The study of Ephesians is finally complete, and I’m still trying to decide on the new direction for this column. I would like to thank each of you who has stopped to let me know how much you enjoy the column. I am so glad to know you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
If you were at the baccalaureate last week sponsored by the Greenfield Area Ministerial Alliance, you, as I did, enjoyed a wonderful service honoring Greenfield’s graduates of 2012. Dustin Preston shared a beautiful song that encouraged all of us to walk in the light of god and, indeed, reflect the light of God to the world around us. Rev. Larry Wheeler, long-time pastor of Arcola Christian Church, shared an inspiring message with the students and guests. He reminded all of us that we are loved by God and that each of is special and wanted in God’s eyes. The graduating students who were able to attend received personalized, imprinted Bibles, and the graduating eighth graders received New Testaments. Thanks, as well, to everyone who contributed cakes for the reception afterward and to Main Street Baptist, who provided the punch.
The marquee in front of Ebenezer Presbyterian says, “Congratulations Class of 2012.” Because it was Ebenezer’s turn to do the worship service at DCNH this past Sunday, I was unable to attend commencement. However, I’m reprising a few of the quotes from last year for this week’s article, in honor of the graduates. Most likely they don’t read my article week to week, so if you know someone who graduated this year, could you pass it on to them? Thanks!
Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.–Art Linkletter
A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.–Francis Bacon, Essays, 1625
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.–Robert Louis Stevenson
Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable.–Wendy Wasserstein
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm–Winston Churchill
Be True to Yourself
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.–Judy Garland
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.–Dr. Seuss (Theodor Giesel)
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.–Dr. Seuss (Theodor Giesel)
Courage and Innovation
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.–David Lloyd George
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.–Milton Berle
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.–Erma Bombeck
There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.” Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.
And finally, these two quotes sum it up:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.–Ralph Waldo Emerson
What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.–Eleanor Powell
In closing, to all of you who are graduating, remember especially that you are not alone in this endeavor called life. The final two quotes come from the Apostle Paul.
Knowing God’s Will for Your Life
“Therefore, I urge you, [graduates], in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1,2).
Striving for Lasting Treasure
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. . . . But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:7,8,13,14).
May God bless you wherever God’s will may take you. Congratulations!
Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor