breathing new life into old structures (kind of like God is with the church)


Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

outside the Bank Bistro

Rebekah and I are finishing off the final few days of our vacation here in Richmond with Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren. But we left Washington in style, returning to the splendidly engaging downtown for dinner Friday night at a promising looking restaurant that occupies the old 1852 financial building.

We were not disappointed. In fact, to repeat the exact words I shared with our waiter at the The Bank Bistro before we left, “This was probably the best prepared and presented food we’ve had in over a year.” The entire experience was first class – atmosphere, service, preparation, presentation.

I had The Special (no surprise as I know I’ll always enjoy whatever the chef is feeling excited about) a ten-ounce medium-rare Ahi Tuna fillet, topped with lump crab and a Hollandaise sauce, on a bed of crisp asparagus, with thyme roasted carrots, and potato.

IMG_4885Spectacular. Then, after a showstopper dessert and the best restaurant coffee I’ve had for a long time, Rebekah and I made our way down to the river walk in the sultry evening to watch the sun go down over the water.

I think what has captured me about the Washington experience is the way new life – redefined life – is being introduced into old structures. There’s respect for history, but instead of trying to recreate the past, something new is cooking in the context of good bones.

It reminds me a little of church. God is doing a new thing, and breathing new life into the structure that has been living in and for Jesus for centuries. The fact of God’s redeeming love has not changed, neither has the opportunity to know and engage that love in Jesus. However, because this love is new every morning, we are constantly challenged to understand and re-translate how the Good News interfaces with the world today.

IMG_4899It’s like the best meal, prepared to perfection, served in a classic building, remodeled with new life and new possibilities, then presented as a gift to the world.

Come and partake. It’s better than ever!

Peace and blessings – DEREK



foodie gourmet life travel photography

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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