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Tag Archives: A Simple Confession

S.A.N.S. Episode 62: Above and Beyond

Today’s featured song comes from an American CCM singer and multi Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist. As someone who has dabbled in creative writing since high school, the lyrics of nearly every Bruce Carroll song moves me. While Above and Beyond appears on more than one album, Bruce’s biblically based lyrics inspired me to craft my own album entitled A Simple Confession.

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life, John 8:12.

The words Above and Beyond contain multiple visual images. Most of my life I’ve allowed circumstances to dictate what I pursue. If I just trusted in the power of the Holy Spirit, my achievements in life would be above and beyond my expectations. As you listen to the lyrics of Above and Beyond, may you be inspired to develop a faith that will elevate you to new heights.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 6: Carry On

If you are old enough, everyone has the favorite time of their lives. For me this was 1993 as I ventured west from Delaware to Minnesota to attend a youth ministry trade school. This 7-week intensive training program transformed my life and gave me an inner confidence that I could do anything. The friendships that I made along the way were a blessing. When my initial interview at a church in Rapid City, South Dakota didn’t go well, I spent a semester teaching at a boarding school in West Virginia.

O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His doings among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them, Psalm 105:1-2.

Little did I know that teaching Communications and Poetry would ignite a desire to write. I created an album entitled A Simple Confession with 12 songs and wrote a book of poems. Before the year was over, I was offered a full-time youth ministry position in Indiana and met Leanne, my wife at a national convention. Before leaving Minnesota, I came across an obscure band named Shadow Wings. After listening closely, I discovered Pat Benatar is a lead vocalist on the Carry On Album. While the attached link isn’t the greatest, I wanted to introduce you to the song Carry On by Shadow Wings.

by Jay Mankus

Broken Vessels in Desperate Need of Help

The other night I was talking to a former colleague. Our conversation focused on individuals who portray super hero like characteristics in an attempt to be admired and promoted. As some individuals in leadership roles continue this facade, it’s only a matter of time until the truth comes out. While anyone can pretend that everything is dandy, fine and rosy, the reality is every human being is a broken vessel in desperate need of help.

But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use], 2 Timothy 2:19-20.

The apostle Paul introduces an analogy to two first century churches. Romans 9:21 compares God as a potter and human beings as clay. If people go an extended time without spiritual water, Psalm 1:2-3, even the strongest will begin to crack as faith dries up. Until individuals are willing to submit to God, you won’t be able to be fashioned and molded into who God wants you to be, 2 Corinthians 4:7. Admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward healing.

So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work, 2 Timothy 2:21.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a democrat or republican, an atheist or a Christian, rich or poor, everyone needs help. You may be embarrassed of your secret addiction, bad habit or emotional state, but help is just a prayer away. You may not know what to say or where to go, but a simple confession is a great place to start, James 5:16. Whenever you take the risk of being real and genuine, God will send someone or a group to help pick up the pieces of your life. This is when the potter takes a lump of clay and transforms it into a wonderful piece of art.

by Jay Mankus

Music and Lyrics

As a former song writer of A Simple Confession, I enjoy watching documentaries on musicians.  When Music Television first launched in 1983, one of my favorite programs was Behind the Music.  This show interviewed lead singers and song writers, revealing the inspiration behind the lyrics of their songs.  When I watched the 2007 film Music and Lyrics, I was inspired to begin working on a new song or album.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God, Colossians 3:16.

Hugh Grant plays a washed up singer living on the coattails of his past, playing wherever fans crave music from the 1980’s.  When his agent receives a call from a famous pop star, Grant is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for this teen sensation.  Drew Barrymore serves as a replacement plant sitter, interrupting Grant’s session with his lyricist.  When Barrymore begins to put these lyrics into a catchy melody, she is hired to complete this song.

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, Ephesians 5:19.

The Bible mentions the power of music and lyrics.  When David played his harp for King Saul, the sound uplifted his soul.  The prophet Samuel claims that music soothes the soul.  While Huey Lewis sang about the Power of Love in 1996, the Bible is filled with examples of how music encourages, inspires and uplifts hearts.  As individuals meditate on the word of God, hymns, melodies and spiritual songs, the Lord will put a new song upon or within your heart and mind to share with others.

by Jay Mankus

 

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