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Sleep Well and Dream Big

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/olympics/molly-seidel-wins-bronze-olympic-marathon-after-battle-through-heat-n1276240

The origin of the phrase ‘third time’s a charm’ dates date to ancient times.  Things that come in sets of three have often been associated with good luck. As an element of astrology and fortune-telling, numerology has long been employed to predict future events. From a biblical perspective, the Bible is full of symbolism. The number 3 is used 467 times in the Bible with an imagery of completeness like the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. 12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you, Jeremiah 29:11-12.

During a 4th grade Art Class, a little girl from Wisconsin draw a little picture with a dream beneath it. Molly wrote “one day I am going to complete in the Olympics and win a gold medal.” Fast forward two decades and Molly Seidel competed in her second marathon ever. This race just happened to be the qualifier for the 2020-21 Olympics. Despite her limited experience as a long distance runner, Seidel finished second and earned her spot on Team USA.

A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure, Proverbs 16:9.

After waiting an additional year due to Covid-19, Molly ran in her third marathon earlier today. While she did not earn the medal in her childhood dream, Molly Seidel became the second American woman to ever medal in the Olympic Marathon. The passage above is a reminder that you may have certain aspirations, but the Lord’s purpose prevails. May the bronze medal that Molly Seidel earned today inspire you to sleep well and dream big.

by Jay Mankus

The Freedom from Religion Movement

When I was a senior in high school, I was naïve about the spiritual dangers that existed in college.  A few of my spiritual mentors who already spent a year away at college warned me about giving into temptation.  These concerns fell upon deaf ears, causing me to wander away from the Lord during my first semester at the University of Delaware.  If I only listened to one of Jesus’ disciples in the passage below, I could have avoided the bad habits and heartache that I experienced during this dark period of my life.

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

One of the modern dangers that lurks in the distance is the Freedom from Religion Movement. The Freedom from Religion Foundation is an American non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, with members from all 50 states.  This organization was founded by atheists and humanists who seek to censor and or prevent prayer from taking place in public schools.  The leaders of this movement decided to run a commercial during Tuesday night’s Democratic Presidential Debate.  The attached ad speaks for itself, an eerie preview of the future.

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18.

According to the apostle Paul, the best way to combat the Freedom from Religion Movement is through prayer.  As atheists rely on and use activist judges to take away religious freedoms, Christians need to keep alert by praying in the Spirit at all times.  When hope dies, the power of prayer fades.  Yet, if a concert of prayer begins within churches, communities and homes, hope can be restored.  Throughout history, one movement replaces another, seeking to accomplish it’s goals.  However, when God’s people stand in the spiritual gaps that exists, the Holy Spirit will be unleashed to ensure that the Jesus Movement prevails.

by Jay Mankus

A Spiritual Walk with Friends

Talking a walk after dinner was a popular form of exercise 25 years ago.  This trend became a special way to occupy time with good friends.  As I reflect upon my life, 3 spiritual walks stick out.  The first occurred with Liz and Dave, two friends I met through Chrysalis and the Walk to Emmaus movements.  When you began any walk, you never what is going to be discussed.  On this late night stroll, a spiritual of confession took over as one by one each confessed secret scars from the past.  Confessing deep, dark sins served as a form of healing which formed a bond that lasted for years.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, Luke 24:13.

A few years later I got together with a friend who became the best man in my wedding.  On this specific night, I thought we would walk a few miles.  Fifteen miles later, I wore out a brand new pair of shoes as an accountability relationship took flight.  After we both got married, Dave and I spent one night a week walking several miles throughout the city of Newark.  No matter what was going on, each of us withdrew from the hustle and bustle of life to express the concerns on our hearts.

They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him, Luke 24:14-16.

The most memorable conversation while walking will be a chapter in a book that will go along with my movie Express Yourself.  When I was dating Leanne, one Saturday afternoon we walked around the city of Neenah, Wisconsin.  Since I didn’t want there to be any surprises, I shared my life story for hours walking hand and hand.  I’m not sure how many miles were logged, but this day served as a foundation of trust in our relationship.  While I don’t have the energy of my youth, it’s never too late to partake in a spiritual walk with friends.

by Jay Mankus

Fallen Stars

The fifty stars on the American flag represent the 50 states meant to unite this country.  Meanwhile, the red and white stripes, thirteen in all, symbolize the 13 British colonies that declared their independence from Great Britain.  Based upon recent events in North Carolina and Wisconsin, it appears that some states are like fallen stars, a glimpse of what they once were.  So how did America get where it is currently, filled with civil unrest?

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 2 Peter 2:4.

Well, perhaps failing schools, a rejection of moral absolutes and the silence of religious leaders is a good place to start.  On the other hand, Common Core Curriculum, revisionist history adopted by modern SAT’s and the radicalization of college campuses is producing a generation of progressives, abandoning the spiritual principles this country was founded upon.  When you add cell phone cameras, a liberal media and a lack of personal responsibility to this equation, its always someone’s fault, not yours.

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6.

Last night, I listened to an interview of 2 NFL players from the Carolina Panthers.  One described the last 24 hours in Charlotte as living in a war zone.  Oddly enough, after former NBA star Michael Jordan gave one million dollars to support Black Lives Matters, protesters involved with this group looted and ransacked his Charlotte Hornets down town store.  I understand the concept of protests, but stealing, shutting down local businesses and verbally assaulting police officers isn’t solving the problem.  Either this event is drawing the world closer to Jesus’ return or God is in the process of removing his blessing from a once great country.  If the latter is true, may God have mercy on us all, especially upon the fallen stars.

by Jay Mankus

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