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Book Review: Do More Better by Tim Challies

“Productivity is effectively stewarding your gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

I’ve known that we must be good stewards of our money but I didn’t always apply it to time. The way we spend our time is something we ought to think about more often. Do I do this always? Absolutely not. If you ever see the amount of playtime time I’ve put into Animal Crossing, you’d see I wasn’t kidding.

I don’t always look at how I spend my time on a grander scale but this book goes through practical ways in which we can do this. This is a book that would indeed help you “do more better”, and with that I end my review…Just kidding. 

In this book Challies explains why we must seek to be productive. Everything we do should be done for the glory of God and we must organize ourselves to do this as best we can. 

Godly productivity is a mindset. Challies makes sure to emphasize this. He actually tells the reader that if they are solely looking for ways to be productive to skip to the last chapters. What he does in this book, is break down what we need to be productive with and how it’s involved with our spiritual lives by breaking down tasks into categories and subcategories. I actually found this to be very helpful. It helped me organize myself better. 

For example, I am in a ladies discipleship group, this would be a subcategory under “Church” for me. Also in my church category is “Translation” a ministry I am a part of in my church. Here I would designate tasks revolving around the Spanish translation of the sermon. Usually, I need to gather all the Bible verses and have them ready in Spanish for when the preacher reads it, that way I don’t have to paraphrase. I’m not a fan of paraphrasing God’s word during sermons. So I set the task that needs to be done on my app, set a due date and a reminder because let’s face it, we don’t all remember everything always. 

Challies breaks down why it is important to be mindful of our time and how we manage it. He gives his own examples of how he does things and give life examples that are informative. 

This book will help guide you on how to practically set up a task management app, calendar and an information management tool such as Evernote so that you can do more better. It’s not a long book, you can definitely read it in a week or less and even setting up all the tools isn’t too complicated. I got a lot from this book. It’s worth the read. If you are looking to get your spiritual life together and want to be more productive definitely check it out. 

Here are a few quotes from the book I thought were notable: 

“You need to structure and organize your life so that you can do the maximum good for others and thus bring the maximum glory to God.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

“Your good works are like a light, and when that light shines, it illuminates God. When people see that light, they aren’t meant to look at you and say, “He’s incredible” or “She’s amazing.” They are meant to look at God and say, “He is awesome.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

“You haven’t begun to live a focused and productive life until you have said no to great opportunities that just do not fit your mission. There are many good things in this world that will go undone or that will have to be done by someone else.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

“If you are a student and apply yourself to your studies, you are doing a good work that brings glory to God, because what you learn can and will be used someday to benefit other people. If you work in an office environment and do your job with consideration to your clients and coworkers, you are doing good works that bring glory to God, because you are living outside yourself, doing what benefits the people in your life.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

“Busyness may make you feel good about yourself and give the illusion of getting things done, but it probably just means that you are directing too little attention in too many directions, that you are prioritizing all the wrong things, and that your productivity is suffering.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

“There is no task in life that cannot be done for God’s glory.”

Tim Challies, Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity
Book Recommendations, Life, Pilgrimage, Thoughtfulness

Book Review: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

I’ve had many people recommend The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. After hearing about it for a while I have now finally read it. I saw that Allie B. Stuckey’s book club would be reading it and figured, now is the time. I had never read a book with an online book club before and thought it would be cool. Although I did not comment on any of the review questions, I thought it was nice to be reading the same book with many other women in the faith.

When I began reading the book, it took some time to get into the style it was written in. The book is a series of letters written by Wormwood’s uncle Screwtape.

In these letters Screwtape gives instructions on how to keep his patient from growing in Christ and being saved. He offers suggestions on how to keep him distracted so he doesnt grow, such as being dissatisfied with his church, looking at other believers as if they fall short (which we all do) and thus he should not be part of them or that because they fall short, then the whole faith must be false. He suggests having the patient become good friends with the elite because that will keep him grounded in worldly things. He discouraged godly relationships, basically anything to distract him from the faith. 

