You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. – Ephesians 2:8-10
As a writer, it means a lot to me to know that people enjoy my work. I understand, intellectually, that books are essentially art, and that my writing holds intrinsic value regardless of readership. But – at the same time – I’m a communicator, and communication is, by definition, a two-way street.
It’s ironically amusing, then, to note that my blog posts generate significantly more hits when they feature photographs. People have even told me they purchased my new book – Pilgrim in Progress – because they love the cover image so much. I agree it’s a great photo (I had to climb Mount Sinai before dawn to get it), but I can guarantee the content is well worth the investment of a few dollars!
COLLABORATION: The story behind today’s feature photograph turned out to be one of those serendipity moments on January’s epic Maul Cruise. We’d already dressed up for the formal “everyone-crammed-together” photo; then – on our way to a casual dinner – we decided to grab some images of the immediate Derek-Rebekah crew.
Over the past few years we’ve mostly set up our own photo shoots. A tripod and a timer work really well, and I’ve had some great luck. But I’ve got to tell you, the photographer working with Royal Caribbean put everyone at ease and did some great work.
And that, essentially, is the point of today’s post. Art that works is interactive, and the result is more than two people smiling at a lens, it’s a collaborative effort between the subject and the artist.
GOD IS THE ARTIST: This is a dimension to my daily “live like I mean it” initiative that’s worth exploring. It’s not enough to simply get out of bed and determine to make the most of another wonderful day. What’s required is an interactive process between the subject and the artist. I am the subject; God is the artist.
At the same time, I am the artist too (and so are you). My response to the ongoing work of grace that is my life is my part of a collaborative equation. God has created me, purposed me for this life, and seeded me with such amazing potential. God intends to work with me, on a day to day basis, coming alongside me as I seek to live into the possibilities.
“We are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things!” – Ephesians 2:10
Here are the remainder of the photos from that shoot. They are a collaborative work between a fine artist working with Royal Caribbean, and a genuinely joy-filled family of grateful Mauls.
Enjoy – 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.