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Tag Archives: Silence

Suppressing the Majority

When the facts don’t paint a pretty picture of a beloved figure, an ideology or movement, members of the media may be tempted to hide, suppress or redirect the public’s attention to a matter of less importance, serving as a diversion.  This practice often involves bottling, concealing, snuffing out or withholding essential information.  Subsequently, the majority can be silenced, kept in the dark about what is really happening in the world.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord,” Romans 12:19.

A camera without context can be dangerous in today’s society, unable to magnify the big picture or provide an accurate description of what has occurred.  Back in the mid to late 1990’s, I attended the first Promise Keepers’ event held at Soldier Field.  Bill McCartney packed the house Friday night as close to 65,000 men filled the home of the Chicago Bears.  Unfortunately, the headlines in the Chicago papers and television read, woman protest this sexist group.  New flash: there were 3 protesters Friday night and 1 on Saturday.  This is just another example of how a liberal media have suppressed the majority.

What the wicked dreads will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted, Proverbs 10:24.

Not much has changed over the past 20 years except cell phones and tablets have turned average citizens into newscasters.  Yet, depending on what you have caught on film can either be used to demonize an unpopular individual or stir up raw emotions within viewers.  As much as some people like being in control, no one can play God.  Whatever motives the medias possesses either bad or good will eventually be exposed.  Therefore, while the majority may be suppressed temporary, God will reward the righteous for staying the course in the end.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Hostage of Peace

Words like captive, pawn and victim are often associated with a hostage.  Despite this negative connotation, hostages can find a state of mind where peace is achieved.  Such is the case for a pastor arrested in communist China, sentenced to a prison camp for proselytizing where a cess pool became his home.  Days led to weeks, weeks to months and months to years, forced to dwell in a place which most gagged on the stench.  Yet, in this living hell, this man of God imagined the words of the Bible he read throughout his years of ministry.  Overtime, a transformation conceived a hostage of peace.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you, Isaiah 26:3.

In August of 2012, Tenth Avenue North released The Struggle, an album that featured several songs with powerful lyrics.  One of my favorites is Hostage of Peace, commences with the idea earthly battles begin in the heart.

Feel the silence
There’s a war beneath our skin
Let it begin
It’s hard to fight
It’s hard to lead resistance
It’s our hearts we’re up against

Although the world around human beings may fall apart, Ten Avenue North encourages individuals to cling to the promises in the Bible.  When danger approaches, the author of this song suggests to cry out to in prayer to find the loving arms of our heavenly Father.  This is where an individual can become a hostage of peace.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord, Hebrews 12:14.

Decades following this pastor’s travails, would modern Christians be able to survive if stripped away from their spiritual foundation?  With temptations lurking around every corner, waiting to pounce on unprepared souls, could a strong faith endure without access to the Bible?  God willing, American believers won’t have to experience the trials of nations in spiritual bondage.  However, if the culture continues to embrace and lean toward leftist beliefs, church leaders will need to prepare their congregations to obtain a hostage of peace.

by Jay Mankus

Inside a Humbled Heart

When things are going well in life, one’s mood will tend to become more talkative.  Reveling in the good times promotes conversation, chatting about the blessings God has bestowed upon you.  However, as the tide turns, bringing in trials, turmoil and suffering, joy quickly leads to silence.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. – Psalm 25:9

Like seasons of change, humility is a natural way of purging any arrogance or pride inside the human soul.  Yet, when unfortunate events linger beyond a normal period of time, hearts become troubled.  While tongues may speak of their misery, the sound of good news is a distant memory.

For when they are humbled you say, ‘It is because of pride’; but he saves the lowly. – Job 22:29

Wounded souls often withdraw, waiting for something positive to discuss.  If nothing approves, the pain inside will scream out through body language.  Unless family, friends or strangers are observant, depression will form, creating a downward spiral.  Inside any humbled heart, patients long for healing, hoping humility will be replaced by love, joy and peace.  May this blog inspire to reach out to the humbled hearts which surround you.

by Jay Mankus

A Second Chance at Sight

In the 1988 film, Scrooged, Bill Murray is looking for a second chance in life.  Meanwhile, Alfre Woodard, playing Murray’s secretary Grace Cooley, prays for a Christmas miracle.  Inspired by visits from Christmas ghosts of the past, current and future, Murray risks his job by highjacking a live Christmas program to communicate the meaning of Christmas.  In the process, Cooley’s son who hadn’t spoken a word in years, breaks his silence at the conclusion of this live event.

As for me, I’ve received a second chance at sight.  Only a few people were aware of the pain I endured for 2 months this fall.  Unable to bear it any longer, I went to my eye doctor to see if I needed glasses.  Thinking old age was the main culprit, a set of tests revealed that my retinas were swollen, filled with fluids.  As the initial medicine made my condition worse to begin with, the nightmare of not being able to read things like the Bible was a real possibility.  However, 2 weeks later, God has given me a second chance at sight.

Therefore, as you open presents this Christmas season, don’t overlook the most precious gifts of all.  Whether its your senses, friendships or the memories of those who are no longer with you, Christmas is a time of second chances.  A season of forgiveness with the birth of a Savior, Matthew 1:21, who came to give you a new leash on life.  This Christmas, I got a second chance at sight.  As for you, may the power of the Holy Spirit reveal to you what you should be most thankful for.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Place of Silence

When I arrived earlier than normal to school in my teaching years, I felt like I had time to converse before the first bell signaled the beginning of another hectic day.  Scanning the hallways, I discovered a place of silence.  Walking back to the teacher’s lounge, the students present were tuned out, listening to music with ear buds on,  preventing any chances for a meaningful conversation.

Modern parents have been convinced by government agencies that spanking is wrong.  Thus, fear has been replaced with the silent treatment.  Unfortunately, sending kids to time out isn’t always punishment.  While the social may feel like they have been sent to solitary confinement, quiet children enjoy the place of silence.

Psalm 115:7 introduces the Bible’s readers to a new concept of hell, the place of silence.  This imagery brings a new perspective of hell, combining loneliness with time out.  When your time on earth runs out, there only 2 possible destinations, heaven or hell.  Either you will find a destination where your cries for help go unheard.  Or you will enter a place where your tears will be wiped away.  Take the advice of Moses by choosing life today, Deuteronomy 30:15-17.

by Jay Mankus

The Lone Source of Hope

When negativity bombards the air waves, the best thing you can do is disconnect, unplug from a world that appears to be falling apart.  Unless you do, you might be swayed to join in the blame game, casting stones instead of developing solutions for these problems.  However, the moment you allow silence to draw near, you will find the lone source of hope.

It’s sad to see grown adults act like children throwing a tantrum on television.  In the absence of real leadership, kids follow in the footsteps of their parents, thinking this is normal behavior.  This isn’t the America that I remember, the place where I grew up.  Instead I see souls who have given up, become dejected and are now filled with bitterness.

Once you escape voices of the disenfranchised, beyond the sunrise and sunset, you will find one who is worthy to be praised, Psalm 113:3.  Like the words of David in his days of doubt, the Lord was his rock, providing a place where he could stand, Psalm 40:1-3.  The next time the media causes you to become depressed, just turn it off.  When you do, turn your eyes toward heaven, for this is the only place you will find the lone source of hope.

by Jay Mankus

Judge, Jury and Executioner

If you follow Twitter, listen to Talk Radio or watch Cable News, then you have a slight inclination on what’s wrong with this country and the world as a whole.  Countless individuals have forgotten the words of Jesus in John 8:6-9, “let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Blinded by hypocrisy, ignorance or simply oblivious to their spiritual condition, many are acting as judge, jury and executioner, piling on with stone after stone.

In view of TMZ’s release on their website earlier in the week of Ray Rice striking his soon to be wife in an elevator, the media has stirred the masses into a tizzy.  With one person down, Ray Rice, kicked to the curb on Monday after being release by the Baltimore Ravens, the next victim is Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL.  People are lining up in droves to take their shots, putting pressure on Goodell to resign.  As radio and television analysts comment on the hot topic of this week, abused women, there’s an eerie silence for the unborn child, killed every day because the law says its okay.

The only person in the media who has made any sense this week is Steve Smith, veteran wide receiver of the Ravens, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers.  Steve reminded the press that God is the only true judge.  Although citizens like to pretend to be the judge and part of the jury, God will hold everyone accountable based upon what they have done on earth, Matthew 12:36-37.  Before another human being in thrown under the bus this week, refrain yourself the next time you have an urge to trash someone.  For if you do, you will likely reap what you sow and one day you will be at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner.

by Jay Mankus

 

Uninspired

Creative, innovative and stimulated, words synonymous with inspiration.  Normally, words flow for me, like water trickling over a majestic waterfall.  Yet, today is one of those days where silence reigns.  Although my mind is enduring writer’s block, my heart still dreams of a time writing pays the bills.  Uninspired, I press on to take hold of that which Christ has called me to do, Philippians 3:12-14.

