A Dozen Things For Every Grad To Remember


Today, I wrote a post on our university blog. I thought it might fit well here too:

A Dozen Things For Every Graduate To Remember:



  1. Develop a spirit of gratitude. ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
  2. Start by thanking God. ~1 Chronicles 16:34
  3. Then, thank your parents. ~Ephesians 6:2
  4. Keep learning. ~Proverbs 27:11;  1 Corinthians 2:15
  5. Fight any Tendency Toward Fear. ~ Deuteronomy 31:8     
  6. Find or reconnect with a church home. ~Acts 2:42
  7. Rethink failure. ~Job 4:4;  1 Samuel 2:4
    Failure isn’t getting it wrong. It’s having never tried.)
  8. Take time to Reflect. ~Psalm 49:3
  9. Be Mindful of Your Thoughts and Turn them into Joy. ~2 Corinthians 10:5
  10. Let Love Be Your Guide: “Loved people love people.” ~Titus 3:14
  11. Remember, God will always love you. ~John 3:16
  12. Remember, you are enough: Moses didn’t think he was qualified enough. Gideon didn’t think he was strong enough. Sarah didn’t think she was young enough. The woman at the well didn’t think she was holy enough. Zacchaeus didn’t think he was tall enough. God takes you as you are. He’ll qualify you and strengthen you. He’ll give you what you need.

Readers, What advice would you give to a graduate?



Adapted from: jenniferdukeslee.com

Photo credit


For Amelia On Her Graduation and Day 14

Dear Amelia:

Tomorrow, you will graduate.

For weeks I have been shopping for graduation cards. Thought I would get an early start. It is not very hard to find cards. What is difficult is finding the right sentiment inside the card. So many cards say, “Be Happy” and “I wish you all the happiness in the world.”

Problem is… I do not want this for you.

I really don’t.
I want more, much more for you than a minimalistic “Be Happy” or an elitist “all the happiness in the world.”
I don’t want to minimize you in that way and saddle you with a search for a slippery ethereal.

                                                  I want more for you.

Always have.

Of course, I probably went too far over the years. It probably would have been ok to read to you from Mother Goose instead of the biography of Marie Curie. Should have nursed you to lullabies instead of Firing Line reruns. Probably would have been ok to teach you the names of the seven dwarfs and Christmas reindeer instead of the members of the UN Security Council (but I gotta say, you rocked running around saying “Netan-yahoo!” at age 4!).

Happy, Schmappy.

My graduation wish for you is to~~~

~be thankful for every day
~say “Why Not?” frequently
~work confidently on things bigger than yourself ~ this will be your legacy
~combine confidence with compassion.
~resist pity parties- this  indicates a focus on self and away from God
~continue to see the connection between effort and results
~confidently rely on God who calls you Beloved
~continue to remember you are Love and Loved
~forgive as quickly as you are authentically able

Some people will smugly say, “well, doing all these things will make you happy.”

So will eating a pizza on the couch in your Underoos.

Please don’t fall for it.

Oh, and one more thing: Here is The BIG REVEAL

Sometimes doing all of the above  is hard, unhappy work. And, sometimes….. not….. (sshhh)… fun.               Or Happy.

Pursue them anyway. They are worth your investment. The way you feel and the way you view yourself, relationships, and circumstances often indicates whether you are living to pursue self or living to pursue God.

Fickle concepts named “happy” and “success” masquerade through people, and status, and things. They don’t deliver long term. Their promises are ever-elusive, ever-changing.  Your confidence will take a hit if you put too much faith in them. And while you heal from the pain, you won’t be able to fix the problems my generation has left you.

And My generation needs for you to fix these problems.

Happy Graduation, Amelia!

 Now, kindly, Commence!


Day 14: Confidence: Be Gentle Be Love

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