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S.A.N.S. Episode 311: Go Tell It on the Mountain

I have a special connection with Go Tell It on the Mountain. While in 6th grade, I actually sang a solo in Harlan Elementary’s Christmas play. While my stuttering was my greatest fear, God intervened to nail the second stanza of Go Tell It On The Moutain. As was one of three shepherds, playing second number two. I sang “when I was a young one, I prayed both night and day. I asked to Lord to help me and He showed me the way… which led back to the chorus.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing ([f]saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. 16 So they went with haste and [[g]by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child, 18 And all who heard it were astounded and marveled at what the shepherds told them, Luke 2:15-18.

I tried searching You Tube for one that included my line, but most modern versions don’t include this portion. Therefore, I decided to feature Sara Evans who sang this at the CMA Country Christmas Special on television. It would have been nice to have a copy, proof that I was in a play and that I could sing when I was younger, but most VHS versions didn’t survive. Regardless, this song was inspired by a group of shepherds that God chose to notify about the birth of a baby who would become the Savior of this world.

by Jay Mankus


Kicking and Screaming

After one year of attending Channin Elementary School, within walking distance of my house, desegregation bused me into the city of Wilmington, Delaware.  For the next three years, Harlan Elementary became my new school home.  This drastic change was eye opening.  Whenever a student broke a rule, became disobedient or get caught doing something illegal, rarely did I hear, “my bad, I did it, I’m guilty.”  Instead, students were often dragged to the office, kicking and screaming, escorted by one or more administrators.

For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another, Galatians 5:13.

Today, whenever someone feels like they have been treated unjustly, social media has become a popular site to air your grievances.  While there are many options to choose, Facebook and Twitter are filled with rants daily.  Instead of thinking before individuals press send, emotions stir the pot, building up until one final act boils over to form a vicious tweet.  Once posted, souls attempt to bite and devour one another, plummeting the gutter to an all time low.  While the prudent thing to do is walk away, the sinful nature can’t resist to pile on by fighting back.

But if you bite and devour one another [in bickering and strife], watch out that you [along with your entire fellowship] are not consumed by one another, Galatians 5:15.

The context of the two passages above are sandwiched by a verse referring to the Golden Rule, treating others as you want to be treated.  Jesus uses this principle at the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, adding a condition to forgiveness.  According to Matthew 6:14-15, your forgiveness is dependent upon how you treat and forgive others who trespass against you.  Jesus is clear, “if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you.”  Near the end of this gospel, Matthew 25:30, Jesus reveals what will happen on judgement day to those who harbor bitterness. failing to forgive.  Not only will these unfortunate souls be dragged away, kicking and screaming, eternity will be spent weeping, wishing they would have chosen love over hatred.

by Jay Mankus

The Running Experience


From the fall of 1983 through the spring of 1993, I logged several thousand miles training for the cross country season, competing in dual meets, running in large invitationals and staying in shape through road races.  My initial experience began as a I ran from cars I threw snow balls at, fleeing the scene of houses I just toilet papered and sprinting from the authorities trying to access road signs for our high school display case.  In elementary school, Physical Fitness Week introduced me to the 50 yard dash, the 3rd fastest in my grade at Harlan Elementary, in inner city Wilmington.  During my 2 years at Hanby Junior High, gym classes forced students to run a timed mile and 2 mile once a year on our school’s track.  By the end of 8th grade, I ran a 6:20 mile and just broke 13 minutes for 2 miles.

However, there is so much more to the running experience than meets the eye.  First, running is a way you can channel your energy.  Like Bo Jackson in the ESPN 30 for 30 Presentation entitled, “You Don’t Know Bo, each of us used sports as a vessel to express ourselves to overcome stuttering.  In college, I would frequently take study breaks by running 3 miles to clear my mind from all the stress and worries of life.  Afterward, I was awake, fresh and ready to tarry on until my work was complete.

Running is also a spiritual encounter, a time you can use listening to God.  While running with a Sony Walkman in one hand, God’s voice always seemed clearer when I ran consistently for a decade.  Maybe this is why the apostle Paul uses so many metaphors in correlation with running in the Bible.  Hebrews 12:1-3 illustrates why people should run and 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 details how we should run.  Some of the most intimate times I have ever had with God have been running alone at night, getting in touch with myself and communing with the Holy Spirit.

Finally, running teaches you the values of dedication, hard work and perseverance, 1 Timothy 4:8.  Running isn’t easy nor is it a natural desire for most people.  Although, once you stick with it for a few years, you cross a threshold which actually brings joy to your life each time you run.  I stopped running for good in 1996, when stray dogs from our neighbor constantly chased me for miles.  Since I had nothing to aim or shoot for, a lack of cartilage in both my knees made my decision easy.  Today, I am semi-retired from running, only training with my 2 boys during the summer to prepare them for their cross country season.  Yet, I still practice Paul’s mental challenge in 1 Corinthians 9:27 as I continue my running experience with Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Personal Records

4:52 mile at Brandywine Creek State Park

10:20 2 mile also at Brandywine during the same cross country race

16:30 3 mile in the foothills north of Baltimore Maryland

16:53 5K (3.1 miles) at Delcastle Recreation Center

29:52 5 miles at Bellevue State Park as a 10th grader before my ankle surgery

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