LUP034 – A Passion for Prayer: Andy Geers

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll hear in Episode 34:

  • Update – Major technical changes to better support Edify Hub’s missionary websites.
  • Encouragement – Meet Andy Geers, inventor of the PrayerMate app. After his employer closed its doors, he now works full-time on developing PrayerMate.
  • Tech. Tip – Quickly protect your email from shoulder-surfing when someone enters your office.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Update

  • Moved all Edify Hub technology from computers in Virginia to Oregon.
    • Used to rent servers as whole blocks of compute power, working memory space, long-term storage space, and network capacity.
    • If one piece was slow or overused, sometimes hard to tell which one had the issue, and can’t always upgrade just one piece.
    • Spent a little over two weeks preparing
    • After the move, repetitive website maintenance tasks that used to take 15-30 seconds now complete in as little as 0.8 seconds.
    • Much better monitoring dashboards to let us see increased load before it becomes a problem
    • We blocked all website updates for about 2.5 hours as the move from Virginia to Oregon was happening.
    • That block was a little longer than we anticipated, but the missionary websites themselves never became unavailable. One moment they came from Virginia, and the next moment, from Oregon.
    • Couple of days later, after the whole world was set to load the websites from Oregon, we shut down the copy in Virginia.
    • Not only is it faster, but we believe it will also be slightly cheaper, and easier to upgrade as we find we need more capacity.
  • Also, preparing a research project to learn how best to help Independent Baptist missionaries streamline the deputation process.
    • Hopefully I’ll have more to say on that in the next episode

But for now, that’s what’s happening with Edify Hub.

Encouragement

Back in Episode 31, I shared a Tech. Tip about PrayerMate, the app I use on my smartphone to keep track of my prayer list. On today’s episode, you’ll actually get to meet the man behind the app. Joining me from his home in London is Andy Geers, the author of PrayerMate. You’ll hear a lot more about him in his own words, so let’s jump right in. Here’s Andy Geers.

Andy Geers, creator of PrayerMate
Andy Geers, creator of PrayerMate

PrayerMate is a useful tool already, and I love where Andy is going with his design. In fact, the kinds of challenges he describes were some of the thoughts that prompted me to start Edify Hub long ago. Since then, my focus has shifted to helping missionaries on deputation. Now we both have products that are currently working, and we both have dreams to solve even harder problems to help encourage Christians in gospel ministry.

But there is one big difference. The employment position that had been supporting Andy’s family and his development efforts was taken away. My day job still takes most of my time. If I suddenly lost my job, I’m not sure I’d be ready to turn Edify Hub into something that is profitable enough to support my family. If I found myself laid off from work, I have a feeling I’d be strongly inclined to scramble to find another full-time position employed by another company. But should I?

I know many men whose dismissal from their job became the catalyst to launch something they never would have accomplished if they had stuck with what they were used to.

God often does that. He will rip away from us the one thing we think we need so that we will trust Him and follow His plan for our lives. And His plan is always more exciting, more fruitful, and more meaningful than anything we could accomplish when we try to stay comfortable.

Has God taken something away from you? Or – perhaps even harder – is He asking you to voluntarily let go of something that feels too risky to give up?

Can I encourage you to trust Him? Face the challenge like Andy has, and pursue the ministry God is calling you to follow.

Tech. Tip

You’re in your office with a confidential letter or email on your computer and someone comes in wanting to talk. They sit down where they could see your screen, but during your conversation, you don’t want them shoulder-surfing to read the private information on the monitor behind you.

Or maybe you’re working in an open space and you need to make sure nobody reads your screen or messes with your computer while you step away for a moment.

If you’re on a laptop, you could try closing the cover, but if you have an external monitor connected, closing the cover often doesn’t shut them down. In fact, it might just move the content off of your laptop screen onto that big monitor, making it even easier to read.

How do you quickly lock your computer down so nobody else in the room can see or change anything on it?

Well, whether you use Windows or Mac – either way you have two options.  We’ll discuss them both.

Sleep Windows
Sleep Windows (or +L to lock)

Windows

If you’re on Windows 10, you can put your computer to sleep from the power icon under the Windows menu. To to this, first click the Windows menu in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. In the menu that pops up, click the power icon () that’s in the stack of icons above the Windows menu. That will bring up three options: Sleep, Shut down, and Restart. Click “Sleep.”

Of course, when someone’s sitting in your office waiting for your attention, that sure seems to take a while.

Instead of navigating through that whole menu, though, you can simply hold down the Windows key (), then tap the L key. Windows-L is a keyboard shortcut to lock your screen. And Windows-L is a whole lot faster than clicking through a whole bunch of menus. And even though Microsoft keeps moving the menus around, making them hard to find, the Windows-L keyboard shortcut works on pretty much any version of Windows.

Mac OS

sleep-mac
Sleep Mac

If you’re using a Mac, then the menu option is a lot simpler. Just click on the Apple () menu in the upper-left corner of any screen, and choose “Sleep” from that menu.

But if you’re like me and you like to do everything by keyboard shortcuts, yes there is a keyboard shortcut to put your Mac to sleep. It’s just not quite as easy to remember as Windows-L is on your Windows computer. It also depends on what kind of keyboard you have. If your keyboard has an eject key (), then hold down command (⌘) and option, then press the eject key. That will instantly put your computer to sleep.

If you’re using one of the newer MacBook Pro laptops, your computer doesn’t have anything to eject, so the eject key is replaced by a power key (). If you have that kind of keyboard, then hold down command (⌘) and option, then press the power key. That’s your keyboard shortcut to put your laptop to sleep.

Summary

So when someone comes in to talk, press hit Windows-L on Windows or Command-Option-Eject or Command-Option-Power on your Mac. Then turn from the computer to face your guest. Not only will you protect your work from eavesdropping, you’ll also signal that you’re giving your guest your undivided attention.

Conclusion

Today you learned how to protect your private email from eavesdropping when someone walks into your office. You also heard Andy Geers share his story of how God brought him out of his day job to work full time on an app supporting, encouraging, and organizing prayer for those in gospel ministry, and you heard about the steps we’re taking with Edify Hub to prepare to serve missionaries in new ways.

Take Action

If you didn’t install the free PrayerMate app when I mentioned it in the Tech. Tip of Episode 31, why not try it out now.

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