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Tag Archives: Baltimore Ravens

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

There are certain classic movie lines that apply to life.  One such scene occurs in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke.  A captain played by Strother Martin is talking to a stubborn prisoner played by Paul Newman.  Following a frustrating exchange, the captain comes to the realization that you can’t reach everyone.  This dialogue ends with the famous words, “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry, Colossians 3:5.

Last Sunday the National Football League played a game in London, England as the Jacksonville Jaguars soundly defeated the Baltimore Ravens.  Prior to the game, both teams took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.  Moments later, each rose to their feet to honor Great Britain’s anthem, God save the Queen.  As I watched this live streaming the game on Yahoo, I was confused.  While I heard the reasons for this public display during postgame press conferences, I feel like the captain in Cool Hand Luke, not sure why a foreign flag was honored with your home flag shunned.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, Matthew 6:33.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think.  What’s important is for leaders to come together, get into a room and come to a clear understanding.  Instead of speculating on opposing views, exaggerating, gossip and slander isn’t helping anyone.  Before healing begins, conservatives, democrats, progressives and republicans need to clear the air and start from scratch.  Unless this conversation begins soon, I’m afraid America might not be able to recover from this divisive climate.  May spiritual leaders see the big picture by seeking God’s kingdom and righteous first.

by Jay Mankus

Judge, Jury and Executioner

If you follow Twitter, listen to Talk Radio or watch Cable News, then you have a slight inclination on what’s wrong with this country and the world as a whole.  Countless individuals have forgotten the words of Jesus in John 8:6-9, “let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Blinded by hypocrisy, ignorance or simply oblivious to their spiritual condition, many are acting as judge, jury and executioner, piling on with stone after stone.

In view of TMZ’s release on their website earlier in the week of Ray Rice striking his soon to be wife in an elevator, the media has stirred the masses into a tizzy.  With one person down, Ray Rice, kicked to the curb on Monday after being release by the Baltimore Ravens, the next victim is Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL.  People are lining up in droves to take their shots, putting pressure on Goodell to resign.  As radio and television analysts comment on the hot topic of this week, abused women, there’s an eerie silence for the unborn child, killed every day because the law says its okay.

The only person in the media who has made any sense this week is Steve Smith, veteran wide receiver of the Ravens, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers.  Steve reminded the press that God is the only true judge.  Although citizens like to pretend to be the judge and part of the jury, God will hold everyone accountable based upon what they have done on earth, Matthew 12:36-37.  Before another human being in thrown under the bus this week, refrain yourself the next time you have an urge to trash someone.  For if you do, you will likely reap what you sow and one day you will be at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner.

by Jay Mankus


Making Sense of Domestic Violence

Unless you’ve been out of the country on vacation, most talk shows listeners and television viewers have gotten an earful from the Ray Rice saga.  After videos showed the Baltimore Ravens star running back beat up his girl friend during the NFL off-season, a recent 2 game suspension for Rice has been perceived too lenient in the public’s eyes, creating a back lash against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  As Hall of Fame Induction weekend has arrived, the topic of domestic violence won’t go away.  Even Steven A. Smith wasn’t exempt from criticism, given this week off by ESPN after claiming woman shouldn’t provoke men.

Anyway, as ESPN, Fox Sports and local sports channels replay Ray Rice’s apology earlier this week, commentators are at a loss, unable to comprehend Rice’s actions.  Well, to be honest, if everyone’s actions we’re video taped like Jim Carrey in the Truman Show, there would be a lot of hand scratching going on.  Nonetheless, there is an important biblical lesson to learn from this unfortunate incident, often the mind and body do things without any logical or rational explanation.  The apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 7:7-20 as he confesses to losing control despite being disciplined and spirit filled.

Whether you are a pastor, law abiding citizen or criminal, no one can escape the reality of Romans 7:15.  Beneath the surface, souls are losing an invisible battle, Galatians 5:16-18, enabling the flesh to take over.  Once in the driver’s seat, the ugliness of mankind rises to the forefront in the form of acts of the sinful nature.  If you add alcohol to this equation, the probability of violence escalates.  Colossians 3:1-17 gives a blue print for overcoming domestic violence or any other sinful behavior.  If you want answers, the truth can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.  Eliminating domestic violence from your life starts with a Christ-like attitude and ends with fruits of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  May the transformation detailed in Ephesians 5:1 prevent you releasing your anger on or toward another individual.

by Jay Mankus

Searching for a Place of Rest

During a majority of 2012, I spent most of my free time filling out job applications, combing the internet for new opportunities and stressing over the reduced income my wife and I were bringing home monthly.  Although I am usually laid back when it comes to finances, I forced myself to forgo the luxuries of life until I obtained a new full time position.  Since I am still waiting, my search for a place of rest continues in 2013, draining my energy like heat and humidity on a warm summer day.

5 days ago

At an oasis, a morning meeting at Dunkin Donuts, my good friend Spencer shared a story which led me in the right direction.  Last Sunday, Ray Lewis, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, played his final home game, announcing his retirement at the end of this NFL season.  Following the Ravens 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, cameras surrounded Ray, recording his final moments on the field at M&T Bank Stadium.  When Ray took off his Ravens jersey, he was wearing a Black T-Shirt with a passage of the Bible, Psalm 91.  Aware of this chapter, I couldn’t wait to refresh my memory of the truth inside on my way home.

Psalm 91:1 states He who dwells in  the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  As I was trying to find rest, I was looking in all the wrong places.  I searched for satisfaction through employment.  I dedicated 2 months, sacrificing time away from my family to earn as much money as possible to try to get caught up on bills.  Yet, I was dwelling in the wrong house.  In the silence of no work, its time to find my way back toward God’s fortress.  The moment I enter this refuge for burdened and weary souls, Matthew 11:28-30, I will rest my head in peace in the shadow of the Almighty God.  There is plenty of room in this inn, retreat now while there is still time!

by Jay Mankus

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