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Worthy of Respect

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

It was 1976 and I was a young christian and college student at LSU (Louisiana State University). Someone in our campus ministry had ordered a cassette series of a Wednesday night class from the Crossroads Church of Christ. I began listening through the series of classes and studying the subject - discipline. I learned that the words, “discipline” and “disciple” came from either the same or similar root words. This discovery that being a disciplined person was foundational in a disciples’ life had a profound and inspirational impact on me.

I would learn the scriptures that taught about having self control, keeping a tight reign on the tongue, controlling anger, controlling what you think about, making the difficult choices of reacting or thoughtful responding, lessons from the lives of soldiers and farmers and much more. All of this appealed to me.

The class series was called, “The Disciplined Life”, and used the book of the same title by Richard Shelley Taylor. But it was not only the subject matter of the book that corralled my attention, it was also the skill and wisdom of the class teacher - Sam Laing.

I had become a disciple of Jesus, sincerely desiring to live a life pleasing to God. For the first time in my young life I was hearing the difference between just hearing the word or doing what it said. The key was hearing practicals. The Disciplined Life that Sam taught was filled with practicals and it helped so much!

Though I had yet to meet Sam Laing, I would later not only meet him, but he would become one of my very best friends. Over the years of our friendship and partnership in the Gospel, we have served together in churches in Boston, Chapel Hill, Athens, and Palm Beach and we have entrusted each other with our deepest struggles, fears, sins and dreams. There were times in this journey where we did not agree, times we hurt each other, periods where we didn’t even talk and needed to restore our friendship. I can proudly tell you I cherish our friendship and especially the journey that got us here.

My brother and friend, Sam Laing, worthy of respect.

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