Monthly Archives: March 2014

Talents

So lately I’ve been thinking about the parable of the servants and the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). It’s a little long to put the whole text in here, but basically a master is leaving home and before he goes he entrusts his three servants with one, two, and five talents, each according to their ability. He expects them to invest the money and make a profit while he’s gone, and two of them do but the third one doesn’t, and blah blah blah we all know the story. Get on with it, Calista.

I’ve been thinking and pondering, and I’ve decided that the story doesn’t use the word ‘talents’ for nothing. After all – that’s what the Master has given us to invest and use while He is gone! Talents. Abilities. Some have five or six (and some seem to have about a million, at least to those of us who aren’t that fortunate), and some have only one or two. The number is not the point, and shouldn’t  matter to us. What matters is what we do with them.

See, two of the servants put their talents to use and worked hard while the Master was away. And one didn’t. The two were rewarded, the one rebuked. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to end up like the one that was rebuked! So what should we be doing? Well, what are we best at? Whether it’s painting or singing or running or serving or whatever – that is a gift, and it deserves to be used. God gave us gifts for a reason – so that we could use them to glorify Him – and we can’t just let them sit neglected by the wayside.

So, I guess the question I’ve been asking myself is this: What are my strongest talents, and what am I doing to cultivate them and use them for God’s glory? When the Master returns – and He will – what account will I be able to give of the talents He invested in me?

Advertisements
Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Gratitude

I was just finished playing piano Thursday night when… But to tell about that I need to give ya’ll some backstory. Rewind. For those of you who may not know, my dad has been in the legislature since I was nine. It has been our custom for each of us children to spend a week up in Topeka with him each year. (Well, I got to have three weeks this year because of reasons that I won’t bother to elaborate on because that’s a whole ‘nother story…) Anyways. I spent this past week in Topeka. So that’s backstory fact number one. Backstory fact number two: there is a slightly battered but usable piano on the second floor of the capitol building. Backstory fact number three: there is a blind man, Don, who runs a snack shop on the third floor of the capitol. (I hear they actually have a law just for him, that nobody can run a snack shop in the capitol unless they’re blind. That way nobody can compete with him and take away his ability to provide for himself.)

Okay, now we can start over. I was just finished playing piano Thursday night and my dad and I were going to leave for supper, when we found Don (the blind man, you recall) trying to feel his way towards us. He had an ancient tape recorder in tow, and upon us asking him, informed us that he was hoping to record me playing a song or two on the piano. Who could turn him down? So we helped Don to the piano, got the recorder set up, and I started playing.

My hands shook like a barn in a hurricane, and my voice was about as audible as if I was inside that barn. (Have I mentioned that playing in front of people terrifies me? Well…yeah. It does.) Gradually though, it began to be easier to play. Don has so little, and the least I could do was give him my best effort. When we finished recording the third song, he talked with us a while, and asked if he could pray with us. Of course he could! A few minutes later saw him back on the elevator and us on our way to supper.

But those few, short minutes with Don have stuck with me. He has to go through life feeling his way down corridors and streets, trusting to his memory to keep him on the right path. He doesn’t get to watch the gorgeous sunrises that I so often take for granted. He doesn’t get to stand on the balcony at the top of the dome and gaze for over a hundred miles on a clear day. (So the tourguide says, but she doesn’t remember the exact distance, and I have no clue how far it really is. But it’s far.) And yet, Don goes through life with such a grateful spirit, and he is always happy to encourage other people. He is a real blessing to the people around him.

How ungrateful I can be! I have so much, and yet I have so little because I haven’t got the sense to be thankful for the little things. God has blessed me so richly, and half the time I don’t even remember to notice, much less thank Him for His blessings. Don’s attitude is a good reminder for me to never, never take the little blessings for granted. Enjoy the sunrises. Relish the ability to walk with my hands in my pockets. Be grateful that I can stand on the top of the dome and gaze out over miles and miles endlessly. Oh, God blesses us in so many ways! Let us never forget it.

Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post – Elly

Okay, so months and months ago Elly, one of my friends, asked if she could do a guest post on here. I said sure, she wrote one up, and then what did I do? I lost it in my message box. 😛 And of course they say ‘out of sight, out of mind’. So. A very, very belated post by Elly.

 

 

You’re free – free to do what you want to
Choose your own destiny
Free to do what you want to

Stryper is a Christian metal band that had success in the 1980s. One of their songs, “Free”, inspired me to write something. I offered to write a blog post for my good friend Calista. Finally I got around to writing it… and here I am!

“Meh,” you might say. “I’ll just skip this post because it doesn’t really interest me. I don’t care about a band who dressed in yellow and black and had big teased hair.”

Hang on. This isn’t about the band. It’s about the lyrics.

“You’re free – free to do what you want to
Choose your own destiny
Free to do what you want to”

Those were the lyrics that really jumped out at me. Destiny.

Destiny is defined as –
The events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.
The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.

This song is suggesting that we, as God’s people, can pick our own destiny. We just love to speculate about the future, don’t we? About where we’ll go to college, where we’ll travel, who we’ll marry, what kind of house we’ll buy, how many kids we’ll have.

There is however, a bigger, more permanent destiny.

Eternity.

“Free – free to turn away, say goodbye
Free to walk away and deny
the gift waiting for you”

We all have to choose. The song is saying that we are free to deny God, but we are also free to

“…open up – and believe
Free to simply ask & receive
There’s no better time than now
You can’t lose”

Our eternity is our destiny. Would you choose an eternal gift in Heaven and God’s plan for your life, or would you turn and walk away? The choice is yours.

Categories: Guest Posts | Leave a comment

Insecty Thoughts

People like to compare someone who’s struggling to a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. You know, all about how the struggle makes you stronger and the end result is something beautiful, and all that inspiring stuff. But I was thinking… With butterflies it’s a one-time deal.

I think people are more like cicadas. You know, like this beautiful creature. Starting out as an ugly little grubby thing that digs in the dirt and through a succession of painful molts in a process that can take years and years, they slowly transform into something beautiful. (At least, I think cicadas are gorgeous. I suppose some people would disagree…) They don’t undergo a miracle transformation. They undergo a series of small transformations that culminate finally in beauty.

Humans don’t undergo a miracle transformation either. We change slowly, molting again and again and slowly becoming less of the ugly little grubby thing that digs in the dirt. Sometimes the changes hurt, like we’re being torn in two, but then we realize that it was really just our constricted exoskeleton exploding and letting us out to grow some more. Every molt is progress, but it’s not enough to be content with just one or two or three. We have  to keep growing, keep changing for the better. Because when humans and cicadas transform into something glorious, it always happens through a long process. This is probably out of context, but it reminds me of Philippians 3:20-21:

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to himself.

We’re being made beautiful. Don’t lose heart when the molting hurts; you’re being transformed into something glorious. 🙂

Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“But God…”

To start us off, I submit two passages for your consideration…

Exodus 4: 10-12 ~ But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”

Jeremiah 1:6-8 ~ Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”

In both cases God had just called these men to do great things for Him – Moses was to lead Israel out of Egypt, and Jeremiah was to be a prophet. I find it interesting how similarly the two reacted to their callings; they made excuses. Both of them felt that they weren’t qualified to do God’s will.

I can relate to that. So many times, when God calls me to do something, I feel small and weak and unqualified. I want to make excuses. I want to ask Him to find someone else. But God doesn’t ask for qualified people. In fact, He delights in using people who are very unqualified. Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Gideon, Peter, Paul… Why can’t He use me too? My excuses are no better than theirs. The only real qualification I need to have is willingness. Willingness to go where He calls me and do what He says.

So why does His call scare me so much? He never calls His soldiers to fight alone. So many times in the Bible He promised His people that He would go with them and help them; that they needn’t be afraid. But how easily I forget that His promises also apply to me! When He calls me to do something, He will also go with me. I don’t have to struggle through on my own strength; He will be my strength. And He will also be yours. You never have to be afraid to do what God asks. *Smiles*

Joshua 1:9 ~ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Categories: Ponderizations | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.