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Located in: Valrico, Florida
Submitted: March 17, 2008
Tell us a little about yourself. I write several weekly columns that run in the Tampa Tribune. My commentary and features have appeared in Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, and many other print and online publications. My mission, writing in secular publications, is to expose people to the Gospel who otherwise might not read about faith. I'm married to Rebekah Maul, a Presbyterian pastor. We have two children, Andrew and Naomi,and a son-in-law, Craig. At church I teach adult Sunday school, small-group ministry, and a mens Bible study/spiritual formation group; I also play guitar in the Praise Band. I enjoy the outdoors,traveling,photography, reading, cooking, music, and golf.
What was your motivation behind this project? To write a book that connects men to Jesus in a powerful way, both committed Christians and those who are on the edge of making a serious decision to follow Jesus. I've worked with men's ministry for several years, and there just isn't enough writing out there that encourages men in a deeper spiritual walk; especially men in "mainline" denominations.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? My prayer is that men will take steps to follow Jesus more closely, that they will be inspired and instructed when they read "GET REAL." I pray that this project will encourage men in such a way that entire faith communities will see revitalization. I want people to move from the periphery and into lives or authentic life-changing faith!
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Spiritual journaling is powerful; I couldn't write about faith without being led into a deeper walk in the telling. Also, interviewing other people and learning their stories has helped me see Jesus in new and inspirational ways.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? The Gospel of John; Philip Yancey; John Ortberg; my wife - Rebekah Maul; Henry Nouwen; Don Miller... there are many more.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Before becoming a full-time writer, I taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. PS. Please include a picture of "GET REAL" with your listing! Thanks - DEREK