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Falling Apart

If you have ever played golf or watched a high school match, you understand the expression falling apart. After coaching for a decade, there is nothing worse than observing a teenager lose their confidence. Since there is no coaching during a hole, all you can do is encourage, pray and uplift players on the verge of an emotional breakdown.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit, Psalm 34:18.

As a parent of a freshman and junior, I spend two days a week each spring following both of my kids. Today, a series of showers turned a warm overcast day into a fight for survival. When my daughter had a bad hole I switched over to watch my son who had his worst round of the season. Perhaps, I was the bad luck charm as wherever I went players kept falling apart.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, Psalm 147:3.

The Psalmist provides a message of hope for anyone on the verge of falling apart. David reflects upon a time in his life where his heart was broken and spirit crushed. When David pretended to be insane before Abimelech, he hit rock bottom, ashamed of his current state of mind. Yet, by the grace of God, the Lord brought David through this difficult time. The same applies today for anyone who falls apart. Thus, in future moments of despair, cry out to Jesus who promises healing and restoration to the brokenhearted.

by Jay Mankus

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The Lone Source of Hope

When negativity bombards the air waves, the best thing you can do is disconnect, unplug from a world that appears to be falling apart.  Unless you do, you might be swayed to join in the blame game, casting stones instead of developing solutions for these problems.  However, the moment you allow silence to draw near, you will find the lone source of hope.

It’s sad to see grown adults act like children throwing a tantrum on television.  In the absence of real leadership, kids follow in the footsteps of their parents, thinking this is normal behavior.  This isn’t the America that I remember, the place where I grew up.  Instead I see souls who have given up, become dejected and are now filled with bitterness.

Once you escape voices of the disenfranchised, beyond the sunrise and sunset, you will find one who is worthy to be praised, Psalm 113:3.  Like the words of David in his days of doubt, the Lord was his rock, providing a place where he could stand, Psalm 40:1-3.  The next time the media causes you to become depressed, just turn it off.  When you do, turn your eyes toward heaven, for this is the only place you will find the lone source of hope.

by Jay Mankus

Why the World is Falling Apart

Gone are the days of Wilbur Wilberforce, when politicians did the right thing without taking a poll, trying to get re-elected or win public approval.  In an attempt to get ahead, integrity has been swept under the rug, trampled by greed, power and souls seeking victory whatever the cost.  Lurking in the darkness, the reason for this decline lies in John 8:34.

Slavery, a grave reminder of the past, is alive and well inside the heart’s of human beings.  Although mankind think they are in control, sin is large and in charge, holding individuals captive, Romans 7:14-20.  Perhaps this truth led the apostle Paul, one of the godliest men to ever live to claim he was one of the greatest sinners ever, 1 Timothy 1:15.  If you had to diagnosis why the world is falling apart, sin is a prime suspect.

Discipline, good intentions and self-control may appear to be full proof, but in the end its like fool’s gold.  Subsequently, the grasp of sin prevents countless from doing the right thing, Romans 8:5-8, something Paul knew from personal experience.  Until people acknowledge the reality of their soul, a sinner in desperate need of a Savior, John 3:3-5, the world will continue its downward spiral.  May the Lord help put people back together, one soul at a time, Luke 15:7.

by Jay Mankus

Tasting Victory

From a sports psychology perspective, individuals or teams can quickly recover from a single loss. However, when consecutive losses accumulate, its easy to forget how to win as losing develops into a mindset which is tough to snap out of. Since confidence is directly linked to success, if you don’t taste victory for an extended period of time, finding ways to lose friends, games or respect can become the norm.

As a coach of youth, middle and high school team sports for nearly 15 years, I’ve experienced the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. I’ve witnessed teams one win away from the state tournament collapse, falling apart moments before obtaining victory. Meanwhile, I’ve seen one of my teams develop a winning attitude which ultimately led to a perfect season like the Titans. Belief is often the missing ingredient that prevents individuals from reaching the champion’s podium.

From a personal point of view, winning or losing is in the eye of the beholder. Did you meet your set goals for the day? How you fulfilled the requirements of your job or position? Are you putting out 100 % effort, meeting the tasks facing you with all your heart, soul and mind? Whether you win or lose daily, the Bible talks about how you play the game called life, Colossians 3:17. Therefore, follow the commands set out in Colossians 3 so that sooner or later you will savor the taste of victory.

by Jay Mankus

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