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Dr. Billy Graham and the Affect He had on my Life


Growing up in North Carolina, the Billy Graham crusades were on our TV whenever my mother could find him. It was a given, that he appeared regularly as I walked through our den listening to his words of hope and encouragement. It helped that my Aunt, my mother’s sister lives in Montreat and is close to some of the Graham family that eventually I became friends with.

I must admit those young years I took it for granted how his sermons were just a part of our life. Now, they are Biblical orations of wisdom and knowledge that I treasure.

In 1993 I moved to Black Mountain, NC which is directly connected to Montreat where Dr. Graham and his family have lived for decades. I joined the church there that they attended and became friends with Ruth’s nephew and his wife through my Aunt. My daughter played often with their son and we split time between our house and theirs which was the Bell Family home for the children to play.

The home was full of memorabilia and souvenirs from China where Ruth’s parents had been missionaries. Antiques and heirloom furniture that had been handed down filled the house with love and a true sense of family.

If you have the privilege as I did to get to know any of the Graham family, you will find them to be genuine, private and protective. I never once thought it as a celebrity relationship…they were my friends.

Twice before Dr. Graham retired from preaching I heard him preach at the Montreat Evangelical Presbyterian church. This beautiful rock chapel in the heart of Montreat is a sight to behold. Dr. Graham felt very at home there and his words resonated throughout the congregation. Now, I remember them as being 2 of the most historical times in my life. I also heard Franklin preach their once.  I was also able to hear one of the last times George Beverly Shea sang “How Great Thou Art” before he passed away.

One Sunday morning after that, I sat in a pew at the 11 o’clock service by myself by the window. Suddenly beside me was Ruth Graham. She had wheeled herself in by her wheelchair and parked right next to me. We had a nice chat as if we had known each other for quite some time.

I worked for 12 years at the local Chamber of Commerce. Tourists came from all over the country to visit the home of Dr. Billy Graham.  It was always a disappointment to them when we had to tell them going to his house was not possible.  Some would actually get angry they had traveled 1000 miles only to find out they were not allowed near his estate. Unfortunately, the way of the world and its threatening situations had forced the family to acquire necessary security measures for them to remain there.

As the news spread that Dr. Graham had passed away, my heart flooded with memories and thoughts of how this man has touched my life even though I never met him personally.

His simple message of God giving us salvation through Jesus kept me believing when times have been hard and difficult. His presence on this earth and in an area very close to my heart that I don’t live in anymore, always gave me a sense of feeling protected. Maybe it’s because I know God protected that man and his family with supernatural guardianship and countless angels. Those blessings of protection seem to flow outward to those of us who listened to him and know Jesus.

Maybe it’s more of the personal connection that I have to Dr. Graham and his family that has had the most profound effect on me. The truth of their honest, unpretentious and unaffected lives they have lived is a testimony in itself.

And now it’s time for the mantle he carried to spread over this earth for a much needed conversion revival.

What Dr. Graham has preached, his family lives.

Dr. Graham’s words are their heart and soul.

His steadfast faith and love for God is the cornerstone of the Graham family.

They are the real thing.

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”

Reverend Billy Graham

 

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You know that Bridge over Troubled Water?


Reading a recent article about Art Garfunkel, I was saddened by his words.

The year was 1970. The hit song, “A Bridge over Troubled Water” rang through the air waves internationally. The lyrics and music along with Garfunkel’s angelic voice gave it recognition, he and Paul Simon didn’t see coming. Instantaneous fame became their way of life. Even those with a crow’s voice like mine were heard trying to sing it.

I remember hearing it over and over with tears falling from my eyes. The words were so profound one couldn’t ignore their touch.

When you’re wearysimon-and-garfunkel
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side

When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Who would have thought 45 years later the two musical geniuses, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would remain apart by the very song that was meant to “bridge” people together.

According to the article and Garfunkel’s side of the story, he received the glory and recognition because he sang it; Paul Simon wrote it and was left out of the limelight for his talent and gifting.

The two became bitter, resentful and angry. Simon supposedly broke the two up. Garfunkel became a Math Teacher. Simon went his own way.

Growing up in the same place, they were in high school together. Simon who is a mere 5”2 inches tall and Garfunkel at 6 feet tall became friends as Art felt sorry for the short Paul Simon and became his body guard against bullying and ridicule for his height. I can relate although I didn’t have Art Garfunkel to back me up.

It was during this time the two began what would eventually become one of the greatest musical duos in modern history only to be halted by greed and jealousy.

This division is so relevant today it has become mainline.

People are fighting over the ridiculous.

People are angry over words that appear offensive even when they know it’s a lie.

America is divided by its own greed and jealousy to a point the bridge is almost broken in half.

Reading Paul Simon’s lyrics bring to heart a friendship of backbone, strength and courage to be there for one another in times of pain, darkness and when down and out.

But that is hard to find in these days. Humans have no way of bridging the needs of others without the bridge that is already built.

In 1970 I would have thought his words resonated any best friend a person could have humanly speaking. That may be true to a certain extent, but no one person or persons can fill that gap; not even close.

The bridge is Jesus Christ.

The connector is the Cross of Christ as the redemption for our sins.

He is the one who dry’s our tears, shines his light and eases our pain. He is the dream maker who sails beside us, in front of us and behind us.

Jesus Christ is the bridge upon which the foundation of the world is saved.

He is the bridge who laid down his life for every troubled water we may swim in.

And he is the only bridge that gets us across to the other side in victory.


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“Calm is Trust in Action”


Reading that statement from God Calling recently, changed my life. It was as if God was confirming to me his peace was my ally. Think long and hard about those words. Calm is a huge weapon against the enemy.

I won’t sugar coat aging is no fun, but with it comes experience and knowledge. As God has brought me through more deep waters and the fiery furnaces more than I can count, I see dry land and the furnaces are cooling down.

The enemy uses repeat performances. He can’t create anything new. In that we should grasp his attacks realizing the threats are just that; threats. How we respond is the key. Recognize his evil patterns but more than that he is defeated.

Is it possible what the enemy threatens in our personal lives he does the same globally?

Of course. He has no other availability. Words are powerful; in fact so much so God created the world with them. Being the case, the enemy fills our minds with his lies and deceits hoping to compound them so many times we begin to believe what he says.  There-in lies a case for mental breakdowns, fear, doubt and worry. We must counter with God’s word. Believe me I know this works because it is the only way I am still here.

The attacks on my life for years have been numerous, vicious and at time life threatening. The last few years have been relentless. I could barely get through one and the next one showed up worse. We hear we are to never give up. I remember times when those evil thoughts were being spoken over and over to me until I finally asked myself,

“What would I do if I gave up?” Well, that question ended giving up.

God confirmed a revelation to me this morning using my own life’s attacks with the world’s in our present condition which is about as bad as it gets. Sodom and Gomorrah are like a piece of cake compared to modern day society.

Praying seriously for years over the world especially America, I have waited for answers. If you watch the news or happen across it on the internet you will be hard pressed to find anything good. Not that America is good right now; in fact we are in deep trouble.

My heart has ached at the deterioration of this nation. It is so different than when I grew up. I have watched for decades our moral society diminish. We have no one else to blame but ourselves; we all sin.

As many such as Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz and Rabbi Jonathan Cahn express deep concern for our country’s impending judgement, and rightly so, I believe God’s righteousness is about to shine.

Don’t get me wrong. It looks bad. It is bad. It is evil at its worst and should be recognized as such. But God’s righteous grace is so much more than all of that.

He revealed to me as he has stretched me beyond my own fleshly limits to the point of crying out even in silence because I was too weak to speak, so he is doing with America and the world.

The phrase, “God is never late, but rarely early” fits.

His word says he will walk through the deep waters and the fiery furnace with us, but we won’t drown or burn. We may be gasping for air and feel the heat, but all of a sudden dry land appears and someone shuts off the furnace.

He let me know that is where we are at. I believe we are seriously close to the wrath and judgement of God in such a momentous way that we must continue to pray diligently for repentance. But he has heard our prayers and at the moment when it appears it can’t get any worse, God is going to show up and show off.

The world will know it is God foiling the plots of the enemy.

The world especially America will wake up from this dreadful nightmare and fall on our knees in worship and praise to Him.

The world will be swept by the Holy wind of the Spirit of God changing hearts across the globe in an instant. We must look past the natural into the supernatural sphere of God to see what he is doing and where he is taking us.

