Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: christianity (page 1 of 40)

YouTubevotinal: Bed Sheets

Simon Tofield Simon's Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009

Simon Tofield Simon’s Cat for Magazine interview. 24 October 2009

Introduction

Changing the bed sheets is one of those necessary chores. You watch the sheets, take the old sheets off the bed, and then put the warm, clean sheets on the bed. Putting clean sheets on the bed just right can be a change all its own. Add a curious cat, and it becomes even more challenging.

Simon’s Cat has a collection of short films on YouTube. The most recent film is called Bed Sheets.

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YouTubevotional: No Toys?

Introduction

It is that time of year. We have given thanks for the blessings of life, gathered around a table full of food, family, and friends. Now, we are putting up Christmas trees, lights, and stockings . . .with care. We have made lists (and checked them twice) of the things we want for Christmas. In this classic clip from The Brady Bunch, Cindy waits to tell Santa what we wants for Christmas.

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Book Review: The Redemption of Scrooge

515ehem1hel-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Redemption of Scrooge, Matt Rawle, Abingdon Press, 2016.

There are a few things that are a must at Christmastime. The tree with treasured ornaments. The rich aromas of holiday cooking. The time spent revisiting old memories.

For me, Christmas is not complete without watching Christmas movies. At our house, it’s A Christmas Story, Elf, and Christmas Vacation. And some version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (My favorite is still the Mickey Mouse version.) Dickens’ Carol has captured readers for centuries. His story has been retold on stage, in film and television. Quite possibly because the story of Ebenezer Scrooge is timeless.

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YouTubevotional: Thanksgiving Dinner

turkey_5333cnIntroduction

In a few short days, families will be gathered around tables full of food for Thanksgiving. Some, like Rev. Tom Berlin, have wondered what this year’s Thanksgiving would hold after a stressful and contentious election. You can read Tom’s thoughts here. 

Last year, during the primary season, it felt just as contentious. Saturday Night Live‘s sketch “A Thanksgiving Miracle” explored this same wondering. What could unite a divided family? What could stop the arguments across the table? SNL‘s miracle worker was the popular singer Adele, whose latest album was released at the same time.

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Book Review: The Littlest Star

31626855The Littlest Star, Richard Littledale, Lion Hudson Plc, 2016.

Have you ever wondered how many stars there are in the great, big sky?

Richard Littledale’s book, The Littlest Star, is the story about the littlest of all the stars. This particular star was not as sparkly or exciting as the other stars, but on one holy night, it had the biggest, most important job of all.

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Book Review: Jesus and the Beanstalk

jesus-and-the-beanstalkJesus and the Beanstalk: Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life, Lori Stanley Roeleveld, Abingdon Press, 2016.

When I started reading Lori Stanley Roeleveld’s newest book, Jesus and the Beanstalk, I connected with it. It was as if Roeleveld had peeked inside my brain and caught a glimpse of the questions I had recently been pondering.

This, I learned, is the nature of her blog and her book. Her writing has an approachable style to it, as if she were sitting at a kitchen table and talking with you directly over a cup of coffee.

It does not take much for us to realize that we live in unsettling, challenging times. There are giant problems everywhere we look and these giants produce obstacles, barriers, and strongholds.

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Giveaway: VeggieTales Every Day with God Devotional

VT Devo_girlsEvery day with God is a 365-day devotional from VeggieTales.  The updated content and art offer the perfect opportunity for parent and child to share time together each day. Each entry includes a Bible verse, short devotion, Thought of the Day, and prayer.

As the message to parents at the beginning notes, “As parents, you know the importance of teaching your children the big ideas that are found in God’s Holy Word.”

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Book Review: Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends

flash-the-donkey-makes-new-friendsFlash the Donkey Makes New Friends, Rachel Anne Ridge, Tyndale Momentum, 2016.

Flash is a donkey on his own. He and his blue wagon make the rounds around town as he collects discarded items that he sees value in. Then, as he and his loaded wagon make it up a hill, Donkey and the wagon crash into a tree.

Three Good Samaritans stop when they see Donkey with a bump on his head. They discuss the best options, including taking Donkey back to his home. When they find out that Donkey has no home, it is decided that he will go home with them.

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Book Review: Open

Open bookOpen: Get Ready for an Adventure of a Lifetime, David Gregory, Tyndale, 2016.

David Gregory is the New York Times Bestseller author of Dinner with a Perfect Stranger. In that book, the main character receives an unusual invitation. It is unsigned and the inviter has invited himself to the character’s home for dinner.

The character prepares his home for a visit for an unknown stranger, wondering what person of great importance has chosen his home to visit.

The perfect stranger is revealed to be Jesus.

In Gregory’s new book, Open, a young woman named Emma receives a similar, unsigned invitation. Her invitation is not to dinner. The invitation reads, “For a real adventure with Jesus, go through the nearest open door.” Emma’s curiosity recalls for the reader young Lucy’s innocence in walking through the wardrobe into Narnia. Emma, a bit more broken than Lucy, is transported through time to Jesus’ day.

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Sermon: Complaint or Concern?

This was a sermon I preached at St. Mark’s United Methodist in Richmond. I preached on Exodus 17:1-7 as part of their Complaining is Draining sermon series. This audio is from the 11:00am service. You can also listen on the Podcast app by subscribing here.

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