As my friendship with Tony C grows, I am jealous-- he just reached his 100th blog, and I am few behind for '09 anyway. Secretly, the more I write, the more I want to be like him. He's funny, relevant, and has the nerve to take his wife to Hooters. Well, he posted 10 issues that were important to him, and I thought I would do the same for my un-birthday celebration. But I needed to out do him, so I have 11. :)
1) Family - I think the greatest life one can have is to be part of a family with a mother and father, children and extended family. It is the model of the church in its fullness. It is great place to learn to love one another as He has loved us.
2) Parenting - I think kids need to be parented until they get married. They need to be taught how to dress, save, tithe, make friends, say no, have fun, work, serve God and be a friend. That's our job if we have kids. Even the kids of divorce need parents that teach.
3) Faith - It is essential that we see our faith in the living God as a first priority. Can we trust Him before we head to the doctor or take an aspirin-- before we choose a mate, buy a house, join a church or take a job? Real faith allows God to invade our life in such a way that we are in God's will. Then our life becomes none of our business. We flow with the Spirit, and do the things that the Father is doing. In the dry times, we continue to be faithful-- why not? He has.
4) Discipleship - When will the church go to the mat for every member? How is that we could even leave a single person to suffer with need when we are the church? It is your job to bearing others along with lesser faith then yours. If you are not helping someone grow, you are missing the point of discipleship. If we did this many more folks that get saved would become much more productive and accountable Christians.
5) Stuff and Money - You'd be amazed at what you can live without. Take a trip to a third-world nation and serve the poor. Go visit the slums and see if you can make a difference. I dare ya.
6) Baptism of the Holy Spirit - Don't miss out on this electrifying aspect of being a believer. Read Acts 2!
7) Spiritual Gifts - The church needs you! Find your gift and find a place to use it. You'll be glad that you did. In the process you'll grow and produce fruit. Just use them in love.
8) The Church - how she is perceived and how she acts matters to me. I think the US needs a few changes -- well a lot of changes. It starts with loving, not just being nice on Sunday morning. They do that at Wal*Mart.
9) The US - As the greatest nation on earth, I am disappointed at the dismal choices that we've had to vote for since Reagan. It is hard to tolerate deficit spending, health-care insanity, the hatred for Christianity, and the lawlessness of immigration in our government, all when there are practical and sensible solutions for each one. Christians need to vote for Biblical principals regardless of party politics. As a nation we have outlawed prayer, legalized abortion, legalized gambling, supported laziness and allowed pornography to become one of the most successful businesses in the USA. That happened on our watch church. And today, many so called Christians vote for everything but Biblical principals. It's a slippery slope-- it'll be interesting to see if we can recover.
1o) Friendship - Stop talking about what's wrong and do something. Invite people over and act like Jesus. Find them at church, at work, on the playground, or the Y -- grab the kid's friend's parents. Act like Jesus and do something with your faith and your love. Be a committed friend, not a church going idiot. Being a Christian is knowing God, and others.
11) Jesus is very cool. How is Jesus cool? Because the real one, can do that impossible. He is not rattled by pathetically religious folks who give Him a bad name and expect Him to do nothing. He always loves, always does what He says He is going to do, he is patient, kind, he has a sense of humor (take a look in the mirror sometime), He is holy, perfect and never late. He did not come to make bad people good, but to make dead people live! He is well, you get the idea-- He is everything.