April 17, 2017

Jesus Christ is Risen indeed!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Christ our Lord
is risen
in each of us each day,
and neither gravity
nor a cruel grave
can keep us down.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, from her book of prayers, poems, and contemporary psalms, PRAISE! published by Cladach Publishing

April 12, 2017

Why I murdered Jesus - Mary Harwell Sayler

Why I murdered Jesus - Mary Harwell Sayler:

I woke up with the title of an unwritten poem in my head: "Why I murdered Jesus." After writing that down, other lines followed into a prose poem for the last days of Lent, the week of Christ's passion. May God bless your reading.

'via Blog this'

April 11, 2017

Jesus Journey

With the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary as His parents, Jesus became a unique person – fully human and fully God. In the Jesus Journey, which Zondervan kindly sent me to review, pastor-author Trent Sheppard presents the human side of Jesus in a reader-friendly, conversational way that helps us relate to Jesus by demonstrating how much and how often Jesus relates to us, particularly in these five areas:

“Part 1, ‘Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,’ focuses on Jesus’ family life with special attention given to the unique relationship he had with his mother.

Part 2, ‘Jesus and Abba,” looks at the remarkable way Jesus interacted with God – intimate, compelling, and controversial all at once.

Part 3, ‘Jesus and His Friends,’ explores the journey of discipleship that Jesus shared with those who knew him best, his friends and followers.

Part 4, ‘Blood, Sweat, and Tears,’ considers the crucifixion, reflecting on Jesus’ trust and determination in the face of confusion, fear, and pain.

Part 5, ‘Breakfast on the Beach,’ is all about the bodily resurrection of Jesus, what it means for us now and for the future.”

Beginning with scripture, each chapter has a reflection followed by a call to “Ponder, Pray, Practice.”

The idea to keep in mind and spirit, however, is this: “we can come to Jesus with our messy, broken, sinful lives because Jesus knows how hard it is to be human, because he knows obedience is a battle.”

If this is news to you and, especially, good news for you, the Jesus Journey will take you on a journey you’ll want to explore.

Mary Harwell Sayler, reviewer

Jesus Journey, paperback

April 3, 2017

Trying to keep my eyes on Jesus - with or without clouds

The life of a Christian poet-writer is often clouded with interruptions and disturbances – some desirable, some not!

After a wonderful sisters’ cruise to the Bahamas in mid-March, I came home with a head cold aka sinus infection, both of which kept my eyes looking behind me as I tried to move forward and catch up.

Then, the very day my book of contemporary psalms and free verse poems PRAISE! was to be released by Cladach Publishing, my computer refused to work in total disregard of my plans for promotionals.

As soon as a new keyboard solved my pc problem, I resolved to blab about my book all over the Internet – a smart marketing approach for Christian poets and writers who hope people will actually read what they have written.

New book….
Fun time with siblings….
Head cold….
Fritzed keyboard….

Each caught my attention. Each clouded my focus, and yet each drew me back to prayer and a greater appreciation of the Lord in my life.

Praise the Lord for keeping life lively!

Praise the Lord for scriptures that draw us closer to Christ.

Praise God for speaking to and through us in what we’ve been given to write:

Cloud bank

Around us a cloud –
of the faith –

and our faith rising
like cloud wisps
forming Jesus’ face –

a reminder of The One
toward Whom we run

as we leave behind
all hindrances –
obstructions, interruptions –

and open our own
to be searched by none
but Christ on the throne.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, poet-writer who based the above on Hebrews 12:1-2, today’s Bible verse in a variety of translations from Bible Gateway

March 6, 2017

The Poetry Editor and Poetry: Communion of Saints: poems by Susan L. Miller

The Poetry Editor and Poetry: Communion of Saints: poems by Susan L. Miller:

In Communion of Saints from Paraclete Press, who kindly sent me a copy to review, poet Susan L. Miller writes of present-day people who reflect saintly individuals of the past.

'via Blog this'

January 25, 2017

Relearning how to think

The Bible encourages us to have the mind of Christ, but how does that happen? How do we trade dark thoughts for light or exchange ill thoughts for good?

Effective change comes about through the grace of God, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless our own choices and actions have a part in this too. For example, Philippians 4:8 tells us what we can do to reshape and reform our thinking as this prayer-a-phrase will hopefully show:

From now on,
think about
what’s actually true

which may require research,
study, and an open mind –
free of prejudice to find out.

From now on, notice
whatever is honorable

and honestly worthy
of time and attention.

From now on, think about
whatever is just

right, fair, equal, unbiased.

From now on, be attentive
to whatever is pure

as shown by pure motives,
selflessness, and empathy
toward others.

From now on, contemplate
whatever is lovely

beautiful sounds in psalms,
poetry, prayer, music –
beautiful art and religious icons
with which to meditate –
beautiful variety in God's creation.

From now on, put your thoughts on
whatever is commendable

of good repute, of good report –
of Good News.

Finally, if you see any
excellence anywhere,
anything worthy of praise,
think about those things

dwell on the excellent,
inhabit the virtuous,
live in God’s praise.

Philippians 4:8 prayer-a-phrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, using translations found on Bible Gateway

January 20, 2017

The Word Center: Praying for our leaders

The Word Center: Praying for our leaders: This Inauguration Day has been dreaded by some and longed for by others. Regardless of our personal choices or opinions, 1 Timothy 2:2 clear...

December 31, 2016

Keep Your Eyes On

Learning to play softball, most kids need to hear, “Keep your eyes on the ball,” meaning:

• Pay attention to the ball and every move it makes.

Learning to drive, teens often need to hear, “Keep your eyes on the road,” meaning:

• Be aware of the lines and edges of the road.
• Notice what’s coming toward you and behind.
• Pay attention to signs, lights, and the rate at which you’re moving.

Throughout life, Christians often need to hear, “Keep your eyes on Jesus,” which means:

• Read, read, read God’s Word to get to know The Word.
• Notice how both testaments point to Jesus.
• Observe everything Jesus did as reported in the Gospels.
• Pay attention to everything Jesus said.
• Let the Lord be the road-map for each step to take or avoid.
• Stay focused on Jesus, regardless of those circumstances inclined to make faith swerve.
• Pray like Jesus prayed.
• Love like Jesus loves.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016