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Tag Archives: ESPN

Is It Really That Big of a Deal?

Back in the days of my youth, puberty influenced the behavior of junior high students.  In the transition from Elementary to High School, students bodies drastically changed as each slowly became a man or woman.  This change was on full display at lunch everyday in the cafeteria.  Chatting, gossiping and staring was a common practice.  As estrogen and testosterone collided, fights would flare up weekly.  Meanwhile, rumors often spread like wildfires, creating tension between friends.  This atmosphere set the stage for normal events to be completely blown out of proportion.  Looking back at these spats,  I should have been more level headed by reflecting, “is it really that big of a deal?”

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you, Proverbs 25:21-22.

One of my break rooms at work has ESPN on one side of the room with CNN on the other.  The only problem is ESPN is muted and CNN’s volume is pretty loud.  A day doesn’t go by without a host or panelist flipping out about something President Trump did, said or tweeted.  While I am trying to eat my dinner, I feel as if I have been transported back in time to junior high.  Instead of participating, I am people watching, observing how much adults are getting worked up about comments, criticism and policies signed via presidential orders.  To a certain extent this is funny and sad at the same time.  Perhaps, these media members need to relax, not take everything so seriously and began to ponder, “is it really that big of a deal?”

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord,” Romans 12:19.

When I was in high school, my father had a horrible temper.  I contribute this to his drill instructor in the Army since this is how he acted for several years.  Early on as a parent, I had my own regrettable movements, flipping out and ultimately having a negative influence on my children at times.  While I am far from perfect, the Lord has calmed me down except driving for now.  I guess you can say I am work in progress with a long way to go.  Nonetheless, it’s essential to apply the advice the apostle Paul provides in the verse above.  Instead of letting things beyond your control to get you riled up, allow the Lord to fight for you.  If you do, you may come to the conclusion, it’s not that big of a deal.

by Jay Mankus

 

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What About Me Moments in Life

I was channel surfing today when I stumbled across a documentary on Jimmy the Greek.  ESPN’s 30 for 30 entitled The Legend of Jimmy the Greek reveals events which lead this man to become an analyst on the NFL Today on CBS.  Known for his advanced knowledge on setting the betting line for sporting events, Jimmy had a tough life.  His mother and aunt were both killed by a disgruntled uncle who then took his own life when Jimmy was ten.  Years later, three of Jimmy’s children all died of the same disease.  These events caused Jimmy to become mad at God for several years, a what about me moment in life.

“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me, ” Job 30:20.

Thousands of years earlier another man had his own series of disappointments.  Job endured a few disasters resulting in the loss of his animals, possessions and children.  Like Jimmy the Greek, Job begins to doubt God’s existence, unable to comprehend why his prayers weren’t answered.  Job is confused as his understanding of God’s nature does what match what is actually happening.  Thus, Job cries out for help, “what about me God?”

Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness, Job 30:26.

These two men aren’t the only ones who have suffered heartache in life.  Many people can relate to the passage above as you hope for good only to find disappointment.  If you ever have your own what about me moment, don’t blame God for your problems.  Rather, seek counsel to ascertain what the Lord is trying to teach you through these trials.  Time has a way of sorting things out.  For now, may the Holy Spirit direct and guide you until answers for the questions you still have arrive.

by Jay Mankus

 

Moderation

In ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary, the travails of John Daly are highlighted in Hit it Hard.  Based upon a song written by John, a two time major winner on the PGA Tour, Daly shares his battle with alcohol, gambling and series of failed marriages.  Due to an addictive personality, the concept of moderation is something Daly has has a hard time grasping.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything, 1 Corinthians 6:12.

Whether you are Superman, a professional athlete or an average human being, everyone has a kryptonite.  This condition, element or weakness prevents individuals from reaching their full potential.  Temptation is always lurking, trying to lure people away from good habits and safe environments.  Danger arrives when inner demons convince former addicts that they can handle a situation without God’s help.  This usually results in self-destruction.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body, 1 Corinthians 6:18.

There are ways to view moderation.  First, some will say that adults should be mature enough to know their limits.  Requiring self-control, this logical approach gives people freedom to develop boundaries.  The second perspective is more cautious, understanding that once you open pandora’s box, there’s no going back.  Either way, unless you have a friend who holds you accountable or a personal relationship with God, the quest for moderation can be a never ending battle.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Bathroom Reading Material

Potty training introduces children to reading while in the bathroom.  Yet, well before modern advancements, adults have used bathrooms as a second library.  Prior to cell phones and the internet, residential homes usually contained one bathroom with a newspaper rack, bucket or shelf filled with a collection of material to pass your time.  Recently, a new bathroom dispute in North Carolina simply known as House Bill 2 has ignited the liberal media.

Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other,” 1 Kings 3:24-25.

The actual bill states that it is illegal for anyone in the state to use a public restroom that does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.  Makes sense right?  Wrong!  In this inclusive society, North Carolina is leaving out the transgender crowd.  Here is where feelings, interpretation and law get confused.  My understanding of this law is that North Carolina’s intent is to create safe bathrooms free from sexual predators to protect children.  While this does exclude the transgender from public facilities, this bill serves as a safe guard against anyone attempting to access a bathroom under the guise of transgender to prey on innocent children.

