Let's Feast on Theology

God the Icebreaker

November 15, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

On June 16, 2016 the Arktika was launched. Yup. It’s a new class of icebreaking ships ordered to be built by the Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom. It’s basically a 568 feet long mammoth of raw power, bringing 80,000 hp (that’s 60 megawatts) to break through ice almost ten feet thick! It will open up routes for convoys of ships that would be otherwise impassable.*... Keep Reading

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Theology

God Doesn’t Take Fingerprints With Ink

October 11, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

As a former federal law enforcement officer, I have a not so fond memory of the first time I fingerprinted someone I arrested. Sure, I learned at the academy how to properly take an arrestee’s prints. I was schooled in how to roll the fingers on the fingerprint card with just the right amount of pressure, squeezing the correct amount of pasty ink from the tube. Not too much, not too little. Now, here was my debut out “in the field” where the big boys did their thing.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Touch

August 9, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

The following story is a Facebook post by my gracious niece Brianne of her encounter with a homeless man and how it affected them both: “Just had a homeless man ask for food outside the Wendy's on Bardstown Rd. and when I told him I had no cash on me he replied I understand and I don't want money just some food! So I bought him a burger and some nuggets when I purchased my own food! I've never seen a man more pleased and full of joy! He began to cry and said this is the first thing he has eaten that was not out of a dumpster in a month and that he was thinking about ending his life yesterday when he was turned down for another job and completely down on his luck! He then proceeded to thank me and told me that if it wasn’t for me being so willing to help and taking time to talk to him he might have given up! Tears pouring from his face as he smiled at me made my heart happy knowing I helped him through one more day! Glad I am fortunate enough to make someone this happy! Sometimes it’s a simple act of kindness and a couple minutes of time to change a life! Not everyone is so bad!” ... Keep Reading

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Theology

Jesus is the Ultimate in Free Soloing

July 12, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

I used to be a kind of adrenaline junkie... To the untrained eye you wouldn’t think that I was into pushing the limits of physical and psychological prowess. But you would be wrong. And you might even ask for some examples. Strap yourself in. I have one for you. As a little boy I climbed what my young eyes saw as an enormously tall tree in our family’s yard. Who knew that giant sequoias grew in New Jersey? I stretched my tender tendons to grasp that next branch with the risk of plummeting at any moment. One tedious and measured clutch; one branch at a time. It was madness. That is until, out of sheer terror, my parents showed up and pleaded with me to stop my ascent. The tree trunk was bending and the roots were popping out of the ground. Never mind that I could have had my self-image injured for life from the two-foot plunge before reaching the top of that three-foot tall wooden colossus.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Wrestling Matches With God

June 15, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

It goes without saying that professional sports are deeply embedded in our culture. One such sport has always made me scratch my head, wondering why it’s attractive to its fans. I’m speaking about pro wrestling. Most people watch pro wrestling with all its characters and drama for its entertainment value. And although it’s not considered a “legitimate” competitive sports match, if you spoke with a devoted fan they would probably acknowledge that unlike competitive sports it is, indeed, all scripted. The outcome is already determined, but they wouldn’t say it’s fake. After all, fake implies what the wrestlers do is unreal, which isn’t true. They actually are wrestling. This accounts for why fans can identify with their favorite wrestling hero and root them on in the excitement of all their antics in roped 20’ x 20’ ring.... Keep Reading

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Theology

The Trash Days of My Soul

May 17, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

Every Wednesday like clock-work the same hydraulic song plays in front of my house. It’s a deliberate sound from that thing that has “wheels and flies” but isn’t an aircraft. It stops and its claws squeeze its prey, effortlessly lifts it and devours it as if in one motion. Then it continues down the street in its serial gluttony of mishmash, all served up curbside in poly-something-or-other vessels methodically placed in the front of each house.... Keep Reading

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Theology

The Happiness Report

April 12, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

Contentment is one of those loosey goosey words. For one person’s contentedness might be another’s nightmare. One person is content with the bare necessities of life such as a roof over their head and fish tacos. The same sustained situation would make another’s expression make the subject in Edvard Munch’s portrait The Scream look like Humpy-Dumpy. Of course, social/geo/eco context is everything. “What? No Wi-Fi? What’s the point of living?”... Keep Reading

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Theology

If God Gambled, Would He be Good at Blackjack?

April 12, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Right? Or, to accurately quote the tagline, “What Happens Here, Stays Here.” Usher used the tagline for a song, and of course, those cinematic masterpieces of all time have been inspired by it: the Hangover movies (they’re considered a trilogy now!). As a slogan it’s ingenious for its marketing acumen to attract tourists. It was birthed by the R & R Partners ad agency over 14 years ago with the notion of attracting tourists to the desert oasis for “stuff” other than gambling; just fill in the blanks yourself for what you crave, and you’re off to have your fill.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Do Footprints Ever Really Disappear?

February 15, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

The tradecraft of tracking has always fascinated me. I’m not talking about when I was a tot and tracked mud into the house while the thermal waves of reprimands bellowing from my mom’s Scots-Irish throat would have made Nebuchadnezzar’s oven seem like the South Pole. What I mean is that uncanny ability to track an animal or human by interpreting the unintended traces they leave behind.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Burying Roots

January 13, 2017 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

I was enjoying my morning devotion while savoring a nice dark roast cup of java when I heard it. It was a muted and thumping sound like hydraulic equipment driving pilings into the ground or some such thing. No. It was a human wielding a machete, tossing lopped off roots from a hole while his coworkers were digging a humongous six-foot deep grave in my front yard! Always curious about why someone is being buried on my property, I went outside to get the lowdown. As it turned out, these guys were grave diggers from AT&T. They had descended on my property to repair the connection to some fiber optic thingamajig that was intercepting signals from the main box across the street.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Advent: Jesus Turned Up and will Show Up

December 22, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

The church is now fully in the season of Advent which began on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. For most churches in the West, Advent is the beginning of the church year. The word itself derives from the Latin adventus which means arrival, approach, or coming. Some interesting synonyms are: birth, appearance, materialization, and occurrence. I particularly like these two: turning up and showing up. At Christ’s first Advent He definitely “turned up” in fulfillment of prophecies, types and shadows in the Old Testament.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Hero Worship

November 9, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

I confess that I’m guilty of hero worship. No, I don’t mean that loaf of Italian bread cut lengthwise and stuffed with meat and all those veggie munchies. Although, I’ve probably come close to bowing down to one in the sanctuary of Jersey Mike’s. Let’s face it, when you get one scrupulously well-made it’s easy to get lost in a hoagie fantasy as you grind the sub into chewable sub-morsels and revel in the experience.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Christ Doesn't Need a Super Pac

October 19, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 1 Comments

It’s an understatement to say that this looming presidential election has been odd. The electorate is being bombarded with the candidates’ dizzying rhetorical speeches, bumper sticker banalities, fanciful and acrimonious tweets and sound bites. Oh, let’s not leave out those campaign slogans and presidential preferences on placards stuck into front yards; real- estate strongholds of political preference, ranging from impeccably manicured lawns to just good ol’ weeds and dirt. Like two-dimensional hands on rigorous forearms waving as you pass by they make an appeal for hope: “I know best who can lead our country.” Accordingly, everyone has a preferential voice. It’s as it should be in a democracy, right? And we ought to be grateful for living in a country that allows us to vote for the next rotation at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Christ is the Supreme Gold Medalist

September 14, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 1 Comments

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio had over 11,000 athletes from more than 200 member nations of the International Olympic Committee participate in the event. You’d be surprised that I thought long and hard about participating myself. However, to my chagrin, jogging wasn’t listed as an acceptable event. What’s that about? Does everything have to be quick? Are only the speedy to be rewarded with gold? Come on, plastic would work for me. No? Oh, alright…I settled for watching real athletes at their craft. Whew! That’s why they’re called gold medalists! Fast and furious!... Keep Reading

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Theology

The Pearl-like Beauty of a Heart Recreated by God

August 10, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 2 Comments

Many moons ago when I was jeweler, I had the occasion to set gorgeous pearls into fine jewelry-- marvelous and iridescent round balls that were always a delight to my eyes. They have been considered candy for the eyes for centuries and some of the world’s most precious jewelry has been adorned with them.... Keep Reading

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Theology

Yippee! It’s official. The new Jason Bourne 2016 movie will be released on July 29th! I’ve always enjoyed the intrigue and thrills of the Bourne film series based on the character of Jason Bourne; a CIA assassin created by author Robert Ludlum and then brought to the big screen. Jason Bourne is a man trying to figure out who he really i... Keep Reading

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Theology

Stump Grinding vs. God’s Promises

June 8, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

Twelve years ago a rather young live oak tree was planted in our front yard. It was cute in its barky adolescence, even awkward in that it couldn’t decide which direction to lean. As any caring father would do for an adolescent, my hands guided it in a way I thought it would look most regal as it reached for the sky. I remember easily pulling... Keep Reading

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Theology

What Do You Want To Be Known As?

May 11, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 2 Comments

I always find it interesting that there are people who need to be known “as” something. There’s this human need that relentlessly pushes to self-title so a person is not considered “ordinary.” It has the potential, at least, to set the person apart from others; to stand out. What’s interesting is that it can be i... Keep Reading

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Theology

Undercover Ops and Being "Outed" by Christ

April 13, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

In law enforcement there’s an effective strategy to catch criminals called the undercover technique. For criminal investigations they’re known as undercover operations; i.e., “ops.” Undercover ops have been dramatized in countless cop shows. Basically, a police officer or federal agent assumes a fake identity and poses as a ... Keep Reading

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Theology

Love is Not God

March 16, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

In our day it’s amazing to take in the smorgasbord of opinions about who God is or what God is. It’s as if God can be anything someone wants Him (or it) to be so long as He/it aligns with their overarching notion of what “life is all about.” We might hear that, “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” (Jo... Keep Reading

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Theology

I’m one of those people who cringe at having to read an owner’s manual or instructions about how to put something together. I would break out in a cold sweat when I had to put together those boxed toys on Christmas morning for my sons. I still don’t like reading instructions about how to put gadgets together due to my inveterate i... Keep Reading

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Theology

Snake Charming and the Theology of Deceit

January 13, 2016 | by: Dave Maniquis | 3 Comments

Now here’s the scene: folks strolling through those bustling bazaars or markets in the enchanting East. And suddenly they come upon one of those “dude of dudes” in the realm of herpetologists--the snake charmer. With a tiny wooden flute this guy choreographs the dancing snake with music. A highly venomous cobra! You’ve proba... Keep Reading

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Theology

We Were Made to Feel Comfortable in Our Skin

December 9, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

During the Advent season Christians anticipate two things. First, the arrival of Christmas Day that celebrates the First Advent of the Old Testament longing for the Messiah. This was fulfilled in Jesus Christ as the Incarnation of the second Person of the Trinity. Second, there’s reflection on the promised return of Jesus or his Second Advent... Keep Reading

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Theology

“What is Truth?”

November 11, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

For the unsuspecting person it’s fairly easy to be hoodwinked by a con-artist peddling something purported to be real but is actually fake. Sometimes it’s easy to spot. However, if a fraudster is proficient enough in his craft he can be very successful even to those who should probably know better. You may not even ask yourself, “... Keep Reading

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Theology

God Makes a Person - Junkyards are for Parts

October 14, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

I am so grateful for graveyards. Really. Let me clarify. I mean auto graveyards; affectionately called junkyards. Years ago I owned a Nissan that just kept running well into the 120,000 mile range on the odometer. Then a major mechanical/electronic failure occurred. The foreign car mechanic who isolated the problem articulated my options in an unco... Keep Reading

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Theology

The Theological Basis of Eating Lobster

September 3, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 1 Comments

I love lobsters. Let me rephrase that. I love to eat them. I find lobsters to be fascinating creatures. Recently I was in the seafood section of a large grocery store and there they were. A crowd of them in a huge bubbly holding tank of water, each sporting those industrial strength pink rubber bands on their claws; essentially declawed while still... Keep Reading

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Theology

The notion of being a citizen of two different countries has always intrigued me. A dual citizen has to choose which place suits them the best. After all, you can’t be in two places at one time. (Although I have encountered people who seemed to be in multiple worlds far away.) Many countries permit dual citizenship, others have very restricti... Keep Reading

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Theology

Lamenting What is Truly Lamentable

July 14, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments

Another report of senseless violence last month in our 24-hour news cycle. Nine people dead, just like that, while attending a Bible study at their church in Charleston, S.C. A hateful barrage of lead and brass taking out nine imago dei by another, yes, imago dei. These acts of evil jolt us in the midst of our rather ordinary lives. We’re spe... Keep Reading

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Theology

The Feast of Theology

June 17, 2015 | by: Dave Maniquis | 3 Comments

I’m always impressed by how much people know about a given trade or area of expertise in which they’ve diligently studied. And how they apply this acquired knowledge in practical and beneficial ways; whether it be at a job or career or some other endeavor. What’s most impressive is that if you ask them for advice about how to go a... Keep Reading

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Theology

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