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The Legacy of Harrison Mayes

As a teenager, Harrison Mayes was a coal digger at Fork Ridge, Tennessee.  During a mining accident in the hills of Middlesboro, Mayes cried out to the Lord, “if you save me, I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to you.”  Staying true to this vow, Harrison became an evangelist at age 20.  The path that he took forever altered highways in the south.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up, Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

Apparently, some of Moses’ words in the Old Testament gave Harrison an idea for an unique ministry.  Trying to create a way for his generation to be reminded of what Jesus did for them, Mayes become known as the highway cross evangelist.  These wooden crosses were initially placed along roadsides in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.  Before the end of his life, crosses were placed in all 48 continental states.

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, Deuteronomy 6:8-9.

If we can learn one thing from the legacy of Harrison Mayes, you don’t have to be an eloquent speaker to touch countless individuals.  Rather, if you use a little bit of creativity along with your God given talent, you too can leave behind subtle signs of God’s love.  Therefore, don’t delay in fanning into flame your spiritual gift.  When you do, you will begin to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for being born.

by Jay Mankus


The Original Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption film was inspired by the Stephen King 1982 novel collection Different Seasons.  In the 1994 movie, Tim Robbins plays a banker, Andy Dufresne, falsely accused of killing his wife and a golf professional during an affair which took place at his own home.  The jury had enough motive to convict and sentence Dufresne to two life terms in prision at Shawshank State Penitentiary.  When a new inmate reveals a confessional of this crime from a former cell mate, the warden denies Andy’s request for a re-trial as well as killing the prisoner who could prove Dufresne’s innocence.

When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Acts 12:3.

During the first century, a fisherman turned evangelist experiences a similar ordeal.  When the Jesus movement threaten to weaken Judaism, one of its leaders was arrested by King Herod.  Although his life was spared unlike his friend James of Zebedee, Peter is held by armed guards awaiting his trial after the Passover celebration.  To insure he would not escape, Peter was bound with chains on each arm.  Neither predicament seemed plausible until redemption entered the equation.

Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists, Acts 12:7.

Andy Dufresne used a rock hammer, a poster of Rita Hayworth and time to escape through the tunnel used as the prison’s sewage pipe.  Switching the accounting book in the vault, Andy sent a letter to a local newspaper exposing the corruption at Shawshank on his first day as a free man.  Meanwhile, an angel wakes up Peter, releases his chains and leads him out of prison without anyone noticing his escape.  Following years of injustice, the warden commits suicide instead of facing law enforcement and Herod dies after failing to praise the Lord.  Although each story has its own twists and turns, the accounts by Luke of Peter in Acts 12 can be described as the original Shawshank Redemption.

by Jay Mankus

Temporary Healing

If you channel surf enough, sooner or later you will come across an evangelist who claims to possess the gift of healing.  Hollywood responded to these individuals in 1992 with the film Leap of Faith starring Steve Martin.  Over the years, responsible Christians have investigated each healing to insure believers aren’t being deceived or misled.  Unfortunately, researchers have found many of the participants on these programs, shows and revivals to experience only temporary healing.

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around, Mark 8:24.

Perhaps, this is what a blind man from Bethsaida went through during his encounter with Jesus.  The first attempt to restore this person’s sight resulted in blurred vision.  Thus, even Jesus had to perform a second healing, placing holy spit, saliva into his eyes.  Modern leaders who possess the gift of healing usually don’t get another chance to lay hands on someone.  Subsequently, disappointed souls spend the rest of their lives wondering why their healing wasn’t permanent.

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly, Mark 8:25.

You don’t have to be sick to experience temporary healing.  Individuals can also have prayers that are answered initially only to have the conclusion that you seek fall apart over time.  Agony, doubt and frustration are common emotions people endure throughout their lives.  In reality, all things on earth are temporary according to the apostle Paul.  Therefore, whether your body is acting up, healed or just hanging, permanent healing won’t arrive until you reach heaven’s doors.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable, 1 Corinthians 15:42.

by Jay Mankus



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