LUP028 – The Other Side of Rock Bottom

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 28:

  • Update: Still stuck on simplifying the system.
  • Encouragement: Rock Bottom is a terribly painful and lonely place. But it doesn’t last forever. Hear how God brought one man through to the other side.
  • Tech. Tip: When travelling, protect yourself from data plan overage charges even when you connect your laptop through a mobile hotspot.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast:

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  • via Google Play for your Android phone or tablet
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  • via RSS for other podcast players

Update

  • Very short update with Edify Hub.
    • My goal is to take complicated technology and make it simple for others to use.
      • Did that with website builder that lets a missionary create a personalized website in 5 minutes or less.
      • Did that with MailChimp for Missionaries tutorial series, and have more ideas to simplify things even further.
    • Sometimes the technology is complicated enough that it takes more work than I anticipated to be able to simplify it.
    • Sometimes I tend to overcomplicate the problem, trying to simplify more than I need to in the first attempt.
    • Both are happening with the project of creating a development environment.
      • Trying to streamline the work a new programmer needs to do to start enhancing features with Edify Hub’s missionary website builder.
      • I’m learning new technologies – which are more complicated than I expected them to be.
      • I’m also seeing that there are other kinds of problems I can solve with the same technology. And I’m getting distracted, trying to go too broad.
      • You ever get that way? Where your vision grows so big that you distract yourself from delivering anything of value early on?
    • As soon as I finish recording and scheduling this episode, I’ll get back to work on a scaled down project, remembering my goal of bringing on a new programmer.
    • Hopefully, this is the last podcast episode where I’ll have to say that I’m “still working on it.”

Encouragement

As Christians, we have a promise that we will one day reign with Christ in a kingdom led by Jesus Himself. Yet here we are, living embedded in a world that often mocks him and hates everything that He stands for.

It can be overwhelming sometimes to balance our loyalty to Christ with our responsibility to build relationships that allow us to share Him with others.

In a similar way, missionaries often have to split a dual-culture relationship, balancing their love for their passport country with their love of their ministry country. When that ministry is in what we call a “creative access country,” where Christianity is unwelcome or Americans are viewed with suspicion, that split-culture identity can become even more complicated.

Whether you’re a missionary in a creative access country, or simply Christian trying to live for His kingdom in a fallen world, you’re likely to identify with today’s testimony.

On this episode, I’m going way back in history to share a story you’ve almost certainly heard, but one that I think we can relate to in ways we often don’t recognize.

Listen to today’s episode to notice the hand of God’s grace and providence in what was possibly the absolute lowest moment in King David’s life.

Maybe in your field of ministry you feel like David living with the Philistines. You’re trying to do everything you can to comply with local laws and avoid causing obvious trouble. But still, you’re treated like a foreigner. Things are harder for you than they are for everyone else, and you just don’t quite fit in. Everybody knows just by looking at you, “you’re not from around here.” Maybe they don’t quite trust you, and you just can’t find a way to share the gospel without building that trust.

Or maybe you’re feeling torn between two bad choices, without knowing what action to take. Going one direction could destroy any hope of future ministry, while going the other could destroy relationships with those that support you in that ministry. Faced with a choice much like that, David made the best decision he knew how to make. At first, it seemed that his choice would end in disaster. Next, it brought him to rock bottom in his life. But God, in His providence, worked out the circumstances to have the right ending.

You, too, may still have your rock bottom ahead of you. But don’t confuse rock bottom with the end of the story. The “other side” will still come. God is still working. There is more work to come – both in you and through you. And on that other side will be victories as you follow.

David encouraged himself in the Lord by deliberately seeking God’s will, then following with precision whatever God directed Him to do. And that became a pattern for most of the rest of his life. He didn’t always know God’s will, but when David wanted to know, God always intervened and made His will clear.

The same is true with us. We may not always know the next step to take. And we may even create difficult circumstances for ourselves when we act without knowing. But God will work in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. As you seek His will, He will protect you from fatal mistakes and will ultimately direct you to the success and victory that He has planned for you.

Tech. TipTripMode-MacMenu

  • If you’re a missionary, you spend lots of time on the road – especially when you’re on deputation or furlough. Never one to waste time, you find yourself working on your laptop when you’re not driving. And sometimes, you need to connect to the Internet for that one little thing you need to keep going.
    • Post a website update
    • Send a group email
    • Post a longer update on social media
    • Look up something “real quick” on your sending agency’s missionary portal
    • Find a picture for document or presentation
  • “It’ll only take five minutes”
    • Turn on MiFi or hotspot on your phone.
    • Connect your laptop
  • The next day,  you check your hotspot balance, and you’ve used up your capacity and racked up quite an overage bill on mobile bandwidth.
    • Backup software (CrashPlan or Carbonite) decided to run
    • Automatic updates downloaded new applications
    • iCloud and Google Drive decided to synchronize
    • Any of a number of other programs decided to connect for whatever reason.
  • Phone has settings for mobile data vs. WiFi, but to your laptop, everything looks like WiFi. And most Mac or Windows programs don’t think about how much internet bandwidth they take. As long as the internet is there, they’ll use it!
  • Sure would be nice to restrict Internet use on your laptop when you’re connected to a hotspot.
  • On Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can tell your computer that a certain WiFi connection is a “metered connection.” That will help with some of the extra background activity that Windows has.
    • But what if you have a Mac laptop, or what if you have  Windows programs installed that don’t understand that they shouldn’t use a “metered connection” for their huge background downloads?
  • TripMode – for both Windows and Mac.
    • Install TripMode
    • Connect to your hotspot
    • Click the tray icon (Windows) or menu icon (Mac) and turn on TripMode. Internet access is stopped immediately, and a menu appears.
    • Whenever an application tries to use the internet, it’s added to the menu attached to that icon. You choose to allow internet access only for the apps you need to do your work while connected to the hotspot.
    • TripMode remembers your settings for each WiFi network you connect to so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it on and off.
    • It also tells you how much data each app uses, so you can make an informed decision about which apps to allow.
    • $7.99 for Three Macs or Three Windows PCs. $11.99 for three of each.
    • Edify Hub doesn’t earn any commission on this; I just thought it would be helpful, and I wanted to share it.
    • 7-day free trial. After 7 days, it’ll work for 15 minutes per day, which may be all you need for those short-term emergencies.

So, with TripMode set up, you can safely connect your laptop to the internet through your mobile hotspot, without using more of your mobile bandwidth than you actually need.

Closing

Today, you’ve learned how to keep you mobile data usage low even when you connect your laptop. You also heard a bit of the continuing technical saga with Edify Hub and my attempts to prepare for more development help. I am hopeful that in the next episode of the Lift Up podcast I’ll share that this project is complete. And finally, we explored how God took David through the rock bottom point in his life and helped him avoid what could have been some devastating circumstances from his involvement with the enemies of Israel. You may not have clear visibility into exact next steps right now. But when you take action and you’re honestly, sincerely seeking to do His will, He will lead you and prevent you from taking a fatal wrong turn. Trust Him, and let today’s account of God’s work in David’s life be an encouragement to lift you up today.

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