catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 1 :: 2007.01.12 — 2007.01.26


Top ten things I learned from my father-in-law about how to be a Christian for real

10.  When people need help, help them.  Also, bring food.

9.  Pray often, with your eyes open if necessary (say, when you are driving).  Sing and laugh often too.

8.  Three of the most important gifts you can give your children are love of music, love of reading, and love of the Lord.

7.  To give your children these gifts, you must first make time for them in your own life.

6.  Be grateful.  The meal on your table could not happen without the help of thousands of people all over the world.  Two hundred years ago, even kings could not enjoy a meal such as we have most every night.  The vast majority of the world does not have access to even the simplest lunch.  So be thankful for it.

5.  Be kind to people.  This is not easy and takes work.  At the same time, it is fun. Develop habits of kindness—build such activities into your life.

4.  Sometimes being kind to people means confronting them—finding ways to get them to think about getting their kids into seatbelts, ways to help them realize the destruction an affair will cause to all their relationships, ways to get them to stop smoking before it kills them, ways to get them to seek help for alcohol or drug abuse.  It is okay to confront people from a position of weakness, acknowledging your own faults, but still remaining firm.

3.  Open your door to anybody who needs a meal or a place to stay.  Invite them.  Word will get around.  Don’t wait until your house is spotless or you have prepared a special meal.  What you have will somehow be enough.

2.  Being a Christian means being different.  Get over it. 

1.  Don’t be afraid—of those whose skin is different than yours, whose beliefs or worship styles are different from yours, of those who are more powerful than you, of those who are poor, of the culture around you, of those who seem angry or petty or foolish, of trying something that might not work, or of taking a chance on something that seems to be the will of the Lord.  If we really believe that our God created, sustains, and redeems the world, we ought to relax and get on with the business of being thankful by taking care of it.

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