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I Don’t Believe What You Believe

After writing for a couple of hours, I began channel surfing to pass some time. Thirty seconds later, I stumbled upon the early stages of Footloose. As a former teacher, the idea of a senior boy standing up for his beliefs appeals to me. One of my favorite scenes from this film occurs later on when a rebellious preacher’s daughter has a heart to heart talk with her father. Lori Singer plays Ariel who opens up about a belief system which differs her dad, Reverend Shaw played by John Lithgow.

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me, John 14:1.

When Singer shares that “I don’t believe what you believe,” I am reminded of a former student. Jennifer was an atheist forced to attend a Christian school by her parents. What made this situation worse, her parents turned out to be hypocrites, following the motto ” do as I say, not as I do.” Initially, there was tension between Jennifer and I, often leading to heated debates. However, as time passed, I accepted Jennifer for where she was spiritually, sharing the love of Jesus whenever I could.

Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me, John 20:29.

In this day and age, politics and religion are two of the most divisive topics in America. If you don’t hold or share a similar view of the media in these areas, expect criticism. Anyone who dares to think differently, get’s out of line or speaks out will be labeled as controversial, dangerous and unsafe. It’s too bad that most adults can’t come to their senses by being willing to accept what others believe. Perhaps, the words of Jesus above may permeate hearts so that love will lead to accepting what others believe until faith is conceived.

by Jay Mankus

Time Matters

There are moments in life that are overshadowed by accidents, hardship or other unforeseen events. Just when you find yourself on the verge of a breakthrough, something beyond your control breaks your momentum. Unfortunately, most people never regain this mojo, quickly disappearing. As time goes by, priorities often change due to new responsibilities. Thus, as the days of your youth fly by, now in my rear view mirror, time matters.

Remember [earnestly] also your Creator [that you are not your own, but His property now] in the days of your youth, before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], I have no enjoyment in them—Before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened [sight is impaired], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; Ecclesiastes 12:1-2.

The most quoted chapter, Ecclesiastes 3, points to the concept that there is a season and time for every matter and purpose. In the 1984 film Footloose, Kevin Bacon plays a high school senior, Ren who fights city hall to restore dancing so that a class prom can be held. Ren’s girlfriend Ariel played by Lori Singer, gives him a series of Bible verses as the pastor’s daughter. The force that drives Bacon’s character is the belief that “this is our time.”

In the day when the keepers of the house [the hands and the arms] tremble, and the strong men [the feet and the knees] bow themselves, and the grinders [the molar teeth] cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows [the eyes] are darkened; When the doors [the lips] are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises up at the voice of a bird and the crowing of a cock, and all the daughters of music [the voice and the ear] are brought low; Ecclesiastes 12:3-4.

In the passage above, King Solomon uses a series of symbols to illustrate how time flies by on earth. The days of your youth end in a flash, like a twinkling of your eyes. Perhaps this explains the origin of carpe diem, found in book 1 of the Roman poet Horace’s work Odes. While this Latin phrase literally means “pluck the day,” Horace’s goal was to seize the moment before time slips away. Since time matters, make sure you seize each day the Lord gives you on earth, making the most of the opportunity to live.

by Jay Mankus

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