For 2021 I Choose Light and Promise!

– thanks for the great blogging year!

First, thanks so much to all my readers. Not only did we reach one-million all-time views at, we blew by 2019’s encouraging 137,904 views and recorded a whopping 178,865 during 2020, a number I had not imagined possible.

Please continue to read, to repost on your social media accounts, and to share with anyone you believe would be enjoy this site.

This New Year stands as a remarkable opportunity for each one of us to impact this world in terms of good, encouragement, inspiration, hope, and light.

Light is planted like seed for the righteous person;

    joy too for those whose heart is right. – Psalm 97:11

I choose light and promise!

Each year I try to use one central idea as a kind of filter through which I pour my prayer, my thinking, my writing, my speaking, and my teaching. For 2021 I choose light and promise. We cannot see the way without light, and we need to believe in something both solid and hope-filled if we are to engage the adventure in front of us with any confidence and enthusiasm at all.

For light, we need look no farther than the infant Jesus, the central gift of Christmas. And he is promise too; promise for eternity, but more importantly the promise that is 2021, the invitation to life that turns out – always – to be today.


– New Year’s gumbo

Here at Maul-Hall it is our tradition to serve seafood gumbo New Year’s Eve.

I started the process before lunch, making the roux from bacon grease, onions, celery, and garlic. Then I built the deliciousness throughout the day, adding turkey broth, okra, sweet corn, turkey, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, crab, shrimp, and various herbs. I also made jasmine rice and buttermilk biscuits. Then, not too long before serving, I dropped in a couple of pints of oysters.

My parents came over and we pulled out some leftover Christmas crackers. We decided this New Year needed all the festivity and celebration possible.

– my mum in her paper hat!

Along with the crackers come the paper-hats, and along with the paper-hats the requisite “paper-hat portrait.”

So here we are, just a few hours in to the promise and opportunity of 2021. How are we going to respond?

Light and Promise – all year! Are you in? – DEREK

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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, 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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