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Tag Archives: excitement and joy

Regaining Your Childhood Gaze

A gaze is to look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought. While it’s hard to remember my own childhood, I do recall faces my own children made when they were young. Certain things caused each of them to be in awe. As an adult, you can get caught up in the rat race called life. When you don’t take the time to have balance, all work and no fun, it’s easy to lose your excitement and joy for life.

For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, Hebrews 6:4-5.

The author of Hebrews writes about a spiritual gaze. Whenever an individual enters into a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-11, there is an enlightenment along with an internal peace within your heart. Unfortunately, just as a child can lose their gaze, any addiction, bad habit or habitual act will cheapen God’s grace. When temptation becomes too great, some Christians pray for God’s forgiveness before indulging in sin all over again. This appears to be the context of the passage above.

If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance—[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace, Hebrews 6:6.

I was introduced to Lay Witness Misson Weekends in high school. A visiting team of adults and teenagers come Friday for dinner as a meet and great and leave Sunday afternoon following church. I didn’t know what a spiritual revival was until I attended one. Under the leadership of Ken Horne, building blocks were used to point toward a climax on Saturday night. Over a decade, I was fortunate to attend several of these weekends which helped me regain my childhood gaze. It’s never too late to retreat to a place where you can reconnect with Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Overlook God’s Providence

Immediately following the Exodus out of Egypt, the Israelites fled into the desert.  When Pharaoh changed his mind, Moses led God’s people to the banks of the Red Sea.  Against all odds, the Lord enabled Moses to part this body of water before collapsing upon and swallowing up the Egyptian army.  After witnessing this miracle, any event that follows would be obscure.  Thus, when God magically sent bread, manna from heaven, the Jews slowly began to overlook the obvious.

And the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the Israelites no longer had manna, but they ate some of the produce of the land of Canaan during that year, Joshua 5:12.

Like any human being, time has a way of changing your perspective.  Initial awe, excitement and joy can fade when everything that follows is small in comparison.  Perhaps, this explains Jesus comment to one if his disciples, “blessed are those do not see me yet believe.”  The testimony of followers of Jesus immediately following his resurrection should have been enough.  Yet, doubt prevented Thomas from believing, needing to see with his own eyes.  When you live with a miracle worker every day for three years, at some point you begin to over look the obvious, expecting greater things.

Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me],” John 20:29.

As holiday shoppers rush through life to get their Christmas preparations in order, it’s hard to keep track of daily mundane responsibilities.  Meanwhile, subtle miracles are glanced over as God provides this or that without any praise or thanks.  Unfortunately, I tend to be the type of person who allows themselves to be pushed to the limit, on the verge of mental exhaustion weekly.  Thus, instead of seeing subtle signs of God’s providence, I have ignored the obvious.  I guess I need to follow the advice of the Psalmist by being still before God, Psalm 46:10.  When you do, you will stop overlooking the obvious by observing the hand of God over your life.

by Jay Mankus

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