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Tag Archives: common sense

Magnifying Confidence

If you have a tendency to be analytical like me, you might over think things instead of relying on common sense.  Yet, you can’t deny the difference confidence makes within an athlete, Christian and student.  Uncerainty can stiffle souls, causing individuals to be hesitant, without conviction to act.  However, confidence transforms lives, taking quiet soft spoken individuals to new heights.

When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven,” Luke 5:20.

One day Jesus was teaching in a home when crowds surrounded the building.  By this time in history, Jesus’ healing powers had become legendary as no condition was impossible to cure.  This knowledge empowered a few friends to climb on top of the roof, carrying their friend who was paralyzed.  Eager to get Jesus’ attention, these men cut open a few tiles and lowered their friend to Jesus’ feet.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, Isaiah 41:10.

This act of faith impressed Jesus and one of four gospel authors.  Luke magnifies confidence by referring to belief, energy and passion linked to those who trust in God’s power to transform lives.  Luke uses the imagery of a spring, bubbling over out of the ground.  When Christians stop focusing on the cants in this life and begin to open their minds to the possibilities with God’s help, confidence is magnifed.

by Jay Mankus

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The Ghost of Worry

Apparitions, phantoms and shadows are often associated with ghosts.  Television channels like Destination America are feeding this craze with a series of programming related to paranormal activity.  Whether you are talking about ghost towns, haunted houses or demonic encounters, there are so many spirits roaming this country and throughout the world.    One of these invisible presences is the ghost of worry.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? – Matthew 6:25-27

Worry is the little bug or gnat that constantly pesters you.  This nuisance can be emotionally draining, sucking any joy that you may have out of your life.  If you allow this force to continue to wear on your soul, stress levels can explode resulting in panic attacks.  In the passage above, Jesus uses common sense to address the ghost of worry.  Instead of dwelling of things that you can’t control, trust God to provide what you need.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them, Matthew 6:28-32.

When I was a child, if I took too much food at the dinner table and did not finish it, my parents often said, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”  If the ghost of worry gets the best of you each week, your mind is bigger than your faith.  Revealing God’s special care and concern for nature and wildlife, Jesus illustrates how the Lord provides for the most basic elements on earth.  Therefore, if you want to perform an exorcism on worry, seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.  If you adhere to this advice, the ghost of worry will slowly dissipate as God provides for each of your needs.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Visual Paradox

There are times in life when your eyes deceive you.  You will run into people who appear courteous and kind, yet fail to reveal their hidden agenda within.  This visual paradox keeps you from seeing reality; the truth about what is happetning.  These anomalies, conundrums and enigmas keep you in the dark.  This mystery often goes unsolved until it’s too late or the answers remain with those who kept silent, now buried and gone.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth, Psalm 145:18.

There is a new movement sweeping America that defies logic.  While I am not sure of it’s origin, diversity is the energy driving this political ideology.  When common sense pokes holes in this desire to embrace everyone, the media rises up to shut down opposing views.  On the surface, this message sounds like something Jesus would have said, “to love your neighbor as yourself.”  This mental paradox has placed many Christians in the middle, unsure if loving your neighbor includes terrorists who secretly want to kill you.

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him, John 18:37-38.

In the first century, Jesus had his own set of enemies.  Jealous religious leaders believed Jesus was trying to usurp their political and religious power.  Subsequently, when Jesus didn’t conform to their worldview, plots to kill him began to surface.  Today, liberal leaders feel so strongly about secularism that if you don’t accept, adhere and embrace progressive ideas, you are pressured to deny your previous held beliefs.  At the college level, if you choose to exercise you first amendment rights by disagreeing, this visual paradox is exposed for what it is, an attempt to force a code of ethics upon individuals without conviction, faith or inspiration.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, Ephesians 6:14.

The only successful way to combat this visual paradox is with truth.  If a roman soldier did not secure his belt, his armor would become vulnerable to a surprise attack.  Likewise, if individuals do not wear a belt, you could be caught with your pants falling down.  To avoid this fate, arm yourself with spiritual weapons by putting on the armor of God daily.  This discipline takes time and practice to apply.  Yet, if you are diligent, securing the belt of truth will prevent you from being deceived by similar visual paradoxes that emerge in the future.

by Jay Mankus

 

Praying for the Press

Common sense whispers to the average person that when attacked you should retaliate.  Whether you are talking about competition, gossip or slander, its doesn’t take much for things to become personal.  Thus, when push comes to shove, how you react reflects what’s in your heart.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ Matthew 5:43.”

