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Tag Archives: change

False Assumptions

The analytical may not always develop the simplest solution, yet the end result makes much more sense than policies created by politicians.  In many cases, adults are treated like high school students, punishing the masses for the sins of a few.  Meanwhile, public service announcements assume that alcoholics, drug addicts and out of control gamblers can change just by listening to an ad.

A psalm of David. I call to you, LORD, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you, Psalm 141:1.

According to motivational speakers, the key to transforming individuals begins and ends with one’s attitude.  Attitudes are like navigational devices, steering people based upon their moods either in positive or negative directions.  However, if you can encourage someone’s attitude to change, they can turn around their own life.

Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies, Psalm 141:4.

Any plan which neglects attitudes will lead to false assumptions.  Few addicts can and will able to quit cold turkey, able to walk away without ever succumbing to temptations of the past.  Rather, if anyone wants a realistic approach to break free from past demons, pray for a new attitude.  May this journey lead to life altering results.

by Jay Mankus

 

Tone Deaf or Tuned Out?

Technology is changing so quickly that sometimes the media can’t keep up.  While the elderly long for the days of the type writer, youth are downloading the next app to make their life more enjoyable.  For the computer illiterate, if this divide continues, there will be a large portion in society who will either become tone deaf or simply tune out these changes.

Today, the typical print media and evening news is on the verge of becoming extinct.  With the advent of twitter, camera phones and internet blogs, news is outdated by the time articles are written or news is reported.  Perhaps, this may explain the sensationalism in journalism through coverage, headlines and graphic videos..  This desperate attempt suggests the main stream media is losing their power to influence minds as talk shows and pod casts have emerged.

As for the average Joes like me, we might get lost in the shuffle.  Yes, I can know how to blog, email and make a video for my youtube account, but too much information can be overwhelming.  The less informed may get to a point where they think, “what’s the point,” giving up on technological advances.  Regardless of where you stand on this issue, God remains in control.  Thus, whether you become tone deaf or tune out, don’t forget to find life by living in the pages of the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

Prayers of Change

For the  helpless, hurting and poor, change is something that can’t come soon enough.  These desperate souls are searching for the secret to getting God’s attention to alter their circumstances.  When waiting becomes excruciating, what should you say to obtain prayers of change?

In the days of the Old Testament, the heart and its spiritual condition directly influenced God’s response to mankind, Isaiah 1:15-18.  Meanwhile, the mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially when doubt blocks faith from taking root, Matthew 21:18-22.  If you don’t believe God can transform your situation, miracles will cease to exist.  Thus, what can I do to be heard?

History provides a benchmark, a series of success stories in life.  When you desire wisdom, pray to possess the knowledge of Solomon.  If discernment is what you need, ask for the insight of the sons of Issachar.  Is it faith that you lack, claim the double portion the Lord gave Elisha.  Do you struggle to love?  Lean on Jesus to fill this void.  Finally, if the favor of God seems distant, persist in prayer to experience the blessings of Joseph.  May the words of Matthew 7:7-12 inspire you to offer up prayers for change.

by Jay Mankus

 

When You Will See How Great is God

Life is like riding a new roller coaster for the first time, filled with ups and downs, twists and turns with unexpected corkscrews around blind corners.  Subsequently, individuals change, evolve or are transformed by the ebb and flow of trials.  Nonetheless, unless a caterpillar enters the chrysalis, it will never be able to fly.

When hard times arrive. (and they will find you) there is a tendency to cry out to God, complain and wrestle with reality, Psalm 77:1-4.  Whether its coping with death, illness or unemployment, there is no easy way out.  However, on the day of when storms arise, Asaph provides a blueprint in Psalm 77:5-13 to help struggling souls see how great God is.

