Monthly Archives: August 2009

Pack Rat Rehab

I admit it. I am a pack rat. I don’t know how to let things go. I keep almost everything. You just never when you might need it, right?

A couple of years back, my wife made me go through like 50 shirts I hardly ever wear and I begrudgingly gave up about five. I can really find any excuse to keep something. “I might need it one day. I could still wear that. That has too many memories to throw away.” The list could go on. I’ve just never been good at getting rid of anything.

But I think I’m starting to come around…

I’m beginning to realize how MUCH I have. So last week I began my rehab as a pack rat. I’ve begun cleaning out the closet and I’m going to work my way through the house until we’re a lean, clean, efficient machine. Here’s a few good reasons you may want to go to pack rat rehab like me…

  1. Organization is Next to Godliness. O.k. Not quite. But you get the point. I agree with much of what this article says about efficiency. Basically, the more organized you are the better you will function. I’m not the most organized and I don’t think you have to be a neat freak, but, at a minimum, being able to identify where things are is helpful.
  2. Hidden Treasures! I love working through a pile of junk and running across a hidden treasure. Just that simple pleasure makes the time spent cleaning/organizing worth it. A few of the fun trinkets I’ve found…$5 in the pocket of a fleece I hadn’t worn, a book I had been looking for, cd’s, and pictures of the year I met my wife.
  3. Giving it Away! You know this had to eventually get to Becoming Last right? Well, my perspective is completely changing on all my stuff. Before, I kept everything because I’m frugile and hate to get rid of something. However, my heart has really been broken for all the clothes, toys, etc. we have around our house. Especially stuff we don’t use or even remember exists anymore! I really want to begin to be a giver. A lot of times I don’t think I have much to give (and I don’t to a lot of my friends who are better off than I am), but there are plenty of people in this area and around the world whose day would be made by receiving some of the things I neglect.
  4. Recycle, Reuse. This is not a blog on politics so no worries about getting into whether or not global warming is taking place. I’ve just realized two things recently. One, I should recycle. If the stuff can be broken down and made into another product, why not recycle it? It’s way easier to throw it away, but I want to begin to make a better effort at making the most of what I’m given, even as I dispose of it. Second, I love the people who are really thrifty at reusing things in a different way than it was intended. It’s creative, it’s being a good steward, and it saves it from the trash. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Maybe you can join pack rat rehab with me. Take a look around your house this weekend, think about what you use, think of the benefits of cleaning house, and think of the people/kids you could help by donating your stuff or selling it to give the money away. Good luck!

How can you Become Last this weekend?

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Filed under Chances to Serve, Uncategorized

Streetlight Snafu

Most of you know, I wake up extremely early three mornings a week. I walk over and open a fitness center to earn a few extra bucks for the fam. I actually enjoy the walk. There’s just something nice about walking under a sky full of stars with no one else around. It reminds me of college where you walked everywhere. Much better than having to get into a car and drive somewhere.

However, the last couple of weeks I’ve been having a duel with a particular street light. I mean, the thing just waits for me to walk up. It sees me coming and when I get close, it turns off! It just so happens this is a fairly important light too. It’s the one where I cross the road and it’s the one by all the bushes where some maniac could attack me. Not that I’m really all that worried (although I’m sure to get some comments), I would just like to see the maniacs and I would prefer cars to see me.

But now, everytime…without fail…the light works right up until I get to it. Then, POP! The thing goes off.

Getting to my point…and I do have a point. The streetlight is made for the sole purpose of providing light during the night. It provides security and vision to those who pass by. It works great…right up until it’s needed. And that got me thinking…

How many of us have talents and skills that we aren’t using to their fullest? I think God has gifted us with all sorts of expertise, but I wonder if we are putting them to their best use? It’s like the light who works perfectly, but when it encounters its perfect use (me walking up to it), it turns off.

So where could your talents be put to better use? Who could you help based on what you know and where you excel? Personally, I think there are plenty of times I’m put in situations where I act like the streetlight. For whatever reason, I turn off. Maybe today is a good day to begin making a point to understand where you can begin to give people some light.

How can you Become Last today?

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Filed under General Update, Uncategorized

Turning Lemons into Lives

I found a cool story in the Vitamin Angels newsletter this month. I love hearing about kids Becoming Last. Here’s the story:

Lemonade for Vitamin Angels

What’s better than lemonade on a hot summer day? Lemonade for a great cause!

8 year old Declan set up a lemonade stand to help teach others about our important work and raised $50! Remember, all it takes is 25 cents to provide one child with vitamin A for a whole year. So in one afternoon, this one child was able to impact the lives of 200 children, and refresh many passersby at the same time! Inspired yet? Get Involved!

