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It’s Time To Get Involved

During the first century, thousands of people followed Jesus.  Like a grass roots movement, many were eager to become a disciple.  Unfortunately, Jesus already chose 12 men to become his disciples and another 72 to serve as a ministry team to prepare towns for upcoming visits.  Thus, when a man healed by Jesus in the passages below wanted to get involved, Jesus sends him to the next logical place, his home town.

Jesus did not let him [come], but [instead] He said to him, “Go home to your family and tell them all the great things that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you,” Mark 5:19.

In my first decade as a parent, I was too consumed by other interest outside of my home.  During these initial years, I played in a competitive men’s softball league, coached high school golf and spent a majority of my free time grading papers.  One night I was able to watch my son play baseball.  In his first at bat, James hit a homerun.  During his second at bat, he doubled, but was left on base.  His team lost 2-1.  When I saw he was batting 10th, I asked a neighbor who knew James’ coach.  I found out that James was punished for using an expensive bat without asking.  This event inspired me to finally get involved, spending the next 5 years coaching youth baseball.

So he [obeyed and] went away and began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis [the region of the ten Hellenistic cities] all the great things that Jesus had done for him; and all the people were astonished, Mark 5:20.

One of the things I have learned over the years is that you need to become great in your home before you can have an impact on your community.  As I have heard several pastors proclaim, “happy wife, happy life,” getting involved starts in your home.  When your family begins to notice a transformation within your own life, you can move outside into your community.  This is easier for a demon possessed man who is now is his right mind.  Yet, as the Holy Spirit begins to move within your heart, mind and soul, God can use you if you’re willing to get involved.

by Jay Mankus

Paper or Plastic?

Back in the early 1980’s, the grass roots movement of recycling began.  This influenced groceries stores to give consumers a choice as environmentalists pressured chain stores to avoid cutting down trees.  Instead of double bagging heavy items, customers were encouraged to use plastic over paper.  Today, plastic has prevailed putting news papers on the verge of extinction.

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out, Proverbs 17:14.

Those major news papers that remain are on life support.  Why, you may ask?  Well. earlier in the week, one business apologized to subscribers due to the unfair treatment of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election.  On the same day, there were 17 negative stories printed demonizing the Donald Trump; none were positive.  Meanwhile, following the Republican National Convention, another paper hired 30 journalists to dig up dirt on Donald Trump.  Perhaps, this may explain why readers are now choosing social media over the print media.

Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool— how much worse lying lips to a ruler! – Proverbs 17:7.

Sooner or later, the American public is going to turn a deaf ear from dishonesty.  It doesn’t take much to discern someone who is real from a phony individual.  Like plastic, these imitations will be exposed.  Unfortunately, when context, the facts and truth is distorted, gossip has turned into reality poisoning the minds of many Americans.  Its sad that many have rejected Donald Trump as president without ever serving a day in office.  Yet, then again if making America great again involves putting paper in the form of cash into people’s pockets, perhaps the narrative will change.  Until then prayer for our future leaders so that give will breath life into a country falling apart.

by Jay Mankus


Fact Checkers

Sometimes you find yourself stuck in a place with no where else to go.  You may be in a room full of people with whom you disagree, a guest at a table taking part if a foreign topic of conversation or at a restaurant with a television on airing an opinion that floors you.  This is the setting that I found myself in, forced to observe CNN analysts pick apart Melania Trump’s speech like gossiping teenage girls tearing apart their enemies.  Its ironic that these same fact checkers have been asleep the last 7 years, turning a blind eye to the current administration that they worship.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged, Matthew 7:1.”

While everyone is entitled to their opinions, the fact is no one is worthy enough to cast the first stone.  Sure, the average American citizen has their moment of integrity, doing the right thing when no one is looking, but how long does this stage of conviction last?  If enough individuals stood up for fairness, justice and righteousness, police officers would be needed as much as they are today.  The sad reality of these times is the media is exempt from scrutiny for the most part, trashing whoever or whatever movement that gets in their way.  Just ask Tea Party members who are marginalized despite their impressive grass roots movement.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, Matthew 7:2.

The only positive step forward is to put into practice the closing remarks of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount.  The next time you have the urge to criticize, condemn or complain, take the plank out of your own eyes first.  Perhaps, once you’ve gotten your life in order, there will be opportunities to correct others.  Yet, for now its time to look into the mirror and see what’s out of place within us.  The closer one gets to God, the greater sin appears, causing the apostle Paul to suggest “he’s the greatest sinner of all.”  Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, meaning the further away you slide, the better you feel about yourself.  May a spirit of conviction fall upon future fact checkers before any further words roll off their tongue.  Look within before you point out the flaws in others.

by Jay Mankus


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