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An Atheist with Passion

During a late night drive to Liberty University, I took a stroll down Memory Lane. Listening to a 2 CD set from In Reach, a Christian Band with lead vocalist Brett Williams, I was taken back in time to the 1990’s. The Waterline album debuted my senior year of college and Power and Promise came out while I was attending a Youth Ministry Trade School. A line from their song Savannah, “An Atheist with passion” reminded me of a former student.

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light, Matthew 6:22.

Since 2011 was my last year of teaching high school, certain songs tend to help me recall the good and difficult times in my classroom. Jennifer was a byproduct of a broken home. Apparently, her older sister was the only adult in the house, making sure she got her two younger sisters to school on time every morning. While Jen’s parents claimed to be Bible believing Christians, their actions continued to feed fleshly desires. Subsequently, this hypocrisy left a sour taste in Jen’s soul, conceiving an Atheist with passion.

But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness! – Matthew 6:23

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns his followers of the side affects of darkness. When addictions, bad habits or poor choices continue to happen, it’s only a matter of time before you too may find yourself in a similar state like Jennifer. During tests and quizzes, Jen regularly shared her disdain for Christianity. As a Bible teacher at this time, it was a hard pill to swallow. Yet, as time went by, all I could do was be a light for Christ. All Christians can do today is hope and pray that something you say or live out will persuade future Jen’s to leave their state of darkness by coming to the light.

by Jay Mankus

Caught in the Rain

In their 1992 debut album Waterline, In Reach came crashing on to the scene, expected by some to become the band of the 1990’s.  However, like the movie, That Thing You Do, In Reach was a one hit album wonder, fading just as quick as they arrived.

Success sometimes can occur you so fast, that you are not ready for primetime, resulting in egos, pride and selfish ambition.  Maybe this is why the group changed the name on their second album to Brett Williams and In Reach.  Anyhow, the band got Caught in the Rain, in a storm of life, leaving their band in ruins like part of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  In Reach drowned in a sea of their own success, sinking to the bottom, never to rise again to the surface.

This past weekend, the East Coast got hammered by storms, leaving some areas like Berlin, Maryland under more than a foot of water.  No one likes to get caught in the rain, especially when you are surrounded by thunder and lightning.  However, without rain, farmers can’t grow their crops, landscapers can’t cut their yards and water tables would dry up.  Whether people like it or not, rain is a way of life since the flood, Genesis 6-7.

Except for the flood, nobody knows exactly why storms come and go.  Yes, there are tropical and sub-tropical geographic regions, yet only God knows for sure when you are going to get caught in the rain.  When you do get caught, how will you respond to the curve being thrown at you?  What lesson will you learn so that when success does come, you will be ready?  As for me, I am still caught in the rain, waiting for the Son to peak through the clouds so that I can experience the rainbow on the other side.

by Jay Mankus

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