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The Breath of Life

Breathing is one of those basic elements in life that most people take for granted. When I was six, I had the wind knocked out of me while playing football. My initially reaction was pain until my inability to breathe led to panic. My sister Cindy grabbed my arm and pushed me over onto my stomach. Forty years later following this experience, a sledding accident placed me into a more dire situation. Two cracked ribs and a collapsed lung made it nearly impossible for me to breathe.

And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground—to everything in which there is the breath of life—I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day, Genesis 1:30-31.

According to oral tradition passed down to Moses, God gave the breath of life into every living creature on earth. Unfortunately, the teaching of Charles Darwin on evolution is still influencing minds today. While the second and third law of thermodynamics proves that you can’t create something out of nothing, the idea of a Big Bang still exists. As an elder from one of my former churches once told me, God spoke and BANG the universe was created via the breath of life.

Then shall the dust [out of which God made man’s body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7.

King Solomon was considered one of the wisest people to walk the face of the earth. In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon refers to the creation story. Reflecting upon what happens at the end of human life, Solomon points to the cycle of life, ending up just like Adam prior to God breathing life into him. Job uses a similar confession in Job 42:5-6, which is the inspiration for modern day Ash Wednesday services. May today’s blog help you to appreciate and be thankful for the breath of life.

by Jay Mankus

Never Satisfied

Back in January, days before my sledding accident, I had planned on giving up watching television during Lent. I was going through one of those phases in life where I sought to make history, not watch it happen. Thus, I pressed on to complete the writing on my second movie script, Behind the Devil’s Door.  Everything was moving forward as schedule until that one fateful day, January 29th.

My initial rib injury prevented me from sleeping more than an hour or so at a time, leaving me exhausted, unable to receive the rest I needed.  Ten days later, the force of a sneeze at work altered the blood flow of my internal bleeding, unknown to me, leading to several weeks of bed rest after a 4 day visit to the hospital.  Distraught, I took the advice of a relative who suggested to relax and enjoy the 2014 Winter Olympics which had just begun.  Beside listening to music, reading and writing, I didn’t have many options stuck in my downstairs recliner to avoid steps.

I don’t care if you have 1000 channels to observe daily, sooner or later you’ll be bored out of your mind, never fully satisfied by the entertainment on the big screen.  As a relatively active person, staying idle at home left me craving something more meaningful in life.  After watching the entire first season of Joan of Arcadia, I became restless longing for traces of God in Hollywood, but I was left disappointed.  To fill this void, I won’t be satisfied until the vision God has given me for my second script is complete, Philippians 1:6.

What vision or dream has God given you? Please leave a comment.

by Jay Mankus
        

Passing on a Winter Tradition

One of my most fondest memories as a child was playing in the snow.  My parents had a toboggan that  our family would pile on, going down steep hills on golf courses or at state parks.  When the snow was too high to drive any where, I created a luge slide off of our back steps or went across the street to Jeanette’s.  Although I never went as fast as I did on the toboggan, I always looked forward to building bigger and better courses each year.

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When my 3 children were still young, I began to make a short slope off the back deck.  Although my wife wasn’t initially thrilled with the idea, its become a winter tradition, that is of course when we get snow in Delaware.  Over time, this luge course has turned into extreme tubing, starting on top of a slide on the deck, continuing down the steps of my deck, guided by picnic table benches, winding around a U-shaped wall before ending some where near the back fence.  Who said adults couldn’t still have fun or be a kid at heart.

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Anyway, with my oldest son now in driver’s ed, it won’t be long until there’s an empty nest with no one left to entertain or raise.  Thus, I hope I cherish each snow day that I have with my children before they’re all grown up.  While my body isn’t what it use to be, I still enjoy playing hard and passing on an appreciation for life.  In the end, I pray that my children will develop their own winter traditions, thanking God each time it snows.

by Jay Mankus

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