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Category Archives: Truth

S.A.N.S. Episode 360: No Matter What

The apostle Paul indirectly mentions the expression “no matter what” in his letter to the Church at Rome, Romans 5:8. While human beings were still sinning based upon the harsh reality of Romans 3:23, God sent Jesus to be a perfect lamb to die to pay the penalty for our sins. This is the topic which inspired Kerrie Robert’s song No Matther What. Like the words of Jesus to a sarcastic first century Pharisee, God sent His one and only Son to save the world, not condemn it.

The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.

One of Jesus’ disciples writes a similar message to Christians scattered throughout the world following Nero’s persecution. The earthly brother of Jesus agrees with this, suggesting that it’s never too late to confess your sins, James 5:16-20. I was taught in college to hate the sin but love the sinner. Peter experienced this compassion following his public denial of Jesus after his arrest. While no one is worthy of God’s forgiveness and grace, the Lord is faithful to those who humbly confess their shortcomings.

by Jay Mankus

Whatever You Imagine is Possible?

The United Negro College Fund used the expression “the mind is a terrible thing to waste” as their education slogan. While I agree with this statement, an active and vivid imagination is just as important for children and adults who are about to give up on life. Imagination inspired John Lennon to write a song. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. imagined a country where people would no longer be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Whatever you imagine is possible to a certain extent.

And the Lord said, Behold, they are one people and they have [a]all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them, Genesis 11:6.

Moses writes about a mighty hunter named Nimrod who imagined the first suburbs. in between the cities of Babel and Calneh. While the architect of the City of Babel and its mighty tower is not named, this idea came from the imagination of Nimrod who wasn’t afraid to dream big. Based upon the passage above, God believed that mankind could accomplish anything that they imagined if there was only one language on earth.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven. 25 When the disciples heard this, they were utterly puzzled (astonished, bewildered), saying, Who then can be saved [[g]from eternal death]? 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God, Matthew 19:24-26.

Fast forward to the New Testament as Jesus shares an analogy about the struggles rich people will have in regard to eternity. Based upon the emotional reaction of Jesus’ disciples, they were deflated. Jesus’ expression of a camel going through the eye of a needle, where they are tied up outside the city gates, seems impossible on the surface. However, with God anything is possible. Therefore, if you’re not afraid of imagining great things for your future, you have a chance if this dream aligns with God’s will. Only time will tell upon bended knees in prayer.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 359: Cut and Move

Day of Fire uses an abandoned prison for their music video for the song Cut and Move. The lyrics point to the words of the apostle Paul as he wrote to the Church at Colosse. The only way out of this hole, comparing a cell block to a life of sin, is to purge your former way of living. Colossians 3:1-4 urges believers to crucify your old self by replacing this with a heavenly mindset. Following the passage below, Paul urges this church to clothe yourself with Christ, the fruits if the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.

So kill (deaden, [a]deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will), Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices]. But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, Colossians 3:5-9.

Purging refers to the abrupt or violent removal of a group of people from an organization or place. From a spiritual standpoint, purging is the drastic change in one’s lifestyle from your former way of living into a new creation in Christ Jesus. If you replaced Cut from the song title Cut and Move to Purge and Move, it’s easier to visualize the need for Christians to change. May this song inspire you to transform your life in 2023 by drawing closer to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

When Your Dream Gets Shattered

When my family moved to Delaware in the summer of 1977, I was welcomed into a neighborhood with several kids my age. On rainy days or summer nights, a couple of my new friends invited me over to play Monopoly. Some of these games lasted hours until everyone went bankrupt. except for the winner who had bragging rights until our next marathon session. Losing often as a child helped prepare me for real life when my dreams did get shattered.

 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar [in Babylonia], Genesis 10:10.

Moses introduces readers of the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, to Nimrod, the son of Cush. When Nimrod laid eyes on the land of Shinar, modern day Babylonia, he thought this would be a great place for a city to be erected. Nimrod was a visionary who may have been the mastermind behind the Tower at Babel. While Moses does not mention Nimrod by name during the construction of this elaborate city, this was likely a major dream and goal of his.

Come, let Us go down and there confound (mix up, confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of the whole earth, and they gave up building the city. Therefore the name of it was called Babel—because there the Lord confounded the language of all the earth; and from that place the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the whole earth, Genesis 11:7-9.

While there are always construction delays in every project, the passage above details something out of this world. Moses’ use of “Let us” refers to God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Moses paints the picture of a spirit of confusion likely in the form of new languages each worker began to think about. Whatever happened on this day, Nimrod’s dream of a great tower was never completed. Like Nimrod, we all have at least one thing we want to accomplish before we die. Therefore, as you endure disappointment, failures, and setbacks in life, don’t give up on your dreams; don’t ever give up, Galatians 6:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 358: Sound of Melodies

Today’s artist is a perfect example of the expression “you shouldn’t judge a song by its title.” After stumbling upon Sound of Melodies by Leeland, my initial thought was “what a stupid song title.” However, after listening to the lyrics and watching the video, I was touched by both. The Sound of Melodies is merely a classification of any Christian song that speaks to the redeeming power of Jesus, who died while we were still sinners, Romans 5:8.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, 39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 8:38-39.

Whenever a lost sheep is found or when a prodigal comes to their senses, songs of praise, redemption and thanksgiving are lifted up to God. Rather than single out one specific worship song, Leeland refers to these as the sound of melodies. This concept is mentioned by the apostle Paul in Colossians 3:12-16 as he encourages first century followers of Jesus to sing hymns and songs of praise every day, not just on Sunday. May the lyrics of today’s song inspire you listen to Christian music every day of the year.

by Jay Mankus

Pursue the Passion Within Your Heart in 2023

There are certain people that you’ll meet in life who always knew what they wanted to do in life and are living out their dream today. The rest of us changed our minds numerous times, ended up taking a full-time position in a field outside of your major in college and are currently living paycheck to paycheck. While some of you may have prospered during the Coronavirus Pandemic, many businesses, dreams and expectations that had for living an abundant life on earth have vanished, John 10:10.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; [f] keep on seeking and you will find; [g]keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened, Matthew 7:7-8.

Perhaps, 2023 has comes just in time for you to begin to pursue the passions within your heart, Jeremiah 29:11. Back in high school, I wanted to become a golf course architect. My parents helped by purchasing two different software programs which enabled me to place twenty of my designs onto a computer. Following an internship in Golf Course Design and Maintenance, I discovered that unless I was a famous professional golfer, no one cared about my designs and visions for future golf courses.

And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary. And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man, Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me [b]intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or [c]at the last she come and rail on me or [d]assault me or [e]strangle me. Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He [f]defer them and [g]delay help on their behalf? I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [[h]persistence in] faith on the earth? – Luke 18:3-8

As I approach ten years from retirement, I have a decade to pursue the new passions within my heart. This quest begins by completing a screenplay that I began in 2021 about my father’s miraculous journey to America by fleeing the Russians who invaded his native Lithuania. Although the odds of becoming a professional screen writer are one in a million, my life experiences in the ministry might open some doors along the way. My other passion is to design a championship level disc golf course, bringing the brilliance of Alistair Mackenzie into modern day disc golf. Pray for me as I shoot for the stars.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 357: Hittin’ Curves

If you’ve had your driver’s license long enough, you’ll probably hit a curb or tow. This usually occurs to me when I’m pulling out of a restaurant in a hurry, trying to avoid getting hit by oncoming traffic. Or you may have to back up to park on your street. While Delaware had curved curbs in my old neighborhood, South Carolina has square curbs so when you hit them, you definitely feel it.

Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. 26 Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. 27 Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil, Proverbs 4:25-27.

King Solomon writes about where your eyes are located will determine the path that you take in life. The Christian rap group Grits sings about this in their song Hittin’ Curves. If you’re gazing straight ahead, the probability of you striking a curve goes down. However, if you’ve distracted by a phone or something else while driving, you can hit almost anything. When you remove these distractions while driving, you’ll avoid any curbs or curves that you’ll encounter.

by Jay Mankus

Concentrate on the Right Direction Rather than Destinations in 2023

The younger brother of Jesus learned an important life lesson from his big bro, “tomorrow isn’t guaranteed,” James 4:13-15. While there is no record of praising their eldest son in the Bible, Mary and Joseph likely told James that Jesus would go places in life as a carpenter and man of God. James was likely one of the 500 people who spoke with Jesus following his resurrection and before his ascension into heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. One snippet from their discussion might have been centered on proceeding in the right direction in life rather than a specific destination.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

While writing a letter to warn his children about the dangers of life, King Solomon turns his attention toward trusting God. Similar to James’ warning about making plans for the future, Solomon emphasizes the need to place your heart, soul and mind into God’s hands. Though you may think that you should go to a particular place to work in a certain field in a specific city, the Lord knows what’s best for you. Unfortunately, when I moved to Aiken last summer, I was so sure of my future that I forget to lean on the Lord for my future position in South Carolina.

For this [forgiveness] let everyone who is godly pray—pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters [of trial] overflow, they shall not reach [the spirit in] him. You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you, Psalm 32:6-8.

If I would have concentrated on going in the right direction spiritually, day by day, I’d be in a better place in my life as 2023 begins. Like the parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-24. I had to learn the hard way, coming to my senses following a grueling day at work. It would be nice to know where you’ll be in a couple of weeks or months, but right now I’m clearly living outside of God’s will for my life. Therefore, it’s time to take the walk of shame back to my heavenly father to confess, “you were right, and I was wrong.” After confession comes clarity, one step at a time as God makes everything beautiful in His time.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 356: All Over Me

All over me was a common expression used by my peers when I was in high school. All over me referred to a parent or teacher who was exercising their authority in the form of discipline. Like a coach who gets all over a player who repeats the same mistake over and over again, the point of this behavior is to correct past mistakes from reoccurring. While all over me could also apply to someone who is hitting on you, the apostle Paul writes about how Jesus provides for all of our needs.

And my God will liberally supply ([i]fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19.

The Benjamin Gate’s song All Over Me uses a similar analogy. However, the lyrics points to God’s love being poured out, all over residents of earth, John 3:16-17. The attached video uses what appear sto be a bubble floating above each person to represent God’s love. May the start of a new year inspire souls searching for the meaning to life grasp the love of God, Ephesians 3:16. While this song may not be for everyone, the lyrics drive home an essential biblical message, God’s love is all over.

by Jay Mankus

Qualities That God Sees as Putrid

Whenever I attempt to write, I try to expand my vocabulary by using synonyms to better magnify the English language. Yet, like anyone who stops growing mentality, it’s easy to fall into ruts with the same bland words over and over again. As I’m studying the life of Noah, depraved and putrid are words I haven’t heard in years. Perhaps, as minds become lazy, four-letter curse words have become a more normal manner in which Americans now freely express their emotions and feelings.

The earth was depraved and putrid in God’s sight, and the land was filled with violence (desecration, infringement, outrage, assault, and lust for power), 12 And God looked upon the world and saw how degenerate, debased, and vicious it was, for all humanity had corrupted their way upon the earth and lost their true direction. Genesis 6:11-12.

As a history buff, two major societal cycles occur in the first twenty chapters of the Bible. While Moses is not as descriptive in Genesis 6 as the deeds committed by the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18, both chapters highlight moral depravity. Whenever human beings start doing what’s right in their own eyes by disregarding God’s commands, moral standards plummet. Moses words in the passage above are similar to what Paul writes in Romans 1:18-20.

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

The context of the apostle Paul’s words points to depraved and putrid souls, out of touch with God. Later on in Paul’s epistle, he explains that the sinful are in direct conflict with the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:5-8. Just as I gained 25 pounds during my first semester in college by having access to as much food as I wanted, depraved and putrid qualities are merely Christians who have become fat and out of shape spiritually. As a near year begins, may this blog inspire you to hunger and thirst for God in 2023.

by Jay Mankus

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