Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: television

I Get It or Do I?

Each year television offers a plethora of programing that debates who is the best.  Categories include athletes, politicians and specific occupations.  One of the measuring sticks often applied is education.  Anyone who attends an ivy league school is automatically given high marks.  Well, unless of course your name is George W. Bush or Donald J. Trump.  This method of judging subtract points for possessing the wrong political affiliation or unpopular worldviews.  In other words, if you are conservative, you must not be that intelligent.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began, 1 Corinthians 2:6-7.

As I recount the words of the apostle Paul within 1 Corinthians 2, I understand the mindset behind this earthly logic.  There is an elitism that exists among the ruling party and upper class.  Thus, standards are developed by leaders of each age, encouraged, promoted and supported by journalists and members of the media.  Whenever anyone strays from these bench mark ideas, educators attempt shame people into adherence.  This plan is being executed daily at colleges and universities throughout the country.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 1 Corinthians 2:14-15.

If you don’t believe me, you might want to check up on the assignments your children are being asked to do for homework as well as the topical papers that play a big part in the overall grades for this class.  Whether it’s embracing progressive ideas, global warming or white privilege, anyone who rejects these teachings are automatically labeled as bigots, racists and sexists.  I’m not sure the exact issues the apostle Paul was fervently debating in the first century, but I get what the Bible says about being foolishness in the eyes of the world.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit does someone see life clearly.  Those who rely too much on human logic end up becoming blind to truth.  I think I get or do I?  What do you think?

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Sorry

Every year terms are added to the dictionary to keep up with an ever changing vocabulary.  Meanwhile, other words are modified as cultural slang redefines ordinary phrases.  One such word is sorry which ironically means deplorable, an insult to Trump supporters.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.

Growing up, sorry was something that the Fonz couldn’t say, often stuttering before completing a sentence.  Sure, its been decades since Happy Days was a prime time hit series, but watching television tends to distinguish one generation from the next.  Subsequently, sorry has lost its original intent.

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin, Psalm 32:5.

To confess any wrong doing tends to diffuse a tense situation.  Yet, this generation allows pride to get in the way, afraid of the consequences of coming clean.  Thus, instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” the blame game Adam began in the Garden of Eden continues.  Like a never ending game of Jumanji, true remorse has been abandoned.  May this blog inspire individuals to embrace a spirit of reconciliation and practice saying, “I’m sorry.”

by Jay Mankus

A Convenient Absence of the Truth

During a recent sleepless night, I stumbled upon a rerun of a 30 for 30 on ESPN.  Trying to find something to fall asleep to, an episode on the Hillsborough soccer stadium tragedy did just the opposite.  This riveting documentary made me begin to wonder what other events from history have been sanitized by a convenient absence of the truth.

When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, Matthew 28:12.

On April 15th, 1989, soccer fans began to flood a standing room only section of the Hillsborough stadium.  As space to stand started to disappear, a mass panic ensued causing people to press toward a fence shielding fans from players on the field.  This chaos was complicated by a lack of reaction by stadium officials leading to the deaths of 96 people.

Telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep,’ Matthew 28:13.

In the hours and days that followed, authorities using the media as a pawn began to assign blame.  Like modern day talking points, alcohol, drunk fans and crude behavior served as window dressing to hide the actual facts of this disaster.  Justice took over 20 years to arrive when original police statements and those altered by government officials were posted side by side on the internet.  This is just another example of corruption inspired by a convenient absence of the truth.

If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble,” Matthew 28:14.

This strategy is nothing new as even Jesus dealt with a similar scheme to redefine his own resurrection.  As Jewish and Roman officials tried to squash Jesus’ growing popularity and message, a plan was devised to change public opinion.  There was only one problem with this decision, Jesus spent 40 days in public after rising from the dead.  According to Luke, Jesus was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses serving as a first century Drudge Report.

So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day, Matthew 28:15.

Today, if you click on the internet, turn on the television or tune into talk radio, don’t blindly believe the first thing that you hear or see.  Rather, remember that a few elite media members control the daily narrative presented to the airways in America.  Essentially, what you see isn’t always what is actually happening.  Therefore, as a new election season approaches full of ads steeped in embellishment, do your own homework before you reach a final conclusion.  If you don’t, you might be the next victim, deceived by a convenient absence of the truth.

by Jay Mankus

 

Put it Down and Turn if Off

As I was about to pray this morning, I began to remember several things I needed to do.  This and that and oh by the way became one distraction after another.  Before I went any further I heard a whisper that grabbed my attention, “put it down and turn it off.”

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed, Mark 1:35.

Maybe I am the only one who struggles with this, but if I don’t start the day off by reading the Bible and prayer, my schedule usually fills up quickly.  Thus, the moment I start a project around the house or turn on the television, time with the Lord becomes a distant memory.

