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Tag Archives: heart

Living an Undaunted Life

Living an undaunted life is not being intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment. Saying you will do this and actually rising above the hand you are dealt in life are two different things. While God called one man to be his voice for the nation of Israel, Moses began to dwell upon his speech impediment. Frustrated by Moses’ response, God gives him a pep talk to fulfill God’s will for his life.

And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue. 11 And the Lord said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord? – Exodus 4:10-11

As someone who was born with a severe stuttering problem, thinking about what you want to say and actually saying it clearly is like asking for a miracle. Based upon the passage above, Moses struggled to imagine a life without stammering and stuttering. This mental block took time to overcome as Aaron was initially given to Moses as a security blanket. Subsequently, living an undaunted life had to wait.

Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say, Exodus 4:12.

Despite this transition, Moses gradually develops the courage to confront Egypt’s King face to face. While Pharaoh tried to duplicate the initial plagues with magicians, God hardened his heart over and over again. Hebrews 11:24-29 highlights Moses’ maturity from daunted to undaunted. If God can use a stutterer to lead Israel to the Promised Land, there is hope for you and me to transform from fearful to undaunted.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 143: Go Through Fire

Today’s featured song comes from a multi-talented individual who is a Christian artist, musician, songwriter, record producer, and speaker. Rob Frazier’s father W. Burwell founded the Warrington Fellowship Church in Bucks County Pennsylvania. Since I grew up about 30 minutes from this church, it’s no wonder that Rob Frazier’s albums were easily accessible at nearby Christian bookstores in Delaware.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, 1 Peter 1:6.

Frazier’s song Go Through Fire appears to be inspired by the passage above. Peter writes about the refining process brought on by the trials that all human beings are forced to endure. However, if you want to grow and mature spiritually, you must go through these unexpected fires that arise weekly and monthly. May this classic ballad touch your heart and inspire you to draw closer to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 132: All Is Well

It’s rare for any musical group to stay together for an extended period. At some point, individuals tend to want to do their own thing by pursuing a solo career. Yet, for Philips, Craig and Dean, they have stuck together for 30 years. This group is comprised of three pastors: Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig, and Dan Dean. Over the past 3 decades, Philips, Craig and Dean have sold more than 3 million records.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed [q]life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [r]life [in the kingdom of God]? – Matthew 16:26

Today’s song is a remix of the classic hymn “It is Well with my Soul.” The Philips, Craig and Dean version is simply entitled All is Well. On the surface, your life may be falling apart. Yet, when you reach a place in your relationship with God with complete trust and assurance, Jesus becomes the Lord of your life. While things may not be going well externally, internally all is well with your soul. May this song inspire you to get your life right with God so that healing and peace will flow within your heart.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 122: How Could I Ask for More?

When I was working full time in youth ministry, Cindy Morgan was one of my favorite female Christian artists. While working in Columbus, Indiana at a Methodist Church, Cindy was one of the featured artists at an outdoor concert at Mill Race Park. The album that touched my heart the most was Real Life. At this time, there wasn’t many artists who addressed real life issues like How Could I Ask for More?

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself,] Ephesians 2:8-9.

As a child, the alure with being rich and famous is common. Yet, when my parents moved to a wealthy area of Ohio and my girlfriend Leanne lived in an affluent suburb in Chicago, the emptiness of wealth was revealed to me. I didn’t see what I expected except for a desire to keep up with the Joneses. Looking back, the lyrics of How Could I Ask For Me reminds me that happiness comes the love of Jesus. So as my future job in South Carolina is still unknown, all I can do is thank God for the little things as I wait.

by Jay Mankus

Where Was God in Uvalde?

Following the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one of the first headlines I saw on social media pierced my heart. This one particular comment blamed God for not intervening. The exact quote was “Where was God in the Uvalde School Shooting?” Unfortunately, when freewill is exercised and someone has already made up their mind like Cain, the only thing remaining is the actual act of evil.

But for [a]Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it, Genesis 4:5-7.

Based upon the initial investigation into the life of the school shooter Salvador Ramos, he had a speech impediment, a stutter that caused other students to tease him. Beside recently dropping out of high school, Salvador’s family had a criminal record that led him to live with his grandparents. One psychologist suggested that the pictures of graduating seniors displayed throughout downtown UValde may have been one of the triggers that caused Salvador to snap.

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 Texas officials may never uncover the reason for Salvador’s evil actions, the Bible shines light upon what is going on inside of sinful minds. Cain was envious of his younger brother Abel who was blessed by God. This jealousy conceived hatred inside of Cain’s heart that Jesus compares to the root of murder in Matthew 5:21-22. Meanwhile, temptation does originate from God. Rather, temptation is an internal process that baits, entices and lures people like Salvador to sin. Just like God tried to talk Cain out of getting rid of his brother, God’s attempt to change Salvador’s mind was unsuccessful to stop freewill.

by Jay Mankus

Keeping Your Soul Well

To an ordinary person, the soul is an immaterial part of a human being. Yet, once an individual becomes spiritually enlightened, souls become the essence of who you are, and the person God wants you to be. At the beginning of a first century letter, John prays for the prosperity of bodies and the wellness of souls. Building upon the words of Proverbs 4:23, John is concerned with protecting the wellspring of life.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers, 3 John 1:2.

