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That Which You Gaze Upon… You Will Become

While listening to talk radio today, I was struck by a caller to the Glenn Beck Show.  Beating around the bush, this man ctonfessed to an addiction to pornography.  During this struggle, one thought kept reverberating, “that which you gaze upon, you will become.”

One of Jesus’ 12 disciples recognized a similar pattern near the end of the first century, 1 John 2:15-17.  Inside of each human being, a hunger exists, searching for objects of desire.  Lusts, longings and pride can shift your focus from where it should be to behind the devil’s door, Ephesians 4:26-27.  In other words, be careful what you wish for.

One of Jesus’ best words of wisdom in his Sermon on the Mount can be found in Matthew 6:19-24.  The Lord knew before creation that which individuals gaze upon, they will become.  The cure to prevent addictions is to begin to store up treasures on earth.  The apostle Paul added to this in Colossians 3:1-4, urging readers to meditate on the Lord day and night.  If bad habits have you staring in the wrong direction, fix your eyes on the author and perfecter of life, Hebrews 12:1-3.

by Jay Mankus

Seven Days in Utopia

While its’ unclear actually who coined the phrase, “timing is everything,” this nugget of truth still applies today.  Whether you are engaging in a conversation, watching a movie or reading a book, if the timing isn’t right, your interest will quickly fade.  Such is the case of a film I recently enjoyed, 7 Days in Utopia.  As a channel surfer like most bored Americans, I stumbled across this film a few times in the past, catching it at the wrong moment.  However, last night, shortly after the opening scene, I was hooked til the conclusion.

Robert Duvall plays a Yoda like character, training Luke Chisholm, a talented but hot tempered young professional, played by Lucas Black.  Duvall takes a person who is a cross between Tin Cup and Happy Gilmore for 7 days to work on his beliefs, mind and perspective.  Trying to overcome the demons in life, Duvall reveals the scars from his past that cut short his own professional career.  With a different focus each day, Chisholm is caught off guard, realizing there is more to life than hitting a little white golf ball into a hole.  On Easter Sunday, this week comes to an end while another journey is about to begin.

Seven Days in Utopia is based upon David Lamar Cook’s novel Golf’s Sacred Journey, Seven Days at the Links of Utopia.  Although, the movie portrays Utopia as a place, its actually a state of mind.  As citizens of earth prepare for an eternal resting place, the power of the Holy Spirit can transform neighborhoods into pieces of heaven on earth.  Whether you play golf or not, I recommend this film to all who seek a higher calling, looking for more than just living 9-5.  May God lead you to a spiritual utopia.

by Jay Mankus

Snapping out of a Self-Induced Trance

The Sermon on the Mount has been a wealth of spiritual insight since it was recorded in the first century.  Following this messakge, Jesus provides common sense for those inspired to practice these words, Matthew 9:12-13.  Anyone who is physically, mentally or spiritual sick should see a doctor for advice, counseling or medicine.  However, God expects the rest to be proactive and self-medicating so that these individuals will be  able to snap out of any self-induced trance.

Galatians 5:16-18 warns its readers against an invisible force able to lull you into a false sense of security.  Brought on by compromise, conceit or rationalizing daily choices, sin can cast a spell over any self-indulging suspect.  Whether its a mentality, new way of thinking or a worldview disguised with modern lingo, even some of Jesus’ own disciples were deceived into believing a lie, Galatians 5:7-9.

As for me, my eye sight has deteriorated over the last month.  Subsequently, reading the Bible or anything for more than a few minutes has been a struggle.  The less I read, the more vulnerable I become to a life without God.  Waking up in the middle of the night on my day off provided a dose of logic to snap me out of this sluggish spiritual condition.  This is why one of Israel’s leaders begged his people to meditate on the Bible day on night, Joshua 1:7-8.  By doing this, you too can snap yourself out of any prolonged trances induced by a sinful nature, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

A Spiritual Break Dance

Back in the 1970′s, a new movement was born in the inner cities across America.  While theories exist as to whom, where and how this form of expression began, one thing is known.  Rap music was the inspiration behind break dancing.  Although this style has faded in popularity, don’t be surprised if you see intricate footwork, spinning headstands, tumbling and elaborate improvised movements.

Over the weekend, I was listening to music for several hours, trying to find something to fall asleep to.  Before I collapsed into a peaceful state of bliss, the lyrics to one song struck me, Love Break Me by Ocean’s Above.  This song may not lead you to dance, but it will urge curious souls to contemplate a spiritual transformation.  When the love of Jesus enters a human heart, a spiritual break dance commences.

Ravi Zacharias grew up in India.  After unsuccessfully attempting suicide, a Christin hospital worker reached out to him and gave his mother a Bible to read to Ravi out loud before being released.  These words touched his heart, Romans 10:19, leading to a life of service to God.   Now a successful author, motivational speaker and ministry founder, Ravi is performing a spiritual break dance on his way to heaven.  Don’t sit on the sideline.  Rather, get up, go to the dance floor and a bust a new move today!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Noise Inside of Heaven

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Christmas Classics won’t be far behind, airing in the next month.  One of my favorites, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” tries to explain how angels can influence human beings.  Henry Travers, plays Clarence, an angel longing to earn his wings by helping George, played by Jimmy Stewart, see how great his life is despite the financial woes of the Great Depression.  This film portrays the noise inside of heaven, ringing bells, as angels complete their assignment thereby earning their wings.

According to the Bible, heaven is compared to a party, similar to a wedding reception, Matthew 22:1-14.  From an eyewitness, the son of God, rejoicing occurs every time a sinner repents, Luke 15:7.  While there are certain stereotypes linked to born again Christians, this doesn’t mean that a church service can’t turn into a football frenzy audience.  In additional, beyond the emotions of any celebration, there will be no tears in heaven, Revelation 21:4, wiped away by Jesus

On earth, the sound of gun shots, screams and violence make heaven seem like an eternity away.  Instead of letting a doom and gloom mentality cause you to give up hope, take advantage of the coming Christmas Spirit.  May believers bring Joy to the World as the sweet sound of worship music revive souls, bringing the noise inside of heaven down to earth.

by Jay Mankus

Helpless… Except for Prayer

After last week’s election, most voters were optimistic that their newly elected leaders would cease this opportunity to make a difference.  Several days later, it appears that many career politicians have reverted to their former ways.  Add in a rogue president who disregards the constitution and citizens become helpless.

In a whirlwind of disappointment, I was reminded of a simple solution, prayer.  Scouring over the Psalms of David, there is nearly a prayer for each emotion you encounter.  Whether you feel betrayed, running for your life or in need of divine intervention, help is just a prayer away.

For those of us who struggle to let go, yearning to take control of daily situations, there is one truth you can’t ignore: the Lord reigns over heaven and earth.  Although you may not like the path America is going down or the road God has chosen for you, there is still time to act.  If you’re feeling  helpless like me, don’t let the sun go down without crying out to the Lord.  In the end, warriors of prayer will usher God’s ultimate will into existence.

by Jay Mankus

 

Look Who’s Laughing Now

Until this week, few Americans knew Jonathon Gruber, the architect of Obama Care.  An economist from MIT, Gruber recently admitted to hiding the true cost of Obama Care from the public.  In a video that has gone viral, Gruber jokes, referring to voters as stupid, gleeful he was able to deceive Congress into passing a bill that could bankrupt America.

A win at all costs mentality, lying if necessary, is destroying the character, morality and virtues of this once great nation.  You don’t have to go to church to understand the concept, “you reap what you sow,” Galatians 6:6-7.  Whether you’re a politician, parent or student, you can’t escape the truth as lies will be exposed sooner or later.  Though the dishonest may be laughing now, God will bring justice in the end.

If Jesus is correct, the devil is the father of all lies.  A subtle thought here, a tiny compromise there and before the know it, the seed for deceit has been planted.  Once implanted into an unknowing participant, Lucifer is the one who is laughing now, with the same smirk on his face after Eve gave into temptation while in the Garden.  However, God doesn’t put up with lame excuses, Genesis 3:12-18.  Therefore, watch your steps and tongue, James 1:13-15, to avoid from becoming a pawn of the devil.

by Jay Mankus

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