RSS Feed

It Started With a Girl

Movie cinemas introduce the masses to memorable scenes.  Once available to viewers On Demand, DVD or through reruns on television, classic lines become part of daily conversations.  Whether its Good Will Hunting’s “How about them apples,” Titanic’s “I’m king of the world” or Remember the Titans “If we don’t come together now as a team, we too will be destroyed,” art often imitates life.  As for me, it started with a girl.

My sophomore year of high school was a turning point for me.  Too worried about pleasing others, my offer to attend a homecoming dance with a girl on the cross country was rejected.  To make matters worse, she ended up going with one of my teammates.  The final straw and knife in the back was when I noticed each of them locking lips on the dance floor.  This week of agony led me to a severe state of depression.  Although, it started with a girl, this trial ended with a faith in Christ, Romans 10:9-10.

From my perspective, God does work in mysterious ways.  In fact, my attraction to church, also started with a girl, who became my high school sweetheart.  My parents didn’t have to force me to attend a local youth group.  Rather, as soon as several attractive girls began to go, my friends and I followed.  In life, you never know what or who the Lord will use to steer you toward His will.  Although it started with a girl for me, God will do what it takes to lead his children back to the fold, John 10:1-6.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Sure About That?

I guess when you remove the Bible as a source of truth from public education, even the Bible Belt isn’t safe.  This likely explains the actions of a high school teacher in Tennessee who kicked a student out of class and suspended for saying, “bless you,” to another classmate who sneezed.  Fifty years since expelling God from school, now His children are in danger of experiencing the same fate.

To make matters worse, a professor from the College of Coastal Georgia has banned his students from saying bless you in class.  Students taking his Introductory Physics course will have grades lowered if the words “bless you” are uttered.  The media’s silence is defying.  Where is their outcry like the so called war on women?  This isn’t a war against one gender, its against the Creator of mankind.  Are these school’s sure about their decisions?

According to James 3:9, students have 2 daily options: to bless or curse.  If blessings become outlawed, do these administrations want their student body cursing classes, teachers and the school itself?  If the political correct crowd wants everyone to be open minded about gender issues, why are educators closing the door on God?  My question to any school official across the fruited plains, are you sure about the stance you are taking?

by Jay Mankus

 

When the Blind Leads the Blind

Who controls the media, deciding what to show, when to show it and what to sweep under the rug?  One day you could be a rising star, the next a scapegoat who is destroyed, trashed and trampled on by the same people who loved you yesterday.   Behind the camera, a real life Wag the Dog scenario has began, as the spiritually blind are leading the rest of their followers on a wild goose chase.

On August 9th, Michael Brown, a young African American was shot to death following an altercation with a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Riots broke out in the town following the release of a video that showed Michael Brown robbing a convenience prior to his death.  Less than a week later, a similar story had the roles reversed as a black officer gunned down a white male in Salt Lake City.  As reporters moved into Ferguson, making it the center of the media’s attention, the story in Salt Lake was ignored.  Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when the blind lead the blind.

One of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King quotes is “all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Although you can’t control the news, individuals can choose to begin to emphasize the positive in life, making sure that good deeds aren’t overlooked.  When the tension of this latest crisis in America cools down, citizens must band together, regardless of the color of their skin, to make this world a better place.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Not Okay Anymore

On December 29th, 2010, Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell criticized the NFL and Philadelphia Eagles for cancelling a prime time Sunday Night due to a snow storm.  Rendell’s referred to this decision as another sign of the wussification of America.  Although these comments created a backlash against the city’s former Mayor, its about time someone stood up and proclaimed, “It’s not okay anymore!”

When you set the bar low or don’t clearly communicate your expectations of others, results usually suffer.  While the pacifist wil say, “that’s okay.”  Visionary leaders strongly disagree, refusing to accept failure as an optional.  Deep inside the human heart, a tug of war is raging back and forth.  Minds caught in the middle struggle to see a glass half full. Blurred by disappointment, teary eyes try to focus, gazing in on the emptiness if life.

