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Tag Archives: gold rush

Revealing the Treasure Within

In the last decade, reality television shows have appealed to a desire to strike it rich.  Shows like Gold Rush, the Mystery of Oak Island and Treasure Hunters detail the journey average citizens take to find hidden treasure.  While some do uncover ancient coins, buried treasure and gold, many leave these show broke.  Perhaps, its time for individuals to stop ignoring the obvious, the treasure within your own heart.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Luke 12:34.

According to one of the wisest people in the Old Testament, human hearts are a well spring to life, Proverbs 4:23.  Depending upon which Bible commentary you prefer, each shares an unique perspective of what King Solomon truly means by this passage.  Solomon could be warning individuals against developing a proud heart which doomed Lucifer in Ezekiel 28:17.  Meanwhile, human nature is constantly pulling and tempting people to indulge their fleshly desires.  Thus, if you want to protect your heart, guard it carefully.

But the goal of our instruction is love [which springs] from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith, 1 Timothy 1:5.

During the first century, Jesus revealed that the words you speak come out of the overflow of your heart.  Anger, adoration, encouragement and envy will show itself by the tone and vocabulary that you choose daily.  Unfortunately, if you are like me, there is a lot more bad than good that comes out of me.  Thus, I am hesitant to reveal the treasure within.  While being open and honest is important, when God is missing from your conversation its a sign of an empty treasure, void of Jesus.  May the passage above give you hope, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to fill you with love so that any broken or wounded heart will be made whole.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Knowing When to Say When

I have noticed a pattern within three popular cable television shows.  Whether you are talking about Discovery Channels Gold Rush and Treasure Quest or History Channels The Curse of Oak Island, each ask the same question.  If you are trying to unearth gold or searching for a secret treasure, its important to know when to say when.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you, Psalm 32:8.

This same concept applies to setting goals.  Some will be attainable, a natural progression or the next logical step.  However, others will take years or even decades to obtain.  If you are not making progress or simply do not possess what it takes to arrive at a desired destination, perhaps you should walk away before its too late.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

Too many gold miners chased after the mother load only to go broke or die before stumbling upon riches.  Meanwhile, dreamers often run after some sort of white rabbit that simply can’t be caught with mere human effort.  Subsequently, individuals must either give up the fight or seek a higher power to cross the threshold.  Since every situation is different, there is not a cookie cutter answer to knowing when to say when.  Nonetheless, if the Holy Spirit is your guide, you should be able to keep in step with God’s will for your life.

by Jay Mankus

Mind Stripping

Strip mining involves excavating the surface of earth, rock and other material to uncover mineral reserves.  Although most commonly used to extract coal, some of the miners on the Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush reality show use strip mining to remove overburden.  Also known as open-cut mining, this process relies on explosives and heavy machinery to reach key pockets of minerals.

A wise king once developed a different kind of mining.  One of the secrets to Babylon’s successful empire in 600 BC was the introduction of mind stripping.  Instead of killing the citizens of newly conquered nations, King Nebuchadnezzar recruited members of royal families as well as the best and brightest young people, Daniel 1:3-5.  Like going back to school, these individuals were programmed to eat, think and embrace the Babylonian worldview.

For example, Daniel was given a new name to strip his mind from his Hebrew roots, Belteshazzer.  This name originated from Mesopotamian mythology, based upon Bel, a title applied to various gods in Babylon.  Essentially, King Nebuchadnezzar attempted to convince Daniel that Bel, his god would take care of him from here on out.  Tempted by knowledge, power and wealth, Daniel refused to allow his mind to be corrupted, Daniel 1:8-14.

