NOLEN URGES CBU GRADUATES TO PURSUE GOD'S PURPOSE
RIVERSIDE (Dec. 13, 2012)—Dr. Michael Nolen, senior pastor of Southwinds Church in Tracy, Calif., urged fall commencement candidates at California Baptist University to pursue the purpose God put on their hearts and to be the people God meant for them to be.
"Maybe truly living your purpose in the 21st century seems overwhelming," Nolen said. "To live your purpose, you must remember it is God's purpose, not ours."
Nolen delivered the commencement address to undergraduate and graduate students of the Class of 2013 during fall commencement ceremonies Dec. 13 in the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.
During his remarks, Nolen said he believes this generation—the Millennials—may be the most influential generation in America's history.
"Research says that as a generation, you are hopeful," he said. "You are realistic. You know that not all is well with the world. My generation, the Boomers, knew this and protested it. The Gen X generation knew that and was depressed about it. Millennials know but you believe you can have a role in changing it."
Nolen charged graduates to live their purpose with boldness.
"We can live with confidence because the God who gave us that purpose is sovereign," he said. "He rules over the affairs of this world. No one can stay his hand. Nothing can thwart his plans. This is your moment. More than ever, our world needs men and women who live their purpose."
Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, CBU president, conferred degrees on 95 graduate students and 264 undergraduate students for a total of 359 graduates.
Dr. Ellis also presented an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Nolen in recognition of his positive work ethic and steadfast commitment to Christian service.