Sunday, July 25, 2021

Have You Been to Ocean Grove?

 A Poem About God's Square Mile

at the Jersey Shore...

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Ocean Grove—

This tiny Christian community

comes to life in the summertime

Methodist. Camp Meeting.

Boxy tent houses

with colorful flower gardens

American flags and banners

surround The Great Auditorium

with its lighted Cross

facing the ocean


It’s just a mile square

Quiet. Subtle.

Not in-your-face-religion


church bell chimes

do break the quietude now and then

with a gentle reminder

and there’s a pavilion

on the boardwalk

where Gospel events take place

Folks can walk-in or walk by

and there’s a tabernacle

for morning worship

and solid Bible teaching

but it’s optional


Personally, the spiritual amenities

are what draw me

to this particular place

at the Jersey shore


What’s surprising

is that many vacationers come

not for the Bible Hour

not for the concerts

not to hear great preachers

from all over the world

not to worship in the great old edifice

with its magnificent pipe organ

not to sing hymns of antiquity

in fact, they come

not for the Gospel, at all


but for peace and quiet

for one square mile

of no hawking of tee shirts

and games of chance

roller coasters, carousels

freak shows and body piercing

in fact, there’s nothing for sale

on the boardwalk

and no alcohol for sale

in the grove


No, they come

for a sandy beach

and ocean spray

quaint Victorians, B & Bs

curiosity shops on Main

and shady sidewalk dining

oh! and ice cream at Nagle’s or Day’s


and they know they can rely upon

good old fashioned

Ocean Grove wholesomeness

and Christian acceptance

even if they’re not necessarily

seeking the Christ of Christianity


…and to my way of thinking

stand to miss out on the Best

this precious little gem

has to offer


Maude Carolan Pych

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Sunday, July 18, 2021

Looking for Jesus...

 Every month Pastor Steve selects one of my inspirational poems to feature at Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey. The poem is set up decoratively, placed in a frame and broadsides are available for the taking. This month we are featuring a timely new poem. I've also decided to share it here on my blog this week. Every opportunity to share my poetry is a blessing to me and I pray the poems are a blessing to you...

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I’m looking up, up into the sky

like those disciples

at the end of the Gospel of Luke

as they watched Jesus ascend

gloriously into Heaven


and thinking about those men in white

who told them Jesus will return

in the same way

descending through the clouds


so I’m peering intently into cloudscapes

If my eyes could send lasers upward

to burn through them

perhaps I’d see more

perhaps I’d see Him


perhaps He’s getting ready

to return


I hear of wars and rumors of wars

watch the nightly news to find

people worried about the pandemic

and variants and global warming

There’ve been slashings on subways

People are depressed and agitated and angry

They’re demonstrating aggressively

pushing, shouting, stabbing, and shooting

There’s unbridled violence and mayhem

It’s obvious, many have plainly forgotten

how to love one another


which isn’t surprising

since so many of Jesus’ teachings

have been cast aside

and honor, glory, and praise

are being withheld from Him


so I’m praying for repentance

and revival and pleading

for people to return to God’s Word

and His loving ways


Meanwhile, more than ever

it feels like the end times—


so I keep looking up

peering through breaks

in the clouds, gazing deeply

into the high blue heavens


watching to see


if my Jesus is coming down


Maude Carolan Pych

Want to read more poems?

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Summer Vacation

 My favorite summer place...

Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

Photo credit:

Photo by Maude



An hour and a world away

is a charming place we love to stay,

where time stands still a little while,

in fact, some call it, “God’s Square Mile.”


Our spiritual retreat vacation

at this gem within our nation

is where we find more than we seek,

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.


The Great Auditorium’s surrounded

by quaint tent houses, abounded

by flower gardens, every hue;

coral, magenta, lavender blue.


Great preachers come from far and near,

expectant pilgrims come to hear

the preaching and angelic choir

as the great pipe organ sends its fire


of resounding music through the air,

inviting all who will to prayer.

All this takes place beside the sea

in a grove of sweet tranquility.


Stroll tented lanes in ocean breeze,

past tabernacle, B & Bs;

Victorian landmarks give a show

of “painted ladies” row on row.


Visit eateries, little stores

and take the garden trolley tour.

This Jersey shore town gives to each

respite, chapels, sandy beach,


a quiet boardwalk and pavilion,

where perhaps, more than a million

over the years have stopped and heard

Gospel concerts and God’s good Word.


So come, find more than you may seek

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.


Maude Carolan Pych

Would you like to read more of Maude's poetry?

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.
For more information visit her website



Saturday, July 3, 2021

The Statue of Liberty

4th of July, 1984

 A Star-Spangled Day

In Our Family's History...

Frederick Leo Harris, July 4, 1984


In memory of Frederick Leo Harris


Uncle Fred was an unassuming kind of guy—

a master crane operator who ran

a long-necked crane for Canger, Inc.

He never boasted about it

didn’t speak of the special skills required

or dangers or the scope

of projects he was working on


nor did we even think to ask

except perhaps to inquire, conversationally

about where he was working

It could have been Jersey

or New York or sometimes Pennsylvania

He just put on his work clothes each morning

put in his eight hours, and came home

to their three room apartment

in Paterson, every night for dinner


On the 4th of July in 1984

Uncle Fred was the engineer

chosen to remove the original torch

from the hand of Lady Liberty


That particular Independence Day

marked the start of restorations

on the Statue of Liberty, with completion

targeted for her 100th birthday, in 1986


I don’t recall our uncle telling us

about it in advance. If he had

we undoubtedly would’ve been there

with our young children

to witness his feat


He probably dressed for work that morning

just like every other day

had his coffee, drove into the city

got himself to Liberty Island

and quietly set about doing 

exactly what a master crane operator

would be expected to do


There was a special ceremony

that Independence Day

with pomp and circumstance

a brass band and dignitaries—


and in the cab of the tall crane

hunched over the controls

sat our Uncle Fred, confidently

doing what needed to be done

to expertly bring down the old torch


The honor bestowed upon him

was completely lost on our Aunt Carol—

She was at home and unhappy

because he had to work on the holiday

and therefore they had to miss out

on normal 4th of July festivities

like a parade or a cook-out or fireworks

When a news reporter called

to ask her some questions

she let him know exactly how she felt

and what she said was directly quoted

in the newspaper the following day


It wasn’t until she saw a picture of him

standing next to the old torch

on the front page of the Paterson News

that she realized the illustrious way

he spent the 4th. Suddenly

she became overcome with pride

and fussed over him to no end

even though, I’m certain, Uncle Fred

could easily have done without

anybody fussing over him, at all


The original torch is on permanent display

in the base of the Statue of Liberty

with a plaque telling of its removal

and the statue’s restoration that followed

It includes no mention of our uncle’s name

which, surely, would not have bothered him


but we know, and we’re proud

and this poem is written to keep

that special memory of him alive


Maude Carolan Pych

Happy Birthday, America!

The above poem appears in my memoir in poetry,


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