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The Final Weigh In

During my sophomore year of college, my parents moved from Delaware to Cleveland, Ohio.  In my first summer, I met some friends working at a local country club, one whom I instantly clicked with.  When he wasn’t serving as my sand volleyball partner, Eddy wrestled for Cleveland State.  Always conscience of his weight, Eddy shared about the discipline and sacrifices necessary to make weight for his matches.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way, Daniel 1:8.

Today, my oldest son James deals with a similar issue on a weekly basis.  Before each Pole Vault competition, you have a weigh in before a judge.  Depending upon the scale, your pole is determined based upon your weight.  Thus, if you weigh just a pound over the legal limit, you are forced to use a heavy pole, not as flexible as the lighter ones.  A few weeks ago James had to lose five pounds in 24 hours just to compete.

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food, Daniel 1:15.

Following ten days of eating fruits and vegetables, there was a noticeable difference between Daniel and rest of those in the king’s service.  While there wasn’t a scale to step on, Daniel and his Jewish friends found favor with God.  Under different circumstances, I had one last weigh in upon completing my Daniel Fast.  To my surprise, I lost 16 pounds in 21 days.  Although part of me wants to continue to lose weight, that’s not my main priority.  One day everyone will have their final weigh in on judgement day.  When this day arrives, may the grace of God be merciful on this sinner.  Prepare now for your own final weigh in.

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

 

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