Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: vocation (page 1 of 3)

Book Review: Riley Can Be Anything

Riley Can Be Anything, Davina Hamilton, The Ella Riley Group, 2017.

Do you remember in grade school being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a fun question designed to get us to think about vocation. There were lofty dreams of going to space or being a vet or a firefighter.

The question would come again during high school and college as we inched closer to the “real world.” It was a question that could be a stressor in its own right.

To be honest, I never felt like, “I don’t know,” was an acceptable answer.

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Book Review: What Keeps You Up at Night

_240_360_Book.1584.coverWhat Keeps You Up at Night: How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams, Pete Wilson, W Publishing Group, 2015.

Pete Wilson is the founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. What Keeps You Up at Night? is his fourth book, where the main idea is that God has a purpose for each of us. Though Wilson never uses the word, you could refer to it as your vocation. What keeps us up at night is fear and uncertainty about fulfilling this God-given purpose.

From there, Wilson explores various ways in which fear keeps us from chasing our dreams – or God’s dreams for us. Fear prevents us from living into the holy life God has called us to. Wilson also provides some practical steps to overcome that fear. Prayer and trust in God are the strongest recommendations. Wilson writes:

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American Sniper (2014)

AmericanSniper_PosterNo matter where you stand on the war in Iraq debate, American Sniper is a film worth watching. I was torn when the film was released. Did we need another war film? Did we need a film before we were out of Iraq telling us whether the war was good or bad?

So I waited for the film to come out on DVD and Blu-ray, which happened this week, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

I was surprised at how good the film was. I know, I know, it was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor in a  Leading Role (Bradley Cooper).  (It only won Best Achievement in Sound Editing). American Sniper is not an analytical film about war, instead war is the reality of the narrative. It is the story of a father, a husband, and a service man, Chris Kyle (Cooper).

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Book Review: Just Say Yes

“We’ve never done it that way before.” “You need to go through the proper channels for that.” “We have a process and you need to respect the process.” “That’s an interesting idea. It might not work because . . . .” 

Have you heard those phrases before at church? I know I have. I may have even said a few of them. These are just a few ways that churches say “no.” This approach of doing church – this culture of No – is stalling the church from vital growth, according to Bishop Robert Schnase.

Just Say Yes!Robert Schnase serves as Bishop of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. Much of his writing has focused on ordained ministry. But it was Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations that made Bishop Schanse a “church-hold” name. His newest book, Just Say Yes! Unleashing People for Ministry, continues in the spirit of Five Practices in changing the attitudes and culture of churches.

Have you heard the joke about how many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb? The answer is, “They have to form a committee first.” In some churches, committees are where creative ideas for ministry go to die. As churches move from being inner focused to being outer focused, the traditional role of committees is no longer conducive to fulfill the mission of the church. New people to church, especially young people, who come with creative ideas for new ministry initiatives tend to finally give up after the rounds of committee meetings to get one idea approved. By the time the initiative is approved, the need has already been addressed.

For those whose passion for the church has waned due to being told  “No,” more than once. Or for those leaders who recognize that “NO” is leading the church more than “YES,” Schanse’s book is for you. He points out key concepts that can change the culture of a church. And no, changing the worship service times is not one of them.

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“We’re Home”: Star Wars 7 & Vocation


This week the second official trailer for Star Wars VII was released. In no time, Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere were alive with comments and thoughts about what this means for the movie coming out in December 2015.

In case, some how, you missed it, here it is:

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