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5 Stars Out Of 5
It's a MUST read!
March 12, 2013
I bought this book partly because I love Bob Merrett's speaking style and the great stories he uses to relate to his teachings and partly because the topic seemed relevant. Overall, it met my expectations and I never wanted to put this book down! He makes many valid points and really makes you think about how you can change personally. I loved this book.
Don't Let Title Deter You. Great Advice, Easy Read
August 28, 2012
Don't let the title deter you: Merritt offers great advice to people of all ages and circumstances, not just "when life's not working." (Perhaps that's why they retitled the paperback "7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow." This hardback is the same as the more expensive paperback.)
In his 50s, this book is the culmination of Merritt's hard won wisdom delivered with large doses of self-deprecating humor. Maybe that's why it's such an easy, refreshing read. You don't feel lectured; you feel like he's holding your hand, saying 'don't make the same dumb mistake I made.' He takes solid Biblical examples and makes them relevant to living in a fallen world.
Great gift for newlyweds, graduates, retirees, teens, empty nesters, just about anybody. Except maybe Jesus, who is perfect.
"When Life's not Working" was a very good book at time that lots of things are changing in my life. As I was reading it I thought this book can be applied to a young couple entering the new stage of being married, a couple having their first child or with each additional. It would be good for the empty nester and for me the sandwich generation, between care of parents as well as grandchildren. It showed me how to look at the life I have now in a very different way and ways to cope with the struggles at every different stage. I purchased several to give as gifts.
Life is challenging for many of us; for some of us, it is downright tough. So why do some people thrive while others in similar circumstances spiral downward? To answer this question, Pastor Bob Merritt of the huge Eagle Brook Church wrote this book.
When Life's Not Working: 7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow outlines the choices each of us can make that will ensure that our lives, while not easy, will not be unnecessarily hard. In fact, the self-discipline involved in these 7 choices will prepare us to live well and wisely, to God's glory.
Pastor Bob begins by explaining, with stories, why we need discipline in our lives and why following the narrow road is important, not only for eternity but also for this life. "Disciplines are self-imposed practices that you apply to yourself willingly, because you have discovered that without them you fail." In fact, he goes so far as to assert that "There's nothing easy about living an undisciplined life."
So what are these strategies that require self-discipline? Twenty years of being a pastor and a lifetime of personal experience, presented transparently, have been distilled into 7 simple, though not easy, strategies for intentional living:
Don't quit but rely on God
Do a few things well rather than many things poorly
Be prepared by working hard, planning carefully, and obeying God
Increase your consistency by building rhythms and habits into your life
Use small but repeated efforts to tackle large problems
Be willing to stretch yourself if God calls you to do something you cannot do on your own
Practice self-control to avoid areas of weakness and temptation
In the process, you'll also need to humbly work on your character flaws, trusting God to change you as you pursue Him and flee sin. Above all, you'll need to learn how to love and forgive the people in your life, starting now.
In a chatty style, using stories and Biblical explanations, Bob Merritt passes on knowledge that we can all use. Despite some errors in fact and emphasis, this is an enormously practical book. Whether you are currently in a tough situation or just living everyday life, you will benefit from Bob's reminders of how God has built cause and effect into our world. Of course, this earth is not heaven, and Biblical self-discipline will not guarantee a pain-free life. However, the principles in When Life's Not Working will allow us to avoid the unnecessary losses and setbacks that plague those who do the wrong things in the wrong order. Even more, they will allow us to glorify God in the things that we do, rather than discredit Him.
Although I'm not currectly in a tough stage of life, When Life's Not Working has led me to make some important changes and decisions. I recommend this book to all my readers for their personal benefit. It would also be excellent reading for teens as part of a high school program.