Jesus – “I am the Gateway. To enter through me is to experience life, freedom, and satisfaction. A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow!” – John 10:9-10
Today comprises a simple check in on the family. This week I received a rare “you can share this” photo of our marvelous “Mr.T.” in Germany, so I’m going to feature him along with our Florida grandchildren for today’s post. Then, to cover the entire spectrum, I have a photo of my parents that shows how well dad is doing as he works to get back on his feet again.
It may have been sad to see Naomi and Craig move their family all the way from Richmond to South Florida early last year (having them two hours away meant that we seldom went more than a couple of weeks without seeing them). But there is no denying how they are all thriving in Miami.
But isn’t that what we have been teaching ever since Andrew and Naomi were born? To bloom exactly where we are planted?
Life is too short for marking time, or making do, for tepid disinterest, or for apathy. We have this opportunity, this imperative, to live the kind of life that rejects half-measures and embraces fulness. You can see that commitment to the life abundant in the children’s faces.
Meanwhile, while Naomi and Craig’s family throw themselves into “everything in abundance, more than you expect, life in its fullness until you overflow!” Andrew and Alicia are teaching Mr.T. some of the same lessons by embracing the whole world.
Two enthusiastic world-travelers from Florida and Michigan who launched their life together in northern Italy, taught three years in Tashkent, and are now finishing up three more in Dresden before – this summer – making a new home in Bahrain.
Mr.T. is growing up rooted in his identity as a Citizen of the World. His security – his sense of place – is going to be his family. And his family ethos is that of faith, and committed love, and adventure, and learning, and embracing other cultures, and mutual respect.
It makes us both happy to know that our little family is so dynamically engaged when it comes to living like they mean it. I think we all understand, after this more than a year of pandemic, how critically important it is that we do not waste any of this precious gift.
“I am the Gateway,” Jesus said. “To enter through me is to experience life…”
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.