LUP026 – Saved out of Missions: Jim Civale

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 26:

  • Update: Answered prayer for technical advice.
  • Encouragement: Hear how a Catholic missionary in Samoa came to understand true salvation in Christ.
  • Tech. Tip: Learn how to create secure passwords you can remember.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Update

  • Last time, I asked prayer for wisdom on some technical challenges to letting a new software developer work on Edify Hub projects.
    • Many moving parts
    • All have to be set up before even a tiny change can be made and tested.
    • Too much to ask.
    • Trying to figure out how to simplify it.
  • My son gave me the answer during a call.
    • Working at The Wilds Christian Camp & Conference Center this summer.
    • Temporarily joined their web development team as a new programmer.
    • He used to be my programmer, but now he’s serving in other areas that are taking far more of his time.
    • Shared how they use Docker, a free technology, easy to install, that can be taught to create and connect bunches of moving parts automatically.
    • I had heard of it before, but hadn’t used it.
    • Exactly what I needed.
    • Last week I was able to teach Docker to build one of those connected moving parts. A handful more, and I’ll be able to hire someone else to program some of the enhancements that missionaries are asking for with their websites.
Jim Civale - Missionary to Samoa
Jim Civale – Missionary to Samoa

Encouragement

When I read the testimony of today’s guest, I just knew I needed to have him share his story with you on the podcast. Why? Because I couldn’t fathom hearing about a man who was already on the field serving as a missionary before he understood the gospel.

That’s right. Today’s guest was a missionary in the island of Samoa, serving under the Catholic church. Then, a cryptic phone call from his brother started him on a journey to study the Scriptures for himself.

Listen to hear how God reached out and brought Jim Civale and his wife to salvation and service in the island of Samoa.

What a journey! Praise God for a nearby missionary church that could help Jim Civale grow in Christ. And what opportunities and open doors God gave to allow him to sit on the council of chiefs and have an amazing influence on those villages.

I look forward to hearing the future of how the Samoan men are beginning to multiply disciples, how the Bible is now becoming available digitally among the Samoan islands.

If you want to keep up to date with his ministry, or if you just want to see an example of one of the missionary websites made with Edify Hub’s five-minute setup, why not stop by https://jimcivale.edifyhub.com and pay him a visit.

Tech. Tip

Passwords. They’re the second worst solution for account security that exists on the internet today. And all other methods are tied for last.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but the idea of creating a password that’s actually useful and reliable just keeps getting harder. Security “experts” keep adding more rules and suggestions.

  • Make sure you use at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter, a number, and a special character in every password.
  • Make sure you don’t use the same password for more than one account.
  • Make sure you change your password every 30-90 days.
  • Make sure you don’t write down your password.
  • Most importantly, make sure you don’t forget your password.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to follow all of those rules at the same time. So, how in the world can you figure out a secure password that you don’t have to write down?

Well – there are two key strategies you can use:

  1. Generate a secure password that you can actually remember.
  2. Use a secure system to privately remember your passwords for you.

First – let’s take a second look at what actually makes a secure password. All those rules about capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters? Those are easy rules to explain and check, but they don’t necessarily create the most secure passwords. And they can be terribly hard to remember.

Information theorists have determined that stringing together four real words chosen at random can create a password that is actually stronger than most of our attempts to inject numbers and special characters into the passwords we try to remember. At the same time, those passwords are also easier to remember.

One common example of such a password is correct-horse-battery-staple. Now, please don’t use that one. It’s quite well-known so it’s no longer very safe, but it does illustrate what such a password may look like. You can see a geek comic strip that illustrates the nerdy details of why that kind of password is more secure than many. CorrectHorseBatteryStapleThe illustration shows a drawing of a battery, with a staple stuck in it. A horse sees that battery and says, “That’s a battery staple” with a quotation line indicating an off-screen voice responding with the word, “correct.” That’s a visual reminder of the password correct-horse-battery-staple. With a picture like that, you have already memorized those four words.

