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Tag Archives: discover

Finding a State that is More Than Enough

It doesn’t take much for someone to lose their confidence, mojo or swagger.  Life has a way of being cruel, dropping bombshells out of no where that can paralyze souls.  Thus, if you take a few moments to observe individuals around you, you’ll find many going through the motions.  Struggling to get through each week, I finding myself in a similar pattern, hoping to discover a state that is more than enough.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest.  Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children, Hosea 4:6.

When you’re left looking for answers to get out of a funk, sometimes you need to examine the past to see what’s led to previous success.  For me, the greatest influence in my life was nearly two months I spent at Tentmakers Youth Ministry Trade School.  Every day I was challenged, equipped and pressed to develop a vision oriented life style.  Once I received a full time position in Columbus, Indiana, I applied a 90 day action plan to perfection.  Unfortunately, after 90 days I was in foreign territories, not sure what to do.  Subsequently, I lost my way and passion for youth ministry.

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

I guess what I am trying to say is that I’m tired of mediocrity.  Yet, until I rebuild a life based upon discipline, purpose and vision, the crappy results will remain the same.  When push comes to shove, something has to give.  Therefore, join me in this quest to find a state that is more than enough by rediscovering the abundant life of Christ.  Sure, there will be growing pains but the effort is worth the journey.

by Jay Mankus

 

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A Sixth Sense

Prior to 1999, the sense of taste, touch, sight, smell and feel were the major focus of scientists.  However, following the release of the Sixth Sense featuring Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment, elements of the supernatural have come to light.  Child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crow, played by Willis, fails to help a patient, discounting the voices he heard.  Thus, when he is hired to help Cole Sear, played by Joel, each discover the reality of a sixth sense.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake, 1 Kings 19:11.

The prophet Elijah is one of the first to uncover a spiritual sixth sense.  Following an encounter with an angel, Elijah goes up on a mountainside waiting to hear a message God.  Like a science experiment, the Lord sends a series of natural phenomena: earthquake, wild fire and tornado.  Forced to sort through these events, Elijah came to the conclusion that God was not behind these three natural disasters.  Using discernment, Elijah waits patiently, eventually being rewarded by hearing God’s whisper.

After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper, 1 Kings 19:12.

While I do not consider myself to be a prophet, I can relate to Cole from a spiritual sense.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks to me when I read the Bible, enlightened by a new truth that is revealed.  Occasionally, I may have a dream, vision or sense things either during or after praying.  Yet, the moment I unplug from the Bible, prayer and worship, my sense of discernment disappears.  Therefore, if you want to draw near to God, stay connected to the vine, John 15:5 and you too will discover a spiritual sixth sense.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Power Nap

While experiencing college, I discovered sleep was overrated.  During my sophomore year, I averaged five hours tops.  However, in the few spare moments that I had, I began to indulge in short naps, laying down for 15 to 30 minutes before resuming homework.  Subsequently, a strange phenomena occurred, waking up with a burst of energy as if I had slept for hours.

All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep, Jonah 1:5.

Although the experts claim individuals are at their best when having 8 hours of sleep per night, naps serve as a good alternative.  On the flip side, sleep can also act as a diversion, especially if someone is struggling with depression or merely attempting to escape reality.  Running away from God on a boat heading toward Tarshish, hurricane force winds caused the ship he was on to fill with water, Jonah 1:3-4.  Napping in the hull, this short rest prepared Jonah for a three day adventure inside a whale.

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm, Mark 4:39.

Meanwhile, others use naps to test individuals, seeing whether or not pupils can survive on their own.  Thus, Jesus napped during the Bible’s White Squall, waiting to see how his disciples would respond.  Screaming like little girls in a haunted house, the twelve disciples woke up Jesus, assuming they were going to drown.  Unfazed, Jesus’ power nap allowed him to calm this storm with a few words.  Beyond the realm of sleep, an invisible force called the Holy Spirit is waiting for God’s children to get plugged into.  When and if Christians do, perhaps they too can experience the surge from a power nap,

by Jay Mankus

Strangely Wrapped Gifts

My first gift in life was a severe speech impediment.  Whether you want to call it stammering or stuttering, either way I had a difficult time communicating.  Each time I opened my mouth, I never knew if hot air or words would come out.  Despite the frustration and pain, when I opened this box, inside I discovered an ability to express myself through writing.

