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Tag Archives: walk

Let God Write Your Story

There are times in life when you want something so badly that you might force the issue.  If a desired outcome doesn’t go your way, you may even attempt to manipulate this situation.  Yet, before you go too far perhaps its better to drop your pen and begin to allow God to write the rest of your story.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10.

In a letter to the church of Ephesus, the apostle Paul uses the Greek word poiema.  Although the English translates into God’s workmanship, this doesn’t provide an accurate description.  What Paul is actually saying is God is the Poet and we, human beings, are poems in progress.  Thus, don’t seize control through selfishness and self seeking motives.  Rather, trust God to finish the work which He began in you.

For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring,’ Acts 17:28.

During a speech in the streets of Rome, Paul references a Greek poet.  Sometimes poetry highlights and brings to light previously hidden truths.  Quoting a line, Paul reminds the crowd that individuals are all one of God’s children.  In view of this fact, resist the urge to trust in your all understanding.  Instead, place your hope in the Author of Faith who is eager to write your story.

by Jay Mankus

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How Do You Make Money Last?

One of the most famous passages in the Bible pertaining to money is found in 2 Kings.  An apprentice of Elisha dies, leaving behind a widow and two sons in debt.  As creditors are eager to collect the overdue interest, this woman seeks out wisdom from the prophets.  Probably feeling foolish initially, she follows their directions, filling up jars of oil one at a time.  In fact based upon Elisha’s words, this oil would flow until she ran out of jars.  Although not money, the Lord supernaturally provided oil until her debts were paid off in full.

When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing, 2 Kings 4:6.

My grandmother possessed similar wisdom as an immigrant to this country.  A survivor of World War II, she displayed frugality to her children despite how strange it may appear to today.  First, she placed plastic over every couch, sofa and mattress to ensure it would last.  Second, each spring she planted a large garden on the side of the house to lessen the cost of groceries.  Finally, to avoid going into debt, she opted to walk to work rather than drive a car, finding a nursing position at a hospital in town.  Looking back, my grandmother was the queen of stretching money as far as it could go.

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it, Malachi 3:10.

Today, the times may not be as bleak, yet expenses continue to mount.  Added necessities such as cell phone bills, cable, the internet and insurances tend to suck up monthly pay checks before you or a savings account has a chance to enjoy it.  Subsequently, budgets are created to promote discipline and good spending habits.  Yet, even this can’t make money last.  Beside finding the dream job or a position with ample pay, the answer lies in the principle of tithing.  Somehow and someway, as individuals begin to give back to God the first fruits He deserves, an unexplainable miracle occurs, God provides.  Whatever your financial situation may be, may God reveal to you storehouses in heaven as you fully tithe.

by Jay Mankus

The Runner’s Guide to Life

If you have ever run in a 5K, race officials usually offer one of two options: a walk thru to see the course or provide a map that highlights the route of the path you are going to take.  Without one or the other, there is always a chance of getting lost along the way.  Therefore, if you don’t know which way to go, you either have to catch up to the participants in front of you or slow down to follow runners who pass you.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. – Psalm 119:32

This same principle applies to life.  When you hit a fork in the road, decisions have to be made regardless of whether you are sure or uncertain.  According to the Psalmist, those who remain teachable throughout life will stay on track until the finish, Psalm 119:33.  On the other hand, individuals who lean on their own understanding often end up on the wrong course, Matthew 7:13.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us – Hebrews 12:1.

During his years as a shepherd, David learned the importance of good footing, Psalm 18:36, achieved by trusting in God.  The apostle Paul takes this one step further, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide his steps, Galatians 5:25.  While visiting the avid sports town of Corinth, the apostle Paul began to understand that mindset necessary to become a successful runner, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  Whether you choose to support a local 5K as a runner or walker, make sure you are seeking after a crown that will last forever to ensure the runner’s guide to life.

by Jay Mankus

Pump Up The Volume

For the meek, shy and soft spoken, its easy to allow others to walk all over you.  Although, the silent majority once ruled the roost, the brash, power hungry and rude have shouted down Americans toward their ideology and worldview.  Subsequently, atheists,  lawyers and politicians have redefined the rules, pumping up the volume of their talking points.

