RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Canada

Its Not Funny Anymore

I guess you can say I grew up in the Cheech and Chong Era.  Richard “Cheech” Moran and Tommy Chong met in Canada in the late sixties; then became famous for their comedy routines and films.  Movies like Up in Smoke glorified pot smoking, encouraging Americans to laugh and embrace the concept of getting high.  This genre spawned characters like Jeff Spicoli played by Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the Doobie Brothers.  I bought into this movement, laughing with everyone else.  However, a recent death has helped me realize that its not funny anymore.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1.

Earlier in the week, I heard the news that Rashaan Salaam had passed away.  Salaam was the 1994 Heisman Trophy winner and the number one draft pick of the Chicago Bears.  I moved to Chicago the same year he was drafted.  In 1996, I met Rashaan while I was an Assistant Store manager of the Michael Jordan Golf Shop at the Woodfield Mall.  Unlike most celebrities, Rashaan was humble and quiet, not trying to bring attention to himself.  I saw him a couple of times after that, but never spoke with him.  While nursing a leg injury which kept him out of the 1998 NFL season, Salaam admitted to reporters that he was hooked on marijuana during his rehab.

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:4.

According to reports, Salaam’s death appears to have been ruled a suicide.  Beside the note Rashaan left behind, nobody will ever know for sure why he took his own life.  Perhaps, 6 years of playing professional football took a toll on his body.  Maybe, there was some sort of depression or regret from not living up to the expectations of being a former Heisman Trophy winner.  Whatever the reason, drugs cut this young man’s life short.  Some where along the way, Rashaan believed the lies of Hollywood that smoking pot won’t harm you.  How many more people have to die before America wakes up to see its not funny anymore?

by Jay Mankus

 

 

No Pets for You

During the 7th season of Seinfeld, episode 116 introduced the “Soup Nazi” to pop culture.  Larry Thomas played this vibrant character, excessively strict and unwilling to bow down to the requests of patrons like Jerry, Elaine and George.  Subsequently, when the Soup Nazi felt disrespected, he coined the phrase, “no soup for you,” becoming an instant sensation and regular guest on Seinfeld.

While reading Exodus 11:27, I was surprised to see cats and dogs are deemed unclean by God.  Any creature with paws and walk on all fours are off limits.   Any Jew who touched a cat or dog would become unclean til evening, forced to wash their clothes as well.  Essentially, God was telling the Israelites, “no pets for you!”

Today, OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, takes the words of the Bible to the extreme.  According to Jesus, what you touch doesn’t make you clean or unclean.  Purity or the lack there of comes from within, Luke 6:43-45.  Therefore, your heart determines your actions, behavior and words.  In view of this truth, Jesus urged his followers to set their hearts on things above, Matthew 6:19-21.  The apostle Paul takes this one step further in Colossians 3:1-4, encouraging individuals to set your hearts on eternal things.  Whether you like pets or not, the Bible doesn’t restrict animals today; God introduced free will to enable you to make your own choices.

by Jay Mankus

 

Is That All I Needed?

After spending 3 seasons as an assistant golf professional and another 10 coaching high school boys and girls, I’ve seen my share of bad golf swings.  While many were beyond help, I did have a few success stories.  The most recent involved a player who had a decent short game, but their swing produced a slice like an out of control boomerang.  Observing from behind the range, I discovered a major glitch.  With one slight adjustment, this senior went from struggling to break 60 consistently for 9 holes to shooting 94 for 18 in his last conference tournament.

The other day, I left my house without my Bible and journal before leaving for work.  My daily routine involves getting to work 30 minutes early, listening to music, read and journal my prayers and thoughts before each shift.  Unprepared, I had to wing it, quietly preparing myself for another 40 hour week.  Since I was running late, I only had a few minutes before exiting my car.  Void of any earth shattering content, I yielded my future over to the Lord, placing it solely in His hands.  Twenty minutes later I was called back to my seasonal management position leading me to ponder, “is that all I needed?  Is this what God was waiting for me to do?”

Whether you’re trying to improve your golf game or follow God, sometimes the slightest adjustment produces amazing results.  Perhaps, this was the message Moses was trying to relay to Israel before his retirement, Deuteronomy 28:1-14.    Either way, the next time you experience periods of inconsistency, invite the Lord to become your Rock during the trying times in life, Psalm 28:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

Uncharted Waters

During my last summer as a boy scout, I spent a week canoeing 50 miles in the Canadian wilderness.  To reach our goal, our troop had to average just over 7 miles a day to complete this journey.  Due to a few stormy days, one day was stretched to 10 miles after whitecaps, 3 feet high at times, through a curve ball into our original plans.  Once leaving our guide at the boat dock, our scout master had the only map of these foreign bodies of water.  Faith, trust and hard work was to key to finishing this adventure.

