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Tag Archives: Travel Golf Media

Voices from the Grave

After spending a long weekend enjoying the warmth of Florida, the remaining days of my family vacation served a different purpose.  My wife’s father bought a condo back in the 1990’s when her brother JD was pursuing a career as a professional golfer.  Following my marriage proposal to Leanne, I spent a winter living in Florida with JD to fulfill my own dream.  With the passing of Jim Wagner last fall, it was time to clean out everything that has accumulated over the past 25 years.  Before putting this property on the market, sorting through what was left behind was necessary and to my surprise like hearing voices from the grave.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, James 2:26.

When death separates the living from the deceased, one of the few things you have remaining are the memories of your time together on earth.  Two of my visits to Oldsmar, Florida were business trips, serving as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media.  One of the perks of this job was playing golf for free along with a photographer.  Thus, Jim and Leanne took turns helping me, saving several hundreds of dollars in greens fees in the process.  While going through a closest I found several hats, a golf shirt and score cards from these memorable rounds of golf.  Upon seeing these items, it was like hearing Jim’s voice again saying, “thanks for a great round!”

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead,” Matthew 8:22.

The hardest part about coping with death is letting go.  Some mourning individuals create a memorial in their homes with letters, pictures or clothing worn by this loved one.  Meanwhile, deadly accidents have crosses or wreaths to remind you of the fallen.  Yet, at some point you have to move on.  During a discussion with potential candidates, Jesus urged eager disciples to let the dead bury their own dead.  Jesus isn’t trying to be cruel or harsh.  Essentially, Jesus is commanding his followers to focus on the living, those near you who need your help.  Therefore, if you want to leave your own legacy take Jesus’ advice so that your actions may serve as voices from the grave after you are gone.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Period

In the context of history, a period is a length or portion of time.  Physics refers to the interval of time between successive occurrences of the same state.  Woman experience a flow of blood and other material from the lining of the uterus, lasting for several days each month.  Meanwhile, English uses a period as a punctuation mark to clearly define the end of a sentence.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it, Habakkuk 2:2.

Punctuation enables writers to separate sentences and their elements to clarify meaning.  In my early years,  I was an expert at crafting run on sentences, confusing my teachers and lowering my grade.  To make matters worse, I battled periods of stammering and stuttering throughout high school.  One of the only ways I could clearly communicate was with a pen and paper.  Thus, poor grammar hindered my ability to express myself.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

Oddly enough, I have spent the last 25 years in one form of writing or another.  This began as a poetry teacher in West Virginia, offering nightly active learning workshops for students.  From here I dabbled with song writing, climaxing with an album.  After exploring short stories, I ventured into a monthly news letter called Soul Improvements as an editor.  Serving as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media, developing high school Bible Curriculum and now writing movie scripts is all part of the journey I am on.  I’m not sure where this gift will take me, but I will continue to pursue this quest until God punctuates the end of my life with a period.

by Jay Mankus

3 Days in Paradise

As Christmas quickly approaches, Thanksgiving get’s the short end of the stick.  A mere blip on the radar screen as retailers transition from Halloween to Christmas overnight, often bypassing Thanksgiving completely.  If you don’t believe me, malls, outlets and retail shops are now open Thanksgiving night to start Black Friday shopping early.  To avoid complaining anymore on this day of thanks, I want to share about 3 special days in paradise.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, James 1:17.

Since my mind tends to wonder, I write down everything I learn from reading the Bible, recording these thoughts in a journal.  At the beginning of October, the journal that was suppose to last for the year was completely full.  Without any cash on hand, I sorted through some old journals to see if there was any room to record a few days or weeks.  This search led me to stumble upon an old day timer from 2001.  This book recorded a brief history of my days as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media.  The 3 days that stick out are March 12-14th.

http://www.saddlebrook.com/tampa-golf/

Unfortunately, the same day I uncovered this day timer, my wife informed me that her father had passed away from complications of a car accident a week earlier.  As I celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I believe God wanted me to remember these 3 days.  Prior to my kids Spring Break, I spent several hours contacting golf courses in Florida ahead of this family vacation.  Leanne’s parents Jim and Barb flew down while my family drove down the 12 plus hour drive to Tampa.  While I didn’t have enough time to play golf every day, I was able to schedule 72 holes in 3 days.

http://www.belleviewbiltmore.com

My wife and I were initially suppose to play day one, 36 holes at Saddlebrook Resort and Spa, an hour north of Tampa Bay.  Since Leanne was sick, her father Jim stepped in as my photographer for the day.  We teed off at 8:07 on the Champonship Saddlebrook course, had lunch with the Director of Golf on the cabana and went off at 1:30 in the afternoon on the Palmer Course.  Since this resort is the world headquarters for the Arnold Palmer School of Golf, the pro paired us with a father and son who attended this week long golf clinic.  This is probably the only day I made my father in law feel like a king.

http://www.golfchannel.com/video/places-play-and-stay/tampa-bay/

On Tuesday, Leanne, Jim and I played Biltmore Golf Course, south of Clearwater, about a mile from the Gulf of Mexico.  This Donald Ross original is a classic tree lined course with plenty of character.  The final round was in Lutz, Florida at the TPC of Tampa Bay, teeing off at 11:14.  Host of one of the Senior PGA tours most popular stops, this course is challenging but fair if you hit it straight, not one of my strong points.  While I only had one good round out of four, the weather was beautiful and the company great.  As I celebrate Thanksgiving 2017, I will always remember my 3 days in paradise playing golf.

by Jay Mankus

How Relevant are You?

