Gaining Christ through the gospel — gaining all of God and all his promises to his cross-reconciled children for all eternity and losing all sin and all death and all hell and all their accompanying miseries — was the reward that gave Paul his laser-like focus and fueled his self-discipline.

- Jon Bloom, The Secret to Self-Discipline

I’ve been pondering the idea of “Christian Essentialism” lately, and one topic that’s come to the forefront of my attention is self-discipline. In order to effectively put your energy towards one goal, you need the willpower and discipline to stay focused even when things get boring and mundane…

Just last week, I finished reading Greg McKeown’s Essentialism, a book I received as a birthday gift earlier this year. I had heard an interview with McKeown on the Art of Manliness podcast last year, and the idea of “essentialism” had hit a chord with me right at the time I was considering dumbing down my phone and simplifying life.

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a few years now, and only recently switched podcast apps on my phone. I started with Overcast as the first podcast app, primarily leveraging the “Smart Speed” feature to trim silences so I could get in more listening. But back in my Overcast days, I was a more casual listener…

Over the past two months, I’ve successfully completed a challenge I set out to try: posting on my blog every day. I didn’t set an end date for this, but just kept at it every day. Once I had a visible streak, I felt like I couldn’t stop. In fact, I still have a continuous streak…

This week was the first time I started to feel the change in the seasons. We had a much cooler day earlier in the week, combined with bright sunshine, that gave a distinct feeling of the start of a new school year. I took a shorter walk over lunch that day, and while taking in the exquisite elements of the weather, wrote down…

There are some musical pieces that carry a personal story of discovery, either the first time you heard an artist or a specific song; how it made you feel. Due to the ubiquitous music-discovery features built into services like Spotify and Apple Music today, that experience is unfortunately becoming a thing of the past.

At a church potluck on Sunday, I was challenged during conversation with another father not to give in to the lure of mindless entertainment. For much of my life, I’ve allowed “entertainment” to have some room to grow; it’s OK to indulge in entertainment as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. In college, I stopped playing video games because I saw what a waste of time they were. But I still indulge in an iPhone game every so often…