Monday, June 2, 2008

Friends Are Friends Forever If The Lord's The Lord of Them

I will admit that I'm pretty much a traditionalist. If something is done a certain way and I get used to it like that, it's hard for me to change. I guess most people are like that. At our church, ever since I was in high school and before, we've always honored our graduates during our morning worship service. So...this year, when I heard we were going to try something new, I was a little disappointed. Instead of recognizing our seniors during the morning worship service, it was decided that we would have a special senior recognition dinner and service at night.

So, last night was our recognition service. And, let me tell you...they did it up right!! It was so very special and moving and intimate. My mind was totally changed. When we got to church we had our Recreation Outreach Center decked out with tables, balloons, candles, etc. Our dinner was catered by On The Border Mexican Restaurant. We had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins there to share dinner with us. During dinner there was a slideshow presentation of all the graduates with special pictures from all their years growing up.



Mark is so blessed because he has gone to our church ever since he was born! We have a baby dedication picture of him with so many of the seniors that are still his friends today! That is so rare. He has had the same pastor since he was one year old and has had the priviledge of growing up under the same consisitent teaching and guidance all these years. One of the pictures on the slide show was of Mark and one of his best friends today with pacifiers in their mouths!! It showed all their years of camp and mission trips and hanging out at people's houses, etc. Fun times! And, needless to say, since Mark has grown up with all these kids, they seem like my own. I love them all.

After dinner, we went into our worship area. This part of the night was open to the whole church. The graduates marched in and our pastor spoke to them for a little while giving them advice and counsel about how to make this big transition they're about to make. It was such great advice...very practical and down to earth. Something they can really remember and take with them.

Then, each graduate had chosen someone who had played a very special part in their spiritual life. Each graduate went across the stage along with the person they were honoring. The graduates spoke a few words about this person letting them know how they had influenced their life. Mark had chosen Steve and it was very sweet. I know he was a nervous wreck. He doesn't like to talk in front of people. But he did a great job. Just hearing all their letters and kind words was so meaningful.



I just feel so blessed that Mark has such a wonderful group of friends. I kept thinking of the Michael W. Smith song, "Friends Are Friends Forever..." the whole night. There is just a special bond between friends when they have the Lord in their life. They will go their separate ways, but they will all be out in the world working toward the same goal of living their lives for God and trying to make the world a better place in Jesus' name.

I wish I had a picture of the whole senior class. Believe me, this is just a very small part of this awesome group of young people! But this was all I got last night.


Mark and some of his buds

Mark and Chandler

Mark and his cousin, Rebeccah


Mark and Chelsea....they were born one day apart. They have been friends since birth!

9 comments:

  1. This is so sweet! I think I probably would have cried the whole way through it! What special memories he will have from so many people who have made an impact on his life. Congratulations Mark!

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  2. Just reading this post made me a little weepy. Sounds like a wonderful evening to honor the graduates. I know you are so proud of Mark!

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  3. That is so sweet. Great pictures.

    I love that Michael W. Smith song. It reminds me of some great times in high school, especially with my church friends.

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  4. What a great way to honor seniors!! These are such great pics. Congrats!!

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  5. I love that Mark and his friends have known each other since the nursery. That is very rare in these days. I hope our kids will grow up with the same kids at church forever but I know people move and things change. That's also awesome that he has had the same pastor all of this time - very rare also.
    That service sounds very special. We have similar things at our church and I just love it!

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  6. I do not know your son that well, but I got tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I read this. What a great night for them!!

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  7. This is such a sweet post! Mark is truly blessed with AMAZING parents...I hope Web & I can do the same for Vance!

    It definitely made me tear up a bit!

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  8. What a precious post! I got teary reading it. I couldn't help but think how time flies by and I'll be in your shoes before I know it. As a mom, I know it has to bless your heart when your child is surrounded by Christian friends. I pray for that for my own. I know you have to be so proud of Mark. What an awesome thing your church did for the seniors!

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  9. i am crying right now! Praise God that Mark has such a godly father! oh I wish all boys had fathers to show them how to be men of faith! What a wonderful thing your husband has given your son!

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