Emergency Room

Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction

By: Tom Grosh IV, DMin

September 1, 2019

"Talking about Jesus while ignoring the way of Jesus has created an American Christianity that is far more American than it is Christian. Paying all our spiritual attention to the message of Jesus while ignoring his practices has not only led people like me into devastating life crises, it has also created a country of Christians whose practical lives are divorced from their actual faith….”

—Justin Whitmel Earley, The Common Rule: Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction

On Sunday, September 8, I begin teaching "Creating Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction" as a fall Sunday school class at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ church:


“You've heard of Spiritual Disciplines and you've dismissed them because ‘normal’ people don't have time for that! The Common Rule by mergers and acquisitions lawyer Justin Whitmel Earley offers a contemporary rule of life—practical, relevant, transformative for different walks of life. Learn daily and weekly habits in ways that you never have before.”


To share the blessing, I will post material on the CMDA South Central Pennsylvania blog. Click here to learn more about the text. As a teaser, below is a quote and a few reflections from "Introduction: Discovering the Freedom of Limitations."


“That night in the hospital, the doctor gave me a bottle of sleeping pills and told me I needed to slow down. Of course I had no idea how to slow down. Busyness functions like an addiction. When you stop, you have to face your thoughts, which terrifies most of us. So to cope you have to keep up the busyness. I started taking the sleeping pills and thus began the darkest phase I have ever known.”


Influenced by his experience as a missionary in China, Justin has a passion for shaping the world through business and law. But ambition as a way of life led to busyness, which resulted in tiredness, clinical anxiety and panic attacks. His calling, job, family and home looked successful. But "the yes to everything and no to nothing" led to God not being at the center of his life. How did he develop a new way of life? A life offered to the Lord? Better rhythms (daily and weekly) and accountability: "habits are water we swim in…they form our hearts…habits are how we get our hands on our purpose," he writes.


Questions for your prayerful consideration:

  1. What are your habits?
  2. How would you describe your way of life and who you are becoming?
  3. In whom do you place your trust regarding next steps?
  4. "What if the good life doesn't come from having the ability to do what we want but from having the ability to do what we were made for?"
  5. "What if true freedom comes from choosing the right limitations, not avoiding all limitations?"


As those created in your image, grant us the grace to grow in love of you and neighbor with head, heart and hands. Give us insight and accountability as we press into "Changing Hearts in Healthcare."

In Christ's name,


Tom Grosh IV, DMin

About Tom Grosh IV, DMin

Through a decade of interactions with current and future healthcare professionals as a CMDA affiliate staff at the Penn State College of Medicine's Christian Medical Society (CMS) / CMDA, the Lord ignited in Tom Grosh IV a passion to devote his next season of ministry to transforming lives with the Gospel through healthcare. Tom brings to CMDA in South Central PA over 20 years of experience with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA. Most recently he served as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network (2012-2018). His responsibilities included conferencing, digital ministries, fund development, networking, and resource development. Tom has completed a B.S. in Biology (Grove City College), a M.A. in Higher Education (Geneva College), a M.A.R. in Spiritual Formation (Evangelical Seminary), and a Certificate in Spiritual Direction (Evangelical Seminary), and a Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Emerging Generations (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary). He is licensed in the Brethren in Christ Church, U.S. Tom and his wife Theresa grew up in Lancaster County, PA. They met while attending Donegal High School. Currently, Tom and Theresa are active members of Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ, where they serve in a number of ministry capacities. The Lord has blessed them with four children: Hayley, Ellen, Eden, and Lily.

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