Godly Christian Ministry News

Was It Worth It?

This is the major update that has been in process for nearly two years. Countless hours have gone into database work, design, and programing in order to bring this site to where you see it today. There has been many long nights, several head aches, and priceless programing experience gained. Therefore the question is, “Has it been worth it?” 

Had I understood the cost in the beginning, I may have never set foot on this path. Back in October 2006, I set forth to start learning a new programing language with the hope of being able to utilize what I had learned to rebuild www.GodlyChristianMusic.com. I had done some programing in the past and figured that after a month or two I would be able to get started on the task. Little did I know what I was getting into. Before me was a programing language that was far more complex than I had ever dreamed and only after a couple month of dabbling with some videos and books did I realize that I had not even scratched the surface. At a certain point, I finally realized that in order to be successful with the task before me, I would have to devote myself to studying and reading a major text book for several months. And so the task began... 

Day after day for weeks on end I read. Then I read some more until about seven months passed and I came to the end of over 800 pages of technical jargon. At that point, I was simply trying to get an overview of the programing language and had not yet even attempted any significant amount coding with the new language. Nevertheless, my first attempts were also met with several barriers to cross. 

When I first started programing, I quickly found my book knowledge certainly was not up to par with my experience. Even the most simple tasks rendered error upon error. But such were the least of my difficulties when I began working with some new hosting companies. One thing the text book never covered was how to work with the environment that my website hosting company was providing. The problems multiplied with an upgrade to Windows Vista which rendered a few key programs useless that I have found to be essential to my work. In addition, my hosting company had a number of issues of its own. 

During that time my hosting company started a several month process of upgrading their system. Their changes slowed down many necessary functions which prevented me from being able to work. In addition, they had some kind of problem that made it impossible for me to access www.GodlyChristianMusic.com from my home. When everything had settled down, I had already gone through three different companies over the course of about two months. Each switch taking over a week to get everything back up and working properly. Yet this was only the beginning of trials. 

Around the same time, I came to the conclusion that my knowledge of graphic and web design were going to fall far short of my goals with the site. So after about a month of deliberation, I finally broke down and purchased a major Adobe(R) package. This marked a new horizon of learning as plunged into several tutorial videos and waded through prolonged tinkering sessions struggling to grasp how to use this professional design software. From the onset, I found myself wresting through a totally different perspective of design than I had ever encountered before. The tools were powerful, but they weren't as simple and intuitive as the cheaper programs that I had been familiar with in the past. Nevertheless, after more than a month's worth of study and design, a simple new look to the site was produced that remained the appearance of the website from around November 2007 to September 2008. 

After the new look had been completed, I began the first major stage of programing. It all started with a lot of planning and then some database work. From there, labor on the back end of the site commenced. I wanted to create a system that artists would be able to log in and see what songs were being downloaded. In addition, I wanted to give artists the ability to post new songs and manage their section of the website. This had several obstacles, but the greatest was clearly attempting to apply what I had read from the textbook nearly a year before I reached this point. When the administrative side to the website was completed, it marked the first major victory and mile marker in completing the process. 

The next greatest task would be designing the user interface which would become the familiar appearance to the common user. The design process was long and tedious. Trying to come up with an elegant design that would remain simple and intuitive for the average internet surfer was something that took nearly two months. But once the design was created, all the programing that followed took just about as long. Through many debugging session the site came to an acceptable level of completion and the process of deployment took place. 

This entire process of design and development of the site has been full of trials, but they have only been piece in the puzzle that slowed or stopped the website from moving forward. In the midst of all the website work that went on, I was also working to bring my home to the place of having running water, heat, and modern flooring (something more than plywood). Also during this season of work, many of my friends faced many difficulties which frequently pulled me away from my work, to help and pray. 

Despite everything that has made this site difficult to produce, it is now available and I am faced with the question, “Was it worth it?” But this is where you come in. As Apostle Paul spoke of the difficulties that he faced at times, he frequently exhorted his readers not to feel sorrow over his trials because they were necessary for their joy. In the same way, I am not try to make you feel sorry for me, but I am pleading with you... don't make my labor in vain. Use the site and encourage others through the music found within its pages. Build up the body of Christ through it and with it, so that when I stand before the throne, I will hear that it was worth it! 

PS. Thank you for your prayers, God has been listening.