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Tag Archives: Christ

Suppressing the Urge to Quit

Disappointment, heart break and failure are hard to recover from.  The pain from these gut wrenching experiences attacks one’s confidence.  Whenever you lose hope or faith, thoughts about quitting begin to surface.  As soon as this arises, you must suppress the urge to quit.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, 2 Timothy 4:7.

The apostle Paul compares life to an Olympic race, similar to a marathon.  Thus, when a spirit of doubt creeps inside your mind, you must battle this like a heavy weight champ.  If you allow negativity to fester, your invisible opponent’s power will strengthen to the point of overwhelming wounded souls.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13.

When you don’t have the strength to carry on, the apostle Paul introduces a trump card.  Despite the pain Jesus endured, he suppressed any desire to quit by fulfilling God’s plan and purpose.  Therefore, the next time you feel like giving up, call out to Jesus in prayer to suppress the urge to quit.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Fullness or Unfulfilled?

While many Americans may not be as wealthy as they wish, some local restaurants offer buffets, all you can eat when you are hungry.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the discipline to stop when I’m full.  Rather, I gorge myself, eating more in a one sitting than a child living in a third world nation eats in a week.  Thus, I find myself full, yet unfulfilled.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, Colossians 2:9.

I started 2016 losing 20 pounds in the month of January, only to regain 10 this past month.  The human body is tough to manage, craving food but making those who lack discipline to feel shame and regret.  God promises to provide daily bread, enough money to take care of and feed your family.  Yet, there must be something else as when I taste the pleasures of life I often leave empty and unsatisfied.

And in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority, Colossians 2:10.

The apostle Paul writes to members of the church in Corinth struggling with a similar issue.  The conclusion he draws is that no matter hard someone tries to possess an abundant life, its futile without Jesus.  In your quest to become full, many leave the faith unfulfilled.  Thus, if you ever reach this state, listen to words of the passage above.  Reach out to Christ in prayer and God can make you both full and fulfilled.

by Jay Mankus

Making the Call to the Bullpen

After coaching my son’s baseball team the last several seasons, I decided to take this year off due to a busy work schedule.  Thus, when a pitcher starts to struggle, someone else has to make the call to the bullpen.  However, if they are too impatient, the coach might just remove their best player from the game.

For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess, Deuteronomy 30:16.

The game of baseball has several rules that you must know before you begin.  For example, you are only allowed to visit your pitcher once per inning.  If you’re not paying attention, you will be forced to change pitchers upon your second visit in the same inning.  Therefore, any manager must demonstrate prudence or else a quick hook could result in a loss.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God, Ephesians 5:1-2.

For those of you who don’t care about the game of baseball, you still have to make important decisions.  While these choices may not impact a team of kids, your friends, family and co-workers will be influenced by what you say or do.  In view of this, make sure you are slow to speak and think wisely before you make any decision in the future.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Cyrus Cylinder

In 539 Before Christ, Cyrus, King of Anshan led Persia on their conquest of Babylon.  At this time in history, Daniel of the Bible served as an administrator to King Darius.  Thus, as Cyrus oversaw the captivity of Babylon, his paths crossed with Daniel.  Depending upon which historians you reference, it appears that Daniel had a major influence on the creation of the Cyrus Cylinder.

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”- Esther 4:14

Just as Israel was taken captive years earlier by Babylon, Persia’s victory served as an opportunity to free the Jewish people from their oppression.  These events set the stage for the Cyrus Cylinder, a declaration of independence for Daniel and his country.  This cylinder is the earliest known form of civil rights.  This ancient clay cylinder granted Hebrews equal rights as well as providing the chance to rebuild the nation of Israel.

Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command, 1 Chronicles 12:32.

