Author’s note concerning photo archives: This blog loves great photographs. Unfortunately, pictures take up a lot of space. WordPress, by my estimation, provides enough room for around two-three years of archives before I hit the “you have used 95% of your 1.3 GB storage capacity” mark.
Consequently, I’m deleting the oldest photographs as the need arises. NOT any of my writing. Writing takes up no space at all. I can guarantee that only images in posts dated prior to 2013 will be affected. That date will be a moving target, but always at least 24-months in the past.
I haven’t written a word since Friday – simply because there literally hasn’t been any available time. We drove to Montreat (North Carolina mountains) for a friend’s wedding, where we enjoyed reconnecting with many wonderful people. Our daughter Naomi and her family were there too, and we didn’t make it home again until after midnight Saturday.
Sunday, too, was completely and joyfully full. But I think I’ll save that story for another post.
Regardless, I’ve found myself in the photo conundrum once again. But there’s no getting around it, I’ll have to include a few samples of the best. Sometimes there’s no better way to tell the story.
And the story is the story of community. Human beings were created in order to experience community. God’s intention from the very beginning has been to invite people into the experience of blessed community; community with God’s self, and community with one another.
This is why God sent Jesus. Jesus is God’s invitation. Jesus makes community possible.
This is why God sent Jesus. Jesus is God’s invitation. Jesus makes community possible. This is why the sad, arrogant, judgmental exclusivism that characterizes much of religious fundamentalism falls so short, and fails to ring true. So we don’t agree with someone politically? So we don’t agree with someone theologically? So we don’t agree with someone socially? God wants us to love them anyway; to welcome them anyway; to live in community with them anyway. God will sort out the judgment piece. God has always been very clear on that.
Our weekend experience in the mountains was about the experience of blessed community. We have loved some of these friends for three decades. We have shared life; we have shared death; we have shared grief; we have shared redemption; we have shared children; we have shared faith; we have shared rocky relationships; we have shared ourselves; we have shared the best of times, and the worst of times. This weekend, their joy became our joy. That’s what community does.
THE INVITATION: This is God’s invitation: “Love one another. I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” – John 15:9-12
- Love one another.
- Remain in the love of Jesus.
- Yes, your joy will overflow.
In love, and because of love – 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.