I guess it never really occurred to me until now that I should number these things, so, since three others have come before it through the years, this is officially installment No. 4. The vast majority of the time, I have one thought on my mind and, therefore, one subject in my column, but sometimes I have, as it were, a head full of tiny squirrels that need to be gotten on paper. And so:
1. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, on a Fox News interview last week, quipped, "The price of gas is so high that it would be cheaper to buy cocaine and just run everywhere." I don't care who you are or what side of the political aisle you are on, that is funny! This man is the first politician who comes to mind every time I think of Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
2. I recently came across a short video online. It was taken and posted by a preacher (I use that word loosely) who drove onto a Christian college campus, took a video of girls he did not even know and posted it online making fun of their clothing which, in his opinion, was not modern and up-to-date enough. I could not help but wonder, do people who do things like that even have a clue how creepy they are?
3. The economy is so bad that even the extended car warranty people aren't calling me anymore.
4. I preached a salvation message last Sunday night from the parable of the five foolish virgins, and a man in our homeless ministry came to the altar during the invitation. He looked up at me and said, "Is this where I need to kneel if I want to get saved?" A few minutes later, he and one of our altar workers got up from the altar, and, with huge tears streaming down his cheeks, the man said, "I got saved! I have oil in my lamp, now!" That never, ever gets old.
5. I sent this text to my church early Sunday morning: "Dear CBC family, we have a pretty special treat on tap for church this morning. We have a native pastor from Ireland that will be with us, Danny O'Shea. I trust you will understand, because of his culture, he will, in fact, be wearing a kilt. He also, unfortunately, has developed a pretty serious rash from wearing that kilt for the entire 22-hour flight to America. But despite this, please do not call him "Rumpled Kiltskin."
Sometimes I wonder why they put up with me.
6. I have heard some accurate, biblical, challenging preaching through the years. I have also heard that trailer hitches are sinful and that Jesus had feathers instead of a beard.
7. A little tyke of 4 years old came up onto the platform last week to show me the stitches in her foot from an accident. At that moment, nothing happening on the face of the Earth was as important as me stopping to look at those stitches and listening while she told me what had happened. See, one day she will need someone to talk to about things like salvation and huge life choices, and I figure the one willing to hear her out about the stitches in her foot will be a logical choice for her.
8. Have you ever wondered if the same people that manufacture the McDonald's ice cream machines are also producing our national economic policy?
9. I am hearing that food prices will double by this fall. So it might be a good idea both to store up a bit for your family and also to lay some back specifically for those in need. Those who wisely plan to help others will actually be able to help others, which is exactly what Christ would do.
10. Churches that have widows should consider getting all of them a AAA membership. We have done this for years, and our widows have been helped by it many times.
11. Another thing we do that churches may want to consider in light of the insane gas prices is having some gas cards on hand to give out to those who need them. Even $25 of fuel can mean the difference between people being able to come worship or not.
12. Names in Southern churches are interesting. I have preached for or been in church with a Mouse, Monkey, Ham bone, Worm, Rooster, Scruffy and Squirrel.
14. Christians are often superstitious.
15. Baptists have their own version of the caste system. If you doubt this, watch the table at the next potluck dinner and pay attention to the soon-empty boxes of fried chicken and the languishing dishes of quinoa, tofu or quiche, if anyone even dares bring them.
16. My daughters came to me in stitches and showed me a short, utterly hysterical video of a song about the scene in the Garden of Eden that ends with "What do we do with the useless boob? So God created man." It is theologically inaccurate, the timing is not so good, it is somewhat insulting, and I plan on watching it about a thousand more times.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.