Make a doorbell!
This simple electrics project is easy and fun to make, and helps us to think about how we respond to God’s call.
You will need:
- Batteries to match the buzzer (eg both 9v or 3v)
- Rubber bands or tape
- A piece of thick corrugated card
- [Metal drawing pins] – not the type covered with plastic
- [Metal paperclips] – not the type covered with plastic
- Optional – [battery holder], [croc clips], [push-button switch]
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We will make a simple circuit with a push switch to make the buzzer buzz. The paper clips and drawing pins make the wires and switch. Or you can use wires with croc clips and a purchased push-button switch instead.
The buzzer will usually have a sticker showing the voltage it needs. If you need a higher voltage, such as 3v from 1.5v AA batteries, you can join two or more in series.
Join AA batteries end-to-end with tape, or lie them next to each other (top-to-toe) and bridge one end with a paperclip. Tape everything in place, or use a purchased battery holder if you prefer.
Pull out two paperclips into ‘S’ shapes and attach them to the contacts of the batteries using a rubber band or tape.
Alternatively, you can use purchased croc clips or the wires from the battery holder (attach paper clips as described below).
Lie the batteries down next to the card and push a drawing pin through the free end of each paperclip into the card.
Wind the bare part of the wires from the buzzer around two more paperclips and pin the clips to the card at the opposite side from the switch.
Use more drawing pins and paperclips to make a path from one end of the battery to one buzzer wire.
Do the same to connect the other end of the battery to the other buzzer wire, but leave a gap, the size of one paperclip.
To bridge the gap, bend a paperclip so that one end is under a drawing pin, and the other end is in the air, over a drawing pin.
If you push this paperclip down so that it touches the drawing pin, you should complete the circuit and make the buzzer sound. You’ve made a doorbell!
When people call at your house, it’s not always at a convenient time. God’s call is not always convenient either. How will we respond?
“The King is dead – long live the King!” (Rapturous cheering fizzling out to awkward silence.)
Er, actually, he isn’t.
It would be so embarrassing, wouldn’t it? Imagine, you tootle off and anoint someone king when there’s, kinda, already someone king. Mega-oops!
And the guy you anointed isn’t even the next in line to the throne – Mega-double-oops!
It would be like the AB of C crowning Charles as king, before Lizzie has shuffled off her mortal whatsit … and it’s Charles Sidebottom, of 57b Chipshop Lane, Lesser Wangthrop to boot!
Arghh!!! Can you imagine the royal cups of tea sprayed out, the corgis shoved aside as a strongly-worded note of displeasure is penned on Buck House notepaper? Crowning some young whipper-snapper! How very dare he?
But that’s just what Samuel did. He anointed some random kid as king. While Saul was still king. Not treasonous or anything. Much. Saul would have done more than spray his tea had he found out! And who was this David anyway? Just some spotty teenager who smelt of sheep and probably had straw in his hair. Well, OK the Bible says he was handsome. But I still reckon he smelt of sheep.
Timing. Seriously God, couldn’t this have waited?
David didn’t even become king for ages after this. Couldn’t this have waited until Saul had died? Or couldn’t God have zapped Saul with a thunderbolt and then told Samuel to anoint David? Why did it have to be at such an awkward time?
Mind you, it’s not the first time God’s sense of timing has been somewhat uncomfortable. Moses found God’s call five shades of inconvenient: he’s wanted for murder back in Egypt, so where does God send him? Straight back to Pharaoh, and with an unpopular message as well! No wonder Moses tried every which way to wriggle out of it, ending up with a hand-wringing “Oh pleeeease, just send someone else!” (Ex 4:13)
I mean, Moses had waited 40 years already, why not wait a few more until that pharaoh died, and then go back? That would have been so much easier. Fast-forward a few centuries and you have Jesus inconveniently calling his disciples away from their work. We know that Peter was married, so I can’t imagine his wife was best pleased at him giving up his lucrative fishing business. Can’t have been convenient for Matthew the tax-collector either. Or Zacchaeus, or the guy with the plough, or …
And we don’t even need to mention how God put Mary in a darned awkward spot. I can’t imagine many folks bought her story about the angel.
Of course, she could have said no.
And that’s important.
It seems that God’s call very often comes at hideously inconvenient times, when it really doesn’t fit in with our plans, when we would really rather say no. And sometimes we do. But Mary (surprisingly) said yes. Zacchaeus said yes. Moses said yes (sort of, eventually). Samuel said yes.
What about me, what will I say to God’s call?
What about you?
1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 English Standard Version Anglicised
Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
English Standard Version AnglicisedThe Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.