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Tag Archives: Chariots of Fire

Stop Pouting and Start Leading

When someone is hurt, ill or sad, its easy to become distracted, absorbed by the painful reality of life.  One of the common reactions is to pout, a visible form of depression by expressing disappointment through your body language.  This pitiful state blinds individuals from those who need you the most, often resulting in isolation and withdraw.  Once you reach this point, its hard to snap out of this mindset.

Since my tubing accident, I guess you can say I lost or wasted the entire month of February.  I feel like I have been bewitched by the sorrow of my circumstances, similar to the church of Galatia who lost sight of faith, Galatians 3:1-5.  In my mental absence, my wife has tried to hold our family together as best as she could.  However, now its time for me to stop pouting and start leading.

“Compromise is the language of the devil,” according to one of Eric Liddell’s mentors in Chariot’s of Fire.  As a parent, if you allow your children to wear you down, compromise will become a way of life.  As my eyes have awoken from my spiritual slumber, its essential for me to lead my kids toward the less traveled road, Matthew 7:13-14.  However, words are meaningless unless I display the way.  Therefore, I need to experience a Chrysalis like the butterfly, 2 Corinthians 5:17, who enters as an inch worm and exits transformed on wings like eagles, Isaiah 40:31.  If people stop pouting and start leading, this generation can be saved one life at a time.

by Jay Mankus

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The 16 Minute Man

As I entered my teenage years, Lee Majors starred in the television hit The 6 Million Dollar Man.  This show featured Steve Austin, an astronaut who undergoes reconstructive surgery to save his life.  As a result, he becomes the world’s first bionic man.  Doctor’s promised to make him bigger, stronger and faster after the operation.

Although this show did not inspire me to run, I developed an unusual desire to run like Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire.  According to the film, when Eric ran, he could feel God’s pleasure.  I never did achieve this sensation; nor did I enjoy running everyday.  However, the competitor in me longed to break the 17 minute mark for 5K or 3 miles.

During my senior year of high school, I achieved this feat twice.  The first time occurred in my team’s only loss of the season as I allowed 2 runners to pass me in the final portion of the course.  The second time was much sweeter as God enabled me to run 16:30 for 3 miles on a hilly course.  Out of 207 runners, I was 20th, collapsing at the finish line, giving all that I had for the first and only time in my life.  Despite being told by doctor’s a year earlier I would never run again following a horrific ankle injury that ended my junior cross country season, God empowered me to become a 16 minute man.

by Jay Mankus

Facts of Life

If you tuned in to relive the classic sitcom The Facts of Life, I’m sorry for disappointing you.  Facts of Life refers to a new journaling style I adopted today.  Each day I will be creating a list of facts about life that I learn from scripture and the book I am reading, The Spiritual Warfare Handbook by Dr. Ed Murphy.

Today, the greatest fact which stuck out as I read is “Religion represents one of the most dangerous areas of human life.”  When you consider suicide bombers willing to blow themselves up to obtain 70 virgins in heaven, this fact comes to life.  Or gay rights groups willing to verbally crucify the owner of Chick-fila for simply stating a truth from the Bible reveals a harsh reality.  In the name of one’s god, each act is done in obedience to their religious calling.

The movie Chariots of Fire, based on the true of Eric Liddle, illustrates one man’s call to his religion that led him to leave the sports world as an Olympic Champion for the Missionary Fields in China.  Unlike suicide bombers or gay rights activists who seek media attention, Eric Liddle lived the rest of his life in obscurity, dying in China as a true servant of the Lord.  In your quest to follow your religion, be sure that you test everything, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, so that you do not die in vain!

by Jay Mankus

Behind the Devil’s Door

In the movie Chariot’s of Fire, one of Eric Liddell’s spiritual mentors has a profound quote,”compromise is the language of the devil.”  In Genesis 3, the serpent begins to twist the directions concerning the boundaries for Adam and Eve in the garden.  The devil is attempting to create doubt in Eve’s mind so that she will second guess God’s commands from Genesis 2:15-17.  Satan’s goal is to open the door to compromise by encouraging Eve to rationalize her hunger for an apple.

One chapter later, an envious Cain begins to store up a root of bitterness within his heart.  Unable to fully trust God with his first fruits offering, Cain’s jealousy toward his younger brother Abel spreads from his heart to his head.  Successful in deceiving Eve, her first born son is the Devil’s next target.  This time sending a spirit to do his dirty work, crouching over Cain’s mind, planting a seed of murder.  While God steps in to intervene in Genesis 4:6-7, compromise had already occurred, giving birth to sin, James 1:14-15.

One thing that I have learned over the last 20 years in ministry, no one is untouchable.  There is a reason Satan appears as an angel of light, sneaking up on Christians, suggesting a miniscule compromise, then pouncing on them like a lion, seeking to devour their faith.  One day someone can be a spiritual giant, then a moment later they fall from grace by choosing deeds of darkness over the light of Christ, Romans 13:12.  Once people like Judas get behind the Devil’s door, their souls are forever lost.  Although, some have escaped the Devil’s door, Hebrews 10:25-26, they enter heaven without any eternal crowns.  Be on guard, stay alert and pray continually to stay on the narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14.

by Jay Mankus