Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Norfolk Tides

The other night our church, Monumental United Methodist, had a church night at Harbor Park for a Norfolk Tides game. It was a great night for baseball. A slight, occasional breeze off of the river. The storm clouds stayed away. At least until the seventh inning, with a gentle rain began to fall.

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Comic Review: Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Extremists

Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Extremists collects issues #1-6 and is written by Steve Orlando. Art is by Ivan Reis

The Story (aka From the Publisher)

It’s a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad spin off. From the wreckage of the deadly clash of the world’s greatest–and the world’s worst–heroes comes a brand new Justice League of America made up of some of the most unlikely heroes to ever join the League!

Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis bring together the Ray, the Atom, Vixen, Killer Frost and more in what is one of the most offbeat and compelling lineup the Justice League of America has ever seen. Featuring epic battles and personal struggles, this is a League like the the world has never seen before!

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YouTubevotional: Locked in Love

YouTubevotionals are designed to be used in personal devotion time, with small groups, youth groups, or Sunday school classes. To see other YouTubevotionals, click here

Introduction

In 2013, Walt Disney began releasing new Mickey Mouse shorts. It all started with the Mouse. Mickey came into being in the late 1920’s and started in some brilliant animated shorts for years. The animation of these new Mickey Mouse shorts are nothing like the originals though, and take a little bit of getting used to, at least for me it was. The animation is similar to what you might find on Cartoon Network, for better or for worse.

In the short below, Mickey and Minnie are having a romantic evening out, and plan to place a lock on the bridge, like so many others, as a symbol of their love for one another.

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A Prayer for This Day

Today was the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have spent a lot of time in Charlottesville. It is one of my favorite cities in Virginia. I spent three months around campus while doing CPE. When Megan and I lived in different cities the year before we were married, we had date days in Charlottesville. And of course, many fall days spent there for the Virginia Film Festival.

It has been difficult today.

Watching social media and seeing the images coming out of Charlottesville, has been tough.  I’ve walked those streets. I’ve been in those buildings. I’ve visited those spaces.  And to see the hate, the violence, and the unthinkable happening feels like a heavy burden pressuring down on me.

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Book Review: From Far Away

From Far Away, Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar, Annick Press, 2017.

For a number of years we have heard about the refugee crisis. Or, according to others, the immigrant crisis. We have seen the images of war torn areas that families are seeking refuge from. We have voiced outrage on social media when the most troubling images of children were brought to our attention.

But what about the children? 

From Far Away provides such a perspective. Seven-year-old Saussan Askar writes a letter about leaving her war torn country and what life is like in her new country.

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Book Review: Punching Holes in the Dark

Punching Holes in the Dark: Living in the Light of the World, Robert Benson, Abingdon Press, 2016.

I have made it a spiritual practice to carry a journal with me, and use it to write down prayers and reflections. At times it is just a few random scribblings, at other times it is pages of recounting and reflecting on a slice of life. These journals are Moleskins, hardback, and leather bound. Some are plain, and others are adorned with superhero or cartoon characters.

No matter the kind of journal, it holds various scribblings that reveal my heart.

When I read Robert Benson’s Punching Holes in the Dark, it felt a little intrusive. It was like I was holding one of his journals and reading through his scribblings. And with each turn of the page, I began to see what was in his heart.
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Book Review: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book One: The Beginning

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, Book One: The Beginning, M. J. Thomas, Worthy Kids, 2017.

Mike (M. J.) Thomas was looking for a book for his nine-year-old son to read that would teach the Bible in a fun way. Unable to find such a book, Thomas decided to write it.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is that book, while books. The first in this new series is, appropriately, The Beginning, a good book for children ages eight to ten.

Transporting Scrolls

Peter, 9, and his 10-year-old sister, Mary (who was adopted from China), along with their smart dog, Hank, are sent to stay with Great-Uncle Solomon while their parents travel to Africa. Fearful of spending more days bored than entertained, the children wander through the old house.
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Sermon: Wrestling with God

This is a sermon I preached on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Ebenezer United Methodist in Suffolk, Virginia. The text I preached on was Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob wrestling with God (or was it) through the night.

 

YouTubevotional: Disciples are Lifelong Learners

YouTubevotionals are designed to be used in personal devotion time, with small groups, youth groups, or Sunday school classes. To see other YouTubevotionals, click here

Introduction

Bishop Sharma Lewis casts a vision for the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in June. The vision states, “A disciple of Jesus Christ is a lifelong learner who influences others to serve.” In this 3-minute Stir video, Bishop Lewis talks about what it means to be a lifelong learner.

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Book Review: When a Wolf is Hungry

When a Wolf is Hungry, Christine Naumann-Villemin, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrations), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017.

Edmond Bigsnout is a hungry wolf. He leaves the forest and heads to the big city to find himself a “grain-fed, silky rabbit.” He enters an apartment complex and finds the name of Max Omatose, miniature rabbit. It seems perfect.

Maybe too perfect. 

Each time Edmond attempts to “prepare” his meal, a neighbor in the apartment building has a need for Edmond’s tool – his chainsaw, his rope, even his big pot. Each time Edmond shares his item and rides his bicycle back to the forest to get something else.

Finally, mistaken as the new neighbor in the building, he is invited to the roof. There all the neighbors who borrowed things from him were there, having a cook-out for him, the new neighbor.

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