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Tag Archives: guidance

When Your Mind Get’s in the Way

Depending upon how you were raised, parents give advice, guidance and warnings as you grow up.  Some of the common phrases of my generation were “think before you speak, open mouth insert foot” and simply “think.”  These words suggest that sometimes your mind gets in the way.

But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!”  – Numbers 13:31

In the Old Testament, God had promised Israel a new land flowing with milk and honey.  Before entering this place, Moses sent out a team to explore this region.  Known as the 12 Spies, only two brought back a positive report.  The other ten were misled by minds gripped with fear.  This first glance underestimated the power of God as their minds got in the way.

 Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it,” Numbers 13:30.

In the end, the voices of Caleb and Joshua were silenced by the majority.  However, if you want to overcome doubt, leaders must raise their voices to convince the feeble and weak.  The next time you hear a crowd minimizing the power of God, step out in faith to persuade the masses.  If you don’t the human mind will get in the way, leaving you outside of the blessings God has in store for you.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

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The Scattering

Leave it to adults to make the simple things in life complex.  Some where along the way, age has a way of corrupting the innocence of youth.  Time tends to change people for the worse.  Subsequently, the joy of life often loses its luster, replaced by hardened hearts that result in misery.  This is where the scattering begins.

A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, Ecclesiastes 3:5.

When individuals seek to expand their comfort zone, grow spiritually or engage in learning new things, this development does not go unnoticed by others.  These areas of interest provide direction, guidance and vision for each new day.  However, when these practices are postponed, stop and cease to exist, a subtle transition occurs.  Even those with good intentions may be shocked one day when you wake up, wondering how far you have strayed from these habits.

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters,” Luke 11:23.

I think this is what Jesus means by the verse above.  Human beings were created to gather, celebrating and sharing the good news of a Messiah who can save and forgive you from your sins.  Discipline, hard work and worldly pursuits only go so far.  Those who try to live life on their own can only fake happiness for so long until the void in your heart leaves you feeling empty again and again.  Possessing a “what’s in it for me mindset” results in the scattering of mankind.  Yet, the cure to this condition is found in the Holy Spirit, leading you to begin gathering for Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Make a Big Deal About It

In this current age of social media, immediate reactions and thoughts are often broadcast to the world to read.  However, now with the recent addition of Facebook Live, individuals can stream video live that is unfiltered.  When some try to attain 15 seconds of fame like the 4 teenagers in Chicago, that which was meant for good can be corrupted by an axis of evil.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings, Proverbs 25:2.

During times of uncertainty, people tend to seek out advice, guidance or wisdom to figure out what to do next.  2 Kings 18-20 details the reign of Hezekiah, the king of Judah.  Described as one of the godliest leaders in the Bible, Hezekiah wasn’t satisfied with the pieces of the Old Testament he had access to, seeking out previous writings of Solomon.  One of the suggestions Hezekiah discovered was when something occurs, try not to make a big deal about this.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense, Proverbs 19:11.

To extract what Solomon means by the phrase “conceal a matter,” you have to go back a few chapters to understand the true meaning.  Based upon the context of chapter 19, the intent refers to avoid over-reacting.  In the heat of the moment, human nature tempts people to retaliate.  Yet, those who practice self-control by restraining your emotions, it is to God’s glory.

by Jay Mankus

Longing for a Sense of Community

While driving home from work today, I was overwhelmed by a feeling within my heart.  My fear is that my youngest two children will graduate from high school before my wife and I find a true sense of community.  Thus, my prayer, hope and wish for 2017 is find a place where I feel right at home, able to openly share my life with others.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2.

Although it bombed at the box office, the 2015 film McFarland presents an interesting topic for discussion.  After getting fired as a football coach, Jim White played by Kevin Costner is forced to take the only job he can find within the city of McFarland, California.  The moment Coach White begins to become accepted by the locals, he is offered the position of his dreams.  The question is will Jim White exchange a sense of community for financial security?  To avoid spoiling the ending, I will let you find out what happens for yourself.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near, Hebrews 10:24-25.

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to ascertain where you fit in.  Unfortunately, a spirit of perfectionism causes many individuals to reject co-workers or neighbors who are searching for a friend.  If I knew the answer I would tell you how to connect with a local community.  As for now, I am asking the Lord for guidance, insight and a heart willing to embrace where God wants me to be for the next decade.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Knowing When to Say When

I have noticed a pattern within three popular cable television shows.  Whether you are talking about Discovery Channels Gold Rush and Treasure Quest or History Channels The Curse of Oak Island, each ask the same question.  If you are trying to unearth gold or searching for a secret treasure, its important to know when to say when.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you, Psalm 32:8.

This same concept applies to setting goals.  Some will be attainable, a natural progression or the next logical step.  However, others will take years or even decades to obtain.  If you are not making progress or simply do not possess what it takes to arrive at a desired destination, perhaps you should walk away before its too late.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

Too many gold miners chased after the mother load only to go broke or die before stumbling upon riches.  Meanwhile, dreamers often run after some sort of white rabbit that simply can’t be caught with mere human effort.  Subsequently, individuals must either give up the fight or seek a higher power to cross the threshold.  Since every situation is different, there is not a cookie cutter answer to knowing when to say when.  Nonetheless, if the Holy Spirit is your guide, you should be able to keep in step with God’s will for your life.

by Jay Mankus

The Rise and Fall of Nations

During every election season, campaigns vie for votes, trying to convince cities, counties, states and nations that their candidate is most qualified for the job.  In this jousting of ideas, some politicians don’t have a record to run on.  Thus, victory is achieved through mudslinging, convincing potential voters through a series of exaggerations and lies that their opponent can’t be trusted.  When individuals don’t do their own research, nations can begin to crumble as those who get elected aren’t able to implement what they promised.

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers, Proverbs 11:14.

As King of Israel, Solomon understood what qualities were necessary to become a godly ruler.  Whether through wisdom passed down by his father David or through trial and error, leadership is essential to keep God’s promised nation in step with God.  However, no one can do this alone as its vital to surround yourself with advisors, counselors and elders.  Unfortunately, this is a lesson that his son Rehoboam failed to accept, leading to a divided nation during his reign.

Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens, Exodus 18:21.

If you are one of those individuals classified as undecided, then the verse above will give you a measuring stick to narrow down your choice before November 8th.  Although many consider the Bible to be out dated, 3 qualities are recognized in honorable candidates.  First, individuals should fear God, then be trustworthy and finally refrain from and detest those trying to bribe you.  While there are other traits are important as well, may God guide you over the next month before you cast your vote on election day.

by Jay Mankus

 

What is God Cooking Now?

Anyone who desires or longs to be a cook may choose a career in culinary arts.  This school involves teaching students government standards, preparation procedures and provide wisdom about what it takes to be successful.  However, novice chefs tend to learn from trial and error.  Meanwhile, others learn the hard way that they don’t belong in the kitchen.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12.

Beyond menus and specials, God has His own way of cooking.  The Bible refers to methods like smelting, pottery and purification.  Trials in life are like sitting in a crock pot, slowing blending a myriad of ingredients into a tasty meal.  Likewise, God takes the gifts and talents individuals possess, using disappointment, heartache and setbacks to mold people into vessels, instruments ready to serve the kingdom of God.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, Philippians 3:13.

However, like secret recipes of famous restaurant chains, God’s seasoning is unknown.  There are instructions inside the Bible, but the time and temperature is still a mystery.  Faith is the missing link, the glue that holds the church together until the final dish is unveiled.  In the mean time, may the Lord give you guidance, patience and understanding as you eagerly wait for God to finish what’s brewing inside of you.

by Jay Mankus