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There’s No Need for Disinformation

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced news of a new Disinformation Governance Board. When an old Tiktok video of the individual selected to oversee this board surfaced, the credibility of this Disinformation Board was immediately put into question. Meanwhile, a tweet by Jeff Bezos called out President Biden for his own disinformation about a false statement on Covid-19 vaccines.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth, 3 John 1:4.

According to one of Jesus’ former disciples, the Bible has its own plan for dealing with disinformation. At the beginning of one of his last recorded letters, John’s greatest joy as a Christian is to see people, he spiritually mentored to live their lives in the truth of the Bible. Since the Bible contains supernatural power as a living document, Hebrews 4:12, disinformation is exposed by the light of God’s Word.

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free, John 8:31-32.

Years earlier, John was present when Jesus told his disciples that spiritual truth will set you free. While disinformation, gossip, and rumors continue today, Christians who shine the light and love of Jesus will convict the hearts of those trying to control your speech. Despite the algorithms designed by social media sites that favor progressive ideas, living your life in the Truth will expose disinformation as its espoused.

by Jay Mankus


Who… Where… What?

I grow up in a neighborhood in Delaware where practical jokes weren’t limited to April Fool’s Day. Meanwhile, when I first joined the Boy Scouts, I fell for the old Snipe Hunting trick. I was so eager to catch one, I’m sure the regulars were busting out in laughter once I was out of sight. When Isaac realized that he was tricked into giving Jacob and not Esau his blessing, I can sense his emotions: who, where, what?

As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob and Jacob was scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 Esau had also prepared savory food and brought it to his father and said to him, Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me. 32 And Isaac his father said to him, Who are you? And he replied, I am your son, your firstborn, Esau, Genesis 27:30-32.

When I was an upperclassman in high school, many of my friends were sarcastic, often speaking in puns to outdo the other. However, playing a trick on your own aging father is what I call going outside the lines. Sure, it may be enjoyable to poke fun at Uncle Joe from time to time, but he’s, our president. Therefore, current events should be taken more seriously so we don’t end up like Isaac’s response to Esau’s return, shocked and stunned.

Then Isaac trembled and shook violently, and he said, Who? Where is he who has hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate of it all before you came and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed. 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with a great and bitter cry and said to his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father! 35 [Isaac] said, Your brother came with crafty cunning and treacherous deceit and has taken your blessing, Genesis 27:33-35.

Back when comedy was allowed on television, TV fathers would leave subtle hints with their children, “if you keep doing that, I’m going to have a heart attack.” As for Isaac, Moses describes his condition similar to someone about to go pass out. While Rebekah and Jacob’s trick was successful, it was cruel to play on an old man who was nearly senile. This event serves as a reason why children should honor their parents, especially as Father’s Day draws near.

by Jay Mankus

The Diversion of Anger

A diversion is an instance of turning something aside from its course. Diversions are usually found in Hollywood films, triggered by an event resulting in a chase scene. While often unrealistic, diversion scenes tend to be the most memorable such as the one in Bourne Identity and National Treasure. In the passage below, Rebekah comes up with a plan to save Jacob’s life, referred to by Moses as a diversion of anger.

So now, my son, do what I tell you; arise, flee to my brother Laban in Haran; 44 Linger and dwell with him for a while until your brother’s fury is spent. 45 When your brother’s anger is diverted from you, he will forget [the wrong] that you have done him. Then [b]I will send and bring you back from there. Why should I be deprived of both of you in one day? – Genesis 27:43-45

When Esau realizes that he’s lost his father’s blessing of the first born to his younger brother, he loses it. Like the words of Hebrews 12:15, the root of bitterness took a stranglehold on Esau’s soul. When Rebekah overheard just how angry Esau became and what he was willing to do, she conceived another plan for Jacob. Rebekah thought that going away for an extended period of time would serve as a diversion for Esau’s anger.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God’s own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin). 31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind), Ephesians 4:30-31.

Unfortunately, Able never got a warning from Eve, his mother, about Cain’s chilling plan. Perhaps Eve was a pacifist, not wanting to get involved or too consumed about her own life. Whatever the reason, there was no diversion for the hatred in Cain’s heart. The apostle Paul warns Christians in Ephesus to avoid grieving the Holy Spirit. The best modern diversion of anger is to follow the advice in the passage above. Those who put God’s Word into practice will be well on their way to diverting the anger fueled by their sinful nature.

by Jay Mankus

When Tomorrow Ends Up Being Next Year or Later

There is an ungodly belief that has been widely adopted by many churches which has been embraced by members of their congregation. Using verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 1:6, there’s a consensus that God has a plan for your life and will bring to completion what the Lord began in your life. While this statement is true, the timeframe Christians are told when God’s will be fulfilled isn’t accurate. Ideally, when you cry out to the Lord for a specific request in prayer, receiving an answer tomorrow would be great. This has occurred in my life, but what do you do when tomorrow ends up being next year or later?

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air], James 4:13-14.

Human nature puts a desire for instant gratification within people. The Bible refers to this as the flesh, a sinful nature that is hostile toward God, Romans 8:5-8. When an only child or spoiled brat doesn’t get their way, tantrums often follow. While everyone matures at a different rate of time, some adults don’t grow out of this behavior. When the promise of tomorrow ends up becoming next week, next month or sometime next year, anxiousness may turn into fits of rage if things don’t go your way.

All the commandments which I command you this day you shall be watchful to do, that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall [earnestly] remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not become old upon you nor did your feet swell these forty years, Deuteronomy 8:1-4.

The book of Deuteronomy is a recapitulation of the Ten Commandments and much of the Mosaic Law. If human beings possess a sinful nature, they are also forgetful. Subsequently, God called Moses to write this book to remind the Israelites of God’s law. The selected passage above highlights Israel’s journey from Egypt to God’s promised land. This trip should have taken about a month by foot, but disobedience and grumbling turned arriving tomorrow into forty years later. When God puts the next phase of your life on hold, follow Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 3:5-6 to fight through the battle between time and following God’s will for your life.

by Jay Mankus

May Any Curse Fall Upon Me

A mother’s love serves as the backstory for the 2000 heist film Gone in 60 Seconds starring Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie. Cage plays a former car boosting ringleader who retired and moved away to honor his mother’s request. However, when Memphis Raines finds out his little brother is in a major bind, Cage returns home to ask his mother for permission to do what is necessary to rescue him. In today’s featured passage, the rolls are reversed as a loving mother does what she can to improve the future of her little boy.

So now, my son, do exactly as I command you. Go now to the flock, and from it bring me two good and suitable kids; and I will make them into appetizing meat for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father, that he may eat and declare his blessing upon you before his death, Genesis 27:8-10.

Any mother wants the best for their child. Mothers have a habit of bragging about their only child or children, showing images and or videos of their latest accomplishment. As for Rebekah, she grew fond of Jacob as they spent quality time in the kitchen, cooking meals together. When Rebekah heard about her husband’s plan to bless Esau, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to give Jacob the future that she hoped for and prayed about. When Jacob began to second guess their plan, Rebekah vows to take all responsibility if it falls apart.

But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Listen, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.12 Suppose my father feels me; I will seem to him to be a cheat and an imposter, and I will bring [his] curse on me and not [his] blessing. 13 But his mother said to him, On me be your curse, my son; only obey my word and go, fetch them to me. 14 So [Jacob] went, got [the kids], and brought them to his mother; and his mother prepared appetizing meat with a delightful odor, such as his father loved, Genesis 27:11-14.

At the conclusion of Gone in 60 Seconds, the detective pursuing Memphis Raines is nearly killed as Memphis saves his life. Before departing, Delroy Lindo touches on why Memphis came back to save his kid brother, ‘a mother’s love is a mother’s love.” Subsequently, when Rebekah replies in the passage above, “let any curse fall upon me,” this is a motherly instinct coming out of her. While every human being participates in some sort of questionable activities, Romans 3:23, let all you do be done in a spirit of love, 1 Corinthians 16:14.

