Category Archives: Examples of Sacrifice

Give Up Everything?

In the process we have unnecessarily (and unbiblically) drawn a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all. In this way we choose to send off other people to carry out the global purpose of Christianity while the rest of us sit back because we’re “just not called to that.”  —  David Platt, Radical

In the midst of writing a much larger post about Christianity and wealth, I ran across this quote. I’ve written about our idea of “calling” before, but I think Platt provides an excellent reminder for us. Many of the functions, attitudes, and sacrifices that God calls us to as Christians, we tend to give to a select few.

The heart of the Christian life is sacrifice. Romans 12:1 speaks of being a “living sacrifice”.

What comes to mind when you hear those words?

The challenge for me lies in not taking those words too lightly. It’s easy for me to write some things that I do off as a “sacrifice”, but I wonder if we really want to know what God means when he says “living sacrifice”.

In Luke 18, Jesus challenges a rich young man to sell everything. Luke 9, we find Jesus calling those who follow him to deny themselves and take up their cross. These are not easy words. They aren’t words we should take lightly.

Our tendency is to take Jesus’ commandments and make them into philosophical mumbo-jumbo.

Jesus just wants me to have a giving heart.
We shouldn’t love things.
I should care about people.

While statements like these are true, they are sufficiently vague as to encompass almost any way of living.

The reality is if we have a loving heart it will burst forth in action. If we don’t care about things, we will find ourselves compelled to live with and love less and less of our things as we become more satisfied in Him. If we truly care about people, our lives will begin to revolve around His work on this earth, rather than building our own kingdom.

Christianity is going all-in.

What does being a “living sacrifice” mean to you?

How do you tangibly “take up your cross”?

 

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Filed under christian, Examples of Sacrifice, quotes, Scripture, selflessness, Serving Others

Do Not Mess With the Elderly!

On the lighter side of Becoming Last…

This video is making its way around the internet. You’ll see a gang of thieves attempting to smash and grab some jewelry. She comes flying in out of nowhere and starts wailing on them with her purse. Seeing they are no match for her, they promptly flee.

Out of curiosity…

Have any of you ever seen a crime being committed? What did you do?

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, In the News

Hero of the Day

Let’s be honest. Professional sports has its share of problems. For the most part, the athletes are young, rich, and human. That is a lethal mix.

We rarely go a week without reading or hearing of some star’s extramarital affair, dui, or drug charge. However, there is a brighter side to that world. Athletes spend a great deal of time doing charity work. Some may argue for it’s for PR, but my question to those folks is, “what are you doing?”

Well, here’s a story that I think is pretty fantastic. The Toronto Star published an article on Sunday about an NBA player going out of his way to help a complete stranger.

Last week, Lucita Charles, a single mother of a 7-year-old son with cerebral palsy, was murdered. Enter Jamaal Magloire. He heard the story and his heart went out to the boy. Knowing he had the means to help, Jamaal paid for the funeral and is in the process of setting up a trust fund to provide for the boy’s welfare.

Money can never soothe the pain the little boy feels over the loss of his mother, but it must provide some relief to know someone is taking care of you.

It’s great to hear a story like that come out. The guy wasn’t doing it for publicity. He apparently was upset people even found out. You got to give the guy all the credit in the world for taking the necessary steps to help the young boy out.

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, Heroes, In the News, making a difference, Uncategorized

Stories

People love stories. We get lost in them. We live through them. They inspire us. They give us hope. Stories provoke us to think and to dream.

I want to begin telling more stories of everyday people who contribute to our communities through serving and loving others.

Maybe you don’t feel like your story is extraordinary…it doesn’t have to be.
Perhaps you don’t want to get the credit…that’s o.k. I’ll share it anonymously.
Still don’t want to get the credit? Share someone else’s story!
Don’t know a story personally, but have a link? Share it!

Either leave me a note in the comments or shoot me an email if you have a story I can use. I’ll ask you a few questions and we can post it to encourage others in their efforts to serve.

I love politics. I’m a news junkie. But I get so tired of seeing the same, depressing stuff on the news. Don’t get me wrong. That’s reality. But it’s only have the story…

There are people who put their lives on the line everyday for others. Ordinary people who sacrifice their time, money, and energy to love people unconditionally. Those stories deserve to be heard.

Got a story? Please share it!

Also, if you know anything about website design and would like to help me with a new project, shoot me an email!

becominglast@hotmail.com

How can you Become Last today?

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, General Update, making a difference

An Everyday Hero

Last night, my mom brought some Parker’s barbecue over to share with my family. While eating generous helpings of cornsticks, hushpuppies, fried chicken, potatoes, and barbecue I discovered something: mom is an everyday hero. An everyday hero is someone who gives their time, talents, and treasures to others without seeking the publicity.