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come,” Mark 1:38.

Perhaps, this may explain the events of Mark 1.  Jesus recognized the distractions awaiting individuals each day.  To avoid getting sidetracked, following the crowd or failing to go where God wants you to be, a quiet time is a great way to become plugged into the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, the next time you feel the urge to put God on hold, put what you’re doing down, turn off the television or your phone and be still before the Almighty God.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

What Happens Here Stains Eternity

A couple of times a year I put on a brand new shirt or sweatshirt for the first time, proudly seeing how it looks in the mirror.  Unfortunately, a careless bite later often produces a stain.  The only thing worse is putting a new outfit in the dryer without catching this blemish.  Once dried, there’s nothing you can do except donate or throw this piece of clothing out.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

If you watch a lot of television, you are probably beginning to see commercial blitzes for travel destinations.  This is the time of year that cities and states are trying to sway you to plan a summer vacation or visit during a long weekend.  Perhaps, I’ve never given it much thought before, but Las Vegas’ calling card, “what happens here stays here,” got under my skin recently.  In the spiritual realm, what happens here stains eternity.

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings, 1 Peter 5:9.

In this day and age, no one is immune from embarrassing moments.  Friends may even bring up painful remainders of the past to keep you humble.  Yet, even Peter who denied Jesus in public three times learned from his previous mistakes.  Although what happens here on earth stains eternity, this portion of Peter’s letter highlights the importance of faith.  Thus, the next time you’re tempted to do something your heart or soul is telling you is wrong, resist this urge.  Rather, be alert and keep in step with the Spirit of God.

by Jay Mankus  

Things That Break Your Momentum

1. Television

Direct Television’s Settler’s commercial uses a play on words, claiming that if you don’t have their package you are settling for second rate customer service.  During my recent fast, television was the first thing that broke my spiritual momentum.  After a long week of work, I thought I’d indulge in a few hours of viewing pleasure.  In return, I was in a funk for the rest of the weekend, sluggish, unmotivated and felt like I wasted valuable time.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, Ephesians 6:12.

2. Technology

Little Caesar’s recent ad campaign about going off the grid illustrates that you don’t need technology to order a pizza.  All you have to do is show up and its hot and ready.  Having unlimited access to the worldwide web has caused many to binge, soaking up as much as possible.  Unfortunately, people have become hooked, unable to drive, walk or eat without texting, tweeting or view the latest trending video.  Instead of conversing, opening up their hearts or sharing serious issues, individuals are content with staring at a screen.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand, Ephesians 6:13.

3. Attitudes, Annoyances and Mood Swings

The other night at work, I was in the zone, in a good state of mind when I was bombarded by a series of emotions.  I came into contact with bad attitudes and was poked by several annoying situations.  As I mumbled my displeasure, the momentum of the evening was broken by a myriad of mood swings.  Whenever you let your guard down or aren’t prepared for spiritual attacks, your soul can take a beating.  Thus, whether its television, technology or trials, make sure you arm yourself with the armor of God, Ephesians 6:12-20.  If not, don’t be surprised when the things of this world break your momentum.

by Jay Mankus

 

Going Back in Time to Move Forward

Disney’s animation movie Cars premiered at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 26th of 2006.  Lightning McQueen, the star and voice of Owen Wilson, illustrates what happens when an individual seeks to do whatever it takes to reach the top of their profession, the Piston Cup for McQueen, whatever the cost.  Just before reaching his goal, Lightning accidentally stumbles upon Radiator Springs, a once booming town on Route 66.  Forced to fix a portion of the road he destroyed, McQueen is taught a series of life lessons before moving on to his final race of the season.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Over the weekend, I spent a portion of 4th of July weekend in Amish country.  Spending the night at a bed and breakfast, I felt like I was transported back in time to life without technology.  There was no television, internet or bars to make a call.  Instead, there were books, nature and others to converse with.  Spoiled by distractions in life, it became painfully clear during my visit that my communication skills have deteriorated.  Tuning out others with technology had become a way of life for me, a misguided attempt to hide my inadequacies.  Thus, going back in time has created a thirst for conversations in the future.

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone, 1 Thessalonians 5:14.

Today, emails, Facebook and Twitter are flawed forms of communication.  While you may be able to express what you feel or think, often this form of expression is self-centered, void of any genuine face to face interaction.  Although emails may be convenient, they are superficial, not offering time for questions and answers like good old fashion meetings.  Perhaps, this generation has become too dependent on technology.  Sure, any information you desire is only a click away, but people are what makes the world go round.  Therefore, everyone needs time to get away, slow down and cruise the streets of a real life Radiator Springs.  Only when you go back in time for some rest and relaxation will you be ready to move forward.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: