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Saved by a Button

While most industries have been ravaged by the Coronavirus, Television Streaming Services have expanded and prospered. Although not every service has survived this competitive field, consumers can now decide what they watch and when daily. The days of waiting for your favorite show or series to air are over unless of course you want to watch a live sporting event. During a recent episode of Mystery at the Museum, I learned that a famous composer’s life was saved by a button on his tunic before he’d ever written a note.

He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed, 1 Peter 2:24.

George Frideric Handel was performing of one of Matheson’s operas, Cleopatra, in 1704. Playing with his best friend, composer Johann Mattheson, the two of them suddenly argued while on stage. This quarrel escalated into a sword fight, a duel to the death. Immediately, Mattheson quickly took control, placing Handel on the defensive. As the audience watched in amazement, Mattheson gave the final blow, striking Handel in the chest. However, as the sword was about to pierce Handel’s skin, a large button on his tunic intervened, snapping the tip of Mattheson’s sword. This wardrobe malfunction ended this duel and saved Handel’s life.

For you were going astray like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian (the Bishop) of your souls, 1 Peter 2:25.

Whether you call this luck or divine intervention, George Frideric Handel now had the time to compose The Hallelujah Chorus. King George III was so moved by Handel’s Messiah he stood up during this piece, at the premiere. Most of Handel’s adult life was spent in London, England, offered a position by Queen Anne with the princely annual salary of £200. Composing The Messiah in 1741, a scriptural text was later compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible to enhance Handel’s piece. This amazing selection would have been never composed if it wasn’t for a large button strategically placed on George Frideric Handel’s tunic.

by Jay Mankus


What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

There are certain classic movie lines that apply to life.  One such scene occurs in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke.  A captain played by Strother Martin is talking to a stubborn prisoner played by Paul Newman.  Following a frustrating exchange, the captain comes to the realization that you can’t reach everyone.  This dialogue ends with the famous words, “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry, Colossians 3:5.

Last Sunday the National Football League played a game in London, England as the Jacksonville Jaguars soundly defeated the Baltimore Ravens.  Prior to the game, both teams took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.  Moments later, each rose to their feet to honor Great Britain’s anthem, God save the Queen.  As I watched this live streaming the game on Yahoo, I was confused.  While I heard the reasons for this public display during postgame press conferences, I feel like the captain in Cool Hand Luke, not sure why a foreign flag was honored with your home flag shunned.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, Matthew 6:33.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think.  What’s important is for leaders to come together, get into a room and come to a clear understanding.  Instead of speculating on opposing views, exaggerating, gossip and slander isn’t helping anyone.  Before healing begins, conservatives, democrats, progressives and republicans need to clear the air and start from scratch.  Unless this conversation begins soon, I’m afraid America might not be able to recover from this divisive climate.  May spiritual leaders see the big picture by seeking God’s kingdom and righteous first.

by Jay Mankus

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The origin of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was conceived by author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886.  Inside this novel, London lawyer Gabriel John Utterson investigates bizarre encounters between an old acquaintance and a man named Edward Hyde.  His research leads to an unusual discovery of a split personality, also known as multiple personality disorder.  Inside of Dr. Henry Jekyll lies paranormal activity, vastly different than his mild manner friend.

The rock group Holy Solider creates a modern version of this story in their song Virtue and Vice.  In their edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, strange occurrences lie within the human heart, Jeremiah 17:9.  Based upon an apostles account to the church in Rome,  Paul reveals a defect in his DNA, Romans 7:15-20.  The harder Paul tried to do right and follow God, something inside of him, intervened, preventing him from carrying out his good intentions.  This phenomena is known as the battle between the Holy Spirit and Sinful Nature, Galatians 5:16-18.

If America is a case study for the world, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are making a come back all over the nation.  However, Dr. Jekyll is being phased out as the evil Hyde is taking over as the dominant, alpha spirit.  While experts are trying to put a finger on why bullying and violent acts are escalating, the words of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 are being fulfilled by media reports daily like the dissension within the Miami Dolphins locker room.  The only cure for this disease can be found in Romans 7:24-25.  May God’s spirit provide the antidote you need to override Hyde, thereby rescuing Jekyll from the chains of sin.

by Jay Mankus

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