God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
when its waters roar and rage,
when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,Psalm 46:1-4
the holiest dwelling of the Most High.
This evening I have a short boost of encouragement for you, designed to fill in the space between Ash Wednesday and my next Lenten post in the morning.
- Yes, I am still blogging my way through Lent; and, yes, there will be daily references plus the occasional video.
- No, I am not posting Lent stuff exclusively. I still have an amazing family and there is so much joy to be shared from day to day.
To that end, these photographs came across my desk (from Naomi and from Andrew) and they absolutely have to be shared. They comment on the deeper and more compelling meaning of life that is so much more important – and eternal – than the cynical cultural/political dramas of our day.
This, as it turns out, is the beautiful truth about humankind. We love, we nurture, we live as families, we bring new beings into this world, and that love is multiplied.
IN GERMANY – in the cold, snowy winter of eastern European Dresden, our grandson marches confidently through the snow to his preschool, where he is playing and learning with other tiny humans. His parents (Andrew and Alicia – both teachers) are working hard to help create a world where community is a more important concept than national origin, and where the defining ideals are friendship, cooperation, and mutual respect.
IN MIAMI – our daughter Naomi and her husband Craig are proud of and excited about their new baby. But Geoffrey, now three months, is most definitely a family project.
David and Beks are being responsible siblings, helping out and learning to care for their baby brother, learning to be excited about their world.
There is such joy and such light projecting from these photographs and it makes my heart sing.
We have good reason to be optimistic about this world, friends!
I am convinced that the power of love, the complete victory even a small light always has over the darkness, the healing balm that is grace, and the irrepressibility of promise will win out in the end.
The scriptures say it in many different ways. They are all written on my heart.
- “God’s grace is sufficient.”
- “Let not your hearts be troubled.”
- “Fear not, I have overcome the world.”
- “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- “Peace I leave with you.”
- “The God of Jacob is our place of safety.”
- “Love never fails…”
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.