Beginning a Disciplined Life

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” “If you could change anything anything about yourself, what would it be?” These are questions we all get asked, or we ask ourselves.

These are good questions, but I think a better question would be “how much are you willing to do/change to achieve the goals you set?” The reason I say this is because it is important to know what we are willing to go through to. In other words, we need to know how disciplined we are.

Discipline. Now that’s a word that has some negative connotations for some people. But the truth is, when we talk about how disciplined we are, we are talking about how much we can focus and structure/arrange our lives around different routines, concepts, tasks, etc. This is where we see how much we can grow to become the person we desire.

Over ten years ago, I realized I needed to restructure and change my thinking. I knew I needed a change. So, I made a change. At the time I did not realize why I was making this change but now I know. The Holy Spirit was preparing me, mentally, to handle things in the future.


Through intentionally incorporating spiritual disciplines into my daily routine.

At first, I would schedule HWFW (His Word First Word) in my calendar to help me start the day with reading scripture. Over time I have had to learn what works best for me.

Now, I incorporate the Daily Office into my daily life which involves reading scripture and praying at certain points of the day. Here lately I have started a much slower devotional piece that is having me write the scripture, in my own handwriting, and meditating on that throughout the day.

This has been phenomenal. I’ve been seeing more words and punctuation than ever before. Plus I am paying more attention to the word choices.

My mind has become more focused throughout the day just by “tweaking” different aspects in my routine. I have found the Holy Spirit to be speaking more and more in this practice and process.

When our day is arranged so the practices are incorporated, the Holy Spirit does something. Suddenly we find we are able to handle what we’re faced with more clarity and peace because we are relying more on the Spirit’s power and presence to be known in and through us. We’ll also notice how we are becoming transformed into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ.

The question we now have to face is how much do we focus on Jesus each day.

What will help you discipline yourself, mind, heart, attention on Christ?
I would recommend the book by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, and discover the spiritual practice that fits with who God made you to be.

I’d also love to know how you “connect” with God each day.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

One thought on “Beginning a Disciplined Life

  1. I am going to miss you very much. You have made it good to get up and go to church again. I wish you we’ll in your new position but think you had it better here. The stuff of discernment only proved to split people apart not bring them closer to god. You did that for us!

    How will we get a new preacher that will know how to guide us through the process now. Does the bishop of FUMC do it or will it be a global bishop we don’t know. Too much to think about without getting mad at the people that caused this and god. Conflict is not good for the church or me.

    We have family here for thanksgiving. Two trailers and 8 people so far. More coming for the family reunion tomorrow. I hope we are not too exhausted for church Sunday.

    Have a great day! Wally

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