From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. 9 Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:8-9
There is simply way too much life and energy going on around here to keep up with! So this morning I’m offering the tried-and-true “Four-Photo-Monday” format. Plus I’ll throw in a few extra images in the slide show at the end.
#1 – CHURCH ROCKS! First, Sunday morning at WFPC was a wonderful affirmation of why we’re passionate about this faith community, and how our first two years in Wake Forest have been such a blessing. There is a lot written about “people leaving church…” but our experience is one of encouragement, growth, faithfulness, and a culture of discipleship – it always has been.
GOSPEL! The good news about Jesus is still good news, it still reaches people at the heart of their need, and it still finds its most creative expression in the context of the community of faith. Rebekah and I have been part of three consecutive “good news” congregations, and we are still thrilled to be part of God’s ongoing initiatives of grace and love through the Presbyterian Church (USA).
(I seriously wonder about people who can only gather, tell, and then retell stories of “what’s wrong” with The Church – any and every denomination. We are called to share the good news, the gospel – that’s our job as disciples. If your focus – and the stuff you like to “post” on-line – is always to share bad news, then you’re obviously not working on behalf of Jesus. And, if you’re not working on behalf of Jesus, then you must advancing the cause of something else….)
#2 – THE GRANDKIDS ROCK! Friday I took advantage of the “reachable” proximity of Richmond, and zoom-zoomed up the highway to take our daughter Naomi out to lunch for her birthday. Of course, David and Beks came too.
The grandchild “cuteness factor” seems to have ramped up exponentially over the past few months. Beks spent the entire meal grinning at me and reaching out to hold my hand. David was full with inventive games. There’s really nothing much I can say here other than, “Here’s another reality Rebekah and I are deeply thankful to be enjoying right now.”
Life is good. Life with grandchildren is even better.
#3 – KOINONIA: The experience of community is probably the single most important aspect of what makes life here so good. Community with one-another, community with family, the town of Wake Forest, and the community of faith. One of many deliberate “people-initiatives” we enjoy through our church is the koinonia dinner group we meet with monthly (groups break-up, mix-up, and re-form twice a year).
This time it was our turn to make dessert. Rebekah was inspired to put on her chef’s hat, delved into family recipes and more, and then produced a remarkable peach cobbler from scratch. I was most impressed: she not only made something delicious, but she also managed to cover pretty-much every square-inch of the kitchen with flour and other random cobbler ingredients!
# COMMUNITY-PLUS: Then, celebrating the fact that I am making so many authentic, meaningful friendships here, and also celebrating North Carolina’s gift of a mid-80’s day with low humidity, I managed another round of golf Saturday morning.
I actually played fairly well, but – more importantly – I simply enjoyed the beautiful “North Carolina Piedmont” with a friend.
To my point, life is more beautiful, more meaningful and – I believe – more authentically represented when we tell the good story, when we engage every experience in the context of the good news, and when we live like we mean it – because God most certainly meant something remarkable, and something good, when we were imagined and created. “And that’s what happened. God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good. There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.” – Genesis 1:31
It was – and it absolutely is – supremely good. – DEREK
(Now, enjoy more than four-photos!)