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We’ve Become a Byproduct of Our Environment

From 1992 to 1999, Melrose Place aired on Fox.  This popular television series gave a glimpse of the elite living in Hollywood, California under the guise of Melrose Place.  Since I was in my last year of college at the time of this show’s debut, I never followed it, catching a scene or two while channel surfing before it’s departure 8 years later.  Looking back at an episode from season 6 that I recently watched, it’s clear that America has become a byproduct of it’s environment.

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—Romans 5:12.

One of the draws to dramas like Melrose Place is that sex sells.  At least this was the rationale for entertainment up until the sexual harassment scandals of 2017.  Perhaps, Hollywood will be forced to alter their content in the aftermaths of sexual misconduct by stars that were uncovered.  Unfortunately, the damage has been done.  Love has been confused with lust as actors and actresses jump from one sexual encounter to the next without any consideration of the soul.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do, Galatians 5:17.

Subsequently, broken relationships, failed marriages and sexual confusion has become the norm.  Sleaze adult advertisements like Girls Gone Wild encouraged young girls entering college to engage in the acts of the sinful nature.  In an attempt to capture elicit sexual content, alcohol was used to coerce drunk and naïve individuals into embarrassing acts, indulging their flesh.  While good people still exist and have overcome the odds to remain holy and pure, the same can’t be said for a growing majority addicted to sin.  I’m not sure what the future holds, but America has become a byproduct of our past environment.  May God help us all to find deliverance!

by Jay Mankus

After the Pain Subsides

Some psychologists often suggest pain is a way of life.  Infants battle teething, youth struggle with puberty, teens endure broken relationships and adults face failed marriages.  How you handle this pain influences whether or not you’ll reach the goals you aspire to achieve in life.  After the pain subsides, who will be left standing?

Trials, tribulations and unexpected setbacks are difficult to overcome.  In fact, a weak mind may begin to accept defeat, allowing a season of disappointment to alter their expectations.  This demise lowers the bar so low, that there’s not much to celebrate.  Thus, one becomes like the wind, blowing to and fro trying to make it through each day, dead inside.  However, a time is coming when the sun will rise after the pain subsides.

Perhaps, this is the emotion, feeling and peace a weeping man experiences in Lamentations 3:22-23.  Despite his current condition, a glimmer of hope arises from one of God’s promises, bringing a sense of relief.  Like a cold Alaskan winter, the sun stands on the horizon all summer long to help forget the memory of the bitter cold.  As you try to resist the pain of life, may the words of the Bible offer a sweet pill of truth to get you through the present until your pain subsides.

by Jay Mankus

Lesson’s From God’s Classroom

Synonyms for perspective include angle, outlook and position.  As a former teacher, I tend to approach information as a student trying to make sense of each topic that I read and study.  This morning I stumbled upon an interesting Psalm David wrote while pretending to be insane.  Despite being successful in his efforts, the Holy Spirit speaks to David like a lesson from God’s classroom, Psalm 34:11-14.

Apparently, the Lord is convicting David of his fear of Abimelech and subsequent trust in himself.  God uses his misjudgment as a teachable moment, encouraging children to listen how one can and should be able to fear the Lord.  Getting the classes attention by painting a vivid picture of success, God asks his students, “how many of you desire to see many great days in your future?”  Gaining my interest, the main lesson is found in Psalm 34:13-14.

1. Keep your tongue from evil.

2. Prevent your lips from speaking lies.

3. Turn from the evil desires in this world.

4. Do good to everyone you encounter.

5. Seek peace and pursue any broken relationship that you may have.

The author of Hebrews includes 2 hints to bring this lesson from the classroom into daily living.  First, faith in an invisible God is crucial to applying the words of Psalm 34:13-14.  One must possess hope and certainty of a living God, Hebrews 11:1.  Finally, genuine faith believes God rewards those who earnest seek the Lord, Hebrews 11:6.  Therefore, when you’re struggling to see the fruits of your labor by fearing God, remember this lesson from God’s classroom.

by Jay Mankus

Inconsistency’s and Irregularities in Life

In life, every day is not consistent, filled with irregularities which overshadow normal conditions.  When individuals expect a certain behavior from a co-worker or friend, based upon previous interactions, the ebb and flow of emotions inside the human soul can result in disappointment.  Instead, life is filled with unpredictable moments, where hearts and minds are swayed by evil to participate in illogical acts, Galatians 5:16-21.  These conflicting actions often create friction, like a wall of separation, Ephesians 4:26-27, leaving a trail of broken relationships, hurt feelings and lost trust in its aftermath.

Meanwhile, periods of love, joy and peace can be turned upside down by breaches in conventional thinking.  Right is confused with wrong, absolutes have become gray areas and morals are now equivalent to opinions, with truth no where to be found.  As a result, citizens have wandered off the straight and narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14, opting for crooked, twisted and unethical practices.  Thus, a generation of amoral people have been formed, misled by the inconsistency’s and irregularities of life.  This group are merely victims of society, like the Cretans of the Bible who were never shown a clear distinction between moral and immoral ways, Titus 3:1-11.

The words of James, Jesus’ half brother, serve as spiritual medicine to cure a sick mind.  James 1:2-7 speaks to times when the inconsistency’s and irregularities occur in life.  Perspective is crucial to staying optimistic during unexpected trials.  People with changed attitudes, transformed by a faith rooted in prayer, can stay afloat, regardless of how strong the winds of change blow.  Therefore, if you can learn to embrace life’s inconsistency’s and irregularities, God will fill you with perseverance to ride out each storm you encounter.  May God provide you with the wisdom you need to endure the whitecaps of life.

by Jay Mankus

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