The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”  Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother,” 1 Kings 3:26-27.

If you watch college basketball or football, then you’ve heard that the NCAA is pulling all of their national sporting events out of North Carolina in protest of House Bill 2.  From where I sit, it seems pretty hypocritically of an organization who has become a cash cow, a billion dollar entity to be the moral authority when they don’t have their own act together.  Nearly every day on ESPN, breaking news streams at the bottom of the screen detailing another star player or recruit who is arrested, charged or is under investigation for a crime.  Drug abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault are weekly occurring on college campuses throughout the country.  Perhaps, the NCAA should stop lecturing North Carolina about how to legislate and should start using all the money they make on television contracts to help student athletes become better citizens, individuals and stewards of their own gifts.

by Jay Mankus

ps – Visit North Carolina when you get a chance; its a great state with wonderful beaches and mountains!

The Grand Illusion

As the 2015 NFL Draft approaches, Sports Networks are creating programming to feed the anticipation of football fans.  While channel surfing the other night, I stumbled across an interesting conversation on ESPN.  A pastor from California was talking to Jameis Winston, the projected first pick in the draft about temptation  Tainted by two seasons of off the field troubles, quarterback Jameis Winston has been a victim of the grand illusion, falling prey to the deception of temptation.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9

Known as the great deceiver, Satan has a way of making things look better than they really are.  Thus, the curious, unprepared and weak have a tendency to become repeat customers of the grand illusion.  Although the media will tend to label, make fun of and trash an individual for making poor decisions, there is a spiritual element that the addicted can’t cure on their own.  Similar to wearing beer goggles, sinful minds have a habit of justifying wrong actions, causing common sense to fade.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.- James 1:22

On the outside looking in, its hard to comprehend why some struggle to get control of their lives.  Bad influences, stubborn hearts and wandering souls can spend numerous years under the grasp of the grand illusion.  Those held captive often cry out to the heavens, searching for improvement from their condition.  Depending upon the severity of one’s situation, regaining control may take a while.  However, if you lean on the Lord’s power, Philippians 4:13, freedom is possible with Jesus’ help.  May this blog motivate you to remain patience until healing is achieved.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Sunken Treasure

After viewing ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 presentation Rand University featuring Randy Moss, I was struck by the mentality possessed by citizens of Rand, West Virginia.  According to Sam Singleton Jr, dreams stop after high school for those who call Rand home.  Regardless of how gifted you are, few make it pass the 7 Eleven, the only convenience store in town, known as Rand University.  This is where shining stars become sunken treasures.

Although Randy Moss and Bobbie Howard did overcome the odds to make it to the National Football League, they are the exception to this rule.  Enrollment at Rand University begins with a few 6 packs here or a joint there.  Once blinded by addiction, apathy or both, the students in Rand become stuck, unable to escape the grips of invisible demonic forces.  Subsequently, dreams sink to the bottom of the ocean, where hope is nothing more than fool’s gold.

From a spiritual perspective, there are many towns like Rand, places where aspirations die.  If you pull back the third dimension, you will find generational curses and sins of the father blocking success, Exodus 20:3-5.  Unfortunately. Sam Singleton is merely a casualty of this spiritual war, Ephesians 6:12.  If you want to avoid becoming a sunken treasure of untapped potential, make sure you are prepared, Ephesians 6:13-20, with the armor of God to shield yourself from future attacks.

by Jay Mankus

 

Making Sense of Domestic Violence

Unless you’ve been out of the country on vacation, most talk shows listeners and television viewers have gotten an earful from the Ray Rice saga.  After videos showed the Baltimore Ravens star running back beat up his girl friend during the NFL off-season, a recent 2 game suspension for Rice has been perceived too lenient in the public’s eyes, creating a back lash against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  As Hall of Fame Induction weekend has arrived, the topic of domestic violence won’t go away.  Even Steven A. Smith wasn’t exempt from criticism, given this week off by ESPN after claiming woman shouldn’t provoke men.

Anyway, as ESPN, Fox Sports and local sports channels replay Ray Rice’s apology earlier this week, commentators are at a loss, unable to comprehend Rice’s actions.  Well, to be honest, if everyone’s actions we’re video taped like Jim Carrey in the Truman Show, there would be a lot of hand scratching going on.  Nonetheless, there is an important biblical lesson to learn from this unfortunate incident, often the mind and body do things without any logical or rational explanation.  The apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 7:7-20 as he confesses to losing control despite being disciplined and spirit filled.

Whether you are a pastor, law abiding citizen or criminal, no one can escape the reality of Romans 7:15.  Beneath the surface, souls are losing an invisible battle, Galatians 5:16-18, enabling the flesh to take over.  Once in the driver’s seat, the ugliness of mankind rises to the forefront in the form of acts of the sinful nature.  If you add alcohol to this equation, the probability of violence escalates.  Colossians 3:1-17 gives a blue print for overcoming domestic violence or any other sinful behavior.  If you want answers, the truth can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.  Eliminating domestic violence from your life starts with a Christ-like attitude and ends with fruits of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  May the transformation detailed in Ephesians 5:1 prevent you releasing your anger on or toward another individual.

by Jay Mankus

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