But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. – Galatians 5:22-23
The instructions were simple. Write out a grateful memory and then be prepared to share it out loud at the party.
Today’s party is to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday; and the grateful memory is my life – the whole thing – because without my parents there would not be a Derek, and that would mean none of the amazing inspirational memories that make up my grace-filled 62 years.
July 27, 1928, is a long time ago! My memories begin a while after my birth in 1956, and there are so many amazing things I could talk about – but all these memories have a thread of consistency, and that’s the constant of calm and reassurance, the unique blessing of a dad who loved his family with the single-minded clarity of faith rooted in love, and grace, and light, and promise.
So I can’t grab just one memory but I can – hopefully – live my life as a faithful witness to what 90-years of solid decency, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and love looks like.
“The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives,” the letter to the Galatians reads: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
So my dad – a.k.a. grandpa/great-grandpa-David – is ninety years into what it means to apply these gifts to life as a husband, father, church member, deacon, business leader, retiree, child of God.
So you want a memory? This – all of it – is my memory. It is a memory I want to preserve by living it. May the God of grace and glory work in me to honor and to sustain what has been built here.
In love, and most certainly because of love – 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.