Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: Jesus (page 1 of 18)

Book Review: Who Counts?

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons, Amy-Jill Levine & Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017.

 Fred Craddock, a New Testament scholar, refers to the three “lost” parables in Luke 15 as “Three Parables of Joy.” He writes, “The three parables of chapter 15 are a trilogy in that all three speak of the joy of finding that which was lost.”

Amy-Jill Levine, a professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, a rabbi and Director of Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Bulter University and Christian Theological Seminary, give readers a fresh take on the familiar parables in Luke 15 in Who Counts? These stories of Jesus are retold in modern-day settings and with modern, diverse characters.

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YouTubevotional: Mattress Mack

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

Hurricane Harvey has brought with it a lot of anxiety and worry. This has prompted a lot of prayer and action on the parts of many. And in a time when we seem to be more focused on the things that divide us, stories of strangers helping strangers come out of Texas and remind us of what humanity is all about.

Local furniture store owner, Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack, is one of those stories.

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When Did We See You?

Reimaging Matthew 25:

I was flooded and you rescued me.

I was homeless and you provided me shelter

I was wet and you gave me a place to dry off.

I was hungry and you fed me.

I was shivering and you gave me a blanket.

I began cleaning up and you offered a hand.

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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.

 

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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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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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.

Sermon: Catch on Fire

This weekend I preached at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Originally I had titled the sermon “Hope Building,” but once I started writing this 1st Sunday after Pentecost sermon, it changed to “Catch on Fire.” My texts were Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 2:14-21, 42-47.

4 Books to Read this Lent

Lent is right around the corner. In a few short days, we will gather for Ash Wednesday in churches, on sidewalks, and in coffee shops to confess that we have not been as faithful as we could be, and to begin this journey we call Lent toward the empty tomb of Easter.

Here are four books I’ve read recently that would be great resources for small groups, sermon series, or individual devotional time.

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Book Review: Finding Your Voice

_225_350_book-2048-coverFinding Your Voice:  What Every Woman Needs To Live Her God-Given Passions Out Loud, Natalie Grant, Zondervan, 2016.

Grammy nominated Christian artist Natalie Grant has been a force in Christian music since 1999. As she tells it in her new book, Finding Your Voice, she had what one could call a spiritual awakening during a trip to India. This “pivotal encounter with God,” she says, changed her career.

It was on that trip she came face-to-face with women and girls who were victims of human trafficking. It was this encounter of the image of God in the Other that Grant had her epiphany: She has a voice and her voice has power.

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