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Tag Archives: forget

Dropping off the Map

In a typically week, I scan through 4,000 emails at work.  This daily grind has caused me to neglect my own personal email account.  Subsequently, in the last couple of years, I’ve dropped of the map so to speak, forgetting to connect with people I care about.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living, Luke 15:13.

While watching an episode of A Football Life on the NFL Network, I was struck by the words of former Chicago Bear and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Mike Singletary.  In his pursuit to become a great linebacker, he neglected other areas of his life, most notably his family.  Like Mike, I suffer from tunnel vision, so focused on the task at hand that I can shut out the people that I care about most.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!” – Luke 15:17

From a biblical perspective, everyone has their prodigal moment, period or phase in life.  Human nature causes curious individuals to drift off course, replacing God or family with the pleasures of the world.  Depending upon the length of this detour, its not uncommon for someone to drop off the map, leaving church, fellowship or the faith for a while.  Whether this blog finds you in a good place, sliding away or somewhere in between, may we all come to our senses soon so we can be reunited with those whom we love.

by Jay Mankus

 

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When You Misread Signs from God

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a belief that God immediately punishes individuals for their sins.  Perhaps, I heard too many sermons on the wrath of God from the Old Testament growing up.  Subsequently, I began to read too much into daily events, as if I knew why good or bad things were happening to me.  Fortunately, I’m not the only one who struggles to understand God.

“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” – Mark 8:15

One day while traveling across the countryside, the disciples forgot to bring their usual allotment of bread for their trip.  As soon as this was brought to Jesus’ attention, He began to warn the disciples.  Thinking Jesus was mad at them for forgetting the bread, each misread what the Lord was trying to say.  Instead of seeing the big picture, the twelve disciples were blinded by a narrow view of this world.

Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? – Mark 8:18

A day earlier, Jesus had fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish.  Focused on whose fault it was, forgetting the bread, each disciple failed to see that Jesus was and is the Bread of Life.  The yeast of the Pharisees is cynicism from human beings who try to discredit Jesus’ miracles.  Therefore, if you begin to live by sight and not by faith, you too may soon misread signs from God.

by Jay Mankus

 

Living Life in Your Rear View Mirror

Although many people enjoy playing the role of Monday morning quarterback, some are haunted by prior mistakes.  Like a back up quarterback who is adored until they get in the game, an embarrassing moment while in the spotlight can stay with individuals for years.  Every time someone tries to move on, the stains of time appear in the rear view mirror.

As for me, I can think of several days I would like to forget or get a mulligan to do over.  One of things I regret the most in life  is not telling one of my best friends from high school the reason for my new found joy.  Before I had another open invitation to share my faith, she died of cancer.  This image returns in various forms such as her favorite songs, topics of previous conversations and visions of a precious smile.  Even when you try, its hard to let go of pain from your past.

A common theme professed by pastors in history refer to the devil reminding sinners of their past.  Once preoccupied by guilt, remorse and shame, new believers are unable to experience the new beginning promised by Jesus.  Thus, souls live in fear, with one eye on the future and the other in their rear view mirror.  May any of you stuck in the past experience a resurrected spirit, washed by the blood of the Lamb, Colossians 2:13-15.

by Jay Mankus

 

More Than Just A Curse Word

As a resident of the greater Philadelphia area, I understand the passion of Philly fans.  Although the main stream media continues to accuse them of throwing snow balls at Santa Claus, most season ticket holders wear their emotions on their sleeves.  If you add alcohol to a bad call or break, thoughts become verbalized.  Thus, if you attend an Eagles game on a Sunday, God’s name may be used in a slightly different context than church.  Phrases such as “Jesus Christ, God dam it and Holy bleep” are reactions to a sporting event beyond their control.

Outside of the realm of sports, there is another topic of conversation.  If someone begins to experience a string of bad luck, loses in life or turmoil, God is usually the first to be blamed.  The Old Testament nature of God leads individuals to believe God is punishing them for something done in their past.  Yet, when the tide turns toward blessings, praise and rewards for hard work, there is a tendency for adults to take the credit.  Either forgetting or overshadowing God’s role, glory is often stolen by selfish souls.

Regardless of where you find yourself on this spectrum, the majority will agree that today’s language is merely a byproduct of a fallen generation.  Society has accepted the idea that words need to be spoken, even if people are hurt.  Twitter feeds this notion, giving disgruntled followers a platform to voice their opinion.  Nonetheless, God is more than a curse word or punch line for a comedian.  Rather, Hebrews 4:12-13 reveals that everything will be uncovered, brought to the light, as everyone will have to give an account of what they’ve done and the words they have spoken.

by Jay Mankus

Judge, Jury and Executioner

If you follow Twitter, listen to Talk Radio or watch Cable News, then you have a slight inclination on what’s wrong with this country and the world as a whole.  Countless individuals have forgotten the words of Jesus in John 8:6-9, “let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Blinded by hypocrisy, ignorance or simply oblivious to their spiritual condition, many are acting as judge, jury and executioner, piling on with stone after stone.

In view of TMZ’s release on their website earlier in the week of Ray Rice striking his soon to be wife in an elevator, the media has stirred the masses into a tizzy.  With one person down, Ray Rice, kicked to the curb on Monday after being release by the Baltimore Ravens, the next victim is Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL.  People are lining up in droves to take their shots, putting pressure on Goodell to resign.  As radio and television analysts comment on the hot topic of this week, abused women, there’s an eerie silence for the unborn child, killed every day because the law says its okay.

The only person in the media who has made any sense this week is Steve Smith, veteran wide receiver of the Ravens, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers.  Steve reminded the press that God is the only true judge.  Although citizens like to pretend to be the judge and part of the jury, God will hold everyone accountable based upon what they have done on earth, Matthew 12:36-37.  Before another human being in thrown under the bus this week, refrain yourself the next time you have an urge to trash someone.  For if you do, you will likely reap what you sow and one day you will be at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner.

by Jay Mankus

 

Living in a State of Disrepair

After breaking 2 ribs back in February, I wasn’t able to do some of the things around my house that I take pride in, mowing the grass and manicuring my golf green.  Thus, in the spring I handed over these responsibilities over to my 2 sons, assuming we were on the same page.  Unfortunately, as I glanced around my yard this afternoon, one thing is clear, “I’m living in a state of disrepair.”

Although not everyone is prone to become a hoarder, I guess we all have some sort of collection or fetish which blinds us from reality.  For some its clothes, others relish in shoes and for me, I have a weakness for golf clubs.  Somewhere in the past 6 months, I’ve stopped caring about minor details.  Little did I know that these routine chores would snowball out of control, leaving me paralyzed pondering, “where do I start?”

The words of Luke 12:48 have hit home for me today.  According to Jesus, “to whom much is given, much is required.”  When you are a parent, spouse and homeowner, work never stops, at least there is always something that needs to be done to be a good steward of the possessions God has given you.  Yet, if you forget, ignore or neglect this responsibility, you too will know what it feels like to be living in a state of disrepair.  May God awaken you and I from this stupor so that day by day, we will rise to meet future challenges.

by Jay Mankus

The Day God Said Adios

Usually, humans are the ones who question God.  Rants such as “how can a loving God allow my child to die or why do bad things happen to good people while the wicked continue to prosper” is par for the course.  Yet, have you ever considered that God is scratching His head up in heaven daily, trying figure out the actions of his children?  Disappointed by Israel, His chosen nation, one too many times, God finally had enough, saying “adios.”

According to Psalm 95:10, God’s patience wore thin.  Expecting the parting of the Red Sea to transform hearts for a generation, the Lord’s miracles were quickly forgotten.  Faithless acts, hungry stomachs and spoiled souls unleashed the wrath of God upon a generation, Psalm 95:11.  Essentially, God vowed not to let this disobedient generation experience the promised land.  Instead, the Jews wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, prevented from tasting a land filled with milk and honey.

This lesson is similar to the words of the prophet Isaiah 1:15-20.  When followers become distracted by sin, God tunes out their prayers.  Subsequently, the Lord is waiting for believers to humble themselves, admit their wrong doing and reason with Him in prayer.  Then and only then will you experience God’s blessings, Isaiah 1:19.  However, if anyone attempt to take a short cut, don’t be surprised if God says adios.

by Jay Mankus

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