RIGHT NOW IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO SEEK GOD’S PRESENCE, BE ON OUR KNEES REPENTING, THANKING HIM FOR PRESERVING, PROTECTING AND GUARDING US FROM IMMINENT DESTRUCTION.

And then wait to embrace the glory of God as has never been upon the earth.

faith


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Oh, Woe is me….


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This will be my last post for a while.

My Dell laptop is sick. She has been through home testing with Dell agents and the decision was made she needs a hospital visit.

My hope was a new adapter would aid in the charge recovering to 100% but of course that didn’t happen. Now the doctor believes the motherboard is suffering and may need surgery.

As soon as I received this heartbreaking news, WITHDRAWAL SET IN LIKE MAXI POUNCING ON A MOUSE.

My beloved laptop is sitting on my lap as I type this post. The people at Dell have no idea what it will be like for us to be apart; and possibly a few weeks. Besides the many uses she offers I simply cannot write/blog on my phone or Mark’s ipad. At least they are substitutes to some degree until she returns.

I don’t believe in coincidences but after not feeling like writing this book I am supposing to be writing for the last year, I began to do so a week  or so ago. And then…..that was when I noticed it wasn’t charging completely. Hhhhhhhmmmmmmmm……….

However there may be a slight silver lining. God may be allowing us to be apart to break my addiction?

What is the saying, “you never know what you miss until you don’t have it?”

In that line of thinking I impose the great writer, the Apostle Paul.

I have had a picture in my mind of him sitting at an ancient desk in the middle of a prison writing the gospels. With his parchment paper, quill pen and ink jar he wrote some of the greatest books ever written.

He didn’t know what computers were. Nor pens and paper as we have today. Forget erasers or whiteout; he didn’t even have electricity for lighting. God supplied what he needed to pursue writing words that have survived centuries.

He probably didn’t miss what he never had. How can one miss what doesn’t exist?

Yet he managed to compose the Holy Spirit’s words in the simplest forms. I wonder if he had any idea of the magnitude of his prison sentence.

What appeared to be horrible conditions kept him in one place, under one roof without distractions to perform God’s will on earth. And without a Dell.

“I will be back.”


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Law? What Law? (Part 3) So, what now?


Christmas.

Years pass by and the meaning changes. Well, hopefully.

The idea of Santa falling down chimneys has been questionable, but what child wouldn’t come up with a better answer than most adults?

Why is it so easy to believe in this jolly red soul than Jesus?

They are both good guys.santa-going-down-chimney-2

Loving children is their joy.

Bringing gifts is part of the plan.

They may look quite different but their hearts are in the right place.

However Santa could never do what Jesus did. No one else can either.

The Old Testament law must have been strange to children.

Why do we have to sacrifice animal’s “ma”? Isn’t that cruel?

Why can’t we eat bacon “ma”?

I don’t want to rest on the Sabbath “ma”. Do we have to?

The line of “I don’t know son, just do what God says” could have been the best answer “ma” could come up with at the time. But it didn’t do much for little Ezekiel or Levi.

Would it or is it easier to explain Jesus?

If the disarray of the world is a result, then no. From the divisions occurring in many arenas clarifying who Jesus is, what he did and where he is now may be much more difficult.

For Christians, the Old Testament laws do not apply today. And this is where it gets sticky.

After researching the difference in the two testaments, it became clear what God did.

The idea we are still facing judgment as Christians is not Biblical. However those who are not followers of Christ, those who have not confessed their sins and invited Jesus into their life as Lord and Savior are facing judgment until they do. The fact many are non-believers, God’s judgment is active around those who are saved which can result in hurting innocent people.

Here in Romans 1:18 Paul says,

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”

The law of the old covenant could not accomplish what God intended. But it did do this:

Romans 3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin.”

For example: A thief who steals and gets caught may go to jail for his crime. He is made aware of his crime/sin but going to jail won’t necessarily stop him from doing it again once released. So it is with the old covenant.

It could temporarily save the people of God, but only through fear of the law.

Romans 2: 2” Now we know God’s judgment against people who do those things is based on the truth.”

So what happened?

christmas_decorations

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Mumbo Jumbo or Gobbledygook


Some things become too familiar.543824_606671176044054_1299102070_n

Overdone. Over used. Annoyingly habitual.

Years ago the constant use of “threats” became old words. Useless and empty to me.

After a while repetitious “bullying” signals a weakness, pride and fear.

You could name it mumbo jumbo or gobbledygook. It simply loses all meaning.

For those who are on the receiving end of this “game of thrones” it is or can be a nightmare until it is realized the menace is used to getting their way by sounding like a ferocious cat about to pounce on its dinner. Our cat has a very, vocal big mouth but only weighs 11 pounds.  She learned early on communicating with us by a constant whine, whimper or meowwwwwww along with walking between our legs she would get her Fancy Feast treats. She thinks we fall for her persuasive intimidation; she doesn’t know how cute she is.

Sneaky cat

Sneaky cat

The cat can get away with it, but not people. At least she doesn’t know any better.

The menace will continue their extortion until they hit a brick wall and…….there is always a brick wall up ahead. As long as it appears they are winning, stopping would be worse than the consequences once caught. In their sick minds is the thought “who is going to stop me?”

A bully or persecutor struggles with inner conflict, so outward infliction’s become their sword.

They do not understand quiet; or no response. Seeking to revel in an outburst of physical emotion is their reward because proving they are always right is first and foremost in their beleaguered minds.

Always looking over their shoulder, peace is their enemy. There is no rest for the wicked. (Isaiah 48:22)

We have no right to complain about that which we won’t confront.

What we permit will continue; good or evil.

As Christians, one of our best weapons against the folly of a fool is the Word of God. Knowledge and Understanding of God is like Jesus writing in the sand. Whatever he wrote is compounded by how he wrote it. The pause and his quiet demeanor broke the loud accusations of the Pharisees. He was not moved by their hypocritical attitudes nor was he afraid of their “manipulating tactics.”

His peaceful and calm spirit built an armistice around him leaving them “speechless.”

The validity of his actions were confirmed with his words.

His love for justice filled the air with integrity and righteousness.

He had no gavel to dismiss the case nor did he need one.

Jesus shows up and his opponents scatter.

An army of 1?

Deuteronomy 28: 7 “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.”

grey-curly-line-design-hi

grey-curly-line-design-hi

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved

 


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This is the Day….


I have to remind myself this is the Day the Lord hath made. 

For sure I am convinced the enemy does not want me on a laptop.  

After owning this new Dell for 6 days I am shattered when I turned it on this morning  to find the horror of the RED ALERT! YES; Viruses had already attacked. 

Of course, the first thought was, “NO! PLEASE GOD NOT AGAIN!” 

Without the ability to do on-line chat I called Dell. 

And you won’t believe what happened. 

A sweet, nice girl from India became my friend. She spent time working with me for 2 hours removing those vile ills. 

While waiting for the repair programs to do their work, she began a conversation asking me how my day was going.

She was very appreciative to have someone to talk to about life, instead of Google Chrome, Malware or the 1000 ways now to get a virus.

I managed discreetly to usher in “religion” somehow….that had to be God. She told me she is Hindu. I asked her “what does that do for you?”

She replied, “I am not sure what you mean?”

Me, ” Have you ever thought about what being a Hindu means?”

Her, “No, not really. I have Hindu friends.”

Me, “Oh. That’s nice. Do you know anything about Christianity?”

Her, “Oh, I have Christian friends too, but we never discuss religion.”

Me, “That’s nice. You know there are differences in the two?”

Click. All of a sudden the phone connection stopped.

Me, “Hello? Hello? are you there?”

Nothing.

Me again, “Hello? Hello? Where did you go?”

About 2 minutes later she came back on. It hadn’t disconnected but we lost each other temporarily.

Her, “Cathy, are you there?”

Me, “Yes. I am. Can you hear me?”

Her, “YES! But I thought I lost you. This is so strange. Whatever my phone did has never happened before…..”

What the devil meant for harm, God turned it into good.

The devil tried to stop the conversation, but what he doesn’t know is I planted the seed before his UNRULY INTERRUPTION!

Also, I have a new friend who will be my personal Dell Assistant whenever I need one.

So much for the viruses. Just another tool God had in his pocket.