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.
We have heard the phrase, “fair and square,” and “cheaters never prosper.” We usually hear them in the context of sports or in education. Remember playing a pickup game of baseball in the backyard and someone, maybe you, telling your friends that something was “fair and square?”
It can speak to a sense of justice and integrity.
In the Mickey Mouse short below, Mickey is faced with the challenge of cheating (like everyone else) or being faithful to the spirit of fair play.
This is the first of what I hope will be a weekly occurrence. YouTubevotionals are for personal devotional time, or for use in a small group, youth group, or a Sunday school class. -JCS
It has been a long – long – election season. It will soon be over, as citizens head to the polls on Tuesday to cast their votes. The 1951 Looney Tunes cartoon Ballot Box Bunny is eerily similar to this election season. The cartoon may help us explore the impact of the election season and think about leadership.
When 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.
Pete’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.
I wrote this for our middle schoolers a few weeks ago to use in their Sunday morning small group. It’s a discussion that focuses on doubt and faith, and that we can trust in God.
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:
Read Jeremiah 31:31-34.
The other night our youth group served a meal at Park View Community Mission. In Lynchburg 24% of the population lives in poverty. Every Wednesday evening, Park View hosts volunteer groups like our youth group who serve a free meal to anyone who shows up during the serving times.
There were whites and African-Americans. There were young and old. There were homeless and working poor. There were those with disabilities and there were those without.
by Morgan Stafford
Read 2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10
As I prepare and review lessons for this season of Lent, I find great wisdom in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul aims to encourage and motivate his fellow followers of Christ to deepen their inner faith despite a myriad of outer circumstances which could easily prevent this aspiration. As a youth minister in an urban setting, I witness the challenges which young people must deal with on a daily basis.
Just as Paul must acknowledge the difficulties facing the Corinthians, I must consider the context in which these young people live. How can I teach reconciliation and righteousness without acknowledging stress and suffering? Just as the Corinthians received both “honor and dishonor,” I must equip my youth to live out their faith in a world which may reward this faith in some settings while punishing them in others.
I wrote this last year to use with my youth group after watching A Charlie Brown Valentine. It was a great discussion about God’s love in our lives.
Dylan Baker is known for his various roles in television and film. Namely, his role as Colin Sweeney in The Good Wife. Most recently he was J. Edgar Hoover in the film Selma. Many will remember him from other films like Anchorman 2, Secretariat, Spider-man 2 and 3, as well as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
Baker has added director to his IMDB list of achievements with 23 Blast. In the film, Baker also fills the role of Larry Freeman, the father of Travis Freeman whose real-life story Baker brings to the screen. Travis (Mark Hapka) is the high school football star who keeps up his grades and helps his mom, Mary (Kim Zimmer) keep the concession stand stocked.