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Upstanders

Today’s Reflection

THERE HAVE ALWAYS been people who pick on others. Bullies use emotional or physical intimidation, act in person or on the Internet. Hate crimes are on the rise. The anti-bullying movement encourages kids and adults to be “upstanders” reaching out to anyone who seems bullied, offering support, speaking up when necessary. The children of God are upstanders, those who do what is right.

“My dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah” (The Message). We are called to be upstanders even when no one else sees our good works or when it takes courage to speak truth to situations that demean others.

Disciplines 2018

From a devotion by Anne Broyles (from the week titled “Questions of Identity: Who Am I?” April 9–15, 2018), page 131 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2018: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright © 2017 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Where can you act as an upstander? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who feel left out. 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: John of Avila (May 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 9, 2018, 3:32 am

    I, likely, am unaware of most bullying which occurs to my students. So, I may not know when I need to be an upstander. However – I like to think I am in tune with my students and am very often their cheerleader. While I have students with high aspirations and much internal drive, they still need cheering on, and sometimes more than that…encouragement. I try to listen, without them knowing, which includes a keen eye to body language.
    I appreciate your kind words regarding my parents, but I believe you misunderstood my comments regarding the support group…or maybe I need to fill in the blanks. Yes – I was so encouraged by the support group. However – upon leaving it, I wondered if I would even tell my parents I went. Mom wants no part of it. Dad – I think he is intrigued, but doesn’t want to “betray” mom by going to one. I decided I wouldn’t bring it up, but if I was asked about church – I would tell them where I had went. I was at their place Sunday afternoon and they asked how church was. I told them I had went to the main campus of my church, which is about 45 minutes away. I told them I had went to the support group. Mom immediately turned her back…yes physically…on dad and I and the conversation. It was incredibly awkward, as were the massive silent gaps in conversation. Dad wanted to know what it was like, how many people were there, what happened during the class. I was hesitant – seeing mom’s reaction, but I honestly answered dad’s questions. She is so angry and bitter. She doesn’t want to hear of God. So as much of a mountain high it was to be with the group and to see their intentions and beliefs mirror mine, what occurred at mom and dad’s was a low valley. The roller coaster ride continues. I wept on the drive home. I believe dad wants to go with me, but would never betray mom by going. My heart breaks for each of them, in different ways.
    Grateful for more beautiful weather. While my seniors are involved in testing, I have much free time at school. My small group leader from Monday nights lives near school and we met yesterday for a long walk, which included a stop at Starbucks. Grateful to get lawn work done last evening, after a staff meeting at school.

    • Marcy May 9, 2018, 5:54 pm

      Jill, I’m sorry the cancer support group is upsetting your Mom, but I urge you to continue to attend the group for your own wellbeing. For the same reason, I pray your Dad will also attend. Our circumstances differ, but group therapies are a very healthy way to maintain many areas of life. I will continue to keep you, Gloria, Larry and Becky in my prayers each morning. (Just had another extremely hurtful “session” with my sister last evening. I knew I wasn’t up to answering her call. I keep praying.)

      I am happy you got your yard work done and also btw, think you must be quite an awesome teacher!

  • robert moeller May 9, 2018, 6:24 am

    Thank you Jill for the explanation about the support group and the differing reactions from Mom and Dad. There’s a lot we don’t understand about God and terminal diseases. People ask if God loves us why do we have such diseases? I don’t know the answer, but know that somehow God gets us through them.
    Glad you went to the support group and shared about it even though your Mom disregards it. Your Dad may find help there and with it be able to help your Mom.
    Thankful that you have some free time because of the testing. I do wonder about the amount of testing students do these days.
    Being aware and then knowing what and when to do something about bullying is a life long task whether a teacher or not. As a teacher opportunities to deal with it are more frequent, we are around more young people.

    Thankful for the gym and a shopping trip with my son yesterday. A nice day today. Glad to hear from Marcy, Andrea, Mary, and Julie. Continued prayers for Marcy’s health and wellbeing, thankful she has Lucy, her pastors, and health insurance. May needed meds be on the way soon. Praying for reconciliation between Andrea and her daughter, thankful communication has resumed. Thankful Mary’s new job is working well and her parents are
    healthy at home. Julie’s hands, foot, daughter, and safety are lifted up to the Lord. Thankful for all the posts from each of you. Blessings to the UR family.
    Thank You, Lord.

    • Marcy May 9, 2018, 6:07 pm

      Robert, I too take much comfort and learn from your posts, as Julie states. Thank you for your steadfastness, your explanations and views. There’s a wellspring of knowledge in your words, be it history, personal experience and mostly spiritually, that leaves me feeling God-filled and calmed.

      I’m always happy for you when hearing about the time you enjoy with Erich and being out and about. Thank you from the depths of my heart for your prayers, Robert. You and Erich, Annaliese and little Pearl are in my prayers always. Very grateful for all here in the UR Reflections and am feeling the prayers!

      • robert moeller May 10, 2018, 5:29 am

        Marcy, there was a big void when we didn’t hear from you. Thankful you are back and most certainly hope that you are getting the help you need. As scripture advises I consider myself the lesser. I admire the posts of others and just try to do what I can, what God empowers me to do. I am the clay, He is the potter.

        Railroad wise an important, even signature car of the Ambassador during the last 10 years of steam on the Central Vermont is on the way. It’s a kit so it will take many hours to build, but will fill a long lasting gap . It’s the Canadian National Café Grill Car that provided meals for both buffet-parlor car passengers and coach passengers on the route to and from Boston and Montreal. Thankfully, I have the Boston and Maine buffet-parlor. It had 24 very plush seats with window views and snack, light meals, and beverage service. It was like riding in your living room with meal service.

        On the German side I’ve found kits or ready to install models of a castle, barn, saw mill and freight house. The station and a house or inn are more challenging. Have photos of what I hope for, may have to build them.

        Pearl has been up since 4 am, been fed and played with. She watches out the window and follows a laser light.

  • Betsy May 9, 2018, 7:31 am

    Praying that I can be an upstander and give voice to those who have no voice. Struggles in my church denomination is where my prayers are going these days. Praying for reconciliation, understanding and tolerance as we all come together as mature Christians. Can we all be a church family even if we disagree on certain areas of discipline? Am rereading Ephesians 4 to know what it means to be a mature child of God.

    Glad YOU are attending the support group, Jill. It is what you need at this time, and the strength you are receiving from this sharing will make you better at facing your mom’s illness as you go forward. Praying that her heart will soften to this.
    Glad to come back to this site and feel the love and support you all share with one another. Marcy, Mary, Julie, Robert, Andrea and many other who share here daily; I am surrounded by this group of believers who pray and lift one another up. Thank you, Lord. Blessings this day.

    • Marcy May 9, 2018, 6:21 pm

      Betsy, I pray too, for “reconciliation, understanding and tolerance as we all come together as mature Christians”. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s not an easy thing by any means but I try to remember God will see us through. I don’t have the answers, but He does and my part is to pray.

      Yes, this is where we come together here at Reflections to lift each other up and pray for one another, always. Thank You, Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, for all You do for us, in us, through us and around us!

  • Gail Churchill May 9, 2018, 7:55 am

    Jill, your circumstances remind me of my experience with Rosemary, my mother who adopted me. Several years ago I determined to find my birthparents, and I did. Both are deceased. But I met two of my birth mother’s siblings and other friends and relatives. They gave me pictures and photos of my biological family. Rosemary wanted nothing to do with any of it. So there was a part of my life which I could not/did not share with her, and this persisted over about 2+ years until Rosemary passed. People may come to terms with the truth, whether terminal illness or whatever. While there is life there is hope. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Julie May 9, 2018, 8:01 am

    Please pray for my daughter as she is experiencing the pain of kidney stones once again.
    Jill, prayers for you and your parents. I wonder why your mother takes umbrage when others attend support groups. If her loved ones need support in working through this situation and their feelings why should she begrudge them this help. Prayers that her heart softens so you may feel uplifted and not guilty.
    Prayers for Robert and his sage advice and words of wisdom. I read with interest all of your daily insights. I glean spiritual truths from your every sentence.
    Prayers for Betsy and her church which is struggling with internal strife. I am reminded of the early church and the references of strife in the New Testament.
    Blessings and prayers for and thank you to all of the UR family
    Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Marcy May 9, 2018, 6:25 pm

      Julie, I will keep your daughter in my prayers as she is experiencing pain from kidney stones. I pray that this can be resolved for her. Also, as always, keeping you in my prayers.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 9, 2018, 9:02 am

    Grateful for another fruitful and happy day.

    Grateful for the night to rest.

    May all rest well

    Blessings to all

    • Marcy May 9, 2018, 6:27 pm

      Blessings to you as well, Mary! And your parents and students also!

  • Andrea May 9, 2018, 11:20 am

    Jill, I now understand your prayers that God will soften your mother’s heart. I am so glad you made the move to attend a support group and that you had the courage to share it with your parents. Modelling good mental health is the best thing one can do for one’s family.

    Julie, I pray your daughter’s kidney stone issue resolves quickly, with the least amount of discomfort possible under the circumstances.

    Betsy, I pray for good dialogue of the issues dividing church members at your church and successful reconciliation.

    My daughter texted me this morning about getting together. We have not set the time or day yet. I appreciate your continued prayers as we re-connect.

    With prayers for all UR friends and gratitude for your sharing and praying. Marcy, you belong in this prayer circle and it is good to have you back. We are here for you, praying for you every day, and we so appreciate your piwerful prayers for us.

    Blessings.

    • Andrea May 9, 2018, 11:21 am

      *powerful*

  • Marcy May 9, 2018, 6:46 pm

    Andrea, so happy to hear your daughter has contacted you about getting together! Know how very much this means to you and praying she will text you with a date and time soon, with the weekend approaching. You and Lowell are in my prayers each and every morning, along with your daughter and grandson.

    Thank you for your encouraging words to me here today. I read in the Scriptures today about confidence. Seems so alien right now. But God’s Love was felt! It is good to know I’m being prayed for by you all. It’s so hard to find the right words to express this without sounding self-absorbed. So please know I’m truly feeling the prayers from all and am grateful once again, that God led me here to this place of His for us all.

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