Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: exodus (page 1 of 2)

Book Review: Moses

Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet, Adam Hamilton, Abingdon Press, 2017.

In Moses, Adam Hamilton retraces the footsteps of Moses, whom Hamilton argues is the “single most influential person in the Hebrew Bible.” While he blends historical facts and reflections on visiting sites, Hamilton steadies the course that there is much to learn from this reluctant prophet.

Moses is equal parts history, theology, and commentary. Taking a serious look at Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the reader is invited to consider what he or she can learn from the Moses narrative. I am careful here because it is not just Moses’ life that offers implications for our own. It is the also the people around him.

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Book Review: Whole

Whole: Restoring What is Broken in Me, You, and the Entire World, Steve Wiens, NavPress, 2017.

We do not have to look far to see just how broken the world is. It seems that almost daily the news is reporting on another shooting, another disaster, another event that gives us pause. It could be argued that the world is broken because we who make up the world are broken too.

There is brokenness all around us.

It is in this context that Steve Wiens writes his beautiful and relevant book Whole. Wiens is not afraid to call attention to the jagged edges of his own life, and the world.

Since reading his book, I have been following him on Twitter, and he does the same there. The Wiens we meet in the pages of Whole seems to be the real thing.

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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.

The Ten: Be Truthful

“Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16, Common English Bible)

tablets_9750cIn an episode titled “Greater Good,” from the first season of the drama-comedy Boston Legal, Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner) represent a large, drug company in a civil suit. The two lawyers disagree on a key ethical issue surrounding the lies about a clinical trial for a new drug.

The doctor who participated in the clinical trial is conflicted. Shore wants her to be truthful about the potential harm the new drug may have caused its patients. Crane, on the other hand, wants her to be quiet about it. Shore reminds the doctor that when she testifies in court, she will be under oath. Mr. Shore’s intention, of course, is to persuade the doctor to speak truth.

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Book Review: The Adventures of Pajama Girl

61qpzJnpFsL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Author Sandra Hagee Parker has written her first book for children. An attorney living in San Antonio, Texas, Parker is the daughter of preacher John Hagee. Her book, The Adventures of Pajama Girl and the Coronation of the Cupcake Queen, draws inspiration from her own two daughters, Olivia and Elliana.

In the book, Ellie’s pajamas send her on various adventures when she goes to bed. On the night she wears her cupcake pajamas, she and her little sister are transported to a kingdom of cupcakes. They arrive in time for the coronation of the Cupcake Queen. But the coronation comes to a halt when sprinkles have gone missing. The sisters help find the missing sprinkles, and learn a lesson about being jealous.

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Guest Post: God Protects

by Minoka Gunesekera

washing_3262c-2Read Exodus 12:1-14

Many times when I go home from seminary I eat with my closest friends and family. It has become almost a ritual. The food and the actions may not be very unique, but when my community gathers for a meal it shows me an example of God’s love and devotion. And those moments of love I hold in my heart when I am away and I feel like I am about to walk into an “impending plague” or a time of trial. Just like the memory of these meals, God’s protection follows us when we feel like we need to be rescued, not because we did anything to deserve it but because that is God’s expression of mercy.

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Guest Post: Love God, Love Others

by Kara Byrne

washing_3262c-2Read Exodus 20:1-17.

I was a teacher before I was a parent, so you’d expect that I’d have this whole discipline/ behavior management thing figured out, right? Nope. The lines get blurry when they’re your own children. We’ve tried various techniques with varying results which has often left me wondering: what are the desired behaviors? What do we most want our children to portray? Well, that answer is actually pretty easy: loving God and loving others.
Guess what? Those are the exact  desired behaviors that God established a few thousand years ago. It’s a shame I didn’t consider that first…

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Book Review: No Longer a Slumdog

12131142In 2008 the film Slumdog Millionaire opened the eyes of many to the reality of life that many young people in India live in. Dr. K. P. Yohannan, the founder and international director of Gospel for Asia, has seen this reality firsthand. In his book, No Longer a Slumdog, he shares his vision for Gospel for Asia (GFA), what they are doing, and stories of children reached by this ministry.

In this book, Yohannan educates the reader about the social context of many living in India. Many children living in poverty, in the lowest of the caste system, have stolen childhoods. This social system has been a way to control people, and even though it has been voted as illegal by Indian government, it is still in practice. Either they are sold into slavery, forced to work instead of receiving an education just so their parents can put food on the table, if for a day. Or, they are sold as sex slaves.

These are some of the ‘Dalits.’

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Sermon: Go Down, Moses

 

Water From the Rock

Read Exodus 17:1-7.

Lent Ponderings - jasoncstanley.comThe last few days Megan and I have been doing a 7 fast. Megan is using Jen Hatmaker’s book 7:  An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess in a Bible study this semester at her church. Each week there is a different fast from the excess in our lives. The idea is that we would limit ourselves with seven different foods. Some choose to fast from 7 foods. Whatever you do, the point is to be consistent. My friend Sarah is doing it too, and she blogged about her first day here.

Megan and I decided to eat a Costa Rican diet of chicken, rice, beans, fruits and veggies for a week. In this way, we would connect with the people of Costa Rica, especially those in the shantytown of Los Diques I met over 8 years ago on my first mission trip there.

I will say that I was looking forward to it. I love Costa Rican food. It is so delicious! The first day was Thursday. I had traditional rice and beans for breakfast. The time between breakfast and lunch seemed to last an eternity. I was starving by the time I ate lunch, which were simple tacos, nothing fancy. For dinner, we made traditional arroz con pollo – chicken and rice. For those of you who remember Pura Vida Cafe in Mechanicsville, I used their recipe. I snacked only once, post dinner after two church meetings. And that was a banana.

I didn’t think it would be so hard! But sometime Friday, as my stomach longed for something other than  rice and beans, I thought of the children living in Los Diques. Some of them would be lucky to have the rice and beans I was already tired of eating.  I have watched church leaders in that shantytown fix plates of food and take it to a “house” (a term I use loosely) where the children living in the home had a mother addicted to so many pills, that she was not aware that her children had not eaten that day. The reality was that those church leaders looking out for those children, did not enough food themselves.

In our text today from Exodus, the people of God are on this journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. There are still pretty new to the journey. They have not yet received the Ten Commandments. A dispute breaks out between the people and Moses, their leader, over the lack of water. Water in the ancient world was very much a matter of life and death.  The lack of water was enough to cause some to wonder if they had made the wrong decision. Were they better off in Egypt, where they had water? In Egypt, they had water. In Egypt they had shelter from the hot, burning sun. In Egypt, it sucked being slaves, but they had certain comforts they are lacking now.

It is easy, and frankly has often been done, to make the text about the Israelites misbehaving again and complaining and not trusting God. The Israelites had just left Egypt, and were traveling through the desert and wilderness. Water was not just a comfort, but a necessity. Nyasha Junior writes, “When people are still concerned with basic needs, they require not a rebuke for lack of faithfulness, but compassion.” Perhaps there are such people in our communities who are faithful, yet lack the basic needs. During my first mission trip to Costa Rica, that was what I found. Faithful people who lacked the basic needs of water, food, and electricity.

As we contemplate this Lent the brokenness of our relationships with God and others, let us not forget those who are thirsty or hungry.

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