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story.lead_photo.caption John Grigsby, PRHS graduate, offered the introductory prayer.

As with all other final senior events for the Pea Ridge High School Class of 2020, baccalaureate was different than it has been for all of the classes preceding them.

Baccalaureate was originally scheduled for Friday, May 15. It is sponsored by the Pea Ridge Ministerial Alliance. Because of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19, there could not be a gathering this year.

So, officials readjusted and created a virtual baccalaureate which was released at 6 p.m. Friday, May 15, when the original ceremony would have been held.

Photographs of seniors -- both current and baby pictures -- along with notes of encouragement from parents were edited on the video that is usually played on the big screen for the graduates. The opening prayer was offered by senior John Grigsby; the closing prayer was given by senior Kennadi Marler.

Tiffany Keene, who along with her husband Cody, are family and youth pastors at The Ridge Church, gave the inspirational message encouraging the students to consider their perspective, especially when facing difficult times.

"It's an honor to speak with you," Keene said. "Thank you Pea Ridge Ministerial Alliance for hosting this for the finest and most resilient class. Students, you have survived the great toilet paper shortage of 2020."

"This is it!"

"You've come to one of the final events celebrating your graduation and it looks nothing like you have imagined," she said recognizing that the students may be sitting around a screen "listening to some lady you barely know challenging you to live a life with a different perspective."

Acknowledging that each of the students has chosen a path and many are varied -- college, work, military.

"Whatever path you have chosen, it is bright because it is yours.

"We can agree our paths are never as easy, or straight, as we hope they would be. Each one of you have a personal set of accomplishments. The key to your success will be the perspective you choose to have through every high and low moment.

"Your perspective is how you interpret what's happening around you. Your perspective shapes who you are, how you think, how you engage with other people and how you take action in your every day life," she continued.

"Perspective can either create opportunity for you to grow and step out in faith or it can hinder your success and restrict your faith," she said, explaining that "a loosing perspective will say 'I can't'" whereas "a winning perspective says 'I can,' or 'I will,' or 'I'll try.'"

"A winning, faith-filled perspective says I can do all things through Christ... it's built on the foundation of God's Word," she said.

"The difference in winning and loosing at life will be your perspective. At every junction in your life, you have two choices, to look to Jesus or to look at the storm of circumstance.

"I want to encourage you to live life with a winning, faith-filled perspective," Keene said. "Just about everything in life is a matter of perspective."

"So how do you have a winning, faith-filled perspective in real life?"

Advising the students, Keene said that first, they must choose -- choose to believe that the fears that come up are true, or sulk in the disappointments or to believe God's promises and Who He is. And that secondly, they must step outside of their circumstances and instead of asking God to take away or change the circumstances, ask Him to change the way they view their circumstance.

"A winning perspective sees problems as possibilities," she said.

"Graduates, what is your perspective?

"Do you want a winning, faith-filled perspective or do you want to just get by?"

She said that whereas students may think that change requires "just grit," it mostly requires intentionality.

"Your perspective is a key to your brand new start," she concluded.

The baccalaureate program may be found on http://www.esenetworks.com/videos.aspx?id=51330.

General News on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: Choose your perspective wisely

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