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A Spiritual Break Dance

Back in the 1970’s, a new movement was born in the inner cities across America.  While theories exist as to whom, where and how this form of expression began, one thing is known.  Rap music was the inspiration behind break dancing.  Although this style has faded in popularity, don’t be surprised if you see intricate footwork, spinning headstands, tumbling and elaborate improvised movements.

Over the weekend, I was listening to music for several hours, trying to find something to fall asleep to.  Before I collapsed into a peaceful state of bliss, the lyrics to one song struck me, Love Break Me by Ocean’s Above.  This song may not lead you to dance, but it will urge curious souls to contemplate a spiritual transformation.  When the love of Jesus enters a human heart, a spiritual break dance commences.

Ravi Zacharias grew up in India.  After unsuccessfully attempting suicide, a Christin hospital worker reached out to him and gave his mother a Bible to read to Ravi out loud before being released.  These words touched his heart, Romans 10:19, leading to a life of service to God.   Now a successful author, motivational speaker and ministry founder, Ravi is performing a spiritual break dance on his way to heaven.  Don’t sit on the sideline.  Rather, get up, go to the dance floor and a bust a new move today!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

The Soothing Sound of Music

Record players, eight tracks and cassette tapes were just the beginning to the revolution called music.  Today, MP3 players, iTunes and computers able to download thousands of song, enable the soothing sound of music to be just one click away.  Life without cell phones, electronic devices and voice activated technology is now unthinkable as silence has been replaced by your favorite play list.

Yoga and meditation rely on music as an alternative to healing and relaxation.  Serving as a substitute for God, retreat centers, seminars and private classes are exploding in popularity, ushering in a New Age.  The angel of song, Lucifer, uses all kinds of music to entice individuals like Eve in the garden, replacing an apple with a catchy beat, void of any true meaning.  Meanwhile, whispers penetrate your soul, “I don’t listen to the lyrics,” planting seeds for compromise to commence.

To battle this movement, churches are introducing Soaking in the Spirit, turning prayer rooms into a comfortable place to relax while listening to worship music.  Based upon the principles within Romans 12:1-2, minds are being transformed by words inspired by the Bible, Romans 10:17.  Considered a skilled musician, 1 Samuel 16:14-23, David understood the gladness, joy and peace one experiences while listening to music, Psalm 45:8.

For me, the choice of my music often dictates my mood and or behavior.  Whether you prefer hip hop, rap or classic rock and roll, pieces of the songs you listen to stay with you for hours, days or weeks.  If you’re skeptical, take the Music Challenge.

Spend one day listening to secular music, journal at the end of the day how this music influenced you.  Then, take a day listening to Christian/Gospel/Worship music, using Pandora if you don’t have a large selection.  Compare your language, thoughts and overall mindset.  If you don’t see a definite difference, consider a longer time span, like the challenge found in Daniel 1:8-16.

Feel free to share any findings you discover or interesting insights on the soothing sound of music.

by Jay Mankus

Lifting Up Friends

starbucks coffee photo: starbucks-coffee starbucks-coffee.jpg

On Friday, I met a good friend for coffee for nearly 2 hours.  Though I tend not to be a big talker, God compelled me to respond to his questions.  While I may not have eased his concerns, deep within my soul came an urge to lift up this friend up in prayer.  Therefore, I took a few moments before I began working, asking the Lord to bring a glimmer of hope to the uncertainty within his mind.  A few hours later, I received a text which  revealed an open door, a potential full time position and free college tuition for his 2 children.

Listening to Casting Crowns after an 11 hour shift brought this idea to light, lifting up friends in prayer,  The lyrics of their song, Prayer for a Friend is a simple remember of what asking God for something in Jesus’ name can do, John 14:13-14.  The skeptic will say, “its just a coincidence, mere chance that your friend received good news.”  Yet, this is the second time in a month that God moved in a matter of hours after meeting together.  Any way you attempt to explain this, lifting up friends in prayer is one of the few remaining solutions to turn your life or a friend’s around.

The last 2 years has been a struggle for me and my family on numerous levels.  When you and your spouse lose your dream jobs, most of your friends through a church split and are left with an ever increasing financial crunch, doubt, helplessness and frustration blew in like a spring storm.  After the bitterness, complaining and whining cease, lifting up my wife and kids in prayer is my only option.  Thus, while pain and regret still exist, its time to fall down on my knees, look up to heaven and cry out to God, lifting up to my best friend to the One who can alter our future.  In Christ alone, help is on the way, Philippians 4:13.  Call on Him today!

by Jay Mankus

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