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Tag Archives: the power of the Holy Spirit

The Spiritual Silencing of the Lambs

The words from a mob gathered outside the home of Lot, Abraham’s nephew, reminds me of comments made by members of the Woke Community posted on social media on a weekly occurrence. When your beliefs, convictions and worldview do not align with the progressive elite, you may be on the verge of being silenced like many Christians and churches during the Coronavirus.

But they said, Stand back! And they said, This fellow came in to live here temporarily, and now he presumes to be [our] judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them. So they rushed at and pressed violently against Lot and came close to breaking down the door, Genesis 19:9.

As an aspiring screen writer, Silence of the Lambs is one of the best screen plays ever written. As someone who struggles to stay focused when I read, I was captivated by Ted Tally’s words based upon Thomas Harris’ novel. As Clarice Starling works with the FBI to track down a serial killer, Jodie Foster’s character is confronted with a haunting nightmare from her past, silencing the image of slaughtered lambs which she witnessed as a child.

For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel, 28 To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur. 29 And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly, Acts 4:27-29.

As a former high school teacher for a decade, bullying was always something that came up at staff meetings. Unfortunately, teachers can’t be in the classroom and hallway at the same time so quiet and weak students were always at risk. Unless you possessed the gift of discernment like a guidance counselor, silent cries for help often went unnoticed. On occasions like this, it’s essential to turn to the Lord for protection, leaning upon the power of the Holy Spirit for boldness so the spiritual silencing of Christian lambs ceases in this hostile moment.

by Jay Mankus


Is Anything Too Hard for God?

I was introduced to the concept “is anything too hard for God” in the attached video from the film Facing the Giants. While the wording is slightly different, the same biblical truth applies nothing is impossible with God. Unfortunately, we live in an age where Judeo Christian practices have been under attack. This invisible war began in the 1960’s when public Bible readings and prayer was banned from public schools. Some may say faith in America has been all downhill ever since these court decisions.

And the Lord asked Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I really bear a child when I am so old? 14 Is anything too hard or too wonderful [b]for the Lord? At the appointed time, when the season [for her delivery] comes around, I will return to you and Sarah shall have borne a son, Genesis 18:13-14.

The Bible’s version of is anything too hard for God begins with a surprise visit from three men. As Abraham welcomes these new guests, a feast is prepared. At some point during dinner, these men ask where Abrahm’s wife is, in the tent next door. According to Moses, God was present and speaks loud enough to make sure Sarah can also hear the news by this time next year she will give birth to her first child. As an old woman, well beyond the age of bearing a child, Sarah laughs sarcastically to herself, “yeah right.”

Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment, Luke 1:35-37.

Whether you’re talking about a small undersized high school football team playing the defending champs, a barren woman hoping to have a child, or a virgin teen conceiving a child through the power of the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible with God. Yet, doubt still persists as the longer you live without experiencing or seeing a miracle, your hope will disappear. As Moses writes in Genesis 18, this earthly trial sets the stage for God to shock the world. Therefore, the next time doubt creeps into your head, repeat the words above, “is anything too hard for God?” Absolutely not!

by Jay Mankus

The Day God Sent Confusion Throughout the Land

The origins of April Fool’s Day is a mystery. Some historians point to Geoffrey Chaucer’s the Canterbury Tales. This theory is based upon Chaucer’s comments on the time between April 1st and foolishness. Meanwhile, others refer to the 16th century religious figure who refused to celebrate the re-established New Year on January first. This stoic held to the belief that the new year began in April following holy week and Easter Sunday. Whatever the inspiration for April Fool’s Day, someone is always seeking to send confusion throughout the land with a practical joke.

Come, let Us go down and there confound (mix up, confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of the whole earth, and they gave up building the city, Genesis 11:7-8.

However, sometimes the joke is on you. Imagine you’re Baalaam and your donkey starts speaking to you. This may be a sign to others that you’re either drunk, stoned or out of your mind. Then again, maybe God is trying to get your attention, but you don’t like what you’re hearing like Jonah’s initial call to go to Nineveh. When God sent a spirit of confusion upon the land of Babel, this was no joke. Your friend the day before suddenly was a stranger, unable to communicate with you. When the construction workers realized that this was reality, everyone picked up and left, never to return to this job site.

When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit [a]kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven, Acts 2:2-5.

