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Tag Archives: NCAA

Bathroom Reading Material

Potty training introduces children to reading while in the bathroom.  Yet, well before modern advancements, adults have used bathrooms as a second library.  Prior to cell phones and the internet, residential homes usually contained one bathroom with a newspaper rack, bucket or shelf filled with a collection of material to pass your time.  Recently, a new bathroom dispute in North Carolina simply known as House Bill 2 has ignited the liberal media.

Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other,” 1 Kings 3:24-25.

The actual bill states that it is illegal for anyone in the state to use a public restroom that does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.  Makes sense right?  Wrong!  In this inclusive society, North Carolina is leaving out the transgender crowd.  Here is where feelings, interpretation and law get confused.  My understanding of this law is that North Carolina’s intent is to create safe bathrooms free from sexual predators to protect children.  While this does exclude the transgender from public facilities, this bill serves as a safe guard against anyone attempting to access a bathroom under the guise of transgender to prey on innocent children.

The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”  Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother,” 1 Kings 3:26-27.

If you watch college basketball or football, then you’ve heard that the NCAA is pulling all of their national sporting events out of North Carolina in protest of House Bill 2.  From where I sit, it seems pretty hypocritically of an organization who has become a cash cow, a billion dollar entity to be the moral authority when they don’t have their own act together.  Nearly every day on ESPN, breaking news streams at the bottom of the screen detailing another star player or recruit who is arrested, charged or is under investigation for a crime.  Drug abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault are weekly occurring on college campuses throughout the country.  Perhaps, the NCAA should stop lecturing North Carolina about how to legislate and should start using all the money they make on television contracts to help student athletes become better citizens, individuals and stewards of their own gifts.

by Jay Mankus

ps – Visit North Carolina when you get a chance; its a great state with wonderful beaches and mountains!

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Stop It or Drop It

Some where in the distance past, coaches, educators and school officials looked the other way so that elite athletes could bring fame and fortune to their institutions.  Exhibit A is Dexter Manley, former defensive end for the Washington Redskins,  who was never able to read above a 4th grade level, yet teachers covered up this glaring weakness.  On the field, he was a terror in college and in the NFL, yet every time Dexter opened a book, the fear of reading gripped him.

Meanwhile, if you wanted to play basketball at the University of North Carolina, apparently going to class was optional according to Rashad McCants, a member of the 2004-05 national title team.  In their ivory tower in Indianapolis, Indiana, their national headquarters, the NCAA talks a good game, yet corruption, double standards and power has gone to their heads.  Like participants in the Tour de France, its hard to know who is cheating and who is playing by the rules.  If the media would forgo favoritism and begin to address this series issue, using athletes to make colleges millions of dollars annually, perhaps professional sports would not have as many problems as they do today.

Unfortunately, no one can escape the words of Galatians 6:7-8, “you reap what you sow!”  If all students were treated equally, several of today’s star athletes would have never made it past high school.  Nonetheless, like a good soap opera, the media plays along for a while until public pressure forces them to pull the plug, exposing players, teams and leagues for their cover up.  However, its time for the media to do their job early on, to address these scandals quickly .  If not, staying quiet due to powerful and wealthy boosters, cable news might as well drop their complaints since they too are part of the problem.  Stop it or drop it!

by Jay Mankus

 

Ride Forth in Victory

Like the classic Queen song, We are the Champions, the thrill of victory is much sweeter than dealing with loss.  During my first season of coaching high school golf, I started 4-0 and finished 0-6.  Eight years later I saw an 8-1 team on the verge of making states, collapse down the stretch, going 1-5-1 missing states by a few percentage points.  While achieving victory on earth varies from person to person, you can ride forth in victory with confidence spiritually, 1 John 5:13.

According to the sons of Korah, 3 things as essential to secure victory, Psalm 45:4.

1. Truth

When Jesus spoke to a group of Jews during his last year on earth, he claimed that holding to his teaching leads to spiritual insight, John 8:31.  Jesus boldly proclaimed, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32.

2. Humility

The wisest man beside Jesus to walk the face of the earth is Solomon based upon rulings like 1 Kings 3:16-28.  After being blessed with fame, riches and power, Solomon learned the dangers of pride, Proverbs 11:2.  His advice to cope with this inclination is to fear the Lord, humbling yourself until honor is bestowed, Proverbs 15:33.

3. Righteousness

One of the most famous church hymns was inspired by Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Seek Ye First.  In the segment of his message on proper and improper motives, Jesus introduces the secret to eliminating worry.  When you come to the point in your life where you seek first God’s kingdom and righteous, the Lord promises to provide for all of your emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

May this teaching give you a blue print to ride forth in victory.  Let us know how your journey toward victory is going.

by Jay Mankus

The Power of Grace

Grace is a dying word in most cultures as bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness harbors in the hearts of hurt people.  Instead of experiencing the unmerited favor of God, guilt is preventing individuals from accepting this free gift, Romans 5:8.  Meanwhile, the condition of forgiveness introduced by Jesus in Matthew 6:15 isn’t being met by followers, revoking the power of grace upon their lives.

While serving as a youth pastor in Indiana, one student was placed into my life to teach me about grace.  Despite my attempts to reach out to this high school junior, I was her enemy, the adult who took the job of the person who led her to faith, Romans 10:9-10.  On one occasion, her mother approached me, giving me a hug with tears in her eyes, confessing, “I’m sorry my daughter hates you!”  This trial tested me, putting my faith into a spiritual  fire, 1 Peter 1:6-7.  Without this encounter, I might not understand the power of Grace today.

On Sunday, I attended a friend’s church, needing to be showered in God’s grace.  In the middle of singing for 30 minutes, the lyrics struck a cord with my soul.  Usually stoic and reserved, especially the older  I get, the Holy Spirit moved me to tears.  Lifting my hands up toward heaven, I sensed my disappointment, stress and worries being washed away, swept clean by the power of grace.

If you’ve been touched by God, please share your story in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

The Gift of Imperfection

Sports uses cards, errors, flags, fouls and misconducts to magnify mistakes made by participants.  The world isn’t as kind calling individuals frauds, hypocrites and losers when actions, behavior or words don’t live up to their expectations.  While the 2006 film The Ultimate Gift illuminated several gifts that people take for granted daily, one is missing from their list.  Perhaps the greatest of all is the gift of imperfection.

Although Jesus’ goal is to strive for perfection, Matthew 5:48, to obtain this is impossible.  Romans 3:9-12 breaks the bad news to mankind as everyone who has attempted this feat has failed at some point in their quest.   Since sin was conceived in the Garden of Eden, a generation of misfits have come up short, unable to please God, Romans 3:23.  Like a mad scientist going back to the drawing board, the sinful nature has foiled any hope of earning salvation on your own, Romans 6:23, requiring plan Z.

At the end of the road, hanging by a cross, Jesus has come to our rescue, Colossians 2:13-15.  Despite my intentions on wanting to control my own destiny, Jesus holds the keys to the kingdom, Matthew 16:19.  Therefore, I need to grasp the secret the apostle Paul discovered during an illness, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  The gift of imperfection forces souls to place their entire trust in the hands of an unseen God.  The weaker one is, 1 Timothy 1:16, the stronger the Holy Spirit can become.  May you experience this special gift, securing your reservations for eternity, 1 John 5:13, by letting go through faith.

Feel free to comment or share a time when you were weak, but Christ was strong!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Shopping Test: Who is Naughty and Nice ?

If you go to the grocery store or shopping mall, you will likely be tested to see just how patient you are.  Finding a parking spot can be an adventure as oblivious individuals will walk in front of you car, others rush to get the last close spot and the lazy leave shopping carts in parking spaces to make your blood boil.  When you finally locate a cart, trash is often left in the bottom, filled with expired coupons.

As you make your way into the entrance, speeds vary, like a Nascar race going 4 wide into a corner.  However, the fast lane isn’t always the left, requiring zig zag maneuvers to navigate your way to finish your check list.  Non planners talk on the phone the whole time, stopping right in front of you without warning.  Meanwhile, the carefree window shoppers, seem to block your intended route every other aisle.  Courtesy separates the naughty from the nice, in a hurry to get to no where, as the self absorbed carry on, going as fast as possible.

Today, I failed the shopping test, bickering, complaining and talking to myself the whole time.  My idea of shopping is like a quick splash and go on pit lane, trying to stay out in front of the crowds.  Instead of enjoying the journey, impatience has made by grumpy, frustrated by a lack of urgency demonstrate by my fellow shoppers.  On my way out to the car, the Holy Spirit convicted me of Philippians 2:14-15.  Although I didn’t directly voice my beefs, I was naughty, not shinning the light of Christ as God calls, Matthew 5:13-16.  See where your patience falls on the Shopping Test Scale.

Level                                                                                     Attributes                                                                                      Meter

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

1                                                                                              Calm & Relaxed                                                                           Pleasant

2                                                                                              Sarcastic & Slightly Irritated                                                 Okay

3                                                                                              Rolling your Eyes / Frustrated                                             Selfish

4                                                                                              Gossiping / Grumbling                                                             Angry

5                                                                                              Ignorant / Rude                                                                          Naughty

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Where do you fall on the scale? Any thoughts on how to become more patient?

 

by Jay Mankus

God Doesn’t Play that Game

As a high school teacher of 10 years, I was shocked how negatively students viewed a snitch.  Whether you are an informer, tattle tale or tell the truth when asked a question, most class mates will treat you like a Benedict Arnold.  In the March 4th airing of Amish Mafia, the episode entitled De Rott portrayed a similar message, referring to a rat or snitch.  This term is associated with anyone who tells authorities outside of the Amish community about activities by their members.  John was shown privately meeting with a police officer from Lancaster County to save himself from going to jail, sharing information about potential illegal activities.  Hollywood has a history of covering this topic.

Brenden Fraser, Chris O’Donnell, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck starred in the 1992 film School Ties, a drama illustrating the strong ties one makes in a boarding school setting.  Brenden Fraser plays David Greene, a ringer quarterback who is recruited to bring a championship his season year.  As long as no one knew he was a Jew in an all boys Catholic school, he was one of the guys.  When the secret slipped out, his life changed, shunned by those who celebrated with him on the football field.  Considered a traitor, classmates accuse David of cheating on a mid-term exam, despite his own roommate seeing the real cheater.  When school ties form against David, only a miracle will save him from being expelled.

James 4:17 addresses a broad aspect of stitching and telling the truth.  The essential message brought forth in this passage urges followers of Jesus to do the right thing.  Whether its speaking out against an injustice or reaching out to someone in need, if you sit back without acting, you’re just as guilty as someone who blatantly sins.  Despite what our culture may think about snitching or telling the truth, God doesn’t play that game!  The Lord is waiting for people to stand in the gap on His behalf, Ezekiel 22:30.  In the end, strive to please God by putting your faith into action, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.

Is there ever a time when you should not snitch or tell the truth?  Please share your comment below.

by Jay Mankus

 

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