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Tag Archives: seize each day

Multiple and Don’t Dillydally

I was first introduced by the idiom dillydally by one of my Junior High teachers. This woman hated to lose valuable class time, regularly pointing out to her class this wretched behavior. Yet, this term dates back to the Middle Ages. Dilly-dally is a reduplication of dally, referring to loitering or spending time idly. According to the OED, dilly-dally first appeared in literature around 1741.

Build yourselves houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not be diminished, Jeremiah 29:5-6.

While Israel was living in exile, forced to reside in Babylon, many longed to be back in their homeland. Based upon the passage above, many Israelites were seen moping around, unable to come to grips with their current dilemma. Like teenagers loitering at a local mall, God sent the prophet Jeremiah to give everyone a pep talk. The best way to summarize this message is “multiple and don’t dillydally.”

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air], James 4:13-14.

Jesus’ earthly brother proclaimed that life is too short to dwell on the past. Whenever you let depression suck the joy out of life, you’ll never get back the time you’ve lost wishing you were someone else or some other place. The time for moping is over for me. Instead of dillydallying in this or that, seize each day like it’s your last. Dwell where the Lord has planted you, making the most of the hours you have left on earth.

by Jay Mankus

When Christian’s Don’t Know How to Act

Becoming a Christian is like new parents coming home from the hospital with their first child. Adults may take Lamaze classes in preparation, but once there are no doctors around to tell you what to do, you’re on your own. While most churches provide literature for new believers or offer classes to help prepare newbies for a new life in Christ, there are still more questions than answers. Subsequently, countless Christians often don’t know how to act after trusting in Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

As for the man who is a weak believer, welcome him [into your fellowship], but not to criticize his opinions or pass judgment on his scruples or perplex him with discussions. One [man’s faith permits him to] believe he may eat anything, while a weaker one [limits his] eating to vegetables. Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on and censure another’s household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand, Romans 14:1-4.

While visiting the Church at Rome, the apostle Paul came into contact with new, immature and weak Christians. The passage above provides advice for coping and dealing with Christians who don’t exactly know how to act yet. As a former high school coach, Paul’s words remind me that not every individual responds well to criticism. Some people need encouragement, others need a pat on the back and the lackadaisical could use a stern talking to promote spiritual growth.

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. 15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. 16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. 17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:14-17.

The earthly brother of Jesus was introduced to the concept of sins of omission. Perhaps, the Pharisees became so concerned about religious practices such as resting on the Sabbath that they failed to see opportunities to help and serve others. When his older brother was crucified on a cross at age 33, James realized that life is too short to not to know how to act. Therefore, if your conscience or the Holy Spirit compels you to act and you do not, you’re just as guilty as a sinner. Therefore, seize each day and learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, so you begin to learn how to act as a Christian daily.

by Jay Mankus

Live Purposefully

While attending a seminar in college, I was first introduced to the concept of planning. One of the speakers proclaimed, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This message is consistent with the words of an Old Testament prophet, Hosea 4:6. When your life is void of goals, without a clear vision for where you want to go, failure is in your future. Thus, if you want to live purposefully, this journey begins by discovering your place in this world.

Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Ephesians 5:14-15.

Near the end of his letter to the Church at Ephesus, Paul provides a pep talk for those individuals going through life without any sense of direction. Paul uses the analogy of sleep walking, spiritual dead or numb to God’s calling. Instead of going through life like a zombie from the Walking Dead, people need to become alive, inspired by the light of Christ. Until this spiritual hunger is conceived, people will continue to wander aimlessly through life.

Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is, Ephesians 5:16-17.

The Roman poet Horace recorded the Latin saying Carpe Diem in his work Odes, 25 years before Christ was born. As a Roman citizen, Paul likely knew of Horace’s work and may have referenced this in the passage above. If you truly want to seize each day, grasping God’s will for your life is the first step. As this comes into focus, uncovering your spiritual gifts and talents is crucial, 1 Corinthians 12:1-12. When these are put into action, 2 Timothy 1:6, living with purpose is possible, John 10:10.

by Jay Mankus

When Love Passes You By

On earth, time can serve as an enemy, separating you from the people you care about most.  Like a high speed coaster, the twists and turn in life can distract you from connecting with friends, fellowship or mentors.  Thus, when the weekend rolls around, I often find myself on the outside looking in as love passes me by.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes, James 4:14.

While driving home from work, I heard the song In a Moment by Halfway Past Forever.  Don’t waste your time searching for the you tube or lyrics as I don’t think it exists.   Anyway, the chorus talks about having love pass you by.  If you allow the world to dictate the pace at which you live your life then you too are in danger of letting love pass you by.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day, 2 Peter 3:8.

As my oldest son experiences his final year of high school with home coming festivities this weekend, I feel compelled to slow down, take a look around and reach out to those whom I hold dear.  Don’t let yourself fade into a time warp, wishing you could relive a moment in time.  Rather, seize each day that you have with those you care for so you assure yourself that love won’t pass you by.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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