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Thank You For the Journey

Following birthdays, graduations and weddings, individuals often feel compelled to send thank you cards.  While certain presents are more impressive than others, it’s the thought that counts.  Although this process may be time consuming, it’s the appropriate response.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you, 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Unfortunately, most people don’t do the same with the Lord.  After a remarkable day, month or phase in life, it’s time to give the Lord the credit for victories in life.  Sure, you might have put in the effort and time to succeed.  Yet, it never hurts to thank God for the journey of life.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change, James 1:17.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul took missionary journeys to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.  Some trips were extended while others were cut short.  Other plans were thwarted due to demonic forces.  Like making a wedding vow, in the good or bad, make sure you take a moment daily to pause by thanking God for the journey.

by Mankus

 

 

Taking A Back Seat To Your Children

In my younger days, naive and immature, I cared more about my men’s softball team than my oldest son’s T-Ball game.  Thus, as other men were coaching and influencing my son James, I got lost in trying to relive and hold on to my youth.  Learning the hard way, I realized Father Time couldn’t be beaten before I took a back seat where my children could be in the forefront.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, Philippians 2:3.

Unfortunately, too many young men never see the light, blinded by selfish ambition.  Fueled by pride, egos cause adults to remain the center of attention, long after their own high school graduation.  While hanging out in bars reminiscing about the Glory Days, far too many children are growing up without a role model to emulate.  Subsequently, teenagers often look toward pop culture to find meaning in life, only to be disappointed in the long run.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full, John 10:10.

After hearing the phrase “its better to give than receive” countless times throughout life, I finally tasted a piece of this fruit over the weekend.  As a proud parent on Sunday, watching my children all place in the top 3 of their age group, with James earning first, 11th overall, in the 2015 Blue Hen 5K, I realized all those times I went jogging with my kids finally paid off.  Although I was the only one in the family who didn’t medal, it didn’t matter.  I found joy in taking a back seat to my children, observing each one begin to find their niche, place and calling in life.  If you haven’t taken your seat, find one soon.

by Jay Mankus

 

No One is Safe From the Grave

Youth tend to feel invincible, confident and strong with little or no experience to the frailty of life.  Instead of attending funerals, time is spent celebrating birthdays, weddings and graduation.  However, as age begins to affect one’s body, traces of death introduce the fact that no one is safe from the grave.

According to Psalm 89:48, the Psalmist understood this truth.  Unless your name is Enoch or Elijah, no one knows what its like not to die.  For the rest of us, accidents, disease and failure is a reality in life.  Although, extended life is a sign of God’s blessings, breathing will stop sooner or later.  While some may be resuscitated, a day will come when the grave will be ready to receive your body.

In view of this, its essential to get busy living by making a difference in your spheres of influence.  Whether this is accomplished through donating your money, services or time, how you live will impact others more than what you place on your tombstone.  Since no one knows when the sands of time will run out, finish strong, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, so that the light that you reflect will lead some to a place called eternity, 2 Peter 3:8.

by Jay Mankus

 

When the Star Saved a Nerd

It was Friday afternoon as high school students began to filter out of the front entrance.  As Tim, the starting quarterback of the football team, began to think of his weekend plans, an unusual site got his attention.  Walking down the main sidewalk, a nerd was trying to carry all of his books home for the weekend, stacked 9 high.  Meanwhile, one by one, other students began to bully and tease this studious boy, causing him to drop his books.  Laughing initially, the second and third time this occurred, Tim became enraged.

Inspired to act, Tim moved out of his comfort zone, introducing himself to this boy with a ghostly face.  Before he finished talking, this nerd faintly responded, “I know who you are, everyone does!”  Feeling awkward, Tim began to make small talk, asking where he lived, how old he was and what he liked to do.  Realizing he lived a few blocks away, Tim suggested, “why don’t I walk you home, I live right around the corner so nobody else gives you a hard time?”  Afraid to reject this offer, they began to pass time in conversation.  As they approached the nerd’s home, Tim humbled himself, asking if his new friend could tutor him in Algebra.  Shocked by this request, this was the beginning of an unique, yet special friendship.

Two years later, this nerd went on to become valedictorian, nominated by Tim to give a speech at graduation.  Shy and afraid, this boy trembled at the podium, staring at his note cards for a moment.  Suddenly, the boy put his cards away, proclaiming, “I can’t do this!”  Sharing from his heart, this nerd dropped a bomb shell on those in attendance.  “Two years ago, I was on my way to commit suicide.  On a Friday afternoon, I brought all my books home so my mom wouldn’t have to clear out my locker.  On my way home, I started thinking about how I was going to do this until a stranger intervened.  Bullied for the last time, I wanted to make these cruel people feel bad.  Yet, Tim stepped in, befriended me and stopped me from carrying out my plan.”   With not a dry eye in the house, this was the day when the star quarterback saved a nerd.

by Jay Mankus

 

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