Sunday, September 17, 2017

As the Fall Holidays Approach...

I am blessed to be a member of a Messianic congregation,
and am looking forward to celebrating the fall holidays...

Here is a brand new poem about that:

Photo credit: youtube.com

AS THE FALL HOLIDAYS APPROACH

I reach for my sweater against the chill
The crickets are chittering
Sunflowers have shed their golden petals
and a few green tomatoes remain
abandoned on the vines
It’s September—
the High Holy Days are approaching

Soon I will gather with mishpoceh[1]
in the parking lot outside Beth Israel
We will observe Rosh Hoshanna
Rabbi Jonathan[2] will sound
his kudu shofar beneath the full moon—
Tekiah—Shevarim—Teruah—Tekiah Gedolah[3]

Sages tell us the first day of the month of Tishri
is the day God created the world
the world He so loved
the world He gave His only Son to save
The trumpeting reminds me
to reflect upon my relationship
with this God of my salvation
reminds me, humbly, to prepare for Yom Kippur

So I ponder the Day of Atonement
ponder the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies
sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice upon the Mercy Seat
ponder the sacrificed goat and the scapegoat
ponder forgiveness
ponder my sins, atoned for by Yeshua[4]
ponder my High Priest, the Perfect Sacrifice
Who offered His Very Own Blood
on my behalf

Next will be Sukkot
the Feast of Tabernacles—
From inside a leafy sukkah
I’ll be reminded of the sojourn of God’s people
to the Promised Land
reminded of my very own sojourn
toward God’s promise—
eternal life with Him
in Heaven

Maude Carolan Pych



[1] Mishpoceh is Hebrew for family.
[2] Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, worship leader of Beth Israel Worship Center, Wayne, NJ.
[3] These are the various sounds of the shofar (ram’s horn) on Rosh Hoshanna.
[4] Yeshua is Hebrew for Jesus.

Just Released:


"Is it possible that there exists an ancient master blueprint
that holds the secret behind the events of our times?"

Jonathan Cahn, pastor/rabbi of Beth Israel Worship Center, Wayne, NJ,
has written a new book, published by First Line Publishing
He is the New York Times best-selling author
of "The Harbinger" and "The Book of Mysteries."
It's available now at Beth Israel, online and in bookstores.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Remembering 9/11/01

Image credit: reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com
WAITING WITH ARMS OUTSTRETCHED
Written in the wake of the September 11, 2001, Attack on America

We’ve been told God doesn’t belong in our schools
He doesn’t belong in public buildings
not in the town square, not at baseball games
We may not pray to Him in our classrooms
His Name has been shushed from graduations
Our witness at work has been silenced
Crèches and menorahs have been removed from government properties
and replaced with roly-poly Santas, tinseled trees and dreidels
Christmas and Hanukkah have been neutered
with wishes of “season’s greetings,” “happy holidays”
We’ve been closeted by the separation of church and state
in this free country founded as a safe haven for religious freedom

but when those 767s flew into those magnificent towers, September 11th
when those great towers imploded, when thousands died tragically
and shockwaves of grief and terror riveted our planet
suddenly our churches filled
God’s name arose boldly on banners all across the land
It was posted, plastered, scrawled and spoken
prayed to by the President, our leaders, newsmen
It appeared on school message boards
bumper stickers, lapel pins, buttons
It was superimposed upon flag decals glued to our windowpanes
It was emblazoned upon our chests on patriotic T-shirts
and it appeared over and over and over on subway prayer walls
along with Scotch taped photos of those who were missing
Thousands proclaimed it loud and clear
at candlelight vigils and a prayer service at Yankee Stadium
and we all sang it with tears
“God Bless America,” our truer anthem

If we’ve been complacent; if we’ve swept Him aside
packed Him away in attic trunks
with things we thought we wouldn’t need anymore
He’s waiting with arms outstretched
love streaming from His eyes
and we need Him to heal our shattered hearts

Oh, let’s keep the “God Bless” in our “America”
and Americans, let us “Bless God”
O let us never let go of Him again


Maude Carolan

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Christian Rock Concert, Ocean Grove, NJ

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ
Photo by Maude


ROCK CONCERT,
GREAT AUDITORIUM, OCEAN GROVE

It was good for us 
to be there
even though 
our silver pates pounded
and our ears 
were so deeply traumatized
by each deafening decibel
our hearing actually dulled, temporarily
The thundering beat bounced off
walls and rafters, ceiling and floor
reverberated in our seats
and sent tremulous vibrations
through our entire beings

It was a rock concert of worship music
with smoke and strobe and spotlights
PowerPoint and praise to Jesus. Hallelujah!
Amplified drums and crashing cymbals
the resounding cymbals the Psalms speak of
It's the very same music we enjoy over the radio
when we have control of the knob
There was no adjusting the volume tonight

The lead singer leaped across the stage
and sang so loudly we couldn't hear words
We attempted to sing along as best we could
we clapped and shouted and raised our hands
along with thousands, mostly young
with wonderful innate enthusiasm
and accustomed, receptive ears
We even did "the wave" with them
until we all were reminded
of the balcony's 100-year-old fragility
We were reminded of our own 60ish fragility

We really wanted to stay. We really wanted to enjoy
We really wanted to span generations with great jubilation
We didn't mean to weenie out, but
looking one to the other
realized our pinched faces weren't reflective
of the fired-up ones one-third our ages
so we ducked out midway through the second performance

