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A Beautiful Place to Beg

According to an April 2015 study, 1.75 million Americans are homeless.  This stat doesn’t include the unemployed, hungry or those on the verge of losing their permanent shelter.  While its not ideal, some are forced to beg, creating card board signs, standing at busy intersections hoping for enough generosity and or pity to get through the day.

Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts, Acts 3:2.

Prior to intersections, the poor would sit or stand at gates, where travelers walk in and out of large cities.  The disciples had their own encounters with beggars and leave it to Peter to provide an unusual yet powerful message.  Beginning with a bit of sarcasm, likely in response to his wardrobe, “do you see what I’m wearing?”  Unable to offer money, Peter offers this crippled beggar a slice of the supernatural.

So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” Acts 3:5-6.

Reaching out to or relating to the poor is not one of my strengths.  Yet, when I’ve tasted poverty, I was able to see the other side, walking in the steps of the helpless.  If or when you arrive, don’t be ashamed for in your weakness Christ is strong.  In fact, Jesus told his followers on a few occasions, “you don’t have because you haven’t asked.”  Therefore, the next tell you call out to the Lord in prayer, remember, this is a beautiful place to beg.

by Jay Mankus


Three Years and Counting

This blog marks the end of 3 years of writing, ignited by a Discernment Conference I attended on February 1st and 2nd, 2012.  Since this day, each of the past 3 years represent different phases that I have undergone, summarized by 3 words: disappointment, transition and recovery.  Becoming unemployed is one thing, but losing a position that you were born to do was a tough pill to swallow in 2012.  Meanwhile, re-defining my career path in 2013 was a longer journey than I expected, often spent in the wilderness, trying to find my way home.  Finally, 2014 provided clarity, stability and a clear passion, to one day write full time, averaging one screen play per year, God willing of course.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

In the meantime, its important to ask for and receive feedback from my readers.  Depending upon current and world events, I want to continue to provide a biblical response or perspective on these topics.  However, without having a pulse of my readers, its impossible to meet their needs as well as grow this site.  Therefore, I am urging you to participate in the first poll that I have created below.  This will give me instant feedback that will shape this blog throughout 2015.

To complete my final blog of year 3, I want to offer you essential steps to walking with God.

1) You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.              Deuteronomy 5:33

2) Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.           Psalm 119:133

3) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.                                     James 4:7

May the Lord mightily bless you as you talk one step at a time, obeying His decrees along the way.

by Jay Mankus


Life Could Be Worse…You Could Be a 76er Fan

Nobody likes to lose.  Although, some players and teams don’t have the talent to compete with the rest of their competitors, sooner or later a victory will arrive.  Unfortunately, fans of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA might not see a win in 2014, 0-17 with little hope in sight.

The unemployed likely experience a similar feeling.  Despite perfecting resumes, nailing job interviews and becoming a finalist for a position, heart breaks come way too often.  The sad thing is when the offers do arrive, the pay is like a slap in the face.  In the end, job seekers wonder if they will ever get another job.

When things aren’t going your way, there needs to be something firm that you can trust in.  A refuge where you can find a peace that surpasses all understanding.  James 1:2-4 suggests losing builds character, leading to maturity over time.  If you can develop this mindset, perseverance can carry you until you taste success.  Therefore, whether you win, lose or draw, the Holy Spirit can transform your perspective to become a complete person in Christ.

by Jay Mankus

The One That Got Away

My father was an avid fisherman, taking the family to Maine each summer to go bass fishing and Nags Head, North Carolina during Spring Break to catch blues coming up the Atlantic coastline.  Sure, golf was always on the agenda, but his quest was trying to catch the big one.  Now retired and residing on a golf course with several lakes, my own children enjoy nightly excursions to catch bass, perch and sunfish.  While success usually followed his line, I often wonder about the big one that got away.

Three years ago, there was a 10 pound bass spotted periodically along a canal.  Many had seen it, but no one was successful in reeling this behometh on to dry land.   Over a 3 day weekend, my oldest son James and I appeared to have something large bite our lines, only to have the line snap shortly thereafter.  As I was reeling in a small sunny, I felt a tug, like a snapping turtle had grabbed ahold of my line.  For roughly 10 minutes I battled this unseen creature, hoping it was the beast.  However, just as I was sensing victory, the line went dead.  One minute later, the only thing remaining was an empty hook.  Since there were no visible signs of a turtle, whatever attacked my rod must have ripped the sunny off the hook, swallowing it’s victim whole.  I’ve caught my fair share of fish, but I regret the 10 pounder that got away.

In athletics, Olympians’ shake their head over the gold that slipped from their reach.  Meanwhile, the scholar will analyze why an elite college or graduate school passed over their application.  The student ponders what went wrong to lose their high school sweetheart and the unemployed struggle to find the explanation behind why they did not receive a job offer.  Disappointment is a subtle reminder of an imperfect world, filled with empty promises and broken dreams.  Despite how painfully it is to start over in life, you need to let go of the one that got away, learning from this loss so that it doesn’t happen again.  May the truth of James 1:2-4 strengthen you to press on, to stay beat and hopeful of a date with destiny to celebrate the day the big One didn’t get away!

by Jay Mankus

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