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Tag Archives: Saturday Night Live

Marching Band on the Run?

There aren’t that many positive news stories that come out of high schools today.  Encouraging news is suppressed, replaced by the outlandish to grab the attention of busy people going through life.  While young sports enthusiast often travel weekends to compete in athletic competitions, music lovers do the same if they are part of a marching band.  The leader of each band is known as a drum major, usually held by a senior.  These events are held on Friday and Saturday nights and occasionally on Saturday afternoon after football season.  Judging has evolved over time as music and presentation is now open to a creative frenzy with props, running and unusual formations.  This lowering the bar from merely sound quality has caused some choreographers to go off the deep end.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things, Philippians 4:8.

According to several news reports, a Mississippi High School Band Director took his band’s halftime show to a new low.  Last Saturday in Forest Hill, Mississippi high school band members were given several props.  These plastic rifles were used to promote social justice with students holding four boys dressed up as police officers hostage at gun point.  This might have been funny if part of some sort of Saturday Night Live skit, but after two Mississippi police officers were recently shot and killed, this display was unacceptable.  Forest Hill was playing Brookhaven, the hometown of these dead officers.  Immediately following this halftime show, social media was set ablaze, reacting to this insensitive dramatization.  As of earlier today, the band director was suspended without pay until the school investigates this matter leaving band members in limbo.

A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left, Ecclesiastes 10:2.

Does anyone think this punishment fits the crime?  Were school officials too harsh or not strict enough?  If you remember a couple months ago, a high school football coach was fired after kneeling and praying with his team after a game.  This act was deemed unforgivable, something that required an immediate dismissal.  Perhaps, if this man just waited until the National Anthem and then kneeled, that would have been okay, right?  However, the moment you add prayer to kneeling, that’s it.  According to public officials, this is the line that you can’t cross.  The double standards and hypocrisy that exists today in public education is undeniable.  If you take the right stance, liberal or progressive, you might have to go away for a while, but you can keep your job.  Anyone who supports the Bible, prayer or Trump, you will be shamed like a band on the run.  What do you think about this most recent event?

by Jay Mankus

 

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Focusing on the Darkness Within

According to a 2015 article in Time Magazine, the top ten television shows of all time include Friends, Breaking Bad, the X-Files, Game of Thrones, Seinfeld, the Sopranos, Saturday Night Live, I Love Lucy, Mad Men and the Simpsons.  While five of these programs were comedies, the others contain adult content, graphic images and violence.  Based upon the series chosen on this list, American audiences are searching for something to laugh at and tune into nteresting dramas.  In order to grab someone’s attention, producers focus on the darkness within souls to spice up weekly episodes.

“The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. 23 But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23

When tragedy strikes in the form of mass shootings, blame immediately goes to guns and gun owners.  After the facts reveal the true motives of any massacre, some of these events may be blamed on terrorism, others on bullying and some remain unexplained.  Whatever the inspiration may have been, rarely do experts, media panels or psychologists point the finger in the direction of Hollywood.  From time to time, mature video games that desensitize the frailty of life receive a portion of the blame.  Yet, unless a shooter survives their day of reckoning, no one will ever know for certain why school shootings happen.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin, 1 John 1:5-7.

The word light appears 272 times in the Bible.  Meanwhile, darkness is mentioned 162 times.  Two of Jesus’ disciples highlight the positive aspects and negative concerns of these terms.  According to Matthew, darkness is like a poison that corrupts hearts internally before external actions magnify evil from within.  John takes a different approach, comparing light to a truth detector.  Anyone who pretends to be a Christian while maintaining a relationship with darkness is a fool.  The ultimate goal is to expose any darkness within you by daily reading and studying the Bible.  Although Christians can’t control what Hollywood or others do, the decisions that you make will determine your destiny.  May the light of Christ guide you through the darkness.

by Jay Mankus

Where Do Certain Thoughts Come From?

At age 10, I began to experience a reoccurring nightmare.  Maybe I watched one too many scary movies, but each night I was awaken in the same manner.  Whether I was restless or enjoying a peaceful sleep, an image appeared out of no where.  First, I felt the sensation of slipping off a cliff.  Once I reached a free fall mode, I was at ease until the ground came into view.  Just before striking the canyon floor, my body shook, waking me up.  This went on for nearly 2 years.  Why, I’m not sure.  Perhaps, God allowed these thoughts to enter my mind to lead me toward the meaning of life.

