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Tag Archives: Creator

The Final Resting Place

At end of a grueling day, many people have a bed which serves as resting place.  The less fortunate may have to rely on a couch, sofa or floor to lay their heads.  Meanwhile, the homeless are forced to find an abandoned home, park bench or shelter to survive.  Whatever struggle you are forced to endure, everyone faces the same destination, a final resting place six feet under the earth.

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it, Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Solomon provides insight to what happens to individuals after dying.  Just as God created Adam out of dust, one day human beings will return to this previous state.  Yet, this wise king adds a new dimension to death.  In the same way that Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, this essence returns back to the Creator the moment you pass away.  This concept suggests that our lives are on loan from God, a temporary gift that lasts far too short.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away, Revelation 21:4.

On Monday afternoon, I watched helplessly as my father in law was laid to rest.  As crying, grief and sobbing surrounded me, I came face to face with the grim reality of life.  As the casket was lowered six feet beneath the earth’s surface, this final resting place is permanent.  Yet, John the Revelator shines light on the hope which waits to those who call upon the name of the Lord.  The words in the passage above should serve as inspiration to get right with God before your hour glass of life runs out.  While your final resting place on earth will not change, there is time to secure your reservations for heaven now, 1 John 5:13.  May this blog encourage you to leave no doubt, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Working Hand of God

Whether you are an artist, architect or designer, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  In the early stages of any project, its hard to visualize the direction and progress an individual is making.  Yet, time has a way of shaping the horizon, unveiling blind eyes to the Creator of this world.

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, Colossians 2:11.

Unfortunately, I find myself in a transitional phase, a moment when my calling is a mystery to me, vague and unclear.  During these periods of darkness, the hand of God on your life is invisible.  Like a storm cloud shading the sun, sometimes days turn into night.  Although the hand of God is at work, a lack of progress can make people feel like their life doesn’t have any rhyme or reason.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, Philippians 1:6.

According to Acts 16, the apostle Paul was arrested for healing a slave girl oppressed by a spirit during a visit to Philippi.  While behind bars, Paul was not able to see the hand of God at work initially.  However, following an earthquake, Paul realized this trial occurred so that he would be able to meet and lead the prison guard along with his family to Christ.  This event inspired the works above in Philippians 1:6.  In view of this, as you struggle to make sense of trying times, don’t forget that behind the scenes the hand of the Lord is at work.

by Jay Mankus

The Heartbeat of Heaven

Inside the human body, the sinoatrial node serves as the heart’s pacemaker.  Within the right atrium, electrical activity in the form of impulses initializes a small bundle of specialized cells.  As currents spread throughout the walls of the atria, contractions begin to alternate and relax, allowing blood to naturally flow through the heart.  These intricacies point to a Creator, designing the miracle called life.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 26:36.

The Bible is filled with analogies and imagery relating to the heart.  King Solomon calls the heart the well spring of life.  Yet, the prophet Jeremiah reveals a secret and dark side, like a poison which can contaminate your soul.  However, Jesus leaves no question about the role of the heart on earth.  The Lord gave human beings a heart for one purpose, to love one another.  This is the heart beat of heaven.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, John 15:12-13.

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus shares some final instructions to his disciples, preparing them for his death and life after his ascension into heaven.  Trying to keep things simply, Jesus suggests love is a barometer of your faith.  Depending upon your level of commitment, lives will either be grazed, touched or impacted by your degree of love.  Regardless of where you are spiritually, its never too late to ask for a heart of love so that the heart beat of heaven can be felt on earth.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Time After Time… God Forgives

On June 9th, 1984, Time After Time, the second single released from Cindi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” album hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts.  Thirty years later, these lyrics still speaks to individuals searching for forgiveness, patience or mercy.  Whether you’re a parent like me, a friend struggling to understand a wayward soul or reminiscing about brighter days, these words provide hope.

One day, a music director began to experience flash backs, like a scene from Back to the Future.  However, in this case, God was reminding Asaph about Israel’s days in Egypt.  Based upon the length of Psalm 78, this vivid vision brought understanding to 400 years of slavery.  Upon reaching freedom, Israel became like a misguided child unable to break bad habits, falling prey to the same sins time after time.  Despite their actions, God withheld his wrath, forgiving, time after time, Psalm 78:36-38.

