A Post-Christmas Present for you-A Winner Has Been Chosen!

And the winner is… Bryon Harvey.

Many thanks to all who entered!

As a post-Christmas present, I’m giving away one copy of John Piper’s wonderful book, Don’t Waste Your Life—and you could win it.

About the book:

John Piper writes, “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader’s Digest: A couple ‘took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . ..’ Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy.

“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”

Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. This book will warn you not to get caught up in a life that counts for nothing. It will challenge you to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion. If you believe that to live is Christ and to die is gain, read this book, learn to live for Christ, and don’t waste your life!

How To Enter:

There are a few ways to enter, and you can enter multiple times. So, if you subscribe to the RSS feed, follow me on Twitter and leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered three times.

  1. Leave a comment below telling me why you want to win a copy of Don’t Waste Your Life
  2. Subscribe to the blog either via email or an RSS feed.  Leave a comment to let me know
  3. Link to this post and/or add Blogging Theologically to your blog roll. Send me an email (aaron.armstrong9_at_gmail_dot_com) or a comment with a link to your post
  4. Follow me on Twitter and retweet the following–RT: @AaronStrongarm is giving away a copy of Don’t Waste Your Life by @JohnPiper.  Find out how to win! http://bit.ly/8xYgSy

This contest will end on Thursday, December 31st, at 12:00 noon. The Randomly selected winner will be notified via email and announced here once they’ve confirmed their mailing address.

This contest is open to residents of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Many thanks to all who participate.

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  • Keystone

    A review by another, who read the book, gives 3 of 5 stars.
    Average reader review is 4 of 5 stars.

    Oct 8, 2009
    By Cheryl, The United States
    I have just finished this Piper book. I was impressed by how thorough he is in each area. He is a man of insight in the modern American Christian’s lifestyle. I was challenged in many areas to change my life choices from the menial to the macro. Though challenged I did not find myself motivated to change. I need to pray on this problem. I do have to say that I was not impressed with his opening chapter for the book. If I were in a book store trying to decide on whether to buy it or not and read this first chapter I would not buy the book. Overall I would not recommend this book to others because it is dry and far from the average person’s walk of life.

    There is my comment to win.

  • Keystone

    Another review gives 4 of 5 stars to Piper. But the evaluation did not award stars on merit by Piper; rather, the reader enjoyability came into play, and Piper got docked one star as the reader “enjoyabilty” was so high.
    (I could not figure this reasoning out myself, but, it makes an extra comment to win the book, eh?)

    Sep 2, 2009
    By Paul, Louisville, KY
    “Don’t Waste Your Life” is one of the most challenging books that I have read. The title really sums things up pretty well. Undoubtedly, John Piper is one of the greatest theologians of our day. He combines his smarts with a boldness and restlessness that, quite honestly, don’t course through the veins of a single man nearly often enough. When John Piper tells me to not waste my life, I listen.

    I have precluded a fifth star because of enjoyability. This is certainly due to my limited mental faculties, but, as with most Piper works, I found myself slogging through much of it (particularly, the first few chapters). Man, that is one smart guy!

    See you at the Post office!

  • Keystone

    In fairness, we need a 5 star review too.

    Aug 3, 2009
    By Ryan, Norfolk, NE
    I should have read this book a long time ago. I plan on posting about in a couple of days. Piper is outstanding in this book. The chapter “Living to prove he is more precious than life” is, in my opinion, worth the price of the book and the time invested in reading up to that point. There are books that you realize you need to read over and over so that they master your thought and life. Obviously Scripture should lead in that category, but this would be another I would place in that list.

    I hope multiple entries increases my odds of winning.

    When I was raised Catholic, all I had to do was buy indulgences to get into heaven, spend less time in the now defunct limbo/purgatory (per Benedict 16), or get out of jail free. This is easier than a scapular purchase, but gives me the same thrill.

    Christ is so easy to Follow.

  • Keystone

    “Lord! Lord! See my sea shells?” There is more to this then meets the eye.

    Long ago in sales, many of my customers became great friends. Many would stop by my home and bring along goodies to eat as we talked.

    Carl showed up one day with a warm, home-made loaf of rye bread, one of my favorites. We sat down and gabbed and ate it.
    He told me his wife was a nurse and they pocketed every dime she earned all her life.

    Later, Carl—-head of Maintenance—- asked me out to lunch on his yacht. He cooked.
    “My wife and I are gonna retire at 55 and use this yacht to sail the world!”, he told me.

