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Tag Archives: music videos

You’re Fired

In view of the increasing violence across the country and throughout the world, this old punch line by Donald Trump at the end of each Apprentice episode is no longer something to laugh at.  While hard working men and women have likely experienced the pain of losing a job, life is too fragile to be ended by a bullet,  Yet, as music videos, television dramas and violent video games desensitize life through countless depictions of murder, the value of human life is eroding.

But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up,” Daniel 3:12.

One of the byproducts of today’s warped mentality on life involves a lack of conviction and principles to life by.  While most civilizations experience cycles where morals rise and fall, few people demonstrate the commitment to put their faith on the line.  During the Jewish captivity by the Babylonians in the Old Testament, three men refused to worship a foreign god.  Drawing a line in  the sand, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing to die rather than break one of the ten commandments.  The penalty for such an offense was fire.

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up,” Daniel 3:17-18.

These three men weren’t fired by the king.  They were all on fire for God, willing to put their faith on the line, risking death over compromise.  Not many people would do the same today.  Recently, armed men with machine guns stormed a church in a country where Christianity is illegal.  Raising his voice, the leader demanded all the true believers to walk up to the altar.  Only a few rose to their feet,  “Is that it, anyone else?”  No one else stood.  “Okay everyone else can leave,” as the timid ran out of this place of worship.  Moments later instead of gun shots, the leader proclaimed, “now that all the true believers are here, let’s worship the Lord!”  May this experience inspire others to become fired up for Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

The King of Bling

The term bling is synonymous with the hip hop culture, who coined this slang phrase by the expensive jewelry wore by stars  in music videos.  Rappers loaded with bling often flash gold bracelets, necklaces and rings as a sign of their celebrity status.  Although entertainers  come and go, most would be surprised by the true King of Bling.

According to Exodus 39:8-21, it appears that God is the architect of bling.  Dressing to impress, the Lord designed an immaculate wardrobe for his priests, adorned with gold and precious gems, verses 10-14.  Priests were the first individuals to garnish braided chains of pure gold, verse 15, like the ropes of gold displayed on television today.  Unfortunately, this aspect of God’s character is neglected, forgotten by most except for those who take the time to read the Old Testament.

While the bling on earth is impressive, heaven holds a storehouse of riches.  Jesus conveys a message of hope to his disciples in John 14:2, suggesting their are many rooms in heaven waiting for his followers.  Although names are not specified, the apostle Paul promised crowns that will last forever, 1 Corinthians 9:25.  Therefore, if you can’t afford bling in this present life, don’t be dismayed.  Wait on the King of Bling, Jesus, to adorn you with eternal jewelry.

by Jay Mankus

House of Horrors

As I went to bed last night, everyone was talking about the horrific discovery within a house in Cleveland, Ohio.  With Breaking News alerts regularly appearing on the bottom of my television screen, the title House of Horrors became the obsession of cable news networks.  Like the Weather Channel drooling over yet another named winter storm, Fox News made it seem that nothing else in the world mattered.  Surrounding the house like vultures, scanning the area for another neighbor or friend of Ariel, Onil and Pedro Castro to interview live, this event became the latest media feeding frenzy.

While the full story is yet to be told, any case of child abduction, rape, sexual abuse and torture is one too many.  These 3 woman have been stripped of their innocence, violated beyond what anyone should ever endure and had their mind filled with nightmare images of this decade long ordeal.  Though the media is still looking for answers into the moral depravity of these 3 brothers, Hollywood has left a trail of bread crumbs to follow.

Copy cat crimes are nothing new, a pattern law enforcement have tackled for over a century.  At first glance, this appears to be similar to the case in Germany, exposed 2 years ago.  However, when you consider Americans have become like Romans 1:21-27, exercising freewill to chase after sexual fantasy’s, the actions of the Castro brothers don’t appear as irrational as first thought.  When you add increased sexual content within movies, immoral television shows and pornographic videos to this equation, 3 sexual predators are born.  In addition, George Michael pleaded for your sex in his lyrics of a song, Madonna crawled along a set like a pussy cat hoping to arouse you and modern day hip hop / rap stars continue to degrade women in their music videos.

For now, what’s done is done.  Nothing can take back the years stolen from these 3 women.  Yet, there are proactive steps one can take to help heal these wounded souls in Cleveland.  First, pray for Amanda, Michelle and Gina by name, asking God to cleanse their minds from the living hell they endured.  Second, you can fast for a day, going without food to either donate the funds you would have spent to these girls or seek the Holy Spirit for further areas of prayer each so desperately need.  Finally, keep your eyes open locally, so that something similar never happens again.  Follow the words of Colossians 4:2-6, staying alert so that future plots like this House of Horrors will be foiled before they ever begin.  Just do it!

by Jay Mankus

The Days That Music Died

In his prime, Buddy Holly produced some of the most distinctive and influential rock music of the 1950’s.  Inspired by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly went from playing at a local roller skating rink in Lubbock, Texas to the top of the billboard charts.  Songs like Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day led to his stardom until a 1959 plane crash ended his life before reaching his 23rd birthday.  American folk star Don McLean was so touched by this tragedy he wrote the song American Pie in 1971 recounting the day music died in this disaster.

Music was reborn 10 years later on August 1st, 1981 as Music Television first aired in New York City.  As cable television went national in the early 1980’s, the art of music was brought back to life through on stage interviews, behind the scenes programs on upcoming album releases and the creation of music videos.  During my junior high days, I went to a friends every day after school until 5pm so I could be informed on my favorite groups and their new songs.  This was musics second hey day, spawning an entire generation, yet this too would come to pass.

While artists come and go, dying of natural and unnatural causes, the second death of music is more subtle.  Some where in the past 30 years, music has been corrupted by sex appeal.  In an attempt to hold an audiences’ attention, music videos continue to push the envelope, developing more into a 3-4 minute adult film than a music video.  Although must consumers download songs from places like itunes, album covers still exist.  Instead of a pissing contest, female musicians appear to be competing in a beauty pageant, seeing who can reveal more of their body without being accused of pornography.

Yes, music in America is on life support, waiting for the next Buddy Holly to rescue it.  While Super Bowl half time shows will continue, we need a true leader to arise, saying enough is enough with these wardrobe malfunctions.  Doesn’t any artist have some integrity or guts to save lyrics from sexual immorality?  God is waiting, like in the days of Ezekiel, for someone to stand in the gap of morality, Ezekiel 22:30.  In the words of M.C. Hammer, Pray!

by Jay Mankus

song writer of A Simple Confession, 1994

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