Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Drink from a 4,000 Year-Old Well

Photo credit: netours.com


A CUP OF WATER FROM JACOB’S WELL
Israel Pilgrimage—1986

We arrive at Shechem
and make our way
to Jacob’s Well

It surprises me to find
this ancient water source
that I first read about in Genesis
still operating

and I’m astonished
to be offered
a refreshing cupful
drawn deeply
from a bucket
on a rope

The water is clear and cool
and tastes ordinary, but
what can be ordinary
about water drawn
from the very well
of the old patriarch
built 4000 years ago?

I purchase a small ceramic urn
filled with an ounce or so
of life’s most basic sustenance
It is sealed with a plug of wax

I’ll place it on a shelf at home
not because of any
mystical or magical powers

(It is ordinary water, after all)

but to remind me
of how far back in time
God’s amazing story goes

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Visit to the Dead Sea

One of my favorite places on Earth...
the Dead Sea

Photo credit: britannica.com


DEAD SEA DELIGHTS
Israel Pilgrimage—2006

Earlier today
while bussing
through the region
brilliant sunrays illuminated
the Dead Sea
bedazzling us
with sparkling expanses
of cerulean and turquoise

Now, amid evening shadows
some of us slip into the sea

There is ample darkness
so we dare to reach down
for handfuls of rich
black, therapeutic mud
and slather it lavishly
over our face and body

It’s November—
the air is cool
as is the sea
nevertheless
we linger
bobbing buoyantly
in extreme saltiness

as the precious muck
squishes and oozes
through our toes
     reminding us
     of when we were kids

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Carrying Our Own Cross

Sometimes Life Can Be Difficult
and We Get to Carry Our Own Cross...

Image credit: pinterest.co.uk


The following poem
was written during a time of bereavement:


ACCEPTANCE


I accept this bitter cup
filled to the brim
with the wine
of sorrow
I'll take
and drink
it dry

For I have tasted
the sweet wine
of the red
grapes
of joy
the wine
of gladness
the wine
of blessing

I accept this cross—

I will lug its weight
upon my
bony shoulder
and trudge
the pathway
of travail
When
I misstep
and stumble
I'll call for help

My cross
is so, so small
compared to Yours
My bitter cup
sweet honey
All I need
to make it

Jesus

is Your hand
and Your deep
unfathomable
Love…

Maude Carolan

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Read the Bible in 2018

Image credit: visitbn.org

               A 2018 New Year’s Resolution suggestion ...in poetry.
                          

               COVER TO COVER II

     Among my most meaningful things to do
     while reading the Holy Scriptures through
     is write Messiah's name in the margin
     of the Old Testament, where'er I find Him.
     Of course, I do not find Jesus' name,
     but I certainly find Him, just the same.

     I find Him in the Lamb and the Lion,
     foreshadows of the Temple in Zion,
     find Him in Joshua, David, Passover,
     in the Song, the whale, cover to cover.
     I've thumbed through pages and jotted a few
     Messianic treasures to share with you:

     Messiah's birth’s foretold in Micah, five;
     seven centuries later, Jesus arrived;
     virgin birth proclaimed, Isaiah seven,
     a Son to be fathered by God in Heaven.
     Kings would bow down to Him and nations serve,
     Solomon's Psalm Seventy-two observed.

     He'd be pierced and mourned, said Zechariah;
     Our Redeemer, fifty-three, Isaiah,
     who prophesied resurrection glory!
     Genesis to Revelation, God's true story!
     The Word reveals a magnificent plan
     in this tome of Our Savior, God and Man.

         Well, now that Twenty Eighteen is here
         I’ll suggest a resolution without peer:
         Resolve to read before this year’s over,
         the Holy Bible, cover to cover.
         It contains everything you need to know
         about God’s love and grace and how to grow.
        You’ll read the story beginning to end
        of your Sovereign Savior and closest Friend!
                      
     Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!

A-Poem-a-Day
Until Christmas

This is the final poem in the series:

Image credit: pastorchrismullis.com


SIMEON & ANNA

Simeon wondered
if he were seeing things
He rubbed his tired old eyes
squinted and peered again
at the little family
that came through the Temple doors

The Sanctuary
was shadowy and dim
Flames from the oil lamps
were flickering—
Were his eyes playing tricks?

