Monthly Archives: April 2013

On My Own

As some of you may know, I have a lot of song ideas. Seriously, a lot! They buzz around my head like a flock of bumblebees. Er, herd…Hive? Whatever. A GROUP of bumblebees. Anyways. All these song ideas bug me to no end (Sorry about the atrocious pun. Give me a break – I’ve been busy.) because I don’t have the musical know-how to get them out of my head and onto the piano in a decent manner. Believe me, I’ve tried. Multiple times. It doesn’t work. I can’t force the music out, but when the composing bug bites, I can turn out a semi-decent song, sometimes. (Why are you looking at me like that? Did I say I was going to share some of my songs with you today? Did I?)

Well, recently I’ve been thinking about writing music (because the song essences were buzzing louder than usual and still wouldn’t come out) and it occurred to me, that it is impossible for me to write music on my own. I can’t muscle my way through it, can’t weasel my way around it. [bunny-trail] And certain *cough* siblings of mine can attest to the fact that I am rather practiced at weaseling my way around things…[/bunny-trail] The fact is, unless God gives me the inspiration, all I ever end up with is short, simple, repetitive chord progressions that only give me a whiff of the essence I’m looking for. On my own, I just can’t write music like I want to.

While I was thinking about all that I realized that this doesn’t just hold true for writing songs. Psalm 127:1 says,

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”

And like one of my sisters said, “With God, anything is possible, but without Him, everything is impossible.” (Yes, Camille, I’m fully aware I paraphrased you.) That’s a good reminder! I think we humans get so caught up with what “we’ve done”, that we forget that without the Creator, we, the created, can’t do a single thing. On our own, we’re just fancy dust, if you really think about it.

So…that makes it pretty important that we include God in everything we do! “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a stubborn human being that likes to do things on my own – maybe that’s why God lets me try to catch all those elusive music-bumblebees all the time to remind me that I really do need Him. So, while their buzzing is really annoying sometimes, maybe it’s just as well. Maybe I should be thankful for the reminder so I don’t try to keep doing things on my own.

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Of Beasts and Beauty

Ooh, here’s a rough topic: anger. (I saw you shudder!) What a touchy thing anger is! It wears so many masks, and hurts so many people, tears apart so many relationships. Unrestrained, it really is a beast. For years I never really thought much about it. I knew I sure didn’t have an anger issue. (Actually, I found out quite to the contrary, but I’ll let the story speak for itself.)


Last summer, I suddenly realized that I had been angry at someone for two years. (No, I didn’t miss-type that. In fact, that’s why I spelled it out, so you wouldn’t think it was a typo.) Two very, very long, angry years. And I didn’t even know it! I had absolutely no clue about the root of bitterness – no, the beast – that was tunneling into my heart.

But how? How could so much anger and bitterness hide for so long? Honestly, when it comes right down to it, I’m not really sure. People say that everyone has a blind spot – maybe that was mine. [bunny-trail] Actually, I think I have more than one blind spot, but that’s beside the point. [/bunny-trail] The point is, that I had no clue whatsoever that I was capable of such hatred. (To borrow a quote from a certain talkative droid, “I never knew I had it in me.”) Because when I look at it now, it really was a sort of hatred.

I first got an inkling of the monster hiding inside of me when I was complaining to a friend about some minor thing this person had done, and my friend said “You sound kind of bitter.” Bitter? Me? Impossible! …Or was it? I dismissed the incident as inconsequential, until a couple weeks later when I was reading a booklet, (How You Can Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness by Bill Bright, if you want to know) for our girls’ Bible study. It was talking about confessing our sins to God, etc. when it said this:

“You may need to apologize for having a bad attitude toward someone. You may need to ask someone to forgive you for the way you have treated him or her … It’s important to make restitution to others because you cannot maintain a clear conscience before God if you still have a guilty conscience before people.” 

Wow! Was that ever me! It hit me between the eyes like a sledge hammer. Suddenly I realized that what I had blindly been doing all along – the sarcastic remarks, the hints that he hated me, the hurtful words – were all a result of the hideous beast I had been squashing into the shadows of my heart for two whole years.

I knew what I needed to do…but knowing and doing are, I’m sad to say, not the same thing. (One is the bow, the other the arrow, if you want an analogy. And you can’t kill beasts with bows if you don’t have arrows.) I was terrified! How could I possibly tell him what I had done? There was no way I could catch him alone, much less be able to say anything without crying! (Not to mention the heart attack I’d most certainly have.) So I got an idea. I wrote him a letter and took it to church with me, intending to give it to him before the service. Long story short, I chickened out, and after the service he was nowhere to be found. So much for that!

