Belief and the Promise of a New Year

“If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” – Mark 9: 22-24

IMG_6936Today is the seventh day of Christmas, and it’s also New Year’s Eve. According to WordPress, this blog was viewed 98,000 times during 2014; so I’d like to thank all of you for your ongoing encouragement, and for helping me determine to keep this experiment in writing alive for 2015.

For an overview of this past year, check out the Maul Family Newsletter post from a couple of weeks back. But today isn’t about looking back, it’s about looking forward.

FAITH: One of the most compelling reasons for looking forward is the eloquent witness to faith known as Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. The people in our faith community are contagiously positive, and they are generous with encouragement. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that – in my estimation – Rebekah is several years younger today than she was two years ago; she is loaded with energy, she is full with possibilities, she is passionate about the gospel, and she is brimming with belief – we both are.

The key here is nothing more (and nothing less) than a renewed relationship to the heart of the spiritual truth that, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” And in our case, it’s not just one who is believing, but many: the staff, the elders, the deacons, and several hundred other people. Belief doesn’t just trickle down, after a while it becomes a torrent.

Rebekah simply believes – end of story; WFPC is believing again – beginning of story.

Rebekah simply believes – end of story; WFPC is believing again – beginning of story.

So today’s word, the word for the seventh day of Christmas, is “believe.”

And the word for 2014 has been, “belief.”

Believe. And – in consequence – the word for 2015 is going to be this (from Acts 4): “As for us, we cannot help but speak about what we have seen and heard.”

Haley being a goofy great-niece
Haley being a goofy great-niece

I can’t wait to share. Seriously, friends, I cannot help but blog about all that we have seen and heard. And I can’t wait to post about what we’re going to see and hear in 2015.

 In anticipation, and in belief – DEREK

PART TWO: These photos are from yesterday’s visit with my Florida niece, Hannah (Geoff’s daughter), and her family, along with my parents. See captions for story:

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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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