Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. – Psalm 100:4
As always, I’m starting my Sunday morning post with an invitation to come to church. Whatever’s going on in your life, and whatever priorities you have for this weekend, there’s absolutely nothing that’s any more important than setting aside an hour to gather with people of faith, and taking pause to worship God.
And this is especially true coming out of a week as hard as this one:
Grief, pain, the funeral service for one of the teens at our church; international instability, inflammatory rhetoric, bellicose world leaders taunting one another like children in a schoolyard; white-supremacists spewing hate in Virginia, violent protests, unrest; graceless Christians, judgment, jealousy, rage.
I’m more than ready for a sanctuary filled with prayer, praise, song, grateful hearts, encouragement, and love. I’m more than ready to be with my church family and to remember why we are here in North Carolina.
So, to put all this in perspective, and to remind myself – and you too – of what really counts when it comes to this life, here are some words from Jesus concerning so much of the stuff we allow to come between ourselves and God.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:25-27
Check out these hummingbirds. I grabbed a few more photos just for this post. Aren’t they spectacular? Aren’t they beautiful? Isn’t creation wondrous? They really can teach us a thing or two, can’t they?
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.