Sunday, November 2, 2003

November 2, 2003

9:23 AM Steve Chapman says a good word in favor of silence and introspection and blasts the incessant use of cell phones in all public places—he doesn’t mention church services, but he could have. And I agree 100% with his comments. Nice excerpt:

Hard as it may be to believe, people once managed to fill these idle moments without hitting a “send” key. They read books or newspapers. They gazed out the window. They savored pleasant memories. They simmered over injustice. They pondered the mysteries of the universe. They wondered why no one had invented cell phones.

Read this article! He’s right on the money. Earlier this week, I showed up for a meeting in Chicago and they wanted to know (in disapproving tones) why I didn’t have my cell phone with me. I never take it with me unless I’m going out of town (we’ll take it with us on our trip to northern Wisconsin). As Chapman points out, we are obsessively concerned about missing that truly important call. Let’s face it. Most of us get maybe 2 truly important (i.e., life-changing) calls a year. The rest can wait. If it’s truly important, they’ll find you somehow. But I know people who go around with six or seven high-tech thingamajigs hooked onto their belt—as if they were rocket scientsts who needed to stay in touch with Home Base Alpha on the dark side of Neptune. Hmmmmm. I think I may be a Luddite. Look it up. Davis Duggins says he is one—and he really is. But I have leanings that way also. Except when it comes to the Internet—which is truly indispensable to modern life. Just my two cents. 9:16 AM In the “Did you know?” category, Pastor Fung told me there are over 1000 Mandarin-speaking Chinese in the Oak Park area—most of them students from mainland China studying at UIC and other Chicago-area universities and graduate schools. 7:40 AM Notes at the beginning of a busy day: Normally I would be at church right now, checking the final details for the 8 AM service. Instead, I’m home in my bathroom, working on some other details because later this morning I’ll be preaching at the Chinese Bible Church of Oak Park. I spoke there last night and enjoyed myself immensely. I learned that the Chinese Bible Church is 95 years old, was founded as a primarily Cantonese-speaking congregation, but today does much of its ministry in Mandarin. They also have a growing English-speaking congregation that is served by Raj Christodoss. He and his wife attended Calvary in the mid-90s. Pastor Fung also told me that in the mid-70s, before the fire that destroyed our buildings on Madison Street, the Chinese Bible Church used our old gym on the weekends. After the fire, they took up an offering of thousands of dollars that helped us buy our current property on Lake Street. So there are many connections that tie our churches together over the years, and I am glad to be with them this weekend. After the service, we’ll come home and eat lunch, say goodbye to Nick (who heads back to Samford with John Mark Edwards this afternoon) and Josh, and hit the road for Camp Forest Springs in Westboro, Wisconsin where I will speak for a Pastor’s Conference on Monday and Tuesday. Randy Birkey told me that spent nearly all his summers there during junior and senior high school, and Howard Duncan said he had been there many times. Bob Boerman told me that a student who attended his youth group at Des Plaines Bible Church now serves on the camp staff.

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