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Pinocchio Politicians

Every so often a commercial portrays a message that is sad but true.  Such is the case of the satire Geico ad when a dad tells his son, “did you know Pinocchio was a bad motivational speaker?”  If an individual’s nose grew each time something was embellished, exaggerated or lied about, people would be held accountable for their loose lips,  Unfortunately, most of the media is asleep at the wheel, allowing liberals, progressives and radicals to proceed as Pinocchio politicians.

A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin. – Proverbs 26:28

The Bible uses a different strategy to insure honesty is upheld.  Rather than using the term reputation, authors of Scripture refer to keeping a good name.  Back in biblical times, promises, words and vows meant something.  Thus, the degree upon which you fulfilled what was spoken attributed to your name, either good or bad.  Perhaps, this measuring stick needs to be reintroduced today to prevent another generation of Pinocchio politicians.

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19

In the film A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise as Lt. Daniel Kaffee is interviewing witnesses after a marine is apparently murderer by two soldiers in his room.  Upon questioning Keifer Sutherland’s character Lt. Jonathan Kendrick, Kaffee is surprised by the logic from this squadron leader, “Private William Santiago had no code and God was watching!”  While Hollywood will continue to serve as a land of make believe, God is real and will hold souls accountable for their actions on earth.  Although many escape initial consequences today, Pinocchio politicians will be exposed on the day of judgment.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

Keep on Reading…Until You Receive Inspiration

Although apathy permeates throughout several segments of society, there are beacons of hope that exist.  If you are a historian, books contain powerful messages of leaders who transformed their nations.  Meanwhile, starving souls searching for the meaning of life, keep on reading, flipping through pages until inspiration is found.

As for me, the Bible has become a well spring, the driving force behind this blog.  After reaching 10,000 hits today, I can’t take credit for the articles, titles or words.  Rather, I felt compelled to rely on meditating on the Bible, sermons and words that would connect with common struggles people undergo.

Whether you’re talking to someone every day at work for 3 years or writing 1000 different blogs, the longer you go, the harder it becomes to come up with new material.  While you might have some good days, conversation and pieces can become stale.  Therefore, in my quest to keep a dream alive, I will keep on reading until I receive inspiration.

by Jay Mankus

The Necklace Called Pride

I’m not one to wear bling, yet there is something invisible beyond the gold chains adorned by celebrities and stars.  Beneath the surface, a powerful spirit has risen up, taking hold of human hearts.  Although disguised by many characters and personalities, the necklace called pride is real.

According to an eyewitness known as Asaph, the arrogant proudly display this attribute, Psalm 73:6.  Pride is like a confidence that gets out of control, leading to cockiness, conceit and diarrhea of the mouth.  This necklace is contagious, spreading to the heart, mind and soul.  If left on, side affects could lead to diabolical pride according to C.S. Lewis, permanent blinding one’s perspective of truth.

As the gang culture increases, energized by rap music, the decay of families and morality on the decline, pride is the new source of power.  Just as Naturalism replaced Theism during the Renaissance, pride has surpassed faith in modern circles.  Attitude, behavior and words are being swayed daily from necks full of pride.  May the words of Proverbs 15:31-33 unlock the chains of pride holding individuals back from God.  In time, may the promise of Proverbs 11:2 use disgrace as a vehicle for change.

by Jay Mankus

 

No Pets for You

During the 7th season of Seinfeld, episode 116 introduced the “Soup Nazi” to pop culture.  Larry Thomas played this vibrant character, excessively strict and unwilling to bow down to the requests of patrons like Jerry, Elaine and George.  Subsequently, when the Soup Nazi felt disrespected, he coined the phrase, “no soup for you,” becoming an instant sensation and regular guest on Seinfeld.

While reading Exodus 11:27, I was surprised to see cats and dogs are deemed unclean by God.  Any creature with paws and walk on all fours are off limits.   Any Jew who touched a cat or dog would become unclean til evening, forced to wash their clothes as well.  Essentially, God was telling the Israelites, “no pets for you!”

