Standing FirmNew Every Morning | September 10, 2018
WE HAVE PLACES of fear inside of us, but we have other places as well — places with names like trust and hope and faith. We can choose to lead from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear, to move toward others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But now we stand on ground that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more hopeful, more faithful way of being in the world.
– Excerpt is from “Standing Firm” by Parker J. Palmer
From page 27 of Hope: It’s More Than Wishful Thinking, compiled and introduced by Amy Lyles Wilson. Excerpt is from “Standing Firm” by Parker J. Palmer. Copyright © 2010 by Fresh Air Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Describe the “ground” on which you stand. Share your thoughts.
Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.
Proverbs 1:20, NRSV
This Week: pray for people with chronic illnesses. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: John Chrysostom (September 13).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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Today’s reading reminds me of Sister Joel who came into my life at a time that I really needed her. She was a tiny women who’s body was deteriorating. She walked hunched over, and was constantly in pain. She had powerful faith that radiated from her always smiling face. She loved art and gathered people together to paint, pray, and converse. I loved going to these painting sessions and listening and talking with her. One of her most beautiful paintings was called Trust. It was a ballerina toe dancing on Jesus finger over a precipice. Under the painting read “Trust…Spinning on the tip of the Lord’s finger…Seeing only the brightness and joy of His face…Not the gathering of clouds over me…Nor the precipice under…Nor the mocking darkness of stony rocks around can threaten me…I Trust
The ground on which I stand is my faith.
God Bless all of you here at UR may Gods peace be with all of you.
There is much truth in this reading. Thank you, Louise, for what you shared regarding Sister Joel. Indeed – where do we place our focus, in what/Whom do we place our trust? Yes, Julie – we can define ourselves by many things – it is ultimately our choice. To be bound by something, or to allow Christ to break the chains and proclaim “I am who He says I am.” Thank you, Julie, for your words yesterday. I hope to proclaim Him, during all my joys and trials. It is not easy, and I must seek Him and His strength. I must also submit, sometimes moment to moment, to the truth that I am exactly where He has placed me. So far beyond my understanding at times…leaning into Him and His Sovereignty ultimately brings peace, His peace.
I was so encouraged by the cancer support group gathering yesterday. We focused on 1 Peter 1:6-9…speaking about being grieved by trials, faith being refined by fire…continuing to believe. One man relayed a story I had never heard…about a shepherd and his sheep. One sheep continually went astray. Eventually the shepherd decided to break the sheeps leg. Then the shepherd would sleep with that sheep at his bosom each night. The wounded sheep was utterly dependent on the shepherd. As it healed, it lingered by the shepherd. Does the Lord orchestrate these trials for our good – oh, yes and Amen.
Father – have Thine own way. And continue to surround us with Your grace.
Thankful today I can post, tried yesterday, but the “page not found” notation kept coming up.
I think the “ground” on which I stand has faith, hope, and trust. Fear has not been eliminated, but I have made and continue to make my way through the valley of fear. I’m thankful that God makes that possible.
Thankful for a new approach to a big ethics topic: abortion. Learned yesterday
how the United Methodist Church’s positions on this have changed and that was big news for me. More importantly the new approach, one that encompasses both sides of the issue, emphasizes caring. It was suggested that this would be the approach that Jesus would take. This approach would be the Christian way to deal with this issue. I have more to think about. The dust is still flying.
Yes, I pray for those with chronic illnesses, especially ones that cause pain. I think of Marcy, Julie, and Anneliese, but there are many more who endure very painful situations.
More prayers after I look at yesterday’s posts.
Thankful I was able to see yesterday’s posts . The passing of the 16 year old is very sad, disturbing. Prayers for him, his family, and friends. Suicide seems on the rise in these troubling times. Lord, guide us on what to do.
Thankful for posts from Marcy, Mary, Jill, Julie, and Lou. Yes, the words we use are very important and it is difficult when we are excited, agitated, emotional to carefully chose them. Slowing down and asking for God’s wisdom would be a great help. I try and I think God has enabled me to be less agitated, upset or angry when there’s bad news, I save energy and am more able to deal with the situation. Many situations require all the energy we can muster and the loss of any of it when it is vitally needed is not helpful.
Thank you Louise for your post about a ballerina toe dancing on Jesus finger at the edge of a cliff and Jill’s story about the sheep and the shepherd. Trusting in God means that we let God be God and accept that God always does what is right. Scripture relates that God’s ways are not our ways. It is a leap of faith to trust in God.
I echo Julie’s thorough prayer yesterday. Thank you Julie and thank You, Lord.
A visit to the area we expect to call home sometime next year is coming in a few more days. There is also the possibility to learn how to bake a favorite cookie and make more progress on the Bismarck steam locomotive model.
Colder weather, it was 35 yesterday morning and may be that again today.
Thought provoking reading today. Another shaky ground for me is doubt. I often allow that to creep in when faced with a big decision that is put before me. Remembering that God is with me when faced with an issue that seems monumental to me is where I need to turn. Thank you, Louise, for the illustration of Sister Joel. I often feel that I’m trying to stay balanced in a precarious position. Trusting in God can offer rest and resolution if I choose to take it!
Grateful to be back home after a visit with our children; especially the new parents to be. They are so excited about the arrival of the baby; we helped with painting the room and shopping for baby furniture. I just pray every night for a healthy baby! It will be a joyful time for us all.
Blessings for all my friends here who are named in my heart and those who are new to this site.
Wow, such powerful illustrations. The sheep proverb very much resonated with me. I stand firm on the ground of the examples of faith and perseverence I witness daily here in these comments. When others share their trials, their faith during their trials, and the resolution of the trials I learn to stand firm.
Prayers for the family of the young friend of Marcy’s who commited suicide. Prayers for Marcy, may her suffeering be lessened.
Prayers for Louise and her family.
Prayers for Jill and Gloria. May their pain, depression, and anxiety be lessened. Prayers of gratitude for support groups aand thee sharing and caring found among the members.
Prayers for Robert and Erich. Prayers for safe travels and new information.
Prayers of gratitude for Betsy and her family and their safe travel and new family members to plan for.
Prayers for Mary and her job, may it be less stressful.
Prayers for those involved with a massive gas line explosion near my house. Prayers for those evacuated, those fighting the fire,those from the gas company trying to shut off the gas, those from the electric company dealing with downed power lines, and all first responders and Red Cross volunteers tending to the evacuees. We could hear and see the flames form our home, but thank God we have not been affected.
Prayers for all UR family
The ground on which I stand is “the solid Rock”. My knees get shaky sometimes, but I stand firm.
“It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day”
The sermon I heard yesterday……Jonah and Ninnevah and how God gave Jonah a second chance to deliver His warning to the people. They repented and were saved. I am not very good at giving second chances, but this made me think differently. My Stepson once asked me “don’t you believe in redemption”. (I replied “no” when it involves infidelity (a famous golfer).
The picture I received from my daughter-in-law of her side of the family and the new baby/one year old. A good picture of my son also….my heart.
Be blessed, friends.