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The Preacher's Husband

notes from a clergy-hubby

Come on over to "The Life-Charged Life"

Click on the picture at right to check in with the new location. This blog is now sharing space and content with “The Life-Charged Life.” It turns out the life of “The Preacher’s Husband” (AKA “Clergy-Hubby”) is a life-charged life. It makes no sense to post in two places when the one will do.

See you over at “The Life-Charged Life: a journal of living like we mean it.

God’s rich blessings – DEREK

PS – check the bookstores for my latest books


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Greetings friends, “peeps” and fellow clergy-hubby types….

Just a quick update to remind everyone that this blog is now consolidating its content with my daily offering – The Life-Charged Life. You can click on the photo to the right (on the home page) in order to link, or simply click the words “life-charged life” where they appear on this post.

BTW, if you are a Preacher’s Husband and wish to engage in some “insider” dialogue, simply post a comment here or email me at – then we can commence to chat.

Peace – love – and many blessings – DEREK

In Assisi last month

Greetings friends, “peeps” and fellow clergy-hubby types….

Just a quick update to remind everyone that this blog is now consolidating its content with my daily offering – The Life-Charged Life. You can click on the photo to the right (on the home page) in order to link, or simply click the words “life-charged life” where they appear on this post.

BTW, if you are a Preacher’s Husband and wish to engage in some “insider” dialogue, simply post a comment here or email me at – then we can commence to chat.

Peace – love – and many blessings – DEREK

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OK, friends, the jury is in. By acclamation, an overwhelming vote, and 100% of responders… This blog is going to merge with my daily blog – “The Life-Charged Life”. I will – for the time being – continue to use this “Clergy-Hubby” site, but the content will be the same as “The Life-Charged Life.”

Take today’s post, for example – it could have ended up in either location. So:

  • Read
  • Enjoy
  • Let me know what you think
  • Pass this address on to others

Church as it happens - this Sunday

My publisher is always telling me I need to be “cutting edge” in my use of social media.

  • That’s how I got into blogging, and I appreciate the nudge Upper Room Books gave me to get my “on-line journal” going.
  • It’s also why I’m on facebook. Again, I’m glad I’m involved, and I value the way it keeps me in touch with so many people.
  • I TWEET too – although really I’m not sure what I’m doing and 90% of the time my Tweets are little more than an invitation to read my blog. I’ve been told people want to read any snippits of pithy, humorous or informative information I’m willing to put out there – but thus far I’m not locking in on the medium.

But, yesterday, I think I may have gotten a handle on the  Tweet idea – even though my “Aha!” moment came in retrospect and I didn’t actually Tweet a thing.

Kids' Moment with Karen Weber

Here’s what happened. We had a baptism at fpcBrandon. A young couple, active in our church, brought their infant son and it was one of those deeply moving occasions. So I grabbed my Android and snapped a couple of pictures. Then I thought, “Why not post this on facebook in real time?” So I did. I labelled the post “Church as it Happens.”

I enjoyed the concept of Church-as-it-Happens so much that I posted a series of pictures, with comments, in real time during the morning. It felt awkward to be “playing with my phone” so much during worship, and I did get a couple of sharp elbows from the preacher, but I do believe it was worthwhile.

Lots of children at 8:30 service

That evening I talked with a friend who had picked up the facebook posts. She told me what I had done was a “made for Twitter” thing, tweets – apparently – are more “stream of consciousness.” To be honest I’m still not sure that I’m going to do that much on Twitter, because I have a hard time remaining in any way detached from the event I’m participating in – plus part of me can’t get away from the idea that “It’s rude to be on your phone” when participating in any kind of a public event…..

IMMEDIACY: I think what intrigues me most about this whole conversation is the immediacy. Of course, it’s also true that nothing is quite so immediate as actually being there! Point taken. But, I don’t believe the church-as-it-happens concept is about providing an alternative to showing up. I think it’s about taking some of what is real and engaging and transformational about Sunday morning at fpcBrandon and holding it out there as a kind of invitation.

Go in Peace - Rebekah

Let’s face it, the vast majority of people don’t even have public worship on their radar. So this is not about giving anyone an easy out, it’s about offering the beginnings of an easy in. Social media is crawling with the raw evidence of life without committed faith. I believe it’s time that – without judgment or anything other than love – more evidence of the truth of the Gospel message finds its way into the mix.

