On September 1st, 1997, at around 6:20pm eastern time, the CF Devotionals home page was hit for the 2000th time since we started keeping count. It is exciting and humbling to know that people are at least stopping to take a look. Some of you stop regularly which is an enormous honor. It has taken about eight and a half months to get to this point. I wonder if we can make 3000 before the anniversary date in the middle of December.
It is interesting to note that through various means, such as webcrawlers (they search for strings of text in web pages and report them back to a person searching for something), not all our visitors hit the home page on a visit to the CF site. These readers go directly to pages that may contain the information they are searching for at the time. So not everyone gets counted. That revelation was interesting too. It could mean that the numbers are deceptively low.
At the same time, we must keep in perspective the idea that statistics are not the important thing. The pages are not even the important point in this whole exercise. It is the impact that Jesus has in lives through these pages that is the critical, central focus. So, while the numbers are great to see, there is no counter for encouraged hearts or souls led to Jesus as Savior. It is nice to get a note from someone who was touched by a particular page and that is a counter of sorts. Maybe Jesus will let us see those numbers when we got home. But, by then, all we will want to see is Him.
We have 'closed' every day via email or our website individually on a few months recently. I guess it was only a matter of time in some ways. The Lord has blessed us with this fantastic technology that allows us to reach out to people with encouragement and hope. In an on going attempt to be good stewards of the time remaining and the resources we have been provided, we have a victory in Jesus.
During the previous month of August, a devotional was emailed to our list and that devotional was posted on the website as well. There have been two months previously where we were able to send the devotionals out via email each day. And there was one month recently where this website had a devotional posted for each day. But this is a first providing both together.
A huge help in this regard has been Jennifer, one of our Web Editors. She has learned the things she needs to keep the daily pages updated. There may be a thing or two that may have to be adjusted after the fact for a bit. But she is doing very well indeed. It has also freed me up at a very critical time at work. Jennifer has been able to get the pages up in the same day on a fairly regular basis as well. This is another major improvement over my technique of a Saturday Posting Party every week. Thanks Jen!
Over the course of the last nine months, there have been a number of changes. Some have gone smoothly, some have been a little rough technically. Last month, I accidentally discovered that many of the home page lines were not pointing to the correct locations. This was scary and humbling all in the same breath.
A major effort has been put forth to correct the myriad of problems that were present. Some of these were simply small icons that did not load, others were links to other pages that were out of date. We hope that there were no major inconveniences and apologize for any problems you had as these problems went undetected. If you ever click on an object of any kind that does not work, please let us know. You will be doing us all a favor in helping to keep the CF Devotionals website functioning well.
In a day when personal freedoms are considered almost absolutely supreme, in the wake of attempting to legislate morality, sitting at the very heart of the matter is a word that some people done like much: responsibility. We have many rights in this country, some of which are run roughshod over in the name of some other compelling freedom.
All our freedoms come with a price tag. I have the right to free speech. As an author on this site, I appreciate it very much. I also have the right to practice religion without government interference. But is the right absolute? There is, as in the Christian life, a balance. I can say what I like, but I may not slander, I may not harass, I may not give away state secrets to foreign governments, etc. I am responsible for maintaining a level of socially enforced restriction on this freedom.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a Philadelphia lady as he left the Constitutional Convention, "Dr. Franklin, what have you given us?" He responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." The words ring in my head ... if you can keep it. The colonists, the citizens of this new fledgling nation, had a responsibility to this new republic if they wanted to keep it. If they did nothing, it would surely have been taken away.
Likewise, our freedoms end where another person's start, and vica versa. Respect for one another, and responsibility for our words and actions may be seen as passe by some. But that is a dangerous fools game. If you ignore the rules of safely driving a car, you will probably destroy the car and possibly kill yourself or others in the process. Rights automatically indicate responsibility to manage and maintain that right.
The earlier Yellow Ribbon - Freedom of Speech - campaign, run by I forget who, had a dangerous side to it as well. Freedom of Speech to these folks meant that children should have access to anything they want. In some cases this thinking is a little silly, in others it is simply dangerous. A child with a clock repair book is probably merely bored, while a child with access to any book or website at all could easily get tangled up in material they are not prepared to cope with.
We are flesh and blood with daily lives and trials just like most of you out there. From time to time, we will make prayer needs of staff members known to you, the readers. Interceding for us is another, wonderful way to support this ministry as well all go forward, growing in Christ.
Rick is moving his family. This can be a very unsetting time. They have a need to move fairly quickly, so that compounds the difficulty of the search for a suitable place. Please pray for Rick and his crew of charges during this time.
Sandi has a lot going on in her life and the life of her family. These requests will remain unspoken at this time. This by no means is an indication that the matters are not important. To the contrary, your prayers for Sandi's family will be deeply appreciated.
Thanks to those who can take time to pray and lift up these specific needs, in addition to the regular needs of each of our lives.
It is our pleasure to present these devotionals to you, the readers each day as God leads. As long as He leads and He tarries, we will do what we can to be here for you. We learn from our preparations for these pages. So, this is not a one way street. God is blessing us, as we hope He is blessing you.
If you have an idea for a topic, a comment or question on a devotional, or anything at all, please feel free to drop us a note. Even if it is a problem you have with something, we would like to do what we can to clear it up. God has blessed us with this little corner of cyberspace. Help us to make the very best of it we can.
Peace to you and yours,
David, Geoff, Jan, Jen, Mike, Rick, Sandi and Tim
September 14, 1997
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This page is a personal outreach of Webservants Ministries. We are a group of individuals who want only to share the gospel with the lost and equip the body of Christ in growing and reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ. If we can do anything to further assist you, or you have a reference you would like to share, please feel free to drop us a line at Webservants@cfdevotionals.org. Peace.