fresh footprints in the clean snow (the theology of so-what?)

IMG_8148-001 “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:22-25

IMG_8162Good morning from extra snowy Wake Forest. This latest fall – overnight – has been heavy enough to break off several major tree limbs, and it’s a mess outside. A beautiful mess, granted, but a mess nonetheless.

The great irony of this week-long series of snowstorms and deep freezes is how many of the folk who told us “It almost never snows in Wake Forest;” and “It’s been thirty years since we saw single-digit temperatures,” have been posting photographs of themselves from – you guessed it – Florida this week.

The good news is that yesterday – along with around 20,000 other people – I did manage to purchase an authentic, super-sized, snow-shovel. It should be an exhilarating afternoon once the snow stops!

DSC_0027-001SO WHAT: It’s fun to post photos, and – as I pointed out a couple of days ago – it’s a real privilege to have this opportunity to engage so many people in an ongoing conversation about “Living Faith Out Loud.” But today I’d like to explore the “why” of my work, and ask the question, “So What?”

Rebekah – whose preaching (click here for recent sermons) so often inspires my own voice – tends to build every message she delivers around the idea of “So What?” She will share stories; she will wax eloquent; she will exegete; she will analyze; she will explain; she will expound; she will make you laugh; she will make you cry. But then, at some point, she will either say “So What?” out loud, or the challenge will be implied.

It’s a great question. In fact, if this blog were a book, the introduction would likely read something like this:

DSC_0003-002One of the great theological questions of our time is, “So What?”

It’s a beautiful new day; the fresh snowfall is magical, pristine, inviting; the invitation is implied; the challenge has been thrown down, the stage is set. How will my experience of living faith out loud, of living like I mean it, play out on the untarnished surface of this rare opportunity?

It’s rare, because there will ever, only, be one February 26, 2015. This is it.

So, what am I going to do? This blog is the ongoing story of how I am responding to the divine imperative. What kind of a story am I living?

If you are at all curious, read along. For me, it’s the story of Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion.

It’s a story that’s still being written.

IMG_8139Enjoy some more snow photos; think about what it means to be a Follower of The Way; and then immerse yourself in the practical theology of doing.

“If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” – James 1:25




Live Like You Mean It

derekmaul View All →

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.

3 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Really enjoyed the beautiful snow photos. So glad that I found your blog. I am a beginning blogger so I’m hoping to learn a thing or two from you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: