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Tag Archives: logic

Its Sad What Most People Accept as Normal

Depending upon the hand you are dealt in life, unforeseen events can ruin any hopes that you have to live a normal life.  One woman in the Bible suffered from a rare bleeding disorder for 12 years.  During this ordeal, this woman spent her life savings on a potential cure.  Whatever good intentions these doctors possessed, each diagnosis, medicine and treatment failed.  Prior to hearing about Jesus, any thoughts of resuming a normal life were gone.  With nothing to lose, this woman fought her way through the crowds, reaching for one of the tassels on Jesus’rabbinical robe.  The moment her hand touched Jesus, she was immediately healing.  Sensing this release of power, Jesus sought out this woman.  The purpose of this conversation was to clarify the true reason for this miracle.  When science tells you, “that’s impossible,” faith is the vessel God uses to defy logic.

A woman [in the crowd] had [suffered from] a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much [suffering] at the hands of many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but instead had become worse, Mark 5:25-26.

In the days that followed, Jesus encounters a man who spent most of his days at a healing pool.  An invalid for nearly 4 decades, the idea of walking seemed to be a long shot.  This body of water in Bethesda was known for healing various illnesses through the years.  According to local reports, angels of the Lord stirred these waters at appointed seasons, with the first person to enter being healed.  Unfortunately, the slow reflexes of this paralyzed man prevented him from being the first one in the water.  Looking depressed, Jesus wasn’t sure if this man wanted to be healed.  This dialogue was necessary as doubt prevents miracles from occurring.  Thus, after this exploratory phase is complete, Jesus had another obstacle to overcome, the legalism of the Jewish Sabbath.  Religious leaders added man made regulations which prevented any type of physical exertion that included healing.  Subsequently, Jesus uses common sense as a way to ask permission to restore this man.  Remaining silent, Jesus goes ahead anyway, choosing good over doing nothing.  Against all odds, this man got up and began walking for the first time in 38 years.

There was a certain man there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to get well?” – John 5:5-6

In the past 20 years, I have battled iritis, arthritis of the eye.  Until the last 2 years, I endured periods of pain and discomfort.  Yet, today my vision is fading in my right eye.  Its sad to say, but I’ve accepted poor vision as a normal way of life.  Deep down, I want to believe that a miracle is possible based upon the 2 passages above.  However, maintaining the resolve of the woman with a bleeding disorder is tough to do.  Perhaps, some of you have a similar issue, crippled by an emotional, physical or spiritual ailment.  Instead of accepting your condition as the new normal, faith can help you rise above the mountains in front of you.  Therefore, don’t go down without a fight, wrestling with God in prayer.  You may have to wait 12 or 38 years to receive answers, but if you battle like the persistent widow, Luke 18:1-8, there is a chance for a miracle to touch your life.

by Jay Mankus

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I Get It or Do I?

Each year television offers a plethora of programing that debates who is the best.  Categories include athletes, politicians and specific occupations.  One of the measuring sticks often applied is education.  Anyone who attends an ivy league school is automatically given high marks.  Well, unless of course your name is George W. Bush or Donald J. Trump.  This method of judging subtract points for possessing the wrong political affiliation or unpopular worldviews.  In other words, if you are conservative, you must not be that intelligent.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began, 1 Corinthians 2:6-7.

As I recount the words of the apostle Paul within 1 Corinthians 2, I understand the mindset behind this earthly logic.  There is an elitism that exists among the ruling party and upper class.  Thus, standards are developed by leaders of each age, encouraged, promoted and supported by journalists and members of the media.  Whenever anyone strays from these bench mark ideas, educators attempt shame people into adherence.  This plan is being executed daily at colleges and universities throughout the country.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 1 Corinthians 2:14-15.

If you don’t believe me, you might want to check up on the assignments your children are being asked to do for homework as well as the topical papers that play a big part in the overall grades for this class.  Whether it’s embracing progressive ideas, global warming or white privilege, anyone who rejects these teachings are automatically labeled as bigots, racists and sexists.  I’m not sure the exact issues the apostle Paul was fervently debating in the first century, but I get what the Bible says about being foolishness in the eyes of the world.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit does someone see life clearly.  Those who rely too much on human logic end up becoming blind to truth.  I think I get or do I?  What do you think?

by Jay Mankus

The Real Collusion

As congress continues to debate the future of healthcare in America, there is a Texas two step occurring behind the scenes.  The House of Representatives and Senate are revealing the first act in public through a display of anger, concern and tears.  Despite putting on a good show, dirty dancing starts behind closed doors as government leaders are allowing healthcare lobbyists to write legislation which will ensure these companies and executives will make millions of dollars annually.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others, Philippians 2:4.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a slice of logic to prove my point.  If Obama Care is so great, why would Democrats and Republicans exempt themselves from this program?  As Jerry Maguire once said, “show me the money.”  Well, if you follow the money, it’s interesting to find that most of these public servants end up millionaires before retiring.  How is this possible?  The dirty little secret is that anyone who is elected receives the best healthcare in the world.  Meanwhile, average citizens are forced to deal with rising premiums, less choices and limited healthcare.

Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved, 1 Corinthians 10:33.

