faith that earns a standing ovation #GoldenBuzzer

I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. – John 10:10

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! This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him. – 1 John 1:1-5

My wife Rebekah and I were chatting Thursday evening over dinner when the conversation turned to some of the amazing singing talent we had listened to earlier in the week.

First, this caveat: we have spent almost two decades deliberately not watching competition-based television. We haven’t seen any of it. Not Idol, not Survivor; no Bachelor, no Bachelorette; not any of the cooking competition shows; ditto the model thing. Nothing, nada, zippo, zilch…

But then, doing some research for a recent message, Rebekah jumped onto You-Tube looking for arrangements of a particular song. She found the song, but she also found “Britain’s Got Talent.” Before long she had sampled highlight reels from several seasons of the show plus “America’s Got Talent” too. She shared some of the choice performances with me.

The Golden Buzzer:

angie-greenHere’s the cool thing, the point of interest on which our dinner conversation turned. We were watching the best of the best of the best performances, the ones that generate “The Golden Buzzer.”

“So what is it…” Rebekah asked almost rhetorically, “that lets the audience know from almost the first note that this – this person, this act – is something beyond exceptional?”

She’s right. It’s like the audience knows, intuitively, from the very beginning, from the heart, when amazing authentic one-of-a-kind talent spills out – and they can’t help but respond. Imagine, if you’ve never seen it, a couple of thousand people instantly jumping to their feet, cheering, smiling, crying – completely taken up.

I imagine it was like that with Jesus, that the crowd would be there and this completely normal, everyday looking figure would step up on a rise, or a stone, or maybe a cart, and then he would open his mouth and it was BAM! lights-out in the first couple of phrases! Jesus would begin to speak and all doubt, all wondering, all holding back, all wait-and-see would dissipate like a puff of smoke in a breeze and all that remained would be wonder, and tears, and cheering, and crying, and the kind of knowledge about truth that will simply change you, right there on the spot.

How About Us?

standing-ovation-photo-by-t-andrew-mortonOver dinner – and Rebekah and I often fall into these kinds of conversations – we talked about our lives as followers of The Living Way, and how (if at all) Jesus speak through the witness of our living. When we speak, when we serve, when we sing, when we meet together… do people know – intuitively – that we are children of the King, that we are offering light and truth? And, because of that, can they not help but respond?

When I write about this good life and the way the Good News guides and transforms me, is the truth of it enough to move anyone? When I live, how I live, is there enough light in me – enough Gospel truth – that people are compelled to meet Jesus too?

1-IMG_E0285If there was a Golden Buzzer nearby, would it begin to vibrate because my/your/our passion for life simply cannot be contained…?

That is the kind of authentic witness Jesus came and loved and served and died and then rose to make possible. This is the invitation.

In love, and because of love – DEREK



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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, 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.

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