When Jesus saw the man and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the waters are troubled. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” – John 5:6-8
We are halfway through 2019 and it’s time to put a little thought into re-branding this blog. I have been thinking about this for a while and I believe it is time to reclaim the title – “Reading Between the Lines” – that anchored my column when it ran in The Tampa Tribune for almost a decade.
Having my own column in a newspaper was probably the most rewarding writing opportunity I have enjoyed to date. My home edition was The Brandon News, one of around eight local weeklies published by The Trib. I ran every week in more than half the markets, every other week in the rest, and placed an additional commentary in the Sunday editorial section every couple of months.
“Reading Between the Lines” was recognized as “best serious column” by the Florida Press Association and awarded an Amy for faith-based commentary in a regional U.S newspaper.
While I would absolutely love to place my column in another national publication, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. So it is past time to repurpose Reading Between the Lines to tie this blog together.
Looking beyond the surface:
There is “life as it appears on the surface”, there is “face value”, there is “the first impression” – and then there is the story behind the story, peeling back the layers, going deep, and understanding what our experiences teach us about what it means to live as children of God who are transformed by the Good News.
I still intend to look at life through the lens of faith and to tell stories featuring light, life, grace, hope, and promise, but I want to lean into commentary just a little more, provoke people’s thinking, and potentially invite a broader audience into this ongoing conversation.
Simply put, I want to trouble the waters.
p.s. Here are some images from the weekend if you’re only here for the photos:
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.