The other night my wife and I celebrated our son Michael's high school graduation at church. It was a Senior Celebration for all graduates in the youth group. This is a bad picture I took with my camera phone, but at least you can see how many young men & women in our youth group are graduating this year. Most are going off to the University of Florida or Florida State University in the fall. (That's Michael in the back row, far left.)
I am thankful my son has been part of an active, committed small group of guys in the youth group. They've been meeting together for well over a year now, reading good books and holding each other accountable. Right now they're reading The Universe Next Door, a comparative study of worldviews by James Sire (a difficult read - but to their credit they're doing it!).
When we moved to this city Michael was in the 7th grade and did not have any friends. That's a tough time to move and adapt to a new place and a new school. But God gave Michael a resilient spirit. He dove in and found a place for himself. The guys that came around him then are still there around him now. That's a special grace from God. I did not have many close male friends in high school. It's a rare thing.
Thanks to the parents who raised these boys that became my son's friends. Thanks to youth group leaders who gave a lot of time and energy to see to it that my son (and many other sons & daughters) "caught" the gospel. I really appreciate each of you.