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Tag Archives: accomplish

Not Without A Price

Novelist Orson Scott Card made a interesting observation in regards to sacrifice.  “Happiness is not a life without pain, but rather is life in which pain is traded for a worthy price.”  Whether you are referring to freedom of speech, defending a just cause or standing up for what you believe, nothing is accomplished with a cost.

Perhaps, your reputation takes a hit, attacked by those with opposing views.  Or friendships are estranged as your worldview comes in direct conflict with a person you care about.  Either way, actions, choices and decisions will create enemies, hatred or jealousy.  What you need to determine is… is it worth the price?

When becoming of disciple of Jesus became popular, motives for following were mixed.  Some wanted to join because it was cool, others for the fame and a few for the right reasons.  Thus, Jesus set the bar high in Luke 9:57-62, causing many to quit, unable to pay the price.  Whether you are excelling as an athlete, student or servant, to become the greatest in anything takes unswerving devotion.  May you consider the costs, make up your mind and take a leap of faith, paying the price today to achieve a better tomorrow.

by Jay Mankus

How Many Lives Would Be Different?

As sand in an hour glass empties to signify the end of a day, souls have a series of questions to ponder.  Did you accomplish your goals or place checks marks next to your to do list?    What impact did you have on others at home, school or work?  How many lives did you touch or turn off?

After completing a 6 week video series at church, the grand finale challenged individuals with a question.  How many lives would be different if you became a fully devoted follower of Christ?  Two days following this message, I’m afraid my actions have returned to normal.  The motivation I had walking out of church has faded like a setting sun.  Subsequently, my faith has been invisible, blending into the world like a chameleon in a jungle.

It shouldn’t take a life altering event to inspire people to follow Christ.  Yet, many of us are like the young man in Matthew 19:16-22, trusting in ourselves instead of the Lord.  Thus, disappointment, emptiness and frustrations often fill the lives of those unable to make a difference.  If you are struggling to see fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, may the words of 1 John 2:5-6 develop into a prayer so that the light of Jesus shines through in a loving and natural manner.

by Jay Mankus

 

Missed Opportunities

There are moments in life when you are at the right time and place.  However, if you are on the verge of doing something special, obstacles such as awareness, discernment and time can be hindrances.  Depending upon the state of your emotions, you might just miss a golden opportunity to accomplish God’s will.

I can recall several encounters with people over the course of my life.  Some of these friendships never developed because I did not make a good first impression.  On other occasions I sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit, yet an individual or stranger was distracted by trials in life.  If I was more prepared or they were spiritually sober, perhaps my life would be much more engaging, full of conversational experiences.

Despite my past failures, I did make the most of one opportunity.  While attending a youth ministry conference in Chicago, I happened to meet my future wife.  The atmosphere at this facility made it conducive to slowing down to meet, interact and develop permanent meaningful lasting relationships.  Little did I know that one of the girls in my small group would become my soul mate.  Similarly, if you have failed to cease the moment like me, apply the words of Colossians 4:2-6 so that you won’t miss the opportunities that the Lord provides.

by Jay Mankus

That’s Nice… But I’ve Heard That Before

As I was cleaning today, I uncovered an old Concord High Yearbook sitting on the floor.  Last fall, my best friend from high school, Carl, came to Delaware to visit his parents for a week.  Catching up and reminiscing about our last high school reunion, I fetched my senior yearbook to put a face with all the names which came up.  I’m not sure what it is, but the older I get, the more I repeat myself, sharing the same story annually with my wife and kids.  As gracious as possible, I hear that apt reply, “That’s nice, but I’ve heard that before.”

From a writer’s perspective, there is nothing new under the sun, Ecclesiastes 1:9.  When you’ve spent 3 years as an editor of a monthly newsletter and 2 more as the main contributor of this blog, some days you struggle to compose a paragraph let alone an entire piece.  However, as I opened my yearbook, I had forgotten who I was, what I had accomplished and how  a simple smile made an impact on my peers.  The perfectionist in me never allowed me to accept and embrace compliments.  Thus, these words were discarded, replaced by my lack of eloquence, stuttering and other deficiency’s.

This pessimism began to change for me in college during a Group service project on St. John’s Island in South Carolina.  To my surprise, everyone in attendance received their own mailbox, near the center of our living quarters at a local high school.  However, this mail was called Care Cards, a chance for others to write notes of encouragement and thanks to those who made a positive influence at some point during the day and week.  The catch was you couldn’t open your mail bag until you got on your bus before leaving.  I was so touched by this concept I incorporated it into my own mission trips when I became a youth pastor following college.  Like my yearbook, every few years I will stumble across old mail bags, bringing tears to my eyes and joy to my soul as I savor these fond memories.

From a biblical perspective, Israel’s memory was so poor, God called Moses to devote an entire book called Deuteronomy, the second law, reminding the Jews of everything they had forgotten.  Although retention varies among children and adults today, modern pastors recycle famous words of Jesus, the apostle Paul, and Peter to refresh the memories of lost souls.  While some in church may whisper, “That’s nice, but I’ve heard that before,” someone in attendance may be hearing this truth for the first time.  Therefore, be patient if someone tends to be redundant, for someone likely needs a reminder of promises within the Bible like John 3:16.

by Jay Mankus

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