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Tag Archives: Greater Newark Baseball League

When Joy Reemerged

On New Year’s Day, 2012, my oldest son, James and I played in a Disc Golf tournament.  After a small entry fee, James and I played well enough to earn a Frisbee, placing in our age brackets.  Before leaving, I also received money for winning a closest to the pin contest, 3 feet away.  We celebrated on the way home, going out to lunch with our 2 brand new discs.  Before last night, this was the last time I experienced joy.

This mood was broken by a chilling a phone call, a lost job and 18 months of hopelessness.  While I thought earlier in the year my luck was going to change, subtle signs from the Lord clearly revealed Chick-fil-A was not going to be in my future.  Falling apart on the inside, the prayers of dear friends and my church, has carried me across a barren desert of disappointment.

Deep in my heart, the only place I initially felt called was to coach Daniel, my younger son’s baseball team in Newark.  During my month as a Marketing Director, I was convicted by my lack of time with family.  In my absence, Coach Adrian, Coach Alex and my wife stepped in to fill the void left by me.  The team held their own, hovering above 500 before I returned.

Last night, winning the league championship culminated one of the most gratifying seasons ever as a coach.  Beside a few errors and base running blunders, every player contributed to score and or prevent runs from scoring.  Emotionally fragile at times like my last 18 months, everyone kept their composure until the final out.  The cherry on top is news earlier in the week of receiving a full time position with Amazon, with a start date set for next week.  I thank the Lord for holding me together and providing these blessings so that joy could reemerge.

by Jay Mankus

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Sizing Up My Faith

On Valentine’s Day, 2013, I published a blog entitled Supersize Your Faith.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, God led me to challenge friends and readers to super size their faith during the month of March.  I encouraged fellow believers to expand their reading of the Bible, ramp up prayer lives and become an active participant within church.  As the sun has set on the month of March, this Easter evening, its time to size up for my faith.

Beginning, March 1st, I attempted to read 3 chapters of the Bible per day.  While I didn’t hit my goal every day, God allowed me to finish Habakkuk – Malachi, the gospel of Mark, half of John and 31 Psalms.  Most of my days began with a Psalm, serving as my outline for morning prayer and providing direction for the prayer journal that I kept.  Although, my overall prayer life hasn’t changed, God’s response to recent prayers did.

For example, as I reflect upon the last 9 days, I can see the hand of God providing for me within 24 hours of my heart felt cries for help.  First, God gave me clarity through a series of interviews, closed one door while opening another and during a 3 day stretch answered me exactly as I requested with a job, desire to finish my movie and a 40 hour work week.  I even laid hands on my cat, who had a 2 inch hole near her back and within a few days this area was healed.  Before praying, this hole grew larger day after day.

My greatest failure, where I need to most work in the future was being more active in my church community.  Initially, I had contacted a friend about starting up a small group Bible Study, but I didn’t follow up so this good idea faded away.  Meanwhile, I didn’t possess a servant’s heart, often rushing out of church or I found excuses to rationalize my lack of action.  The only fruit I bore in this area was coming up an idea of an Easter Egg hunt on March 30th to reach out to T-ball children and families of the Greater Newark Baseball League, where I have coached the past 3 seasons.  Thankfully, my wife coordinated this event with Pastor Matt of Overflow, leading to a successful day, impacting many who attended this special event.

Like the 40 day challenged introduced in the film Fireproof, Super sizing your faith should never end.  When Kirk Cameron’s character, Captain Caleb began this series of tasks, little progress was made.  However, as soon as Caleb changed his attitude, his life was transformed from the inside out.  Therefore, don’t give up hope if you are feeling defeated.  Ask the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 1:7 for extra help to better understand the Bible, develop an intimate prayer life and leave a legacy for Christ in your community.  Rise up with the risen Savior!

by Jay Mankus

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