Cross on Ocean Grove Beach
photograph taken by Maude, 8/2012
THE BOARDWALK PAVILION
This glorious summer Sunday morning—
We’re drawn eastward
from north, south and west
by the magnetic pull
of God’s love-force
Drawn, to the old wooden pavilion
to the Atlantic, the Jersey shore
to the boards at God’s Square Mile—
Ocean Grove. Drawn
wearing khaki and denim
tees and tanks
carrying water bottles
with song sheets
We fill the benches
then spill over
into the periphery
onto folding chairs, lawn chairs
beach blankets. Some stand
Some look for shade
It’s 80-plus and breezy
The sky, clear
The sea glistens
Waves slap the shore
merrily. We’re merry
Vacationers stroll past
Some peer; some stop
some smile; some don’t
Bikers pedal by
Son-smiles; praise dance
heart-moves; Kidz church
Agape flows outward
Sea mist rises like incense
toward the One
We bask in the warmth
of His smile
of His warm, sunshiny love
Maude Carolan Pych
Five of our family women spent the first day of summer at my favorite spot at the Jersey Shore, Ocean Grove. We gazed at the ocean, put our toes in the sand and observed that there is still much restoration needed following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, last October. Then we enjoyed a delicious lunch outdoors at a café on Main Avenue, did a little shopping, and stopped for ice cream sundaes at Nagel's. Before heading home we drove past the Great Auditorium, the Victorians and the lovely tent houses which were decorated beautifully with flowers and banners. The weather was perfect and so was our day trip to "God's Square Mile".
|Image courtesy of http://www.withoutend.com Google Images|
June 15, 2013
Vol. 13, Issue 2
It’s all about…The Lamb
Maude Carolan Pych/Quarterly Poetry Letter
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches
and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” Rev 5:12 NASB
It’s all about…The Lamb is a quarterly publication for lovers of the Holy Lamb of God, who also enjoy poetry. The purpose is to magnify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and inspire an ever-deepening relationship with Him, the lover of our souls…
WE ALL GO THROUGH TOUGH TIMES, times that can jostle us, shake us and send us into a tail spin. It’s been like that for me the last few weeks. It started on Sunday, May 26th, a lovely spring afternoon in New Jersey. My husband and I had gone to church, then out to eat at a nice Spanish restaurant. When we arrived home it was still beautiful so I suggested we take a walk around our neighborhood. We strolled for a few blocks, talking, enjoying the irises in full bloom in our neighbor’s gardens. We turned a corner and suddenly I somehow fell flat on my face onto the cement sidewalk. I was stunned, had a lump on my head, broken glasses, two black eyes, a smashed and bleeding, but thankfully not broken nose and my teeth smacked hard and cut into my upper lip. I went to the nearest hospital emergency room to learn if I had a concussion, not at all expecting to be admitted. Following a CT scan, I was told there was bleeding on my brain. I was then rushed by ambulance to another hospital which was the trauma center and placed in the Neurological ICU. Yikes! I immediately became aware of my vulnerability and about how a split second can change everything drastically.
I spent four days in the hospital recovering. Praise the Lord! I am home now, feeling and looking much better. I need to follow-up with a neurologist and have another MRI in a few months. I realize how fortunate I am and was told by a doctor/friend that this could easily have been a much more serious scenario.
When I came home, still feeling stunned and in need of rest, I received a call from a dear elderly cousin, Marie, to say she called an ambulance for herself and would be going to the hospital. A few days later she had a massive stroke and after nearly a week of hospice care, went to be with the Lord last Saturday. I’ve said all that to say this, I consider times like I just encountered to be a shaking, a wake-up call. I believe the old Girl Scout motto still is “Be prepared.” I’m reminded that I am only one heartbeat away from eternity. No one knows when that final heartbeat will happen, but we all know with uneasy certainty, one day our heart will stop. Be prepared. Get right with God. If you have not yet done so, invite Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Jesus wants you to spend eternity with Him in the beautiful place He has prepared. The blessed assurance of eternal salvation fills the heart with peace.
It seems to me that this issue is the perfect one in which to include an old favorite rhyming poem of mine, “Wonderful News.” I hope its message speaks to your beating heart.
FEATURED POET: ELIZABETH MARCHITTI
My friend, Elizabeth “Betty” Marchitti has been featured several times in this publication. Betty is a wonderful poet who has been writing for many years. She is a frequent participant at poetry readings in northern New Jersey and leads a group at the Totowa Library called “Writing for Fun”. The poet has created chapbooks, won prestigious awards and her work has been widely published in literary journals.
The poem I am pleased to feature here today is entitled, “Seeing Is Believing”. Betty entered this poem in the annual St. Catherine of Bologna Art, Photography & Poetry Exhibition, held in Ringwood (NJ) last March. She achieved an Honorable Mention for this submission. I’m very pleased she agreed to share it here. Congratulations again, Betty.
