Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world because you hold on to the word of life. – Philippians 2:15-16
Thanks to everyone who offered feedback from yesterday’s important question. It turns out my publisher agrees with you and the extra-serious photo has been nixed.
It has been a while since the last “Five-Photo-Friday” but here we are and I have an interesting collection this week.
The first are two serious “throwback” images I have never seen before. Thanks to my old friend Walt Murphy for this vintage photograph – plus the “featured” image (that’s me in the yellow shirt, by the way).
These two pictures popped up recently when Walt launched a Facebook group for those of us involved in an epic Appalachian Trail hike back in June and July of 1976.
They short version of the story goes like this. Around 25 of us (three groups) hiked the length of Virginia, following the A.T. up through parts of West Virginia and across a narrow strip of Maryland before finishing up in Pennsylvania. It was part of a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) initiative where teams of hikers, bicyclists, and a wagon train arrived in Philadelphia July 4th to celebrate the bicentennial.
You can read more about my adventures with YWAM (both on the trail and touring Europe and the Middle East in a 1940’s era bus) in my books The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian and Reaching Toward Easter. Suffice it to say these were some “colorful” experiences and I am fortunate not only to still be alive but to have held on to my faith!
Not just cute but prodigious!
Our Richmond grandchildren, David and Beks, just started 2nd and 1st Grade. As you can tell they are all kinds of adorable. But this picture goes with the following anecdote that is so completely David. The story both impresses me and makes me realize what a prodigious handful he is going to be.
Here’s the exact transcript:
- David: “MOM! I figured out how to open the medicine bottle!”
- His mom: “Uhhh no-no-no….”
- David: “It was so simple! All I did was read the directions! I guess it should say it’s only childproof if the kid is illiterate!!”
Okay, so now the 2nd grader is reading everything, understanding everything, and using words like “illiterate.” The world as we know it is officially over!
This Wednesday at church supper the discipleship team offered a “ministry fair.” This means that many of the groups involved in creative ministry initiatives set up tables and displays to let people discover what’s going on, find out where they can plug in, and generally to share the joy.
My table advertised small groups for men. These kinds of covenant groups have been my ministry emphasis for years, and I can’t say enough about how important it is for men to meet together in small groups where we can support and encourage one another… and also be mutually accountable.
Wake Forest is unique among Presbyterian congregations because we have an active, engaged, deeply spiritual men’s ministry that is passionate about Jesus while directly challenging the outdated, dysfunctional, toxic understandings of masculinity that still pervade much of North American culture – especially in many Christian churches.
Home Sweet Home:
Every day without fail I thank God for our home – our home and its proximity to my parents next door.
I love the woods, and I love the way our house nestles into the trees. I think North Carolina is a beautiful state, and in every respect Wake Forest is an idyllic place to live.
I never drive into our neighborhood or walk up to our house without looking down the driveway and breathing a prayer of gratitude. You have likely seen a version of this photograph before; but this week it made me smile again and so I took another shot.
So that’s it, friends, “Five-Photo-Friday.” It is a privilege to share my blessings with you. Have an amazing weekend – 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.