Wasn’t this an ordinary family?
…a couple like any
ordinary Jewish couple
here to present their firstborn son
holy to the Lord?

Nothing special about them
Just poor folk
with two lowly turtledoves
for the sacrifice…yet?

Perhaps this was wishful thinking
Perhaps, his imagination
He needed to be sure
Simeon moved a bit closer

Oh, he’d been waiting so patiently
for the fulfillment of the promise
of the Lord to comfort Israel

He knew He would—
for the Holy Spirit
assured him
he absolutely would not die
until he beheld the Messiah
…but that was long ago

Suddenly an unmistakable quickening
began rising up in his spirit…Yes!
…O Glory! Glory!

He bounded
toward Mary and Joseph
with arms outstretched
and swooped up
their swaddled infant son
uttering prophetic proclamations
jubilant and terrifying

I behold God’s salvation!

A light to the Gentiles

The glory of God’s people Israel

and directly to Mary, he prophesied:

…a sword will pierce your soul

She shuddered…
for she knew God had a plan, but…
What could this mean?

Then the widow Anna approached
Bent and grey and pious
she was a prophetess
who dwelled in the Temple
most of her life, praying
fasting and serving the Lord
with a joyful heart

Spontaneous praise
sprang from her lips
as she beheld the babe
Then Anna proclaimed
to all who would listen:

Come and see…
This is our newborn redeemer!

…from that day forward
Jesus grew
in wisdom and grace

the Cross before Him…

…and a sword did pierce
Mary’s soul

Maude Carolan Pych

A Christmas Eve Poem for Children

A-Poem-a-Day
Until Christmas

A special poem for children follows
to read to them on Christmas Eve...

Image credit: inlieuofpreschool.com


‘TWAS THE NIGHT…OF ALL NIGHTS!

Children, gather round. It’s time for a story,
one that’s filled with hallelujahs and glory.

It’s about the glorious night of all nights,
angels and magi and sight of all sights!

About God, a virgin, the birth of a king,
wooly sheep, poor shepherds and gift giving!

My story takes place long ago, far away
and starts with a Babe in a crib full of hay;

His mother’s a virgin, His father is God,
the birth, a miraculous Heavenly nod.

The Baby is born in a Bethlehem barn
near a few smelly animals, like on a farm.

Poor shepherds in a field shudder with fright
when suddenly the dark sky fills up with light

as beautiful angels, bright splendors winging
tell of the birth with hallelujahs and singing!

So, the shepherds and sheep the very next morn
set off to visit this special Newborn.

Rich wisemen follow a bright beaming star
to the Bethlehem barn; the journey is far.

They ride astride camels, carrying treasures
to give to the One they’ll worship forever.

Why in the world would they do such strange things?
Why travel so far? Why great treasures bring?

The reason is simple, the Babe in the hay
becomes the world’s Savior, Who takes sin away.

His name is Jesus and He loves you and me
and wants us to love Him for eternity.

That was the night of all nights here on Earth…
the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth!

Maude Carolan Pych



Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Point of a Sword...

A-Poem-a-Day
Until Christmas


ANOTHER SILENT NIGHT

My friend Holly (who has a special
affinity with all things Christmas)
once gave me a picture
of Mary at the crib of Jesus—
She said the image of Mary
reminded her of one of my daughters

I framed the picture
and hung it on the wall
not because of any resemblance
to my daughter, but
because I was moved
by the striking look of anguish
upon Mary’s lovely face

This had to have been the day
Mary and Joseph went to the temple
to dedicate Jesus, the day
they offered two turtledoves
as a sacrifice for their firstborn son

Simeon was present when they came in
and knew immediately
by the power of the Holy Spirit
that this Child was
God’s promised Savior

He told Mary—
A sword will pierce your soul!

This silent night in Bethlehem
as Jesus lay sleeping
Mary lifts his tiny hand
to her trembling lips
She wonders about God’s marvelous plan
wonders how a Savior saves

and as she wonders, she feels
the point of an unseen sword
pressing against her flesh—

What did that wise old man mean?

There’s so much I do not know—
So much I do not want to know

tonight


Maude Carolan Pych