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How Did We Get Here?

I recently watched a film produced by Andy Garcia back in 1995.  Starring Andy Garcia, Bill Murray and Dustin Hoffman, The Lost City takes place in Havana, Cuba in 1958.  This movie reflects the hardship Garcia endured while growing up in Cuba under a dictatorship.  After an interesting beginning, the mood changes as young relatives attempt to rebel against this communist regime.  Without spoiling the plot, the consequences are chilling.  During a live television interview with President Fulgencio Batista, giving the appearance of peace and tranquility, members of the resistance are eliminated.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:16.

At some point over the last half century, liberals and progressives have become infatuated with modern socialist leaders.  This admiration may be based upon the absolute power many of these leaders possess.  Whether it’s controlling the press, rigging elections or ruling without any restrictions, this environment is tempting.  Yet, anyone who watches the Lost City from beginning to end, will realize this is not the way to treat a nation of people.  The scary part of this is as I watch cable news, listen to radio updates and read newspaper articles, America is approaching communist and socialist traits.

My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! – Psalm 31:5

If the events of a news story does not fit a specific criteria, facts are altered, words taken out of context or the entire narrative is ignored.  Meanwhile, a camera can distort reality, making a crowd of protesters much larger than it is.  In addition, edited interviews can distort someone’s actual response to a question.  The end result is a plethora of fake news.  When there is no one to police the media, false narratives spread without challenge.  This is how America got here, to a daily media circus attempting to control what Americans think and believe.  Unless people take the time to check, research and test what is broadcasted, America will soon become the Lost Nation.

by Jay Mankus


Over the last month, scenes from the 1985 film Outbreak have come to life.  Dustin Hoffman,Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo  portray the spread of an Ebola like disease imported to America by an infective monkey.  Panic spreads throughout a town which becomes ground zero when the virus goes air born after a victim starts coughing at the local movie theater.    Isolation is the only hope to contain this deadly disease.

Another invisible wave poises a similar threat if not stopped.  According to 2 Timothy 2:16-17, godless chatter can spread like gangrene.  Unless its momentum is cut off, negativity can multiple like wild fires, overflowing from city to city. Fueled by politicians and talk shows, minds are easily infected, piling on, losing control of their emotions with each demoralizing comment.

In life, there aren’t many safe havens remaining.  On every corner, temptation lurks waiting to wrap its claws around you.  Once contaminated, there is only one doctor who possesses the anti-venom, Luke 19:10, to cure the human heart of its condition, Jeremiah 17:9-10.  Nonetheless, everyone is spreading something, either good or bad.  Therefore, the next time you open your mouth, try to cut corners or lead someone astray, think about James 5:19-20 so that the mark you leave will turn others in the right direction.

by Jay Mankus


Wars You Can’t Win

Political battles rage daily in congress, making their case of pulling out, not backing another country or recognizing that some wars you can’t win.  Whether its the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the next tense situation, common sense screams, “certain places in the world aren’t worth fighting for since there is no clear winner if you engage in war!”  When this or that country has been battling it out for centuries or close to a thousand years, why shed innocent blood?  Hopefully, someone in Washington D.C. will learn this lesson soon.

On American soil, there is a different kind of war brewing, the war of public opinion.  In the 1997 film Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer who deceives the American people of a fictional war in Albania.  Using special effects, talking points and a montage of sound bytes, Hoffman convinces the people of a war that doesn’t exist.  Today, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtubes are the weapons of choice, steering minds in their direction.  In a world of shrinking absolutes, where opinions have become elevated to fact status, this war is like chasing the wind.

The only thing you can control in this life is your own character.  Sure, your enemies will attempt to assassinate your reputation, yet your actions, attitude, behavior, body language and words serve as a means of defense.  As long as you are consistent, you can’t control what others says on blogs, Facebook or Twitter.  Therefore, fighting back or responding to your critics is futile.  By coming down to their level, you are strengthening their argument.  Despite the mud opponents sling your way, display prudence by recognizing they are some wars you just can’t win.

by Jay Mankus

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