Thursday, August 15, 2013

Don't Waste Your Life

 My CLC (Christian Living Class) at church is doing a study using the book by John Piper "Don't Waste Your Life".  I have to admit that after finishing the book I'm now a bit surprised that I'd never read it before.  It totally fits with the the "theme" (for my momentary lack of a better word) of my blog.  I want my life to have a purpose, and therefore, I don't want to waste my life.  I still haven't quite determined if I'm currently wasting, or perhaps have wasted part of my life already.  In chapter 7 "Living to Prove He is More Precious than Life" Piper focuses on a Wartime Lifestyle and in Chapter 9 "The Majesty of Christ in Missions and Mercy - A Plea to this Generation" on missions.  Those chapters definitely stick out most in my mind.  Mostly because while doing the chapter about the Wartime Lifestyle I was also reading "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" which is set during WWII (you can read more about that book here).  Also, having listened to an audio book of Flyboys, I knew many more stories than John Piper quoted in the book.  Nothing gets me quite like our military and the men and women who sacrifice so much...

The chapter on Missions also struck me because I seem to have always been drawn to missions, but I've never quite known why.  Or perhaps never quite wanted to admit that one of the reasons is simply that I love to travel and to do missions requires travel.  While studying abroad at Saints Bible Institute I distinctly remember Sam Spatola telling us that if God wasn't calling us to go somewhere as missionaries, then we should go home, make lots of money, and give it to missions.  I'm not certain that I've done so well at making lots of money, but I've certainly tried my best to always give to missions.  Oh and by the way, John Piper totally agrees with Sam :)  John Piper quotes J. Campbell White about missions (it has really stuck with me):
The evangelization of the world is the only enterprise large enough and important enough to provide an adequate outlet for the Church's wealth (p 171).
Piper then goes on to say,
"We will perish with our wealth if we do not pour ourselves out in ministries of mercy at home and missions among the unreached peoples.  We are very wealthy in America.  All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.  But we are not giving it." (p 172)
Several of the missionaries our church supports, and many more I know personally, are under supported.  I even know a couple who had to come back to the States because they didn't have the funds to stay.  Shouldn't that break our hearts a little?  I realize that might all be part of God's plan for their lives, but it seems like a shame when the American church is more than capable of supporting them financially. 

I can definitely recommend this book, it's full of truth and has some great "lessons" that I think we could all learn.


1. to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.

2. to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity.

3. to destroy or consume gradually; wear away: The waves waste the rock of the shore.

4. to wear down or reduce in bodily substance, health, or strength; emaciate; enfeeble: to be wasted by disease or hunger.

5. to destroy, devastate, or ruin: a country wasted by a long and futile war.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guernsey Island & Vacation Reading

I've been back from vacation for what seems like months, but has sadly only been a few weeks. Vacatoins are just so wonderful, and we always have such fun, so it's quite sad to arrive home. We had some adventures taking my "toaster" down to Myrtle this year. I just don't think it likes road trips! We did, however, make the best of our mishaps, and we made lots of memories in the process.

My dear friend Emily suggested that I read Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I will admit I almost didn't even bother because, who writes a book with such a title?  And what in the world would such a book be about?  Well, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I did a quick google search to see what the book was about before I requested if from paperbackswap.  It sounded interesting enough so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I should probably point out that although I love to read, I don't ever read while at the beach.  My cousin and my sister read the whole week long, but I'd rather walk the beach or be in the water.  For whatever reason, this year I not only took a book to read, I atually read it.  The whole thing. 

Somehow, in my google search, I didn't realize that the book is written in the form of letters.  What a neat idea.  This book (and the weather in North Myrtle) combined to make it possible for me to actually sit on the beach and read a book.  The book was just entertaining enough to keep me engaged, but also not too demanding that I couldn't put it down to go take a walk or hop in the ocean.  The story was so compelling I definitely had to remind myself at the end of the book, that it was mostly fiction.  But, Guernsey Island is real, and (I'm sure you can guess what's coming next) I want to go there!!  The island sounds so quaint and it definitely seems worth a visit to me.

So if you're looking for some beach reading, I would submit this as a perfect beach book.

Quaint (adjective)

1.  having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
2.  strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
3.  skillfully or cleverly made.