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Tag Archives: Lynchburg

A Toast to Friends in Life

The concept of a Wedding Toast can be traced back to ancient societies. Beside wishing the best for a new couple, a toast was symbolic for passing the torch like a prayer to receive God’s blessings in the future. Last weekend, my oldest son participated in a White Coat Ceremony as he pursues his doctorate in Physical Therapy. To celebrate this occasion, I made a toast at dinner to the future Dr. Mankus.

The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.

On the way home from Lynchburg, Virginia, I just happened to be listening to an old Geoff Moore and the Distance album which was in my car CD player. As the song Best Friends God’s Love and Great Times started playing, I was inspired to give another toast. This time to all of my friends of the past and present who have helped shape the person that I have become.

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do, John 15:13-14.

The final speaker at James’ ceremony spoke about the importance of family. While you may not be brothers or sisters by birth, God has brought people into my life over the years who served like a close family. From a few key friends growing up in New Jersey, my Tonbridge Drive crew in Delaware, the Cross Country Team, FCA Huddle and youth group, here’s a toast of thanks for touching my life in many ways. As for the present, I have my wife Leanne, Spencer Saints and the Smiths to toast; this Bud’s for you!

by Jay Mankus

An Unlikely War Hero

The 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge was based upon a World War II American Army Medic named Desmond Doss. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Desmond was a hillbilly from Lynchburg, Virginia. While donating blood at a nearby hospital, Desmond met a cute nurse who became the love of his life. Despite his desire to get married, as lines at local recruiting centers continued to form, Desmond followed his calling to enlist.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (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.

While Desmond thought he was signing up to become an Army medic, he was placed in an infantry with the expectation of becoming a soldier. As a devout Seventh Day Adventist, who was raised to keep the Sabbath and keep his vow to never kill, Desmond found himself in the middle of a moral dilemma. When Desmond verbalized his convictions to his commanding officer, this didn’t go over to well with the rest of his squadron.

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends, John 15:13.

Until the Battle of Okinawa, Desmond Doss was considered the weak link. However, as his fellow soldiers fell to the ground, wounded one after the other, Desmond’s instincts kicked in. Before this battle was over, Desmond became a real life Forrest Gump, retrieving and saving the lives of 75 injured soldiers. Desmond’s act of bravery was rewarded by becoming the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. May Desmond’s story inspire you to hold fast to your convictions so that you’ll be prepared to follow God’s calling.

by Jay Mankus

One Down,Two to Go

My oldest son James will be leaving on Saturday to begin his junior year of college.  Yet, as I began to think about his departure, this will likely be his last summer in our home.  Required to do an internship before his senior year, James will likely spend his final summer in Lynchburg, Virginia.  When you consider a seriously relationship with his girl friend Emma, marriage is not out of the realm of possibility.  Thus, as a parent, I guess its one down and two to go.

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.

If anyone could provide insight on the do’s and don’ts on parenting, its Solomon.  A husband of 700 wives and an additional 300 concubines, this former king of Israel was a father to over one thousand children.  Reflecting upon his role as a dad, Solomon uses Proverbs as a guide to help raise godly children.  This Old Testament book urges children to listen to their parents.  The key principle to pass on to daughters and sons is the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, Ephesians 6:4.

The apostle Paul adds further advice to fathers hoping to raise godly children in the New Testament.  During his visit with members of the church at Ephesus, Paul noticed that some dads were being too tough on their kids.  This observation inspired Paul to encourage parents to avoid exasperating youth.  Instead, Paul reminds future parents to display (TLC) tender, love and care while exercising discipline.  Whether you are a former, current or want to be a parent, apply the principles of the Bible so that children will not depart from God’s will for their life.

by Jay Mankus

A Class to Remember

Over the weekend I made my first venture down to Lynchburg, Virginia to see my niece graduate from Liberty University.   As I listened to Jeb Bush, the keynote speaker address the commencement crowd, I pondered about the hundreds of students I taught in high school over a decade.  After a couple of minutes I was drawn to a class to remember.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”- Acts 17:5

Every so often a teacher encounters a classroom full of angels.  While each may be rough around the edges, inside hearts of gold set the tone for a special connection.  Back in 2005-2006, I had the pleasure to create my first Bible elective: Biblical Leadership.  Little did I know back then that those 13 individuals would make such an impact for God’s kingdom.

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. – Romans 4:20-21

One of these students, Joseph Feeley went home to be with the Lord after a courageous battle with cancer.  Prior to this diagnosis, I was introduced to this warrior for Christ.  Joseph inspired his classmates to transform the spiritual climate at Red Lion Christian Academy.  Daily discussions turned into slices of heaven on earth as each student spurred one another on to leave a legacy of faith.  Although only 12 remain living today, I will always treasure the year I spent with this class to remember.

by Jay Mankus

 

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