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Tag Archives: wisdom

Guns, Violence and the Solution

According to a recent study, there are an estimated 270 million guns in America.  The Geneva based Small Arms Survey also found that the United States is the best armed civilization in the world.  In an article written by Tom Kertscher last week, Kertscher suggests that there are more guns than people in America.  Using statistics provided by the Washington Post and Vox, there are 310 million guns with a little more than 300 million citizens.  When there is a discrepancy of 40 million, its hard to know who to believe.  Regardless of the actual numbers, are guns to blame for recent school shootings, is mental illness a contributing factor or are demons convincing the unstable to act upon thoughts in their minds?

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,” Genesis 4:6-7.

According to a Forbes article from 2012, consumers in the United States spent 13.6 billion dollars on video games.  As a parent with three teenagers, the most popular ones are what I call shoot em up, killing games.  When I taught high school, one student confessed to his obsession with video games, playing up to 16 hours a day each weekend.  While studies have shown that these virtual simulations have prepared new members of the military for combat, students who chose to attend college often become desensitized to violence.  When you play a video game, if you die, all you need to do is hit the reset button.  In real life, once an individual allows evil to influence their actions, you can’t bring people back to life.  Although I hear cries from the media, parents and victims to ban guns, no one has said a word about the role of violent video games.  Despite this silence, what’s really important is developing and implementing a solution.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him, James 1:5.

First Blood debuted in 1982 starring Sylvester Stallone who plays a drifter, a Vietnam Veteran trying to fit back into society.  Despite serving in the Special Forces, John Rambo was unwelcomed by the country he served.  After listening, reading and watching panel discussions about what to do to ensure the safety of public schools in America, one recommendation was to reach out to ex-military.  Instead of wasting away like the John Rambo’s in this country, perhaps its time to put to work former marksmen who honorably served America.  Although each state or school may opt for other alternatives, beefed up security at college and professional sporting events has stopped recent threats.  After recent reports that the security guard on duty at the Parkland, Florida school shooting remained outside, afraid to face the shooter, the Rambo’s of today wouldn’t have that problem.  May God give the leaders of America wisdom so that politics will be replaced with bi-partisan solutions.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Enemy of Our Souls

How you ever noticed the large-scale systematic plan that is occurring worldwide?  This clever marketing scheme distracts individuals from the real problem, the enemy of our souls.  The 2017 version of the film It has recently become the top grossing horror film of all time, amassing over 300 million in sales.  I’m amazed how people can take a diversion to a theater to experience their monthly fright night, yet fail to recognize the personal demons that terrorize individuals daily.  This invisible war is crushing, destroying and wounding human souls who don’t know what to do or how to fight back.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes, Ephesians 6:10-11.

Roman soldier’s were equipped with spikes on the bottom of their sandals.  Similar to techniques used during the Revolutionary War, battalions were taught to hold the line of defense so that the enemy could not come up from behind for a sneak attack.  Prior to any battle, Roman soldiers began to dig in like a baseball player entering the batter’s box.  This practice enabled warriors to secure their footing, entrenched and ready to fight.  Unfortunately, most people are caught off guard, flat footed, unable to stand up against the schemes of the Devil.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand, Ephesians 6:12-13.

As a former teacher, I made plenty of mistakes.  Some from a lack of experience, maturity or wisdom.  As I reflect upon this decade of my life, one common error that haunts me is overlooking specific details.  In the passage above, verse 12 gets most of the attention, unveiling the spiritual realm that exists in another dimension.  Yet, the end of verse 13 is the key, the solution to the enemy of our soul, making sure that you have done everything to stand.  Do you start end day with Bible Study, take time to pray, make the effort to fellowship with believers, seek out godly council and worship the Lord in song?  Depending upon your exposure to Christianity, this check list may be shorter or longer.  Nonetheless, if you truly want to live the abundant life Jesus promises in John 10:10, you have to prepare like a soldier gearing up for battle.  May this blog arm you with necessary resources to protect your soul.

by Jay Mankus

I’m Busy Is Merely a Disguise for Saying I’m Not Interested

I recently heard an acronym for BUSY that awakened my soul: Being Under Satan’s Yoke.  These words struck a nerve, perhaps a sign that I am a willing accomplish.  After calculating the time I spend at work, with family and editing my latest movie script, there’s not much room for church, God or service.  Either my priorities have to change or I will remain under Satan’s yoke.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going, Ecclesiastes 9:10.

In the context of the Bible, a yoke is a bar of wood used to unite two animals.  This device was applied by joining two oxen, usually attached to a plow to enhance the farming process.  These animals were forced to work like a slave until the yoke was removed.  Whether you refer to the acronym above or apply this concept spiritually, the Devil uses busyness to distract individuals from serving the Lord.

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8.

The disciple whom Jesus loved points to Satan’s yoke upon mankind.  Satan uses whatever means possible to get people hooked on alcohol, drugs or some other unwholesome practice.  Once addicted, hearts, minds and souls become desperate for their next fix.  This obsession results in selfish ambition, tempting souls to indulge in earthly pleasures day after day.  Until people come to their senses like the prodigal son, Luke 15, countless lives will remain busy under Satan’s yoke.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Glimpse of Insanity

On October 21st, 2007 Kyle Walker was suspended from a New Jersey school.  This seven year old had been a bad boy, drawing a stick figure of a gun.  This act violated the school board’s zero-tolerance policy when Kyle’s picture was seen by another student on his bus. Amid mounting pressure from atheist groups and concerned parents, Orange County public schools in Florida banned the Bible from being distributed to students according to a January 14th, 2015 article.  Surely, the presence of absolutes upon which this country was founded is too offensive for progressive minds to handle.  Meanwhile, football coaches Gary Weiss of Catalina High School and Joe Kennedy of Bremerton, Washington were each fired for standing up for their players rights to pray before and after each game.  Not willing to be silenced by administrators, these men lost their jobs for following what each believed to be good, right and true.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart, Hebrews 4:12.

These are just a few examples of what public education is trying to teach millennials.  Based upon these four accounts, what are students really learning.  First, guns are bad, even if a kindergarten shows an interest in hunting by drawing an image of a stick gun.  Second, the Bible is a dangerous book.  This piece of literature reflects a period of American history that many current leaders are ashamed of, attempting to right the wrongs of the past.  Finally, the first amendment does not apply to prayer.  Any administrator, coach or teacher who seeks to express their faith in the form of prayer will be punished, reprimanded and in recent cases lose their jobs.  When you add up all of these teachable moments, I am beginning to see a glimpse of insanity as right has become wrong and wrong has become right.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him, James 1:5.

Thus, as you hear, see or read updates on February 14th’s school shooting at a Parkland high school in South Florida, keep this mind.  In the next few days, guns will be blamed for Nikolas Cruz’ shooting rampage that has killed 17 with more in critical condition.  As facts begin to surface, this young man had been kicked out of two private schools prior to be kicked out of a third, the one he re-entered on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not sure about security for a school of over 3000 students, but I’m sure measures will be taken to prevent future attacks.  The high school that my two boys have attended have a cop car parked outside the front and only entrance.  Meanwhile, the doors are locked as visitors can only enter the school through the main office.  When one student exercises freewill by giving into evil desires, common sense doesn’t apply.  Thus, as you begin to form your own beliefs about this shooting, don’t overlook the obvious.  When absolutes are de-emphasized and replaced by opinions, the door is opened for a glimpse of insanity to enter public schools.

by Jay Mankus

Whose Hands Are You Holding?

Assurance, confidence, dependence and expectation are words associated with trust.  Human beings have a tendency to become co-dependent, relying on someone or something.  In the Peanuts Cartoon, Charles Schultz developed a character, Linus, who couldn’t function without his security blanket.  Meanwhile, some individuals can be insecure, clinging to family, friends or strangers when loneliness sets in.  Depending upon the circumstance, whose hands you hold during times of trials reflect whom you ultimately trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5.

One day, a father took his son aside to discuss an important life lesson.  This conversation is condensed in the passage above.  Solomon who received wisdom from the Lord passed his insight down to one of his many sons.  This command goes against mainstream beliefs, urging readers to hold God’s hand when you don’t understand why something is happening.  Like faith in the dark, when life takes unexpected twists and turns, trust in the Lord with all your heart.  This action suggests that you are all in, clinging to God’s hand.

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! – Psalm 40:4

Solomon’s father, David, provides his own perspective of trust in the passage above.  From a man who went from a lowly shepherd to king of Israel, David recognizes God’s role in his ascension to the throne.  David views his status as a blessing from trusting the Lord as a child.  Unfortunately, some people handle success poorly, boasting and taking all the credit themselves.  If you want to guard against arrogance and pride, make sure that you are holding God’s hand, looking up instead of trusting in your own understanding.

by Jay Mankus

17 Minutes of Action

If you subtract commercials, huddles, injury time outs and instant replay reviews, there’s actually only 17 minutes of action during a three hour National Football League telecast.  For someone who has always been a numbers guy, this statistic is surprising.  Everything in between is merely filling, like icing on a cake to make things look attractive.  This additional 2 hours and 43 minutes enables corporate sponsors to get the most bang for their investments.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12.

One of the Psalmists refers to another aspect of time.  To avoid taking things for granted, this author encourages individuals to number your days.  In modern terms, this is a way to express the notion take one day at a time.  Whether you are at college, home, on the road or at work, it’s important to enjoy each moment in life.  Sure, there are some stages in life that drag on, but when you learn to appreciate the little things in life a heart of wisdom is gained.

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:16.

When you are active, busy or occupied by full schedules, time flies by.  Unfortunately, 17 minutes of action within professional football games are prolonged by an endless parade of commercials.  Instead of seizing the moment, games delay the final outcome to maximize advertising dollars.  At some point in time, consumers will turn their attention else where.  When you do, make sure that you make the most of your time left on earth.  As the headlines of news reports continue to detail, the days are evil.  Therefore, don’t let negative stories steal your joy.  Rather, live each day like it’s your last 17 minutes of action.

by Jay Mankus

 

Nobody is Listening

Every once in a while people are blinded by pride.  This overconfidence within the minds of individuals results in losing touch with reality.  Subsequently, as someone wanders off on a tangent, the audience initially listening quickly tunes out.

Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; Proverbs 2:2.

There is nothing worse as a teacher than to be so consumed with what you are saying that you fail to recognize no one is listening.  Despite what you thought to be a flawless lesson plan has turned into a snoozer as blank stares and sleeping students force you to figure out what went wrong.  Although it may be humbling, sometimes you have to be open to an honest assessment from students.  While some comments may be inspired from impure motives, you will find blunt answers that reveal why nobody is listening.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God,’ Revelation 2:7.

After sharing a parable, Jesus often used the saying, “let him who has ears hear.”  This spoke to the stubbornness within human hearts.  If you think you are right, then you become oblivious to those who possess an opposing point of view.  Many who heard the powerful illustrations of Jesus often left turning a deaf ear, continuing on the current path they were on.  Therefore, if you want to know the truth why nobody is listening, you have to be open to change as the Holy Spirit reveals the next step, Galatians 5:25, to take in life.

by Jay Mankus