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PERMA

The technical term PERMA is an acronym for a model of well-being put forth by Martin Seligman. Seligman is considered a pioneer in in the field of positive psychology. PERMA consists of five important building blocks of well-being and happiness. The P stands for positive emotions, E for engagement, R for relationships, M for mission and A for accomplishments. This model was designed to help those individuals who have experienced post traumatic stress disorder and want to overcome this through a major comeback mentally.

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore, Psalm 16:11.

The Bible compliments the PERMA model through a series of promises. Whenever you are on the road to recovery, doubt is one of the greatest obstacles, filling your mind with unbelief. Following a grueling injury while running a cross country race in high school, my doctors weren’t optimistic of me making a full recovery. After seeing the x-rays of my torn tendons, I was told that I would never run again, a permanent screw would have to be placed into my ankle, and I’d probably walk with a limp the rest of my life.

If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. 11 I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing, John 15:10-11.

At this time as a 16 year old, I wasn’t aware of the power of prayer. The day before my operation I was mobbed by Christian friends who laid hands on me, praying for a successful surgery. Twenty four hours later, the chief surgeon at Thomas Jefferson Hospital was amazed, explaining this procedure to me after I woke up. Like a skeptic who became open to the power of God, my ankle magically popped into place after twisting it back into where it belonged. Although I never heard of PERMA until listening to a recent sermon, I understood the importance of removing doubt from your mind before you pray, Matthew 21:19-22. May prayer be your PERMA.

by Jay Mankus

Follow the Science… Unless It Contradicts the Media’s Narrative

Comments from an event hosted by the organization of America’s Frontline Doctors recently went viral throughout the internet. After more than five million views, Dr. Simone Gold’s praise of Hydroxychloroquine was deleted by all major social media platforms. Despite being a board-certified physician and attorney, Dr. Simone Gold was silenced. Why, you may ask? These doctors came together to address what this group calls a “massive disinformation campaign” about the coronavirus.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security, Jeremiah 33:6.

When asked to explain their actions, a spokesman for Facebook said, “we’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” When pressed by a Breitbart News reporter, Facebook did not specify what portion of the video contained false information. Nor did Facebook reveal what doctor it consulted to make this ruling and on what basis it was made. If you want me to fill in between the lines, follow the science unless it contradicts the narrative of the mainstream media.

The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health, Psalm 41:3.

Based upon a recent report, there are currently 139 preclinical vaccine projects in search of finding a cure for COVID-19. Of these vaccine projects, 6 have reached phase 3, the final stage prior to being approved. In other words, president Trump’s Operation Warp Speed is off to a good start to find a cure for the Coronavirus. Meanwhile, Dr. Simon Gold who is a practicing physician who has had great success treating patients with Hydroxychloroquine had her website dropped by SquareSpace and all of her videos have been deleted. Thus, it appears politicians want citizens to follow the science unless it contradicts the media’s narrative.

by Jay Mankus

Bouncing Back from Your Own Bathsheba Like Moment

Instead of using the term reputation, the Bible uses the expression “good name” to refer to an outstanding citizen. King Solomon sets this as a goal to aim for, Proverbs 22:1, better than a precious ointment, Ecclesiastes 7:1. Unfortunately, it only takes one emotional outburst, moment of weakness or subtle compromise to flush your reputation down the toilet. Every week there is breaking news of a shocking fall from grace, the byproduct of a secret sin or sins. When the sun rises on the next day, it’s time to bounce back from your own Bathsheba like moment.

One evening David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, when from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very lovely to behold. David sent and inquired about the woman. One said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers and took her. And she came in to him, and he lay with her—for she was purified from her uncleanness. Then she returned to her house, 2 Samuel 11:2-4.

If you think that “this will never happen to me,” don’t be so sure. Check out what happened to a man after God’s own heart. One night David was unable to sleep, so he takes a stroll on top of his castle. While checking out the scenery, a beautiful woman is taking a bath outside in a hot tub. Eager to find out about her availability, David sends a servant who brings back the bad news, “she’s married.” On any other occasion, David would have accepted this and moved on. However, something changed as David was lured away by sexual fantasies as enticement and lust consumed him.

Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death, James 1:13-15.

While you may not have committed adultery, the internet has opened up entirely new avenues to ruin your reputation. A politically incorrect blog post, an inappropriate picture or expressing opinions that oppose secular worldviews can get you into hot water or worse. While I don’t want people to refrain from sharing what you believe, you have to do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:14-15. The earthly brother of Jesus explains at the end of his letter how to bounce back from your own Bathsheba moment, James 5:16. When you confess your sins to one another and pray for each other, restoring your name and reputation can occur.

by Jay Mankus

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In 1982, the Clash released their album Combat Rock. While the song Should I Stay or Should I Go never cracked the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 Charts at this time, a commercial a decade later struck a cord with music lovers. Following a Levi Jeans ad campaign featuring this song, Should I Stay or Should I Go was re-released in 1991. Subsequently, this song reached number one on the United Kingdom’s Singles Chart. This success led Rolling Stones Magazine to rate this Clash hit as one of the top 500 Greatest Songs of all time in 2004.

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were going from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel. But Elisha replied, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. The prophets’ sons who were at Bethel came to Elisha and said, Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today? He said, Yes, I know it; hold your peace, 2 Kings 2:1-3.

In the Old Testament, one man was chosen to be the successor of Elijah. Prior to the mantle from being passed on, God tests Elisha to see if he is up to the challenge. Beginning in 2 Kings 2, Elijah visits four cities, asking Elisha to stay behind. Eager to spend ever last minute with Elijah, Elisha refuses to take no for an answer. Each time Elisha replies, “As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” One of the reasons for this resolve is that Elisha’s request for a double portion of Elijah was dependent of witnessing Elijah being taken up to heaven. Thus, Elisha is determined to go wherever God leads Elijah.

Elijah said to him, Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan. But he said, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood [to watch] afar off; and the two of them stood by the Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up and struck the waters, and they divided this way and that, so that the two of them went over on dry ground. And when they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me, 2 Kings 2:6-9.

Upon being freed from a legion of demons, a man begs Jesus to become one of his disciples, Mark 5:17-20. However, Jesus convinced this man to go home to his family and share how God has healed him. To those with broken, dysfunctional or unloving families, this call is difficult. The question you have to ask yourself, “should I stay where I am in a comfortable spot in life or leave my comfort zone to share my faith with others?” Although you still may be stuck at home due to the Coronavirus, when America reopens for good, God is looking for the next Elisha, eager to receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit by going where God leaves.

by Jay Mankus

A Special Endowment from God

Leadership is the action of leading a group of people through hardship, ordeals and trials. Genuine leaders cast a vision, take the initiative as a trail blazers to show the way and direct and guide followers through difficult times. Researchers have uncovered 12 different leadership styles that exist. A leadership style is merely the way a person uses power to lead other people. If you are still stuck at home as a non-essential worker, you’ve probably seen rogue governors of several states using the national guard and police officers to enforce their specific declarations. Several of these ordinances are unconstitutional, but these leaders are using fear of the Coronavirus to control American citizens.

Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity, 1 Timothy 4:12.

The older I become, the more I hear and see people blame God for disasters, failures or setbacks that they face in life.  Meanwhile, these same individuals, especially politicians, grandstand by taking credit for any accomplishment, success or victory in their city, state or county.  Instead of spreading around the praise to all the parties involved, press conferences are used to deflect blame while hoarding the credit.  Natural leaders don’t have to pretend to be successful as their labor is on display, a visible sign of spiritual fruit.  Unfortunately, God has become the scapegoat when things go wrong, a proverbial punching bag at the center of many complaints.

Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody, 1 Timothy 4:14-15.

