Monday, September 14, 2015

The Blocking

If you are a regular reader, you know I have recently completed a trifecta of giving a power point presentation on my mission trip to Vietnam to the faculty staff at WCS as well as to both our English speaking and Chinese speakers of my congregation. If you read my entry last night, you also know I attempt to use Facebook as an outreach to friends in Vietnam as well as in the US, including former students. Eleven days ago, I did my last report to our Wednesday evening adult Bible class at the Westbury Church of Christ. During my morning planning time, I walked to our adjacent church building and did a walk through with our elder on staff, Sam Rapp. We connected everything with the projector and my laptop and checked the lighting; ready to rock and roll! However, when I returned to my home after school and before the presentation, I noticed something strange when I logged onto my computer: I was completely blocked by Facebook, both on GOOGLE Chrome and on Internet Explorer. It would not even let me try to log on! Absolutely nothing else that I use was affected. I thought it might be just a temporary thing but I was still shut out in the morning so I took my laptop back to the church building. Two guys with very good tech skills, David Fang and Steve Lehman, our Chinese and youth ministers, respectively, had no luck figuring it out. I added a third browser, FIREFOX, and it lets me log-in but not get on my own homepage or post any pictures. Two days later, Phillip Zamora, one of our tech personnel at WCS, took a ninety minute crack at the dilemma. Although he uncovered some clues, which I have no clue about, there were no breakthroughs on why I am shut out. Since then, I have turned it over to Michael Fonville, former WCS projects' manager, who purchased and programmed both laptops I have owned. If Michael cannot figure it out, I'm not sure anyone can!

You might be wondering why I'm writing this in the first place. I mean, who hasn't had laptop issues? (One thing Phillip did discover was that the problem was in my computer and not in my ATT wireless connection.) Part of it is curiosity. No one I've talked to has ever heard of anything like this. But the real reason is much more problematic. I really need Facebook. I can use it on my school desktop but I am only at school for about ten hours a day. (I hope you caught the irony of only!) While I can post about my nightly devotional at my apartment, I can't show the accompanying picture. I cannot send a message to anyone unless their name runs across my news feed. I know it's ten months until I return to Vietnam but I rely on Facebook for a great deal of communication while abroad. If it isn't fixed or fixable, I'll have to have Michael order a new one for me. I probably would need a new one in fifteen months anyway but I'd like to keep this one as long as usable!

Have you ever been sidetracked by unseen roadblocks? Something is wrong but you can't figure out what it is? Once, I found I was getting nothing done and prayed for better use of time; lightning messed up my television and cable and BINGO, stuff fell back into place. I also found myself consumed by coaching high school basketball but couldn't see it until I was away from it for two years. What other things have kept me from a better relationship with the Lord? Peter tells us in his first epistle, in 3:7, that men's prayers can be hindered by the way they treat their wives. Pretty sure that's not been an issue for me! But a number of verses do speak of looking in the mirror with several of them referring to introspection. Often, the answer to our struggles might just take a long hard look in the glass of our hearts. Sometimes the image is ugly but necessary to get back on track, not always easy to do. Now, if only there was a mirror for Facebook!

Applicable quote of the day:
“The Social Networking Netiquette Loop: Read, share, like, and repeat.”
David Chiles 

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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