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Tag Archives: broken hearts

Until Your Heart Breaks

The expression heart break is often associated with broken relationships. Whether a divorce or dumped by a significant other, broken hearts take time to heal. Unfortunately, unhealed hearts tend to become bitter, taking their frustrations out on someone else. If you’re caught in the wake and undertow of a broken heart, you may be tempted by revenge to reciprocate. Yet, this desire is nothing more than evil, planted within you by the Devil.

Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done], 1 John 3:7-8.

According to one of Jesus’ disciples, when you don’t respond properly to a broken heart, you can become a vessel of the Devil. Whenever an individual goes through a trying time, the healing process varies. Someone overcomes a difficult loss while others may rebel for an extended period of time. To those who reach a breaking point, King David provides a prayer for you to follow, Psalm 51:10.

And he would gladly have fed on and filled his belly with the carob pods that the hogs were eating, but [they could not satisfy his hunger and] nobody gave him anything [better]. 17 Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants, Luke 15:16-19.

No matter where you live or what you do, everyone knows at least one prodigal who has gone off on their own. You don’t have to be rich to go astray. Disappointment, frustration or a lack of fulfillment led many to withdraw, disappearing for an extended period of time. Until your hearts break spiritually, common sense will be rejected. Yet, when souls hit the bottom of the barrel, coming to your senses results in confession, repentance and reconciliation.

by Jay Mankus

Fast Pray Vote

Over the past month, several pastors across the nation have urged their members to fast and pray in the days leading up to the 2020 Election. Pastor Jentezen Franklin started a movement known as Fast, Pray, Vote. In previous years, pastor Franklin starts the beginning of each year with a 21 day fast that he encourages his congregation to participate. Whether it’s a Daniel Fast, Media Fast or Fluid only Fast, this spiritual discipline opens hearts and minds to God’s will for your life, Romans 12:1-2.

When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven, And I said, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, Who keeps covenant, loving-kindness, and mercy for those who love Him and keep His commandments, Nehemiah 1:4-5.

One of the most famous passages in the Bible on fasting occurs in the Old Testament.  After the Jewish exile to Babylon, Nehemiah served as one of the king’s servants. One day a messenger sent news to Nehemiah, reporting the sad state of Israel’s current condition. The wall protecting Jerusalem was broken down and the gates were on fire. Just like recent news reports of civil unrest and rioting within large metropolitan cities, broken hearts are inspiring modern Christians to also fast and pray today.

Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned, Nehemiah 1:6.

As Election Day arrives, concerned hearts feel the need to fast and pray for America’s future. In an age of political divisiveness, prayer may be the only source to unite a country divided by politics. Regardless of who is to blame for this division, the Bible urges disciples of Jesus to follow the golden rule, Matthew 7:12. However, when individuals believe in and support a candidate that offends you, loving others as God loves us is probably the last thing on your mind. Thus, if you truly want to make a difference on election day and in the years to come, Fast, Pray and Vote.

by Jay Mankus

How to Recover From a Demoralized Soul

Every time I hear, read and see a news story about suicide, part of me wonders how bad were things in someone’s life to follow through with killing themselves?  Breaking news of the latest victims to suicide, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade is a daily reminder of a growing number of demoralized souls that exist within society.  According to Matthew 27:3, guilt and remorse convinced Judas Iscariot to take his own life.  With most of the disciples hiding to escape the same fate of Jesus, there was no one to talk Judas out of this ill fated decision.

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4.

Besides suicide, other demoralized souls tend to follow in the footsteps of the woman mentioned in John’s gospel.  When broken hearts, jaded minds and fragile souls stop caring, some go looking for love in all the wrong places.  During a conversation within John 4:15-18, Jesus talks to a woman who had gone through five failed marriages.  To avoid another divorce, she decided to live with her latest boyfriend, afraid of what the future may hold.  Whether you are currently in a relationship or not, the Bible does provide solutions to recover from a demoralized soul.

Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). James 1:12-14.

