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Stories of Hope and Courage

Today’s Reflection

STORIES HOLD MYSTERY and meaning together, and, therefore, they hold the power to put us in touch with the Divine, perhaps even removing the negative stories we have heard about ourselves and replacing them with stories of hope and courage. They help us move beyond our fears and fantasies and remind us of the presence of the Divine within and around us.

—Michael E. Williams, Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters Through Story (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today’s Question

How might your story change if you remembered the Divine presence within and around you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
—John 16:33 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

I love to tell the story
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest.

From “I Love to Tell the Story” by
Katherine Hankey, The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 156

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

During Advent we think about a wondrous mystery: that God chose to become human and lived among us. Rediscover The Wondrous Mystery this Advent.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 30, 2019, 3:43 am

    To my surprise – there the link was for today’s post – at an early hour…just like the old days. So I continue to ruminate about my sister. Yes – the narrative of my feelings regarding my sister can and needs to change. And, with His power in me – this can happen. His Divine power can still my selfishness. Father – continue this work in me.
    Good morning UR family.

  • Robert Moeller October 30, 2019, 6:59 am

    I think my story has changed and is changing. Thankful for many positive developments. Here are some of them in so specific order, but as they come to me: paperwork turned in for Erich’s job, progress with my station model, news from my daughter, work done on the car, good meals, an email from my sister, and resources on the way.

    Glad for the positive news about Jill and Becky. Lord may it continue.

    It was a surprise to find Jill’s announcement that the reflection came early. If it continues I’ll be happy for that too.

    Prayers continue for the needs and concerns of the UR family and thanks for the many joys. Thankful for new posters and miss those whose posts aren’t found. Thankful God is with you all all the time. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie October 30, 2019, 8:24 am

    I believe our stories are constantly changing and evolving. I also believe that they are shaped by past experiences and encounters, particularly the dynamics within our families of origin. I have deeply held beliefs of needing to be perfect and always striving to please. With the realization that there is Divine within me by nature I can begin to rewrite this narrative.
    Prayers for Jill as she wrestles also with family of orign issues and past circumstances that have caused deep pain.
    Prayers for Robert and his many good circumstances of late, may they continue.
    Prayers for Mary and her students may their continued hard work be rewarded.
    Prayers for Bj and her recent posts which have been steady, both in frequency and in faith in the Divine.
    Prayers for April, Betsy, Andrea, Connie Lou and Marcy.
    I received the 30 day supply of the new medication. I am to take one twice a day. They sent 18 pills. The bottle stated that this was what they felt was a 30 supply. I called my doctor and am waiting a response. Sigh…..
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you for your words of wisdom one and all

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 30, 2019, 9:08 am

    Thanks Julie and amen to all your prayers!

    Praise God for changing our stories by your presence, grace and mercy.

    Thank you everyone for your prayers. One of my students’ results is satisfactory and he is promoted to secondary 2. He was quite sick before his exam and it is by God’s grace that he managed to pass.

    Blessings!

  • April October 30, 2019, 9:38 am

    One of my reading recently stated that the greatest gift God gave us is that He put His Spirit within us so that He is always with us. Wow!! That made me stop and ponder. I always thought the greatest gift was that He sent His Only Son to save us. Our Father God never stops giving us good gifts…first His Son and then His Spirit, how blessed we are!!
    Other readings include:
    “we are not God” and are not perfect or all knowing.
    Keep in mind that we are all works in progress. God isn’t finished, and some of his works—well, some of us—need extra attention. God is bringing out the best in you. Little by little, God is making a new you out of you.
    It seems that God is sending me so many messages and I am finally starting to hear/understand that yes, they are for me and they will help me rewrite my story if I only follow through and use them to rewrite my story. With the help of God, I will try, starting today!!
    May we all have a Blessed Day!!

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