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Category Archives: overcoming

Is That All I Needed?

After spending 3 seasons as an assistant golf professional and another 10 coaching high school boys and girls, I’ve seen my share of bad golf swings.  While many were beyond help, I did have a few success stories.  The most recent involved a player who had a decent short game, but their swing produced a slice like an out of control boomerang.  Observing from behind the range, I discovered a major glitch.  With one slight adjustment, this senior went from struggling to break 60 consistently for 9 holes to shooting 94 for 18 in his last conference tournament.

The other day, I left my house without my Bible and journal before leaving for work.  My daily routine involves getting to work 30 minutes early, listening to music, read and journal my prayers and thoughts before each shift.  Unprepared, I had to wing it, quietly preparing myself for another 40 hour week.  Since I was running late, I only had a few minutes before exiting my car.  Void of any earth shattering content, I yielded my future over to the Lord, placing it solely in His hands.  Twenty minutes later I was called back to my seasonal management position leading me to ponder, “is that all I needed?  Is this what God was waiting for me to do?”

Whether you’re trying to improve your golf game or follow God, sometimes the slightest adjustment produces amazing results.  Perhaps, this was the message Moses was trying to relay to Israel before his retirement, Deuteronomy 28:1-14.    Either way, the next time you experience periods of inconsistency, invite the Lord to become your Rock during the trying times in life, Psalm 28:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

The Sheep Without A Shepherd

If you’ve ever gone to a mall to people watch, it doesn’t take long to see who knows where they are going and who is lost, trying to find their way.  Whether you’re driving a car, searching for something you’ve misplaced or walking on a unmarked trail, everyone from time to time experiences the pain of loss.  In the midst of this crisis, a sense of helplessness paralyzes souls, making it obvious that no matter hard one tries, you can’t save yourself.

While traveling throughout towns and villages, Jesus observed the crowd of individuals following him.  Watching intently, tears began to swell up in his eyes, as Jesus saw this group as sheep without a shepherd, Matthew 9:35-36.  They were looking for something more in life, hoping that Jesus had the answer.  Like sheep aimlessly roaming the countryside, hungry hearts longed for meaning to life.

Today, the silent majority wonders when their Shepherd will return.  As chaos abounds, modern sheep have been led astray by false prophets, hypocritical leaders and the twisting of the Bible.  Exiting the church after high school or during college, pessimistic sheep are searching for alternative means to enter heaven’s gate.  Although some turn back, coming to their senses like the prodigal in Luke 15, a growing number remain sheep without a shepherd.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Anointing of Joy

Children tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves.  Subsequently, youth experience mountain top moments of jubilance and valleys of depression.  This topsy turvy twist exhausts one’s confidence, going from sky high to as low as you can go.  Thus, the presence of joy is like the temperature, rising and falling daily.

Recognizing this in adulthood, King David sought a permanent state.  Troubled by his own problems in life, God introduced the king to a special anointing.  Whether performed by Samuel or Nathan, his predecessor, Psalm 45:7 discloses an anointing of joy.  While the information is limited, perhaps this Old Testament practice is similar to Jesus’ words in John 10:10.

In an age of economic instability, parents like me struggle to find joy.  Lost in a sea of debts, the devil has become successful in stealing my joy weekly.  Thus, I find myself desperately seeking an anointing of joy.  Perhaps, we find ourselves in similar states, brought to our knees by the burdens of life, Matthew 11:28-30.  May the Holy Spirit counsel you until your worries are replaced by joy, John 16:12-15.

Please share how God has helped you find joy to help overcome their own trials in life.

by Jay Mankus

When Will It End?

The afflicted, heart-broken and wounded long to see the sun on the other side of dark clouds engulfing them.  In the midst of the storms in life, time seems to stand still, sucking the energy out of desperate souls.  Crying out to the Lord, all these individual’s want to know, “when will it end?”

Despite how bad we think our situation is, reading Psalm 44:9-19 may give you a different perspective.  Although David is glorified as a man after God’s own heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, his life was a mess.  King Saul tried on numerous occasions to kill him, 1 Samuel 19:1-10, David committed adultery and murder in 2 Samuel 11 and was a horrible father, 2 Samuel 13:1-22.  Perhaps, this may explain the suffering David endured in Psalm 44, wanting to know, “when will this end Lord?”

Once you become aware of others who have experienced pain, you don’t feel as alone.  The most beneficial thing I’ve done in the past 2 times is to regularly meet a former co-worker, Spencer Saints for coffee.  This time of accountability and fellowship has served as a vehicle for healing.  Whether we’re complaining, pouring out our hearts or sharing what’s going on, this weekly meeting highlights the biblical principle in Hebrews 10:24-25.  By spurring on one another in the faith, you’ll find yourself spending more time on how you be can a light for Christ and less on questioning God, “when will my trial end?”

How have other people that you’ve met inspired you to become more like Jesus?

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Ride Forth in Victory

Like the classic Queen song, We are the Champions, the thrill of victory is much sweeter than dealing with loss.  During my first season of coaching high school golf, I started 4-0 and finished 0-6.  Eight years later I saw an 8-1 team on the verge of making states, collapse down the stretch, going 1-5-1 missing states by a few percentage points.  While achieving victory on earth varies from person to person, you can ride forth in victory with confidence spiritually, 1 John 5:13.

According to the sons of Korah, 3 things as essential to secure victory, Psalm 45:4.

1. Truth

When Jesus spoke to a group of Jews during his last year on earth, he claimed that holding to his teaching leads to spiritual insight, John 8:31.  Jesus boldly proclaimed, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” John 8:32.

2. Humility

The wisest man beside Jesus to walk the face of the earth is Solomon based upon rulings like 1 Kings 3:16-28.  After being blessed with fame, riches and power, Solomon learned the dangers of pride, Proverbs 11:2.  His advice to cope with this inclination is to fear the Lord, humbling yourself until honor is bestowed, Proverbs 15:33.

3. Righteousness

One of the most famous church hymns was inspired by Jesus’ sermon on the mount, Seek Ye First.  In the segment of his message on proper and improper motives, Jesus introduces the secret to eliminating worry.  When you come to the point in your life where you seek first God’s kingdom and righteous, the Lord promises to provide for all of your emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

May this teaching give you a blue print to ride forth in victory.  Let us know how your journey toward victory is going.

by Jay Mankus

Blocking Yourself

On November 26th, 2013 something unusual was caught on film during an NCAA college football game between the University of Florida and Georgia Southern.  If it wasn’t bad enough losing to a I-AA football team, a replay revealed 2 Gator offensive lineman were actually blocking each other as if their eyes were closed on one play.  When the national media got a hold of this clip, these 2 players were further embarrassed, weekly making ESPN’s Not Top 10 low lights.  Blocking yourself or in this case you own teammate ranks up their with Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble, returned by the New England Patriots for a touchdown during the 2012 NFL regular season, a legendary not top 10 moment in sports.

In basketball, players are allowed to set picks, also known as screens to help others get open.  As long as an individual has set their feet without moving, the play is legal.  However, when someone get’s careless or sloppy with their body position, the play is deemed illegal as a foul is called resulting in a turnover or foul shots.  Unfortunately, life is filled with examples of blocking yourself.  The loud mouth often talks too much, ruining their reputation with uncalled for remarks.  The gossiper can’t resist the temptation of distorting the truth, caught up in a web of lies that will one day explode in their face.  Meanwhile, negative people will lose favor among co-workers, family and neighbors limiting their full potential on earth.

From a spiritual perspective, Christians and non-Christians alike regularly block God from pouring out his blessings.  According to Jesus’ earthly brother, complaining, grumbling and impatience serve as a barrier between God and mankind, James 5:8-9.  Furthermore, any unwholesome comment that comes out of your mouth grieves the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:29.  Instead of blaming God for your misfortune, get out of the way or you will continue blocking yourself from obtaining God’s promises in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:10.  Although its hard to admit, often I’m my worst enemy, getting in the Holy Spirit’s way with self conceit, Galatians 5:25-26.  May this blog inspire you to reflect, pondering if anything is causing you to block yourself from God?  Whenever something comes to mind, please leave a comment below to help others in life’s journey.

by Jay Mankus

       

777: A Lucky Number, Merely Superstitous or Supernatural?

In life, the human mind can become fragile, as psyche’s quickly question what went wrong, why did something bad happen and how can I reverse this misfortune?  While some search for their mojo, others cling to superstitious habits to insure a desired outcome.  Meanwhile, an unseen God is waiting as a bystander, hoping to be invited by individual’s to intervene of their behalf.

According to biblical numerology, the number 7 is symbolic of completion, fullness and perfection.  Three seven’s illustrates complete perfection.  Despite this information, human beings often fall back on worldly beliefs to make sense of the hands people are dealt.  Perhaps this explains why so many today turn to astrology, fortune cookies and psychics to find answers to life’s questions.

Like the golden calf made by Aaron for the Israelites, good luck and superstitions can become our gods. Something for people to wrap their hands around.  Since the invisible qualities of God feel so distant, others avenues are vying mankind’s devotion.  The disciple whom Jesus loved eludes to this in 1 John 2:15-17 as cravings, lust and pride try to deceive the masses from the truth, John 3:16-17.  On  judgment day only one will be proven right, will it luck, superstitions or the supernatural?

You’re invited to share your opinions in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

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