North Carolina summer = sunshine, heat, fresh fruits and vegetables… and nourishment for the soul:


(Jesus said) “I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” – John 8:18-19

I don’t think I could ever be a serious heat-complainer here in North Carolina. Sure, I know the highs have been pushing 96-98 over the past few weeks (topping Florida consistently), and the humidity has made things worse; but it’s only for a couple of months, and over the course of the year we get to enjoy four beautiful, evenly balanced seasons in Wake Forest. Besides, the new HVAC system we had installed isn’t just working, it’s super-efficient too; so it’s all good.

IMG_4285Then there are the consolations of summer. I’m talking specifically peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, corn, and a whole variety of local fruits and vegetables. Summer is a cornucopia of yummy goodness.

FOOD FOR THE SOUL: I’ve mentioned before that – especially with all our young families – church tends to empty out June, July, and August. Travel, more travel, weekends at the beach or the mountains, then travel some more. But, both the men’s groups I help lead continue to meet, and our sessions provide a critically important thread of consistency.

This morning, for example, a few of us enjoyed a meaningful discussion around the question, “Who is Jesus to me?” We talked about the concept of Trinity, about how we relate to Jesus as distinct from God the Father, the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus, and even ideas such as homooúsios – ὁμοούσιος – “of one substance,” meaning that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are consubstantial.

This understanding emerged from the Nicene Creed (4th Century), fleshing out – so to speak – the idea that Jesus is consubstantial with the Father in divinity, and also consubstantial with us in his humanity.

FRIEND AND GUIDE: Aside from the academics, accepting Jesus as companion and guide is a critically important element of what it means to live as a 21st-Century Christian. We must not only understand who Jesus is to us and for us, but we must live into that truth. Belief leads to action, and then action reinforces belief – becoming a positive cycle of faith and practice that not only proves itself to us but that becomes a demonstration of Kingdom life to the world.

Belief leads to action, and then action reinforces belief – becoming a positive cycle of faith and practice that not only proves itself to us but that becomes a demonstration of Kingdom life to the world.

As the aphorism puts it so neatly: “Preach the Gospel daily; if necessary, use words” (a phrase often misattributed to Francis of Assisi).

IMG_3742So summer moves on; sunshine, heat, good food, and – the best nourishment of all – deepening relationships, and food (of real substance) for the soul.

Enjoy a great weekend, and check back in for something more that’s encouraging, Sunday morning – DEREK



faith foodie gourmet life Men's ministry

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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