Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Author: Jason (page 1 of 79)

Giveaway: “The Great Escape” chapter book

On Easter-eve I was flipping through the channels on the television and found Charlton Heston. He was dressed as Egyptian royalty giving orders to the other Egyptians. It was, of course, the well-known film The Ten Commandments.

M. J. Thomas continues his Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series of children chapter books with the third installment – The Great Escape – by providing a slightly different take on the famous Moses narrative.

Siblings Peter and Mary hear the roar of the lion and are transported to ancient Egypt to solve the mystery of the hidden scroll. The children emerge into the narrative of Moses pleading with Pharoah the let the people go. Peter and Mary meet both Egyptian and Hebrew children that offer a different perspective to this well-known story.

The Great Escape is a fun book for young readers ages 6-9. It has plenty of adventure to keep children engaged.

Teachable Moments

This book lends itself well to educational opportunities. It could easily be used to teach about ancient Egyptian culture, including language. There is an opportunity to discuss how those who are not in power are often marginalized and oppressed. Comparisons can be made to plenty of connections throughout history, and how even today we see the same power dynamic at play. And while I was never a fan of vocabulary in school, there are plenty of new words introduced to young readers.

The Giveaway

Thanks to WorthyKids/Ideals, I am able to give away one copy of this book to a lucky winner. Use the form below to enter.

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"The Great Escape" is the third in M. J. Thomas' The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series. This book is ideal for children ages 6-9, reading level grades 1-3. Young readers will join Peter, Mary, and their dog Hank as they travel back in time to ancient Egypt as Moses pleads with Pharaoh to let the people go. Shipping will be provided to winners in the continental US. More shares on social media will increase your chances of winning. Thanks to Worthy Kids/Ideals for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
This contest expired.

You can buy your own copy of “The Great Escape” by clicking on the image below.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader’s copy.

Giveaway: Colors/Numbers in the Bible

WorthyKids/Ideals and the Museum of the Bible are partnering together to put out some new and creative books.  The Museum of the Bible is one of the newest museums in Washington, D. C., just a few blocks from the Capitol. The Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution with the goal of inviting people to engage with the Bible.

The newest additions to this collection are Colors in the Bible and Numbers in the Bible, ideal for little learners.  Both of which Toddler J enjoys.

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What I’ve Been Reading: From Batman to Michelle

I read a lot! From Batman comics to works of theology, current events to historical reflections. Here is a sampling of what I have read over the last several months.

The Time of Our Lives: Collected Writings (Peggy Noonan, Twelve Books, 2015).

A former speechwriter for President Ronald Regan, Noonan has been a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Her book pulls many of her pieces together in one collection. A gifted writer, Noonan is able to share critical observations about current realities without being overly political. But don’t let that fool you. She praises Regan as one of the best presidents and is overly critical of the Clinton’s and Obama. That said, it is important to remember that this collection of essays is being read out of context. Weekly columns deal with the present. Perhaps the best part of this book is the introduction. Noonan offers a glimpse into her writing process. For any person whose main form of communication is the written word, Noonan provides a primer in writing.   (3 out of 5 stars.)

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Giveaway: Planet 316 Story Bible

Ever since the Planet 316 Story Bible arrived at our house, Toddler J has not let it leave her side. We had to read from it right away. In fact, we read most of the Old Testament stories in that one sitting. We continued reading at bedtime.

She loves this new Bible.

The colors are bright and inviting. The Biblical stories are appropriately retold. We had read, and reread, Jacob and Esau, Baby Moses, and Samson. There are over a hundred stories, with hundreds of illustrations.

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Book Review: The Lost Art of Good Conversation

The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life, Sakyong Mipham, Penguin Random House, 2017.

Have you noticed in this highly politicized time that it’s hard to have a good conversation? Among family members, in the workplace, and in churches, having a good conversation has become challenging. When you consider the conversations that the United Methodist Church is (and has been) having, particularity about human sexuality, it becomes even more challenging to have a good conversation.

Sakyong Mipham, head of the worldwide Shambhala community, uses his book to remind readers that in this hyper-connected time in which we live, we do not always communicate well. It is easier to make our point and refuse to hear another’s on Facebook and Twitter than it is sitting at a table, face-to-face.

By doing so, we no longer rejoice with those who rejoice or cry with those who cry. We lose any intimacy that a conversation would normally have. As Mipham writes, “We are at a dangerous crossroads because when we lose feeling, our exchanges with others lose value.” (11)

“It is a warrior practice of kindness using words.” -Sakyong Mipham (16)

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Book Review: Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior

Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior, Ed Clayton, Candlewick Press, 2017.

During a road trip one summer, Megan and I made a stop in Birmingham, Alabama. There, we went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. As we walked through the museum, retracing the steps of the Civil Rights Movement, we walked pass Martin Luther King Jr.’s jail cell where he wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Crowded with large families, summer school programs, and other vacationers like us, the Institute was challenging to navigate. I noticed a museum employee pulling a cart through the crowd, politely asking people to make a path for him. On the cart was a bench. I watched as the employee took the concrete bench to the Birmingham jail cell.

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Book Review: Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers

Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers, Pamela Kennedy and Anne Kennedy Brady, Worthy Kids/Ideals, 2018.

The latest children’s book from the VeggieTales franchise is a padded board book of bedtime prayers.  Complete with colorful illustrations from Lisa Reed featuring the well-known, and well-loved VeggieTales characters.

There are short, easy to understand, rhyming prayers that can be used as part of the evening ritual of reading books before bed. The prayers in this little collection are designed to help child and parent reflect on their day and prepare for the day yet to come.  Scattered throughout the book are verses from the Psalms.

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YouTubevotional: We Three Kings

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

Do you remember the Claymation Christmas special? It was aired in 1987 and won an Emmy. In celebration of Epiphany, this YouTubevotional includes their version of the hymn “We Three Kings.”

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A Treat

The present was neatly wrapped

Ribbon red flowing down the side

Elegantly given and kept

A gift of love, grace, and of pride

The act that was so clearly apt.

Photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash

Treat

Book Review: Whisper

Book Review

Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, Mark Batterson, WaterBrook & Multnomah, 2017.

Let’s face it. It’s hard to hear the voice of God.

Especially when we consider the multiple voices, alerts, and notifications we listen to. There are the voices (and tweets) of politicians, gurus, and talk show hosts. They are loud and overbearing. There is the constant 24-hour news cycle. And the notifications that pop up on our smartphones.

Then there are the coworkers, family, and friends who give us advice. There are iTunes, podcasts, and newscast. Then there are demands at work, at home, and at church.  The demands on us continue as we pack lunches, help with homework, pay bills and manage money.

Our lives are full.

And we are supposed to hear God?

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