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Summary: A message to the high school graduating class of 2006 at Dakota Community Church and KOZ Youth Mission.

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June 11, 2006

Dakota Community Church

Honor Our Graduates

Introduction:

Welcome again and thank you to the parents for allowing their children to be a part of KOZ. Special occasions like this are one of the best things about being a pastor.

Today I want to quickly give you the three most important challenges I can for facing the future.

1. Face your fears.

What’s holding you back?

As you think about all the possible paths your life could take from this moment, as you consider your hopes and dreams; is there something that causes you to draw back?

Fear is a crippling force.

The command to "fear not" appears in the Bible 62 times and is the most repeated command. Most of those 62 times it is followed by the most repeated promise, “I am with you.”

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Everything in life worth having or doing is an opportunity to give in to or to overcome fear.

If you attempt a field of difficult study, you risk failure.

If you travel the world, you risk the danger of the unknown.

If you give your heart in love, you risk pain and betrayal.

If you invest, you risk loss of your investments.

If you refuse to take the risks you can never taste the rewards. Fear is a thief that will rob you of life itself.

Proverbs 28:1

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

2. Walk with God.

I’m not talking about being religious; I’m talking about being spiritual.

I’m not talking about being legalistic; I’m talking about true freedom.

Most of us do things we later regret in life, walking with God keeps those things from becoming permanent.

Even good things like joining a Church can turn bad. When you walk with God He will keep you from checking your brain at the door.

Cults desire conformity, and control, Jesus desires individual interdependence and freedom.

Job 29:4

Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house.

John 15:15-16

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.

3. Treasure every moment.

Life is a gift, treasure it!

James 4:14

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Quotes:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, And go do that, Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

- Gil Baillie

T.E. Lawrence once said, "All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to the day to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for the many act out their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible..."

Here is a passage from the sermon Kyle Lake was going to preach the morning he died at University Baptist Church.

Live. And Live Well.

BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now.

On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.

If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE.

Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.

If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.

Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed.

If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own.

If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well.

At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you ache. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.

How powerful a final message is that?

Illustration:

In the movie "Dead Poet’s Society," Robin Williams plays the role of a teacher in an exclusive eastern prep school. On the first day of school, he takes the class of boys out into the hallway to look at the pictures of past, now dead, graduates of the school. He motivates them to learn and excel in life with the following words: "We are food for worms, Lads! Believe it or not each and every one of us in this room one day will stop breathing, turn cold, and die. Step forward and see these faces from the past. They were just like you are now. They believed they were destined for great things. Their eyes are full of hope. But, you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. If you listen real close, you will hear them whisper their legacy to you. Lean in. What do you hear?" Then Robin says in an eerie grave-like voice, ’Carpe Diem!’ (Latin for seize the day) "Seize the day boys! Make your lives extraordinary!"

Power Point Available on request – dcormie@mts.net

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