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Tag Archives: speech impediment

Living an Undaunted Life

Living an undaunted life is not being intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment. Saying you will do this and actually rising above the hand you are dealt in life are two different things. While God called one man to be his voice for the nation of Israel, Moses began to dwell upon his speech impediment. Frustrated by Moses’ response, God gives him a pep talk to fulfill God’s will for his life.

And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue. 11 And the Lord said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord? – Exodus 4:10-11

As someone who was born with a severe stuttering problem, thinking about what you want to say and actually saying it clearly is like asking for a miracle. Based upon the passage above, Moses struggled to imagine a life without stammering and stuttering. This mental block took time to overcome as Aaron was initially given to Moses as a security blanket. Subsequently, living an undaunted life had to wait.

Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say, Exodus 4:12.

Despite this transition, Moses gradually develops the courage to confront Egypt’s King face to face. While Pharaoh tried to duplicate the initial plagues with magicians, God hardened his heart over and over again. Hebrews 11:24-29 highlights Moses’ maturity from daunted to undaunted. If God can use a stutterer to lead Israel to the Promised Land, there is hope for you and me to transform from fearful to undaunted.

by Jay Mankus

Where Was God in Uvalde?

Following the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one of the first headlines I saw on social media pierced my heart. This one particular comment blamed God for not intervening. The exact quote was “Where was God in the Uvalde School Shooting?” Unfortunately, when freewill is exercised and someone has already made up their mind like Cain, the only thing remaining is the actual act of evil.

But for [a]Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it, Genesis 4:5-7.

Based upon the initial investigation into the life of the school shooter Salvador Ramos, he had a speech impediment, a stutter that caused other students to tease him. Beside recently dropping out of high school, Salvador’s family had a criminal record that led him to live with his grandparents. One psychologist suggested that the pictures of graduating seniors displayed throughout downtown UValde may have been one of the triggers that caused Salvador to snap.

Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death, James 1:13-15.

While Texas officials may never uncover the reason for Salvador’s evil actions, the Bible shines light upon what is going on inside of sinful minds. Cain was envious of his younger brother Abel who was blessed by God. This jealousy conceived hatred inside of Cain’s heart that Jesus compares to the root of murder in Matthew 5:21-22. Meanwhile, temptation does originate from God. Rather, temptation is an internal process that baits, entices and lures people like Salvador to sin. Just like God tried to talk Cain out of getting rid of his brother, God’s attempt to change Salvador’s mind was unsuccessful to stop freewill.

by Jay Mankus

Finding Complete Healing in a Broken World

As a person who was born with a severe speech impediment, I can relate to the ten lepers in today’s passage who were hoping to be healed. Due to the contagiousness of this disease, lepers were forced to become social outcasts, living outside the city limits. As these men waited for a miracle, doubt began to set in, crushing any thoughts of resuming a normal life. Yet, when Jesus arrived to cure them physically, emotional and internal scars don’t immediately vanish.

As He went on His way to Jerusalem, it occurred that [Jesus] was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance, Luke 17:11-12.

According to Jewish law, Leviticus 13:43-46, these ten lepers were unable to come into any physical contact with family or friends. Meanwhile, if anyone came to visit, each was responsible for proclaiming “UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN.” While I can’t say that I can relate to the anguish that these ten men endured for weeks and months, I know that heart ache of not being able to express myself as a former stutterer. Just because these 10 lepers and I were healed, doesn’t make all the pain deep inside go away.

And they raised up their voices and called, Jesus, Master, take pity and have mercy on us! 14 And when He saw them, He said to them, Go [at once] and show yourselves to the priests. And as they went, they were cured and made clean, Luke 17:13-14.

Two of the books that have helped me begin to find complete healing is Restoring the Foundations by Chester and Betsy Kylstra and the Handbook for Spiritual Warfare by Dr, Ed Murphy. Restoring the Foundations is now a ministry that helps Christians investigate generational sins and ungodly beliefs that has led to internal brokenness and despair. Meanwhile, the Handbook for Spiritual Warfare uses a series of case studies and personal testimonies of Christians who are on the road to recovery. If you want to find complete healing in a broken world, I highly recommend these two resources to start your recovery.

by Jay Mankus

When Fears are Replaced by Faith

Everyone has a personality with some more dominant than others. Personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. While the outgoing tend to be more blunt, the shy leave subtle reminders to get your attention. This could be an exaggerated cough, specific body language or a certain facial expression to signal a need for help.

And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, Keep all the commandments with which I charge you today. And on the day when you pass over the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall set up great stones and cover them with plaster, Deuteronomy 27:1-2.

As Moses was about to hand over leadership responsibilities to Joshua, God used his writing of Deuteronomy to serve as a not so subtle reminder. According to Exodus 4:10-12, Moses was reluctant to be the verbal communicator for Israel. Apparently, Moses possessed a speech impediment, likely some form of stammering or stuttering. As someone who struggled with stuttering for two decades, whenever I opened my mouth, I never knew for sure what would come out.

And you shall write on them all the words of this law when you have passed over, that you may go into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, Deuteronomy 27:3.

Instead of looking at the power of His God, Moses could only see as far as his disability. This lack of faith irritated the Lord, sending his brother Aaron to be the voice piece of God until Moses developed the courage to face his fear. While Exodus does not speak of a healing, Moses began to find his voice during the Ten Plagues. If human beings could simply catch a glimpse of God’s healing power, fears would quickly fade, replaced by faith.

by Jay Mankus

The Spark that Ignited My Passion to Write

It was the Spring of 1992, my final semester of college. I was sitting in the education building at the University of Delaware, surrounded by soon to be teachers. As my professor of Life Span Development began to share stories of her interactions with Mister Rogers, my interest was peaked. These vivid encounters continued for several minutes before introducing our next assignment. On the surface, interviewing one of your parents about your own childhood seemed like an easy paper to write. Yet, these conversations were the spark that ignited my passion to write the screenplay Express Yourself and this blog.

And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue, Exodus 4:10.

Since my father was often traveling the country on business trips, I asked my mom if she could help remember my childhood. What I soon discovered was shocking. I completely repressed any memories of second grade out of my mind. Due to my severe speech impediment, I was told in a parent teacher conference that I wouldn’t be able to handle second grade at a normal school. When I wasn’t able to read out loud, consumed by a stammering spirit, passing English and Grammar seemed impossible. I wish I could say that I stayed optimistic during this trying year, but my mother recounted numerous tantrums triggered by my inability to speak like a normal child.

And the Lord said to him, Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say, Exodus 4:11-12.

While going through my attic today, I found the paper that I wrote for this class 29 years ago. Quoting a portion of this paper reminds me of the words of Moses listed above. “I was born with a speech impediment. You can call it stuttering or stammering. Either way, every time I opened my mouth I never knew if what I wanted to say would come out right.” This is the pain that Moses and I share. Yet, we each experienced a similar triumph of healing. If you read Moses’ encounters with Pharaoh, he reaches a point that he no longer needs his brother Aaron to speak on his behalf. Little did I know at the time, this one paper became the spark that ignited my passion for writing.

by Jay Mankus

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