Happy Monday morning! This blog picked up a lot of new readers over the weekend, so if you’re “new around here” let me explain that the “Four Photos” format is a frequent Monday theme – especially after a busy weekend:
JOY: First, our beautiful granddaughter, Rebekah Mae, had her first birthday (You can read more about that in my column, Belief is Mostly Three-quarters of Everything that Counts). It’s a good column, but the photograph alone communicates the essence of who Beks is and how she is learning to interact with her world.
Our daughter Naomi, who captured this image, said that, “Beks is waiting at the door to receive her guests.” If that really is her perspective on the world, then I am so happy that she already owns her mother’s natural spirit of welcome. Theologically, it says this: “I was created to be a relational person, and the light of Christ is going to shine in and through me.” You go, Beks!
LIFE IS TOO SHORT: Picture number two is what the TV news people would call, “A developing story.” Four years ago Rebekah and I built the most amazing, state of the art, kitchen in our Florida home. We enjoyed it for a couple of years, and then it helped us to sell the house. We’re happy with our new home in Wake Forest, but the kitchen needs a lot of help; so we’re having some serious kitchen conversations with the experts.
Back in Brandon we waited 13 years to fix the house. Here in North Carolina we’ve decided life is too short not to move forward. Those of you who know my pattern know I’m not just talking about kitchens any more. There is an imperative to the Gospel Message, and what the Good News can mean for every aspect of our lives – including our life together as Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. It’s not just the imperative of love, it’s the imperative of forward movement!
CONFIDENCE: Saturday I got out to play golf with my friend Fred, his dad, and his son. I’m still new enough around here to gawk in wonder at the hills and the valleys. It’s a completely different game here in the Piedmont of North Carolina, and I really do enjoy the challenge.
We were all playing fairly well (for us) when Fred remarked that – after 15 holes – no-one in the foursome had carded a birdie. Fred’s son had hit a good shot to the back of the green and I said, “I feel a birdie coming, Jack; I believe in you.” Wouldn’t you know he poured the 30-foot putt right into the cup!
Here’s the theology part. Jack steps up to the tee at 17 and smashes his drive 25 yards past the rest of us. The shot of confidence carried him long and uphill. That’s the part – for me – a great Sunday has to play every Monday, if we allow God to fill us to overflowing; it’s a shot of confidence that can carry us through the entire week.
FOOD: This is my mother’s famous Summer Pudding from England (with hot custard). Now they’re living in North Carolina my parents are having a ball heading out to Rebekah’s garden plot and harvesting fresh fruit and vegetables.
I’m sure there’s some theology there too, but for today it’s just a mouth-watering photo of delicious dessert.
Peace – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), 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.