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Tag Archives: GPS

Don’t Let Shame to Rewrite Your Story

Shame is defined as a painful feeling of distress and humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.  The Bible illustrates shame immediately following Adam and Eve breaking God’s only rule, “do not eat from the tree of knowledge,” Genesis 2:16-17.  This couple responded to shame by hiding from God, ashamed of what they have just done.

Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.  And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, Genesis 3:7-8.

The human conscience is like a built in GPS device for morality.  When an act of kindness are performed, helpful hands extend a word of encouragement which results in a sense of warmth to my soul.  Yet, whenever my own mouth spits out poison, guilt strikes me like an invisible punch in the gut.  When bad outweighs the good, shame alters your mood and influences your mind.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work], Hebrews 12:1-2.

One of the ways this is accomplished is through ungodly beliefs instilled within you by family, friends and peers.  Words such as “you’re not good enough and you’ll never amount to anything” serve as wounds to the soul.  If these ungodly beliefs aren’t replaced by godly beliefs from the Bible, shame will rewrite your story.  The consequences of shame could be eternal.  Therefore, if you are tired of hiding from God, reach out to Jesus who disregarded shame by enduring the cross and rising from the dead.

by Jay Mankus

The Place of the Unknown

Getting lost can take on many forms.  Your GPS device of choice may lead you astray.  The place where you are in life is puzzling with few who have experienced this or understand.  Meanwhile, the various stages of parenting can be challenging, often unsure of what to do next.  These are just some examples of entering the place of the unknown.

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them, Matthew 13:15.

Jesus uses a parable based upon farming to describe the place of the unknown.  One of the reasons why people are in the dark spiritually is due to calloused hearts.  This condition is fueled by stubbornness, preventing individuals from picking up subtle clues from God.  This lack of clarity, discernment and insight hinders people from escaping darkness.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path, Matthew 13:19.

The conditions, environment and surroundings in which you live often dictate the direction you will go in life.  While there are always exceptions to this rule, soil types restrict the overall harvest of farmers.  Obstructions like rocks, sticker bushes and weeds entangle the healthy.  Careless acts can damage, harm or uproot spiritual foundations.  In view of this hazardous threat, may the power of the Holy Spirit inspire believers to seek fertile soil for the soul.  By doing this, you will discover the way out of the place of the unknown.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When Your Compass Doesn’t Work

For those of us who are directionally challenged, its easy to become reliant on modern technology.  Advances in cell phones, electronic maps and GPS devices will tell you immediately when and if you take a wrong turn.  However, what will happen if your compass in life does not work.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come, John 16:13.

If you have ever watched documentaries on the Bermuda Triangle, there have been numerous accounts of aircraft and ships whose navigational devices stop working.  Sometimes this lasts for a few seconds or continues for an extended period of time.  When you can’t determine magnetic north, people have to fly blind, relying on certain landmarks to find your way home.  Yet, when clouds, fog or storms roll in, this task is further complicated.

All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you, John 16:15.

From a spiritual point of view, your conscience is similar to a compass.  Nonetheless, if you allow yourself to become distracted by a career, project or work, its not that hard to get lost.  Within these days, months and years of darkness, people tend to lose hope.  This is why Jesus left the Holy Spirit following his ascension, providing a counselor in your time of need.  Therefore, when everything else in life fails, reach out to the Lord and He will guide you home.

by Jay Mankus

The Way Verses Today

I tend to be directionally challenged.  However, I’m also careful not to trust the opinion of another man at a gas station who seems uncertain.  While GPS is a nice modern device to rely on, when it starts to recalculate, the question is which way should I go?

And asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem, Acts 9:2.

Philosophically speaking, should you follow your heart, mind or the newest teaching?  Worldviews like Humanism, New Age and Post-Modernism have convinced many former believers to leave the Way for religions of today.  Concerned leaders of the church are wondering, what can be done to reverse this trend?

No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people, Acts 5:13.

