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Tag Archives: Letting Go

Voices from the Grave

After spending a long weekend enjoying the warmth of Florida, the remaining days of my family vacation served a different purpose.  My wife’s father bought a condo back in the 1990’s when her brother JD was pursuing a career as a professional golfer.  Following my marriage proposal to Leanne, I spent a winter living in Florida with JD to fulfill my own dream.  With the passing of Jim Wagner last fall, it was time to clean out everything that has accumulated over the past 25 years.  Before putting this property on the market, sorting through what was left behind was necessary and to my surprise like hearing voices from the grave.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, James 2:26.

When death separates the living from the deceased, one of the few things you have remaining are the memories of your time together on earth.  Two of my visits to Oldsmar, Florida were business trips, serving as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media.  One of the perks of this job was playing golf for free along with a photographer.  Thus, Jim and Leanne took turns helping me, saving several hundreds of dollars in greens fees in the process.  While going through a closest I found several hats, a golf shirt and score cards from these memorable rounds of golf.  Upon seeing these items, it was like hearing Jim’s voice again saying, “thanks for a great round!”

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead,” Matthew 8:22.

The hardest part about coping with death is letting go.  Some mourning individuals create a memorial in their homes with letters, pictures or clothing worn by this loved one.  Meanwhile, deadly accidents have crosses or wreaths to remind you of the fallen.  Yet, at some point you have to move on.  During a discussion with potential candidates, Jesus urged eager disciples to let the dead bury their own dead.  Jesus isn’t trying to be cruel or harsh.  Essentially, Jesus is commanding his followers to focus on the living, those near you who need your help.  Therefore, if you want to leave your own legacy take Jesus’ advice so that your actions may serve as voices from the grave after you are gone.

by Jay Mankus

 

To Please or Not to Please: That is the Question

As I was driving home from work the other day, one thought popped into my head, “who am I trying to please?”  My laid back nature usually leads me toward keeping the peace, not wanting to rock the boat.  However, when aspects of my faith are attacked, why do I keep quiet, holding back how I really feel?

Perhaps, my lack of an answer is a symptom of a lukewarm spirit, Revelation 3:16.  A reflection of someone who has lost their passion, taking the Bible and church for granted.  Despite my current pathetic state, I still need to respond to one of life’s question: to please or not to please?

The apostle Paul had a similar issue with Jewish Christians in Galatia.  Regardless of how hard each tried, letting go of what each was taught growing up was difficult.  Thus, Paul brought this concern up in Galatians 1:10.  While pleasing mankind is easy; who are you living for?  If Jesus is your Lord, Romans 10:9-10, why aren’t your actions reflecting this decision?

Maybe its just me, but I can’t continue to remain silent as the world around me is failing to pieces, bound for hell.  If you agree with this statement, join me in the spirit of Matthew 18:19-20.  With the power of numbers on our side, may the power of the Holy Spirit lift you and I up to please the Lord, Romans 12:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

Take the Plunge

Commercials have always been entertaining, even in the 80’s.  The one I remember the most growing up was trying to sell Nestle Ice Tea.  Their slogan was take the plunge, into a swimming pool of ice tea, to cool off from the summer heat.

From a spiritual perspective, the heat is on every day, but this attack is unseen by the human eye.  According to Ephesians 6:16, the evil one, Satan, is regularly shooting flaming arrows.  To protect yourself from these flames, you need the shield of faith.  Therefore, take the plunge with a leap of faith that the Lord will keep you safe and secure.

The older I get, the less I like to take chances.  Instead, I have been going through the motions of life, missing out on adventures God has in store for me.  Like the Big Tent Revival song, Letting Go, I recognize that I need to follow the lyrics, to let go of control and place my wholehearted trust in the Lord.  Like the commercial I saw over and over again as a child, its time to take the plunge!

by Jay Mankus

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