I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:14-21
Now that was one extremely busy weekend. My cousin and his wife visiting, Naomi and the grandchildren joining us Sunday, lots of doings at the church.
I’ll start with church. Here’s a thought: if you’re tired of hearing the same old tired criticisms that “the mainline church” is irrelevant, or that the Presbyterian Church is dying; if you’ve been exposed to the hollow “they don’t really believe” talking points and you suspect the naysayers are just making stuff up; if you question the rise of the religious nationalism that has eroded the integrity of so much Christian witness, and yearn for worship unsullied by politics… then I’d like to invite you to visit WFPC one Sunday soon.
Washed in the Water:
We started with two baptisms during the Praise Service. Two sisters, eleven and six, surrounded by other children along with their family. Such a beautiful moment of love, grace, hope, and promise.
Then we commissioned an adult mission team heading out to work with hurricane relief, and to bring the love of Jesus to people overwhelmed and desperate.
Between services, my “Practical Christianity” discipleship class was completely full. Then, during 11:00 worship, it was a joy to sit with my parents, my cousin Peter and his wife (Kate), Naomi, and the grandchildren.
Finally, after worship, everyone spilled out onto the grass for our annual “Holy Hay Day.” Holy Hay Day features food, games, live music, “trunk-or-treat”, more games, hay-rides, fellowship, and more. People who attended at 9:00 came back, friends and family flooded the campus. When we took the children home at 1:30, there were still more people arriving to take our place.
What I’m talking about (and really the only takeaway point I want to make this Monday morning) is how full of God – full of life, Jesus, enthusiasm, passion, grace, joy, light etc. – this congregation is. Right there on Capital Boulevard, across from the Olive Garden, sprawled over a beautiful campus, somewhere in the vicinity of 800 Presbyterians are telling the Jesus story with authenticity and with eloquence.
It’s all about Jesus, it’s all about love, it’s all about living faith out loud, and it’s all about our life – this wonderful life – as faithful disciples, walking in The Way!
(slideshow of Sunday morning, Oct 22)
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.