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Tag Archives: satisfaction

Removing the Leeches from Your Life

Leeches are an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends of its body. Many species of leeches are bloodsucking parasites that are hard to remove once attached. My first encounter with a leech was in the state of Maine. Unaware of this native species, I was walking in swallow water when I first got attacked. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of using my finger to remove it which only made matters worse. This traumatic experience at age 7 made me want to immediately remove leeches from my life.

Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. 13 Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body [[a]to save, sanctify, and raise it again], 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

From a spiritual perspective, a leech can be anyone or anything that clings, drains, and or sucks the joy from your life. The imagery used by Jesus in John 10:10 compares the Devil to a spiritual leech. This invisible force seeks to steal, kill, and destroy lives. While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus explains why it’s so hard to control human bodies. God’s Spirit is willing to help you remove the leeches from your life, but the human flesh is weak.

Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, 20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a [b]preciousness and paid for, [c]made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

This weakness is exposed through addictions, bad habits, and unwholesome cravings that individuals pick up over the course of their lives. While these inner desires may bring temporary pleasures, human bodies develop a dependency upon these highs that result in less and less satisfaction. In the passage above, the apostle Paul warns Christians against sexual immorality. This type of sin results in soul ties that make it harder to break free from. Perhaps viewing your body as a spiritual temple of God will give you the necessary motivation to remove all the leeches from your life in 2022.

by Jay Mankus

The Connection Between Faithfulness and Fruitfulness

From the time human beings are born into this world, there is an internal desire to want satisfaction. Subsequently, infants naturally cry and eventually proclaim “I want, I want, I want.” Some adults don’t grow out of or lose this selfish behavior. Thus, many Christians go through life wondering why they aren’t as productive and successful as they think they should be. This is where the connection between faithfulness and fruitfulness comes into play.

If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, Deuteronomy 28:1-4.

As he was about to retire as Israel’s spiritual leader, passing the torch on to Joshua, Moses felt compelled to reveal the connection between faithfulness and fruitfulness. Moses devotes an entire chapter of the Bible to blessings and curses. During his farewell address, Moses compares the choices individuals make to life and death, Deuteronomy 30:11-18. Choosing obedience by being faithful to the commands in the Bible results in blessings. Yet, if you forget God’s advice by doing what’s right in your own eyes, your life will be filled with anguish, heartache and painful remorse.

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned, John 15:4-6.

Whatever decisions you have made in life, remember the words of Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:19-23. This cry for help reveals a God of second chances. In the passage above, Jesus reveals another connection between faithfulness and fruitfulness. God is like a gardener who prunes human beings to stimulate spiritual growth. Yet, unless you remain within the Vine which is Jesus, you are unable to bear fruit. Staying connected to Jesus throughout life demonstrates faithfulness and yields spiritual fruit.

by Jay Mankus

Something Made to Last

If you are a purest, its hard to find anything today that is built to last the test of time.  Somewhere over the last hundred years, a younger generation has chosen cheaper prices over reliability.  Subsequently, most of the items for sale are temporary, often breaking much sooner than promised or before their warranty is up.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture, John 10:9.

In 1970, Coca-Cola began an advertising campaign claiming that their soft drink Coke was the real thing.  Essentially, executives were trying to convince consumers that Pepsi Cola and RC Cola were artificial, unlike their product.  Today, other manufacturers are making similar boasts.  Unfortunately, unless you are willing to pay a premium price, rarely will you find something made to last.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full, John 10:10.

Remedy Drive sings about this topic in their 2012 song Something Made to Last.  One of the issues they address are things in life that promise satisfaction, but end in disappointment.  Since every life has the same finale, death, its vital to find something that is eternal.  This is where Jesus enters the picture, promising an abundant life to those who chose to believe.  Therefore, don’t allow yourself to settle for a life void of meaning.  Rather, step out in faith by taking the hand of Jesus, who has left you the Holy Spirit which gives you something made to last.

by Jay Mankus

 

Quitters Focus on the Wrong Things

1. Success is the process of arriving, not victory.

Instant gratification often causes the casual athlete, fan or participant to give up before seeing the fruits of their labor.  Christian apologist Clive Staples Lewis defines success as the process of arriving in his book Mere Christianity.  Unfortunately, a spirit of perfection leads many to fail to comprehend this mindset.  Thus, every year individuals stop pursuing their dreams, end a career prematurely or quit their jobs due to a lack of satisfaction.

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established, Proverbs 16:3.

2. Failure is a blue print for knowing what does not work.

In 1994, my fiance gave me her blessing to pursue professional golf in 1995.  I spent the first three months playing on the Tommy Armour Tour, a mini-tour based in Florida.  The day before my first tournament, I completely changed my swing.  After three humbling tournaments, I made my way up north to Ohio before participating in Qualifying School on Vancouver Island for the Canadian P.G.A. tour.  After being even par after 4 holes, I fell apart missing the 36 hole cut.  Looking back, if I would have waited one year before turning professional, I would have had a better chance.  Yet, for now, I know what not to do.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, Psalm 73:26.

3. Humility strips away pride, prompting hearts to trust in God, not self.

One of the hardest things to determine in life is knowing when to say when.  For me, it didn’t take long for me to realize I didn’t belong on the P.G.A. tour.  Facing failure tends to strip away arrogance, especially when you come to the reality “I can’t do this.”  However, today I struggle with determining if I have done everything possible in power to ensure success.  In the past, when I’ve allowed frustration to dictate my decision making, I quit before the timing was right.  Therefore, before you make a rash decision in the future, make sure you trust in the Lord’s understanding instead of yourself.

