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S.A.N.S. Episode 93: Something Changed

One of the aspects that I miss about modern music is the lack of quality soundtracks found in current films. I grew up in the 1980’s where music and scenes complimented one another in a perfect manner. Perhaps, this explains why today’s song spoke to my heart in the 2006 movie the Ultimate Gift. Parts of Joseph Campbell’s the Heroes Journey is apparent as Jason Stevens played by Drew Fuller experiences a dramatic transformation as he seeks to fulfill the hopes of his dead grandfather Red.

For indeed I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but [it came to me] through a [direct] revelation [given] by Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Galatians 1:12.

As the credits start to roll to signal the end of the Ultimate Gift, Sara Groves song Something Changes begins. Flashbacks are used to illustrate the journey Jason Stevens went on and the man that he has become. The key to faith is that conviction, guilt or a gnawing discontentment deep inside our hearts realizing that something has to change. Sara sings about overcoming doubt and pain to become the person that God wants you to do. May this song and movie urge you to be transformed by faith.

by Jay Mankus


The Difference in a Gift

In the Ultimate Gift, Drew Fuller plays Jason Stevens, a spoiled brat who has lived a life of luxury.  Despite his grandfather’s efforts to curtail this behavior, Red Stevens leaves his grandson an unusual inheritance, a series of tests.  Following the completion of each task, Jason receives the next challenge.  A different kind of gift, the goal of this exercise is to wean Jason off of his love of money.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” Matthew 19:24.

This passage of the Bible suggests its harder for the wealthy to enter heaven than the poor.  Speaking in hyperbole, Jesus references the area outside of city gates where camels would be tied up.  Based upon the context, an encounter with a rich young ruler, the rich tend to find assurance in their accumulated finances.  Thus, trusting in the Lord for salvation becomes more complicated as one amasses great wealth.

“They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on,” Mark 12:44.

During past experiences on mission trips in college, I was always amazed at the peace dirt poor individuals possess.  Shacks are appreciated like a mansion, thankful for every little possession.  Thus, when a person stricken by poverty offers up a gift, its usually out of the goodness in their hearts.  This offering probably won’t be gold or silver.  Yet, when moved by the Holy Spirit, the poor give, trusting that the Lord will provide their daily bread.

by Jay Mankus



Living the Ultimate Gift

Over the past month, I have replaced several fence posts at work.  Due to several severe storms in July, 3 different uprooted trees have destroyed several sections of fence posts where I work.  As I spent several hours this afternoon replacing these fence posts, I began to feel as if I was living the movie The Ultimate Gift.

Produced in 2006, Jason Stevens played by Drew Fuller, is a brat, spoiled by riches which surrounded him as a child.  After the death of his grandfather Red, a series of challenges as part of the will left for Jason takes him on an adventure that slowly changes his life.  Jason’s first gift is work, something he never had to do as an adult due to the excess of money given to him.  Not sure what to expect, Jason leaves for Texas to work on a farm, putting up miles of fence post by himself.

Jason doesn’t begin to take this first challenge serious until he begins to realize that once he is finished, he will receive his inheritance.  Although he doesn’t receive it right away, each challenge is a step toward maturity.  As God has humbled me over the past 8 months, I feel as if with each fence post I repair, God is teaching me a new lesson.  Though my inheritance will be in heaven, my journey is far from over, leaning on the Lord for understanding along the way, Proverbs 3:5-6.

by Jay Mankus

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