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Tag Archives: Just Do It

You Don’t Say…

Say You Will was one of Foreigner’s last songs to crack the Top 10 in the United States. Lou Gramm and Mick Jones co-wrote “Say You Will” for this classic British American rock band. Released as a single on December 5th, 1987, the lyrics refer to a relationship on the fritz. Similar to an on again, off again agreement, the band sings about wanting their girl to be mine tonight.

If a brother or sister is without [adequate] clothing and lacks [enough] food for each day, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace [with my blessing], [keep] warm and feed yourselves,” but he does not give them the necessities for the body, what good does that do? – James 2:15-16

Sometimes you have to leave the English language to find a word that gives a more accurate description of what you are trying to say. In the context of living out what you say, the best term I have found comes from Greek. Ethos refers to the moral element that determines a character’s action. In other words, you don’t have to say this or that. Rather, over time your actions demonstrate a genuine and perceived care and concern for others.

But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth], James 1:22.

Before finishing analogies, parables and sermons, Jesus often urged crowds to be doers. Anyone can listen, but it takes discipline, effort and focus to put Jesus’ words into action. In the parable of the two sons, one promises to do a task but doesn’t. The other son initially rejects this request but ends up doing it anyway. The point of today’s blog is don’t say you will, just do it!

by Jay Mankus


When Do Dreams Become Reality?

Dreams could be categorized as one of three possible scenarios.  Dreams could be a desire from within that you developed as a child, becoming a goal you have for life.  A dream can also derive from a vision that you receive from God while sleeping.  Finally, dreams can be random thoughts like a film playing within your mind that may or may not have any relevant meaning.  Nonetheless, the optimist wants to know when do dreams become reality.

When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.  Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more, Genesis 37:4-5.

In the Old Testament, Joseph had a series of dreams which offended most of the people whom he shared this with.  Martin Luther King had a dream of an America where individuals are judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  Mr. King was killed before this day arrived and Joseph experienced a series of trials for more than two decades before seeing the hand of God at work.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives, Genesis 50:20.

Twenty years is a long time to wait.  Thus, many people give up quietly mumbling, “it’s not worth it anymore.”  Others claim “if it hasn’t happened by now, it won’t.”  Subsequently, dreams remain just a figment of your imagination rather than reality.  Yet, if you press on like Joseph, perhaps you too can boldly proclaim, “what others intended for harm, God intended for good.”  If there is such a thing as the Nike Bible, it probably says, Just Do It!

by Jay Mankus

Face Time

Mottos like “Go for the Gusto, Just Do It and Seize the Day” have redefined this generation’s thought process.  Instead of an act like you’ve been there and staying humble mindset, people now crave face time, searching for 15 seconds of fame.  The athlete is striving to make Sports Center, the student Jeopardy and those blessed with an amazing personality hope to get their shot on the next hit reality television show.  Just in case, everyone has their cell phone ready, waiting to hear a call or see a text saying, “you’re on television!”

For me, it was just dumb luck, hanging out at a friend’s 21st birthday in a luxury box at Cleveland’s old Municipal Stadium watching a double headers between the Indians and Yankees.  In the early 90’s, both teams were awful, scoring a total of 4 runs combined during a doubleheader.  After an amazing meal, I watched the end of the first game.  Bored by a 1-0 game, I began talking to the girl next to me who brought a bottom of bubbles with her.  When I got up to get another drink, I actually knocked her bottle over, spilling most of what was left.

Feeling bad, I grabbed an extra plastic handle, to make as many bubbles as possible before the liquid evaporated.  Five minutes later, right field was filled with a stream of bubbles.  Cameramen, apparently also bored with the game, located the source of these bubbles, shining their cameras on both of us for about 30 seconds or so.  Once I saw the video monitor to my left, I stood up, hamming up this moment in time, raising my hands up as if I had scored a touchdown.  Before cell phones were common, I received several phone calls at home later that night from friends across the country asking, “we you at an Indians game?”  To my surprise, my accident led to 15 seconds of face time as our picture made Fox Sports, Headline Sports and Sports Center.

As a coach and parent, youth clearly imitate their sports heroes.  While some of the plays I have seen at the youth and high school level are impressive, celebrations during a game are unnecessary, distracting from the concept of sportsmanship.  I’m not saying applause is bad, but showing off and taunting is out of control.  When the Tim Duncan’s of the sports world are overshadowed by flashy players who hog face time, young people need to follow the quiet players who lead by example.  Although those who play games with the right attitude may not receive the praise others get, God is watching and will honor those who do the right thing, 1 Corinthians 9:25.

by Jay Mankus

Know Before You Go

Great slogans are easy to remember.  Just do it is iconic with Nike.  Think different led to the founding of Apple.  The Breakfast of Champions was promoted by Olympic stars, earning their picture on the cover of Wheaties.  On Sunday, I came across a new slogan which has a catchy rhythm.

While traveling south between Philadelphia and Baltimore on Interstate 95, these words were lite up above the highway, Know Before You Go.  Although I am sure there are many interpretations, the state of Maryland is attempting to help travelers plan ahead to avoid construction, delays or heavy traffic.  Thus, if you know before you go, you will follow alternative routes mapped out or plugged into your GPS.

In life, there are 4 things you should know, before you go to the grave.

1) Every one, whether you like it or not, is imperfect, a sinner in need of a Savior, Romans 3:23.

2) You can’t buy, earn or sneak your way into heaven, Romans 6:23.

3) Jesus is the only way into heaven, John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.

4) A new life is possible, John 10:10 through the promise of the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:3-4, which you receive once you enter into a relationship with Jesus.

This decision is up to you, not contrived or forced.  However, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Don’t allow stubbornness to ruin eternity.  Just know before you go!

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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