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Tag Archives: Michigan

A Win for the Ages

When fairy tale stories come true, sometimes Hollywood is criticized for an unbelievable ending.  Yet, what Nate Lashley accomplished last weekend can only be described as a win for the ages.  Lashley’s wire to wire victory at the Rocket Mortgage PGA Tour event in Detroit, Michigan seemed surreal.  Entering the final round with a six shot lead, commentators suggested that a collapse might come, causing Nate to fold under the pressure.  Instead, a Tiger Woods esc domination ensued as Lashley finished 25 under par, breezing to win this PGA event.  The context of what happened leading up to this victory makes Lashley’s accomplishment a real life Cinderella story and likely Disney movie in the making.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us, Romans 5:3-5.

Fifteen years ago, Nate Lashley was a rising college star playing for the Arizona Wildcats.  While competing in an NCAA qualifying tournament, his parents and girl-friend flew out to watch Nate play in the west regionals.  On the return flight, the plane piloted by Nate’s father crashed during a storm killing all three aboard.  This tragedy eventually caused Nate to leave golf, making a career as a real estate agent.  When Nate’s love for golf returned, nagging injuries prevented Lashley for reaching his full potential.  Playing on what is called a major medical exemption, Nate was running out of time to make enough money to keep his PGA tour card.  Thus, Nate attempted to Monday qualify for 4 spots in the Rocket Mortgage Tournament.  Lashley finished two shots out of a playoff, but a last second withdraw opened the door for Nate to become the last player in the field.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

As a viewer of this amazing feat, Lashley’s rise to the top is a story of courage, faith and perseverance.  In the back of any mind, doubts whisper “you’ll never amount to anything; you’re not good enough or you don’t have what it takes.”  These inner demons prevent most people from fulfilling their dreams and purpose in life.  Yet, Nate Lashley’s win for the ages inspires me to not give up hope on accomplishing my own dreams in life.  Just as Jesus’ earthly brother writes about how trials strengthen faith, may God fill you will perseverance to fear any face and climb any mountain, no matter how high, in the future.

by Jay Mankus

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Abducted by Technology

The definition of abduction refers to someone being taken away by force or through deception.  When most people think of the term abducted, its usually in the context of kidnapping.  The 1996 movie Ransom starring Mel Gibson and Rene Russo uses this story line as the back drop for this film.  Yet, the second description of abduction can not be denied as individuals can be abducted through deception.

But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die,’ Genesis 3:3.”

This past week a couple from Michigan filed a law suit against the creators of Pokemon Go.  These parents claim their quality of life has been infringed upon since this popular app has been introduced in the United States.  Furthermore, communities and neighborhoods are no longer safe with followers of this game walking the streets at all hours of the day and night.  Essentially, what these concerned citizens are suggesting is that teenagers have become abducted by technology.

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them, Proverbs 11:3.

At some point in time, this generation has chosen apps, games and social media over relationships.  Fueled by the great deceiver, Satan is relying on the old argument which caused Eve to ignore God’s only law, “do not eat from the tree of knowledge.”  Unfortunately, many don’t know the Word of God like they should.  Thus, when challenged by temptations in life, we all fall hard, wondering what happened to lead us to this place.  If this abduction of technology has already occurred, bear down, purge yourself from this environment of sin and cry out to the Lord for divine intervention.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

I Thought They Had It All Together

Whether its in church, your own community or traveling on vacation, you’re bound to come into contact with an exceptional individual.  On the surface, this person possesses character, personality and wisdom.  Adorned by everyone, they seem too good to be true.

While on a week long mission trip in Jackson, Tennessee, I was introduced to one of the largest youth groups in the country.  Based out of Rochester, Michigan, this church took several buses across the country each summer to serve needy communities.  The president of this youth group appeared like he had it all together.  As I began to develop friendships in the area, only one person saw through his phony witness.  One year after losing touch, I  heard through the grapevine that this saint fell from grace, arrested for running an under age gambling ring.

Call it jaded or desensitized, but I am usually not surprised by people who live double lives.  Whenever you put others up on a pedestal, disappointment is a likely outcome.  Therefore, if you think someone has it all together,don’t worship one of God’s creations.  Rather, say a prayer for these individuals, hope for the best and trust in the Lord for a bright future.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

A Fast Food Faith

When households began to outlive their annual income, moms decided to pursue a new career.  With both parents working, the thought of cooking dinner didn’t sit too well.  Thus, the fast food revolution exploded during the 1980’s as tv dinners were replaced by restaurants and meals to go.  Subsequently, faith has followed a similar path.

There are 2 different types of fast food faiths.  One view is faith on the run.  Whether its over sleeping, struggling to find time for God or merely forgetting the Lord, individuals slow down for a quick spiritual meal.  This often involves a little devotional like Our Daily Bread, a short prayer and perhaps even a time of reflection before time ushers you off to your next appointment of the day.  Although, this is a good starting place, a life style like this will result in a lukewarm faith, Revelation 3:15-16.

The second type of fast food faiths involves accepting the reality of our culture and maximizing what restaurants have to offer.  Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek Church in Chicago, takes some time each summer to vacation in Michigan.  One of his favorite spiritual refuges is a Burger King.  Using free refills to his advantage, Bill finds a quiet booth in the back, opens up his Bible as God revitalizes him with a supernatural fast food faith.

Today, hearts, minds and souls are in desperate need of real food.  Yet, no one is forcing you to leave the confines of your own home.  With distractions only a computer, phone call or television away, perhaps you need to find a place like Mark 1:35.  You may choose a fast faith chow down and go on your merry way?  Or, for the hungry, you may prefer a spiritual buffet of biblical truth?  May the Holy Spirit fill you with a Matthew 5:6 mentality so that your fast food faith fulfills your appetite.

by Jay Mankus

 

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