Today, mind stripping continues, kept alive by the devil, 2 Corinthians 4:4.  However, this process is invisible, induced by subtle thoughts, whispers and images of greatness.  No one is immune to this internal battle, Galatians 5:16-18.  Regardless of the state this blog finds you in, may the power of the Holy Spirit come to your aid, Galatians 5:25, leading you like Daniel to say no to mind stripping.

by Jay Mankus

 

Striking It Rich

The advent of reality television has spawned a different kind of gold rush as contestants, individuals and a select few are willing to risk everything, even their reputation to strike it rich.  According to the Writers Guild of America in an article written by Charles Slocum, Allen Funt can be credited as the founder of reality television through his 1948 series Candid Camera.  One year prior, Funt’s radio project entitled Candid Microphone has inspired the recent rage in reality programing featured on nearly every cable channel.  Whether this new fad fizzles out soon is unclear, yet one thing is certain, people will continue to endure embarrassment as long as a pot of gold exists at the end of the rainbow.

The Bible provides an alternative perspective on striking it rich.  Prior to his death, the apostle Paul shares words of wisdom to a young pastor in a chapter to Timothy.  Paul’s first advice is to develop the right mindset, 1 Timothy 6:6, focusing on what you have rather than allow envy to steer your attention toward what others have acquired.  Next, Paul urges this teenager to listen to the right voice, 1 Timothy 6:9.  The Greek word used for desire means to have an unshakable thirst for more; thus Paul recommends the message he shared to believers in Rome, Romans 8:5-13.  Finally, if you are blessed with money in this life, maintain the proper attitude described in 1 Timothy 6:17.  By doing this, you can strike it rich spiritually.

Unfortunately, applying these words takes sacrifices, time and a world of adjustment.  While some may be called to a life of poverty like Mother Teresa, others have squandered their wealth like the prodigal son, Luke 15:13-17.  Meanwhile, many have simply buried their talents, afraid of disappointment, failure or rejection, Matthew 25:24-28.  The words of Moses still ring true today, a guide for those hoping to strike it rich, Deuteronomy 30:15-16.  If beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then riches dwell in the hearts of those who store up treasures for the after life, Matthew 6:19-21.  Begin your pursuit today!

by Jay Mankus

Treasures Beneath The Surface

Ric Savage is living proof that sometimes real treasure exists in your own backyard.  This former professional wrestler is now the star of Spike TV’s reality show, American Digger.  Using history like a treasure map, Ric’s team travels across the country in search of valuable pieces of Americana.  However, before he can dig, Ric must receive permission from home owners, offering to split his profits.  The rest of a typical episode contains the quest to uncover hidden gems using medal detectors or modern technology to locate treasures behind the surface.

Unfortunately, most treasure stories don’t have a happy ending.  Such is the tale of a farmer who sold all his possessions to search for diamonds.  Like a gold rush, this man was inspired to leave his family behind in America to fulfill a lifelong dream of striking it rich.  Tired of just making enough to survive, he longed to provide a better life for his wife and children.  Thus, off he went, first to South Africa, then to India and finally to a mine is Spain.  In a moment of despair, he jumped into a raging river, drowning; never tasting success.

 [image of Conwell sitting]

Meanwhile, the man this farmer sold his property to continued to farm, yet he began to uncover a rocky patch of soil.  To protect his plow, this man placed the larger rocks on his mantel, above a fireplace.  When a local priest paid a visit to the new resident, welcoming him to the community, he was shocked by these large rocks.  After an initial exchange, the priest asked the man where he had found these unusual rocks.  Nonchalantly, he replied, “they are all over this property”.  Astonished, the priest replied, “do you know what you have?”  Curious, the man answers, “No, what are they?”  As a former jeweler prior to attending seminary, the priest responds, “you have unearthed acres of diamonds!”  This story inspired Russell Conwell’s famous speech, Acres of Diamonds.  Russell’s success as a minister and writer led him to found Temple University in Philadelphia.

Life often plays cruel tricks on us, like this dead farmer.  The one thing he longed for in life was right in his own backyard, beneath the surface.  Sometimes, before you make rash decisions, you have to consider the cost, Luke 14:28-33.  While Satan may lead you to believe the grass is greener on the other side of your fence, God has surrounded you with living treasures: family, friends and possessions.  Therefore, don’t leave your land until the Holy Spirit has helped you unearth treasures within, 1 Corinthians 12:11.  As I continue to search for full time employment, I pray that God will help me dig deep enough to find that diamond in a rough economy.

by Jay Mankus

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