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Divine Visitations

According to a 2020 survey, 77 percent of Americans believe in the concept of a guardian angel. Meanwhile, a number of celebrities have recently opened up about their own divine visitation. Jurassic Park star Chris Pratt told Esquire Magazine about a man from Hawaii who brought him a message from God while he was homeless. Denzel Washington saw an angel as child and met a woman a few days later who shared a prophecy about his future fame. Samantha Fey goes into further details about these accounts in an article entitled True Stories of Heavenly Encounters with Angels.

And behold, that very day two of [the disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, [which is] about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred. 15 And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. 16 But their eyes were held, so that they did not recognize Him, Luke 24:13-16.

When a first century doctor writes about another divine visitation, it’s worth examining his story. According to Luke, 2 of Jesus’ disciples had planned a trip to the village of Emmaus on Resurrection Sunday. This 7 mile walk gave those traveling ample time to talk. Apparently, the resurrected Jesus blended into the crowd, asking a series of questions. Based upon the words of Luke, Jesus is curious about what these men remembered. The other members of this group can’t believe these are being asked. Nonetheless, Jesus’ personality goes unrecognized for the entire day until they broke bread together. As soon of their eyes were opened, Jesus vanished, likely into the setting sun.

Then they drew near the village to which they were going, and He acted as if He would go further. 29 But they urged and insisted, saying to Him, Remain with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. So He went in to stay with them. 30 And it occurred that as He reclined at table with them, He took [a loaf of] bread and praised [God] and gave thanks and asked a blessing, and then broke it and was giving it to them 31 When their eyes were [instantly] opened and they [clearly] recognized Him, and He vanished (departed invisibly), Luke 24:28-31.

Whether you’re talking about biblical events or modern day encounters, why does this happen? Why is it necessary for God to send a messenger to human beings? Perhaps a busy schedule has distracted individuals from what they were meant to do? Maybe Christians have lost their way, lost their confidence or broken dreams have caused people like me to stop and pick up the pieces? These brief visits serve as a spark to reignite your joy for life. While some may provide promises that never come to fruition, divine visitations are necessary to help the lost get found, the broken healed and the wayward back on track. May this blog give you the boost that you need to carry on with the rest of your life in 2021.

by Jay Mankus

Misreading the Road Signs in Life

I guess you can say I’ve always been geographically challenged the first time I drive to a new place.  Once I find it, my photographic memory will bring me back time after time.  However, sometimes the anticipation of arriving causes me to jump the gun, misreading road signs, causing me to regularly get off on the wrong exit.

For we live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

The night before I met my wife for the very first time, I was on my way to a regional conference in Chicago.  Unfamiliar with the area, I wasn’t sure which exit to take.  Not afraid to ask for directions, I got off trying to find a convenience store or gas station to point me in the right direction.  Instead, I drove into what I thought was a development, actually one of the projects.  Before I could roll my window down, I found myself in the middle of a movie, about the get car jacked.  Whether it was the Holy Spirit or mere instincts, I gunned my engine, almost took out 2 people and fled as fast as I could back to the main highway.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105

Fortunately for me, I escaped a life altering experience, similar to the events of Robert Allenby’s brush with death last weekend in Hawaii.  Every know and then, we all happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Subsequently, death can result like an incident bystander struck by a drunk driver.  Thus, trying to make sense of life’s bizarre circumstances is nearly impossible.  Nonetheless, when roadblocks send you in an alternate or different direction, open life’s road map, the Bible, to help you get you back on course.

by Jay Mankus

 

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