Don’t Waste Your Life


I read John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life some time back and was struck by the following illustration of what he considered to be a wasted life.

“I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider a story from the February 1998 edition of Reader’s Digest, which tells about a couple who “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.”

At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life—your one and only precious, God-given life—and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball and collecting shells.

Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. Over against that, I put my protest: Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.”

When I finally ‘retire’ I want to continue to contribute to building a kingdom that will last forever. That’s just what Bob and Christine are doing. Take five minutes to watch the video and let them inspire you.

You might not be able to commit all your time and resources in the way that Bob and Christine are doing but maybe you could consider sponsoring a child through Compassion.

You may even decide that you’d like to do a little more and help organise a Compassion Sunday for your church.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your life.

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Rob Palmer in Perth for Garden Week 2012

Rob Palmer started in the construction industry as a nine year old working at his Dad’s company during school holidays. In 2000, while he was working as a carpenter in his own business, Rob was approached to be a presenter on a lifestyle programme on Channel 10. That program only lasted until 2001 but by then he was on his way in the media industry.

He then started on Channel 7’s Better Homes and Gardens where he’s still a popular presenter.

In 2010 he showed the world he’s multi-talented by winning Dancing with the Stars. This weekend he’s in Perth for Garden Week at Perry Lakes Reserve in Floreat, but I spoke to him on the phone this morning during the Morning Cafe on 98.5 Sonshine FM. You can hear our conversation by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

From 19-23 April Perry Lakes Reserve in Floreat will be transformed from tranquil parkland to a bustling hub of activity featuring all things gardening and much more.

Bursting with colour, Garden Week will delight visitors with the huge array of roses, waterwise plants, trees, indoor and outdoor plants, herbs and vegies.

Open daily from 9.30am, the Show is growing in popularity with visitors treated to the best WA has to offer with all things gardening and outdoor living.

Rob Palmer, the ever-popular DIY expert from Better Homes and Gardens will be on the Total Eden Celebrity stage from Thursday to Sunday to charm the crowds with his wit, humour and talent.

Also on the Celebrity Stage will be Chris Ferreira and the team from Great Gardens who will be holding presentations with topics ranging from sustainability and how to grow your own produce.

Great Gardens will also be working closely with Garden Week’s official Charity Partner Therapy Focus on the hugely popular Scarecrow Competition with over 40 scarecrows from WA primary schools on display.

Rob will be appearing at the Garden Show across the weekend.


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Celebrating Small Victories

Finally … after months of trying I finally got our garden watering system working. That may not be quite as exciting for you as it is for me but I’m getting ready to kill the fatted calf for the celebrations.

We moved into our current home in August last year so for the first few months we were there we didn’t need to water our garden. God took care of that for us.

Over the past few months I’ve been trying to get the controller programmed to do what it needs to do. I’d set it to run each station for ten minutes but when the time for it to start rolled around it would only ever run each station for three minutes. I’d check and re-check the programming but everything was set correctly. It was definitely displaying ten minutes for each station yet it refused to water any section of our garden for more than three minutes.

I ended up turning each station on manually on our watering days. (In Perth we are under watering restrictions and can only use sprinklers twice a week on designated days.)

Finally, last weekend, I pulled the plug on the controller for a couple of hours. I removed the backup battery and pulled the fuse on the main supply. It was a kind of reboot. I then reprogrammed everything following the same steps I’d followed several times before. I had no idea if it worked because today was our next watering day and the first opportunity to see if it could get past three minutes.

This morning I woke to the sound of running water. It’s finally doing what it should. I’m not going to touch it ever again.

I know that getting a watering controller sorted isn’t quite the same as discovering a cure for the common cold but sometimes you’ve got to appreciate and celebrate the small victories.

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Aussie Green Thumb Returns

green_thumb.jpgOne of the big benefits of moving house last year is that we now have a much smaller garden.

I like having a nice garden … but I’m certainly not a gardener. I’m better at killing plants than helping them thrive. I don’t try to kill plants, it’s just a natural talent.

Thankfully there are people like James Middleton who are ready with excellent advice to help your garden grow. James has just re-launched his gardening website It’s the place to go to pick up all kinds of hints for your garden. However, if you’re more like me and you know that all the advice in the world won’t help, James is available to do the work for you at a reasonable rate. At the moment he is only doing gardening work in Perth, Western Australia, but I’m sure if you paid his travel and accommodation costs he’d be happy to travel. 🙂

Hello, my name is James Middleton and I want to warmly welcome you to my re-launch of Back in 2007 I started this website, offering hints, tips and traps for fellow Australian Gardeners with a particular focus on Australian Native Plants. This will still be my focus as we kick off again!

My belief is that everybody can have a good garden.

At I promote both gardening yourself OR hiring professionals to take care of your gardening for you. This is why my philosophy is ‘a gardening lifestyle, today and tomorrow’. What this means is I believe anyone can start to improve their garden whenever ‘today’ is, with an outlook to having an even better garden on every ‘tomorrow’. Whether this be by improving your own gardening skills OR by employing a gardener to keep things looking green is your decision.

Why not check out and tell James I sent you.

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