Reagan’s Roundup: July 4, 2024

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Your weekly roundup of insights and resources to help you get more done for the glory of God.

In Today’s Issue:

  • Redeeming Time to Think
  • Busy Unlike Jesus
  • Reduce Screen Time by 80%
  • Your Commute Is an Opportunity
  • Quote: Spurgeon on Idleness

Dear steward,

Happy Independence Day to my readers in the US! After I press send on this email, I’m off to spend the day with my family.

This week, I started reading Divine Providence by the English Puritan Stephen Charnock (1628 – 1680). And I was struck by this description of Charnock in the preface:

He was a great redeemer of time, rescuing not only his restless hours in the night but even time spent walking in the streets from those impertinencies and fruitless vanities that often fill up men’s minds and steal their hearts away from those better and more noble objects that challenge their thinking on those issues of higher regard.

A few takeaways:

First, how neat would it be to have the reputation of being “a great redeemer of time”? Especially now in our day of constant distraction, someone who exercises even a little self-discipline over their time is admirable for it.

Second, it speaks of his redeeming the little pockets of time, moments we would usually think of as trivial—the restless hours in the night or time spent walking. We often complain of lack of time for things like reading, prayer, or even thinking. But God gifts us commutes, queues, and, yes, even insomnia at times that we might redeem these moments for better use.

Third, the specifics of how Charnock is said to redeem his time is by focusing his mind on “more noble objects.” This is likely an allusion to Paul’s instructions in Philippians 4:8.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

We often think redeeming the time means squeezing in a bit more work. But of far more importance is what we spend our time thinking about. We are, after all, transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

I think the big point is this: A productive Christian is as concerned with mastering his mind as he is with mastering his calendar.

Reading this, I was convicted afresh about how often I burn up the little pockets of time I could be using to think about loftier things by instead opening my phone and giving my time to “those impertinencies and fruitless vanities that often fill up men’s minds.”

Anyway, just something to chew on.

By the way, our membership program, Redeeming Productivity Academy just kicked off our ​summer goal challenge​ this week. If you have a goal you’d like help staying accountable on, we’d love to have you join us.

Membership also gives you access to our full course catalog and loads of other benefits. You can learn more about everything that’s included in the Academy ​here​.


The best links I found this week

​Busy Unlike Jesus​ (1 mins)

Jim Elliff / CCW

I don’t need to cite the burnout statistics to convince you that many people in ministry are living and ministering at an unsustainable pace. They justify their busyness by pointing to Jesus’ earthly ministry. But as Jim Eliff points out, we often overlook one very important part of Jesus’ pace of life.

We fail to remember the walking that Christ and the apostles did. In our frenzied lives, failing to remember that these men walked every place they went may fix in us a very wrong view of Christian ministry, Jesus and his followers had time to process, to meditate, to ponder with brothers, to detoxify after encounters with lies and demons and countering authorities. Not only did the walks give them the space and time they needed, it also strengthened them for more, hardening bones, stretching muscles and expanding lung capacity.

​How I Reduced My Screentime by 80%​ (11 mins)

Reysu / YouTube

This is the best step-by-step guide I’ve come across for dumbing down your iPhone or Android phone to make it less addicting. He demonstrates what settings you should change and also provides some additional apps to help.

Here’s the apps he mentions:

​Redeem Your Commute Time Well​ (4 mins)

Jessica Schroeder / Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

Some good suggestions for how to change your mindset around your commute and specific ideas for how to better use this time.

Have you ever considered how much power a commute has, either for good or for ill? The daily commute—both to work and back home—can have an immense impact on your life either positively or negatively, depending upon how you handle it.


On Redeeming Productivity

Listener Q&A​ (22 mins)

I took a handful of listener questions that were representative of some of the most common questions I get, and attempted to answer them on the podcast this week.


Quote of the Week

The most likely man to go to hell is the man who has nothing to do on earth. Idle people tempt the devil to tempt them.

Charles Spurgeon
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