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SWAG

Swag is one of those words that has evolved over time.  Initially short for swagger, swag is a personality trait which naturally flows out of confident individuals.  Professional athletes display this by playing to the crowd, swaying and strutting after successful impacts during a competition or game.  Journalists sometimes equate swag with gravitas, inner qualities that attract others to want to be around those who possess this special gift.

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Recently, I stumbled upon an acronym for swag, Spiritual Wonders Anointed by God.  Although my employer refers to swag as stuff we all get, I know from experience not everyone receives the same allotment in life.  Rather, some people are more blessed than others, attaining and obtaining much more than the average person.  While a portion of success can be linked to dedication, hard work and perseverance, God’s role in swag can not be denied.

Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:14.

Spiritual wonders anointed by God can be explained by guardian angels or ministering spirits.  Without divine intervention, there may be some of you who would not be alive today if it wasn’t for this insight and protection.  Meanwhile, swag can be developed from a permanent meaningful lasting relationship with God.  As one begins to pray, study the Bible and worship the Lord each week, the Holy Spirit living inside of you can produce swag.  As a new year approaches, may the Lord inspire you to draw near to God so that your faith will flourish in 2018.

by Jay Mankus

Pinocchio and Politics

Not so long ago, integrity was a vital aspect in life.  Being a man or woman of your word was considered essential to maintaining one’s reputation.  Unfortunately, sometime over the last thirty years, character, honesty and truth have been minimized.  In its place, gravitas, personality and spunk have stolen the spot light.  Subsequently, we now live in an age where Pinocchio and politics intersect with the most charismatic liar often winning elections.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth, Ecclesiastes 7:1.

History recounts Solomon as one of the wisest leaders to ever live.  Reading his accounts within the Bible can result in great advice, especially during trying times.  The Holy Spirit inspired Solomon to encourage individuals to strive toward keeping their vows spoken.  To do otherwise would diminish one’s standing in their community.  Therefore, despite what appears to be politicians getting away with lie after lie, don’t lower your standards to expose participants trying to redefine reality.

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold, Proverbs 1:22.

Whatever your political leanings may be, one thing is obvious, the mudslinging has begun.  Apparently, the media enjoys participating in this demolition derby, crushing and smashing any candidate who threatens to reveal their true intentions.  While no one is perfect, its sad to see national leaders regularly lie on television.  The expert deceivers walk a fine line between context, passing the buck and shifting blame.  In the end, souls numb the pain of conviction, pressing on to reach their goal.  Although God knows the truth, zealous contenders continue to risk telling lies like Pinocchio as long as they make it to the top.  May the Holy Spirit open the eyes of low information voters before election day arrives.

by Jay Mankus

God Doesn’t Need a Superstar

If you observe the titles of today’s most popular reality television shows: American Idol, America’s Next Top Model and America’s Got Talent, Hollywood is searching for the next superstar.  Meanwhile, media’s elite are longing for a politician with gravitas, believing that once this person arrives, everything will be fine.  Yet, when its all said and done, God is in control and He doesn’t need a superstar.

After the flood, the Lord didn’t amass an all-star team of individuals to carry on His plan for earth.  Nor did God recruit the best of the best of the best like Men in Black.  Rather, He chose an ordinary group of people, eventually named Israel, after Jacob, the son of Isaac, whose father was Abraham.  While many have different opinions behind God’s rationale, I believe the Lord selected a nation who could not steal credit for the prosperity He provided.

Thousands of years later, God still opposes the proud and supplies grace to the humble.  Whenever someone reaches a Matthew 16:24 state, you become a willing vessel for the Lord.  If you want to continue this journey, God’s anointing is awaiting those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, Matthew 5:6.  May the Holy Spirit fill eager servants so that one day you might be transformed into a spiritual superstar.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Pedestal of Disappointment

There are certain individuals which possess gravitas, tempting family, friends and followers to place them up on a pedestal.  These dynamics personalities make it hard not to jump on the bandwagon as some become held in high regards as a cultural hero.  However, when you choose to place someone up on a pedestal, its a matter of time before you will experience disappointment.

According to Romans 3:23, no one is perfect.  Regardless of your efforts and motives, sooner or later will you fail, mess up or make a mistake.  This blunder often shatters the image of your fans, causing many to jump ship.  In the aftermath of sin, its difficult to come with terms with the failures of leaders.  The painful reality of this disappointment will make you think twice before placing another treasured soul on a pedestal.

The relational aspect of life makes people vulnerable to pain.  Perhaps, a growing number of adults are forgoing marriage to avoid the heartbreak of unfilled vows.  While you may believe this is a good idea, there is only One who is worth placing up on a pedestal, Hebrews 4:14-16.  Don’t blame the creator for imperfect people.  Rather, lift up the only One who is worthy to be praised, Romans 5:8.

by Jay Mankus

 

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