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Baccalaureate ceremony held for PCHS grads

Keeping faith in God and avoiding life’s temptations were messages imparted to members of Pulaski County High School’s graduating class Sunday.
A capacity crowd of graduates and family members turned out for a baccalaureate ceremony at Dublin United Methodist Church Sunday afternoon.
The students will receive their diplomas Friday evening during the high school’s 35th Annual Commencement.
Baccalaureate is a religious ceremony that serves as a farewell sermon to the graduates. Students are not required to attend the service.
Class of 2009 Vice President Hayes Owens pointed out that those in attendance were there by choice and asked the students to “never forget the support you have as a Christian.”
Student baccalaureate speaker Jacob Llaneras delivered an upbeat message to his fellow students that encouraged them to make their lives a “living sacrifice to God.”
When they encounter both good and bad times in their lives, he said they should turn to God in conversation through prayer because “he waits for us to come to him.”
He noted that lives are most fulfilled “when we love and worship God.”
Llaneras said turning ones life over to God is a personal gain. He equated it to the stock market, but added that, unlike the stock market, God is “guaranteed to be worth it.”
While he acknowledged that most of the graduates will “conform to the ways of the world,” he encouraged them to fight the conformity by “renewing your mind” through the Bible. He said it’s difficult to refrain from conforming, but “it’s impossible when you don’t know Jesus.”
Llaneras described the Bible as the recycle bin of a computer – a way to dump the ways of the world and renew the mind and soul. He said everyone should be able to spend some time reading the Bible if they are able to spend hours watching television.
“Stay away from the bad and fill your life up with Christ,” he urged. “Don’t be an anorexic Christian.
“By offering ourselves as a living sacrifice and being non-conformists, we can change the world,” he concluded. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
As part of his address, Bishop W. David Hoover of Pulaski Christian Church interjected some humor by asking the graduates how many were glad to be graduating. He urged them not to be shy about raising their hands because “the people behind you (parents) are (glad) too.
“Have they told you what they’re going to do with your room yet?” he asked.
Just as today’s graduates, Rev. Jimmy Garland of Trinity Baptist Church said he graduated in a time of uncertainty – when gas prices were “soaring (from 50 to 90 cents per gallon) along with unemployment.
He said he understands the concerns the students might have about their futures in today’s world, but he encouraged them to persevere nonetheless.
As Christians, Garland urged the graduates to “be an example” of what a Christian is because “you may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”
He said they should choose their words cautiously because “you can influence people by the words you use. Words are powerful. They’ll help people understand who you are, but they can also help shape who they are.”
Garland encouraged the graduates to enjoy life, but also “remember there’s an accounting for what you do.” Although something may seem insignificant at the time, he noted that our actions come back on us eventually.
He said the biggest problem with religion today is people claiming to be Christians, but not living like they are.
Garland also pointed out that the graduates have already accomplished much in their lives.
“You’re all heroes and today we salute you,” he said.
The Rev. Joe Blankenship of Rock Youth Center said God wants the students to enjoy the satisfaction of their graduations, but then “God wants you focusing on what’s to come and grasp every opportunity life offers.
“There will be happy times and sad times, successes and failures … Through each God wants you to grow into the men and women he wants you to be.
“Don’t let failure hold you down. Good men and women are going to get knocked down, but it’s the great who get back up again,” he added.
He also told the graduates not to sell themselves short, noting that he would rather try something great and fail than do nothing and succeed.
He also reminded the students “success doesn’t mean you have a big bank account.”
Blankenship imparted four suggestions for a successful life: choose happiness, change your words, dare to be who you are, and give.
“Happiness is a decision you make,” he said. “Look for the good in everything and I guarantee you’ll find it.”
As for words, he said choose words wisely and have a positive outlook on life. “Remember when you say those words, you can’t get them back.”
He urged the graduates to be themselves because “if God had wanted you to be alike he would have made you that way … The original is always worth more than a copy.”
He suggested the students give of themselves to others and not feel the universe centers around them.
In conclusion, he said the graduates should not be “afraid to color outside the lines.”

