Sunday, September 15, 2019

Water from Jacob's Well

Photo credit: larrygrabill.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, September 8, 2019

Rabbinical Tunnel, Jerusalem

Israel Pilgrimage, 2006

Photo credit: english.thekotel.com



TOURING THE RABBINICAL TUNNEL
Israel Pilgrimage--2006

One evening
some of us avail ourselves
of an unscheduled opportunity to tour
the amazing rabbinical tunnel
beneath the Temple Mount

The tunnel stretches
along the span
of the Western Wall
continuing near and beneath
the Dome of the Rock
leading to the place where
the Holy of Holies
likely dwelled

My mind boggles with amazement
as I consider this probability—

The women among us
observe, close-up
behind a curtained window
Orthodox men swaying
as they pray at the Wall—
We seem to be praying
in their very midst

Our group ambles
through a passageway
in places so narrow
we must turn sideways
to slip through

Along the route
we touch enormous
hewn Herodian stones
(one measuring forty feet by nine)
and cannot help but wonder
how they were placed here
and we stare at countless slips of paper
folded and tucked between stones
bearing countless heart cries unto God

We come to a portion
of the walkway
that has a transparent floor
and glimpse downward
to see cisterns and staircases
of ancient civilizations
in this land so rich in history

Pious women
garbed all in black
heads covered and bowed
are quietly praying
at the very place
rabbis believe to be
the closest physical point
to the Most Holy Place

Oh! I yearn to linger
but our group moves on

All along the way
we absorb and observe
pray and ponder
the wonder of it
and all it means to be
on this amazing pilgrimage
in the City of Our God

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Life of Richard Wurmbrand

MOVIE NIGHT
Saturday, September 7, 7:30 p.m.
Beth Israel Worship Center
11 Railroad Avenue, Wayne, NJ

TORTURED FOR CHRIST
The amazing life story
of Richard Wurmbrand

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand


PHILIPPIANS 4:4

Written after hearing Richard Wurmbrand speak at Beth Israel Messianic Center, Garfield, NJ, in the spring of 1993.  Born Jewish, he was born again as a young man and became a Lutheran minister.  He was persecuted in Communist prisons for 14 years for underground Christian activities in Rumania. Pastor Wurmbrand was the author of "Tortured For Christ" and founder of "Voice of the Martyrs." He died February 17, 2001.

The prisoners rejoiced,
singing, jangling,
wrists bound in iron chains,
hungry, shivering
in one dismal cellblock
somewhere in Rumania
between 1948 and `62.
Bound in shackles
but spirits free
and hearts jubilant,
like thorn birds
their voices
pierced the wretchedness
with a laser of unearthly joy.

“Praise God for providing
musical instruments,”
cling-clang, cling-clang!
“Praise Him for this crust,
a blanket, a bucket,”
cling-clang, cling-clang!
“Praise for our dear families
unseen for years,”
cling-cling-clang!
“Praise for fellowship
in midst of persecution,”
cling-clang, cling-clang!

There were days
without bread
when they partook
the Lord’s Supper
without elements,
but most solemn reverence.

Many years later,
after release,
the echo of chains
may have been
the loveliest music
their hearts ever heard.
In reverie,
the Body and Blood
without bread and wine
may have been
the sweetest Communion
of their lives.

Maude Carolan

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sharing Sunflowers!

"In My Sunflower Garden"



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
gigantic 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 I often pass

Sometimes I leave bereavement poems
on a table at a neighborhood mausoleum
or give copies of my chapbook
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 full of sunbursts
opens the door today
I hope my simple poems
generate a smile

Maude Carolan Pych


FREE CHAPBOOK:
To receive a free printable copy of my chapbook of 14 sunflower poems, "In My Sunflower Garden," send me a comment below, including your email address, and I will gladly forward a downloadable copy to you.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

"Sunflowers Along Emmaus Road"

Another Sunflower Poem...

Here is a sunflower field
that reminds me of the one I saw
several years ago, along Emmaus Road.



SUNFLOWERS ALONG EMMAUS ROAD
Israel Pilgrimage—1986

A field of big, bodacious sunflowers
seem to be a great cathedral choir
singing the Hallelujah Chorus
with exultation
while sun-shining millions
of dazzling petal spires upon 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

Free Chapbook:
Leave a comment below
and include your email address,
and I will be happy to send you a printable copy
of my chapbook of 14 sunflower poems, titled:
"In My Sunflower Garden."



Sunday, August 11, 2019

Celebrating Sunflowers!

One day I drove past a house with a splendid garden,
a garden that boasted sunflowers in bloom.
I went home and printed a chapbook
of sunflower poems and left the booklet
on a little table in their garden...

Find information below
about how to receive a free chapbook
of sunflower poems.


Maude's Sunflower Garden--2018

SUNFLOWERS

Lafayette, New Jersey, September 1, 2001


God’s abundance wows me
from a sprawling field of sunflowers
which tower above
on thick woody stalks

They lift great ochre heads
framed in ragged haloes
of yellow gold
to shine sunrays upon me
like God’s own radiant face
amid a communion of saints
and I must smile back

Their leaves
are big green hearts
In their midst
my own heart
grows and greens

How God loves me!
He astonishes His child
with wondrous whimsies

Soon, when the season ends
they’ll just nod their weary heads
and shed their golden haloes
on the ground

and bequeath their gift of seed
to ravens of the air
which will feast festively
upon God’s abundance
unto them

Maude Carolan


Free Chapbook
Leave a comment below
and include your email address,
and I will be happy to send you a printable copy
of my chapbook of sunflower poems, titled:
"In My Sunflower Garden."


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunflowers are in Bloom!

Have you noticed all the magnificent sunflowers...
kings of the backyard flower gardens?


Happy me in my 1918 sunflower garden!



SUNFLOWERS MAKE ME SMILE

Sunflowers make me smile—
because they’re absolutely outrageous!
They’re taller than a beanstalk
and way, way larger than a flower should be

They easily pass me in height
and keep right on growing
Each stately stalk and its sturdy leaves
go up, up, up like a ladder to Heaven
and when that flower bursts into bloom
it lights up my whole backyard
like the sun’s come down for a visit
All the shaggy petals are golden sunrays
shining upon me, while
the bees buzz with delight
sucking in nectar

I think God made sunflowers
to cause us to look up and take notice
of His handiwork and His generosity

His Love, too! The bigness of it!
His magnificent magnanimousness!

Oh! It’s certainly no wonder—
Whenever I see sunflowers
they always, always, always make me smile J

Maude Carolan Pych