faith expressed, faith taught, faith experienced

There are three elements to today’s post – but they are all essentially the same thing. Faith. Faith expressed, faith taught, faith experienced.

Faith Experienced:

1-IMG_1126First, Sunday afternoon – and this is the featured photo in today’s post – Rebekah and I drove to Henderson for the ordination and installation of the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church.

It’s always cool to see such a gathering (the robes and the pageantry) of pastors and elders from many places – Henderson, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Richmond, Winston-Salem, and more. But it is the power, the gravitas, the weight of the office of teaching elder (minister of word and sacrament) that always touches me so deeply.

Rebekah had responsibility for the prayer for ordination. She instructed Matthew to kneel, then she invited all other ordained ministers and elders in the sanctuary to come and lay their hands on him for the prayer. God’s presence, God’s breath, God’s Spirit, God’s life literally flowed through the hearts and the hands and into the receptive vessel that is a brand new pastor. Inspirational stuff.

Faith Expressed – A Song in His Heart:

1-IMG_E1118Then, earlier in the day, worship filled the space at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. It was a good morning, and Rebekah preached both services with her signature “hold nothing back” passion.

But there was another moment, during contemporary worship, that was pitch-perfect in terms of understanding why we gather together as a community of faith. Pastor John sang a duet with one of the children – Graham – and there is such winsome beauty when praise is offered via such a clear, pure, vessel.

Worship – together – is a critically important element of living faithful lives. It brings what is important into clearer focus, and that is our relationship to, and with, God. I am grateful for the ministry our children offer to help me remember this.

Faith Taught – Theology:

Part three this morning is my Sunday morning Adult Ed class. Last week I wrote about our new study – Big Words and Big Ideas – and I’m just as excited now. Digging deep is good for me: good for my brain and good for my spirit too.

But enough for this post, I will share more about this tomorrow.

All told, this was another weekend packed full with life and promise. If being part of a vibrant, enthusiastic faith community is not a priority for you right now, let me urge you to consider making such a commitment. It is a decision you will never regret.

In love, and because of love – DEREK


commentary faith leadership photogrpahy The Church

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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