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Treasured Stories

Today’s Reflection

AMONG MANY NATIVE people groups, tribal stories are shared within the tribal circle. If a story is to be shared outside the tribal circle, then permission is asked of those who keep the traditions. We do not profit from the things that belong to our people. There are many stories that are told only in religious settings. These are not told out of those settings.

Over the years, I have heard many wonderful stories. Some are tribal, and some are personal. Some are true, and would be wonderful to tell or write. Some, if written, would sell large numbers of books. When I have encountered these wonderful stories, I have encouraged those to whom they belonged to tell them or write them or to enlist the help of others in the process. I have encouraged them sometimes over a period of years. Other than that, I have treasured the memory of those stories, but I have never repeated them.

Personal stories, like songs, belong to individuals. Sometimes a song or story is given as a gift, and one becomes the bearer of the song or story. At the time of death, a family may give a story belonging to the deceased to another, who continues the story by telling it. There is a joke among Native people that we may “talk about” each other, but we never tell each other’s stories.

– Ray Buckley
Dancing with Words

From pages 3–44 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

What story do you have to tell? Tell it to a friend, or write it for yourself.Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2, NRSV

This Week: pray for Sunday school teachers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

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 website.

This week we remember: Patrick of Ireland (March 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 16, 2017, 3:40 am

    This reading makes me think about our share-out sessions at small group, as well as comments made hear regarding this topic. Thoughts such as “Does anyone care about my story?”, “Am I brave enough to tell my true story?” and others surface while I am considering the answer to the prompt. I have found that the more authentic I can be – and yes – that also likely encompasses being vulnerable – the more therapeutic it can be as well. And, even if we don’t realize it right away – our story may touch someone on a very deep level and prove to be a spark for them. I trust what God lays on my heart to share, whether it be for my benefit or another’s.
    Rusty – thanks for sharing what you did yesterday. What an awesome God we serve.
    Grateful for the gift of a second snow day yesterday. It was wonderful. I luxuriated in a book that I didn’t finish while at the beach. Got pretty far in it yesterday…still not done. Maybe just one more snow day…(chuckle) – I shan’t be greedy. Grateful for a day where bells didn’t ring and time was not a concern. Oh the simple pleasures.

    • Gail Churchill March 16, 2017, 6:54 am

      Would love to know the name of the book.

      • Jill March 16, 2017, 2:54 pm

        Child 44

  • Betsy March 16, 2017, 7:06 am

    Thank you, Rusty, for sharing your story yesterday with us here. What a powerful way God can use those around us to bring us comfort and show us His love and guidance.
    I believe our story is how we can witness to others. It shows our frailty and our vulnerability. My good friend always wants to know “what’s your story?”
    Maybe that is a way to witness to othwrs that is more real and less awkward.
    Grateful for the stories shared here with my UR Friends.

  • Rusty March 16, 2017, 7:31 am

    Thank you, Jill and Betsy. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Jill, I sometimes have the same questions about “Does anyone care about my story?” and, for me, “Am I being self-centered by taking people’s time in talking about myself?” My knee-jerk reaction is often that I don’t want to impose. But really, I think I have lots of stories to tell. Places like UR are a great place to share and receive stories. (And if people get bored and don’t want to “listen” [read] any more, they can -bloop- down and skip to the next person. I won’t even know it! 🙂 )

    I’ve also found in my career how stories help. I recall when I was early in my lawyer career the young guns would sometimes roll their eyes when the veterans would begin to wax eloquent (“Sheesh! Another war story?”), but honestly, now that I’m at the war story stage, I’m finding that the younger attorneys seek me out quite regularly to explain things and give examples of circumstances I’ve encountered over the years. Sometimes I’m quite surprised at the kindness I’m shown by people who really seem to want to listen to what I say.

    Ugh. Now I’m feeling self centered again. You’re welcome to -bloop- down to the next person. And I will too! I love the stories our UR family shares here. Blessings to all!

  • robert moeller March 16, 2017, 7:56 am

    Glad to be able to go back and read Rusty’s story. That is quite amazing. I’ve never had anything quite like that happen. I did get an email yesterday from a long time friend who I haven’t written since Christmas. She wondered how I was doing after seeing the weather reports. She lives in Texas. I worry when there are storms and tornadoes in her area or when the temperature is very hot. Her email was a nice surprise yesterday.

    My parents didn’t tell much about their growing up, oh I know bits and pieces, discovered things after finding items and learned more asking about them. Some time ago I decided to write my story, my life before my children.
    Tried to include as much as I knew about their Mom. They lost her about half way through their life at ages 19 and 22. I lost her at 50. Wrote my story and sent it to them in increments.

    The biggest story, a short but most powerful one, comes in the period after my wife passed away. I had my version of Wesley’s “heart warming experience”.
    It started when I turned to and not away from God, was greatly helped by a 10 week one on one experience with a pastor, and included two times when I felt God making His presence known to me. This experience kindled a flame in me and has kept me going for the last 20 years.

    Thankful for bright sunny blue skies, snow on the trees. I’m warm, had a cup of cocoa, and am reading today’s reflection. Yes, there are sacred stories, some people are ready to hear them and some, sadly, are not. Thankful that I had the experience I did. It came at a much needed time.

    Prayers for Sunday School teachers and students. May the seed be well planted and may the harvest be bountiful. Prayers and blessings to all of the UR family now and always. Thank You, Lord.

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