It’s time that – without judgment or anything other than love – we tell the story and we tell it right.


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"The Preacher" with her very happy dog, Scout Labradoodle

It’s crisis time for this blog, and I need to hear from any interested readers.

Let me be clear; it’s not crisis time for me, it’s crisis time for this blog! I write another blog (almost daily) that generates a tremendous level of interest. And, to be honest, my other blog covers a lot of ground this page would address if it was my only space.

So I have to ask the question. If this blog went away, then would the few readers who visit here transfer their interest to “The Life-Charged Life”, or will I lose you altogether?

You see, a huge part of what it means to live “The Life-Charged Life” involves my role as a clergy-hubby. So I feel that I’m short-changing this blog when I post on the other… and I feel like my other readers are missing out when I post good stuff over here.

So I’ll leave it at that. This is a one-month fact-finding fishing expedition. Do you want this blog or not? Let me know, either way.

Like I said, I’ll be posting 6-days a week regardless, over at The Life-Charged Life.

Peace – DEREK “The Preacher’s Husband” Maul

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Newspaper clipping from 15 years ago....

Isaiah 6:6-8 – One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, “This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty.”

After this, I heard the LORD ask, “Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?”

“I’ll go,” I answered. “Send me!”

Blast from the Past: Just a short post this morning. I’m up to my eyeballs and beyond in a project that’s turned out to be huge. A while back I agreed, in a moment of insanity, to write “A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Florida” ( Well, now it’s time to bring all the research and conversations and factoids together.

Rebekah has been the pastor of this amazing church going on 15 years (see newspaper clipping). Enough has happened in the past ten alone to write a 500-page account.

First, “Note to self”: The next time I agree to write a church history, make sure I’m writing about a church where nothing much happens! Good grief, fpcBrandon has a lot going on!

The challenge is how to present the 50-year story of a faith community. The active membership roles have varied from as low as 100 to as high as 600 (on paper). Annual average attendance statistics have been recorded at less than 100 to over 400.

But, over the years and with the fact that people move to other towns… and new people join… and babies are born… and kids grow up…. and people die… it’s possible that several thousand assorted Presbyterians have been – at one time or another – a part of this story. In a transitory town like Brandon, we typically have to take in 40 new members every year just to maintain.

So what I have done is to search and interview and listen, and to try to find the following:

  • PC(USA)

    A single thread of continuity – a strand of DNA if you will – that knits the half-century together

  • The evolving story of the personality of the church, and what particular events contributed to that evolution.
  • Who, now that we’re all grown up, have we become? Because the most important element of this historical document is not so much the past as what that past has led to in terms of faithful witness to God’s love and care in this community

So today, and over the next two weeks, my primary writing task will be to actually write this history of fpcBrandon. I’ll likely share some vignettes along the way. It may be my most interesting book yet.


I love taking pictures of people having their picture taken!

– Photos taken, by me, during Rebekah’s official “staff-photo” shoot yesterday.

Ah, it’s “Picture Directory” time again. People have been in and out of the church all day every day this week, sticking their heads in the preacher’s office, chatting up and down the halls, pretty-much grinding day-to-day operations to a halt. But it’s all good, because when else can Rebekah fit in dozens of quality pastoral visits per day for an entire week?

So 3:00 was our turn in front of the camera. A few people asked us why Andrew and Naomi weren’t going to be in the picture with us! Seriously? They haven’t lived here in years! Then a few others said they don’t like doing these directories because their mug-shots always look so different from the time before….

"The Preacher" circa 1997

Personally, I think we all look just fine. This will be the third go-round at this church and the first since the kids left home. But I’m OK with the passage of time. We are who we are, and there are plenty of younger families in the church now who have joined since the last directory was produced.

So I stole a few “behind the scenes” photographs while Rebekah was having her staff head-shot taken. Then I pulled out some pics from when we first moved here (see left). In my humble opinion, The Preacher continues to look better every year.

My favorite preacher!

And, if aging a decade and a half at First Presbyterian of Brandon adds up to:

  • Increasing in beauty…
  • 15 years of additional wisdom…
  • Finely tuned preaching skills…
  • Developing a cutting-edge staff…
  • Plus all this experience as senior pastor at a vibrant faith community…

…Then I’d have to say, “Bring on the next decade, because the best is yet to come!”

I’m looking forward to it – and to the next church picture directory – DEREK

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