Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: haunted

Escaping Loneliness

Abandonment, isolation and rejection are just a few words that reflect the feelings within a lonely heart.  Loneliness can be self inflicted when alienated, busy or distracted by your own self interests.  Yet, most lonely people are haunted by broken relationships, a loss of confidence or low self esteem which often leads to withdrawing from family and friends.  For anyone who finds themselves in this predicament, the quicker you can escape loneliness, the better.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment], Hebrews 4:15-16.

The author of Hebrews suggests that not even Jesus was immune to loneliness.  Referred to as the great high priest, Jesus is able to sympathize and understand human weaknesses and temptations.  No verse in the Bible highlights this fact than the passage below.  On the verge of fulfilling God’s will, Jesus felt forsaken, abandoned by his heavenly father.  Despite the raw emotions expiressed, Jesus prepared himself for this moment by praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before..

Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.). 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice,Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” – Matthew 27:45-46

As a highly motivated individual, pursuing my own dreams and goals can result in isolation.  Unless I slow down to invite others into my life, invisible walls are built to shield myself from those who care about me.  Thus, before I find myself heading toward a lone ranger syndrome, I need to take a step back before speeding ahead.  The best way I have found to escape loneliness is by spending time meditating upon God’s Word.  When I do, the Holy Spirit puts everything into perspective by prompting me to  restore relationships that need to be healed.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Advertisements

A Nightmare or Scary Reality

Several years ago I attended a Bible Study led by a pastor who opened my eyes to the spiritual realm.  When the timing was right, I probed deeper, wanting to understand more about angels and demons.  One night an opportunity arose for this pastor to share a few stories about powers of darkness that he and other members of his church have encountered on earth.  Before revealing these details, pastor Bruce gave a warning to everyone in the room.  Whenever confronting any type of spiritual entity, you must have a group of prayer warriors covering you to serve as a hedge of protection against demonic attacks or push back from these powers of darkness.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places, Ephesians 6:12.

Curious, I asked a simple question, why is a team of prayer warriors necessary?  Pastor Bruce went on to talk about a former leader of his church who attempted to confront the powers of darkness of a well known vacation destination by himself.  Unaware of the stronghold that existed in this area, this man ended up in a mental hospital, troubled by the demonic entities unleashed upon his life.  This encounter caused this man to leave church for several years, haunted by scenes often reserved for Hollywood horror movies.  All I needed was one real life example to realize I needed to begin to become proactive in my prayer life to protect myself from similar attacks as a Bible teacher at the time.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone], 1 Peter 5:8-9.

This leads me to the other night.  I have been taught to be careful when addressing certain topics.  Last week I felt compelled to share a blog about Witchcraft in the context of people wanting to place a hex on Brett Kavanaugh.  Anyway, I should have expected some sort of push back, but I got careless, unprepared spiritually.  Subsequently, I was minding my own business, drifting off in a deep sleep when it happened.  I’m not sure if this was a nightmare or a scary reality, but I saw a voodoo doll in someone’s hand.  As soon as I got a little closer, the doll resembled me as a pin was placed into this doll.  I felt immediate pain, waking up moments later with a severe headache, struggling to grasp what just happened.  Inspired by a whisper from the Holy Spirit, I started praying.  About 15 minutes later I began to feel normal again.  Yet this ordeal, whatever the explanation, serves as an instant reminder to watch and pray so that future attacks aren’t successful.

by Jay Mankus

 

Hell Town USA

Boston Village was founded in 1806, located in the northeast portion of Ohio.  Situated on Interstate 271 between Macedonia and Interstate 77, Boston was a thriving area until 1974.  According to a bill signed by president Gerald Ford, eminent domain ceased control of this town to make way for the creation of a National Park along the nearby Cuyahoga River.  Other reports spread rumors about a chemical spill that the government was trying to conceal.  Either way, these events led to a mass exodus resulting in the abandonment of Boston, Ohio.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12.

In the years that have followed, this remnant of a town within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has spawned legendary folklore.  Destination America aired a special last Sunday that suggests this area is haunted and or haven for Satanic activity.  Those buildings which still stand today are being used for rituals that has released demonic activity in this area.  Whether exaggerated, true or some where in between, this region has earned the nickname Hell Town USA.

The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, Daniel 10:13.

If you have ever studied the Bible, the idea of an area on earth controlled by demonic influences isn’t foreign.  In the Old Testament, Daniel writes about an encounter with a Satanic entity.  This being fought Daniel for three weeks, seeking to control this earthly dominion.  Too powerful to fight alone, Daniel asked the Lord for reinforcements, sending an angel for protection.  Due to invisibility, not much is known about the spiritual realm.  Yet, as you study the Bible, begin to use prayer as a hedge of protection and seek the counsel of elder believers, this spiritual exercise will prepare you for future experiences with hell on earth.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Rise of the Sons of Ishmael

This summer has seen an increase in acts of terror across the country and throughout the world.  Before the shock of one tragedy sets in, another takes its place, taking the lives of innocent children, men and women.  Cable news experts on terrorism tend to blame the overflow of refuges from Syria taking Jihad into other foreign countries in the name of Isis.  However, the Bible suggests the root of this axis of evil is the rise of the sons of Ishmael.

The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery, Genesis 16:11.

Rarely, does one selfish act of lust result in long lasting consequences.  Yet, when Sarah refused to believe that she would be the grandmother of Israel, panic set in, allowing her husband to have a one night stand with a concubine.  Subsequently, Hagar becomes pregnant, conceives and gives birth to Ishmael, the father of all Arab nations.  This opened the door for the sons of Israel to be haunted and hunted by the descendants of Ishmael.  This was the day that terrorism was born.

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers,” Genesis 16:12.

The events of today are merely the fulfillment of this prophecy made by an angel of the Lord.  The Bible does not say or suggest that Sarah could have reversed this curse upon the Jews.  Rather, this passage is a painful reminder of how one careless act can impact an entire generation of citizens.  In view of this upsetting news, one of the best things you can do is pray for God’s mercy.  Although everyone will eventually die, prayers for safety can serve as a hedge of protection as the sons of Ishmael continue to rise.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Conscience, Guilt and Fear

Regardless of your beliefs, environment and upbringing, three invisible forces guide each soul.  As C.S. Lewis suggests in Mere Christianity, the conscience is a moral compass, providing a sense of right and wrong.  Guilt is a by product of the conscience, like a warning signal that cuts to the heart when you sway off course.  Finally, before there was a reality show, God uses fear to scare people straight off the road which leads to destruction, Matthew 7:13-14.

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out, Romans 7:18.

The Law of Human Nature works hand in hand with the conscience, guilt and fear.  Whether human beings like it or not, each have a curious idea within their mind that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.  Nonetheless, C.S. Lewis breaks the bad news in his chapter with the same title, individuals do not behave in this way despite their knowledge of the Law of Nature; breaking it like the apostle Paul’s confession in Romans 7.

Because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him, Mark 6:20.

An example of the conscience, guilt and fear can be found in Mark 6:14-28.  King Herod probably felt it was wrong for him to take his brother’s wife while he was still living.  John the Baptist’s teaching  exposed Herod’s sin, causing his wife to hold a grudge, looking to eliminate this voice of reason.  Meanwhile, despite his wrong actions, John’s words stirred Herod’s soul, instilling a sense of fear within.  Although Herod had John the Baptist murdered to keep an oath made in public, this decision likely haunted the king for the rest of his life.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did,         1 Corinthians 10:6.

Today,  a progressive society is hoping to nullify the conscience, guilt and fear.  Trying to relive the Age of Enlightenment, educators are encouraging children to do what’s right in their own eyes.  This philosophy didn’t work out so well for the Judges of the Old Testament so why listen to this lie now.  Rather, be open to the guiding light of your conscience.  Treat guilt like a step in the wrong direction and continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12.

by Jay Mankus

 

Living Life in Your Rear View Mirror

Although many people enjoy playing the role of Monday morning quarterback, some are haunted by prior mistakes.  Like a back up quarterback who is adored until they get in the game, an embarrassing moment while in the spotlight can stay with individuals for years.  Every time someone tries to move on, the stains of time appear in the rear view mirror.

As for me, I can think of several days I would like to forget or get a mulligan to do over.  One of things I regret the most in life  is not telling one of my best friends from high school the reason for my new found joy.  Before I had another open invitation to share my faith, she died of cancer.  This image returns in various forms such as her favorite songs, topics of previous conversations and visions of a precious smile.  Even when you try, its hard to let go of pain from your past.

A common theme professed by pastors in history refer to the devil reminding sinners of their past.  Once preoccupied by guilt, remorse and shame, new believers are unable to experience the new beginning promised by Jesus.  Thus, souls live in fear, with one eye on the future and the other in their rear view mirror.  May any of you stuck in the past experience a resurrected spirit, washed by the blood of the Lamb, Colossians 2:13-15.

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: