Keely graduated high school Saturday and the following is my prepared speech for her. I’m very proud of her and I’m posting it here so that she’ll never forget.


To really know Keely is to really love and admire her. But it’s not that easy to get to know her. One might think she’s shy, but that’s not really the case at all. She is quiet, reserved and wise beyond her years. She is a rock. Self-assured, calm, slow to speak and slow to act. Which explains the 20 hour labor she put her mother through. 


She is about the most content person I know. She loves people and being around others, but she’s just as happy to be home wrapped in a blanket watching tv alone, except for our
dog, Toby who will be buried deep in her blanket at all times. Her name Keely means beautiful and one look at her and you know she lives up to that name, but more than that is her beautiful spirit. And everyone in this room is blessed enough to know her and know that is so true.


I really don’t have much wise fatherly advice to give her. She’s taught me as much I’ve taught her.

One example is from almost 6 years ago when she was just 12 years old. We had been visiting several churches over a period of a few months, including Elevation Church. One day Keely approached Sandra and I and told us that we could keep visiting other churches but she was done. She was only going to Elevation from now on and if we couldn’t take her, she would catch a ride with her Uncle Joel. She wasn’t asking. She was politely telling us in her determined sweet way. I looked at Sandra and said that I didn’t feel God leading us anywhere else, so why not  go with it? Keely immediately joined Miss Denise’s small group, joined a volunteer team and 6 years later, she’s still involved with both. In fact, she is now a student leader on the volunteer team.

 So, I can only counsel her as my Heavenly Father has counseled me.


You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

You are an overcomer.

You are more than a conqueror.

You are a friend of God.

All things are possible for you.

You are free from condemnation.

All things can work out good for you.

You don’t have a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.

God will complete the good work He has started in you.


You are a child of the King and that makes you a princess. You are royalty. As a father I have
tried to protect and guard you as tightly as I have been able to because you are a valuable and precious jewel. I said before that you are a rock and you are, Keely, but your more than that. You’re not an ordinary rock. You are rare
and polished and smooth and you shine brightly in a world that is becoming over run by darkness.


Love others, but don’t ever sell yourself short. Don’t compromise who you are to please anyone else. Always live to please the Lord and that is more than enough. 

I love you, Keely.

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