The prosperity movement in the church has left countless souls feeling disappointed and empty. The idea that if you give x amount of money to this cause, you will receive a bounty full of blessings is not accurate. This concept taken from Malachi 3:8-10 is based upon tithing. When Christians reach a point in their faith of complete trust in God to provide, there is a promise to open the storehouses of heaven. To avoid a long-drawn-out biblical debate, these blessings come in many shapes and forms.

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord]. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might, Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Jesus quotes Moses words in the passage above in Matthew 22:37-40. One way to keep your soul well is by making God your top priority in life, Matthew 6:33-34. As Christians mature and reach an understanding of God’s daily bread from Israel’s days of wandering in the wilderness, human effort is taken out of this equation. Somehow and someway as Christians seek God’s righteousness first, mysterious and unexplainable things begin to happen. Some may never reach this degree of faith, but if you do, you’ll be eager to protect and guard your heart so that your soul remains well.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 112: I Can’t Quit

Today’s featured song comes from a group that I discovered on You Tube. While listening to a mix of Christian dance songs from various artists, Capital Kings kicked off this collection. I debated between “the Paradigm” and “I Can’t Quit.” While both songs have an exceptional beat and sound, I Can’t Quit contains more inspirational lyrics that most people can relate to in a world filled with defeat.

For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint, Galatians 6:8-9.

In the passage above, the apostle Paul addresses this topic. Human nature has a way of weakening downtrodden souls to lose heart. When you heart isn’t into what you are doing, minds tune out which results in the act of quitting. Whatever circumstance or situation that you are currently facing, remember the Capital Kings song I Can’t Quit so that faith prevails as you learn to press on day after day.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 105: Born Again

Today’s featured song comes from a Christian rock band which formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. Third Day is one of those groups with a distinct sound due to lead singer Mac Powell. Mac’s voice is easy to pick out on radio, even if I didn’t know any of the songs from Third Day’s latest album. Nonetheless, Third Day always seem to craft and produce songs inspired by the Bible.

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5.

The concept behind the song Born Again was introduced in John 3. The author of this book adds assurance to being born again in 1 John 5:12-13. John writes about making your reservations for heaven. This isn’t a dream or a fantasy. Rather, becoming born again, Romans 10:9-11, guarantees Christians a room in heaven that Jesus went ahead to prepare for you, John 14:1-3. May this song touch your heart.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 97: I Give Myself Away

I stumbled upon today’s featured song while searching for inspiration worship songs for a fast back in January. Prior to this search, I had never heard of William McDowell. William’s voice and spirit poured out in I Give Away myself reminds me some of Babbie Mason’s songs. McDowell does a wonderful job of combining music with a prayer in I Give Myself Away.

So by whatever [appeal to you there is in our mutual dwelling in Christ, by whatever] strengthening and consoling and encouraging [our relationship] in Him [affords], by whatever persuasive [a]incentive there is in love, by whatever participation in the [Holy] Spirit [we share], and by whatever depth of affection and compassionate sympathy, Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention, Philippians 2:1-2.

The lyrics of I Give Myself Away blends scripture into this song. The apostle Paul writes in the passage above about developing the same attitude and mindset of Christ. Just as Jesus laid down his life for his friends, Romans 5:8, God calls Christians today to give our lives away by making Jesus the Lord of our life. May this song touch your heart and stir your soul as it has done for me and my friends.

by Jay Mankus

Let Us Not Love in Mere Theory

When I first read the passage below, an image of a famous scene from Good Will Hunting popped into my mind. The context of this scene is that Will played by Matt Damon picks apart Sean’s life played by Robin Williams. Will judges Sean solely based upon a picture that he painted. This brief synopsis of interpretation and theory is like a Christian who merely reads about love in the Bible. You can talk about love in theory, but without applying love, your knowledge is useless.

Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity), 1 John 3:18.

As a disciple of Jesus, John was fortunate to meet thousands of people every week. Apparently, some of these individuals talked about Jesus in theory, but their actions and behavior never changed. The expression “little children” is likely a kind way of telling his readers that they are immature and still have a long way to go. On the other hand, John could be simply using a common expression passed on by Jesus that he adopted following his ascension into heaven.

[Dear] little children, I am to be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: you are not able to come where I am going. 34 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves], John 13:33-35.

Today, these two passages serve as a reminder from the first century church. This new command is a continuation of Matthew 22:36-40. In other words, as Christians develop and grow in their love for God, pass on this same intensity of love to your neighbors daily. The sign of any thriving church is the depth of love in the hearts of believers. Don’t just talk about love in theory. Rather, put your faith into action by showing the love of Jesus to everyone on earth.

by Jay Mankus

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