Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

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Book Review: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book One: The Beginning

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, Book One: The Beginning, M. J. Thomas, Worthy Kids, 2017.

Mike (M. J.) Thomas was looking for a book for his nine-year-old son to read that would teach the Bible in a fun way. Unable to find such a book, Thomas decided to write it.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is that book, while books. The first in this new series is, appropriately, The Beginning, a good book for children ages eight to ten.

Transporting Scrolls

Peter, 9, and his 10-year-old sister, Mary (who was adopted from China), along with their smart dog, Hank, are sent to stay with Great-Uncle Solomon while their parents travel to Africa. Fearful of spending more days bored than entertained, the children wander through the old house.
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Sermon: Wrestling with God

This is a sermon I preached on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Ebenezer United Methodist in Suffolk, Virginia. The text I preached on was Genesis 32:22-31, Jacob wrestling with God (or was it) through the night.

 

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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Book Review: When a Wolf is Hungry

When a Wolf is Hungry, Christine Naumann-Villemin, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrations), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017.

Edmond Bigsnout is a hungry wolf. He leaves the forest and heads to the big city to find himself a “grain-fed, silky rabbit.” He enters an apartment complex and finds the name of Max Omatose, miniature rabbit. It seems perfect.

Maybe too perfect. 

Each time Edmond attempts to “prepare” his meal, a neighbor in the apartment building has a need for Edmond’s tool – his chainsaw, his rope, even his big pot. Each time Edmond shares his item and rides his bicycle back to the forest to get something else.

Finally, mistaken as the new neighbor in the building, he is invited to the roof. There all the neighbors who borrowed things from him were there, having a cook-out for him, the new neighbor.

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Book Review: The Biggest Story ABC

The Biggest Story ABC, Kevin DeYoung, Don Clark (illustrated),Crossway, 2017.

A few years ago Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, patterned with illustrater Don Clark to bring the Bible to color in The Biggest Story. It is a telling of the Bible in one big story, From Adam and Eve to the Resurrection to the End of the Story.

The duo has come together again to release a new board book for children ages 1 to 3. The Biggest Story ABC connects to great, big story of the Bible with learning the letters. Each page introduces a new letter of the alphabet with engaging and whimsical illustrations from Clark. The Biblical narrative is retold as one continuous story, much like The Biggest Story.

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A Day in Duck, North Carolina

The other day we drove down to Duck, North Carolina along the Outer Banks to visit with some friends who were vacationing there. We were reminded of how close we are to the Outer Banks and that we should take more advantage of it being so close. We had a fun day.

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Sermon: One Smooth Stone

I preached at New Creation United Methodist for their 11am worship service this past weekend. The scriptures were 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 and 1 Samuel 17:32-49. I read the 1 Samuel account of David defeating Goliath from The Message just before the sermon.

An Evening at the Zoo

The other night the Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk expended the hours for members. It was a great opportunity to see the zoo’s residents during a cooler part of the day.

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Book Review: Watch

Watch: Wide-Awake Faith in a World Fast Asleep, Rick James, NavPress, 2016.

It is rare for me to start a book and not finish it. I started, and did not finish, this book twice. I’ll explain in a bit.

Rick James, a former ad-agency art director, who has a long engagement in collegiate ministry, sets out wake up sleeping Christians. Using the Gethsemane scene in the gospels where Jesus goes off to pray, returning only to find his disciples asleep. Jesus’ advice to them was to stay awake, or alert.

Sage advice for Christians today. Continue reading

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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