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Tag Archives: composure

The Crucial Role of Patience

Composure, endurance and fortitude are words synonymous with patience.  Of all the requests offered up to God in the form of prayers, patience is often skipped.  Those who have prayed for patience are immediately thrown into situations that require patience.  Unless you are ready to be challenged spiritually, you may want to focus on other areas of your life that need attention.

The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but as they go on their way they are suffocated with the anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity, Luke 8:14.

Following the parable of the sower, Jesus’ disciples took him aside, yearning to grasp and understand the spiritual meaning of this analogy.  Three of the four seeds sown fell upon soil with different limitations.  One was too compacted, another shallow and the third was surrounded by aggressive growing weeds.  In the passage above, those individuals who reside within these environments struggle to develop maturity.  When faith fails to become grounded, rooted in Christ, patience is just a word, rarely practiced or seen in public.

But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience, Luke 8:15.

However, for diligent caretakers, fertilizing, maintaining and weeding regularly, good soil is attainable.  According to Jesus, this is achieved spiritually by receiving God’s Word with a good and noble heart.  Yet, it doesn’t stop here.  The spiritually mature hold on to the promises of the Bible through trials and tribulations.  Those who stand firm through the storms of life, bear fruit with patience as a demonstration of the Holy Spirit.  May this blog help you realize the crucial role of patience, a trait that allows spiritual fruit to blossom.

by Jay Mankus

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Shaken

Confidence is something that is not always visible, especially in those who are guarded, laid back and stoic.  However, competitors have a keen sense when someone is about to crumble, like a shark drawn to blood in the water.  Whether its displayed through body language, fear in someone’s eyes or a loss of composure, these warning signals empower opponents to press on toward victory.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.

This is what makes sports fascinating for me to watch.  Regardless of the sport, every season possesses at least one shocking upset, unthinkable initially until momentum causes the confidence of an individual or team to be shaken.  While most recover the following day or season, some never reach their full potential, permanently damaged from this life altering event.

For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught, Proverbs 3:26.

The same can be said about careers, jobs and positions in life.  You may find a dream job where you flourish, maximizing your God-given talents.  However, new leadership, management or ownership changes your job description, finds someone to replace you or eliminates your department completely.  This reality has impacted many Americans resulting in shattered confidence and broken dreams.

I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me, Galatians 2:20.

To recover requires prayer, a support system and mental toughness similar to the early church.  After Jesus died, his twelve disciples were on the verge on disbanding.  However, the resurrection transformed these men, restoring their confidence and emboldening their faith.  If this blog finds you down in the dumps, may the promise of the resurrection lift your spirits as you attempt to regain the confidence that you’ve lost from prior disappointments.

by Jay Mankus

An Ideal Atmosphere called Harmony

Although harmony is often associated with music, its one of the missing ingredients within society.  Defined as an orderly and pleasing combination of elements, harmony is established when various components exist together without destroying one another.  Unfortunately, rarely do strong personalities mesh without some type of power struggle.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1

The sustainability of any church, group or family is dependent upon the degree of harmony displayed.  From my vantage point, hidden agendas, control and wills create conflict.  Beneath the surface, demons, Satan and selfish desires are tugged in different directions, resulting in discord, dissension and factions.  These obstacles stand in the way of an ideal setting where harmony is achieved.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

No one is exempt from an outburst when you lose your composure or say something that you regret.  This is where forgiveness enters the equation.  Once harmony is shattered, common sense must lead individuals toward reconciliation.  Although no one is perfect, the apostle Paul provides tips for those communities seeking unity, Colossians 3:12-15.  May bad blood, hurt feelings and severed relationships be washed away, replaced by the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Staying Cool When the Heat is On

Before any volcanic eruption occurs, there are subtle signs.  Tremors, increased steam and ground swells are some of the warning signals scientists have uncovered to prepare nearby residents.  As for human beings, increased tension, a red complexion and short temper are precursors to someone blowing their top.

Regardless of how disciplined someone may be, its hard to stay cool when the heat is on.  In the days of my youth, there were numerous occasions when I lost my composure.  In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis talks about Cardinal Virtues.  One of these 4 is known as temperance, going the right distance and no further.  While this trait is available to everyone, you can’t stay cool when the heat is on all by yourself.

According to 2 Timothy 1:7, the Holy Spirit is the piece of the puzzle  individuals are missing.  When push comes to shove in the form of temptation, a spirit of anger lurks in the air.  Don’t fool yourself with over confidence or you too may fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12.  Place your trust in the words of Proverbs 3:5-6; then you too can stay cool when the heat is on.

by Jay Mankus

 

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