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Tag Archives: consistent

Lying on the Line Until It Disappears

As a former teacher, boundaries are essential to define, maintain and uphold with consistent discipline to ensure a healthy learning environment.  The moment this line is challenged, pushed or questioned, reason must be ready to account for these dissenters.  If seeds of doubt enter this discussion, lying spirits will lie on the line until it disappears.

Outside the classroom, the world has ample examples to illustrate this fact.  Do you remember when Bill Clinton, during his impeachment hearing responded, “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is?”  Unfortunately, this has become a common tactic for politicians to avoid answering the question at hand.  Bobbing and weaving like a champion boxer, truth is disappearing as lying is blocking the line of integrity.

Where did honesty go?  Do we have to put out an APB, all points bulletin, to locate it?  Perhaps, communities need to begin to police each other, like the old days when every child had multiple parents where there’s wasn’t around.  Instead of justifying poor actions, making excuses for bad behavior and playing the victim card, individuals need to start Lent early by giving up lying before the line of right and wrong disappears forever.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

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When God Turns Out the Lights

Always is one of those words that is regularly spoken, yet rarely applied.  Similarly, patience is a trait people know they need, but refuse to pray for it.  Consistent, unfailing and unconditional are terms that characterize God’s love.  However, when God turns out the lights during a trial, many respond with complaining, doubt and frustration.

On the other hand, the last thing individuals who experience death, gloom or tragedy need to hear is their loss is all part of God’s will.  While answers might be provided over the course of time, broken and wounded hearts need time to sort through the pain inside.  Yet, when God does turn out the lights, always is a good place to start.

According to the author of Psalm 105, when you don’t have the energy to press on with life, look toward the Lord for strength, verse 4.  However, this isn’t something you can do occasionally.  Rather, the Psalmist urges his audience to always seek God’s face.  If you want answers, sometimes or most of the time doesn’t cut it.  Therefore, the next time God turns out the lights, illuminate this darkness with faith ignited by God’s Word, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

 

True Remorse

The proud have a history of taking pride in their comfortable position.  With confidence not an issue, this personality trait tends to blind individuals from the actual state of their soul.  Consistent with first century Pharisees, these people ignore their own flaws, using comparison to enhance their self-esteem.  If necessary, personal attacks are used, putting down lesser humans beings to protect their status in society, Romans 2:1.

Meanwhile, the insecure take the fall, allowing the elites to push them around.  Unable to hide their emotions, depression, sadness and tears reveal the pain in their hearts. Call it being naive, yet faking their pitiful condition seems wrong.  Thus, humility reigns, displaying true remorse for the sins they’ve committed and the idleness preventing change.  Like tax collectors and prostitutes of the past, crowds flee, not wanting to be associated with those who have tarnished their reputations.

Not much has changed since Jesus first shared the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.  Two thousand years later, a sequel is being played out with a different cast of characters.  Most play the role of the older brother, yelling, “I told you so,” casting judgement on those caught in the act of sin.  The less popular actor, stumbles and falls until they reach the bottom of the barrel.  Unfortunately, it usually takes the pain of embarrassment to admit fault.  May anyone struggling to find your way come to your senses soon so that true remorse will be rewarded by God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Missing the Mark

During my first year attending Boy Scout Camp, I was introduced to the rifle range.  Although I had uncles who were hunters, I was never exposed to shooting a weapon until high school.  Since I was right handed, I assumed that the same would be true for hitting the target.  Unfortunately, I failed miserably, missing the mark with every shot.  After 2 identical results, the instructor informed me that I was left handed, identifying a dominant left eye.  This was the piece of information I needed to finally start hitting the target on a consistent basis.

In life, another way of expressing missing the mark is to say you have sinned.  Whenever someone makes a mistake, you essentially fail to meet your goal or objective.  These errors can be explained by a careless, clumsy or freakish occurrence.  Sometimes people don’t follow the instructions while others were never trained or told how to do a certain task.  When this happens, citizens need instructors to enter their lives to provide the guidance required to begin hitting the mark, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Instead of having a bulls’ eye with point totals for each circle, the target I am referring to is located on a less traveled road, Matthew 7:14.  Once you reach this area, the rules change as described by Jesus, Matthew 16:24-27.

Mark 1: Deny yourself, becoming a servant to others, Matthew 20:27-28.

Mark 2: Keep your eyes on the cross, the symbol of Jesus’ victory over death, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.

Mark 3: Follow God where the Holy Spirit leads you, John 21:18.

Once you’re able to narrow in and begin to focus on this spiritual target, success will follow.  Though you will not obtain a perfect score, the fruits of your labor will appear, Galatians 5:22.  Don’t be discouraged like I was when I first started this journey.  Rather, develop the right mindset to persevere for the long haul, 1 Timothy 6:11-12.  Despite how many times you fail, keep practicing until the Instructor calls you home.

by Jay Mankus

Wars You Can’t Win

Political battles rage daily in congress, making their case of pulling out, not backing another country or recognizing that some wars you can’t win.  Whether its the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the next tense situation, common sense screams, “certain places in the world aren’t worth fighting for since there is no clear winner if you engage in war!”  When this or that country has been battling it out for centuries or close to a thousand years, why shed innocent blood?  Hopefully, someone in Washington D.C. will learn this lesson soon.

On American soil, there is a different kind of war brewing, the war of public opinion.  In the 1997 film Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer who deceives the American people of a fictional war in Albania.  Using special effects, talking points and a montage of sound bytes, Hoffman convinces the people of a war that doesn’t exist.  Today, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtubes are the weapons of choice, steering minds in their direction.  In a world of shrinking absolutes, where opinions have become elevated to fact status, this war is like chasing the wind.

The only thing you can control in this life is your own character.  Sure, your enemies will attempt to assassinate your reputation, yet your actions, attitude, behavior, body language and words serve as a means of defense.  As long as you are consistent, you can’t control what others says on blogs, Facebook or Twitter.  Therefore, fighting back or responding to your critics is futile.  By coming down to their level, you are strengthening their argument.  Despite the mud opponents sling your way, display prudence by recognizing they are some wars you just can’t win.

by Jay Mankus

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