An  on-line cyber-church where you will find moving prayers, touching stories, inspirational sermons, penetrating thoughts, and reflections about the mighty love of God.


WelcomeToWorshipHeader.gif (8501 bytes)

To Access Previous Sermons By Title, Click Archives Button
wpe18.jpg (2984 bytes)

Other Find The Power Sites

Ministry Home Page

Virtual Church

Inspiration Storehouse

Clergy & Servants Page

Daily Devotionals

Conversations With God

Wisdom Minutes

Bible Reference Database

Prayer Pages

Affirmation Pages

Healing Pages

Contact Us

 

Faith Pages

Site Search

 

Bookmark | Share | Email | Print | More...
Bookmark and Share  

 

ChurchHomeButton.gif (1762 bytes)

ChurchPrayerRequestButton.gif (1855 bytes)

ChurchOpeningPrayerButton.gif (1843 bytes)

ChurchSoulQuestionsButton.gif (1839 bytes)

ChurchTodaysMessageButton.gif (1888 bytes)

ChurchClosingPrayerButton.gif (1830 bytes)

wpe21.jpg (2392 bytes)

 

Previous Message From Virtual Church

To The Class Of 2003: Promise And Peril

Every class that has ever put on a cap and gown for commencement has faced a future full of promise and peril. Ninety years ago, the class of 1913 did not know they would live to see World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, epidemic diseases, the Korean War, the assassination of our President in 1963, and the war in Viet Nam. The class of 1913 also had no idea their future would include television, interstate highways, a man walking on the moon, satellites orbiting the earth, computers, a cure for polio, advances against heart disease, cancer, and a number of other human maladies. Your class is no different. You face enormous promise for the future yet you also face the known perils of SARS, terrorism, nuclear war, natural disasters that are common to all generations, and the potential of another great depression.

Some of you have spent many years together. After commencement and after your commencement party you will never see some of your classmates again. You will go on and lead separate lives, furthering your education or pursuing other ambitions, and perhaps raising a family. By having attained this stature in your education you have enormous benefits that will undergird and support you the rest of your life. You will all separate after graduation and if your class is like most others, you will spread out across the country from border to border and coast to coast.

Best And Worst

In your class, your fellow students have had a wide range of experiences during your school years. Some of you will look back upon your school days as the best days of your life. Others of you may look back upon your school days as the worst ever. If you have always been on the outside looking in, be aware most of the people you think of as being on the inside are also thinking they are on the outside looking in…just like you. Your teachers, administrators, family, and all the other adults in your life have wanted your school days to be your best. At your age, many of you have had to deal with heavy-duty embarrassment, humiliation, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. These kinds of experiences are not what any of the adults in your life ever wanted for you. Although you might not have been told so, these kinds of experiences are common for people your age because you are still learning how to be a mature human being. If you have had difficulty in your school days, your difficulties can help you in the future. The life of many adults truly blossoms after having many difficulties as young persons. The difficulties of your youth can be used to make you better as you get older. Conversely, many adults who had it relatively easy as young people find adulthood to be supremely difficult.

Our Culture

Our culture and morality have changed dramatically in the last fifty years. Two generations ago, well over eighty percent of the young men and young women in my graduating class went to church every Sunday. Only one or two members of my class came from a home where there was divorce. Having gone to a small country school, we were hicks in the most wonderful way of being hicks. We would have been highly insulted at the time if someone had told us we were hicks. Our behavior and our values as a group was more like the behavior and values of students from the 1930's as opposed to the behavior and values of big city school students of the 1960's.

Challenges

You will face challenges. You will face personal challenges in furthering your education, entering a career field to support you financially, and building a strong and stable family life. However, you can win out over the challenges you face. By persevering against all odds, by treating others like they are needed and cared about, and by believing in yourself and your God, you will find happiness, peace, and contentment.

Mistakes

How you live your life is a matter of the decisions you make. We all make mistakes. Not one of us escapes life without making mistakes. However, it is not the mistakes that often do us in. What hinders us is that we so often fail to learn from our mistakes and as a consequence keep repeating the same mistakes we made in the past. Human beings have a brain, but sometimes it is very hard to tell when we see others and ourselves make the same mistake over and over again. In your life, when you make a mistake, learn from it, don't repeat it, and quickly move on.

Goals

Some of you know what you want to do in life. You are intently focused on a career, and for you, there is no uncertainty about your educational and career goals. For the rest of you who do not know what you want to do in life, it is imperative you find a goal and pursue it. Even if you do not know what you want to do in the future over the long term, pick small goals and pursue them with vigor. It is better to achieve small victories by pursuing small goals rather than wandering aimlessly from job to job and achieving little except aimless wandering.