In recent years, the Cyrus Cylinder has been on display at museums and the United Nations.  Yet, this artifact has a greater significance on the founding of America than most people think.  Thomas Jefferson studied the content of the Cyrus Cylinder and applied some of its principles into the Declaration of Independence.   Behind the scenes, it took a man who devoted his life to God, Daniel like Esther was born for such a time to influence Cyrus in the creation of this historic cylinder.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Now and Then

Its hard to believe that on this day twenty years ago I married Leanne Marie Wagner.  Having a wedding in Chicago two days after Thanksgiving can be risky, at the mercy of the weather.   An unwelcomed winter storm could have arrived at any time, but on November 25th, 1995 the Lord was on our side, blessing us with sun and a fifty degree day.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord, Proverbs 18:22.

Most wedding vows include the phrase “for better or for worse.”  This term appears within the marriage service section of the Common Book of Prayer.  Published in 1549, the concept of persevering with a marriage til death due us part can be traced back to the late 1300’s.  Unfortunately, sticking with your spouse throughout one’s life get’s harder and harder as modern cultures have accepted and embrace divorce as a viable option.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, Ephesians 5:25.

While premarital counseling is a good place to start, you’re never really fully prepared for marriage.  The intimacy of marriage reveals all of your imperfections, leaving individuals vulnerable, at the mercy of your mate.  In addition, time has a way of adding weight, losing luster and deteriorating parts of your body.  Anyone can be in love on their honeymoon, but true love takes an unyielding will.  Thus, now and then, I vow to keep my promise to my wife Leanne until death due us part.

by Jay Mankus

 

Y2 Decay

It’s hard to believe that its now been 15 years since the Y2K scare.  Due to the coding of DOS based programs, there were growing concerns that software would default from 1999 to 1900 resulting in the loss of sensitive information including bank accounts on January 1, 2000.  Thus, businesses, programmers and IT support spent over a year along with millions of dollars to update technology with modern solutions.  Although there were some minor glitches, the world survived.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Proverbs 27:23

While advances in modern living have improved annually, the same can’t be said about the faith of Americans.  Except for a period of time following the aftermath of 9/11/01, church attendance has been on a downward spiral for the last 15 years.  According to a Fuller Institute Study, 2.7 million church members will become inactive sometime throughout this year.  Several of whom will leave their church home feeling hurt, neglected or wounded.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. – Ezekiel 22:30

The byproduct of this decay has resulted in a society vulnerable to half-truths and misleading documentaries, void of absolute truth.  Recent attempts by atheists in Hollywood to portray a biblical Noah and Moses failed miserably.  If this trend continues, a nation of faith established by our founding fathers will be forgotten.  May those called by God, like the prophet in Isaiah 6:8, step forward to lead the lost out of darkness into the light.  During times of despair, fight off spiritual decay by placing your feet on the solid rock of Christ, Psalm 40:1-3.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Unusual Displays of Faith

One of my college roommates was a highly touted  football player coming out of high school.  Chiseled like a rock, Mike had the physique to play in college and possibly the pros.  However, when the Lord got a hold of his heart, a new passion blossomed.  Ditching the party scene, faith turned this giant into a man of praise.  Thus, weekend nights offered up a chance to relax, sit on a beach chair in the front yard and listen to worship music, interacting with strangers walking by.

This unusual display of faith inspired me to become more bold in my faith.  Although I don’t remember how it started, another Mike, Michael Mestern and I began a weekly tradition on Main Street.  Before each session, Mike and I prayed on the steps of the mall at the University of Delaware’s Campus in Newark.  Following this, we were moved to sing, like a street evangelist, walking back and forth, up and down Main Street, making a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Whether it was singing Christmas carols or songs from Chrysalis, the Holy Spirit guided us each evening like Galatians 5:25.  Sometimes we hummed, on certain occasions we raised our voices and most of the time we responded to conversations with praise.

The point of today’s blog is that you don’t have to be extremely gifted to be used by God, you just need to make yourself available.  Rollen Stewart displayed his faith by studying where cameras were set up during professional sporting telecasts.  Then, he used his wealth to purchase tickets, find the best place to stand out and hold up John 3:16 signs.  The question is: what are you waiting for or who are you trying to please?  May the words of 2 Timothy 1:6-7 inspire you to fan into flame your God given talents so that through usual or unusual means, the light of Christ will continue to shine, Colossians 4:2-6.

by Jay Mankus

 

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