First, fine friends and faithful readers, I want to mention the fact that today is “Juneteenth,” a date on the calendar set aside to remind everyone that freedom is costly and that it took our nation far too long to extend that God-given and self-evident right to people of African decent.
And I am not – unfortunately – only talking about slavery. But also – and more insidious to my mind – the systematic and continuous violation of basic human rights through the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights initiatives of the 1960’s, and including the present day.
As of June 19, 2020, our complicity continues to the extent we don’t want to recognize the fact that repression is built into our structures in ways that are real and potent. It may be true that we cannot undo what has been done, but we do nothing but harm when we will not at least acknowledge the depth and the persistence of the injustice.
Miss Beks Turns Seven!
Next, and this should probably be its own post, Our granddaughter, Beks, turned seven. If anyone wants a working definition of “happy,” or of “exuberant life,” then they only need to look at this photograph.
Seven. Seven is all about joy. Seven is all about the fact that Beks has completed first grade, is exited about learning, loves people, is embracing the joy of reading and of discovery, enjoys just about everything about being alive, throws herself into every experience with the kind of passion that makes me think about her mother at that same age, wears outrageous clothes and sunglasses, has the most tender heart, loves her family so much… and there is so much more, because life is a gift that our granddaughter is wrapping both arms around and she is inspiring me even as I sit here at my computer so very far away….
Rebekah at Work:
This is both a great photograph and an important prayer request. If you believe that ministry grinds to a halt because the church campus is closed and the community cannot gather together in physical proximity for worship, then your thinking is moving in exactly the wrong direction!
If anything, ministry, and work, and responsibility, and opportunity, and the constant challenge to be The Body of Christ in creative ways is expanding. Yes, there is the constant sense of grieving in terms of absence. But at the same time this congregation is pulling together to make ministry and mission and education happen and it is an inspiration.
So Rebekah is working – best guess – twenty-five percent more hours and with probably fifty percent additional stress/burden.
But God is gracious and the WFPC congregation is creative, inventive, patient, and motivated to serve God.
Thursday night at the improv:
Again, this could be its own post. But I had a great cooking experience Thursday evening I’d like to share.
First, you can’t improvise unless you have a working skill set to improvise from. So everything I have learned, and practiced, and repeated, comes into play when I leave the recipe book.
I looked around and found I had chicken breast, artichokes, extra yellow rice from Wednesday, and very little time.
So I crumbled some Ritz crackers, mixed them together with parmesan cheese and some dust from my favorite breakfast cereal, and added almonds. Then I rolled the chicken in the mix, rolled it in a beaten egg, rolled it back in the mix, and sautéed it quickly in olive oil.
I served the chicken with the yellow rice and artichokes and it was – in a word – amazing.
My point in today’s post is paying attention. There is something to learn everywhere we turn, something to celebrate every day, work to be done on the behalf of God’s purposes, and something creative to find even in the mundane task of preparing dinner.
I am grateful for everything these photographs represent. God is good. Life is challenging.
In love, and because love always wins – 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.