more and better life

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our grandchildren – being awesome!

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again.

“I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – (John 10:6-10 MSG)

BEAUTIFUL MONDAY: It’s another Monday morning, and here in Wake Forest – after a cold, rainy weekend – the new day has dawned clear, bright, cool, and inviting.

Personally, I don’t have any “Monday-morning-blues” issues; especially considering the charge of life, energy, faith, and promise that Sunday with my WFPC family always brings. But I do understand that some do honestly struggle with the launch of the work week, so today’s post is designed to encourage, and to lift a few spirits.

Consequently, I’m throwing in a few recent family photos, along with some updates. It’s the blogging version of pulling out my wallet and showing off some dog-eared, postage-stamp sized pictures of the grandchildren.

1544552_10100480055567092_544207522998939110_nRICHMOND: Our daughter Naomi captured the opening “bubbles” image this weekend. It could be titled “Joy” and need no other explanation. Beks, who is 22-months, cracks me up! The expression, the tutu, her “nothing held back” approach to everything. David, three and a half, enjoying the moment, leaning in to the experience, embracing the gift. It’s a photograph that captures full-on life.

Here’s the entire family, just last week. Naomi and Craig recently joined the local Presbyterian Church, where they are both getting connected and involved. They’re building relationships; Craig’s new work situation is encouraging; the children are thriving; Rebekah and I are grateful.

You can keep up with their adventures, and Naomi’s exceptional photography, at Naomi’s new blog – #ishmytoddlersays – Believe me, it’s worth a look.

18186_10104099200770642_4144738246947689756_nITALY: Our son Andrew and his lovely bride Alicia are counting down their last few weeks in Italy. They’re a lot like Beks and David in the way that they are embracing the experience. Full on.

Nothing Italy left undone. Weekend adventures; bucket-list trips; great photography; excursions into Switzerland; tulip-hunting in the Netherlands; Cinderella castles in Germany; foodie moments all over Italy.

Horseback riding in the wine hills of the Veneto.

Rebekah and I are completely thrilled with the approach to life these two great adventurers are embracing. Followers of Jesus; Citizens of the World; Lovers of Life; Living Large. They, also, have a blog that details their experiences; they call it “PashbyMaul Adventures.” Take a look, you won’t be disappointed.

Alicia horsing around in Italy
Alicia horsing around in Italy

WAKE FOREST: If you read this space at all you know already how much Rebekah and I value this amazing opportunity to be involved in the work God is up to here in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

My definition of the word “salvation” – my best understanding from scripture and from experience – is “participating in the work God is up to.” It’s a great privilege to be active in these powerful initiatives of grace and of reconciliation.

And that is my word of encouragement and promise to everyone who reads this post. God’s invitation is – always – for each one of us to get involved. Get involved with Jesus, and accept the invitation to become a friend of God. Then, nurture that relationship and get busy, living into everything that salvation invites us experience.

on the Adriatic Sea
on the Adriatic

It’s an exciting story. It’s the greatest story ever told. It can be our story too.

– DEREK (and Rebekah… and a great cloud of witnesses)

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