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Tag Archives: communicate

Look Me in the Eye

Whenever an engaging conversation is taking place, eye contact is fixated on the other.  Although this may change slightly when individuals are walking and talking, there will be momentary pauses to maintain eye contact.  Unfortunately, the popularity of social media is changing how young people communicate.  Instead of looking at people in the eye, texts are sent, skype is used or images are exchanged via Snap Chat.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is how his name is translated) opposed them, trying to turn the proconsul away from accepting the faith. But ]Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him, looked steadily at Elymas, Acts 13:8-9.

In the passage above, Paul felt compelled to confront a spiritual opponent.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul addresses Elymas, a sorcerer who tried to prevent a proconsul named Sergius Paulus from placing his faith in Jesus.  Thus, Paul does not shy away from confrontation, looking at Elymas in the eye and rebuking him publicly.  Paul uses the teaching of Jesus from John 8:44 to refer to Elymas as a son of the devil.  Finally, Paul asks how long will this interference continue?

And said, “You [Elymas] who are full of every [kind of] deceit, and every [kind of] fraud, you son of the devil, enemy of everything that is right and good, will you never stop perverting the straight paths of the Lord? – Acts 13:10

During my last year as a high school teacher, texting exploded in popularity.  During the golf season, some of my players would text me a message at practice, off on another hole.  Afraid of confrontation, some golfers would send bold texts, demanding more playing time.  When I addressed their concerns face to face, words were few, often shying away from reality.  Nearly ten years later, communication skills continue to decay.  Perhaps, it’s time for Christians to start keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, by looking at people in the eye.

by Jay Mankus

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Relocating Your Voice

Freedom of Speech isn’t what it use to be in America.  Today, fear of public opinion is silencing many, afraid their beliefs will lead to a feeding frenzy in the media, falling out of favor like a fading star.  Thus, individuals are forced to relocate their voice, finding other avenues to express how they really feel.

In an episode called State of Grace, the writers of Joan of Arcadia present a show focusing on a junior in high school who stutters.  Though intelligent, he is unable to communicate what is in his mind without severe stammering.  Subsequently, he turns to writing to voice his opinions.  Joan played by Amber Tamblyn encourages her new friend to relocate his voice from the debate team to writing for the school newspaper.

As graduates enter the work force this spring, its harder than ever to discover where you can maximize your God given talents.  Though money is an important factor, failure to apply your gifts in a position can stifle your joy.  Until you locate a place that values your assets, people will continue to search for an ideal match.  May you enjoy the journey as you relocate your voice to find your place in this world.

Please share how or who has influenced you to stand up for your belief in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

Act Like You’ve Been There… Or Else

As I begin my final season of coaching baseball, I have a laundry list of items I want to communicate to players and parents.  Since youth often wear their emotions on their sleeves, this game must be separated from life and death as the ebb and flow of wins and losses can be exhausting.  Thus, one must possess the proper perspective to enjoy this moment in time: play by play, inning by inning and game by game.

According to Psalm 35:15-16, poor sports have existed for thousands of years.  David recalled the times in life when his enemies reveled in his blunders, errors and missteps.  Instead of celebrating, laughing and mocking the mistakes of others, perhaps its better to act like you’ve been there.  If you reap what you sow, Galatians 6:7-8, overlooking the failures of others, this will lead to mercy in the future when you fail.

Over time, wins and losses will fade from memories, leaving one thing behind, how did you play the game?  Did you give 100% all the time, did you take plays off or was your effort based upon your feelings?  As the sand in the hour glass slowly slips away, your legacy is in the balance.  Act like you’ve been there before or else you’ll regret the reputation you earned as a poor sport, slacker or worse.  With the slate clean today, turn over a new leaf now while the season is still young.

by Jay Mankus

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