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As a church, do we have a hunger for the spiritual disciplines?

A few years ago we have a wood burner in our living room in Valpo.
To start that fire going I’d take some tightly wadded up paper at the bottom for slower burning and sort of flared at the top for that instant flame.
On top of those I’d put dozen or so thin strips of wood and layer it across the paper.
After making sure that the damper was open and the vent in front was set for maximum air flow, I’d strike a long, wooden match.
Reaching into the stove, I’d touch several spots in rapid succession where the paper will light quickly.
To increase the draft for a moment, I’d close the door within an inch of shutting it completely.
The flames spread to the balled paper, which burns long enough to catch those thin strips of wood on fire.
Those strips of wood are burning nicely as the paper turns to ashes and now I start to layer on a few stick of kindling which are about the size of a hammer handle.
When several of those are flaming happily at the top of some small but pulsing coals of those strips of wood, the stove would be ready for the first of the full-size hunks of wood that would warm me all evening.
The first flash of match and paper was bring and impressive, but the reason I built those fires is to enjoy the sustained heat of burning logs and slow-glowing coals.
I can remember after first being converted to Christ, when that original God-kindled blaze of eternal life that illuminated and over took my life so suddenly.
Then after a while I noticed that it didn’t pop up so suddenly any more, or at least it seldom does as it did when I was first converted.
As building fires goes, so goes the Christian life. Just because the beginning of the combustion may briefly be more spectacular than at the present doesn’t mean the fire isn’t growing!
The initial burst of spiritual flame may be more dazzling, but the heartfire’s greatest effectiveness occurs as it burns into consistency.
Nothing will contribute more to your growth of spiritual heat and light more than the persevering practice of the Christian spiritual disciplines.
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