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A Brain Fart Caught on Camera

With millions of America engrossed in the finish of Super Bowl XLIX, one of the most incredible catches of all time will be forever vacated by a brain fart caught on camera.  With the New England Patriots clinging to a 28-24, Seahawk receiver Jermaine Kearse went up for a 45 yard pass on 3rd and 10 which was deflected and bounced off his knee before reeling in Russell Wilson’s pass while on his back.  After Marshawn Lynch advanced the football to the 1 yard line, Seattle was less than 3 feet from repeating as NFL champions.  As television commentators were considering whether or not New England should allow Seattle to score, Seattle’s play caller had a brain fart, failing to give the ball to their best option.  Instead a 2nd down pass was intercepted, leaving most football fans in shock, with Patriots fans thanking God for this bizarre ending.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

Beyond the field of competition, brain farts are a daily reality, especially for those who must make tough decisions.  When faced with pressure or under duress, the human mind may not function properly.  Stress tends to alter one’s ability to make quick judgments.  Perhaps an overwhelming disappointment early on in life may cause some to avoid seeking positions of leadership, afraid to fail.  Known as gun shy, this may explain what happened in the final minute of this year’s Super  Bowl.  Somewhere during the 40 seconds between plays, doubt, hesitation or uncertainty cost a franchise a title.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:7.

Unfortunately, the media will likely ridicule this decision for years to come.  Some may even call it the worst decisions in Super Bowl history.  However, in the grand scheme of life, this is just a game that men get paid to play.  Thus, the costliest brain farts occur in the real world, where one bad choice has consequences.  Once the emotion of victories and losses fade, make sure that you don’t fall into a pattern of neglect.  Just ask Aaron Hernandez, a former New England Patriot, who is now on trial for double murder.  Regardless of your current mood, may the Lord give you a peace that surpasses all understanding to press on after any brain fart moment that you have to endure.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Mindset of a Killer

In light of yesterday’s indictment of Aaron Hernandez for a 2012 double murder in South Boston, family, friends and sports fans are left with troubling questions.  Yes, I know in America, you’re considered innocent until proven guilty, but how can a former rising star of the New England Patriots fall so far and fast?  If guilt is by association, what led Aaron to entertain such bad company?  What triggers someone to snap, inspiring the act to take another person’s life?  The answer lies in the mindset of a killer.

According to Psalm 64, there is an enemy who uses thoughts of conspiracy and evil to steer individuals off course.  The tongue serves like an invisible sword full of poison, aimed at bystanders that rub you the wrong way.  Anger, rage and hatred engage violence, tempting frustrated souls to leave prudence and temperance in their rear view mirrors.  Subsequently, a gang or mob mentality develops, persuading rushed vengeful acts.  At this point, the sinful nature grabs control of minds, Galatians 5:16-21, leading the lost down the highway to hell, Matthew 7:13-14.

In 1972, the United Negro College Fund created the slogan, “the mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  Whether you’re in high school contemplating college, a laid off employee forced to start a new career or a troubled soul bombarded by temptation, the mind plays a vital role in life’s final outcome.  If unwholesome thoughts begin to creep into your brain, take the apostle Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  The sooner you take your thoughts captive, the less likely you’ll be heading toward a mindset of a killer.

by Jay Mankus

 

Blocking Yourself

On November 26th, 2013 something unusual was caught on film during an NCAA college football game between the University of Florida and Georgia Southern.  If it wasn’t bad enough losing to a I-AA football team, a replay revealed 2 Gator offensive lineman were actually blocking each other as if their eyes were closed on one play.  When the national media got a hold of this clip, these 2 players were further embarrassed, weekly making ESPN’s Not Top 10 low lights.  Blocking yourself or in this case you own teammate ranks up their with Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble, returned by the New England Patriots for a touchdown during the 2012 NFL regular season, a legendary not top 10 moment in sports.

In basketball, players are allowed to set picks, also known as screens to help others get open.  As long as an individual has set their feet without moving, the play is legal.  However, when someone get’s careless or sloppy with their body position, the play is deemed illegal as a foul is called resulting in a turnover or foul shots.  Unfortunately, life is filled with examples of blocking yourself.  The loud mouth often talks too much, ruining their reputation with uncalled for remarks.  The gossiper can’t resist the temptation of distorting the truth, caught up in a web of lies that will one day explode in their face.  Meanwhile, negative people will lose favor among co-workers, family and neighbors limiting their full potential on earth.

From a spiritual perspective, Christians and non-Christians alike regularly block God from pouring out his blessings.  According to Jesus’ earthly brother, complaining, grumbling and impatience serve as a barrier between God and mankind, James 5:8-9.  Furthermore, any unwholesome comment that comes out of your mouth grieves the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:29.  Instead of blaming God for your misfortune, get out of the way or you will continue blocking yourself from obtaining God’s promises in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:10.  Although its hard to admit, often I’m my worst enemy, getting in the Holy Spirit’s way with self conceit, Galatians 5:25-26.  May this blog inspire you to reflect, pondering if anything is causing you to block yourself from God?  Whenever something comes to mind, please leave a comment below to help others in life’s journey.

by Jay Mankus

       

Above the Law

If you look hard enough, stories of entitlement, greed and pride fill the weekly news cycle.  Forgetting history, these individuals act as if they are above the law.  Whether its a politician, professional athlete or another scandal within the Internal Revenue Service, the law will always catch up with those trying to outrun it.

This morning, a New England Patriot’s Tight End was charged with first degree murder of his former friend, Odin Lloyd.  Fame, money and a rebellious spirit has ruined the once promising career of Aaron Hernandez, released by the Patriot’s 2 hours after today’s arrest.  The memories of fallen stars like O.J. Simpson and Rae Carruth did not ring a bell or serve as a wake up call.  Until last week, Hernandez acted and behaved as if he was still above the law.

Fortunately, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, despite what the local press and media claim.  Regardless of the outcome, maybe these consequences aired throughout cable news networks today will serve as humble pie to those on the verging on following a similar path.  The Bible was meant to be a guide, Psalm 119:105, a blue print, John 10:10, leading people toward a greater life.  However, as in the days of Moses, everyone has a choice, Deuteronomy 30:15.  Each one you make will either lead you closer to life or beyond the law.  Get back on track now, Matthew 7:13-14, while there is still time!

by Jay Mankus

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