I spent the majority of my years as a student in obscurity, afraid my stuttering would embarrass me in some way.  It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I began to become relevant, serving on student council, volunteering to help build the class float for homecoming and reaching out to individuals throughout the school.  Whether popularity makes you relevant or not, I came into my own as a human being, with the highlight turning my parents basement into a nightclub for one Christmas evening during my freshmen year of college.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? – James 2:14

In the years that followed, inconsistency is the best term that describes my life.  I had my moments in the spot light, playing sand volleyball at Geauga Lake in its hey day, serving as a journalist for Travel Golf Media and store manager of Michael Jordan Golf at O’Hare International Airport.  However, I consider these personal accomplishments, not something that makes you relevant.  The best way to explain relevance is by quoting Larry the Cable Guy, ” get ur done!”  Yet, what if you invest your time and energy into things that are trivial?

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead, James 2:17.

From an eternal perspective, my most relevant year was 1993.  I spent the first portion at a youth ministry trade school called Tentmaker’s, fine tuning my spiritual gifts.  The next three months involved applying this new found knowledge as a counselor and teacher at a boarding school for career underachieving junior high students.  The final six months of 93 were my finest, serving as a youth pastor in Columbus, Indiana.  These days were the epitome of relevance, meeting my wife to be in the final month of this year.  Yet, for now, I struggle to find relevance, distracted by the stress of life.  Although its nice to reminisce from time to time, its never to late to become relevant again.  May we all strive to find our place in this world so that our deeds, faith and work will not be done in vain.

by Jay Mankus

Walk This Way… Talk This Way

As the summer of 1975 draw to a close, Aerosmith released their classic hit Walk This Way just before Labor Day Weekend.  When vinyl was king, this second single from the album Toys in the Attic was re-released a year later in November as popularity grew reaching as high as Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Essentially, this song written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry brought Aerosmith into the mainstream during the 1970’s and revitalized the band’s comeback in the 80’s.  From a high school loser to a taste of success, these lyrics struck a common cord with American’s, able to relate this song to life.

From the fall of 1999 thru early 2002, I spent time working as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media, now known as Travelgolf.com.  Every winter I was sent books, product or videos to review, then write an article based upon my experience as a former golf professional.  One of my favorite assignments was pretending to know nothing about golf, starting from scratch.  The goal was to watch each of the 3 videos in the set, apply the lessons on a course or practice facility for a week and give an accurate assessment of the teacher’s instructions.  Although frustrating, I was learning to walk and talk like an infant picking up a golf club for the first time.

In the decade that followed, my role changed from giving solid advice about golf to spiritual insight on life.  Unfortunately, the older people get, the more set they become in their ways, unwilling to consider honest critiques.  In fact, as a former Bible teacher, I’ve learned that certain forms of entertainment, hobbies or  pastimes are sacred.  A mere suggestion of error, flaw or inaccuracy often provoked explosive debates in class as if I was attacking their little brother or sister.  Therefore, I tried to be more subtle, quoting verses like Psalm 26:3, Proverbs 27:19 and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, letting the Bible do the talking for me.  May these words from the Bible convince the unstable to walk and talk like Jesus, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

Making An Emotional Connection

Whether its a person, place or thing, when you make an emotional connection, experience a breath taking view or recognize an unique talent, a special place opens up in your heart.  I can recall moments in life when I went to a conference, attended a retreat or met someone on vacation that I never knew, yet an instant connection occurred.  Like twins separated from birth, a long lost cousin you never met or divine intervention, there are certain types of people who click with your personality.  Despite a lack of history, some aspect, character or trait unites 2 souls together, making an emotional connection.

Last January, my wife and I returned to the place of our honeymoon for the first time, Palm Springs, California.  Yes, any day as a newly wed is special, but the landscape of the desert, mountains and vegetation of this region became etched into my mind.  Whether you’re visiting Hidden Canyon in the Joshua Tree National Forest, taking the Aerial Tram to the top of the mountains overlooking Palm Springs or hiking along the trails in Indian Canyons, there is so much to do in this section of California.  One week isn’t enough to see the sights with golf destinations, shopping and of course the Salton Sea to explore.

Finally, if you are teachable, every now and then God will reveal to you a gift you never knew you had.  Periodically I dabbled into forms of writing beginning with poetry.  From here I moved on to song writing and short stories as well as trying to write articles for various publications.  While serving as a journalist for Travel Golf Media for 2 and a half years, I began to ponder my connection with writing.  What I’ve learned is that when I take the time to be still, reflect and put into words what you’ve feeling and thinking, a sense of peace fills your soul.  Thus, this emotional connection with writing continues to stir my heart, inspiring me to be a faithful writer for Express Yourself 4 Him.  May you encounter several good emotional connections in 2014.  Have a blessed day!

by Jay Mankus

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