Tag Archive: gadgets

The “Y” Cord

I would like to think that it all started with the “Y” cord, but I know that is not so. Maybe it would be more accurate to state that perhaps it started with the words, why not.

We were presenting a marriage preparation class to thirty-five couples the other day, and wanting to give them the best experience possible we had all the latest presentation tools lined up, well almost anyway. We had hoped to show the newest USCCB video, “Saying I Do” but a simple little cord was needed to get sound to the whole room. My mission, get the “Y” cord.

After waiting forty-five minutes for the guitar place to open, I confidently strolled up to the counter and asked for a Y cord, to which the tattoo laden, half asleep young man answered, “which one?” This was not a question I was prepared to answer. Silly, old lady, she thought there was only one. Using my spiffy camera phone I took pictures of the various possibilities and sent them to Rob our techno-wizard/youth minister. As the minutes clocked by, I wondered why the delay in his response and looked at my phone. After all we are all trained with the new technologies to get instantaneous world wide information in seconds. The little blue spinny thing indicated that it was still trying to send the pictures. I walked outside and held my phone up high hoping this would get it a little closer the satellite for faster sending capabilities.

That didn’t work and I looked like an idiot to the other tattoo laden, gauge incrusted young folks having their morning smoke outside.

Plan B was go inside and take a stab at the possibilities, as time was of the essence. I made my purchase feeling pretty confident that I had the right pluggy things to go in the correct receptors. At the break we anxiously plugged all the right cords into the right places and we still seemed to be missing, one simple little cord. This was beginning to feel like feeding a mouse a cookie.

We ended up just sticking a microphone by the LCD projector to pick up the little bit of volume coming from there. It sounded muffled and dull, so much for wowing them.

If technology is supposed to make our lives so much easier, why does it feel so difficult?

I found myself thinking of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Unavailable were Power Point, or Prezi, a sound system or sound tech. He didn’t have the Apostles set the mount with special effects to dazzle the crowd in the preconcert show. Lacking were the huge jumbo-trons with giant images of Christ while he spoke.

He just spoke.

The Apostles had a hard enough time figuring out where to get enough food to feed everyone, imagine if they were sent out to find a Y cord.

So much today we rely on technology when we do our presentations to blow the minds of our audience, tickle their gray matter, and titillate their senses. Mostly I think, they get lost in all the fanfare and completely ignore what is being said…or worse we lull them into a coma like state.

This all leaves me in a bit of a quandary frankly. Jesus I am not.

I imagine the kind of hold Jesus had on His listeners. They hung on His every word, let it sink in, roll around in their minds and produce a response. Sometimes it was positive, and transformative. Other times, negative and people picked up stones. That means He got their attention, because they were listening. So what will we do in the future as we have many more classes to teach and couples to impact?

I think I will try and minimize the effects and maximize the message. It means I need to know my message and more important know Who it comes from. Do I trust that the Holy Spirit can work in these fickle modern times when we depend more heavily on gadgets and gimmicks to get people’s attention than on the words themselves?

Jesus is after all, the Word.

That Word, His Word, has the power to cut through to the bone and into the marrow; to pierce hard hearts, to plant seeds on fertile ground, and to set souls on fire.

It will take prayer, lots of prayer. It will take surrender to the Holy Spirit to be lead, to trust, to guide. It will take courage beyond measure to entrust our audience over to God and let ourselves be His conduit to bring His electrifying message home to darkened hearts.

Frankly, while the task sounds daunting, and scares the crud out of me; it is also a grand relief. The unbelievable stress that malfunctioning, nonfunctioning and crashed equipment has caused me over the years has aged me a decade. If it can go wrong, I have found…it does. I am tired of placing my trust in manmade material and it is time to plug into the Divine.

Pray for me. Pray for us, and pray that our listeners will open their hearts and ears to the Good News God wants to share with them for their marriage.


Newfangled Nonesense- By Barb Lishko

I am attempting to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in bathroom technology, but every time I use the ladies room it is a whole new learning curve. What do I mean exactly? Some places have automatic faucets that turn on when your hands line up within the precise perimeters and a warm spray douses the germs away. Sometimes, you have to play games with those faucets and literally spell “P-L-E-A-S-E” in sign language before they turn on, only to shut off once your hands are sudsy.

Drying hands these days presents an array of possibilities. We have the traditional paper towels but that can mean folds or sheets that are twisted, turned, pulled, pushed or waved into usage. Sometimes I stand there like a total fool waving when I should be twisting, or searching for the handle when I should just state loudly, “dry me.”

Then we have the automatic flushing toilets…but only in some bathrooms. I find that they flush when I walk in and close the door, they flush again just before I sit down, and when I am really finished I practically have to do the potty dance before it flushes. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the thinking behind this ingenious idea, I have kids you know, but in our house we always had success with a little phrase I liked to say when they were young, “flush when you are finished.” What level of laziness are we fostering here? What happens, heaven forbid, in the future…or next week while visiting Tombstone, and we find ourselves using one of those traditional toilets, will we remember what to do?

I was in a tiny little bathroom the other day; you know the kind where you have to take off your purse, twist in sideways, hung your knees in real tight and then try and shut the door. This petite little loo had enough “power in the flush” that flushing was deafening. I had to hang on for dear life just to avoid getting sucked into in the sewer vortex.

We are a country brimming with originality and resourcefulness. We have gadgets for everything and the infomercials to prove it. You can add a bump to your hair instead of teasing it for free; slap chop your onions instead of using a knife; and watch TV right there on your refrigerator door. Call me ridiculous, it seems to me we are spending too much money attempting to make our life simpler when we already have all the tools and know-how at hand.

If there was ever a gigantic “EM pulse” like they occasionally portray in the movies that could shut down all the electronics in the world, what would we do? How could we check our status on “Facebook” and figure out our place in society? How would we spend all that free time our fingers would have from not typing, texting or gaming? Or worse, how would we learn to form our own opinions without the media telling us how to act and think?

I say we start going back to basics now and practice the “good ‘ol days” for nostalgia sake if nothing else. Use the pots and pans in our cupboards to cook or go grill on the BBQ. It may mean having to wash some dishes, but looking back I had some pretty fond memories of that time together with whoever got stuck doing them with me. Go over and talk to your neighbors instead of calling, emailing or texting them. The look on their faces will be worth the walk, and you will have exercised without using a single kilowatt. Finally, go ahead and dust off Candyland, ignore the whining, and laugh again together as a family in the simplicity of electronic-free fun.

Today is my day off and while we can rocket men into outer space, we haven’t yet managed to invent a house that cleans itself. Looks like today is the day I am getting back to basics myself…starting with toilets.