Hidden Workings and Perfumes that linger

This week I’ve started the process of using Vimeo to display all of the videos on our website.

I say ‘started’ because we have more than 450 videos to ‘process’ and each one needs a little work before it can be added to Vimeo.

Vimeo, word, blue

I sorted out 65 videos, or so, today, and that’s me done until the allowance for uploads refreshes and I can load up some more. You can do the maths – it’ll take, perhaps, 6 months to finish what I’m currently doing.

Once a video is uploaded I then have to add a thumbnail image, add the subtitles and captions, and then click on a few other things to ensure it’s all good to go! I can then add that video to the relevant page or post on the website, delete the YouTube version of the exact same video, and move on to the next video to sort out.

YouTube was our starting point, some 2 years ago, but adverts can now suddenly appear, which we have no control over. Since everything we produce is designed to be what we would describe as family safe, this issue of adverts has always been something we’ve not been happy with but have never been quite sure how to overcome it.

And, now, we have a solution.

We’re not ditching YouTube. We’re simply using something that we have more control over for the many videos on our website, with the added bonus that you can also super easily download the Vimeo videos directly from our video while on the Vimeo website, or easily embed them on your own website or blog should you want to. And, to my critical eye, they look a lot better too! (if you’re a little more geeky, then this is because of how Vimeo process the videos I upload, which YouTube does not do – Vimeo is very much focused on a quality end result).

When you watch videos on our website in the future you won’t have to worry about any annoying adverts before, during, or after our videos. Although it will take a little while to complete all of this though. At the current rate (mostly due to limits set by Vimeo) it’s going to be about another 6 months or so before this process is completed.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, what I’m currently doing behind the scenes is, well, rather hidden.

I know the videos are rather an obviously visible thing, but a YouTube video or a Vimeo video doesn’t look all that different to visitors to our website when one is scrolling along. The work that makes it happen is simply not something that is visible.

There’s always a cost to obeying God.

For us, this time, it’s spending out some money to ensure our content stays family friendly. It isn’t money we have to spare, but if I’ve learned anything as a Christian over the past 35 years or so, it’s that God always provides where He guides.

We prayed about it, tested what we thought God was asking us to do, and then went for it. And, for us, that’s when the peace comes, which it did: we’ve been living with this pattern of living ever since we first asked God to teach us faith, sold our home, and moved into a shop that was later to be forced to close by the recession, when the faith journey really kicked in to overdrive!

I’ve also learned that, when you’re following God in faith, you often have to spend out – for the faith part – first. Maybe that’s just us but we’ve seen that numerous times now. It might be money, or time, or resources we have to lose. But “to obey is better than sacrifice”, and that’s something we’ve similarly learned repeatedly.

Whatever we are doing, as Christians, we should be visible. But, much like the videos on our website, we shouldn’t stand out so much that we annoy people. It needs to blend in just enough that it doesn’t annoy others, all while standing out sufficiently so it can’t be missed.

I remember a March for Jesus, back in the early 1990s, when the traffic had been brought to a standstill by the Police, so the many hundreds of Christians marching that day could pass by the Molineux Football Club in Wolverhampton, on our way into the town centre. People in their cars – on that very hot day – were not happy at being made to wait. One well meaning church goer went up to an especially agitated man sitting in his car, and told him that Jesus loved him. The man simply told the woman, in the strongest, most expletive ridden methods possible, what she could do with her sentiment.

It certainly made me think twice about how effective a ministry was that caused such anger and hatred against it. I’m not suggesting Christians should hide either, but I’m also pretty certain that woman’s actions and words did more than good that day.

In our Christian walks with God we need that same balance in our day to day living – we should never hide our faith. It’s really tempting to do so when we are concerned for our jobs, our livelihood or our families. But, with God, and whatever the cost may be, it’s always worth paying because it is simply impossible to out give God, when we are acting at God’s direction.

I’ve heard it once described, of our living as Christians Jesus, that it should be like the effects of a sweet smelling perfume; we should ‘smell’ of Jesus, carrying His scent everywhere we go so people know we have been in the room because that fragrance, much like a fine perfume, lingers in the air whether we are there or not.

Just a [written] thought…

Andy B


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