Walking down this mountain, Valentine’s Day, and my American Birthday

– left-right: Katherine, Brett, Derek, John

Sunday morning was a real joy. Rebekah preached an inspirational sermon on “Transformation to Doubt” and our song – Walk Down this Mountain (43-minute mark) – turned out to be the perfect “Amen” at the end of her message.

I particularly enjoyed the way the two guitars worked together. But then it is always good for my sound when I get to sit in with someone so accomplished as John.

Valentine’s Day 2021:

Later, Rebekah and I enjoyed a low-key celebration of Valentine’s Day. We both came up with excellent cards, and I cooked one of Rebekah’s favorite meals for dinner in the evening (grilled Mahi-Mahi, with asparagus risotto, mixed vegetables, and an onion/mushroom sauce for the fish).

Our Golden Retriever, Max, stole the show, however. His card to “mom” made her laugh out loud (see image gallery, below), and I don’t think there is ever a much better gift than smiles that break into genuine laughter.

It’s a wonderful thing to know that this year – our 45th Valentine’s Day together (we started dating Feb 4, 1977) – we still make each other smile, we are still completely excited about being together, and my heart still flutters, probably more so.

Proud to be a 36-year-old American!

Finally for this morning, I am always proud to remind the world that February 15 is my birthday as an American.

On this date in 1985, in a ceremony presided over by Judge Roger Vinson in the Federal Courthouse in Pensacola, I became a citizen of the United States of America.

I like to remind everyone how very glad I am that I did this. Because I love the way liberty has played out in this ongoing Great Experiment we have going on here. I trust the checks and balances of our carefully crafted Constitution, and I have never doubted the ultimate fealty of Americans (both politicians and citizens in general) to the spirit of participatory and representative democracy, and the Constitution that guides it.

At the same time I am aware of how faith, trust, and the moment-by-moment decision to keep trusting serve as the glue that holds this nation together. If The Constitution is a kind of concrete foundation on which we are built, then trust is the “bonding agent” that stops it from flowing away like toothpaste when the pressure gets too much.

– Derek Maul

People who deliberately and systematically work to erode trust are inflicting the kind of long-term damage that will outlast their petty plays for temporary power. I love this country, and we must not stop believing!

That’s it for Monday, February 25. Peace and love to you all – DEREK

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