“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26
July 1; we are now halfway through what has already been one of the strangest years most of us have experienced: In 1919 the global flu pandemic overwhelmed the world; in the 30’s the Great Depression devastated the global economy; in the 60’s civil unrest literally caught fire. Thus far in 2020 we have had – are having – all three.
Meanwhile, life continues to flourish. The prolonged and beautiful spring has morphed into summer; the grandchildren are not only thriving, there’s another one on the way; Rebekah and the staff at church are finding new and creative ways to do ministry; toilet paper is reappearing on the shelves…
This opening prayer from my Sunday morning class is a prayer for July; a prayer, really, for the rest of the year.
June is over, Lord, and we feel as if we are still waiting for the year 2020 to get properly started. We have missed Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Graduation, Confirmation, and now Vacation Bible School. Next up we will be setting aside all of our summer plans. We are weary of the disruption and we want our “normal” back. Yet life moves on. The seniors have graduated. Many of us have had birthdays. We have buried loved ones. So we understand when you challenge us to go ahead and live anyway; live, regardless; live in your grace; live because you, God, are still sovereign and our lives are still a part of your great purpose and plan. So be with us this morning as we talk about it all, as we worship you, and as we seek to understand. In spite of all the uncertainty, we are sure of your love, your providence, and your care. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
- Go ahead and live anyway;
- live, regardless;
- live in God’s grace;
- live because God is still sovereign in our lives;
- live because we are still a part of God’s great purpose and plan…
With that encouragement in mind, here is June, one picture a day – 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.