September 15, 2012
Vol. 12, Issue 3
Vol. 12, Issue 3
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…
WELL, THE LONG HOT, HOT, HOT SUMMER’S OVER. It was a busy season with a few trips and lots of dips in the Totowa (NJ) pool. I also spent intense, yet enjoyable hours editing and putting the finishing touches on my manuscript of poems about pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It’s titled, The Pilgrim’s Pen, and spans three exciting, worshipful and life-changing trips to Israel. Now I must prayerfully determine what to do next. Should I try to find a publisher or should I create another chapbook, here at my desktop, as I’ve done several times before?
WEDDING BELLS RING TODAY for Pastor Tom Smith, whose poems have previously appeared in this publication, and for his lovely bride, Debbie. Congratulations! And may the Lord bless your marriage and your ministries.
TWO FEATURED POETS:
E.J. EMERSON AND JOHN VIGREN
In this edition of It’s all about…THE LAMB, I am pleased to feature two fine poets, my friend, E.J. Emerson and the newest member of my writing group, John Vigren.
Rev. E.J. Emerson’s poems have appeared in this publication before. She is pastor of Richfield Church in Clifton, NJ. A wordsmith by profession and inspiration—poet, writer, French translator, teacher and preacher EJ is also, by the grace of God, a walking miracle. Four years ago she was diagnosed with stage IV of a very rare blood cancer; and she was literally healed overnight only hours into the first round of chemotherapy. Knowing it was impossible for any of the initial treatment to have brought remission, one oncologist exclaimed, “There’s no explanation for this!” EJ responded, “Oh, yes there is,” throwing her arms heavenward, “I don’t know if you are men of faith, but I invite you to give thanks to God!” And the other oncologist enthusiastically added, “Amen!”
EJ and I send poems to one another from time to time. A few weeks ago, she sent one she had just written. The title is “Distressed”. It moved me greatly with its element of surprise. As for one whose prayer list for cancer victims is way too long, it jolted me on first reading. Even more so, when it comes to the plight of children my heart becomes wrenched in my powerlessness to do anything other than call upon The Name of The Lord, which I do without hesitation. I asked EJ to tell me what inspired this poem. Her reply follows:
“Sitting in an Irish pub style restaurant waiting for lunch to arrive, I looked around at the décor, enjoying the Celtic cutout motifs in the metal window grill where I sat. What popped into my mind was the word ‘distressed’, applied to fashionable decorative metalwork and pieces of furniture. Then blue jeans. Then the rest just tumbled out onto the page of the notebook I had brought with me. It wrote itself, taking me completely by surprise when ‘distressed’ became ‘dis-tressed’ and I anguished over the many children, including my step-niece, who have succumbed to cancer.”
I met John Vigren in June at a meeting of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG) in North Haledon. A poet, this was the first NJCWG meeting he attended. He presented me with a copy of one of his two chapbooks, To Name the Hope. I read it during the summer, and asked John if he would permit me to publish, “No Deal”, in this publication. He gladly agreed.
John was born in Flushing, NY, in 1954. He started writing poems suddenly in October, 2010. He won the Founder’s Prize in the Utmost Christian Poetry Contest, and first place in the Christian Publishers Poetry Prize competition. Both contests were based in Canada in 2011. The poet produced a chapbook, What He Has Done, earlier this year, in addition to the book previously mentioned and he’s currently working on a pet memoir. John is also a landscape photographer. I went to his website and was mightily blessed by his amazing photographs. Check it out at: www.peacefuleye.com
John told me, “’No Deal’ was inspired by a relatively inconsequential adversity. I was saved in July, 1997, at age 43, when my addiction recovery blew to pieces. I reached out to a Christian friend, who suggested I open the Book of John. When I did, I received the Holy Spirit with power. My poetic agenda is to plead Christ’s case by describing His matchless power in everyday situations.”
John lives in Hope, NJ, with his wife, Elizabeth.
+++ THE POEMS FOLLOW +++
Latest gotta-have trends
At the check-us-out chic
Main Street Antiques
* * *
Distress calls hurled skyward
Propelled by pain
With those everyday
Rock by rock
We build our own wailing wall
© E. J. Emerson
August 19, 2012
Climbing metal steps, I now recall
the times that I was blessed in doing good.
And I recall the blessings I’ve forgone
by not deliberately blessing those
around me. That is, in the same moment,
not waiting for the next mission trip.
And other times I thought if I do this, I will
be blessed. Oh what a tiring thought:
If I do this I will be blessed. A little
more, a little less, the world’s most insipid
vending machine. But now like one awake
and throwing off a dream, despising it,
mad passion comes: No deal. I will do it
anyway. I will pray and give without
a reason. And I will get nothing back,
just as You gave all for me, full knowing
I never could or would repay. Or, even
like most, thank You. And in deciding this,
and only then, joy fills me. I will make
no deal with man or God to bless or praise.
© John Vigren
Permission to forward or copy is automatic and encouraged as long as credit is given.
Comments are welcome and appreciated.
A FEW CLOSING WORDS…
Have a glorious autumn! Any day now, the Master Painter is about to astonish us with His vibrant color spectacular! I hope you get the opportunity to walk through piles of crunchy leaves and perhaps pick a pumpkin or a basketful of apples. My husband’s mouth is watering for a homemade pumpkin pie.
To my Jewish friends and subscribers, with Rosh Hoshanna and Yom Kippur right around the corner…May your name be inscribed!
…And as a reminder to all email subscribers, when the link appears in your email box, December 15, 2012, just a click of the mouse will bring you to “Maude’s Poems “and the next edition of It’s all about…The Lamb. Till then…
God be with ewe,
After God’s Own Heart Publishing
P.O. Box 2211, Woodland Park, NJ 07424