RSS Feed

Tag Archives: military

Flying Under the Radar

Flying under the radar originated in the 1950’s.  Prior to modern electronic devices, this term derived from military aircraft flying beneath radio detection to avoid being monitored by the enemy.  Staying and remaining undetected as long as possible can make the difference between victory and defeat.  The urban dictionary has modified this meaning to refer to remaining quiet, not stand out and avoid drawing attention to yourself.

For indeed you already do practice it toward all the believers throughout Macedonia [by actively displaying your love and concern for them]. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, 1 Thessalonians 4:10-11.

The practice of flying under the radar has diminished over the last two decades due to the growth of social media.  Social media is essentially computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via the world wide internet.  Instead of keeping a low profile, new social media outlets urge participants to seek attention through new profiles, posts and updates.  Blogs, pod casts and you tube channels are tools used to gain fame, followers and perhaps fortunes.

So that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting], 1 Thessalonians 4:12.

While the world constantly changes, influenced by societal trends, the Bible has remained the same.  The apostle Paul clarifies the spiritual definition of flying under the radar in the passage above.  First and foremost, let your actions do your talking through a life dedicated to integrity, love and service.  Secondly, mind your own business by focusing on what you can control, leading and nurturing your family.  Finally, devote yourself to Christ like behavior, good character and a witness that wins the respect of outsiders.  May this blog and passage inspire you to pursue a quiet life living under the radar.

by Jay Mankus

Guns, Violence and the Solution

According to a recent study, there are an estimated 270 million guns in America.  The Geneva based Small Arms Survey also found that the United States is the best armed civilization in the world.  In an article written by Tom Kertscher last week, Kertscher suggests that there are more guns than people in America.  Using statistics provided by the Washington Post and Vox, there are 310 million guns with a little more than 300 million citizens.  When there is a discrepancy of 40 million, its hard to know who to believe.  Regardless of the actual numbers, are guns to blame for recent school shootings, is mental illness a contributing factor or are demons convincing the unstable to act upon thoughts in their minds?

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,” Genesis 4:6-7.

According to a Forbes article from 2012, consumers in the United States spent 13.6 billion dollars on video games.  As a parent with three teenagers, the most popular ones are what I call shoot em up, killing games.  When I taught high school, one student confessed to his obsession with video games, playing up to 16 hours a day each weekend.  While studies have shown that these virtual simulations have prepared new members of the military for combat, students who chose to attend college often become desensitized to violence.  When you play a video game, if you die, all you need to do is hit the reset button.  In real life, once an individual allows evil to influence their actions, you can’t bring people back to life.  Although I hear cries from the media, parents and victims to ban guns, no one has said a word about the role of violent video games.  Despite this silence, what’s really important is developing and implementing a solution.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him, James 1:5.

First Blood debuted in 1982 starring Sylvester Stallone who plays a drifter, a Vietnam Veteran trying to fit back into society.  Despite serving in the Special Forces, John Rambo was unwelcomed by the country he served.  After listening, reading and watching panel discussions about what to do to ensure the safety of public schools in America, one recommendation was to reach out to ex-military.  Instead of wasting away like the John Rambo’s in this country, perhaps its time to put to work former marksmen who honorably served America.  Although each state or school may opt for other alternatives, beefed up security at college and professional sporting events has stopped recent threats.  After recent reports that the security guard on duty at the Parkland, Florida school shooting remained outside, afraid to face the shooter, the Rambo’s of today wouldn’t have that problem.  May God give the leaders of America wisdom so that politics will be replaced with bi-partisan solutions.

by Jay Mankus

 

Just Say the Word

Anyone familiar with life in the military knows that talking back to a higher ranking officer isn’t an option.  The chain of command plays a vital role in the day to day operations of any unit.  When given a direct command by one of your superiors, you do it.  There isn’t a choice of deciding which ones to follow and which to ignore.  The goal of any recruit is to do your job.

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it,” Matthew 8:8-9.

One day a centurion approached Jesus, referencing his military background.  After listening to this Roman leader, Jesus simply responds, “what do you want me to do.”  Understanding the importance of Jesus’ time, all this centurion wanted was a word of assurance.  You don’t have to come physically to lay hands on my servant, rather “just say the word” and it will be done.

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith, Matthew 8:10.

Every once in a while, individuals receive recognition from someone famous.  This may be in the form of a compliment or recommendation.  In some circumstances this may not mean much, but when Jesus, the Son of God tells a crowd “I have not found anyone in Israel with faith like this,” this is a big deal.  This passage reminds anyone who reads it if you want to demonstrate faith, you must reach a point in your life where you completely trust God.  When you arrive, just say the word and healing will follow.

by Jay Mankus

Post-Traumatic Stress

Several years ago I ran into one of my old high school teammates at a restaurant.  Following a banner cross country career, my classmate went into the military, serving a tour of duty in Iraq.  During our conversation he shared about being injured, forced to live on disability the rest of his life.  Although my friend came back alive, he’s lost a great deal of this life due to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, Philippians 4:6.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to experience war to encounter this illness.  Rather, if you are involved in a car accident, witness someone die or lose a member of your family to cancer, nightmares can haunt you for years.  In addition, anyone who is severely bullied, treated poorly within a relationship or forced to endure a tough life can and likely do suffer from soul-spirit hurts, often leading to a broken heart.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit, Psalm 34:18.