by Jay Mankus

Coming to a Place Where You Let the Lord Lead

I’ve become pretty good at playing the What if Game over the past few years. If you’re not careful, the what ifs in life can become an excuse for you not to move on following an unexpected disappointment, failure or setback. Rather than asking God for a Do-over, maybe everything has happened up to this point to persuade you to finally come to a place in your life where you’re ready to yield total control over to the Lord?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the [w]span of his life? 28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and [x]learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. 29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his [y]magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith? – Matthew 6:26-30

On one of my most recent visits to Liberty University, I attended my daughter Lydia’s church Breakthrough. This church meets in a coffee shop called La Vida which is near the campus of Lynchburg University where my oldest son James is in the process of completing his doctorate in Physical Therapy. As for the church service, following a moving time of worship, the sermon was about reaching a place in your life where you’re willing to let the Lord lead you. Romans 10:9-11.

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? 32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. 33 But seek ([z]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([aa]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [ab]taken together will be given you besides. 34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble, Matthew 6:31-34.

In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains what it means to let God lead your life. The first step concerns overcoming anxiety and worry. When faith takes the place of these two stressful conditions, attaining peace becomes possible. Hpwever, the key ingredient to coming to a place where the Lord will lead you involves seeking after God’s kingdom and righteousness. Just as the beatitudes set the tone for the beginning of this famous speech, when you let go and let God lead, everything else is provided by the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

by Jay Mankus

The Crossover Connection Week 18: The Spiritual Evolution of Kansas

Dust in the Wind is commonplace in the state of Kansas as farmlands are tilled each spring. However, Dust in the Wind is one of the most iconic songs from the Rock band simply known as Kansas. When I recently listened to the lyrics of this song, I am reminded of the passage below. Every band goes through phases that are highlighted by each album. After lead singer Kerry Livgren left Kansas, he completed the spiritual journey that began with the simple idea of dust in the wind.

In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return, Genesis 3:19.

One thing that I noticed about Livgren is that he was way ahead of his time. Livgren’s Phd in music is on full display in the Decade Album. While he doesn’t use a hammer dulcimer like Rich Mullins, each song contains a distinct sound with a vast collection of instruments and synthesizers. Although I understand lifelong fans of Kansas may not appreciate Kerry’s solo career, the lyrics do reveal Livgren’s spiritual evolution as an artist and Christian. I hope you enjoy the attached You Tube this week.

by Jay Mankus

An Adult Who Actually Takes Responsibility for Their Actions?

As I have traveled up and down the east coast of the United States, I see a common trend within adult leaders. Whether this is inside a church, local government or workplace, “do as I say, not as I do,” is demonstrated by daily actions. Subsequently, it’s rare when an adult actually takes responsibility for their own actions. While studying the life of Isaac, I was surprised by Rebekah’s actions in the passage below.

But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Listen, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. 12 Suppose my father feels me; I will seem to him to be a cheat and an imposter, and I will bring [his] curse on me and not [his] blessing. 13 But his mother said to him, On me be your curse, my son; only obey my word and go, fetch them to me, Genesis 27:11-13.

In this age of wokeness, discipline is now considered racist according to CRT. Subsequently, if rules are no longer able to be enforced, chaos ensues as crime rises. If America could return to their Judeo-Christian heritage, personal responsibility would one day become the norm again. As for now, there are hints of adults who actually take responsibility for their actions in the Bible like Rebekah.

Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [g]by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and [h]that only is what he will reap. For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life, Galatians 6:7-8.

While Rebekah tells her son Jacob, let any curse fall upon me, there’s another principle in play. The apostle Paul writes about the Sowing Principle in the passage above. You reap what you sow which also may explain the passing on of the sins of the father upon their children. Although Rebekah’s plan does accomplish her goal, Jacob’s life is filled with other people like Laban who deceives him as he deceived his father. While taking responsibility for any wrong action is important, don’t forget the consequences that will follow.

by Jay Mankus

The Well of Enmity

King Solomon is considered one of the wisest person to walk the face of the earth. People would travel throughout the Mediterranean just to hear him speak and teach. One of his statements appears multiple times in one of his books, “there is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 1:9-18. The below passage speaks to this topic as Isaac had water disputes with his neighbors on more than one occasion.

