Author: Ron Graham
Ron Graham’s Report
—For Jul-Aug-Sep 2010
This page holds the reports on my voluntary ministry activities —for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.
Dear Brethren... This report covers the third quarter of 2010. The winter has been wet, our tanks are full, and the garden refreshed. In Childers the cane harvest is in full swing, the trains running up and down their lines taking their bins of cut cane to the mill. There's plenty of activity in town.
Lessons at Bundaberg
I taught and preached on 24 occasions at Bundaberg during July, August, and September 2010. That comprised 12 Sunday sermons, 9 Sunday Adult classes, and 3 midweek lessons. Half of these lessons were devoted to the "Christ is All" series mentioned below. The other half were a mixture of lessons including teaching on the resurrection, daily work, what makes a Christian, and the preciousness of children.
Two Unusual Sermons
Two lessons were "unusual". "Is Paul’s Doctrine True?" had me take the part of a lawyer in court defending Paul against the accusation that his teaching is false and that he invented his own brand of Christianity. This defense used afidavits from three witnesses. "A Sermon in My Pocket" began by my emptying the contents of my pocket on to the pulpit in a vain attempt to find my "lost" sermon outline. In desperation I used the items from my pocket as the outline.
A Much Needed Break
During the winter months we took a six week break from the Wednesday night travelling to Bundaberg, which turned out to be eight weeks because the hall was closed on two nights during building renovations. We also missed another two nights because of rain —we cannot drive safely on the roads to Bundaberg at night in wet weather. Even so, in spite of the "break", I delivered 24 lessons at Bundaberg, an average of two lessons a week.
The “Christ is All” Series
Twelve of the 24 lessons presented at Bundaberg were part of the "Christ is All". series —systematic lessons about Jesus, taken from Paul's letter to the Colossians. Not only were these new lessons prepared with much care, and presented in Sunday sermons and classes, but they were also published as both web pages and tracts. That was heavy work, but well worth it considering how well the lessons have been received, and their ongoing usefulness.
Work on the Internet
I added six new lessons (eleven new pages) to the web site www.simplybible.com. However, making the site bigger was not my priority. Rather, I embarked on a thorough upgrade of pages building on work done last quarter.
This quarter I began to edit the site page by page with three aims. One is to ensure that all elements on a page respond to various window widths so that the page looks good on small, medium, and large devices. The second aim is to ensure that all lesson pages print properly, looking as professional on paper as they do on the screen. The final aim is to ensure that pages comply with the best modern standard (known as "xhtml strict").
If I had to do all the editing by hand, it would be an impossible task. Each page would have more than 100 "errors" to correct. Fortunately, most of these "errors" are common and could be corrected automatically with a special computer program. I can tell the program what to look for and what to change it to. It will then, in a few minutes, change every file. By getting it to do several sweeps, I was able to reduce "errors" on most pages to a mere three or four. Even so, there are around 1300 pages, and three aims to achieve. So the hand editing is still quite a task. I completed 332 files in September and hope to complete the other thousand files in the remaining quarter of 2010. That will be three jobs well done.
The new web statistics provider I had plugged into, turned out to be a diappointment. I discovered it had a bug that sent it into an "endless loop" slowing things down badly. So I quickly unplugged it and plugged in to Google stats, which is reliable but not so detailed. It shows around 800 to 1000 visitors daily. Google detects up to 2000 pageloads daily whereas my server's stats show more than 2500 page requests daily, some days well in excess of 3000.
By working with me through your encouragement, you are sharing in this effective way of speading the gospel abroad. Thank you again for your help, without which I would be hard pressed to continue this ministry.
Your fellow labourer in the Lord,