+ + + THE POEMS FOLLOW + + +
SEEING IS BELIEVING
During the children’s sermon,
a favorite of Father Mark’s,
He explained why little ones
love to play peek-a-boo, knowing
the beloved face will reappear.
Disappearing into the hall,
he called out, “can you see me now?”
And they chorused “no!”
“But you do know I’m here?”
Hesitation. Seconds of silence.
“You do know I’m here?” he repeated.
And they chorused “yes.”
Can you see God? Father Mark asked,
and the children nodded “no.”
But you still know he’s there--
They nodded “yes.”
On my way home,
I saw the dark scarlet of oaks,
the burgundy of Japanese maples,
felt the cool breeze of this November,
blessed by no sign of heavy frost,
caught a glimpse of sapphire blue
between rolling grey clouds of late morning,
felt glad to be alive on such a day,
and I saw God, I saw Him everywhere.
--November 13, 2000
I have to share the most wonderful news with those I love most in this world.
The news I have is more precious, by far, than diamonds or rubies or gold.
There was an enormous void in my life. “Is this all there is?” I would ask.
I searched far to find some meaning in life. It seemed an unknowable task.
One day someone shared the Gospel with me, and I learned that Jesus is real.
I prayed to invite Him into my heart and was filled with astonishing zeal!
The day that He gave His life on the Cross, to save all mankind from our sin,
He opened to us salvation by grace; life eternal, the prize that we win.
You know that I share the best that I have with my cherished family and friends,
so listen, dear one, to this wonderful news upon which ever-after depends.
Just open your Bible to the Gospel of John, third chapter, verse number three,
then read of God’s love in the sixteenth verse to learn what has happened to me.
Some people grow up with Bible in hand, without Jesus burning in heart,
some haven’t explored the true meaning of life, some wouldn’t know where to start.
Whether you’re Protestant, Jewish, my friend, Catholic, Muslim, atheist,
my news is for you and all who will hear, who long to receive of God’s best.
You needn’t become a fanatic or prude, I’ve no list of do nots and dos.
God’s Spirit will teach you all you need know. The offer’s too good to refuse.
Although tribulation may take you by storm and trials may bring a hard test,
God’s greater, He’s faithful, He’ll bring you through to victory. You’ll shine in His rest.
This can be the greatest day of your life, the day you receive the New Birth.
This can be the day you begin to know why we’re the happiest people on earth.
Like me, you will yearn to share the Good News with all of the people you love.
Like me, you will want all those you meet to be touched by our Great God above.
Maude Carolan Pych
Comments are welcome and appreciated.
Look for the next edition of It’s All About…The Lamb, September 15, 2013
A FEW CLOSING WORDS…
First, I want to wish all of you good dads a very happy Father’s Day. Good dads are a wonderful blessing to their families and beyond.
Next, I want to reiterate the main point of my opening message and remind each of you to listen to your heartbeats and…“Be prepared.”
God be with ewe,
After God’s Own Heart Publishing
P.O. Box 2211, Woodland Park, NJ 07424
Marie Gioia and me
For Marie Gioia
Marie is 86 now—
She’s been retired a long time
living in a tiny apartment
on the fifth floor
of Governor Paterson Towers
with its big window
overlooking the city
and its bitty kitchen
designed for preparing
this and that
created to simplify
mundane kitchen chores
Marie has fibromyalgia
and lives with constant pain—
She rises, attaches electrodes
from her home tens unit
to her aching body
and hopes the stimulation
will provide sufficient relief
to help her face the day
She heads to the market
the doctor or church
A bit of her monthly check
is carefully set aside
for flour and sugar
or red bell peppers
from the market
on Railroad Avenue
(when they’re on sale)
Marie fire roasts
the peppers over a burner
stuffs and slowly simmers
the bulging artichokes
chops, minces and mixes
a bowl of batter
with a wooden spoon
and prepares loaves
for the oven
She gets herself dressed
fixes her hair
puts on a little lipstick
a necklace and earrings
and a hat,
her signature stylish hat—
and out she goes
carrying a little jar
of garlicky peppers to my house
or a rustic corn bread
to Carol or Ana or a neighbor
or she brings her famous
cranberry pumpkin loaf
to her pastor
or the man who services her old Ford
or her dentist, ophthalmologist
or the chiropractor
she’s been going to
for years, who recently
reduced his fee
There are always
a few containers
of homemade soup
in her freezer
which she delivers
to the sick
or someone who
just seems to need
a simple offering
from her kitchen
Maude Carolan Pych
Cousin Marie passed away this afternoon at the age of 89. She was a dearly loved member of our family. My prayer is that she is in the loving arms of Our Savior, enjoying the beginning of eternal life with Him in a beautiful, wonderful place.
This poem won an Editor's Choice Award in the national Allen Ginsberg contest and was published in "The Paterson Literary Review".