Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: pressure

Can’t Stop Thinking About It

Mind-wandering is referred to today as task-unrelated thought. Depending upon the situation, you might experience thoughts not remaining on a single topic for a long period of time. This state of mind is allowed to continue when people are not engaged in an attention-demanding task.
Once individuals are less bogged down by the pressure of day to day life, minds can begin to narrow in on what’s important.

But after ordering them to step out of the Council [chamber], they began to confer among themselves, 16 saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to keep it from spreading further among the people and the nation, let us [sternly] warn them not to speak again to anyone in this name.” 18 So they sent for them, and commanded them not to speak [as His representatives] or teach at all in the name of Jesus [using Him as their authority]., Acts 4:15-18.

Following the day of Pentecost, miracles once performed by Jesus began to occur by his followers. After a man lame from birth was deemed healed after showing himself to a priest, John and Peter was brought in for questioning. A group of ruling men known as the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court, were concerned that Jews were getting caught up in a new Jesus Movement. Evidently, people couldn’t stop thinking about miracles performed under the authority of Jesus Christ.

But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; 20 for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard,” Acts 4:19-20.

Thus, the Sanhedrin tried to stop this spiritual movement from spreading any further. This suggestion presented John and Peter with a moral dilemma. Should we give into this peer pressure to become politically correct or should we obey God? These former disciples of Jesus chose the latter, risking imprisonment to stand up for their beliefs and convictions. If there is one thing you shouldn’t stop thinking about, it’s Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Advertisements

Before Anything Gets Lost It Becomes Loose

Initial signs that there may be something wrong in your life are subtle. Normal wear and tear may result in an occasional squeak or rattle. These vague warning signals may be ignored if time constraints, exhaustion or pressure exists. Unless routine maintenance is performed, cars, possessions, relationships and souls will continue to deteriorate. If no action is taken, things will become loose, fall off and get lost if neglected.

So he went with them; and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down [some of] the trees. But it happened that as one was cutting down a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Oh no, my master! It was borrowed!” – 2 Kings 6:4-5

In the Old Testament, a servant of Elisha began to chomp down some trees along the banks of the Jordan River. The sound of each power HACK, one after another drowned out any hint that this axe was about to break. Borrowed from a neighbor, this servant wasn’t treating this tool in a malicious manner. Rather, the thought of clearing a small section of woods next to the river brought on adrenaline to get this job done as soon as possible.

The man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut off a stick and threw it in there, and made the iron [axe head] float. He said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out with his hand and took it, 2 Kings 6:6-7.

Nobody knows the exact time or place when one of your possessions will break. In a span of a few weeks, two cars that I was driving broke down on three different occasions, the last on Interstate 95 this year. How you respond to these unfortunate events will reveal your true character. The only description of this servant in the passage above is a man of God. Instead of complaining, this man immediately turned to prayer and a prophet for help. In an instant, that which was lost is found. May this blog awaken you to the principle before something gets lost it becomes loose.

by Jay Mankus

Form Without Faith

As a former athlete, there was nothing like game day, warming up in front of your opponents.  Depending upon the sport, there were certain matches that over before they began.  The team with the best form, technique and talent usually won.  Yet, form without faith is a losing recipe, costing several franchises in the past a championship.

Having a form of godliness but denying its power, 2 Timothy 3:5a.

There is a saying in profession sports that says the tape never lies.  This refers to players who have a tendency to take plays off, not giving 100 percent.  As a former coach, this wasn’t as easy to see.  Some players talk a good game, but crumbled under the pressure.  Meanwhile, some slacked off during practice, yet like Allen Iverson, when the lights came on, they rose to the challenge.  However, to endure for the long haul, form and faith must go hand and hand.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead, James 2:26.

As an adult, I can’t escape imperfection.  No mater how hard I try, some days my form is good, but my faith sucks.  Or in times of weakness, my faith is strong, but energy is lacking.  However, everyone must be careful of fulfilling 2 Timothy 3:5.  Godliness does not come from human effort, but in the spiritual transformation of a human heart.  Thus, when Christians begin to go through the motions of religion, they deny God’s power.  In view of this, don’t pretend everything is fine.  Rather, in humility, let the grace and mercy of God build you up so that your faith takes the form of spiritual fruit.

by Jay Mankus

Where Did all the Time Go?

On the first weekend in February 2012, a thought entered my mind, “why don’t you start writing a blog?”  Unsure of where to go or what to do, I consulted a few close friends with similar aspirations.  After receiving their insight, I needed to clear one last hurdle, a name which would define the reason for my blog’s existence. 1300 blogs later, I’m astonished wondering, where did all the time go?

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, 2 Peter 3.8.

There is an old adage that all good things must come to an end.  However, when you find something that you enjoy like an activity, hobby or relaxing pastime, time has a tendency to fly by.  Whenever individuals invest in leisure forms of recreation, the soul is re-energized.  Serving as a distraction from the stresses and worries in life, writing is an oasis for me.  Although I occasionally spend too much time on a blog, going in circles without any progress, I find joy in the journey.

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12.

