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Tag Archives: North Carolina

The Burning of History

Nearly a year ago, a little known school in North Carolina made national news.  Richmond Early College High School near Rockingham decided to recall all 2017 yearbooks.  At first glance, I thought there may be a major defect, glitch or typo.  As I read deeper into this article, the culprit was a controversial slogan deemed hurtful, insensitive and racist.  All yearbooks were confiscated due to a quote used by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, “Build that wall.”

For I do not want you to be unaware, believers, that our fathers were all under the cloud [in which God’s presence went before them] and they all passed [miraculously and safely] through the [Red] Sea; And all [of them] were baptized into Moses [into his safekeeping as their leader] in the cloud and in the sea; and all [of them] ate the same spiritual food; and all [of them] drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not well-pleased with most of them, for they were scattered along the ground in the wilderness [because their lack of self-control led to disobedience which led to death], 1 Corinthians 10:1-5.

During a letter to an ancient Greek city, the apostle listed a series of mistakes made by the Israel.  Apparently, the Holy Spirit compelled Paul to bring up these misguided steps.  If you don’t learn from history, you become vulnerable to repeating these same errors.  However, if books are burned, hidden or taken off the shelves due to politically incorrect content, how will future generations learn from past and present sins.  In addition, if statues of Civil War heroes are destroyed or taken down, how can young people decipher the context of their lives in history.

Now these things [the warnings and admonitions] took place as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did. Do not be worshipers of handmade gods, as some of them were; just as it is written [in Scripture], “The people sat down to eat and drink [after sacrificing to the golden calf at Horeb], and stood up to play [indulging in immoral activities].” We must not indulge in [nor tolerate] sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell [dead] in a single day! We must not tempt the Lord [that is, test His patience, question His purpose or exploit His goodness], as some of them did—and they were killed by serpents. 10 And do not murmur [in unwarranted discontent], as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come, 1 Corinthians 10:6-11.

Every year the Bible is one of the top selling books in America.  According to the author of Hebrews 4:12, this collection of 66 books has a special attraction.  These pages are living and active, having supernatural power to speak to hearts and minds each time you read.  Whenever individuals open the pages of the Bible, each chapter can admonish, equip and guide souls toward that which is good, right and true.  During the rise of Communism in Europe, Bibles were banned and confiscated along with crosses.  If Christians don’t stand up to defend, fight for and pray for truth, the burning of history will overtake America to erase the Judeo Christian values that this country was founded upon.  May this blog inspire hearts and minds to embrace history so that the future will be brighter than the past.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Staying Connected to the Right Things

When you add together all the live audiences, radio and television, Billy Graham proclaimed the good news about Jesus Christ, Romans 6:23, to 2.2 billion people during his 99 years on earth.  However, someone had to introduce Billy to Jesus.  Without this individual’s efforts, the spread of Christianity may not be what it is today.  Mordecai Ham was an evangelist who visited Charlotte, North Carolina while Billy was in high school.  Moved by Mordecai’s message one evening, Billy invited Jesus into his heart, Romans 10:9-10, as a teenager.  When people stay connected to the right things, spiritual fruits blossom.

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment, He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly, Acts 10:1-2.

During the first century, the apostle Paul traveled throughout the Middle East on four different missionary journeys.  I guess you can say Paul from Tarsus was the Billy Graham of his day.  Yet, if it wasn’t for a man named Cornelius, Paul may have never become a Christian.  This military leader developed a stout reputation in his community.  This devout believer was grounded, fearing God, a faithful giver and dedicated to prayer.  These spiritual disciplines led to a vision from God that set the stage for Paul’s conversion to Christ.  Staying connected to the right things opened the door for an angelic encounter, as Cornelius immediately responded by faith.

One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.  The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God, Acts 10:3-4.

Before writing the Book of Acts, Luke traveled with Paul on several of his mission trips.  In this case, it appears Luke interviewed Cornelius, recounting his recollection in the passage above.  Based upon this event, God has the ability to commemorate prayers and offerings from your past.  Thus, if you stay connected to the right things, blessings are bound to come.  Sure, nearly 2000 years later the apostle Paul receives most of the credit for fulfilling the great commission, Acts 1:7-8.  Nonetheless, God is searching for the next Cornelius and Mordecai Ham who are willing to stay connected to the right things.  While you may never get the attention of a Billy Graham or apostle Paul, those who stay connected to the vine, John 15:1-4, will receive honor and praise from God the Father.

by Jay Mankus

A Different Kind of Outrage

Barbarism, desecration enormity, inhumanity and violence are all associated with outrage.  Death is one of the most common events which triggers this raw emotion.  While seventy percent of the protesters in North Carolina were bused in from out of state, this doesn’t mean that the parents and family who lost their son have released all of their frustrations.  Tragic events take time to cope with, heal and recovered from, yet there is another kind of outrage which often gets overlooked.

