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In the context of history, a period is a length or portion of time.  Physics refers to the interval of time between successive occurrences of the same state.  Woman experience a flow of blood and other material from the lining of the uterus, lasting for several days each month.  Meanwhile, English uses a period as a punctuation mark to clearly define the end of a sentence.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it, Habakkuk 2:2.

Punctuation enables writers to separate sentences and their elements to clarify meaning.  In my early years,  I was an expert at crafting run on sentences, confusing my teachers and lowering my grade.  To make matters worse, I battled periods of stammering and stuttering throughout high school.  One of the only ways I could clearly communicate was with a pen and paper.  Thus, poor grammar hindered my ability to express myself.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

Oddly enough, I have spent the last 25 years in one form of writing or another.  This began as a poetry teacher in West Virginia, offering nightly active learning workshops for students.  From here I dabbled with song writing, climaxing with an album.  After exploring short stories, I ventured into a monthly news letter called Soul Improvements as an editor.  Serving as a staff writer for Travel Golf Media, developing high school Bible Curriculum and now writing movie scripts is all part of the journey I am on.  I’m not sure where this gift will take me, but I will continue to pursue this quest until God punctuates the end of my life with a period.

by Jay Mankus

Spirits that Can Rob Your Speech

The paranormal was always something left for Hollywood, displayed through horror movies when I grew up.  Maybe  I was naive, but I believed the spiritual realm was simply a fantasy, too bizarre to be true.  However, the older I become, I am beginning to open my mind to the reality of a dark, invisible and sinister power working behind the scene to strip individuals of freedom.

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech, Mark 9:17.

Jesus’ disciples experienced a similar event which challenged their belief system.  After initial success in healing people in need, an evil spirit halted their ability to heal a boy.  Dumbfounded, the disciples appear to have reached out to the Pharisees to get their thoughts.  Finally, Jesus arrives onto the scene to straighten out their misconception, explaining that certain demons require prayer to be cast out.  This was the missing link for this boy to regain his speech, robbed from an early age.

“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us,” Mark 9:22.

Today, more than 70 million people worldwide suffer with stammering or stuttering.  Every day more than three million Americans wake up not knowing if or when they will stutter.  As someone who struggled to express myself until I was healed in college, I understand what I feels like to be robbed of your speech.  Though I’m not a doctor, I believe conditions vary, based on medical issues, a lack of confidence and spirits of doubt.  I’m not sure why God choose to heal me, yet I pray for those who are currently fighting against spirits trying to rob souls of their speech.

by Jay Mankus


Strangely Wrapped Gifts

My first gift in life was a severe speech impediment.  Whether you want to call it stammering or stuttering, either way I had a difficult time communicating.  Each time I opened my mouth, I never knew if hot air or words would come out.  Despite the frustration and pain, when I opened this box, inside I discovered an ability to express myself through writing.

At the pinnacle of my athletic career, the second strange present arrived in the form of reconstructive surgery.  Although a state championship in cross country was in my reach, God had other plans.  Watching from the sidelines on crutches, my team fell a few points short, stealing my only chance for a title.  Beyond this disappointment, an likely blessing came my way, standing on a podium of praise following a 3rd place finish in the 200 Individual Medley Relay.

The final gift came in waves, as a series of broken relationships.  I’m not sure if I was to blame or if fate had another destiny.  Regardless of the circumstances, this lack of connection brought me to my knees.  Humility, loneliness and spiritual isolation wasn’t a pleasant thing to unwrap.  Nonetheless, all these things occurred for a reason, 1 Peter 1:6–7.  Today, strangely wrapped gifts come in many shapes and sizes.  However, these life events are necessary to fulfill the words of Romans 8:38-39, developing a close bond to an unseen God and Savior.

by Jay Mankus



Remind Me of Your Miracles

Doom and gloom, pity parties and a spirit of doubt doesn’t exemplify the heart of a true believer.  Rather, one must ascribe to the Lord the glory and honor He deserves, Psalm 96:7-9.  Thus, one option is to recall the miracles God has done in your life.  This perspective should eradicate pessimism from your thought life by opening your mind to the ongoing transformation process overseen by sanctification.

In my own life, 3 miracles stand alone, things I can’t take credit for or rationally explain.  One is a medically related, another defies logic and the last was gradual.  When I was 16, I was told by doctors I would never be able to run again, limited to walking with a limp.  After the reconstructive surgery on my ankle, twisted 180 degrees in the wrong direction, no rod or screws were necessary.  Three months later I was swimming in a pool, competing in the state championships, with my 200 Individual Medley team earning a Bronze Medal.

The second miracle the Lord brought to my attention is my 21 battle with stammering and stuttering.  Thought to be untreatable by 2nd grade, I gave up hope of ever being able to verbally express myself.  Despite years of anguish, embarrassment and heartache, God used a series of events during my junior year of college to release me from these chains.  A decade long span as a high school teacher testifies to this work of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, self esteem, especially during my early years was a constant struggle.  Playing sports helped somewhat, yet depression drew me into years of isolation, hiding my pain.  Mood swings were common place, living with a peaks and valleys mentality.  Beside repeated intervention from close associates and friends, God worked his spiritual magic, gradually leading me to become confident in His strength, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

While I recognize not everyone has had life altering miracles happen directly to them, the Bible illustrates the amazing like Acts 12:5, 8-11.  When God senses an earnest spirit of prayer, He is moved toward action, ushering angels to intervene.  Though I can’t guarantee exactly when and where the next miracle of God will occur, I do believe its right around the corner.  Therefore, don’t allow disbelief to dictate or lead you to expect hollow expectations.  Rather, dig down deep to enable the faith of a mustard seed to prosper like miracles from the past, Matthew 13:31!

by Jay Mankus

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