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Tag Archives: disappointment

Remember Where You Came From

Whether your life has turned out to be a success, disappointment or some where in between, its always important to remember where you came from.  Depending upon how you were raised, you’ve likely developed stereotypes about certain occupations, places or people.  Over time these views will either be reinforced or shattered.  Whatever happens make sure you remain humble so you don’t miss out on meeting special people.

For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; Galatians 1:13.

Paul was a religious zealot who initially persecuted and gave the order to kill the apostle Stephen.  Thus, after his conversion to Christ many were hesitant to believe his faith was real.  This backlash inspired Galatians 1, a summary of his testimony.  It wasn’t until Paul began his missionary journeys when fellow Christians began to accept and embrace him as a genuine believer.

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, Galatians 1:15.

While my past isn’t as radical as Paul, I still have issues to overcome.  Years of stuttering stunted my communication skills and ability to draw close to others.  Periods of depression still cause me to withdraw at times, wandering away from the people I love.  Yet, because of God’s grace, I have hope for the future.  Despite my own imperfections, God sent His one and only Son to die for my sins.  Therefore, don’t let the sun go down without accepting God’s free gift of eternal life.  When you remember where you came from, you will likely find a sinner saved by God’s grace.

by Jay Mankus

The Role of Failure in Life

Within a 48 hour period, my son Daniel experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.  Last Saturday he placed 5th in the state in Pole Vault earning St. Georges four points.  After the final event, his school won the state track title by three points.  On Monday, playing in an qualifier for the state golf tournament, Daniel fell 7 shots short.  A few bad holes led to his demise.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us, Romans 5:3-5.

The apostle Paul writes about the role of failure in life.  Disappointment serves as teachable moments.  Failure allows suffering to change your perspective on life.  If you deal with this in a mature manner, character is developed.  If not fits of rage will likely follow.  Each failure you endure allows growth to take shape.  However, it only depends upon how you respond.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, Psalm 73:26.

No matter what you tell a younger generation, sometimes you have to let people learn the hard way.  You can only hold someone’s hand so long.  Eventually, you have to let the people you love sink or swim.  Shielding children from failure will only hurt in the long run.  Therefore, let go and let God use trials to strengthen the people you love.

by Jay Mankus

Blessed, Fortunate or Normal

I spent last night eating dinner at my parents house.  Beside the normal topics of conversation, I began ask about cousins I haven’t heard from or seen in years.  Unfortunately, each relative’s update included a similar pattern, ending with disappointment, divorce or unfulfilled potential.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:19. 

Like anything in life, there is a temptation to compare yourself with others.  While my life hasn’t been perfect or void of adversity, I feel quite fortunate and blessed.  Up to this point, the Lord has provided daily bread, a sense of accomplishment and passion to pursue my dreams.  Then again, maybe I’m just normal, making the most of what God has given me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, James 1:17.

When you study what the Bible says about blessings, you have to be careful not to take verses out of context.  The apostle writes to Philippians after surviving an earthquake and seeing the hand of God in allowing trials to occur.  Meanwhile, the brother of Jesus reflects upon how God is in control, despite how bad your current situation may be.  Nonetheless, when you have experienced a good and decent life, you’re either blessed, fortunate, normal or a little bit of all three.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

As Is Verse Could Be; Should Be

During my time attending a youth ministry trade school known as Tentmakers, a specific mindset was ingrained within me.  Instead of being task oriented, the curriculum stressed the importance of developing vision.  Subsequently, individuals must be realistic with their current position, the As/Is before reaching a desired destination, the Could Be/Should Be.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it, Habakkuk 2:2.

According to C.S. Lewis, success is the process of arriving.  Unfortunately, many people go through life thinking if I only achieve this position, salary or status, then happiness will be achieved.  This belief sets people up for failure, rarely taking time to celebrate the little accomplishments in life.  Those few who actually reach the summit, mountain top, may be unfulfilled pondering, “is this it?”

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay, Habakkuk 2:3.

To insure disappointment does not come knocking at the door, perhaps it may be beneficial to begin thinking about life in terms of As/Is, Could Be/Should Be.  While any type of change will take time to adopt and conform to, motivation in 2017 is still fresh.  Therefore, don’t waste the opportunity to transform your ways in the New Year.  Enjoy the journey with vision as your guiding light and the Lord the wind beneath your wings.

by Jay Mankus

Thankfulness in the Midst of Adversity

The human spirit can handle many things in life.  When knocked down by disappointment, failure or rejection, the hope of a better future enables individuals to get up.  Yet, at some point the psyche can only take so much.  Thus, if a spirit becomes crushed, its difficult to be thankful in the midst of adversity.

The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? – Proverbs 18:14

The passage above written by King Solomon summarizes 2016 for me up to this point.  Although the start of this year went well, the ending has been like a nightmare that you can’t get out of your head.  While my screen writing project failed to be embraced by Hollywood, a more serious situation developed.  In early August, my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes that has zapped his energy.  The hardest thing for a parent is wanting to do something to make things better, yet helpless and unable to intervene.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, Philippians 4:6.

The apostle Paul provides direction for those void of a thankful heart.  When you can’t make a difference, the Lord uses prayer as a vehicle for change.  Thus, I am thankful for the life that I have, not the one I want.  Perhaps, circumstances will turn around soon as I concentrate on prayer.  Even so, I can be thankful in the midst of adversity, especially when I consider my marriage of twenty one years with Leanne which I celebrate every Thanksgiving.

by Jay Mankus

Young Skulls Full of Mush

In the 1973 film The Paper Chase, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. introduces a phrase that has struck a cord with educators and teachers.  Speaking to a class of law students, Kingsfield states the following, “You teach yourselves the law, but I train your minds. You come in here with a skull full of mush; you leave thinking like a lawyer.”  The term mush originated in the late 17th century, referring to a variant of mash.  Essentially, young people are in their infant stage, incomplete and underdeveloped.  The purpose of attending school is to take young skulls full of mush and shape them into mature adults.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22:6.

I guess modern institutions of higher education have not seen this movie or applied Kingsfield’s principles.  In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s surprising loss to Donald Trump in this year’s 2016 Presidential Election, young skulls full of mush are regressing.  Colleges and high schools are doing everything in their power to appease spoiled brats, unable to comprehend how Hillary lost.  Subsequently, some classes and tests have been cancelled, crying sessions have been offered and grief therapy is available on several campuses.  Yet, where is the preparation for adversity, failure and trials within this life?

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth, 3 John 1:4.

The Bible refers to children as either the disappointment or joy of parents.  Depending upon how you are raised will impact how you live and what you think.  Since parents won’t be there that long to hold your hand in life, at some point you will have to exercise free will.  There are two paths according to the Bible, a broad road and a narrow path.  Unless you are trained properly, its easily to make poor discussions.  Therefore, may the words of the verse below serve as a prayer for those people hoping to leave behind a young skull of mush for a life devoted to faith in Christ.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me, 1 Corinthians 13:11.

by Jay Mankus

 

Placing Your Hope in the Wrong Things

For students and workers, every weekend provides opportunities for hope.  Anticipation, confidence and expectation await hoping to maximize your free time.  Yet, sometimes in an attempt to reach your goals, people place their trust in the wrong things.

Hopes placed in mortals die with them; all the promise of their power comes to nothing, Proverbs 11:7.

In the days of King Solomon, hero worship was a major problem.  Instead of thanking the God who created these heroes, individuals placed their hope in mortal human beings.  This decision will always lead to disappointment, especially after athletes, celebrities and stars past their prime or pass away.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, Romans 12:12.

The apostle Paul provides useful advice for anyone who has made the mistake of placing your hope in the wrong things.  Rather, hope should be a source of joy.  While you wait, endure the trials and tribulations that confront you.  Finally, remain diligent in prayer, leaning on the Lord to guide your steps in the future.

by Jay Mankus