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Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is cloud technology?

If you dabble with computers (and who doesn't nowadays?), you may have
come across the term "cloud technology" in recent months.  Years ago
we were introduced to wireless computing; have we advanced even higher
into the stratosphere?

Taking computing to the clouds is a bit misleading.  What they're
really talking about is using less of your hard drive and more of hard
drives on servers in other locations.  The concept presents
advantages, as well as potential dangers.

When I first began using email, I used a program that downloaded all
of my messages onto the hard drive on the computer in my office.  That
worked well until I was away from my office and needed to see messages
received earlier.  My only option was to get on my office computer,
which was not always possible.

A couple of years ago I switched to Gmail, which utilizes cloud
technology (though it was not promoted in that way at the time).  Now,
instead of messages stored on my computer's hard drive, they're stored
"in the clouds"; i.e. on Google computers at other locations.  The
advantage is that I can now log on to my email service from any
computer connected to the Internet.  Clearly, that's an improvement.
The downside is possible loss of privacy, though I'm not too

Information storage "in the clouds" also assures us that if our
personal computer should crash, the data stored elsewhere can still be
retrieved.  Again, that's a comfort for those of us who have
experienced the heartache of computer disasters.

Christians have long been able to take comfort in God's "cloud
technology".  Our frail minds quite often lose track of important
information (e.g. passwords).  God assures His children, however, that
He is able to unerringly keep in His mind all the critical information
He needs.

This truth is communicated in a powerful way in Isaiah 49:15: "Can a
woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of
her womb?  Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you" (Isaiah
49:15).  A mother who forgets her children?  Such news shocks us,
though we do sometimes hear of it.  But God will never forget His
children.  That data is stored in the clouds, in God's mind.

Another affirmation of this truth can be found in Hebrews 6:10: "For
God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have
shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and
do minister."  Frequently we hear of clerical errors that misplace
vital information.  Fires or flooding sometimes destroy important
documents.  But eternal facts are safe with the Lord!

The apostle Paul invested much of his life in serving Christ.  Didn't
he worry that God would forget about his service?  Here is his answer:
"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not
ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is
able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy

I'll confess I don't know enough about computers to unequivocally
recommend cloud technology to you.  I have no hesitations with God.
Entrust yourself entirely to Him with complete peace of mind!

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him
in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you'd like
to discuss these ideas further.

Timothy D. Hall

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