Come and get your pictures! And, an pre-Feast announcement.
Things have been busy around here! In between holy days and daily life, or more like late at night at 1:00 am, I’ve been busy testing out various scenarios, and I’ve come up with something that I find an exciting possibility to serve people who cannot make it to the Feast this year, and you can be a part of it! I want to carefully test it out, though, as I want to ensure that everything can be done using the same user information throughout.
First, though, some changes will need to be made to the site overall, and I’ve even begun tweaking some things in anticipation of changes, as one change I want in place before the Feast begins.
“Pictures! Get Your Pictures!”
When I originally posted pictures from HWA’s autobiography, there were no copies of it I could find with the images still in them. As of this writing, I still have not found a Volume 2 electron ic copy with the images. I scanned them all in at very high resolution, as I had no real idea of what I was going to do with them (or anyone else). At any rate, I want to make some room, and I’m going to take them down. I am going to start yanking them this coming Sunday.
Blog Theme (Look and Feel)
WordPress is an impressive platform and can do a lot of things. It is a different platform than the wiki, so there will be a challenge to:
- De-clutter the blog.
- Make the look and feel somewhat consistent.
- Give it a more fresh and stylish look.
I don’t know if all three of these can be achieved to my satisfaction. I may actually live with what we have until after the Feast because of all the other work going on.
Feast of Tabernacles Forum
While doing all this work, it turns out that it isn’t that much more difficult to offer up a forum for the Feast of Tabernacles that people can use to post about their Feast experiences. If people want to participate, this means that people who cannot go to the Feast can feel like they are virtual participants.
Yeah, people can do the same via Facebook or Google+, but the main advantage is that this site is specific to people who would be interested in the FOT. It will be like the Feast reports printed in The Journal, but it will be during the Feast rather than the succeeding months.
My understanding is that bbPress can use a plugin to allow pictures to be uploaded as well, so this will be an interesting experiment.
bbPress will use WordPress usernames and logins, so there is no extra work involved. So far, the only difficulty I’ve noticed isn’t even with bbPress but with BuddyPress using the correct user image/avatar. However, bbPress runs the forums, and it seems to do the right thing.
This also opens up the possibility for group specific forums, so, say, you wanted a closed COGWA or UCG forum in which people need to be invited, that is a possibility. I don’t want to get off into the weeds here, but it might prove useful one day.
Some Will Never Be a Part of Us
Of course, I realize that there are those who will never be a part of this community, and that’s OK. In many cases, the irony is that I’m able to pull this off for so long independently of any organizational backing is also why some will reject it. In particular:
- Some organizations scare their members away from social media because if the truth were shown, their members might leave. It’s sort of ironic that the ones who are loudest about proclaiming The Truth® will be the first to worry about members learning the real truth.
- Some organizations are scared that their members might actually do something independent, have independent thought or actually make decisions on their own, so they will not even offer their own version of social media lest people actually engage and share information amongst themselves. There actually are traces of this sort of mindset in the most liberal of organizations, BTW, which I find troubling.
- Some organizations have such a limited vision that unless it is paid for out of their coffers it just isn’t for them. Meanwhile, this site runs on a shoestring budget, asks for no donations, has faced possible shutdowns from various threats, and yet God keeps on blessing its existence. Success of sites like this are perceived as a threat instead of a partner, I’m afraid.
- Some still cannot get over the notion that God can actually work with whomever He will, and there are documented examples in the Bible of Him working with multiple people at the same time rather than “one man” at a time.
But, that’s OK. To a very large degree:
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
~ 1Jn 2:19
Christianity is not a popularity contest. However, if you have the time and inclination, consider signing up for an account if you have not already. We do have a responsibility to care for one another, build bonds with one another and show love for one another. That especially goes to those who for health and/or finances cannot go to the Feast.
There have always been the poor and such who could not attend, and God gives us instructions for dealing with them:
14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
~ Dt 16:14
The constant references to “within thy gates” implies that they themselves might not be able to go. It also goes back to the sphere of influence I constantly bring up, in that you do what you can within what is under your control and leave the rest to God. That includes blessing others with the proportion of what God has blessed you with throughout the year.
There are other ways to help out as well, obviously. If someone is at the Feast but cannot afford a lot, take him or her out to a nice restaurant. If someone cannot make it at all, send them a nice personalized card. Pray for them. Buy them a small gift, if appropriate (it isn’t always, so check those assumptions). Be creative, get others involved and show the spirit of love that Jesus talked about so often.
Regardless, may you have the best Feast ever, may it be filled with spiritual lessons, and may your light shine wherever you go.