Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: love (page 1 of 4)

Comic Review: The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice (Rebirth)

The Flash 1 coverThe Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice is written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Carmine Di Giandomenico. The volume collects The Flash: Rebirth #1 and The Flash #1-8

The Story (aka From the Publisher)

A new storm brews over Central City and disproves the old adage about lightning never, well…you know. Just as Barry begins to feel overwhelmed fighting crime, a new speedster debuts–but just where did this amazing new friend come from? Spinning directly out of the epic events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, the Fastest Man Alive finds himself at the center of a DC Universe at a crossroads–and reeling from the reemergence of his protegé, Wally West!

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YouTubevotional: Justice

scale_3960cIntroduction

The word “justice” is being used a lot lately. We use the phrase “justice for all,” but what does that mean? For some, justice is building a wall. For others, justice is tearing down walls. The way we understand justice too often finds itself in alignment with our politics and not our faith. “What does the Lord require?” the prophet Micah asked.

The answer? “To do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

aJustATL is a non-profit, multi-platform social media campaign to connect Atlantans with various non-projects in the city. On their YouTube channel, they ask Atlantans, “What does justice mean to you?”

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More Than Firewood

More Than FirewoodWhen I was a kid, in the cold of winter, we heated our home through a wood stove – a fireplace. One of our chores during those cold months was to bring firewood up to the house so that there would be wood near by in the cold of the night.

The firewood chores, however, started well before winter. Sometimes as early as the summer, but always during the fall. Any trees that had fallen during a summer storm, or that just needed to come down, were fair game. Dad would cut the trees with a chain saw, and then the splitting would happen with an ax. We would be responsible for hauling the split wood to the wood pile and stack it just right.

It was sometime in 2008, while working at Lebanon United Methodist, I got a phone call about firewood. There was someone in our community without firewood to heat their home in the cold winter days. In the county over there was a church who had a firewood ministry, and as such they had a stock pile. They allowed us to use their wood. I called the United Methodist Men‘s president, Claude, and we rode out to load up a trailer full of wood and deliver it to the home in need.

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Sermon: Room at the Table

Here is the audio of my sermon from April 24, 2016 at Peakland United Methodist Church. The text was Acts 11:1-18 and Revelation 21:1-6. During the sermon, I washed someone’s feet.  You can listen on the Podcast app by subscribing here.

 

Book Review: Love Kindness

Love-Kindness-CoverLove Kindness, Barry H. Corey, Tyndale, 2016

“We need to keep remembering that we don’t beat an idea by beating a person.” (Barry H. Corey)

There is a deep polarization in Christianity today. Thankfully, it is not around the doctrine that Jesus Christ is Lord.  It mostly centers around social issues, and how we respond to them. Barry Corey, the president of Biola University, has a suggestion: Love kindness.

He writes in his Introduction:

In today’s polarized culture, we are often pulled toward one extreme or the other, soft centers or hard edges.  I’m proposing a different approach, a third way. Rather than the harshness of firm centers and hard edges, and rather than the weakness of spongy centers and soft edges, why don’t we start with kindness? Kindness is the way of firm centers and soft edges.

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Keep Me Near the Cross

I had moved some of my cross necklaces that were hanging on the hook where I hang my alb. They were getting tangled up and just becoming a mess. So I took them down to set them aside until I could come up with a better solution.

The day proceeded on. I left work, went home for lunch, got a haircut. All pretty normal things. I had a meeting with a couple getting married this coming summer and needed to take Baby J with me. We loaded up and got to the office about forty-five minutes before the meeting was scheduled.

In a good mood, Baby J explored my office. Playing with the toys that were there only occasionally. At some point, she discovered the crosses I had earlier that day set aside. One cross, a wooden cross I brought back from Costa Rica one year, became her favorite.

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Youth Mission Week: Day 3

Today we worked with Lynchburg’s Habitat for Humanity. We planned to work a full day with them, but because of the extreme heat and the lack of shade, we ended the day after lunch. Habitat builds 4-5 homes a year. This build is their Apostle’s Build. Twelve churches in the community have been working on this house through work days and funding. A portion of the Lenten offering from Peakland went towards this Apostle’s Build.

One of the unique things about Habitat for Humanity, is that the homeowner-to-be is required to put in some many volunteer hours on their house. Marty works the night shift at the hospital and then during the mornings he comes and puts in hours on the building of the house for him and his family.

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Youth Mission Week: Day 1

We are doing something a little different this summer. As an alternative to a summer mission trip, some of the youth from Peakland got together one Sunday while I taught Confirmation class and planned what a mission week in Lynchburg would look like. They tasked me with receiving out to certain organizations.

The idea was we would work with different organizations and non-profits in the Lynchburg community to gain a broader sense of the needs in our community, as well as spread the love of Jesus Christ wide.

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Guest Post: God’s Love Endures Forever

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By Taylor Sherwood

In middle and high school, youth group was a huge part of my life.  I attended as many bible studies and youth group related activities as I could, and spent countless Sunday evenings in the youth basement forming a close relationship with God while creating memories with some of my best friends at the same time. At the end-of-year youth group picnic my senior year, I remember thinking that things would never be the same. I’m now 26 years old and I often find myself missing those meaningful youth group memories.

Somewhere between high school, college, and becoming an adult, the amount of time I spend with God seems to have steadily decreased since my teenage years. When I reflect on why this has happened, it seems partly due to the increase of responsibilities that come along with being an adult, but also the lack of structure in my schedule. Youth group allowed for me to clear my schedule every week during the same days and times to spend in worship. I finally realized last year that I seem to struggle with committing to bible study courses now as an adult.

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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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