For the word of the Lord is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. – Psalm 33:4-5
It is always exciting to talk with someone who is passionate about their work. For me, that was the key criteria when I was writing stories for The Tampa Tribune that featured various people in the community. I talked with artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, school principals, faith and other community leaders, business owners, and more.
Over the span of a decade I interviewed maybe 750 people, probably 300 of whom were preachers. If I didn’t run the story – and that happened less than a handful of times – it was because there was no passion, little authenticity, or questionable integrity – and consequently no reason to share with my readers.
All that is to say, had I been writing a story about my friend David Wyly, the big challenge would have been to distil his enthusiasm into just 400-500 words, and still do justice to the obvious passion that drives his reading, understanding, and conversation around God’s word.
I met with David at a local coffee venue Tuesday morning to talk about his new book, and the excitement just bubbled up in him and spilled out all over the place. David’s love for God combines with a keen analytical focus and he is captivated by the academic process of research and discovery, especially when what he learns sheds light on God’s nature and the deep truths revealed in and through the Bible.
Captivated by the Scriptures!
David started his career teaching mathematics as a Peace Corps volunteer. Then he worked with IBM and the New York Stock Exchange until his call into ministry. He studied divinity at Duke before serving many years as a Presbyterian minister and eventually moving to Wake Forest.
The scriptures can captivate both soul and intellect. But it helps if you have a heart that is already in love with God, an approach to life that walks with Jesus, and a soul that is in tune with the Holy Spirit.
“This is how I see God’s glory!” David said on more than one occasion. And his joy is obvious.
So now – after so many years of study, and teaching, and preaching, and conversation, and learning, and prayer, and living life from moment to moment as a follower of Jesus – a book has emerged. But – and this will likely surprise you – it’s a study that concentrates on just the first eleven chapters of the first book of the Bible.
A foundation to build on:
Genesis 1:1 through 11:9 lays such a critical foundation to the rest of the story that it is difficult to grasp anything else – the height, the breadth, and the depth of God’s amazing love for us – if we fail to have at least a rudimentary understanding of where it all begins.
Simply put, Christianity is rooted in a story so deep, so far-reaching, and so foundational to understanding God’s relationship to all of creation, that a meaningful walk with Jesus absolutely benefits from a journey through Genesis 1-11; not a detour so much as a place to drop anchor.
I am reading David’s book right now. If you want to join me I’d be interested to hear some of your feedback along the way. You can find Genesis 1:1-11:9: A Light to the Bible and a Lamp for Our Lives on Amazon. Here are the links:
It’s a fascinating read. Peace and more peace – 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.