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Tag Archives: boundaries

When the Lines Vanish

While watching a rerun of I-Robot, a 2004 film featuring Will Smith, there are parallels to modern day life.  This Science Fiction movie takes place in 2035, where the richest corporation in Chicago, U.S. Robotics, has a lofty goal of having a robot in every home.  Guided by the three laws, founders of the NS-5 robots believed there creation was flawless.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it,” Matthew 7:13.

Today, boundaries of the past have been replaced, exchanging biblical standards with a progressive form of political correctness.  Instead of relying on a book, the Bible to define right from wrong, a liberal playbook is being laid out to re-educate the hearts, minds and souls to a new generation.  Thus, when the moral lines of yesterday vanish, the government is seeking to take over like U.S. Robotics in I-Robot.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

As acts of violence escalate, perhaps one can assume that those crossing this invisible line are amoral.  However, knowing ethics does not always guarantee that actions will follow.  Free will built into an individual’s DNA can override the facts of life.  Therefore, when the lines vanish, revolution is inevitable.  In these days and times, fasting and prayer is essential to keep people on track spiritually, shining light into a world filled with darkness.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Accomplice to Sin

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

Who me?  I didn’t do anything wrong.  No really officer, “I was just following trying to keep pace with traffic.”  Whenever individuals resort to justifying their actions, they are usually an accomplice to sin.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, Genesis 3:6.

Although Eve is the main character during the fall known as original sin, she did have a partner in crime.  Hidden from plain view, Adam overheard the serpent tempting his wife without intervening.  Perhaps he was watching Sports Center, checking out his fantasy team or merely pretending to listen to Eve.  Either way, Adam was an accomplice to the first sin on earth.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned, Romans 5:12.

According to the apostle Paul, Adam is the main culprit on earth’s first scandal.  Since God clearly spelled out the boundaries to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17, it was his responsibility to pass this information on to his wife as uphold this rule.  Today, anyone who has read the Bible, heard the gospel or is introduced to biblical truths can’t claim ignorance.  As one of Jesus’ disciples once wrote, if you know what to do or not to do and don’t heed the Lord’s principles then you too are an accomplice to sin.

by Jay Mankus

 

Lying on the Line Until It Disappears

As a former teacher, boundaries are essential to define, maintain and uphold with consistent discipline to ensure a healthy learning environment.  The moment this line is challenged, pushed or questioned, reason must be ready to account for these dissenters.  If seeds of doubt enter this discussion, lying spirits will lie on the line until it disappears.

Outside the classroom, the world has ample examples to illustrate this fact.  Do you remember when Bill Clinton, during his impeachment hearing responded, “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is?”  Unfortunately, this has become a common tactic for politicians to avoid answering the question at hand.  Bobbing and weaving like a champion boxer, truth is disappearing as lying is blocking the line of integrity.

Where did honesty go?  Do we have to put out an APB, all points bulletin, to locate it?  Perhaps, communities need to begin to police each other, like the old days when every child had multiple parents where there’s wasn’t around.  Instead of justifying poor actions, making excuses for bad behavior and playing the victim card, individuals need to start Lent early by giving up lying before the line of right and wrong disappears forever.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Faith Beyond Comprehension

Before the first rain drop touched earth, mankind had lost touch with God.  Like a New Year’s Celebration, out with the old and in with the new, boundaries were eliminated.  This mentality is described in Genesis 6:1-6, causing the Lord grief.  In an age of wickedness, Noah found favor with the Lord.  Unlike Adam and Eve, Noah actually did everything the Lord commanded, Genesis 6:22.  Building an ark the size of a football prior to the existence of rain, now that’s faith beyond comprehension.

Abraham was an old man when the Lord came calling.  The thought of a nation as massive as the sand on the seashore must have been enticing, Genesis 12:1-3.  However, there’s just one problem, elderly men don’t have children with elderly women.  As time ticked away year by year, most people would have given up, quit and called it a life.  Just as a doctor once confirmed in Luke 1:37, “nothing is impossible with God” so Abraham held on until his first child was born.

