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Tag Archives: proactive

Lifting Up Friends to You

There will be moments in life where you will feel helpless.  Even if you are near a loved one, sometimes fate is out of your hands.  Whether you are talking about an accident, heart attack or illness, the only thing you can do is pray.  Perhaps if more people were proactive, lifting up friends to God daily, you wouldn’t have to face as many emergencies in life that some are forced to endure.

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

King Solomon eludes to the power of friendship in the Old Testament.  Whenever you find an individual who shares a common interest, hobby or passion, an instant bond often develops.  If nourished, friends can quickly become like close members of the family.  According to Solomon, there is a tendency to accumulate as many friends as possible, but those who seek quality relationships over quantity will be rewarded.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13.

One day Jesus uses a gardening analogy during a conversation with his disciples.  Just as a gardener cares for, prunes and nourishes plants under his or her care, a good friend does the same thing.  Likely referring to his impending death on a cross, Jesus brings up the greatest act a friend can demonstrate.  Sacrificing, serving or laying down your own wants and needs for a friend reveals love.  While this commitment may not be possible for everyone, the least you can do lift up friends in prayer to the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

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Waiting for Superman to Arrive

William Shakespeare wrote about lovers whose deaths reconciled two feuding families.  When tragedy strikes Romeo and Juliet, readers feel the pain of this story.  Shakespeare borrowed from an Italian tale adding his own spin to his famous novel taught in American English classes.  Yet, like anything in life, people change, evolve and learn to adapt.  If a similar classic was crafted today, the title would read something like Waiting for Superman to Arrive.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him, Lamentations 3:25.

As millennials become co-dependent on technology, the next generation is in danger of being lulled into complacency.  Sure, it’s nice to be able to keep up with electronic advances, but do you really need a device named after a girl to help you remember things?  Have people become so lazy that you can’t even find a location without asking Alexa or Sery?  This trend breeds individuals to go through life waiting for others to help you out.  Unfortunately, Superman is a comic character who isn’t going to rescue you from the trials of life.

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.

Don’t get me wrong, waiting isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, the Bible encourages souls to be patient, seeking God as you wait for answers.  Nonetheless, the only Superman in history lived most of his life undercover, serving his community as a carpenter.  Before his departure in the first century, this man spoke of a counselor yet to come, an invisible presence able to direct and guide human hearts.  Instead of sitting back and relying on an electronic voice, it’s time to be proactive.  Therefore, as followers of Christ waiting for the second coming of Superman, Jesus, trust in the Lord so that you will be ready like the good servants in the Parable of the Talents.

by Jay Mankus

 

Snapping out of a Self-Induced Trance

The Sermon on the Mount has been a wealth of spiritual insight since it was recorded in the first century.  Following this messakge, Jesus provides common sense for those inspired to practice these words, Matthew 9:12-13.  Anyone who is physically, mentally or spiritual sick should see a doctor for advice, counseling or medicine.  However, God expects the rest to be proactive and self-medicating so that these individuals will be  able to snap out of any self-induced trance.

Galatians 5:16-18 warns its readers against an invisible force able to lull you into a false sense of security.  Brought on by compromise, conceit or rationalizing daily choices, sin can cast a spell over any self-indulging suspect.  Whether its a mentality, new way of thinking or a worldview disguised with modern lingo, even some of Jesus’ own disciples were deceived into believing a lie, Galatians 5:7-9.

As for me, my eye sight has deteriorated over the last month.  Subsequently, reading the Bible or anything for more than a few minutes has been a struggle.  The less I read, the more vulnerable I become to a life without God.  Waking up in the middle of the night on my day off provided a dose of logic to snap me out of this sluggish spiritual condition.  This is why one of Israel’s leaders begged his people to meditate on the Bible day on night, Joshua 1:7-8.  By doing this, you too can snap yourself out of any prolonged trances induced by a sinful nature, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

In the Middle Seat

Before the days of mandatory car seats and vehicles with air conditioning, I usually found myself in the middle seat, between my 2 older sisters.  Recently, I was forced to take the only empty seat on an airplane, traveling from Chicago to Los Angelos for 4 hours with 2 strangers.  Whether as a child or adult, being caught in between can be unsettling.  Yet, while in this position, you have the ability to influence others.

After serving 6 years on a church board, I realized that I was sitting in the middle pew, between the shepherd and his sheep. John 10:1-5.  Unfortunately, I lost sight of the role God had placed me in.  A similar fate spread to most of the other elders, who wilted when the going got tough.  Although I thought I had done what I could, hindsight has revealed I should have been more proactive in protecting God’s flock.

From a modern perspective, the man and or woman in the middle has a great opportunity to sway others toward their worldview.  When a leader seizes the moment, their witness, good or bad, can mold, shape and transform innocent bystanders, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.  By rubbing off on those whom you encounter, you have the power to Leave Jesus as portrayed in Send the Beggar’s song on their Closer to Complete album.  Therefore, if you want to leave your mark on this generation, don’t let the sun go down until you have maximized each moment you find yourself sitting in the middle seat.

by Jay Mankus