"The reality of life is this -- Scripture makes it clear to us that there's one choice for us," said Thomas Guinee. "Seniors, let me make it clear, there's one choice for you in life -- the choice to remain as you are or the choice to walk in the life."
Seniors and their parents were encouraged and honored at the baccalaureate service Friday, May 12, in the service sponsored by the Pea Ridge Area Ministerial Alliance.
Saying he had a very simple word -- a simple challenge -- for the seniors, Guinee said: "Would you make the very clear and simple choice of choosing the way of life as you walk into this great new season, as you step off this campus, as you step into the world, would you choose life?"
Referring to Deuteronomy 30, Guinee shared the final words of Moses telling students that the choice is theirs to make whether they will know Jesus and follow God.
"Religious optimism does not give you an all-inclusive pass to freedom. You can not claim Jesus and walk in your own way ... He has a plan for you and He has a purpose," Guinee said. "I really hope you're choosing life."
Sharing a three step plan, he advised the students to first, pursue God (read the Bible and pray); secondly, walk in obedience; and finally to multiply your life (share the Gospel and raise up other believers).
"God will use you to change the world," he said. "Do something different ... make your life actually count for the Gospel.
"My great challenge for you tonight is this, knowing God's way leads to life so be different and choose that way and step into it!"
Seniors were given roses to present to their parents or others who contributed significantly to them.
A video showing a photograph of the senior and a photograph of the senior as a baby or young child was shared, then the speaker, Thomas Guinee, offered inspiration and counsel.
Guinee was introduced by Jillian Elington, senior. Guinee serves as interim youth pastor for First Baptist Church, Pea Ridge, and works for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at the University of Arkansas.
Music was provided by Matt Sparks, a worship pastor from Fayetteville.