It Doesn’t Matter, But…

It Doesn’t Does Matter, But I’ll Tell You What Does

Close to the millennium there were 11 events that took place that changed many lives.

The first event happened at 10:20pm on September 28, 1999. Not knowing what his life would hold for the future, the Fox family welcomed a bouncing baby boy.

Only a few days later on October 1, at 8 in the morning, the Martin family also welcomed a baby boy into their family.

Although both babies were boys, they had another thing in common; both boys had older sisters that had wanted a sister. So when hearing or seeing their new baby brother for the first time, they were NOT impressed. I believe it’s safe to say that they got over their disappointment and soon feel in love with the new additions.

11:10 AM on October 14, 1999 another event happened that changed another Martin family. This wee baby girl was welcomed into the world by some older siblings. It is said that this little girl holds the world record for the longest span of crying for 32 hours on a trip home from Missouri at the tender age of six weeks old.

The world seemed to be in panic mode a few days before the year 2000 began. What would happen? Would things explode? There were a lot of assumptions and theories out there, but for one family, they were welcoming a new baby into the home that was born three and half weeks early. This boy came just two days before Y2K on December 30, 1999 around 8:10 in the morning.

Ephrata Community Hospital was full of activity the day this next bundle of joy entered the world. Due on January 1, she came 10 days later at 9:51 AM. With being mom’s first little girl things sure got exciting. She showed her independence right away by refusing to be rocked to sleep but would rather go to sleep on her own.

February 2 came along and at 12:12 in the afternoon a little girl, named after her great aunt and grandmother Lois, was welcomed into the world. Being the ninth of ten children, she fit right in. At two weeks of age, she had a viral bronchial infection and nearly died, but she is here today and has been a blessing to me here at school.

February 11, 2010. Time: 1:17pm place: Ephrata Hospital. Event: the birth of another baby girl. She was first grandchild on the mother’s side and 50th grandchild on the fathers. She spoke at a very early age and learned the entire Lord’s Prayer by the age of two.

The eighth happening took place on March 1, 2000 also at the Ephrata Comm. Hospital at 12:34 in the afternoon. He was quite chunky at a young age due to his love of food and his uncle proclaimed he had “more rolls than a bread truck.”

A few months later, May 5, 2000 another baby boy was born at 7:38 AM. At a young age he found that paper, crayons and pencils were more interesting than a book and would try and pursued his parents to draw with him.

The last event took place on August 28, 2000 in a hospital in Philly. This little girl was a miracle beings that she was 3 months early and only weighed 1lb. and 8oz.

All these miracles are sitting before you today, 14 years later.

Eighth grade, tonight you are graduating from Shalom Mennonite School and leaving us for good. God has different plans for each of your lives. Up until this point, a lot of decisions have been made for you, but during the next four years, you will have more and more responsibly to make decisions for yourself; decisions that affect the rest of your life.

I have been blessed to see the drive and vision that I have seen come your class. You aren’t afraid to dream, learn and pursue.

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But to borrow some of Forest Whitcrafts words,

One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car you drove,
What kind of house you lived in,
How much you had in your bank account
Nor what your clothes looked like.
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of school you attended,
What kind of smart phone you used,
How large or small you church was,
But your life will be remembered by how faithful you were to God.

Now I’m not saying grades aren’t important, or houses, or cars or money. But in all of eternity, it doesn’t matter.

All that will matter will be that you were faithful to God. “Where You Lead I’ll Follow” is your theme for tonight, and if you follow that through life, you will never go wrong.

So as you go from here, no more to be 8th graders, remember, that wherever you go, whether Terre Hill, or homeschool and thinking ever further, the mission field or here at home, be faithful where you are and remember the decisions you make today, will affect the rest of your life.

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Congrats Class of 2018!!