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More Than Just A Curse Word

As a resident of the greater Philadelphia area, I understand the passion of Philly fans.  Although the main stream media continues to accuse them of throwing snow balls at Santa Claus, most season ticket holders wear their emotions on their sleeves.  If you add alcohol to a bad call or break, thoughts become verbalized.  Thus, if you attend an Eagles game on a Sunday, God’s name may be used in a slightly different context than church.  Phrases such as “Jesus Christ, God dam it and Holy bleep” are reactions to a sporting event beyond their control.

Outside of the realm of sports, there is another topic of conversation.  If someone begins to experience a string of bad luck, loses in life or turmoil, God is usually the first to be blamed.  The Old Testament nature of God leads individuals to believe God is punishing them for something done in their past.  Yet, when the tide turns toward blessings, praise and rewards for hard work, there is a tendency for adults to take the credit.  Either forgetting or overshadowing God’s role, glory is often stolen by selfish souls.

Regardless of where you find yourself on this spectrum, the majority will agree that today’s language is merely a byproduct of a fallen generation.  Society has accepted the idea that words need to be spoken, even if people are hurt.  Twitter feeds this notion, giving disgruntled followers a platform to voice their opinion.  Nonetheless, God is more than a curse word or punch line for a comedian.  Rather, Hebrews 4:12-13 reveals that everything will be uncovered, brought to the light, as everyone will have to give an account of what they’ve done and the words they have spoken.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Not a Coincidence

Depending upon who you listen to, trust or watch, everyone seems to have an opinion today.  Whether its regarding current events, life’s problems or politics, worldviews influence what you ultimately believe.  This process forms a foundation, a conscience that inspires individuals to fight for, speak out against and encourage others to become like minded.  However, when you embrace biblical principles, the true blessings you will find is not a coincidence.

According to God, there is a connection between honoring your parents and living a long life, Exodus 20:12.  Essentially, if you vow to cherish, respect and maintain a good name for your parents, life expectancy should increase.  While there are exceptions, people whose life is stolen by a drunk driver, disease or unexpected accident, God does fulfill this promise for the rest.  If you’re not happy with the current state of your soul, begin to put Jesus’ words into practice, Matthew 7:24-27, so that your house will be prepared to endure future storms.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you take a long look at the breakdown of families, violence within inner cities and the growth of gangs, inspired by gangsta wanna be’s, life is snuffed out way too soon.  Street corners, schools and playgrounds are no longer safe places.  Perhaps this trend could be turned around if only individuals would begin to honor their father and mother.  Sure, there are other factors which have contributed to this cultural decay, yet it’s not a coincidence when life is protected, saved or extended by those who commit to loving their neighbor as themselves.

by Jay Mankus

Are You Ready for Some… Persecution?

Hank Williams Jr . (HankJr.com) MONTGOMERY Alabama – Many men have gone to extremes to escape the...

 

For twenty years, Hank Williams Jr. and Monday Night Football went hand and hand.  This country music icon began singing his famous pregame song in 1991 for ABC and ESPN.  However, when asked his honest opinion about President Obama on Fox News in October of 2011, his gig came to an abrupt halt.  Instead of singing are you ready for some football, Hank has changed his tune to, “Are you ready for some persecution?”

On December 15th, 1791, the first amendment was adopted as part of the Bill of Rights.  This amendment was designed to protect American citizens against government intrusion.  This portion of the United States Constitution is suppose to protect a person’s faith, speech, religion and right to assemble.  However, in recent years if your opinion is not politically correct or you don’t possess the right party affiliation, persecution follows.

The Martyr

Similar conditions greeted the apostle Paul during the middle of the first century AD.  Based upon Luke’s account in Acts 17:22-24, Paul and Silas were stripped, publicly flogged and thrown in jail for freeing a slave from her greedy owners, Acts 17:16-19.  Despite being Roman citizens, they were accused without a trial, found guilty by the court of public opinion like Hank Williams Jr.

If the Bible is truly a glimpse of the future, every Christian should be prepared for persecution.  Jesus recounts details of the final days on earth in Matthew 24:4-25.  According to this account, the days of entertainment, fun and watching NFL football games will be over.  Like the Left Behind series, the world will be at war with Christianity.  Followers will be forced to join the new world order or flee for their lives.  I hate to be negative, but this is what will be coming in the end days.  Ready or not, persecution may already be here!

by Jay Mankus

Know What You’re Looking For

A man and a woman’s idea of shopping are often world’s apart.  Women tend to enjoy the experience, searching for bargains, savings and obtaining the best deal.  Meanwhile, men tend to follow what I call the “In and Out Philosophy;” going into a store, buying what you’re looking for and getting out as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, not all stores carry the product you are searching for or don’t have them in stock when you need it.

Like shopping, stereotypes often tamper with your beliefs.  It only takes one negative experience to shift your trust from one store to the next or from one person to another.  Dirty laundry has always existed, usually developing into reputations that influence your opinion about someone, something or a specific retail store.  However, be careful that you don’t fall prey to gossip or else you might miss what you are looking for.

According to John 1:43-46, Nazareth did not have a ringing endorsement, especially from those who lived outside of this first century town.  Buying into the hype, Nathanael became narrow minded, disregarding anyone who had been born or raised here.  If it wasn’t for his friend Philip, Nathanael might have gone through life like Jesus’ own brothers and sisters, who rejected the idea that he was the promised Messiah.  Instead, be like Andrew and Peter in John 1:40-41, who knew what they were looking for and once they found Jesus, quickly followed the Son of the Living God!

by Jay Mankus

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