The 5th day. You’ve got to come see this in person!

Gandaddy and kids 1
photo by Naomi Campbell

It’s early in the morning on the “fifth day of Christmas.” I’m sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the sound of coffee dripping behind me. Outside, a cold rain is  coming down.

The dog doesn’t want to get up and go outside. I really don’t either. The forecast calls for rain all day, and I’m wondering how many people are going to make it to church.

But the rain isn’t going to stop me. You see today we’ve been asked to bring a Christmas gift to church, and to be prepared to share the story of that gift during the church-school hour. And I know exactly what I want to share with my church family – I want to share my grandchildren!

Yesterday it was the opposite of cold rain. 58-degrees and sunshine, we romped in the park. It was a great “photo-op” too, just so long as Mr. “Don’t Ask Me to Cooperate!” didn’t realize that was what we wanted!

Yes, I know the picture looks exactly like, “Mr. Peachy and his better-than-awesome dog, along with his perfect grandchildren, Smiley and Lovey-Dove.” But we all know that’s not true.

A photograph is a wafer-thin slice of a moment in time. I believe it does a great job of helping the story; but it’s only a small piece of the story. That’s why I still use words too.

That’s also why I’d rather bring the grandchildren themselves to show-and-tell. The photographs don’t even begin to explain who they are.

Who David and Beks are is wonderful, complex, constantly learning, testing, exploring, growing, loving, beautiful beings created in the image of God.

So you’d better be in church this morning. If you miss them today I could show you a photograph. But, believe me, it’s nowhere near the same thing.

Looking forward to a wet, cold, wonderful Sunday with my church family at Wake Forest Presbyterian – DEREK

Grandaddy and kids 2
photograph by Naomi Campbell

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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