My Very Expensive Boat Ride (How I Killed My iPhone)

I’m currently near the end of a week-long vacation with my wife and kids at Fripp Island, off the coast of South Carolina.  We visited here last Christmas, and from that visit we hoped to come back and try out the beach in the summertime.  It’s been a fantastic vacation – the island is a nature preserve, and we’ve frequently seen deer, racoons, and even alligators (one was over 6 feet long) in close proximity to the house where we’re staying.

Yesterday we decided to rent a 17′ Carolina Skiff to navigate the marshes and make our way out to an uninhabited island to look for shells.  This was pretty adventurous for us, since I’ve never driven a motorized boat by myself, our destination was an hour away from the marina at full throttle, and Keri and my shared lack of navigational sense.  There was a sense of anticipation and excitement – even from the kids.

Without a doubt, the boat ride was a highlight of the trip, especially since we came across several groups of dolphins swimming near our boat.  It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

Then, in the middle of our beautiful and adventurous day, I did a very silly thing.  I put my iPhone into my swimsuit pocket to have it ready for taking photos.  I knew when I did it that it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway.

Just for the record, you should never put a cell phone in your swimsuit pocket.  The odds are against you.

When we found the island beach we were looking for, I jumped out of the boat to carry the kids to shore and keep the boat pushed out far enough that it didn’t get stuck with the falling tide.  It wasn’t till about 20 minutes later, when we were all back in the boat, that I reached for my iPhone and realized that I had created a very expensive paperweight and an even more expensive boat ride.

Concluding Thoughts:

  1. Even with the submersion and death of my iPhone, it was still worth the great memory my family created on the ocean yesterday.  There was much more to the story, including Keri having to drive the boat at a moment’s notice two different times and my 4-year-old daughter simultaneously screaming at her that she couldn’t do it.
  2. Just before the boat ride, I emailed a few photos to my email account so that I’d have them for a blog post.  Otherwise, I would have lost most of our photos from the trip.
  3. I miss my iPhone tremendously.  It’s been less than 24 hours, but any time I think about needing a map, checking email, or taking a photo, my heart is stabbed with grief.
  4. Rumor has it that the new iPhone will be announced in just a few days.  Perfect timing!
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Another Update to the iCampus


The Faith Promise Internet Campus continues to make progress, and thanks to the help of Brad Roberts and the folks at Light Cast Media, we’ll be testing out streaming on the iPhone this Sunday at 10 & 11:45 am. This is a brand new technology, and I’m glad we get to jump on board so early in the process.

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can test things out by going to If you go there on an iPhone or iPod Touch, you should just see a iPhone specific countdown page. From there, you’ll be able to select whether you want the stream with or without sign language. (Yes, you’ll be able to stream the sign language video on your iPhone.) Even without an iPhone, you can see what it looks like here.

If everything goes well, in addition to the iPhone stream, we will also see substantial improvements with both our audio and video quality. Matt James has helped me to set up a better encoding process, and Phil Bledsoe helped me to work out some kinks in the audio – providing the iCampus with a better range of sound.

What a blessing to work with such a great team! Pray with me that our iCampus will continue to make an impact in the lives of people online.

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Digital Books

I never would have guessed I’d be writing this, but I’m beginning to prefer reading from my iPhone over reading a paper book.  For the past six months or so, I’ve done all my devotional Bible reading from the YouVersion Bible App, and I just finished reading my second book on the iPhone Kindle App (BTW, it was Tribes by Seth Godin – an amazing little book on leadership).

I think I like it so much because:

  • I’ve always got my book with me since it’s on my phone
  • the backlight is really nice – I can easily read in the dark
  • I can have a new book on my phone within minutes of placing my order in the Amazon Kindle store
  • It’s more eco-friendly
  • I could be wrong, but it seems like there is less strain on my eyes

Makes me think that there will probably be a day soon when everybody does most of their reading on a handheld device.

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Favorite Gadget

A few weeks ago I purchased an iPhone.  It was a tough decision to make because I had to switch from Sprint and I knew that the required data plan was going to end up costing us more, even if I cut back on our minutes.  I also had a negative influence, who was trying to convince me that a Blackberry was the way to go.

Well, fortunately, I threw caution to the wind and picked up an 8Mb iPhone, and I have to say that it’s pretty much amazing.  The user interface really is revolutionary, and the applications are pretty slick.  It’s just like when I bought my first Palm Pilot.  I’m back to my technology-loving self.

For those of you out there who are iPhone or iPod Touch users, let me know your favorite add-on apps, and I’ll share a few of mine here too.  My brother, Phil, introduced me to almost all of these, and most of them are free:

Pandora – kind of like having custom XM radio stations on your phone.  Check out the free computer application if this sounds interesting at all.  I promise, you’ll like it.

YouVersion –’s team of awesome has put together this great free Bible application (also available for your computer desktop or Blackberry).  I like it so much, that I’m using it for my quiet time a majority of the time now.

Facebook – pretty cool to have Facebook with you all the time.  Not so useful, but pretty clever.

Hidden Expedition: Everest – Brynna and I play this one together, and she loves it.  It’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo,” but not nearly as dorky (no offense, if you happen to like red and white stripes).

Shazam – In about 15 seconds, this program can accurately identify a song that you hear on the radio or at the store.

Disclaimer: I hesitated to write this post because I really hate to stir up materialism in the hearts of anyone.  After all, it is just piece of plastic and metal with zero eternal impact… but I do think it is pretty cool (and so does my wife – she keeps trying to steal it from me).

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