Book Two 2012 – Celebration of Discipline

Our small group worked through Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth the first few months of 2012.  In an effort to put spiritual disciplines into practice, our group spent a week on each chapter trying out the Inward Disciplines: Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, and Study, and the Outward Disciplines: Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, and Service.  The third section, the Corporate Disciplines: Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration, we didn’t practice as a group but read through nonetheless.

As Foster repeats over and over throughout the book, spiritual disciplines are not meant to enslave us to rigid guidelines but rather are meant to set us free in all of the ways that we are to be free in Christ (if Christ has set you free, then you are free indeed!).  This freedom is important to remember throughout each chapter and throughout the practice of each discipline; otherwise, we start practicing each discipline for the discipline’s sake rather than growing closer to God through the disciplines, which is the true goal.

There are far too many gold nuggets worth quoting to list them all here.  I appreciated each chapter immensely, felt challenged and encouraged each reading.  This is a book worth reading and returning to.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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