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Living Story

Today’s Reflection

WENDY MILLER in Jesus Our Spiritual Director: A Pilgrimage through the Gospels, describes a narrative practice of discernment that she bases on a meditative reading of the Gospels. By reading and praying with the stories in the Gospels, we gradually learn to live into the stories of Jesus.

“Which story are we living?” Wendy asked me in a recent conversation. “We pause from time to time, especially when we need discernment about a decision, and we need to ask ourselves: Are we living the Gospel story or living the world’s story?” Narrative discernment for Wendy necessitates deep familiarity with the Gospel stories, first of all, and then learning to let the narratives speak to us in various life situations. By doing so, we increasingly incarnate Jesus’ love, wisdom, and life-giving presence among our neighbors.

– Elaine A. Heath
God Unbound

From page 49 of God Unbound: Wisdom from Galatians for the Anxious Church by Elaine A. Heath. Copyright © 2016 by Elaine A. Heath. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Which story are you living? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

2 Samuel 6:15, NRSV

This Week: pray to know God’s deep love for you. 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: Kateri Tekakwitha (July 14).

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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{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Jill July 10, 2018, 6:05 am

    I believe I am striving to live the story God has ordained for me. So hopeful to be living in conjunction with His will, His plan. Father – please lead me in Your righteousness. You are the Author of my days.
    I appreciate the encouragement offered to me regarding the support group. It is truly a blessing. I hate to call it also a curse. But it is paradoxical in that way. I am not afraid of my feelings, my emotions. But – they are super strong. And – there are times when I just feel that it is my heart breaking. If not for my mom and her hopelessness, then for my dad and him living in that atmosphere 24/7. It just seems so unnecessary. God is here, so desiring to be with mom in this struggle. I am so grateful to surely have “the peace that surpasseth understanding” and yet to not be able to impart it in any way to mom – just tough.
    I am beginning to have arthritic symptoms in my left hand. I humbly ask for your prayers. It is similar to last summer – what occurred in my right hand. Not sure if it is…1) the medicine/treatment is losing its effectiveness; 2) I am in a flare; 3) the natural progression of the disease or 4) a combination of any of these. My right hand is wonderful and I am grateful. But the stiffness and tenderness in my left hand – primarily my fore finger and middle finger – it is eerily similar to last year. I have two weeks of tennis left and hoping to be able to complete the season, but last night was a struggle. Hoping to speak with my fellow PsA sufferer at Bible Study this morning – and see what her take on it might be. She has had to switch medications 3 times – need to find out if it was due to ineffectiveness or side-effects.
    Marcy – praying your health allows you to get to your doctors appointments and that transportation will be taken care of. I don’t mean to speak for everyone here, but we are sure pulling for you, praying for you. I know I wish there was something tangible I could do.

    • Andrea July 10, 2018, 4:51 pm

      Jill, I pray you will get the right treatment to allay the arthritic symptoms. Prayers too for your mom, dad, and sister. Blessings.

    • Marcy July 10, 2018, 7:45 pm

      Jill, I am praying for your PsA in your left hand to be dealt with soon, possibly with different meds. I continue to keep you, Gloria, Larry and Becky in my prayers through your Gloria’s illness. Also, keeping Leslie in my prayers. Thank you for your prayers for me! Sending Love and Light!

  • robert moeller July 10, 2018, 6:10 am

    Not sure if this qualifies as a story, but “look and you shall find” seems to be what I am living at the moment. While where we are living works for me, it has not been so helpful for my son. We’re exploring, thankfully we have time to do this.

    Thankful for a wonderful scallop dinner last night, the arrival of the etched plate that will enable building a Henschel Bismarck steam locomotive, and an invitation for a “meet and greet” dinner with this year’s UVM hockey team.

    Prayers for Gloria, Larry, Jill, and Becky, Marcy, Julie and her daughter, Andrea, her daughter, grandson, son-in-law, and Lowell, Betsy and Grace, Lou, her children, and Mom, Mary, her work and parents, and the needs, concerns, and joys of the UR family. Thankful for the rescue of boys from the cave in Thailand, pray that the story ends well with everyone out safely. Prayers for wisdom as a supreme court nominee begins the advice and consent stage. Lord, the USA needs a lot of Your wisdom, sadly I think our attention to Your teaching is struggling at best and poor in general. Guide us as we deal with the human beings seeking refuge.

    Safety, healing, resolution, reconciliation, understanding, peace, love, and hope to all the UR family as we deal with the challenges of this life. Trust in God for all good things come from God.

    Blessings!

    • Andrea July 10, 2018, 4:54 pm

      Thank you, Robert. I pray you and Erich have a good counseling session, and that you are guided as you explore a possible move. Prayers too for Anneliese. Blessings.

    • Marcy July 10, 2018, 8:00 pm

      Robert, I am continuing to lift you and Erich in prayer as you both make decisions for helping him. I keep Annaliese, your daughter and her family, and the members of your church who are experiencing health issues in my prayers also. I’m thankful for your prayers and join you in praying for all of us here in the UR Reflections family. Good to hear you received the part needed for building the Henschel Bismarck steam locomotive.

      Praising God all the boys and their coach were rescued safely from the cave in Thailand and thankful for the brave Thai Seals for their work in saving them. Praying for the missionaries and others in Haiti, for safety; the people in Japan, where floods have taken 122 lives and a endangering the lives of more than two million; and all that is happening in our country with the refugees and with our allies.

      Sending Love and Light!

  • Betsy July 10, 2018, 7:08 am

    I strive to live the story Jesus preached to love my neighbor. Sometimes it is hard when beliefs clash, but we are all God’s children. I will continue to work for this end.

    I appreciate all of the continued prayers offered here fo my sister, Grace. The one year anniversary of her husband’s death was last week. I’m so proud of her bravery as she has embraced a new normal, but I know it is still hard. Her youngest son will marry this fall; a happy but bittersweet moment for our family.

    Marcy, I will be praying for your breathing issues. So glad that your pastor may be able to help out with support for you. Praying for the medical staff also. Jill, I pray for your ps condition also. You are so intuned with your condition, I hope that you can get relief for your left hand. Prayers for your mom and dad also.

    Robert, thank you for reminding us of the wonderful news about the safe rescue of the young boys and their coach in Thailand. God is good! We all rejoice with their rescue. Our minister this Sunday likened the rescue to the Bible story of the one lost sheep. We rejoiced when the least and last are safely back home!
    Blessings to all this day.

    • Connie July 10, 2018, 7:55 am

      Yes, that amazing rescue! God does indeed answer prayers! His hand was guiding them.

      • Andrea July 10, 2018, 11:06 am

        Very amazing! Answered prayer! So thankful the boys and coach all are safe.

    • Marcy July 10, 2018, 8:12 pm

      Betsy, at this one year anniversary of your brother-in-law’s passing approaches, I am keeping you and your family and Grace and her son in my prayers. Also praying for your brother-in-law’s family. Thank you for your prayers for me, as my anxiety is less, now that my Pastor is coming with me tomorrow. PTL!

      Beliefs and points of view differ, which has been normal. But I pray about the division, in families, in churches and with neighbors. I’m not out and about, except to drs appointments, and I don’t watch much news, but it’s out there. I just keep praying!

      Sending Love and Light!

    • Andrea July 10, 2018, 8:51 pm

      Betsy, I know one year death anniversaries are hard. Grace is in my prayers, as well as you and your husband. Blessings.

  • Connie July 10, 2018, 7:52 am

    I love the story of Jesus explaining the Gospel…..”and didn’t our hearts burn within us”. That’s how my heart feels when I read the scriptures or someone explains a passage in a sermon.
    Praying for Jill and a resolution to her painful hand.

    • Marcy July 10, 2018, 8:19 pm

      Connie, I’m keeping you and your husband in my prayers, my sister. I have kind of built my whole messages around Faith, Hope and Love, as you all know. Loving the Lord and loving our neighbors and praying.

      Sending Love and Light!

  • Julie July 10, 2018, 7:59 am

    I struggle with this question as I have always felt more connection with Proverbs. Like Betsy, I try to love my neighbor, though better than myself due to much self loathing. I haave a great tolerance of thse with a different belief system or different world view. I have always believed that worship aand faith are individual aand that God reveals Hiimself to different people in a way they are best able to relate with and follow.
    Marcy, prayers that you have transportation to all your appointments. Prayers for a compassionate pulmonry doctor. Prayers that all of your health concerns aare addressed and your suffering eased. I have to correct one error in your response regardng my kitties. Pooka “crossed the rainbow bridge” several years ago and his ashes are in a kitty shaped urn on my table.
    Prayers for Jill and rellief from stiffness. Prayers for Gloria, I feel that we do not know how we would truly react to our impending death until we found ourselves in this situation. Have patience with her and find opportunites, as you do, to spend time with your father apart from your mother.
    Betsy, prayers for you and Grace and your nephew. That will be a joyful day tinged wth sorrow.
    Robert, prayers for you and Erich. I know not what you seek but I know you will follow God’s leading, despite Erich’s lack of belief.
    I humbly ask for your prayers as I see my hand doctor today regardiing the bone that is sticking out of my finger. Thank you
    Prayers for Mary and her parents and new collegue. Prayers for Lou and her family.
    Blessings and prayers for all who gather here for fellowship and friendship

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 10, 2018, 9:17 am

      Thank you dear Julie for your prayers,

      I praise God for your gift of intercessiin!

      May you have many hours of sweet hours of prayer and dwelling in the presence of God!

      Blessings!

    • Andrea July 10, 2018, 12:01 pm

      I pray the doctor will be able to help the bone of your hand, Julie, and help both your hands heal. Blessings.

    • Marcy July 10, 2018, 8:31 pm

      Dear Julie, I am well acquainted with self-loathing and low self-esteem. I have a vulnerable heart, but at least it’s not hard. I am still praying fervently for you and your daughter. I pray the doctors gave you answers today on the healing of the finger with the exposed bone. I’m sorry for misunderstanding about Pooka. I have the ashes of Alexis, Trevor McGee and Little Guy, my sweet feline friends, where I see them. They are the closest I came to having children.

      Thank you for your prayers, as my Pastor is going to accompany me to the pulmonary doctor tomorrow. I am so thankful!

      Sending Love and Light!

  • Marcy July 10, 2018, 8:44 pm

    I pray God gives me the right words, as I listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, both in praying for others and my interactions in the world.

    I am exhausted trying to prepare for tomorrow and Thursday’s doctor appointments on my own. I’m thankful for this blessed place of God’s Love and for you, my siblings and friends. I pray my small oxygen tanks are sufficient, as I can only carry one at a time, water and a small wallet. My Pastor is meeting me at the doctor’s office tomorrow and the transportation has been arranged through insurance. I pray they are dependable.

    Mary, Andrea, Lou….you are in my prayers, as are others here in Reflections!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!
    Sending Love to you all!

    • Andrea July 10, 2018, 8:49 pm

      Praying your appointments go well and help improve your breathing, migraine pain, and the other health issues you face. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for me and for my family, Marcy.

  • Andrea July 10, 2018, 9:13 pm

    When words are difficult, I have put myself in the boat with Jesus, on a stormy lake. I have been the woman touching Jesus’ cloak, asking for His healing. I have put my grandson in a circle of children sitting at Jesus’ feet, with Jesus saying “Let the little children come to me.” I have visualized Jesus with His healing hands resting on my husband’s, daughter’s, and son-in-law’s heads, and on the heads of UR friends and those we pray for. The New Testament stories are full of healing stories. I have learned that healing may not occur in the physical body – my body will die someday – but it is always possible for healing to occur on a spiritual level. I pray for that kind of healing, spiritual, for Jill’s mother, Gloria. I pray for UR friends and our loved ones and friends with health conditions, illnesses, and pain, to experience healing, physically, if God’s will, and healing of the spirit. I believe there is always more healing of the spirit with which one might be graced.

    I pray that I, and all who visit here, will experience God’s healing and love more deeply.

    Blessings.

  • robert moeller July 11, 2018, 2:57 am

    Prayers for Jill and Julie’s hands, may the best results occur. Thankful for the hep Marcy has traveling to her appointment. May the appointment be of great help. Prayers of healing for Grace. Yes, spiritual healing is always possible and as Jesus said, “what s unseen is more valuable that what is seen.” I seek a path for my son to find his way in life, that his college education can be put to use and improve income giving him independence. It has been a long struggle for him, progress is made and then things seem to go backward.

    It will be a long slow process building the Bismarck cab and boiler from the parts that came. New materials, new skills, and lots of patience needed to assemble these and then install on the running gear that’s ready and waiting.

    I’m thrilled and thankful the rescue in Thailand is done. Thank You, Lord.
    Miraculous! Here in the US children separated from their parents are being reunited. Thankful for some caring judges who are making this happen.
    How we let the immigration situation get so bad is also troubling. It has been bantered around for years. When things get terrible, most times we wake up and work on the problem. Lord, wake us up! Help us be what You want us to be.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling July 11, 2018, 6:28 am

      Yes, praise God the 13 people are saved from the cave in Thailand! It is indeed a miracle that they could survivie so many days without food.

      Thank you God for saving them!

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