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The Last Lecture

Back in 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch delivered a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University. He called the lecture “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” But what made this lecture so significant was not so much the topic, but the stage of life Randy was in when he gave it. He had been diagnosed with cancer, and only had a few months left, so this speech became known as “The Last Lecture.” What he said and how he said it has really inspired a lot of people.

When he talked, he was funny, smart, he talked about his field, science and engineering. He gave advice, life lessons, and even did some push-ups on stage. The room was packed and he received a standing ovation. His lecture has been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube. He went on Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and there’s a memorial scholarship in his name. Something about what he said, and when he said it, struck a chord with lots of people. He has left a lasting legacy.

You can watch it here.

Possible Preaching Angle:

This illustration could be used to introduce closing words and themes in the Bible: Jesus’ last words to his disciples, Jacob’s last words to his sons, Moses’ last words to Israel, David’s last words, or Paul’s last words to one of his churches.


“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Wikipedia (Accessed 6/1/21)

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