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Tag Archives: Atari

What Do You Remember?

A 2016 research study has shown that children exposed to trauma don’t forget it, as previously believed. In an attempt to suppress these painful experiences, these individuals engage in denial as a defense mechanism. These findings peaked my interest as I blocked out most of second grade. While writing a paper for Childhood Development in college, I had to interview my parents about my behavior as a child. As I asked my mother a series of question, I began to realize why I tried to conceal these memories. My stuttering had become so severe that even my own mother regularly couldn’t understand what I was trying to say.

Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! – Psalm 25:7

When my father was transferred to Delaware a year later, this move was a blessing in disguise. The neighborhood in north Wilmington, Delaware that I called home until college was amazing. While some friends like Brad moved away a few years after I arrived, Jeanette, Steven and Richie helped make this a smooth transition. Although I still battled spouts of stammering and stuttering, this community became like an extended family. Every summer I couldn’t wait to get up so that I could play outside until dark. On rainy days, Atari and epic games of Monopoly passed the time. These interactions in North Minister fueled my love for competition and sports.

Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people, Nehemiah 5:19.

While fond memories from your past are nice to cling to, the Bible reveals what individuals should remember. The Psalmist writes a prayer for change, seeking to forget the wayward decisions of their past. Meanwhile, a servant of the king pleads that God remembers only the good that he has done. The apostle Paul reveals God’s ultimate Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Once the perfect lamb of God (Jesus) died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead, God no longer sees our imperfections. Thus, this is what our heavenly father wants individuals to remember while residing on earth.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Only A Car

When I was a child, I amassed a sizable collection of Hot Wheels.  Birthday and Christmas gifts brought a challenge course, race tracks and a special case to organize all my vehicles.  Before Atari and Cable television existed, I spent many rainy days racing cars inside.  Since most parents couldn’t afford a new car, Hot Wheels were a marketing tool to introduce children to sports cars.

And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator, Colossians 3:10.

Although many of my friends became obsessed with automobiles in my teenage years, my dad’s background as an immigrant to this country kept me grounded.  This upbringing ingrained in me an ability to be thankful for what I had.  However, I did have a wealthy neighbor whose parents always brought their son the latest and greatest electronic devices.  When these gifts were flaunted in front of me, I was jealous of his families wealth.  Yet, you can’t buy love as toys are just an earthly possessions.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Philippians 2:14-15.

During my last winter break in college, I got into an argument with my parents.  Like a typical adolescent, I stormed out of the house to blow off some steam.  On the way to my friend Dave’s house, I got into a fender bender, hitting the car in front of me.  This situation could of have been worse, but the man that I hit didn’t care about fixing his old car.  Despite receiving a ticket for reckless driving, the words of this man struck a nerve in my heart by saying, “it’s only a car.”

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him, Colossians 3:17.

A few years later I was on my way to work in Chicago when a flock of geese starting walking across the road.  As I slowed down, the lady behind wasn’t paying attention, skidding and ramming into my back bumper.  Since my vehicle was approaching the 200,000 mile mark, I remembered the words of the good Samaritan from Delaware.  Paying it forward, I passed on the same message to this young woman, “don’t worry about it, it’s only a car.”

by Jay Mankus

 

Captivated or Captured?

Growing up in the 1980’s, arcades, malls and skating rinks were places teenagers congregated for social interaction.  Subsequently, I developed a soft spot in my heart for video games, longing to master the pattern for Pac-Man, flip Space Invaders from 999,999 back to zero on my Atari and complete every stage of Dragon’s Lair, one of the first games in 3D.  Looking back, I wonder if I was merely captivated by this new form of entertainment or was I captured by the devil, 2 Corinthians 4:4?

Compromise doesn’t happen over night.  Rather, the father of lies places subtle thoughts into your mind, hoping you will bite, James 1:13-15.  For the first 14 years of my life, I was hooked, spending countless hours on my Atari seeking to enter the hall of fame for each game I owned, taking a picture with a polaroid camera of my score or time.  However, with each accomplishment, excitement soon passed, creating a void in my heart that video games did not fulfill.  Breaking this habit was difficult, needing assistance from a higher power.

By the middle of my sophomore year of high school, I was ready, captivated by a man in wheelchair, claiming to be a famous athlete.  After receiving over 1,000 full scholarships in 4 different sports, a water skiing accident left Skip Wilkins paralyzed from the waist down.  Despite his humbling disposition, there was something different about him.  Whatever Skip had inside of him, I wanted.  Thus, when an altar call was offered, I was one of the first to come down, captivated by a godly witness and now captured by a forgiving Savior, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

The Good Ole Days

James 4:13-16 reminds people that life is short, a mist which appears for a little while, then vanishes.  This morning I had a flashback to my childhood, when I didn’t have a worry in the world.  Every summer day I woke up excited about life, ready to play Atari, master the Rubix Cube and find the perfect hiding spot for Hide and Go Seek.  Unfortunately, the good ole days are gone, yet life goes on.

The apostle Paul understood that time is vital.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul urges the church to make the most of every opportunity, Ephesians 5:16.  Although I don’t have the same exuberance and passion I possessed as a child, I need to rekindle a sense of urgency for each new day.  If Jeremiah 29:11 is for all people, not just Israel, then the good ole days may not be a thing of the past, but in my future.

If my outlook on life changes, it must begin with an attitude similar to Philippians 3:12-14.  With a heavenly mindset, the good ole days are waiting for me in heaven.  However, right now I have a responsibility, a calling from above to follow Jesus for the rest of my earthly life.  Life is short so pray hard and be obedient to the Spirit’s leading so that the good ole days return shortly.

by Jay Mankus

 

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