If you choose your own words, they may be too easy for others to guess. To be secure, they really need to be completely random. Care to guess where you might find a tool to create that password for you? How about CorrectHorseBatteryStaple.net? Yep. That’s a real website, and it generates strings of random words for you. If you’re using one of those systems that still demands a mix of capital, lowercase, numbers and special characters, it will add those for you, too. I just asked it to generate a sample password for me, and I got Blue-Trap-Thicken-Sugar-2. A picture that might help me remember that password could be the trap part of a venus flytrap, but bright blue instead of green. At the base of the trap is an extremely thickened syrupy substance with two sugar cubes trapped in it. That picture could help me remember the password Blue-Trap-Thicken-Sugar-2.

But now, I have a different problem. I really shouldn’t use the same password for every account I have, and after creating just a few of these random multi-word passwords, there’s no way I’ll remember which password goes with which account.

Now, I could use the keychain or password vault that’s built into my computer, but that won’t help with my phone or tablet. And keeping every different account password up-to-date on every device is going to be impossible.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were something that could create secure passwords for me and remember them for me no matter what device I’m using?

There are several products like this. They’re called “password managers”, and some examples are:

Here’s how they work.

First – you install the password manager application on your computer. Often this includes a plugin for your browser. Then, you assign a master password that controls access to the collection of passwords that it managers. This is the one password that you must be sure to remember. And because this password grants access to all of your others, you really want this one to be secure. The Blue-Trap-Thicken-Sugar-2 that CorrectHorseBatteryStaple.net generated for me could be a good option for my master password.

Now, whenever you log in to a website, your password manager will learn your passwords and encrypt them so that nobody can read them – not even the team that creates the software – without having your master password. When you create new accounts for new online services, you can also ask your password manager to create secure passwords for you.LastPass Strong Password Generator These can be random collections of letters, numbers, and special characters. From now on, you don’t have to know any of your online passwords, because your password manager keeps them for you.

You can install your password manager on as many computers or mobile devices as you want, and your password database will automatically be synchronized across all of those devices. Whenever an app asks for a password, your password manager steps in, asks you for your master password, decrypts the right password from the database and automatically logs in for you.

LastPass has a free version that works on Mac and Windows. I have upgraded to the Premium version, which costs me $12 whole dollars per year, and that lets me install the app on my mobile devices, and share passwords with other users of LastPass. This sharing feature can be especially helpful if you’re a missionary on the field, maybe with limited internet access, and you have someone back in your passport country who holds power of attorney over your accounts. Sharing your password between your Premium LastPass and their free LastPass will make sure you both can access your logins even when you’re forced to change your online passwords.

The thing I like most about the mobile app is that after installing it and confirming my master password, it now lets me unlock my password collection and log in automatically using just a swipe of my finger. That saves huge amounts of time because secure passwords become extremely difficult to type on a tiny phone keyboard. That feature alone is worth the $1 per month that LastPass Premium costs me.

I have heard good things about Dashlane and 1Password as well, but I haven’t used either of them. A permanent license for 1Password currently costs $65, and does not synchronize across devices. A subscription that allows synchronization costs $5 per month.

If you use https://www.edifyhub.com/lastpass or the links in the show notes to sign up for LastPass, you and I both will get one free month of Premium features (including that ability to use it on mobile apps).  So, because LastPass is so inexpensive and I’m already paying for it anyway, you’ll save me one whole dollar if you sign up through that link. Still, just knowing you choose to do that will be a real encouragement to me.

Closing

On today’s episode, you’ve learned how to create and manage secure passwords to protect your information. You also heard how God took the life and ministry of a Catholic missionary in Samoa and transformed him into a true follower and proclaimer of Christ. Finally, you got a taste of the technical solution I learned about to help new programmers get set up to help develop new features for Edify Hub missionary websites.

And, speaking of missionary websites, why not visit Brother Civale’s website and leave him a comment to let him know you appreciated his testimony and that you’ll be praying for him. When you do, you can honor Hebrews 12:12 and lift up someone today.

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