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Tag Archives: High Hopes

Στόχο: Finding a New Target in 2020

Στόχο is the Greek word for target. When translated into English, this term could apply to aim, destination, goal or landing place. As individuals celebrate New Year’s Eve, minds and thoughts will begin to turn their attention toward a new year. Once all of the celebrations have ended, determined souls will search for a new target in 2020.

And they said to me, The remnant there in the province who escaped exile are in great trouble and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its [fortified] gates are destroyed by fire. When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven, Nehemiah 1:3-4.

Unfortunately, sometimes your future may be blurred, clouded or uncertain due to unforeseen events. Accidents, failing health or trials can prove to be too much for one person to bear. Whenever you experience a devastating, horrific or troubling circumstance, follow in the footsteps of Nehemiah. After receiving news of Jerusalem vulnerability, this man fell to his knees, fasting and praying for a plan to rebuild this wall.

Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to listen to the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You day and night for the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins of the Israelites which we have sinned against You. Yes, I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, statutes, and ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses, Nehemiah 1:6-7.

Before focusing on a solution, Nehemiah acknowledges the sins of Israel which brought this fate upon Jerusalem. Before any new target can be discovered in 2020, everyone needs to get right with God. As prayers are lifted up, hearts unload their pain and minds begin to think clear again, conditions will improve for a new vision to be seen. May the beginning of this year inspire you to pave the way for a new target to be located.

by Jay Mankus

High Expectations

As a former perfectionist, make that reformed perfectionist, God has always given me a desire to reach my full potential.  However, if you set your standards too high, you take the risk of being disappointed.  While misery is a harsh reality if high expectations are not met, I’d rather take a chance aiming for greatness over being complacent with mediocrity.

Like the classic Frank Sinatra song High Hopes, I see just the opposite happening in our country, the U.S. of A.  The mindset of high expectations, to live the America Dream, is being replaced by I hope the bank doesn’t foreclose on my home.  The pie in the sky mentality, retire when I am 50 has turned into working until you die.  As the price of electricity, gas, food and health care skyrockets to new heights, staying optimistic is a losing battle.

While lamenting, God has brought Romans 8:37-39 to my attention.  Despite the circumstances which surround this nation, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.  Nothing on earth can separate us from the love of God, verse 39.  Therefore, shoot for the stars, if you miss the moonlight will draw you back to home, Psalm 119:105.

by Jay Mankus

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