From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! – 1 John 1:1-4 (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
Note: This weekend WFPC returns to the “normal” schedule. Praise Service at 9:00, Traditional Worship at 11:15)
This is good stuff! This is what I’m talking about when I say life is rich, and good, and a gift I’m constantly grateful for. Friday evening I sat at the dining room table, across from Rebekah, and we talked about faith, and Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, and the work she was doing in preparation for Saturday morning’s retreat for elders and deacons.
“What’s that scripture you were talking about in your blog the other day?” she asks. And I look it up; it’s the 2 Timothy passage about how we use our words. “Then there’s that one about ‘living letters’ in Second Corinthians…” Rebekah says, then she quotes it to me from her notes.
“I’m so excited about what God is doing here,” she continues. And, “We have such an amazing opportunity to move forward as a church!” And, “I want everyone to catch the vision and bring the kind of passion to ministry that Jesus invites us to live….”
I understand what she’s talking about. There’s nothing even vaguely status quo, or coasting, or nine-to-five, or comfort level about responding to God’s call to live Kingdom lives and to live like we mean it! Like John writes in his Epistle: “We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us…”
Rebekah and I go back and forth, talking about content, and scripture, and framing questions that will help church leaders set course for the fall season, sharing ideas and inspirations, immersed in our passion for this life abundant.
At the same time I’m writing at my own laptop, fine-tuning the novel that’s about to be released, finishing off an article for my Methodist friends in Florida, developing ideas for my next inspirational book (I can’t wait!!).
But this is the life! This is what makes me so happy. Not luxury, or lack of stress, or ease, or a problem-free life – but meaning. And it is so good, so very good to share this quality of life together.
“We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!”
Joyfully (still motivated and excited after all these years) – 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.