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Tag Archives: rewards

When Life is Cruel and Unfair

The title of Clint Eastwood’s classic western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly provides a much more accurate assessment of life than I initially thought.  In this context, the good symbolizes blessings, fruits of hard work, rewards, success and victories in life.  Meanwhile, the bad includes accidents, disappointment, failure, injuries, setbacks and unforeseen events.  Ugly represents examples of when life is cruel and unfair, taking the forms of curses, demonic influences and generational sins.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5.

On my first day back to work following bereavement for my father in law’s funeral, I received more bad news.  One of my co-workers Dominic, suffered a brain aneurism on one of his day’s off.  Dominic is one of those people you enjoy interacting with, engaging, friendly, kind and at times longwinded.  Nonetheless, Dominic had just received a promotion, relocating to a new building in Maryland.  His future looked bright until a severe brain aneurism has left Dominic on the verge of death.  For a young man with a girl friend and the rest of his life in front of him, this fate doesn’t seem fair.

However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:  Deuteronomy 28:15.

The only way to explain this tragedy and similar heart breaking stories can be found in the ten commandments, specifically Exodus 20:5.  Moses reflects upon this biblical truth within an entire chapter in Deuteronomy.  Moses spends the first 14 verses of chapter 28 highlighting signs of God’s blessings.  The remaining 54 verses uncover hints of curses and or consequences of generational sins.  Due to the extent of details shared within this chapter of the Bible, it’s safe to say more curses exist than blessings.  Subsequently, people shouldn’t be surprised by examples of when life is cruel and unfair.  In view of this harsh reality, it’s essential to live each day on earth like it’s your last, assuring and preparing yourself for life beyond this world, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Who am I and Where did I Come From?

I was watching a documentary on meanings to life recently.  One of the interviewers suggested two likely possibilities.  “Either life occurred due to an accident or some sort of a Creator.”  The Big Bang Theory is on one side of this argument as the ideal conditions were present to occur.  Meanwhile, the opposing view suggests God spoke and bang life was conceived.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16.

Regardless of what you believe, there is another question to consider.  What should individuals do with your time each is given on earth?  Eat, drink and be merry or consider the eternal consequences and rewards for every action?  While the first choice seems obvious, the latter considers a life devoted to serving a higher power.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:17.

From some reason, when I was twelve, I began to reflect upon the meaning to life before I fell asleep each night.  As I pondered this question for over a month, life doesn’t make sense to me to be born out of thin air, live for a while and then die.  Something inside my soul felt like there had to be more, a place after earth.  One of Jesus’ disciples refers to this eternal promise in 1 John 5:13.  During this period of enlightenment I realized that I am a child of God, created to serve and worship the Lord; trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide me throughout this life.

by Jay Mankus

 

Preparing a Room for the New Year

New Year Eve celebrations vary depending upon your age, number of friends and preparations.  Opting for a smaller crowd this year, I spent a quiet evening with an old friend and his wife.  Instead of playing games, we watched War Room for the first time, a 2015 film which illustrates how prayer or a lack there of influences the life of a family.  Several scenes struck a nerve, convicting me that I need to prepare a room for 2016.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you, Matthew 6:6.

An elderly woman reaches out to a real estate agent trying to sell her home.  Seizing the moment, Miss Clara played by Karen Abercrombie introduces Priscilla played by Elizabeth Jordan to the concept of a war room.  This spiritual mentor challenges Priscilla to find a secluded room, without distractions so that an intimate prayer life with God can begin.  However, until the stage is set with a broken heart desperate for change, most war rooms remain powerless, unable to shift the momentum of losing battles within our lives.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7.

In the past, prayer didn’t get my attention until I began to see answers to my cries for help.  Yet, this is just the beginning.  War rooms come to life as individuals learn to submit their lives to God and resist the devil.  If you reach this point, your mind will be transformed, resulting in boldness as you reclaim your relationship with God, home and family back from the control of demonic influences.  Although you may not be as successful as Miss Clara, this world is in need of prayer warriors willing to go to battle daily in their war rooms.

by Jay Mankus

 

Touching, Moving and Praying

In the game of chess, there is the Touch-Move Rule which states a player must move any piece once they touch it.  Despite any miscalculation or mistake, a player must finish their move with this piece regardless of their initial motives.  This rule is strictly enforced and maintains a sense of integrity during each game of chess.

In the game of life, a similar rule applies, known as Cause and Effect.  For any action take, there are consequences that follow.  Good decisions often lead to blessings and or rewards.  On the other hand, ill-advised decisions tend to result in harm, punishment and trials.  Like the apostle Paul points out in his letter to the church at Galatia, you reap what you sow, Galatians 6:7-8.

Touching things of righteousness moves individuals closer to eternity.  Yet, immaturity can lure people away from faith, essentially crucifying Jesus over and over again, Hebrews 6:1-6.  One touch of an apple by Eve moved mankind into a fallen world, now filled with Turkish Delights, James 1:14-15.  If there is any hope for the future, one must learn from the past, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, to flee from modern temptations, 1 Peter 2:11.  Keep in touch with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25 and you will move beyond the game of chess, by entering into eternity.

by Jay Mankus

Tattle Tale

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a tattle tale is an informer.  Within a home, a tattle  tale breaks the unspoken code, not to rat on their brother or sister.  However, where do you draw the line between telling the truth and exposing unwholesome behavior?  As bullying continues to rise at schools across America, sometimes individuals must to be willing to betray this code to prevent further violent acts.

One of the most famous tattle tales of the Bible is introduced in Genesis 37.  Based on the information passed onto Moses, Joseph brings back a bad report about his brothers’ behavior to his father.  While it is not certain, Joseph appears to have gained Israel’s favor.  Like his mother Rachel, Joseph’s father loved him more than any of his other 11 sons.  Thus, an assumption you can make is that Joseph is the first tattle tale to be rewarded in the Bible with a coat of many colors, Genesis 37:3.

Today, the media uses the term whistle blower to describe a tattle tale.  In most cases, modern whistle blowers are applauded, praised and viewed as heroes.  Some of the most famous American whistle blowers are Karen Silkwood, inspiring the 1983 film entitled Silkwood, Mark Felt who leaked information to the press about Richard Nixon’s involvement in Watergate and Peter Rost who exposed Pfizer for their accounting irregularities.  If only the negative connotation of the word tattle tale could be removed, maybe more young people would be willing to come forward with the truth like Joseph?  As for now, young people would rather keep quiet, afraid of earning a reputation as a fink.  May God raise up a generation of bold children, “tattle tales,” who are willing to eliminate bullying and obscene behavior from their classrooms.

by Jay Mankus

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