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Tag Archives: St. George’s

You Don’t See That Every Day

As a former athlete, coach and now as a parent, I have participated in and watched some amazing sporting events.  None of these made ESPN’s night top 10 list, but the drama in the game, on the bench and in the stands was intense.  However, what I witnessed yesterday was simply extraordinary.  The scene was at White Clay Creek State Park during a cross country race between 3 division one schools.  This tri-meet included William Penn, Delcastle and St. Georges.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it, 1 Corinthians 9:24.

For anyone not familiar with Delaware, one school is located in the city, another in the suburbs and the newest what use to be considered out in the country.  As competitors crossed the finish line, collapsing and gasping for breath, something unusual began to occur.  A sign of sportsmanship that you don’t see every day or hear about in the news.  At first I had to do I double take as fellow competitors started high fiving and hugging non-teammates.  This scene repeated itself for ten minutes as the slowest runners received the most applause from those already finished.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:1-2.

These three teams will likely finish at the bottom of the Blue Hen Conference.  None of these runners will contend for the conference, county or state title.  Yet, there is something that these runners demonstrated that all sports should emulate.  Sure, when you add up all the positions, there was one winning team with another starting the season 0-2.  Nonetheless, like the motto for Little League, “its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game.”  As for the runners from Delcastle, William Penn and St. Georges, good job and thanks for reminding adults how athletic competitions should be contested.

by Jay Mankus

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Forgotten Faces, Places and Faiths

George Whitefield doesn’t get much recognition in the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.  Yet, during the Tent Revivals inspired by the first Great Awakening, George Whitefield traveled throughout northern Delaware. preaching along the banks of Pike Creek and as far south as the town that bears his name, St. Georges.  According to colonialist historians, Whitefield began his preaching and teaching in New England under Jonathon Edwards’ leadership.  From here Whitefield traveled to Pennsylvania following William and Gilbert Tennent to each event.  Whitefield also spent time helping Samuel Davies in Virginia as these awakenings using stationary tents led to many converts to Christianity.  Unfortunately, George Whitefield lived in the shadows of two friends from England, Charles and John Wesley.  While Whitefield received notoriety as an inspirational evangelist, the Wesley’s founded the Methodist Church.  As new converts to Christianity in Delaware grew, Methodist churches began to form up and down this state, embracing a methodical application of spiritual disciplines.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite, Isaiah 57:15.

The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is a 14 mile long body of water that connects the Delaware River to Chesapeake Bay in Northeast Maryland.  From 1822 and 1829, construction on this United States Army Corp of Engineers project faced many obstacles.  Besides financial issues and a changed in plans further south toward the Back Creek branch of the Elk River, the waterway finally opened in 1829 using a four lock system.  The total cost was 3.5 million dollars, the most expensive government project of its day.  During the rerouting of this canal, two cities were cut in half; Chesapeake City, Maryland and St. Georges, Delaware.  While Chesapeake City maintains a steady population fueled by restaurants and marinas on the north and south banks, St. George’s is nearly dead.  To add insult to injury, the bridge constructed to connect northern with southern Delaware was built directly over Main Street.  Thus, unless you visit one of the few dining establishments, not much remains of the town George Whitefield put on the map.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him, Hosea 6:2.

Like any good thing, even revivals come to an end.  Thus, instead of relying on emotions and a spiritual high, new converts to Christianity need to begin to exercise their faith.  Depending upon your past, this spiritual detox will take time along with pain and struggles of change.  To avoid falling prey to legalism, this transitional period should include an acceptance of rising and falling.  While perfection is unattainable, God simply wants our best effort with an expectation to grow closer to the Lord each day.  Although this sound logical, some faiths will grow cold and die.  When I was a youth pastor out of college, I took a country road to church every Sunday.  One day  I noticed a small church forced to close their doors as the congregation either passed away or moved on to another denomination.  A few weeks later, this abandoned building re-opened as a liquor store, a crushing blow to changing times.  Today, about a thousand churches close their doors each year worldwide.  While the number of believers have remained about the same, the commitment level has softened.  Thus, many Americans have forgotten godly leaders of the past like George Whitefield, towns like St. Georges and their faith in God.  May a new awakening come quickly so that souls will be revived with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as America celebrates Independence Day.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Just Good to Be Alive

In this political age, if a news story doesn’t fit the progressive agenda, its either buried in the back pages of a newspaper, overlooked for something more news worthy or skipped completely.  Human interest stories are usually saved for the Olympics, great fillers for down time during a broadcast.  Thus, many amazing events are never told and forgotten by time.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it, Matthew 16:25.

For this very reason, I feel compelled to share a miracle that I witnessed yesterday.  Ninety nine percent of the time I watch a sporting event, my main concern is the final score.  Did my team win?  How did they play?  Who is living up to their potential and who’s struggling?  Yet, after talking to a couple on the sixth hole at Odessa National, I came to the conclusion that it’s just good to be alive.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst,” John 6:35.

As St. George’s played St. Elizabeth in golf, this may be the first time ever in high school history that a cancer survivor played with a teammate who has juvenile diabetes.  Quincy battled for his life last year while my son Daniel lived despite having a blood sugar level over one thousand last August.  While their journey’s have been different, Quincy’s father taught me an important lesson.  Winning or losing isn’t what matters in life.  Rather, when you see two boys walking down the fairway together, it’s a blessing to just be alive.

by Jay Mankus

The Pain of Death

A member of St. George’s 2014 golf team died in a car accident while driving home from school Tuesday afternoon.  A parent’s worst nightmare came true for the Leonzio family.  In a flash, before you can say goodbye for the final time, Tim’s life was snuffed out.  This is the pain of death.

He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” – Mark 5:23

In Mark 5:22-42, a concerned father reaches out to Jesus.  Jairus, a synagogue leader turned to Jesus as a last resort as doctors could not improve his daughter’s condition.  Despite what any Pharisees thought about Jesus, Jairus had a feeling deep down inside his heart his daughter would be healed.  On their way home, his efforts were a little too late as Jairus received the bad news.

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” – Mark 5:35

Unfortunately, Jesus can’t bring Tim back to life like Jairus’ daughter.  Now, whenever my own son doesn’t come home on time, I start to worry, imaging a worst case scenario.  This is where faith must take over.  Although death in inevitable, belief in Christ, the promise of salvation and eternity in heaven can ease your pain.  May the prayer of the Psalmist provide comfort, healing and peace when the pain of death knocks on your door, Psalm 34:18.

by Jay Mankus

 

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