The LORD said, “The time is coming when I will fulfill the promise that I made to the people of Israel and Judah. At that time I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will do what is right and just throughout the land. The people of Judah and of Jerusalem will be rescued and will live in safety. The city will be called ‘The LORD Our Salvation.’ - Jeremiah 33:14-16

Dear Friends,

The Advent Season is upon us. It begins Sunday, December 2. The word Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus” meaning "a coming, approach, arrival”. During the season of Advent we look forward to the coming of Christ both at His birth in Bethlehem and His coming at the end of time.

We also know this time to be a very hectic time. It is a time we attend Christmas gatherings, shop for gifts and prepare for dinners with family and friends.

I am reading new edition of book originally written over forty years ago. It is entitled Celebration of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth by the Christian writer, Richard J. Foster. In the forward, he has written a simple three-part practice for spiritual growth. It appealed to me as appropriate for the busy-ness of the holiday season. I hope you find it useful.

The words are his. I have added the Lord’s Prayer as divided my Martin Luther.


Ricky Adams
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California

Celebration of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth

Richard J. Foster

“There is one major difference that has occurred in the past forty years that does indeed impinge upon the spiritual life. I can state it in one word: distraction. Distraction is the primary spiritual problem in contemporary culture. Frankly, when we are perpetually distracted, we are unable to discern the Kol Yahweh, the voice of the Lord.

“There is, however, a better way to live. For all who are longing for a new start, allow me to provide you with a spiritual exercise (the Spiritual Disciplines can come in many forms) that can begin to free you from the crippling grip of multiple distractions. It comes in a little three-part rhythm:

Day One:

  1. For thirty minutes, turn off all technology.

  2. Make a good strong cup of coffee or tea.

  3. Find a good place to sit.

  4. Begin by speaking aloud these words of the Psalmist:
    “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (139:23–24).

  5. Then, be still. No writing. No talking. Nothing.

  6. The objective here is to clear away all “creaturely activity,” to use a phrase from the old writers.

Day Two:

  1. For thirty minutes, turn off all technology.

  2. Today, take a walk, allowing your footsteps to fall into the rhythm of your whispering of the Jesus Prayer:
    “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Day Three:

  1. For thirty minutes, turn off all technology.

  2. A good cup of coffee or tea and a comfortable chair are in order.

  3. Begin with the simple prayer I composed for coffee time:
    “O Spirit of God, blow across my little life and let me drink in your great Life. Amen.”

  4. Next, ever so slowly, pray the words of the Lord’s Prayer

  5. With each phrase of the prayer add your own thoughts or concerns a little like you are decorating a Christmas tree with your own ornaments. See if your extended prayerful meditation will bring you to the end of the Lord’s Prayer at about the thirty-minute mark.

The Lord's Prayer

Introduction - Our Father, Who Art In Heaven

The First Petition - Hallowed Be Thy Name

The Second Petition - Thy Kingdom Come

The Third Petition - Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven

The Fourth Petition - Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

The Fifth Petition - And Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

The Sixth Petition - And Lead Us Not Into Temptation

The Seventh Petition - But Deliver Us From Evil

Conclusion - For Thine Is The Kingdom And The Power And The Glory Forever And Ever. Amen.

Day Four – Repeat Day One

Day Five – Repeat Day Two

Day Six – Repeat Day Three

Day Seven – Take A Break From The Pattern

Foster, Richard J.. Celebration of Discipline, Special Anniversary Edition (pp. xi-xviii). HarperOne. Kindle Edition