the blog of Jason C. Stanley

Category: writing (page 1 of 8)

A Prayer for the World

CTukshqVEAAZdHXI was on my iPhone, causally scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I realized that there were a lot of things being said about Paris. I turned the news on, and saw the reports of what would be multiple attacks across the city, killing hundreds. I like many have been in a state of shock over the events. To the point that my journaling was just a list of words or phrases, no complete sentences, reflecting the impossibility of complete thoughts forming.

Today, I attempted to form that list of words and phrases into a prayer:

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Praying in the Woods

I left the house, most likely barefoot, and started walking through the woods. There was a path that had been worn in the dirt from all the other times I had walked this path. It is what I did when I needed to clear my head, ponder something, or escape from the stressors of teenage life. I would later have the epiphany that what was really happening was prayer. I was communing with the Creator.

There was an old stump by the creek where I would go and sit and think . . . . .I mean, pray.

Source: http://www.wildfrogphotography.com

Source: http://www.wildfrogphotography.com

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Sermon: Christian Education Sunday

Below is my sermon from yesterday, on Christian Education Sunday. It is a sermon in rhyme. As requested, the text is provided as well (though I probably have a few commas in the wrong places). If you use the Podcast app, you can listen by subscribing here. 

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the light pours into the dark room.

it illuminates only a small space.

but it is enough to cast away the darkness.

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Face Planting

Baby J has hit a milestone. She now sits up with very little help, or without her arms extended out for balance. And she is quite proud of herself.

Baby J sit up

Every once and awhile though, she’ll get super excited about this newfound ability and falls face first.

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Go to Sleep, Baby Girl

Go to sleep, baby girl, go to sleep.

Close your eyes, your pretty eyes, and go to sleep.

So you can dream of being the captain of a great, big, ship, exploring the wonders of the world.

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I Have a Voice

God gave me a voice and said, “It is good.”
     But, I talk, and you carry on as if I’m not here.
     I speak and it is as if I’m not in the room.
As if I have nothing to say.

I have a voice.

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New Life is Coming

My father-in-law was in town a few weeks ago. We took him up to the Blue Ridge Parkway one day to explore the mountains and its trails. Spring has just started and the trees are still barren and dry leaves still litter the ground.

Yet, there were signs of spring.

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Guest Post: Extend Mercy

By Rev. Jacob Sahms

washing_3262c-2Read Psalm 51:1-7.

Mercy. It’s not a word we hear frequently in today’s society. Judgment? Fairness? Crime and punishment?

Those terms are more comfortable in our black and white worlds. But in Psalm 51, David knows he needs mercy, even though he doesn’t deserve it, because the prophet Nathan pointed it out to him. He couldn’t see his sin on his own, but his ‘friend’ helped him recognize what he had done. In reality, David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed (2 Samuel 11). That’s why he’s here, begging for God to forgive him.

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Sunday Reads: 2/15/15

Here are five blog posts I found this week that were worth pondering.

Sunday Reads

Theologian Valentines: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are creative Valentine’s from some of the church’s prominent thinkers.

A Pastor’s Pre-Op Thoughts: Rev. Jason Micheli’s is always worth pondering. In this post, Jason reflects openly and theologically about preparing for surgery.

Post-Diagnosis Letter to My Congregation: A follow up to the above post, Rev. Jason Micheli posts his letter to his congregation about what the surgery relieved. Jason is always true to himself in his writing and here is no exception.

The Church’s Frightful Kodak Moment: Remember Kodak? They held the market on film for decades. But then the digital changed everything! Thom Schultz reflects on how the church is similar to Kodak and what the church can learn from Kodak’s experiences.

Bishop Practices Pulpit Politics: United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño is the first Latina to be a bishop in the UMC. The Bishop is also an advocate for immigration reform. This article explores her thoughts on the issue.

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