Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Category: Devotions (page 2 of 32)

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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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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YouTubevotional: ‘Mully’ Trailer

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

Mully is a docudrama based on the life of Dr. Charles M. Mully. Mully will be shown in select theaters nationwide for three consecutive nights, October 3, 4, and 5, via Fathom Events.

Dr. Mully is often referred to as “the father of the world’s largest family.” Having been abandoned at the age of 6 himself, Mully has dedicated the past twenty-seven years, along with his wealth and resources to rescuing abandoned children in the slums of Kenya. His own story of surviving insurmountable odds and becoming one of the most respected humanitarians, is an inspiration to the young children he rescues.

Dr. Mully and his wife Esther formed Mully Children’s Family (MCF) – the world’s largest family – in 1989 to provide for the children whom they rescued.

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YouTubevotional: Box of Lies

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

One of the best things about The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon are the games. The kind of games that would be great youth group/small groups games.  “Box of Lies” is such a game.

The players choose a numbered box, look inside and have to decide if they are going to describe the item inside or make something up. The other player then has to discern if they are being told the truth or a lie.

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‘Lego Batman’ and the Importance of Family

Lego Batman movie poster“You can’t be a hero if you’re only thinking about yourself.” -Barbara Gordon

The team behind the 2014 surprise box office hit, The Lego Movie, had produced a fun, kid-friendly comic book movie in The Lego Batman Movie.  Will Arnett, who returns as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, is the perfect humorless, brooding Dark Knight.

The film is full of fast-moving bricks that successfully draws on decades of Batman lore. From the 1960’s television series to Batman v. Superman, references to the Dark Knight’s multifaceted phases are made . . . . and they are brilliant! The references include the “na-na-na-na” theme song and the classic “POWS.”

The pop references do not stop there. The Joker unleashes a myriad of Warner Bros. villains onto Gotham city, who have all been chilling out in the Phantom Zone. Villains such as Voldemort, King Kong, Gremlins, Eye of Sauron, the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys, and Godzilla. These references are clearly placed for the benefit of the parents. And, so, on behalf of all parents, I say, “Thank you.”

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The Commercials Won

logo--events-superbowlPrimaryLast night an average of 111.3 million Americans watched the Super Bowl. I have to be honest, I went to bed for the game went into overtime and I did not know that the Patriots won until later today.

While I did watch the game, I was blown away by the commercials. Many of which began in development a year ago.

Commentators took their blogs, newspapers, and screens to declare which were the best and the worst. While I do not intend to add to the commentary clutter, some of the commercials gave me the “feels.” They were short films that communicated deep truths that we need at a time such as this.

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YouTubevotional: Justice

scale_3960cYouTubevotionals 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

The word “justice” is being used a lot lately. We use the phrase “justice for all,” but what does that mean? For some, justice is building a wall. For others, justice is tearing down walls. The way we understand justice too often finds itself in alignment with our politics and not our faith. “What does the Lord require?” the prophet Micah asked.

The answer? “To do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

aJustATL is a non-profit, multi-platform social media campaign to connect Atlantans with various non-projects in the city. On their YouTube channel, they ask Atlantans, “What does justice mean to you?”

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Book Review: Down to Earth

Down to EarthDown to Earth: The Hopes & Fears of All the Years Are Met in Thee Tonight, Mike Slaughter & Rachel Billups, Abingdon Press, 2016.

In this book for the Advent season, pastors Mike Slaughter and Rachel Billups explore what it means for love, joy, peace, and hope to come down to Earth. The book accompanies a four-week Advent study that opens up Christmas to examine how one helpless baby changed everything.

What makes this a great read during Advent this year, is how relevant it is to current events. While it was written before we had two primary presidential candidates or even an election, reading it post-election is food for the soul. Slaughter and Billups acknowledge that we put too much attention on the wrong things. They write, “Or in arguing about things such as red cups, sexual identity issues, who we voted for, and where refugees should go, are we allowing these issues to create dividing lines between us?”

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YouTubevotional: Mary Knew

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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 1996 the song “Mary, Did You Know?” written by Mark Lowry, was released. Since then, it has become a Christmas standard, sung by various artists and church choirs. Lowry had pondered questions he would ask Mary if he had the chance to sit down and talk to her. Buddy Greene put music to those questions. It is hard to find a version of the song that is different. In the video below, the Singing Contractors stop their work to sing.

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