The lost practice of mental discipline

chess - francesca special k - flickr ccOne of the biggest obstacles for seriously following Jesus in our hyper-connected world is a simple lack of mental discipline, otherwise known as focus and attention span.

Culturally, we’ve succumbed to the temptations of constant distraction and whimsy. If we are not “engaged” (by which we too often actually mean “entertained”) by whatever “content” we are “consuming” we simply move on.

In other words, when it comes to thinking, we tend to give up when the going gets tough. Continue reading The lost practice of mental discipline

The 12 Spiritual Disciplines: Essential Tools for Spiritual Growth

The spiritual disciplines are means by which individuals and communities can very literally “practice” their faith. They are tools by which Christians seek to know God, yield to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power, and surrender to the Divine Will in their lives. The disciplines can be instrumental tools as we seek to “tune” ourselves to God’s desires and see his kingdom as he sees it. These holy actions have been practiced by believers since the earliest times, and are firmly rooted in Christ’s commands and examples in the Gospels. Continue reading The 12 Spiritual Disciplines: Essential Tools for Spiritual Growth

What is the Path to Spiritual Growth?

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s taken me this long to pick up and read Richard Foster’s classic on essential tools for spiritual growth, Celebration of Discipline. Although I’ve studied the disciplines for quite some time and have read other books on spiritual formation that took cues from Foster, I finally got around to diving into the original. It’s clear why this book has been such an influential work on so many.

Foster writes with eloquence and practicality, eager to challenge the reader but never pressing too hard. There’s a certain pastoral sensitivity in his prose that is a joy to read. Continue reading What is the Path to Spiritual Growth?