Sunday, July 28, 2019

"The Boardwalk Pavilion"

Summertime Worship
in Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Ocean Grove Beach 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
sundresses, flip-flops
carrying water bottles
carrying Bibles
fanning ourselves
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
joggers jog

Hymnsong; guitar-strum
Son-smiles; praise dance
heart-moves; Kidz church

Agape flows outward

Sea mist rises like incense
upward, Heavenward
toward the One

We bask in the warmth
of His smile

of His warm, sunshiny love

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Introducing Barbara Higby's New Book...

Bob and I returned this week from our fabulous summer vacation to visit family in Colorado and California. One of the best things I found waiting for us, amid the huge stack of mail, when we got home, was a package containing the new book by Barbara Higby that I had pre-ordered. It is titled "I Was Broken, Too."

Barbara is my friend and the facilitator of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG). The book tells the story of her remarkable journey from brokenness to hope. 

Quoting from the back cover..."I Was Broken, Too" was written for you, the broken, disillusioned, and wounded. If loss of any kind has assaulted your hope, follow the paths that revived Barbara's--they are achievable and hope is possible. You will discover that what God has done for her, He will do for you." 

Her book is published by Elm Hill Press and is available at amazon.combarnesandnoble.comand

And now, a summertime poem...

Let me introduce you to my granddaughter, Alana Dulce Muniz. In the photo below, she is in my kitchen, learning to make Irish soda bread. In the poem I'm about to share with you, Alana struggles with learning to dive during swim lesson classes, last summer at Erskine Lake...

Alana Dulce Muniz

For Alana Dulce Muniz

Granddaughter Alana stands on the edge
of the diving board over Erskine Lake
Her arms are positioned high above her head
fingertips of both hands are touching
and pointing over the water
Her feet shuffle anxiously

She drops her tired little arms
looks around
lifts her arms again
points her fingertips, shuffles
trying to muster courage
wanting to do it so badly, but
too afraid to let herself go

Grandma calls to her
You can do this, Alana!
and Alana knows that’s true, so

she lifts her arms again
points her fingers again
shuffles right, left, right, left
then turns around
and climbs down the ladder

When she gets home
the baby sparrow in the straw nest
outside the kitchen window
is perched on the edge
It flutters its wings
It shuffles its little legs
The bird looks below
and shuffles some more
as mama bird flies to and fro
flapping her wings
with encouragement

Alana tells little bird
You can do it!
as we all stand by, like cheerleaders
hoping and waiting

Little bird remains perched there
for a long, long time
We give up watching
and don’t see it take flight

but it’s gone now

and a week later
when Grandma wasn’t there to watch
Alana perched herself, determinately
on the edge of the diving board
and dove victoriously
into Erskine Lake

Maude Carolan Pych