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A Man of Broken Promises

Sometimes you have to listen closely to what you say.  If you don’t, you could end up blowing smoke, carelessly throwing out words void of meaning.  As I reflected upon recent conversations with my children on my days off, its sad to say that I’ve become a man of broken promises.

A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool, Ecclesiastes 5:3.

Just because someone is intelligent, does not make them immune from making foolish decisions.  The context of the passage above likely refers to Solomon’s struggles to please his wife.  Like any good husband, there is a desire satisfy the needs of those whom you love.  Unfortunately, Solomon acquired 700 wives and 300 concubines as king of Israel, making it extremely difficult for him to be a man of his word.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow, Ecclesiastes 5:4.

As I try to pick up the pieces of my tattered reputation, the words of Ecclesiastes serve as a good place to start.  Whether you are talking to friends, family or neighbors, don’t promise anything you can’t keep.  If anything, limit your commitments and over deliver.  For if you don’t heed this message, you may wake up one morning like me and realize that you’ve become a man of broken promises.

by Jay Mankus

 

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A Soul Tormented by Lawless Deeds

If you turn on a news cast, at some point you will witness something disturbing, shocking or sad.  Unfortunately, many have been desensitized by a barrage of extreme videos.  Thus, as the average citizen become comfortably numb, a soul tormented by lawless deeds is either overlooked or forgotten.

For that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard, 2 Peter 2:8.

Ever since public education has de-emphasized moral absolutes, the line between right and wrong has been turned to gray.  Subsequently, hearts and minds can become confused, unsure what’s acceptable and what’s frowned upon.  In this politically correct climate, the law breaker can be excused if they hold a socially acceptable worldview.  Yet if the shoe is on the other foot, a conservative will be verbally crucified for a similar transgression.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, Matthew 11:28.

Lost in the shuffle are those individuals wounded by lawless deeds.  When television cameras move on to the next city, disaster or scandal, those left behind must begin to pick up the pieces of their lives.  Beyond these scars, an invisible voice calls out to the bruised and broken-hearted.  May the hope of Jesus bring peace to souls tormented by lawless deeds.

by Jay Mankus

 

Pinocchio Politicians

Every so often a commercial portrays a message that is sad but true.  Such is the case of the satire Geico ad when a dad tells his son, “did you know Pinocchio was a bad motivational speaker?”  If an individual’s nose grew each time something was embellished, exaggerated or lied about, people would be held accountable for their loose lips,  Unfortunately, most of the media is asleep at the wheel, allowing liberals, progressives and radicals to proceed as Pinocchio politicians.

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. – Proverbs 26:28

The Bible uses a different strategy to insure honesty is upheld.  Rather than using the term reputation, authors of Scripture refer to keeping a good name.  Back in biblical times, promises, words and vows meant something.  Thus, the degree upon which you fulfilled what was spoken attributed to your name, either good or bad.  Perhaps, this measuring stick needs to be reintroduced today to prevent another generation of Pinocchio politicians.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19

In the film A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee is interviewing witnesses after a marine is apparently murderer by two soldiers in his room.  Upon questioning Keifer Sutherland’s character Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, Kaffee is surprised by the logic from this squadron leader, “Private William Santiago had no code and God was watching!”  While Hollywood will continue to serve as a land of make believe, God is real and will hold souls accountable for their actions on earth.  Although many escape initial consequences today, Pinocchio politicians will be exposed on the day of judgment.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

A Not So Happy Thanksgiving

For most of my days, I’ve lived a sheltered life.  However, my first job after graduating from college brought me to inner city Wilmington, Delaware as a social worker.  My eyes were opened to the homeless, poor and unfortunate.  This experience led me to serve the needy during my first Thanksgiving in Chicago, going to a homeless shelter near Cabrini Green, one of the roughest projects in Chicago.  I didn’t see any television cameras or professional football players handing out free turkeys, what I observed was a not so Happy Thanksgiving.

Everyone should get of their comfort zones once in a while to see what its like on the other side.  I’m not talking about Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places.  Rather, I think its healthy to see how little other people have so that you may begin to appreciate all the things you have accumulated in life.  Fashion, shopping and temporary pleasures blind most individuals to what’s really important: family, faith and fellowship.  Without this type of perspective, a spoiled generation will continue to whine, “what’s in it for me,” while the less fortunate have another not so Happy Thanksgiving.

Clothes, food and a place to call home is foreign to some individuals.  Though many may receive a Turkey to cook, how long will the leftovers last?  Will some have to wait til Christmas before the next act of generosity finds these helpless souls?  Therefore, as you watch the parades, gather for a feast and watch some football for dessert, don’t limit your giving to a couple of times per year.  Rather, take a look around and see who you can help so that a not so Happy Thanksgiving can turn into a very Merry Christmas.

by Jay Mankus

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