Memo From the Mann

A short memo from my personal journey as a child of God, a singer-songwriter, a husband, and a father.

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6 days ago

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. ~ Mark 16:7
 
The angel’s message is still comforting today. When Jesus doesn’t appear to be around you, when he doesn’t appear to be close, when he doesn’t appear to be in your midst ...he is.
He’s never behind trying to catch up with our lives. He’s never too busy to know what we’re living through. He’s never deaf to our calling, our crying, or our prayer.
We’re told that he has gone ahead of us ...our way has already been prepared, our freedom has been lovingly won, and our purpose has been fully laid out.
I was blessed to have two earthly parents that prepared a way for me in this kingdom. It was because of their love for me that a path was designed for me to succeed. Now granted I had to make many decisions, as I still am today, and they surely weren’t always the right ones ...but loving parents provided for me.
Likewise our Father in heaven has done the same, but on a much higher level. He has purposed a life that is designed for good. Joy is there to be had, strength is there to be had, and yes an abundant never-ending supply of love is to be had.
So the angel’s message is still comforting today. When Jesus doesn’t appear to be around you, when he doesn’t appear to be close, when he doesn’t appear to be  in your midst ...don’t be alarmed, he is!
Pray on...
Scripture:Mark 16:7Song: I Never Walk Alone

The Unconfirming

Monday Jun 10, 2024

Monday Jun 10, 2024

Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. ~ Mark 15:32
Have you ever witnessed a small child get set in their ways. They perceive a situation through their very young eyes and mind and you can’t persuade them any different. They normally have to act out with some form of intolerance. They cry out, they stamp their feet, ...holding their breath, that’s a good one ... they usually do this until they tire out and then either fall asleep or forget why is was they were so upset.
At the crucifixion in (Mark 15) there was a group of people that also perceived a situation and had their minds set. Pilate attempted to reason with them, but they weren’t gonna hear any of  it. Their eyes and mind were set on a decided conclusion.
Petulant behavior isn’t just a youngster’s condition. There are plenty of adults that haven’t figured out how to negotiate not getting their own way. It’s the reason why we witness road rage, unprovoked violence, and a world that’s so impatient.
The way we perceive a situation will determine how we react to it. In Romans 12:2 we read, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
At the gathering before Pilate we learned of a group of people who had become conformed to the world they were living in, and as for the young child, they may very well need to be taught of God’s way before they can mature in their faith, but as for our present world, the unconforming begins with ...a transforming and renewing of the minds, and a discerning of God’s will,  would certainly be a welcome change, and a start to recognizing what is good and acceptable, and perfect.
Pray on...
Scripture: Mark 15:32; Romans 12:2
Song: I'm Willing to Do Your Will (Album: Worship)

A Gethsemane Wink

Monday Jun 03, 2024

Monday Jun 03, 2024

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~ Mark 14:38
I admit right here, and right now that I am weak, that I have moments where I lose control, that I have a dark secret, that I have an addiction ...to dark chocolate. Yes, I also have other food addictions, but not withstanding them, I continue.
My spiritual life has been in good condition these past number of years. It’s been a steady deepening of understanding, and a closer relationship with God, but saying that, I have to be clear that my flesh has not been in lock step. It has, and continues to be a deterrent to my lifestyle, it is a biblical thorn for sure.
Jesus says in Mark 14:38 that the spirit is willing to avoid temptation, but the body is vulnerable, that it’s weak ...and so it is as late in the evening I hear the dark chocolate calling, and it tempts me to no end, until weakened, I make my quiet, slow, guilty walk, to my downfall.
Now some perspective would be good here. Dark chocolate is not what some of you would think to be a serious breach of temptation, but it is because it’s part of a human condition that we have to be aware of, and one that we prayerfully must deal with.
As I wrote in my song “I’m a prayer whisperer in need of a Gethsemane Wink.
Pray on...
Scripture: Mark 14:38Song: A Gethsemane Wink (Album: Love Strands)

Monday May 27, 2024

Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 
~ Mark 13:33
Our demise here on this earth is a guarantee, it’s a definite, you can bet your life on it. (Sorry for that little play on words there).
Knowing that, we find ourselves in a place where we don’t have any idea when and or where that day will happen. We don’t have a single clue!
Now in context, this verse (Mark 13:33) is speaking Biblically of the end times, but when are days come to an end, that in itself is our personal end times.
And yes, we should be on guard, and we certainly should be alert to the chance that it could happen at any moment, but that doesn’t mean we should be living in a state of fear. But it does behoove us to be living in a state of awareness.
Are our hearts right? Are we experiencing each day to its fullness? Are we walking in the footsteps of Jesus? Are we acting on the opportunities that are presented before us?
Through our faith are we eagerly awaiting, and anticipating our arrival before God?
Pray on...
Scripture: Mark 13:33Song: Stars Under My Feet (Album: Stars Under My Feet)

Monday May 20, 2024

but she, out of her poverty, put in everything ~ Mark 12:44
I often foolishly offer that my happiness is in opposite proportion to my lack of debt. That is to say that I carry no debt, and believe that I live a happier, more content, and stress free life because of it.
Now the premise is that I don’t have money problems which relieves the weight, and stress, that accompanies them. My wife and I make our purchases in cash. We have learned to wait until we can afford an item before we bring it home.
Then again, we were brought up in a time when our parents paid over time and after the last payment brought home a brand new sparkling product. Today we bring home the product and by the time we pay it off, it’s old and needs to be replaced. Backwards huh?
But it hit me today that I’ve got a bit of it wrong. Yes, I have no worldly debt, and I love that, but I DO have a world of spiritual debt.
Everything I have is by grace. Just for clarity’s sake, the monies we save for the things we need are eyeballed to us by God’s grace, It’s really just borrowed from God, I don’t own it ...it could very easily be taken away by God at any moment ...in reality, I’m actually nothing but in debt to him.
Truly I tell you, this poor soul owes absolutely everything to his gracious father in heaven ... and so do you!
Pray on...
Scripture: Mark 12:44Song: You Give to Me (Album: The Twelve)

The Colt

Monday May 13, 2024

Monday May 13, 2024

Have you seen the money people are spending on collectibles lately? An amazing amount of money has been, and is, being spent on all sorts of things that have been in the possession of the famous (often worth more when they’re no longer with us). I don’t personally adhere to this behavior, but then again I’ve never been an autograph hound either.
So I’m reading in Mark 11 about the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, and something jumps out at me. Something that screams ‘Ebay!’
Listen to this and see if you know where I’m going...
Mark 11:1–3 (NIV): As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ”
Did you hear it?  Did you notice it? The colt, the unridden colt, the unridden, prophetic colt (or donkey as it’s sometimes referred)! Are you gonna tell me that the colt wouldn’t be a collectors item in today’s world, that it wouldn’t be worth way too much money, that it wouldn’t garner a hefty profit for someone on Ebay?
Now what does that tell us about the world we live in? There has to be a message loud and clear in that revelation.
See, I understand the value of the colt. It served the Son of God. It transported him ...and no one else had ever ridden it (a virgin of sorts). But there’s a difference between valuing something and using it for a prophet. It seems to me that our world has blurred the line between the two.
Then again we live in a world that is so far removed from that Palm Sunday event so many years ago. But I can’t help but wonder about such things ...and that recognizing the world’s values, the careless loss of innocence ... and the basic disrespect for human life aren’t signs of how we’re treading down a dark path.
Lord, help us to regain our vision, our voice, and our love for the life that was won for us.
Pray on...
Song: It's Cold War (Album: Trio)Scripture: When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. ~ Mark 11:7

