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A Win for the Ages

When fairy tale stories come true, sometimes Hollywood is criticized for an unbelievable ending.  Yet, what Nate Lashley accomplished last weekend can only be described as a win for the ages.  Lashley’s wire to wire victory at the Rocket Mortgage PGA Tour event in Detroit, Michigan seemed surreal.  Entering the final round with a six shot lead, commentators suggested that a collapse might come, causing Nate to fold under the pressure.  Instead, a Tiger Woods esc domination ensued as Lashley finished 25 under par, breezing to win this PGA event.  The context of what happened leading up to this victory makes Lashley’s accomplishment a real life Cinderella story and likely Disney movie in the making.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us, Romans 5:3-5.

Fifteen years ago, Nate Lashley was a rising college star playing for the Arizona Wildcats.  While competing in an NCAA qualifying tournament, his parents and girl-friend flew out to watch Nate play in the west regionals.  On the return flight, the plane piloted by Nate’s father crashed during a storm killing all three aboard.  This tragedy eventually caused Nate to leave golf, making a career as a real estate agent.  When Nate’s love for golf returned, nagging injuries prevented Lashley for reaching his full potential.  Playing on what is called a major medical exemption, Nate was running out of time to make enough money to keep his PGA tour card.  Thus, Nate attempted to Monday qualify for 4 spots in the Rocket Mortgage Tournament.  Lashley finished two shots out of a playoff, but a last second withdraw opened the door for Nate to become the last player in the field.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

As a viewer of this amazing feat, Lashley’s rise to the top is a story of courage, faith and perseverance.  In the back of any mind, doubts whisper “you’ll never amount to anything; you’re not good enough or you don’t have what it takes.”  These inner demons prevent most people from fulfilling their dreams and purpose in life.  Yet, Nate Lashley’s win for the ages inspires me to not give up hope on accomplishing my own dreams in life.  Just as Jesus’ earthly brother writes about how trials strengthen faith, may God fill you will perseverance to fear any face and climb any mountain, no matter how high, in the future.

by Jay Mankus


Don’t Stop the Healing

The origin of Journey’s classic song “Don’t Stop Believing” was a joint effort among the group’s members.   Co-written by Neal Schon and Steve Perry, the inspiration for the lyrics occurred during experiences on the sunset strip.  However, one sleepless night in a Detroit hotel, spawned words based upon the shadows seen from street lights below.  Since this album’s debut in 1981, Don’t Stop Believing has been embraced by individuals and teams searching for faith and hope.

There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him, Mark 7:32.

Jesus was a rock star of the first century in name only.  Instead of groupies, desperate souls similar to figures on the land of misfit toys in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer flocked to Jesus seeking some form of healing.  When doctors couldn’t help these people, they followed Jesus by land or sea just to get a glimpse or fit through the masses to touch Jesus’ cloak.  While there is no indication of a mantra coming from these crowds, I can imagine some crying out to Jesus singing, “Don’t stop the healing!”

People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak,” Mark 7:37.

Today, financial issues, a struggling economy and unemployment have caused many to doubt if miracles still exist.  These skeptics often cry out without experiencing or seeing any tangible answers to prayer.  If these pattern continues, I would not be surprised if believers lose hope and possibly stop believing completely.  When these periods of unbelief arrive, don’t forget the Jesus jingle, Don’t Stop the Healing.  May the thought of previous miracles spark new life to hurting souls.

by Jay Mankus



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