First Christmas

When God Gave Us Jesus
—the One Who would save us—
Heaven could not contain itself.

Light spilled from a star,
heralding His arrival.

The earth burst into life.
Birds called for revival.

And frightened shepherds
trembled like sheep
when angels awakened
their sleep with song
as light as snowflakes,
as powerful as
a tsunami of harmony
pouring onto earth
at Jesus’ birth.

Oh, praise Him!

By Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017 from poetry book PRAISE!


Faces in a Crowd

Faces in a Crowd remind us how much alike we are, even in our differences. These glimpses into human nature, spiritual matters, and our relationships with one another come alive in free verse, prose poems, and traditional poetry forms.

The print book version is now available in plenty of time for Christmas gifts!

Source: Faces in a Crowd

If your dog howls in a storm

photo by Mary Sayler

If your dog starts to howl like sound effects in a scary grade C movie, be ready to act quickly! That howl mostly likely means your pet’s ears hurt from the dramatic change in air pressure.

As Hurricane Matthew approaches, tornadoes will likely be spotted, but before a weather station has time to report, your dog will probably let you know to hit the deck or head for the basement. We actually have one, which is rare in Florida, but then our house is 111 years old.

If you don’t have a basement to hunker down in, hop into an empty bathtub. Or crawl beneath a sturdy bed or table until a tornado passes.

Hopefully, you’re seeing this before a serious weather event. If so, you may still have time to stock your basement, bathroom, or other safe place with a jug of water, large flashlight, snacks, battery-operated radio, and bedding.

For more tips on storm preparations, see the previous post, “Pre-prayer and prepare for a storm.

A hurricane can go on and on for hours – even a couple of days, but a tornado rips through an area and is gone. Other clues besides your pet’s warning are winds whipping trees in one direction then another. But especially look for a greenish-yellow sky, the color of a bad bruise that’s beginning to heal. Should that occur, don’t be shy about copying Jesus’ example and praying, “Peace be still, in the Name of Jesus.”

May God keep your family safe – and mine.

Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016, Putnam County, Florida
















Going for gold with God

To pass preliminary trials for the Olympics, athletes must train for years. That’s true in gaining spiritual muscle and maturity as a Christian too. However, going through preliminary trials won’t necessarily get us a golden crown. That reward comes if we do the work Jesus said to do. When His disciples asked Him what that was, Jesus replied:

“This is the work of God: believe in The One He has sent,” John 6:29.

No race. No contest. No competing with anyone, including ourselves. Just believe – not, as the world insists by believing in ourselves or other people, but by believing everything our One Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says and does. This public acknowledgment and belief in Him not only gets us a gold crown, but gets us into heaven

Meanwhile, back on the earth, the other gold relates to our living out the Golden Rule. Interestingly, that’s accepted as the gold standard in most cultures and religions. In the Gospels, we go for gold this way:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Luke 6:31. Or, to put it in a more contemporary voice: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

That’s the end goal, but how do we get there? With exercise, practice, and little steps such as….

  • At the grocery store, put back the carts as you’d want others to do for you if you worked there.
  • At the cash register, give the clerk the courtesy you want her to use in dealing with you or your kid who’s next in line.
  • On the Internet, post uplifting, insightful, kind, or informative notes, the way you wish other people would.
  • When giving a book review, treat the poet or writer with the same respect you want a reviewer to give to your writings.
  • At church, greet newcomers the way you wish someone had greeted you on your first visit.
  • In marriage or other close relationship, show your loved one the appreciation you enjoy.

The list can go on and on with every golden opportunity to be kind. All we have to do is treat other people and ourselves as though we’re all golden. We are! And, in God’s sight, we are all highly prized.

by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2016











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