Pomp & Circumstance
Well, it is that time of year again! Time for the end of school year, and time for graduations. Graduations are a fun time, the graduates are joyful that their school is over (at least that level), the parents are proud, joyful, and thankful, and the faculty and teachers are proud and thankful that some of their students won’t be back. Then there are the ones who get to speak at graduation. I think every graduation has a commencement speaker, and maybe a few students who get to speak.
I have personally been a graduate three different times. In high school, I was Salutatorian, so I was asked to give a speech. Looking back, it was the first time, to speak in front of a large crowd. I am sure none of my class will ever forget our high school graduation, since the student selected to sing the school song, butchered it up. My two graduations at Texas Tech were also enjoyable. I definitely had a sense of accomplishment.
I was thinking about the commencement speeches, and all the advice that is offered to the graduates as they close one chapter of life, and prepare to launch into the next chapter. We would probably be amazed at all the advice offered if we could read all the speeches given at all the graduations taking place. Obviously, some of that advice, we would agree with, while we would scoff at other advice.
Looking back at life, what advice would you offer to a new graduate? The advice I would offer is this: always learn and improve yourself, always set goals for yourself (make them ones you can achieve, then use your knowledge acquired through this experience, to set new goals, enjoy the experience and others around you, as you reach your goals, and to help others who may be struggling on their journey of life.
I found some graduation advice on a blog called Katiesjournal.org. This advice would be good for all of us. Here is the advice, she offered. First, be open to new ideas, but stay grounded in God’s timeless truth (Hebrews 13:8). Second, there is no end to learning and studying – you could always do more (Ecclesiastes 12:13, & Psalm 147:11). Third, be prepared to make friends; love them well and show them Christ (Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 27:17). Fourth, learn how to budget and faithfully steward your money (1Timothy 6:6, Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs12:24). Her last advice college seems long, but goes by fast. Isn’t that true of life in general?
I was also wondering what the Word of God said about following instructions and advice, so I did a google search. I found some good stuff. Sometimes we may not want to admit it, but God is there to give us good advice, we just have to be willing to receive His guidance. I have divided the verses into 3 main categories: why we should seek the Lord’s advice, How the Lord gives us His advice, and descriptions of a person who seeks the Lord advice
Why seek the Lord’s advice
If we seek His advice, He will make our paths straight. Proverbs 3:5&6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him. And He will make your paths straight.” Psalm 32:8 says it this way, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you”. Second, if we seek His advice, we gain wisdom. Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future”. Third, God’s advice is our source of life. Proverbs 4:13, “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she if your life”.
How the Lord gives us Advice.
There are two main ways that God gives us His advice and instructions. The first way is through the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16&17 says, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active , sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrows, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”.
The second way we get the Lord’s advice is through the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. John 16:13 says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on his own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come”.
Description of one who seeks the Lord’s advice.
The person who seeks the Lord’s advice is on the path of life. Proverbs 10:17 says “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path of life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray”. This person is wise. Proverbs 10:8 “The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin”. The person who seeks the Lord’s advice is blessed. Proverbs 8:32-36 says, “And now O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting besides my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself, all who hate me love death”.
Best advice of all
Like I mentioned previously, the advice given to the graduates of 2016 would be quite interesting and extensive. Some we would say “Amen” while others we would quickly reject. In closing, there are two great pieces of advice from God’s word (there are a lot, but these two quickly came to mind). The first is to continue to live your life in such a way that you can obtain your eternal prize, and in the meantime learn more about God. Philippians 3:12-14 says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. The second piece of advice is to Love God radically, and others around you in the same way. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “And He (Jesus) said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love the your neighbor as yourself.’”
All-Star Sports Camp
All-Star Sports Camp 2016 is set for July 18-22, and will be held at OL Slaton Middle School in Central Lubbock. The time for camp is quickly approaching. We are excited to see what God does at camp this year. We have all of our puppet scripts written, and will begin working on our worship songs next week.
This year our theme is Finish what you Start based on 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful. So a crown will be given to me for pleasing the Lord”. Our daily themes will spell out START. Monday will be Stay focused based on Hebrews 12:2. Tuesday will be Train for the Race based on 1 Timothy 4:8. Wednesday will be Ask God for strength based on Isaiah 40:31. Thursday we will discuss Run with perseverance based on James 1:12. On Friday, we will discuss Throw off sin based on Hebrews 12:1.
I mentioned our puppet scripts being written. For those who don’t know, we have two puppets that come during worship. The puppets are Grandma Sophia and Grandpa Roberto. This year, the puppets are going to come share stories from the Bible that contains people running. Here are the stories: Jonah trying to run away from God, David running to fight Goliath, the father of the prodigal son running to meet him, Mary running from the empty tomb to tell the disciples and Peter & John running to the empty tomb, and Philip running to share the gospel with the Ethiopian Eunuch. At the cookout on Friday night, the will share Zacchaeus running to see Jesus
Like always, we need your involvement. Like always there are three ways. First is to be praying for the camp. Pray for enough helpers, and for the kids who will be at camp, that they will meet Jesus at camp. Second, we need volunteers. We need people to help with each activity (baseball, basketball, football, soccer, arts & crafts, cheerleading and praise dance), registering children at camp, and helping with snacks and meals. Every volunteer will need to complete a volunteer application, as well as attend one of our volunteer orientations before camp. Here is our volunteer orientation schedule:
June 11th 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Dream Center 1111 30th St. (snacks provided)
June 25th 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Dream Center 1111 30th St. (snacks provided)
June 28th 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Hope Community/Asbury UMC 2005 Ave. T (dinner provided)
July 16th 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Dream Center 1111 30th St. (snacks provided)
The last way you can become involved is through being a camp sponsorship. We have most of the costs of camp covered, but we like to be prepared for any last minute expenses. We welcome donations of any amount, but we suggest that to sponsor a child for camp, that the donation is $25 per child. Our largest expenses with camp are renting the school, and all the goodies (t-shirt, Bible, backpack, and bracelet) the children get for coming to camp.
To fill out a volunteer application (print or done online), register a child for camp (print, or done online), or to make a donation for camp, please visit our webpage: www.livingabundantlytx.com.
GYM & GYL
After taking a year off from GYM & GYL, we hosted another session of the program this spring. We had 4 young ladies who completed the program. The participants were: Keyondra Horton, Xane Moore, Savannah Pannell, and Natalia Young. This session, we had two of our former graduates, Destoney Young and Gyannia Molock who came and served as mentors and helpers. This session, we added a new topic, Having a Relationship with God, and we had two new speakers. All the speakers did a great job, and the participants learned a lot. I would have to say, that this group of participants are on their way to living a life of dedication and service to the Lord. Instead of a graduation service, we had a dinner for the participants and their families at a local steak house. We will hopefully run another session of GYM & GYL in the fall, and more information will be provided in the next newsletter.
HIMpacT We had planned on having a couple of activities this semester, but due to schedules and other events, we were not able to do those events.
One of the things that we realized that we need to do is that we need to help children, who makes a decision at sports camp, get grounded in the faith and also help them connect to a Godly mentor and/or church if they don’t have one already. One of the things we are considering is to take one Saturday a month for 6 months, and meet with a group of children from camp, and teach them the basics of the faith (God, prayer, Jesus, Holy Spirit, etc.). We will probably need help with this aspect. We hope to have some more details about this component in our next newsletter.
Our annual golf tournament toke place on April 30th. This year we raised just over $7,000. We had 18 teams that played in the tournament. We would like to acknowledge all those that played in the tournament this year: We also want to acknowledge those who helped at the tournament and those who played in the tournament. Debra Atkins, Eddie Avery Bill Bizzell, Tess Bliss, Tony Bliss, Millie Booe, Caylene Caddell, Marshall Clark, Glenn Clayton, Brent Coffey Eddie Crowder, Kyle Cummings, Scott Cummings, Carey Dayton, Leric Eaton, Lee Eulenbach, Jon Furbee, Miguel Garcia, Jerry Garza, Scott Goodrich, Ed Gotcher, Dave Hagberg, Patick Hanford, Mike Harvey, Gary Horton, Chris Howard, C.j. Huff, Kirk Jackson, Margo Lauderdale, Milton Lee, Kevin Lingor, Roco Love, Danny Lucio, Jim Macke, Jordan Madewell, Cullen Manny, Greg Mayer, Rudy McElroy, Danny Milburn, Casey Moses,Esther Moses, David Mullins, Frank Mullins, Nathaniel Mullins, Dan Odom, Mike Pesina, Jason Phillips, Justin Phillips, Steven Pierce, Rick Postel, Brad Pruitt, Kay Pruitt, Brad’s & Kay’s son, Tom Rask, Greg Ricks, Matt Rose, Gleen Samuels, Kyle Schlabs, Justin Sharbutt, Chist Sharp, Donald Smith, JimmyBrandi Stallings, Roy Strange, Richard Suit, Jesse Terrazas, Bill Thomas, Johnathan Thompson, Alex Trevino, Bill Waller, Matt Ward, Tabatha Wilson, James Winn,Randy Wolcott Rick Wolcott and Bill Wrench.
We also had a lot of generous sponsors. Our sponsors for the tournament were: VIP Sponsor: Craig & Ann McDonald; Gold Sponsors: Aldersgate Church, Al & Nancy Manny; Silver Sponsor: First Bank & Trust & Anonymous; Bronze Sponsors: Alderson Auto Group, Windmill Financial Services, Scarborough Specialties, Brent Coffey and Scott Goodrich, Southwest Regional Wound Care Center, and Lighthouse Fundraising. We also had several businesses and restaurants who donated items for the gift bags that each player received, or donated items for door prizes. These are the businesses that donated such items: Abuelo’s Tacqueria, Alamo Drafthouse, Applebee’s, Aspen Creek, Back 40 Grill, Bahama Bucks, Bethenbough Homes, BJs, Buns over Texas, Cheddar’s, Chipotle, Chuy’s, Cotton Patch, Dickey’s BBQ, FC Dallas, Donationmatch.com, Gator Bayou, Golden Corral, Golf Headqaurters, Golf USA, Houston Astros, Joe’s Crab Shack, Keva Juice, Longhorn Steaks, McAlister’s Deli, Menchies Frozen Yogurt, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Olive Garden, On the Border, Outback Steakhouse, Painting with a Twist, Qdoba, Raising Canes, Rib Crib, Rockfish Grill, Rudy’s, Starbucks, Teddy Jacks, Texas Land & Cattle, Texas Rangers, Tide Dry Cleaners, Travel Set Go, United Supermarket, and Walt Disney Land.