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Mind Games

As a teenage boy, I wasn’t charismatic or eloquent. I struggled to maintain a B average and entered high school at 5 feet tall and 100 pounds. While competing in sports was my first love, attractive females began to get my attention. Unfortunately, I was so small and quiet, that I was invisible when other guys were around. Subsequently, dating was something that I longed for, but was unable find someone that liked me more than a friend.

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

What made matters worse was a severe speech impediment. When I opened my mouth, I never knew if I was going to embarrass myself in class or actually spit something out. I could visualize what I wanted to say, but my mind would play tricks on me. The longer this condition persisted, I began to develop an ungodly belief that I would never be able to share what was in my heart and on my mind.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you], Romans 12:1-2.

After entering into a personal relationship with Jesus as a sophomore in high school, I was introduced to the promises of the Bible. When I learned about my own internal struggles in Galatians 5:16-18, the miracles of Jesus gave me hope. My prayers began to focus on healing my stuttering so that this mind game would end. Twenty years after my condition was first diagnosed, the power of the Holy Spirit finally broke through. While the Devil still tries to remind me of my past, the Bible has steadied my faith as this spiritual mind game continues today.

by Jay Mankus

Pinocchio and Politics

Not so long ago, integrity was a vital aspect in life.  Being a man or woman of your word was considered essential to maintaining one’s reputation.  Unfortunately, sometime over the last thirty years, character, honesty and truth have been minimized.  In its place, gravitas, personality and spunk have stolen the spot light.  Subsequently, we now live in an age where Pinocchio and politics intersect with the most charismatic liar often winning elections.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth, Ecclesiastes 7:1.

History recounts Solomon as one of the wisest leaders to ever live.  Reading his accounts within the Bible can result in great advice, especially during trying times.  The Holy Spirit inspired Solomon to encourage individuals to strive toward keeping their vows spoken.  To do otherwise would diminish one’s standing in their community.  Therefore, despite what appears to be politicians getting away with lie after lie, don’t lower your standards to expose participants trying to redefine reality.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold, Proverbs 1:22.

Whatever your political leanings may be, one thing is obvious, the mudslinging has begun.  Apparently, the media enjoys participating in this demolition derby, crushing and smashing any candidate who threatens to reveal their true intentions.  While no one is perfect, its sad to see national leaders regularly lie on television.  The expert deceivers walk a fine line between context, passing the buck and shifting blame.  In the end, souls numb the pain of conviction, pressing on to reach their goal.  Although God knows the truth, zealous contenders continue to risk telling lies like Pinocchio as long as they make it to the top.  May the Holy Spirit open the eyes of low information voters before election day arrives.

by Jay Mankus

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