This has become a popular parlor game and a best-selling theme for all kinds of books -- places to go, things to do, foods to eat, scenes to see, before you leave this world, or "kick the bucket." That's what gave it the name "bucket list." Hollywood made a movie about this a few years ago.

Today was evidently a morning of slow news because one of the television shows ran a feature on beer, "50 brews on our bucket list." "Oh great," I thought. "Just what some beer-guzzling couch-potato needs, an excuse to indulge himself even more."

So, let's try to do the right thing here and come up with some positive, non-alcoholic deeds which every disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ should do before departing this earthly sod.

Everyone will have his/her own list. This is mine, with a little help from some Facebook friends whom I've asked for contributions. Since we're going for 50 things to do, we'll break this article down into several manageable segments.

Putting them in any kind of order would be impossible since I don't know what we'll end up with. So, just because one item is low on the list and another is high says nothing about their relative importance.

You're invited to click on "comments" at the end and give us items on your bucket list...places to go, experiences to have, things to see or taste or hear, before the Lord sends His angels for you.

50. Visit the Holy Land.

Margaret and I went to Israel once, over 20 years ago, and found it life-changing as well as ministry-altering. Honestly, I probably would not have gone then had it not been a 10th anniversary gift from the First Baptist Church of Columbus, Mississippi. For months after returning, I ran a low-grade fever just thinking of where we had been and the sights we had seen. I'd turn a page and there would be a photo of Jerusalem or the Sea of Galille and my eyes would tear up. It had that kind of effect on me.

So, go. Traveling to the Middle East is as safe right now as it has ever been, and you're not getting any younger. I'm thrilled to see the occasional seminary program that allows young preachers and missionaries to visit Israel as a part of their education. Wish I'd gone when I was 25. But on the other hand, I got far more out of it by going when I was 44. Best solution: go twice.

Oh, and send your preacher. Even if he's reluctant to go.

49. Win someone to Jesus.

To do this, I suggest three steps: pray, asking the Holy Spirit to lead you in this. Second, find a plan. If someone walks up and says, "Tell me how to be saved," you need to have an answer. Remember, no sermons. And no fuzziness. Get it straight and keep it simple. (Go to my blog,, and click on "How to Know Jesus Christ and Live Forever" for a simple approach. Or ask your pastor.) And three, start asking people.

I'm serious; ask people if they would like to know Jesus as Savior. The next time you attend your family reunion, I double-dog dare you to stand up and announce, "Hey, everybody! I'm trying to learn how to lead people to know Jesus Christ as Savior. If anyone wants to know how or if you have a question about this, I'll be over here under this tree. Come over and let's talk."

See what happens.

48. Stand up to a church bully.

You remember how you have sat in church and recoiled at the antics of some brute who was smarter than God, holier than Jesus, and delighted in spewing venom in the direction of the pastor? He is so used to throwing his weight around and having timid Christians cower in his presence that he's forgotten what it's like for someone to challenge him. The pastor, bless his soul, has grown weary of standing up to him alone.