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Tag Archives: healing

Boiling Out of Control

Blood pressure is measured with two numbers, systolic and diastolic.  The systolic number represents the measure of pressure when the heart is contracting.  The diastolic refers to when the heart is expanding after the contraction. A normal blood pressure measurement is considered 120 over 80. During a routine physical last week, my initial blood pressure was 170 over 120.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working, James 5:16.

There are 5 major factors which cause blood pressure to escalate: high salt intake, lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking and consuming too much alcohol.  Since I don’t drink or smoke, the first three are the reason for my blood pressure boiling out of control.  For someone who once possessed only four percent body fat, this recent diagnosis is eye opening and humbling.  The hardest part of my road to recovery is having the self-discipline to get back to a somewhat healthy level.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul, 3 John 1:2.

The earthly brother of Jesus suggests that the first step to healing is confessing that you have a problem.  Well, I am Jay Mankus and I have let my body go by eating poorly and failing to exercise on a regular basis.  The disciple whom Jesus loved talks about the importance of health in the passage above.  If you dive deeper, your overall health impacts your soul.  Thus, if your blood pressure begins to boil out of control, it’s hard to stay optimistic.  In these troubling times, the only thing I can do is trust Jesus to guide my path toward a healthier diet and life.

by Jay Mankus

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Jesus’ Goal

 

When modern writers recount the first century life of Jesus, the human side of Jesus is often neglected.  According to the author of a New Testament book, Jesus is able to sympathize with and understands temptation and human weaknesses.  Hebrews 4:15-16 details how Jesus was tempted in every way just as individuals are today, yet did not sin.  Despite possessing emotional, mental and physical urges, Jesus never lost sight of his goal.

And He said to them, “Go and tell that fox [that sly, cowardly man], ‘Listen carefully: I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I reach My goal,’ Luke 13:32.

During a heated exchange with Pharisees, a few disgruntled religious leaders spilled the beans, Herod Antipas wanted to kill Jesus.  This plot was not hidden from Jesus, aware from the very beginning of the fate that he must endure.  In response to this warning, Jesus tells these Pharisees to give Herod a message.  The phrase third day could have duel meanings, I’ll be arriving in three days after confronting demons and healing those possessed.  Or the third day serves as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ resurrection following his death on a cross.

Nevertheless I must travel on today and tomorrow and the day after that—for it cannot be that a prophet would die outside of Jerusalem. 34 [O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I have wanted to gather your children together [around Me], just as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were not willing! – Luke 13:33-34

The closer Jesus got to Jerusalem, the more sentimental he became, broken inside by the masses who would soon cheer for his crucifixion.  Knowing the future is like a double edged sword, a powerful tool to have, but painful, unable to stop that which was destined to be.  Nonetheless, as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his arrest, Jesus foregoes any thoughts for self preservation by yielding to God’s will, Matthew 26:39.  Jesus’ ultimate goal is clear, “seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10 by dying and rising from the dead.  May the Holy Spirit speak to your heart so that you too may know your purpose for being born.

by Jay Mankus

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

Pushing and Shoving

Pushing and shoving are often associated with a heated argument, fight or skirmish.  When tempers flare, maintaining self-control is a difficult task.  In my half century on earth, I have only been involved in two fights.  While eating lunch in junior high, someone called my name, I stood up and then was blind sided by a punch, dropping to the floor immediately.  A few years later, I was defending a younger neighbor who was black from a high school student who wanted to beat him up.  Although I didn’t want to fight, I stepped in to protect my friend.

But as Jesus went, the people were crowding against Him [almost crushing Him], Luke 8:42b.

The Bible refers to a difficult kind of pushing and shoving.  The passage above would be equivalent to a modern day outdoor rock concert, with fans trying to get as close as possible to their favorite member of a band on stage.  Although its unclear, I’m assuming the disciples served as body guards, attempting to hold the masses back from crushing Jesus.  Nonetheless, these desperate souls did whatever was necessary to touch Jesus while he passed by.

And a woman who had [suffered from] a hemorrhage for twelve years [and had spent all her money on physicians], and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His outer robe, and immediately her bleeding stopped, Luke 8:43-44.

When people are hurting, ill or plagued by an unknown condition, there are different levels of urgency.  An initial diagnosis may be cause for concern, but some take no immediate action.  However, as symptoms intensify, hope turns into fear.  The woman in the passage above went from doctor to doctor, spending her life savings without any improvement.  This dire state prompted this woman to push and shove her way through a massive crowd of spectators until Jesus was in reach.  When you reach this point of desperation, cry out to Jesus so that healing and restoration becomes reality.

by Jay Mankus

Greatness Starts at the Bottom

Michael J. Fox starred in the 1987 film the Secret to My Success.  Fox plays Brantley Foster, a college graduate who gets laid off shortly after moving to New York City.  The premise of this movie is based upon the American Dream, starting from the very bottom and moving your way up through a company gradually to the top.  Like most college grads today, Fox found himself overqualified for most positions, but underqualified for the high paying positions.  While fictional in nature, Fox uses a worldly approach to get to the top.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” – Matthew 18:1

During a long walk between towns, the disciples lagged well behind Jesus.  At the back of a long caravan, the disciples began a heated debate on who was the greatest disciple.  While the author fail to address the content of this argument, below are a few likely positions that were taken.  Often brash, Peter begins by saying, “well Jesus did proclaim I am the petra, the rock upon which God will build his church on earth.”  John interrupts, “wait a minute, Jesus also said I am the one whom  he loves the most.”  James, brother of John, jumps into the fray “that’s nice boys, but Jesus called me first.”  When the disciples finally caught up, Jesus addresses this issue.

He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 18:2-3.

The passage above is one of two main passages about the being the greatest in heaven.  Mark 9:35-37 builds upon this concept, suggesting that whoever wants to be the greatest must be a servant to all.  One thing you can say about Jesus is he practiced what he preached.  Despite healing and performing miracles daily, Jesus encouraged these people keep quiet, remaining humble throughout his earthly life.  If you combine these passages, there are two traits to consider.  First, maintain the innocence of a child by emulating your heavenly father.  Second, put the needs and wants of others before yourself.  If you want to be great on earth, start today by serving those in your spheres of influence.

by Jay Mankus

Magnifying Confidence

If you have a tendency to be analytical like me, you might over think things instead of relying on common sense.  Yet, you can’t deny the difference confidence makes within an athlete, Christian and student.  Uncerainty can stiffle souls, causing individuals to be hesitant, without conviction to act.  However, confidence transforms lives, taking quiet soft spoken individuals to new heights.

When Jesus saw their [active] faith [springing from confidence in Him], He said, “Man, your sins are forgiven,” Luke 5:20.

One day Jesus was teaching in a home when crowds surrounded the building.  By this time in history, Jesus’ healing powers had become legendary as no condition was impossible to cure.  This knowledge empowered a few friends to climb on top of the roof, carrying their friend who was paralyzed.  Eager to get Jesus’ attention, these men cut open a few tiles and lowered their friend to Jesus’ feet.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand, Isaiah 41:10.

This act of faith impressed Jesus and one of four gospel authors.  Luke magnifies confidence by referring to belief, energy and passion linked to those who trust in God’s power to transform lives.  Luke uses the imagery of a spring, bubbling over out of the ground.  When Christians stop focusing on the cants in this life and begin to open their minds to the possibilities with God’s help, confidence is magnifed.

by Jay Mankus

Broken Things

Since my wife’s father passed away in October, I have helped clean out two homes.  Most of the furniture was antiques, family heirlooms passed down over a couple of generations.  The only draw back to real wood is the weight, a chore to move up and down stairs.  Perhaps, this may explain why millennials have embraced modern appliances and houseware which is easily disposable.  When some thing breaks, you through it away, unattached to these temporary possessions.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken, Psalm 34:17-20.

Gorilla Glue was first sold to consumers in 1999.  Recent commercials portray this product as a life saver, able to fix, repair and stabilize broken things.  Previous items discarded by society are now given new life through this polyurethane adhesive.  Depending upon the condition of your household goods, you might wait months or year before a new replacement needs to be purchased.  Unfortunately, certain things like broken glass can’t be salvaged, sent to a local dump for its final resting place.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds, Psalm 147:3.

As I witness the current political climate in America, vicious words are spewed daily without any regard to the pain these insults might inflict.  Instead of reporting the news, cable news desks have turned into gossip sessions at a high school lunch table.  If human beings were made out of glass, the verbal rocks thrown would leave cracks, dents and scars from the impact.  Verbal sticks and stones do hurt, affecting hearts, minds and souls.  Those who endure an unhealthy amount of criticism will eventually suffer a crushed spirit, leading to soul spirit hurts.  Therefore, the next time you have an urge to verbally pile on someone being teased, drop the stone that you are carrying so your actions won’t leave a trail of broken glass.

by Jay Mankus

 

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