four photographs for the weekend

Early morning on the golf course, negotiating putting space with the sandhill cranes

PROMISE: Saturday morning, fairly early, I met up with three of my church friends to participate in a golf-tournament fund-raiser for the Brandon chapter of Family Promise. Family Promise is a national ecumenical ministry designed to help homeless families with children get on their feet again.

The effort is being coordinated out of First United Methodist, and our church – First Presbyterian of Brandon – is one of the anchor congregations. We’re making progress, but it’s still a challenge for some people to understand that there is a world of difference between the people we’re targeting through this ministry and the homeless guys who unnerve them when they stop by the church looking for food and other necessities.

There is a huge preventable element to homelessness, and Family Promise is all about keeping families together, and off the streets.

David Henry, safe and secure in his Connecticut home…

DAVID HENRY: This is a baby. Not just any baby but our grandson, David Henry Campbell. Family Promise is committed to helping families with kids a lot like David. In this economy it only takes a couple of months without a paycheck and young families with infants can find themselves living out of the back of a station-wagon.

This particular infant is happily kicking back and watching his “Praise Baby” DVD. Just to get more comfortable he’s propped his feet up. Isn’t he wonderful? Can’t you just sense the love that surrounds him and the security of his life with his family in his very own home? And doesn’t it break your heart to know that in pretty-much every community across this country there are babies almost as cute as David Henry who don’t even have a home to sleep in tonight?

This is the face of the kind of homeless ministry we’re moving into as a church.

Andrew’s new Italian view

NORTHERN ITALY: This morning our son, Andrew, posted this photograph taken at his new home halfway between Verona and Venice.

He got up, stepped onto his bedroom balcony, and was kind enough to share this amazing vista with the rest of us. He’s going to miss Tuscany, but this new adventure looks like its going to involve some beautiful surroundings.

To me, the photograph speaks to the serendipity that is always a possibility when we take the challenge to live without reservation and pitch our tent in some previously unknown location. I’m so proud of Andrew’s nerve, his resourcefulness, his willingness to venture into a new province in a land thousands of miles away from home, and make a go of something unexpected.

Quality time to learn and listen

LEARNING: This last picture is of late afternoon Sunday-School preparation in my favorite curl-up-and-read spot in our home. I’m teaching Philip Yancey’s classic, The Jesus I Never Knew. I love reading, I love preparing to teach, and I love the luxury I have to devote part of my workday to studying and thinking about Jesus.

This life-charged life is a journey. It’s constant learning. It’s keeping my eyes and ears open. And it’s listening to the Spirit of God.

What an amazing privilege. What a blessing – DEREK


  1. I thank you for helping all of your followers on our personal journeys. Your thoughts keep us focused and moving toward God. Right now I am visiting my grandson, Henry David, in CO (from MA). What a gift to be a grandparent!


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