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Tag Archives: Indiana

What are You Willing to Tolerate?

Tolerate refers to allowing the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that you don’t necessarily like or agree with without interference. As a former high school teacher, students would test me regularly to see what behavior I would tolerate. As my classroom discipline and management improved over the years, I became less and less tolerant of immature and inappropriate acts.

I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars Revelation 2:2.

One of my biggest regrets as a former youth pastor occurred during a bonfire. This outreach event was before Halloween with nearly 100 teenagers in attendance. Prior to this night, I always gave a speech followed by an altar call to give students a chance to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. Yet, for some reason I focused too much on fun rather than faith. This lack of action was the beginning of the end for my ministry in Indiana as I started to tolerate improper behavior.

But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols, Revelation 2:20.

When it comes to carrying out discipline, the energy that I possess at the time of an incident will dictate what I ultimately tolerate. As a former junior high teacher, my worst behaved class occurred last period every Thursday and Friday. While there were days I laid down the line, as the year wore on I lost the desire to discipline. Perhaps, this was the condition of the first century church mentioned in the passage above. Whether its a woman named Jezebel or someone with ADHD, your energy level will often determine what you tolerate.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 137: Somewhere Somehow

Whenever I hear today’s song, I think of my decision to leave youth ministry. After burning myself out in less than a year, the song Somewhere Somehow was released as a duet between Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. Subsequently, as this song plays I think of all the special friendships and people that I met while serving the Lord in Columbus, Indiana. Just as the lyrics express, I hope for a reunion in the future.

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east [where they are dispersed] and gather you from the west, Isaiah 43:5.

If this reunion doesn’t occur on earth, there is always heaven to look forward to. Whenever two famous artists unite for a special project or song, I get excited and emotional all at once. Nonetheless, Somewhere Somehow serves as a remainder that God is in control, not you. Therefore, as you listen to the lyrics of this special song, may the Holy Spirit help you believe that anything is possible with God.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 122: How Could I Ask for More?

When I was working full time in youth ministry, Cindy Morgan was one of my favorite female Christian artists. While working in Columbus, Indiana at a Methodist Church, Cindy was one of the featured artists at an outdoor concert at Mill Race Park. The album that touched my heart the most was Real Life. At this time, there wasn’t many artists who addressed real life issues like How Could I Ask for More?

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself,] Ephesians 2:8-9.

As a child, the alure with being rich and famous is common. Yet, when my parents moved to a wealthy area of Ohio and my girlfriend Leanne lived in an affluent suburb in Chicago, the emptiness of wealth was revealed to me. I didn’t see what I expected except for a desire to keep up with the Joneses. Looking back, the lyrics of How Could I Ask For Me reminds me that happiness comes the love of Jesus. So as my future job in South Carolina is still unknown, all I can do is thank God for the little things as I wait.

by Jay Mankus

Time of Your Life

The concept of “Time of Your Life” began with a 1939 play written by William Saroyan. In more recent years, movies like Dirty Dancing have brought songs with this concept in the title. I’ve Had the Time of My Life by Jennifer Warnes uses dancing as a means to have fun. Depending upon your hobbies and personality, the goal of any day is to have the time of your life.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him, John 3:16-17.

When I look back on the past half-century, one year sticks out, 1993. I left a youth director position in Delaware to attend a youth ministry trade school in Minnesota. For 7 straight weeks, I was having the time of my life, living with other people my age who wanted to minister to young people. Not only was I transformed by the teaching I received, I also experienced a revival while living in Columbus, Indiana.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows), John 10:9-10.

When I was having the time of my life, I was also working 90 hours a week. My only day off began with a Bible Study at McDonald’s with students, followed by lunch in Cincinnati with my good friend Phil, and ended with an adult Bible Study back at church. When you’re having the time of your life, make sure you don’t burn yourself out like I did in 1994. Balance is crucial for developing stability and longevity. If I only knew this back then, I’d still be having the time on my life. For now, I’m trying to recapture what was lost.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 65: Another Alternative

Today’s feature song comes from the former lead singer of Sonic Flood. I met Jeff Deyo while I was a youth pastor in Columbus, Indiana which is Jeff’s hometown. Jeff’s story is similar to what happened to Tom Petty. The film Straight Outta Compton illustrates the fact that agents, producers and record labels use new artists to make themselves wealthy. Meanwhile, talented musicians like Jeff Deyo and Tom Petty barely make anything despite releasing top selling albums.

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows), John 10:10.

Jeff left Sonic Flood to partner with his wife to make a living as a musician. While I haven’t spoken with Jeff for more than two decades, it’s sad how many talented musicians aren’t able to make a career out of doing what they love. Deyo’s album Another Alternative and song with the same name combines dance, hip hop and rap. As the world continues to evolve, the Bible provides instructions of how to live an alternative life fueled by faith. May today’s song and this album touch your heart and stir your soul.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 52: Keep My Mind

When I lived in Columbus, Indiana a friend invited me to a Margaret Becker concert in Cincinnati, Ohio. Following the concert, I volunteered to help break down the stage and pack Margaret’s bus for her next concert. The interactions that I had with Margaret and her team that night made me a fan for life. In an age filled with compromise, Margaret has remained true to her faith and music ministry.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:1-3.

The lyrics of today’s song Keep My Mind reminds me of one of the apostle Paul’s epistles. Depending upon the mindset that you hold will dictate the attitude and behavior that you display in life. When my heart and mind is set on Jesus, I feel my better about the present and my future. Yet, when I tend to be more selfish, I feel empty inside. As you listen to Keep My Mind, follows Paul’s advice listed above.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 12: Stumbling Block to a Stepping Stone

As a youth pastor, I took teenagers on several trips to a variety of events. One of these was an outdoor Christian concert at a local venue in Columbus, Indiana. The featured group who closed out the night was David and the Giants. Prior to this concert, I probably owned one or two of their albums. Afterward, I purchased every album this group released.

Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [[c]especially] wicked person who repents ([d]changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance, Luke 15:7.

For today’s feature, I could have selected one of 20 different songs. David and the Giants have a good mix of classic rock and ballads on each album. Yet, I chose Stumbling Block to a Stepping Stone due to the lyrics and attached you tube video. Just like Jesus’ parable about a lost sheep, we all stumble and fall. Subsequently, it’s the failures in life that can turn into stepping stones as long as you can forgive yourself.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 6: Carry On

If you are old enough, everyone has the favorite time of their lives. For me this was 1993 as I ventured west from Delaware to Minnesota to attend a youth ministry trade school. This 7-week intensive training program transformed my life and gave me an inner confidence that I could do anything. The friendships that I made along the way were a blessing. When my initial interview at a church in Rapid City, South Dakota didn’t go well, I spent a semester teaching at a boarding school in West Virginia.

O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, make known His doings among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them, Psalm 105:1-2.

Little did I know that teaching Communications and Poetry would ignite a desire to write. I created an album entitled A Simple Confession with 12 songs and wrote a book of poems. Before the year was over, I was offered a full-time youth ministry position in Indiana and met Leanne, my wife at a national convention. Before leaving Minnesota, I came across an obscure band named Shadow Wings. After listening closely, I discovered Pat Benatar is a lead vocalist on the Carry On Album. While the attached link isn’t the greatest, I wanted to introduce you to the song Carry On by Shadow Wings.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Volume 4: All the Darkness

Today’s song dates back to my wedding in 1995. I was put in charge of two specific details: the disc jockey at the reception and the music played at our wedding. The week of our wedding, I got a call from my friend who had his van stolen with all of his music inside. Fortunately, our DJ was able to borrow enough music so that the reception was saved. Yet, this doesn’t excuse All the Darkness that occurs throughout the world on a daily basis.

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts, Colossians 3:16.

As for the wedding music, I asked my best friend from Ohio to sing Steve Wiggins’ song All the Darkness. Phil was a youth pastor in Springfield while I was at a church in Columbus, Indiana. Every Monday we met at a mall in Cincinnati for lunch. Phil taught me how to have fun while serving the Lord with competitive games of Laser Tag and mini-golf. Phil nailed the song as Leanne’s and my mother lite the unity candle. May the lyrics of All the Darkness stir and touch your soul as it did for me more than 25 years ago.

by Jay Mankus

When You’re Just Not Good Enough

When I left my position as a full time youth director Indiana 27 years ago, I wasn’t sure of what to do or where to go. The months that followed were a blur until a served on a Walk to Emmaus Retreat. Since I was in the kitchen, I didn’t have much interaction until a clown presentation gave me a clear direction of my next step. After proposing to Leanne, God called me to play professional golf in a vision the next day.

But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him], Galatians 3:22.

Subsequently, I spent the rest of 1994 and the first six months of 1995 pursuing this dream. After lowering my handicap to a 2, I joined the Tommy Armour Tour in Florida and received an invitation to the PGA Qualifying School on the Canadian Tour in British Columbia. Despite determination, dedication and discipline, I couldn’t put 9 holes together, let alone 18. While it was hard to admit, I simply wasn’t good enough.

Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), 24 So that the Law served [a][to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith, Galatians 3:23-24.

The Bible sends a similar message whether human beings like it or not. No matter how hard you try to be perfect as suggested in Matthew 5:48, a generational condition will prevent you from doing the right thing all the time, Deuteronomy 24:16. According to Exodus 34:7, the sins of a father is passed down to as many as four generations. Therefore, anytime you seek to pursue perfection, the human condition just isn’t good enough. Yet, it’s this spiritual state that makes everyone in desperate need of a Savior.

by Jay Mankus

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