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Y2 Decay

It’s hard to believe that its now been 15 years since the Y2K scare.  Due to the coding of DOS based programs, there were growing concerns that software would default from 1999 to 1900 resulting in the loss of sensitive information including bank accounts on January 1, 2000.  Thus, businesses, programmers and IT support spent over a year along with millions of dollars to update technology with modern solutions.  Although there were some minor glitches, the world survived.

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds. Proverbs 27:23

While advances in modern living have improved annually, the same can’t be said about the faith of Americans.  Except for a period of time following the aftermath of 9/11/01, church attendance has been on a downward spiral for the last 15 years.  According to a Fuller Institute Study, 2.7 million church members will become inactive sometime throughout this year.  Several of whom will leave their church home feeling hurt, neglected or wounded.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. – Ezekiel 22:30

The byproduct of this decay has resulted in a society vulnerable to half-truths and misleading documentaries, void of absolute truth.  Recent attempts by atheists in Hollywood to portray a biblical Noah and Moses failed miserably.  If this trend continues, a nation of faith established by our founding fathers will be forgotten.  May those called by God, like the prophet in Isaiah 6:8, step forward to lead the lost out of darkness into the light.  During times of despair, fight off spiritual decay by placing your feet on the solid rock of Christ, Psalm 40:1-3.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Feeling Normal Again

If you listen to voices in this world, you might be led to rejuvenate your soul.  McDonald’s proclaims “you deserve a break today!”  The classic band Chicago suggests, “everyone needs a little time away.”  The more I think about this train of thought, its a good place to start for feeling normal again.

College students often practice binge sleep habits.  After all night study sessions, they might crash for 12-18 hours at a time before arising for their next rendezvous.  Following each semester, individuals may disappear for a couple of days before feeling normal again.  Perhaps those people who are rough around the edges just aren’t getting rest to be the person God wants them to be.

During a stressful week of school or work, several things are put on hold.  These neglected areas continue to mount until time allows you to catch up.  In this struggle to stay above rising waters, I was struck by an obvious fact of life last weekend.  If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re no use to anyone, Philippians 2:4.  Whether you need recreation, sleep or time away, do what you need to refresh your heart, soul and mind so you will feel normal once again.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Romantic Interlude

Feelings of excitement and mystery go hand and hand with romance.  Deep inside the human heart, passion is ignited by a spark, triggering previously unknown emotions.  Curiosity, flirting and love set the scene for a romantic interlude.

After this experience fades, a void is left behind.  Within the DNA of mankind, there is a relational component often neglected by individuals.  Subsequently, human beings attempt to recreate interludes of the past, usually without success.  One of the side effects of romance are rash decisions, like that of Sarah in Genesis 16:1-5, putting any chance for romance on thin ice.

Just as men and women long for one another, God yearns for intimacy with his children.  While teaching his disciples, Jesus refers to pursuing the Lord with the same level of commitment as a romantic interlude, Matthew 16:24-26.  Sometimes in life you have to take a chance, risking humility to pursue the desires of your heart.  May the hope of John 3:16-17 inspire you to drawn near to God, James 4:8, like a romantic interlude.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Forgotten Commandments

History has a habit of uncovering relics from the past.  Caves hid the Dead Sea Scrolls until 1946 when 981 texts written in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrews were discovered over a 10 year period.  However, there are always things in plain sight which get overlooked, neglected by those too busy to slow down.

As I opened Leviticus 19 today, I stumbled upon an expanded version of the 10 commandments.  Although some of the passages are subtle reminders, God conveys to Moses the whys to keeping decrees and laws.  These biblical nuggets offer common sense, direction and a foundation for faith.  Nonetheless, unless you accept and practice these precepts, you will be vulnerable to straying off course.

There are several reasons why commandments are forgotten.  First, the Bible offends those comfortable with how they are living, reluctant to change.  Second, people don’t like to be told that they are wrong, especially if there are eternal consequences.  Third, since truth has become relative, everyone has their own take on right and wrong.  In the end, Leviticus 19 serves as a wake up call, to alert those sleep walking through life.  May the words of Scripture breathe life into sleepy, tired and weary souls.

by Jay Mankus

The King of Bling

The term bling is synonymous with the hip hop culture, who coined this slang phrase by the expensive jewelry wore by stars  in music videos.  Rappers loaded with bling often flash gold bracelets, necklaces and rings as a sign of their celebrity status.  Although entertainers  come and go, most would be surprised by the true King of Bling.

According to Exodus 39:8-21, it appears that God is the architect of bling.  Dressing to impress, the Lord designed an immaculate wardrobe for his priests, adorned with gold and precious gems, verses 10-14.  Priests were the first individuals to garnish braided chains of pure gold, verse 15, like the ropes of gold displayed on television today.  Unfortunately, this aspect of God’s character is neglected, forgotten by most except for those who take the time to read the Old Testament.

While the bling on earth is impressive, heaven holds a storehouse of riches.  Jesus conveys a message of hope to his disciples in John 14:2, suggesting their are many rooms in heaven waiting for his followers.  Although names are not specified, the apostle Paul promised crowns that will last forever, 1 Corinthians 9:25.  Therefore, if you can’t afford bling in this present life, don’t be dismayed.  Wait on the King of Bling, Jesus, to adorn you with eternal jewelry.

by Jay Mankus

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