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Tag Archives: COVID-19

Outcasts by a Forced Quarantine

One of the reasons the Book of Leviticus was written is to provide an instruction manual to keep Israel pure and live in holiness before God. Moses was commissioned by God to inform Israel of a priest’s life and their precise work to represent an earthly example of obedience to God for Israel. Just as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set guidelines and protocols for Covid-19, Leviticus clearly defines God’s standards for future outbreaks. Lepers in the Old Testament experienced one of the first forced quarantines ever recorded on earth.

Then the priest shall examine him, and if the diseased swelling is reddish white on his bald head or forehead like the appearance of leprosy in the skin of the body, 44 He is a leprous man; he is unclean; the priest shall surely pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head, Leviticus 13:43-44.

As the creator of man and woman, God understood how vulnerable human bodies would become after sin entered the world in Genesis 3. While Leviticus is a tough read, any doctor or nurse would find the medical protocols fascinating. The goal of this book is to educate individuals on how to stop the spread of disease. If you go back to March of 2020, some of the health standards implemented by the CDC come straight out of the Bible. Although washing your hands regularly and staying six feet apart may seem like a drag, it plays an important role in keeping people healthy.

And the leper’s clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, Unclean, unclean! 46 He shall remain unclean as long as the disease is in him; he is unclean; he shall live alone [and] his dwelling shall be outside the camp, Leviticus 13:45-46.

If you’ve ever contracted Covid-19, the chicken pox or any other contagious disease, you understand what it feels like to be quarantined. As for first century lepers who had encounters with Jesus, each was responsible for following the rules listed above whenever someone passing by got too close. Lepers were forced to live outside of the city limits until a priest gave them a clean bill of health to return to society. Until healing occurred, lepers could not be held or touched. This was deemed unsafe like those family members were who prevented from visiting hospitals and nursing homes to see their loved ones. As the spread of the Coronavirus appears to have faded, I pray that 2022 allows the outcast to be reunited soon.

by Jay Mankus

A Lament for Covid 19

A lament is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow. One Old Testament writer developed the nickname of the weeping prophet. Unfortunately, every time Jeremiah seemed to receive a message from the Lord, it made him cry or brought sadness to Israel. Perhaps, this was the inspiration for the Book of Lamentations. Whatever the reason, certain events like Covid-19 bring a similar cry for help today.

And I say, Perished is my strength and my expectation from the Lord. 19 [O Lord] remember [earnestly] my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. 20 My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me, Lamentations 3:18-20.

Since the Coronavirus struck the United States in 2020, more than 770,000 lives have been snuffed out by this deadly plague. Despite having access to vaccines in 2021, Covid 19 has now taken more lives in the United States this year than 2020, 386,233 and counting. You would think that as more Americans get vaccinated the death toll would steadily decline, but this is not the case.

But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: 22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not, Lamentations 3:21-22.

When science doesn’t have the answers or a cure, Jesus is the last line of defense. In the passage above, Jeremiah takes a dire situation and changes his perspective. Instead of focusing on what can’t be done, Jeremiah remembers all the past miracles performed by God in the Bible. Despite how bleak your future may be, hold on to Jesus as you lament to the Lord for a real cure for Covid 19.

by Jay Mankus

The Introduction of a Better Hope

In this age of COVID-19, rising gas prices and shortages of essential supplies, hope isn’t a word that comes to my mind. Instead anxieties, concerns, and doubt take center stage of daily conversations. While venting your frustrations is good for your soul, too much complaining can lead to a toxic environment. If there was ever a time when human beings needed the introduction of a better hope, today is that day.

For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God. 20 And it was not without the taking of an oath [that Christ was made Priest], Hebrews 7:19-20.

The author of Hebrews provides this positive message. The Old Testament law was designed to define the boundary lines for every day living. Yet, following biblical rules doesn’t make you perfect. Rather, these guidelines are intended to keep danger and evil out as you draw closer to God. The passage above suggests that as you read and study the Bible, you will eventually find Jesus. Entering into a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-10, is the introduction of a better hope.

Therefore, since we are justified ([a]acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to [b]enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God, Romans 5:1-2.

The apostle Paul shares the spiritual benefits of this new hope. As human beings make peace with God by verbally confessing their errors, mistakes, and sins, you gain access to God’s grace by faith. Meanwhile, one of Jesus’ disciples reveals how the Holy Spirit gives you everything you need for life, 2 Peter 1:3-4. Yet, until you enter into a life long relationship with God, this isn’t available. Therefore, if this blog finds you in a state of despair, come to Jesus, the eternal source of a better hope.

by Jay Mankus

What’s Really Behind the Vaxxed Verses the Unvaxxed Debate

Beginning in March of 2020, American citizens were given a series of instructions based upon the Coronavirus Task Force. These medical experts urged people to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. This was followed by wearing masks whenever you go, staying six feet apart, and don’t go to work if you have any initial signs of a cold. By the end of 2020, Covid-19 vaccines were made available for essential workers. Despite this progress, Democrats were skeptical of Operation Warp Speed run by President Trump that resulted in the creation of 3 different vaccines. It wasn’t until President Biden’s inauguration in January of 2021 where vaccinations went from optional, to highly recommended to mandatory.

Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He [b]takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving], 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Without considering any biblical implications yet, you have to understand the mind of a politician. As the Democratic party leaders lean further and further to the left each year, there is a mastermind who has a playbook to follow. Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky offers a strategy to gradually shape opinions toward your point of view. This book introduced the concept “never let a crisis go to waste.” If you look back to Democratic led areas, state of emergencies were created and extended month after month. Local businesses were forced to comply with these mandates or else face heavy fines. Meanwhile, many of the creators of these new policies followed the principle, “do what I say, not as I do.”

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, marked off the heavens with a [nine-inch] span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has taught Him? – Isaiah 40:12-13

The cure for the Coronavirus began with follow the science. While this may have been true initially, doctors, medical experts, and scientists who deviated from political talking points began to become banned, removed or silenced by social media sites. Subsequently, follow the science was replaced by if you don’t get vaccinated you are going to kill other people. This mantra was repeated over and over again as a way to bully those on the fence into submission. While health, personal, and religious exceptions were initially promised, businesses and states are now firing anyone who hasn’t complied. This decision has left countless skilled workers without a job. Only God knows what the future holds, but if you follow the science, herd immunity and those with the antibodies following their recovery, likely won’t need the annual booster shots that the vaccinated now need to take.

by Jay Mankus

Perhaps It’s Time to Start Getting Along

Some historians attribute the phrase “why can’t we all get along” to Rodney King. However, history is littered with civil unrest between classes, nations and races. While human beings are living in the most technologically advanced times, social media has become the new arena for the Jerry Springer Show. However, instead of making a scene in person, nastiness goes on daily from behind back biting keyboards and sarcastic cell phones.

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper], Colossians 3:12.

In the middle of the first century, the apostle Paul traveled throughout the Middle East into parts of Europe. Some of these places welcomed Paul like Berea while others such as Thessalonica tried to kill him. To a certain extent, Jewish religious leaders of this time period who tried to stop the Jesus movement behaved similarly to modern politicians in the United States. If you don’t believe me, Trump and his supporters have been compared to Hitler and terrorists.

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]. 14 And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony], Colossians 3:13-14.

Unfortunately, this hatred has continued long after the 2020 Presidential Election that put Joe Biden in the White House. Although Trump supporters are still demonized by members of the media, anyone who has refused to become vaccinated for Covid-19 has risen to the top of the most hated list. Every day I turn on my radio or television, the unvaccinated are blamed for super spreaders even if some possess the antibodies of the Coronavirus. The only way to resolve this divided nation is through Christians who clothe themselves with Christ where love is the uniting source.

by Jay Mankus

Sleep Well and Dream Big

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/olympics/molly-seidel-wins-bronze-olympic-marathon-after-battle-through-heat-n1276240

The origin of the phrase ‘third time’s a charm’ dates date to ancient times.  Things that come in sets of three have often been associated with good luck. As an element of astrology and fortune-telling, numerology has long been employed to predict future events. From a biblical perspective, the Bible is full of symbolism. The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible with an imagery of completeness like the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. 12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you, Jeremiah 29:11-12.

During a 4th grade Art Class, a little girl from Wisconsin draw a little picture with a dream beneath it. Molly wrote “one day I am going to complete in the Olympics and win a gold medal.” Fast forward two decades and Molly Seidel competed in her second marathon ever. This race just happened to be the qualifier for the 2020-21 Olympics. Despite her limited experience as a long distance runner, Seidel finished second and earned her spot on Team USA.

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure, Proverbs 16:9.

After waiting an additional year due to Covid-19, Molly ran in her third marathon earlier today. While she did not earn the medal in her childhood dream, Molly Seidel became the second American woman to ever medal in the Olympic Marathon. The passage above is a reminder that you may have certain aspirations, but the Lord’s purpose prevails. May the bronze medal that Molly Seidel earned today inspire you to sleep well and dream big.

by Jay Mankus

Starting Over in 2021

ξεκινώντας από την αρχή is the Greek word for starting over. Meanwhile, the Latin expression for starting over is iterum incipi. When translated literally into English this refers to again, a second time. As 2020 is thankfully ushered out for good, it’s time to hit the reset button. While no one knows for sure how long the Coronavirus will stick around, starting over with a blank canvas gives me hope of a brighter future.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome, Jeremiah 29:11.