The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly, Judges 21:2.

The grieving process affects individuals in varies ways.  Some mourn in silence while others heal quicker the more they can share the burden upon their hearts.  Yet, there are millions who have perish without the shedding of a tear.  According to the CDC, over 50 million babies have been aborted in America since 1973.  Although some woman who have shared their regrets during television interviews, there are no tombstones to remember those whose life never began, cut short by due to medical reasons or inconvenience.

“LORD, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?” – Judges 21:3

Whenever people are confused, God is either the first to blame or place to find refuge from their pain.  After the murder by an enemy of Israel, people of faith displayed a different kind of outrage.  Those who endured injustice in the Old Testament didn’t waver in seeking answers to their problems in life.  Rather, people of faith raised their voice in prayer, demanding and expecting answers.  This is a different kind of outrage which still has a place in understanding God’s plan and purpose for your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

Fallen Stars

The fifty stars on the American flag represent the 50 states meant to unite this country.  Meanwhile, the red and white stripes, thirteen in all, symbolize the 13 British colonies that declared their independence from Great Britain.  Based upon recent events in North Carolina and Wisconsin, it appears that some states are like fallen stars, a glimpse of what they once were.  So how did America get where it is currently, filled with civil unrest?

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 2 Peter 2:4.

Well, perhaps failing schools, a rejection of moral absolutes and the silence of religious leaders is a good place to start.  On the other hand, Common Core Curriculum, revisionist history adopted by modern SAT’s and the radicalization of college campuses is producing a generation of progressives, abandoning the spiritual principles this country was founded upon.  When you add cell phone cameras, a liberal media and a lack of personal responsibility to this equation, its always someone’s fault, not yours.

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6.

Last night, I listened to an interview of 2 NFL players from the Carolina Panthers.  One described the last 24 hours in Charlotte as living in a war zone.  Oddly enough, after former NBA star Michael Jordan gave one million dollars to support Black Lives Matters, protesters involved with this group looted and ransacked his Charlotte Hornets down town store.  I understand the concept of protests, but stealing, shutting down local businesses and verbally assaulting police officers isn’t solving the problem.  Either this event is drawing the world closer to Jesus’ return or God is in the process of removing his blessing from a once great country.  If the latter is true, may God have mercy on us all, especially upon the fallen stars.

by Jay Mankus

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!

The One That Got Away

My father was an avid fisherman, taking the family to Maine each summer to go bass fishing and Nags Head, North Carolina during Spring Break to catch blues coming up the Atlantic coastline.  Sure, golf was always on the agenda, but his quest was trying to catch the big one.  Now retired and residing on a golf course with several lakes, my own children enjoy nightly excursions to catch bass, perch and sunfish.  While success usually followed his line, I often wonder about the big one that got away.

Three years ago, there was a 10 pound bass spotted periodically along a canal.  Many had seen it, but no one was successful in reeling this behometh on to dry land.   Over a 3 day weekend, my oldest son James and I appeared to have something large bite our lines, only to have the line snap shortly thereafter.  As I was reeling in a small sunny, I felt a tug, like a snapping turtle had grabbed ahold of my line.  For roughly 10 minutes I battled this unseen creature, hoping it was the beast.  However, just as I was sensing victory, the line went dead.  One minute later, the only thing remaining was an empty hook.  Since there were no visible signs of a turtle, whatever attacked my rod must have ripped the sunny off the hook, swallowing it’s victim whole.  I’ve caught my fair share of fish, but I regret the 10 pounder that got away.

In athletics, Olympians’ shake their head over the gold that slipped from their reach.  Meanwhile, the scholar will analyze why an elite college or graduate school passed over their application.  The student ponders what went wrong to lose their high school sweetheart and the unemployed struggle to find the explanation behind why they did not receive a job offer.  Disappointment is a subtle reminder of an imperfect world, filled with empty promises and broken dreams.  Despite how painfully it is to start over in life, you need to let go of the one that got away, learning from this loss so that it doesn’t happen again.  May the truth of James 1:2-4 strengthen you to press on, to stay beat and hopeful of a date with destiny to celebrate the day the big One didn’t get away!

by Jay Mankus

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