Old Tricks… New Dog

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” – Jesus, Mark 2:22

“a little cooperation…?”

Sunday afternoon Max and I tried for our first selfie. It had been kind of a tradition with me and Scout Labradoodle. Scoutie used to happily sit next to me on the steps and scrunch faces together. Max, however, wasn’t sure what I was up to so it took a few tries.

This is why it’s important to view the photos – below – in sequence. One of us is an old dog, and one of us is learning new tricks, it’s just not clear which is which.

This COVID-19 situation is making life hard for old dogs. So many of us “Just want things back to normal.” But it doesn’t matter that I had been working on my groove for 64 years and I absolutely loved my life. It doesn’t matter that everything that was going on in and through Wake Forest Presbyterian Church was the culmination of almost forty years of ministry. What matters is today, and then tomorrow, and then the day after that.

As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” –2 Corinthians 6:1-2

IMG_E0271The most important question (and Max, whose life has been upended so he knows about this stuff, would totally agree) is that of, “What is God challenging me with today?” and “How can I live a life of active, dynamic, world-changing faith going forward?”

Have an amazing Monday, friends. God’s rich blessings on all that you do – DEREK


  1. Derek, I’ve begun to think of this extended period of suspended animation as a “pandemic pause,” as folks are discovering what they miss most, what they don’t miss at all and hence will push the reset button on their lives, activities, priorities, purposes, intentions, spirituality, discipleship practices, to make their lives and others’ lives more intentional as we re-emerge from this COVID-19 period. Cultural, social, political, communal, personal, spiritual, relational …. all our compartmentalized lives are being challenged and addressed simultaneously. Overwhelming, but beneficial – our time as old dogs to learn new tricks will benefit us in the long run if we’ll trust God’s lead. Blessings to you and Max! Hugh


    • Nicely put, Hugh. Thanks for the good feedback. Praying for the wonderful community at Trinity, and their leaders. Rebekah had a long conversation with Frank and Sylvia last week and we heard lots of positives about you and the ministry there.


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