Now Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of living [spring] water. 20 And the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, The water is ours. And he named the well Esek [contention] because they quarreled with him. 21 Then [his servants] dug another well, and they quarreled over that also; so he named it Sitnah [enmity], Genesis 26:19-21.

Due to the reality of Ephesians 6:12, this is a battle taking place every day in the spiritual realm. Enmity is the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Just tune into social media or the television and you’ll find words full of poison and venom. Like a debate that leads to a disagreement, tensions mount the longer this discussion continues, we all have our own well of enmity.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere, Ephesians 6:10-12.

If you’re not covered with a hedge of protection via prayer, you become vulnerable to master spirits and spiritual forces of evil that exist today. You may not notice this enmity right away until an unexpected stranger says something or does something that gets under your skin. As you cope with your own wells of enmity, consider the words of 1 Peter 3:9 so that you’re open and willing to repay any evil thrown at you with a blessing.

by Jay Mankus

Are You Sure that You Want to Be Like Everyone Else?

For most of my teenage years, I was an emotional wreck. I could go from the life of the party in one minute to wanting everyone in the room to feel as miserable as me in an instant. This brought me to contemplate if the grass was truly greener on the other side of the fence or I simply needed time to reflect? During a moment of spiritual weakness, the elders of Israel wanted to become like all the other nations. Before accepting this idea, the prophet Samuel explains what this decision will mean for the rest of their lives.

When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. All the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint us a king to rule over us like all the other nations, 1 Samuel 8:1-5.

This Old Testament paints a vivid picture of all the freedoms that Israel would lose if they decided to replace the Lord with a leader that they can see. Based upon the words of Hebrews 11:1-6, the decision to rely on a king was essentially a slap in the face, turning their back on the Lord. While Samuel tried to talk some sense into the elders of Israel, God convinces him to allow this to happen. From a modern perspective, Samuel was essentially saying, “are you sure that you want to be like everyone else?”

But it displeased Samuel when they said, Give us a king to govern us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them. According to all the works which they have done since I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you. So listen now to their voice; only solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them. 10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked of him a king, 1 Samuel 8:6-10.

Just as history repeats itself in a series of cycles, human beings tend to go through phases in life where they question if they’re on the right track. Since my move to South Carolina last July, I guess you can I’m still trying to find where I belong. If you’ve ever joined a new church in a new area, this is a similar process. Regardless of where I end up, the important part is maintaining faith throughout trials. While you may have a desire to put God on hold from time to time, keep the faith during the hard times in life, Jude 1:20-21.

by Jay Mankus

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…

Lying appears to come natural to certain people. Perhaps, known liars are simply story tellers in the making or future writers. Nonetheless, when it comes to telling the truth or making up an excuse, human nature has a way of choosing the latter. After promising to obey God and His commands in Genesis 26:4-5, Isaac reverts back to trusting in himself in the passage below, using fear as an excuse to lie.

And the men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, She is my sister; for he was afraid to say, She is my wife—[thinking], Lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah, because she is attractive and is beautiful to look upon. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. And Abimelech called Isaac and said, See here, she is certainly your wife! How did you [dare] say to me, She is my sister? And Isaac said to him, Because I thought, Lest I die on account of her, Genesis 26:7-9.

Perhaps, a modern example would be a Catholic participating in the Confirmation Process who goes to confession. Whatever the issue is or was, this teenager pours out his heart to the priest on the other side of a glass window. Following this refreshing experience, this boy quickly returns to this same sinful act. Rather than exhibiting acts on contrition, excuses are made to justify the choices and decisions that he makes in life.

But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? 10 He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate. 13 And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled (cheated, outwitted, and deceived) me, and I ate, Genesis 3:9-13.

One of the most famous Bible verses dealing with excuses occurs in the passage above. When confronted about breaking the only rule in the Garden of Eden, Adam blames the woman that God created. As God turns His attention toward Eve, she blames the Serpent for deceiving her. No one takes responsibility for their action, placing the blame on others with excuse after excuse. If you’re wise, let the words of 2 Corinthians 5:10 sink in so you’ll be ready to face the wrath of God on Judgment Day, Romans 10:9-11.

by Jay Mankus

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