Tomorrow we'll go to church
We'll sing, "Come, Thou Almighty King"
Number 392 in the frayed pew hymnal
but we'll treasure aspects of tonight
like the little girl in ribbon-tied pigtails
both hands raised way up high
like the cool guys with their big silver crosses
their earrings and bandanas
black tees emblazoned with The Name
like the twelve-year-old in the row in front of us
who kept spinning his green glow stick
as he danced in the bleachers praising his Jesus
with all the fervor of the shepherd/king of long ago
who led that remarkable gambol of wild abandon
before the Holy Ark


Maude Carolan

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Sunflowers Along Emmaus Road"

Photo by Maude


SUNFLOWERS ALONG EMMAUS ROAD
Israel Pilgrimage—1986

Big, bodacious sunflowers
live up to their name
sun-shining a million
dazzling petal spires at us
along Emmaus Road

It is fitting
because I am ablaze
with Jesus-joy
to be here

as I think about my newly
Resurrected Lord, vanishing
at the very breaking
of the bread

astonishing the disciples
who sat with Him
at table

Those utterly bewildered disciples
whose hearts thumped
and blazed
with glory fire
as He walked with them
as He explained to them
the Holy Scriptures

2000 years ago
somewhere
along this very road


Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Sunflower Season!

I never have much luck with sunflowers. This summer, I must have planted 200 seeds in my backyard, and some in my daughter's backyard in Ringwood, and I also gave my sister a handful of seeds. One plant survived the birds, the little creatures, and the elements. Here is a photo of my splendid sole surviving sunflower and a poem about someone I do not know who had much greater success than I, a few years ago.


Photo by Maude
of this year's sole surviving sunflower


FREE GIFTS

For weeks now
I’ve been driving by a house
on Totowa Road
that holds no distinction
except for a vibrant flower garden
in front and around the side

What catches my glance
and causes me to smile
are perhaps thirty or forty
big golden sunflowers
shouting for attention

Today I printed
eight sunflower poems
folded them neatly
and placed them in an envelope
decorated with a scribbled sketch
of a solitary sunflower
and a note saying
“I love them, too!”
and left the envelope
by the front door
of the house on Totowa Road

Sometimes I leave bereavement poems
on a table at a neighborhood mausoleum
or give copies of The Widow’s Song
to newly widowed friends
Sometimes I mail poems
about butterflies
to people who love them
and regularly post poems on my blog
about God’s love and His mercy
with the hope
of reaching those
who need encouragement

When the one who gifted me
with a garden of sunbursts
opens the door today
I hope my simple poems
generate a smile


Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, August 13, 2017

At the Mount of Beatitudes

Photo credit: amite.photoshelter.com


BLESSED AT THE MOUNT OF BEATITUDES
Israel Pilgrimage—1986

At the Mount of Beatitudes
Wayne[1] suggests we each find
a quiet spot to spend
time alone with God

so I stroll along a pathway
surrounding the church
built in the name of
the Lord’s great message
to the multitudes

In a few moments I hear baa baaing
and follow the sound to the top of a hill
with sheep and a shepherd in view below

I sit on a low wall
to watch and carefully listen
for the voice of my Shepherd
amid plaintive bleating
I, too, am one of His sheep
I, too, have things to tell him
and don’t want to miss
anything He might have to say

This is communion—
a lamb with her Shepherd

I bask awhile in sweet serenity
aware of a holy presence
as the sheep graze
and the shepherd, like Jesus
carefully tends his flock

Afterward, we pilgrims come together—
No one else heard the sheep
No one else saw the shepherd

The interlude was for me alone
a gift from my God—
a simple blessing
to one little lamb He loves

Maude Carolan Pych




[1] Wayne Monbleau—Pilgrimage leader and host of “Let’s Talk About Jesus” radio program.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Metamorphosis of a Butterfly

Photo credit: walldevil.com

METAMORPHOSIS

Once I was a caterpillar, dwelling upon the earth,
Crawling along day by day, adept at feigning mirth.
I only knew the earthy life, I thought that that was it;
I took what terra firma gave, the pleasures and the grit.
There was no beauty in me.  No one ever looked here twice,
Few cared if I were evil, no one knew if I were nice.
I was only concerned with myself, what the earth could give,
Yet, inside I was sensing a far better way to live.
Instinct led me to spin a thread and weave a neat cocoon;
I became a living mummy, wrapped tight within my tomb.
What was happening to me?  I tried to kick and shout,
“Help me!  Open up this thing!  I want to get right out!”
No one heard and I was powerless, so I went to sleep,
Not knowing what was ahead of me, feeling something deep.
I don’t know how much time went by within my tiny tomb,
But sensed that I was being changed, as one inside a womb.
Finally, instinct worked in me.  There was a sudden urge
To break out of my chrysalis and from the dark emerge.
Somehow, I then received the strength to burst my being free;
Alas, the golden Light broke through and there was a new me!
I took some time to understand, some time to wonder why,
Then I just shook myself a bit and I began to fly!
And `lo, I was so beautiful, and `lo, I saw the sun...
Oh, after living on the earth, soaring was great fun!
A wretched worm was I no more, I knew that that was true,
I was reborn and I became a creation wholly new!
A butterfly!  A butterfly!  I received my wings,
Glorious splendors of the Heavens, all the higher things.
All old things have passed away, they’ll never come again;
I’ve set my mind on things above, on these I will attend.
Now, even when I swoop to earth and walk upon the ground,
I’ll never be a worm again...I’m Butterfly...glory bound!
Praise God for metamorphosis, it’s by His loving grace
That I’m a new creation now, and I shall see His Face.


Maude Carolan