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Killing Despair

If you have ever been caught singing the blues, you’ve experienced despair.  Initial symptoms trigger depression, gloom and resignation.  Breaking free from these doldrums isn’t easy.  However, there is a cure to eliminating despair.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.

Jesus had a tendency to attract misfits, people whom the social elite would never give the time of day.  Beyond his unusual daily wardrobe, Jesus made an emotional connection with total strangers.  Thus, when He spoke about laying your burdens down, hurting souls began to lighten their loads of stress and worry.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, Matthew 11:29.

In their song Kill Your Own Despair, Esterlyn references these biblical principles.  Belief in a higher power is the first step from breaking free from this invisible force.  However, belief is meaningless without faith in action.  Therefore, as soon as individuals make this leap, you can find rest for your souls.  If despair is currently sucking the joy from your life,  trust in the promises of the Bible to kill your own despair.

by Jay Mankus

 

Desperation, Inspiration or a Combination?

After New Year’s Resolutions have been broken, forgotten or wasted by misguided steps in 2015, one of two emotions consume individuals.  Desperation is brought on by agony, despair and worry.  Meanwhile, inspiration is conceived when souls are awakened and spurred on by a glimpse of what could be in the near future.  Somewhere in between the conscience is stimulated by a combination of desperation and inspiration.

Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain, Philippians 2:16.

As I reread the gospel in May, I get the feeling that the sick, sinners and those who had lost their way in the first century were fueled by desperation.  Since doctors couldn’t cure, help or figure out what was wrong, ill people will willing to try anything regardless how far they had to travel.  Caught in the grips of addiction, desolation led the needy to explore the stories of miracles performed by a carpenter from Nazareth.  Finally, prodigals who had neglected their families for years returned seeking reconciliation and a fresh start on life.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, Romans 15:13.

A week ago I was comfortably numb, going through the motions of a mediocre life.  I’m not sure if it was desperation, inspiration or a combination of the two, yet I snapped out of the malaise which keep me depressed for most of 2015.  Subsequently, a sense of motivation returned, providing just the spark I needed to complete my second movie script in a nick of time.  Now back on track, I am leaning on the Holy Spirit to keep the fire burning as I press on to that which God has called me to do.  As for now, but let a rough day, week or month drag you down.  Rather, look to the Son for inspiration.

by Jay Mankus

 

Y2 Decay

It’s hard to believe that its now been 15 years since the Y2K scare.  Due to the coding of DOS based programs, there were growing concerns that software would default from 1999 to 1900 resulting in the loss of sensitive information including bank accounts on January 1, 2000.  Thus, businesses, programmers and IT support spent over a year along with millions of dollars to update technology with modern solutions.  Although there were some minor glitches, the world survived.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Proverbs 27:23

While advances in modern living have improved annually, the same can’t be said about the faith of Americans.  Except for a period of time following the aftermath of 9/11/01, church attendance has been on a downward spiral for the last 15 years.  According to a Fuller Institute Study, 2.7 million church members will become inactive sometime throughout this year.  Several of whom will leave their church home feeling hurt, neglected or wounded.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. – Ezekiel 22:30

The byproduct of this decay has resulted in a society vulnerable to half-truths and misleading documentaries, void of absolute truth.  Recent attempts by atheists in Hollywood to portray a biblical Noah and Moses failed miserably.  If this trend continues, a nation of faith established by our founding fathers will be forgotten.  May those called by God, like the prophet in Isaiah 6:8, step forward to lead the lost out of darkness into the light.  During times of despair, fight off spiritual decay by placing your feet on the solid rock of Christ, Psalm 40:1-3.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Overcoming the Doubts of Yesteryears

In my own life, hope and confidence tend to go hand in hand.  When things are going well, I trust God will provide and in most cases the Lord does.  However, as soon as my confidence is shaken, I experience arid periods, where doubts of yesteryears creep into my mind causing me to wonder, “will anything good ever happen to me again?”

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

At the beginning of 2014, my wife and I endured similar struggles, hoping to find a good paying full time job, yet feeling abandoned by God for half of last year.  In the darkest of debt and despair, the Lord heard our cries, offering positions for Leanne in May and me in June.  Although every month has its ups and down, these two blessings from above, James 1:18, has strengthen our faith and is slowly erasing doubts planted by the Devil.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1

As time flies by, I have come to believe that each person created by God has a lottery ticket deep inside their heart, soul and mind.  For some, a gift leads individuals to a career, doing what they were born to do, one day leading to financial wealth.  Others may have hidden talents uncovered, resulting in an amazing personality, cherished friendships and life long memories with those whom they love.  Meanwhile, most people allow circumstances, past failures and unforeseen events to interfere with success as the doubts of yesteryears block lifelong dreams from coming true.

 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; James 1:6-7.

Looking ahead in 2015, I believe writing is my lottery ticket.  Starting this venture 3 years ago, my passion has spawned 1 complete movie script and another nearing completion.  Although initial rejections of the film Express Yourself has left scars on my soul, only 38 pages separate me from cashing in my next lottery ticket, Behind the Devil’s Door.  While only God knows the ultimate outcome, I press on the take hold of that which Christ Jesus has called me to do, Philippians 3:12-14.  May faith in Jesus elevate you to leave the doubts of yesteryears for the promises of Ephesians 2:10.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

by Jay Mankus

 

Words of Healing

When someone is down in the dumps, its hard to break through the shell holding in their misery.  Good intentions, kind words and loving attempts don’t always work to uplift downcast spirits.  Nonetheless, when all else fails, there is one source that provides words of healing, Psalm 107:20.

Growing up, I often experienced a wide range of emotions.  On the good days, I could lift others up, elevating their moods to my level.  Meanwhile, if depressed, I made sure no one had a smile on their face, bringing whoever I could down into my pit of despair.  Only a couple friends developed a few tricks to snap me out of these gloomy states.

Today, I have learned to become more self-reliant.  Not in my own abilities.  Rather, I trust in the power of God’s Word to infuse my soul with the strength to carry on, Isaiah 40:31.   Therefore, if you’re having a bad day, feeling hopeless or stuck in a rut, open up the Bible today to find words of healing, Matthew 11:28-30.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

A few years ago, an atheist neighbor cried out to Jesus late in the evening.  When his dog got loose once again, she ran in front of  a car traveling down the street.  With little time to react, this accident could not be avoided.  As his dog struggled to survive, his prayer was fervent, “O Jesus, don’t let my dog die!”  On his way to a local vet, this prayer was repeated several times, speeding off in his SUV.  Unfortunately, sometimes our prayers don’t get answered or the outcome we desire is not fulfilled, ending in another pet tragedy.

Following the terrorists attack on the United States during September 11th, 2001, millions of Americans dropped to their knees to pray.  In this moment of despair, people turned to houses of prayer seeking comfort.  When the South Tower of the World Trade Center came crumbling to the ground at 9:58 am, several thousand were thought to be dead.  Although nearly 3000 did pass away in 3 different states, desperation led countless individuals to re-evaluate their lives.  As a result, families were conceived, relationships renewed and faith born again.

Thirteen years later, the worse is yet to come.  If the book of Revelation is correct, there will be 7 seven years of tribulation, unlike anything the world has seen before.  Once the prophecies within the Bible have been fulfilled, Jesus will return.  Though no one knows the exact day or time, signs have been left as clues to the future in Matthew 24.  I won’t speculate like many false prophets of the past, yet God will continue to use desperate times to achieve His will.  If you reach a point of desolation, may the promise of Psalm 102:17 lead God to hear and answer your prayers.

by Jay Mankus

 

Coasting on Cruise Control

If you’re traveling cross country in a car or planning a long day trip, the invention of cruise control is a nice luxury.  Although vacation traffic may limit your opportunities, open highways, especially at night, provide a chance for drivers to rest their legs.  With only a few weeks of summer remaining, try to get away for a little R & R coasting on cruise control.

From a spiritual perspective, coasting through life is something that you want to avoid.  Unfortunately, there is where I find myself, using a busy work schedule as an excuse.  Somewhere in the last month, I’ve lost my spiritual mojo.  As a result, my devotional time is sporadic, prayer life lame and influx of the Holy Spirit is wading.  Like the classic line from Star Trek, I feel like Captain Kirk’s frequently request to Scotty, “I need more power!”

Regardless of your circumstances, sooner or later everyone grows tired, Isaiah 40:29-31.  When you reach your breaking point, find yourself exhausted or wake up spiritually numb, God saw this coming.  In these days of desperation, running on empty, you might find yourself crying uncle, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  While coasting on cruise control led you to this state, yielding to the Lord will help you rise up from the ashes of despair.  Fan into flame 2 Timothy 1:7 so that the only coasting you do in life is driving in the country.

by Jay Mankus

 

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