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Tag Archives: clarity

Perplexed and Wondering

A week doesn’t go by without experiencing, hearing or witnessing something that baffles my mind. Certain events are puzzling, hard to grasp the meaning, purpose or reason for God allowing these things to occur. Without counsel, a friend or insight from a mentor, you might be left in the dark. Days may turn into weeks, months and years before clarity arrives.

While they were perplexed and wondering about this, suddenly, two men in dazzling clothing stood near them; Luke 24:4.

A group of woman were on their way to finish preparing Jesus’ body for his permanent resting place. Upon arriving, the door to his grave, a boulder protecting a cave entrance was rolled away. After going inside, Jesus’ body was gone, missing. Perplexed and wondering, these women were visited by two angels who appeared in dazzling clothes from heaven. At their greatest need for understanding, the Lord provided a message of hope.

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant and boundless mercy has caused us to be born again [that is, to be reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3.

The resurrection gave first century individuals who let Jesus down prior to his death a second chance. This included Peter who denied knowing Jesus during his arrest and trial. While Jesus’ acts, miracles and words perplexed and caused his own disciples to wonder why, dying and rising from the dead fulfilled biblical prophecy. Thus, even though you may still have numerous questions you want to be answered, the resurrection of Jesus provides eternal security for those who believe this event occurred.

by Jay Mankus

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The Place of the Unknown

Getting lost can take on many forms.  Your GPS device of choice may lead you astray.  The place where you are in life is puzzling with few who have experienced this or understand.  Meanwhile, the various stages of parenting can be challenging, often unsure of what to do next.  These are just some examples of entering the place of the unknown.

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them, Matthew 13:15.

Jesus uses a parable based upon farming to describe the place of the unknown.  One of the reasons why people are in the dark spiritually is due to calloused hearts.  This condition is fueled by stubbornness, preventing individuals from picking up subtle clues from God.  This lack of clarity, discernment and insight hinders people from escaping darkness.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path, Matthew 13:19.

The conditions, environment and surroundings in which you live often dictate the direction you will go in life.  While there are always exceptions to this rule, soil types restrict the overall harvest of farmers.  Obstructions like rocks, sticker bushes and weeds entangle the healthy.  Careless acts can damage, harm or uproot spiritual foundations.  In view of this hazardous threat, may the power of the Holy Spirit inspire believers to seek fertile soil for the soul.  By doing this, you will discover the way out of the place of the unknown.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Buy the Truth and Don’t Sell It

As commentators, the media and writers continue to exaggerate and stretch the truth toward political lines, its hard for the average American to know what is right.  Subsequently, a climate has been established for individuals to unknowingly embrace lies.  Its no wonder that America has become a nation divided by a lack of clarity.

Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well, Proverbs 23:23.

According to Solomon, truth is something that must be sought out.  The apostle Paul takes this process one step further, to test everything you hear and read.  While you should be able to trust certain people and outlets, if you don’t question anything you are opening yourself to becoming vessels of propaganda.

Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21.

Romans 10:17 reveals the faith comes from hearing and reading words of the Bible.  Without a daily intake of the Bible, anyone is vulnerable to embracing and believing lies of the Devil.  Therefore, don’t let another day go by as a low information voter.  Rather, buy the truth and when you obtain it, don’t sell it!

by Jay Mankus

The Rhymes and Reasons in Life

Every story includes a beginning, middle and end.  For the impatient, wanting to fast forward to know the conclusion, important details are skipped.  Subsequently, chapters and pages don’t make sense, void of any rhyme or reasons.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, James 3:17.

The same concept applies to life.  Sure, every human being starts with conception, but somewhere between childhood and adolescence, life gets complicated.  As an adult, the complexities increase, causing many to be confused by the rhymes and reasons in life.  Thus, when you stop to reflect about where you are, how you got there and what do next, clarity is often hard to find.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Colossians 1:9.

If you are like me, you have experienced periods of uncertainty in life.  When you find yourself in these moments of doubt, prayer is one of the best solutions.  As you pray your way through life to make sense of rhymes and reasons, God promises to give individuals knowledge and insight.  Therefore, don’t quit before God finishes the story He has written.  In the Lord’s time, rhymes and reasons will be unveiled as you draw near to God.

by Jay Mankus

Three Years and Counting

This blog marks the end of 3 years of writing, ignited by a Discernment Conference I attended on February 1st and 2nd, 2012.  Since this day, each of the past 3 years represent different phases that I have undergone, summarized by 3 words: disappointment, transition and recovery.  Becoming unemployed is one thing, but losing a position that you were born to do was a tough pill to swallow in 2012.  Meanwhile, re-defining my career path in 2013 was a longer journey than I expected, often spent in the wilderness, trying to find my way home.  Finally, 2014 provided clarity, stability and a clear passion, to one day write full time, averaging one screen play per year, God willing of course.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

In the meantime, its important to ask for and receive feedback from my readers.  Depending upon current and world events, I want to continue to provide a biblical response or perspective on these topics.  However, without having a pulse of my readers, its impossible to meet their needs as well as grow this site.  Therefore, I am urging you to participate in the first poll that I have created below.  This will give me instant feedback that will shape this blog throughout 2015.

