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The Door to Life

The word entrance is an opening that allows access to a place.  The most common entrance is a door, but others include corridors, gates and passages.  Prior to modern technology such as cell phones, email or social media, you went to someone’s house if you wanted to get their attention.  The Bible uses a similar concept, but before you find the correct door, you must listen first.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me, Revelation 3:20.

The Bible makes a clear distinction between listening and acting upon advice from the Holy Spirit.  Anyone can notice, observe or understand the way to heaven, yet unless you exercise faith by opening the door to life, this knowledge is useless.  If you take the passage above literally, God speaks to individuals throughout life.  This could be through miracles, signs or wonders.  Nonetheless, God doesn’t do everything for you as only you can open this door.

Whoever you are who seeks to honor these doors, you should seek not to admire the gold or the expense, but the craftmanship of the work instead.  The noble work is bright, but because it is nobly bright, let it brighten minds so that they may travel through the true lights to the True Light. where Christ is the True Door, Abbot Suger – 1140.

Abbot Suger was a French abbot, statesman, and historian during the late 11th century.  Suger was one of the earliest patrons of Gothic architecture.  If you enter any historic church, you will likely find magnificent stain glass windows inside or behind the altar inspired by this time period.  At some point in his life, Suger listened to God’s voice and opened the door to life.  In the quote above, Suger suggests that there are counterfeits, masquerading as the way to heaven.  Yet, by the end of his life, Suger came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is the true door to life.

by Jay Mankus

Living Without God

Upon rolling out of bed, many Americans turn to the weather channel to  help answer the question, “what should I wear today?”  After a relaxing bath or shower, breakfast is on your mind before you hustle out the door.  Perhaps, you’ll have a few minutes to reply to emails, catch up on Facebook or text a friend.  Nonetheless, a morning without God often leads to days, weeks or months alone and on your own.

C.S. Lewis illustrates this truth in Mere Christianity through a chapter entitled “We Have Cause to Be Uneasy.”  Essentially, the longer you go off course, Matthew 7:13-14, without making the Lord a priority, the harder it is to return.  Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Traveled,” symbolizes the fork in the road of life.  While those living without God chose instant gratification, pleasure and sinful delights; those who take the other path are ridiculed, scrutinized and rejected by social media.  Despite the initial pain, a guiding light leads the way, Galatians 5:25, greater than the Force in Star Wars.

Today, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize living without God has become a societal trend.  If you listen to the words of an average conversations, absorb the lyrics of blaring music passing by or see the lack of joy in people’s faces, God is no where to be found.  Its no wonder that desperate souls keep looking for love in all the wrong places, void of progress and peace.  I’m not sure what people are waiting for, yet God has his perfect timing, Ecclesiastes 3.  In these last days, may prodigal sons and daughters come home soon before its too late to return to the living God.

by Jay Mankus

Spam I Am

As a child, I became enamored with Dr. Seuss at an early age.  The advent of television brought his books to life, especially the Christmas classic The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  Now as an adult, a new project comes to mind, how to eliminate spam from the internet.  Yet, for today, Spam I am.

Thanks to Google Translate, I am able to decipher spam written in German, French and Spanish from my bi-lingual audience.  Despite taking 4 years of French and 3 in Spanish, I still need to rely on this site to insure I am interpreting each comment accurately.  However, spam has recently overrun my email account, like bacteria attacking internal organs.  Like pop up ads on commercial websites, these images tempt one to indulge their curious nature.

If you seek to please God as the apostle Paul urges the church in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, spam needs to be monitored closely.  When you do your do diligence, organizing your life properly, God can place a lock and key on these unwanted messages.  On the flip side, if you are careless, this can open the door, leaving a foot hold for the devil, Ephesians 4:26.  One can, two can, 3 spam cans, don’t ease up or you might be Spam I am.

by Jay Mankus

Disconnected

For a 5 day stretch from February 11th through February 15th, my cell phone became disconnected.  After applying for 5 jobs over 2 days, anyone who tried to contact my number was placed into a cyber black hole.  According to a telecommunications agent, when you switch from one cell phone carrier to another, your number goes into a virtual portal for usually 24 hours.  As soon as a previous carrier releases your old number, you can begin your new service contract.  Unfortunately, my number remained locked for nearly a week, crippling any hopes of receiving one of these new positions.

Cell phones, emails, Facebook and texting have become popular avenues to maintain daily contact with key individuals.  When these optional aren’t available, people like me panic, especially when one phone call or email is the difference between a new job and unemployment.  Yet, it could be worse.  You can also become disconnected from God.  Prayer becomes a few moments of talking to yourself, reading the Bible like trying to decipher a confusing new language and going to church develops into a meaningless ritual, hallow of any true intimacy with God.

The Bible is filled with examples of people and nations who were unplugged from God.  Moses once worked 18 hour days in Exodus 18:13, Achan’s sin hid God’s blessing from Israel in Joshua 7 and God became tired of Israel’s evil deeds in Isaiah 1:15-17.  Despite these temporary outages, God is only a confession away from reconnecting your service.  Therefore, follow the directions in James 5:13-16 and you can get back online today.  Faith is just a phone call away!

by Jay Mankus

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