Christian event features bands, message of hope
by: Contributed photo The Fight of Your Life event will offer young folks plenty of opportunities to participate in contests for prizes, as well as feature upbeat music and  a Christian message.

Mike Miller has big plans for Gresham High School's gymnasium.

'We're going to turn Gresham High School into the Rose Garden!' he says.

Miller directs Dare to Live/Common Ground, a ministry based in Vancouver, Wash., and has spent almost three decades working to end teenager suicide as well as preach the Christian gospel.

He has spoken to audiences on a strictly secular basis about teenagers and suicide and also preaches a Christian message at other events, like The Fight of Your Life, which will come to Gresham High School, 1200 N. Main Ave., from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

East Hill, Good Shepherd Community, Radiant and Grace Community churches are sponsoring the event, according to Pastor Ray Young of East Hill.

'The event combines elements of Cirque du Soleil, Fear Factor and American Gladiator,' notes Miller's Web site. 'Students compete in emotional, physical, mental and spiritual challenges fighting for valuable prizes. Live rock music, hip-hop dance, video presentations and a powerful message from Mike Miller combine to make this one dynamic night!'

Pretty exuberant stuff, considering Miller laughs and calls himself 'the old guy' when interviewed.

'It's going to be a fun event,' he says of Fight of Your Life. 'It lasts (a couple) hours, but it feels like 20 minutes.'

He adds there's a method behind the coming madness.

'I've been a Christian for 40 years, and sometimes I go to church and fall asleep,' he says, adding Fight of Your Life will do anything but make its audience nod off.

A better school

The impetus behind The Fight of Your Life are Miller's decades devoted to ministering to young people. He's addressed 3 million young people over the years on such subjects as suicide, he says, adding he's also addressed how teenagers have the power to change the environment at their schools from one of put-downs and peer pressure to one of uplift and peer approval.

'We've been taught in our society that it's funny to put people down,' he says, noting TV shows come with laugh tracks that kick in the moment one character disrespects another.

He adds virtually every teenager he's addressed hates being put down and would love to go to a school where no one is put down by anyone else.

'I tell them 'You can make this school that school!' ' he says.

He adds it's an idea as old as the Golden Rule taught by Jesus Christ - do unto others what you would have them do to you.

'I preach the gospel,' he says. 'But I don't use chapter and verse.'

Fight for Your Life

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 2

WHERE: Gresham High School, 1200 N. Main Ave.

FEATURES: Live bands, break dancers, Apple iPad giveaway, competitions with $3,000 worth of prizes

COST: Free


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