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S.A.N.S. Episode 214: Singing in the Rain

Today’s song comes from north of the border. Brothers Michael and Shawn Cavallo formed Manic Drive back in 2004. This Canadian Christian rock band is living their dream as children as each began singing at an early age. Today’s song is Singing in the Rain, which mixes pop with soft rock. The lyrics serve as a reminder to not let the weather dictate your mood.

I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase and the trees of the field yield their fruit, Leviticus 26:4.

As a child living in Delaware, I remember singing in the rain as drops from the sky cooled off the summer heat for a short time. Rain is one of those things that farmers rejoice while Little Leaguers are forced to wait another day to play their game. Regardless of the time of year, rain is provided by the Lord in due season to give life to plants every spring. May today’s song bring joy to your soul.

by Jay Mankus

Leading by Example

Routines are like a comfort zone for people who thrive in a structured environment. Yet, my recent move to South Carolina has thrown me into a foreign land where I’m trying to figure out how everything works. At times, I feel like an undercover boss, seeing day to day details with fresh eyes. Unfortunately, this state is no different than Delaware with people saying one thing but failing to lead by example.

The instruments and methods of the fraudulent and greedy [for gain] are evil; he devises wicked devices to ruin the poor and the lowly with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is just and right, Isaiah 32:7.

Passing the buck and casting the blame are learned skills from adults on television. Whenever someone does take responsibility for their actions is a rare sight in America today. I was taught long ago that integrity is doing right when nobody’s watching. As a new employee, I see people change their work habits depending upon who’s around. I guess I’m just old school as work is work until it’s time to play.

But the noble, openhearted, and liberal man devises noble things; and he stands for what is noble, openhearted, and generous, Isaiah 32:8.

According to one Old Testament prophet, the noble lead by example. This isn’t done to get noticed or recognized. Rather it’s to please God by emulating the life of Jesus, Ephesians 4:1-3. I can’t waste my time worrying about what other people are doing or saying. As long as I strive to demonstrate the beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12, I’ll lead by example and let God take care of my future career.

by Jay Mankus

Resonate

The textbook definition of resonate is to produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound. This may be in the form of a blare, chime or ding that reverberates like a local church bell that you may have in your community. Growing up in a friendly Delaware neighborhood, Mrs. Kerth rang her cowbell every summer night to let us know it was time for dinner. Even when we were playing hide and go seek in nearby woods, the sound of this bell would resonate to get our attention.

My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart, Proverbs 4:20-21.

King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs to help his children grow up to pursue God’s wisdom. One specific passage resonates with “wisdom from God’s mouth to gain knowledge and understanding.” Solomon relays the connection between your heart and the wellspring to life in today’s passage. After writing about health and healing, Solomon’s command is to guard your heart.

For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life, Proverbs 4:22-23.

Jesus speaks of this fact in Luke 6:45 as the mouth speaks out of the overflow of your heart. If loose lips sink ships, a heart dwelling on the wrong things will begin to spew venom. Subsequently, as a new generation grows up without any regards to curse words that flow out of potty mouths, four letter words are resonating. May the words of Jesus and Solomon strike a cord with your soul so that wholesome language returns to America.

by Jay Mankus

When You Can’t Make It Happen?

As a son of a former immigrant to the United States, I was raised to be frugal. My grandmother taught me to appreciate everything that you have. As I grew up in Delaware and began to learn from my teenage peers, I was encouraged to try to make things happen. Through dedication and hard work, I was initially successful in making things happen until I became a middle-aged white man.

And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; 2 Corinthians 12:7-8.

Prior to the internet, people were forced to use a rolodex of phone numbers as a means to social network with all the individuals that you know. Back in these days, making it happen took weeks, months, and even a year on occasion. Yet, modern day technology gives the desperate, eager, and motivated a vast social network to make all your dreams come true. Yet, for me, I wasn’t able to find a new job.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may [c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength), 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

The apostle Paul writes about a troubling time in his own life in the passage above. Paul was suffering from a physical ailment that he blamed on the Devil. Nonetheless, when you can’t make it happen in your own life, turn to Jesus in your own weakness. According to Paul, the more desperate you become in life, the stronger that Jesus can become for you. Therefore, lean on Jesus when you’re not strong and needy.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 151: All You Zombies

As someone who grew up 30 minutes from Philadelphia, I was influenced by local radio stations in the Tri-State area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While I was in high school the Hooters, the rock band, not the restaurant chain received national recognition. The song that put this Philly based band on the map was All You Zombies. After hearing this song recently, I was amazed at the biblical references.

Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? – Luke 6:46

The lyrics begin with Moses before Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt. The second stanza refers to the 10 Commandments followed by Noah’s project of building an ark prior to the presence of rain on earth. The Hooters provide a brief history lesson of the Old Testament in an attempt to wake up all the zombies, Christians just going through the motions in life. May this classic inspire you to awaken your faith.

by Jay Mankus

A Prayer to Carry On

As I was driving from Delaware to South Carolina last Friday, I was listening to my favorite soft rock mix. As I was reminiscing about my past 25 years living in Delaware, the sound Breathe You In by Thousand Foot Krutch began playing. When I got stuck in D.C. traffic, I had time to replay this song several times to study the lyrics. During this time of reflection, I realized that Breathing God In is a prayer to carry on.

For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint, Galatians 6:8-9.

One of the most moving portions of Breathe You In occurs during the liine “I’ve tried so hard to not walk away when things don’t go my way.” When adversity strikes, human nature has a way of doubting God. Therefore, whenever negative thoughts begin to fill your mind, it’s essential to cry out to Jesus when you’re weak to give you the strength to carry on, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [[i]morally] to all people [not only [j]being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers], Galatians 6:10.

At the conclusion of his letter to the Church at Galatia, the apostle Paul encourages Christians to not give up hope. Regardless of how tired and weary you may become, don’t waste all the time and effort that you’ve put into life. While meditation isn’t often associated with Christianity, when you visualize Breathing in the Holy Spirit, God will give you the will to carry on.

by Jay Mankus

Supreme Insight

The United States Supreme Court was established on September 17, 1789. The concept of a Supreme Court dates back to the Old Testament. Prior to a visit from Jethro, Moses worked sunup to sundown serving as the only judge in all of Israel. Thanks to the wisdom of his father-in-law, Moses delegated all minor cases to other judges. Meanwhile, all of the major disputes came to the top court in Israel.

When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, What is this that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening? 15 Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a dispute they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God and His laws. 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, The thing that you are doing is not good, Exodus 18:14-17.

Last week the Supreme Court made national news on their ruling on an oppressive gun law in the State of New York and the reversal of Roe verses Wade. These two rulings overshadowed the January 6th Committee hearings which claim that former President Donald Trump was responsible for inciting an insurrection. Yet, if you have listened to the responses of democrats, liberals and progressive politicians, the words that have been spoken in response to Roe verse Wade are inciting another insurrection.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong, Proverbs 18:10.

When my family moved to Delaware in the Summer of 1976, this new neighborhood was extremely competitive. When someone wasn’t allowed to bend or change the rules, every so often one of the kids took their basketball, baseball, or football and went home. You don’t have to be a lawyer to possess supreme insight. Rather, when adversity enters your life, who do you turn to or run towards? Immature politicians run toward a camera to complain. Mature Christians run toward God’s safe and strong tower.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 143: Go Through Fire

Today’s featured song comes from a multi-talented individual who is a Christian artist, musician, songwriter, record producer, and speaker. Rob Frazier’s father W. Burwell founded the Warrington Fellowship Church in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Since I grew up about 30 minutes from this church, it’s no wonder that Rob Frazier’s albums were easily accessible at nearby Christian bookstores in Delaware.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, 1 Peter 1:6.

Frazier’s song Go Through Fire appears to be inspired by the passage above. Peter writes about the refining process brought on by the trials that all human beings are forced to endure. However, if you want to grow and mature spiritually, you must go through these unexpected fires that arise weekly and monthly. May this classic ballad touch your heart and inspire you to draw closer to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 126: On My Knees

As I was packing up my belongings to prepare for a move from Delaware to South Carolina, I stumbled upon an old compilation CD of up-and-coming female Christian artists. Jaci Velasquez was one of the musicians whose career was enhanced by this promotional album placed at the counters of Christian Bookstores throughout the nation. One of my favorite songs of Jaci is On My Knees.

Then I fell prostrate at his feet to worship (to pay divine honors) to him, but he [restrained me] and said, Refrain! [You must not do that!] I am [only] another servant with you and your brethren who have [accepted and hold] the testimony borne by Jesus. Worship God! For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy [the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose, including both mine and yours], Revelation 19:10.

The lyrics of On My Knees is based upon the emotional highs and lows that people experience daily. At some point in her life, Jaci realized that best way to endure trials and unexpected situations is to find a quiet place to pray. Rather than risk falling asleep in bed, Jaci found that humbling herself by falling to her knees produced the most refreshing times of prayer. May you learn from Jaci by drawing close to God as you daily pray.

by Jay Mankus

Time of Your Life

The concept of “Time of Your Life” began with a 1939 play written by William Saroyan. In more recent years, movies like Dirty Dancing have brought songs with this concept in the title. I’ve Had the Time of My Life by Jennifer Warnes uses dancing as a means to have fun. Depending upon your hobbies and personality, the goal of any day is to have the time of your life.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him, John 3:16-17.

When I look back on the past half-century, one year sticks out, 1993. I left a youth director position in Delaware to attend a youth ministry trade school in Minnesota. For 7 straight weeks, I was having the time of my life, living with other people my age who wanted to minister to young people. Not only was I transformed by the teaching I received, I also experienced a revival while living in Columbus, Indiana.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows), John 10:9-10.

When I was having the time of my life, I was also working 90 hours a week. My only day off began with a Bible Study at McDonald’s with students, followed by lunch in Cincinnati with my good friend Phil, and ended with an adult Bible Study back at church. When you’re having the time of your life, make sure you don’t burn yourself out like I did in 1994. Balance is crucial for developing stability and longevity. If I only knew this back then, I’d still be having the time on my life. For now, I’m trying to recapture what was lost.

by Jay Mankus

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