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Tag Archives: perfection

Three Ways God Saves Us From Ourselves

Young people can be naïve, unaware of the dangers that lurk outside of their comfort zones.  Thus, when individuals turn eighteen or twenty one, a thirst for freedom causes many to enter situations that result in a free fall.  This is where God steps in, swooping down like an eagle to save an eaglet who still doesn’t know how to fly on their own.  Unfortunately, the average person fails to recognize, see or thank the invisible presence who saves us regularly.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; Isaiah 40:31.

When you do earn your wings, there are other factors in life that can halt your growth in a split second.  The apostle Paul compares the Christian life to a marathon.  For those of you who experienced running in some capacity, everyone sooner or later hits a mental wall.  When you do reach this point, human nature tells you to stop, rest a while or simply quit, never to run again.  As soon as this whisper arrives, God intervenes sending angels, the Holy Spirit or other runners to encourage you to keep going until you cross the finish line.  This second sign also goes unnoticed as many participates fail to acknowledge God’s hand, saving you from defeat or failure.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint, Isaiah 40:31.

The final way God saves us from ourselves is through our perspective of trials and tribulations.  Since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, perfection does not exist.  There is no perfect family, job, neighborhood or state.  Each has it’s frustrating, irritable and negative influences.  Those who seek perfection in any aspect of life will always be disappointed.  Therefore, if situations won’t change, God has to transform your attitude of unpleasant experiences in life.  This process is like sanctification, taking a lifetime to complete.  Yet, only those who trust in the Lord and lean not in their own understanding will see life through the eyes of Christ.  As you stand in the storm clouds of life, may God save you by adopting the attitude and mind of Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Designed for More

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. – Romans 12:11

Human beings are often creatures of habit, celebrating the highs and struggling through the lows.  Somewhere in between, joy, passion and zeal for life can be temporary lost.  For many, these emotions are never found except for periods of good news from time to time.  Despite what you encounter, God has designed you for more.

His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” – John 2:17

According to Matthew 5:48, Jesus wants his followers to strive for perfection.  Yet, despite this plea many coast through life, living pay check to pay check trying to survive.  Stress induced by financial strain can suck the energy out of the strongest.  Thus, people settle for the ordinary rather than seek the extraordinary will God has designed for you.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 reminds me of God’s plans for prosperity and success.  Furthermore, the Lord’s work is not a waste of time.  Rather, Philippians 1:6 confirms the Holy Spirit will carry what we started, a life of faith, to completion.  Therefore, commit yourself to becoming a servant of the kingdom as you were designed for more than just an average life.

Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. – James 5:20

by Jay Mankus

 

From Songs of Praise and Promises to Doubt

One of my favorite Vince Lombardi’s quote is”Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  However, if Vince’s team, the Green Bay Packers, did not respond to the vision he cast, Super Bowls would have been lost and his fame erased from history.  In a flash, when success is not achieved, songs of praise and promises often turn toward doubt and in football cries for FIRE the coach escalate.

At the pinnacle of the Egyptian Empire, a new king forget what Joseph had done to save their citizens from 7 years of famine, Exodus 1:8-10.  Thus, 400 years of slavery ensued.  Once finally freed, the Jews witnessed of one the greatest miracles ever recorded, Psalm 106:9-11.  A spontaneous celebration of singing praises to God followed, inspiring a new devout belief.  Nonetheless, as time widdled away, promises of faith faded from the memories of those who saw the Red Sea part in two.
Not much has changed since the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  People still experience a roller coaster of emotions, drawing near to God, then falling away.  Perhaps, there is a lesson from the past, one which involves clinging to the promises of God.   Despite what you may endure, fight through or see, God’s faithfulness never ceases, Psalm 106:8.  Since the Lord does not let go, press on to sing songs of praise like the apostle Paul in Acts 16:26, until the power of the Holy Spirit breaks through any walls of doubt that remain.
by Jay Mankus

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Unfortunately,  no one knows for sure who first coined the phrase, “don’t quit your day job.”   However, we do know how to interpret this figure of speech.  If you are mediocre at best with a favorite hobby, this term is used to sarcastically warn friends or foes to stick with their current occupation.  Although, if you work nights, hobbies become your day job as individuals attempt to maintain balance in life.

When family members aren’t honest, people will either be crushed, devastated or humiliated.  If you don’t believe me, just watch American Idol, America’s Got Talent or the Voice.  Perhaps, some know they suck, but are simply trying to obtain 15 seconds of fame by making it on television or should I say shame?  Either way you put it, only the most skilled can risk quitting their day job if they truly long to follow their dreams.

As for my current situation, I have the best of both worlds, working at night and pursuing my goal of publishing a book/seeing one of my movies on the big screen.  Nonetheless, I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon since  perfecting my projects is years away.  In the meantime, I am striving to fulfill Ephesians 5:15-16, seizing the hours I have on earth to make my mark.  Therefore, don’t quit your day job until the Lord provides a door for you to walk through.

by Jay Mankus

 

Tainted

To blight, contaminate or destroy highlight terms to describe the word tainted.  This suggests prior to someone or something being tarnished, innocence and purity existed.  Like the days before Adam’s failure to lead and Eve’s misguided curiosity, perfection was in reach.

Unfortunately, individuals have now been infected with an undetectable virus.  This blemish has marred human DNA, corrupted by a nature designed to be at war with God, Galatians 5:16-18.  Defiled by sin, Romans 3:9-12, attempts to be disciplined, do right and stay out of trouble is no longer a given, Romans 7:14-20.  This stain on human beings has left a path of destruction throughout history.

While ruin daily visits once regarded saints, the promises of James 5:16 provides hope for the hapless.  Although stigmatized by the world, wounded souls seek refuge at the altar of God.  When the burdens of life become too heavy to handle on your own, come to Jesus for He will give you rest, Matthew 11:28.  Like an infomercial for dirty laundry, shout out your sins to the Lord and He will transform your life from tainted to become as pure as snow, Isaiah 1:18.

by Jay Mankus

777: A Lucky Number, Merely Superstitous or Supernatural?

In life, the human mind can become fragile, as psyche’s quickly question what went wrong, why did something bad happen and how can I reverse this misfortune?  While some search for their mojo, others cling to superstitious habits to insure a desired outcome.  Meanwhile, an unseen God is waiting as a bystander, hoping to be invited by individual’s to intervene of their behalf.

According to biblical numerology, the number 7 is symbolic of completion, fullness and perfection.  Three seven’s illustrates complete perfection.  Despite this information, human beings often fall back on worldly beliefs to make sense of the hands people are dealt.  Perhaps this explains why so many today turn to astrology, fortune cookies and psychics to find answers to life’s questions.

Like the golden calf made by Aaron for the Israelites, good luck and superstitions can become our gods. Something for people to wrap their hands around.  Since the invisible qualities of God feel so distant, others avenues are vying mankind’s devotion.  The disciple whom Jesus loved eludes to this in 1 John 2:15-17 as cravings, lust and pride try to deceive the masses from the truth, John 3:16-17.  On  judgment day only one will be proven right, will it luck, superstitions or the supernatural?

You’re invited to share your opinions in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

The Final Out

As Spring Training games began last week in Arizona and Florida, it won’t be long before sports enthusiasts celebrate Opening Day baseball in the Major Leagues.  While winter continues to interrupt spring sports, those trapped inside are getting anxious for dryer and greener pastures.  Nicknamed America’s favorite pastime, baseball seasons coincide with the start of warmer weather and conclude as fall descends upon this country.  Before the final out is recorded, individuals will experience the smell of freshly cut grass, longer hours of daylight and blooming flowers that brighten up neighborhood landscapes.

I’ve spent more than 1/3 of my life playing and or coaching ball.  In the days of my youth, I never fully enjoyed this game.  Perfection, success and winning stifled my ability to appreciate 9 years of playing baseball.  However, when I got a second chance through 7 years of highly competitive softball, I savored every moment on the field.  I treated each at bat and play as if it was my last, flying, diving and sprinting around the bases.  Although I still haven’t achieved the promise in John 10:10, I discovered the abundant life on a softball field, considering each obstacle a pure joy, James 1:2-4.

My last game on a baseball and softball diamond were nearly identical, reaching the championship.  Despite playing a different position, a pop fly came my way, giving me an opportunity to secure the final out.  I blew my first chance, getting lazy as the ball glanced off the edge of my glove.  A comfortable margin postponed the inevitable victory, ending my baseball career on a good note.  However, the second time I seized the moment, using 2 hands, squeezing my glove and embracing my teammates as God had chosen me to record the final out.

by Jay Mankus