When our son Craig was attending college in Rochester, N.Y. he discovered a local restaurant tradition known as a ‘Garbage Plate’ which was quite popular with students, as you can imagine. As the title suggests, a garbage plate is a Rochester original that many local eateries have re-made into their own variations.

A garbage plate begins with a plate (!). Then they add a concoction of your choice: some starchy foods (home fries, French fries, etc.) paired with more starchy foods (macaroni salad, baked beans, etc.) then one or more protein foods (hamburger, sausage, chicken, Red Hots, etc.) then some other stuff (onions, cheese, mustard, gravy, hot sauce, etc) is layered indelicately on top. With a side of buttered bread.

Yeah, I know.

Sounds great.

Well the thing is, a website is a kind of garbage plate. Now hear me out … a web site requires an assemblage of varied ingredients beginning with vision, willingness, support, work and of course, money. Then somebody has to design and build the site, create ongoing content for the site, and monitor, update and maintain it. Like anything worthwhile, Tipping Idols has an iceberg-like volume of work that is done below the surface in order to have the content you see.

Tipping Idols continues to evolve and we have been making some subtle changes to make it more convenient for you to use and enjoy. You may have noticed in the past that it took a long time to download and access the site but we have been able to improve our speed noticeably in the last week so hopefully it is more pleasant for you to use. I know it is much better for us at this end of things.

I want to thank the IT Department – also known as Cheryl – for all her work to increase our speeds as well as the other behind-the-scenes touchups and maintenance. She has been at her computer for hours every day this week, using her talents to make a number of changes.

I’m not really knowledgable about this stuff but here is a list some of the hippy-dippy tekkie work I have observed her doing:

  • tinkering with things like servers and plugins and backups and banners and caches, to name a few;
  • probably some cutting, soldering and taping wires together… but I’m just guessing;
  • waiting (im)patiently for technical support;
  • talking to herself a lot;
  • getting blank stares from me while explaining what she was doing.

Anyway, a website needs time and effort. It requires a team of technical and creative people and in this case that team is Cheryl and Brian. And one of us has a lot of different items on her full plate.

So I want to thank Cheryl publicly. It is her choice to work invisibly to ensure that Tipping Idols happens. It began as a gift to me so I could work out my creative need to write but it has become a ministry that she cares about very much.

Talk much, say little.

This week she backed up the site and also printed hard copies of this year’s blogs. As you can see from the binders in the picture, we’ve been busy!

Going forward, we want to add more varied content like audio and video blogs, interviews, reviews, guest blogs, etc. but will do it slowly, at a rate that we can manage.

You can help us by checking out the site as often as you can and by recommending it to friends and family who might find it worthwhile. Feel free to ‘like’ or ‘share’ on Facebook or any of the other media platforms.

We simply hope to reach out to anyone who is interested in God and people stuff. We want to connect real life with the divine in a way that is fun and relevant without the stuffiness and craziness that usually comes with it.

So at this gifting time of year, we want to thank you for the gift of your interest in this part-time adventure. And we pray that you will have a fun, warm and blessed season celebrating the arrival of Immanuel, God with us.