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Tag Archives: right and wrong

No Wonder Why Got Where We Are

This week I watched a film produced in the 1980’s.  The Monster Squad targeted an audience of kids, ranging from age 8 to 12.  I guess you could say this movie was like the Lost Boys for elementary and junior high students.  While I found the plot to be interesting, I was caught off guard by the language used by these young actors.  Ashley Bank plays Phoebe, a five year old sister of the founder of the Monster Squad who meet in a treehouse.  Curse words fly throughout this film, a precursor to how millennials now live.

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 80:19

Either I lived in a bubble growing up in Delaware or I was extreme naïve to the cultural transformation that was gradually occurring.  When I cursed in public or said something inappropriate, neighbors rebuked me and on occasion told my parents.  In my little world, right and wrong was clearly defined.  Somewhere along the way, apathy, the absence of morality and a lack of integrity has allowed unethical behavior to run rampant.  By watching this depiction of life, God revealed to me how America has gotten to where we are today.

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 85:6

When civilizations, countries and nations begin to fall apart, God uses revival to get people back on track.  In the gospel of John chapter 15 , Jesus uses an analogy of a living vine with branches.  This vine symbolizes the source for life, like water for human beings.  Anyone who attempts to live without remaining connected to this vine will eventually die.  Therefore, before it’s too late, individuals should cry out to God for restoration.  However, unless you respond to conviction, hearts will grow cold.  While I can now see how America has reached this current spiritual condition, I know that revival is the only way back to the place where the Lord wants you to be.

by Jay Mankus

 

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The Devilution of a Nation

Signs of evolution develop when someone or something experience subtle changes over time.  Certain species of animals may go through genetic alterations as its ecosystem is impacted by disease, over population or the weather.  Meanwhile, societies undergo spiritual transformations from generation to generation, either drawing near to God through revival or backsliding due to what I call the deviluation of a nation.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. – Genesis 3:5

Devilution is spawned by adding and or subtracting to God’s commands.  Challenging, questioning and reinventing the rules attempts to create doubt within the minds of citizens.  This atmosphere has inspired past writers like Saul Alinsky to promote curriculum in the form of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.  If these teachings are embraced by enough leaders, a culture shift will begin amending beliefs, values and worldviews of a nation.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. – Deuteronomy 4:2

When minds are persuaded to taste what was once forbidden fruit, justification and rationalization is conceived.  Subsequently, right and wrong is turned to gray, genetically altering truth.  A byproduct of this switch elevates opinions to fact status; thereby causing absolutes to disappear little by little.  According to the Bible, these conditions breed demonic strongholds, Ephesians 6:12, enabling dark powers to deceive an entire region.  If unstopped, the next generation will learn to do what’s right in their own eyes.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. – Judges 21:25

May God help us all to do an about face so that the devilution of America will be replaced by a spirit of prayer and fasting.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Lying on the Line Until It Disappears

As a former teacher, boundaries are essential to define, maintain and uphold with consistent discipline to ensure a healthy learning environment.  The moment this line is challenged, pushed or questioned, reason must be ready to account for these dissenters.  If seeds of doubt enter this discussion, lying spirits will lie on the line until it disappears.

Outside the classroom, the world has ample examples to illustrate this fact.  Do you remember when Bill Clinton, during his impeachment hearing responded, “it depends on what the meaning of the word is is?”  Unfortunately, this has become a common tactic for politicians to avoid answering the question at hand.  Bobbing and weaving like a champion boxer, truth is disappearing as lying is blocking the line of integrity.

Where did honesty go?  Do we have to put out an APB, all points bulletin, to locate it?  Perhaps, communities need to begin to police each other, like the old days when every child had multiple parents where there’s wasn’t around.  Instead of justifying poor actions, making excuses for bad behavior and playing the victim card, individuals need to start Lent early by giving up lying before the line of right and wrong disappears forever.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Not in My House

As the NBA kicks off its pre-season, I am reminded of Dikembe Mutombo’s patented block celebration pointing his finger back and forth as if to say, “not in my house!”  Others may recall Tommy Lees Jones’ role in Man of the House, playing Texas Ranger Roland Sharp, laying down the law to University Texas cheerleaders as too what is modest dress and what is unacceptable attire.  While those who grew up in an authoritative household, learned quickly as to what was and was not acceptable behavior.