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Baccalaureate ceremony held for PCHS grads

Keeping faith in God and avoiding life’s temptations were messages imparted to members of Pulaski County High School’s graduating class Sunday.
A capacity crowd of graduates and family members turned out for a baccalaureate ceremony at Dublin United Methodist Church Sunday afternoon.
The students will receive their diplomas Friday evening during the high school’s 35th Annual Commencement.
Baccalaureate is a religious ceremony that serves as a farewell sermon to the graduates. Students are not required to attend the service.
Class of 2009 Vice President Hayes Owens pointed out that those in attendance were there by choice and asked the students to “never forget the support you have as a Christian.”
Student baccalaureate speaker Jacob Llaneras delivered an upbeat message to his fellow students that encouraged them to make their lives a “living sacrifice to God.”
When they encounter both good and bad times in their lives, he said they should turn to God in conversation through prayer because “he waits for us to come to him.”
He noted that lives are most fulfilled “when we love and worship God.”
Llaneras said turning ones life over to God is a personal gain. He equated it to the stock market, but added that, unlike the stock market, God is “guaranteed to be worth it.”
While he acknowledged that most of the graduates will “conform to the ways of the world,” he encouraged them to fight the conformity by “renewing your mind” through the Bible. He said it’s difficult to refrain from conforming, but “it’s impossible when you don’t know Jesus.”
Llaneras described the Bible as the recycle bin of a computer – a way to dump the ways of the world and renew the mind and soul. He said everyone should be able to spend some time reading the Bible if they are able to spend hours watching television.
“Stay away from the bad and fill your life up with Christ,” he urged. “Don’t be an anorexic Christian.
“By offering ourselves as a living sacrifice and being non-conformists, we can change the world,” he concluded. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
As part of his address, Bishop W. David Hoover of Pulaski Christian Church interjected some humor by asking the graduates how many were glad to be graduating. He urged them not to be shy about raising their hands because “the people behind you (parents) are (glad) too.
“Have they told you what they’re going to do with your room yet?” he asked.
Just as today’s graduates, Rev. Jimmy Garland of Trinity Baptist Church said he graduated in a time of uncertainty – when gas prices were “soaring (from 50 to 90 cents per gallon) along with unemployment.
He said he understands the concerns the students might have about their futures in today’s world, but he encouraged them to persevere nonetheless.
As Christians, Garland urged the graduates to “be an example” of what a Christian is because “you may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”
He said they should choose their words cautiously because “you can influence people by the words you use. Words are powerful. They’ll help people understand who you are, but they can also help shape who they are.”
Garland encouraged the graduates to enjoy life, but also “remember there’s an accounting for what you do.” Although something may seem insignificant at the time, he noted that our actions come back on us eventually.
He said the biggest problem with religion today is people claiming to be Christians, but not living like they are.
Garland also pointed out that the graduates have already accomplished much in their lives.
“You’re all heroes and today we salute you,” he said.
The Rev. Joe Blankenship of Rock Youth Center said God wants the students to enjoy the satisfaction of their graduations, but then “God wants you focusing on what’s to come and grasp every opportunity life offers.
“There will be happy times and sad times, successes and failures … Through each God wants you to grow into the men and women he wants you to be.
“Don’t let failure hold you down. Good men and women are going to get knocked down, but it’s the great who get back up again,” he added.
He also told the graduates not to sell themselves short, noting that he would rather try something great and fail than do nothing and succeed.
He also reminded the students “success doesn’t mean you have a big bank account.”
Blankenship imparted four suggestions for a successful life: choose happiness, change your words, dare to be who you are, and give.
“Happiness is a decision you make,” he said. “Look for the good in everything and I guarantee you’ll find it.”
As for words, he said choose words wisely and have a positive outlook on life. “Remember when you say those words, you can’t get them back.”
He urged the graduates to be themselves because “if God had wanted you to be alike he would have made you that way … The original is always worth more than a copy.”
He suggested the students give of themselves to others and not feel the universe centers around them.
In conclusion, he said the graduates should not be “afraid to color outside the lines.”

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