Author: Ron Graham
Ron Graham’s Report
—For Oct-Nov-Dec 2010
This page holds the reports on my voluntary ministry activities for —for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.
Dear Brethren... This report covers the final quarter of 2010. We had the wettest Spring for many years and it looks like Summer will be an old fashioned wet season. More about the wet later in this bulletin.
Lessons at Bundaberg
I taught and preached on 21 occasions at Bundaberg during October, November and the first Sunday of December 2010. That comprised 10 Sunday sermons, 6 Sunday Adult classes, and 5 midweek lessons. Most of these lessons were devoted to the Parables of Jesus. I spoke on the nature of parables and about their themes. Other lessons were expositions of selected parables.
Very wet weather interfered with our mid week attendances. We have given up driving at night in wet weather, and there were several wet Wednesday nights. However we always got to Bundaberg on Sundays whatever the weather, because it is much easier and safer in daylight. That was until December 12...
We set out for church twenty minutes earlier than usual because the rain had been extreme and we feared there may be holdups. It was worse than we expected. We took the main road rather than one of our back ways. But even the main road had flooded. We noticed that oncoming traffic from Bundaberg had ceased except for one or two large vehicles. We decided that if we went on we could be stranded, so we turned back home and observed the Lord's Supper by ourselves at home.
Two days later we saw the state of the roads and decided that even if it wasn't raining there's no way we could avoid those pot holes in the dark, so we notified the brethren that we would be absent raining or not. Well at just the time when we would have been on our way, the biggest black thunderstorm hit, with cracking thunder, blinding lightning and an absolute deluge.
Our local paper reported (front page and more inside) that on Sunday the 12th Childers, Gin Gin, and some other towns were cut off in all directions. Even the main highway was cut in several places. Around the area, several roads and bridges were damaged badly. One lady in Childers attempted to drive through a flooded section of a main road and was washed with her car into the torrent. She got out the car window and climbed on to the roof. She was rescued just in time by some men who had a boat handy, but she almost lost her life.
And Also Fire
I know you like to read our dramas, and the half has not yet been told. We also had a fire in our kitchen. We returned home from a four-hour outing to find the house full of heat and smoke. The stove top was glowing red and there was a heap of ashes on it, and more ash on the floor. Some place mats had been left on the stove top covers, and we think I knocked the stove knobs on when I brushed past the stove at one point, then we went out without realising what had happened. On our return, there had obviously been a lot of flame. Its a wonder and a blessing that the whole house did not burn down.
As it was, the stove and rangehood were ruined, the bench top and floor damaged, and a really nasty stink permeated the whole house, floors, walls, and ceilings. The smell got into our clothes, curtains, carpets, indeed everything. The insurance quickly arranged for the house to be fumigated with ozone and then cleaned totally. Then, over the next few weeks they replaced the damaged items in the kitchen. So our home has been topsy turvy for a couple of months but at least it was back to rights a week before Christmas.
This quarter was very busy for work on simplybible.com. The project was to upgrade 1,300 web pages in three ways...
- The first was 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 was to ensure that all lesson pages print properly, looking as professional on paper as they do on the screen.
- The final aim was to ensure that pages comply with the best modern standard (known as "xhtml strict").
All these goals were better than 99% achieved. This was a huge job and very tedious. I could have broken up the work into three separate and consecutive tasks. However, it was more efficient to do the three things at once, because then I only had to set up once.
Now people can easily print the website lessons. Furthermore, people with disabilities can see a simplified version of any lesson with large and easy-to-read type. People with hand held devices can view the site in a more suitable format. In addition, being now XHTML strict, the site will work reliably on a variety of computer and internet systems (“platforms”). So quite a lot of improvements have been achieved.
A Free Ad on National TV
At the end of December, Bundaberg (like many other places) suffered severe flooding. In a national television newscast, one of the roadside billboards advertizing the website was shown standing in floodwaters. The sign pretty much filled the screen and was clearly readable. That was pretty good ay, even if the flood wasn't.
A Short Break
The last half of December I set aside for some respite from the computer and pulpit work. We spent Christmas in Brisbane with family and met on the two Sundays with the church at Wellington Point.
May you have a blessed New Year. Thanks so much for your interest in 2010, and I hope you'll continue to encourage my ministry in 2011. Your servant and Christ’s,