Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: prayer (page 1 of 5)

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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Book Review: The Prayer Box

The Prayer Box, Jennifer Berry, Dog Ear Publishing, 2017.

Rosetta is a little girl who enjoys spending time with her mother. One day, her mother tells her about the little box that sits on her dresser. It is her prayer box.

Rosetta learns that prayer is a way of talking with God.

But, she is curious about what prayers her mother has put in her prayer box. Eventually, curiosity gets the best of her, and she peeks inside. She is surprised to find that none of the prayers in the box are for her.

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App Review: ATG Today

Do you have eight minutes to spare?

The creators of the Awakening to God Today (ATG Today) app hope you do. This app is a devotional-mediation journal to aid the Christian on their walk with God. The guided meditation is simple and easy to use.

The app’s journal feature has three sentences to complete:

Lord, I thank you today for . . .

I believe God is speaking to me today about . . .

Lord, I pray today that you will . . . .

The feature also allows you to upload a picture that you find relates to your pray time. The Timeline allows you to revisit your prayer journals.

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On Praying Our Way Forward

Tuesday night the Elizabeth River District in Virginia held prayer services for Praying Our Way Forward. I was at the site in Portsmouth, held at Monumental United Methodist. Toddler J was there, along with six-year-old boy, E.

As we celebrated communion, Toddler J freely scurried around the sanctuary, until she too participated in the ritual. She received with open palms a chunk of bread, and with no fear or hesitation, dipped it into the common cup.

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Prayer: Foggy Days

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, NIV)

Lord, today is a foggy day.  We aren’t fans of foggy days. We have places to go, and the fog only slows us down.

Lord, you know that foggy days are a lot of things.

Depression and anxiety.  Continue reading

Use Your Words

One of the things we do at our house now that we have a toddler is watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. It’s a cartoon on PBS based on characters developed my Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood fame. In one of the episodes, Mom Tiger teaches Daniel a song about using his words. “Use your words, and say how you feel,” they sing.

Here’s the song:

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A Prayer for the World

CTukshqVEAAZdHXI was on my iPhone, causally scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I realized that there were a lot of things being said about Paris. I turned the news on, and saw the reports of what would be multiple attacks across the city, killing hundreds. I like many have been in a state of shock over the events. To the point that my journaling was just a list of words or phrases, no complete sentences, reflecting the impossibility of complete thoughts forming.

Today, I attempted to form that list of words and phrases into a prayer:

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Praying in the Woods

I left the house, most likely barefoot, and started walking through the woods. There was a path that had been worn in the dirt from all the other times I had walked this path. It is what I did when I needed to clear my head, ponder something, or escape from the stressors of teenage life. I would later have the epiphany that what was really happening was prayer. I was communing with the Creator.

There was an old stump by the creek where I would go and sit and think . . . . .I mean, pray.

Source: http://www.wildfrogphotography.com

Source: http://www.wildfrogphotography.com

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I’ve Got Joy

It has been almost seven months since I have been to L’Arche in Lynchburg for Spiritual Life Night. I went tonight and it was like a homecoming of sorts. I was invited to stay and sing (not realizing that was why I was there). I was asked about baby J and Megan. There were bright smiles and huge hugs.

Then, without instruction or directions, chairs became to circle up and we all took our places. The red song books were handed out, and one by one we sang each person’s favorite hymn. It was gloriously out of tune. And it was awesome! Through “I’ve Got the Joy” and “Amazing Grace,” we made a joyful noise.

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