Playing the role as a father is much more difficult than I first thought.  I am careful not to be overbearing as my father was, using his experience in the military like a drill sergeant to rule the roost.  On the other hand, if I’m too relaxed, I may give the devil a foothold, enabling my children to stretch the boundaries between right and wrong.  Thus, I am learning that being a parent takes time, evolving with the times, remaining biblical, yet not exasperating my kids, Ephesians 6:4.  The best way to demonstrate a not in my house atmosphere is through consistent Christ-like actions.

After returning from a retreat with my daughter, I was immediately challenged to apply what I learn from the weekend.  One of my sons was about to play a video game not suitable for his age.  As this game was loading, I was shocked by the initial image on the screen.  Without raising my voice, I asked a simple question, “this doesn’t look like a game you should be playing?”  Following a slight pause, my son switched this to a football game.  Although, I ‘m not perfect and still have a long way to go as a dad, there’s still time to proclaim, “not in my house!” – Joshua 24:24

by Jay Mankus

Full Disclosure

As I celebrate my 900th post, its time for full disclosure.  When I began this blog back in February of 2012, I wasn’t sure how long I would continue to write.  Previous projects like Soul Improvements, a monthly news letter geared toward ministering to youth pastors, lasted only 3 years, put on hold as I began seminary.  Depending upon how long my next movie script takes to complete, only the Lord knows how long Express Yourself 4 Him will last.  For now I am relying on the Holy Spirit to guide my steps, Galatians 5:25, as I reflect on life and how it relates to God’s Word.

From a personal point of view, I wish I had the energy and more time to interact with my readers.  Especially since I recall the days of writing close to 500 letters per year, spending a majority of my down time with pen and paper.  Although stamps disappeared quickly, social interaction was high on my priority list.  Time, mental fatigue and work has taken its toll on my body.  Perhaps if eating habits improved, my energy level would rise, yet as my wife says often, “you’re not as young as you use to be.”  I pray that as 1000 posts approach, God will revitalize my soul to touch lives with my blog.

Living for Jesus in this age has become a challenge.  Between compromise, the decay of society and sin that is now socially acceptable, right and wrong has been turned upside down.    Subsequently, speaking the truth in love is seen as being narrow minded.  If the church allows the Bible to be replaced as America’s measuring stick, I’m afraid God’s favor will also be removed.  According to Moses in Leviticus 20:22, when God’s decrees and laws are rejected, the land will vomit you out.  In view of this, pray for revival before its too late to turn back from the point of no return.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgotten Commandments

History has a habit of uncovering relics from the past.  Caves hid the Dead Sea Scrolls until 1946 when 981 texts written in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrews were discovered over a 10 year period.  However, there are always things in plain sight which get overlooked, neglected by those too busy to slow down.

As I opened Leviticus 19 today, I stumbled upon an expanded version of the 10 commandments.  Although some of the passages are subtle reminders, God conveys to Moses the whys to keeping decrees and laws.  These biblical nuggets offer common sense, direction and a foundation for faith.  Nonetheless, unless you accept and practice these precepts, you will be vulnerable to straying off course.

There are several reasons why commandments are forgotten.  First, the Bible offends those comfortable with how they are living, reluctant to change.  Second, people don’t like to be told that they are wrong, especially if there are eternal consequences.  Third, since truth has become relative, everyone has their own take on right and wrong.  In the end, Leviticus 19 serves as a wake up call, to alert those sleep walking through life.  May the words of Scripture breathe life into sleepy, tired and weary souls.

by Jay Mankus

Making A Clear Distinction

In a world of diminishing absolutes, making a clear distinction between right and wrong isn’t what it use to be.  Shades of grey have entered the equation, leaving the truth uncertain.  To erase this confusion, one must shine the light of the Bible on this matter to distinguish the moral from immoral.

History reveals this struggle is nothing new as periods in time are filled with examples of people who blended in like chameleons, hiding their faith from society.  This pattern led Moses to challenge Israel to make a clear distinction between holiness and common citizens in Leviticus 10:10-11.  This lesson from the past should challenge us to examine our own lives to ascertain where do you stand?

When you’re feeling good about yourself, pride will lead you to hold a higher view than your actions actually display.  On the other hand, when your day of humility comes, you might feel like the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15.  Despite the good and bad that you do, Jesus still wants believers to shine their light, Matthew 5:13.  Like the childhood song proclaims, don’t hide your light anymore, make a clear distinction today by imitating God, Ephesians 5:1-4.

by Jay Mankus

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