Zerubbabel Focus: Computers
Computers–a blessing or a curse. I haven’t decided which category I put them in, but they have become an integral part of society and cultures all over the world. Here in Boone, computers are used by all the individuals who work on The Intercessor, Z-News and financial programs for the running of Alpen Acres Motel and Zerubbabel Inc. I have enjoyed computer technology and been involved in computer systems for over twenty years and I have the privilege of using my technical talents in assisting all those here in Boone when computer needs arise.
It was only several years ago that we had an antiquated IBM PC with a blackand-white screen that was hard to see, out-of-date software, and a printer that had to be babysat whenever it was used. Sheryl Trethewey, known as Shay, would stand by the printer for 3 to 4 hours to make sure that the paper did not jam as labels were printed for sending gut The Intercessor magazine. When I first moved to Boone in April of 1995, I Nould assist Shay with printing labels. kfter several frustrating experiences vith the printer and hard-to-use label program, I thought, there has got to be a better way.
Changes were made. First of all, lew software was purchased to upgrade our other computer that was used for writing articles and keeping up with the ccounting needs. I developed a new database for printing the mailing labels for The Intercessor. Unfortunately, all the names and addresses from the old computer could not be transferred to the computer with the new programs so all the names had to be entered by hand. A few of our Boone folks came to the office whenever time allowed and typed in the entire mailing list. When All was completed, the old computer was disposed of. Vicki Bedell set up a computer her dad had given to her in place of the old one. Now we had two updated PC’s with color monitors.
The other benefit of the new label program was the ability to print out labels in twenty minutes. It was a real improvement from holding the paper and feeding the old printer for hours at a time. Shay was thrilled. The new label program allowed us to manipulate data so we could print labels for certain states or one individual.
Another area of the ministry that needed a technological solution was tracking and sending out orders for books and tapes. The book ministry staff kept track of the orders in a spiral notebook and shipping labels were printed by hand. Here was another opportunity for improvement. I used the same soft-ware that I used for our labels and developed an order entry program. The new program enabled us to enter Al the tapes and books and the unit cost. Now, when a new order is received it is entered, an invoice is generated, a label is created, and payments can be tracked. The program keeps a history of our orders. When a new order is received we can search and see if the individual has ordered from us before and keep track of books and tapes that have been purchased. This new program will also enable us to keep better track of our inventory and see which materials are requested most often.
I am very excited about all the new improvements that we have made and those that are yet to come. Presently we have a database of all the individuals who receive The Intercessor, a separate list for those who get Z-News, and a list for book and tape orders. I would eventually like to see us combine the three lists into one. All of the information would be consolidated into one data-base. This change would enable us to better serve our readers.
Along with developing better ways for us to operate I also serve as the resident "Help Center" for Zerubbabel Inc. When folks have computer questions, they usually call me. It is a perfect fit for me because I am employed by a local Christian organization to manage its computer Help Center. My staff there is responsible for supporting over 200 computers on-site in Boone, as well as supporting outlying field staff all over the world. God has given me talents that I use, not only to support my family, but to also make jobs easier and more efficient for our Zerubbabel ministry. I am grateful that I can be of service to those who spend many hours writing and editing on the computers. God has given each one of us talents and it is our responsibility as His children to use what we have received from His hands not only for our needs but also for the benefit of others.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 16 No 3
- The Law: Stepping Stone to Man’s Exposure
- To Think About…
- Editor’s Note
- A Look at a Book
- Summer Camp 2000, The Adults
- Tape Talk
- Bible Study: God’s Law
- A Life Transformed
- Zerubbabel Focus: Computers
- Questions & Answers
- Spontaneous Living
- The Laugh of Faith
- Youth Camp Report
- On the Web
- The Christian in the Workplace
- Leadership in Music
- "One Died for All, Therefore All Died"
- God’s Restoration of Man
- Only Men Count
- Intercession In Action
- Faith Produces Deeds…
- Words to Live By…