Monthly Archives: May 2013

Book Review: “Don’t Waste Your Life”

Book Review:  “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper

The Good:Boy Eating Huge Sandwich

This is like a really good sandwich.  Hear me out.  There is so much in that sandwich to chew on and enjoy, you can easily take a bite and miss out on enjoying all the meat, or all the sauce, or all the veggies.

Here are some examples of some very powerful thoughts and questions that come out of this book:

  • Loving and giving God glory is what is BEST for mankind
  • Everything good in life can be traced back to the cross and the grace of God
  • Do I love Jesus enough that I would be willing to die for His name?
  • This life should be spent getting to know God better, because the next life, if you are a believer, will be spent forever with God.
  • Be careful what you call “home”, and allow the earthly mindset to creep in that this is all there is play out in your daily activities, thoughts, actions, and purchases.
  • “You don’t waste your life by where you work, but HOW & WHY”
  • No matter how good or how bad the situation, Jesus and God can still be glorified.

And the list goes on…But each bite is so enjoyable.  There is so much to digest in this book, especially since it is speaking about YOUR LIFE.  Can you get a more important subject than that outside of Scripture and God?  Maybe you want to waste your life, I don’t!  Pick up this book, and make sure that does not happen.  The book does a fantastic job of causing you to evaluate your life, and bring you a checklist of attitudes, actions, thoughts, and future goals to implement in your life to make sure you do not waste it.

The Bad:

Make me crack a smile every once in a while.  I realize the subject of this book is very serious, but maybe it is just my personality, but I need some humor or more life experiences to make the book feel more personable and alive.

There were also times when the point was not beat to death, but maybe beat up pretty good where some aspirin and some bandages were needed.  Some of the chapters could have been more succinct.

The Grade:  B

I have to be honest, there were times when I really had to labor through some chapters…where points seemed to be over-written, and could have been more succinct.  Also, it was a bit over the top and dry at times.  That being said, what a concept!  You only have one life to live people, don’t waste it.  And this book does a marvelous job of emphasizing where and where not to take your life, so that it doesn’t end up a wasted life.

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How to Build a Spiritual Home – Conclusion

If you learned anything from these blog posts on “How to Build a Spiritual Home”, it would be that it is hard work, and all of us have much to learn, do better, or correct.  You see a home is not built by one swing of the hammer, or one pull of the electric drill trigger…it takes time, it takes effort, and it takes the proper foundation.

Let’s conclude with one of the more familiar passages of parenting:  Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Some of you may that know me already know this, but one of my best GPSfriends is my GPS.  I am fairly directionally challenged.  That little lady, who I named Gabby Garmin, tells me turn-by-turn how to get there, and if I make a wrong turn she is there to tell when to “make a legal U-turn”.  Without that little device, it is unlikely I will get to my destination, or if I do, I will have to ask someone else for directions or risk being lost.

Listen, what this verse is saying is that you ARE the GPS for your child.  It is your duty, responsibility to tell your child how to get to where they should go.  And when they make a wrong turn, you have the opportunity to teach them how to make a “legal U-turn”.  And listen, this part is key, without you…they will most likely look to others for direction – which could include peers, the media, or just themselves…and you risk your child being lost.

So I encourage you, use every opportunity you can to teach and guide your child.  Never stop teaching, guiding, & listening.  And you do that by building a foundation of God’s Word & a consistency in serving in God’s house, godly modeling and discipline, and finally love & attention.


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How to Build a Spiritual Home – Part 4

Exterior & Roof – 3 A’s of parenting – Attention, Affirmation, & Affection – Matthew 3:17

God’s Word does not have many verses that speak about loving your kids – much of the prescriptive truths about parenting are regarding discipline and spiritual guidance.  However, here is something to consider.  God, and his treatment of His children provide countless lessons of the love for His children.  From the patience of the people of Israel to the sacrificing of His Son…Love is seen over and over from the Heavenly Father.  So what better verse to use than Matthew 3:17, a loving Father’s words for His Son.

roofFrom the book “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” by Dr. Meg Meeker:

“From the moment you set your eyes on her wet-from-womb body until she leaves your home, the clock starts ticking.  It’s the clock that times your hours with her, your opportunities to influence her, to shape her character, and to help her find herself.”

The need for appropriate loving tough dramatically INCREASES when kids get older.  My wife always was told by her dad to get all her kisses and hugs from him…and that’s what I’m going to tell my girls.  But I better make sure I give them those hugs and kisses!  So you know that song “Steal My Kisses From You”…I just see when parenting daughters, when I give my girls kisses, I’m just stealing kisses from teenage boys!

There’s a Spanish story of a father and son who had a disagreement. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father. On Saturday 800 Paco’s showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of your parenting.  Boys need love & attention too from you.  It

effects their self-esteem, treatment of others, and treatment of themselves.  Parents & Grandparents, Love on your kids  & grand-kids every chance you get.  Not just when they hit the winning home run or get 1st chair clarinet or get a 30 on their ACT…give them a hug on a Saturday afternoon, or text them how much you love them when they get out of school, or tell them how proud of them you are before bedtime.

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Can Instagram affect #selfimage #selfworth and #identity?

Here is a great article about what Instagram (and Facebook for that matter) provide a quantifiable scale of popularity and self-worth.  Is it time to panic?  No.  But these are some good points and reason for us to continue to emphasize identity in Christ and see ourselves like God sees us.  (Click the camera, get it?)instagram-followers

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How To Build a Spiritual Home – Part 3

Plumbing – Loving Discipline – Proverbs 3:11-12Image

Why did I choose plumbing for discipline.  “It stinks.  But if you don’t do it, the whole house will smell.  The times when your children don’t get it, teach through discipline.  Discipline means literally “to teach”some of us had more teaching moments in our childhood than others.  In the Hebrew, discipline was a 3 part process – correction, discipline, and instruction.  Do we discipline your children without correction?  Is there correction, with no discipline?  And do you instruct your kids HOW & why to change their behavior after discipline?

Pastor Craig Groeschel of does a great job at summing up undisciplined parenting vs. disciplined parenting:

Undisciplined Parents

  1. Lifeguard Parents:  Often rescue a child from consequences.  Kids need you to be a parent 1st!  According to a recent survey of Parents:  57% said they were more fearful of disobeying their parents than their kids are of them, and 42% admit they are less strict.  Asked Parents to list their best friends – 46% mentioned their kids.   “… A man reaps what he sows.”  Galatians 6:7b
  2. ETCH-A-SKETCH Parents: often inconsistent.  What decisions are you leaving up to your kids?  Do you they choose their punishment?  Whether to attend church or maybe where to attend church?  I think we all can do better at leading.  I realize our goal is to transfer the dependence on you as a parent (in the early years) to depending on God & His Word…but our leadership of our children still needs to be a priority.  The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:15, 17
  3. SPLIT-DECISION Parents: often un-unified.   Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3

Which one do you struggle with being?  Write it down, begin the change, & discuss it with your spouse.

Parental Expectations – The Disciplined Parent

  1. We expect 1st time and cheerful obedience.  (Not an easy combination)  Discipline for attitude and actions.  Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord – Col. 3:20.  Do everything without complaining or arguing – Philippians 2:14.
  2. We agree to never discipline in anger.   In your anger do not sin – Ephesians 4:26
  3. We will discipline promptly with instruction and reconciliation.  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

Which expectation do you struggle?  Circle one, begin the change, & discuss it with your spouse.

In the end, follow God’s pattern of discipline, found in Hebrews 12:5-6.  That is how God shows His love for us, in his discipline.  You show your love for you children through your discipline.  Prov. 13:24 says He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him”Those that withhold discipline from their children are not being loving.  In actuality, they are not showing love at all. Follow God’s example of disciplining His children.

Do the plumbing work in your house yourself…discipline your kids.

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