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A Message from Molly

Today if anyone wants to research a foreign topic, people often rely on Google, Wikipedia or reach out to Alexia or Siri for information.  In one click of a mouse, everything you want to know instantly pops up on a mobile device or tablet.  However, before computers, libraries provided a vast collection of historical records waiting for those hungry for knowledge.  The Farmer’s Almanac gives insight into previous trends, allowing land owners to ascertain which is the best crop to plant.  Indians relied on wisdom passed down from previous chiefs to survive harsh winters and flourish during the harvest season.  Seeking advice is a good practice before making important decisions for your future.  Yet, sometimes even the least unlikely sources divulge powerful life lessons that should be heard and incorporated into your life.

Now these things [the warnings and admonitions] took place as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 1 Corinthians 10:6.

Prior to this week, I never knew who the Poker Queen was or anything about the woman who earned this nickname.  Nonetheless, the 2014 memoirs and 2017 film Molly’s Game introduces the world to Molly Bloom.  When Molly’s ski accidently fell off during her final run of the woman’s moguls, any hopes of qualifying for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah disappeared.  Prior to entering law school, Molly moved to Los Angeles, California to start the next phase of her life.  A job as a personal assistant introduced Molly to a weekly poker game between celebrities and Hollywood stars.  The professional athlete within Molly drove her to quickly become an expert of the game of poker.  This passion opened the door for a thriving business, networking with the rich and famous to run high stake poker games.  This uncontrollable rush took its toll, sending Molly into a ethical and moral tailspin.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold, Proverbs 22:1.

To avoid a spoiler alert, I will focus on the honorable message Molly sends at the conclusion of the film Molly’s Game.  After tabloids leaked a list of former players from a deposition, sworn evidence given by Molly, her reputation was tarnished.  Despite growing financial issues, Molly refused to hand over her laptop and phone to the prosecution.  These devices contained damaging details which would have ruined families and relationships across the country.  Molly was holding the winning lottery ticket in her hand, offered millions of dollars to hand over this dirt.  Nonetheless, Molly has decided to protect her former players rather than betray them for money.  Why you may ask?  In a few closing remarks, Molly replied, “the only thing I have left is my reputation.”  While her book and film may suggest its already questionable, Molly has chosen to defend her name rather than cash in the poker chips that she is holding.  May this message from Molly Bloom inspire you to devote your life toward developing a godly reputation.

Jby Jay Mankus


I Can’t Believe It’s Real!

When I visit my parents over Christmas, my viewing habits usually change, watching a show that one of my sisters, mom or dad enjoys.  On an evening several years ago, my older sister and I began watching an A&E marathon of Cold Case Files.  Though intrigued by the technology, nothing in the first few episodes grabbed my attention.  As I was about to call it a night, a quote from a detective from California blew my mind;  stating emphatically, “yeah, demonic forces are behind many of the serial rapist and killers in our state!”

The context of this statement was in reference to a confession made by a serial rapist and murderer who had recently been detained by police.  According to this man, when he was 13, he was seduced by a demon in a dream.  After many reoccurring dreams, he began to follow a voice in his head to first rape females; then over time kill women after raping them.  Instead of saying the devil made him do it, he said, “a succubus made me do!”  In the awkwardness of the moment, my sister and I looked at each other thinking, I can’t believe that’s real!  At the conclusion of this case, I ran down stairs, entering my parents’ computer room to prove this non-sense wrong.  What I found, changed my perspective on the spiritual realm.

Like the latest State Farm Commercial, you have to be careful about the sites and sources you reference and research on the internet.  Places like Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary and Occult websites can cloud your judgment as well as fill your minds with unwholesome images.  The Meriam-Webster dictionary gives the most accurate account revealing Incubus as male demons who tempt woman into having sex when they sleep and Succubus as female demons who tempt men when they sleep.  However, I wanted to go deeper than a definition to see if there were any case studies or real life encounters that appeared credible.  In my initial search, I discovered 3 with historical documentation.  My findings suggest what some law enforcement officers already believe; there is a direct correlation between demonic forces and violent crimes like rape and murder.

Over my 29 years as a Christian, its clear there are several topics considered taboo for churches to address from the pulpit.  According to Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Ministries, roughly 25 % of all pastors in America, struggle with some form of pornography.  If one of these men or women tried to speak out by confessing their sin, most if not all would have their positions terminated.  Thus, sexual issues like Incubus and Succubus are never mentioned, swept under the rug with all the other controversial issues.  I’m not a biblical scholar nor do I claim to be one, yet it appears Incubus and Succubus fall under the category of spiritual forces of evil mentioned in Ephesians 6:12.  My objective for this piece is not too promote panic each time you go to bed.  Rather, I want each person to be armed with the power of God’s Word, the Bible, so that you will successfully take your thoughts captive as you sleep, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Remember the promise of 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you than is he who is in the world!”

by Jay Mankus

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