One of the reasons for this mass exodus is a lack of genuine Christians within America.  I know I’m just as guilty as the next person, leaving a trail of hypocrisy behind.  As people are rubbed the wrong way, parents are staying home on Sunday.  Subsequently, a generation of children are growing up without a faith experience.  Thus, the Way of the Bible is fighting a losing battle.  May the Holy Spirit spark young people today to leave an imprint of love on a culture desperately waiting for the Real Thing.

by Jay Mankus

Thinking Outside the Box

Prior to the creation and evolution of the internet, students relied on books, creativity and listening for education.  Today, the mind has been spoiled by GPS, 4G and ever changing technology to make life more convenient.  Subsequently, the concept of thinking outside the box is becoming a lost art.  Thus, most of society is going along with the flow, oblivious to the decay of the human minds in America.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late.  Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” – Mark 6:35-36

Before the advent of credit cards, fast food and professional catering, Jesus and his friends found themselves in a conundrum.  Five thousand men, excluding woman and children, traveled to a remote location without any access to food.  This memorable event is the only miracle mentioned by all 4 gospel authors, a prime example of outside of the box thinking.  Though the 12 disciples tried to pass the buck, sending the crowds away, Jesus had another plan in mind.

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” –  Mark 6:37

Jesus took what they had and turned his attention toward heaven.  While there are several different theories on the feeding of the 5,000 as portrayed in recent movies and mini-series on the life of Christ, two truths can be extracted by this passage.  First, whenever you face an impossible situation, put your faith and trust in God to act on your behalf.  Second, although God may not answer your request exactly how you want, the Lord will provide enough daily bread to get you through each day.  In the future, don’t be afraid to think outside the box by lifting your concerns up to heaven.

by Jay Mankus

When the World Passes You By

I can’t speak for anyone else, yet I tend to believe that the older you become the greater the likelihood of being passed by.  The generation before me grew up with type writers, record players and the radio.  Although some of the new gadgets are enticing, the stubborn cling to their past.   Before long technological advances can leave even the educated lost in the dark.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1

While getting lost last weekend, I realized how dependent individuals have become on GPS.  In a car full of hungry stomachs, the old school, maps, were bickering against the voice on a cell phone.  Neither seemed to be reliable as a 10 minute car ride turned into a 45 minute argument.  Perhaps the more one trusts in apps, technology and websites, the weaker the human mind becomes.

I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did.” – Judges 2:22

From a spiritual perspective, sometimes the newest teachings are merely recycled lies from the past.  The New Age Movement began in the Garden of Eden inspired by Lucifer.  Humanism was conceived during the days of Judges when people did what they thought was right in their own eyes.  Finally, the idea that there are many paths to heaven was confronted by Jesus during the first century, John 14:6.  Thus, if you feel like the world is passing you by, lean on God’s Word, the Bible to find your way home, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Traffic Jam

In August of 2010, one of the worst traffic jams on earth took place.  According to Forbes Magazine, the Beijing-Tibet Expressway came to a standstill as traffic backed up for 62 miles.  This nightmare scenario lasted 12 days until the gridlock ended.  As summer vacationers crammed onto this highway, too many cars entered without any place to exit, resulting in an epic battle of patience.

Whether its Memorial Day, Labor Day or Thanksgiving Weekend, traffic is one of those things you can’t avoid.  Sure you can plan ahead, using GPS to find alternate routes, but when roads are packed there is usually no where to go.  As a former resident of Chicago, traffic jams are a daily occurrence extending your commute by 1-2 hours regularly.  When I worked at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, I left home 2 hours prior to my shift.  I took a book to read in case I was early, yet nearly every morning I arrived just in a nick of time.

From a spiritual perspective, traffic jams occur for multiple reasons.  Sometimes, individuals need to slow down, take a deep breathe and embrace God’s creation, Psalm 46:10.  On other occasions, God wants to divert people in a different direction, away from harm and temptation, Galatians 5:16-18.  Meanwhile, dead ends and roadblocks serve as supernatural vehicles to bring about God’s will, Proverbs 19:21.  Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a traffic jam, ask the Lord to provide faith, perseverance and maturity until the roadway is clear, James 1:2-4.

Feel free to share the worst traffic jam you’ve been stuck in.

by Jay Mankus

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