“Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others.” Jesus – Matthew 7:1-2
A few days ago I met someone who moved here from New England. She loves, she said, the mild winters here in North Carolina. “A lot of my old friends talk about moving south too,” she said.
“South?” I thought Wake Forest was north! Just to check, I put Tampa in Google, the directions said “665 miles.” And on my map, when we left it certainly looked to me like we drove nothing but north.
Then this morning, just to punctuate my point, it was 23-degrees when I went out for my walk. I’m sorry, it doesn’t matter what map you’re looking at or where you used to live, 23-degrees and “south” just don’t belong in the same sentence.
I’m kidding of course. We’ve seen it drop below 10-degrees in Wake Forest and we’ve already had one good snow this winter. But it is interesting to see how where you started from makes all the difference. In absolute terms, our house sits at 35.98° N latitude. For New Englanders that looks a lot like south but for us, after so many decades in Florida, we absolutely know that we moved north.
It reminds me of some of these ridiculous arguments people have about being “conservative” or “liberal.” Rebekah was once called both at the same meeting! “That’s why I have no time for labels,” she said. “My theological position is that of following Jesus. To some of you Jesus may be far too liberal, to others he looks conservative. But Jesus is neither; Jesus is God’s invitation, he is the way the truth and the life.”
Another thing about a 23-degree morning is the importance of steaming hot coffee! I am always first up so Rebekah has almost never experienced waking up without the aroma of fresh-brewed deliciousness wafting through the house.
Plus, working at my desk here in the study, I have a beautiful Keurig within arm’s reach. I’m honestly not sure I could be a professional writer if it were not for the soul-inspiring ministrations of Peets, Wicked Joe’s, Newman’s Own, Gevalia et al.
With coffee I’m a purist in that while I enjoy regional variations, Fair Trade when possible (Sumatran, Blue Jamaican, Hawaiian Kona, Columbian. Ethiopian etc.), and national specialties such as Italian cappuccino or Cuban café con leche, I don’t like added flavors at all.
So bring on the cold winter days, North Carolina, I enjoy living here in the north! Especially when I can hunker down with a mug of steaming coffee to work on my writing.
And when it comes to faith, don’t think of “conservative” or “progressive” as your standard, turn your heart instead to following Jesus. Remember yesterday’s post: “Jesus stamps us as ‘redeemed’ not ‘right’.
In love, and because of love – 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.