The moment you begin to remember recent miracles, times when God carried you or meditate on the works of the Lord, perspectives change.  Yet, this is easier said than done.  In the midst of pain, find rest in God’s chrysalis until your transformation is complete.  After the hurricanes of life, keep your head up so that you will begin to see how great is our God.

by Jay Mankus

Finding Solace in Sorrow

Although inconsistent at times, I’ve tried to be a positive person in my spheres of influence, set on changing the mindsets of defeated souls.  In high school, one of my ministries was seeking out the depressed and down to bring a glimpse of happiness, laughter and joy to their sad faces.  However, now I find the shoe on the other foot as sorrow has moved in, keeping me company during the entire month of February.

Like a prized heavy weight slug fest from the Rocky series, my body has become a punching bag for Apollo Creed, scrambling for the ropes to hang on.  Repeated blows to the heart have erased any remnants of confidence, making room for sorrow to feel at home.  Since I lost control of my health weeks ago, I am finding solace in this helpless condition.  Stripping away my impurities, desolation has forced me to seek a higher power to be rescued from disappointment.

Sorrow has lead me into the furnace, testing my faith beyond what I expected, 1 Peter 1:6-7.  Stretching me like Plastic Man, I have a new appreciation for misfortune, viewing it as an opportunity to display a heavenly perspective, James 1:2-4.  After this hurricane, I will be a better man, able to see the sun on the other side of the storm.  With no easy way out, I am content to find solace in sorrow until the Lord calls me home.

by Jay Mankus

Why People Don’t Listen

Eyes

As a former teacher, there were many days I talked to blank stares, bowed heads and confused faces.  Maybe the topic I spoke on was boring, students stayed up too late the previous night or I was tuned out by their minds, not as entertaining as their favorite television stars.  However, one of the main reasons people don’t listen is because deep down inside, they probably don’t believe what you saying applies, will change or impact their lives.

 

Moses encounters a similar experience within Exodus 6:9-12, confused by Israel’s response to the message God gave him.  Based upon verse 9, the distress of slavery and the wear and tear of beat downs by Egyptian officials took a toll on their hearts.  After approaching a 4th generation of bondage, it appears no one could foresee the miracle God was waiting to perform.

This mentality is alive and well today, made stronger by an I know it all attitude.  If you include opinions, political views and well defined worldviews, breaking down the walls to clear communication is extremely challenging.  This likely explains why Jesus used the phrase “you have ears but don’t hear and eyes but do not hear,” addressing the Pharisees for their stubbornness.  May the Holy Spirit help you conquer this worldwide dilemma, 1 Corinthians 2:9-16, to influence those whom you come in contact with daily.

by Jay Mankus

The Video Game Mentality

Young people have become experts in the video game realm.  Whether its XBox, Play Station, Wi or online gaming, their hours spent learning how to play, reading books on short cuts and mastering each level of their favorite game is impressive.  Yet, if I asked these same people if they knew what the King James, Living, NAS or NIV was, most would struggle to comprehend why there are so many different versions of the Bible.  However, if I combined the 2, maybe I could reach a common ground to speak on their level, with a video game mentality.

One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Colossians 3:17 and 3:23.  The New International Version  says “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, verse 17a.”  Or with a similar concept, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, verse 23.”  If there was such a thing as the New Video Game Translation, this is my best interpretation of this passage.  Put all your effort and focus into each game, hitting the reset button if necessary.  Keep on trying until you reach the next level.  Don’t stop there.  Rather, keep going until you know every move, every aspect and every secret of each game.  Pass on your knowledge and move on to the next adventure, challenge and further versions.

If young people dedicated their lives to Christ like they do with video games, the next great awakening would commence.  Likewise, if prayer replaced countless hours in front of a computer, game system or television screens, endless lives could be transformed.  However, living in the world and not being lead by it is another story.  Achieving balance in life is crucial, maximizing your time with fun, pleasure and work.  When these games become the Lord of young people’s lives, behaviors often change for the worse as an addictive nature engrosses their minds.  The only way to crack this video game mentality is through the giver of life, James 1:18.  Don’t ever stop believing that young men and women can change, Romans 12:1-2.  Place your requests before the Lord so that this mindset can be broken, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

by Jay Mankus

Awaken Your Might

A spirit of pessimism  has entered the church, anchored deep within the hearts and minds of Christian soldiers.  Instead of asking for things in Jesus name as the gospels suggest, the thought of failure cripples the power of God in their life.  Expecting defeat, lame prayer lives abound, void of any change, miracle or victory.

