Blogging The Great American Solar Eclipse

With family in Rochester, NY, we drove north to get front row seats in the "zone of totality" to the 2024 Great American Eclipse. Sadly, we woke up this morning to...total clouds. With the eclipse eclipsed, here were my reflections from the last eclipse event in 2017, when we lived in LA.  August 21, 2017 - Los Angeles 9:45am - A total eclipse of the sun hasn’t occurred over American soil since 1918, but in [...]

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1 Minute Training Tip

“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline. The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”

Abraham J. Heschel

“Winners embrace hard work…Losers see it as punishment. That is the difference.”

Lou Holtz

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”

John Maxwell

“A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.”

Paulo Coelho

“I must take care above all that I cultivate communion with Christ, for though that can never be the basis of my peace – mark that – yet it will be the channel of it.”

Charles Spurgeon

“Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.”

John Wooden

“The way to avoid evil is not by maiming our passions, but by compelling them to yield their vigor to our moral nature. Thus they become, as in the ancient fable, the harnessed steeds which bear the chariot of the sun.”

Henry Ward Beecher

“The first and best victory is to conquer yourself. To be conquered by self is of all things the most shameful.”


“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable, procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.”

George Washington

“The one quality which sets one man apart from another – the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity, is not talent, nor formal education, nor intellectual brightness – is self-discipline.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“Why then be perverse, my soul, and why follow your own flesh? Will you not rather turn and let your flesh follow you?”

St. Augustine

Train Yourself Ministry is the online home for writer and pastor Bear Clifton

I‘ve been a pastor for the last 25 years, and of all the messages I’ve given over the years, there’s one topic that I keep coming back to, and it’s why I’ve launched Train Yourself Ministry.

I think one thing that needs to be shored up in the faith-walk of many a follower of Christ is a commitment to growing in personal and spiritual discipline. I say that because as I look around the church I see way too many believers whose Bibles are gathering dust, who give in too easily to things like porn, who can’t name one friend of another skin color, and the moment culture comes and bullies them about something, they cave in.

TYM zeroes in on the sanctification side of faith. Though all is of grace, grace demands a response, or it can be received in vain (2 Cor.6:1). Though faith alone saves us, real faith produces works, or it is dead (Eph.2:8-10, James 2:26).

Though this can be a fine needle to thread at times, Train Yourself Ministry exists to raise up what we call Grace-bred, Word-fed, Spirit-led men and women of discipline. Perhaps that sounds unappealing, but can I let you in on a little secret? A life of discipline – where you let Jesus train you to be godly – is one of the surest ways to freedom and joy that I know.

I hope you’ll be encouraged and challenged by the content we post in these pages. And you’ll also find devotionals, novels, and screenplays that I’ve sent out to the universe over the years. “Faith without art is dead,” is my writer’s motto. I wouldn’t be following Jesus today were it not for many of his followers who told his story through their books, movies, and songs.

Let’s serve him together.


The Latest TYM News

Train Yourself Ministry is excited to announce the recent release of our latest book, Communion With Christ. 

Communion With Christ is a 9-12 month guidebook for new or stagnant Christians designed to help them build a strong foundation for their faith that will promote lifelong growth in Christ.

By the time you complete Communion With Christ, Book 1 of the Journey Discipleship Series, you will have learned about the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of the gospel, how to share your faith with others, how to read the Bible for yourself, how to talk to God and hear from God in prayer, the practice of servanthood, the importance of regular confession and repentance, and experience for yourself why Christianity is more a relationship than a religion.

Rather than leave discipleship to chance, the Journey Discipleship Series defines three maturity targets for every believer to aim for, then provides a pathway through four spiritual habits to start moving them further on and higher up in Christ.

So what are you waiting for? Find some fellow travelers, and start the journey!

Communion With Christ is available now through Amazon. Click the book cover and explore.

Followers of Christ should never stop growing in their faith. The problem for too many is that they never start.

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