If there was a prayer or wish that would make this world a better place, it would be helping people locate jobs that they love.  Unfortunately, love doesn’t always pay the bills.  Nonetheless, there is something to be said about discovering an occupation or position that you were born to do.  The pressure of making decisions causes many to lower their standards, settling for less than ideal.  Therefore, as you wait for the clock to reach quitting time, may God direct your steps so that your dreams will come true.  Then, you too will wonder, “where did all the time go?”

by Jay Mankus

 

An Illness Called Isolation

No father ever starts out their quest to provide for their family with visions of fulfilling the words of Cats in the Cradle by Cat Stevens.  Yet, the pressure to survive, make rent, pay off a mortgage or actually save money takes individuals into a land of mirages.  Unable to distinguish between bare necessities from the luxuries in life, some men contract an illness called isolation.

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.- 1 Timothy 5:8

Like an aggressive form of cancer, isolation blinds people from what’s important in life: faith, family and friends.  Subsequently, many press on unaware they are on the verge of forfeiting their soul.  Searching for something bigger and better, Americans leave their roots for the almighty dollar.  Unfortunately, one day victims will awaken from their coma only to realize that their family is grown, relationships have faded away and isolation is their only true friend.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:34-35

The cure to this crippling disease is found when patients start to embrace the community around them.  Only when you exit the rat race and slow down enough to invest in the lives of your neighbors do the symptoms of isolation begin to vanish.  The life of Coach Jim White, inspiration for the film McFarland USA reminds me its not too late for change.  Therefore, the next time you receive an invitation for a job too good to be true, look around before you say yes to ensure isolation doesn’t seduce you, carrying you away from the community God designed you to embrace.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Brain Fart Caught on Camera

With millions of America engrossed in the finish of Super Bowl XLIX, one of the most incredible catches of all time will be forever vacated by a brain fart caught on camera.  With the New England Patriots clinging to a 28-24, Seahawk receiver Jermaine Kearse went up for a 45 yard pass on 3rd and 10 which was deflected and bounced off his knee before reeling in Russell Wilson’s pass while on his back.  After Marshawn Lynch advanced the football to the 1 yard line, Seattle was less than 3 feet from repeating as NFL champions.  As television commentators were considering whether or not New England should allow Seattle to score, Seattle’s play caller had a brain fart, failing to give the ball to their best option.  Instead a 2nd down pass was intercepted, leaving most football fans in shock, with Patriots fans thanking God for this bizarre ending.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

Beyond the field of competition, brain farts are a daily reality, especially for those who must make tough decisions.  When faced with pressure or under duress, the human mind may not function properly.  Stress tends to alter one’s ability to make quick judgments.  Perhaps an overwhelming disappointment early on in life may cause some to avoid seeking positions of leadership, afraid to fail.  Known as gun shy, this may explain what happened in the final minute of this year’s Super  Bowl.  Somewhere during the 40 seconds between plays, doubt, hesitation or uncertainty cost a franchise a title.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:7.

Unfortunately, the media will likely ridicule this decision for years to come.  Some may even call it the worst decisions in Super Bowl history.  However, in the grand scheme of life, this is just a game that men get paid to play.  Thus, the costliest brain farts occur in the real world, where one bad choice has consequences.  Once the emotion of victories and losses fade, make sure that you don’t fall into a pattern of neglect.  Just ask Aaron Hernandez, a former New England Patriot, who is now on trial for double murder.  Regardless of your current mood, may the Lord give you a peace that surpasses all understanding to press on after any brain fart moment that you have to endure.

by Jay Mankus

 

Stop It or Drop It

Some where in the distance past, coaches, educators and school officials looked the other way so that elite athletes could bring fame and fortune to their institutions.  Exhibit A is Dexter Manley, former defensive end for the Washington Redskins,  who was never able to read above a 4th grade level, yet teachers covered up this glaring weakness.  On the field, he was a terror in college and in the NFL, yet every time Dexter opened a book, the fear of reading gripped him.

Meanwhile, if you wanted to play basketball at the University of North Carolina, apparently going to class was optional according to Rashad McCants, a member of the 2004-05 national title team.  In their ivory tower in Indianapolis, Indiana, their national headquarters, the NCAA talks a good game, yet corruption, double standards and power has gone to their heads.  Like participants in the Tour de France, its hard to know who is cheating and who is playing by the rules.  If the media would forgo favoritism and begin to address this series issue, using athletes to make colleges millions of dollars annually, perhaps professional sports would not have as many problems as they do today.

Unfortunately, no one can escape the words of Galatians 6:7-8, “you reap what you sow!”  If all students were treated equally, several of today’s star athletes would have never made it past high school.  Nonetheless, like a good soap opera, the media plays along for a while until public pressure forces them to pull the plug, exposing players, teams and leagues for their cover up.  However, its time for the media to do their job early on, to address these scandals quickly .  If not, staying quiet due to powerful and wealthy boosters, cable news might as well drop their complaints since they too are part of the problem.  Stop it or drop it!

by Jay Mankus

 

%d bloggers like this: