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People of The Story

Today’s Reflection

STORYTELLING AT ITS BEST is an interaction between the storyteller and story-listener. The vehicle is the story, but the experience can be as engaging as an intimate conversation. The human mind and thus the body respond to storytelling as a signal of closeness and intimacy. Story itself couches history, values, culture, faith, like lessons, and other critical elements in a manner easily assimilated in memory. Story shared with conviction and appreciation creates an emotional link.

As people of faith, storytelling has a special meaning for us. If all revelation is relationship, then storytelling becomes testimony, or the sharing of another’s testimony, to relationship. The act of storytelling itself becomes relational. It extends beyond the bounds of instructive or entertaining to become connectional. The storyteller engages the listener relationally. The listener responds to the story and the storyteller. The listener seeks credibility in the voice, posture, and nonverbal communication of the story-teller. The storyteller responds to the face of the listener. We are people of The Story.

– Ray Buckley
Dancing with Words

From pages 12-13 of Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith by Ray Buckley. Copyright © 2004 by Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How would you describe the relationship between faith and story? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys.
Job 42:12, NRSV

This Week: pray for expectant parents. 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: Howard Thurman (October 22).

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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{ 8 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller October 22, 2018, 4:41 am

    I think faith comes when we hear, read, listen to and accept The Story of the Good News. Th Story comes before faith, without The Story there can be searching, yearning. With The Story I know what I believe. The Story is vital to faith formation. Jesus teaches, instructs, commends us to spread The Story of the Good News.

    Thankful for the sounds of a young child in church yesterday. That is a welcome event. It was a wonderful day in church with more people than usual, a birthday celebration, a lot of singing, and good fellowship.

  • Jill October 22, 2018, 4:49 am

    This certainly resonates with me. Last Monday evening we had our first “share-out” story session at my small group. There are some new members to the group this year and it was really good to just sit and listen to these women share their stories. Indeed – we are more connected because of what was shared with transparency.
    If I may share a bit of a story here…as many of you know, concurrent to my receiving my diagnosis a little of a year ago, a tennis teammate extended to me an invitation to check out her church – my new church home. Additionally, her best friend had PsA – and I met her two days before I received my own diagnosis of PsA. This lady – Suzanne – walked side by side with me closely through September and October, as my doctor decided on my treatment – which was what she was currently on as well. I was/am so grateful to God for sending me Suzanne, to lead me along this path, and to constantly encourage me that God would somehow use this situation. Her faith in God is strong and lived out. Now, with my mom – my circle of close friends, have been very supportive. My tennis friend – she has lost both of her parents – and she has been a great listener. But none of my friends who had lost their parents had the same experience as I am having with my mom…feeling neglected, even punished, by God. Unable to sense any comfort or peace from God. And I had shared with my closest friend and my counselor – I am waiting for “my Suzanne” for this journey. And questioning – why hasn’t God sent a “Suzanne” this time? These thoughts were very strong towards the end of summer. I had accepted this absence and assumed God was telling me I was strong enough – and that He is what I needed…keep coming to Him. Well – yesterday I received an email from someone connected with the cancer support group. I can’t recall if I shared with this UR family – but at the October meeting – I addressed the group, shared with them a bit about my mom’s journey. I received a lovely card from one of the members – just beautiful. And it turns out the leader of the group – his wife – reached out to a member whose path is somewhat similar to mine. Her name is Jennifer and she wrote me an incredible email yesterday. I don’t know why this longing for someone who has somewhat a common experience is so strong. But it is, just some commonality, someone who can listen and somehow relate. So – needless to say – this is a huge answer to prayer and I just wanted my UR companions to relish in thanksgiving with me in this. I am so grateful. I have yet to respond to the email, as I received it a few moments before I left for tennis last night. I didn’t want to rush my response – so will take time today to respond. Just so very, very grateful.

  • robert moeller October 22, 2018, 4:56 am

    Prayers for comfort, consolation, assurance, and resolution for Julie, May a job come soon, may there be a positive change that ends the troubled home life.

    Thankful that Gloria is active, prayers for many more active days.

    Thankful for Mary’s new job and the peace it has brought her thus far.

    Connie’s soup is on the way.

    Prayers for expectant parents.

    Blessings to all the UR family as we start a new week

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 22, 2018, 6:06 am

    Thank you everyone for your prayers!

    Recently I get to hear stories from people I meet and there are many valuable lessons I have learned. However, people who share stories of faith truely encourages and inspires me.

    Thank you God for people who share their stories with me. Thank you for encouraging and inspiring me through stories of faith.

    May we also share with one another our stories so that we may encourage and inspire one another.

  • Betsy October 22, 2018, 7:00 am

    Jill, what a powerful way that telling one’s story can help and heal! I’m so glad you chose to share such a personal journey. This devotional today also struck a chord with me. We are in the final stretch of training meetings with the ladies who will serve on our upcoming Kairos weekend. We’ve been previewing the talks that they will share with our guests. How powerful the storytelling has been. I hope and pray that what is shared will touch a guest and speak to them in powerful ways. Yes, storytelling is inviting someone to relationship with another.
    Grateful to be home after traveling to a wedding that our son was in. It was so good to see old friends and to spend time with our son and his wife, as she continues to blossom into pregnancy. Prayers for all who come here to rest and read for awhile. May all revisit the power of storytelling. Amen

  • Connie October 22, 2018, 8:02 am

    “I love to tell the story of unseen things above. Of Jesus and His Glory, of Jesus and His love.”
    Thankful for:
    Jill’s wonderful “share”. Suzanne and Jennifer were truly “heaven-sent”.
    God is so good.
    A calm morning. A little critter crossing the street in the darkness (possum?). He may have had a big drink from our bird bath, as it was bone dry!
    Have a great week everyone. See you tomorrow if the Good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise”!

    • Julie October 22, 2018, 8:18 am

      Love that old saying…thankful for the smile that you gave me today

  • Julie October 22, 2018, 8:16 am

    I always feel closer to someone as they share their stories or concerns. Thus the closeness of this group as we share so freely and deeply with one another.
    Prayers of thanksgiving for Jill’s new friend to share the journey of her experience with her mother. What a wonderful testamony to God’s sovereign care.
    Prayers of thanksgiving for Robert’s church being more full than usual. May all newcomers become members.
    Prayers of gratitude for Mary and her new job which she enjoys.
    Prayers of gratitude for betsy and her ministry and fellow ministry members. Prayers of gratitude for her future grandchild continued good health for her daughter in law.
    Prayers of gratitude for Connie and her example of gratitude in all situations.
    Still praying for a job and help from the Lord through this situation.
    Prayers for each of the UR family members

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