When I read articles online or watch the news, I feel like it’s April Fool’s every night of the year. You’ve got to be kidding right? While it’s been thousands of years since God sent a Spirit of Confusion throughout the earth, progressive politicians, Cancel Culture and the Woke Community are ushering in man-made confusion. Rather than state the obvious based upon biological and biblical truths, right and wrong have been turned upside down. May the power of the Holy Spirit restore common sense and sanity to new leaders so that this modern spirit of confusion ceases.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 349: Blessed

One of the best ways to seize 2023 as your year to live the abundant life on earth, John 10:10, is to begin January by reading the Beatitudes. The portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount sets the tone for those in attendance. Just like the words shared by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:1-3 to the nation of Israel, blessings follow anyone who is obedient to God’s command, decrees, and precepts. As you listen to Jospeh O’Brien’s song Blessed, may this promise in the Bible come to fruition in 2023.

Blessed (happy, [a]to be envied, and [b]spiritually prosperous—[c]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! Blessed and enviably happy [with a [d]happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted! Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, [e]spiritually prosperous—[f]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth! Blessed and fortunate and happy and [g]spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God [h]enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be [i]completely satisfied! Blessed (happy, [j]to be envied, and [k]spiritually prosperous—[l]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! Blessed (happy, [m]enviably fortunate, and [n]spiritually prosperous—possessing the [o]happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! – Matthew 5:3-8

When you come to the conclusion that the people you interact with daily need to change, perhaps it’s you who needs an attitude adjustment? Just as cars receive oil changes every three to five thousand miles, Christian’s need a spiritual alignment on a weekly and monthly basis. While this painful truth may not be obvious to you, it’s glaring to those whom you live with. May the lyrics of Blessed be a starting point for you in 2023 so that the power of the Holy Spirit transforms you to become like Jesus this year.

by Jay Mankus

Developing a First-Class Attitude in 2023

At some point in my life, I was told that attitude is everything. I don’t recall where I was or who was talking, but attitude is a reflection of your mindset. When I’m in a bad mood, I tend to be sarcastic, magnifying the negative spirit within me. While it may feel good to be pessimistic from time to time, this never improved how I felt in my soul. One of the themes I heard in church on New Year’s Day was to develop a first-class attitude in 2023.

Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, [i]with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). 13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while [j]effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and [k]delight. 14 Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [[l]against God] and [m]questioning and doubting [among yourselves], Philippians 2:12-14.

In a letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul urges this congregation to adopt and emulate the attitude of Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5. Two chapters later, Paul reminds these believers that when you feel like you can’t do something, lean on the strength of Jesus, Philippians 4:13. Paul goes into specific details in 2 Corinthians 12:7-12 where he learned that the weaker you are, the strongest Jesus can become in your life. Following this advice will point you toward developing a first-class attitude.

That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, 16 Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose, Philippians 2:15-16.

The passage above highlights what a first-class Christian attitude looks like. When you place Paul’s words side by side with the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be taken care of by God, Matthew 6:33-34. Despite the hardships, struggles, and tribulations that you may have to endure, you will be blessed at God’s perfect time, Ecclesiastes 3:11-12. If success is the process of arriving, may the power of the Holy Spirit transform your current attitude into a first class one by the end of 2023.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 328: Glory

Now that Christmas Day has passed, coming up with the remaining 38 songs from different artists will be a challenge. However, know that my children have come home from college, this final month of Sing A New Song will be a joint effort. Today’s song Glory by Jervis Campbell is thanks to my daughter Lydia. Lydia was introduced to Jervis by a classmate at Liberty University. While driving to church one Sunday morning, Glory was playing in the car CD player.

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, This was He of Whom I said, He Who comes after me has priority over me, for He was before me. [He takes rank above me, for He existed before I did. He has advanced before me, because He is my Chief,] John 1:14-15.

While the calendar clearly shows Christmas in 2022 is over, the passage above provides a spiritual reminder of what Jesus’ birth means. This supernatural conception via the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrates the glory of God the Father. Two chapters later, the disciple whom Jesus loved, boldly proclaims the meaning of Christmas to those who are born again, John 3:16-17. May today’s song prepare how heart, mind and soul to bring glory to God in 2023.

by Jay Mankus

God’s Christmas Gift for You

Since 2022 is my first Christmas living in South Carolina, all of my usual traditions were replaced with a new one. At seven in the morning, I went over to my sister in laws to watch my three-year-old niece and daughter open up their stockings. The rest of the morning was spent watching Annie open up her Christmas presents while eating breakfast. As I was observing from a distance, my mind pondered, “what’s God’s Christmas gift to me?”

