Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Christina Stanton author of Out of the Shadow of 9-11...
In this episode Christina Stanton and I talk with you about her faith and her journey through 9-11 and COVID...
In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Christina Stanton. Christina shares with you her experiences living in New York during 9/11. Christina also shares how her faith intersected with her journey through 9/11 and COVID. Christina also shares some of her biggest takeaways from living through both events.
Join in on the Chat below.
SNS 162: Saturday Night Special â€“ Interview with Christina Stanton Founder of Loving All Nations
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight. Saturday night, special episode 162.
[00:00:04] Christina Stanton: I'm Christina Stanton. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to find faith, even in the face of tremendous challenges is key.
[00:00:25] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to. The inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:34] Approaching suffering on this earth. And the Bible says we're gonna suffer. It's just, it's gonna happen. That's our journey on this earth. And at one point we're gonna come to our own ground zero. And what are we gonna do with that? How are we gonna be crushed? Are we going to look to God?
[00:00:50] Are we going to try to rely on our own welcome
[00:00:54] Scott Maderer: and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly [00:01:00] desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast, who will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the
[00:01:20] And tonight's Saturday night special. I interview Christina Stanton. Christina shares with you, her experiences living in New York during nine 11, and Christina also shares how her faith intersected her journey through both nine 11. And COVID Christina also shares some of her biggest takeaways from living through both of these events.
[00:01:40] One area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity. Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a course called productivity for your [00:02:00] passion. That's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.
[00:02:15] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your person. Because the truth is a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type. But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work, but there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone.
[00:02:42] And we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out email@example.com slash launch. Christina Stanton is a 52 year old, Florida native, who has lived in New York city for the past 29 years. She had a successful [00:03:00] career as a singer in musical theater before turning her full attention to her job as a professional licensed New York city to her guide, she worked for 27 years.
[00:03:09] Total as a guide with tours written up in multiple publications and featured on travel channels. She's led thousands of people on tours over the years. Since 2009, she also worked as the director of the short term missions ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian church founded by Dr. Timothy Keller. In 2017, she founded a nonprofit called loving all nations.
[00:03:31] Her husband, Brian also works in ministry and they are match dot com's longest married couple in its history. She wrote an award-winning book about her experiences on nine 11 and her articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers all over the world. Welcome to the show C. Hi, thanks for having me.
[00:03:50] Absolutely. So you've written a couple of books, but let's start with the first one. Why did you decide to write a book about nine 11.
[00:03:59] Christina Stanton: [00:04:00] And I would say part B is why did I write it so far after nine 11? It came out in 2019. Great question. Why did I write a book about nine 11?
[00:04:12] And so far after the fact I'm a tour guide, I'm a licensed New York city tour guide and. I give tours of the nine 11 Memorial and the museum. And I've been amazed at the 20 years since nine 11 happened at how relatively little people know about the attacks. What people know is one dimensional, one note.
[00:04:37] And a lot of, and a lot of senses. And I've been able to say that through my tour guiding experiences and asking people. So you tell me what you know about nine 11. And again, I felt like there was a lot of layers and textures about what happened that day, that just did not get across probably to the rest of America or maybe even the world.
[00:04:56] So I wanted to put my voice out there. [00:05:00] Of some underrepresented stories about nine 11. Is it gonna change the world for people to know that? No, but I think it gives a better understanding and a bigger scope of how they attacks left the city and the country and the world
[00:05:13] Scott Maderer: So you are actually in the city there whenever it happened, giving you a unique a unique view of it.
[00:05:22] Tell, tell us a little bit about.
[00:05:24] Christina Stanton: Yeah. My story really stems from the fact that my husband and I were residents of the neighborhood where the attacks took place. That's where our story is from. We live six blocks away from the world trade center site. And so I talk about how we experienced the attacks.