For several years now, my mom has been visiting her mother in a retirement home. She would sit with her, play music for her, listen to the stories my grandmother loved to tell, and of course, bring her good food (Parker’s). My grandmother has since passed away, but my mom still makes the hour and a half long drive to visit.

It seems that her visits had not only brightened her mom’s week, but many of the other residents as well. Unlike her son, my mom is an extremely talented pianist. She inherited that from her mother. She’s played in churches, in schools, and in plays. Now, she plays to an enthralled audience who quickly gathers, knowing that her arrival means a sing-a-long is on the horizon.

Listening to my mom share fascinated me. She cared about these people. She doesn’t just go play her favorite songs. She listens to their stories and she’ll find sheet music to learn the songs the residents love. Most of them request 1920’s songs mixed in with songs such as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or “How Much is That Doggy in the Window.”

As they listen and sing  along, the residents are taken back to another time and another place. I can only imagine the wellspring of memories the songs must provoke. First cars, first loves, war, peace, the Great Depression, children, and grandchildren. For the few hours they listen to the piano sing, they are young again.

It would be easy to forget about them. With the passing of my grandmother, my mom could have stopped the music. But she knows how much it means to them. She sees the sparkle in their eyes as she looks around the room. These are the people who paved the way for us and she honors them with her time and music. I’m glad their are people like my mom who show them they aren’t forgotten, that they still matter. She’ll never be featured on CNN or given an award for what she does, but I know there is a roomful of seniors counting down the days until her sweet songs fill the room again.

Do you know an everyday hero? I’d love to share their story! Just email me: becominglast@hotmail.com

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, making a difference, Serving Others, Uncategorized, volunteer

Making Music

I thought I’d start the week off with a little inspiration. Enter Andy Mackie. At 71 years young, he’s chosen to spend the remainder of his life inspiring kids with music. CBS News recently did a story on him. Here are the highlights:

After his ninth heart surgery, Mackie’s doctors had him on 15 different medicines. But the side effects made his life miserable. So one day he quit taking all 15 and decided to spend his final days doing something he always wanted to do. He used the money he would have spent on prescriptions to give away 300 harmonicas, with lessons. When he didn’t die the next month, he bought a few hundred more.

Forget a wickedly awesome vacation. Nope. Just spending the remaining days of his life giving away hope in the form of harmonicas and music lessons. For all he knew, he might have lived a few more weeks, but…

It is now 11 years and 16,000 harmonicas later.

To keep the kids interested in music as they get older, Mackie now spends the bulk of his social security check making what he calls “strumsticks.” He’s given away thousands of these, too. He also buys store made instruments for the kids that show special interest and provides free lessons to everyone by getting the older kids to teach the younger ones.

What a selfless man. It’s people like him that humble me completely. The fact that he even thought of doing what he did is amazing, let alone actually doing it! I hope his story encourages you as it did me.

Got a story of someone putting themselves last? Think it would make a great “in the news” post? Leave a comment or email me at becominglast@hotmail.com.

Andy gave up his medicines. What can you give up to use the money for someone else?


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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, In the News, making a difference, purpose, selflessness, Serving Others, Uncategorized

Kudos to Mack Brown

Mack Brown may not have won the National Championship, but you’ve got to give it to him. The man loves his wife and wants to make sure she and everyone knows it.  Read this short little article Rick Reilly wrote for ESPN. What a great way to serve his wife by going to great lengths to avoid even the appearance of anything sketchy!

If you’re in Pasadena right now and want to take a picture with Texas football coach Mack Brown, you might find it a peculiar experience.

Brown has some very specific rules for taking pictures with fans. He knows that today’s sports celebrities live in an age when one misunderstood iPhone snap can suddenly have you back managing an Applebee’s. So if you want a shot with Brown, who tries for his second national title Thursday night in the BCS Championship Game, you’ve got to follow his three rules:

1) He never takes a picture with a female without a “Hook ‘em Horns” sign up. That way everybody knows where his hands are and what they’re doing.

2) If he’s with his wife, Miss Sally — and he usually is — she takes the pictures. Nobody else. That way nobody can come up behind him and make him look stupid, or salacious, or drunk. Nobody can pretend their hand is his and put it somewhere that isn’t Vatican-approved. Nobody can flip anybody off, nobody can set him up. Miss Sally won’t cotton to that kind of behavior. “Sally knows her way around every camera, cell phone, video camera, you name it,” says Brown, 58. “If it’s out there, she knows how to work it.” (Wish there were somebody like that at Best Buy.)

3) He never takes a picture with only one female. “Always two or more,” he says. “It just looks better.”

via Rick Reilly’s Go Fish – ESPN The Magazine.

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, In the News, selflessness