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Tag Archives: believe

So Lame… By Hiding His Name

We live in a polarized world where any type of comment, statement or words can ignite explosive comments on Twitter.  Sometimes things can be taken out of context, but once you hit send you can’t take this back.  Subsequently, political correctness is the new bully on the block, causing conservatives and liberals to retract earlier posts.  This public pressure is deterring many from bolding expressing what people believe.  The byproduct of this atmosphere produces lame Christians that often hide Jesus’ name.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house,” Matthew 5:14-15.

This fear inspired the words to the children’s classic song This Little Light of Mine.  Harry Dixon Loes, a former student at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago composed this song.  The founder of this school, D.L. Moody, wanted to serve God but wasn’t given a classroom to teach in his church.  An elder encouraged him to start a Sunday School outside of church and when his class got big enough a space would be provided.  Thus, D.L, Moody went to the beaches of Lake Michigan and began to introduce strangers to the good news about Jesus Christ.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven, Matthew 5:16.

Eventually, Moody’s following became so large, he started his own church in the 1800’s.  On the day of the great Chicago fire of 1871, Moody felt rushed at the end of his sermon.  Thus, he decided to skip his call to action, a time to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Later that night, several members of his congregation were killed by the flames.  This error in judgment burned within Moody’s heart, inspiring weekly altar calls in case another unexpected disaster followed.  Like the words of Jesus above, lamps are meant to shine light every where.  Therefore, don’t allow peer pressure to limit the light of Christ within you.  Rather, let your light shine.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Real Collusion

As congress continues to debate the future of healthcare in America, there is a Texas two step occurring behind the scenes.  The House of Representatives and Senate are revealing the first act in public through a display of anger, concern and tears.  Despite putting on a good show, dirty dancing starts behind closed doors as government leaders are allowing healthcare lobbyists to write legislation which will ensure these companies and executives will make millions of dollars annually.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others, Philippians 2:4.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a slice of logic to prove my point.  If Obama Care is so great, why would Democrats and Republicans exempt themselves from this program?  As Jerry Maguire once said, “show me the money.”  Well, if you follow the money, it’s interesting to find that most of these public servants end up millionaires before retiring.  How is this possible?  The dirty little secret is that anyone who is elected receives the best healthcare in the world.  Meanwhile, average citizens are forced to deal with rising premiums, less choices and limited healthcare.

Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved, 1 Corinthians 10:33.

While the main stream media spend countless programming hours chirping about Russia collusion with the Trump Administration, the real collusion is occurring between lobbyists and members of Congress.  Since this fact conflicts with political talking points, the cameras attention are pointed in a different direction.  Hoping that out of sight, out of mind will squash any attempts to reveal this truth, only time will tell the future of healthcare.  Yet, if Americans sit on their hands without raising a voice, life could soon become like Charlie Gard who was denied emergency medical care, left to die due to a government run healthcare.

by Jay Mankus

Thriving in Adverse Conditions

The Landcare Research Center in New Zealand have recently made an interesting discovery.  According to Mark Smale and his survey team, several plants and vegetation living in the Taupo Volcanic Zone are thriving despite a soil temperature of 72 degrees Celsius.  In case you were wondering, that’s 161 degrees Fahrenheit.  The breaking point was found to be 80 degrees Celsius, where only thermophilic algae can survive.  This interesting find illustrates the fact that God has created living things can thrive in adverse conditions.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.  He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels, 1 Samuel 17:4-6.

If you enjoy watching sports, there are certain contests, games and matches that are clearly a mismatch.  In the early years of Israel, no Jewish soldier could match the size, strength and supreme confidence of the Philistine warrior.  Goliath stood just under ten feet tall and was protected by 156 pounds of armor.  Day after day Goliath challenged members of the Jewish army to a duel but everyone ran and hid in fear.  During a visit to the front lines to see his older brothers, David witnessed Goliath’s daily rant.  While the odds were against this frail six foot tall shepherd boy, David possessed a faith which thrived under extreme circumstances.

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?  Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” – 1 Samuel 17:26
Today, the phrase David verse Goliath is over used and often taken out of context.  Faith without action is dead.  Victory is achieved through complete trust in the God given talents that you possess.  It doesn’t matter what others believe as long as you or your team know winning is possible.  If God has the power to create the heavens and the earth, why don’t more individuals turn to the Lord when facing adverse conditions.  The only thing missing in the lives of many individuals is a faith that thrives in adverse conditions.
by Jay Mankus

 

It’s Not What It Seems

As you grow close to co-workers, family and friends, there are certain tendencies that you expect to see.  Sure, there will be anomalies that will occur that might catch you off guard momentarily, but you know them.  Meanwhile, there will be other phases which people go through that will question how much you really know about these individuals.  Nonetheless, sometimes actions, behavior or words are not what it seems.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? – Matthew 3:7
At first glance, I didn’t understand why John the Baptist rebuked Pharisees and Sadducees in the passage above for wanting to be baptized.  At this time in history becoming baptized by John was trending, the popular thing to do in the Jewish community.  Thus, John saw through their hidden motives, like those praying out loud at the weeping wall, trying to convince others of their godliness.  While individuals today continue to seek attention in similar ways, be careful that you’re not fooled by someone living a lie like Jim Carrey in Liar Liar.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance, Matthew 3:8.
When actions appear to be fake, phony and unusual, the Bible provides a truth detector.  The author of Matthew who is a member of the tribe of Levi suggests that genuine confession is followed by acts of contrition.  If an alcoholic is seen at a bar Sunday night after informing his pastor I have finally quit drinking, no one will believe him.  When a woman promises not to have another affair yet is flirting with a co-worker the next day, what good is this vow?  Since we live in a world of hypocrites, stop coming up with excuses for poor decisions or it’s not what it seems may become reality.
by Jay Mankus

Behind the Bins

Before technological advances spoiled average citizens, Main Street was the heart of America.  Whether you parked at one of the meters, rode a bike or took a stroll through town, each day was a social event.  Weekly visits allowed individuals to put names with faces as friendships developed.  Grocery, hardware and repair shops enabled strangers to get to know the workers behind the bins.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.

Today, center cities, main streets and town halls are slowly fading away.  As more stores close, online orders are replacing the typical shopping experience.  Sure, mega malls still serve as a place to go on a cold, hot or rainy day, but this decay of socialization is ruining conversational skills.  If you don’t believe me, just watch young people interact in a public setting, unable to take their eyes off of cell phones.

As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man, Proverbs 27:19.

Although it’s nearly impossible to go backwards in time technologically speaking, there must be something people can do to reconnect.  Facebook does provide old friends a new way to touch base, but unless you take the time call someone on the phone, instant messages are superficial.  Beside the Bible, there are two books that I recommend which if applied can help you rediscover relationships.  How to Win Friends and Influence People and Bringing Out the Best in People can awaken the art of conversation by helping you get to know the people behind the bins.

by Jay Mankus

A Race Against Time

When you hear someone mention the term race, it’s often in reference to Track & Field, Horses or Nascar.  Yet, my use is in the context of a personal battle.  Currently, I have fluid in my left eye along with a recent collapsed cell wall.  The sad thing is that this is my good eye.  Following emergency glaucoma surgery in December, a cataract has developed in my right eye to blur my vision.  Subsequently, I’m in a race against time to finish the book that I started this Spring.  Meanwhile, I still have a collection of screen plays I need to edit and an additional script in my head.  God willing I am hoping to complete these projects while I can still see.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him, 1 John 5:14-15.

Seeing and believing are two different aspects of faith.  According to the verse above, prayers should be based upon God’s will.  However, if what you are asking is foreseeable in the context of God’s will, you should be confident in having this request honored.  The only problem with my current dilemma is I’m not sure if it’s in God’s will for me to write full time.  As for now, I am trying to maximize my time away from work so that I can make the most of the gift of sight.

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith,” Matthew 21:22.

This second verse on prayer refers to overcoming mountains, persisting despite obstacles blocking your current path.  Since last winter, I wake up daily not knowing if my vision will be blurred or clear.  I have the faith for the Lord to heal and restore my sight, but a medical miracle has not arrived.  The only thing I can do is press on like the persistent widow.  This woman of faith did not stop praying until she received the outcome she desired.  Perhaps, perfect vision is illogical to hope for in prayer.  Yet, I cling to the promises in the Bible waiting for a miracle to occur in connection with God’s will.  This is my race against time.

by Jay Mankus

 

Just How Much I Don’t Know

Beginning in 1989, Nike began the Bo Knows advertising campaign to sell a new line of cross training sneakers.  Due to the amazing talent displayed by Bo Jackson as a professional running back for the Oakland Raiders and baseball player for the Kansas City Royals, the concept that Bo Knows fit.  Improbable for most people, Bo’s athleticism didn’t seem to be a reach.  Thus, the ideal that Bo Jackson could play any sport was conceived.

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge, Proverbs 18:15.

Nearly twenty years later, over confidence isn’t a problem.  Rather, narcissism is on the rise as many Americans are convinced that they can do anything they set their minds toward.  While confidence isn’t a bad trait to possess, the danger comes when people believe without a doubt that they are right and everything else is wrong.  If you follow politics, this explains the tension which exists between party lines.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings, Hosea 6:6.

As for me, I have reached a point in life where the older I become, the less I actually know.  Once clear absolutes like honesty, marriage and truth have turned into fifty shades of grey.  Opinions are replacing facts with good intentions rewarded for being on the right side on political correctness.  The world that I wake up to daily is a distant memory from the Christian values I was taught as a child.  Yet, transformation begins from within, displayed through faith in action.  Although many in the world may disagree with my point of view, emulating the love of Christ is the only way to revive wounded souls.  Actions speak louder than any spoken or written word.

by Jay Mankus