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Frayed, ragged, shabby and tattered are synonyms for worn.  While most people will visualize a physical condition, there are other ways to become worn.  Counselors, psychologists and therapists can become emotionally overwhelmed by a patients life.  Meanwhile, clergy, pastors and spiritual leaders may be shaken by the problems of their flock.

“Man is also chastened with pain upon his bed, and with continual strife in his bones;” Job 33:19.

When disease, illness or sickness strike individuals, just getting up for a moment can make someone exhausted.  Depending upon the severity of a condition, physically features may be altered.  Without a cure or medicine to improve, bodies will continue to deteriorate.  In the passage below, time has a way of wasting away bodies.

His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen; and his bones which were not seen stick out, Job 33:21.

Currently, I find myself in a different state of worn.  One that involves a loss of energy, passion and vigor for life.  Trying to keep any type of positive momentum is a grind.  Thus, I struggle to experience joy in this life.  Perhaps I need to remember the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 embracing my weakness so that Christ may be strong.

by Jay Mankus


The Devilution of a Nation

Signs of evolution develop when someone or something experience subtle changes over time.  Certain species of animals may go through genetic alterations as its ecosystem is impacted by disease, over population or the weather.  Meanwhile, societies undergo spiritual transformations from generation to generation, either drawing near to God through revival or backsliding due to what I call the deviluation of a nation.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:5

Devilution is spawned by adding and or subtracting to God’s commands.  Challenging, questioning and reinventing the rules attempts to create doubt within the minds of citizens.  This atmosphere has inspired past writers like Saul Alinsky to promote curriculum in the form of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.  If these teachings are embraced by enough leaders, a culture shift will begin amending beliefs, values and worldviews of a nation.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. – Deuteronomy 4:2

When minds are persuaded to taste what was once forbidden fruit, justification and rationalization is conceived.  Subsequently, right and wrong is turned to gray, genetically altering truth.  A byproduct of this switch elevates opinions to fact status; thereby causing absolutes to disappear little by little.  According to the Bible, these conditions breed demonic strongholds, Ephesians 6:12, enabling dark powers to deceive an entire region.  If unstopped, the next generation will learn to do what’s right in their own eyes.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. – Judges 21:25

May God help us all to do an about face so that the devilution of America will be replaced by a spirit of prayer and fasting.

by Jay Mankus




Secrets of the Heart

If you are a keen observer, subtle signs like body language may get your attention.  Others who are good listeners can detect clues, hidden signals individuals are trying to express without being obvious.  Such is the case of the Psalmist; author of Psalm 119.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. – Psalm 119:10.

This passage suggests that good intentions can be derailed by an impure heart.  Human efforts only take you so far as a disease has been passed on into DNA, resulting in generations of imperfect people.  The weeping prophet did not hold anything back in his warnings to the nation of Israel, calling the heart deceitful above all things, Jeremiah 17:9-10.

10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. – Romans 3

While the heart is the well-spring of life, Proverbs 4:23, its fragile and vulnerable.  Harsh words can cut like a knife, leaving spiritual wounds deep inside an innocent soul.  For this reason, Jesus urged his followers to become born again, receiving a heart transplant through the indwelling of a Mighty Counselor, John 3:3-5.  Even if you experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the heart still needs further protection, Ephesians 6:12-18.  Therefore, as you uncover secrets of the heart, lean on God’s grace until the cleansing of your heart, sanctification, is complete.

by Jay Mankus


Over the last month, scenes from the 1985 film Outbreak have come to life.  Dustin Hoffman,Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo  portray the spread of an Ebola like disease imported to America by an infective monkey.  Panic spreads throughout a town which becomes ground zero when the virus goes air born after a victim starts coughing at the local movie theater.    Isolation is the only hope to contain this deadly disease.

Another invisible wave poises a similar threat if not stopped.  According to 2 Timothy 2:16-17, godless chatter can spread like gangrene.  Unless its momentum is cut off, negativity can multiple like wild fires, overflowing from city to city. Fueled by politicians and talk shows, minds are easily infected, piling on, losing control of their emotions with each demoralizing comment.

In life, there aren’t many safe havens remaining.  On every corner, temptation lurks waiting to wrap its claws around you.  Once contaminated, there is only one doctor who possesses the anti-venom, Luke 19:10, to cure the human heart of its condition, Jeremiah 17:9-10.  Nonetheless, everyone is spreading something, either good or bad.  Therefore, the next time you open your mouth, try to cut corners or lead someone astray, think about James 5:19-20 so that the mark you leave will turn others in the right direction.

by Jay Mankus


No One is Safe From the Grave

Youth tend to feel invincible, confident and strong with little or no experience to the frailty of life.  Instead of attending funerals, time is spent celebrating birthdays, weddings and graduation.  However, as age begins to affect one’s body, traces of death introduce the fact that no one is safe from the grave.

According to Psalm 89:48, the Psalmist understood this truth.  Unless your name is Enoch or Elijah, no one knows what its like not to die.  For the rest of us, accidents, disease and failure is a reality in life.  Although, extended life is a sign of God’s blessings, breathing will stop sooner or later.  While some may be resuscitated, a day will come when the grave will be ready to receive your body.

In view of this, its essential to get busy living by making a difference in your spheres of influence.  Whether this is accomplished through donating your money, services or time, how you live will impact others more than what you place on your tombstone.  Since no one knows when the sands of time will run out, finish strong, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, so that the light that you reflect will lead some to a place called eternity, 2 Peter 3:8.

by Jay Mankus


A Heart is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Whether you’re young and healthy, worn and middle aged or old and decrepit, the heart serves as a thermostat.  Age is a state of mind as the heart regulates the moods of individuals.  If the wisest king in history suggested that a heart is the well spring of life, Proverbs 4:23, than the heart is a terrible thing to waste.

Eating right and exercising is just one aspect to maintaining a healthy heart.  Inside the human body, an invisible virus is lurking.  This cancer feeds on sin, spreading beyond the heart into minds and souls.  If left unaddressed, lukewarm spirits can enter the heart.  This disease influences actions, encouraging compromise, inconsistency and a life void of passion, Revelation 3:15-16.

In view of this potential disaster, guard your heart by taking your spiritual temperature daily, Matthew 6:19-24.  Meditate on God’s Word, the Bible, Joshua 1:8, so that your mind will be steered in the right direction, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Finally, to discourage temptation from entering the equation, put to death any earthly nature that puts your heart in danger, Colossians 3:5-9.  By exercising your heart spiritually, fulfilling Matthew 22:37-40 can become a reality.

by Jay Mankus


It Could Be Worse

Whenever the frailty of life comes knocking on your door, its never a good feeling.  In the wee hours of the morning, as a routine surgery takes a turn for the worse, fear often grips unsuspecting souls.  A doctor doesn’t need to say much before one discerns a dire situation.  Nonetheless, as long as the heart is beating, hope remains alive.

Prior to my mother being rushed to the hospital, I read a passage from Leviticus 13:45-46.  As bad as my current trial appeared, this passage gave me an unique perspective, it could be worse.  You could become a social outcast, banned from entering the city gates, due to an untreatable disease.  Once pronounced unclean by the priest, hugging, touching or kissing was prohibited.  Like solitary confinement, individuals spent the rest of their days in isolation, stripped of the relationships they once held dear.

Today, I have a new appreciation for the words of James 1:2-4 and James 4:13-14.  Seeing, feeling and experiencing pain is humbling, opening your eyes to the simple things people take for granted daily.  However, despite the ups and down in the hospital the last 24 hours, I know it could be worse.  While I pray for my mother’s condition to improve, the truth in Luke 1:37 serves as a source of strength.  Although it could be worse, with God all things are possible.

by Jay Mankus

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