I got a new cell phone, and I don’t like it. Truth is, I had to get a new one because:


1.  My iPhone 6S had end of life issues. I don’t know whether it is planned obsolescence on Apple’s part or I just plain wore the poor thing out. But in either case, it no longer worked. It had a good LONG run—as cell phones go. (A moment of silence, please.)


2. My job requires a smart phone to do all I need to do in all the places I am, as it helps me work in a more “mobile office” sort of environment. I know it’s necessary, but I don’t really like not being able to use the excuse, “Hmm, I don’t know. Let me get back with you when I get back into the office.” It’s like ignorance is no longer a reason to not get something done.


3.  My kids have no idea that their phone actually makes calls where you hear the other person’s voice, because all they do is text, or Facebook message, or some other wacky way to get their message across. So, if I actually want to communicate with them, I need a phone that does that without hitting the same button until the correct character appears. (I miss my flip phone.)


4. I somehow have allowed my sense of direction to be parked on some shelf somewhere and I can no longer find my way without Google Maps. The little grocery store around the corner used to be, just around the corner. But now, it has coordinates and turns and directions. (And I for the life of me can’t remember how to get back to that shelf upon which, my sense of direction now sits.)


  5. I am responsible for tracking many things…from events on my electronic calendar to emails to voicemails to the lists and wallet and Apple Pay and credit cards…and, well you get the idea.


The smart phone—the thing that simplifies your life. Humbug! I’m a simple man living a complicated life. And I’m not at all sure my new smart phone makes me any smarter. If that’s the case, why do I feel so dumb without it?


I also do not like taking time to learn new technology. I love new ideas and concepts and information, but I abhor spending precious time learning new ways to receive and then comb through it all. My old phone was quirky and unreliable but it was familiar. I didn’t have to have the light on to see how to make it work. I love change in some areas of my life but not in others. That’s where my wife comes in. She loves new stuff…everywhere. She’s told me for some time that our phones were actually making our life more complicated because so much didn’t work, and the workarounds took more time and energy. She was right of course. (I have to say that because she reads these updates too.) My old phone was paid for. My new one has a 24 month contract. And it’s only a matter of time before I drop this one too, and then I’ll resent paying a monthly fee for a scratched up phone, no matter how “small” the amount.


Sometimes, change is hard. 2020 taught us a little about that. But the GREAT NEWS is that our Lord and Savior doesn’t. As Hebrews 13: 8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  I like that. His consistency makes all the other change in my life less uncomfortable. I just have to remember to keep my focus on Him instead of things that bug me like my new phone. I mean, after all, my phone will never love me, but Jesus loves me like crazy…just like He does YOU!


Have a great week, and remember that you are SO loved!

Pastor Rusty  <><





  1. We are excited to host our annual Souper Bowl on Sunday February 7th from 12pm-1pm. This year we will be serving you soup in a drive thru! Use this link to the menu of soup choices, select one soup per member of your family by January 29th - https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040445a5aa23a6f58-souper.
    If you are interested in volunteering for this event please contact Community Life Minister, Arin Schellenberg at aschellenberg@oldbethel.org. You may also call Arin at 317-359-9651, ext. 128 with any questions.

  2. From our Parish Nurse: Read Jeremiah 29:11 and Joshua 1:9.
    It is almost a year since Covid19 began to impact our lives. We have been isolated in our homes and separated from our family, our friends and our church. Many of us have struggled with daily living. We now have an opportunity to take back some of the control we lost. If you are 70 and older, you can now register to receive the vaccine. In weeks to come that age level will drop and more people will be able to register. The registration sites are very busy and you will need to be patient. There are two ways to register- 1) You may call 211 and they will ask the appropriate questions and get your registered. When you hang up you will where and when you are to go. OR 2) Using your computer, go to ourshot.in.gov and follow the directions provided. When you have completed your registration online, you will know where and when to go. You may have to try over and over and you may need to try different times of the day. BE PATIENT!

  3. Message Notes for this Sunday are below.


January 24: Risk Taking Mission and Service: Loving Others!


Really loving others the way Jesus requires, is _________ difficult, and ___________ risky! 


Luke 6:31-38 (The Message)

     “Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!  If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that.

     If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.

     I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.

     Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier.

     Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”


Four Lessons from Jesus’ teaching:

1.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service is ____   ____________   ______________!

“…give without expecting a return.”


2.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service is __________!

“…grab the initiative…” 

3.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service is ____________________!

“…you be kind.”


4.  Risk-Taking Mission and Service takes us out of ______   ____________   _______!

“…love your enemies.”  


(Christ-followers don’t play the “______   _________” game.)


John Wesley’s “Rule for Living”

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can,
In all the ways you can, in all the places you can,
At all the times you can, to all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.

* * * * *

Change, Humbug! - from Pastor Rusty


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