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Waiting on the Night to Fall

Like criminals, Satan plans out his attacks well in advance.  Although not everyone is successful, each serves a purpose, trying the wear individuals out.  Once a saint ventures out on their own without the armor of God, they become vulnerable regardless of how godly a man or woman may be.  Essentially, Lucifer is waiting on the night to fall.

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. – 1 Chronicles 21:1

Exhibit A, take a successful leader of Israel like King David in 1 Chronicles 21:1.  Victorious in battle over a nation with giants, Philistine, David’s mind begins to ponder, “look what I’ve done.”  David mistook God’s blessing for his own success.  Instead of acknowledging the true source, Satan preyed on David’s thoughts, sowing seeds of pride.  According to this passage, this idea gave birth to sin, James 1:13-15, just like Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” – Matthew 16:23

Exhibit B may even be more powerful, found in Matthew 16:13-23.  Peter goes from the hero of this passage to the goat in the course of a few minutes.  Perhaps, Peter’s mind also became corrupted, puffed up by the notion he was the only disciple who professed Jesus to be the Son of the Living God.  Peter’s failure is exactly why the apostle Paul adds 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, making sure that all believers take their thoughts captive since he knows the devil is waiting on the night to fall.

by Jay Mankus


A Sitting Duck for Stupid Decisions

An individual who is an easy prey, out in the open or vulnerable to an attack is considered a sitting duck.  Finding yourself in this predicament could be an accident, by chance or self induced.  Yet, anyone who speaks without filtering their thoughts is like a sitting duck for stupid decisions.

In this politically correct climate, the slightest slip of the tongue can be costly.  Unless you are a liberal comedian, no one else is exempt from public scrutiny.  Hank Williams Jr. spoke out against president Obama, Jimmy the Greek made an off-color remark and Mississippi State beat writer Matthew Stevens is the latest to lose their job for expressing their opinion.  Loose lips ship ships as well as open the door for becoming a sitting duck for the media to shoot down.

For those who fly under the radar, stupid decisions are a by product of the choices you make.  Words such as “trust me, I know what I’m doing or so and so said” often set the stage for humiliation.  As for me, the further I drift apart from the words of the Bible, the stupider I become.  Pride comes before the fall, Proverbs 16:18, is one of the most profound sayings of Solomon.  Thus, if anyone boasts, holds their nose up in the air or pumps out their chest, sooner or later the confident will become a sitting duck for stupid decisions, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.

by Jay Mankus


Time After Time… God Forgives

On June 9th, 1984, Time After Time, the second single released from Cindi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” album hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts.  Thirty years later, these lyrics still speaks to individuals searching for forgiveness, patience or mercy.  Whether you’re a parent like me, a friend struggling to understand a wayward soul or reminiscing about brighter days, these words provide hope.

One day, a music director began to experience flash backs, like a scene from Back to the Future.  However, in this case, God was reminding Asaph about Israel’s days in Egypt.  Based upon the length of Psalm 78, this vivid vision brought understanding to 400 years of slavery.  Upon reaching freedom, Israel became like a misguided child unable to break bad habits, falling prey to the same sins time after time.  Despite their actions, God withheld his wrath, forgiving, time after time, Psalm 78:36-38.

Today, an unforgiving world, constantly reminding you of past transgressions makes it difficult to believe that an unseen Creator can actually wipe your slate clean.  Despite how many times you’ve failed in life, the Lord demonstrates unconditional love, Psalm 103:11-12.  In view of this truth, don’t let this opportunity slip away.  Rather, practice James 5:16 daily so that like Cindi Lauper’s song, God will forgive time after time.

by Jay Mankus


Silencing Liars

In this age of Blogs, Facebook and Twitter, sooner or later someone will post something untrue about you.  When I taught junior high, a student snuck into my room and used my school computer to open up a My Space account in my own name without permission or support.  Meanwhile, a few years later an educational blog claimed I was a faith healer, charging $25 per healing.  Although the second site was a practical joke to illustrate how gossip spreads, the first was intended to harm my reputation as a teacher.  When facts don’t add up with the truth, its time to silence liars

David was a war hero, skilled musician and chosen by God to become Israel’s second king.  Despite having great intentions, 1 Samuel 16:7, David was young, curious and easy prey for temptation.  Thus, when he decided not to report to work for several months, not going off to war in 2 Samuel 11:1, David committed adultery, tried to cover up his own child and had Bathsheba’s husband murdered.  Unfortunately, David’s reputation is often tied to this rebellious streak, opening the door for future innuendos and rumors.  Psalm 63:11 addresses David’s prayer to cease the mouths of his critics.

When you do fall, especially in public, its hard to repair the trust of others that you have broken.  There will always be those who will point out your blemishes.  However, as you walk in the steps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6, the amount of your enemies will decline as long as your talk matches your walk.  If you’re struggling to silence false statements made against you, claim the words of David in Psalm 63:11 to silence the liars in your life.

by Jay Mankus



Flight School

Since the extinction of the dinosaurs, likely a result of the atmospheric changes following the flood, Genesis 2:5, the eagle has become king of the air.  With only one known predator, the condor, eagles reign in the sky above.  This explains why condors attempt to bring eagles to the ground, digging in their talons, using their superior weight to eliminate an eagles flight advantage.  However, unless a condor can get an eagle to the ground, this predator will go hungry until another carcass is located.

In this culture, predators lurk on every corner, looking to pounce on a smaller or weaker opponent.  One of the few defense mechanisms an eaglet has is their God given ability to fly.  Yet, until their father pushes each eaglet out of the comfort of home, their nest, this talent remains hidden.  Thus, the daddy eagle introduces his children to flight school, allowing each adolescent to fall before swooping in to catch a youngster before they hit the ground.  This process continues several times until each student takes flight, gliding on eagles wings, Isaiah 40:31.

In the same manner, Christ followers must learn to spiritually fly by fanning into flame the unique gift or gifts God has blessed each with, 2 Timothy 1:6.  Satan is the condor in our lives, using the world as a vehicle for destruction.  If you are not careful, specific sins will take hold of you, dragging you downward, often resulting in crash landings.  In this flight school, there is no commencement or graduation.  Rather, this teaching never ends, a life long pursuit, Colossians 4:2-3.  Using the Bible as its manual, this school’s final destination will take you where few have been, but many will be, John 14:2.

by Jay Mankus

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