Today, OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, takes the words of the Bible to the extreme.  According to Jesus, what you touch doesn’t make you clean or unclean.  Purity or the lack there of comes from within, Luke 6:43-45.  Therefore, your heart determines your actions, behavior and words.  In view of this truth, Jesus urged his followers to set their hearts on things above, Matthew 6:19-21.  The apostle Paul takes this one step further in Colossians 3:1-4, encouraging individuals to set your hearts on eternal things.  Whether you like pets or not, the Bible doesn’t restrict animals today; God introduced free will to enable you to make your own choices.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Gift of Imperfection

Sports uses cards, errors, flags, fouls and misconducts to magnify mistakes made by participants.  The world isn’t as kind calling individuals frauds, hypocrites and losers when actions, behavior or words don’t live up to their expectations.  While the 2006 film The Ultimate Gift illuminated several gifts that people take for granted daily, one is missing from their list.  Perhaps the greatest of all is the gift of imperfection.

Although Jesus’ goal is to strive for perfection, Matthew 5:48, to obtain this is impossible.  Romans 3:9-12 breaks the bad news to mankind as everyone who has attempted this feat has failed at some point in their quest.   Since sin was conceived in the Garden of Eden, a generation of misfits have come up short, unable to please God, Romans 3:23.  Like a mad scientist going back to the drawing board, the sinful nature has foiled any hope of earning salvation on your own, Romans 6:23, requiring plan Z.

At the end of the road, hanging by a cross, Jesus has come to our rescue, Colossians 2:13-15.  Despite my intentions on wanting to control my own destiny, Jesus holds the keys to the kingdom, Matthew 16:19.  Therefore, I need to grasp the secret the apostle Paul discovered during an illness, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  The gift of imperfection forces souls to place their entire trust in the hands of an unseen God.  The weaker one is, 1 Timothy 1:16, the stronger the Holy Spirit can become.  May you experience this special gift, securing your reservations for eternity, 1 John 5:13, by letting go through faith.

Feel free to comment or share a time when you were weak, but Christ was strong!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

It’s Lonely at the Top

Whenever you earn any type of leadership position, a cultural change occurs.  Instead of being one of the girls or guys, now you are forced to make decisions which impact co-workers and friends.  In other words, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  This social climate makes it lonely at the top.

 
Such is the case of Moses in Exodus 17:1-4, as he finds it impossible to please the same people he freed from 400 years of slavery.  After a few days in the desert, a spirit of ungratefulness snowballs into endless complaints.  Like a bunch of spoiled brats, Israel can’t find contentment, only panic, Exodus 14:10-12.  Despite witnessing one of the greatest miracles of all time, the parting of the Red Sea, Israel whines for water, food and real meat.  By the time Exodus 17:4 rolled around, Moses felt like his life was in danger.

According to James 3:1, those who teach will be judged more strictly than blue collar workers.  In view of this, those who receive positions over others, whether in administration, coaching or instructing, you must be mindful of God’s principles.  Matthew 18:1-6 makes it painfully obvious, “don’t lead a child astray by your actions, behavior or words.”  Therefore, keep a tight rein on your tongue, James 3:3-6, as you seek to become a source of salt and light, Matthew 5:13-16, in a world looking for answers.

by Jay Mankus

Potty Mouth

If you are honest with yourself, we have all had a regretful moment in reflecting, “I can’t believe I just said that!”  At times in life, often unexpected, the strangest things come out of our mouths.  This is likely the context of Psalm 59:12, when mere words become like venom, filling ears with poison and contaminating the souls of children.

There was a time, not so long ago when communities helped police themselves.  Adult figures served as guardians, instilling character within neighborhoods.  If a child ever publicly cursed, displayed disrespect or harmed another kid, parents would immediate intervene, forcing this individual to apologize and vow never to do this act again.

Today, the fear of confrontation, law suits and a gradual decay within society has led to an epidemic of sins of the mouth.  Whether you are at your local mall, walking through a park or catching a quote family show on television, put downs, 4 letter words and F-bombs have become common place.  Garbage in, garbage out has impacted children under the age of 10, spewing out what they hear, without any regard to listening ears.

The Bible’s diagnosis of this problem places the blame on the human heart, Jeremiah 17:9.  According to Jesus, the heart serves as a storage center, absorbing up good and bad things, Luke 6:45.  Vocabulary is simply a byproduct of what your heart has accumulated.  Therefore, if you want to stop these sins before they roll off your tongue, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life, Proverbs 4:23.  Replace these sins of the mouth with the peace of Christ, Colossians 3:15-17.

by Jay Mankus

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