I was a longtime fan of the black rotary dial phone. I liked the way my fingers felt when swirling in the smaller circles of the dial. I was enamored with the bright, white numbers and letters that curved perfectly within each hole. I enjoyed the unique sound of both the clockwise push and the counter clockwise return of the dialing mechanism. I loved the look of that phone on an end table. Push button dialing was years old before I allowed one of those machines in my home. It took even longer to adapt to the idea of a cordless phone… In recent years, I’ve struggled with the evolution of mobile phones. The earliest versions were too big and a little too uppity. Only people with important jobs or extreme emergencies would need to carry such a monstrosity. However, as these contraptions became more portable, affordable and common, I succumbed. I even purchased one for each of my three daughters…for emergencies only! (Last month was particularly dramatic for my daughters. According to our bill, they endured over 1000 minutes of emergency phone conversations and over 700 emergency texts!) Several months ago, I went to our local phone vender to replace my broken ‘flip phone with no camera.’ I informed the perky little clerk that I only made phone calls…I needed a phone for no other reason. I left with an iphone. It now rules my world…

I expect no recognition for my slow advancement. I expect no one to stand and applaud. There are hundreds of other folk just like me. We stay behind the times. And when we finally catch up with those of you who have enjoyed the ease of such inventions…well…we do it quietly…almost regretting the time we lost without such amenities…

It was recently announced that the Southern Baptist Convention – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination – is poised to elect its first African American president. After 167 years of following Christ, they are electing their first African American as president. 167 years. Excuse me for not standing and applauding…

I’m beginning to understand what Jesus meant when he told the religious leaders, “…prostitutes and tax-collectors will enter the kingdom of heaven before you…” People of faith are too often behind the progressive graces of a well-paced world…

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is two decades old. In its short history, the Fellowship has had male, female, clergy, lay, Asian, Caucasian, African American, young and old national moderators. Glad to be where I am…and wondering where we might need to pick up our pace.

Learn more about Jim at his website.

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