Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

YouTubevotinal: Bed Sheets

Simon Tofield Simon's Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009

Simon Tofield Simon’s Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009

Introduction

Changing the bed sheets is one of those necessary chores. You watch the sheets, take the old sheets off the bed, and then put the warm, clean sheets on the bed. Putting clean sheets on the bed just right can be a change all its own. Add a curious cat, and it becomes even more challenging.

Simon’s Cat has a collection of short films on YouTube. The most recent film is called Bed Sheets.

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YouTubevotional: No Toys?

Introduction

It is that time of year. We have given thanks for the blessings of life, gathered around a table full of food, family, and friends. Now, we are putting up Christmas trees, lights, and stockings . . .with care. We have made lists (and checked them twice) of the things we want for Christmas. In this classic clip from The Brady Bunch, Cindy waits to tell Santa what we wants for Christmas.

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Book Review: Miss You Like Crazy

51lziec6oclMiss You Like Crazy, Pamela Hall, Tanglewood Press, 2014.

Walnut is a little squirrel who is going to miss his mom when she goes to work. They agree that it would be a lot of fun if he could go to work with her. They imagine the adventures they could share. Even though they cannot have these adventures all the time, Walnut’s mother assures him that he is always on her mind. Together they find ways to have a presence for each other when at work or school.

The story is light-hearted and fun. The illustrations are cheerful and eye catching. Toddler J enjoyed hearing the story, but I think she might have enjoyed the pictures of the squirrel family more.

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50 Life Lessons

AAA State of Play recently released an infographic that features some wise advice from some of children’s entertainment’s beloved characters. These inspiring quotes provide some solid life lessons. What I found particularly interesting are the quotes about our past. Whether it is Rafiki from The Lion King or Alice from Alice in Wonderland, some these characters understand that while the past may shape us, it is not our present. Sometimes, to quote a certain ice queen, we need to “Let it go.”

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Book Review: The Redemption of Scrooge

515ehem1hel-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Redemption of Scrooge, Matt Rawle, Abingdon Press, 2016.

There are a few things that are a must at Christmastime. The tree with treasured ornaments. The rich aromas of holiday cooking. The time spent revisiting old memories.

For me, Christmas is not complete without watching Christmas movies. At our house, it’s A Christmas Story, Elf, and Christmas Vacation. And some version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (My favorite is still the Mickey Mouse version.) Dickens’ Carol has captured readers for centuries. His story has been retold on stage, in film and television. Quite possibly because the story of Ebenezer Scrooge is timeless.

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YouTubevotional: Thanksgiving Dinner

turkey_5333cnIntroduction

In a few short days, families will be gathered around tables full of food for Thanksgiving. Some, like Rev. Tom Berlin, have wondered what this year’s Thanksgiving would hold after a stressful and contentious election. You can read Tom’s thoughts here. 

Last year, during the primary season, it felt just as contentious. Saturday Night Live‘s sketch “A Thanksgiving Miracle” explored this same wondering. What could unite a divided family? What could stop the arguments across the table? SNL‘s miracle worker was the popular singer Adele, whose latest album was released at the same time.

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Book Review: The Littlest Star

31626855The Littlest Star, Richard Littledale, Lion Hudson Plc, 2016.

Have you ever wondered how many stars there are in the great, big sky?

Richard Littledale’s book, The Littlest Star, is the story about the littlest of all the stars. This particular star was not as sparkly or exciting as the other stars, but on one holy night, it had the biggest, most important job of all.

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Noah Galloway, Persistence, and Grace

Admit it, you have them.

You have those days where no matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work. Relationships aren’t on par. Work stress is so overwhelming it is blinding. The overall anxiety of society is enough to make you sick. Oh, yeah, and you have a toddler.

These days carry with them a vast amount of emotions from moment to moment. We experience anger, grief, sorrow all within five minutes. The chains of anxiety result in suffering. The shackles of stress issue depression.

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YouTubevotional: Homeless Vets

homeless_7298cIntroduction

In high school I remember learning that a high percentage of the homeless in the United States were Gulf War veterans. This shocked, and caused my deacon’s heart to ache. Similarly, my heart would ache win I would hear stories about veterans not getting the best of treatment from the Veterans Affairs. There are so many things that are often overlooked when it comes to our veterans. When we consider the time, the sacrifices, the injuries seen and unseen, they deserve better.

The television show, Beverly Hills, 90210 covered this topic in 1993. One of the characters, Brandon, meets a homeless vet on the beach one summer. The homeless man, Jack, served in the first Gulf War. When he returned home, he found himself homeless. Later in the season, Brandon meets Jack again in the midst of a massive rain storm. Brandon takes the man to a homeless shelter, but Jack is unable to assimilate. In response, Brandon takes Jack to his home to meet his family.

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Book Review: Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education

MalalaMalala: Activist for Girls’ Education, Raphaele Frier, Charlesbridge, 2017.

In October of 2012, Malala Yousafzai was tossed into the mainstream media after the Taliban attempted to take her life. Malala was targeted because he was a girl receiving an education. Her father was targeted because he not only allowed her to get an education, he ran the school for girls.

After recovering from her injuries, Malala became a force to be reckoned with. She used her young voice to advocate for girls’ education. At the age of eighteen, she became the youngest person awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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