At the pinnacle of my athletic career, the second strange present arrived in the form of reconstructive surgery.  Although a state championship in cross country was in my reach, God had other plans.  Watching from the sidelines on crutches, my team fell a few points short, stealing my only chance for a title.  Beyond this disappointment, an likely blessing came my way, standing on a podium of praise following a 3rd place finish in the 200 Individual Medley Relay.

The final gift came in waves, as a series of broken relationships.  I’m not sure if I was to blame or if fate had another destiny.  Regardless of the circumstances, this lack of connection brought me to my knees.  Humility, loneliness and spiritual isolation wasn’t a pleasant thing to unwrap.  Nonetheless, all these things occurred for a reason, 1 Peter 1:6–7.  Today, strangely wrapped gifts come in many shapes and sizes.  However, these life events are necessary to fulfill the words of Romans 8:38-39, developing a close bond to an unseen God and Savior.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Forgotten Commandments

History has a habit of uncovering relics from the past.  Caves hid the Dead Sea Scrolls until 1946 when 981 texts written in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrews were discovered over a 10 year period.  However, there are always things in plain sight which get overlooked, neglected by those too busy to slow down.

As I opened Leviticus 19 today, I stumbled upon an expanded version of the 10 commandments.  Although some of the passages are subtle reminders, God conveys to Moses the whys to keeping decrees and laws.  These biblical nuggets offer common sense, direction and a foundation for faith.  Nonetheless, unless you accept and practice these precepts, you will be vulnerable to straying off course.

There are several reasons why commandments are forgotten.  First, the Bible offends those comfortable with how they are living, reluctant to change.  Second, people don’t like to be told that they are wrong, especially if there are eternal consequences.  Third, since truth has become relative, everyone has their own take on right and wrong.  In the end, Leviticus 19 serves as a wake up call, to alert those sleep walking through life.  May the words of Scripture breathe life into sleepy, tired and weary souls.

by Jay Mankus

When the Lord Turns His Face

Sometimes in life, you don’t achieve the results you’re looking for.  Instead, you begin to search for answers to explain why you were defeated, failed and were unsuccessful.   As you wrestle for the truth, some may be tempted to blame God.  Although you may never discover the source of life’s failure, there are times when the Lord turns His face.

According to the director of music, God does not listen to those who cherish sin in their hearts, Psalm 66:18.  As individuals begin to entertain, harbor, foster and nurture sinful desires, it becomes impossible to please God, Romans 8:5-8.  Once minds are set on self indulgence, the Lord will wait to act until you’re willing to come back to your senses, Isaiah 1:15-16.

The next time disappointment knocks on your door, may be its time to search your heart, to see if you’re to blame, Psalm 139:23-24.  If no one is clearly at fault, perhaps you’re experiencing growing pains, 1 Peter 1:5-7, as the Lord is preparing you for the future.  Whatever obstacle you are currently facing, don’t forget that the Lord will turn His face and if God does remember what you need to do to regain His attention, Romans 12:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Unusual Answer to Prayer

Like any student, college introduces you to many interesting people.  Although, some may be bizarre, strange or flat out weird, appearances can be misleading.  If you allow yourself to approach each individual with an open mind, you might be surprised by what you discover as you peal away stereotypes, one layer at a time.

During my final semester, I met a missionary with an unusual testimony.  According to her story, she claimed God got her up every day at 6am in the morning without using an alarm clock.  As a person who enjoyed sleeping in til noon or later, I was skeptical, doubting her claim.  Perhaps out of spite or sheer curiosity, I challenged God to see if I could have a similar experience during my last two months of college.

To my surprise, the first morning I arose, sunlight shined directly through my bedroom window right on my face.  When I rolled over to check out the clock on my night stand, it was 6:00 am.  Immediately, I jump out of bed, causing goosebumps to appear.  I spent the next 15 minutes, praying and reading the Bible, wondering if this was real or merely a dream.  Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I got out each morning at the same time for the next 60 days, an unusual answer to prayer!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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