it’s all about the prep #advent

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. – Mark 1:1-5

IMG_4448Yesterday, in one of those “I guess we’re not in Florida anymore” moments of epiphany, Rebekah and realized that the sunny and 68-degrees days we’re experiencing probably won’t last. So we took a look at the pending painting jobs we’ve been putting off and got busy.

She’s spray-painting a couple of sets of doors; I’m taking care of the new handrails on the front steps. Turns out neither one is a small job.

So I took the doors off, removed the hardware, and set them up along the side fence. Rebekah put up backdrops, assembled the “easy-to-use” power-painter, read the instructions, and cleaned the surfaces.

IMG_4450Meanwhile I started to tape off all the parts of the front stoop I don’t want to prime. Good grief! We were in for a good two hours of prep work before the first drop of paint touched a piece of wood. Even then I made much more of a mess than I’d intended.

By the time it got too dark to paint Rebekah was half done  with the doors and I was maybe a third of the way through the priming portion of my project. So today – squeezed in between various commitments, projects, meetings, and work responsibilities – we’ll see if we can make the headway required so we can be done before Monday’s rain.

PREPARE THE WAY! This weekend, getting ready to mark the third Sunday of Advent, I’m still thinking about the words of Isaiah, echoed by the prophet John, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”

Christmas is coming! Inevitably, “ready or not,” December 25 will roll around.

IMG_4428How we experience the coming of Christ, and to what extent we actually receive the King, is going to depend a lot on how we prepare; our hearts, our focus; our attention; our intention.

“Clean, sand, tape, mix, assemble, read the instructions…” When it comes down to the big moment, it really is all about the prep.




Christmas faith The Story

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.

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