Last night was supposed to be the State of the Catch. Well, after last night, I can only say that the state of the Catch is filled with hope, but the state of John and Marti, however, is another thing. We’re the ones running an Internet ministry and we can’t operate a cell phone? It was a comedy of errors made more blatant by the fact that we had worked so hard to get as many people watching live as possible.
It started with a creative idea of Marti’s to introduce my talk with a short video using the song, “Wide Angle.” The fun part was that it involved a number of you taking part and that made it great. But then we realized we could not introduce a live broadcast with a pre-recorded piece, so we decided the idea warranted pre-recording the whole thing.
I finished recording my talk an hour before “showtime” and went to upload it so our producer, Gunnar Simonsen, could get it ready to post at six o’clock. After about 45 minutes, only about 20% of it had uploaded (it ended up taking three hours). We would never make it. What should we do? We decided we would go live and then publish the recorded version with the video later.
We had 9 minutes to get ready. We had to find a new spot closer to our Internet source because we didn’t have enough wi-fi for live broadcast. Now we had to use a cell phone instead of laptop, and the phone was difficult to prop up because the power plug comes out the bottom and you have to have it upright for Facebook live, and it was almost out of juice. Four minutes to go and we were fumbling with the apparatus, and the lighting, and my notes, and I became quite anxious and unfocused — not what I envisioned for my first State of the Catch speech. Six o’clock and off I went nervous and distracted, trying to be excited and animated. After a few minutes, the phone went dead. It was plugged into the wall, but the wall plug must have been bad.
Now match this up with my message of Grace, and I’m talking about how great Grace is while inside I am agitated and frustrated with just about everything, so when the phone went dead, it was just another nail in the coffin of our great plans and expectations. Do I sound like someone ready to give a message about Grace? Actually I do, because at this point, I need it so badly.
Of course, now it would take a number of minutes to charge Marti’s phone back up, so we went to my phone which didn’t pick up wi-fi as well and we had to move around to find another spot. Minutes later, we were back on live Facebook wondering if there was still anybody around. Three more short attempts interrupted by bad connections and we finally raised the white flag. We punted. We gave up, and posted a message on Facebook that called on God’s grace to be turned outward to us. Suddenly I had become a living example of our message: you get Grace all the time, but you really know it when you blow it.
So now we were just waiting for the recorded talk to finish uploading and Gunnar to put it all together so we could get the video out at least by in the morning. That’s when Gunnar informed me that the video wasn’t complete. It cuts off about 3 minutes prior to the end of my talk. Didn’t think to check that. This is the good take we’re talking about — the one that took 3 hours to upload. We waited 3 hours to upload a mistake.
Is God’s Grace over all this? Yes. Does it feel like it is? No. It feels like we are being thwarted at every turn. Does He have a plan He hasn’t told us about? Undoubtedly. So we barreled ahead going for a breakthrough somewhere.
That breakthrough came when we finished a whole new recording that we love at 3 in the morning. We were going to splice on the ending, but the opportunity for a do-over seemed like the right thing.
So are we ready? No yet. This morning I found two more videos it would have been horrible to miss. Gunnar is going to be able to work them in, but it will mean a new edit of the whole front end. He had it ready to go to YouTube, but now it will have to wait some more. These people are too important, and would you believe, Gunnar has a funeral to attend. We can wait. As Marti always says: “We do the right things for the right reasons.”
So when you finally get your State of the Catch (whenever that is), we hope you will watch it all the way through, and that you will discover the State of the Catch, peering into a new frontier, is very exciting indeed. And as for the state of Marti and John? We’re excited to present it to you; we are excited that so many of you are a part of it, and we are excited that God’s Grace is all over this. It’s what we are all about — Grace Turned Outward.