But you are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light.
In the past you were not a special people,
but now you are God’s people.
Once you had not received mercy,
but now God has given you his mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10
Today I am very excited to begin the adventure of a brand-new decade in my ongoing interpretation of, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” At around 6:30 this morning – U.K. time – I closed my triumphant rollick through the Fabulous Fifties and opened my debut of the Stunning and quite likely Surprising Sixties.
I can’t begin to cover in one post just how wonderful the past decade has been. The fifties got off to an amazing beginning when I secured my first book contract one day after turning 50, and continued to pick up steam from there.
THE HIGHLIGHTS: So much has happened over the past ten years; and – other than the grief of losing Rebekah’s dad, Bob, and my brother, Geoff, almost all of it has involved celebration.
- Rebekah and I enjoyed ten more amazing years together;
- Naomi and Craig found each other on a Holland America ship in Alaska, and they were married in 2007;
- Andrew and Alicia found each other at an obscure wedding in Northern Italy; they were married in 2013;
- Two spectacular grandchildren (David and Beks) joined our family;
- I published six books (listed below), travelled coast-to-coast as a speaker, and won a number of press association awards in Florida and North Carolina;
- Rebekah completed almost 17-years of inspirational ministry with First Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Florida;
- In 2013 we moved here to Wake Forest, when Rebekah was called as senior pastor at WFPC;
- Our travels launched us on some epic adventures, most notably falling in love with Italy, and being introduced to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.
But the point of this post, rather than listing everything that totally rocked, is to note how much I have enjoyed my life to date. I have always been a positive, optimistic, thankful-for-life person, but my journey through the fifties seemed to take everything up a notch. Consequently, I can’t wait to see what to see what the next ten years will look like. At this rate I’ll just have to hold on for the ride!
MOVING FORWARD: So what am I excited about? What has me sniffing the fresh air of newness with enthusiasm and expectation?
Well, most of all I’m on-the-edge-of-my-seat thrilled about what is possible here at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. As people invest themselves in making the transition from simply being church members to identifying as passionate disciples of Jesus, the energy here can only continue to grow.
Then, I have a new book coming out in May (In God’s Image); I’m anxious to see what new opportunities will open up for me to encourage more people to live fully engaged lives, to live like they mean it – because God certainly meant something special when each one of us was created.
Here’s the bottom line for me, looking into this new decade:
I want to be more intentional when it comes to sharing the story I believe I have been called to tell. And the story I have been called to tell is the invitation to truly live. I am convinced that – by and large – the story of Christ’s invitation to abundant life has not been told clearly enough; instead, too often, a restrictive, constrictive, overbearing religiosity has be imposed in place of the freedom Christ offers. Too many people reject the gospel because it has been repackaged to look more like a tightly codified religion than “The Life that is Truly Life.”
I feel so privileged, so abundantly blessed, and I am beyond grateful that this opportunity to really live is moving into a new decade. Stay tuned!
“You are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light.”
In love, and because of love – DEREK
BOOKS: click here for a complete list of books (hey, your birthday present to me could be “buy a bunch of books!)