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Tag Archives: Karaoke

The Crossover Collection Week 4: The Bryan Adams of Christian Music

Since I was born in the Summer of 1969, appreciating Bryan’s Adam’s music has been easy. When I first started attending Karaoke nights in college at Rick’s Cafe, the Summer of 69 was one of my go to songs to perform along with Can’t Fight This Feeling by Reo Speedwagon and You Might Think by the Cars. As Bryan Adams was releasing hit singles year after year, a friend from Ohio introduced me to another Canadian artist, a Christian band called the Kry.

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air], James 4:13-14.

The Kry is rock group from Quebec, Canada who have been ministering to audiences for thirty years. While not every song sounds like Bryan Adams, their ballads remind me of Everything I Do, the theme song from one of the Robinhood films. The one song from the Kry which has left a lasting impression is When You Die. One You Tube Channel uses dramatic videos to illustrate how fragile life can be on earth as this song is playing. As you take this next week to familiarize yourself with the Kry, I pray that you will be touched by the numerous songs on the attached You Tube video.

by Jay Mankus


S.A.N.S. Episode 95: Rescue Me

Today’s artist screams 1980’s. While I went out to Karaoke every Wednesday night at Rick’s Cafe in Chagrin Falls, Ohio over the summer, I had several college friends who were more musically talented. A couple of them joined bands who possessed a similar feel and sound to the Alarm. My best comparison of the Alarm is more upbeat than John Cougar Mellencamp but softer than Cheap Trick.

Do justice to the weak (poor) and fatherless; maintain the rights of the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked, Psalm 82:3-4.

When you’re young, old or somewhere in between, you will find yourself in situations that require some sort of rescue. Other people are often their own worst enemy, needing to be rescued from themselves. Whatever the case, remember the words of Jesus in Luke 19:10. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Romans 10:11 serves as a confirmation to those who call on the name of the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

I Never Knew You

There are various classifications of friendship which exist.  Work related individuals whom you share a relationship with based upon your occupation is one category.  You may have social friends who you share a common interest in or with like dancing, karaoke or sports.  However, most people usually only have a small handful of individuals who actually know you.  Yet, even within this closely knitted network, there is a hesitancy to withhold information.  This fear keeps scars from the past unspoken, secrets locked deep within your soul.  This lack of trust keeps many friendships at a distance, never knowing the true you.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 7:21.

This same concept applies to relationships with God.  Whether you were introduced to church as an infant, youth or adult, it takes time to grasp and understand the nature of God.  Those who attempt to make up for lost time often become overwhelmed by all the mysteries in life that go unanswered.  During a high school youth group, I was introduced to the trust illustration.  You stand up on a chair or stage, then fall back hoping your peers will catch you before you hit the ground.  This exercise helped me realize that I wasn’t trusting God completely.  Rather, I was doing everything in my power to maintain control, yielding to God only when I wasn’t strong enough.  If I continued on this path, I would end up like the people Jesus refers to in Matthew 7.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ – Matthew 7:22

Despite from wanting to exempt myself from the scenario above, I can’t say for sure that I don’t fit into this category.  I have back tracked, slipped and fallen from my spiritual high as a high school Bible teacher for a decade.  Yet, somehow I have lost my way, unable to find the support system that I need to regain that faith I once possessed.  I guess the passage above serves as a warning, not to be complacent, thinking you have arrived spiritually.  Rather, Jesus’ words humbled me, a reminder to get back to discovering and following God’s will in my living years.  If not, we all might hear the chilling voice of Jesus say, “away from me, for I never knew you.”

by Jay Mankus


A Life Void of Passion

My earliest recollection of passion began in Junior High as friends debated the best music video on MTV, the greatest rock band and favorite sports teams.  In High School, I began to live by the 3 G’s: Girls, Golf and God, fluctuating in order depending upon the timing or season.  By the time college arrived, my interests shifted toward amusement parks, intramural sports and sand volleyball, with the latter dominating most of my summer nights.  When I began my career as a youth pastor, interacting with families, karaoke and water sports consumed most of my time.  As a family man, I have mellowed, spending time listening to music, working on my golf green out back and writing on a daily basis.

Passion is embodied in enthusiasm, excitement and feelings.  Although I still possess hot button issues inside my heart, most of the things I once held dear don’t illicit much of a response any more.  Sure, it would be nice for the Eagles to win a Super Bowl or witness another local team win a championship, but I refuse to place my hope in someone or something that disappoints you 99% of the time.  Likewise, I find it futile to debate music, politics and television shows.  As Solomon once said, “everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 2:11, in reference to pleasures on earth.  Perhaps, this may explain why I am currently living a life void of passion.

If you have ever reached this point, emptiness tends to cause you to lose your voice, bored by most of the conversations you hear.  However, when you find a cause worth living for, passion can and will return.  In Acts 4:29, the passion of Jesus Christ prevented the disciples from being shut down.  Rather, the power of the Holy Spirit consumed their souls, not able to forget about the risen Savior who suffered, died and rose again 3 days later.  This is the passion I am missing, lost in translation between the pages of the Bible and putting faith into action.  May the fire of Christ followers burn bright in your region so that lives void of passion will be invigorated by the power of God.

by Jay Mankus


Designated Driver

During my second year of college, my father got transferred to Cleveland, Ohio.  To help ease this difficult transition, my mom joined a group called, New Clevelanders.  Meeting once a month in a socially setting, I was introduced to a handful of students in the same situation.  Eventually, a handful of us formed a tight circle, getting together for Karaoke, hanging at a Sports Bars or dancing at Night Clubs once a week.  From time to time, I served as the designated driver, meeting at a friend’s home and driving everyone to and from the Flats, a series of nightclubs along the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland.

One of the initial benefits of being a designated driver was free refills of soda while these friends drank pitures of beer.  Once they were tipsy, their fears of dancing in front of peers wore off.  Attending a high school with great dances, I gradually learned to become a decent dancer, not needing a beverage to do so.  However, I did not enjoy dancing with strangers, so one night I indulged, speeding up the process to get my friends to the dance floor.  One of my girl “friends” saw my pace and began to switch roles, becoming a substitute designate driver on the fly.

When you have multiple drinks, its no wonder that Liquor Stores contain billboards and signs with Wine and Spirits on them.  Once you partake in alcohol, something overcomes your body, causing you to say things you usually think, but don’t verbalize.  Neal McCoy illustrates this point in his song Beer Googles.  Unless someone is trying to use alcohol as a means to forget their misery, a normal person can only handle being  drunk so many times.  After working the next morning, feeling the side effects for nearly 24 hours, drinking lost its allure.  A few years later, alcohol poisoning nearly ended my life at a friend’s wedding, hugging a toilet for several hours in the middle of the night.

My body hasn’t consumed alcohol in nearly 20 years.  I can’t even bear any kind of food cooked in alcohol, often spitting it out right away or getting a headache from the slightest smell.  Though I tried to fit in, I have found my true identity as a designated driver.  I don’t need alcohol to have fun, laugh or enjoy an evening.  Therefore, when I do entertain friends who drink, I don’t mind offering my services.  While there was a time I fled from this atmosphere, I have learned that you have to meet others on their terms, in their comfort zone before you can make an impact like Jesus, Matthew 9:11-13.  Wherever you are, be the light and salt of the earth, adding flavor to the lives of those who do not know Jesus, Matthew 5:13-16.

by Jay Mankus

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