Being a family rooted in faith (it’s a good story)

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. Tie them on your hand as a sign. They should be on your forehead as a symbol. Write them on your house’s doorframes and on your city’s gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-8
– in Jacksonville for the New Year

One of the best things about a family gathering is just watching the family be the family. A lot of it you just experience, but some things absolutely beg for a photograph.

My rule is always, when possible, “Pay no attention to the guy with the camera.” Posed photos can be fine for portraits, but the best are captured more candidly.

So today, helping us to set the tone for the New Year in the hopeful context of people who love one another, here are a few of my favorites from the lightening excursion to North Florida.


Rebekah’s brother Joe is a natural storyteller. He is also incredibly creative. In this series of shots – with his daughter, Lindsay – Joe is reading from the “Monkey-Bear” books they created together when she was a child.

The books are wonderful. Joe and Lindsay reading them together is more wonderful still. There are five delightfully expressive photos – you need to see them all.

Glamor Shot!

Next we have Joe and Cheryl, goofing off with the umbrella Cheryl received for one of her Christmas gifts.

My Nikon DSLR and a telephoto lens would have been helpful for this one, but the phone-camera image will have to do.

I love the way the umbrella works as a backdrop. Joe and Cheryl were playing to the moment, not the camera, and I was fortunate enough to be paying attention.

Then- one of my favorites – this shot of Rebekah and Lindsay. Rebekah is holding a painting by Jesse and Heather’s extremely talented eldest, Jordan.

The painting is Rebekah’s latest acquisition, and she is working toward owning the definitive collection of Jordan’s Florida landscape paintings (I believe we now have six). This one features the causeway between Tampa and Clearwater.

More to come:

I have a couple more short posts from our New Year’s trip, and I will share them soon.

But for today I can’t help but think of the verses I shared from Deuteronomy 6. This is the family ethos; it is who we are and the way we are. We Love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our being, and all our strength… and we talk about faith when we are sitting around the house and when we are out and about, when we are lying down and when we get up.

Living this faith, living God’s love out loud, living like we mean it – because God certainly meant something amazing when we were created, and God means something amazing still, purposing us for that kind of life ever day.

In love – and because of love – DEREK

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