Reverend Larry D. Neal and his wife, Judy, have been serving Christ and his church in Perry for more than 25 years.  They, along with the church family, invite you to join us in our worship and work.

A Word from our Pastor

Commencement Advice

 I was on my morning walk recently and was reminded of a graduation in the neighborhood.  There were “You Did It!” signs on either side of the driveway, colored balloons tethered to the mailbox, and a banner of congratulations tacked above the garage door.  The little blond haired girl down the street, that I had watched grow up from a distance, was graduating from high school.  It took me back to thoughts of other graduations … all the way back to the last century … all the way back to my own high school graduation.

One recent commencement speaker told his audience that he prepared his advice for them by asking himself this question:  “What do I know now, that I wish I had known when I graduated?”  I didn’t much care for the speaker’s answer but the question stayed with me.  What do I know now, that I wish I had known way back then?

I wish I had known then how holy each and every day is. 

When I graduated from high school, it seemed everything pointed to the future.  Oh, the places you will go, the sights you will see, the things you will do, the people you will meet, the rewards you will reap, the life you will live.  Those promises were intended to inspire graduates like me and I have to say that they went a long way in shaping my world view which became more and more future-oriented jordan v.  I began to climb for the future and before I completed any step, I was already reaching for the next rung on the ladder … so much so that I couldn’t appreciate the present because I was looking so to the future. 

A recent seminary graduate and I were talking about our common alma mater.  I confessed to him that my only regret during my student days was my hurry to get them behind me.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have relished the gift more. 

I suppose the older I get, the more I think about God’s activity in the here and now.  And maybe the young, because they are young, will always focus more on the future than the present very cheap air max.  But for those who are able to hear the advice … recent and not-so-recent graduates … let me say what I say almost every Sunday morning as we begin our worship, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)  What better way to commence the rest of your life?

Pastor Larry