Spamalot

I’m sorry. That’s all there is to it. For those of you who subscribe to Transitions by email, you probably noticed that you received the post, “90, and Counting” several times. Some of you received 3 or 4 copies; others even more, and I have received so many of them, it could very well be 90 and counting! In fact, I just received another copy while I am sitting here writing this evening. But I have already used that title once, so I thought it best to think up something different for tonight.

Quite honestly, I struggled with what to call this post. I almost sent it out earlier today, but I was afraid to deliver anything else to everyone’s inbox. So I waited; and decided to try to make lemonade out of lemons. In other words, there’s a lesson here, but first of all I wanted to acknowledge the problem and our intrusion into your lives, and to apologize for inadvertently “spamming” you. That wasn’t our intent. So, I would like to pull back the curtain and let you know what happened.

Since I am not a technical guy, I have to use regular language. As it was explained to me, we now have so much content on our site that when I write each evening, and then save changes, or do previews, or try to post, the servers we use are starting to run out of memory and this has caused increased delays on my end as I write. Another thing I never thought of is also happening. You may have noticed that at the end of each post on the site, there is a list of similar posts for you to go back and read. Well, apparently that takes quite a bit of capacity to do all the word comparisons and come up with a list of other things to read if you happen to like a certain entry. So, more content – more time and memory are needed to do the searches and come up with the list. Go figure!

And then there is a happy problem. We never dreamt that the blog would start to take off as it has. I have been writing to a rather small group of people until we went on Facebook last week. And the response has been terrific – I daresay, more that I could have hoped for. For the first time ever, we had over 1000 page reads during the last several days, and more of you are subscribing to receive the post by email. While this is great, we didn’t realize that the numbers would grow and that we would bog down our servers trying to send out each evening’s post. So, Monday evening, everything stopped working. When people let us know they had not received the email, we re-published the post; and tried several other back-up plans – to no avail. Finally, all our efforts to deliver were pushed through the system and you were inundated with stuff.

Ben, one of our great technical resources who has worked on this blog from the beginning, behind the scenes, without seeking any credit, ending up spending a great part of the day yesterday re-writing and updating code so that we could avoid email problems in the future. We hope that everything has now been fixed. Thanks, Ben….. So please don’t stop referring people – we are all set now, I hope… but this brought up the challenge of trying to spin this spamming event in a positive light. So here’s my thought…

Perhaps the constant flow of emails to people yesterday was a reminder that God’s word should be in our hearts and minds, and on our lips, all the time. Sometimes, even though we should learn God’s word and follow it, we need to be reminded again and again before we really get what God is trying to tell us. And quite honestly, sometimes God comes to us when we are focused on other things; and it is easier to disregard Him than to stop whatever we are doing and pay attention. That happened to me last night and today. On top of all that, I know that sometimes I want to scream, “Enough”, and I am sure that some of you were saying that as you were bombarded with posts. So maybe it was a good thing that this happened. Because once again I am reminded that God needs to be on my mind all the time – even when it is an intrusion into my day, or when I would rather not pay attention. I hope that I never hit the “delete” button when God wants my attention.

I’ll bet you’re wondering about the verse for the evening – admittedly, I had to do some serious searching for something that would go with the story this evening. But I found it, from Phil 3:1, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you.”

So, in the spirit of this post, my encouragement is that God wants to have a deep relationship with you and He will continue to pursue you – even when you would rather not be bothered. And my prayer is that you will forgive me for sending you so many duplicates of Monday evening’s post. Once again, I’m sorry. And thanks for all you do to advance this effort. The results are awesome and you are helping me fulfill my calling. Grace and Peace,

 

 
 
 
 

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