I’m sure in our experience we have come across seasons where we are dissatisfied with our church or are holding onto relationships that are not good for us. I just find it fascinating how a book written some time ago still resonates with what is happening now, kind of mind boggling really!

*I am an Amazon affiliate so I may get a small fee for any purchase you may make but this will be of no effect to the price you pay.*

Here are a few quotes from the book so you can get a taste of what I mean:

“Surely you know that if a man can’t be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that “suits” him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them for eternity.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts, Your affectionate uncle SCREWTAPE”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love—a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours. For we must never forget what is the most repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the hairless bipeds He has created and always gives back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it’, while really it is finding its place in him.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

You can find a link to buy the book in this post. I think this book is worth the read. You will definitely see how concerns of the past are still relevant today. It is an interesting perspective to see how the enemy (the real enemy not the enemy in the book who is our Lord) might be plotting to keep up away from Christ and seeking spiritual growth. 

SDG- “Soli Deo Gloria”

Book Recommendations, Pilgrimage

Book Review: Corovavirus and Christ by John Piper

There is a lot going on right now, so this review will be brief. As we are all aware we are currently in the middle of a pandemic, or at least what I hope is the near end of the pandemic. So much has happened in the past two months, that it’s hard to put into words.

Because of the lockdown in New York, I have been working from home for a little over 2 months. I rarely leave my home and when I do it’s only to walk the dog. Going outside is a weird feeling, it’s as if we are living in Bizarro world, barely anyone is out and if they are, they are wearing masks.

Most people avoid walking on the same sidewalk as us, (possibly because our dog looks aggressive, but really she’s a sweetie who just loves smelling and jumping on people) but also because people are afraid to come into close contact with any other humans. I can only imagine how strange things will be when the city reopens. 

I began to read Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper, at the height of the pandemic, when the death tolls were in the thousands on a daily basis. I watched Gov. Cuomo almost everyday religiously just to keep up with what was going on. This book’s release was very timely. As I read through it, I was both informed and reassured that there is nothing outside of God’s control. I am a strong believer in God’s sovereignty and this book went into various reasons for the virus, many of which revolved around the sovereignty of God.

Although I was receiving bad news on what seemed like a daily basis, this book brought peace to my mind, until I didn’t, but it wasn’t the book’s fault I lost my peace of mind. A little over half way through the book, I was informed that a family member of mine was admitted to the hospital and that the doctors didn’t believe they would come out alive. Although I know God is sovereign, I was wrestling with the thought of my ill family member. 

About a week later, the doctor’s words became true, my aunt passed away due mainly to the virus. It’s a bit hard to write this because it is still recent, but I want to share my heart with you, because I think it might help give a different perspective. Now I have mentioned many times that I am a strong believer of God’s sovereignty, but at the time I found out, I was shaken.

I was sad and overwhelmed. You see, I knew my aunt was unsaved and I was struggling with the thought that she did not go to heaven. I do hope that in her last days she may have contemplated the gospel that was shared with her through the years by my mother and grandmother, and that she repented and was saved, but that is a mystery I will not know the answer to for some time. 

Of course I still feel sad, but trusting in God and his sovereignty has helped me. 

In this book John Piper gives many reasons for the virus, one being that God is showing what sin looks like, just in a form we are not used to. We know that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but we aren’t always able to see the weight of sin as we can now, with the virus. We know that there will be a second coming and that the earth groans waiting eagerly for Christ’s return, this is just one example of this. 

Things may look grim but we know who we have believed and we know He is faithful to keep us. I finished the book about a week after the bad news, the book helped me see again where my faith is rooted, and who my foundation is. God is in control of everything, even this virus, even all the bad things going on, everything is in His hands. I know that this virus has brought many to Christ, and the gospel was shared continually throughout this difficult time. God works in all situations, let us remember where our faith is. 

Check out the book for yourself, I tried to be vague because I do want you to check it out. I got a free copy from Crossway.org, they also have the audiobook available for free, you can find that here. A physical copy of the book was released and you can purchase it here. I would recommend this book to anyone, or any age, believer or non-believer, it helped put our current situation into perspective and I think you would enjoy it and learn from it. 

SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”

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