In the end, everyone on earth endures intrusive memories, events from the past that you want to forget, but traces pop up from time to time, causing you to relive this pain.  Escaping these patterns are like trying to avoid Freddie Kruger in Nightmare on Elm Street.  Unfortunately, demons and spirits can stir up or trigger panic attacks as you sleep.  Therefore, its essential to arm yourself with the armor of God to shield you.  Although I can’t guarantee immediate healing, in His time the Lord will make everything beauty once again.

by Jay Mankus

Training Days

If you choose to enter the military, individuals must complete boot camp, also known as basic training.  Depending upon which branch of the armed services and career path you select, skills vary as basic combat training is followed by advanced individual training.  For those who survive phase one, soldiers must complete their service time before moving on to college, a professional career or accept another tour of duty.  Without these training days, the military would be unprepared for Murphy Law like scenarios.

And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus, Acts 9:19.

Training days aren’t limited to the military.  Prior to his missionary journeys, Paul spent several days with the disciples.  Steeped in Judaism, this apostle needed to adjust his mindset, poisoned by the false stereotypes he developed about Jesus.  While the details of these training days are absent, I’m assuming Paul participated in a Q & A with those who knew Jesus best.  Once Paul was able to connect the dots in the Old Testament leading to Jesus, he was ready for action.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Most people have endured the school of hard knocks.  This school doesn’t need a recruiter.  Rather, candidates are chosen through a series of trials placed in their lives.  Depending upon how you handle and react to these unfortunate events will determine if you pass or fail.  When the rubber hits the road, how will these training days shape you?  As you experience any trauma, don’t forget to apply God’s Word to help you overcome any painful situations that you face.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Not in My House

As the NBA kicks off its pre-season, I am reminded of Dikembe Mutombo’s patented block celebration pointing his finger back and forth as if to say, “not in my house!”  Others may recall Tommy Lees Jones’ role in Man of the House, playing Texas Ranger Roland Sharp, laying down the law to University Texas cheerleaders as too what is modest dress and what is unacceptable attire.  While those who grew up in an authoritative household, learned quickly as to what was and was not acceptable behavior.

Playing the role as a father is much more difficult than I first thought.  I am careful not to be overbearing as my father was, using his experience in the military like a drill sergeant to rule the roost.  On the other hand, if I’m too relaxed, I may give the devil a foothold, enabling my children to stretch the boundaries between right and wrong.  Thus, I am learning that being a parent takes time, evolving with the times, remaining biblical, yet not exasperating my kids, Ephesians 6:4.  The best way to demonstrate a not in my house atmosphere is through consistent Christ-like actions.

After returning from a retreat with my daughter, I was immediately challenged to apply what I learn from the weekend.  One of my sons was about to play a video game not suitable for his age.  As this game was loading, I was shocked by the initial image on the screen.  Without raising my voice, I asked a simple question, “this doesn’t look like a game you should be playing?”  Following a slight pause, my son switched this to a football game.  Although, I ‘m not perfect and still have a long way to go as a dad, there’s still time to proclaim, “not in my house!” – Joshua 24:24

by Jay Mankus

Do Whatever He Tells You

If you were raised in a military family, questioning a person of authority isn’t an option.  Colonel Jessup played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men illustrates this truth during direct examination by Tom Cruise in a military court, “if marines don’t follow orders in Cuba, people die!”  Once any individual earns the respect of their fellow civilians, peers or platoon, most will do whatever he or she tells you to do.

In the case of Mary, mother of Jesus, she knew her son was special by age 12, Luke 2:51-52.  Eighteen years later, her opinion had not changed, believing her son had divine powers, John 2:3.  Thus, when a friend was about to face public humiliation, running out of wine at a wedding ceremony, Mary relies on Jesus to come to the rescue.  However, there was a problem, Jesus had only called 6 of his 12 disciples, John 1:35-51, with 6 more remaining to complete his ministry team.  Initially, he refuses to act, explaining God’s timing to commence his 3 year ministry had not yet arrived, John 2:4.  Nonetheless, Jesus keeps the vow he made following his bar-mitz-vah to honor his father and mother, Exodus 20:12.

As soon as this conflict was settled, Mary moves into action, ordering the servants at the reception to “do whatever Jesus tells you,” John 2:5.  Led by the Holy Spirit, Matthew 4:1 and angels, Matthew 4:11, Jesus examines the situation, develops a plan and gives orders to the servants, John 2:6-8.  With their jobs and reputations on the line, these workers carefully follow Jesus’ instructions.  Likely scratching their heads, hoping for the best, these servants wait in fearful anticipation of the master’s first impression, John 2:9.  Not sure if they will be embarrassed, curiosity holds their attention until each receives good news, John 2:10.  If this first miracle of Jesus teaches us anything, do whatever He tell you and good things are bound to follow.

If you’ve experienced or seen any modern day miracles, feel free to share in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: