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Soul Control

In view of the live shooting deaths of a reporter and cameraman at the CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, gun control proponents have arrived on the scene, taking advantage of this tragedy.   Following the PC Playbook, members of the media are blaming the gun, not the individual.  Depending upon which article you read or interview you see, its almost if guns are demon possessed, taking control of the soul.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world, 1 John 4:1.

One of Jesus’ disciples provides an intriguing insight about the spirit world.  Though its unclear where or how this information was obtained, John gives unguided souls something to think about.  Whether its a thought that pops into your head, a gut feeling in your heart or a whisper, don’t assume the Holy Spirit is talking to you.  Rather, test everything to discern if these voices are from God, the world or the Devil, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

In a world filled with guns and violence, its essential to control your own life.  Choices, decisions and investments open the door to good and bad.  Unfortunately, the more careless one becomes, evil is lurking right around the corner, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.  Therefore, to avoid future pitfalls in life, control your soul by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Who Will Roll the Stone Away?

When facing a challenge, there are two ways to approach any dilemma, with an open or closed mind.  The optimistic see potential, envisioning that somehow or someway the job or task will be completed.  The skeptic will bring doubt to the table, often rejecting or questioning every possible solution that is brought up.  Thus, when an obstacle is blocking your way, the minds wonders, “how will roll the stone away?”

And they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” – Mark 16:3

On a Sunday morning during the first century, a few women headed for a tomb to anoint Jesus’ dead body with spices.  Caught up in all their preparations, none of these women stopped to think about how they were going to enter the tomb.  Guarded by Roman soldiers and protected by a boulder which weighed over a ton, the odds were against them.  However, in this unique case, God cancelled the funeral, arriving to an empty tomb.

For no word from God will ever fail, Luke 1:37.

Every miracle should empower people of faith to believe.  Yet, a disciple named Thomas doubted, another committed suicide and a prophet named Elijah wanted to die after receiving a death threat.  Stones are placed into the paths of our lives on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, most people like me complain, “God why are you allowing this or that to happen?  Or you up there?  Do you care about me anymore?”  These are all good questions, but the answer is easy,  In the Lord’s timing, the Holy Spirit will roll the stones in your life away.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Where Did all the Time Go?

On the first weekend in February 2012, a thought entered my mind, “why don’t you start writing a blog?”  Unsure of where to go or what to do, I consulted a few close friends with similar aspirations.  After receiving their insight, I needed to clear one last hurdle, a name which would define the reason for my blog’s existence. 1300 blogs later, I’m astonished wondering, where did all the time go?

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, 2 Peter 3.8.

There is an old adage that all good things must come to an end.  However, when you find something that you enjoy like an activity, hobby or relaxing pastime, time has a tendency to fly by.  Whenever individuals invest in leisure forms of recreation, the soul is re-energized.  Serving as a distraction from the stresses and worries in life, writing is an oasis for me.  Although I occasionally spend too much time on a blog, going in circles without any progress, I find joy in the journey.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12.

If there was a prayer or wish that would make this world a better place, it would be helping people locate jobs that they love.  Unfortunately, love doesn’t always pay the bills.  Nonetheless, there is something to be said about discovering an occupation or position that you were born to do.  The pressure of making decisions causes many to lower their standards, settling for less than ideal.  Therefore, as you wait for the clock to reach quitting time, may God direct your steps so that your dreams will come true.  Then, you too will wonder, “where did all the time go?”

by Jay Mankus

 

The Place of Restless Souls

In Episode 3 of Project Afterlife, a patient goes to a nearby hospital for a routine procedure.  When an infection is found, this surgery turns into a nightmare, leading to an unexpected death.  During a 45 minute period, this man saw a river, separating two worlds.  To his left, restless souls cried out for help.  On his right, peace, joy and love is displayed.  Before facing judgment, relatives wrestled with God until his soul was resurrected through prayer.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture, John 10:9.

Near death experiences are nothing new.  However, now books are being replaced by you tubes, pod casts and testimonies of those who died momentarily.  As time seems to stand still, individuals recount vivid encounters of heaven.  In this realm, science is replaced by faith.  Though some may embellish to get attention, too many people have had similar experiences which point to another life after this world is through.

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.

Perhaps reflecting on this present life may provide insight and direction in the future.  Leaders of the past have proclaimed life is what you make it.  To an extent this is true, but this doesn’t explain countless souls who are restless, searching for the meaning to life.  Better to ponder now than after your life is gone.  Therefore, as you meander through good and bad times, ask Jesus to help you find an abundant life, void of restless souls.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Bold Request

The recent commercials sponsored by Credit Karma suggest that getting a free credit score empowers individuals with boldness.  Thus, whether you are buying a car or house, you should always ask for more.  Perhaps the meek have a bargaining chip, yet reality is a far cry from Hollywood.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you, ” Matthew 7:7.

Boldness can be manifested within Type A personalities, conceived through desperation or develop overtime through confidence.  In the case of a criminal, hanging on a cross next to Jesus, it didn’t take long to realize He was different.  Whether it was listening to nearby conversations or something inside his heart, a sense of urgency grew.  When the time presented itself, this unworthy soul asked for forgiveness and a place in paradise.

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened, Matthew 7:8.

One of the areas where I am not bold enough is when I pray.  During a discussion with followers prior to his death, Jesus unveiled a secret about prayer.  “You don’t have because you haven’t asked!”  This dilemma applies to many who are currently experiencing a life without much joy.  Therefore, if you want to make a bold request, approach God’s throne of grace with an expecting heart, believing that you too will experience paradise.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Dark Noon

Back in the days when Western movies reigned supreme, each film had a classic duel.  Flicks like Showdown at the Ok Corral highlight the typical gun fight in the center of town, usually at high noon.  Not quite like the days of gladiators at the Roman Colosseum, these battles left the winner on both feet with the loser buried in the local cemetery.  Thus, high noon was bright for the victor and dark for the family of the victim.

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, Mark 15:33.

According to Josephus, a first century historian, he refers to a cosmic event which coincides with the death of Jesus.  Three other famous historians throughout the Middle East mention a dark noon, a global event where day turned to night.  Although an exact time is not specified, John Mark claims this once in a life time event lasted three hours.  Similar to westerns, following the duel between God and Satan, Jesus lost his life.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:7-8.

However, this is not where the story ends.  Though some theologians mention purgatory, a mythical place where Jesus spent time prior to his resurrection, many disagree.  While this debate continues today, no one will know for sure until this question is answered in heaven.  For now, the best thing to do is to keep watch, armed with the armor of God, Ephesians 6:12-20.  Therefore, whether its high noon or midnight, be prepared for the attacks of the Devil.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Ready to Jump In?

Every so often I will come face to face with a crisis.  Usually, its a mom or dad not paying attention to their children, wondering off into trouble.  Sometimes I become the good Samaritan, reaching out just in time to prevent an accident or fall.  Unfortunately, this is rare, often consumed with my own life, oblivious to everything else around me.  Thus, I’m not ready to jump in.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross, Mark 15:21.

One Friday morning, a man was minding his own business, possible thinking about what he was going to do over the weekend.  Suddenly, commotion from the crowds standing along the street peeked his curiosity.  Going over to see what was going on, a soldier called out, demanding his help.  Though its unclear if he was a willing participant, Simon jumped into action, carrying a cross for a pitiful soul, full of blood, bruises and open flesh.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

The term Christian was first derived in the town of Antioch.  Faith wasn’t just a spoken word.  Rather, the followers of Jesus displayed the same love, peace and servanthood of their former leader.  Pleasantly surprised by these acts, citizens began to say, “hey, you must be one of those Christ followers?”  Overtime this phrase was condensed to simply Christian.  In view of this historical fact, may you be compelled to jump into action, following in the footsteps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

 

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