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Tag Archives: spoiled

Forgiveness for Having Such a Thought

If you have ever taught, then you’ve heard some pretty shocking things come out of children.  During my first day of teaching 7th Grade, I was surprised by the conversation within my homeroom.  Apparently, several of my students had a television in their own room, able to watch a plethora of cable movies.  Thus, as a new teacher in a Christian school, I couldn’t believe what was coming out of the mouths of these youth.

Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart, Acts 8:22.

Peter had a similar encounter with an adult during the first century.  Perhaps Simon was a spoiled child growing up, getting whatever he wanted.  Thus, this privileged mindset led Simon to request something he would later regret.  Jealous of the apostle’s healing power, Simon’s thought process led him to attempt to bribe Peter for access to the Holy Spirit.  Floored by this gesture, Peter went off, demanding an immediate apology from Simon.

Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me,” Acts 8:24.

Sometimes a lack of discipline causes individuals to think out loud.  Subsequently, when a careless word is spoken, repentance is necessary.  Since no one is perfect, its essential to admit when you’re wrong.  Thus, whether you are Simon or a participant of a verbal blunder, don’t forget to ask forgiveness for such a thought as this.  The sooner you confess your wrong doings, the quicker you can experience the fullness of God’s grace.

by Jay Mankus

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Out of Touch; Nearly Out of Time

Late Night Shows and comedy segments often do a Man on the Street interview to get a laugh.  If the topic was the meaning of Memorial Day, young kids would likely reply with selfish comments.   “A three day weekend, time off school, the first day of summer”.  Unfortunately, remembering those who have died while serving the United States has become out of state out of mind.

If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth, 1 John 1:6.

The concept of the soul was inspiration for Hall and Oates 1985 song Out of Touch.  Afraid individuals would lose their soul, John Oates etched this chorus: You’re out of touch I’m out of time But I’m out of my head When you’re not around.  This sense of urgency is missing from a generation spoiled by the freedom in America.  As more and more veterans pass away annually, their time has come to an end.

Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did, 1 John 2:6.

Spiritually speaking, the church is out of touch and nearly out of time to sway a country leaning to the left.  As hearts and minds embrace secular humanism, who will stand up, blaze a new trail and ignite souls to pursue Christ.  Perhaps, most are still out of touch, distracted by a world gone wild.  Nearly out of time, who will come forth to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

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

Inside the Praise of an Apostle

Praise is not a natural emotion, at least once the sinful nature entered life’s equation.  When one rule was overlooked to indulge curiosity, the world forever changed.  At one point following Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, God’s anger continued for a generation, 40 years to be exact, Psalm 95:10.  Spoiled, spineless and spiritually lukewarm, many Jews forgot how to praise their God.

A few thousand years later, a misguided man was brought to the forefront.  Blinded by the presence of Jesus, a prideful leader was humbled by the Almighty God, Acts 9:1-19.  Although his transformation was immediate, not every cheered, especially the victims of his persecution.  Nonetheless, Saul from Tarsus tarried on with his relationship with God, unlike what most Christians will ever experience.  Pushed to the brink of death several times, a heart of worship grew within the apostle Paul.

Instead of pouting, “why me God,” Acts 16:16-36 takes a look inside a heart of praise.  Punished for doing the right thing, Paul used negative circumstances as a stepping stone to present prisoners with the good news of Jesus Christ.  The rest of this account is a testament to God’s blessings and faithfulness during the storms and trials in life.  If today’s generation of Christians can apply one lesson from the life of Paul, its simple.  Stop pouting and start praising, whether life is good, bad or indifferent, Philippians 4:4-9.

by Jay Mankus

Before God’s Presence Appears

Most Americans have become spoiled, expecting a response at the snap of their fingers.  Subsequently, when people go out to eat, go to a show or make a significant purchase, they want perfection.  When disappointed by a product or service, heads will roll and reputations will be harmed if these individuals don’t get their way.  If this is how a growing number of citizens are responding, its no wonder God is waiting to appear until faith and actions coexist.

The book of Leviticus consists of a conversation God had with Moses while on Mount Sinai in Exodus.  As I recently read through Leviticus, a pattern forms throughout the first 8 chapters, “God said to Moses.”  Following these instructions, Aaron and his sons did everything the Lord told Moses.  However, it wasn’t until Leviticus 9:4 before God’s presence appears before Israel.  Thus, this passage suggests God is waiting for his children to carefully follow the Bible’s commands prior to being accompanied by blessings, Deuteronomy 28:2.

While some may say, “what are you waiting for,” others are trying to twist the Bible to conform to their own beliefs.  As for me, a lack of results makes the obvious seem clear once again, “be doers of the word, not just hearers,” Matthew 7:24-27.  Once I realign my priorities to Matthew 6:33, God promises to provide for my daily needs.  Therefore, if you are hungry and thirsty to experience God’s presence, listen to words of Jesus like Aaron followed Moses.

Let us know when you’ve encountered God’s presence.

by Jay Mankus

 

Powerless

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Last night, my favorite lamp (if there is such a thing) and the only light source in our family room went out just before Bible Study.  After investigating for a few minutes, I discovered the main plug had begun to tear away from the cord creating a fire hazard.  Thus, I was forced to improvise, bringing a lamp from upstairs as a temporary solution.  Without an electrician at my immediate disposal, I was powerless, left in the dark contemplating another annoying hassle thrown into the equation called life.

On August 14th, 2003, 50 million residents of the Northeastern portion of the United States were powerless, forced to resume life without power during the largest power outage in U.S. history.  An aging electrical grid left residents from Ohio,  across to New York City and up as far as Ontario, Canada without power.  Like a bad practical joke, America didn’t have a choice except slow down, go back in time and make the best of life for 24 hours.  Fortunately, I had moved to southern Indiana in June or I would have spent my birthday in the dark.

Enslaved by technology 10 years later, this generation might have a hissy fit if a similar outage occurs, crying out for 4G, their favorite game systems and high definition television.  Blinded by the delicacies of life, many adults still act like spoiled children, complaining until they get their way.  Romans 8:3 refers to a spiritual blackout, where people are powerless, unable to save themselves from sin and its powerful grip.  In a pit of despair, Psalm 30:1-3, helpless to turn life around, God sent his son Jesus to be a sin offering, cancelling the debts we have accrued .  Therefore, the next time the lights go out for an extended time, grab a flashlight and find a Bible.  While you may be powerless, God provides the juice in Romans 5:8 to flip your life around for good.

by Jay Mankus

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