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It’s Not Beginning to Look A lot like Christmas

Perhaps Christmas has become passe?  Or maybe commercialism has contributed individuals from losing sight of its meaning.  Either way, holiday music has been unsuccessful in preparing hearts to find the Christmas spirit.

You don’t have to go any further than Black Friday’s encroachment upon Thanksgiving to see and feel these effects.  Thanking God for the day has been interrupted by football, movies and shopping.  Add in mobs of citizens making a mad dash to get the last item left in the store; then you’ll realize its not beginning to look like Christmas.

As long as hearts continue to dwell on selfish desires, Romans 3:9-12, individuals will be unable to experience the true meaning of Christmas.  Possessing the spirit of Christmas isn’t something you can turn on and off.  Rather, you need a heart transplant, Romans 10:9-10.  Only then, you will the grinch inside of you vanish, opening the door for good tidings and joy to shine through.

by Jay Mankus


Good Tidings in the Air

As individuals begin to finish up their Christmas shopping, a sense of relief enters their soul.  Sure, there’s still wrapping gifts, but the hard part is over, along with the long lines and maniac drivers fighting over the last good parking spot.  Maybe this is the reason good tidings appeared in the air today over Delaware.

Although I may never know why, I’m glad that the spirit of Christmas has arrived.  Faces were of good cheer, conversation pleasant and the mood around the office made me proud to be an American.  While its hard to emphasize the good in others, its important not to let a praiseworthy moment go by without a mention.  As I walked out the door for a 5 day break, the concept of rest and relaxation is a refreshing thought, at a perfect time in the year.

There was no baby in a manger or magi coming from afar, yet an angelic presence seemed to shine through, transforming a tired and weary staff.  Like an island of misfit toys, the hope of Christmas breathed a new spirit within the hearts of those present.  Or perhaps I have awoken from a slumber, having my eyes opened for the first time in months.  Regardless of the reason, may you embrace the final days leading up to Christmas as the Holy Spirit stirs hearts and minds to display good tiding in the air.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

by Jay Mankus

Right In Front of You

Bruce Almighty

In the movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a television reporter in Buffalo, New York.  Like many Americans, Bruce begins to blame God for the problems he is experiencing in life.  Thinking he has been dealt a bad hand in life, Bruce believes he can do a better job than God Almighty.  God, played by Morgan Freeman, responds by endowing Bruce with divine powers.  Until you switch places with another person or in this case God, you don’t realize that sometimes the answers to your prayers are right in front of you.

This is a lesson I learned yesterday.  When I use Psalm 5:3 as a model for prayer, I often expect God to answer me in my way or on my terms.  However, prayer is not like going to the check out counter after finding the Christmas presents you want.  Rather, prayer also involves listening, at times meditating on scripture and waiting in expectation of answers.  Yet, human nature has blinded me from the blessings, gifts and rewards God has already bestowed upon my family.  When the veil covering my eyes was released last night, two Christian co-workers were right in front of me, a clear answer to my prayers.

Most people dream of winning the lottery, thinking about all the good they could do with the money.  Thus, one day Bruce Nolan answered the people’s prayers, having millions of Americans win, splitting $3.33.  In response, people were angry with God because their own expectations were not fulfilled.  This leads me back to modern day, in a sputtering economy, with joblessness and not enough money to afford the littlest of gifts.  Free will enables each person to act as they wish like Bruce Nolan in the movie.  However, in this Christmas season please don’t overlook the good tidings, given from above, James 1:17, that are right in front of you!

by Jay Mankus

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