Ten Things I Believe

In 1990, just for fun, I came up with a list of “Things I Like.” Not surprisingly, ‘a nice cup of tea’ and ‘telling a joke well’ made the list.

Before the year was over, I’d considered that list and decided I needed to write another list of “Things I Need” (relationally). What I learned about writing and reviewing that list over time was that I was the one mostly responsible for making sure my relational needs were met. If I looked at it any other way, I felt like a victim.

Now, somewhat belatedly, I’m convinced another list is in order. A more important list, and probably not complete, I name “Things I Believe.” After all, I’m a Believer.

For what’s it’s worth, here it is. And the only items on the list I could say are in order of importance are perhaps #1 and #2.

1. I believe everything God said about Himself in scripture.Jesus Is ---

2. I believe everything Jesus said about Himself and that I am, because of my belief, now crucified with Him, reconciled to God, filled with the Holy Spirit, and will spend eternity with Him when He returns.

3. I believe there is a purpose in my life and that this purpose is to please God, however He defines His pleasure.

4. I believe the various experiences of my life–trials and joys, no matter when they happened–God is even now using to further His kingdom.

5. I believe in the intrinsic value of every human being.

6. I believe in the power of prayer.

7. I believe God speaks to people in a variety of ways and His purpose for speaking is for His glory to be shown in the world.

8. I believe there is an enemy in the world named Satan and that it is possible to be deceived by him as well as it is possible to stand against him with the power of God’s word and prayer.

9. I believe that there is a cost in loving as God commanded, but as we risk according to God’s definition of love, our relationships with Him become deeper. We are healed and our relationships with others become healthier.

10. I believe that my beliefs can and will affect my behavior.

Bonus belief: I believe that Numbers 1 and 2 are the basic foundation for the rest of the beliefs listed.

Was Methuselah a Happy Grandpa? Five Ways to Feel Young

Earlier this month, I celebrated a milestone birthday. Oddly, I don’t feel any older. I certainly don’t feel like my chronological age. Not on the inside anyway.

How is that supposed to feel? On the inside I feel bergetty-berg* years old. I wonder how Methuselah may have felt beginning his one hundredth decade. My brain sort of goes out of order just thinking about the generations of offspring he could have had Kodak moments with. Nine hundred sixty-nine years is…well…that’s a lot of birthday candles.

I didn’t celebrate in a big way, although I did get a cake with candles: two of them representing my age. Friends remembered me on social media and in person. So it was nice.

While talking with people about how the years pass and we mark time with birthdays, most of my contemporaries agree with me that feeling one’s chronological age is relative. Perhaps it’s because most of us, regardless of what our bodies may be saying, keep a young attitude. “Elderly” seems to be those other people, not us.

How does a person do that? What would you do if you wanted to reflect a youthful attitude? I think these practices help.

Keep LaughingDickens quote on laughter
It’s okay to take life seriously. Serious stuff happens. But to take ourselves too seriously can be a drag. To ourselves and to others. When we laugh with friends we’re more like children than we may care to admit. But even scripture supports the idea that laughter is the best medicine. Recently I told a corny kid’s joke to a couple of friends over a slice of pizza at lunch. Lightened the mood immediately. So learn to tell a joke well. Or, at the very least, don’t be afraid to laugh out loud at someone else’s humor. Make sure your inner child doesn’t turn into an inner grump. Allow God to help you drop some of your emotional baggage if that’s getting in the way. Smile. If you’re happy and you know it, tell your face.

Keep Pursuing a Dream
I know people who are retired from one career and in a second or third. I know people who serve others by volunteering when they’re no longer employed. In some way, they keep giving back or pursuing a passion. We engage in hobbies that got put on back burners. We complete a college degree or sign up for cooking classes. We get up in the morning and determine that the world isn’t going to pass us by. Johnny Carson, on his late night talk show, asked Jimmy Durante if he was ever going to retire. Durante answered, “Retire to what?” That response should ring true in our hearts.

Keep a Childlike Faith
When we trust God with every aspect of our lives, we can truly “Lighten up.” Our heavenly Father loves to bless our lives when we come to him in childlike faith. He’ll also use us to bless others. Simple trust like that of a child brings contentment. At your age, any age, don’t you want that? Sure, you do.

Keep Looking for Ways to Build God’s Kingdom
This pithy statement isn’t original with me: “The only thing you can take with you to heaven is other people.” A person doesn’t need to be in the twilight years to assist others in living a life devoted to Christ. But sometimes after a lifetime of serving, we’d rather just let the next generation take over. Don’t give in to that temptation. God offers opportunities to take part in his work every day of our lives. Be alert to those moments. When we give up before God wants us to stop, we cheat him, ourselves and most of all, those who don’t know him.

Remain Open to the Joy Others Offer
The birthday cards I received this year indicated the personalities of the people who gave them to me. They also reflected my personality. My older sister gave me the “cake on fire” card. My younger sister sent a sweet, sentimental card. With each one I felt loved. I felt youthful.

One thing I didn’t feel was as old as Methuselah.

*Not revealing my age this time.