Despite earning a nickname as the weeping prophet, Jeremiah 9:1 and Jeremiah 13:17, there is a glimpse of positive news. In the passage above, the Lord finally gives Jeremiah a message of hope. These future plans includes blessings, dreams and a final outcome worth waiting for. Therefore, if you still haven’t gotten over the worst pandemic in the last century, the Bible provides some encouraging news.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; 31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired, Isaiah 40:30-31.

Another Old Testament prophet provides an analogy that most adults can relate to. Between the spread of Covid-19, forced closures of businesses and the stress of trying to stay alive, 2020 has worn out countless souls. Thus, as many have lost their energy and joy for life, it’s time to place your faith in God’s hands again. Just as eaglets trusted their parents renew their strength, it’s time to place your faith in God to start over in 2021.

by Jay Mankus

A Last Ditch Effort to Save a Nation

The origin of concerts of prayer dates back to revivalists in Scotland, in October, 1744. According to Joseph Tracy, a historian of the First Great Awakening,  the desire to convert the world to Christ prompted evangelists to devote two years toward prayer oriented events. Churches set aside time for prayer Saturday nights, Sunday mornings and the first Tuesday of each quarter. As a spirit of prayer spread throughout the region, souls were primed to confess their sins and receive Jesus as Lord.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life, John 3:16.

A similar movement began 36 years ago in South Korea. The International Prayer Assembly included 2,000 prayer-mobilizers from 70 nations who issued an International Call to Prayer. This concert of prayer was based upon five main objectives: call out to God for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit, to apply the work of the Cross to men and women, to awaken the church, to break the power of Satan over people’s lives and to unify and empower the church for world evangelism. The impact of these prayers likely explains the revival that spread throughout South Korea.

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him, John 3:17.

When you fast forward to today, the 2020 Presidential Election and Coronavirus have teamed up to create havoc. As Trump battles elections results in 6 battleground states, a growing number of COVID-19 cases have empowered government officials to flex their political power. While Biden is expected to become the 46th president, America is close to having spiritual holidays cancelled. Meanwhile, recent allegations that states using software provided by Dominion and Smartmatic may have rigged the election in Biden’s favor, omitted from the media. In view of this chaos, starting a new generation of concert of prayers may be the only hope to save the constitution and spiritual heritage of this once great nation.

by Jay Mankus

The Fight to Survive

The song I Will Survive was written and composed by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris. The first recording of this song was done by Gloria Gaynor in 1978. As a top-selling song, I Will Survive became a popular disco anthem. The lyrics just prior to the opening chorus reads “Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die?” This line leads into “Oh, no, not I, I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.
I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive, I will survive, hey, hey.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly, John 10:10.

Over the past 9 months, the fight to survive has taken on a new meaning. Between the Coronavirus, the lock down designed to flatten the curve, wearing masks in public and the stress to keep up with your bills has worn down countless souls. Meanwhile, as individuals have been stuck inside their homes, addiction, abuse, depression and suicide has skyrocketed. All it takes is just one more setback to push people over the edge, losing the will to live and survive. While I’ve probably been more fortunate than most in 2020, I too have known individuals who have lost their battle with COVID-19.

In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—Ephesians 2:2

While some have blamed God for this worldwide plague, the Bible points to a spiritual enemy. Jesus calls this character a thief, seeking to kill your dreams, steal your joy and eliminate the concept of hope. Meanwhile, the apostle Paul eludes to the spiritual dimension where Lucifer reigns, commanding demons to attack at a moments notice. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 provides advice, directions and insight to deal with these dark powers. The only way to fight back is by using spiritual weapons. May this blog encourage you to not lose hope so that you will survive your next trial.

by Jay Mankus

Censoring Science

Dr. Stella Immanuel made a speech in front of the Supreme Court a few weeks ago. In this age of social justice, Immanuel possesses the ideal pedigree as an immigrant and African American, Yet, there is one blemish on this doctor’s resume, she is pro hydroxychloroquine. Unfortunately, if you are for something that President Trump is in favor of, the media has a tendency to demonize you.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security, Jeremiah 33:6.

After having success using hydroxychloroquine with zinc, Dr. Immanuel believes that this combination of medicine is the cure for COVID-19. When a video of Dr. Immanuel’s speech went viral on social media, Facebook and Twitter each removed this video claiming the content violated their policies on misinformation. When members of the media discovered that Dr. Stella was also serving as a Christian pastor at a church in Houston, a smear campaign was unleashed against her.

When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose, Genesis 6:1-2.

Instead of using evidence to refute Dr. Immanuel’s claims that using hydroxychloroquine with zinc isn’t the cure for COVID-19, science is being censored. Meanwhile, several quotes from previous sermons were immediately leaked to portray Stella as a crazy doctor who has lost her mind. One message used the passage above, attempting to explain how giants came into existence on earth. This passage has 3 different interpretations with one suggesting fallen angels conceived with the women of earth. Perhaps, it’s time to stop censoring science by entering into a healthy debate, by putting facts on the table and let the people decide.

by Jay Mankus

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