Then I got a better idea, and gave the letter to his sister at our next Bible study, so she could give it to him. Talk about cowardly! I waited in mortal fear for the next Sunday. What would he do? Would he try to talk to me in private? I desperately hoped not – I would have cried for sure. Turned out, my fears were unwarranted. He wrote a note back – and sent it through his other sister! I almost couldn’t bring myself to open that messy piece of folded notepaper, but I did. It read:

“Callista, please don’t feel bad about it anymore. I forgave you the moment I was made aware of the need.” 

I cannot by any means describe the pure joy that washed over me. Saying that I wanted to jump and scream (however unlikely that would be, given my shy personality) doesn’t cut it, but maybe the fact that I was too relieved to even notice that he misspelled my name will give you an idea. When we greeted each other a few minutes later, no words were exchanged but the look in his eyes, and the extra tight handshake said it all – I was forgiven! I’m not exaggerating when I say that I could not sing that morning because of the tears of joy.

It’s so hard to deal with the beasts hiding inside of us, but the smile, the “I forgive you”, is so worth it! And when we stand up and have the courage to deal with our beasts, they can really turn into something beautiful. So why wait? Why let them grow for two years, and deal with the pain that comes from it? Please, don’t make the mistake I made. Don’t wait. No matter how hard it is, get that beast out before it grows into a real monster. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Tribute to Paul

Hullo again. Here I am again – actually not. I am currently frazzling my brain out taking the ACT test, but in the meantime, here is an old poem to keep you busy until I’m sane again. It’s one that I wrote for school many years ago and only recently rediscovered in one of my random piles of paper.


Tribute to Paul

Here lies Paul, a short man, ’tis true,

Who followed his Savior, and taught what to do.

He journeyed to Rome three or four times, ’tis said,

Until all the Romans did chop off his head.


Here lies Paul, courageous and free,

Who got beat many times and was shipwrecked at sea.

One time he was stoned ’till they thought he was dead,

But later some good folk fed him broth and bread.


Here lies Paul, a writer he was,

Who wrote to the churches with “whys” and “because”.

His letters remain here for us all to read,

And his teachings got put in the Apostle’s Creed.


Here lies Paul, what more can I say?

Folks told him “Shut up!” but he talked anyway.

He left as this lesson, that we can well see,

That if we obey God, we’ll live eternally.

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Just One Thing

If there was just one thing you could teach people through your life, for the rest of your life, what would it be? What theme would run through every conversation you had? What would people see as your ‘life message’?

If there’s just one thing I can show people for the rest of my life, I want it to be that God is real. So many people have no better image of God than the portrait-style pictures people draw of Him. But God isn’t a portrait. He doesn’t just smile nicely and hold a lamb. He’s living, and moving, and just so real! How do you capture that in a portrait? How do you capture the power that it takes to raise a man three days in the grave back to life? How do you capture the intensity of the love that would take the crucifixion for us dirty awful humans? As my friend Joshua Sandefur said, you don’t capture it – it captures you! So, really, what I’m saying is that I want to be captured by God for the rest of my life.

And I do. I want to feel His power pulsing in the earth beneath my feet. I want to see His fingerprints in everything, no matter where I look. I want to feel Him breathing out through me. And I want to show people how to do the same. If people could only see how huge God is, how truly powerful He is, and just how good He is… Well, wouldn’t a lot of their problems disappear in His blazing glory? Wouldn’t their petty troubles melt away in the heat of his presence? Wouldn’t they truly trust Him for everything? Wouldn’t truly knowing just that one thing with all their heart change who they are and how they live?

I for one believe that just this one thing is worth spending the rest of my life doing. I could never get tired of living in God’s presence and showing others that He truly is God of all Creation. And after all, if I have that, what else in the whole world do I need?

Categories: Ponderizations | 1 Comment

The Little Tree

This is a poem I wrote a couple summers ago. I thought you might enjoy it.


I was just a little tree; was just a little sprout.
I lived a life of luxury, with walls to keep pests out.

But in my walls so tall and deep, I could not see the sun.
And soon, if I had tried to keep my walls, I’d be undone.

And so my Planter dug me up, and though it scared me sore,
Did plant me where I could look up, and feel the sunlight more.

But then a mighty wind did blow, and bent me to the ground.
It shook my leaves quite violent, so my Planter did look down.

“Dear little tree,” He said to me, “Here in the sun you’ll grow.
And though the wind blows violently, I want it to be so.

For through the wind and through the rain, great strength will come to you.
And though if feels like you will break, it thickens your trunk through.

Now little tree, grow tall for Me, and bear your fruits each year;
For I am here to care for you, and calm your every fear.”

I am still a little tree, but though I am so small,
I know my Planter will keep me, and help me to grow tall.

Categories: Poetry | Tags: | 2 Comments

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