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Tag Archives: Making the most of every opportunity

From End to End

Whether you are completing a task, playing a game or finishing a project around the house, it’s natural to have an urge to take a break.  However, if you relax too long, the desire to finish quickly fades away.  Subsequently. anyone who tends to give up before the end will earn a reputation as a quitter or slacker.  This label is hard to erase unless you develop an attitude to live end to end.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him, Colossians 3:17.

As a former coach, it doesn’t take a trained eye to see who is into a sporting competition and those with minds somewhere else.  Watching hundreds of youth baseball games over the years, hustle distinguishes the average athletic from those who will excel.  Meanwhile, my one season as a high school basketball coach helped me recognize the importance of a two way player.  The selfish athlete tends to work hard on the offensive end, trying to score as many points as possible.  Team players concentrate on both ends of the court, putting as much energy into defense as offense.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

If you are paying attention, these characteristics are demonstrated daily.  Whether it’s a neighbor, student or co-worker, the determined exhibit a passion, resolve and zeal rarely seen.  These individuals are constantly keeping busy, driven and on the go to fulfill dreams and goals in life.  Unfortunately, I see more slackers than end to end people.  Perhaps, cell phones, electronic devices and new technology have caused many to rely on taking short cuts instead.  While this saves times, the concept of hard work is lost in translation.  May this blog serve as motivation to live each remaining day, end to end, seizing the moments that God gives you in life.

by Jay Mankus

The Lost Days

I’m not sure how or why it happens, but a couple of times each year I wake up and a week, month or season has suddenly vanished.  Perhaps, my tunnel vision is too blame, so caught up by my job, project and other pursuits that I failed to slow down to embrace life.  Subsequently, I am left to wonder what did I miss on these lost days.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes, James 4:14.

Unfortunately, you can’t get these moments in time back.  Although the catch phrase to the soap opera theme song Days of Our Lives may be simple, “like sand through an hour glass, these are the days of our lives,” its so true.  The apostle Paul concurs, comparing each day to a fine mist which disappears as soon as the sun comes out.  The only question remaining: what is the best approach to prevent future opportunities from slipping through your hands?

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

The answer lies in a powerful Latin saying, Carpe Diem, seize the day.  One of my favorite scenes from the movie Dead Poets Society occurs on the first day of class.  Trying to avoid the normal boring routine, Robin Williams who plays English teacher John Keating, takes his class for a walk down the hall.  Using school history as a teachable moment, Williams provides hope for those struggling with the lost days.  May you exercise your faith by savoring the time you have left with your children, friends and family.  Seize today!

by Jay Mankus

Live It Up

 

As I child, I didn’t have many worries in this world.  Sure, I had fears of heights and snakes, but I was naive about all the work my parents had to do to provide for the family.  While my mom and dad each worked full time jobs, I spent most of my time living life to the fullest.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

Now on the other side of the spectrum, I tend to let the stress in life steal my joy.  Instead of demonstrating a child like faith, I get caught up in the hustle and bustle in life.  Thus, the notion of living it up is far from my mind, a distant memory of my childhood.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise, Proverbs 20:1.

Some adults never grow up after college, continuing to party, enjoying each weekend off.  Beside being costly, this isn’t how God wants individuals to celebrate life.  Rather, the Lord longs for the day when people embrace fellowship, rely on prayer and follow the apostle’s teaching.  May this guideline in Acts 2:42 spur believers on to live it up.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Ready to Jump In?

Every so often I will come face to face with a crisis.  Usually, its a mom or dad not paying attention to their children, wondering off into trouble.  Sometimes I become the good Samaritan, reaching out just in time to prevent an accident or fall.  Unfortunately, this is rare, often consumed with my own life, oblivious to everything else around me.  Thus, I’m not ready to jump in.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross, Mark 15:21.

One Friday morning, a man was minding his own business, possible thinking about what he was going to do over the weekend.  Suddenly, commotion from the crowds standing along the street peeked his curiosity.  Going over to see what was going on, a soldier called out, demanding his help.  Though its unclear if he was a willing participant, Simon jumped into action, carrying a cross for a pitiful soul, full of blood, bruises and open flesh.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

The term Christian was first derived in the town of Antioch.  Faith wasn’t just a spoken word.  Rather, the followers of Jesus displayed the same love, peace and servanthood of their former leader.  Pleasantly surprised by these acts, citizens began to say, “hey, you must be one of those Christ followers?”  Overtime this phrase was condensed to simply Christian.  In view of this historical fact, may you be compelled to jump into action, following in the footsteps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

 

Making A Lasting Impression

The humble don’t waste their breath telling others what they’ve done or what they are about to do.  Rather, quietly, each go about their own business until their assignment, job or task is complete.  Making the most of every opportunity, individuals who possess a servant’s heart are on their way to making a lasting impression.

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head, Mark 14:3.

Over the course of your life, you may witness an act that doesn’t make much sense on the surface.  However, there are times people feel compelled to do something, regardless of how bizarre, crazy or strange it might seem.  Nonetheless, one day a woman followed the prompting in her heart to anoint Jesus with an expensive jar of perfume.

Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her,” Mark 14:9.

Based upon Jesus’ compliment of this woman, making a lasting impression involves stepping out in faith.  Sure, doing what’s right when no one is looking is a good start.  However, to keep in step with the Holy Spirit requires a keen awareness, grounded in the wisdom of the Bible.  May those of you who seek to leave behind a legacy of faith, follow in the footsteps of this selfless act.

by Jay Mankus

 

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