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Viral Anger

As I was waiting to see my eye doctor today, I came across an interesting page in Time Magazine.  The article was entitled Viral Anger, addressing the growing dangers of social media in America.  The author compared this condition to an illness, spreading like a contagious disease which is making those who engage sick.

Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way, Proverbs 19:2.

Although I agree with the premise of this piece, there is a fatal flaw not addressed.  Currently, mainstream media bases the majority of cable news programing on political talking points.  These slogans and sound bytes are passed on to elite members of the press and communicated via cable, magazines and news papers.  This is the fuel which ignites daily dumpster fires on Twitter.  Until major networks begins reporting the facts, opinion based journalism will continue to spawn viral anger.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends, Proverbs 16:28.

Social media has opened a modern day Pandora’s Box, giving any self seeking individual the opportunity to instantly share what’s on their mind.  Without any filters, thoughts freely flow with the click of a button.  There was a time in this country when parents taught their children, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!”  These days are gone, replaced by people seeking fifteen minutes of fame through blogs, tweets or you tube channels.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly, 2 Timothy 2:16.

The byproduct of social media is like a fulfillment of the passage above.  However, instead of spreading first century heresy, viral anger is poisoning souls like an outbreak of gangrene.  The only practical solution that I see is to replace negative news with a Positive News Network.  If modern cable providers carry 24 hour television channels for any thinkable topic, it’s time for entrepreneurs to create an outlet which tells the whole story of an issue.  Since I don’t see anyone putting social media back into Pandora’s Box, perhaps a source of encouragement like a PNN will be the cure to defeat viral anger.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Just How Much I Don’t Know

Beginning in 1989, Nike began the Bo Knows advertising campaign to sell a new line of cross training sneakers.  Due to the amazing talent displayed by Bo Jackson as a professional running back for the Oakland Raiders and baseball player for the Kansas City Royals, the concept that Bo Knows fit.  Improbable for most people, Bo’s athleticism didn’t seem to be a reach.  Thus, the ideal that Bo Jackson could play any sport was conceived.

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge, Proverbs 18:15.

Nearly twenty years later, over confidence isn’t a problem.  Rather, narcissism is on the rise as many Americans are convinced that they can do anything they set their minds toward.  While confidence isn’t a bad trait to possess, the danger comes when people believe without a doubt that they are right and everything else is wrong.  If you follow politics, this explains the tension which exists between party lines.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings, Hosea 6:6.

As for me, I have reached a point in life where the older I become, the less I actually know.  Once clear absolutes like honesty, marriage and truth have turned into fifty shades of grey.  Opinions are replacing facts with good intentions rewarded for being on the right side on political correctness.  The world that I wake up to daily is a distant memory from the Christian values I was taught as a child.  Yet, transformation begins from within, displayed through faith in action.  Although many in the world may disagree with my point of view, emulating the love of Christ is the only way to revive wounded souls.  Actions speak louder than any spoken or written word.

by Jay Mankus

You Shouldn’t Be Surprised

 

I have watched thousands of movies over my many years on earth.  Depending upon your personality, people tend to create lists like classics, favorites or worst ever.  While I have seen some pathetic films, none were more disturbing than The Last House on the Left.  This 1972 horror flick was an obvious sign of a changing world, but I missed it.  I couldn’t convince myself that this was the direction and path America was on, yet I shouldn’t be surprised.

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law, Proverbs 29:18.

Compromise is a painful reality that people usually don’t grasp until it’s too late.  No society is immune to the pitfalls of history.  Like a vicious cycle, civilizations tend to reject morality over a period of time.  In it’s place, evil, lust and violence is embraced.  No matter how noble one’s beginning, there will always be a fall from grace that shouldn’t be a surprise.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, Hosea 4:6.

Past winners of the lottery wake up millionaires over night.  Unfortunately, many of these individuals end up far worse than living a normal life.  I recently read a case study of former winners.  Many follow the path of the prodigal son, blowing their pay out quickly with lavish gifts and wild spending sprees.  The Bible warns souls of this possibility, but greed has a way of blinding individuals from the truth.  Subsequently, those who attempt to live life without vision will soon perish.  Take heed so you won’t be surprised.

by Jay Mankus

The Paralysis of Sin

Terms like debilitating, immobility and incapacity describe symptoms of paralysis.  Those individuals whose lives are turned upside down by accidents, disease or extreme events are forced to go with life with several new obstacles to overcome.  Unfortunately, paralysis can attack souls through the presence and spread of sin.

I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate, Romans 7:15.

The apostle Paul highlights how sin impacts individual actions.  Similar to an addiction, bad habit or compulsive behavior, the ability to maintain self-control is lost.  This phenomena is not exempt for Christians as anyone who plays with fire in the form of temptation will eventually get burned.  Thus, even a missionary like Paul was paralyzed by sin.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin, James 4:17.

One of the people who has made the greatest impact on my life is Skip Wilkins.  After becoming a high school All-American in 4 sports, Skip was paralyzed while water skiing before his senior year.  When colleges heard of his accident, all 2000 plus full scholarships were rescinded.  Skip’s faith helped him overcome this setback and eventually became a motivational speaker.  If it wasn’t for Skip Wilkins testimony, I still might be paralyzed by sin.  Yet, because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection, you too can be set free from sin as there are no wheel chairs in heaven.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Earning the Anointing

Sometimes the Bible doesn’t make sense when you read it.  Although, the puzzling questions can often be explained by a better understanding of the context in which a passage takes place.  If you examine famous anointings in the Old Testament, there are one of two scenarios that take place.  Either individuals had to wait an extended period prior to the fulfillment of the anointing or people earned the right to be blessed by God due to years of faithful service.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8.

Prior to his anointing as the next king of Israel, God prepared David while serving as a shepherd in the fields.  Elisha spent a decade as a farmer and servant to Elijah before receiving a double portion of faith.  Meanwhile, Ruth endured the pain and poverty of a widow before being rescued by her kinsman redeemer.  While salvation can not be earned, faithfulness opens the door to receive a special anointing from God.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.

Anointings can be like following sports.  At the beginning of any season, its hard to tell who will win the championship.  Yet, as time goes by dedication, hard work and perseverance separates contenders from pretenders.  In the same way, God sees the hearts of individuals.  Since appearances can be deceiving, God examines hearts and souls to see who has earned the right to be anointed and or blessed by the Lord.  May your faith be rewarded.

by Jay Mankus

 

Where’s the Meat?

In 1984 the Wendy’s Fast Food Chain introduced one of the most memorable advertising slogans of my time, “where’s the beef?”  Actress Clara Peller receives a small burger on a large bun which sets the stage for this classic line.  This commercial convinced customers for a period of time that you had to go to Wendy’s to enjoy a beefy hamburger.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil, Hebrews 5:14.

In spiritual houses of worship, there is a similar question asked by hungry souls, “where’s the meat?”  Due to a movement toward entertaining church services, there appears to be more fluff and less detailed teaching.  Thus, many believers are struggling to grow, lacking challenging sermons filled with spiritual meat.

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick,” Matthew 9:12.

During a conversation among disciples and Pharisees, Jesus makes an assumption about spiritual growth.  Sooner or later, the spiritually mature must grow up by learning to take care of their own faith.  When you reach this stage in life, you can feed yourself through times of Bible Study, fellowship with other believers and prayer.  As you develop healthy spiritual disciplines, you can find the meat, godly principles, within the Bible daily.

by Jay Mankus

 

Linger, Lust and Lost

Drifting, hobbling or remaining idle are words which describe linger.  This state can lull people into a false sense of security.  Any type of prolonged visit here can stagger any sort of spiritual progress in the past.  I refer to linger as the first of 3 deadly L’s, laying the ground work for a crash, fall or prodigal act to follow.

Though he cannot bear to let it go and lets it linger in his mouth, Job 20:13.

The half way point on the road to destruction, Matthew 7:13, blends into linger.  Like a natural progression, lust is a byproduct of someone who is curious, distracted and side tracked.  Imagine a fish who is hungry.  Sure, fish realize the worm is on some sort of hook, but this craving leads to an irrational behavior.  If the tempter pulls as you take a bite, addiction is set in motion.

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death, James 1:14-15.

In the parable of the prodigal son, Luke 15, a doctor makes an interesting observation of a lost person.  Luke compares this phase of life as an individual who loses their perspective.  This debilitating state leads unwitting souls to hit rock bottom.  Like a never ending abyss, people continue in a free fall until one comes to their senses.  If this blog finds you somewhere on the road to destruction, lingering, lustful or lost, may the Holy Spirit pull you back in the right direction toward the road to recovery.  Keep the faith as the Bible illuminates the way, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus