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Overwhelmed by Priorities

Every day when I arise from sleep, my mind is overwhelmed by the choices at hand.  Do I read?  Should I write?  Perhaps I need to work out?  Maybe hitting the snooze button and rolling over is my best option.  Either way, the choices you make will dictate the path your life takes.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:34

Like most years, my New Years Resolutions are being modified as desires to lose weight, eat healthy and draw closer to God have fallen short.  Sometimes I feel as if I am in a tug of war, pulled in a direction I don’t want to go, yet over time I submit, dragged to a new low.  By enduring these trials, I am beginning to comprehend the words of the apostle Paul as he explains how the sinful nature can influence one’s priorities.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. – Romans 7:15

When Jeremiah opened his mouth to Israel, negative messages usually came forth.  Thus, this servant of God was nicknamed the weeping prophet.  If you too feel depressed, frustrated or lost, there are some promises in the Bible to cling to.  Lamentations 3:20-24 suggests God’s forgiveness is new every morning.  Therefore, if you fail to keep the priorities that you hold dear, may God’s grace lift you up each time you fall.

by Jay Mankus



Green Pastures of Prayer

Psalm 23:2 implies several things about the relationship between a sheep and his shepherd.  The expression “makes me lie down” suggests a sheep has submitted to his master.  This commitment yields an individual’s power of control over to their shepherd, acknowledging total surrender.  Like an act of faith, this decision essentially communicates that you have embraced God’s ways, a sign you have turned over a new lease on life to the Lord of heaven and earth.  In return, Jesus promises a future which contains green pastures.

Mark 1:35-39 is a real life example of Psalm 23.  Jesus models an ideal prayer life, early in the morning, in solitude, without the distractions of the world to interrupt your connection with God the Father.  Although some may claim there know exactly what they want to do and where they expect to go on a specific day, the Shepherd knows best.  While praying, the Holy Spirit showed Jesus where to go and what to do, Mark 1:38.  As a result, the disciples experienced the green pastures of prayer during their 3 years with Jesus before his death, resurrection and ascension.  The only question remaining is, can modern followers of Jesus find similar blessings?

Although opinions vary, I believe beyond the walls of doubt exists a lush oasis, waiting for your arrival.  However, daily obstacles often keep you from day dreaming of such a place.  Nonetheless, once you wade through the stresses of life, a shepherd stands guard at a gate.  This entrance to a promised land, illuminates the truth of the Word of God.  Accessible by prayer, may you see for yourself the green pastures awaiting for God’s children.  When prayer inspires tithing, the floodgates to heaven on earth will open, Malachi 3:10-12.  Come now will the grass is still green…

by Jay Mankus

Eclipsed by Glory

Inspired by the first woman to swim the English Channel, a California swimmer attempted a similar feat, trying to make the 22 mile journey from Catalina Island to the California coastline.  Swimming for 15 hours, with a boat on either side of her for safety, a thick Marine layer prevented this woman from seeing the finish line.  Exhausted and swimming blind the entire time, she gave up only a few hundred yards from the beach.  Thus, the fog, as thick as pea soup, eclipsed her glory, failing to make history.

From January 1st, 2012 through March 23rd, 2013, I was living in a dense spiritual fog.  During this 15 month stretch, there were moments, even a day or two, when I thought, finally these clouds are dissipating.  To my disappointment, another layer of fog rolled in, more dense than the one before.  My career path became like a yo-yo, slinky and a series of one hit wonders, showing hope and promise one day, yet gone the next.  As a result, I was ready to quit, as my plans kept coming up empty, Proverbs 19:21.

From an astronomy perspective, an eclipse occurs when there is an obscuration of light as a moon or planet intervenes momentarily.  From a spiritual point of view, human beings often seek fame for themselves, stealing God of the glory He is due.  Despite these efforts, the Lord’s purpose always prevails, using the weather to steer you in the direction, toward His will.  Therefore, move out of God’s way, let Jesus take the wheel, Ephesians 2:10 and submit to the Creator’s commands in Philippians 2:13-14.  Then, you can experience the eclipse of God’s glory!

by Jay Mankus

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