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God’s Plan to Alter Pangea

There isn’t much that biblical and secular historians agree upon. However, each parties believe that the earth was originally one continent, Pangea, Genesis 1:9-12. Furthermore, Christian and secular scientists support Genesis 2:4-5, acknowledgment of a worldwide aquifer system beneath the earth’s surface. Finally, while the amount of water that fell across the globe during a flood greatly varies, both believe that a great rainstorm did occur at some point on earth.

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. 13 God said to Noah, I intend to make an end of all flesh, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I will [a]destroy them and the land, Genesis 6:12-13.

God’s plan to alter Pangea, the earth’s lone land mass, is made known following His disappointment with the choice’s human beings made. Following any rainstorm, there is usually debris, erosion and some sort of damage done to the earth. After experiencing forty straight days of a heavy downpour, something had to be done to Pangea to allow this water to recede. According to Moses in the passage below, there was an eruption beneath the earth’s surface which set in motion tectonic plates.

In the year 600 of Noah’s life, in the seventeenth day of the second month, that same day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up and burst forth, and the windows and floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And it rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights, Genesis 7:11-12.

If this bursting forth was the eruption of the Super Volcano inside of Yellowstone National Park for the first time, this would have created a pyroclastic cloud of ash, dust and rocks which would have blocked the sun’s rays for weeks or months. Subsequently, Pangea experienced its first rainstorm followed by the earth’s first ice age. Since archeologists have recently discovered traces of palm trees in artic regions, as active tectonic plates divided Pangea into 7 continents slowly over time, this is a sign of God’s plan to alter Pangea to provide new areas on earth for the flood waters to recede. This is supported by the Open Canopy theory, Pangea’s first unique atmosphere which has now been replaced by the current one which now exists on earth.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 291: God Who Moves the Mountains

I recently moved from one of the flattest states in the country, Delaware, to the Midlands of western South Carolina. My commute to work is up and down steep hills, over and over again for an hour. When I first heard the lyrics of today’s song, God Who Moves the Mountains, I’m reminded of why many prayers lifted up by Christians that go unanswered. Mountains serve as a mental block, causing doubt to replace faith as described by Jesus in the passage below.

And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a [n]firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. 22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive, Matthew 21:21-22.

Despite the unknown of the future, Jesus taught his disciples to trust in the One who can move mountains. This in the inspiration behind Corey Voss’ song God Who Moves the Mountains. Jesus presents twelve men with the ideal scenario: the could be/should be result for any prayer spoken as long as you believe in the God who moves mountains. As you listen to the lyrics, may you be inspired to intensify your prayer life with a faith that moves mountains.

by Jay Mankus

My Helper and Keeper

After taking my last graduate level teaching class, I made some radical changes in my teaching style. My Classroom Management course taught me to seek out a responsible individual in each of my classes. This person served as the heartbeat and pulse of their peers. The purpose of this leadership position was to help and keep me aware of any learning difficulties within each unit. These unclear areas were then addressed prior to each unit test. While this system wasn’t perfect, it did help and keep me on track.

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth, Psalm 121:2.

The passage above was written during a climb or walk to the summit of a mountain in Jerusalem. This Psalmist remains nameless but was inspired to sing and write during this special stroll. One of the best ways to clear my mind in high school was to take a late-night jog while listening to my Walkman cassette player. One of my favorite music mixes was the soundtrack from Rocky IV. As each song began, adrenaline would cause me to run faster and faster.

 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield], Psalm 121:5.

According to the Psalmist, God gives you something greater than adrenaline. While specific details are left up to your own interpretation, the Psalmist credits God for helping each day and keeping him near. Moses speaks about this in Deuteronomy 28:1-3. Moses believes God’s presence as a helper and keeper is a form of blessings for being obedient to the Lord. Meanwhile, the Psalmist compares God to a spiritual warrior who shields the unarmed from danger. May you begin to see God as a helper and keeper.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 266: Just Like God

Evvie McKinney was recently recognized by K-Love Radio as one of 7 top emerging artists in 2022. One of Evvie’s songs that struck a chord with my soul is Just Like God. While listening to her lyrics, I was reminded of how God provides daily bread and meets my weekly needs. Unfortunately, I don’t time enough time to thank God for all the blessings in life that He has bestowed upon me.

Then Abraham looked up and glanced around, and behold, behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering and an ascending sacrifice instead of his son! 14 So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it will be provided, Genesis 22:13-14.

Abraham came to see God as Jehovah Jireh in the passage above. Some Bible scholars have suggested that Abraham believed that God would somehow resurrect his son Isacc if he went through with God’s call to sacrifice his son. Instead, God provided a ram caught in a thicket to spare Isaac’s life. Therefore, the next time the Lord provides something in your life, remember Evvie’s song Just Like God.

by Jay Mankus

Indignation

As Cancel Culture and the Woke Movement alter and erode the English language, one word is rarely mentioned or used today. Indignation occurs 87 times in the Bible with 12 different translations based upon the biblical context. You may hear someone say “indignant,” but what this individual is trying to express is anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment.

 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God, Hebrews 10:26-27.

Anyone who fails to fully receive God’s free gift as their own as detailed by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:23 and Romans 10:9-11 disappoints the Creator of the universe. Romans 1:18-20 points to God’s invisible nature and attributes that are on display daily. God doesn’t force anyone to believe. Rather Revelation 3:20-21 describes the concept of freewill which ultimately determines your eternal destination.

Then I heard a mighty voice from the temple sanctuary saying to the seven angels, Go and empty out on the earth the seven bowls of God’s wrath and indignation, Revelation 16:1.

According to one of Jesus’ disciples, in the last days on earth, God’s wrath and indignation will be poured out in the form of seven calamities. John mentions God’s wrath and indignation together twice in one statement, a byproduct of His own frustration. John 3:16-17 reveals the goal of Jesus, God’s one and only son. God gives everyone a lifetime to believe, settling for your own death bed if necessary. If you want to avoid God’s indignation, make your decision today, 1 John 5:12-13.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 137: Somewhere Somehow

Whenever I hear today’s song, I think of my decision to leave youth ministry. After burning myself out in less than a year, the song Somewhere Somehow was released as a duet between Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Subsequently, as this song plays I think of all the special friendships and people that I met while serving the Lord in Columbus, Indiana. Just as the lyrics express, I hope for a reunion in the future.

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east [where they are dispersed] and gather you from the west, Isaiah 43:5.

If this reunion doesn’t occur on earth, there is always heaven to look forward to. Whenever two famous artists unite for a special project or song, I get excited and emotional all at once. Nonetheless, Somewhere Somehow serves as a remainder that God is in control, not you. Therefore, as you listen to the lyrics of this special song, may the Holy Spirit help you believe that anything is possible with God.

by Jay Mankus

The Roman Rumor

Fake News isn’t something that former President Donald Trump invented. Rather, there have always been rumors that have evolved over time like children playing the telephone game. Each listener passes on this information with a new twist that deviates from the original message. The plot to cover up Jesus’ resurrection began with a Roman rumor that continues today by revisionist historians.

While they were on their way, behold, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred. 12 And when they [the chief priests] had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, Matthew 28:11-12.

The apostle Paul writes about a time when people will reach a point where they will believe what their itching ears want to hear, 1 Timothy 4:1-2. This passage reminds me of a group of teenage girls sitting at lunch, gossiping about the latest rumor in school. Unfortunately, gossip can become like a drug to some, getting cared away by words like “did you hear about what so and so did?”

And said, Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping. 14 And if the governor hears of it, we will appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care. 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this story has been current among the Jews to the present day, Matthew 28:13-15.

While many Christians around world will gather together to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection this Easter Sunday, the Roman rumor spread 2,000 years ago is still passed on today. As a former Bible teacher, I was forced to address this lie with facts and biblical truths. Perhaps the same demons and deceiving spirits that Paul wrote about still exist today. Whatever the reason for rumors, may resurrection Sunday inspire you to confront the father of lies with the light of truth found in the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

The Everlasting Agreement

There are various forms of agreements that you will make over the course of your life. This may be a handshake between friends, a business deal, a pledge you make to a local church or charity or a mutual consensus. Unfortunately, some of these agreements are temporary, contain escape clauses or are broken by someone who feels like they got the short end of the stick.

Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), Hebrews 13:20.

The phrase “all good things must come to an end” comes from a medieval poet. The origin of this expression was first written by Geoffry Chaucer in Canterbury Tales. While this is true in the context of life and death, the Bible speaks of an everlasting agreement. The apostle Paul uses the analogy of receiving a gift in Romans 6:23. However, the key is accepting this free gift as your own by taking ownership of it.

And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life. 13 I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in [c]the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, [d]yes, eternal life, 1 John 5:11-13.

First century Christians referred to this everlasting agreement as the gift of eternal life, John 3:16-17. In the passage above, one of Jesus’ disciples believed that you could know for sure about your eternal destiny. There was no hopefully or maybe, but an absolute guarantee based upon your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9-11. As 2022 begins this week, make sure you secure this everlasting agreement.

by Jay Mankus

Seize, Hold Fast to and Retain Hope

Famous poet Robert Frost published the poem Carpe Diem in 1938. Carpe diem is a Latin aphorism taken from book 1 of the Roman poet Horace’s work Odes. When translated into English, Carpe Diem refers to “seize the day”. To seize involves to make the most of this present time and give little thought to the future. This is the sense of urgency the author of Hebrews is attempting to communicate.

So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the [c]hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word, Hebrews 10:23.

Holding fast means to tightly secure something that is deemed important and valuable. This process focuses on continuing to believe in and adhere to an idea or principle. In the passage above, hope is the glue meant to cement the faith of modern day Christians. Like a cherished teddy bear that a small child clings to each night in bed, hope is what you wrap your arms around in times of need.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. For by [faith—[b]trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report, Hebrews 11:1-2.

In football games, defensive players attempt to force, intercept, punch and remove the ball from the individual who has it. To retain possession, running backs, receivers and quarterbacks do everything in their power to avoid turning the football over. This is the message Hebrews is trying to convey by seizing, holding fast to and retaining hope. As life continues to fly by, may faith and hope be secured despite what the forces of this world may do to try to change your mind, Ephesians 6:12.

by Jay Mankus

Let Your War Cry Be Praise

If you are a student of history, you can learn from past events to enhance your chances of succeeding in the future. Such is the case of Joshua who was chosen to lead Israel into God’s Promised Land. During a battle against the Amalekites, Joshua followed the advice given to him by Moses. On the surface this sounded crazy, but low and behold as long as Moses held his hands high, Israel prevailed, Exodus 17:9-11. Perhaps this one event opened Joshua’s mind to the concept of letting your war cry be the praise of God.

And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands. You shall march around the enclosure, all the men of war going around the city once. This you shall do for six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns; and on the seventh day you shall march around the enclosure seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets, Joshua 6:2-4.

The boundaries of the ancient land of Canaan included the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, west of the Jordan River. The last step toward taking possession of God’s promised land was conquering the city of Jericho. The greatest obstacle to taking control of Jericho was the vast wall surrounding this city. As strange as it may sound, the Lord gave Joshua unusual instructions in the passage above. Yet, this master plan didn’t seem like a logical idea. Nonetheless, Joshua believed and trusted God, passing on these directions to the entire nation of Israel.

So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, they raised a great shout, and [Jericho’s] wall fell down in its place, so that the [Israelites] went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 Then they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox, sheep, and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22 But Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, Go into the harlot’s house and bring out the woman and all she has, as you swore to her, Joshua 6:20-22.

Instead of picking up traditional weapons of war, a marching band started their procession. For 6 days, the ark of the covenant was carried along the external walls, once a day with the trumpet section leading the way. On the 7th and final day of God’s plan, this marching band let in rip like an excited progressive band during a competition. Once everyone received the signal from their leader, a war cry of praise in accompany with trumpets hit one of the highest decibels recorded in the Bible. The next time you witness the Lord do the impossible, let your war cry be praise.

by Jay Mankus

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