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Tag Archives: dream

God of the Impossible

If you follow, read or watch the news, it’s hard to remain positive.  Like the down trodden in this life, hope can disappear for extended periods of time.  Thus, many are left alone, stuck in an impossible situation praying for a miracle.

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you,” Matthew 17:20.

For some the story of David and Goliath is nothing more than a fairy tale, a figment of one’s imagination.  Yet, history conveys the truth found in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 17.  While David’s size was an obstacle, a midget compared to the giant mocking God on a daily basis, his experience as a shepherd prepared him for this battle.  Against all odds, David shot down Goliath with his sling shot opening the door to become king of Israel.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father,” John 14:12.

When Jesus traveled throughout the Middle East during the first century, doubt was prevalent.  Doing the impossible was a dream blocked by the mountain known as reality.  Thus, Jesus found it necessary to regularly talk about the power of faith and belief.  As Jesus began to cure, heal and perform miracles, the impossible seemed to be within reach.  Therefore, don’t let doubt keep you trapped.  Rather, cry out of Jesus so that the God of the impossible will return to perform another miracle.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Turn It Up

In a contest, the best players and teams have a tendency to coast at points during the regular season.  Falling into this trap often leads to disappointing loses and major upsets.  At some point you have to respond, by raising your level of competition.  If you are dedicated, gifted and talented, when you turn it up success usually follows.

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.

According to one of the Old Testament prophets, vision requires patience, resolve and timing.  If you are impatient, you may quit before seeing and tasting the fruits of your labor.  Therefore, when others are on the verge of giving up on a shared dream, remain steadfast by turning up the intensity.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up, Galatians 6:9.

Perhaps the apostle Paul is referencing Habakkuk in the verse above.  The notion of delayed gratification is a foreign to this generation.  In life you can’t just put a prayer request on a credit card, then wait for it the mail to be delivered.  Although some prayers do get answered instantaneously and or quickly, this is not the norm.  Rather, in times of doubt, turn up your faith, waiting for a spiritual harvest to arrive.

by Jay Mankus

A Man of Broken Promises

Sometimes you have to listen closely to what you say.  If you don’t, you could end up blowing smoke, carelessly throwing out words void of meaning.  As I reflected upon recent conversations with my children on my days off, its sad to say that I’ve become a man of broken promises.

A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool, Ecclesiastes 5:3.

Just because someone is intelligent, does not make them immune from making foolish decisions.  The context of the passage above likely refers to Solomon’s struggles to please his wife.  Like any good husband, there is a desire satisfy the needs of those whom you love.  Unfortunately, Solomon acquired 700 wives and 300 concubines as king of Israel, making it extremely difficult for him to be a man of his word.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow, Ecclesiastes 5:4.

As I try to pick up the pieces of my tattered reputation, the words of Ecclesiastes serve as a good place to start.  Whether you are talking to friends, family or neighbors, don’t promise anything you can’t keep.  If anything, limit your commitments and over deliver.  For if you don’t heed this message, you may wake up one morning like me and realize that you’ve become a man of broken promises.

by Jay Mankus

 

Discovering Your Future Through Past Failures

Prior to computers and type writers, when individuals felt like they had something important to remember, a diary or journal would be pulled out of a drawer to record these thoughts.  Unfortunately, many of these ideas weren’t discovered until someone dies, found by family members while sorting through personal belongings.  Some of the greatest poets of all time did not become famous until after their death, as their pieces were found, gathered and put together into a collection.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come, 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Today, I keep a journal next to by bed.  In the past, I’ve allowed great ideas to drift away, lost in my mind before I could write them down.  In the morning, my memory vanished, forgetting an analogy, dream or vision.  One of the draw backs to this is when ideas flow, I don’t sleep, diligently creating an outline or taking notes on the direction of my next blog or movie script.  Despite the weariness that follows, my future becomes clearer as I learn from past failures.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Philippians 1:6.

In a recent interview on the Ellen Show, Ronda Rousey told an audience she considered suicide after losing her first ever UFC fight late last year.  I’m sure we have all experienced disappointment at one point in life, some more than others.  Yet, before you can go forward, you have to dwell of the reality of the matter.  Some individuals aren’t good enough, others are better, more determined than you or you just haven’t fine tuned your talents to get noticed.  Once you reach a conclusion, its time to regroup and move on.  Thus, as I attempt to complete my third movie script and submit it to the 2016 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Competition, I’m hopeful that previous failures over the last 5 years will lead to my big break in Hollywood.

by Jay Mankus

 

Earnest Prayers

Grave, serious and solemn describe the emotions connected to the term earnest.  Tragic events like the San Bernardino terrorist attack on a company Christmas party sent shock waves across the United States last week.  Like the nation of France following their own recent encounter, the news of death tends to bring people to their knees.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him, Acts 12:5.

Although less and less people annually consider themselves to be born again Christians, crying out to God is like a natural response in the face of desperation.  Unfortunately, earnest prayers usually arrive after disaster occurs.  Thus, for God to answer most prayers miracles are necessary or else people will go home disappointed and disenfranchised.  This wasn’t always the case, especially during the first century.

When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”  “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel,” Acts 12:14-15.

Persecution was a way of life for early Christian as many leaders were martyred for their faith.  Hopeful that Peter didn’t face the same fate of James of Zebedee in Acts 12:2, a spirit of earnest prayer spread.  This sober mood spawned an angel into action.  The ultimate goal of any prayer to receive the answer that you’re hoping for.  However, sometimes God answers quicker than you expect.  Thus, before the morning sunrise, Peter was set free, arriving at their front door.  Initially shocked like a dream too good to be true, this earnest prayer was blessed immediately.  In view of this account, be proactive to form a hedge of protection as you participate in a modern example of earnest prayer.

by Jay Mankus

I Can’t Believe This Is Happening to Me

Action scenes from modern movies can be far fetched, unrealistic and unimaginable.  However, every so often individuals experience something bizarre, emulating a page from a Hollywood script.  Perhaps someone sees an unidentified flying object, Bigfoot or has a supernatural encounter.  These events can produce mixed emotions, amazement and fear, making eyewitnesses cry out, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid, Mark 16:8.

During the first century, a group of women came face to face with an angel.  Initially, afraid and perplexed, they did not know how to respond.  Most likely, each was quietly thinking, “is this a dream?  Did I see what I thought I saw?  People are going to think I’m crazy if I tell anyone?”  Nonetheless, as this entity vanished, the instructions communicated made sense.  Thus, despite what others thought, these women obeyed the voice of God.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper, 1 Kings 19:12.

In the first season of Joan of Arcadia, Amber Tamblyn plays a junior in high school who begins to hear God speak to her.  At first, Joan Girardi thinks she’s losing it, yet each time she follows the Lord’s advice, things go well.  Despite this success, Joan never tells anyone of these encounters until the final episode.  Unfortunately, a bout with lyme disease causes doctors to suggests these interactions were simply hallucinations.  When others question your own faith, may the Holy Spirit give you the strength to carry on.

by Jay Mankus

Throwing in the Towel or Giving A Broken Dream Another Shot?

Every now and then, something on television will speak to me.  Such was the case during Friday Night’s Season finale of Gold Rush Season 5.  During a behind the scenes interview, Todd Hoffman, founder of 316 Mining, decided to quit after an epic failure in 2013.  Seeping further into depression brought on by accumulating debt, his wife reached out to Todd’s father and local church pastor.  Resigned to seek another profession in life, Todd began volunteering to build a new church.  As this project began to take shape,  Jack Hoffman and Pastor Mike challenged Todd, “are you going to throw in the towel or give your dream of mining another shot?”

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

Unfortunately, most ambitious entrepreneurs usually give up after a couple of failed attempts.  The thought of another rejection is too much for a fragile heart to handle.  Yet, if great inventors of the past possessed this same mentality, several of the modern luxuries society enjoys today would not exist.  Perseverance is a difficult trait to hang on to when your present situation doesn’t show any signs of progress.  Thus, when the urge to bow out enters your mind, remember the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6, God will finish the work that He began in you.

Always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:4-6

As an inspiring writer, I know I have the talent, but I’m not sure if I have the faith to overcome any more disappointment.  With the rough draft of second movie now complete, the editing process makes me feel like Todd Hoffman, not sure if the countless hours I have invested is worth continuing.  Yet, deep down, I hear a voice telling me to weather the storm, fight through temptation and carry this project to the finish line.  Although I’m not sure what the outcome will be, I’d rather give my broken dream another shot rather than wondering what might have been.  Join me in this journey!

by Jay Mankus