faith kingdom of God Live Like You Mean It photogrpahy writing life

being disciples to make disciples to be disciples…

IMG_2546-001
Image by Ray Gryder

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. – Hebrews 10:23-24

IMG_2518 (1)
with Ray Gryder

Busy, busy weekend! This morning I drove to Lynchburg to speak at the Disciples of Christ Regional Assembly men’s luncheon. Right now I’m getting ready for my Sunday afternoon talk at the Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies in Cary.

The drive was beautiful, up through the piedmont of North Carolina and Virginia, and the VW Golf not only performed admirably (not just fast, but quick), but I managed over 51 miles per gallon for the round trip.

JOKE! The Disciples held their meeting on the lovely campus of Lynchburg College, and I opened my remarks by saying that, “As a Presbyterian, this was likely the closest I’d ever get to being invited to speak at Liberty University!” The audience started out laughing, and seemed to respond positively to everything I had to say.

My topic, in a nutshell, was discipleship. “Disciples of Christ is the coolest, most appropriate name of any Christian denomination in the entire world,” I said. “You’re more than halfway there before we even start!”

My challenge – once we had cleared our way through the encouraging stories I shared – was that of making disciples. “It’s about being disciples… to make disciples… to be disciples… to make disciples…” I said, using one of Rebekah’s favorite ideas. “If we’re not actually making disciples,” I said, “then I’m not sure that we can say that we really are disciples.”

IMG_2511
Ray, introducing me

I used the quote from Norman Vincent Peal I highlighted earlier this past week to tie my talk together. “People are defeated; churches are discouraged; men’s ministry becomes stagnated,” I paraphrased Peale, “not because of lack of ability, but for lack of wholeheartedness.”

My friend Ray, who has headed up Virginia Disciples Men for nine years, introduced me and – at the same time – resigned his position, explaining how God is redirecting his life. He’s not sure exactly how God is going to use him over the next few years, but he does know that it ‘s going to be all about being the kind of disciple who actively follows Jesus.

“Derek is my spiritual and writing mentor,” Ray said. “He always puts a positive spin on everything…”

IMG_2538 (1)
signing books

“It’s not spin!” I said, interrupting my friend! And I believe that with all my heart. I knew that’s not what he meant, but it was too good an opportunity to pass up! Walking with Jesus, working to invite others into the kingdom, interpreting all of life through the prism of faith; this makes for a wonderful life. Not easy, necessarily, but good, so good; positive; worth living with the kind of wholeheartedness that makes all the difference.

Peace and blessings – DEREK

About derekmaul

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.

2 comments on “being disciples to make disciples to be disciples…

  1. Pingback: it’s communion Sunday – come to the table… – Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion

  2. Pingback: Three faiths, one conversation: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on a Sunday afternoon – Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: