Celebration of Discipline published in 1978 written by Richard J. Foster has helped millions of believers walk into a deeper understanding of the peace and joy God's relationship affords.
I picked this book up in 1998 as I was stacking books in the small family owned Christian bookstore I was working in. With three kids, a full-time teaching career, a part-time job to make ends meet, and no husband to help shoulder the load, I was in deep need of D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E.
The title was enticing. Celebration of Discipline. How in the world could I, this abstract-random thinker, find discipline a celebration? This is surely the book for me. I need to make discipline fun. If I can only find joy in the ins and outs of schedules and rhythms I would have this discipline thing down.
HA! I was all in. I failed to read the forward and bought the book.
I remember this book sitting on my ottoman for about a week. I finally picked it up and thumbed through it.
YIKES, this isn't a self-help book about organizational skills, this is a book about the SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES.
I had never read about these before. However, since I had earlier begun a powerful walk with the LORD through reading the Bible regularly, I thought it just like God to bring such a book across my path. The subtitle to this book is . The Path to Spiritual Growth. Don't ask me why I hadn't skimmed that as well as the title. But I wonder sometimes if God keeps us in the dark about things as He brings us into the light bit-by-bit.
This book is laid out in three parts. Within those parts four particular disciplines are explored.
These three parts look in-depth at the Inward, Outward, and Corporate Disciplines.
Within the Inward Disciplines meditation, prayer, fasting, and study are given their full due. These Inward Disciplines are the foundation of the entire spiritual foundation of the believer.
Without these operating well things get a little cattywampus. We walk, but we usually walk with a limp. My eyes were opened on so many levels when I read, with an open heart, how important these are in our spiritual walk I was blown away. I entered into a new experience and a new life-walk. I have never been the same.
Part II dealing with the Outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service gave me much to think and pray over. And my actions began to change. Within eight years I was called onto the mission field. My children were all in college or married and I moved into serving in a capacity I would never have imagined myself moving ⏤but for GOD.
Part III deals with the Corporate Disciplines of Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration. These Corporate Disciplines are so important for the body of Christ.
We are rounding the corner into Autumn. Here at little Blue Moon my hubby and I are entertaining house guests. Friends from Germany. The woman I met in Germany. I have known her for 10 years. She was in an unhealthy relationship and didn't know Jesus. She married a great guy and now has a child and one on the way. She is growing in her faith. She holds a very special spot in my life not only because she came to the LORD with me, but also because she became one of my closest friends while I was alone in a foreign land.
This couple arrived on Saturday having flown into NY city on Thursday. We have enjoyed them immensely. Biggest problem I deal with in these visits: falling back into the German language either in writing or speaking. Part of the bi-lingual dilemma. But, my Man tells me it is okay to be in the moment with my friends. He tells me it is good for me. He is my hero and my champion. And he too champions me. I am blessed.
As I leave this blog series I am grateful to discuss these four mentors that have helped me learn how to fear well. This last is truly come to be my favorite book written about spiritual practices.
My house guest is a direct result of this calling. And I praise God for Him teaching me over those early years in my 30's through implementing much of this book into my spiritual life.
I pray that your walk into a deeper spiritual life has been helped by these four mentors. They have given me many insights into how to fear God, thus creating an easier life. Because if I fear God, He will handle everything. And because I fear Him well I can live fear free of the world and its dangers.
May you be blessed this week.
I will see you here again next Monday.
Robyn Rochelle Cox
Because He IS the I AM, i am.
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US IN THIS DAILY STEP-BY-STEP ADVENTURE!
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Robyn Rochelle Cox
WHOSE AM I?