I’M FEELING PAUL’S PAIN. On his voyage to Rome for trial in Caesar’s supreme court, his ship broke apart off the coast of the island of Malta. He must have been feeling lucky when he made it to shore alive and about the time a poisonous snake bit him.
He survived. I hope I do, too, because I’m feeling the double whammy.
I apologize for the glitches with the last couple of blog articles, and pray this one doesn’t mess up, too. I’m trying to catch up to a couple new website designs and the unfamiliar coding that goes with them.
The first post was sent out based on the setup for the old website. So, the blog article looked like Frankenstein’s homemade cat. Not my fault.
The second post wasn’t supposed to go to you at all. My fault.
I was trying to create a hidden page with a link for my Sunday morning Bible study group. Well, they got it. So did everyone else.
It was an audio file of me singing with my kindergarten grandson. Happily, I password-protected the page (which I thought would make it available to only those with the password). But all it protected was the song.
Well, that’s not quite right. It protected you, too, from having to listen to it.
There was actually a third strike. I noticed it at 1:45 a.m. this morning. The wrong intro somehow got pulled onto the homepage promo for this blog. Instead of picking up the first few lines of this blog article, it picked up the first part of an earlier blog.
I will be in conversation about this in a few hours.
I know, “What are you doing up at 1:45 in the morning?”
I’m catching another glitch, bug, mistake, oversight, whatever you want to call it. And at 1:45 in the morning, a lot of descriptive words come to mind.
At least I caught this mistake before my subscribers saw it.
What a royal pain. I know you know the feeling.
Okay, I’m off to bed for a second time. I’ll probably not fall asleep right away.
A full plate
Let me give you a quick review of where I am right now and why things are a bit wild. After the last two blogs, I owe you that much.
This is what I’m trying to do at the moment, now and in the immediate weeks ahead.
- Continue paraphrasing Isaiah. I start Isaiah 15 today.
- Don’t mess up again. Figure out how to create and post this blog article without messing it up a third time in a row.
- Bible maps. Create Bible maps for Isaiah.
- Learn SEO, search engine optimization. I’ve not been doing well with helping search engines find the Casual English Bible® and its maps. I need to learn the SEO language and make time to optimize all these Bible chapters. Or hire someone to do it. I don’t want to take the time to do something this boring. But it has to be done. And I don’t see anyone else in my office. Even 12-year-old Buddy the Dog stays downstairs now.
- Review editing. We’ve hired an editor to begin checking and polishing my draft of the New Testament. That’s a good thing. But that will involve my time in reading the edited work.
- Print Casual English Bible New Testaments. Once the editor finishes editing the New Testament, we hope to produce two printed editions of the Casual English Bible®. One with text only, including footnotes. One that includes Bible maps.
- Invite donations. Which brings up the Donor and Patreon systems we’ve added to allow people who want to help us pay the costs of keeping the Casual English Bible® live and free for people who haven’t read the Bible before…that’s who we target with this casual style of paraphrasing that we use. Here’s the video about that: Welcome to the Casual English Bible.
- Ads added. We’ve added advertising, to help fund the site. I’ve got to figure out the best approach, with the least intrusion. I don’t think we’re there yet.
- Create Bible study videos. I do this to use visuals to teach the Bible and to help point people to the Casual English Bible website. But mostly, I do it for fun. It’s a change of pace when I need that. And it’s a tiny source of income, barely enough to cover the cost of creating the videos. If I focused more time here, I could generate more income. But I need to focus mainly on paraphrasing the Bible. That process is the opposite of income. And the problem with that is this: the Old Testament is huge.
- Run the Map & Leaders Guide Store. We’ve added a Store feature to the Casual English Bible® website. That’s where people can go to buy the Bible atlases, individual maps, and the book by book Q&A leaders guides. I’ve got to run the store. I think it might need some tweaking.
- Tag every new Bible map for searches. Every place name on every map I create has to be entered into online tag boxes. That allows all of us to search for maps by place names or by the descriptive titles I use. It’s a great search engine feature. But I have to feed it words; yet this is boring time well spent. As is the following:
- Mark up the Bible for posting. Every Bible chapter needs coded verse-by-verse for placement on the website. The development team did a lot in the setup and saved me a lot of time over how I had to do it before. But I’ve got to code it, too. Boring.
I’m a one-man company. If any of the above is going to happen. I have to make it happen, or hire someone…like a web developer, web designer, copy editor. I’ve hired all of those in the last few months.
My day usually starts with paraphrasing a Bible chapter. Morning is the best part of my day and I give that time to the writing. It almost always goes the entire normal workday, from 8 or 9 in the morning until around 5 in the afternoon, or later.
Most all the other stuff I do in the evenings and on weekends. Sometimes I’ll take a day or longer away from the paraphrasing.
I had to take a couple weeks off when we switched the Casual English Bible® website to the current version. What a headache for everyone involved. It’s not as though we had a plugin Bible template. The site had to be invented to fit the content. What we have is a creation developed by the design and development team in Texas . They worked on the site taking cues and miscues from me and my son, who’s a marketing exec.
Here’s how you can help
Be patient. I’m trying to get back up to speed. But I’m still learning how to double-clutch these big rigs.
Let me know if something on this website or the CasualEnglishBible.com is bothersome, hard to use, or confusing. I don’t think we’re where we need to be. But with a little help from my friends, I think we’ll get there.
Buy our Bible atlases and book by book Leaders Guides. They’re inexpensive, and you get more than you pay for. I sure hope, since I created every last one of them.
I’d say pray, but that’s a given. Ask God to give me the words I need, the focus that’s required, and the sense to know when to break away and go to a grandson’s soccer game, a granddaughter’s birthday party, or to the garage to finish that wooden stool for the youngest granddaughter. (I’ve made something in wood for each grandchild. Wood usually lasts longer than bones.)
Peace to you.