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Tag Archives: energy

Worn

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

 

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The Compassion Test

The original sign man traveled across the country, attending several professional sporting events.  After studying the cameras at each event, he put himself in the ideal position to display John 3:16 to viewers.  This and other variables has made Jesus’ words in this passage to become one of the most famous verses in the Bible.  Yet, there is another John 3:16 which often gets overlooked, possessing another powerful message.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters, 1 John 3:16.

When it comes to love and sacrifice, I tend to miss the mark.  While I do get emotional when I see something heart breaking or touching, my actions lack true compassion.  When I served on a board of elders for six years, I witnessed first hand how messy life can get.  Love takes energy, patience and time.  Unfortunately, I often abandon ship along the way, not completing the act of love God wants me to carry out.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? – 1 John 3:17.

The second verse in the passage above provides the frame work for a compassion test.  Like taking a spiritual gifts test, here’s a few questions to consider.  First, what are you laying your life down for?  Second, where is the bulk of your free time spent?  Third, is there anyone in your life that currently needs your help?  Finally, what will you do to reorganize your priorities to become the hands and feet of Christ on earth.  As you ponder the questions above, may the Holy Spirit guide and direct you to become a compassion soul on earth.

by Jay Mankus

Making Yourself Available

In my younger days, I had a hard time saying no to those who asked a favor or needed something done.  Gullible and naive, I thought I had unlimited energy, pressing on to serve others.  When I approached 40, I reached my breaking point, crashing and burning from years of overextending myself.  Subsequently, I have gone into social hibernation, still healing and numb from my last year as a high school teacher.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:12.

By removing yourself from a community, you miss out on the blessings of relationships.  Initially, it feels good to be unattached, flexible to do or go where you want.  However, God created individuals to be in fellowship with one another, sharing burdens, concerns and joys.  Thus, I miss the interaction, joint projects and sense of belonging that friends provide.  Therefore, as I am about to end my Daniel Fast, its time to make myself available once again.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality, Romans 12:13.

Unlike professional athletes who retire when they have lost their ability to compete, a Christian is suppose to serve for a life time.  The author of Hebrews compares life on earth to a marathon which require perseverance, pacing yourself one day at a time.  Some where along the way, I removed myself from the game of life, sitting in the bleachers ever since.  While I may not have the passion I once possessed, its time to fan into the flame my spiritual gifts.  I’m not sure where this will take me or what I will do, yet I sense the Holy Spirit’s calling, “make yourself available.”

by Jay Mankus

 

Regaining Strength

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble was a 1976 television special based upon a true story of two boys who lacked an effective immune system, forced to live in a controlled environment.   Those living outside this bubble may contract mono, draining people of their energy, sleeping up to 18 hours a day until their health is restored.  While healing time varies, its important to take time away from your normal routine for regaining strength.

And after taking some food, Saul regained his strength, Acts 9:19a.

Poor eating habits, stress and long work hours can take a toll on human bodies, leading to other illnesses.  Unfortunately, those stricken with cancer are often forced to endure chemotherapy if they want to survive.  Add in the loss of hair and this disease can suck the will to live out of normally positive people.  Recent clinics based by dietary advances have been successful in curing forms of cancer, yet some individuals are unable to digest the food necessary to live another day.

So Elijah got up and ate and drank.  Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God, 1 Kings 19:8.

Invisible to doctors, depression can also attack healthy people.  Loss of appetite is a common sign.  In the case of Elijah, he let the circumstances of life overwhelm him.  Each day without food, Elijah became weaker.  However, an angelic encounter snaps him out of this funk.  Therefore, if you are burdened by stress or worry, set time aside to eat and sleep so that one day soon strength will be regained.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Loosen Up

Depending upon your personality type, it may be hard to be serious, joke around or relax.  Everyone is wired a certain way so to break out of your norm isn’t easy.  As for me, I tend to be competitive and intense.  Sometimes I wonder if God places me in certain situations to loosen me up.

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them, Mark 10:13.

Based upon the context of Mark 10, it appears the twelve disciples had a tendency to be all work and no play.  Watching from a distance, Jesus intervened, trying to teach a valuable life lesson.  Whether it was the innocence of children or the endless energy most possess, Jesus stressed the importance of welcoming young people.  Perhaps interacting with youth might loosen up the disciples.

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these, ” Mark 10:14.

This passage serves as a reminder to not to forget the next generation.  While you may think you are right, another voice may provide a new or quicker way of doing things.  Beside accepting children, adults would be wise to invest time in nurturing young men and women.  By doing this, you will honor God and leave a legacy of prepared believers to impact those struggling to make sense of these ever changing days.

by Jay Mankus

Sizzling Out When Adversity Comes

Whether you’re watching a race horse set a torrid pace in the Triple Crown, a rabbit fade from the front during a mile race or witness a running back get tackled from behind, energy is temporary.  When the body is pushed to its limits, burn out is inevitable.  Thus, high school and college stars often sizzle out when adversity comes.  The real question is will they get back up to tarry on another day?

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

Nobody likes facing adversity.  Sure, it builds character, toughens up individuals and separates champions from the mediocre.  Nonetheless, failure is real, around the corner, over the next hill or awaiting you in the future.  How you handle trials will determine the path you choose in life.  Will you become the person in Bruce Springsteen’s song reminiscing about your Glory Days or can you mustard up enough courage to face the giant obstacles standing in your way?

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you, 1 Peter 5:10.

Unfortunately, this generation appears to be soft, throwing in the towel after the first couple of punches life hits you with.  Others take years to get over missed opportunities, rejections and personal tragedy.  Perhaps, this is why the author of Hebrews refers to life as a marathon.  You must be careful to pace yourself, realizing you have a long way to go despite whatever set backs you may encounter.  Therefore, don’t sizzle out when adversity comes.  Rather, keep in step with the Holy Spirit, relying on Christ’s strength to get you through the pain you are enduring, Philippians 4:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Mystery of Praise

Unless you are a morning person, most people take time to wake up.  This lack of energy makes the likelihood of praise to be displayed as a natural occurrence.  As for me, only when the right kind of music is present or a tune prompts my heart does a spirit of praise arrive.  Beside this perfect setting, praising God is a mystery.

To carry out the sentence written against them— this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the LORD. – Psalm 149:9

According to the book of Hebrews, its impossible to please God without faith.  Thus, when you read the prophecies of the Bible, you can’t view each with skepticism.  Beyond the words from this ancient book, one must believe God will eventually fulfill each promise.  Although doubts will arise if a prolong time passes without any fulfillment, yet praise is conceived when individuals see the the Bible come true like the words of Psalm 149:9.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1.

If someone spends days, months or years praying for a miracle without any results, any desires to praise God often fade away.  Families who have lost a member to a killer disease experience arid periods, void of joy.  Subsequently, many venture off, putting God on hold until they can comprehend of what just happened.  Although the wait is agonizing, the hope of a prodigal returning to their senses brings angels to praise God in heaven and rejoicing souls on earth.  May the mystery of praise not serve as a stumbling block to pursuers.  Rather, may the Holy Spirit revive your heart with a new sense of appreciation for the hand of God at work in this life.

by Jay Mankus

 

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