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Tag Archives: blogs

Flying Under the Radar

Flying under the radar originated in the 1950’s.  Prior to modern electronic devices, this term derived from military aircraft flying beneath radio detection to avoid being monitored by the enemy.  Staying and remaining undetected as long as possible can make the difference between victory and defeat.  The urban dictionary has modified this meaning to refer to remaining quiet, not stand out and avoid drawing attention to yourself.

For indeed you already do practice it toward all the believers throughout Macedonia [by actively displaying your love and concern for them]. But we urge you, brothers and sisters, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to live quietly and peacefully, and to mind your own affairs and work with your hands, just as we directed you, 1 Thessalonians 4:10-11.

The practice of flying under the radar has diminished over the last two decades due to the growth of social media.  Social media is essentially computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via the world wide internet.  Instead of keeping a low profile, new social media outlets urge participants to seek attention through new profiles, posts and updates.  Blogs, pod casts and you tube channels are tools used to gain fame, followers and perhaps fortunes.

So that you will behave properly toward outsiders [exhibiting good character, personal integrity, and moral courage worthy of the respect of the outside world], and be dependent on no one and in need of nothing [be self-supporting], 1 Thessalonians 4:12.

While the world constantly changes, influenced by societal trends, the Bible has remained the same.  The apostle Paul clarifies the spiritual definition of flying under the radar in the passage above.  First and foremost, let your actions do your talking through a life dedicated to integrity, love and service.  Secondly, mind your own business by focusing on what you can control, leading and nurturing your family.  Finally, devote yourself to Christ like behavior, good character and a witness that wins the respect of outsiders.  May this blog and passage inspire you to pursue a quiet life living under the radar.

by Jay Mankus

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That’s the Worst!

In this age of raw emotions expressed on social media, perspective is often lost.  Subsequently, blogs, instagrams and tweets tend to exaggerate events, making things far worse than reality.  Thus, if you troll social media long enough, don’t be surprise if you find a comment claiming, “that’s the worst.”

Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue, Psalm 120:2.

Whenever I drive, my patience is at its worst.  Whether I am alone or driving my family, I am frustrated by the slightest mistake made by other drivers.  These offenses strike a nerve, usually getting me bent out of shape.  Unfortunately, I prematurely judge and label each individual behind the wheel as the worst driver I have ever seen.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; Luke 6:37.

Debates over what’s the “worst” varies.  Some claim accidental deaths, others suggest cancer victims and a few argue that the millions of aborted babies since 1973 is a travesty.  As for me, I believe eternal separation from God is the worst.  In a discussion with his 12 disciples, Jesus brings up the concept of losing your soul.  The context suggests the temptation to be rich, self-supportive and wealthy causes some to forfeit their soul.  In view of this, follow Jesus’ advice within Matthew 16:24-26 by giving your life away.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

If You Rush To Judgement… Someone’s Life Might Be Ruined

After watching a rerun of ESPN’s 30 for 30, Fantastic Lies, I received a new perspective.  During this documentary, I missed an important statement the first time around.  One of the journalists who believed the Duke Lacrosse players raped an African America woman provided an insightful comment.  When asked about why the nation felt like these three players were guilty, he responded, “If you air opinions over and over again in the media, these fantastic lies become fact.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 1 John 2:4.

This observation applies to our daily life.  Every day blogs, cable news networks and news papers publish exaggerations, take comments out of context or with hold information to make liberals look great and portray conservatives as liars.  This rush to judgment often ruins the lives of those who receive negative press.  Just examine or do a fact check of political ads and you’ll find a willful attempt to smear their opponents.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The apostle Paul speaks of a moment when you have the chance to decide “do I do the right or wrong thing?”  At this place in time, Paul learned that you don’t always have to give into temptation.  Rather, the Lord does provide an escape route, an option that does not lead to guilt, shame or regret.  Therefore, the next time you have an urge to condemn, trash or verbally assault an individual’s character, ask the Lord for discernment.  Or else your quick rush to judgement may result in the demise of a strangers reputation.

by Jay Mankus

 

Who Should I Believe?

Technology may enhance some aspects of life while destroying others.  Prior to personal computers, the media held the news in its own hands.  Today, blogs, cell phone cameras/videos and you tubes allow the public make the news or go back in time to see if what is being presented is accurate.  Thus, this cultural shift is making the nightly news and print journalism obsolete.  However, you still have to decide, “who should I believe?”

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me,” John 14:1.

A good friend recently visited the church in Charleston, South Carolina where nine Christians were shot to death during a Bible Study.  This up close and personal view gave a different perspective than media’s typical spin cycle.  The congregation was welcoming, full of love and yet still hurting, struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones.  This unique access confirms that I am more likely to believe a friend than a stranger on television.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” John 20:29.

