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Tag Archives: reality

When Days Don’t End Like You Hoped

The endings of Hollywood movies have ingrained in American minds that life should conclude in a certain way.  Unfortunately, film and reality are miles apart.  Subsequently, more and more individuals feel the crippling effects of sleepless nights caused by days which end far from what each expected.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, Proverbs 16:9.

After losing my teaching position 5 years ago, I transitioned into screen writing based upon the advice of a former co-worker.  Three complete scripts later my initial goal is to sell one my these scripts before I reach 55; then write a script a year in retirement.  Despite my desires, an unexpected eye condition may put my own plan on hold or cancel it completely.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Matthew 11:28.

When things don’t go your way or days end in heart break, there’s only one place to turn.  Carrying around all your burdens, pain and worry will wear you out.  Therefore, do let trials suck out your joy for life.  Instead, go to the Lord in prayer so that Jesus will replace your burden with peace.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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How Long Must We Wait O Lord?

Waiting for anything isn’t natural.  The idea you have to remain inactive, stationary and pause until expectations are fulfilled can be agonizing.  The longer one waits, the greater doubts grow, wondering if prayers will be answered.

How long must your servant wait?  When will you punish my persecutors? – Psalm 119:84

Several Psalmists describe their anguish waiting to experience God’s promises.  As the wicked prosper without any penalties, cries for justice may go unnoticed for years.  Thus, screams of frustrations point toward heaven hoping for action to occur soon.

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God.  Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1

In this silence, impatience often boils over.  This is when most turn their back on God.   For those clinging on to hope, only time will dictate whether or not faith will be reignited.  How long must we wait O Lord?  Keep praying til your requests become reality, following in the footsteps of the persistent widow, Luke 18:1-8.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

A Substitute for Reality

As a student, whenever a substitute was standing up front or sitting in a chair, it was like a holiday.  Although plans were passed on, most periods turned into a study hall, a break from the normal routine.  Whether this lasts for a day, week or longer, this individual serves as a substitute for reality.

Stressed out by the events of a week, human beings often turn to their televisions to escape.  Whether its a favorite channel, show or sporting event, this time mends the broken and heals wounded souls temporary.  However, if this habit becomes a life style, entertainment can become a substitute for reality.

Perhaps  the breakdown of the American family started with different viewing interests.  Once on, there isn’t a need for communication as the big screen turns into an alternate reality.  If this pattern continues, minds zone out, numb to deadening relationships inside their home.  As soon as the number of televisions increase to multiple rooms, the stage is set for a divided house.  May those on the verge of falling into this trap, awaken before this idol becomes a permanent substitute for reality.

by Jay Mankus

I Can’t Wait Another Day to Act

Whether you’re brushing your teeth, combing your hair or shaving, mirrors reflect the grim reality of physical features.  Every minor imperfection is magnified, leaving a spirit of disappointment hovering over hearts, minds and souls who have let their bodies go.  As I looked at my expanding waist line the other night, one thought reverberated in my head, “I can’t wait another day to act!”

Gone are the days of high metabolisms as bad eating habits show up quickly.  In the meantime, the freshman 15 has led to the married 25, resulting in the lazy 50.  When your eyes are opened to a crisis of weight, you have 3 options: accept it, continue in a state of deny or be motivated to make drastic changes.  As for me, I’m somewhere between accepting and action, praying for the discipline for success.

Luke 14L28 suggests that everyone should consider the cost before making any decision.  Whether you’re contemplating a career change, diet or move, you have to weigh the pros and cons.  Although I haven’t developed a concrete plan, exercise and giving up soda is a good place to start.  Regardless of the obstacle standing in your way, don’t wait another day or else the additional calories may be too much to overcome.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Living in a State of Disrepair

After breaking 2 ribs back in February, I wasn’t able to do some of the things around my house that I take pride in, mowing the grass and manicuring my golf green.  Thus, in the spring I handed over these responsibilities over to my 2 sons, assuming we were on the same page.  Unfortunately, as I glanced around my yard this afternoon, one thing is clear, “I’m living in a state of disrepair.”

Although not everyone is prone to become a hoarder, I guess we all have some sort of collection or fetish which blinds us from reality.  For some its clothes, others relish in shoes and for me, I have a weakness for golf clubs.  Somewhere in the past 6 months, I’ve stopped caring about minor details.  Little did I know that these routine chores would snowball out of control, leaving me paralyzed pondering, “where do I start?”

The words of Luke 12:48 have hit home for me today.  According to Jesus, “to whom much is given, much is required.”  When you are a parent, spouse and homeowner, work never stops, at least there is always something that needs to be done to be a good steward of the possessions God has given you.  Yet, if you forget, ignore or neglect this responsibility, you too will know what it feels like to be living in a state of disrepair.  May God awaken you and I from this stupor so that day by day, we will rise to meet future challenges.

by Jay Mankus

Why the World is Falling Apart

Gone are the days of Wilbur Wilberforce, when politicians did the right thing without taking a poll, trying to get re-elected or win public approval.  In an attempt to get ahead, integrity has been swept under the rug, trampled by greed, power and souls seeking victory whatever the cost.  Lurking in the darkness, the reason for this decline lies in John 8:34.

Slavery, a grave reminder of the past, is alive and well inside the heart’s of human beings.  Although mankind think they are in control, sin is large and in charge, holding individuals captive, Romans 7:14-20.  Perhaps this truth led the apostle Paul, one of the godliest men to ever live to claim he was one of the greatest sinners ever, 1 Timothy 1:15.  If you had to diagnosis why the world is falling apart, sin is a prime suspect.

Discipline, good intentions and self-control may appear to be full proof, but in the end its like fool’s gold.  Subsequently, the grasp of sin prevents countless from doing the right thing, Romans 8:5-8, something Paul knew from personal experience.  Until people acknowledge the reality of their soul, a sinner in desperate need of a Savior, John 3:3-5, the world will continue its downward spiral.  May the Lord help put people back together, one soul at a time, Luke 15:7.

by Jay Mankus

The Sounds of Violence

Yesterday, I was taking a walk on a cart path just north of down town Wilmington.  With a fence separating this golf course from nearby neighborhoods, I began to hear some commotion a few blocks away.  Voices gradually increased in volume, leading to a fervent disagreement between 2 individuals.  Others joined in yelling back and forth.  Memories of school yard fights flashed before my mind.  However, on this day, no fists, knives or guns were raised, just the sound of violence.

A few years ago in Newark, while having practice with my sons baseball team, I wasn’t as fortunate.  When a suspicious car rolled slowly through an adjacent street, several rounds of bullets were fired.  Before I knew it, I experienced my first drive by shooting, pulling the team quickly off the field into the building behind home plate.  The gunman proceeded to cross a creek behind the left field foul line, run across a field and hid near the University of Delaware until a police helicopter found him about a half hour later.  This time the sound of violence was too close for comfort.

The apostle Paul warned first century Christian’s that this day would come, 2 Timothy 3:1-5.  His words were prophetic as children are regularly disobedient to adults and their parents.  Junior high and senior high teachers are now front row witnesses since the sound of violence has entered the classroom, especially in public education.  The consequence of this reality is persecution, with Christ absorbing this anger and hatred on the cross, Isaiah 53:3-11.  May the hope of this fulfilled prophecy help you overcome the sound of violence.

Please comment on how God has helped you rise above the violence in our world.

by Jay Mankus

 

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