Celebration of Discipline :: Celebration

Well…I’ve finally done it! More than two months after I started it, I have finished reading Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It was a good read. I would encourage you to pick it up if you’ve never read it. The last chapter was by far my favorite. Not because it meant I was done reading the book, but because it talks about “Celebration”…and who doesn’t like to have a good time?! Anyway…here you go…the last in my tidbits from the chapters of Celebration of Discipline. Enjoy.

The Discipline of Celebration

“Freedom from anxiety and care forms the basis for celebration. Because we know he cares for us, we can cast all our care upon him. God has turned our mourning into dancing. The carefree spirit of joyous festivity is absent in contemporary society. Apathy, even melancholy, dominates the times. Harvey Cox says that modern man has been pressed “so hard toward useful work and rational calculation he has all but forgotten the joy of ecstatic celebration…”

“Celebration brings joy into life, and joy makes us strong. Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10). We cannot continue long in anything without it.”

“…the only reason we can begin is because we know that joy is the end result. That is what sustains all novices; they know there is a sense of pleasure, enjoyment, joy in mastery.”

“Joy produces energy. Joy makes us strong.”

“In the spiritual life only one thing will produce genuine joy, and that is obedience. Without obedience joy is hollow and artificial. To elicit genuine celebration, obedience must work itself into the ordinary fabric of our daily lives.”

“When the power that is in Jesus reaches into our work and play and redeems them, there will be joy where once there was mourning.”

“…’in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.’ And the result? ‘The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:6,7).”

“Christians are called to be free of care, but we find such a way foreign to us.”

“The spirit of celebration will not be in us until we have learned to be ‘careful for nothing.’ And we will never have a carefree indifference to things until we trust God. When we trust God we are free to rely entirely upon him to provide what we need. Prayer is the mean by which we move the arm of God; hence we can live in a spirit of carefree celebration.”

I love this section…“Paul, however, does not end the matter there. Prayer and trust by themselves are not adequate to bring us joy. Paul proceeds to tell us to set our minds on all the things in life that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and gracious (Phil. 4:8). God has established a created order full of excellent and good things, and it follows naturally that as we give our attention to those things we will be happy. That is God’s appointed way to joy. If we think we will have joy only by praying and singing psalms, we will be disillusioned. But it we fill our lives with simple good things and constantly thank God for them, we will be joyful, that is, full of joy. And what about our problems? When we determine to dwell on the good and excellent things in life, we will be so full of those things that they will tend to swallow our problems.”

“The decision to set the mind on the higher things of life is an act of the will.”

“It is healing and refreshing to cultivate a wide appreciation for life. Our spirit can become weary with straining after God just as our body can become weary with overwork. Celebration helps us relax and enjoy the good things of the earth.”

“Another benefit of celebration is its ability to give us perspective. We can laugh at ourselves. We come to see that the causes we champion are not nearly so monumental as we would like to believe.”

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