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Tag Archives: Holy Sacraments

Do You Want to Enjoy Life and See Good Days?

I tend to be outspoken about issues that affect or impact my life. While teaching high school Bible for a decade, I lost my cool a couple of times. On one occasion I wrote a letter to the administration which got me in hot water with other teachers. Following this escapade, my good friend Spencer provided words of wisdom: “loose lips sink ships.” According to one of Jesus’ disciples, this is crucial to enjoying life and seeing good days ahead.

For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit), 1 Peter 3:10.

My grandmother Joana always greeted me with the same corny phrase, “you’re such a good religious boy.” As a children raised in the Roman Catholic Church, I was taught to pursue the holy sacraments. From my first communion, years of CCD (Sunday School for Catholics), and completing the Confirmation process, I thought I was well on my way toward enjoying life and seeing good days. Boy was I wrong as if God was whispering, “not so fast.”

Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna), James 3:5-6.

While I knew all the right religious answers, my life was void of a personal relationship with God, Romans 10:9-10. Subsequently, I struggled through my first two years of high school with many unanswered questions. Thanks to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at Concord High and a local Methodist youth group, I started to run the race of faith, Hebrews 12:1-2. Although I’m nowhere near graduating from this spiritual adventure, I’m on the right path to clearing up my speech. As Christian’s mature, enjoying life and good days are slices of heaven on earth before the real party in the sky commences.

by Jay Mankus

Communion, Connection and Conviction

Depending upon your upbringing, communion may mean the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings.  To Catholics and Christians, communion is a Holy Sacrament, also known as the Eucharist.  In the context of the passage below, Jesus withdraws from a crowded house to spend time with God, likely listening, meditating and praying to his heavenly father.  This daily spiritual practice energized Jesus’ soul, providing vision and direction for his earthly ministry.

Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there, Mark 1:35.

Before the concept of home churches began, Jesus connected every day with his disciples.  This time together was spent teaching, answering questions and reclining at a table while eating.  Like a first century Bible Study, Jesus was the living word, John 1:1-5, living his life as an open book for the whole world to see.  The disciples maintained this gathering after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, Acts 2:42-47.  The more individuals connect with fellow believers, the sharper you become spiritually, Proverbs 27:17.

Simon [Peter] and his companions searched [everywhere, looking anxiously] for Him, 37 and they found Him and said, “Everybody is looking for You!” 38 He replied, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so I may preach there also; that is why I came [from the Father].” 39 So He went throughout Galilee, preaching [the gospel] in their synagogues and casting out demons, Mark 1:36-39.

When communion is immediately followed by connection with like minded Christians, the Holy Spirit fills individuals with a strong conviction to act upon their faith.  Communion and connection propelled Jesus to preach the good news of salvation from town to town.  If you have ever had the chance to attend a conference, retreat or revival, God fills people with confidence, desire and energy to serve Jesus like never before.  This fusion of excitement is like a raging river bursting out of its banks.  May this blog inspire you to commune with God, interact with brothers and sisters and share your faith with others without hesitation or regret.

by Jay Mankus

Elevation or Heresy?

In this age of Progressivism, bizarre news stories once thought to be a joke are now becoming reality.  Such is the case of a new church in Denver, Colorado known as the International Church of Cannabis.  According to a recent interview with the pastor by Jesse Watters, this church uses marijuana as a Holy Sacrament to reach a new level of faith.  Is this new practice a form of elevation or merely heresy?

Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things, Proverbs 23:33.

The context of the passage above refers to drinking too much vine.  The consequence of doing such a thing can result in hallucinations.  If you pass by liquor stores in your community, you might see the words Wine and Spirits.  The spirit part eludes to the passage above.  Since alcohol is a drug, cannabis produces a similar state.  The question is does God want his worshippers to experience this high in church?

It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble, Romans 14:21.

During a private conversation with his disciples within Matthew 18:1-6, Jesus warns his leaders about causing children to stumble by following in the footsteps of your own sin.  According to the son of God, it would be better to have this person tied to chains and thrown into the sea to die alone.  Thus, the apostle Paul makes sure no one in the first century forgets about this teaching.  Sure, the idea of cannabis as a Holy Sacrament sounds enticing, but using a drug in any form of worship service is simply heresy.

by Jay Mankus

 

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