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The Hope of a New Day

Ten years ago, I was on my way to a family re-union in California. This trip served as a pain killer to avoid the reality of being unemployed. While sitting in an airplane on a cross country flight, I listened to the song Up and Up by Reliant K. The lyrics of this song examines life as a way to become a better version of yourself. Part of the chorus uses the hope of a new day as a source for motivation.

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. 12 Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer, Romans 12:11-12.

One of the greatest promises in the Bible is made by a weeping prophet. Jeremiah had a tendency to be a bearer of bad news as Israel was going through a period of rebellion and stubbornness. Lamentations 3:21 serves as a transition, “But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation.” This hope of a new day is due to the Lord’s compassion, mercy and loving-kindness.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope, Romans 15:13.

The apostle Paul provides advice for anyone who is on the verge of losing hope. Those who never lag in zeal, burn with the Holy Spirit in your heart, and are aglow with God’s resurrecting power will find hope. Paul uses the imagery of a natural spring, bubbling out of the earth, overflowing so that the thirsty can fill their empty jugs with water. May the song Up and Up help you celebrate the hope of a new day.

by Jay Mankus

Overcoming the Doubts of Yesteryears

In my own life, hope and confidence tend to go hand in hand.  When things are going well, I trust God will provide and in most cases the Lord does.  However, as soon as my confidence is shaken, I experience arid periods, where doubts of yesteryears creep into my mind causing me to wonder, “will anything good ever happen to me again?”

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

At the beginning of 2014, my wife and I endured similar struggles, hoping to find a good paying full time job, yet feeling abandoned by God for half of last year.  In the darkest of debt and despair, the Lord heard our cries, offering positions for Leanne in May and me in June.  Although every month has its ups and down, these two blessings from above, James 1:18, has strengthen our faith and is slowly erasing doubts planted by the Devil.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1

As time flies by, I have come to believe that each person created by God has a lottery ticket deep inside their heart, soul and mind.  For some, a gift leads individuals to a career, doing what they were born to do, one day leading to financial wealth.  Others may have hidden talents uncovered, resulting in an amazing personality, cherished friendships and life long memories with those whom they love.  Meanwhile, most people allow circumstances, past failures and unforeseen events to interfere with success as the doubts of yesteryears block lifelong dreams from coming true.

 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; James 1:6-7.

Looking ahead in 2015, I believe writing is my lottery ticket.  Starting this venture 3 years ago, my passion has spawned 1 complete movie script and another nearing completion.  Although initial rejections of the film Express Yourself has left scars on my soul, only 38 pages separate me from cashing in my next lottery ticket, Behind the Devil’s Door.  While only God knows the ultimate outcome, I press on the take hold of that which Christ Jesus has called me to do, Philippians 3:12-14.  May faith in Jesus elevate you to leave the doubts of yesteryears for the promises of Ephesians 2:10.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

by Jay Mankus

 

When Dreams Fade Away

Children tend to grow up with wild imaginations, dreaming of becoming a doctor, professional athlete or a wealthy entrepreneur.  However, as time ticks away, ambition is often replaced by more realistic goals.  Sure, dreams still exist in your mind, but negativity, pessimism and tough luck cause dreams to fade away from your memory.

A few years ago, I was passionate about completing my first novel.  Before I typed a word, vivid ideas rushed into my head, inspiring my will to complete this May 15th, a deadline for a major contest in Hollywood.  Unfortunately, a long cold spring, filled with racing to see all 3 of my children play sports has drained my desire to do anything.   With May in the rear view mirror, a spark for finishing this book needs to be rekindled before my thoughts vanish.

Sometimes, the Bible seems too good to be true, as readers silently murmur, “yeah right?”  Nonetheless, a weeping prophet writes of a special day in Jeremiah 29:11.  When the day of doubt sets, there is hope of prosperity.  If you’ve lost the will to carry on, don’t quit yet.  Cling to the promise of Galatians 6:9-10 so that like Walt Disney once said, “one day your dreams will come true!”

by Jay Mankus

A Mere Phantom

When you look into a mirror, what do you see? Does pain from your past come into focus? Is the stress from life visible on your face? Or does a lack of faith leave you slumping over, doubtful that you’ll achieve anything significant in the future? From my vantage point, I feel like a mere phantom, unable to capture the person I want to be.

Apparently, King David struggled with a similar dilemma in Psalm 39:6.  As he reflected on his days on earth, what he saw was disappointing.  Essentially, David described his life as a phantom, roaming to and fro, like a ghostly spirit unable to find rest for their soul.  His son Solomon echoed David’s sentiment, recognizing that laboring and toiling on this planet is meaningless, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11.

If this is true, what can one do to reclaim joy?  Perhaps, you need to have a private meeting with Jesus, John 3:1-2, to see what’s holding you back.  From here, individuals need a daily dose of the Holy Spirit, like 5 Hour Energy Drinks to move beyond this material world, John 4:13-14.  Yet, to escape the phantom inside of you, stepping out in faith is necessary to begin utilizing the gifts created inside of you, Romans 12:3-8.  Don’t let a low self-esteem paralyze your progress. Rather, begin to see your reflection through the eyes of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Please feel free to share any words of encouragement to those who don’t like the person they see in the mirror.

by Jay Mankus

         

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