A couple of years ago, I was driving my family home after vacationing in Chicago for a week.  It was getting late, the sun had set and everyone in the car was asleep.  I was traveling on the Ohio Turnpike, heading east toward the Maumee River.  As I was approaching the river valley, a whisper entered my mind, “drive off the bridge.”  Shocked initially, it didn’t take long to determine the origin of this thought.  Similar to the Dana Carvey’s Church Lady skit on Saturday Night Live, “could it be Satan?”

Over the course of a lifetime, the mind will become weary, bombarded with a plethora thoughts.  If individuals are careless, lazy or tempted, souls are vulnerable.  When you try to fight a spiritual battle with mental discipline, sooner or later you will lose.  Therefore, its essential to practice 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, by taking your thoughts captive.  Whether thoughts are from God, Satan or your own sinful desires, how you respond to them will dictate the path that you choose.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Christless

Seinfeld was one of the first sitcoms to mock Christmas, establishing Festivus for the rest of us.  Meanwhile, Jewish holidays weren’t exempt as Saturday Night Live, known as SNL, created their own version of Hanukkah sung by Adam Sandler.  At one point in American culture, certain topics were taboo, to avoid offensive language.  However, a growing trend has erased the line eliminating boundaries, opening up every religion to verbal attacks except for Islam.

When you subtract the presents, songs and exchange of gifts, what else remains?  Sure, there are decorations, lights and manger scenes, but is Jesus still Lord of this holiday?  Or has the good news of a Messiah been X-out by cards too cheap to print the reason for masses across the country and throughout the world?  As I look around the roads, shopping malls and desolate streets, cheers of good news is a rare sound.  Rather, complaining, gripes and moodiness fill the air, opening the door for another Christ-less season.

If political correctness continues to be a guiding light for Americans, I’m afraid the days of Christmas may soon be over.  In a recent interview, Christian singer Chris Tomlin vowed he’d go to jail if celebrating Christmas ever became illegal.  For those who think, “that would never happen here,” don’t be so sure.  For whenever a nation curses Israel or harms their ability to remain free, God promises to curse those countries that don’t stand with God’s chosen people.  In the Silent Nights that remain, may the Holy Spirit touch your heart, persuading you to invite Jesus back into your home, neighborhood and perhaps local schools.  If not, Christmas will be another day for the homeless and orphans, waiting for a brighter day.

by Jay Mankus

The Media’s Double Standard

While the scene was different, the Navy Yard in Washington DC, Monday’s mass shootings follow the patterns of Columbine High, Virginia Tech and Fort Hood.  Unfortunately, this tragedy will likely inspire Congress, nudged by the media, to take drastic measures to restrict or take away more freedoms of Americans.  Based upon the initial coverage, the gun or guns used are to blame, not the individual, Aaron Alexis, who has been portrayed as nice and quiet with a few instances of hearing voices in his past.

New York Daily News

Meanwhile. the media appears to have no problem with reality shows like Amish Mafia that promotes revenge and violence, displaying several of these acts on camera, with a few containing guns.  In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting last December, the Discovery Channel did cancel American Guns despite regularly promoting gun safety and offering self defense classes for women.  Nonetheless, when the latest frenzy over gun control subsided, the History Channel has since added God, Guns and Automobiles.  As long as it continues to have good numbers and makes the network money, this show will remain until the next crisis.

I wish networks could apply the same principles they portray in horror movies into real life massacres.  Saturday Night Live had a regular skit with Dana Carvey playing the Church Lady with the famous quote, “could it be Satan?”  Well, if Aaron Alexis did hear voices before planning this and eventually pulling the trigger, why isn’t anyone in the media talking about Genesis 4:6-7.  Cain allowed envy and jealousy to build up within him until it exploded, resulting in murder.  Demons and the Devil is real, not just something from Friday the 13th flick.  May God convict the media of their ignorance and open their eyes to the powers that push individuals toward evil acts, Ephesians 6:12.

by Jay Mankus

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