RSS Feed

Tag Archives: the United States

Going Off to an Invisible War

When individuals turn 18 in the United States, you can register to vote and enlist into the military if that is the path you want to choose. Prior to January 27th 1973, young men were forced to serve this country via a draft. Today, nearly 60 countries around the world still have some form of service conscription. As for modern day Christians, instead of heading off to boot camp for training, all you need to find is a quiet before going off to an invisible war.

But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open, Matthew 6:6.

This concept was first introduced by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. The context of this passage was to ensure that prayer was done in a private setting, not as a way to show off in public as some Pharisees were doing. Jesus didn’t just preach to the masses, He lived out biblical disciplines. One of the apostle Paul’s ministry helpers recalls the time Jesus went missing in the middle of the night. As the disciples began to panic, Jesus was merely going off to an invisible war.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed. 36 And Simon [Peter] and those who were with him followed Him pursuing Him eagerly and hunting Him out], 37 And they found Him and said to Him, Everybody is looking for You. 38 And He said to them, Let us be going on into the neighboring country towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out, Mark 1:35-38.

Jesus went for a walk before sunset, finding a quiet place to begin his day with prayer. While Mark does not provide the length of time spent out in the wilderness, Jesus likely prayed for more than an hour, possibly two. As Jesus arose from this spiritual battle on his knees, He was armed with exactly where to go and what to do. As King Solomon once wrote about, “many are the plan’s in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose prevail,” Proverbs 19:21. This is what it means to go off to an invisible war.

by Jay Mankus

Women and the Bible

Wherever you go and whatever you do, there will always be biases that exist in life.  These opinions cause a certain segment of society to feel or show inclination of prejudice for or against someone or something.  Unfortunately, these stereotypes often develop into beliefs resulting in inequality.  While growing up, Hollywood portrayed a skewed version of women and the Bible, emphasizing the submissive role of a wife in marriage, Ephesians 5.  Thus, many females rejected the Bible, Christianity and the desire to take faith seriously.

The Lord gives the command [to take Canaan]; The women who proclaim the good news are a great host (army); Psalm 68:11.

Like any conversation that you over hear or interrupt, if you walk into it at the wrong moment, you will miss a portion of the context.  Such is the case of the Old Testament passage above.  On the surface, this verse appears to suggest that God honors women who gossip, passing on what they were told.  When you dig deeper into Bible commentaries, you will find these women possessed two key qualities.  First, they believed victory was possible despite the impenetrable wall surrounding Jericho.  Second, these women encouraged others to believe by dancing and singing songs expecting victory to occur, void of any doubt.

“From my upbringing and the Bible I learned people should stand up for rights just as the children of Israel stood up to the Pharaoh,” Rosa Parks 1994.

During the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, one woman made a huge impact.  While entering a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to sit in the colored section of this bus.  Park’s decision inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  While Dr. Martin Luther King has received a majority of the credit for Civil Rights in America, Congress has referred to Rosa Parks as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.  Based upon the quote above, Parks shares a common worldview with the women mentioned in Psalm 68.  These women applied the biblical principles they were taught as a children by taking a stand for that which was good, right and true.

by Jay Mankus

The Tyranny of Things of Space

If you study Old English. tyranny is an expression used to describe a cruel and oppressive government. Whenever people in authority exert undemocratic rule, employ an unreasonable amount of force or suppress the rights of their citizens, rebellion, revolts and uprisings follow.  People who survive war or escape tyranny tend to turn to the Bible for answers in life.  Perhaps, this may explain why the Bible is the greatest selling book of all time.

“No other book of any kind ever written in English has ever so affected the whole life of a people,” Theodore Roosevelt in 1911.

Theodore Roosevelt is one of four presidents whose face is on Mount Rushmore.  The other three presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.  After his tenure as the 26th president of the United States, 1901-1909, Roosevelt made a profound statement about the Bible.  While the context of this quote is unclear, Roosevelt understood the power that the living Word of God has on the ability to transform human lives.

“Six days a week we live under the tyranny of the things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time,” Abraham Joshua Heschel from The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, 1951.

Forty years later, Abraham Heschel explored the Bible to make the connection between freedom and the Sabbath.  Depending upon your work schedule, life is filled with monotony, the mundane and tedious tasks that typical occupations require.  Thus, the tyranny of the things in space is a human being running through the rat race called life without any purpose and reason.  However, when you apply biblical principles to keep the Sabbath holy, becoming attuned to God, helps souls see how everything else in life is so insignificant.  When faith is exercised daily, the Sabbath isn’t merely one day of the week, its a lifestyle that enable Christians to escape the tyranny of the things of space.

by Jay Mankus

When You Stop Learning… You Quit Living

If you are born or raised in the United States, the first 18 years of your life is already planned.  The basic expectation is for every child to attend school from kindergarten all the way through high school.  Following graduation, individuals may choose college, attend a trade school or work locally until a better opportunity arises.  From a worldly standard, the more degrees that you earn often result in higher pay, improved chances for advancement and an elevated social status.  Anyone who rejects this path to success may be ridiculed, shunned or teased by the elite as some educators within higher education believe if you stop learning, you quit living.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay, Habakkuk 2:2-3.

