Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Texas

The Sound of War

The sound of war was brought to life in a film written by Robert Rodat and directed by Steven Spielberg.  Saving Private Ryan received notoriety for it’s opening 27 minutes, a reenactment of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II.  At the time of it’s release, Saving Private Ryan portrayed the graphic nature of war and the harsh reality for a soldier storming Omaha Beach.  This production helped those not alive during this time in history to experience and understand the violent nature and sound of war.

In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 He wrote in the letter, “Put Uriah in the front line of the heaviest fighting and leave him, so that he may be struck down and die,” 2 Samuel 11:14-15.

The Bible portrays the politics of war.  The prophet Samuel provides a glimpse of ancient conquests when kings went to war each Spring to spread and strengthen their kingdoms.  One solider is highlighted, Uriah the Hittite, who camped in an open field with his men.  While away at war, King David has an affair with his lonely wife, leaving Bathsheba pregnant.  To cover up this sin, Uriah was escorted back to his home to sleep with Bathsheba.  When Uriah refused to celebrate his time away from battle, a plot was devised to make Uriah a casualty of war.

16 So it happened that as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew the [enemy’s] valiant men were positioned. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among the servants of David fell; Uriah the Hittite also died, 2 Samuel 11:16-17.

Over the weekend, deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio brought the sound of war to local communities.  Sadly, a local nightclub in Ohio and Walmart in Texas were turned into a battlefield.  When the SOUND of gunshots began, innocent souls ran for their lives.  According to the most recent update on the death toll, 31 individuals did not survive.  The only thing worse than the sound of war are ambulance chasing politicians who are using this crisis to fund raise for their campaigns, demonize President Trump and blame guns instead of mental health.  Until the heart of this matter is addressed, the sound of war will likely continue.

by Jay Mankus

 

Advertisements

Why an Emergency Fund is Essential

Rainy day funds are usually used to apply to the funds maintained by most U.S. states to help deal with budget shortfalls in years where revenues do not match expenditures.  In the days of fiscal responsibility, state leaders annually balanced their budgets rather than borrowing from the future to pay for present unforeseen costs.  The state of Texas uses an Economic Stabilization Fund as their rainy day fund, tapping into this when deemed necessary.  Unfortunately, most modern leaders rely on the federal government as their piggy bank, taking more than putting back.  Thus, when disaster strikes unexpectedly, many are left begging the United States for federal assistance.

The younger of them [inappropriately] said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided the estate between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered together everything [that he had] and traveled to a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and immoral living, Luke 15:12-13.

The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most referenced stories in the Bible.  Yet, few recognize the mention of an emergency.  Just as this immature son wasted his inheritance on wild living, a great famine swept across this region.  Luke uses the phrase “he began to do without and be in need.”  It sounds like this young man was forced to be become a pan handler, scrounging around the streets to survive.  Like Joseph during the famine in Egypt, you have to save during times of great abundance to endure lean periods.  The prodigal son was so consumed by indulging his sinful nature that he neglected to create an emergency fund.

Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to do without and be in need. 15 So he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He would have gladly eaten the [carob] pods that the pigs were eating [but they could not satisfy his hunger], and no one was giving anything to him, Luke 15:14-16.

While human beings make plans for the future, only God knows your ultimate fate.  Two weeks ago I felt fine, unaware of the internal state of my body.  Today, I have to watch everything I eat and drink so that my blood pressure returns to healthy levels.  I’m not homeless like the prodigal son, but I am forced to re-evaluate my diet, exercise and daily routine.  Foregoing my favorite meals is going to be difficult, but if I want to improve my overall healthy changes must be made immediately.  Emergency funds are a biblical concept to help you through transitional phases in life.  When medical conditions take you away from work or the ability to earn money, savings are there to fall back on.  May this blog inspire you to prepare like Joseph in the Old Testament, making the most of rich harvests by establishing an emergency fund.

by Jay Mankus

Moving from Have to Toward Thank You

The Emancipation Proclamation was announced by president Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862.  This document which freed slaves and criminalized future slave owners became law on January 1st, 1863.  Unfortunately, the news of this decree did not reach Texas for another year, keeping many African Americans enslaved well beyond this date.  When freedom finally arrived, individuals were able to move from have to toward thank you.

No longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord, Philemon 1:16.

During the first century, a man named Onesimus was a slave owner, overseeing a young man named Philemon.  Serving as a slave prepared Philemon to be a faithful servant of Paul.  Based upon the passage above, Paul came to see Philemon as a brother in Christ, not a slave.  Thus, Paul’s recognized his devotion behind to scenes to ensure the success of Paul’s missionary journeys.  Philemon moved beyond having to do something because he was forced to by Onesimus.  Rather, Philemon’s work was inspired by a spirit of thanksgiving.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

When anyone decides to leave their former way of life to follow Jesus, this transition doesn’t always mesh well.  Attitudes, behavior and habits are hard to break, especially for those who become addicted to harmful things.  Understanding grace, mercy and forgiveness seem easy, but where a have to desire enters this equation, joy can be lost.  Christians shouldn’t go the church, pray and read the Bible because they think they have to.  Rather, these spiritual disciplines should be done out of a spirit of gratitude, remembering that you have been saved by grace through faith.  May this blog convince you to move from a have to mentality toward a thankful heart.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Unlikely Heroes

Hollywood has a way of portraying films that appear to be genuine, but add an unlikely hero to appeal to the masses.  Although this may draw tears from some viewers, others may think quietly to themselves, “yeah right.”  Teenagers tend to be truth detectors, not afraid to be blunt by cutting through the crap in life that exists.  Despite this painful truth, every once in a while unlikely heroes do come forth.

By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given friendly welcome to the spies, Hebrews 11:31.

One of these which pops up in history is a prostitute from Jericho named Rahab.  I guess you can say she was the Dolly Parton or her day except her whore house wasn’t in Texas.  Nonetheless, God needed someone on the inside.  While her occupation doesn’t fit the typical servant of God, this testimony reveals that the Lord can use anyone to fulfill His will.

And Salmon the father of Bo’az by Rahab, and Bo’az the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, Matthew 1:5.

Rahab may not have done much to receive the honor of being selected as a member of the Hall of Faith.  Yet, she kept her word and held up her end of the bargain.  This simple act of faith saved her families life and opened the door for becoming a distant relative of Jesus.  Therefore, if you want to be an unlikely hero in the future, let faith guide you to the place where God can use you the most.

by Jay Mankus

Singing the Detroit Blues

In an article by , she uses an old Bill Gates quote for her title, “life isn’t fair, get used to it!”  While most parents have passed on this message to their children, amidst life’s storms its hard to accept this reality.  During a scene from Remember the Titans, the fix was in as officials threw a penalty on almost every play earlier in the first quarter against the Titans.  Unwilling to see his team go down in defeat, defensive coordinator Bill Yoast, played by Will Patton, threatens to go to the local News Papers if the game isn’t called fair during a timeout.

Unfortunately, Detroit Lions fans didn’t have Coach Yoast on their sidelines as a 5 minute portion of the 4th Quarter in Sunday’s NFL game at Dallas verse the Cowboys had a similar feel.  On a 3rd down and 1 on the Cowboys side of the field, officials called a pass interference on the defense, giving the ball in field goal range at worse for Detroit.  Without any warning, the call was reversed after it was announced leaving Detroit Lions players scratching their heads.  Beside this non call, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant ran halfway on to the field, without a helmet, yelling at the official who threw the flag.  According to the rules, this too should have been a penalty, making it first down for the Lions inside the Cowboys 20 yard line.  However, officials succumb peer pressure, causing citizens of Detroit to start singing the blues.

 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. – Isaiah 40:8

Although the world is inconsistent, especially in regards to sports officiating, the Bible remains firm.  Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18 continues to warn its readers, past and present, about adding and subtracting from this Holy Book.  I’m not sure what the future holds, but justice was not carried out today on a gridiron in Texas.  In the end, God is the ultimate judge who will hold individuals accountable for their actions, Matthew 12:36.  As for Lions fans, may God provide some type of comfort in the near future so today’s bitter taste of defeat will be removed.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

From the Penthouse to the Manager

Money has  a way of influencing how people behave.  The term affluenza is a socially transmitted condition of overload, causing individuals to always want more without experiencing any sort of satisfaction.  After a teenage driver killed 4 people while driving drunk in Texas, psychologist Dick Miller appeared as an expert eye witness, claiming affluenza kept this boy from comprehending the full consequence of his actions.  When money is unable to purchase the life or in this case the verdict you desire, people go from the penthouse to the manager overnight.

The manger in the Bible is similar to a feeding trough, made out of wood.  As the census draw near, the only housing Joseph could afford was a barn, filled with animals.  Despite this lowly scene, visitors would soon arrive to see the One was left the Penthouses of heaven for a manger.  While 3 magi, experts in the star continued their journey, shepherds of the fields greeted a new born babe.  This experience strengthened their faith as God’s 400 years of silence finally ended.

Before I found my way in life, I lived in the cellar of my sister’s inner city home, sleeping on a couch.  Working 6 months to make what I do now in one pay check, I was forced to develop a keen faith.  With money and power absent from this equation, I started a journey similar to that of the Magi.  However, I wasn’t following a star that I could see.  Rather, I began to rely on an unseen Spirit, Galatians 5:25, leading me one step closer to where I am today.  Nonetheless, I long for the day when this trek will be made complete, John 14:2-4, going in reverse from the manger to a penthouse in heaven.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

U-Turn or Bust

Since reading one of his chapters in Steeling the Mind of America, David Barton has become one of my favorite authors.  In his most recent work, U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, I was shocked by what his research uncovered.  According to Barton, only 34 % of Americans believe in absolute truth.  If these numbers are true, this explains a culture who allows lies to be told, opinions to be elevated to fact status and morality based upon doing what’s right in your own eyes.

To add insult to injury, public schools in Texas are now teaching children the Pilgrims were America’s first terrorists.  Instead of reminding youth of Islamic militants who held American ships captive like pirates, the history of events like the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli are vanishing.  As parents struggle to provide for their families, the state and federal government are brain washing children with liberal, new age and progressive worldviews.  Unless the United States get’s back to its founding principles, it’s U-turn or bust.

When things began to change for Christians as Nero rose to power over Rome in the first century, the apostle Paul left a good piece of advice, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Whether you’re a child, adolescent or adult, don’t take my or David Barton’s words as gospel.  Rather, test everything you hear, read and see.  Do your own thorough research; then once complete, you can cling to that which you have found to be true.  The sooner you turn around toward the truth, the less likely you will be busted by lies of the devil.

by Jay Mankus


%d bloggers like this: