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Something to Talk About

As a former member of the print media for 2 years, I’m familiar with some of the tricks of this trade.  When I was given an assignment for a new piece, I usually started to ask probing questions to uncover someone’s hot button issue.  Once you discover this subject or topic, the best thing you can do is just let them talk.  Unless you were detached from the media, most Americans learned last week that Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers has a history of racism.

Whether his taped conversation was legal in California or not, the more Sterling spoke, the clearer his racist tendencies became.  According to the Bible, the fool does not demonstrate restraint, often thinking out loud.  Meanwhile, the prudent illustrate self control, holding their tongue, Proverbs 17:27-28.  In this age of instant messages, photo bombs and twitter, filters are disappearing as people are wearing emotions on their sleeves.  As members of society open their mouths, bystanders are hearing what it stored up in the hearts of mankind, Luke 6:45.

Despite the School House Rock campaign using Saturday morning advertisements to proclaim this country as, “the great American melting pot” in the 1970’s,  this country was mostly segregated until the 1980’s.  Thus, blacks and whites did not know, understand or want to stand hand and hand unless forced as displayed in Remember the Titans.  However, progress is being made as a generation is growing up, striving to see others by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.  While ambulance chasers in the media continue to kick the Donald Sterling’s in life while they’re down, just listen to their words for they like Sterling will expose who they really are or what they want.  Just let them talk…

by Jay Mankus


Before God’s Presence Appears

Most Americans have become spoiled, expecting a response at the snap of their fingers.  Subsequently, when people go out to eat, go to a show or make a significant purchase, they want perfection.  When disappointed by a product or service, heads will roll and reputations will be harmed if these individuals don’t get their way.  If this is how a growing number of citizens are responding, its no wonder God is waiting to appear until faith and actions coexist.

The book of Leviticus consists of a conversation God had with Moses while on Mount Sinai in Exodus.  As I recently read through Leviticus, a pattern forms throughout the first 8 chapters, “God said to Moses.”  Following these instructions, Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord told Moses.  However, it wasn’t until Leviticus 9:4 before God’s presence appears before Israel.  Thus, this passage suggests God is waiting for his children to carefully follow the Bible’s commands prior to being accompanied by blessings, Deuteronomy 28:2.

While some may say, “what are you waiting for,” others are trying to twist the Bible to conform to their own beliefs.  As for me, a lack of results makes the obvious seem clear once again, “be doers of the word, not just hearers,” Matthew 7:24-27.  Once I realign my priorities to Matthew 6:33, God promises to provide for my daily needs.  Therefore, if you are hungry and thirsty to experience God’s presence, listen to words of Jesus like Aaron followed Moses.

Let us know when you’ve encountered God’s presence.

by Jay Mankus


Tattoos of the Heart

I grew up in a genre where roughly 5-10 % of my peers had a tattoo.  According to a recent Pew Research Poll, 45 million Americans now have at least one tattoo, spending $1.65 billion annually.  Anyone who visits one of the 21,000 parlors across the country should expect to pay a minimum of $45 for a small tattoo or $150 for a large one on average.  If you are noticing those around, tattoos appear almost any where from an arm, leg, neck, shoulder or face.  Sometimes I wonder, why don’t I have one.  Yet, a still small voice revealed I have an internal tattoo on my heart.

When the days of my youth wore off in college, I took the words of Joshua 1:8 to heart.  Something deep inside my soul could not run from God any longer.  Thus, I began to examine passages like Proverbs 4:23 and Deuteronomy 6:5-9.  What I found initially was painful, a crooked and deceitful heart, Jeremiah 17:9.  Despite this grave reality, there is a remedy, a spiritual ointment to cleanse your heart, Psalm 119:9-11.  Therefore, I have discovered a lighted trail, Psalm 119:105, illuminated by the Word of God.  As I read, ponder its meaning and meditate on the truth within each passage, a spiritual tattoo is forming on my heart.

In his sermon on the mount, Jesus eludes to tattoos of the heart in Matthew 6:19-24.  Although, there is a catch, the things you treasure influence your heart.  If you are not careful, tattoos of the heart can be replaced by a world full of greed, materialism and ruin.  Regardless of your external appearance or any tattoo that you display, the condition of your heart will sway you toward evil or good, Luke 6:45.  This is what Stephen saw in religious leaders during the first century, Acts 7:51-52.  Therefore, if you want a tattoo of the heart, strive to fulfill Galatians 5:7, proving yourself to be a disciple of Jesus, John 15:7-8.  Come to God’s tattoo parlor by spending time reading the Bible daily!

by Jay Mankus

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