Today, I celebrate fifty years walking the earth. I can honestly say that I am truly blessed. I am blessed with a Beautiful, Loving Wife, five strong, handsome sons, health and strength, and a sound mind. I have traveled most of the world and have had a career that many men would envy. I pastor the greatest church (in my opinion) in the world and am in covenant fellowship with some of the greatest Preachers, Pastors, and Teachers the world has ever known through Kingdom Covenant International, International Circle of Faith, and the All About Christ Network.
The first fifty years have been filled with both triumph and tragedy. I have had some of the most extraordinary experiences. I know what it means to see life come into the world and I have seen death up close. I have been up to my eyeballs in sin and know what it means – truly means – to be delivered. I know what it means to be a slave to religion and I know what it is to be at liberty in Christ.
I’m grateful to my Wife for her love and friendship. Angela is the love of my life and my Best Friend. She is my earthly strength, my biggest cheerleader, and my toughest critic. She is a wonderful mother and my co-laborer in the Gospel. She puts the wind beneath my wings and encourages me to soar to ever-increasing heights yet keeps me humble and grounded.
I am grateful to my parents for bringing me into the world. Although they did not bring me up together, both my Mom and my Dad imparted vital life lessons into me that helped shape me into the man I am. I’m grateful for my Mom’s tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds to raise three kids on her own – all of whom are college-educated and enjoying successful lives. I’m grateful for my Dad for never giving up on me and for sharing his strength with me during my darkest hour.
I’m grateful to my Uncle Bob for being my most consistent father-figure growing up. If it weren’t for him, I’d have been completely lacking in confidence. Uncle Bob never stopped believing in me.
I’m grateful to my Brothers and Sisters. I’m proud to say they’re not just my siblings but they are also my friends and among my closest confidants.
I’m grateful to the Ruffin and Verdier families who sustained me through the toughest period of my life and made me their own.
Of the fifty years of my life, the last ten have been dedicated to serving my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve learned that God has both an incredible sense of humor and a sense of irony. Before God showed me what ministry should look like, He showed me clearly and concisely what ministry should not look like. I know now that ministry is the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God and should reflect God’s Love and God’s Grace. I’m grateful to all the men and women of God who have selflessly poured into my life. I’m equally grateful to all the men and women who have looked upon me as a mentor and teacher. I pray that I’ve been a worthy instructor.
I’m grateful too, for all the mentors I’ve had in business, journalism, radio, television, and politics. Many of the things I’ve learned and seen in fifty years people pay a kings ransom or spend a lifetime to glean. I’m grateful to the teachers and schools who helped mold and shape my philosophy and career.
I thank God for my many acquaintances and few friends. Even fewer are the friends I call my Brothers and Sisters. These Brothers and Sisters would give me a kidney if I needed one and any of them were a match.
I’m grateful for good genes. At fifty, I have precious few grey hairs or wrinkles. I still look the same as I did at 35. Only those who know me well believe how old I am. I can still roll with the “young bucks” and don’t feel as old as I am.
I praise God in advance for the next fifty years. I look forward to meeting my grandkids and great-grandkids. I look forward to taking my Bride on the trip to Europe and Africa I promised her. More so, I look forward to taking territory for Jesus – winning souls and discipling believers, planting churches, and building schools and hospitals.
If you read all this, thank you and I love you! God Bless You! And Happy Birthday to me!
© 2012 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)