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.

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…

God’s love helps us receive and interpret our circumstances instead of having our hearts controlled by them. Rather than looking at our schedules and hoping for a good day, or creating a plan to make a good day, we look to the satisfying love of God that he generously offers each morning.Matthew Westerholm, Evaluate Your Day Before It Begins on desiringGod.org