Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus… – Hebrews 12:1
This past week has been remarkably busy. It’s all been good, but so much for the ideal of “The lazy days of summer.” By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I was ready for a few hours of re-creation.
So I decided to surf my photo albums and delete some of the recent accumulated detritus. I freed up a lot of needed space, but also found a half-dozen or so images from this weekend worth sharing.
Here they are. I’ll post the photo then the explanation. Photo, paragraph; photo, paragraph; photo… till they’re all done. Click to enlarge.
Rebekah and I must have given young parents this word of encouragement a hundred thousand times. “Hang in there, your teenagers will likely turn into the most amazing adults!” Truth.
Our daughter, Naomi, took the photograph of her brother, Andrew, saying goodbye to David and Beks at Dulles airport in D.C. Ours son – who has just moved to Dresden, Germany, with his wife Alicia – is a most wonderful uncle and our grandchildren absolutely adore him. Rebekah and I are proud of our children in so many ways, but most of all because of how they have learned to love with kind and generous hearts.
At the same time, I took my niece Hannah and her daughter Hayley to the Raleigh/Durham airport so they could head back to Florida. We’re not a large family but nonetheless we’re still scattered far and wide.
Our “10 Summer Sundays” worship schedule at WFPC continues to be a hit. This week the men’s chorus led the singing, Rebekah launched a sermon mini-series, and the ushers had to pull in some folding chairs to get everyone seated.
The music was great, and Rebekah’s preaching was bursting with passion and life… but what really communicates is the “buzz” that fills the room. The greetings, the chatter, the laughter, the handshakes, the hugs – the sounds and the vitality of more than 300 beautiful people – everything working together to animate the sanctuary.
Worship is – quite simply – good for us as human beings. We are created in the image of God, and if you are not connected to a vital faith community then now is the time to make it happen.
So – and as you could tell if you read the account of dad’s birthday number ninety – the food around here has been plentiful and good. I still believe that great food is the best solution to overeating, because if it’s good it’s more satisfying and there’s no need to overdo it. However, I’m beginning to believe that theory may not apply to things like bread!
Regardless, we are blessed beyond measure when it comes to the availability and the quality of good eating here in North Carolina. So it is impossible to write about this without both prayer and action on behalf of those dealing with food insecurity – often right here in our own community.
All in all, life from day to day is all about being grateful, and being full with light and love.
Circumstances may change, health is a moving target, rain and drought and storms and fires are mostly unpredictable, people arrive and move away and surprise us all the time, finances teeter then settle then blow up in mercurial roller-coaster fashion, in Florida our house was literally built on the sand while here in Wake Forest the bedrock is granite (Gneissic biotite granitoid: Foliated biotite granitoid and granitoid orthogneiss).
Life is defined by this systemic uncertainty, while following Jesus is all about God’s faithfulness and living in the consistent goodness and reliability of God’s love and light.
Have an amazing week, I know I will – 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.