Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. -Colossians 3:15-16
So this has certainly been one more full-to-the-brim weekend. Good, definitely, but overrun and busy, with no time to sit down to write even a sentence.
It turned out to be a “perfect storm” of family:
- First, Andrew has been home from Uzbekistan (Alicia is in New England this week, taking a class).
- Then, my cousin Peter (from England) flew in for a couple of days.
- Next, Rebekah’s brother Jesse said he’d be stopping by on a road trip with our nephew Jared; by the time they got here our niece, Jordan, had jumped on board too.
- Just a few days ago we heard from our former youth director in Brandon, Anne – so along she came, with her husband, Bob.
- Finally, not one to miss out on a party, Naomi drove down from Richmond with the grandchildren (Craig had to work).
- Add in my parents from next door, and we more than filled a pew at church, and more than filled our house for lunch.
It was so good to see everyone, and better still to all be in worship together at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. This was one of our “mission emphasis” weekends, highlighting the work of the team who made the recent trip to Cuba. Our young people shared beautiful stories of faith and friendship, and powerful testimonies of God’s grace. They obviously learned so much, and grew significantly in their spiritual journeys.
For me, it was especially exciting to be able to share the beauty and the vibrancy of our faith community with my cousin Peter from England. It was impossible to miss the “buzz” of life and enthusiasm in the sanctuary, full with people and overflowing with love.
Later in the afternoon, when it was just Andrew and Naomi and the grandchildren remaining, I took the family onto our deck for a photograph. We missed Alicia and Craig, but but it’s not often Rebekah and I can post a photo with both of our children at the same time.
I have such a lot to be thankful for this morning, thinking back over the busy weekend. There’s much more I need to write about, but I’ll save it for another post.
In gratitude, and with love – DEREK
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.