We are into what most of us would call the beginnings of summer.  Memorial Day is the marker that most folks use as their guide.  It used to always signal the end of school too, or as I remember it anyway.  School started after Labor Day and ended at or before Memorial Day.  That was then and this is now.  Now we have a couple of young folks who are ending their school years and embarking on new paths.  Aubri Brown and Brandin Stokes are proud to be graduates in the class of 2015 at HCCHS and MNHHS.  They are going to be quickly approaching new experiences into possibly uncharted waters.  The great thing about them is that I believe that they will jump into the opportunities, and life for them will be good.

Our advice to Aubri and Brandin is the same as it has been in the past to others who have graced our family here at First Pres.  Take life in for all it has to give and don’t ever lose sight of the One who gave you life in the first place.  God has given each of you a unique design that only you can fulfill and that’s to be you.  There’s never been anyone exactly like you and that was God’s intent for all of His children.  Though we live in a culture that celebrates individuality for what it can gain us, God reminds us that our unique gifting was created to glorify Him and to serve others.  In Paul’s letter to the Philippians he reminds them, with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, that to think too highly of yourselves is to lose sight of the One who’s image you were created in.  That’s not to say, though, that you should think too lowly of yourselves either, but see everyone as a special and unique one of a kind hand crafted work of art, crafted by the One who created all that we see and know!

So, Aubri and Brandin live life to the fullest and don’t allow the worries of today or tomorrow weigh too heavily on you.  Don’t allow disappointments and failed attempts keep you from trying.  Life is filled with opportunities to try something you’re not confident enough to try, but at least try.  Surround yourselves with people who will help you grow in your faith and understanding of Jesus Christ.  But don’t be afraid to allow those who don’t share your faith into your life.  How else will they see Jesus if not through you?  You will have doubts and you will have questions and God welcomes anyone who would ponder and wonder about the mysteries of life and truth.  Just know that the Giver of Life will always bring you into the light of the truth.  He knows you.  He made you, and He loves you more than you can ever fully imagine!  And this family here is the one He designed to be known to the whole world.  So know that this body of Christ is just one of many that will welcome you into their midst.  Family is the fabric that weaves us all into the fellowship of believers of the Way of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  And you will always have a place here no matter where life takes you.  We love you and are so proud of who you are and what you have accomplished in your lives!  May you always know how good God is all the time, and may His Peace be yours now and forever as you walk with the power and presence of His Spirit within you!

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?  Any comfort from his love?  Any fellowship together in the Spirit?  Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  Philippians 2:1-5

We Love You in Christ’s Love,
Rob & The Family of First Pres, Romans 12

PS – We also want to congratulate Corey Fischels on getting his degree and graduating from USI!  Way to go Corey.  We’re so proud of you!