To complete my final blog of year 3, I want to offer you essential steps to walking with God.

1) You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.              Deuteronomy 5:33

2) Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.           Psalm 119:133

3) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.                                     James 4:7

May the Lord mightily bless you as you talk one step at a time, obeying His decrees along the way.

by Jay Mankus

 

Opening Day 2013

About a month ago, I began to ponder in my mind the message I wanted to communicate to my 11-12 year old baseball team and their parents on opening day.  Since I believe brevity is clarity, I try to say as little as possible, maximizing the power of each word.  Unsuccessful in my initial attempts, the novel idea of praying for wisdom led to form the  invocation I shared today for Greater Newark’s Baseball League’s Opening Day Ceremony.

Not shy about public speaking, last year I was put on the spot after the reverend who was scheduled could not attend, called in from the bullpen to relieve the starter.  With  3 words on my heart, today’s last second notice was not as shocking.  Thus, the theme I wanted to share with just my team, was broadcast to all in attendance, in accordance with God’s will!

The first word God gave me was memories.  Whether a ball player hits a home run, assists in making a double and triple play or makes a game winning catch, these moments in time will be forever etched in a youth’s mind.  No one can take these memories away, brought to recall each time they pass a ball field in life.

This second word has had a much deeper meaning in my life, friendship.  After my 3 children spent 10 years at the same private school, a lost job thrust each into the public school system, scary for any parent, especially in Delaware.  On the first day of his new school, my middle child Daniel came home estatic.  In homeroom, one of his best friends from baseball, Xavier, introduced him several students, making him feel at home.

Finally, the last word the Holy Spirit gave me was legacy.  The game of baseball provides a series of tests, blown calls from umpires to name of few.  Yet, this game teaches great life lessons which can develop character within a child’s life, James 1:4.  Therefore, how you respond to these circumstances dictates the legacy you leave behind: good, bad or ugly.  At the conclusion of the game, when the scoreboard is turned off and the crowds part ways, how will people remember you?  Until this day, play ball!

by Jay Mankus

Sizing Up My Faith

On Valentine’s Day, 2013, I published a blog entitled Supersize Your Faith.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, God led me to challenge friends and readers to super size their faith during the month of March.  I encouraged fellow believers to expand their reading of the Bible, ramp up prayer lives and become an active participant within church.  As the sun has set on the month of March, this Easter evening, its time to size up for my faith.

Beginning, March 1st, I attempted to read 3 chapters of the Bible per day.  While I didn’t hit my goal every day, God allowed me to finish Habakkuk – Malachi, the gospel of Mark, half of John and 31 Psalms.  Most of my days began with a Psalm, serving as my outline for morning prayer and providing direction for the prayer journal that I kept.  Although, my overall prayer life hasn’t changed, God’s response to recent prayers did.

For example, as I reflect upon the last 9 days, I can see the hand of God providing for me within 24 hours of my heart felt cries for help.  First, God gave me clarity through a series of interviews, closed one door while opening another and during a 3 day stretch answered me exactly as I requested with a job, desire to finish my movie and a 40 hour work week.  I even laid hands on my cat, who had a 2 inch hole near her back and within a few days this area was healed.  Before praying, this hole grew larger day after day.

My greatest failure, where I need to most work in the future was being more active in my church community.  Initially, I had contacted a friend about starting up a small group Bible Study, but I didn’t follow up so this good idea faded away.  Meanwhile, I didn’t possess a servant’s heart, often rushing out of church or I found excuses to rationalize my lack of action.  The only fruit I bore in this area was coming up an idea of an Easter Egg hunt on March 30th to reach out to T-ball children and families of the Greater Newark Baseball League, where I have coached the past 3 seasons.  Thankfully, my wife coordinated this event with Pastor Matt of Overflow, leading to a successful day, impacting many who attended this special event.

Like the 40 day challenged introduced in the film Fireproof, Super sizing your faith should never end.  When Kirk Cameron’s character, Captain Caleb began this series of tasks, little progress was made.  However, as soon as Caleb changed his attitude, his life was transformed from the inside out.  Therefore, don’t give up hope if you are feeling defeated.  Ask the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 1:7 for extra help to better understand the Bible, develop an intimate prayer life and leave a legacy for Christ in your community.  Rise up with the risen Savior!

by Jay Mankus

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