Thus, the devil has taken a foothold of prayer lives, Ephesians 4:27, given over to him by individuals who have lost hope.  Its no wonder that churches are in the state they are, empty by low attendance, filled with gossip or slander and corrupted by false teachings of the world.  Its time as Asaph urged many years ago to awaken God’s might, Psalm 80:2.

Another Pentecost is obtainable if saints are willing to follow the blue print left behind by the apostles, Acts 2:42-47.  We must put aside our petty disagreements, coming together  in a concert of prayer, united as one body in Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12.  Once this point is reached, prayers like Acts 4:29, accompanied by immediate answers in Acts 4:31 will awaken God’s might, drawing others into the house of God.

by Jay Mankus

Living on the Dark Side

In March of 1973, Pink Floyd released their 8th album entitled The Dark Side of the Moon.  This Abbey Road production included 4 major themes: conflict, greed, mental illness and time.  Less than a decade later, the movie industry introduced another dark side through the Star Wars episodes.  Famous Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi explained this force with the following quote.  “It takes strength to resist the dark side.  Only the weak embrace it!

Jesus speaks of a spiritual dark side in John 3:19-21.  Jesus introduces this concept with a verdict, a decision which unveils a reality of life, people are attracted to darkness and evil.  Like the show Bad Boys, society tends to gravitate toward those living on the dark side.   According to Jesus, people stay on the dark side out of fear their deeds will be exposed.  Like a vampire afraid of the light, many choose to live in rebellion against authority, blazing a new trail in the dark.

Unfortunately, there are some people who have never experienced the light, from their family or spheres of influences.  Living a life without church, healthy role models and positive reinforcement, result in a Ephesians 4:18-19 lifestyle.  Not giving up on these residents, Jesus leaves a simple message for anyone willing to change their mind in John 3:21.  Reinforced by the words of 1 John 1:5-10, Jesus is waiting for many to come back home into the light, Luke 15:20!

by Jay Mankus

My Two Cents

During my junior year of college, I once attended a local church in Newark, Delaware, in walking distance of the University of Delaware campus.  Up to this point, I had never experienced a pentecostal worship service.  Beside realizing I couldn’t keep a beat or stay on clap with the regular members, something unusual happened during the tithe.  I have heard of 2 different offerings occasionally, one for the church and another for missions or a needy family.  However, this church had the quickest counters I have ever seen, informing the pastor after the song, there wasn’t enough money collected.

Since I was a typically college student at the time, poor with a few singles and some change in my pocket, I passed on my first opportunity to give.  Moments later, the pastor began preaching on Malachi 3:6-10, so I obliged giving nearly half of what I had in my wallet.  Just when I thought the actual sermon would begin, this preacher began to shout, “yelling you have to give until it hurts,” like the widow in Mark 12:41-44, informing the ushers to make one more pass around the pews.  Although the message he was trying to communicate was clear, this pastor’s tone turned my roommates and I off, never stepping foot into that church again.

I believe tithing is like going to church, reading the Bible or praying.  If someone forces you to do any of these biblical principles, you may agree to do it, yet there is a void which exists within your heart.  When you take ownership of your faith, you want to go to church, read the Bible and pray.  Therefore, your heart is the key to giving, which led the widow to offer up her 2 copper coins worth a fraction of a modern penny in Mark 12.  For what it is worth, my two cents are give in secret, Matthew 6:3-4 and give back to others what God has bestowed upon you, Galatians 6:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

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