Today, an unforgiving world, constantly reminding you of past transgressions makes it difficult to believe that an unseen Creator can actually wipe your slate clean.  Despite how many times you’ve failed in life, the Lord demonstrates unconditional love, Psalm 103:11-12.  In view of this truth, don’t let this opportunity slip away.  Rather, practice James 5:16 daily so that like Cindi Lauper’s song, God will forgive time after time.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Source of Confidence

Credence, self-assurance and trust are all words synonymous with confidence.  Whether you’re an individual, duo or team, confidence leads people to rely on their partner and or talents.  However, when success is allusive, levels of belief tend to diminish, fade and shrink.

According to Psalm 71:5, the Lord is the source of confidence.  When your own confidence becomes shattered, God puts the hope back into desperate souls.  Whether this is David or some other author, its apparent faith begins at an early age.  This seems to be a principle passed onto King Solomon, mentioned in Proverbs 22:6.  Thus, confidence is taught, trained by godly mentors so that a biblical foundation is established.

Today, imperfect people make it hard to trust anyone.  The danger of placing someone in high regards takes your eyes off of the Creator, gazing your eyes toward a flawed creation.  Don’t allow yourself to fall into this trap.  When your life begins to fall apart, lean on the Lord, Philippians 4:13, to be your source of strength to regain confidence.

by Jay Mankus

A Pedestal of Disappointment

There are certain individuals which possess gravitas, tempting family, friends and followers to place them up on a pedestal.  These dynamics personalities make it hard not to jump on the bandwagon as some become held in high regards as a cultural hero.  However, when you choose to place someone up on a pedestal, its a matter of time before you will experience disappointment.

According to Romans 3:23, no one is perfect.  Regardless of your efforts and motives, sooner or later will you fail, mess up or make a mistake.  This blunder often shatters the image of your fans, causing many to jump ship.  In the aftermath of sin, its difficult to come with terms with the failures of leaders.  The painful reality of this disappointment will make you think twice before placing another treasured soul on a pedestal.

The relational aspect of life makes people vulnerable to pain.  Perhaps, a growing number of adults are forgoing marriage to avoid the heartbreak of unfilled vows.  While you may believe this is a good idea, there is only One who is worth placing up on a pedestal, Hebrews 4:14-16.  Don’t blame the creator for imperfect people.  Rather, lift up the only One who is worthy to be praised, Romans 5:8.

by Jay Mankus

 

Eclipsed by Glory

Inspired by the first woman to swim the English Channel, a California swimmer attempted a similar feat, trying to make the 22 mile journey from Catalina Island to the California coastline.  Swimming for 15 hours, with a boat on either side of her for safety, a thick Marine layer prevented this woman from seeing the finish line.  Exhausted and swimming blind the entire time, she gave up only a few hundred yards from the beach.  Thus, the fog, as thick as pea soup, eclipsed her glory, failing to make history.

From January 1st, 2012 through March 23rd, 2013, I was living in a dense spiritual fog.  During this 15 month stretch, there were moments, even a day or two, when I thought, finally these clouds are dissipating.  To my disappointment, another layer of fog rolled in, more dense than the one before.  My career path became like a yo-yo, slinky and a series of one hit wonders, showing hope and promise one day, yet gone the next.  As a result, I was ready to quit, as my plans kept coming up empty, Proverbs 19:21.

From an astronomy perspective, an eclipse occurs when there is an obscuration of light as a moon or planet intervenes momentarily.  From a spiritual point of view, human beings often seek fame for themselves, stealing God of the glory He is due.  Despite these efforts, the Lord’s purpose always prevails, using the weather to steer you in the direction, toward His will.  Therefore, move out of God’s way, let Jesus take the wheel, Ephesians 2:10 and submit to the Creator’s commands in Philippians 2:13-14.  Then, you can experience the eclipse of God’s glory!

by Jay Mankus

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