Monthly Archives: July 2009

Helping the Homeless

Awesome moment yesterday. Middle school kid comes up to me without any prompting and tells me he’s thinking of using an afternoon out of his week to spend it at a homeless shelter. Even if he never makes it there, the fact he’s thinking about that just gets me pumped.

Small sacrifices like that lead to a lifetime of servant-hearted living. I’m extremely proud of him for being willing to give up an afternoon of “free” time to love others as Christ loved.

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, General Update

Kids are Great

Sorry for not posting for a week. Vacation was busy and this week I am speaking to a 190 middle school students!

The kids are great. They are soaking up everything like sponges. I’m finding out I’m not as young as I think I am though. I can’t play ultimate frisbee and pin-dodge for 4 hours and not be sore the next day!

Anyway, I hope the last week treated you well. I’ll leave you with something I’ve really been thinking about.

What part of my life am I unwilling to change to love people more? Is there something I cling to so much I’d be unwilling to sacrifice?

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Removing the Plank

It’s difficult to Become Last when your own self-righteousness blinds you. Let me explain…

I was driving to the gas station to put some air in my tires tonight and a guy came roaring up behind me who thought Nascar had been put in charge of the DMV. He was drafting off my bumper for a mile or so until a left turn lane opened up for him to pass me by jerking over and then jerking back in front of me (only to slam on his breaks because of a stop light).

Honestly, I wanted the guy to get pulled over. All the self-righteous, holier than thou anger burned in me. I thought it would only be fair if he got stopped by a cop.

What I didn’t realize was if it were really fair, I’d get pulled over too. ALL THE TIME. When I speed (even a couple miles per hour over), when I don’t come to a complete stop at stop signs, or fail to use a turn signal when changing lanes.

The guy should have been pulled over. Not because I wanted him to, but because he was a danger. I know that in the moment I was less concerned about the danger and more concerned about that guy getting what was coming to him.

I had to realize what Jesus said was true. Before I worry about the speck in the bad driver’s eye, I need to remove the plank in mine. Love is patient. Love is unconditional. As we love others, we are called to love them warts and all.

Who can you love unconditionally?

* I’ll be gone for the next week, but if I can find Internet I’ll work to get a post or two up. *

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Filed under General Update, Uncategorized

Becoming Last is Being Thankful

This morning, I had written a blog about the things I was thankful for and for some reason deleted it. I just wasn’t sure how that fit into Becoming Last. However, as I thought more about it, I realized how silly that was. Thankfulness is a key component in Becoming Last. When I realize how blessed I am, it’s easier to serve others. The hardest times to serve are when I’m in a “pity me” type mood.

I’m thankful for…

  • a God who created us with the capacity to smile, laugh, and play.
  • my wife and little boy. Each day in the news, there is always a story of families losing loved ones. It makes me more appreciative of the time I get to spend with my family.
  • all those who volunteered to provide meals for a friend who just had surgery. You are all awesome.
  • the people who work in non-profit jobs that pay way less than what they could be making, but do awesome work.
  • God’s mercy and love. I can be a bonehead sometimes. I may not show all the “outward” signs, but I am the chief of sinners.
  • rich people problems. I get frustrated over bills, cars, electronics breaking, and other things like that. It’s good to take a step back and realize how my problems are more of inconvenience than anything else.

Just a short list for now. If you’re still reading, thanks for reading! Take some time to think about what you are thankful for today and use that as motivation to love others better.

What are you thankul for?

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Filed under General Update, Realizations, Uncategorized

A Morning Thought

“A thought or idea is self-serving until you share it with others by doing.”

Interesting quote. I ran across it this morning. Two thoughts off the top of my head…

  1. I think there is selflessness in beginning to think of other’s needs. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in our own world so I think having the thought or idea is a step in the right direction. On the other hand…
  2. If we never really act on our thoughts I guess all they do is make ourselves feel better that we thought them. That would be rather self-serving.

Anyway, I like the quote. Maybe I over-think things. Regardless, I want to know what you think.

What does that quote say to you? Agree? Disagree? Any thoughts?

Until later…

How can you Become Last (in action) today?

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Unbound

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be speaking to a crowd of middle school students. I think one theme will be living life unbound.

I want them to understand their possibilities for life are endless. Don’t settle for the way everyone else does things. We need radicals.

So many times we settle for a good life or a normal life. But I think God wants us to live the best life. Don’t read that wrong. That doesn’t mean make the most money or be the coolest.

I think the best life is the one He has carved out for us. How can we use our passions and our talents in the best way?

Obviously, it’s a work in progress. But seriously, have you ever asked yourself, “Is this the way my life is supposed to be lived?” Don’t settle.

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Giving Made Tangible

I’m becoming a Twitter addict. It’s way more than a way to kill time or a way to tell people what you just ate, it’s an information superhighway. I’m not kidding. If you are doing research on the Internet, Twitter should be in your top five places to start. Of course, you need to know what you are doing or it could take forever, but it’s worth the time to learn.

For example, today I found this amazingly awesome website. It’s a group called Global Giving. They connect donors with community-based projects that need support. Here are three reason why you need to visit:

  1. Ease of Use – Their website is extremely easy to use. You can donate to a cause of your choice in just a handful of clicks.
  2. Tangible – I’m convinced the #1 reason people don’t give is because the problems are out there (wherever out there is, it’s not here, so it’s easy to pass off). Global Giving connects you to real projects helping real people. You know where your money is going and I think that makes it easier for people to give. For example, in four clicks I discovered for $25 you can support a child (one month’s vitamins, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion and other basic supplies for a child) in an orphanage in Central America.
  3. Start Ups – If you are a non-profit struggling for money, this is a site you should consider. Not only will you generate more money for projects, but the amount of times your organization’s name will be in front of people is invaluable.

So check them out. I get excited about non-profits who are using their website and social media to maximize the benefits of what they do.

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Filed under Chances to Serve, Websites