Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)

TITLE: Agog with Agogic
By Judith Gayle Smith


Agog with Agogic

No microphone needed. I could out shrill Ethel Merman, flooding the large school auditoriums, being blessed with lungs surprisingly controlled and sustained.

I was ambitious, yes. Mom named me after the lovely Judy Garland. Enjoying her voice and movies, I aspired/perspired to follow her prettily dancing footsteps into Musical Comedy.

Being dubiously blessed and cursed with a Histrionic Personality, I blissfully filled the air with dramatic songs originally beautifully performed by the moans of the haunted Judy Garland and strived for the perfect pitch musicality of the incredible Barbara Streisand. Oh, and who could forget the smoky performances of Peggy Lee?

I sang more easily tenor than alto, singing along with my Elvis Presley records. He sang in my key! And let us not forget the heart soaring, thrilling yet gentle Nat King Cole, the mellow and dapper, incomparably melodious Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin – so swooningly handsome, he carried my wild adolescent heart. I sang, entranced with the soulful, heartbreaking Johnny Mathis – his voice pure velvet.

Yes, I am a name dropper – but these are such incredible songsters putting their own mark/accent on contemporary music.

1950’s music: “Shake, Rattle and Roll” certainly shook, rattled and caused my folks to roll their eyes. Mom didn’t object to my adolescent crush on Elvis because she had her own crush on him! His songs, so wondrously easy to harmonize – filled and thrilled this absorbing wannabe purveyor of musicality.

Asthma stole from me the sustained breathing, vital for carrying notes to their thrilling finales. I could still belt out a tune – but as a Baritone. Still singing in the key of Elvis, but the feminine lilt was gone, and now I sing like a man – and not well at that.

This was humbling, especially when my Dad informed me that I was a “one note Charlie”. I found out – years later – that he was tone deaf.

Looking back, I find that seeking to make a glorious name for myself was not God’s perfect will for my life. Wanting to be recognized for my incredible gifts to the world? What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking straight. I was a professing Christian, but not a possessing Christian. Pride in self is ego-centric, not God centered. The Asthma may have been God’s way of slowing me down enough to see this.

Amazing – as I write this I comfort myself with the fact that we are to make a joyful noise unto our Lord. Nothing is mentioned about perfect pitch – except the direction of your noisemaking!

KJV Psalm 89:15 "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."

KJV Psalm 95:1 "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation."

KJV Psalm 98:4 "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise."

KJV Psalm 149:5 "Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds."

KJV Psalm 95:2 "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms."

KJV Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 582 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/28/13
Thank you for this uplifting and inspiring story with a powerful message. I loved it, and especially how you tied it all with the scriptures. God Bless~
Francie Snell 02/28/13
Great job at your wonderful word weaving. I didn't mind the name dropping. It brought vividness to the piece. Isn't it a beautiful thing how God always points us in His direction. God Bless You and your writing.
Linda Berg 03/01/13
I love your writing here. I related with the mis-understandings because of the language barrier as I live in a foreign culture and language.

Bringing that application to the importance of living in the truth of God's word and not in assumptions, was well applied.

Thanks. Looking forward to more of your work.
Alicia Renkema03/03/13
This is a lovely piece of writing. Very honest and sincere as well as enjoyable in recounting the oldies but goodies! I too love the thrill of hearing Judy Garland and Barbara Streisand's lovely voices serenading me. Johnny Mathis will always remind me of my dad listening to his version the "The Christmas Song" and Elvis is absolutely the best! So thank you so much for this piece and woven together with all of the joyous scriptures on music. The only pink ink I would mention is that except for that one line you have about the "mark of their music being accented by..." this piece seemed to be more of an extension of last weeks entry on "key." I still really enjoyed this. You write in a way that touches the reader , thank you.
Danielle King 03/03/13
I fell in love with Elvis too. 'Love me tender' had me swooning when I was in junior school. I love your writing. It's well paced and busy and concluded with a good message. And for the record, no-one sings more frighteningly than I do. It makes the toes curl!
Cheryl Harrison03/03/13
Interesting title. I enjoyed your story and the message it contains. Good job!
lynn gipson 03/04/13
Oh, you do take me back to somewhere over the rainbow and an old jukebox in my mother's restaurant in the 50's and 60's. I so enjoyed this and the part of a possessing Christian instead of just professing. You wrapped this all up very nicely.
WEll Done.
Loren T. Lowery03/04/13
You're a great story teller. Loved the line about your father being tone deaf : ). And this recalls what someone once told me, that God must love the call of the crow as much as the song of meadowlark. And, I so agree. Great job.
Beth LaBuff 03/04/13
Music has always been pervasive in our lives too, so I could sympathize with your struggle with your voice, BUT I love your heart attitude and yielding to God's will. That is a beautiful thing! Your story fascinated me.
Bea Edwards 03/05/13
You wrote a rich and entertaining piece. Your line "I was a professing Christian, but not a possessing Christian" was profound and convicting.
Virgil Youngblood 03/05/13
What! No Little Richard and Itsy Bitsy Spider on your list? Or does that explain the voice going south? Loved the musical trip down memory lane and your devotional thoughts.
Catherine Craig 03/05/13
This flows and builds nicely, catching and keeping my interest. The title was an eye-catcher. Interesting correlations with your Christian walk. Safe to assume this was a first-hand story?
Myrna Noyes03/06/13
What a wonderful list of old-time crooners! :) You did a nice job with this piece and had some good descriptive words and phrases. One of my favorites was: "'Shake, Rattle, and Roll' certainly shook, rattled and caused my folks to roll their eyes." I loved the lesson you learned through getting asthma and your voice changing, too. Your closing lines were lovely: "I content myself with the fact that we are to make a joyful noise unto our Lord. Nothing is mentioned about perfect pitch, except the direction of your noisemaking."
Judith Gayle Smith03/06/13
I am overwhelmed with all your great comments! Thank you. And yes, like most of what I write - this is an absolutely true story about me. "Getting personal".
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/07/13
This is a great piece. I really enjoyed your delightful sense of humor. like your dad I'm tone deaf, but I was able to almost hear your voice sing as I read.

The only red ink I have is save exclamation points for dialog. Your words do such a good job of exclaiming for you that you don't need the marks.

Your ending was perfect. I think so many of us can relate to wanting our names to live on forever, but better still with Jesus, not just our names will live forever. How cool is that. :)