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Costing More Than Its Worth


In times of crisis or natural disaster, the normal rule of law is often overlooked.  Thus, when Hurricane Katrina brought mass flooding to New Orleans, looters were rampant, taking whatever they could find and carry.  These acts of transgressions were excused as people were forced to go into survivor mode.

People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving, Proverbs 6:30.

In the days when Israel was a thriving nation, a similar mindset occurred.  Anyone thought to steal due to hunger pains wasn’t as criticized as one who committed crimes out of greed.  Nonetheless, Jewish law stated that anyone caught would have to pay back 7 times the amount stolen,  Thus, crime doesn’t pay, costing more than its worth.

Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house, Proverbs 6:31.

Solomon takes this concept one step further, comparing adultery to stealing.  This analogy is considered out of date by Hollywood, especially as the biblical concept of marriage fades from American culture.  This moral decline reveals a downward trend with no end in sight.  Despite the lack of a moral conscience, its essential to spread the word that poor decisions cost more than a moment of pleasure is worth.

by Jay Mankus

The Age of Terror

History has a way of remembering periods of time in the past.  Whether you are referring to the Dark Ages, Age of Enlightenment or Age of Exploration, events influence and shape historical accounts.  If the trends of recent terrorist attacks continue, then this world may now be experiencing the Age of Terror.

The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery, Genesis 16:11.

Following the aftermath of 9/11, the drama series West Wing created an episode to explain why terrorism exists.  At the beginning of their special presentation entitled Isaac and Ishmael, each star appeared on camera, saying a few words, taking a temporary break from their normal programming.  As the cast endures a fictional crisis, their conclusion reveals terrorism was conceived when Hagar and Ishmael were abandoned by Sarah and Abraham.

Ishmael will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers,” Genesis 16:12.

Whenever the next act of terror takes place, Cable News networks will bring out their panel of experts, trying to shed light on how or why an act took place.  Some of these individuals may even provide fascinating insights.  Nonetheless, when everything is said and done, the root of terrorism lies in the fulfillment of Genesis 16:12.  The word brothers refers to Israel, yet in modern terms applies to Christians as well.  Thus, Ishmael, the father of Arab nations continues his hostility toward the brothers of Israel.  May God have mercy on us all as the Age of Terror has arrived.

by Jay Mankus



The Sheep Without A Shepherd

If you’ve ever gone to a mall to people watch, it doesn’t take long to see who knows where they are going and who is lost, trying to find their way.  Whether you’re driving a car, searching for something you’ve misplaced or walking on a unmarked trail, everyone from time to time experiences the pain of loss.  In the midst of this crisis, a sense of helplessness paralyzes souls, making it obvious that no matter hard one tries, you can’t save yourself.

While traveling throughout towns and villages, Jesus observed the crowd of individuals following him.  Watching intently, tears began to swell up in his eyes, as Jesus saw this group as sheep without a shepherd, Matthew 9:35-36.  They were looking for something more in life, hoping that Jesus had the answer.  Like sheep aimlessly roaming the countryside, hungry hearts longed for meaning to life.

Today, the silent majority wonders when their Shepherd will return.  As chaos abounds, modern sheep have been led astray by false prophets, hypocritical leaders and the twisting of the Bible.  Exiting the church after high school or during college, pessimistic sheep are searching for alternative means to enter heaven’s gate.  Although some turn back, coming to their senses like the prodigal in Luke 15, a growing number remain sheep without a shepherd.

by Jay Mankus


When Will It End?

The afflicted, heart-broken and wounded long to see the sun on the other side of dark clouds engulfing them.  In the midst of the storms in life, time seems to stand still, sucking the energy out of desperate souls.  Crying out to the Lord, all these individual’s want to know, “when will it end?”

Despite how bad we think our situation is, reading Psalm 44:9-19 may give you a different perspective.  Although David is glorified as a man after God’s own heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, his life was a mess.  King Saul tried on numerous occasions to kill him, 1 Samuel 19:1-10, David committed adultery and murder in 2 Samuel 11 and was a horrible father, 2 Samuel 13:1-22.  Perhaps, this may explain the suffering David endured in Psalm 44, wanting to know, “when will this end Lord?”

Once you become aware of others who have experienced pain, you don’t feel as alone.  The most beneficial thing I’ve done in the past 2 times is to regularly meet a former co-worker, Spencer Saints for coffee.  This time of accountability and fellowship has served as a vehicle for healing.  Whether we’re complaining, pouring out our hearts or sharing what’s going on, this weekly meeting highlights the biblical principle in Hebrews 10:24-25.  By spurring on one another in the faith, you’ll find yourself spending more time on how you be can a light for Christ and less on questioning God, “when will my trial end?”

How have other people that you’ve met inspired you to become more like Jesus?

by Jay Mankus



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