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The Place Where Momentum Dies

Acceleration, briskness, expeditiousness and tempo are words associated with momentum. This invisible force is often played out during competitions as individuals or teams excel, clicking on all cylinders. When someone goes on a roll, confidence becomes contagious, spreading to teammates. Unfortunately, as quickly as this energy arrives, one error, mistake or mental lapse will cause momentum to vanish. The place where momentum dies is within the human mind.

This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and being spiritually impassioned, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things about Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John; Acts 18:25.

Whenever human beings become tired, artificial means are relied upon to stoke physical momentum. Coffee, caffeine and energy drinks are drank daily to awaken senses so that maximum effort is achieved at work. When one drink starts to wear off, another is consumed to ensure that momentum is maintained. While artificial methods often develop results, drinking too much caffeine can result in unpleasant side affects such as muscle tremors, nervousness or an upset stomach.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. 25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit], Galatians 5:24-25.

The Bible refers to a spiritual momentum. At the start of Paul’s third missionary journey, a Jews named Apollos felt spiritually impassioned by the Hebrew Scriptures which he studied daily. In a letter to the church at Galatia where Apollos first learned about Jesus, Paul credits this momentum on the spiritual discipline known as keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. However, Paul suggests that spiritual momentum is broken by appetites and passions from within. This sinful nature causes weakened minds to give into temptation. Thus, until you crucify these spiritual barriers, you won’t be able to become empowered by God’s Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

God’s Second Wind

The concept of a second wind derives from running.  This phenomenon refers to a distance running often in the context of a long road race or marathon.  When athletes hit the proverbial wall, breath, energy and motivation fades.  Scientists have come up with two logical explanations for this phenomena.  Some believe the second wind is a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid within muscles.  Others point to endorphin production as the source of the second wind.  Whatever the reason, I believe God also plays a role in this process.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; Isaiah 40:29-30.

A famous Old Testament prophet eludes to the second wind.  Using an illustration of an eagle nursing eaglets, this imagery help people visualize the invisible.  Despite the jubilation of any child, energy will disappear, crashing and falling in the form of an afternoon nap.  Instead of encouraging her young to walk, mother eagles prod them out of the nest to begin flying.  As eaglets grow tired or start falling toward the ground, adult eagles intervene to rescue their young from any harm.  In the same way, our heavenly father can and does use second winds to propel his children to complete and fulfill God’s will.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint, Isaiah 40:31.

Every work week in America, human beings rely on coffee, energy drinks or soda to get them through each day.  This dose of caffeine imitates a second wind.  As individuals begin to grow sleepy, these beverages serve as drugs to boost you through grueling, long or tiresome work days.  However, has anyone whispered up a pray to God for strength?  Are people relying on a higher source for power or has earthly substances become a replacement for God?  Perhaps, this blog will make you think twice the next time you go to grab some caffeine.  Maybe, you too will come to the conclusion that God is a major source for second winds.

by Jay Mankus

Awaken Your Soul

The average person needs caffeine each morning before they begin to feel normal.  Whether its coffee, tea or soda, many rely on substitutes to awaken their soul.  Meanwhile, the morning person has way too much energy for sleepy heads like me, needing to put on a lid of their joy until co-workers regain their consciousness.  Yet, there is another anecdote mentioned in the Bible which awakens souls daily.

According to Psalm 57:7-8, music is great way to awaken your soul.  Depending upon your instrument of choice or the genre you prefer, King David used the sound of music to awaken his soul.  Whether you find yourself rising to music on your alarm, singing in the shower or preparing yourself with your favorite artist on your way to work, God designed music to make individuals feel better, 1 Samuel 16:22-23.

From an early age, David found contentment playing his harp, making a joyful noise to the Lord, Psalm 150:3.  Although he likely didn’t take this to work in the fields as a shepherd, David’s soul was lifted up by the sound of music.  Today, music is only a click away on your computer, itunes or satellite radio.  You can build your own radio station on Pandora, create your own playlist on an mp3 player or access your favorite station at home.  Regardless of the time, morning, day or night, awaken your soul this day with the soothing sound of music.

by Jay Mankus

The Grind of Life

Inside a coffee grinder, beans are crushed, pounded and smashed into submission until the process is complete.  Sometimes circumstances in life performs a similar act on individuals, grinding and pressing people until their energy is sapped.  Drained, exhausted and spent, my joy for living has been misplaced by a sea of despair.

Perhaps anguish is the guilty party, sucking souls of contentment, fun and thanksgiving.  Despite being known as a man after God’s own heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, David wasn’t exempt from this emotional state.  Psalm 31:10 expresses the toll the grind of life takes on the human body.

Lately, my faith has been void of joy, left behind during my healthier days when work was something I took for granted.  If you take James 2:26 literally, you can’t have one without the other.  Thus, joy is a byproduct of faith, a fruit inspired by the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  Like the Samaritan woman, I need to go to the well of living water, John 4:10, so that the grind of life doesn’t crumble my faith.  If you’re thirsty for something more in life, absorb the words of Jesus in John 4:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

Lifting Up Friends

starbucks coffee photo: starbucks-coffee starbucks-coffee.jpg

On Friday, I met a good friend for coffee for nearly 2 hours.  Though I tend not to be a big talker, God compelled me to respond to his questions.  While I may not have eased his concerns, deep within my soul came an urge to lift up this friend up in prayer.  Therefore, I took a few moments before I began working, asking the Lord to bring a glimmer of hope to the uncertainty within his mind.  A few hours later, I received a text which  revealed an open door, a potential full time position and free college tuition for his 2 children.

Listening to Casting Crowns after an 11 hour shift brought this idea to light, lifting up friends in prayer,  The lyrics of their song, Prayer for a Friend is a simple remember of what asking God for something in Jesus’ name can do, John 14:13-14.  The skeptic will say, “its just a coincidence, mere chance that your friend received good news.”  Yet, this is the second time in a month that God moved in a matter of hours after meeting together.  Any way you attempt to explain this, lifting up friends in prayer is one of the few remaining solutions to turn your life or a friend’s around.

The last 2 years has been a struggle for me and my family on numerous levels.  When you and your spouse lose your dream jobs, most of your friends through a church split and are left with an ever increasing financial crunch, doubt, helplessness and frustration blew in like a spring storm.  After the bitterness, complaining and whining cease, lifting up my wife and kids in prayer is my only option.  Thus, while pain and regret still exist, its time to fall down on my knees, look up to heaven and cry out to God, lifting up to my best friend to the One who can alter our future.  In Christ alone, help is on the way, Philippians 4:13.  Call on Him today!

by Jay Mankus

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