Today, skepticism abounds, with countless souls disappointed by lies, hypocrisy and unbelievable promises.  Although in their hearts they want to believe, troubled minds hardly ever come around to faith, side tracked by doubt.  Perhaps the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 still serves as a stumbling block to the wise.  A fool doesn’t have much to lose whereas the wise have their reputation to hold on to.   Regardless of the barriers that are present, may Christ like lives and transformed saints shine light into a dark world so that faith can be embraced by the lost.

by Jay Mankus

God Wants Your Sex

What?  Am I in the right place?  Are you sure you’re not referring to the George Michael song?  During a private conversation between Moses and God, Exodus 31:18, this concept was first introduced to the Israelites.

To prevent the excuse, “well, no one ever told me,” the Lord lays out His position about sex in plain view for all to see, Leviticus 18.   The first sex education message may be graphic in nature, yet God’s boundaries are clearly defined.  Every possible scenario, no matter have perverted, establishes a line in the sand to discourage unlawful sexual acts.   If Adam couldn’t keep the only law in the garden, Genesis 2:17, what’s going to keep mankind from pushing the sexual envelope.

To combat this temptation, God introduces the acts of the sinful nature in Galatians 5:19-21.  It’s not a coincidence that sex is linked to the first and last desire.  Sexual immorality is like an open door that many walk through, attracted by temporary pleasures and illicit scenery.  When lust becomes full blown, individuals are persuaded to partake in orgies, losing control of their sexuality.

According to the apostle Paul, the church in Corinth struggled to control their bodies.  Subsequently, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 is written to help those who have strayed off course.  Beyond these addictive habits, soul ties merge you with a sexual partner.  These bonds often confuse souls, destroying relationships and preventing true intimacy from forming.  In view of this, God wants your sex so that your temple, physical body, will be offered as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1-2.  Please share your feelings, opinions and thoughts on this controversial topic.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Boundaries, Bounties and Blown Opportunities

I witnessed a pastor go old school today, committing what some may call social suicide.  Taking no prisoners, this man of the cloth convicted households who display little boundaries or prefer to be their child’s best friend.  When parents don’t say no, define acceptable perimeters or clarify right from wrong behavior for their children, kids become one with the world.  Instead of being transformed by the word of God, Romans 12:1-2, teenagers are becoming like dust in the wind, blown from one trend to the next.

Today, more than ever, society has been turned upside down, just watch any commercial airing in prime time which ties sex to their products.  In the Wild West, cities and town offered bounties for anyone who were able to help authorities catch a criminal wanted for a hideous act.  If only an entrepreneur had enough money to offer rewards for good behavior, perhaps this country might return to its Judeo-Christian heritage.  Unfortunately, lines drawn in the sand keep moving, enforced differently by the government, leaders and schools, resulting in a generation of confusion.

From my own perspective, its frustrating to look back on all the blown opportunities I missed as a father.  Depression, fatigue and time have chipped away the standards I want to consistently uphold for my family.  Although I would like to turn the clock back, all I can do is look to history to avoid future failures.  Essentially, I need to become a Moses’ like figure, clearly communicating God desires for daily living, Exodus 19:3-6.  The best advice for anyone wrestling with parenting is found in Proverbs 22:6, “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  May the words of the Bible provide blueprints for youth and adults struggling to identify absolutes, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

Christless

Seinfeld was one of the first sitcoms to mock Christmas, establishing Festivus for the rest of us.  Meanwhile, Jewish holidays weren’t exempt as Saturday Night Live, known as SNL, created their own version of Hanukkah sung by Adam Sandler.  At one point in American culture, certain topics were taboo, to avoid offensive language.  However, a growing trend has erased the line eliminating boundaries, opening up every religion to verbal attacks except for Islam.

When you subtract the presents, songs and exchange of gifts, what else remains?  Sure, there are decorations, lights and manger scenes, but is Jesus still Lord of this holiday?  Or has the good news of a Messiah been X-out by cards too cheap to print the reason for masses across the country and throughout the world?  As I look around the roads, shopping malls and desolate streets, cheers of good news is a rare sound.  Rather, complaining, gripes and moodiness fill the air, opening the door for another Christ-less season.

If political correctness continues to be a guiding light for Americans, I’m afraid the days of Christmas may soon be over.  In a recent interview, Christian singer Chris Tomlin vowed he’d go to jail if celebrating Christmas ever became illegal.  For those who think, “that would never happen here,” don’t be so sure.  For whenever a nation curses Israel or harms their ability to remain free, God promises to curse those countries that don’t stand with God’s chosen people.  In the Silent Nights that remain, may the Holy Spirit touch your heart, persuading you to invite Jesus back into your home, neighborhood and perhaps local schools.  If not, Christmas will be another day for the homeless and orphans, waiting for a brighter day.

by Jay Mankus

Sorry Harry Potter… You’re Wrong!

As a former teacher, invoking the name of Harry Potter was like stirring up a hornet’s nest.  I spent years trying to find out what made students tick, probing with topics to ascertain where their allegiance lies.  To my surprise, some of the most apathetic, passive and timid individuals, transformed before my very eyes with the slightest mention of Harry Potter.  Enraged with passion, any criticism of this wizardly magician resulted in anger as if I was picking a fight with their baby brother.

Before I go any further, I don’t want to share my opinion on this issue.  Rather, I seek to confirm God’s words to the Israelites.  The Lord is starting anew in the Old Testament, introducing a set of boundaries and guidelines for the Jews to adhere.  This moral compass served as basic civil laws so that citizens would treat one another as God desired.  Under a section of instructions on social responsibility, Moses writes down God’s own words in Exodus 22:18, “do not allow a sorceress to live.”

This leads one to ask, “what is a sorcerer and why does God specifically refer to a female, not a male?”  According to Webster, a sorceress is a witch.  Meanwhile, a sorcerer is someone who claims to or displays magical powers known as an enchanter, warlock and wizard.  Now if James 2:9 speaks out against showing favoritism, Exodus 22:18 eludes to both men and women.  Therefore, sorry Harry Potter, you’re wrong for what you practice, even in a fictional series, for God is jealous, seeking our complete attention, not just when we feel like it or want to, Exodus 20:3-5.

by Jay Mankus

The Olive Grove

There was a time in America when Hide and Go Seek was for more popular than playing video games.  Although not everyone runs the same speed, creative minds often found the best hiding spots.  Depending upon the size of your neighborhood or the boundaries children set, some games might last hours, searching for the last person.  On several occasions, this hider would come out, saving their hiding place for another game.

In John 18:1-9, the disciple whom Jesus loved takes readers into the disciples secret place, where they often met.  Beyond the Kidron Valley, Jesus took his disciples to an olive grove, hidden from the large crowds which followed Jesus.  Thus, John reveals these details to explain how Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, knew where to find Jesus when other religious leaders could not.

Like the old commercial slogan, “Calgon take me away,” everyone from time to time needs a place to get away.  Whether its a place like Cheers, where people know you by name or a secret hide away, rest and relaxation is essential for the human soul.  Though Sunday is a day of worship, God also wants individuals to rest, unwind and relax.  Therefore, whether you select an olive grove like Jesus, a quiet place or an activity you enjoy, recharge your internal batteries soon or else you might run out of gas.

by Jay Mankus

If God Used Logic…We’d All Be Dead!

Throughout the course of history, a series of cycles retrieve, add to and reinvent old theories about the Bible.  Gnostics build upon the teachings of Simon Magus in Acts 8:9-19 with modern theories like the Jesus Seminars and Da Vinci Code.  Meanwhile, books like the Secret take biblical principles out of their proper context by blending these truths with metaphysics and self-help methodology.  Despite what so called experts may claim, the Bible continues to be an annual best selling book about the creation of earth, the fall of man and restoration of life through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  If you read and study this book you will soon discover, if God used logic, we’d all be dead!

If you were God, how would you respond when your only rule, Genesis 2:16-17,  is quickly broken by your second created being, the first child born on this planet becomes a murderer, Genesis 4, and a few generations later, the only person worth saving is Noah.  Meanwhile, the flood is immediately forgotten by the people of Babel in Genesis 11, your only leader, Abraham, is a habitual liar, Genesis 20:1-2, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were given over to shameful lusts, Romans 1:26-27.  Like a frustrated parent whose children never listen to them, if God used logic, the earth would have been destroyed once and for all in Genesis 19:29.

Fortunately, for all of mankind, God is love, 1 Corinthians 13.  Logically, God should have given up on us years ago, but He loved us so much that God gave us His one and only son, John 3:16-17.  Despite the wages of sin, Jesus paved a new way toward heaven in Romans 6:23.  Jesus left a final reminder of God’s love with his best friend on earth, John.  According to 1 John 3:16-20′ true love today is found today by living out the love of Jesus.  Like the classic country song by Crossway, “Thank God I’m not Jesus!”  Come alive by following the apostle Paul advice in Galatians 2:20.

by Jay Mankus

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