If you listen to certain television evangelists, their messages paint a rosy colored perspective on life, emphasizing only the positive.  Unfortunately, this is far from reality, something Jesus’ earthly brother addresses in the passages above.  Trials should not only be expected, but embraced by believers.  These unsettling events provide opportunities for growth, to cope, deal with and develop maturity.  Each day offers teachable moments, like a pass fail test to let you know your strengths and weaknesses.  The key is refusing to give up or quit, despite how you may feel.  The ultimate goal is to remain steadfast, leaning on friends, family and faith to get you through trials and tribulations.  As long as you understand what you are up against, joy and peace is attainable via the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  The next time you are demoralized, cry out to Jesus in prayer to find comfort for your soul, Matthew 11:28-30.

by Jay Mankus

What’s In Your Heart is Making You Cold

Lately, I haven’t been myself.  Not just lately; rather for several years or so.  I usually have I good sense of perception, in touch with how I feel and why.  Yet, now I am lost, grasping at straws to comprehend the frustration within me.  Perhaps, knowing I’m not where God wants me to be and not doing anything about it is to blame.  Nonetheless, I heard a quote on the radio yesterday that might have diagnosed my problem,”what’s in your heart is making you cold.”

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

Music tends to speak to me when I am depressed.  This quote reminds me of Foreigner’s classic song Cold as Ice from the 1977 album Feels Like the First Time.  The context of this song refers to a woman’s actions, suggesting a broken relationship has occurred and the interactions are tense, like a cold hearted soul who doesn’t care about you.  The prophet Jeremiah writes about the complex nature of human heart in the passage above.  I guess the heart is unpredictable, expressing what’s inside of you in the form of cruel words or harsh behavior as detailed by Jesus in Luke 6:43-45.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 36:26.

Diagnosing any problem is the first step, but without a solution, broken hearts will continue to convey negative emotions.  Thus, another prophet provides a prayer outline for any one who is willing to change.  This new spirit is like transforming your perspective from negative toward the positive.  Any change will take a transitional period to break old habits.  Yet, for those who bring your dirty laundry to the feet of Christ, Matthew 11:28-30, the heavy burdens on your heart can be eased.  As time proceeds, may your prayers for change exchange regret with God’s grace and love.

by Jay Mankus

Putting the AWE in Awesome

According to a recent study, awesome is one of the most popular words to express something which is considered amazing.  Due to the overuse of this term, awesome has lost some of it’s luster.  This bastardization of the English language has prevented a clear depiction, watered down by too many comparisons with less descriptive words.  Perhaps, it’s time to restore order by putting the awe back in awesome.

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! – Psalm 33:8

One of the barriers to appreciating awesome is the recent trend of public displays of disrespect by athletes, leaders and politicians.  In some cases, celebrities, journalists and members of the media are encouraging these acts, considered acceptable behavior as long as it’s done to those individuals who possess politically incorrect views.  When disrespect reigns, honor and reverence disappear.  Awe can not be experienced unless a healthy fear and respect for high offices are restored.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, 1 John 4:18.

According to Luke 19:10, Jesus came to earth to seek and restore that which was lost.  This was accomplished by demonstrating a love that has transformed cultures since the first century.  This agape love is so powerful that souls are overwhelmed, brought to tears by the grace and mercy of God.  Incomprehensible to the average person, perfect love casts out the fear of God’s wrath depicted in the Old Testament.  One prodigal life at a time, Jesus came to earth to mend broken hearts.  Dying on a cross, serving as a perfect lamb, Jesus’ resurrection conquered death, putting the AWE in awesome.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Embracing the Headwinds in Life

Without wind a sailboat is dead in the water.  On the other hand, when gale or hurricane force winds arrive, the situation turns to a matter of life and death.  Thus, one man’s curse is another’s blessing.  Either way, its important to embrace the headwinds in life.

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” Job 1:21.

As a golfer, I once hit a drive in high school 340 yards uphill with a 75 miles per hours gust at my back.  On the same day, I struggled to hit mid-irons 100 yards into the same wind.  For an airplane to take off, it must face headwinds.  If attempting to get off the ground with the wind at their back, the downward force of this wind prevents lift, doing just the opposite.  Therefore, headwinds create ideal conditions for flight.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit,” John 3:8.