    At age 53, his wife had minor surgery and was put out.
    The operation was a 100% success. In the recovery room, she died at age 53, but the operation was a success.

    Two years later, the Master Electrician called my home and asked me to come in to the shop. I did.
    “We found Carl dead of a heart attack on the floor at 7 am today”.
    He was 55.

    I told the electrician that Carl did not die of a heart attack, but from a broken heart that his wife died, and his dream no longer mattered.

    The kids inherited all the money and boat (sold it).

    Sometimes, the best of plans, faithfully obeyed to accomplish them,…..
    just aren’t enough.
    I lost a friend.
    Neither of us wasted our lives.

  • Keystone

    I asked a blogger if they really believed in Christ.
    I was assured that was true.

    So I pointed out that God builds any and every church, not a given pastor.
    I suggested a new formula to blogging and said to just write, and let God build the blog. An agreement was forged and the Blog Roll and interconnections that WordPress and Blogger advise you to use to build an audience
    (drop a comment and the person will track back by clicking your name, etc)
    …..all of these were dropped from the blog, and ONLY prayer was used.

    The blog grew and grew.
    At first, it was a anti-religiosity/churchianity blog as the writer was leaving traditional church and building a church online. The blog attracted those types.

    Then, an about face occurred, and the blog went back to church.
    Some, who took the blog at face value as an unorthodox place to grow close to Christ, were hurt, and became silent.
    But newbies filled in the gap as a return to “proper church” was made.

    The blog was not driven by posts, but by comments and people talking to one another freely on the posted subject. It went very deep as a result.

    Having started a blog for nonchurch types, reversing course and going back to church, the blogger took an unusual step and just eliminated all comments that were ever made, and closed down.

    The Feejit system shows a pile of folks coming back repeatedly in search of manna, and leaving starved.

    I think it is one of those “drifting as flotsam and jetsam on the waves” type thing as found in James.

    So,…..was the life wasted?
    Was good done in encouraging people to find God OUTSIDE of a church building?

    Was good done in changing course 180 degrees and going back to church?

    Was good done as people thrashed out God among themselves, with no Blogroll to show famousness and popularity?

    Was good done by ending swiftly, returning and posting as if nothing had occurred, and then, shutting down and deleting all comments from day one?

    Feejit shows all the little sheep stop by to see what is going on.
    The posts were relatively deep, and encouraging, and Spirit led.
    Where did the Holy Spirit go?
    And why?

    These chapters are not in the Piper book, but beg the questions Piper puts pen to. You decide.

  • Keystone

    John Piper in “Don’t Waste Your Life”:
    ” Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment:
    ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy.”

    How about today?
    “Lord! Lord! See my Tweets.”
    “Lord! Lord! See my email and RSS”
    “Lord! Lord! See my links.”
    The list goes on with all the formula entrances above, to win an old, but repackaged book.

    But you are not alone.
    The writer, Piper, is using this $19.99 book (used) again and again to grow. The story of sea shell gal in Reader’s Digest is long ago.
    The first print had a separate cover.

    It was repackaged with a new cover and released again.

    What you give away is the third cover now.

    The original is available (used) at $1.99 for all the losers who do not get a free copy here. Just the cover is different, and you can choose which cover you want at Alibris.

    Eligible for free shipping in keeping with the Christmas spirit and celebrating the birth of our Redeemer! Check for yourself:


  • Keystone

    “We’re going to the Holy Land!” she told me in obvious astonishment and glee.

    “Wow!”, said I. “Would you mind doing me a favor?”


    “When you get to the Sea of Galilee, near the area of the Sermon on the Mount, would you reach down on the beach and pick up a sea shell for me?
    I may never make it to the Holy Land in my life, but I see it as bringing part of the Holy Land to me”. She agreed.

    Upon return, her smile was ear-to-ear with delight and anticipation. She reached in her purse, and instead of pulling out my awaited shell, she handed me a red bag FILLED with shells from the precise spot I had requested.
    I wanted but one; she delivered a bagfull! I was in awe.

    My daughter had a knack for attracting kids in trouble within. Her best friend was one of these, and sadly, slashed her wrists, pretty well, to take her life.
    She was 11 years old.
    My daughter told me they took “Amanda” to the metal hospital.
    Suicide watch.

    Her mom remarried and she just did not fit in with the new family and plans.

    I visited “Amanda” and she knew me well. I spoke to her of the sea shells on all the beaches and not a single duplicate existed. EACH is unique in pattern and size and shape. Each was made by God. We discussed why He would do that?
    We discussed that the same is true of every person, and that included her. She was unique to God, created by Him with far more care than a sea shell.

    I told her that He also has a pattern for her life, and she needs to listen to Him, …NOT the call of current circumstances.

    “How can you be sure?”, she queried.

    “Well,” I answered, “He sent His only Son to walk the beaches of the Sea of Galilee to tell us of Him, and to tell us later, He would die so we could live.”
    I then reached in to the bag of shells and gave her one; noting that this shell came from the very beach Christ appeared long ago and spoke the Sermon on the Mount. She held that shell and smiled.

    Today, she sings in a church choir, raising a family in the midwest, loving God.

    “Lord! Lord! See my shells.”

    EACH shell I handed out with the similar story has produced a miracle of changed lives. I wish I had one for Mister Piper too.
    There are many ways to reach out to souls and have them become Followers.

    I found it ironic that I used to live across the bridge from Punta Gorda in Port Charlotte and know that area Piper states, very well. The shells there are incredible, though the state now frowns on removal of conch shells that are so loved. I have thousands of shells from that area, but have never used them to speak as I did with the shells from the Holy Land.

    I still hope I get to go there myself, and if He wills it, I shall go and gather new shells, and at judgement proclaim:

    “Lord! Lord! See my shells and the miracles they produced through you?”

  • Keystone

    It is good for the soul.

    I have a hidden motive here and need all of you to help.

    Aaron has had a list of Top Posts, and this one…..
    John Piper on Mark Driscoll & John MacArthur….
    has appeared far too long.

    I urge everyone to comment on THIS post … not to win the book, though you just might. But rather, to get some new Top Posts listed in the sidebar of Blogging Theologically. It seems comments have an effect in that department.

    As for the Tweets, RSS, email, Pageflakes, Google reader, Links, and myriad ways to promote a blog, I also encourage you to simply pray that Blogging Theologically grows the old fashioned way.

    The steps of a righteous man are ordained by God.

    Pray that some unrighteous folks have their steps ordained to here by God.
    That seems to be the way He works, as I have never seen Him request a comment or RSS to grow.

    Whether you win a book or not, you can help make a new Top Post here by simply commenting.

    Bonus? More folks learn of Christ and what He wants out of their lives.
    Comment away. Please!

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Agreed, that post continues to get a lot of traffic and it would be nice if it wasn’t so frequently in my top posts list (there’s some much better content, in my opinion–but then, I’m biased).

      Thanks for all the comments, Keystone; I do appreciate them (and yes, you’re entered to win the book if you want it).

  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    Aaron, I would love to win this book, but even more, I want to express my appreciation for this blog site.

    I manage a church bog site, http://blog.hillsbiblechurch.org/, and know that it is difficult to build traffic to a site. We have been adding some good content but seldom get any comments and the traffic to the site remains low.

    We are going to try a draw for a Net Bible using the criteria used here.

    But as Keystone wrote, we are simply praying that God will direct people to our site and be challenged to read its content.

    God bless during 2010.

  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    OOPS! Just noticed, this draw is not open to residents of Australia. Oh well. My sentiments remain – love your site, Aaron!

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Hey Don, Thanks so much for the encouragement. I really appreciate it and the reminder from both you and Keystone that I need to really be praying that God will direct people to the site (and to other great sites – really enjoying yours, by the way).

      Thanks again, Don (and consider yourself entered – postage is actually pretty affordable to Australia!)

  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    Thanks for the generous inclusion, Aaron.

  • Keystone

    Hello Don,
    Happy Summer to you!
    I have meandered your blog and some thoughts crossed my mind.

    I saw the Twilight Post, the Jehovah Witness gal showing up at your Baptist Church, and a few other posts, before viewing your Calendar……a two-step-process to get in there….. (make it one step).

    1Peter 3:15 tells us “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you, to give the reason for the hope that you have”.
    Your blog is doing precisely that, although an opportunity with the Jehovash gal was lost.

    Long ago, I learned about this from a brother-in-law who now resides with Christ. Each trip to the West Coast (USA) invariably put him in contact with a strong willed relative.
    “Let’s go to Jodie’s” was a refrain for a decade. Jodie’s is a topless/bottomless spot for girls age 18 and a bit older to show their wares for cash…..a lucrative business. My brother-in-law steadfastly declined as he was a strong willed Christian.

