In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39
It may not have escaped your attention that, for me, 2021 has been an unusually challenging year to date. Everything from almost two months dealing with extremely painful dental challenges, to escalating care concerns with my parents, to monumentally frustrating road-bumps along the way to lining up all the details leading into retirement.
Today I would like to make sure the more optimistic and thankful roots of my message find their expression. So I’m building a positive post around this (goofy) photograph from the dentist’s office Friday morning. If there had been room, the caption would have read, “Sometimes all you need when you visit the dentist is a good cleaning!”
That’s right, folks, it may have taken their turbo-charged sonic sand-blaster equipment, and my head may still be vibrating from the 90-minutes of high-impact cleaning, but that is all the dentist’s office needed to do; and, while I didn’t exactly enjoy the procedure and it was kind of an ordeal, at least I can say this time they didn’t make me cry!
Social Security Thumbs-up!
Then – and I have to share this having taken time last week to rant about the obduracy of the Social Security Administration – I had the most pleasant, helpful, and productive conversation with one of the local case managers.
I tried to explain to a friend how the bureaucratic entanglements had been affecting me. “The sinking feeling I was left with felt like being punched in the stomach every fifteen minutes,” I said, “very hard. Now the punching has stopped. It’s a huge weight off.”
So, thank you, Social Security Dude, I really appreciate it.
Rainbows and unicorns?
Life is still challenging, and I am more than ready to see the back of a few other situations; but today I will be making my way into worship with a more peaceful spirit, and for that I am grateful.
Yes, I am well aware that the spiritual path I am on teaches me to find peace and unqualified love in every situation. But it’s a journey in every sense, and I know that I still have a ways to go.
Today, by the grace of God, I am a few steps farther along. I will gladly take it. – DEREK
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.