version for your website visitors. Oh – and it’s free!

Take Action

If you have a suggestion on how to let missionaries find where to log in to update their ministry website without cluttering up their visitors’ view with a “Log In” button, let me know either by sending me an email at steve@edifyhub.com, or by leaving a comment below.

And maybe you can find someone else this week who is following a desire to serve God but doesn’t feel qualified. You could tell them about this episode of the Lift Up podcast, and give them some personal encouragement, honoring Hebrews 12:12.

So how about it? Who will you lift up today?

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