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A Toast to Friends in Life

The concept of a Wedding Toast can be traced back to ancient societies. Beside wishing the best for a new couple, a toast was symbolic for passing the torch like a prayer to receive God’s blessings in the future. Last weekend, my oldest son participated in a White Coat Ceremony as he pursues his doctorate in Physical Therapy. To celebrate this occasion, I made a toast at dinner to the future Dr. Mankus.

The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.

On the way home from Lynchburg, Virginia, I just happened to be listening to an old Geoff Moore and the Distance album which was in my car CD player. As the song Best Friends God’s Love and Great Times started playing, I was inspired to give another toast. This time to all of my friends of the past and present who have helped shape the person that I have become.

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do, John 15:13-14.

The final speaker at James’ ceremony spoke about the importance of family. While you may not be brothers or sisters by birth, God has brought people into my life over the years who served like a close family. From a few key friends growing up in New Jersey, my Tonbridge Drive crew in Delaware, the Cross Country Team, FCA Huddle and youth group, here’s a toast of thanks for touching my life in many ways. As for the present, I have my wife Leanne, Spencer Saints and the Smiths to toast; this Bud’s for you!

by Jay Mankus

A Faith Graft

Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe was a pioneering New Zealand plastic surgeon. While serving in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, McIndoe greatly improved the treatment and rehabilitation of badly burned soldiers. This research set the stage for the very first skin graft performed on Jordan Welborn. Skin grafts are a surgical procedure in which a piece of healthy skin is transplanted to a new part of the body.

Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh], 2 Corinthians 5:16.

One of my former high school students was in a freak skate boarding accident. Due to the severe damage done to his leg, numerous skin grafts were performed just to save his leg. This was the first time that I heard about search this type of operation. After two years of physical therapy, this teenager was finally able to resume a somewhat normal life. Sometimes it takes a worst case scenario to begin seeking a faith graft.

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

The difference between a faith and skin graft is that a relationship with God is planted firmly. Instead of moving skin from one place to another, Jesus is established, interwoven within your heart and soul. This transformation takes time for the new creature in Christ to replace your old self. As individuals draw near to God in prayer and worship, a faith graft is conceived. The more you read and study the Bible, faith becomes natural.

by Jay Mankus

Therapy

When I was six years old I broke my leg after jumping off an above ground pool.  In a split second, an entire year was lost to injury with six months stuck in an old plaster cast.  Once the doctors removed the cast, my muscles and skin took another six months to fully recover.  Modern techniques in physical therapy have sped up the healing process enabling bodies to return faster than ever to a routine life prior to any accident that you may have suffered.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell, Matthew 10:18.

According to a recent Newsweek article, nearly one in five Americans will suffer from some sort of mental illness over the course of their life.  If the mind is a terrible thing to waste, then perhaps it’s time to seek advice, counseling or therapy to improve one’s mental state.  In a letter to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul encourages individuals to get your own life right before trying to minister to others, Philippians 2:1-3.  Despite your desire to help others, sometimes it’s better to wait until your own mind becomes reinvigorated.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? – Matthew 16:26

The motto of the YMCA focuses and the body, mind and soul.  Exercise keeps the body in good shape.  Meanwhile, memorizing verses from the Bible and applying biblical principles keeps the human mind strong.  However, the soul is often neglected despite serving as people’s inmost being.  Thus, therapy for the soul begins with purpose and meaning in life.  As a tax collector once said, “what good is it to amass worldly riches only to forfeit your soul.”  Therefore, do let another day go by without asking the Holy Spirit for help.  Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and God’s door will be opened to receive the therapy that you need.

by Jay Mankus

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