[00:05:41] Living within a very small radius to the twin towers and the world trade center complex. And again, that was a voice that, that I felt hadn't been heard much of what was it like before living in the neighborhood before, during and after. And I just go [00:06:00] into again from our perspective our first hand account of what it looked like that day, but again, going back to.
[00:06:06] What I've noticed as a tour guide is when I would ask people what do you know about the nine 11 boat evacuation? For instance, it's the largest boat evacuation in history. More times than not people had never heard of it. What about if I said you, we were homeless for several weeks after nine 11, that seemed to be a shock to people.
[00:06:27] Why were you homeless? I didn't know. People were homeless as a result of nine 11, and. I also tell them our health has been compromised due to nine 11, that more people have died after nine 11 because of the cancers that manifested itself in people's bodies who had inhaled the dust and the smoke and the debris and the aftermath.
[00:06:49] And then people who had died that day during the attacks. So once I realized people weren't getting again, the full picture, the full scope is why I decided to write [00:07:00] about our account. So why do you think people didn't of have that full picture?
[00:07:04] Yeah, that's a good question.
[00:07:06] Very good question. I just think that that the world trades center complex is 16 acres. It, people, I think thought of it as well. The attacks were horrible, but the destruction only occurred within those 16 acres. But in a big picture Manhattan is a very small island speaking as a tour guide it's two and a half miles across at its whitest point.
[00:07:31] It's about 17 miles long and it's just a, what affects one little area affects the arrest of this city. And. So I think that maybe the scope of how small Manhattan is, and not again, for some reason, maybe the media had not really done great follow up on, let's say the 50,000 students.
[00:07:53] Who were in school, in a radius within the world trade center complex or the 25,000 [00:08:00] residents who live right around the world trade center complex the 300,000 office workers who were working right around the world trade center complex. It's a it's thousands and thousands hundreds of thousands of people who were firsthand impacted by the attacks.
[00:08:16] But let me just say. Can I just blame the media in a larger sense, because some of those stories, like I said, the nine 11 boat evacuation really just didn't get out And probably not necessarily even quote a malicious thing or anything. No, not, that's not the story that they wanted to tell or felt was the most interesting or the most leading, even though.
[00:08:38] Scott Maderer: The reality is that there were thousands upon thousands of people that were affected directly and then indirectly as well in the surrounding.
[00:08:46] Christina Stanton: Exactly. And I'll even defend the media here when it came to the boat evacuation, the largest boat evacuation in history, like I've said before, that story came out bits and pieces [00:09:00] later.
[00:09:00] Yeah. In fact, I think it was 16 years later that the first book about that came out and the first documentary, it was 11 minute document. Narrated by Tom Hanks called boat lift that's on YouTube. I think that came out in 2015. So in, in the media's defense, that was a story that just that didn't immediately come out because it, it came together so spontaneously and sporadically that it took years for people to understand.
[00:09:26] Oh, This happened, then this happened and that's why all these boats and were involved and all these boat operators were involved and they dispersed quickly. Nobody ever took much of an accounting of how many people were involved until far later. And by that time, I think nine 11 interest Hadwan that people in New York were very familiar with that particular story, but it didn't really seem to make the rounds of the rest of the country.
[00:09:49] Scott Maderer: So you've also written a book about COVID 19. So let's talk a little bit about what brought you to, to write that particular book and take that approach.
[00:09:58] Christina Stanton: It actually is [00:10:00] related to nine 11. I, my husband and I got COVID early in the game, 2020, March, 2020. And we do believe that we had a bad.
[00:10:10] Because our health has been compromised due to nine 11. And in my particular case, I was hospitalized twice told I had a 50% chance of survival and we believe, and we were told by the doctors that it was because we have nine 11 lungs. We have a compromised immune system. But I also talk about in both of those books my nine 11 book I approached the attacks and the fear and the tear and my husband and I saying goodbye to each other, thinking it was our last days on earth without a relationship with God.