But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future], John 16:13.

As Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for his arrest and crucifixion during Passion Week, He spoke of how the spirit of Emmanuel would continue to live on following his departure. Jesus compared God’s presence to a counselor and spiritual guide. Although invisible like a Holy Ghost, God will announce and declare messages to you. Rather than place your trust in Amazon’s Alexa for knowledge or controlling your electricity, place your hope and trust in God’s Christmas gift for you.

For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

According to Luke, a first century doctor and historian, Peter was present on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:2-5. On this special day, Peter was overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit. While writing 2 epistles known as Catholic Letters addressed to Christians scattered all over the world due to Nero’s persecution, Peter highlights what happens when you open up God’s Christmas gift for you. The Holy Spirit provides everything you need for life. Once you learn to separate yourself from the commercialism side of Christmas, may you have to faith to accept and embrace God’s gift to you, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Not Just a Seasonal Holiday… A Daily Declaration

I was introduced to the expression, “make room in your heart for Jesus this Christmas season” as a college student. I don’t remember if this was from the Black Student Union Bible Study I attended, Campus Crusade, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Whoever was the original source of this message, Christmas is not a seasonal holiday. Rather, the Mass of Christ should be a daily declaration.

But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from [a]failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God], Matthew 1:20-21.

John 16 provides an introduction to what God with us will look like following Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. Starting with John 12, this final portion of John’s gospel reflects upon Passion Week, the week leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday was an emotional roller coaster for Jesus’ twelve disciples, 11 after Judas’ suicide. All these events took place to fulfill what was prophesized in the Old Testament. Like Christmas, Easter isn’t a seasonal holiday, it’s a daily declaration of a Savior to came to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:10.

All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, 23 Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel—which, when translated, means, God with us, Matthew 1:22-23.

The daily declaration is made possible by and through the power of the Holy Spirit who has given us everything we need for life. 2 Peter 1:3-4. Unfortunately, fictional characters like Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan played by Joy Keenan have convinced many Christians that God doesn’t exist and can’t speak audibly to human beings. Yet, for those who keep in step with the Holy Spirit via prayer and daily Bible Study, the Spirit of Emmanuel is alive and well. Therefore, as you open up your Christmas presents this year, don’t fall prey to a seasonal practice of Christmas. Rather, make Jesus Christ a daily declaration in your home and at work.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 312: Revelation Song/O Come Let Us Adore Him

As a child, I was a natural musician. While a member of the Elementary Band at Harlan Elementary, I was one of the top saxophone players in the school. During one of our Christmas concerts, I remember playing O Come Let Us Adore Him. Back then, if you weren’t any good, you were told to act like you were playing during concerts. I had earned the trust of our band director to play every song, especially one of my favorites: O Come Let Us Adore Him.

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing ([f]saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us, Luke 2:15.

Jenn Johnson provides a classic example of a worship montage. Jenn begins with the Revelation Song before blending into O Come Let Us Adore Him. When three Magi, experts in the stars followed this new star hanging over a barn where Mary gave birth to Jesus, you don’t think of an adoring place. Yet, it’s the miracle of Jesus’ conception by the power of the Holy Spirit that is the inspiration behind the lyrics of O Come Let Us Adore Him. I hope you enjoy today’s song.

by Jay Mankus

The First Medical Miracle

Daniel Hale Williams performed the first documented successful pericardium surgery in 1893. Over the past 129 years, countless miracles have occurred with many procedures now considered routine outpatient surgeries. One thing that you may not know about my family is that my Uncle Tony is the longest living recipient of an open-heart transplant in the Unted States. Still alive today, Tony Mankus is a living example of a medical miracle.

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. 22 And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man, Genesis 2:21-23.

Moses writes about the first medical miracle ever recorded in the Bible. Rather than place Adam under general anesthesia like a common procedure in American hospitals, God wanted until Adam was sound asleep. Likely following a full day of work in the Garden of Eden as a ground’s keeper and farmer. As Adam was unconscious, God operates as a surgeon who removes a rib and part of his side to form the first medical miracle, in the Bible forming the first woman on earth.

And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband? 35 Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment, Luke 1:34-37.

Thousands of years later, Mary had her own doubts about an encounter with an angel. Scientifically, to conceive a child without having sex is impossible unless it’s done via a test-tube with donated sperm. Yet, the angel reassured Mary that this would be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. After dealing with the fact that God could have chosen anyone, Mary came to realize that anything is possible with God, especially, medical miracles.

by Jay Mankus

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