While the main stream media spend countless programming hours chirping about Russia collusion with the Trump Administration, the real collusion is occurring between lobbyists and members of Congress.  Since this fact conflicts with political talking points, the cameras attention are pointed in a different direction.  Hoping that out of sight, out of mind will squash any attempts to reveal this truth, only time will tell the future of healthcare.  Yet, if Americans sit on their hands without raising a voice, life could soon become like Charlie Gard who was denied emergency medical care, left to die due to a government run healthcare.

by Jay Mankus

Are You Sure About That God?

From time to time, God will call his followers to step out in faith.  While this is expected to a certain extent, some requests go beyond logic.  Noah was asked to build an ark before rain existed.  A man plagued with stuttering, Moses, was urged to confront Pharaoh to let Israel go.  Meanwhile Joshua was encouraged to go into battle with a marching band of trumpets.  At some point I’m sure all three of these men likely pondered, “are you sure about that God?”

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, Genesis 2:5.

The book of Hebrews emphasizes that its impossible to please God without faith, Hebrews 11:6.  James, the earthly brother of Jesus states that faith is dead without accompanied by action, James 2:26.  Perhaps, the reason why individuals are forced to step out in faith is that many people spend most of their lives dwelling within personal comfort zones.  Thus, God has to nudge and prod people to live by faith, not by sight.

For we live by faith, not by sight, 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Prior to the fall of Jericho, Joshua led his army to march around the walls of the city for six consecutive days.  At some point during this week, there must have been murmurs by soldiers, “when am I going to get my weapon?”  Although its not mentioned in the Bible, human nature causes individuals to doubt.  While not vocalized, Joshua needed to unite the troops on the final day, with something like “stop talking and march.”  Though you and I will have many more “are you sure about that” moments, may you fight through the urge to doubt by trusting God, step by step in faith.

by Jay Mankus

You Can’t Reason with Liars

 

In ancient Greece, it was common for philosophers to go to the marketplace to introduce new ideas.  This is where the teachings of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates were first embraced and passed down from one generation to the next, impacting and influencing Western culture since its inception.  While reason can be perverted by using a false narrative to justify wrong actions, reason must contain a cognitive understanding where individuals form judgments based upon a process of logic.

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips, Proverbs 14:7.

According to King Solomon, renown for his wise rulings, there are certain people who possess a mind of their own.  Thus, whether you are arguing, debating or trying to introduce a more efficient way of doing things, trying to convince a fool is a waste of time.  You will have a better chance of molding and shaping a child than change the mind of a stubborn adult.  Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a discussion on morals going no where, remember this: you can’t reason with liars.

For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you, Acts 17:23.

The apostle Paul provides a blueprint for engaging a non-Christian culture.  Calling people liars won’t win over an audience or keep minds open to what you have to say.  Rather, the best place to start is searching for traces within society that point to an unknown God.  Paul uses an inscription on an idol and later quotes a Greek poet.  These 2 pieces of information break down previous stereotypes held without knowing Paul and provided an open door where he was later asked to return to share more about this invisible God.  Whether you’re talking to a fool, liar or stiff necked individual, bridge these gaps by speaking the truth in love.

by Jay Mankus

Ill Gotten Gain

For years I’ve heard preachers and pundits warn Christians against buying lottery tickets, gambling or participating in activities that offer big payouts.  I’ve gone back and forth pondering biblical principles and comparing them with logic.  One of the opposing views I have adopted is comparing the lottery to a contest, if you don’t enter you won’t have the chance to win.  However, after reading a verse from Solomon, I may have changed my mind.

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death, Proverbs 10:2.

The verse above appears to apply to contests, lotteries or payouts where little or no work is involved.  I would not include investing in this category as this involves researching trends and studying the market that takes years to fully grasp and understand.  If you examine the term ill-gotten, Solomon is referring to methods that involve cheating, dirty or shady.  Then again, this may exclude the lottery from this argument.  Nonetheless, I get the sense that God wants people to work for you make, not handed money you don’t deserve.

Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it, Proverbs 1:19.

Sometimes before you reach a conclusion you have to let new concepts settle.  Instead of making a knee jerk reaction, its probably better to take some time to reflect upon what you really believe.  One of Israel’s founding fathers, Joshua refers to a cow chewing its cud in Joshua 1:8, emphasizing the importance of meditating upon biblical teachings.  Therefore, I won’t make a definitive statement on what you should or should not do.  Rather, I want everyone who reads this to contemplate what it means to receive ill-gotten gain.

by Jay Mankus

The Best Place to Start

When you know someone experiencing or going through tough times, its hard to know where to stop.  In most cases, the best thing to do is ask questions and listen.  If you are the type of individual who tries to fix people, you can only do so much.  According to the apostle Paul, the best place to start is with forgiveness.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you, Colossians 3:13.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus developed a pattern prior to healing someone.  First, Jesus wanted to know if a person in need wanted to get better as some tend to embrace the victim card.  Second, after probing patients, taking an assessment of the situation, Jesus turned his attention toward forgiveness.  During a dispute with Pharisees, Jesus tried to prove a point using logic.

Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? – Matthew 9:5.

In the Lord’s prayer, a condition is placed upon forgiveness.  If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.  However, if you hold grudges and fail to forgive others, God’s won’t forgive you.  Nearly 2000 years later, this concept still applies.  Therefore, if healing, restoration or recovery is what you seek, the best place to start is with forgiveness.

by Jay Mankus

 

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