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The Exercise of God’s Power

Exercise is the act of bringing into play. While exercise is a vehicle to lose weight or stay in shape, this isn’t something that human beings attribute to God. Yet, when fasting sets the spiritual tone and prayers are lifted up to heaven, miracles are the realization of God’s power in action. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of bizarre events that defy science. Whether it’s the ten plagues unleashed upon Egypt, the sound of trumpets bringing down the walls of Jericho or the resurrection of Jesus, this is the exercise of God’s power.

Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s free grace (undeserved favor) which was bestowed on me by the exercise (the working in all its effectiveness) of His power, Ephesians 3:7.

The context of the passage above begins with the ministerial gift available to apostles, preachers, and teachers. As spiritual leaders bestow the gift of God’s grace upon their followers, lives are slowly changed. While some individuals are transformed over night, most experience a gradual evolution into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Perhaps, the apostle Paul credits revived souls to the exercise of God’s power working behind the scenes. The catalyst of this spiritual change is fuel by the Holy Spirit, aka, the Holy Ghost.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides], Ephesians 6:10.

Three chapters later, the apostle Paul reveals why spiritual exercise is necessary. As Paul unveils the spiritual dimension, you will find oppressive authority exerted by governments, master spirits who control world leaders, and spiritual forces of wickedness seeking to cause havoc in this supernatural realm. Without the exercise of God’s power, defeat and destruction is likely. However, as Christians begin to put on the armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, with a layer of prayer, the exercise of God’s power will propel you to victory in the end.

by Jay Mankus

Character Education

As societies evolve, the meaning of words change to reflect this evolution.  In the early stages of American history, character referred to personality, nature and qualities.  One of the synonyms for character is ethos, where we derive the Greek term ethics.  Ethics is the system of philosophy where individuals develop their basis for defining right and wrong.  Today, character education focuses on an initiative to foster global citizenship.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out, Proverbs 10:9.

Based upon the United Nations global education initiative, character education is based upon three core philosophies: humanism, socialism and utilitarianism.  Utilitarianism teaches actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority.  Socialism advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.  Finally, humanism denies the presence of a Creator, seeking solely rational ways of solving human problems.  Signed by former president Obama, this curriculum is now being implemented into public education within K-12 schools across the country.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect, Romans 12:2.

When I first heard of Character Education on the Rush Limbaugh Show, I thought this sounds good, a step in the right direction.  Yet, as I began to hear and read more about this as a former teacher, I was horrified.  This attempt to erase the biblical influences within the foundation of America is unsettling.  Nonetheless, unless parents begin to challenge what their children are being taught, the true history of America will be forgotten.  May this blog awaken believers to stand up to this indoctrination by studying and teaching God’s divine intervention upon the founding fathers of this country.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Seinfeld Effect

In the final episode of Seinfeld, Jerry, Elaine and George witness a car jacking.  Instead of helping, the three of them begin to crack jokes as Kramer takes out his camcorder to film this crime.  After the victim gives his report of what happened to a police officer, the entire Seinfeld crew gets arrested, tried and sentenced to jail for a year for failing to act as a good Samaritan.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side, Luke 10:31.

Unfortunately, this comedy has filtered into our culture, influencing how a younger generation acts, behaves and treats one another.  This Seinfeld Effect played a part in the recent killing of Amy Inita Joyner-Francis, a 16 year old student at Howard Vocational High School in Delaware.  When a fight broke out in a girl’s bathroom, instead of intervening, other girls took out their phones to take pictures and videos.  Before a good Samaritan arrived, it was too late for Amy.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him, Luke 10:32-33.

During my last few years as a teacher, Summit Ministries was on the cutting edge of societal evolution, providing great resources to address growing needs.  At one of the last conferences I attended, the key note speaker spoke about how art imitates life.  Yet, over time life imitates art.  In the case of today’s culture, the Seinfeld Effect has swayed youth into passive, self-centered individuals.  Subsequently, many are amusing themselves to death, numbing souls from becoming the children God wants us to be.  May God awaken those distracted by an immoral world.

by Jay Mankus

 

Thinking Outside the Box

Prior to the creation and evolution of the internet, students relied on books, creativity and listening for education.  Today, the mind has been spoiled by GPS, 4G and ever changing technology to make life more convenient.  Subsequently, the concept of thinking outside the box is becoming a lost art.  Thus, most of society is going along with the flow, oblivious to the decay of the human minds in America.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” – Mark 6:35-36

Before the advent of credit cards, fast food and professional catering, Jesus and his friends found themselves in a conundrum.  Five thousand men, excluding woman and children, traveled to a remote location without any access to food.  This memorable event is the only miracle mentioned by all 4 gospel authors, a prime example of outside of the box thinking.  Though the 12 disciples tried to pass the buck, sending the crowds away, Jesus had another plan in mind.

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” –  Mark 6:37

Jesus took what they had and turned his attention toward heaven.  While there are several different theories on the feeding of the 5,000 as portrayed in recent movies and mini-series on the life of Christ, two truths can be extracted by this passage.  First, whenever you face an impossible situation, put your faith and trust in God to act on your behalf.  Second, although God may not answer your request exactly how you want, the Lord will provide enough daily bread to get you through each day.  In the future, don’t be afraid to think outside the box by lifting your concerns up to heaven.

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

 

 

 

Taking Your Phone for a Walk…

Huh?  What a preposterous concept.  That’s what I thought until I spent 2 hours on Main Street in Newark observing people.  Call it a psychology experiment or an unusual way to pass time on a boring summer day, yet technology has altered the way individuals communicate.

Instead of bringing a plastic bag along with you to pick poop, dogs are being replaced with iphones and smartphones.  Seeking immediate feedback, emails, texts and tweets are trending in the right direction, at least that’s what the masses think.  Listening to downloaded music on their stylish new buds, many are so consumed by the devise attached to their hands and or ears that they oblivious to the world around them.

Since language barriers were first established in Babel, Genesis 11:5-8, there have always been periods of division, misunderstandings and silence.  However, the evolution of cell phones has perverted social ethics.  Disinterest, disrespect and ignorance is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions.  Thus, as blinded citizens continue to take their phones for a walk, its time for bystanders to help their neighbors break out of this spell, Galatians 3:1, until its too late.

What do you think about today’s cell phone manners?

by Jay Mankus

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