Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

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4 Ways to Help with Hurricane Harvey

It has been hard sitting at home and watching the images of what Hurricane Harvey is doing come across social media as well as the news and not be able to do something. We have friends and family who live in Houston, thankfully who are all safe and well. In addition, we have a lot of family in Louisana, which also being impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Here are four ways you may be able to help.

#1. Pray

As the pictures and stories keep unfolding from Texas, let us keep all of those in the storm’s continuous path in our prayers. Both in Texas and in Lousiana. Remember to hold in prayer the first responders, those connected to the church who are already responding, and those churches in Texas that have been serving as shelters.

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YouTubevotional: Shed Racism

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

Racism has reared its ugly head in the last few weeks. I was recently in Atlanta, and when people found out I was from Virginia, they wanted to talk about the events in Charlottesville.

The sin of racism is hanging over our heads.

These are conversations that we need to be having. In airports. At conferences. In Ubers.

Especially in the church.

Franklin McCallie grew up in the segregated South. He was taught that as a white person, he was better than any black person. Now, in his 70’s, McCallie shares how he was able to shed racism.

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Sermon: Share You

Sunday I preached the final sermon in the Share sermon series at Monumental United Methodist in Olde Towne, Portsmouth. The texts for the morning were Romans 12:1-8 and Matthew 16:13-20. You can hear other sermons on the Listen page.

You can also listen on the Podcast app by subscribing here.

 

falling

falling

you said to eat from

any tree in the garden

just not that one

the one in the middle

the one with the best fruit

but i ate it anyway

and now i’m falling

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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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