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Tag Archives: census

A Voice of Experience

Confidence isn’t lacking in society today as narcissists can be found in nearly every work place.  However, a humble voice of experience is missing from many segments, replaced by pride and arrogance.  When absent, people can lose their way, often repeating the same mistakes that have led past empires to disappear.

 Psalm 118

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.

The words of Psalm 118:8-10 sound like something King David would have said.  After calling for and taking a census of Israel’s tribes, a spirit of conviction falls upon David.  Failing to listen to his commander Joab, a voice of experience, God punishes Israel’s for David’s sin of pride, 1 Chronicles 21:1-8.  When given three options for his penalty, David opts for the hand of God, 1 Chronicles 21:9-15.

Although Public Service Announcements for the Boys & Girls Clubs are important, its essential for mentors to rise up to begin influencing a generation looking for positive role models.  On the other hand, its also vital for adults to remain teachable so that advice from the Joab’s in your life aren’t ignored.  May you take heed of the Psalmist by learning to take refuge in God rather than trusting the hands of men.

by Jay Mankus

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From the Penthouse to the Manager

Money has  a way of influencing how people behave.  The term affluenza is a socially transmitted condition of overload, causing individuals to always want more without experiencing any sort of satisfaction.  After a teenage driver killed 4 people while driving drunk in Texas, psychologist Dick Miller appeared as an expert eye witness, claiming affluenza kept this boy from comprehending the full consequence of his actions.  When money is unable to purchase the life or in this case the verdict you desire, people go from the penthouse to the manager overnight.

The manger in the Bible is similar to a feeding trough, made out of wood.  As the census draw near, the only housing Joseph could afford was a barn, filled with animals.  Despite this lowly scene, visitors would soon arrive to see the One was left the Penthouses of heaven for a manger.  While 3 magi, experts in the star continued their journey, shepherds of the fields greeted a new born babe.  This experience strengthened their faith as God’s 400 years of silence finally ended.

Before I found my way in life, I lived in the cellar of my sister’s inner city home, sleeping on a couch.  Working 6 months to make what I do now in one pay check, I was forced to develop a keen faith.  With money and power absent from this equation, I started a journey similar to that of the Magi.  However, I wasn’t following a star that I could see.  Rather, I began to rely on an unseen Spirit, Galatians 5:25, leading me one step closer to where I am today.  Nonetheless, I long for the day when this trek will be made complete, John 14:2-4, going in reverse from the manger to a penthouse in heaven.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

A Family Christmas

The origin of Christmas is based upon the words found in the gospel of Luke 2:1-7.  In a sense, the census issued by Caesar Augustus forced a family reunion of sorts.  However, in this case, “everyone went to his own town to register,” Luke 2:3, back to your home town where relatives were born and raised.  Thus, Mary and Joseph rode on a donkey from Nazareth to Bethlehem nicknamed the City of David creating the first Christmas traffic jam.

Like finding a cheap hotel in Dover, Delaware during Race Weekend, Joseph didn’t have a prayer.  With the odds stacked against him, Joseph begged, pleaded and sought out a hole in the wall motel.  This dive was filled with manure, cold drafts and the constant noise of animals.  Yet, in this desolate place, the world welcomed a Savior, who came to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:10.  When the shepherds arrived, the first Christmas concert was performed by angels, praising God for the miracle of life.

Today, Christmas has become a day where families reunite, if only for a day, meal or weekend.  Putting the past behind, its a time of reflection, thanksgiving and worship.  Despite the distractions of parades, sporting events and more shopping, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without family.  Maybe this is why death, divorce and orphans struggle to find peace on this sacred day.  Regardless of where this holiday may lead you in 2013, let me be the first to say, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”

by Jay Mankus

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