Issue 4

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Cell Phone Story.

Being the sometimes less than bright individual I am well capable of being, I recently lost my cell phone. Not quite sure where it is or with whom!

Whoever has it will be very confused when they scroll through the phone book and find Krispy Kreme headquarters, the White House, Quickie Mart in Homer Alaska, Phone Booth at Disney World and other gems just waiting to be called.

No problem, I decided, as my provider was expensive and I was no longer contractually obligated to continue the service.

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Over the weekend I went to the mall and signed up with ATT Wireless as they seemed to offer the most comprehensive plans at not as outrageous costs as everyone else (though still what I would consider expensive).

I go in and advise little miss college girl (who was very polite) that I want a phone, no camera, no video, no mp3's, no net, no text messages - nothing. A phone was all I was after and I want it to receive and make calls on and something I can turn off and turn on.

After a few seconds of a blank stare, she offered, "We have a great phone here with a built in PDA and camera!"

"No, I simply want a phone."

"No Camera?"


"No Text Messaging?"


"No PDA or video?"

"Correct.  Just a phone that flips open, nothing else."

"OK, but we'll give you a free month of net access to try out and you can
just cancel it after the free month is up!"

"Let's make this easy.  Cancel it now please."

So, after another half hour of convincing them I simply want a plain cell phone, I leave. Upon arrival home, being somewhat techno-oriented, I figured it was not a big deal to set the phone up.

An hour later, after setting numbers, etc. I have a phone with a fish on it and it barks.

Seriously. Don't laugh. A fish. It barks.

Or I can change it to a butterfly, and it barks. Or meows if I want.  It'll also play some awful 1980's elevator music, classical music and bubbles. Really. Bubbles.  That little Lawrence Welk sound thing with bubbles bubbling and then meeting their maker as they pop.

My phone Bubbles.

The one thing this technological marvel does not do is ring.

Nope, no ring.

The closest to a ring is probably the bubbles.

Four phone calls later, two to Samsung and two to ATT and they all confirm it. This phone will not ring, but as the one person told me - it will make bubble sounds! Are "Bubbles" a new selling point?

It seems that Samsung is making phones that no longer ring because people don't want their phone to ring. When asked how this was discovered I was told "they" have done research and it must be true.

So, I now own a cell phone that someone has found and is probably using to call Peru or Australia and I have a new phone that is capable of displaying a butterfly in color and then barking to summon me.

I am at a crossroads with all of this as my pocket currently barks. I've never had a pocket that barks before and I am not sure if I should consider myself fortunate or not. One thing I have learned this weekend is that I look like an idiot when my pocket starts barking.

Although now that I think of it, I look like more of an idiot when my pocket starts having bubble noises echoing out of it, especially if you are in a check out line in a really quiet store.After a little old lady turns and gives you a dirty look you really have no recourse but to say "oh, I'm sorry, excuse me" just like we were all raised to say.

Shouldn't phone's simply ring?

It seems that things that should be simple have become complex. What should be easy and expected is now difficult and rare.

Has "Ministry" become overly complex with all the bells, whistles and extras that the simplicity of the message is being lost? Do we rely on easily found or buzz word solutions because "they' have told us that's what people want or need?

Let's strive to look at what we are doing and why. Let's find a way to present and exhibit Christianity in a way that is clear, easily understood and with enthusiasm.

All the toys, gear, supplies and extra events are not the core of what we are. They are simply tools to be used for something that is quite simple. Building relationships and reach these boys and young men for Christ.

click to read the follow-up to this saga!

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Are you still praying?

It's been nearly 2 months since the "24 Hours of Prayer", are you still remembering to pray?

Some prayer reminders:

  • Don Paterson & Harold Browne and the US and Canadian CSB Ministries Board of Directors
  • For the Support Staff, Regional Directors, Staff Associates
  • The local leaders, Pastors in your region
  • The children and teens we minister all around North America
  • Your local camp and camp staff

Let's turn the 24 Hours of Prayer into a year long commitment to pray.