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Tag Archives: hurting

The Key to Helping the Weak

If you are observant, you will likely cross paths with an exhausted, fragile or shaken soul.  Unfortunately, many symptoms of the weak are subtle.  This leads the driven, focused and self-centered to be oblivious, unfazed by the down trodden, hurting and wounded.  Unless you slow down, similar to the words of the Psalmist, you won’t notice or take the time to help the weak.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” Psalm 46:10.

A natural response to a bad day is to over-react, allowing a spirit of bitterness or worry to consume you.  Thus, when you are able to get over this disappointment, the sooner you can begin to turn your attention to the concerns of others.  In a letter to the church of Colosse, Paul encourages members to bear with each other; sharing the burdens of those hurting.   Though it may be difficult to forgive some individuals, its a start in the right direction to helping the weak.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others, Philippians 2:3-4.

Finally, the key to helping the weak is found in the art of giving.  Jesus claims it is better to give than receive.  While part of human nature will expect something in return, I’m learning the joy of giving without expectation.  It’s not easy, but the sooner people can get over the life’s not fair stage, your perspective can change.  May the Lord revitalize your hearts to become a student of giving.

by Jay Mankus

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I Can’t Get Over It

A recent episode of Deadliest Catch showed the reaction of fans to Russell Wilson’s interception in the final minute of last year’s Superbowl.  The crew of the Northwestern based out of Seattle could not believe the Seahawks opted to pass rather than rely on their patented running attack.  When you are only one yard from tasting victory, its hard for individuals to get over this heart breaking loss.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled, Hebrews 12:14-15.

It’s one thing to lose a game, yet in life there are several disappointments people encounter that can linger.  These scars are like bad dreams, nightmares that don’t go away.  When you add emotions into this equation, human nature can be unforgiving.  Thus, the next time you try to console someone who is hurting, don’t be surprised if you hear, “I can’t get over it!”

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice, Ephesians 4:31.

Storybook endings are usually something you see in the movie theater or at home as a rerun.  While this feel good conclusion may bring tears of joy, the rest of the world is stuck in the past, unable to move on.  Tempted by bitterness, frustration and a wounded soul, some feel better venting rather than cope with the issue at hand.  Before the voices of your past drag you to indulge in another pity party, may the love of Christ help you get over it by moving on with the rest of your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

Who Should I Believe?

Technology may enhance some aspects of life while destroying others.  Prior to personal computers, the media held the news in its own hands.  Today, blogs, cell phone cameras/videos and you tubes allow the public make the news or go back in time to see if what is being presented is accurate.  Thus, this cultural shift is making the nightly news and print journalism obsolete.  However, you still have to decide, “who should I believe?”

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me,” John 14:1.

A good friend recently visited the church in Charleston, South Carolina where nine Christians were shot to death during a Bible Study.  This up close and personal view gave a different perspective than media’s typical spin cycle.  The congregation was welcoming, full of love and yet still hurting, struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones.  This unique access confirms that I am more likely to believe a friend than a stranger on television.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” John 20:29.

Nonetheless, often you don’t have an option, relying on second and third hand information.  During the Dark Ages, Christians didn’t own a Bible of their own, forced to trust the interpretation of a local priest.  Today, doubting souls can open this book for themselves, investigating matters on their own.  While commentaries, religious leaders and scholars provide their own beliefs, eventually everyone will have to make up their own minds.  May the Holy Spirit guide you as you make this important decision about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

by Jay Mankus

Living in the Fastlane as Friendships Passby

Whether I like it or not, I fall into the same category as Maverick and Goose in Top Gun, ” I feel the need, the need for speed!”  Lately, I’ve been the car in the left hand lane that is going too fast, missing my exit.  As a result, my busyness has caused me to lose touch of several friendships, in a hurry to get to no where

Although Ke$ha once sang about your love is my drug, I believe living life in the fast lane possesses dangerous side effects.  Adrenaline breeds anxiety, impatience and a self-centered heart .  As discernment flies by like a blur, this lifestyle can leave you alone, distant and void of meaningful relationships.

Trying to survive on an empty tank, I pulled over to the curb this weekend.  Like a car needing to see a mechanic, my soul is longing for a spiritual diagnostic check up.  Slowing down is the first step to recovery.  Yet, change takes time, especially for anyone who has allowed their life to get out of control.  Just a David went to the Cave at Adullam for healing, 1 Samuel 22:1-5, retreating with friends can mend fences and revitalize lonely and hurting souls.

by Jay Mankus

Prayers of Change

For the  helpless, hurting and poor, change is something that can’t come soon enough.  These desperate souls are searching for the secret to getting God’s attention to alter their circumstances.  When waiting becomes excruciating, what should you say to obtain prayers of change?

In the days of the Old Testament, the heart and its spiritual condition directly influenced God’s response to mankind, Isaiah 1:15-18.  Meanwhile, the mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially when doubt blocks faith from taking root, Matthew 21:18-22.  If you don’t believe God can transform your situation, miracles will cease to exist.  Thus, what can I do to be heard?

History provides a benchmark, a series of success stories in life.  When you desire wisdom, pray to possess the knowledge of Solomon.  If discernment is what you need, ask for the insight of the sons of Issachar.  Is it faith that you lack, claim the double portion the Lord gave Elisha.  Do you struggle to love?  Lean on Jesus to fill this void.  Finally, if the favor of God seems distant, persist in prayer to experience the blessings of Joseph.  May the words of Matthew 7:7-12 inspire you to offer up prayers for change.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Altar of Tears

The Psalmist was one of the first to address God’s view on the broken hearted.  According to Psalm 34:18, God promises to draw near the hurting and save those devastated by life’s trials.  Jesus furthers God’s position within Matthew 11:28-30.  A woman in Mark 14:3-5, takes Jesus’ words literally, bowing down before him, anointing his head.  John’s version includes other details, as this same woman pours the remaining perfume on his feet, using her wash to thoroughly wash Jesus’ feet, John 12:3.  Like a child who cries before being punished by their parents, desperate moments often resemble an altar of tears.

However, the prophet Malachi gives a different perspective of this picture.  From God’s side of the altar, He does see the flood of tears, as people cry out for help, Malachi 2:13.  On the other hand, God also sees disobedience, impure motives and half-hearted offerings.  If the Lord is jealous, Exodus 20:5, anyone or anything which comes between you and God, creates a role reversal.  Our Heavenly Father is the one who longs to spend time with you, knocking on the door or your heart, waiting to have fellowship with you, Revelation 3:20.  Like a shepherd, searching for a lost sheep, God’s heart won’t be satisfied until you are found, Luke 15:6-7.

One of the greatest spectacles on earth occurs when a sinner repents, Luke 15:10.  As a person attempts to make it in life on their own, breaking points vary.  The independent  tend to last the longest, content longer than most.  The insecure often become co-dependent, on someone or something.  However, when you reach that moment in time, where the void in the heart brings you to an altar of tears, Jesus is waiting with out-stretched arms, Matthew 11:28-30.   Freedom is available for you right now, John 8:34-36, accessible by God’s grace, through a prayer and an alter of tears.

by Jay Mankus

My Two Cents

During my junior year of college, I once attended a local church in Newark, Delaware, in walking distance of the University of Delaware campus.  Up to this point, I had never experienced a pentecostal worship service.  Beside realizing I couldn’t keep a beat or stay on clap with the regular members, something unusual happened during the tithe.  I have heard of 2 different offerings occasionally, one for the church and another for missions or a needy family.  However, this church had the quickest counters I have ever seen, informing the pastor after the song, there wasn’t enough money collected.

Since I was a typically college student at the time, poor with a few singles and some change in my pocket, I passed on my first opportunity to give.  Moments later, the pastor began preaching on Malachi 3:6-10, so I obliged giving nearly half of what I had in my wallet.  Just when I thought the actual sermon would begin, this preacher began to shout, “yelling you have to give until it hurts,” like the widow in Mark 12:41-44, informing the ushers to make one more pass around the pews.  Although the message he was trying to communicate was clear, this pastor’s tone turned my roommates and I off, never stepping foot into that church again.

I believe tithing is like going to church, reading the Bible or praying.  If someone forces you to do any of these biblical principles, you may agree to do it, yet there is a void which exists within your heart.  When you take ownership of your faith, you want to go to church, read the Bible and pray.  Therefore, your heart is the key to giving, which led the widow to offer up her 2 copper coins worth a fraction of a modern penny in Mark 12.  For what it is worth, my two cents are give in secret, Matthew 6:3-4 and give back to others what God has bestowed upon you, Galatians 6:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

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