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Tag Archives: relax

Loosen Up

Depending upon your personality type, it may be hard to be serious, joke around or relax.  Everyone is wired a certain way so to break out of your norm isn’t easy.  As for me, I tend to be competitive and intense.  Sometimes I wonder if God places me in certain situations to loosen me up.

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them, Mark 10:13.

Based upon the context of Mark 10, it appears the twelve disciples had a tendency to be all work and no play.  Watching from a distance, Jesus intervened, trying to teach a valuable life lesson.  Whether it was the innocence of children or the endless energy most possess, Jesus stressed the importance of welcoming young people.  Perhaps interacting with youth might loosen up the disciples.

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these, ” Mark 10:14.

This passage serves as a reminder to not to forget the next generation.  While you may think you are right, another voice may provide a new or quicker way of doing things.  Beside accepting children, adults would be wise to invest time in nurturing young men and women.  By doing this, you will honor God and leave a legacy of prepared believers to impact those struggling to make sense of these ever changing days.

by Jay Mankus

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Starving for Conversation

Everyone has their own warts, imperfections that prevent people from achieving peace and prosperity.  For me, my greatest weakness is the inability to slow down to enjoy, indulge or relax by conversing with co-workers, family and neighbors.  Thus, by the end of the day or week, I often find myself starving for conversation.

While a youth pastor in Indiana, I spent 50 hours a week minimum interacting with youth, parents and church staff.  Since my job description involved investing in relationships, I spent countless hours reclining, sharing and walking with a wide range of personalities.  Whether I was tubing in a lake, attending a sporting event or sitting on a dock having an impromptu Bible Study, these were my best years, bringing out my God given talents.

Now twenty years later, its time to reinvent myself as I hunger and thirst for meaningful conversations.  Starting with the beatitudes appears to be a logical starting place, Matthew 5:3-12, encouraging individuals to be listeners first.  From here, the apostle Paul provides good advice in Colossians 4:2-5, adding flavor to the conversations you encounter.  Perhaps, by applying these biblical principles, I will be content, satisfied by future conversations.

What advice do you have for others searching for fulfilling conversations?

by Jay Mankus

Let the Madness Begin

As the final 2 play in games conclude late Wednesday, Thursday marks the first full day of of the 2014 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Known as March Madness, over the next 3 weeks a Cinderella will arise from 64 teams, a David will likely slay Goliath and brackets will be destroyed.  Unfortunately, office pools tend to spoil this month long event for many, worried about how much money they lost instead of enjoying the moment.

I’ve been one of the victims of this trend, deciding to forego filling out a bracket the last few years.  Sure, its just a contest, but I found myself frustrated by every wrong choice, bad call by an official and near miss which would have resulted in a perfect bracket.  Perhaps the thought of winning a billion dollars brought me back one more time or the challenge of seeing how well your picks stand up against college experts led me to participate?  In the end, I returned because I love competition, sports and the unknown of watching NCAA basketball.

Three weeks from now, I’m either going to be crowned champion, chump or fool.  Whatever the outcome, I will try to savor this experience win or loss.  The Bible’s advice for those indulging in this event is clear, “in your anger, do not sin,” Ephesians 4:26.  Although these words may be hard to apply, reflect on this teaching when you’re tempted to curse, punch a wall or throw the remote.  Sit back, relax and let the madness begin.

by Jay Mankus

Please let me know by commenting who you have in your Final 4.  I have Florida, Virginia, Arizona and Louisville.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Soul Surfing

On a long car ride, families scan AM, FM and satellite radio to find the perfect station to meet their listening needs.  During the day, individuals search the world wide web to check up on emails, Facebook messages and find important information for their jobs.  Meanwhile, after a hard day’s work, most people feel entitled to channel surf until they find something that will help them relax and unwind.  As this surfing commences, have you ever considered what exactly is your soul searching for?

King David talks about purity within Psalm 24.  According to verse 4, a pure heart does not lift up their soul to an idol.  To lift means to elevate or raise something up.  An idol refers to any deity, god or icon.  Unfortunately, most soul surfers don’t consciously worship music, the internet or television.  However, soul surfing is subtle, gradually taking hold of you while you are in a bored, idle or vulnerable state of mind.  Thus, before you expect it, a wave of temptations come crashing down on top of you, flipping your world upside down, often knocking you spiritually unconscious.

Jesus refers to soul surfing in Mark 8:34-38.  Spiritual soul surfing requires 3 essentials: a servant’s heart, an unswerving commitment to faith and emulating Jesus.  Like a beginner trying to learn something completely new, spiritual soul surfers must forget their past by focusing on their new life in Christ, Galatians 2:20.  All the money in the world is not worth the price of forfeiting the human soul, Mark 8:36-37.  Therefore, the next time you turn on some music, click on the computer or turn on a television, make sure your soul is surfing on things above, Colossians 3:1-4.

by Jay Mankus