One of the last weapons to change a world losing hope is accountability.  Whether its positive peer pressure steering individuals toward healthy disciplines or tough love to confront a wayward child, each act is screaming out, “its not okay anymore!”  Regardless of where you are in life, may the Matthew 18:15-18 principle motivate you to train others in the way that they should go, Proverbs 22:6.  Make a stand today by shouting, “It’s not okay anymore!”

by Jay Mankus

Why I Experienced the Bottom of the Barrel

For those of you fortunate enough not to have tasted defeat, experience failure or feel the pain of loss, your perspective is limited.  Sheltered from this anguish, you haven’t been forced rely on the Lord.  Instead this smooth journey leads passengers to trust in their health and wealth, oblivious to the bottom of the barrel.

As I look back on recent heartaches of a 2-19 season as a coach, the struggle to rebuild my work career and dedication to the dreams of my youth, hardship has refined my faith.  Although the furnace isn’t a pleasant place to visit, 1 Peter 1:6-7, this necessary evil has lifted me up from the bottom on the barrel.  In the midst of this storm, I have a new appreciation for the little things in life.

Humility has helped me come to the realization that I can’t do it on my own.  Rather, I need a Savior to pick me up when I fall, Matthew 11:28-30.  Sure, it would be nice to forgo past trials, yet I wouldn’t be where I am today if these events did not occur.  Therefore, my focus shifts upward, Philippians 3:12-14, so that if I experience the bottom of the barrel again, the sun will shine upon my face letting me know that everything will be okay.

by Jay Mankus

 

There is No But

Since I spend over an hour in my car commuting back and forth from work, I rely on a variety of sources of entertainment.  When I grow tired of my CD collection, I cross over to talk radio to pass the time in traffic.  Whether its politics or sports, I scan the dial searching for a fresh approach.  My experience today has to be one of the best in recent memory.

While listening to WIP, a Philly Sports Station, an African American caller was trying to accuse Eagles head coach Chip Kelly of botching the Desean Jackson release, a wide receiver who signed with the Washington Redskins.  Former DT Hollis Thomas, stopped this man in his tracks with the expression, “there is no but!”  Excuse after excuse was swatted away by Hollis like Manute Bol toying with a kid trying to make a lay up.  Hollis’ co-host had to throw in the towel before this caller lost his dignity.

The next try you try to pass the blame by making up a lame excuse, remember there is not but in the Bible.   Unfortunately, most people are on spiritual life support, Romans 3:9-12, unable to escape the grasp of sin.  If Adam and Eve weren’t able to convince God of their reason for eating the forbidden fruit, Genesis 3:7-19, then don’t waste your time today.  In view of this reality, pour out your heart to God, confessing your sins so that despite your failures in life, the Lord will extend his grace to you through forgiveness.

by Jay Mankus

How Wise Are You?

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?  Or does your IQ surpass genius’ of the past?  The brother of Jesus breaks down wisdom into 2 categories, from above and below, James 3:13-18.

The first type sows seeds of humility, as wisdom is displayed without fanfare.  If you are full of knowledge, you don’t have to fake it by trying to impress others.  Rather, understanding is demonstrated by a life filled with love, joy and peace.

On the other side of the spectrum, lies a mindset fueled by harboring bitterness.  In the process, selfish ambition leads individuals to develop a blind spot referred to as diabolical pride by C.S. Lewis.  When this cancer goes undetected, hearts change while minds swell to the size of melons.  If neglected, souls will begin to follow the wisdom of the Devil.

For some, the cause is lost, similar to addicts who are unable to grasp the severity of their situation.  Yet, there is hope for those who hit rock bottom, coming to their senses like prodigal children of the past.  When the timing is right, embrace the words of James 3:17-18 so that the wisdom of heaven will purge traces of darkness from your soul.  Flee from disorder in life by clinging to the fruits of the spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, displaying wisdom to a foolish world.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers