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THE BEGINNING OF - MY LIFE ON THE WEB

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Today, I can hardly remember a time when I was not on a computer, or online with my website. But, it was a very humble beginning. Our son, who is a computer programmer, tried to encourage us for years, to get a computer. He kept telling his Dad and me what we could do online. He was the owner of a BBS at the time, and reaching people all over the place. He lived it day and night, at work and at home. Sounded okay for him, but Mom and Dad? No way!

My son finally won; we purchased a computer, and got wrapped up in doing 'our thing', which, at the time, did not include being 'online'. After all, these are older parents who have no intention of being online, where everyone gets to know 'your business', and who you are, and possibly find out where you live. I look back on those days with fond memories. Never in a thousand years would I have begun to realize what I was getting myself into, when we bought that first computer.

My husband soon got transferred on his job. He was already addicted to the computer. He didn't have much to do during the week, when I wasn't there, to keep him busy, so he quickly got a computer. So that started the 'his and hers' in our family, and we couldn't do without them today.

I got on my son's BBS, began to meet people around the world, and find out that this is indeed fun! Meeting people over the air, realizing that we could make friends miles apart, was great! I soon had friends in Alabama (my home state), England (two relationships I've kept up with over the period of years), Florida, Ohio, Texas, California, and many more states.

While my husband was in another state, we got online. I got heavily into the Christian forums, meeting people, discussing the Bible, and just really enjoying my time online. I didn't realize that so many people out there were hungry for more of the Word, to study, and fellowship with other believers. I've met many of my online friends, and, hopefully, will meet many more of them. I will never have the opportunity to meet a great person I met when I first got online, on a Christian Hotel forum. She has gone on to be with God. Although she was sickly the whole time I knew her, she always had a positive outlook on life, and could keep you 'in stitches' the whole time you were on the phone with her. She is deeply missed. I thank God that I had the opportunity to come online and make her acquaintance, and now share memories of her with her other friends.

As the time passed online, my son suggested that I get myself a homepage. I thought, 'you have to be kidding! Me? No way! I don't want the responsibility; besides, I'm not that computer literate! Or, at least, I didn't think so at the time. But, things change.

In October of 1996, I had gone shopping and bought the magazine, PC NOVICE. It happened to have a simple template for setting up a website in that issue. I decided to play around; you know, nothing would ever come of that. I set the templates up, worked on a page, just experimenting with the 'thought' of a web page, not that I would ever have one. God had another idea! During the night, he planted the idea of the Christian page in my mind. When I awoke the next morning, I had the name of my website implanted into my brain. So, I sat down, knowing absolutely nothing about HTML, and began my 'life on the web' ministry. I would go to other pages, study what they did, their layouts, and how they put things together to make them look good on the pages. I quickly picked up on HTML and put together four pages. Three days later, on October 5, 1996, I had them up and running. I sent my son a note to take a look, and his response was, "Wow! I thought I'd just find a 'generic looking' web page, and here you've put up some of the best I've seen." I told him that, if I'm to do a job, I do it right. And, that especially goes for a job done for the Lord!

That same year, back in August, I had met the now 'famous' Peggie, from Peggie's Place. Over the years, she has become my best online friend, one of my most trusted friends and confidant. She is also my best encourager and critic. She had pushed me into going forth with devotionals, both weekly and daily. She and I both began our newsletters about the same time. We do our 'complaining and crying on each other's shoulder', both in email and on the phone. She has been the lifeline between myself and my web page, at times, giving me ideas on new pages, as well as lots of information that turns out to be a devotional. I do believe GOD led us along the Web together, to become His servants online and best friends. We share many things between us, and, had we not ever discovered the way of the internet, we'd never have met.

But, God always has a plan, and follows through. And, I thank Him for leading me in this direction, for His leading me to Peggie, and for His Holy Spirit's involvement in every page I make. Barbara's Entourage is here because of Him, will stay here for Him and His service. And, with Peggie's friendship, we will continue to 'reach the world' with the gospel of Jesus Christ, sharing in the highs and lows of this 'life on the web'.

©Copyright October 13, 2000-2002 by Barbara Sanders. All rights reserved.
Not to be copied without permission.

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