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Tag Archives: shy

Speechless

The 2010 film the King’s Speech is based upon a true story.  As Hitler’s popularity grew during World War II, King George VI struggled to find his voice.  Battling with stuttering throughout his life, this movie details the king’s progress with a speech therapist.  When England needed a voice, this once speechless king overcame his fears to lead a nation.

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone, Acts 9:7.

Individuals blessed with the gift of conversation probably can’t relate to those inflicted with speech impediments.   On the other hand, people who tend to be shy do not possess the desire and energy to speak for an extended period of time.  Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, there will be moments of silence.  Times when even the most outgoing individuals become speechless.

For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything, Acts 9:9.

Looking back at my own life, I find that trials usually shut me down for a while.   Whether its confusion, shock or uncertainty, it may take some time to sort things out.  The sooner I can make sense of turmoil, the quicker my life returns to normal.  Yet, life isn’t always fair, presenting difficulties that may push you beyond reason.  Thus, as you battle periods of depression in life, hold on to a God who has a track record of transforming lives.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Finding and Losing Friends

For any child, the first day of school can be overwhelming.  Thoughts of “will I know anyone, will they like me and will there be someone I can relate to” can haunt the quiet and shy.  Beside hoping to have good teachers, most kids just want to know will I find, keep or lose friends this year?

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Proverbs 18:24.

Looking back on my own life, I have been blessed on finding friends, yet cursed by losing friends, often through moves.  I found my first friend while playing baseball at age six only to lose him a year later following my dad’s transfer to Delaware.  This pattern seemed to repeat itself, drawing close to several neighbors before another relocation to Cleveland broke my heart once again.  After graduating college, I lived in 6 states and 6 months, finding and losing friends to distance.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel, Proverbs 27:9.

Today, technology allows individuals to rekindle friendships from the past.  Whether its Facebook, Skype or texting, its nice to know that people you’ve lost touch with still care.  However, its not the same as talking on the phone or seeing someone face to face.  Regardless of who you are or what you do, finding and losing friends is a way of life.  Nonetheless, my prayer for those whom I hold dear is that one day we will be reunited forever in heaven, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

Pump Up The Volume

For the meek, shy and soft spoken, its easy to allow others to walk all over you.  Although, the silent majority once ruled the roost, the brash, power hungry and rude have shouted down Americans toward their ideology and worldview.  Subsequently, atheists,  lawyers and politicians have redefined the rules, pumping up the volume of their talking points.

In the aftermath of this stampede, foundations have been cracked and principles weakened, leaving historians scratching their heads.  When England began to limit their citizens to worship God in one church, the Magna Carta was conceived, leading the way for colonists to set sail for a new land.  This excitement stoked a passion in the founders, pumping out the volume to remind people of the reason each crossed the Atlantic.

When Patrick Henry stood up to naysayers at the Virginia Convention in 1775, he spoke out of the overflow of his heart, crying out for freedom.  “Give me liberty or give me death,” swayed those who were on the fence, paving the way for  the Revolutionary War.  If the United States of America has any hopes of surviving, there needs to be a spiritual revival so that God’s blessing will not removed permanently.  As you cope with today’s grim reality, may the Holy Spirit inspire you to pump up the volume, Acts 4:29, to ignite a movement to win back our moral compass.

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 Star Saved a Nerd

It was Friday afternoon as high school students began to filter out of the front entrance.  As Tim, the starting quarterback of the football team, began to think of his weekend plans, an unusual site got his attention.  Walking down the main sidewalk, a nerd was trying to carry all of his books home for the weekend, stacked 9 high.  Meanwhile, one by one, other students began to bully and tease this studious boy, causing him to drop his books.  Laughing initially, the second and third time this occurred, Tim became enraged.

Inspired to act, Tim moved out of his comfort zone, introducing himself to this boy with a ghostly face.  Before he finished talking, this nerd faintly responded, “I know who you are, everyone does!”  Feeling awkward, Tim began to make small talk, asking where he lived, how old he was and what he liked to do.  Realizing he lived a few blocks away, Tim suggested, “why don’t I walk you home, I live right around the corner so nobody else gives you a hard time?”  Afraid to reject this offer, they began to pass time in conversation.  As they approached the nerd’s home, Tim humbled himself, asking if his new friend could tutor him in Algebra.  Shocked by this request, this was the beginning of an unique, yet special friendship.

Two years later, this nerd went on to become valedictorian, nominated by Tim to give a speech at graduation.  Shy and afraid, this boy trembled at the podium, staring at his note cards for a moment.  Suddenly, the boy put his cards away, proclaiming, “I can’t do this!”  Sharing from his heart, this nerd dropped a bomb shell on those in attendance.  “Two years ago, I was on my way to commit suicide.  On a Friday afternoon, I brought all my books home so my mom wouldn’t have to clear out my locker.  On my way home, I started thinking about how I was going to do this until a stranger intervened.  Bullied for the last time, I wanted to make these cruel people feel bad.  Yet, Tim stepped in, befriended me and stopped me from carrying out my plan.”   With not a dry eye in the house, this was the day when the star quarterback saved a nerd.

by Jay Mankus

 

Opening Day 2013

About a month ago, I began to ponder in my mind the message I wanted to communicate to my 11-12 year old baseball team and their parents on opening day.  Since I believe brevity is clarity, I try to say as little as possible, maximizing the power of each word.  Unsuccessful in my initial attempts, the novel idea of praying for wisdom led to form the  invocation I shared today for Greater Newark’s Baseball League’s Opening Day Ceremony.

Not shy about public speaking, last year I was put on the spot after the reverend who was scheduled could not attend, called in from the bullpen to relieve the starter.  With  3 words on my heart, today’s last second notice was not as shocking.  Thus, the theme I wanted to share with just my team, was broadcast to all in attendance, in accordance with God’s will!

The first word God gave me was memories.  Whether a ball player hits a home run, assists in making a double and triple play or makes a game winning catch, these moments in time will be forever etched in a youth’s mind.  No one can take these memories away, brought to recall each time they pass a ball field in life.

This second word has had a much deeper meaning in my life, friendship.  After my 3 children spent 10 years at the same private school, a lost job thrust each into the public school system, scary for any parent, especially in Delaware.  On the first day of his new school, my middle child Daniel came home estatic.  In homeroom, one of his best friends from baseball, Xavier, introduced him several students, making him feel at home.

Finally, the last word the Holy Spirit gave me was legacy.  The game of baseball provides a series of tests, blown calls from umpires to name of few.  Yet, this game teaches great life lessons which can develop character within a child’s life, James 1:4.  Therefore, how you respond to these circumstances dictates the legacy you leave behind: good, bad or ugly.  At the conclusion of the game, when the scoreboard is turned off and the crowds part ways, how will people remember you?  Until this day, play ball!

by Jay Mankus

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