[00:10:43] I essentially had no faith at that time of my life. W COVID rolls around 20 years later. And I did I had long accepted Jesus as my savior. I had long since had a relationship with a church and a church community that it [00:11:00] was approaching that calamity in a whole different mindset, through a whole different lens and what that looked like.
[00:11:06] So in my nine 11 book, I talk about approaching that calamity. without any kind of faith. And then in COVID I approach it how I experienced it at the time, which was with faith, which was a whole different lens and then a whole different way of experiencing suffering. Knowing that somebody was with you and guiding you.
[00:11:26] And it was a constant source of comfort.
[00:11:28] Scott Maderer: So how does, how did your faith journey play out throughout that you talked about, you didn't have it before. But what was it? Nine 11 that kind of opened you up to that idea or talk about that transit.
[00:11:42] Christina Stanton: Nine 11. Absolutely. Was the catalyst to a life changing experience where I recognized the need for a savior.
[00:11:50] My lack of control in this world. I thought it was in complete control. I thought I had literally my entire life ahead of me at 32 years old and [00:12:00] realized that I had no control, no power and life is actually quite short and it's quite tenuous. So when I was in the midst of nine 11 and saying goodbye to my new.
[00:12:11] Been we'd only been married a year and a half. It was such a sad and lonely experience. And I recognize that I don't know where I'm going when I died. And I thought this was probably gonna be my last day on earth. And it was a church who actually reached out to us and helped restore us and appointed us.
[00:12:27] To Christ in that aftermath. And it was a live changing, obviously experience, but it was also it was probably about the only thing that would've awaken me to a need for a savior. At that time, I was in such a vulnerable position that I was able to look out. Side of my own self and say what is life all about?
[00:12:49] I hadn't been asking those questions. And and I was all of a sudden, and then fast forward we are completely plugged in with the church the same church that had [00:13:00] reached out to us during nine 11. And then by the time I got COVID and I had the holy spirit there, quarantined in the hospital feeling that I wasn't alone.
[00:13:10] I didn't have that lonely feeling. I didn't have that bereft feeling. Where am I going? I knew exactly where I was going. Now. That doesn't mean I didn't have fear. The fear of this alien that had invaded my body was abject. And I'd never had that kind of situation before, but what was a constant and what gave you so much comfort is facing that and facing all of these.
[00:13:33] And being out of control, cuz again, another situation I'm completely out of control and reminded how tenuous life is that I could draw on the holy spirit and the difference that made And so living through both of these events what do you think it was your biggest takeaway?
[00:13:50] Scott Maderer: What did you learn by living through nine 11 and then such a bad case of.
[00:13:55] Christina Stanton: Like I said before that approaching [00:14:00] suffering on this earth and the Bible says we're gonna suffer. It's just, it's gonna happen. That's our journey on this earth. And at one point we're gonna come to our own ground zero.
[00:14:10] And what are we gonna do with that? How are we gonna. Be crushed. Are we going to look to God? Are we going to try to rely on our own ability to bounce back or face things? Or how are we gonna approach that? And so what I had learned is that you facing these things without Christ is just I wouldn't wish it on anybody to do that when I was writing my COVID book, I almost had some sub stories of things that meant a lot to me, which was say the power of prayer.
[00:14:42] When you go through suffering you and you're drawing on how. How is this going to play out? What can I draw on to give strength in the situation? Prayer did the Christian community in both cases in nine 11 and COVID was [00:15:00] absolutely critical and crucial to facing these calamities.
[00:15:05] A lot of us. Maybe it's a personality type. We go through a hardship and a lot of us want to face it alone, but really that's what the Christian community is there for. They're there for accountability. They're there to bridge a gap when we need it. They're there they're to stand in the gap. When we can't we can't, we need help.
[00:15:24] Getting through something and they're there as a ready presence for help. So in both of those of the cases, it was the Christian community, but also I learned other lessons about gratitude and turning off the noise and just being with the holy spirit there's so much noise in our lives right now.
[00:15:45] The, obviously the main takeaway is what kinda relationship do you have with your creator that is going to mean something that something you can sink your teeth into when you, when suffering comes your way. And and then [00:16:00] other life lessons that I've learned through the calamity is about, again, Christian community, the power of prayer and being grateful.
[00:16:06] Scott Maderer: Let's go back a little bit. You mentioned that there was a church that kind of helped y'all after nine 11. And yet you also mentioned at that point, you didn't have a faith community. You weren't part of the Christian community, not at all. So how was that experience and how did that come about?
[00:16:22] Christina Stanton: So specifically, I moved up to New York as one does to be an actress. I was 23. I had a degree as one does I had a degree in music. I wanted to go try out the landscape in New York city. And I figured you know what, I'm probably gonna fail. I'm probably gonna completely bomb. And that's okay.
[00:16:40] I'll just I'll go back to Florida and just get into a new line of business, but it was like my backpacking across Europe gap yearish After postcollege I ended up having some success in, in, in that industry. And I made a friend who was married to the music director at a [00:17:00] church called Redeemer Presbyterian in New York city.
[00:17:02] So when nine 11 happened, we were actually homeless for several weeks. We, our dog was on desk's door because he had lick us fur the debris. The deadly debris had covered his fur. And so it had totally messed up his constitution and he was hovering between death and life. It was just this just terrible, horrible time.
[00:17:23] I remember confiding in this woman her name is Michelle and Michelle was like, Hey Christina, I have an idea. People from around the world have given to my church in Manhattan. You need to go there. Because it's four people like you. And cause I was telling her about the vet bill and we were displaced and getting clothes and toiletries and while we were of homeless actually, and I said, Michelle, I am not going to your church to ask for money.
[00:17:49] I'm not a victim. I'm fine. There's people who died. There's relatives who. Or have been left behind that's who that's money is for, not for people like me. She [00:18:00] goes, you are a victim, you do need help. And I had a hard time admitting that I needed help. And again, I think that's a, it's a pride issue that I think a lot of us grapple with.
[00:18:10] And I ended up going to that church and I thought, oh, I was grumbling the entire way there. I was like, so what are they gonna do? Are they gonna make a plug for church? Attendance, am I gonna have to go back and show them receipts? If they gave me money, when am I gonna spend it on? Am I I don't wanna share my story with strangers, so I can't believe I'm doing this so I, I growed all the way through the church.
[00:18:36] As soon as I got there, they were beautiful. They were wonderful. I poured out my heart. They did produce a check actually specifically for the vet bill that was keeping our dog alive at the time. And I just remember leaving there, thinking what lovely and generous and loving people. I want more of what they had.
[00:18:55] They didn't give me any big church attendance. I don't even remember them [00:19:00] asking me if I was a Christian, but it just made me curious that. That these peaceful, wonderful people who were so generous what do they have that I clearly don't and we went, we started going to church there afterward, and it's not because it felt obligated because of this check.
[00:19:15] I simply wanted to check this out. And so that's where that came from. It was an outreach program, essentially, where we're, we are the recipients of an outreach program from a church. So you mentioned earlier that at different points in our lives, we all go through our own ground.
[00:19:31] Scott Maderer: Zero is how you put it. When if there's somebody listening right now and they're maybe they're going through a pretty big struggle or a challenge themselves, what advice would you give? 'em?
[00:19:43] Christina Stanton: I would advise for one thing to, to reach out to others, to reach out to a church, to reach out to Christian community, that the Bible speaks volumes about lifting each other up.
[00:19:55] And we should be that for each other. In fact, as Christians, we are to be there. [00:20:00] We're supposed to go and do likewise we're to be. As a source of help for others, reach out to others for one thing. And because we're not alone, there's nobody alone in this world. There, there really isn't what, especially when it comes to suffering, because again, we were guaranteed that, that life was gonna be filled with pain and suffering.
[00:20:17] And so reaching out is one thing, but going to God as a is your basic that God is with you during that pain, he is with you. He's a constant source of comfort and strength. Tim Keller who was the pastor of the church that my husband and I, or Presbyterian who had the outreach program that, that we benefited from ha had this kind of famous sermon after nine 11, where he said we don't know the.
[00:20:47] That God allows evil and suffering to continue, but we know what the reason isn't we know what the reason can't be. It can't be that he doesn't love. It can't be that he doesn't care. And why? Because he got [00:21:00] involved with his son, Christianity alone tells us that God lost his son in an unjust attack. If anybody understands God does.
[00:21:08] And that is where that's where the holy spirit can come in and be our source of comfort. And here's the good news though. The good news is when we have passed through our trials and found God to be true to what he. We have real help to offer others. We do. We have a firsthand experience of both his sustaining grace and his purposeful design.
[00:21:34] He's kept us through pain. He has reshaped us into more of his own image and what we're experiencing from God. We can give away an increasing measure to others. And that is the blessing of suffering and pain is that we have inspiration and help, real help to offer others.
[00:21:51] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all my guests, but before I go there, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listeners about your books or the journey that [00:22:00] you've been on?
[00:22:00] Christina Stanton: Essentially my books are my testimony. You that's really what it is. It's a longer form of a testimony and testimonies are so significant because it's the miracle of how God transformed. Your heart of stone into a heart of flesh, right? Only you can bear witness to that miracle.
[00:22:21] And we all, if we are a Christian, we all have that testimony. It doesn't have to have. Something as dramatic as a nine 11 backdrop we all have one of how God met us at a certain time. And God has been behind every detail of our lives, including the ugly things like nine 11 like a specific pain and specific trial that you've been through.
[00:22:42] And it's, he can use those terrible things to form and shape each one. And the great news is God is still working on me right now and working on everybody. That's the blessing is our story. Isn't over our story continues and and that's that's it's all it's all [00:23:00] hope and waiting for when we will finally go home and and can live pain.
[00:23:06] Scott Maderer: So one of my, one of the questions that I like to ask everybody is about a word. So my brand is inspired stewardship, and I kinda run things through that lens of stewardship. And yet that's one of those words that I've discovered means different things to different people. So what does the word stewardship actually mean to you?
[00:23:24] And what is the impact of that meaning on your.
[00:23:27] Christina Stanton: Stewardship to me is just being responsible for what I've been given. So personally stewardship is I responsible for what I've been given and being a faithful manager of it and being grateful for what I've been given. And I look at it as I've been given a lot and some people laugh and said you've been through these two different calamities and despite that, and again, we all go through suffering is I do look at look at it.
[00:23:55] I have been incredibly blessed and stewardship as being a manager [00:24:00] of I'm responsible for what I've been given. I've been the missions director of two different churches for the last, I think 13 years of my life. And I've been all over the world and I've seen. Abject poverty to really spiritual poverty.
[00:24:12] I've seen all levels of poverty. I wanna practice radical generosity. So how it is in my life is I want to give away an increasing measure of anything that I've possessed, whether it's a gift or a talent or a hobby or money stewardship is being responsible for what you have been given and being a fateful manager of it and being grateful for it.
[00:24:35] Apart, despite my calamities, I guess you would say. And maybe because of them I like to feel like I practice radical generosity and. That to me is being able to share my time, my energy, my resources, my gifts, my hobbies, my talents in as, as much as possible, because [00:25:00] I have been blessed. I have been given a lot and I feel that I have such a depth of gratitude.
[00:25:07] For all I've been given and for God reaching in and bring and lifting me up at my lowest points that I wanna do the same for others. So my whole future is really based on how can I show radical generosity to others. And I think about that constantly.
[00:25:26] Scott Maderer: So my, this is my favorite question though. I've been told by some guests that it's their least favorite. So we'll see how you like it. If I invented this magic machine and I could pluck you from where you sit today and transport you into the future, a hundred to 150 years, and through the power of this machine, you are able to look back on your entire life and see all the connections, all of the relationships, all of the impacts and all of the ripples that you've left behind.
[00:25:53] What impact do you hope you've left on the. I've
[00:25:55] Christina Stanton: thought a lot about that as well. My husband and I didn't have children, we didn't feel [00:26:00] called in that direction. And so I've always been aware that maybe some parents can say I have, I've left a legacy through my children, and that is an important legacy.
[00:26:08] So I have thought what is our legacy, knowing that our lives are Like a vapor of air and probably won't last our memory won't last much more than a generation if even that, but I'd like to think that what would outlive me any legacy I could leave is anything related to Christ because I do believe that only things That point to the savior is going to outlive us at all.
[00:26:38] And my husband and I and I founded a nonprofit organization loving all nations several years ago that benefits several several churches and org Christian organizations around the world. I'd like to think that. That through our efforts of helping less resourced [00:27:00] organizations and churches that our legacy will be in, in lifting them up and helping them to help their own communities that will that will outlive us for years and decades to come.
[00:27:15] But as much as I'd love to think of a legacy, I'm not convinced I will. But what I can only concentrate on is today. And am I doing what God is asking me to do today? Is it may not live past tomorrow, but neither, neither may I, and I just I need to focus on today and rather than leaving a legacy as much as fun as that sounds.
[00:27:43] And as, as, as lovely as that sounds it's I don't think that's what my brain should be wrapping itself around.
[00:27:50] Scott Maderer: okay. So what's on the roadmap. What's coming next for you. Do you have any plans for another book or just getting there's several different
[00:27:59] Christina Stanton: things. [00:28:00] What's on the roadmap for you. We're going to South Africa for a month. We loving all nations supports several Christian organizations. In, in that country.
[00:28:09] I have a special heart for that country. We'll be there for essentially the month of July, checking on our partners, seeing how every. Is we haven't been there in two and a half years because of COVID and I'm so excited because there's so much hope in that country. So I'm really looking forward to that immediate of event that's on the horizon, but long term is I've also been writing several many series of what I'm calling Christian heroes of today.
[00:28:37] There are so many wonderful people doing wonderful thing to advance this kingdom in, in, in today's world. And I don't know about you, but I think a lot of people are like me that are tired of hearing about the division in Christians and bad. Meanwhile back at the ranch. There are wonderful modern day Christian heroes who are just [00:29:00] concentrating on what's important, which is advancing God's kingdom on this earth right now.
[00:29:05] And are Aren. Aren't letting some of these things get them down. They are, they're literally answering God's call and I would love to bring them to light so they can inspire us all to take a step back. And look at the bigger picture, which is what's important. What is important is going to the end of the earth, proclaiming God's name.
[00:29:24] And I know I've met a lot of wonderful people in my life and I'm writing about them. I'm hoping that and a series has already been out at publication called Christians for social action. I highlighted four wonderful people doing wonderful things, and I have many more. And yeah, I think we all need inspiration now.
[00:29:41] Scott Maderer: You can follow Christina on Facebook is Christina Ray Stanton, or find out more about her books and all of the other projects she's got going firstname.lastname@example.org com. You can also find out more about her. Non-profit at loving all nations.org. G of course I'll [00:30:00] have links to all of. In the show notes as well.
[00:30:02] Christine, is there anything else you'd like
[00:30:04] Christina Stanton: share with the Lister? I'm just, I have hope for the future. I hope you do too. And it all starts with us and loving each other and loving the world. And I wish that for you and myself today and every day,
[00:30:18] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate.
[00:30:46] All one. iTunes rate, it'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes [00:31:00] out in your feed until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.
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Approaching Suffering on this earth I’ve learned that we will come to our own ground zero and then what are we going to do with that; are we going to be crushed, are we going to turn to God, are we going to rely on our own. – Christina Stanton
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