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Tag Archives: the National Football League

What Do You Value…Show Me Your Money

Rod Tidwell is a fictional character played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.  Tidwell is a veteran wide receiver in the National Football League who is about to become a free agent, looking for one final contract to secure his families financial security.  Tom Cruise plays a hot shot sports agent who is fired from the firm he helped built.  Thus, Cruise is left with one client, Tidwell, whose main request is “show me the money.”

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for [the hands of] the righteous, Proverbs 13.22.

As part of a small group Bible Study, my wife and I have to create a detailed budget to track where our money is being spent.  Upon completion, this spreadsheet will reveal what each of us value in life.  While the majority of our paychecks are spent on a mortgage, food and utilities, other interests will be unveiled by previous expenses.  I am not sure what the final results will uncover, but I am sure there are areas like fast food and golf that need to be reduced in the future.

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.  The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender, Proverbs 22:6-7.

According to the Bible, King Solomon is one of the richest and wisest to walk the face of the earth.  Thus, as this man shares some advice about financial matters in the passages above, its important to reflect upon this information.  Solomon places an emphasis on leaving a financial legacy for your children and grandchildren.  As this process is ongoing, Solomon urges individuals to educate your children about money.  Whether this is through allowances, chores or saving money, these practices help shape what your offspring value in life.  In other words, Solomon is asking what do you value?   If you want to know, show your spouse where your money is being spent.

by Jay Mankus

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When X-Rated Thoughts Become a Lifestyle

A recent study discovered that the porn industry made over 13 billion dollars worldwide last year.  This is more profit than the National Football League, the premiere professional sports industry in the United States.  Then again, this might explain why advertisers create promiscuous commercials year after year to target a younger audience.  Based upon the statistics of pornographic viewership, at some point in the process of temptation X-rated thoughts are becoming a lifestyle.

Then it happened in the spring, at the time when the kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all [the fighting men of] Israel, and they destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 11:1.

Like any bad habit or an addictive behavior, there is usually a pattern that leads up to engaging in the actual act of sin.  Step one begins when individuals have idle time.  In the passage above, David didn’t go to work.  Each spring when the snow melted and roads were passable, kings went out to work to defend their borders or expand their territory using force.  For some reason, David lost interest, searching for something else to do in life.

One evening David got up from his couch and was walking on the [flat] roof of the king’s palace, and from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very beautiful in appearance, 2 Samuel 11:2.

Step 2 often goes hand in hand as boredom is a byproduct of idleness.  Free time can cause human minds to wander.  In the passage above, David was star gazing when an open window revealed a beautiful naked woman.  Instead of going back to the stars, David was fixated on each physical feature of her body.  After an initial subtle glance, lust conceived within David’s heart, opening the door for step 3, enticement.

David sent word and inquired about the woman. Someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” – 2 Samuel 11:3.

Enticement feeds on human nature using appeal, bewitchment and charm.  As if minds are trying to use logic to justify the thought of any wrong doing, enticement weakens souls.  While some may turn back after being enticed, day dreaming, fantasizing and ungodly passions take most people beyond the point of no return.  The only thing left is engaging in the actual act of sin.  Unfortunately, this is where common sense is abandoned as David disregarded the fact that this naked woman was married.  Enticement drags curious souls into a web of darkness that few escape or recover from.

 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death, James 1:13-15.

The passage above details how and why an X-rated mind can become a lifestyle.  The author of this book is credible, the earthly brother of Jesus who likely had a few minutes with him before his ascension into heaven.  James warns believers against blaming God for the choices they have made in life.  Those who give into temptation have placed themselves into environments that usually result in sin.  Therefore. if your minds is leading you where you don’t want to go, take the advice of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 so that X-rated minds can be cleansed and made whole.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Real Heroes Didn’t Make It Home

A father recently brought his daughter to visit Washington D.C. to see the National Mall and the various monuments throughout the city.  During a stop at the Vietnam Memorial, a man in full dress uniform decorated with medals stood by a wall.  This girl turned to ask her father, “daddy is that man a hero?”  Curious, the father replied, “let’s go find out.”  A few minutes later, this girl pulled on this stranger’s arm, “excuse me sir, are you a hero?”  Pausing for a moment, this solider responded, “No, the real heroes didn’t make it home.”

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Mark 10:45.

In response to the horrific events of September 11th, 2001, Pat Tillman was cut to the heart.  As a member of the Arizona Cardinals, this rising star in the National Football League felt compelled to serve his country.  Thus, in 2002 Pat Tillman retired from professional football to enlist in the United States Army.  After basic training, Tillman joined the Army Rangers serving several tours of combat while serving overseas.  Unfortunately, Pat Tillman was killed during an incident in the mountains of Afghanistan.  This hero never made it home alive.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua 24:15.

Last week, the National Football League introduced one of their new rules changes for the 2018-2019 season.  After a series of players began to kneel during the National Anthem last season, fans began to boycott causing a drastic decline in viewership.  Thus, owners decided to fine players in the future for kneeling as all players must now stand.  Players can opt to remain in the locker room until after the anthem is completed if they wish.  Perhaps, some of these millionaires need to be reminded of Pat Tillman’s story.  The least these current athletes can do is honor and respect one of their own.  As the United States of America celebrates Memorial Day, make sure that you remember that most of the real heroes never make it home alive.

by Jay Mankus

 

Under Further Review

Beginning in 1986, the National Football League adopted a limited instant replay review for close calls made by officials during the course of a game.  The current policy was made permanent in 1999, giving coaches two challenges per game.  If both challenges are won, a third challenge is awarded to this team.  Initially, referees stared into a camera with something like a voting booth curtain for privacy.  Today, officials are given tablets to speed up this process.  Once a determination is reached, the head official begins with the phrase “upon further review.”

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12.

This expression can also be applied to evaluating your life.  The end of one year and beginning of new one serves as a great time to take the time to reflect.  You may even ask yourself some of the following questions.  Did I attain any of the dreams, goals or objectives I laid out?  How did the circumstances of the year influence me for the better or worse?  Am I closer to fulfilling my aspirations in life or do I need to change course quickly so that hope does not drown?  While this may not help you initially, it’s a good starting point to see what needs to change in 2018.

For nothing will be impossible with God, Luke 1:37.

At first glance, 2017 was a painful year, saying good bye to my cousin Billy and father in law Jim.  These events led my wife and I to sit down to create a will just in case death comes knocking.  Another setback was receiving a rejection letter from Hollywood for my screen play Express Yourself.  This news crushed my spirits initially, but has led me to begin working on Dragged Behind the Devil’s Door in 2018, a script that was rejected by Hollywood in 2016 but did receive favorable comments by judges.  Perhaps, I am on a wild goose chase, wasting countless hours reflecting, studying and writing.  Yet, as a former professional athlete, I’m swinging for the fences hoping that I will eventually connect.  Right now my batting average is 000, but upon further review I serve a God who makes the impossible possible.

by Jay Mankus

 

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

There are certain classic movie lines that apply to life.  One such scene occurs in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke.  A captain played by Strother Martin is talking to a stubborn prisoner played by Paul Newman.  Following a frustrating exchange, the captain comes to the realization that you can’t reach everyone.  This dialogue ends with the famous words, “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry, Colossians 3:5.

Last Sunday the National Football League played a game in London, England as the Jacksonville Jaguars soundly defeated the Baltimore Ravens.  Prior to the game, both teams took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.  Moments later, each rose to their feet to honor Great Britain’s anthem, God save the Queen.  As I watched this live streaming the game on Yahoo, I was confused.  While I heard the reasons for this public display during postgame press conferences, I feel like the captain in Cool Hand Luke, not sure why a foreign flag was honored with your home flag shunned.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, Matthew 6:33.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what I think.  What’s important is for leaders to come together, get into a room and come to a clear understanding.  Instead of speculating on opposing views, exaggerating, gossip and slander isn’t helping anyone.  Before healing begins, conservatives, democrats, progressives and republicans need to clear the air and start from scratch.  Unless this conversation begins soon, I’m afraid America might not be able to recover from this divisive climate.  May spiritual leaders see the big picture by seeking God’s kingdom and righteous first.

by Jay Mankus

Keep Pounding

Sam Mills was a gritty defensive player in the National Football League.  Despite his 5 foot 9 inch frame, Mills played 12 years in the NFL, spending his time with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.  Before entering the NFL, Mills spent 3 seasons with the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars earning the nickname Field Mouse for his tenacity.  Playing along side Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White, the Stars won 2 league titles.  Through the years, Sam became a leader on and off the field, eventually serving as an assistant defensive coach for Carolina following his retirement.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him, James 1:12.

Before his untimely death, Mills was known for giving inspirational speeches.  Prior to a playoff game with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, Mills encouraged his defense to Keep Pounding for 60 minutes, referencing his battle with cancer.  This phrase became a mantra for the Carolina Panthers as the team later added a drum to drive this message home to each player.  In April of 2005, Mills succumb to his battle with cancer, dying in his home town of Charlotte.  In the following fall, the Panthers honored Mills by retiring his number 51 jersey.  The legacy of Sam Mills continues today with the theme, Keep Pounding.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up, Galatians 6:9.

In the verse above, the apostle Paul uses a different way of expressing keep pounding.  Instead of applying this to football, these words refer to life.  Everyone will face trials in life.  Whether it’s an accident, illness or unforeseen circumstance, staying positive isn’t easy.  Yet, when you develop perseverance and a will to keep pressing on, God honors the steadfast.  Therefore, whatever obstacle is currently standing in your way, keep pounding until victory is obtained.

by Jay Mankus

 

When Timing Really is Everything

In the hours following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Major League Baseball and the National Football League felt it was inappropriate to play games while bodies were being pulled from beneath remnants of the World Trade Center.  Subsequently, baseball commissioner Bud Selig cancelled all games for the rest of the week.  Meanwhile, Paul Tagliabue postponed a weekend slate of NFL games, citing regrets of playing two days after president John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 1 Corinthians 10:6.

While civil unrest is apparent, citizens unhappy with how some Americans were killed and treated by law enforcement, perhaps now is a good time for a season of trueths.  If timing really is everything, what good will further protests do in the wake of the deadliest day for police officers since 9/11.  Where is common sense, decency or social etiquette to let people mourn and remember those whose life have been snuffed out?  If individuals don’t learn from history, America will not escape the same fate fallen civilizations have endured.

There is time to kill and a time to heal.  A time to tear down and a time to build up.  A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:3-4.

Regardless of your stance on racial relations, there should be one common bond that unites, that we are one nation under God.  The political correct crowd can not deny the founding of religious principles established by our forefathers.  Thus, everyone must make an important decision: are you going to be part of the problem or a piece to the solution?  Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes are profound.  Yet, if these words are ignored, I’m afraid healing will never arrive.  In the future, don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  Rather, ask God to help you see what you can do to make America great again!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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