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The Day Earth’s Calendar Was Set in Motion

Most archeologists agree that the Egyptians appear to have developed the first practical calendar. During the height of the Roman Empire, this calendar was appropriated and further refined into the Julian calendar. From a modern-day perspective, the Gregorian calendar is almost universally used today which was based upon the Julian calendar. After reading the creation story recently, God set in motion the earth’s calendar on the fourth day.

And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs and tokens [of God’s provident care], and [to mark] seasons, days, and years, Genesis 1:14.

The Mayans, Babylonians, Egyptians, Iranians, and Greeks were the first societies to study the solar system. Meanwhile, places like Stonehedge are believed to be built to model the solar system. Outside of Scotland, there are other similar structures that follow the stars like Easter Island in Chile. Just as Tom Hanks was trying to count the days while stuck on an uncharted island in Castaway, civilizations have been fascinated for thousands of years with stars in the sky that serve as markers for time.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:1-4.

King Solomon devotes nearly an entire chapter to time. However, Solomon uses the four traditional seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall to highlight the human emotions that each season brings. While you are able to stare at your computer, phone or watch to know the exact time and seconds left in your day at work, only God knows what will happen to you today. Jesus’ earthly brother writes about this in James 1:2-4. Subsequently, whatever the calendar brings you, God makes everything beautiful in His time.

by Jay Mankus


A Season of Suffering

Most people think of a season in terms of winter, spring, summer, and fall. During this 4 month time period, there are often fluctuations in the temperature. Each season provides a distinct and unique trait such as snow, blooming flowers, warm weather and falling leaves. Yet, the seasons mentioned in the Bible do not how a defined time table. One may last a month while others could go on for years.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, Ecclesiastes 3:1-6.

During the exodus out of Egypt, a trip that should have taken 3-4 months ended up becoming a 40 year journey through the wilderness. Just like the Israelites who didn’t obey God’s commands and Moses’ instructions, modern day human beings rarely travel from point A to point B in a straight line. Rather, unforeseen traffic causes human beings to get impatient, changing course to try to find a shortcut.

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

Yet, sometimes you can follow God faithfully and end up getting lost along the way. My wife and I moved to Delaware in 1997 so that I could attend Seminary, earn my masters and become a college professor or pastor. A rare eye disease ended this quest shortly after I started, leading me on my own 25 year journey in the wilderness of Delaware. Therefore, whatever season you may have to endure in 2022, hold on to faith until the Lord clears the way for your future.

by Jay Mankus

A Congested Mind

At this time of the year 2 types of congestion appear, one that attacks our body and another which tries our patience.  The text book definition refers to being blocked up or too full of something.  As winter colds begin to develop within heads and sinuses, holiday traffic can elicit fits of anger or road rage.  Either one of these symptoms can result in a congested mind.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ, Colossians 2:8.

In the other 3 seasons of the year, the mind is under assault by opposing world views seeking to convert you to their ideology.  College professors do this through philosophy, challenging freshman to question their religious beliefs.  Unfortunately, a growing numbers of Christians abandon their faith before graduating, undoing the family values instilled by parents in less than 4 years.  Instead of dealing with this congestion, minds often cave into peer pressure.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

Today, if you’re healthy, just driving to and from work can give you a headache.  Whether its people with cell phones in their lap talking or texting, its miracle that more people don’t get into accidents.   Anyway, the apostle Paul urges believers to be sober-minded, aware of the schemes of the devil.  If not you will suffer from a congested mind, likely falling prey to an enemy seeking to devour lost and lonely souls.

by Jay Mankus




Wilted Flowers… Wilted Souls

Based upon  a 2013 CNN article, roughly 224 million roses are grown to prepare for Valentine Day shoppers.  Beside candy, roses have become a symbol for this special day, with the average person spending $130 to impress their significant other.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for these expensive flowers to die.  Life can be prolonged by adding fresh water daily and trimming the stems.  Yet, in the end, the smell of flowers will fade, wilt and end up in the trash.

The human soul can relate to the final resting place for roses.  Individuals who are quiet, shy or wonder why no accepts them for who they are, often wilt like flowers.  The lack of communication, intimacy and relationships can weigh on a heart, resulting in loneliness.  Unless a soul experiences good news, hope or something positive, faith can fade into oblivion.  Like a deer that pants for water on a hot summer day, those that thirst for temporary pleasures will taste the sourness of disappointment.

According to the Bible, the soul finds rest in God alone, Psalm 62:1.  Though many will try other avenues to fill this void, nothing can satisfy like Jesus; just ask the woman at the well, John 4.  Mankind may try to stop the grass from withering and flowers from falling off their stems, yet the only cure to wilted souls is the Word of God, Isaiah 40:8.  If the thought of a cold dark winter has brought you down, may the promise of Romans 8:38-39 sustain you when all seems lost.

by Jay Mankus

When the Darkness is My Closest Friend, Psalm 88:18

In Juneau, the capital of Alaska, the summer sun is about to say goodbye as another season is wrapping up.  Before you know it, winter will arrive, leaving parts of this state in the dark.  Although Juneau’s shortest day will see the sun for 6 hours and 22 minutes, Barrow, Alaska, located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle, endures 67 days of darkness annually.  For those who call extreme geographic destinations  home, darkness will become their closest friend.

For those that live in the lower 48 states, darkness is not just a seasonal event, its a state of mind.  With an invisible enemy seeking to steal your joy for life, John 10:10, disappointment can lead some to call darkness home.  Like going to see the doctor, Jesus performs a light examination in Matthew 6:19-24.  Whenever human beings place earthly treasures in greater priority than the Lord, darkness enters the equation.  The question is, “how great is this darkness and has it gotten a hold of your soul?”

Psalm 88 is a chapter of the Bible dedicated to anyone who has tasted bad news, experienced disasters or dealt with years of tough luck.  The sons of Korah wear their emotions on their sleeves, crying out to God in their days of darkness.  When trials strike without warning, maintaining a positive outlook on life is difficult.  Therefore, if you feel like darkness has become you closest friend, practice the principles of prayer in Psalm 88.  Though I can’t guarantee anything, perhaps as you cry out to God the Son will break through any dark clouds hovering over your life.

by Jay Mankus

Passing on a Winter Tradition

One of my most fondest memories as a child was playing in the snow.  My parents had a toboggan that  our family would pile on, going down steep hills on golf courses or at state parks.  When the snow was too high to drive any where, I created a luge slide off of our back steps or went across the street to Jeanette’s.  Although I never went as fast as I did on the toboggan, I always looked forward to building bigger and better courses each year.


When my 3 children were still young, I began to make a short slope off the back deck.  Although my wife wasn’t initially thrilled with the idea, its become a winter tradition, that is of course when we get snow in Delaware.  Over time, this luge course has turned into extreme tubing, starting on top of a slide on the deck, continuing down the steps of my deck, guided by picnic table benches, winding around a U-shaped wall before ending some where near the back fence.  Who said adults couldn’t still have fun or be a kid at heart.


Anyway, with my oldest son now in driver’s ed, it won’t be long until there’s an empty nest with no one left to entertain or raise.  Thus, I hope I cherish each snow day that I have with my children before they’re all grown up.  While my body isn’t what it use to be, I still enjoy playing hard and passing on an appreciation for life.  In the end, I pray that my children will develop their own winter traditions, thanking God each time it snows.

by Jay Mankus

Beyond the Clouds and Darkness

During the extended hours of darkness each winter, depression can arise in the form of seasonal affective disorder, better known as SAD.  When the sun is suppose to shine, grey clouds sprinkled with an occasional flurry often dim the light of day until evening turns the sky black.  Beyond these clouds and darkness, a promise is revealed within Luke 1:78-79.

In the silence of his vocal cords, Zechariah was given 9 months to consider the wonders of the Almighty God.  Amidst this foggy period, a childless father and barren wife struggle with the reality that their joint prayers has gone unanswered by God.  A stationary front hovers over their cries, dashing any hopes of seeing a lifelong dream come true.  Just when age seemed to make this impossible, the Son broke through their darkness.

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Lamentations 3.  Jeremiah writes about the hardship he endured in the first 20 verses of chapter 3.  As bad as I thought my 2012 went, Jeremiah’s year appears to take the cake so to speak.  Yet, like the promise of God’s tender mercy in Luke 1:78-79, there is hope beyond the clouds and darkness according to Lamentations 3:21-24.

One of the biggest mistakes Christian’s make is when they tell a hurting person they know exactly how this person is feeling or understand what they are going through.  Each individual handles trials and tribulations differently.  Thus, instead of opening up our big mouths, the best response is a silent hug, with open ears of support.  In the shadow of death or fear of isolation, God’s tender mercy is just a prayer away.  Once the clouds of darkness dissipate, God will guide your feet onto the path of peace.  As Solomon once said, “God will make everything beautiful in His time,” Ecclesiastes 3:11.

by Jay Mankus

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