The passage above is a blue print for spiritual leadership. According to the apostle Paul, everyone is given a special endowment from God. This spiritual gift often lays dormant until the Holy Spirit enters your life through a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-10. In the first century, the laying on of hands was a common practice for healing and prayer. The apostle Paul urges Timothy to fan into flame the spiritual gift revealed to him in 2 Timothy 1:6. In other words, you can’t be the leader God wants you to become until your spiritual gift is discovered and implemented. While you can’t control what others do or say, may this blog inspire you to show others the way as action speak louder than words.

by Jay Mankus

The Message Behind the Song Miracles

Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture wrote a song over a decade ago that changed his life. A member of the worship team of Bethel Church in Sacramento, California, the inspiration behind the song “God of Miracles” was born out of the loss of his son. At 37 weeks, Chris’ wife lost their son before he was born. While praying for a miracle, things didn’t turn out quite as he expected. This tragedy forced Chris to ponder, “Can I still proclaim the truth that God is our healer, who raises the dead?”

And His name, through and by faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize well and strong. [Yes] the faith which is through and by Him [Jesus] has given the man this perfect soundness [of body] before all of you, Acts 3:16.

In the beginning of 2020, I came across a you tube where the pastor of Bethel Church mentions Chris and his wife’s testimony. As a father with three children, my heart grieved for this couple, forming a special bond each time I now hear this song. Last week, I found the lyrics of Miracles to be an effective and powerful prayer. Early Tuesday morning, I started to panic, sensing that something was wrong internally. I wasn’t sure if it was my back, spleen or ribs, but I was struggling to cope with a shooting pain.

While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage, Acts 4:30-31.

Following my first tele doctor appointment, my symptoms were associated and related to a pulled or strained back muscle. After a couple of days of medication and treatment, mainly using a heating pad, I was healed by a God of miracles. I can’t comprehend nor do I understand why some prayers are answered while others go without a clear response. Nonetheless, I went from a man not knowing if my wife should drive me to the hospital to nearly pain free one week later. My only explanation for this healing is a God of Miracles.

by Jay Mankus

Inviting the Holy Ghost into Your Home

As COVID-19 quarantines remain in place within several states, houses of worship are being forced to become creative. To ensure that their members return once churches are allowed to reopen, preachers, priests and teachers are gearing their messages toward this crisis. While listening to Jentezen Franklin’s sermon on TBN, he told a story from his childhood. Whenever visiting his grandfather’s house, the largest room was turned into a make shift worship service, inviting the Holy Ghost into this place.

And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled together to break bread [the Lord’s Supper], Paul discoursed with them, intending to leave the next morning; and he kept on with his message until midnight. Now there were numerous lights in the upper room where we were assembled, And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window. He was borne down with deep sleep as Paul kept on talking still longer, and [finally] completely overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead, Acts 20:7-9.

During the first century, Christians met in homes or outside in open areas. Instead of gathering in a centralized large building, churches met inside the homes of leaders or the wealthy who volunteered to host. Luke writes about one such service which took place in Troas. Apparently, the apostle Paul became long winded speaking until midnight. Meeting in a third story attic, a teenage boy began to fall asleep, moving toward an open window, trying to stay awake. Eutychus’ fall opened the door for a powerful healing.

But Paul went down and bent over him and embraced him, saying, Make no ado; his life is within him. 11 When Paul had gone back upstairs and had broken bread and eaten [with them], and after he had talked confidentially and communed with them for a considerable time—until daybreak [in fact]—he departed, Acts 20:10-11.

As modern believers open their homes to accountability groups, Bible Studies or prayer meetings, relationships begin to form. Instead of dreading attending a long service, these newly formed friendships turn a weekly event into an experience. However, until churches open their doors once again, the best thing you can do now is invite the Holy Ghost into your home. Acts 19:2 asks the question, “have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” Thus, before you can invite this Spirit, you must first receive it as your own, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

How Taking a Walk Can Change Your Life

Since most gyms remain closed as the Coronavirus pandemic continues, one of the most practical methods of exercise is taking a walk. If you have a pet, you already have a certain distance mapped out as you wait for your dog to do it’s business. Unless your current position is deemed essential, time shouldn’t be an excuse. In the first century, walking was a common mode of transportation. The Bible details a seven and a half mile walk to the town of Emmaus. Along the way, several individuals discussed current events as a resurrected Jesus catches up, asking questions and acting naive.

