This has been a photograph-heavy week in the past few days I have shared images of:
So today I’m limiting myself to just four that help to tell today’s story.
I have to start with the children. They’ve been enjoying snow days in Richmond too, but Thursday they were happy to head back to school. Beks – as you can see – is a bouncy one right now. She’s always on the move and she has almost perfected the technique of “floating” during a photo-op.
For Beks we could almost call this “Floatography.”
I’m not sure if this is 100% deliberate on her part but it’s happening in so many pictures I suspect she is actually trying for the levitation look.
Other than being cute, to me it communicates something about her personality and the natural ebullience she owns that reminds me so much of her mother. It makes me want to say that “Jesus was born so we all could float!” or “Jesus puts the bounce into our lives.”
The spirit of Christmas helps us to be a few inches off the ground for much of December but it’s an orientation toward life God intends for us to embrace every day, year round. Not disconnected from real life but finding our “grounding” in something other than a tethering to what Ecclesiastes dubs “Life under the sun” – as opposed to “Life in the Son.”
Thursday evening’s Christmas party du jour was the WFPC deacons’ gathering at the home of Robin and Larry. The office of deacon is that of being ordained – set apart – for the work of caring ministries. Greeting, visiting, taking care of those who are grieving, Stephen Ministry, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick – and more.
Rebekah says she loves deacons meetings so much because the “dekes” are always taking care of each other, listening, encouraging, praying, affirming.
Get these folks together for a Christmas party and the atmosphere of love and kindness – all those “fruit of the Spirit” attributes – just fills the room with what the hymn-writer calls “Christlike grace.”
Jesus talks about this element of Christian life a lot. In fact the Lord went so far as to say that the only way the world is going to understand, really know that we are his followers is by the way that we love one-another. Our love is supposed to be our calling card as believers.
For the deacons at WFPC, it’s a commitment to discipleship expressed in a way that proclaims Good News in the best language of all, the language of love.
Stuck in the Mud:
So Rebekah and I were leaving the party and – because I didn’t want to ask someone to move the car that had me blocked in – I thought I could turn around by running into the field adjacent to the driveway.
Ha ha ha. Maybe it would have helped had I actually looked and noticed that four days of snow sitting on the grass had already turned it to mud.
Note to self. My little VW Golf with European minimal profile tires cannot get out of a mud hole. Not even with Rebekah at the wheel and me pushing. Sigh.
So I had to get towed. Thanks, Larry. First time in my life. Humility is supposed to be a good thing I guess. 🙂
Rebekah keeps tinkering with the decorations. One day next week I believe maybe it will be ready for the full-on photo-shoot. But then it will likely change again. Of course that’s only right because this is not a static story we’re sharing around here. The Good News story is always being modified, added to, shared, reconfigured, reinvented, renewed, reformed, reaffirmed, reissued… and more.
The pop-up snowflake tree adds a touch of North Carolina winter to the scene. I love this Nativity because of its simplicity, its straight-forward-ness.
This is the story, and for every retelling, every reconfiguration, it becomes more personal and more real and more important to share.
Peace, light, grace, and more – 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.