    Finally, he tired of the incessant call to go to Jodie’s and, when asked on a later vist to go, he replied:
    “OK, I will go with you to YOUR house of worship this Saturday…..
    provided, YOU go with me to MY house of worship on Sunday”.
    There was no visit by either, to the respective houses of worship, and never a call to go to Jodie’s again.
    A reason for the hope he had, was given and effectively made the point forever.

    I think something like that should be prepared for every meet up with a Jehovah Witness by all of us. We need to listen. Afterall, Christ listened to all in His ministry. Just look at the start with the Woman at the Well.
    Engage the folks you least expect to listen to your reason for hope.

    A test of domains opened on Dec. 12, 2007 showed 100,000 new blogs.
    A review of all of them in 6 months showed the vast majority closed down.
    Someone had something to say, said it, and then shut up.

    We as Christians do not have that liberty to close down shop.

    So prepare answers ahead of time.
    I believe the Twilight message has to be addressed to TEENS, not parents.
    They are largely in lust mode with hormones in 4th gear. Twilight has tapped in to that river of love, and churches have NOT tapped into a solid response.
    Teens will not “hear” born-again, regeneration, justification, and “churchy” words well at all. I would advise a Guest Post from a teen or two in your flock on teen issues that they live with, and how Christ influences them. Their peers will read that and likely get it better.

    But many posts dealt with the sufficiency of Christ in all things.
    Yet, we seek to build blogs by links, give-aways, Blogroll sharing, and comments at similar blogs—-to be name clicked and return a comment to increase traffic. This is contrary to our belief.

    Ask your members to fast and pray, not just pray, and ask that it be done to increase viewership at your blog. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised to see the steps and paths ordained your way.

    I have found only one site on the Internet to use this method, and I discussed it at length with the blogger (privately). The followers came. They always do.

    Go back to that Twilight post and discuss it with 16 to 18 year olds in your membership. Then, repost on the topic in a way both Christ would use, and the teens would use. This is NOT an indictment of the post.

    The inroads of Twilight are rampant. Therefore, one post by you will not stop the tsunami of influence of the vampire lovers. But that picture you had DID draw attention.

    I agree that the Word is critical to explore.
    I also think it has to be applicable to the readers worldwide that the Word of God applies to them personally and to every problem and success they will every have in life.

    Go for it!
    Best of luck and best regards.

    And Aaron…thanks for throwing my hat in the ring. I like Piper.
    Indeed, a comment and email to his boy Abraham got a personal reply….rare these days. Abraham has his blog on the BlogRoll above called “22 Words”.
    That is far less that Twitter’s 140 characters, eh?

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Definitely can be yeah :) Abraham’s a good guy; I’ve had the pleasure of working with him a bit through Compassion (that and I really like his blog – always give me a lot to think about).

      Thanks Keystone

    • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

      Thanks, Keystone. I appreciate your insights.

      Of course, one needs to understand out “target market” to assess whether we are hitting it or not.

      Our church is very new – we’ve just been meeting as a church for about six months. Against a background of baptist churches that seem to have sold out to a watered-down gospel, ie come as you are – stay as you are – no sin, no repentance, just love a hugs, a group of adults, college and career age and older, have a desire to establish a church that holds to basic biblical theology. We firmly believe that God will work through his written Word and have rejected the slick spin of the “seeker-friendly” groupies.

      God’s word of promise cannot fail to bring his people into the richness and fullness of eternal life. Human good intentions fail, but God’s promises succeed (Isaiah 55:11).

      A church built on a half gospel in not a church. We are targeting believers who have drifted away from church due to its theological liberalization and acceptance of Christian political correctness – ie don’t refer to sin – accept homosexuality as normal.

      Many of these believer have simply been unable to find a church that practices the faith from a baptistic perspective, so have stopped attending any church or attend churches where they are not fully comfortable with the denominational flavor.

      The point of the post in question was to remind believers that ones life practices must be in harmony with the goal of holy living. It isn’t directed to teens, per say but to any who would compromise their standards to feed worldly desires.

      Keystone, It would be super if you would comment directly on our blog.

      Again, thanks & God bless.


  • bryonharvey

    following via RSS

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      Thanks Bryon :)