Since Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election, I have yet to hear the mainstream media say anything positive about the President Elect.  Instead of taking a “let’s wait and see attitude,” liberals and progressives have put on a full court press using hate speech, fake news and misleading opinion editorial pieces to poison the minds of Americas.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matthew 5:44.

This movement of negative news may not end until Donald Trump leaves the White House.  Yet, for now, there is only one logical solution to calm these muddy waters.  According to Jesus, loving and praying for your enemies serves 2 purposes.  The first sends a message of God’s love and forgiveness.  Then, your response makes people feel bad, Proverbs 25:22.  Although it may be difficult for his supporters, its time to pray for the press.

by Jay Mankus

Rosewood Revisited

The 1997 film Rosewood starring Jon Voight and Don Cheadle details the horrific events of the first week of January 1923.  Known as the Rosewood massacre, a rural town in Levy County Florida, this movie depicts the events which culminated into a race riot.  This history lesson provides a painful reminder of how white parents taught their children not to play with African American kids.  When a white woman lies about being raped by a black man, all hell breaks loose throughout Rosewood.

But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24.

As I watched this for this first time in years, some of the scenes are reminiscent of modern events.  Whether its Black Lives Matters protests, tension between law enforcement and the African American community or violent acts upon innocent people, a mob mentality influences one’s ability to use common sense.  The byproduct of this distraction often leads to emotionally outbursts, harsh comments and regrettable actions.  This is the climate in which we now reside, helping to explain some of the awful headlines in the news.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, Proverbs 21:15.

If you revisit Rosewood or watch it for the first time, its not easy to digest.  Some of the content will make you cringe.  Other parts may shock you or cause you to feel sympathy for how black were mistreated by white for centuries.  Yet, one must look toward the future while remembering the words of Dr. Martin King Jr, “its not about the color of our skin, but the content of our character.”  In view of this, may this country come together as one to live, learn and rise above past transgressions.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Intoxicating

The term intoxicating often elicits a negative connotation.  This state is achieved by allowing a foreign substance to enter your body.  Alcohol is the most common drug used which tends to excite, stimulate or stupefy individuals.  King Solomon provides a positive and negative example of intoxicating in the book of Proverbs.

A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love, Proverbs 5:19.

According to Solomon, love can be intoxicating.  While the verse above may be graphic, sex in the context of marriage is suppose to bring pleasure to you and your soul mate.  Unfortunately, some drift apart from their first love.  When this occurs, lust can lead unsatisfied partners to become intoxicated with another person’s spouse.  For those who wonder toward this dangerous place, intoxication can blind people from common sense.

Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? – Proverbs 5:20

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul chooses the Greek work pharmakia in Galatians 5:20.  This is where the English language gets the word Pharmacy.  Whenever anyone allows a drug to enter their body, you become under the influence, like someone under a spell of witchcraft.   Thus, be careful of becoming intoxicated or else you might lose your mind or something worse.

by Jay Mankus

 

When Timing Really is Everything

In the hours following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, Major League Baseball and the National Football League felt it was inappropriate to play games while bodies were being pulled from beneath remnants of the World Trade Center.  Subsequently, baseball commissioner Bud Selig cancelled all games for the rest of the week.  Meanwhile, Paul Tagliabue postponed a weekend slate of NFL games, citing regrets of playing two days after president John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 1 Corinthians 10:6.

While civil unrest is apparent, citizens unhappy with how some Americans were killed and treated by law enforcement, perhaps now is a good time for a season of trueths.  If timing really is everything, what good will further protests do in the wake of the deadliest day for police officers since 9/11.  Where is common sense, decency or social etiquette to let people mourn and remember those whose life have been snuffed out?  If individuals don’t learn from history, America will not escape the same fate fallen civilizations have endured.

There is time to kill and a time to heal.  A time to tear down and a time to build up.  A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:3-4.

Regardless of your stance on racial relations, there should be one common bond that unites, that we are one nation under God.  The political correct crowd can not deny the founding of religious principles established by our forefathers.  Thus, everyone must make an important decision: are you going to be part of the problem or a piece to the solution?  Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes are profound.  Yet, if these words are ignored, I’m afraid healing will never arrive.  In the future, don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  Rather, ask God to help you see what you can do to make America great again!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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