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How Did I Get This Way?

When puberty begins in junior high, teenagers undergo a series of changes.  Depending upon the choices made and friendships established, this will shape the path individuals take in high school.  For those who are able to continue their education in college, majors, professors and relationships will further dictate who you become.  Despite this journey, many adults awake to an epiphany “how get I get this way?”

Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example], nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers), Psalm 1:1.

Skarlett Riot sings about this in the song Voices.  The opening stanza refers to whispers which restrict what you hear.  The next stanza refers to being paralyzed, unable to control your mind.  Finally, this British rock band uses imagery of Cain’s conversation with God in Genesis 4:6-7 to suggest demons can get into your head.  The moment individuals begin to listen to these demonic influences, souls can relate to the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7:13-20, doing the opposite of you want.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity], Psalm 1:2-3.

The Psalmist has a much easier explanation for how did I get this way.  The author lists three basic distractions in life: following the crowd, hanging around those who bend the rules and joining this behavior by lowering your standards.  The best way to avoid giving into temptation is by embracing the Bible.  Those who make a habit of following biblical teaching will be to endure spiritual droughts that cause faith to waver.  Thus, if you are shocked by the person that you have become, follow the Psalmist advice to flee any voices in your head.

by Jay Mankus

Discovering Talents Within

Few people know that I wanted to be an artist in 9th grade.  Earlier on in high school, my electives were drawing courses to see if I had potential to pursue this desire.  Unfortunately, the older I became, my artistic gift vanished.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them, 1 Corinthians 12:4.

While doing yard work today I had an epiphany.  The artist within still exists, just in an unlikely form.  Although I may be one of the worst Pictionary drawers of all time, landscaping has become my new tapestry.  Thus, I have turned my back yard into a nine hole par 3 course with 6 different pin locations.  After re-sculpting a pot bunker, I can enjoy this with my children all summer long.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,1 Corinthians 12:8.

According to the apostle Paul, each individual possesses talents within.  However, the Holy Spirit is the vessel that helps people reveal these hidden gifts.  Time, trials and a willing heart will eventually bring spiritual gifts to the surface.  Therefore, if you’re growing impatient or feel like the Lord can’t use you, pray for insight to discover your talents within.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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