Sunday, December 30, 2018

Let's Read the Bible in 2019

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     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 Nineteen 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

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Simeon & Anna

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Today's selection is the final poem in the series...

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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

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Special Poem for Children...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas


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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

Have a Blessed Christmas
One and All!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Pray for Revival

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

The following is my new poem
for Christmas 2018.

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My Christmas Prayer

I’m standing by the manger, staring at Jesus in the hay
thinking of what my pastor said in his word to us that day.
He spoke of the time we live in and of people losing faith,
of disregard for God’s Holy Word, and a sharp increase in hate.

Many churches are closing or the Gospel gets watered down,
there’s disrespect for spiritual things and God is made a clown.
My pastor said he’s burdened; therefore he’s asking us to pray
for a nationwide revival; hope for all who’ve gone astray.

Dearest Baby Jesus, You were born to save us, this I know,
and by Your death upon the Cross, You conquered the evil foe;
so I pray people repent of sin and give their heart to You,
that they proclaim Your Holy Name, and seek to be Born Anew.

By amazing grace and unfailing love, splendors are in store
and by Your Resurrection there will be life forevermore.
Your desire is that none be lost, therefore I commit to pray
that indeed there’ll be revival and we’ll see it in our day,

that multitudes will flock to You, countless as the grains of sand,
that churches will fill up with faithful folks all across our land,
dusty Bibles will be opened and hearts will abound with love,
so I send my fervent Christmas prayer, straight to Your throne above.

Precious Lord, You are worthy to receive our honor and praise.
Draw all who need You, with Your great love, to walk in all Your ways—
Revive! Revive us, Jesus! I long to see what You will do
in answer to this Christmas prayer…all glory belongs to You!

Maude Carolan Pych

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Think About It...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

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Imagine worshipping a cooing one moment, whimpering the next, born to save us, sweet baby God, lying in a trough filled with scratchy straw, needing a diaper change

Imagine worshipping a stone-kicking, frog-in-pocket, sticky-fingered, tousle-haired God, gleefully splish-splashing through mud-puddles along a rocky Nazareth road

Imagine worshipping a nose-in-the-Scroll, confident little-boy-God, teaching in the Temple, confounding elders with astonishing Truths, as His parents search for Him

Imagine worshipping a rugged, long-haired, son-of-a-carpenter adolescent God, as He learns (ironically) to skillfully select woods and deftly wield a hammer and nails

Imagine worshipping a gregarious, life-of-the-party, wedding-guest God, Who miraculously turns stone jars of purification water into jars of finest wine at Cana

Imagine worshipping a child embracing, woe pronouncing, multitude feeding, leper-cleansing God, Who walks upon water, instructs the wind and even raises the dead

Imagine worshipping a bread-breaking, wine-offering, foot-washing God, Who soon to be betrayed, beseeches His Heavenly Father, and sweats blood in an olive garden

Imagine worshipping a 30-something, blood-splattered, fist-struck, scourged and spat-upon God, laboriously lugging a cumbersome crossbeam to His Own execution

Imagine worshipping a thorn-crowned, sword-pierced, crucified-with-common-criminals sacrificial Lamb of God, as He dies sinless for the sin of the world

Imagine worshipping a resurrected three-days-after-burial God, Who appears ALIVE! Yes, ALIVE! in His own burial garden, in locked rooms and to strangers along the road

Imagine worshipping this crucified, resurrected, gloriously ascending-in-the-clouds, victorious Son of God, Who says, "Go into the world and tell them."

Tell them…
He did it for them


Maude Carolan

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Sword Will Pierce Her Soul...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas


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


Maude Carolan Pych

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Yeshua Means Savior

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

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I saw him the other day
the baby boy who lives next door
His parents are poor Hebrews, like we are
He’s swaddled the same way we swaddle our babies
and he cries and coos just like our babies do, yet—

the brightest star I’ve ever seen
shines down upon him every night
and shepherds have left their fields
just to take a look at him
exclaiming all the while
about angels singing in the sky

Really? Angels in the sky—

One day I saw wisemen from afar
dressed in finery, ride in on camels
They were bearing costly gifts to honor him
and actually bowed prostrate
before his little cradle

I met his mother at the well, yesterday
Her name is Miriam (Mary)
She told me they’ve named him, Yeshua (Jesus)

Yeshua is a fine name. It means savior
Savior. We’ve been waiting for a savior—


Maude Carolan Pych

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"Behold, the Lamb"

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Rick Sabato's painting, "Lambs."


In a grassy field in Bethlehem
a rugged old shepherd
tenderly smooths the wooly coat
of a pregnant ewe, as she bleats in labor
almost ready to deliver her offspring

He’s been through this many times—
Patiently, the shepherd remains with her
prepared to assist as she gives birth

Immediately following the delivery, he wisely wipes,
the membrane away from the lamb’s face
so it can breathe, while the mother
instinctively licks it all over with her tongue
In a few minutes, it rises on wobbly legs
and manages a few shaky steps

Then the shepherd picks it up
and carefully examines
every limb and joint and crevice
Finding no blemish
he wraps strips of swaddling cloth
around its delicate little hooves
to protect them from splintering or cracking

He’ll raise this spotless little lamb
with utmost care—

and present it to the Levitical priests
designated for sacrifice
upon the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem

as an atonement for sin

The old shepherd
warms himself by the fire
with the younger men
when suddenly the sky is alight
with angels singing praises to God
and announcing with joy
the birth of Yeshua (Jesus), Savior of the World

Filled with great jubilation
the shepherds set off
with their flock, to honor Him
They don’t have far to travel

In a lowly stable outside an inn
they find the Babe
with His mother, Miriam (Mary)
and her husband, Yosef (Joseph)

Baby Yeshua is without blemish
swaddled and sleeping, in a make-shift cradle
that is actually a feeding trough for animals

Years go by
and in the fullness of time
the Man, Yeshua, presents Himself
to Yochanan (John), the Baptizer
on the shore of the Jordan River

As He approaches
Yochanan proclaims to all who will listen

Behold, the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world![1]

A few years later
Yeshua, Son of God, the spotless Lamb
does exactly that, once and for all—

at the Cross

Maude Carolan Pych

[1]John 1:29 NASB

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Humble, So Humble...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

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Matthew 19:14

In a little manger, in a little town,
was born a little boy,
to a little family of little means.
He brought the world great joy!

If the Lord of All could come so small,
with the biggest, highest aim,
then why oh why must we buy and buy
for the day that bears His Name?

We shop, we trim, we bake, we cook,
we visit, we send, we party,
we run up the tally on credit cards,
the bills we pay are tardy.

While the hustle and bustle can be great fun,
sometimes it steals our peace,
sometimes the true Christmas spirit gets lost
when our busyness won’t cease.

From the little manger, the little town,
the crib of the little boy,
comes a little Christmas thought to muse,
which may heighten Christmas joy…

Let us celebrate with littleness,
become as the little Child,
with simplicity, wonder, innocence,
pure Love that’s undefiled…

and the Savior, Our Lord, who was that Child,
shall smile at us, well pleased,
“For the kingdom,” He said, “of Heaven belongs
to people such as these!”

Maude Carolan

Monday, December 17, 2018

An Old Fashioned Christmas...

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

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I sat with my nose pressed
against the frosty kitchen window,
staring hard into the black starry sky
looking for snowflakes,
searching for Santa in his sleigh,
straining to see a tiny red light
that might be the tip of Rudolph’s nose.
Mommy said Santa wouldn’t come
until I went to sleep,
so I put on new flannel pajamas
trimmed with red piping,
and went to bed.

I heard noises, elfin noises?
Kneeling on my bed,
peering out the window,
I spied my father
dragging evergreens from the car.
Soon I heard Mommy, Daddy,
Aunt Carol and Uncle Fred whispering,
heard them rustling around
moving things, the buzz of a drill.
I worried that the commotion
would keep Santa away,
but soon my eyes wouldn’t stay open.

I awoke very early
and roused Carol and Frankie.
We tiptoed downstairs
where we were dazzled by a fir
decorated with big bright bulbs
and bubbling candle lights,
shiny glass balls,
silvery tinsel shimmering
reflections in the glow,
and a glittering star way up on top.

Aunt Carol was curled on the sofa,
Uncle Fred lay snoring
in an overstuffed chair.
Beneath the tree was not
the perky Toni I prayed for
and asked Santa to bring
when I sat on his lap at Quackenbush’s,
but a different yellow-haired doll
with little pink curlers,
an oversized tricycle
with a fresh coat of chartreuse
and a Chinese Checkers game.
My sock, bursting with candy,
hung from a cardboard fireplace
covered with red brick printed paper.

Soon our aunt and uncle awoke,
then Mommy and Daddy.
We were told Daddy
had taken the last scrawny pines
from an abandoned tree lot
after his night shift at Wright’s.
He and Uncle Fred drilled holes
into the trunk of the best,
fitted in branches from others.
They stood it on a stand
with Daddy’s old green Lionels
circling around.

Carol and I bundled and walked
to Mass at St. Bonaventure’s,
leaving our new toys behind.

When we got home,
there was sausage and eggs,
a stollen coated with powdery sugar,
filled with tiny pieces
of red, green and yellow fruit,
(which we picked out),
and mugs of rich steamy cocoa,
with a big Campfire marshmallow
melting and bobbing on top.

Maude Carolan