After graduating college, I faced a similar dilemma, but this time I endured uncharted territories, not 100 % sure where to go, what to do and how to survive living on my own.  Although I had friends who had made a smooth transition to this next phase in life, I thought finding a full time job would be much easier.  My greatest fear was settling for something less than ideal, but not waiting too long to decide.  Finally, like a master navigator, God provided the perfect position in Columbus, Indiana.  While having one of the best summers of my life, I treated my new position like a sprint instead of a marathon, eventually burning myself out after 15 months due to immaturity.

Twenty years later, I feel as if I am living the lyrics to Willie Nelson’s song “On the Road Again.”  Some where along the way, doubt has crept into mind whispering words of confusion.  Whether you are new parents driving home from the hospital with your first child, starting a new job or looking for purpose and meaning in life, uncharted waters await you.  Although waves of uncertainty may come crashing around you, James 1:6, there is a living God who can lead you beside still waters, Psalm 23:2.  Whatever trial is currently staring you in the eye, may the God of the Bible help navigate you through life’s storms so you may experience the gift of eternal life, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Powerless

2400683

Last night, my favorite lamp (if there is such a thing) and the only light source in our family room went out just before Bible Study.  After investigating for a few minutes, I discovered the main plug had begun to tear away from the cord creating a fire hazard.  Thus, I was forced to improvise, bringing a lamp from upstairs as a temporary solution.  Without an electrician at my immediate disposal, I was powerless, left in the dark contemplating another annoying hassle thrown into the equation called life.

On August 14th, 2003, 50 million residents of the Northeastern portion of the United States were powerless, forced to resume life without power during the largest power outage in U.S. history.  An aging electrical grid left residents from Ohio,  across to New York City and up as far as Ontario, Canada without power.  Like a bad practical joke, America didn’t have a choice except slow down, go back in time and make the best of life for 24 hours.  Fortunately, I had moved to southern Indiana in June or I would have spent my birthday in the dark.

Enslaved by technology 10 years later, this generation might have a hissy fit if a similar outage occurs, crying out for 4G, their favorite game systems and high definition television.  Blinded by the delicacies of life, many adults still act like spoiled children, complaining until they get their way.  Romans 8:3 refers to a spiritual blackout, where people are powerless, unable to save themselves from sin and its powerful grip.  In a pit of despair, Psalm 30:1-3, helpless to turn life around, God sent his son Jesus to be a sin offering, cancelling the debts we have accrued .  Therefore, the next time the lights go out for an extended time, grab a flashlight and find a Bible.  While you may be powerless, God provides the juice in Romans 5:8 to flip your life around for good.

by Jay Mankus

We Got Duped

Julia Roberts and Mel Gibson starred in the 1997 film Conspiracy TheoryGibson plays a New York City cab driver named Jerry Fletcher who is not afraid to share his theories based upon The Catcher and the Rye.  Fletcher spends most of his days telling anyone who will listen, including Julia Roberts, played by Alice Sutton, a Department of Justice attorney.  When I first watched this movie, I thought Gibson was crazy.  However, the older I become, the more I am beginning to think, we are getting duped.

For instance, back in the 1970’s, a scientist from Canada claimed he had discovered the cure for cancer.  After contacting the local media, he was scheduled to have a press conference the next day, telling the world of his findings.  That evening, according to reports, he died in a house fire, destroying all of his research, 12 hours before this disease would have been eradicated from mankind.

When I was young, I remember my teachers telling students about America’s ingenuity.  I recall reading and seeing shows on how buildings, canals and roads were completed as corporations and from time to time the government did whatever was necessary to finish their project.  Today, it takes road agencies a year to fix local pot holes or 10 plus years to finish road construction and expansion.  Meanwhile, scientists which once were in the business of developing cures appear to make more money on temporary medicines which usually doesn’t completely heal you.  I hope I am wrong, but recent trends support the notion that Americans are being duped.

Based upon eye witnesses and personal encounters, King Solomon is often credited as one of the wisest people to ever live, second to Jesus, the son of God.  Kings, queens and anyone who could afford the journey, traveled to catch a glimpse of Solomon’s wisdom, 1 Kings 3:16-28.  One of the wisest men I have ever met had a PhD from an Ivy League institution, a guest speaker at the school where I taught at for a decade.  During his lecture and slide show, he exposed the fraud of the missing link, revealed complete skeletal remains of early woman to explain the curse in Genesis 3:16 and evidence to support the biblical belief that snakes once had legs.

One of the points this professor was trying to communicate was if the media could convince society that the earth was created by some other means than creation, mankind could do what they want without any consequences.  In fact, many in the liberal media continue to seek to discredit Jesus, like the Roman soldiers in Matthew 28:11-15, claiming he didn’t rise from the dead.  Rather, they believe his disciples secretly stole Jesus’ body in the middle of the night, burying his remains in an undisclosed location.

Don’t take my words in this blog as gospel.  Instead, test everything I have said and search for other facts on your own, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  If you want the truth, may your own quest be beneficial and fruitful, setting you free, John 8:32.  Education is a life long journey, not just a piece of paper you keep framed on your wall after graduation.  Therefore, if you are diligent in your research to uncover the facts of life, you will avoid being duped by anyone or any conspiracy theory.  Enjoy the journey!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: