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S.A.N.S. Episode 347: Friend Like That

As someone who has moved multiple times in life, true friends are hard to find. Whether it was moving from New Jersey to Delaware in Elementary School or from Delaware to Ohio in college, when you do finally relocate, you will find out who your real friends truly are. When none of them reach out to you after your departure, your friendship was more of an acquaintance than anything else. Perhaps, this is the inspiration behind Hawk Nelson’s song Friend Like That.

The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.

King Solomon wrote about what a true friend meant to him in the passage above. Through the years, Christian artists have reflected upon this topic with songs by Geoff Moore, Michael W. Smith, and Steven Curtis Chapman. When a friend does stick closer than a brother, this kind of relationship becomes a spiritual treasure. As a new year begins, may the Holy Spirit inspire you to find a friend like that in 2023.

by Jay Mankus


Message in a Bottle

This 1979 song details a lonely castaway, searching for love, thereby sending a message in a bottle to see if anyone shares a similar sentiment.  Message in a Bottle appeared on the Police’s second album, Reggatta de Blanc and ranks as one of the top 100 greatest guitar songs of all time by Rolling Stones Magazine.  Before the advent of cell phones, the internet and computers, individuals looking for companionship wrote letters, pouring out their souls on a piece of paper.  For some unknown reason, this song popped into my head this morning and inspired this Easter Blog.

If I could write a short message in a bottle to summary what Easter Sunday means, it would begin with the lyrics to Keith Green’s song Asleep in the Night.  His words from the 1970’s are profound, as people either don’t care anymore, are too numb to feel anything or apathy has caused many to fall asleep spiritually.  Despite where you are, what you’ve done or who you’ve hurt, Easter is a the season of new beginnings, Psalm 103:11-12.  Therefore, get out of bed and make your way to the nearest house of worship.

While some may wear their Sunday best, God wants you to come as you are, Matthew 11:28-30.  Don’t deceive yourself or try to put on a show like the Pharisees of the first century.  Rather, be yourself, come to the door and open up, for Jesus is knocking, Revelation 3:20.  Faith is not about a list of do’s and don’ts.  Instead, walking with Jesus is a journey, where you yield areas of your life over to God, one at a time.  From here its not easy, yet as Steven Curtis Chapman once sang, this is the Great Adventure.

As I experience another Sunrise Service on the beach, I’m sending out an SOS, to save our souls this Easter Sunday.

What does Easter mean to you? I would love to hear your response.

by Jay Mankus


Spiritual Kisses

Steven Curtis Chapman once jokingly sang about being in love or having the flu bug during his Great Adventure Concert Tour.  Likewise, Psalm 85:10 describes 4 attributes, which when joined together develop chemistry.  When love and faithfulness connect, its as if righteousness and peace kiss.

Daily emotions rise and fall, leaving behind periods of ecstasy and agony.  While God’s love never fails, 1 Corinthians 13:8, human love is similar to Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus by a kiss. Matthew 26:48-49.  The side effects of Genesis 3:17-19 has turned the love of many ice cold like Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10.  On the outside there are signs of warmth, but internally the heart has been corrupted, Jeremiah 17:9.

Beside the fallen nature of mankind, Romans 3:23, there are traces of this spiritual element.  Honest and truthful words are like a kiss on the lips, Proverbs 24:26.  Fellowship with other believers brings out a kindred spirit, Acts 4:32-35.  The theological virtues of charity, faith and hope, 1 Corinthians 13:13, make love possible.  Finally, the cherry on the top is Colossians 3:13-14, making spiritual kisses a reality through the power of the Holy Spirit!  On this Mother’s Day, be a vehicle of adoration, passing on the love of Jesus to all you encounter!

by Jay Mankus

Blazing A New Trail in 2013

Pencader, Glasgow, St. Georges, Chritiana, Delaware State Atlas 1868

A few years ago, my 2 sons James and Daniel, went through a mountain bike phase.  To encourage this new interest as a father, I began to invest an hour a day riding bikes with my boys after school.  Over a period of 6 months, the 3 of us discovered several miles of trails surrounding our development in Newark, formerly known as Purgatory Swamp during the Revolutionary War.

The main trail was clear and worn down by ATV’s, local residents walking their dogs and fellow bike riders.  Popular side trails were still intact with a couple of overgrown areas in need of pruning and trimming, a good project for a long weekend.  The deeper we explored into the thick forests and swampy conditions, we discovered a dozen other paths that faded away, hidden by fallen debris, exotic overgrown sticker bushes and piles of trash left by teenagers.

Like a Lewis and Clark expedition or Land of the Lost television series, my crew investigated these ruins for 2 years, mainly during the summer.  We unearthed an ancient shooting range, paths to no where vanishing into thin air and an inner chain of short cuts connecting the outer loop by 2 distinct inner section of trails.  Left for dead by a generation of young people addicted to cell phones, game systems and the internet, we revived as many paths as we could for future voyagers to enjoy.  Today, these meandering walkways are marked with spray paint every half mile forming 2 cross country courses of 2.1 and 3.1 miles.  While fads come and go, the path to heaven remains a constant, Matthew 7:13-14.

With 2013 fresh in people’s minds, its time to blaze a new trail.  Whether its in Delaware, another state in America or another country, the time is now to act.  My days of sulking are over with a new adventure, career and opportunity waiting for me and my family.  Like the classic Steven Curtis Chapman album The Great Adventure, its time to “Saddle Up Your Horses!”  As you begin your own journey in 2013, don’t forget the words of the prophet in Hosea 4:6, “people perish without knowledge and vision!”  Get plugged into the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-5 so that you will be able to endure any obstacles 2013 throws at you!  “Go with God and He will go with you,” Mark Lowry.

by Jay Mankus

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