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Tag Archives: withdraw

Fighting for Harmony

Most people don’t view life in terms of harmony.  Yet, musicians and song writers seek a place or state of mind where creativity flows.  Others withdraw to a secluded location, retreating to regain joy and purpose for life.  Behind the scenes, in one way or another, we are all struggling to find harmony.

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding, Romans 14:19.

Prior to beginning his earthly ministry, Jesus spent forty days in the desert.  Fasting, praying and seeking God for insight, Jesus avoided the typical distractions within daily life.  This time of reflection served as a transitional period from a carpenter to a fisher of men.  Jesus turned his attention away from financial needs toward building a spiritual team of disciples.  Along the way, Satan arrives in Matthew 4:1-9 to disrupt this harmony.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind, 1 Peter 3:8.

Similar visits occur today by demons seeking to divide families, communities and nations.  Based upon current events, it appears the Devil is accomplishing his goal.  Anger, dissension and gossip are on the rise, fueled by social media.  Instead of attacking the source, people are fighting one another with words of hate.  Perhaps, it’s time to withdraw into the wilderness to reverse this trend by fighting back to regain a sense of harmony.

by Jay Mankus

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Inside a Humbled Heart

When things are going well in life, one’s mood will tend to become more talkative.  Reveling in the good times promotes conversation, chatting about the blessings God has bestowed upon you.  However, as the tide turns, bringing in trials, turmoil and suffering, joy quickly leads to silence.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. – Psalm 25:9

Like seasons of change, humility is a natural way of purging any arrogance or pride inside the human soul.  Yet, when unfortunate events linger beyond a normal period of time, hearts become troubled.  While tongues may speak of their misery, the sound of good news is a distant memory.

For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’; but he saves the lowly. – Job 22:29

Wounded souls often withdraw, waiting for something positive to discuss.  If nothing approves, the pain inside will scream out through body language.  Unless family, friends or strangers are observant, depression will form, creating a downward spiral.  Inside any humbled heart, patients long for healing, hoping humility will be replaced by love, joy and peace.  May this blog inspire to reach out to the humbled hearts which surround you.

by Jay Mankus

A Different Type of Refuge

In 1903, President Teddy Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as America’s first National Wildlife Refuge.  More than100 years later, 560 refuges exist nationwide encompassing more than 150 million acres of water and land.  Hollywood embraced this movement with their 1993 film the Pelican Brief starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts.  The People for the ethical treatment of animals continue this mission today, putting animals in front of the line, with human beings pushed to the side.

King David introduces a different type of refuge in Psalm 59:16.  Whenever David was having a bad day, he withdrew to a quiet place to seek God’s help through prayer.  Although David may not of seen results after he said Amen, a sense of peace filled his heart.  Despite the chaos surrounding him, the Lord’s presence provided hope to carry on.  Words like Psalm 63:6-8 recount a spiritual refuge, where humans can find rest for their souls.

With America’s economy still sputtering, its hard to forget about rising gas, groceries and living expenses.  While some may be prospering, many are searching for a place of refuge where hope, peace and relaxation are present.  Though manufactured for fish and wildlife, this doesn’t prevent predators from cutting short lives.  Therefore, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted by life’s trials, flee to a quiet place like Mark 1:35 to find a different type of refuge.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Stop Pouting and Start Leading

When someone is hurt, ill or sad, its easy to become distracted, absorbed by the painful reality of life.  One of the common reactions is to pout, a visible form of depression by expressing disappointment through your body language.  This pitiful state blinds individuals from those who need you the most, often resulting in isolation and withdraw.  Once you reach this point, its hard to snap out of this mindset.

Since my tubing accident, I guess you can say I lost or wasted the entire month of February.  I feel like I have been bewitched by the sorrow of my circumstances, similar to the church of Galatia who lost sight of faith, Galatians 3:1-5.  In my mental absence, my wife has tried to hold our family together as best as she could.  However, now its time for me to stop pouting and start leading.

“Compromise is the language of the devil,” according to one of Eric Liddell’s mentors in Chariot’s of Fire.  As a parent, if you allow your children to wear you down, compromise will become a way of life.  As my eyes have awoken from my spiritual slumber, its essential for me to lead my kids toward the less traveled road, Matthew 7:13-14.  However, words are meaningless unless I display the way.  Therefore, I need to experience a Chrysalis like the butterfly, 2 Corinthians 5:17, who enters as an inch worm and exits transformed on wings like eagles, Isaiah 40:31.  If people stop pouting and start leading, this generation can be saved one life at a time.

by Jay Mankus

The Secret Behind Volunteerism

Whether you are involved in a local church, little league or school, most volunteers often get used and abused.  Subsequently, burnout occurs within  the first few weeks, month or year, leaving organizations scrambling to find a reliable helpers every season.  Depending upon what study you quote, on average 10 percent of a groups’ volunteers does 90 percent of the work.  This raises the question, “what’s the secret behind volunteerism?”

As a former coach and teacher, I struggled to find more than three willing families to assist me annually.  If I could spread their commitment and passion to others, I might be a famous motivational speaker by now.  However, recently I have stumbled upon a few crucial ingredients that transformed the nation of Israel from self centered individuals into servants willing to pitch in.

Beginning in Exodus 35:4-19, Moses makes his plea to the people, similar to a PTA meeting as a vision is cast for what needs to be done in the forseeable future.  Once information has been conveyed, its up to the people involved to rise to the occasion.  Although not as sexy as modern speeches, Moses addresses each need one by one, asking for supplies and workers.  After  listening, each family withdrew to contemplate their role in the big picture of God’s plan, unveiling the secret behind volunteerism in Exodus 35:20-29.

1) Consider the cost before you agree to say yes.

2) Commit to only what you can, without feeling guilty or regret.

3) Come with a willingness to complete the role you have signed up for.

4) Only give based upon the moving of your heart since God loves a cheerful giver.

5) Donate anything you don’t need, use or plan on doing anything with in the future.

6) Find the place or role where you can be an asset for your community.

7) Put the needs of others in front of yourself as giving results in priceless moments.

by Jay Mankus