Thoughts and Photos from an Eventful Weekend

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – John 9:1-5

I have already written about our thirty-ninth anniversary – it was a joyful celebration of a rich, challenging, and rewarding journey – and Sunday’s post pointed to the importance of doing life in the context of an authentic faith community.

But the weekend was too busy to settle in and concentrate on just one aspect of what makes this life such a great adventure. Sometimes we just have to let the experiences wash over us; then, later, it is time to reflect.

  • I have done something different with the images today. There are three short slideshows, each representing a different aspect of the post…

Maine Lobster:

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Saturday evening Rebekah and I headed into downtown Raleigh to support our friends’ (Deb and Greg Keller) latest entrepreneurial venture with Cousins Maine Lobster. Apparently it’s not enough to run two full-time food trucks, now they have a permanent restaurant in the super-cool venue that is the Morgan Street Food Hall.

Our friends may be busy, but they always add not only vision but grace to anything they are involved with. Two thumbs up from us for this latest idea!

The food hall – a renovated warehouse space – comprises 22,000-square feet of culinary joy. It houses 22 vendors, two bars, and an expansive outdoor patio area.

Saturday evening it seemed like half of all Raleigh was crowded into the space. But it was fun to be at an opening, and good to see the enthusiasm generated by great food in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Raleigh is fast becoming a food destination city, and I couldn’t be happier!

Morning Worship:

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Sunday at WFPC Rebekah preached about the question “Why?” Life is full with the difficult, the tragic, the heartbreaking, and the unfair. She talked about how important it is that we are honest with God and that we actively engage the Creator rather than fall for trite explanations on the one hand or wallow in negativity on the other.

In the scripture reading, people asked Jesus, “Who sinned to make this man blind (from birth)? Was it his own sin or the sin of his parents?”

The Great Teacher, as he often does, pointed out that they were “Asking the wrong questions?” Today Jesus still has the same response. We ask the wrong questions. Stuff happens that is difficult, and we can usually come up with rational explanations. What we really need to be thinking about, and praying about, is how we are going to respond, and how we will allow God to work in us and through us to bring light and love into this broken world.

As the service ended Rebekah asked the congregation to raise their hands and join her in the blessing/benediction. The pictures represent what it looks like to be a community asking the right questions.

The pictures represent what it looks like to be a community asking the right questions.

Afternoon Ceremony:

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Sunday afternoon we drove over to Cary where Rebekah had been invited to preach at the installation service for Jordan Davis, the new associate pastor at The Kirk of Kildaire.

That’s two Sundays in succession, celebrating with faith communities as they welcome new pastors to participate in God’s work through the Presbyterian Church. I’ve got to tell you, there is life and passion and love and Spirit in our church and I feel good about the direction and the leadership of these faith communities – good people faithful to the gospel as they grapple with what it means to be the presence of Christ, to be The Church, in 21st Century America.

So much going on, and so much to be grateful for. Yes, we are tired, and feeling maybe older than we were a few decades ago. But we are also energized by Love, and that is a good place to be.

Peace and more peace – DEREK

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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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