In the days of the Old Testament, kings went to battle each spring to defend their territory from encroaching armies or expand their power over nearby lands.  According to 2 Samuel 11, David became bored by this annual tradition.  Perhaps, a few members of his posse convinced David to enjoy his power as king of Israel.  “You’re the king; send one of your commanders to oversee this military exercise.  Take some time off, relax and enjoy the wealth that you have accumulated.”  Since the Bible doesn’t detail any such conversation, maybe David felt like he arrived.  After serving as a lowly shepherd and musician, David was in the prime of his life, on the top of the world.  As the events of 2 Samuel 11 play itself out, complacency caused David to stop living according to God’s commands.  When you stop learning, you quit living as God desires.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [of My law, where I reveal My will].  Because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge,  I will also reject you from being My priest.  Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children, Hosea 4:6.

The Bible reveals the relationship between knowledge and vision.  Vision provides a game plan, enabling people to plot out their future through a series of goals.  As I reflect upon my own life, the times where I lost my way coincide with periods in my life void of goals and objectives.  Meanwhile, if accomplishments in life are etched upon a flow chart, my peaks and summits were achieved due to desire, focus and passion inspired by a dream or vision.  While some adults no longer have aspirations for pursuing another college degree, your current career is constantly changing as technology advances.  Thus, if you decide to stop learning, you will quickly fall behind as younger energetic co-workers will catch up and surpass your level of knowledge.  No matter how old you get, maintaining a teachable spirit is essential.  If you’re not careful, when you stop learning the Bible, you might quit the faith of your childhood.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

God is Not Finished with America Yet

If you have ever read or studied the Bible’s last book, you will find something fascinating.  Revelation writes about several countries that exist today, but the United States and or a western influence is not mentioned.  This absence has led many scholars to suggest America’s run as one of the greatest nations on earth will end before Jesus returns.

Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved, Psalm 80:19.

During the 2016 presidential election, many citizens likely felt the United States was on the verge of falling apart.  Whether its was inappropriate behavior, scandals or vicious ads, the future did not look promising.  Nonetheless, the votes of the forgotten man and woman may be a sign that America still has a pulse.

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 85:6

In the Old Testament, Psalmists provided some hope for Israelites who where doubting the lack of God’s presence in their day.  The verses above can also be applied to Americans who share similar feelings.  Although I don’t know what the future holds, God is the source for revival today.  Therefore, whether you are a Hillary or Trump supporter, may the Holy Spirit awaken dead and dying souls to complete the will of God for this nation.

by Jay Mankus

 

The History of Abortion

Ancient Egyptians first practiced abortion while the cities of Pithom and Rameses were being built by Hebrew slaves, 1,400 years before Christ’s birth.  When the Jewish population exploded following governor Joseph’s death, Pharaoh issued a decree to Hebrew midwives.  According to Exodus 1:15-16, the king of Egypt told Shiphrah and Pauh to kill every boy born by Jewish mothers, allowing the girls to live.  Caught in a crisis of faith, the fear of God persuaded these 2 woman to follow their hearts, eventually blessed by God with their own family, Exodus 1:17-21.

320 × 240 – asianews.it

Today, nations like China have instituted a similar practice to reduce their population, limiting families to one child per household.  As a result, China leads the world in abortions per year according to an October 2012 report published by the International Herald Tribune.  In 2011, over 13 million babies were aborted in China alone, 6 million by woman under the age of 25.  Meanwhile, during the same year, India allowed 3.5 million unborn children die with the United States adding another 1.2 million to this list.

 

The sad thing about these abortion facts is that schools teach students not to bully, cheat, fight or steal every year.  Yet, before 18 million future students in 3 nations had a chance to breathe their first breath 2 years ago, each was executed in cold blood.  I’m sure the money is good for those doctors and nurses who daily perform these procedures, but the burden and conscience must weigh heavy on their hearts.  Although Pandora’s Box has already been open, made legal by the United States in 1973, think twice before caving into abortion.  Since my mother experienced a miscarriage during her third pregnancy, if I was born 4 years later, I might have been another statistic, a casualty of the history of abortion.

By Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: