UT Martin graduation

I love going home to West Tennessee.

I had the pleasure of heading to UT Martin to assist with commencement earlier today.  One of the most satisfying moments while working in higher education is witnessing a graduation ceremony. There are lots of moments to celebrate in one’s life- and college graduation is one of the greatest.

My job was to welcome the graduates into the University of Tennessee family.  I congratulated them on their achievement and commended them for their perseverance.  Many had experienced some sort of hardship.  They had all encountered obstacles.  Some took a quick route to their degree…while others had to delay their journey due to illness, finances or other unforeseen struggle.  Their journey to the degree was irrelevant at this point, however.  They were graduating and moving on to a new set of experiences. I stood on that pine wood stage and witnessed these students enter a new chapter of their lives.  They were renewed.

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the hints that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16

We have all struggled.  We’ve all encountered stress and strife.  But Jesus Christ offers us the opportunity for renewal every day.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,…  Ephesians 1:7

What a blessing to have the promise of a fresh start through God’s love and unending grace.

Congratulations to all new graduates across our country this December…and thank God for the forgiveness and renewal offered every day through the blood of Jesus.

God bless you.  Let me know if I can pray for you.


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