⏳RR #80: The Missing Ingredient

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Issue #80: Productivity & Christian Living, Focus to Win, Classic Book Recommendations, Biblical Principles for New Managers, Academy Open, and more.

Dear steward,

Over the past year, I asked everyone who signed up for this newsletter one question:

“What’s your biggest productivity problem?”

When categorized, these were the 5 most common answers:

  • Procrastination
  • Distraction
  • Laziness
  • Motivation
  • Consistency

I’m guessing you struggle with at least one of those.

I know I do.

You want to be diligent, you want to follow through on what you say you’ll do, you want to get stuff done and get it done like a Christian. But it’s hard!

But what about it is hard exactly?

I would argue it’s not that we don’t know in theory what we should be doing—we know we should be reading the Word, following through on commitments, etc. But it’s the practical side that seems to get us.

We just can’t seem to execute.

We know what to do but we don’t know how to get it done.

That’s why I try to address both the spiritual and the practical sides of Christian living. Because sound doctrine and wise living are bedfellows.

I wrote a lot more about how these two come together in living an effective Christian life in my latest article, Practical Religion: The Missing Ingredient.


The best links I found this week

Focus to Win (3 mins)

This is geared more toward business, but the advice is applicable to everything we do in life. If you learn to focus, you will go further.

“We all have the same number of hours in a week. What separates people is how they focus them.”

(Shane Parish / Farnham Street)

So You’ve Been Told You Should Read Some Old Books… (5 mins)

This week Tim Challies shared a great list of Christian classics he recommends. I went through it and put the suggestions in a bullet list.

Here’s the list ordered by era:

  • Confessions, Augustine
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
  • A Little Book on the Christian Life, John Calvin
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, by Thomas Brooks
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs
  • The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes
  • The Godly Man’s Picture, Thomas Watson
  • Sin and Temptation, John Owen
  • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, John Foxe
  • The Loveliness of Christ, Samuel Rutherford
  • Real Christianity, William Wilberforce
  • The Diary and Journal of David Brainerd, Jonathan Edwards
  • Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Andrew Bonar
  • Holiness, J.C. Ryle
  • Thoughts for Young Men, J.C. Ryle
  • God’s Light on Dark Clouds, Theordore Cuyler
  • A Book of Comfort for Those in Sickness, P.B. Power
  • Christianity and Liberalism, J. Grasham Machen
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applies, John Murray
  • The Attributes of God, A.W. Pink
  • Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
  • Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  • The Cross of Christ, John Stott
  • The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul
  • Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot

I may have missed one or two, but that ought to at least keep you busy for the weekend.

“If I had to plot out a short reading list with one book from each era, I might go in this order: The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, A Little Book on the Christian Life, Holiness, Knowing God, Confessions, the Religious Affections.”

(Tim Challies)

Be Comforted in Your Smallness (5 mins)

If you tend to get overwhelmed, this is a really encouraging reminder.

“Be comforted, small one, in your smallness. He lays no merit upon you. The weight of the world is not yours. It was borne by another, by one whose bloody shoulders were able to bear it”

(Joe Rigney / Desiring God)

The Neuroscience of Achieving Your Goals (19 mins)

If you’ve ever heard the productivity advice that you should rigorously schedule every hour of your day—including your fun time—a new study has challenged the idea that scheduled fun is as enjoyable as spontaneous fun.

“The source of leisure’s pleasure is partly rooted in its free-flowing nature; by stemming leisure’s flow a bit by adding a schedule — turning it into an appointment — it seems a little less like fun and a little more like work.”

(Brett & Kate McKay / The Art of Manliness) 

Biblical Principles for New Managers (4 mins)

I remember how disorienting it was when I was first promoted to a management position. This article is filled with wise counsel for those new to management.

(Russ Gehrlein / The Gospel Coalition)


Thanks for reading!

Thanks for reading!

And if you are looking for more help with time management and personal productivity, do be sure to check out the Academy.

Would love to have you join us!

In Christ,


Reagan Rose
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