What a great weekend! Life has been busy – that goes without saying – but loaded with such a lot of positives and a great introduction to what I know is going to be another amazing week.
First, after the deeply meaningful graveside for our friends’ mother (see, Loving Till Our Hearts Wear Out), Rebekah and I drove to Richmond to get our son, Andrew, who has flown in from Europe for his grandfather’s big birthday later this week.
What a joy to have dinner with both of our children. It is a rare opportunity, even in a small family like ours; Rebekah and I are grateful beyond words.
Then – second photo – this was the fourth of our “10 Summer Sundays” at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. I am grateful to be part of a faith community where even in the summertime, when hundreds of members are scattered everywhere from the mountains to the beach to the West Coast to Europe and beyond, we have a full sanctuary that literally buzzes with excitement and life and passion for the Good News.
The music was amazing, led by our Ladies Chorus and a highly jazzed up accompaniment. Interestingly, as my Sunday school class is looking at ten specific words/ideas designed to add a charge of life to our day-to-day practice of discipleship, all we have to do is walk on over to the sanctuary for worship to get a charge of the Spirit that should last well into the coming week!
It was great to have Andrew in church with us, and we are enjoying having him around at home. He and Alicia are still getting settled in to their new home in Dresden, Germany, so there is a lot to catch up on.
Rebekah (who never does anything halfway) has been reading articles, scouring the encyclopedia, and watching a series of documentaries featuring Dresden, Saxony, Germany, the intricate complexities of Europe, its politics, the connections between all the Kings, Queens, Czars, Kaisers, Emperors, Electors, Counts and more, and how power has constantly shifted over the past thousand years or so.
Andrew and Alicia are true “citizens of the world” and this has made us much more aware and interested and engaged with the world beyond ourselves. Our experience belies the phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” – because our observation has been quite the opposite. What our leaders refuse to know, to learn, and to understand about people, world cultures, history, politics, power, and geography is already hurting us.
The last photo comments on the fact that Andrew appreciates good food; having him here is a good excuse to dig out some great recipes, sit around the dining room table, and talk for hours about this wonderful adventure we are on – the privilege of living life as grateful children of God…
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.