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight, Proverbs 3:6.

by Jay Mankus

From the Penthouse to the Manager

Money has  a way of influencing how people behave.  The term affluenza is a socially transmitted condition of overload, causing individuals to always want more without experiencing any sort of satisfaction.  After a teenage driver killed 4 people while driving drunk in Texas, psychologist Dick Miller appeared as an expert eye witness, claiming affluenza kept this boy from comprehending the full consequence of his actions.  When money is unable to purchase the life or in this case the verdict you desire, people go from the penthouse to the manager overnight.

The manger in the Bible is similar to a feeding trough, made out of wood.  As the census draw near, the only housing Joseph could afford was a barn, filled with animals.  Despite this lowly scene, visitors would soon arrive to see the One was left the Penthouses of heaven for a manger.  While 3 magi, experts in the star continued their journey, shepherds of the fields greeted a new born babe.  This experience strengthened their faith as God’s 400 years of silence finally ended.

Before I found my way in life, I lived in the cellar of my sister’s inner city home, sleeping on a couch.  Working 6 months to make what I do now in one pay check, I was forced to develop a keen faith.  With money and power absent from this equation, I started a journey similar to that of the Magi.  However, I wasn’t following a star that I could see.  Rather, I began to rely on an unseen Spirit, Galatians 5:25, leading me one step closer to where I am today.  Nonetheless, I long for the day when this trek will be made complete, John 14:2-4, going in reverse from the manger to a penthouse in heaven.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Never Satisfied

Back in January, days before my sledding accident, I had planned on giving up watching television during Lent. I was going through one of those phases in life where I sought to make history, not watch it happen. Thus, I pressed on to complete the writing on my second movie script, Behind the Devil’s Door.  Everything was moving forward as schedule until that one fateful day, January 29th.

My initial rib injury prevented me from sleeping more than an hour or so at a time, leaving me exhausted, unable to receive the rest I needed.  Ten days later, the force of a sneeze at work altered the blood flow of my internal bleeding, unknown to me, leading to several weeks of bed rest after a 4 day visit to the hospital.  Distraught, I took the advice of a relative who suggested to relax and enjoy the 2014 Winter Olympics which had just begun.  Beside listening to music, reading and writing, I didn’t have many options stuck in my downstairs recliner to avoid steps.

I don’t care if you have 1000 channels to observe daily, sooner or later you’ll be bored out of your mind, never fully satisfied by the entertainment on the big screen.  As a relatively active person, staying idle at home left me craving something more meaningful in life.  After watching the entire first season of Joan of Arcadia, I became restless longing for traces of God in Hollywood, but I was left disappointed.  To fill this void, I won’t be satisfied until the vision God has given me for my second script is complete, Philippians 1:6.

What vision or dream has God given you? Please leave a comment.

by Jay Mankus
        

Where Do We Go Now?

 

In recent years, great advancements have been made in business, medicine and technology.  Self help books, the internet and you tube videos have helped make life a little easier than in previous centuries.  However, these new resources have also crippled the human mind, replacing hard work, research and time with a click of a mouse.  The art of problem solving, trouble shooting and preventative maintenance have been replaced by computer and phone apps, calling on others to do what families once did on their own.

So where do we go from here?  Should culture continue on its current hi-tech / hi-touch path or will common sense take over, clearing hidden paths, left and forgotten by overgrown brush?  If this decision is put off, another crossroad will intersect at some point down the road, offering another choice for change.  In the movie the Patriot starring Mel Gibson, there is a touching scene between father and daughter.  Not wanting to see her father to die like an older brother, Susan begs him to stay.  Unfortunately, there are times one must face battles, giants or wars before you can resume a normal life.

If your life is anything like mine, I often find myself living the movie Castaway, standing at a 4 way stop, not sure where to make the next turn.  Each choice that is made, Deuteronomy 30:15-16, either moves you closer or farther from where you really want to go.  For a while, each will provide flashes of brilliance and possibly pleasure, yet in the end only one road leads to satisfaction, Psalm 34:4-8.  May we find each other there one day.

by Jay Mankus

Trayvon is Gone… Move On

When you don’t get the grade, ruling or outcome that you expect in life, frustration rears its ugly head.  In the moments following the verdict on the death of Trayvon Martin, horrific tweets, riots and protests took center stage in the media.  Instead of peace and satisfaction, the African American community felt betrayed, expecting a different outcome.  In the end, Trayvon is gone, the jury has spoken and its time to move on.

On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous I have a dream speech.  As I read through his text today, I am compelled to move people toward solutions and steer clear of holding grudges.  Dr. King spoke about brotherhood, embracing all of God’s children and judging people by the content of their character.  Unfortunately, too many individuals still see issues in black and white instead of being one nation under God.  Honor Dr. King by being a vessel of action, changing our culture with a Christ like faith, Matthew 19:26.

One of my favorite songs comes from the artist Geoff Moore & the Distance.  In the lyrics of Through It from his 1999 album, Geoff sings about the trials people face in life.  As the chorus goes, “sometimes, we need to go through the fire, to move beyond the obstacles staring us in the face.”  While it will take some time for Trayvon’s mother and family to let go of the pain they are feeling, the rest of our nation must move on.  There is only one judge, who we will all stand before on Judgment Day, Matthew 12:36, to judge the innocent and guilty.  Until this day, let us strive to fulfill Dr. King’s dream by applying biblical principles.

by Jay Mankus

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