Listening in Silence

July 4, 2015

Today’s Reflection

THE BALANCE OF WORD and silence is incredibly difficult for us to sustain because our culture is so oriented toward word and so ignorant of silence. Wherever we go, noise bombards us: elevators, shopping malls, offices, waiting on the telephone, car radios — everywhere!

Most of us have little or no experience of silence, and we may find it disturbing or alien. One minute of silence in a public meeting, even at church, can seem intolerably long. We seem to think that silence is the absence of something, and our nature abhors a vacuum. Yet we might wonder whether our near-frantic efforts to surround ourselves with noise suggest a deeper fear — that silence is the presence of something so powerful that it is to be feared.

Yet silence is essential for listening. How awkward to try to have a serious conversation with someone wearing earphones! How hard to communicate a message to one wielding a leaf blower! How impossible to reach someone absorbed in a television program! In any relationship there must be listening for there to be communication, and that is no less true of our relationship with God than any other.

– Norvene Vest
Gathered in the Word

From page 39 of Gathered in the Word: Praying the Scripture in Small Groups by Norvene Vest. Copyright © 1996 by Norvene Vest. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Are you able to regularly spend time in silence? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”

Mark 6:4, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who cannot take time to rest. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Thomas (July 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Today’s Reflection

IS THERE A significant difference in storytelling in the faith community? Yes, in many ways there are significant differences. Primarily we need to look at two areas:

  • the purpose and role of stories in communities of faith; and
  • the faith of the storyteller.

…Storytellers in a traditional community serve as culture bearers. Within our stories are contained elements of our cultures that we wish to transmit to other generations. Our primary purpose is not to entertain but to continue culture. Storytellers in faith-based communities share that same purpose. We are sharing the stories, and creating stories, that contain the essence of what we believe. Our primary purpose is to share and continue our faith. There is a reason why we tell stories, and a reason why we tell the stories we do.

– Ray Buckley
Dancing with Words

From pages 54-55 of Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith by Ray Buckley. Copyright © 2003 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Does your faith community have someone you identify as a storyteller? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

…but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

2 Corinthians 12:9, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who cannot take time to rest. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Thomas (July 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 5 comments }

God of the Still Small Voice

July 2, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD OF WIND and tempest,God of the still small voiceHelp me to quiet my mindand let go of busy thoughts.I yearn for stillness in your presence;I want to sit at your feet like Maryand listen deeply to your wisdom.Help me to let go without worry.Let my heart be ready to host you.Gracious God, […]

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Loving Our Neighbor

July 1, 2015

Today’s Reflection Recently, I met a woman named Bertha, a Guatemalan woman with AIDS. She was talking about how people with HIV and AIDS are alienated from society. “Even the church can cause great damage to those struggling with AIDS,” she said. She quietly told me about a single mom in El Salvador who went […]

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Prayers of Intercession

June 30, 2015

Today’s Reflection HOW DO I KNOW the will of God when I pray? It is contained in the Word. One special promise to me is 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come […]

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Justifying Grace

June 29, 2015

Today’s Reflection BY COMPARING OURSELVES to others, particularly in ways that stack the deck in our favor, our prayers and spiritual posturing may reveal that we trust more in ourselves than in God. Or it may reveal a diversion on our part to avoid facing our own brokenness and fears. Either way, as long as […]

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Voices of the Adult Child

June 28, 2015

Today’s Reflection AFTER VISITING MY FATHER TODAY, I went to the car, lay my head on the steering wheel, and cried like a two-year-old child.Ugly tears, a contorted face, and red nose. O Lord, I’m burned out. Frazzled. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.Today the stress just spilled out when my father complained that I […]

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Serenity Prayer

June 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection GOD, GRANT ME the serenityto accept the things I cannot change,the courage to change the things I can,and the wisdom to know the difference.Living one day at a time,enjoying one moment at a time,accepting hardships as the pathway to peace,taking, as he did, this sinful world as it is,not as I would have […]

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A Blessing

June 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHEN YOUR LIFE has becomemost frantic,when fear and worryhave made their home in youand anxiety attends your days,may there comefrom somewherethe scentof pomegranate and cedar,apple and myrrh,cinnamon, frankincense, fig. – Jan L. Richardson In the Sanctuary of Women From page 286 of In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer […]

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Power Through Weakness

June 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection WHEN WE READ the scriptures, we are introduced to a God of power. God’s power creates, redeems, liberates, and heals. I’m concerned, however, that we often speak about God’s power in a triumphalistic way. We say that when God’s power often come across like that, especially when people giving those testimonies look good, […]

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