What a great example for kids who want to help! Simple, small, yet significant. He helped 200 kids. Awesome! Don’t forget to click our “Help Now” button on the right of the page and have a great Saturday!

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, Making God Known, Uncategorized, vitamin angels

Imaginiff

Failure. Mistakes. Disappointments. All a part of life. All…not so much fun.

A little over a year ago, I bought this board game called Imaginiff. I was pumped. I found it on sale, read the back, and it sounded like something fun to do with a group of friends. I even chose it over a Fray CD (I know…what was I thinking?) because I was hoping it would be fun to play that weekend.

Long story short – it bombed. Not once, not twice, but three times. I’ve tried and tried to get people into the game and it just doesn’t happen. I’m convinced the game is fun though (note Award Winner in picture). My friends just don’t know a good time! So there it sits in my armoire…a constant reminder of my apparently unfortunate taste for boardgames.

It’s really fine though. We’re all going to swing and miss. In baseball, they think you’re awesome if you succeed three times out of ten. The point is we need to keep swinging.

Learn to learn from your mistakes. Take risks. Take a step of faith. Love someone who’s not guaranteed to love you back. Start a food drive even if you aren’t sure anyone will donate.

We all care about a lot of things, but we let our fear of failure keep us from ever diving into help. Failure is guaranteed if you never try. What’s been weighing on your heart lately? Go for it!

Now, to find some people who might like Imaginiff…

Don’t forget to Become Last today!

6 Comments

Filed under General Update, Realizations, Uncategorized

Life as a Textbook

Values are better taught through example than through words. Consider one of the first impressions I have of my wife. I had only known her for a week. We were on staff at a camp for the summer and we were walking across a big field going somewhere (I didn’t care where. I was with her!). I know it was right after canteen (snack time) and the kids had left trash all over the place and as we walked she bent down and picked up all sorts of litter. I can’t recall our exact conversation, but it was along the lines of, “Why are you doing that?” and she said, “Why not?”

She may not have meant to teach me anything, but she did. Every time I see trash on the ground I think back to that moment. Now, there is like a gravitational pull beckoning me to pick up trash. Even this morning, I saw a gum wrapper, walked passed it, felt convicted, turned around, and carried it home!

Our lives are this extraordinary textbook for the world to read. What are we teaching?

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Filed under General Update, Uncategorized

Help Others.org

I wanted to pass along a website that may interest some of you. It’s called Help Others.org. From what I understand, a group of volunteers maintain the site and it exists to simply encourage people in their everyday endeavors to help others.

The website won’t blow you away with its style, but here are three reasons why you should at least give it a glance.

  1. Encouraging Stories – People share inspiring stories of kindness, compassion, generosity, and sacrifice. They are fun to read and perhaps they may give you an idea.
  2. Accountability – The website offers you a chance to join a group. They “are a fun way to do some good, connect with others in the spirit of kindness, and to “be the change we wish to see in the world.” Even if you don’t join a group, I appreciate their effort in prompting people to serve as communities. We can make a much larger impact together than we ever could alone.
  3. Ideas – Stuck in a rut? Not sure how to serve? Don’t sweat it. They’ve got you covered. There is an easy to access list of ways you can begin loving others.

I hope you’ll take the time to at least check them out. I just found them today so I’m not sure how great they are at updating it daily, but I thought it was worth a few minutes to pass on. Have a great Wednesday, click the “Help Now” widget on the right, and let me know what you thought of Help Others.org.

How can you Become Last to your co-workers?

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Filed under Chances to Serve, Examples of Sacrifice, General Update, Uncategorized, Websites

100 Clicks and Counting!

Look for this on the right side of my page!

Congratulations to Becoming Last readers! We’ve reached one hundred clicks on our SocialVibe widget! I’m not sure what that translates to exactly, but I think it’s around 6,000 days of Vitamin A treatment for a child. It may not sound like much, but it’s life saving to many of the children Vitamin Angels helps.

If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, please scroll down and look at the right side of my page. You’ll see a box with a big “Help Now!” button. There’s no spam or personal information involved. You just watch a 30 second video (actually, you can rate and click without watching…shhhh…don’t tell!) and rate it. Then, Sprint (my SocialVibe sponsor) donates money to Vitamin Angels. If you missed out, Vitamin Angels wrote a blog a while back.

So thanks for clicking! You really have made a difference just by visiting my blog. I hope you’ll come back and click often. Our goal is to get 200 clicks by the end of August! That’s ambitious, but it can be done! If you want extra credit, go to SocialVibe and set up your own account. You earn money towards a charity of your choice just by using social media. I’m signed up as BecomingLast!

Become Last today and don’t forget to click the “Help Now!” button because you can make a difference!

2 Comments

Filed under General Update, vitamin angels, Websites