In life, there are 5 basic stages of motivation: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.  Achieving goals require discipline, inspiration and reflection.  If you fail to set aside time for the things that you love, don’t be surprised if you lose joy for living.  Its no wonder that misery loves company as the uninspired spend more time breaking dreams and dashing hopes than casting vision for others to follow.

If the stages of motivation aren’t nourished, boredom, depression and displeasure will move in.  One of the keys to life is establishing, maintaining and nurturing balance in one’s life.  If you miss a beat like me, you’ll find yourself uninspired, struggling to find a reason to get up in the morning.  Depending upon the mood this blog finds you in, don’t forget the promise of Galatians 6:9-10.  When a spirit of depression tries to invade your soul, fight back with prayer.

by Jay Mankus

 

When You’re Rejected by God

Rejections come in various forms like having a credit card declined, being dismissed by an employer or being turned down for a date.  However, whenever prayers go unanswered, problems continue to mount or nothing ever seems to go right, individuals feel rejected by God.  Confused by God’s lack of action and silence, wounded souls struggle to make sense of their current dilemma.

Following their banishment from the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:23, the first family resembled a soap opera more than God’s well pleased creation.  To make matters worse, a sibling rivalry commenced in Genesis 4:3-5.  When big bigger, Cain, had his offering rejected by God, resentment and jealousy flowed toward his younger brother Abel.  As disappointment gave birth to depression, a wicked scheme tempted the mind of Cain.  It’s one thing to be honest with God, yet revenge led Cain to overreact, ending the life of his little brother.

Although the Lord does predestine certain leaders to fulfill the great commission, there are clear indications why God rejected Cain and accepted Abel’s offering.

1) God honors those who give their best, Matthew 5:48.  Genesis 4:3 suggests there was no sense of urgency within Cain to give the Lord his first fruits.  Cain waited until his belly was full and his family had enough food to eat before he got around to it.  Foregoing Matthew 6:33, Cain appeared to trust in his own ability and not God.  Meanwhile, Abel gave to the Lord his first and most precious sheep, believing God would replace these in the near future, Genesis 4:4.

2) Offer your body as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1.  If everything that is good comes from above, James 1:16-17, when people honor God with their bodies, you get the Lord’s attention like Abel.  On the other hand, its easy to become lukewarm about things in life, picking and choosing when its convenient to serve God.  I guess you can say, Cain’s heart wasn’t into his offering.  Therefore, when you fall into this habit or pattern, its essential that you receive a spiritual heart transplant, Ezekiel 36:26.

3)Be your brother’s keeper by holding others accountable, James 5:19-20.  Cain tried to avoid any responsibility for his brother’s death.  Whether you’re the oldest or the youngest, each believer should set the example for others to follow, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.  Whenever someone does stray off course, its vital to steer wandering souls back toward the narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14.  Thus, the next time you feel rejected by God, reflect upon these 3 indicators so that you won’t regret or overreact to the hand you have been dealt like Cain.

by Jay Mankus

 

Taking Your Phone for a Walk…

Huh?  What a preposterous concept.  That’s what I thought until I spent 2 hours on Main Street in Newark observing people.  Call it a psychology experiment or an unusual way to pass time on a boring summer day, yet technology has altered the way individuals communicate.

Instead of bringing a plastic bag along with you to pick poop, dogs are being replaced with iphones and smartphones.  Seeking immediate feedback, emails, texts and tweets are trending in the right direction, at least that’s what the masses think.  Listening to downloaded music on their stylish new buds, many are so consumed by the devise attached to their hands and or ears that they oblivious to the world around them.

Since language barriers were first established in Babel, Genesis 11:5-8, there have always been periods of division, misunderstandings and silence.  However, the evolution of cell phones has perverted social ethics.  Disinterest, disrespect and ignorance is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions.  Thus, as blinded citizens continue to take their phones for a walk, its time for bystanders to help their neighbors break out of this spell, Galatians 3:1, until its too late.

What do you think about today’s cell phone manners?

by Jay Mankus

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