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, Acts 24:15-16.

The first walked that changed my life was a memorable discussion in college on the way to my youth group’s summer mission’s trip. A short walk turned into a couple of miles as a spirit of confession fell upon each of us. One girl opened up about being raped, another confessed about being sexually active with his girl friend and another revealed an addiction to pornography. This initial walk created a special bond, soul mates who began to pray for one another for freedom and healing. Shortly afterward, my friend Dave and I, who became the best man in my wedding, walked over ten miles one night, unveiling painful secrets from our past.

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), Acts 24:28-31.

The final walk that changed my life occurred in Neenah, Wisconsin. At this time, Leanne was a youth director in Wisconsin and I served at a Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. When you live eight hours away from your significant other, I treasured each moment together. On this particular day, I felt like I needed to become an open book. Thus, this walk took about an hour, walking throughout Neenah as I poured out my heart to Leanne. This one conversation set the stage for engagement and marriage. While not every walk that you have is pleasant, when you practice the James 5:16 principle, lives can be changed and souls bonded together for life.

by Jay Mankus

Forced Isolation

Social Distancing practices date back to the fifth century Before Christ. According to the book of Leviticus, this initial movement was forced upon the Jewish culture due to leprosy. Leviticus 13:45-46 lays out a guideline for follow if anyone is stricken. To avoid spreading this disease, anyone inflicted with leprosy was sent outside the city gates. Until individuals were cured or healed, these unfortunate souls lived as social outcasts. No one dared to get close, until Jesus arrived on the scene in the first century.

He who willfully separates and estranges himself [from God and man] seeks his own desire and pretext to break out against all wise and sound judgment, Proverbs 18:1.

Nearly two thousand years later, a more dangerous disease has forced a modern form of social distancing. While the symptoms vary from person to person, if COVID-19 spreads to your lungs, it has proven to be deadly. What started out as a movement to be socially responsible by staying home if not feeling well has been altered week to week. Initially, you just needed to stay a minimum of six feet from co-workers, neighbors and others while out in public. Now, masks are strongly encouraged if not mandatory in some states now. Who knows what else will be added if new info is discovered.

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, 25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching, Hebrews 11:24-25.

Unfortunately, forced isolation is not how God designed human beings to live. Genesis 2:18 reveals God’s true intentions, to find a soul mate for life. Yet, the Coronavirus has separated friends, neighbors and states temporarily, doing whatever doctors and experts tell citizens to do. While families are forced to spent countless hours together, friendships and person to person encounters have been put on hold until this virus dies out. While this forced isolation continues until at least the end of April, may you find comfort in the Bible, prayer and songs of worship.

by Jay Mankus

The Day Sports Stopped

March 12th, 2020 will go down as the day sports stopped in America. As soon as a member of the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for the Coronavirus, the National Basketball Association was the first domino to fall. By the end of this second week in March, Major League Baseball, Nascar, the National Hockey League and the Professional Golf Association all suspended their regular seasons. Meanwhile, in college, March Madness, the NCAA men’s and woman’s basketball tournament were cancelled as well as the entire Spring sports season.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit, Psalm 34:17-18.

Following the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, sports was used as a means to get the United States back to a somewhat normal life again. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has not let up, shutting down businesses, schools and all professional sports until May at the earliest. If this wasn’t bad enough, major cities across the country have seen a recent spike in cases. Now spreading well beyond New York City, only God knows when this pandemic will end. Thus, for now, not even sports can help unite and uplift this country.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken, Psalm 34:19-20.

The context of the Psalm above refers to David who pretended to be insane before Abimelech. If you have been stuck in quarantine for the last few weeks, you might be ready to have a similar reaction. The thought of an invisible disease attacking healthy Americans is scary. Thus, when the circumstances surrounding you are beyond your control, hopelessness can set in. Yet, God uses hardship, trials and tragedy like the Coronavirus to get your attention, crying out to the Lord in prayer. Since sports won’t be around anytime soon to cheer you up, look to God for deliverance. May the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit be uplifted by the hope of God’s healing power.

by Jay Mankus

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