Nonetheless, often you don’t have an option, relying on second and third hand information.  During the Dark Ages, Christians didn’t own a Bible of their own, forced to trust the interpretation of a local priest.  Today, doubting souls can open this book for themselves, investigating matters on their own.  While commentaries, religious leaders and scholars provide their own beliefs, eventually everyone will have to make up their own minds.  May the Holy Spirit guide you as you make this important decision about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

by Jay Mankus

Silencing Liars

In this age of Blogs, Facebook and Twitter, sooner or later someone will post something untrue about you.  When I taught junior high, a student snuck into my room and used my school computer to open up a My Space account in my own name without permission or support.  Meanwhile, a few years later an educational blog claimed I was a faith healer, charging $25 per healing.  Although the second site was a practical joke to illustrate how gossip spreads, the first was intended to harm my reputation as a teacher.  When facts don’t add up with the truth, its time to silence liars

David was a war hero, skilled musician and chosen by God to become Israel’s second king.  Despite having great intentions, 1 Samuel 16:7, David was young, curious and easy prey for temptation.  Thus, when he decided not to report to work for several months, not going off to war in 2 Samuel 11:1, David committed adultery, tried to cover up his own child and had Bathsheba’s husband murdered.  Unfortunately, David’s reputation is often tied to this rebellious streak, opening the door for future innuendos and rumors.  Psalm 63:11 addresses David’s prayer to cease the mouths of his critics.

When you do fall, especially in public, its hard to repair the trust of others that you have broken.  There will always be those who will point out your blemishes.  However, as you walk in the steps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6, the amount of your enemies will decline as long as your talk matches your walk.  If you’re struggling to silence false statements made against you, claim the words of David in Psalm 63:11 to silence the liars in your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Wars You Can’t Win

Political battles rage daily in congress, making their case of pulling out, not backing another country or recognizing that some wars you can’t win.  Whether its the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the next tense situation, common sense screams, “certain places in the world aren’t worth fighting for since there is no clear winner if you engage in war!”  When this or that country has been battling it out for centuries or close to a thousand years, why shed innocent blood?  Hopefully, someone in Washington D.C. will learn this lesson soon.

On American soil, there is a different kind of war brewing, the war of public opinion.  In the 1997 film Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer who deceives the American people of a fictional war in Albania.  Using special effects, talking points and a montage of sound bytes, Hoffman convinces the people of a war that doesn’t exist.  Today, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtubes are the weapons of choice, steering minds in their direction.  In a world of shrinking absolutes, where opinions have become elevated to fact status, this war is like chasing the wind.

The only thing you can control in this life is your own character.  Sure, your enemies will attempt to assassinate your reputation, yet your actions, attitude, behavior, body language and words serve as a means of defense.  As long as you are consistent, you can’t control what others says on blogs, Facebook or Twitter.  Therefore, fighting back or responding to your critics is futile.  By coming down to their level, you are strengthening their argument.  Despite the mud opponents sling your way, display prudence by recognizing they are some wars you just can’t win.

by Jay Mankus

10 Reasons Why Writers Should Continue to Blog

To celebrate Express Yourself 4Him’s one year anniversary, I have created my first top ten list.  Similar to a David Letterman countdown from 10-1, I will examine what expires me each morning to get up and write.  May this list inspire a new generation of bloggers.

10) Blogging provides writers with a historical time line of their life.  You can go back to any day in a previous year to review what you were thinking, what happened in the world on that day and what you learned about life.

9) Blogging connects your opinion with other like minded people.  Often, people share similar beliefs, but they don’t have the time to voice their opinions.  Thus, blogging affirms that other people share similar convictions with you.

8) Blogging gives you an opportunity to share what’s on your heart.  The fast pace of life on the East Coast makes it tough to slow down.  Blogging provides an avenue to share what your heart is touched by and relax daily for a little while.

7) Blogging creates networking opportunities through E-Traffic.  As individuals comment on pieces you write, I have been able to visit their blogs, join their sites and begin corresponding with people who share common values.  In particular, I have been blessed by TR&B SHOCKLEY’S, It’s a God Thing, Mere Inkling, Morning Story & Dilbert and Candy Coated Reality in 2012.  Thanks for writing!

6) Blogging helps individuals verbalize their worldview through words.  In a world filled with chaos, its vital for people to discern what’s really going on, articulate their beliefs and help others understand the American culture.

5) Blogging offers an arena for instant feedback.  After a slow start, I have received nearly 250 approved comments this past year, one in German that I had my wife translate.  Besides hearing from complete strangers, Word Press keeps track of your most popular blogs along with each individual message.

4) Blogging instills a discipline for writing.  If you are able to do what you love without pay, then this is a sign that writing may be something you want to pursue.  However, even during cases of writer’s block, blogging forces you to piece together a blog worthy of reading.

3) Blogging presents you with a stage to get noticed.  Since I began last February, I have had 2 people from Hollywood comment on my blog.  While it’s a long shot, I am holding out hope for my screen writing of Express Yourself.

2) Blogging serves as a vehicle for healing.  If I didn’t lose my teaching position of 10 years last January, I would probably not have a Facebook account or Word Press blog.  However, as I have endured the anguish, disappointment and frustration of unemployment, God has used writing as a vessel for healing.

1) Blogging satisfies and soothes your soul.  The sense of accomplishment I receive from writing blogs is amazing.  Even when I don’t gain any attention from what I believe to be a great blog, I feel as if by addressing specific topics I am fulfilling God’s will for my life on that particular day.

Thanks for all of you who supported Express Yourself 4Him in 2012!

by Jay Mankus

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