the only way to deal with darkness is to turn on the light

In Jesus is life, and that life is the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

– John 1:4-5
– preaching this weekend

Happy Monday, friends! I have a few images from the weekend I think you’ll enjoy.

The first is more description than photo, as my adult education Sunday school class proved – once again – to be a tremendous blessing.

We met, as per usual, via Zoom after worship, and we continued an ongoing discussion that has been rooted in Rebekah’s sermon series on “forgiveness.” (here’s the link – message begins around 21:00 mark)

One of the positives for leading a Zoom class has been the opportunity to utilize PowerPoint slides to support teaching and discussion. The slides keep me on track, while at the same time putting consistent chunks of content right there in front of people. I can include photographs, bullet points, short paragraphs of specific teaching I want people to have, and passages of scripture too.

This week the conversation turned exceptionally deep, and I wish more time had been available for prayer at the end.

This is what I’m talking about!

What happened in class dovetails nicely with yesterday’s post where I made a case for going to church. What we have as a class is absolutely unavailable in any other context. Being together as a Christ-centered group of people, trying our best to love and support one another, this is a phenomenal gift.

– “I want to be a Christian in my heart” – pastor John

It is a beautiful thing. Even though we’re all tired of video-conferencing and pretty much “over” Zoom (as are the guys who attend the two men’s groups I lead).

But we are nowhere near “over” community, our commitment to one another, mutual encouragement, and the joy of living as intentional disciples of Jesus.

Exuberant Life!

Meanwhile, down in Miami the grandchildren were splashing their way through another Sunday afternoon at the beach.

Here’s what works about this set of images, and it works in a spectacular way. Yes, the world is overloaded with angst; yes, the global health crisis is wearing down our resources and our patience and our good judgment; yes the current election cycle is bringing out the worst in so many people; yes, there is talk of sedition and anarchy and it is being encouraged in dangerous ways… But yes, and a resounding YES at that, the children still throw themselves into life with such unbounded enthusiasm it takes my breath away.

– writer Derek Maul

And that is the image I want to remain with us today. This picture of unreserved, unrestrained, unquenchable, light-saturated life.

Life is why Jesus came. It is why Jesus still comes. It is the Good News! And it is the only story with the power to save us.

Praying for our nation – and thankful for the children – DEREK

faith life photogrpahy politics The Church

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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.

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