Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: Matthew (page 1 of 2)

Devotion: On Our Own

“Immediately he [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.” (Matthew 14:22, NRSV)

The first time we left our daughter longer than a couple of days I kept a straight face, but deep inside, I was a wreck.  Megan and I went on a trip to Mexico, and our daughter stayed the week with my mom.  And even though I knew she would be safe, cared for, and loved, I was still a wreck. “Will she be okay without us for this long?”

I can hear what you’re thinking, “Just wait until she goes to college.” 

I’m not sure I can handle that. 

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Pete’s Dragon: Discussion Questions

Petes-Dragon-Movie-PosterPete’s Dragon is the newest family film from Disney. It is a brilliant film filled with adventure, laughs, and plenty of tear-jerkers. It is a great film to take a youth group, or other group, to. You can read my ponderings on the film here.

Below are some discussion questions you can use with your group. I’m sharing them here for those who are looking for such a resource. As a Christian educator, I should tell you, if you use these questions, don’t feel like you have to use them all. If anything, let the questions be a guide to having a conversation around the themes presented in the film.

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Watching Squirrels

Our favorite spot in the new house is quickly becoming the sunroom. This enclosed porch with sliding doors all around, gives us a postcard perfect glimpse of our backyard. It is more perfect when birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other friendly critters occupy the space.

It is a peace-filled space.

squirrel_8152cnThe other day while eating lunch on the sunroom, Toddler J and I watched as a squirrel hopped through the yard. As the squirrel started climbing the tree, Toddler J’s eyes lit up and a broad smile spread across her little face. She pointed up as the squirrel climbed the tree. When the squirrel was long out of sight, she was still pointing with excitement and mumbling what I believe was her attempt at saying,”squirrel.”

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Jesus Said: Be Shalom


Happy are people who make peace because they will be called God’s children. (Matthew 5:9, Common English Bible)

There have been a lot of troubling images out of the city of Baltimore.

These images of violence fill our TV and computer screens. And let’s be honest, they are a bit more than we can handle. The tension in our society over justice for all people seems to have collided in the streets.

Questions are being raised by many, especially those in the church, as to how we should respond. What does justice look like? What role does the church play in such discussions? Where is God calling us to be a part of this?

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Jesus Said: Follow Me

“Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people'” (Matthew 4:19).

Remember playing the game “Follow the Leader” when you were a kid? I used to work in an after-school children’s ministry setting. At the end of the day, before the parents had arrived and when there just was not enough time to do another activity, we would play Follow the Leader.

I would be the leader to start, and we would go up and down halls; circle tables and chairs; tumble over couches. It was fun! And it usually always lasted the right amount of time.  Continue reading

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