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A Prayer to End Violence

Whether you’re talking about ISIS, Ferguson or the latest act of terror, people are searching for some type of protection against violence.  While reading a chapter in the Bible last night I stumbled upon an outline for a prayer to end violence.  If you read Psalm 140 one verse at a time, you can claim each promise as you pray.

Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, Psalm 140:1.

Rescue and protect me O Lord.

Who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day, Psalm 140:2.

Deliver me from evil, temptations and war.

They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips, Psalm 140:3.

Save my family from gossip, rumors and words that can damage their souls.

Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet, Psalm 140:4,

Shelter me from wicked attempts to do harm; provide a hedge of protection against violent threats.

The arrogant have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path, Psalm 140:5.

Guide my path in life, exposing any traps that arise along the way.

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.” Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy, Psalm 140:6.

Answer my plea for mercy.

Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle, Psalm 140:7.

Shield me from the obstacles that stand in your way.

Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD; do not let their plans succeed, Psalm 140:8.

Let the efforts of the wicked fail.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads; may the mischief of their lips engulf them, Psalm 140:9.

Foil mischievous plans to do harm against the innocent.

May burning coals fall on them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise, Psalm 140:10.

May the accusers be burned by the words that they spew.

May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent, Psalm 140:11.

Cut down those who seek to emulate terrorist acts.

I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy, Psalm 140:12.

Secure justice for those who are unable to help themselves.

Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence, Psalm 140:13.

Expect the righteous to prosper; praise the Lord for what God has done and will continue to do!

When the timing is right, may the words of this Psalm inspire a prayer to end violence.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Astroturf

Prior to 2009, astroturf was merely an all purpose athletic surface, created for professional sports franchises in cities with baseball and football teams in 1965.  However, as soon as the Tea Party spread to the local level, poising a threat to democrats, liberals and republicans in power, this term was given a new meaning.  Fueled by political talking points, this phrase was repeated countless times by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed, attempting to de-emphasize the genuine nature of this grassroots movement.

Fast foward 6 years and the shoe now is on the other foot.  The recent protests across this country following the verdict in the Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury of officer Darren Wilson are being organized by Occupy Wall Street.  Although the media is portraying these marches in metropolitan cities as a natural out crying of support, Moveon.org is active behind the scenes pulling the strings.  If the mainstream media possessed a conservative agenda, perhaps astroturf would make a comeback.  Yet, for now, viewers of the news must be careful of symbolism over substance.

If you are searching for leadership, results over time will reveal truth from fiction.  While force is the choice for many protestors, history conveys a different message.  Transformation is possible, but not with violence.  Rather, trend setters like Jesus, Martin Luther King and Ghandi displayed love to touch a generation.  Therefore, don’t let what others say influence the crowds you join.  When you see the genuine thing in person, you can distinguish astroturf from men of action.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Other Side of the Story

Whether you are a friend, stranger or casual observer, the truth will always be slanted in one direction.  Subsequently, stories will often exaggerate, highlight or mislead the public to what is actually happening behind the scenes.  Such is the case of the recent protests, riots and violence following the Grand Jury verdict of officer Darren Wilson.

The media is portraying a natural outcry of support.  Civil Rights leaders are calling Michael Brown a victim of police brutality.  Although anyone involved is emotionally charged up, the other side of the story is missing, swept under the rug by the main stream media.  According to a report yesterday, the participants of Occupy Wall Street, paid protestors, have re-emerged to incite violence across the United States.  This drama is a real life Wag the Dog scenario.

Unfortunately, the truth is relative for these ambulance chasers trying to push forward their political agenda.  It doesn’t matter that accurate eyewitnesses have collaborated officer Wilson’s story and surveillance cameras prove Michael Brown held up a convenience store.  This evidence doesn’t fit the script the media wants to portray, thus the message several cable news networks are communicating is far from the truth.

In the end, justice will provail and lies will be exposed, but how much damage has to be done to business owners and residents of Ferguson, Missouri before real leaders emerge.  Like my parents always said, “actions speak louder than words!”  Who will speak out for liberty and justice for all?  While I am just another blogger in a massive internet world, I felt compelled to share the other side of this story.

by Jay Mankus

In the Business of Solutions; Not Assigning Blame

If you read the title of professions such as Civil Rights Leader, Community Organizer and Man of the Cloth, common sense would lead you to believe each is in the business of solutions.  In fact, when working together in unison, these positions play a vital role in dictating the environment that exists in their own cities across America.  Unfortunately, when the cameras of the media show up in town, rogue individuals often lose sight of the goal by assigning blame.

Ratings, selfish ambition and talking points do just the opposite as negative words incite relational forest fires, placing classes, races and political ideologies against one another.  Ferguson, Missouri is the latest epicenter, as citizens searching for justice and revenge did not receive the verdict from the Darren Wilson Grand Jury as they had hoped.  Despite the collaborating accounts of eyewitnesses, the media has withheld key facts from this investigation to encourage outrage.  Instead of wanting the truth like Col. Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, they have chosen to assign blame.

I’m not an expert on the media, but it appears they are suppressing the news rather than presenting it.  What this nation and every country needs are people hungry for developing solutions.  When placed in charge, the United States government has a history of failure.  As the number of individuals on Food Stamps and Unemployment continue to grow, who will get behind visionaries like Glenn Beck to start solving problems one community at a time.  While Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream, unless neighbors put aside their petty differences, this dream will never become a reality.

by Jay Mankus

 

When the Blind Leads the Blind

Who controls the media, deciding what to show, when to show it and what to sweep under the rug?  One day you could be a rising star, the next a scapegoat who is destroyed, trashed and trampled on by the same people who loved you yesterday.   Behind the camera, a real life Wag the Dog scenario has began, as the spiritually blind are leading the rest of their followers on a wild goose chase.

On August 9th, Michael Brown, a young African American was shot to death following an altercation with a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Riots broke out in the town following the release of a video that showed Michael Brown robbing a convenience prior to his death.  Less than a week later, a similar story had the roles reversed as a black officer gunned down a white male in Salt Lake City.  As reporters moved into Ferguson, making it the center of the media’s attention, the story in Salt Lake was ignored.  Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when the blind lead the blind.

One of my favorite Dr. Martin Luther King quotes is “all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  Although you can’t control the news, individuals can choose to begin to emphasize the positive in life, making sure that good deeds aren’t overlooked.  When the tension of this latest crisis in America cools down, citizens must band together, regardless of the color of their skin, to make this world a better place.

by Jay Mankus

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