RSS Feed

Tag Archives: the Lord

Why the World is Falling Apart

Gone are the days of Wilbur Wilberforce, when politicians did the right thing without taking a poll, trying to get re-elected or win public approval.  In an attempt to get ahead, integrity has been swept under the rug, trampled by greed, power and souls seeking victory whatever the cost.  Lurking in the darkness, the reason for this decline lies in John 8:34.

Slavery, a grave reminder of the past, is alive and well inside the heart’s of human beings.  Although mankind think they are in control, sin is large and in charge, holding individuals captive, Romans 7:14-20.  Perhaps this truth led the apostle Paul, one of the godliest men to ever live to claim he was one of the greatest sinners ever, 1 Timothy 1:15.  If you had to diagnosis why the world is falling apart, sin is a prime suspect.

Discipline, good intentions and self-control may appear to be full proof, but in the end its like fool’s gold.  Subsequently, the grasp of sin prevents countless from doing the right thing, Romans 8:5-8, something Paul knew from personal experience.  Until people acknowledge the reality of their soul, a sinner in desperate need of a Savior, John 3:3-5, the world will continue its downward spiral.  May the Lord help put people back together, one soul at a time, Luke 15:7.

by Jay Mankus

So That’s Where It Comes From

Adults have different styles of communication, producing a wide range of reactions, even within their own children.  The authoritarian will claim, “this is the way its always been so there is no highway option.”  Meanwhile the laissez faire, who are often soft spoken will allow flexibility, offering little resistance to correction.  This broad spectrum of coaching, parenting  and or teaching leaves a gap, with many blanks to fill in between to properly convey crucial information.

As I child, I remember hearing daily pleas such as “wash your hands, brush your teeth and think before you speak.”  Maybe I was naive, but I never questioned or wondered why these things were so important.  I simply assumed by father knew best so I tried my best to follow directions.  While reading the Old Testament last week, I stumbled upon the source of my dad’s first command, Leviticus 15:11.

Before the invention of microscopes, God understood how germs spread.  Thus, to combat this concern, the Lord told Moses to tell the Israelites to wash their hands after going to the bathroom or before eating.  Although Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has influenced many to go to extremes, washing your hands is a simple way to remain healthy.  As Paul Harvey says in his famous radio deliveries, “Now you know, the rest of the story!”

What commands do you recall from your childhood?

by Jay Mankus

 

God’s Aha Moment

Beyond the scene of a crime, evil deeds do not go overlooked by God.  Although initially someone may believe they have out tricked authorities.  In the end, the Lord will turn the tables on acts of the sinful nature, Galatians 5:19-21.

According to Psalm 70:2-3, King David reveals a side of God few see or experience.  Despite being out numbered, the Lord has the power to outwit, outlast and foil the attacks of enemies.  The apostle Paul reinforces this belief through the words of Romans 8:38-39.

While the world relies on plotting, scheming and revenge to gain control, an invisible force is on the move.  Like a 15 round heavy weight fight, Galatians 5:16-18, angels and demons duel to influence the souls of mankind.  Just as the devil appears to have been victorious, Jesus rose from the grave to conquer sin and death, Colossians 2:13-15.  In a comeback for the ages, God’s Aha moment has changed the course of history forever, John 3:16-17.  May this triumph uplift your soul, empowering you to run with perseverance despite the challenges you face in life, Hebrews 12:1-3.

by Jay Mankus

The King of Bling

The term bling is synonymous with the hip hop culture, who coined this slang phrase by the expensive jewelry wore by stars  in music videos.  Rappers loaded with bling often flash gold bracelets, necklaces and rings as a sign of their celebrity status.  Although entertainers  come and go, most would be surprised by the true King of Bling.

According to Exodus 39:8-21, it appears that God is the architect of bling.  Dressing to impress, the Lord designed an immaculate wardrobe for his priests, adorned with gold and precious gems, verses 10-14.  Priests were the first individuals to garnish braided chains of pure gold, verse 15, like the ropes of gold displayed on television today.  Unfortunately, this aspect of God’s character is neglected, forgotten by most except for those who take the time to read the Old Testament.

While the bling on earth is impressive, heaven holds a storehouse of riches.  Jesus conveys a message of hope to his disciples in John 14:2, suggesting their are many rooms in heaven waiting for his followers.  Although names are not specified, the apostle Paul promised crowns that will last forever, 1 Corinthians 9:25.  Therefore, if you can’t afford bling in this present life, don’t be dismayed.  Wait on the King of Bling, Jesus, to adorn you with eternal jewelry.

by Jay Mankus

Where it All Began

Initially, the Bible was a gift I received after partaking in my first Holy Communion as a 2nd grader.  This white leather covered book was filled with pictures, perfect for someone that age.  As I grew older, busyness, distractions and other interests caused me to leave these pages on my shelf, collecting dust for years.  By the time junior high rolled around, the Roman Catholic Church informed me that it was time for confirmation, usually a year long process filled with a detailed checklist.  Despite receiving an adult black leather King James Bible for my hard work, I treated this book like a hotel visit, inside my nightstand.

 

As I entered high school, the priests at my parent’s church claimed that only they could properly interpret the Bible.  Sarcasm inside of me thought; “why did you give me 2 Bible’s if you knew I wouldn’t understand it?”  Turned off by men of the cloth, God placed me into an unique setting.  Although superficial at first, I began running cross country to get my name in the news paper, like our paperboy who always finished in the top 3 of each race.  The Lord used this artificial motivation to bring me into something special, like a small family of strangers who seemingly hit it off from the beginning.  Cross Country was no longer just running, it was eating meals together, spending time dreaming about life and sharing burdens to help each other to get through the day.

 

The Bible became more than just a book before each cross country race.  It all began during chapels, pre-race huddles when a senior would share an inspirational story, our coach would read a verse from the Bible about running and a captain usually closed in a short prayer.  Hearing passages like Hebrews 12:1, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Galatians 5:7 transformed my perspective of the Bible.  Prior to high school cross country, the Bible was a book, too holy for me to comprehend.  Yet, when my own peers began to recount the words of the apostle Paul, an avid sports enthusiast, there was an instant connection, Romans 10:17.  By the end of my sophomore running season, I was ready to take the plunge, Romans 10:9-10, a leap of faith.  For me, this is where it all began.

by Jay Mankus

Did God Really Tell Me That?

 
Although its been thousands of years since Lucifer first planted the idea of questioning God within eve’s mind, Genesis 3:1, there is a new trend gaining traction.  Sure, there will always be doubters, haters and nay sayers who will claim God does not exist.  Yet, this latest fad might be more harmful, especially when their promises come up empty.  Like a page out of the Bible, more and more people are sharing stories about how God is speaking to them in an audible voice, either in dreams, during a prayer or while reading the Bible.  Before these phanatics get excited by telling anyone who will listen, maybe they should practice 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, asking the question, “did God really tell me that?”

The reason why I say this is that gullible and hurting people are often burned by optimistic news, taking what pastors, television evangelists or faith healers say as gospel, as if these words came straight out of Jesus’ mouth.  Back in February of 2012, I began to hear countless testimonies, people who reached out to the parents of Joseph Feeley, one of my former students who had been battling cancer for 2 years.  Though I believe each had good intentions, they were proved wrong when Joseph went to be home with the Lord on February 27th, less than a month after confidently proclaiming Joseph would be healed, traveling throughout the country as a motivational speaker.

Six months later, I received a similar message at a Christian bookstore in Delaware.  Since I was still searching for a full time job, I was vulnerable, grasping at straws for anything positive.  When I wrote a blog on this encounter in late August of 2012, I was hopeful the words of this prophet might come true, “God will reward you with a great paying job, surpassing your wildest imagination.”  Unfortunately, this grandois prophecy did not occur within the time table give but who knows, maybe my position at Amazon could turn into something special.  However, like the Feeley family, I am still in a lot of pain, disappointed by the outcome of my current path.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, I won’t give up on chasing my dreams of becoming a novelist, screen writer or both.  In future blogs, I will be careful not to exploit anyone with promises unless I am certain of a specific message, truth or word of insight people need to hear.  The lesson to be learned from this blog is to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, ensuring your words don’t inflict false hope to a world searching for answers.  May these words, stirring within my heart, strike a cord, helping you to reflect before blotting out any words in the future.

by Jay Mankus

A Reasonable God

Behind the blunders, lies and mistakes, Abraham was an amazing leader based upon the account of Genesis 14:13-17.  This God given talent enabled Abraham to approach God with boldness.  As he interrupts the Lord several times in Genesis 18:20-33 as God’s plan is unveiled, this passage from the Bible proves that our heavenly father is a reasonable God.

Responding to Abraham’s pleas immediately, the Lord sends out 2 angels to spend the night in the town square of Sodom and Gomorrah.  All these 2 servants needed to find were 10 righteous, God fearing individuals, to cancel the threat of looming destruction of these 2 cities.  However, Lot persuades the angels to alter their plans, offering his home as shelter, Genesis 19:2-3.  One can only imagine Lot’s motives for this move, yet Genesis 19:4-5 clearly illustrates “Lust Gone Wild.”  With Lot, his wife and 2 daughters found, Abraham’s prayer came up 6 people short.

When you or I pray to God, we don’t have the luxury to see what is taking place in heaven.  Behind the scenes, God is commanding angels, sending guardian angels to our side and waiting for a spirit of obedience to fill the hearts of his children.  Nonetheless, when these conditions are not met, God will only act according to the Bible.  Isaiah 1:15-20 proves God will not hear our prayers until our hearts, motives and will changes.  Therefore, the next time you get angry at God or question His lack of concern toward your situation, ask yourself, “have I’ve meet the conditions necessary for blessings?”  When your daily life resembles Deuteronomy 28:1-2 and Malachi 3:10, you will find a reasonable God.

by Jay Mankus

The Original Indecent Proposal

Still of Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson in Indecent ProposalIn 1993, Hollywood pushed the envelope further than most screen writers had gone before in the film Indecent Proposal.  As Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore lose their life savings gambling in Las Vegas, they encounter a billionaire who offers a selfish plan to solve their financial woes.  Robert Redford offers one million dollars to the couple if Woody allows him to spend one night with his wife.  Controversial at the time, this concept is an idea taken right out of the Bible.

Still of Robert Redford in Indecent ProposalFour hundred years following the flood, God called Abram to leave Haran and the comfort of his family, Genesis 12:1.  Traveling toward Canaan, Abram makes 2 altars to the Lord, dedicating his life to the Lord in the hills between Bethel and Ai.  However, like the 1993 movie, during the first sign of turbulence, a famine, Abram relies on himself, not the Lord.  Since it was common for kings to steal beautiful wives, killing their husbands, Abram came up with the original indecent proposal.

Located in Genesis 12:10-13, Abram encourages Sarai his wife to tell a little white lie to Pharaoh.  Compromise is so subtle, logically excusing ourselves from sin due to circumstance.  As this plan is carried out to completion, Abram becomes a hero, honored with sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels and servants.  In the process, Sarai is taken as Pharaoh’s wife, but curses follow his family immediately.  Like the sailor’s in the days of Jonah 1:8, Pharaoh quickly recognizes Abram as the source of his troubles.

Being duped by Abram, Pharaoh confronts him in Genesis 12:17-20, kicking this couple out of Egypt, left to fend for themselves during the rest of the famine.  While on  the outside, Abram might have felt like he got away with his plan, consequences follow.  Sarai becomes barren, she talks Abram into having a son with another woman, Genesis 16:1-2 and trials become a way of life for this couple.  If your life is a mess like this family or you are feeling burdened by the stress of life, call on the name of the Lord, Proverbs 3:5-6.  If you do this, the Holy Spirit will keep you from going through with any indecent proposals that pop into your mind, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

by Jay Mankus

Mountain Dew

As spring fades into summer, a natural phenomena occurs nearly every morning.  Appearing on blades of grass, dew  forms as exposed surfaces cool by radiating its heat through water droplets.  Those who are early risers, walk their dogs before work or play golf at day light either see footprints left by individuals or feel the cooling refreshing remnants of dew on their feet.

By the 1940’s, another dew made its presence known in America.  Now produced by the Pepsi Company, Mountain Dew was invented by Barney and Ally Hartman in Tennessee.  As the popularity of this carbonated fountain drink grew in the south, the brand and rights were purchased by Pepsi Cola in 1964.  The idea was to attach the image of cool and refreshing dew into a product which would quench the thirst of parched souls.

King David uses mountain dew in another context within Psalm 133.  Initially, David opens his song with a heart felt call to unity within the body of Christ in verse 1.  To express how sweet this feels, David paints a picture of being anointed with oil, in the tradition of the Old Testament, verse 2.  To finish his case in verse 3, David compares dew that forms on a mountain with the blessings of the Lord.  Therefore, the next time you see dew of any kind, think of all the blessings God desires to bestow upon those who call on the name of the Lord, Romans 10:11.

by Jay Mankus

Inspector Clueso

After my wife and I had our first child in 1998, it was time to begin the search for our first home.  Novices in this area, I called upon my mother, a successful realtor for more than a decade, leaning on her expertise and knowledge to start this process.  Similar to Goldilocks and the 3 Little Bears, it took several visits to a half dozen homes before God led us to the right one.  The last step before giving an offer was the home inspection, a thorough examination by an expert to access the exterior, interior and every little nook and cranny to expose any flaws.

King Solomon talks about a different kind of home inspection within one of his Psalms.  “Unless the Lord builds the home, its builders labor in vain,” Psalm 127:1a.  Based upon a dream from 1 Kings 3:5-9, God blessed Solomon with a heavenly wisdom.  Thus, a home must be built upon a solid foundation to endure the storms in life.  However, structures must also be inspired by the Lord, built for the right meaning and purpose.

The apostle Paul used a similar method for home inspections in his day.  According to 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, each body is compared with a living temple.  Filled with many temporary things in life, believers are reminded that this is where the Holy Spirit was designed to reside.  Upon reading these passages, I am shocked at what I have found living in my own temple.  While painful, internal home inspections are a necessary evil, helping individuals measure their degree of commitment to the Lord.  Don’t put this inspection off another day.  Rather, use Galatians 5:19-23 as a check list to make sure every stone is uncovered.  In his search for the Pink Panther, Inspector Clueso never gave up!  While he was unsuccessful, all the Lord deserves of you is that you honor Him with your body!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: