Author: Ron Graham
This page reports my voluntary ministry activities January to March 2011 —for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.
Dear Brethren... This report covers the first quarter of 2011.
During January and March, I presented twelve lessons in Bundaberg. One was a sermon for the new year called "Three New Things". Five new lessons came from the book of Revelation. Another three lessons were about hope, love, and peace; two more were about proper thinking in religious matters; and another was a timely lesson on "Why Do Disasters Happen?".
The brethren at Bundaberg often express appreciation of my pulpit ministry there. I try to build up and strengthen the members; many have considerable troubles to cope with.
During February I was in Tokyo with Susanne, and each Sunday we attended the Ochanomizu Church of Christ. I spoke five times to the English group which meets in the chapel on the seventh floor. Since English is a second language to many of the group, but most are university graduates, teaching needs to be simply and clearly expressed without losing the depth of content. Fortunately God has granted me that gift. So the group enjoyed my teaching. After Bible class and the sermon, the group goes up to the auditorium on the next floor to partake of the Lord's Supper with the Japanese. Around 200 people worship together there.
The church building rises to eight stories. The local council paid the cost of the building, in return for having the use of some floors rent free for 30 years. The church however owns the building and the land, and enjoys the use of the upper stories. At ground level, the church has its own entrance and reception area. I enjoyed meeting with the church, renewing several acquaintances, and experiencing the new building which was only a big hole in the ground on our previous visit to Tokyo.
Before flying to Tokyo, and upon our return, we met with the Wellington Point church in Brisbane for their Sunday service.
We left Tokyo exactly one week before the quake and tsunami happened. Had we been returning to Australia a week later, we would have been on the train somewhere between Tokyo and Narita airport at the time the quake hit. We would have been in an awful pickle. On facebook we have been able to get some news of family and church in Tokyo. While everyone has had a frightfull time, and their lives have been disrupted, Tokyo and the people we know escaped the kind of death and destruction further north.
In January, I was able to do a lot more work on my studies in Revelation the Book. The series is now nearing completion with only three lessons left to write, covering chapters 18 and 19.
The website grew by another twelve lessons. The website now provides 1004 Bible lessons, not counting quizzes, training, and other study pages. To pass the “thousand Bible lessons” milestone reinforced my gratitude to our Lord for his help, and you for yours, as over nine years this website has been built.
In addition to the new lessons, I worked on making the site function nicely for touch screen users. This will be an ongoing project, but not a very difficult one. I had my fill of hard and tedious projects last quarter, where I upgraded over 1000 pages. The aim was that the pages adapt themselves to devices of all sizes, automatically optimize their appearance when printed, and comply with the best modern standard (known as "XHTML strict"). But all the work was worth it. Not only did it enhance the users' experience, but it gained a great many more users and pushed the site past the “thousand daily visitors” milestone.
The number of daily visitors to the site (according to Google's analysis) has risen to over 1000 every day. For example, in the last week of March (typical of all weeks for the quarter) daily visitors and page views numbered as follows:
Visitors: 1153, 967, 1139, 1088, 1161, 1231, 1255. Pageviews: 2266, 2186, 2361, 1977, 2195, 2375, 2455.
Previously the site would get just over 1000 visitors on a few days, but on other days it would be down to 800 or so. For this quarter, the number of visitors dipped just under 1000 on a handful of days, and on all the other days was well over 1000. Visitor numbers even got up to 1200 on some days. Why is this so? Well, Google rewards, with a higher ranking, those sites which comply well with modern standards. And a higher ranking gets more visitors.
Again I say a big thank you to the people who have assisted me in my work. Without you, I could not do it.
Love and best wishes in Jesus,