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You Only Get One Shot… At Making History Today

For most of my life, I have watched from the sidelines as others have made history.  While highly motivated individuals were busy making an impact in their sphere of influence, I was too busy, tired or afraid to risk it all.  Thus, instead of being part of history, I viewed it from the comfort of my own home.  As I drove home this evening from work, today’s title rose to the surface: You only get one shot at making history today.

In my final preparations to preach for the second time in a month at Overflow Church in Newark, tomorrow is a chance to shine, my shot at making history.  Perhaps the Holy Spirit will lead me to say something powerful.  Or maybe my imagination and teaching style might bring people back to the days of Jesus, striking a cord with a heart or soul.  Either way, I want to make the most of this rare opportunity to cast a vision for 2014 as I reflect upon the song “Everything I Missed Before,” by Britt Nicole.

In my youth, sports was the only area that I could live my mark.  During adolescence, I tried to help others as a youth director, giving counsel to avoid teens from making the same mistakes I did when I was their age.  As an adult, I’ve spent the last decade as a Bible Teacher, mixing truths from the Bible was doses of reality.  Currently, God is calling me to reach others through writing this blog, edit a movie I wrote and complete a 3 part book series on compromise and temptation.  May something in today’s lesson spark a hunger inside your heart to remember you only get one shot at making a positive mark on history today.

by Jay Mankus


Sizing Up My Faith

On Valentine’s Day, 2013, I published a blog entitled Supersize Your Faith.  Inspired by the Holy Spirit, God led me to challenge friends and readers to super size their faith during the month of March.  I encouraged fellow believers to expand their reading of the Bible, ramp up prayer lives and become an active participant within church.  As the sun has set on the month of March, this Easter evening, its time to size up for my faith.

Beginning, March 1st, I attempted to read 3 chapters of the Bible per day.  While I didn’t hit my goal every day, God allowed me to finish Habakkuk – Malachi, the gospel of Mark, half of John and 31 Psalms.  Most of my days began with a Psalm, serving as my outline for morning prayer and providing direction for the prayer journal that I kept.  Although, my overall prayer life hasn’t changed, God’s response to recent prayers did.

For example, as I reflect upon the last 9 days, I can see the hand of God providing for me within 24 hours of my heart felt cries for help.  First, God gave me clarity through a series of interviews, closed one door while opening another and during a 3 day stretch answered me exactly as I requested with a job, desire to finish my movie and a 40 hour work week.  I even laid hands on my cat, who had a 2 inch hole near her back and within a few days this area was healed.  Before praying, this hole grew larger day after day.

My greatest failure, where I need to most work in the future was being more active in my church community.  Initially, I had contacted a friend about starting up a small group Bible Study, but I didn’t follow up so this good idea faded away.  Meanwhile, I didn’t possess a servant’s heart, often rushing out of church or I found excuses to rationalize my lack of action.  The only fruit I bore in this area was coming up an idea of an Easter Egg hunt on March 30th to reach out to T-ball children and families of the Greater Newark Baseball League, where I have coached the past 3 seasons.  Thankfully, my wife coordinated this event with Pastor Matt of Overflow, leading to a successful day, impacting many who attended this special event.

Like the 40 day challenged introduced in the film Fireproof, Super sizing your faith should never end.  When Kirk Cameron’s character, Captain Caleb began this series of tasks, little progress was made.  However, as soon as Caleb changed his attitude, his life was transformed from the inside out.  Therefore, don’t give up hope if you are feeling defeated.  Ask the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 1:7 for extra help to better understand the Bible, develop an intimate prayer life and leave a legacy for Christ in your community.  Rise up with the risen Savior!

by Jay Mankus

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