Such As These

Monday May 06, 2024

Monday May 06, 2024

My wife adores the idea that I will watch out for her, that I will provide for her, and that I will always love her. That’s not to say that she isn’t an individual of intelligence, substance, and compassion, but one of her greatest gifts to me, was her relationship with the child that resides inside of her. It’s opened the door for me to re-introduce my grown self, to little Eddy.
My daughter, when she was very young, used to draw cityscapes. You know, streets with people and houses. One day she showed me her creation and it was what you might expect. The stick people were out of perspective, the streets went nowhere, and most peculiar, were the houses which leaned one way or another. My immediate adult response was to point out what couldn’t be. The homes would most certainly collapse standing on such angles and the ...and I caught myself, I caught myself removing a portion of her creativity, a portion of her childhood.
You see, children are wide-eyed and open to the world, all things are possible. They aren’t held down by the limitations, the boundaries of this world. They are free spirits. They truely grasp God when he says “all things are possible.” In verse fifteen of Mark 10 he says, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Did you catch that, he said like a little child.
We cannot lose the innocence of our childhood and embrace the kingdom of God. The difficulty that a lot of people have is that they are limiting God with the boundaries of this world.  They can’t phantom an idea if it doesn’t seem possible within those worldly parameters.
Lord help us to reconnect with the child that’s deep down inside all of us, and help us to get back in touch with the innocence of our youth, and the ability to see and know a God who can make all things possible ...help us to be like little children.
Pray on...
Song: Little Dreaming (Album: Pray on...Scripture: ...like a little child ~ Mark 10:15

Getting Right

Monday Apr 29, 2024

Monday Apr 29, 2024

Have you ever found yourself correcting others under your breath? How about out loud?
Have you found yourself being an elitist ... feeling superior because of your standing in the community, or your education?
Well in the interest of being honest, I was brought up in Philadelphia, PA ...where when it comes to sports everybody seems to believe that they are better coaches, managers, GM’s and owners than anyone else. Okay, admittedly we can be a bit over-the-top at times.
Well here’s a snapshot of what Jesus says about that in Mark 7, “Some take pride in what they do, others (The Pharisees) take pride in finding out what others do wrong.”
We’ve all heard or known these people. (Maybe we’ve even been one of them at some time.) The world is full of such people who believe that they know better than us, then everyone else. Some even profess to knowing more than God!
The know-it-alls take pride (now there’s a scary word)...
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (John 2:16
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
...The know-it-alls take pride in knowing what others do wrong, not right, not right ...but what they do wrong.
Maybe today we can focus on Jesus’ response, where he quotes Isaiah 29:13,
13 And so the Lord says,
“These people say they are mine.
They honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me
is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.*
 
Let’s get right with God!
Let’s get our worship right!
Let’s get our hearts right!
Pray on...
Song: Hallelujah (Album: Chapel Songs)

See...

Monday Apr 22, 2024

Monday Apr 22, 2024

A lack of faith will diminish our vision, it will gum-up our thinking, and it will no doubt cost us our understanding. As the hymn writer wrote, “I once was blind, but now can see.” What shines there before the believer, is completely missing from the lost.
Darkness will overcome your human efforts to see. (The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:5). Only the Light will overcome the darkness. Only by faith can we see the truth, see the answer, see and then embrace the saving.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” ~ Mark 6:4. To many, including his family, he was just another tree wandering about in the forest.
Corrected vision is a blessing when we get diagnosed and put on those prescribed glasses. We would do well to contact our spiritual optometrist (The Creator), recieve His prayerful diagnoses, and then to put on those heavenly glasses.
Pray on...
Song: See (Album: The Twelve)Scripture: Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” ~ Mark 6:4.

Just Have Faith

Monday Apr 15, 2024

Monday Apr 15, 2024

Let’s talk about faith, or our lack of it today. Let’s step back and look at how we’ve been dealing with the latest stumbling blocks along our journey. One thing’s for sure, we’re always handling a problem, just getting over one, or on the cusp of a new one ...that’s life.
So before jumping into our response to the current, or next problem, let me share a nugget of wisdom from my father. It goes like this, ask yourself, in light of my past mistakes, and in expectation of my future situations, what’s the best way to face my present problem?
I love this because it helps us to see how God has worked in the past, and brings to mind his promises for the future, which then helps us to lean on him, instead of relying on our own imperfect solutions.
There are so many opportunities to just have faith. Think about it,  every single day, there are so many situations where just having faith would resolve conflict and unwarranted stress. We continually miss moments of joy because we’re busily fretting needlessly. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36) ...here’s an idea, let’s just do it, let  just have faith!
Pray on...
Song: Holding On To You (Album: Endurance)Scripture: “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” ~ Mark 5:36

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