I have called you by name; you are mine

dsc_0553
celebrating

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.Isaiah 43:1

There are a lot of promises spelled out in the Bible – anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000, depending on who’s counting and how they do their math. But the ones that resonate most deeply with my spirit are those that affirm the central theme of the scriptures, and that theme is the redemptive initiative of God’s relentless love.

I like that, so I’m repeating it: The central theme of the scriptures is the redemptive initiative of God’s relentless love.

In the final analysis, this is what counts: God has called us by name; we belong to Jesus.

A day of beauty and of light:

dsc_0194
Preaching

If you haven’t seen the Outer Banks sunrise images I posted a couple of days ago, then you owe it to your love of the beach to take a look (“Morning Light“). The balance of that day was also luminous and beautiful, as I spent the day photographing the gathering of New Hope Presbytery, the quarterly meeting of leaders from 122 Presbyterian congregations, all the way from Chapel Hill to the Outer Banks.

In a freelance career where I wear many hats, “Presbytery of New Hope Photographer” is one of my favorites. I get to participate in worship, observe workshops, share lunch with saints from various congregations, learn the stories of all these different faith communities, and – best of all – partake in communion with so many people who have devoted their lives to being the presence of Christ in this broken world.

dsc_0545
Commissioning

The theme of the day was “Spirituality and Prayer” (not a bad focus for a bunch of church leaders!). But – and this has been consistently true over the three years we’ve been in North Carolina – the gathering was enfolded in a spirit of peace, unity, and the common purpose of serving God as faithful followers of Jesus.

After worship, the body broke into small groups for conversation, for prayer, and for listening to one another’s stories. After lunch, and during the business portion of the day, speaker after speaker stood up to give testimony to God’s ongoing work and to address matters of common concern.

Unity in Purpose:

dsc_0371
testifying

Regardless of the topic (prayer, finances, resolutions, examination of candidates, reports, initiatives, ministry…), everyone came across as a humble disciple, doing their best to serve God and to reach into the world with the grace-filled, reconciling, redemptive, healing love of Jesus.

That’s all. Again, I have too many photographs. But feel free to look through the slides and get a glimpse into the meeting. The full-length, annotated,  Powerpoint will be posted at the New Hope website later in the week.

In love, and because of love – DEREK

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine. Isaiah 43:1

 

 

faith kingdom of God photogrpahy The Church

derekmaul View All →

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.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: