Homefront #7: Thursday


A neighbor who had been out of town for a week or two with her elderly mother has returned. She brought to us a huge package of toilet tissue and several rolls of paper towels. Do we have a nice neighbor or what?

A friend who goes to Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that in his large city there are now 40  chapters meeting online each evening.  (Do they call them chapters?)  He added, “A lot of people are learning technology who never thought they would.”

I’m one of them.  Now, I have done this website for nearly 20 years, so I know a couple of things.  On Facebook I can post cartoons and photos and such. But there is so much that is foreign to me.

I recall hearing Dr. Laura Schlessinger on radio a dozen or more years ago saying how she had just learned to “cut and paste” on her computer, and how proud she was of herself for that.  I know that feeling.  I can recall some years prior to that reading where some preacher-friend said he did all his writing on the computer and how much more efficient that was, and I was intimidated by it.  And here I am, living on the laptop.

Still so much to learn, and they’re coming out with new technology every day.

These days, a lot of pastors are having to learn about live-streaming in order to broadcast their church services. I’m one of those. .

Last Sunday, Bertha and I stayed at home and watched “church” on television.  Three different services in fact.  The 10 am service from FBC Columbus is where I’m preaching the four Sundays of April (and preached three times during March). So, I was interested to see that the young guest preacher last Sunday, Sam Ivy, delivered the sermon while sitting at his kitchen table.  Turns out that Sam was diagnosed positive for the COVID-19 virus and is now in quarantine.

Two weeks ago (Sunday, March 22), I drove to Columbus, 150 miles up, met the church staff and we did the service to an empty sanctuary, and then I drove home, another 150 miles.

This week,  I asked a staff member at the church how Sam Ivy had done his from home and could I do the same.

That’s how I came to learn about the Boxcaster App and such.  So, on Wednesday afternoon, I sat at my dining room table with the phone-camera mounted on a tiny tripod and, while my wife napped in another room, I brought the sermon for this Sunday, April 5, “Palm Sunday.”

Today, Thursday, I sat at the table and recorded a prayer meeting Bible study (to be used whenever the staff at Columbus chooses) and a “banquet” talk for a foundation in Atlanta where I was to do the keynote address on March 26.  I’m thankful for Boxcaster and Minister of Discipleship Marcus Cochran (FBC Columbus).

Bertha and I spent some frustrating time today trying to video me teaching cartooning with my phone, to be sent to a friend who works with the local public library.  A few times a year Becky Bowen has me do a class for children at the local library, in which I talk about drawing, demonstrate it, and sketch each one.  A couple of days ago, she asked if I could video some lessons and send to her using Dropbox.  Ah, another entity for me to master.  I was able to download it and the sample I sent to her worked. So, all was set, right?  Not so fast.

My phone kept insisting my storage was filled and I needed to delete pictures.  So, I got rid of a lot of unneeded pictures, then deleted a few videos, and then emptied the storage that holds the deleted items.  (Which I find to be mind-boggling.  You end up deleting them twice.)  But the phone still would not cooperate. So, we’ll try tomorrow.

Bertha teaches her college classes online so has mastered all kinds of programs.  The frustrating thing, she says, is that the college keeps changing and upgrading and improving and making things more complicated.  But she works at it and learns and does a great job.

We’re both children of 1940 and this does not come easy for either of us.  But, as I told a friend earlier, while I am intimidated by the new technology, once I master it I love it.  But, I know for a fact that at this moment someone is hard at work coming up with another program that will be even more complicated and intimidating.  All in an effort to make life better, they say.

I went to the bank this afternoon–the drive-through, of course; nothing else is open–and cashed a sizeable check so we’ll have cash on hand.  When a friend buys groceries for us, he does not need to have to deal with debit cards or personal checks.

Life goes forward.  We do what we can.  Mostly, we pray constantly for the Father to give His blessings on those searching for the cures and the vaccines, for those searching for ways to make church ministry effective and worship happen while everyone is apart, and for God to bless and protect the health care workers everywhere who are risking their own health in order to serve and bless.

Laugh of the day

A friend sent a note saying that someone toilet-papered his house last night and today it was appraised for $885,000.


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