Although wind is invisible, you can hear it coming.  While tornadoes create debris clouds, the Holy Spirit restores human beings from the inside out.  Transformation usually takes time, especially for anyone overcoming previous storms which has ravaged souls.  Beyond broken hearts, pain and scars, a supernatural force uses headwinds to bring individuals back to where they need to be.  In view of this fact, remember to thank the Lord like Job for the good and bad so that God will use headwinds to lift you up.

by Jay Mankus

Making a Difference One Text at a Time

Early in the 2013-2014 school year, a high school senior became fed up with the persistent negativity bombarding her hallways.  Searching for a simple solution, this silent leader began to fight back with kindness.  Determined to leave a positive mark on her classmates, this glimmer of optimism began to make a difference, one encouraging, yet anonymous text at a time.

This principle is nothing new, passed on by the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:29.  The best way to battle bullying, criticism and put downs is with uplifting words.  In the end, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the desire to do good tarries on, Galatians 6:9-10.  As this girl’s twitter handle began to light up with compliments to friends, faculty and staff, establishing hope for broken hearts.

Perhaps, this young woman will start a movement to love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:39.  Whether you think before you act or look at someone else’s life before you judge or make an assumption, randoms acts of kindness can make a difference.  Therefore, instead of giving up on a cruel world, set your heart and mind on things above, Colossians 3:1-3, so that the light of Christ will be passed on to the next generation.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Day We Broke God’s Heart

Like a proud parent watching their son and daughter play in a local little league, God felt helpless as Eve dropped the ball and Adam picked dandelions as the devil traded an apple for sole authority over the earth in Genesis 3.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the first naturally born child allowed jealousy to convince him to murder his younger brother in chapter 4.  The last straw occurs in Genesis 6:5 as mankind’s heart and mind turned toward every possible evil inclination.  This was the day we broke God’s heart, Genesis 6:6.

The reason I use we instead of they is based upon Romans 3:9-12.  While our stories are not recorded in the Bible, history is being repeated as most of God’s created beings are following in the footsteps of sinners.  Every morning, God is waiting for his people to acknowledge Him, Psalm 150:6.  However, busy schedules, entertainment and work causes most of us to let days slip by without saying hello in prayer or crack open the Bible to listen to God.  Instead, most human beings are led astray by humanism, naturalism and selfish desires.  Thus, by these careless actions, we are breaking God’s heart all over again!

Maybe this is why God allows individuals to endure humility, trials and defeats.  Sometimes, we need to have our own hearts broken, which makes it painfully obvious to us that we can not make it through life on our own.  In fact, this also explains why Jesus states that in order to find life you must be willing to lose it, Matthew 16:25-26.  The choices you and I make will shape our eternal futures, either toward heaven or closer to hell, Matthew 7:13-14.  Moses was right when he said choices have consequences in Deuteronomy 30:15.  May this blog challenge you to renew and or begin a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

Stirring Up Wars

Not much has changed since the Jets and the Sharks began their fictional turf war over a girl, Maria, in the 1961 musical West Side Story.  Today, anger, bitterness and discord have built up within human beings to create ideal conditions for dissension zones.  Good intentions often fade into the night as roots of bitterness suffocate any thoughts of forgiveness.  As a result, floodgates open up for a culture of bickering and backstabbing.

Beyond the boundaries of Super Powers, factions leave third world nations with a battlefield of broken hearts, fragile souls and shattered relationships.  Hatred has found a home, setting up shop as a spirit of division is holding unwilling citizens captive.  While once foreign, America has open its doors to this nature through reality television.  A generation of Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones viewers have spawned hits shows like Big Brother, Survivor and The Jersey Shore.  Seeking to get rich over night, individuals do whatever it takes, forsaking integrity, to achieve success and victory.

Going unnoticed by those with moral blinders on, the acts of the sinful nature has imprisoned lost souls, Galatians 5:19-21.  Selfish ambition has become their driving force, the wind beneath their misguided wings.  When you add envy and jealousy as fuel to this fire, carnage is aired daily through shows like Bad Boys, Cheaters and Divorce Court.  As long as comedy, sex and violence continue to sell, this process will repeat itself, stirring up more wars.  May God protect the innocent bystanders, caught in the crossfire of this mudslinging.  Pray the words of Galatians 5:16-18 so that this vicious cycle will end soon!

by Jay Mankus

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