Word of Encouragement

“We must not be led to believe that the Disciplines are only for spiritual giants and hence beyond our reach. Far from it. God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings: people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes and mow lawns.” Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. I have had quite a few people respond to the sermon series on discipline from Luke. Several talk with me as though I am sharing something beyond their ability to either understand or accomplish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take the example I used Sunday. Penny gave me a hug as soon as she saw me. I get to feel the hug and her love for me, and it feels good. What we fail to realize in the moment is that Jesus takes that act of love and saves it for me, for when I need it, in deep places, when life is hard. That is not so difficult to understand and any one of us can give someone a hug, send a card of encouragement to a friend, stand by someone when others leave. We can all do that. It is just discipline. Every meal Herman and the men make, every bag Jamie and Pack a Sack fills, every card you all sent to Brenda, all of it gets saved, stored up, lined up for a powerful moment of worship. We do not do these things to get a thank you from those we help. We do it because we never know which act of love is going to be remembered in deep dark places when someone needs God.