In the aftermath of this stampede, foundations have been cracked and principles weakened, leaving historians scratching their heads.  When England began to limit their citizens to worship God in one church, the Magna Carta was conceived, leading the way for colonists to set sail for a new land.  This excitement stoked a passion in the founders, pumping out the volume to remind people of the reason each crossed the Atlantic.

When Patrick Henry stood up to naysayers at the Virginia Convention in 1775, he spoke out of the overflow of his heart, crying out for freedom.  “Give me liberty or give me death,” swayed those who were on the fence, paving the way for  the Revolutionary War.  If the United States of America has any hopes of surviving, there needs to be a spiritual revival so that God’s blessing will not removed permanently.  As you cope with today’s grim reality, may the Holy Spirit inspire you to pump up the volume, Acts 4:29, to ignite a movement to win back our moral compass.

by Jay Mankus

 

Mountain Dew

As spring fades into summer, a natural phenomena occurs nearly every morning.  Appearing on blades of grass, dew  forms as exposed surfaces cool by radiating its heat through water droplets.  Those who are early risers, walk their dogs before work or play golf at day light either see footprints left by individuals or feel the cooling refreshing remnants of dew on their feet.

By the 1940’s, another dew made its presence known in America.  Now produced by the Pepsi Company, Mountain Dew was invented by Barney and Ally Hartman in Tennessee.  As the popularity of this carbonated fountain drink grew in the south, the brand and rights were purchased by Pepsi Cola in 1964.  The idea was to attach the image of cool and refreshing dew into a product which would quench the thirst of parched souls.

King David uses mountain dew in another context within Psalm 133.  Initially, David opens his song with a heart felt call to unity within the body of Christ in verse 1.  To express how sweet this feels, David paints a picture of being anointed with oil, in the tradition of the Old Testament, verse 2.  To finish his case in verse 3, David compares dew that forms on a mountain with the blessings of the Lord.  Therefore, the next time you see dew of any kind, think of all the blessings God desires to bestow upon those who call on the name of the Lord, Romans 10:11.

by Jay Mankus

Cracked Mirrors

Before the popular video game, Halo was actually a Christian Metal band from Alabama, named after the acronym Heavenly Angelic Light Orchestra.  Relatively unknown for a decade touring in the south, Halo received national attention in 1991 with their song entitled My Buddy.  This songs illustrates how a son seeks to emulate their father like a mirror.

My buddy sees believing
my buddy sees before
and my buddy is a mirror
hanging on the wall
my buddy sees beside him
and my buddy hears the talk
and my buddy will see Jesus
lead me as i walk

(2nd stanza)

Unfortunately, what children often hear and see from their parents is life altering.   Abuse, abandonment, affairs and hypocrisy are just a few factors which have left cracked mirrors for children to put back together.  According to The Gospel Coalition, divorce rates among Christian families vary depending upon an individual’s dedication to God.  Among those families most devoted to Christ, divorces rates are roughly 20%.  On the other hand, those who relationships with Jesus waver, divorce rates can approach 60%.  According to a former Liberty University case study, the families that pray together stay together with 1 out every 1,024 praying couples divorcing.

Although this number is encouraging, cracked mirrors are swaying high school students to abandon their faith in college.  Several studies are revealing 60% of evangelical students put their faith on hold while attending college and nearly 50% never return to church following graduation.  When parents, myself included, send a mixed message to our children, living a fully devoted life for Jesus doesn’t appear or seem worth their time or energy.  The apostle Paul provides a solution for these shattered mirrors in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12.  Parents must begin to put aside their childish ways and begin to act like mature followers of Christ, Ephesians 5:1-2.  Jesus is the glue which can restore our cracked mirrors.

by Jay Mankus