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Tag Archives: uplift

Words from Heaven and Hell

Greetings like good morning, how are you, how was your weekend and hey are everyday expressions which promote conversation.  The Bible suggests that words can represent heaven or hell depending upon the context, manner and tone which is spoken.  Thus, before you begin another work week, be careful in the words that you choose.

The words of the mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a rushing stream, Proverbs 18:4.

The apostle Paul uses the analogy known as fruits of the spirit to identify words from heaven.  Anything that reflects love, joy and peace uplift those who hear these traces of heaven.  The remaining characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 encourage action, not just words.  Coaches, parents and teacher who adorn children within a loving environment promote a fountain of wisdom as described by Solomon.

The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating, Proverbs 18:6.

Unfortunately, the words of hell are much more prevalent in today’s culture.  Whether its critics within the media, gossip or tweets filled with venom, the sinful nature is in full display weekly.  Those exposed to only the negative can become jaded, losing the will to live.  Therefore, the next time you have the opportunity to add a comment to a conversation, choose the words of heaven.

by Jay Mankus

Words of Healing

When someone is down in the dumps, its hard to break through the shell holding in their misery.  Good intentions, kind words and loving attempts don’t always work to uplift downcast spirits.  Nonetheless, when all else fails, there is one source that provides words of healing, Psalm 107:20.

Growing up, I often experienced a wide range of emotions.  On the good days, I could lift others up, elevating their moods to my level.  Meanwhile, if depressed, I made sure no one had a smile on their face, bringing whoever I could down into my pit of despair.  Only a couple friends developed a few tricks to snap me out of these gloomy states.

Today, I have learned to become more self-reliant.  Not in my own abilities.  Rather, I trust in the power of God’s Word to infuse my soul with the strength to carry on, Isaiah 40:31.   Therefore, if you’re having a bad day, feeling hopeless or stuck in a rut, open up the Bible today to find words of healing, Matthew 11:28-30.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

When the Blind Leads the Blind

Who controls the media, deciding what to show, when to show it and what to sweep under the rug?  One day you could be a rising star, the next a scapegoat who is destroyed, trashed and trampled on by the same people who loved you yesterday.   Behind the camera, a real life Wag the Dog scenario has began, as the spiritually blind are leading the rest of their followers on a wild goose chase.

On August 9th, Michael Brown, a young African American was shot to death following an altercation with a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Riots broke out in the town following the release of a video that showed Michael Brown robbing a convenience prior to his death.  Less than a week later, a similar story had the roles reversed as a black officer gunned down a white male in Salt Lake City.  As reporters moved into Ferguson, making it the center of the media’s attention, the story in Salt Lake was ignored.  Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when the blind lead the blind.

One of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King quotes is “all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Although you can’t control the news, individuals can choose to begin to emphasize the positive in life, making sure that good deeds aren’t overlooked.  When the tension of this latest crisis in America cools down, citizens must band together, regardless of the color of their skin, to make this world a better place.

by Jay Mankus

Gotta Get It Right

During my last year as a youth pastor, I was responsible for running Confirmation, a year long class for 8th graders who sought to take ownership of their faith.  Before the actual ceremony during church in the Spring, I took my group away on a retreat about 30 minutes west of Columbus, Indiana.  Coming out a year earlier, I showed the movie Groundhog Day to break the ice, easing the tension for those uncomfortable with talking about God.  Essentially, Bill Murray keeps repeating the same day over and over again, until he gets it right.

Unfortunately, time doesn’t stand still like this movie.  However, there are several life lessons worth noting.  First, too many individuals, me especially, become consumed with what they are doing, where they are going and what they need to accomplish every day.  As a result, blinders prevents you from appreciating, interacting and slowing down long enough to develop permanent meaningful lasting relationships.  Secondly, distracted people often don’t recognize, see or stop to help someone in need with a smile, word of encouragement or passing prayer.  Finally, life is best served by embracing daily distractions that God provides.  These interruptions offer opportunities to minister, nurture and uplift struggling souls.

While listening to the song Get it Right by Silverline, I sensed the urging of the Holy Spirit to write this blog.  Although each day is filled with trials and errors, life is too short to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.  If  you are touched by these words, join me in the quest to get it right, John 10:10.  Yet, when you fail, don’t give up, Galatians 6:9-10.  Rather, by leaning on Christ, Philippians 4:13, believe in your heart that over time, you will get it right.

Please comment on my blog how your journey is going.  This post is dedicated to Elizabeth, one of my students who gave her heart to Jesus, Romans 10:9-10, at the end of our confirmation retreat.

by Jay Mankus

One Another

The pied piper is often a dynamic leader who attracts others to follow his cause and ways.  However, without consistency, these individuals can be abandoned, left for someone or something better.  If there is no one around to inspire you, people tend to fall back into their complacent habits.  Perhaps, this is where you and I fit into God’s puzzle.

The author of Hebrews is a mystery, with a few candidates, but no clear clue to unveil the actual writer.  Nonetheless, this book contains essential instructions for church goers sitting in the pew.  According to Hebrews 10:23-25, one another are placed into a congregation to call other believers to persevere when the going get’s tough.  When a situation appears hopeless, the faithful are encouraged to be a voice of reason, uplifting disappointed souls.

King Solomon thought so highly of this concept, he suggests one another is crucial to overcoming oppression, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

1. One worker can motivate the other to reach their goal for the day, setting the tone for others to follow.

2. A friend can help their mate if one falls down or is tired, picking up the other to press on another day.

3. If lost, two people can endure cold temperatures together, surviving until a search and rescue team arrives.

4. Finally, alone one person can be over powered, but two soldiers can band together to defend themselves.

God designed human being to spur one another on  toward love and good deeds, Hebrews 10:24.  In view of this truth, Christians should be inspired to continue meeting together, holding their peers accountable, verse 25.  Without another, all you’re left with is one, separated from the flock with the devil waiting to pounce, 1 Peter 5:8.

by Jay Mankus