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S.A.N.S Episode 79: I Believe

The Prayer Chain who is the creator of today’s featured song isn’t a list of people to pray for. Rather, the Prayer Chain arrived on the alternative Christian rock scene in the early 1990’s. During my final semester of college, Whirlpool EP debuted. While the Prayer Chain’s initial album was unusual with the same six songs on either side of my cassette disk, the quality of each song was impressive.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him, John 3:16-17.

The lyrics of I Believe remind me of Rich Mullins’ song based upon the Apostle’s Creed. However, the sound of I Believe is something that you would hear on a secular rock radio station. As a former Catholic, I appreciate the simplicity of the lyrics that narrow in on what Christians believe about the Bible. While Resurrection Sunday has passed, may I Believe help you celebrate Jesus all year long.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 34: Faded Blues

There was a time in my life where I wore blue jeans every day. This high school fad was great during cold winter months and perfect with a turtleneck and sweater. However, the type of faded blues I’m talking about today is from David Mullen. Not to be confused with Rich Mullins, David started out his career in Blues before switching over to more of a pop rock sound.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. 18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent, Psalm 34:17-18.

Today’s feature is the title of an album and a hit song when it was released in 1991. Faded Blues serves as a prayer and reality when a Christian is able to overcome tough times in life. Just as a washing machine and dryer slowly fades blue jeans to a shade of white, God wants all human beings to have their anxieties, burdens, and concerns disappear. Yet, trials continue to challenge Christians to mature, James 1:2-4. Enjoy this classic sound of the nineties.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 30: My Deliverer

Today’s artist is best known for being a founding member of Rich Mullins’ A Ragamuffin Band. Since their final tour back in 2000, Rick Elias has released a number of solo albums, appeared as a guest bass player and served as a backup singer on several songs with friends. What I admire most about Rick is his passion to continue sharing his music at churches across the country.

And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins, Romans 11:26-27.

I could have chosen a dozen songs from Elias’ vast collection. Yet, for today, I wanted to share the song that I first heard at the last Christian concert I attended. The lyrics of My Deliverer come right out of the Bible, following Joseph’s departure to Africa with his wife and child. Despite all of his travails, Joseph trusted that somehow and some way, the Lord would deliver him. This prayer still holds true today.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 14: Creed

Today’s artist is the Buddy Holly of Christian music. Rather than die in a plane crash like Holly, Rich Mullins was killed following a car accident at the peak of his popularity. If you were ever fortunately to see Rich Mullins live, he’s one of the greatest worship leaders ever. While some Christian artists are more talented musicians, Rich had a special way of worshipping the Lord.

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing, Zephaniah 3:17.

Several of Rich Mullins songs incorporate the hammered dulcimer. This distinct song serves as an introduction for today’s song Creed. While the lyrics are something out of a traditional Catholic service, the hammered dulcimer brings energy to this song as you wait for the singing to begin. Like a congregation repeating the Apostles Creed together, hearing Creed reminds Christians of what they believe.

by Jay Mankus

Make My Heart Like Yours

Music can be similar to relationships.  The more open minded you are, the likelihood of you accepting and embracing someone or something increases.  Unfortunately, stereotypes about an artist, genre or musician cause individuals to give up on a certain sound after a few seconds of listening.  Subsequently, the careers of millions fail, far short of where they hoped, rejected before having a real shot to succeed.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 36:26.

Such is the case of Linda Elias, wife of Rick whose own career far surpassed hers.  Rick spent a decade as a member of Rich Mullins Ragamuffin band and his music was featured in the 1996 Tom Hanks movie, That Thing You Do.  As for Linda, following in the Belinda Carlisle genre, I thought her 1991 album The Meaning of Life would jump start her career.  However, in Christian music industry, unless you’re Amy Grant, you’re not going to get the attention you deserve.  As a result, you can’t find any of Linda’s songs on Pandora or You Tube.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded, James 4:8.

Nonetheless, during my recent fast I have started listening to one hour of inspirational music a day.  While soaking in the lyrics to Make My Heart Like Yours, I was moved, touched by God.  This song is more like a prayer, wishing that one day our hearts will become more like Christ.  In this song, Linda confesses her failures and shortcomings.  Leaning on God’s grace, she yearns to be transformed.  As I am daily reminded of my own sins, I am eager, waiting for God to make my heart like his son’s, Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Linda’s album the Meaning of Life is available at for those willing to give a promising artist a chance.


Do I Hold On to the Past or Trust God for the Future?

In the 1984 film Footloose, John Lithgow plays reverend Shaw Moore.  After Moore’s son dies in a car accident coming home from a night of dancing, reverend Shaw responds by banning all music in his small rural Utah town.  Kevin Bacon, plays Ren, a high school senior who goes to a town hall meeting in an attempt to reverse this ban for a Senior Prom.  Following a rejection, Ren’s boss comes up with an alternative which is presented to Shaw Moore.  During his next Sunday message, the reverend is confronted with a dilemma.  Do I hold on to the past of trust God with the future?

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ, Philippians 3:7.

Thirty years later, this question still applies.  Within each individual life, there are defining moments, trials which force people to mature.  How these events are handled, shape the outcome of lives.  Whether its death, illness or injury, bad things will occur sooner or later.  As Rich Mullins once sang prior to a car accident that ended his own life, there is bound to come some trouble to our lives.  When tragedy strikes, will you hold on to the past or trust God for the future?

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12.

When life takes an unexpected turn, its hard to get over it or fully recovery.  Almost four years after I lost my teaching position, I’m close to picking up all the pieces, but not where I would like to be.  Scars from the past are still present, resulting in soul spirit hurts that are not fully healed.  However, as the apostle Paul once said in a letter to the church at Philippi, you must learn to leave your past by keeping your eyes on the overall goal, heaven.  Therefore, the next time you reach a crossroad in life, let go of the past by trusting God with your future.

by Jay Mankus



Waiting in a Holding Pattern

Before I moved to Delaware, I was a store manager at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  Running the Michael Jordan Golf Shop across from gate B4, weather delays meant big business.  Whenever planes were in a holding pattern, people waiting for their fight to arrive or family members picking up loved ones often passed time in my store.

However, in life waiting isn’t nearly as fun as shopping.  Yet, if you are forced to enter a holding pattern, following the example of Moses in Leviticus 24:12 is a great place to start.  Sometimes when you are angry, individuals can make rash decisions or be quick to jump to a conclusion.  Therefore, make sure the will of the Lord is clear before you finalize your decision on what to do next.

Whether you’re deliberating on a punishment like Moses, contemplating something like marriage or living in a constant state of uncertainty, time can be a friend or foe.  Perhaps, this is why God reminded prophets and psalmists to wait on the Lord.  I know waiting isn’t enjoyable, but it gives you an opportunity to surrender to Christ so that Jesus can take the wheel, driving you out of the storms in life.  Like the late Rich Mullins once sang, Hold me Jesus as you wait in a holding pattern.

by Jay Mankus



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