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My Two Cents on Lent

Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing until Easter Sunday, Lent is a season of preparation for Christians.  This forty day period commences with a service remembering God’s words to Adam, ” from dust you were created out of, from dust you will return.”  Like anything in life, it takes time to prepare one’s heart to transition from the natural to the supernatural.  Thus, Lent serves as an annual journey to embrace the memory of a resurrected Messiah.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:19

Unfortunately, this tradition is often limited to six weeks instead of maintaining faith throughout the year.  Sometime after Easter egg hunts end, when chocolates candies disappear and the emotion of this spiritual holiday ceases, people go back to their former ways of life.  Like hibernating animals, faith goes into hiding, sleeping until the winter is replaced by Spring.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:20-21

Now at the half way point of Lent, its not too late to awake from a spiritual slumber.  Though shocked upon receiving the tragic news that his children perished, the Lord gave Job a heavenly perspective.  Instead of blaming God or becoming bitter, Job remembered the gift of life.  Therefore, as the season of Lent continues may the Holy Spirit transform you to become grateful for the hidden miracles in life.

by Jay Mankus

Soul Food

The origin of soul food can be traced back to enslaved African Americans.  While their masters received the choice cuts of each prepared meal, servants relied on leftovers or undesirable pieces to eat.  Making the best with any ingredient they could scrounge together, soul food describes this ethnic cuisine cooked with southern hospitality.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37

Spiritually speaking, the soul is the essence of an individual.  Thus, when you do something with everything inside of you, a portion of the soul is displayed.  However, just like human beings, the soul needs food to enrich the lives of people.  Without nurturing the soul, a void will continue to persist.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? – Matthew 16:26

The Bible is the only source that revitalizes souls, Hebrews 4:12.  While maintaining a healthy diet is important, prayer can rejuvenate a weak or dying soul, 3 John 1:2.  Therefore, the next time you enjoy an all you can eat buffet, don’t forget to stop by the dessert table with Bible reading, meditation and prayer so after you’re finish you can say it is well with my soul.

by Jay Mankus

Dr. Md; Is There a Doctor in the House?

Illness can be a mystery, especially when no obvious symptoms are present.  One day you feel great; the next you struggle to get out of bed.  As more and more doctors retire after a generation of service, the desperate will continue to cry out for help, “is there a doctor in the house?”

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.- James 5:15

Since 2012, I’ve battled a severe sinus infection that I can’t seem to shake.  Headaches, fevers and periods of fatigue have whittled away my faith of ever improving.  Perhaps, my condition are side affects from lyme disease that I first contracted in 1999.  Whatever the reason for my recent ailments, I pray that a doctor will come to my rescue with the correct diagnosis and cure.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. – 3 John 1:2

Nonetheless, sometimes God allows a person to suffer without any signs of recovery.  According to 2 Corinthians 12:7, the Lord struck the apostle Paul with a thorn in his flesh.  This condition prevented Paul from becoming proud during his successful ministry on earth.  Despite crying out for healing, his request did not get answered.  Although I am currently waiting for insight, all I can do is trust God that one day soon my pain will fade away.

by Jay Mankus

 

After the Morning Has Broken

Busted, cracked, fractured, ruptured and smashed are all indications that someone or something is broken.  Though goods and items usually reveal obvious signs of damage, human beings are better at hiding their pain.  Unfortunately, the scars of the past prevent some from ever seeing another sunrise.

My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. – Psalm 131:1

Humility is a vessel God uses to bring arrogant individuals back to earth.  Whenever anyone becomes too puffed up in their minds, trials will arise to regain the proper perspective.  If this is achieved, souls will begin to discover the meaning behind Cat Stevens 1972 hit Morning has Broken.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Whether this blog finds you depressed or sky high, each time the morning has broken to commence another day, this symbolizes a second chance at life.  Since the Lord keeps no records of wrongs, 1 Corinthians 13:5, everyone get’s a fresh start, with the slate wiped clean daily.  In view of this, thank God for every time you experience the dawn of a new day!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Trojan Horse Called Net Neutrality

In the Aeneid of Virgil, the concept of a Trojan Horse is first mentioned.  The actual event is referred to in Homer’s Odyssey, where the Greek’s fake surrendering, leaving a Trojan Horse at the gates of Troy, sailing off into the sunset.  Taking their trophy inside of Troy, once asleep, a hidden enemy within the horse attacks in the dark, turning celebration into defeat.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did,         1 Corinthians 10:6.

If you like your internet provider, you can keep your internet provider.  Sound familiar?  History has a way of repeating itself ironically, especially when the future fails to listen to their past.  Thus, if Net Neutrality is anything like Obama Care or any other government program, the FCC’s decision on February 26th, 2015 will be like the Trojan Horse for America.

From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command; 1 Chronicles 12:32.

This bill essentially makes the government of the United States God, determining what is fair and unfair.  Therefore, if your beliefs don’t align with a secular worldview, don’t be surprised if the shows you watch on television and websites you visit have trouble streaming.  If the experts are right about this potential fate, may God have mercy on us all!

by Jay Mankus

Leaning on a Broken Stool

In Christian Education, a three legged stool is used as a visual aid to illustrate core essentials to maintain a healthy and  stable life.  Each leg symbolizes a key ingredient: a church home, godly family and development of a biblical world view.  If any of these three elements are missing, individuals will never be able to fully experience an abundant life in Christ.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full, John 10:10.

Whether you’re married or single, its easy to cut corners, making the best with what you have.  Subsequently, one might become a casual attender to church, replace family with friends or dust off your Bible every once in a while to make yourself feel good.  This type of mentality is toxic, poisoning your faith, leaving many to lean on a broken stool.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!   So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth, Revelation 3:15-16.

As I examine the lack of success in my life the past three years, it can be directly attributed to a weakened foundation of faith.  Compromise, neglect and a lukewarm spirit has spawned mediocre results.  If you’re fluttering along like me, perhaps you need to re-evaluate the stool you’re sitting on.  Find a church to call home, seek reconciliation with those family members you’ve strayed from and set aside time every day to enrich your life with the Bible.  When these three legs are secure, you will begin to taste God’s daily bread.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Ignoring an Obvious Blessing

As the sun rises on another day, alarms sound waking up individuals to begin a new adventure.  Pressed by hustle, bustle, and trying to get ahead in life, leaves many oblivious to a blessing right before their eyes.  The greatest miracle on earth are the children that are procreated and conceived by woman.

Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. – Psalm 127:3-4

While the passage above is true, love, sex and relationships can’t be forced.  Panicking due to a barren womb, Sarah tried to force the issue by sharing her maidservant with Abraham, her husband.  This selfish act gave birth to Ishmael, the Father of Arab nations.  This momentary lapse of judgment has haunted the nation of Israel ever since creating a clear and present danger for the Jewish faith.

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. – Psalm 127:1

According to Solomon, churches and homes can’t be manufactured.  Though each requires discipline, hard work and faith, the future of any heritage is dependent upon the Lord.  Formulas, gadgets and technology may give a perception of success, yet in the end God will either bless or curse man-made efforts.  Therefore, before you start your next adventure, project or task, follow the words of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 so you no longer ignore obvious blessings.

by Jay Mankus

 

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