Archive for May 2012

This Old House

May 8, 2012

This Old House

             Preparation for construction next door to our church building included the demolition of a house that had rested on its foundations for decades.  I can only imagine the many changes it has seen while standing on the corner of that intersection.  Businesses have come and gone, roads have been improved, traffic lights installed, and countless memories existed within its walls over the years.

            While I have no personal connection with the house, it was somewhat heartbreaking as I sat in my parked car and watched the large shovel dismantle that old house with so little effort.  The wood siding, the cement foundation, and even the old brick chimney were no match for the tonnage of equipment which leveled the house in a matter of a couple of hours.  Knowing the house had been in the same family for all its years, I could not help but imagine the stories that lived inside that dwelling – stories we likely will never hear. 

            The words “house” and “home” are synonymous, each referring to a place of dwelling.  In my mind, however, there has always been a technical distinction in that a house is made of bricks, stone, or wood, but a home is made of people – a house can be purchased, but a home must be made.  That idea seems to be shared by some realtors who advertise “homes for sale,” because a home sounds more inviting than a “house for sale.”  So, what is it that makes a home?

            In part, a home is made of events and memories and passages of life.  It is built through sorrows and joys, failings and successes – marks charting growth on the bedroom door frame, Kool-aid stains in the carpet, Christmas mornings around the tree, Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, baby’s first steps – people bring life to a house and make it a home.

            What are some of the stories your house would tell?  Often when I phone a particular friend and ask, “Hey, what are you up to today,” I hear his standard response, “Just making memories.”  The powerful Deere 330CL can destroy a house in short order, but the home, built on love and strong moral values, can withstand an incredible barrage of attacks life throws at it.  The home is a significant investment of money, time, activity, and emotion.  Let’s not be too quick to abandon our “home” when tensions or dysfunctions arise, because it is worth saving.  Before you rent the big shovel, remember the old adage, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

Dr. Steven J. Callis, January 2012



Remembering Who mom Is

May 8, 2012

Remembering Who Mom Is

By Steven J. Callis

                Being the last of her three sons, I always saw my mom as a woman.  I remember as a child seeing my mom as young and pretty, but she was still a woman.  Many children have difficulty picturing this truth, but moms once were girls!  I don’t recall seeing that side of my mom, but I saw pictures of her B.C. years (before children!).  She played high school basketball.  She went on dates.  As a child she played with baby dolls.  Yes, my mom used to be a girl!

               But to me, she has always been my mom.  From my very first breath she loved me and cared for me and nurtured me.  She taught me about the important things in life.  She taxied her sons to ball games and music recitals and birthday parties and school events.  She nursed my bumps and cuts and bruises.  She let me lie on the floor and pretend to be a mechanic to the vacuum while she cleaned the carpets.  Family was her life.

               Mom and dad made church attendance a priority.  From my earliest memory they were involved in church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, ushering, cooking – – Sunday School, morning worship, evening service, Wednesday church, and every revival service – – we were there.

               I am blessed not only with that heritage, but with one of my mom’s Bibles.  On the front page are these words: “From my boys, Mother’s Day, 1989.”  There are listings of important dates, such as weddings and birthdays and deaths. It is not the only Bible she used, but there are a few handwritten notes throughout its pages.  Many verses are highlighted with pink or blue or yellow markers, and some also underlined with ink.

               She especially loved the Psalms and Paul’s writings.  Next to the 23rd Psalm she wrote, “Serene with Eternity in view.”  Elsewhere there were other quotes or thoughts, such as, “Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there,” and “All our times are in God’s hands.”

               Of all the time she spent with me and of all the things she taught me, I am thankful for my Bible-reading mom whose life was committed to the Lord, His Church, and her family.  She went home to be with the Lord a few years ago, but she’s always been my mom.