A man in Topeka, Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and worked east from there.
Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign, which read, Calls: $10,000 a minute. Seeking out the pastor, he asked about the phone and the sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone was, in fact, a direct line to heaven, and if he paid the price, he could talk directly to God.
The man thanked the pastor and proceeded on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities around the United States, he found more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.
Finally, he arrived in up north Michigan. Upon entering a church in Oscoda - behold - he saw the usual golden telephone. But THIS time, the sign read, Calls: 35 cents.
Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor, "Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country, and in each church I have found this golden telephone, have been told it is a direct line to Heaven, and that I could talk to God. But in the other churches, the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads only 35 cents a call. Why?"
The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Son, you're up north in Michigan .... You're in God's country. It's a local call."