Labour Of Love

This is probably of no interest to anyone other than myself, but having spent the best part of the last few days editing various aspects of the blog, I'm feeling quite pleased with myself and am very happy with the results.

It's been a real labour of love as I've revisited just about every single post, realigning photos and videos to make sure they're optimised. I've deleted a few posts, though I've kept that to a minimum so as to preserve as much of the blog's integrity as possible.

A large chunk of my time was spent reinserting photos which Blogger had decided to lose. At some point they closed their Picasa album site in favour of their own photo storage and in the midst of that, they lost a lot of my photos. Cheers Google!

Sadly there are a few posts such as Farting Wellies that have lost their photos forever. Somewhere between Google messing up and domestic computer crashes we seem to have lost quite a chunk of photos which we're unable to recover.

All the missing photos have now been restored. See Sweet Sixteen for more details.

Oh happy day!

One of the most time consuming aspects of this has been resolving the issue of mixed content affecting security. Basically, the blog runs on https:// whilst most of the photos, videos and links are http:// which is rightly frowned upon in our security conscious age. Google take a dim view of this but thankfully they partly redeem themselves over the photo debacle by making it quite easy to resolve the mixed content issue, even if it is a tad time consuming. Another time consuming aspect was sorting out the fonts on the blog bringing some unity and cohesion to the look and feel of it. 

For all the technical stuff, which is quite fun, the best bit of this exercise has been reliving the memories, the good and the bad, the sweet and the painful. It's been sad to reflect on how many people we've worked with over the years who are dead now. However it's also exciting to see that much of what we do now as The Gathering had its seeds sown through our early ministry in Chris Nissen (as well as in Zimbabwe and Tanzania). We have always sought to address physical needs alongside spiritual needs just as Jesus himself modeled

It's been great to reflect too on the amazing people we've met along the way, some for a brief moment in time, others we have had the privilege of walking a longer road with, and we're thankful for all those who have positively spoken into our lives.

I've never been one for keeping a diary or journaling, they're just not my thing, but in many respects this blog is a journal of sorts. Having spent so much time over the last few days sprucing it up and fixing some issues with it, I've come to realise that this blog would be an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to get to know me/us, to know about our passions and what makes us tick. Over the years we've had a few people tell us that we should write a book about our experiences and this blog would be a great starting point for that. It would also be fun to revisit some of the stories and characters on here and tell the real stories behind the pictures. Maybe one day...

With the rise of social media the blog has taken a back seat in in more recent years, especially with Facebook and it's instant connectivity, so much so that I've thought about ditching the blog a few times, but with the coronavirus pandemic bringing me back to blogging regularly I've fallen in love with it again and definitely prefer it to FB and Instagram (I recently deleted my Insta account). Keeping up on the various social media platforms can be time consuming so I for one am limiting my presence and am only on Blogger and FB for now, which is tiring enough!

So for now I hope you enjoy the blog.

How a  video post looked before...

...and how they look now


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