Be Honest

To fully achieve your potential, it is imperative you be honest...simple to say but sometimes hard to do. You must be honest with yourself, with others, and with God. You will face personal challenges that demand you be honest. When facing personal challenges it is sometimes easier to lie to yourself, to others, and to God than it is to tell the truth. Telling yourself the truth is often difficult because telling yourself the truth means you may have to make hard decisions and make big sacrifices. Our prisons are full of people who found it nearly impossible to be honest in the past and often find it nearly impossible to be honest in the present. Your personal freedom, regardless of where you go or what you do in life, depends upon your ability to be honest. When you live a lie or tell yourself a lie, you put yourself in a prison from which there is no escape except telling the truth.

Be Chaste

Of all the things to say to a young person in 2003, this is one of the most unpopular but most important things to communicate from the generations that preceded you. In the media-soaked world we all live in, refraining from having sex before marriage is an idea that is almost a joke today according to the mores of our present pop culture. Most people your age would be highly embarrassed to admit to their peers they were chaste or virgins. Our media-soaked world has made pre-marital sex seem to be normal and expected. Television and movies have glorified sex out of wedlock, and television and movies have not been honest about the consequences of premarital sex. When we get married, we all want to be first in the eyes of the person we marry. If the person you marry is not a virgin, you will know you were not the first person in the life of your marital partner. If you are not a virgin when you get married and your marital partner knows it, your partner will know they were not the first person in your life. A single mother who bore a son out of wedlock a few years ago told me her son lacked for nothing. What she did not understand is that her son did lack for something. Her son lacked a dad in the home with whom her son could play video games, go to ball games, go fishing, and do the hundreds of other things dads can do with their sons and daughters. What the glamorous messages of television and movies do not tell you about having sex out of wedlock is that being a parent today is difficult, and being a single parent is extremely difficult for the parent and sometimes for the child.

Give

It is better to give than to take. Because people your age often think real life is or should be like television and the movies, the difficulties of finding a mate and staying married are unduly magnified. For most people who stay married today, their secret is giving to each other instead of taking from each other. When two people in any relationship want to selfishly take instead of give, trouble is the outcome. In your job or profession, the more you try to take from the job instead of give to it, the less the job will benefit you. In your educational endeavors, which for most of you will last for the rest of your life, the more you give the more you will receive. One of the fundamental laws of success in life is about giving and taking. Those persons who give the most are the most successful because the more you give the more you receive back.

Do The Right Thing

Love, peace and happiness are in your future if you always do the right thing the right way every time. When you don't do the right thing the right way every time, your inner life gets eaten alive by inner hate, discontentment, and unhappiness because you did something wrong. It is better for you to be poor and enjoy love, peace, and happiness in your life because you have always lived the right way than to be rich because you are a criminal. Doing wrong things may be a continual temptation throughout your life. At every age of our life, we all have choices about whether we are going to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Peace and happiness are the result of doing the right thing and not trying to wage a personal war with others. Waging a personal war with others is wrong. Waging a personal war with others results in the casualties of failed relationships…all of which can be avoided by being kind, caring, forgiving, and compassionate.

Dark Days Ahead

Every generation, including yours, faces dark times both in the world and personally. What you must always remember is there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Dark times mean, for most of us, we must make sacrifices, put off getting what we want, perhaps even giving up some of our worldly hopes and dreams. The generations that came before you faced dark times just as you will face them. Most of the inventions, freedoms, privileges, and opportunities before you today were placed before you because the generations before you faced tough times unselfishly and with a hope for your future. How you face the darkness of the future will make all the difference in whether you find happiness. Your happiness in life will not depend upon finding the right job, getting the right kind of education, finding the right husband or wife, or finding the right place to live. Your happiness in life will come to you because you have learned to give so the people in your family and in your life will have a better future. In America, all of us are immigrants. The immigrants who founded your family, perhaps generations ago, had an eye to the future. The eye to the future of your immigrant ancestors was not just an eye upon their own future but upon your future. When you live for someone else, your own life and times are filled with a hope and promise you can pass along to those who come after you. Next year, there will be another class graduating just as you are about to do. In twenty to thirty years, your children will be graduating. When you face the dark days of the future with a commitment to give the students twenty or thirty years in the future more than you were given, what you get back will be more than you gave. What you receive back when you see a commencement exercise in twenty or thirty years is the immense satisfaction in knowing others benefited greatly from your life.

 

Bookmark | Share | Email | Print | More...
Bookmark and Share  
Other Virtual Church Pages
Search Sermons By Topical Key Word
| Home | Opening Prayer  | Prayer Requests  |
| Questions For The Soul  |
|  Questions For The Soul Archive |
Previous Sermon Archive  |
Prayer Archives

For A Fast, Complete Search Of All Sites Use
Site Search Engine [Go]


Other Find The Power Sites

Ministry Home Page

Virtual Church

Inspiration Storehouse

Clergy & Servants Page

Daily Devotionals

Conversations With God

Wisdom Minutes

Bible Reference Database

Prayer Pages

Affirmation Pages

Healing Pages

Contact Us

 

Faith Pages

Site Search

 

Shepherd's Care Ministries
TUCSON,  AZ


Your Feedback Is Treasured.
Please
[CLICK HERE]
To Give Us Your Feedback

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Rev. Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018