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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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What are you watching? Listening to? Reading?


 

In a recent edition of “Decision” magazine, Franklin Graham wrote an outspoken article on the entertainment industry in America titled,

“Hollywood: Entertaining ourselves to death?”

After living many years in the hometown of the Graham’s, Franklin remains a household name.  I worked with a man for 12 years who was in the same class as Franklin growing up.

Not only him, but many others who knew the “rebel” he was saw him giving his parents a hard time as a teenager into his early 20’s. However, he is now using that “rebellious overtone” to speak bluntly and candidly about issues facing our nation his father preached against for decades.

Like, Franklin I remember when there was no cussing, sex and very little violence except for a few John Wayne shootouts and The Rifleman. Good always won over evil but nothing was ever an embarrassment to watch with anyone else.

Trying to explain that to the generation of young people today is like helping them understand how we lived without cell phones and computers most of our lives. It is incomprehensible.

In the article he quoted Michael Landon who died many years ago after his efforts to keep TV/movies clean and child accessible.

“Let’s face it, television is an invention where you’re entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house!”

Landon, speaking at a roast for Dean Martin was applauded with shameful grins.

There is no need to exacerbate the unlimited vulgarities played out on the screens today because we all know them.  As garbage goes in, garbage goes out. In the process it filters through our brains leaving trash sloshing around for the enemy to use. And we wonder why we have nightmares.

The ill -fated, sick delusion of Hollywood has laid upon our nation a reputation certain leaders in other countries want no part of.  Christian artist Natalie Grant walked out of the Grammy’s due to the Gay/LGBT community takeover of this awards show. Mandisa didn’t attend and won two awards. Threaded with the Gay implications and nuances throughout the show was a huge maneuver of control by this group.

A number of well-known actors such as Kevin Sorbo, Kirk Cameron and Gary Sinise have made their stance clear against homosexuality. An addition to the Gay agenda are any actors speaking out against the Obama administration. The latest fatality has been James Wood. He spoke that he now believes he will never get another acting job due to his conviction. And he is not alone in the “black list of fallen actors.”  Kevin Sorbo recently revealed the number of offers for him has greatly diminished.  So much for being qualified.

(An interesting side note about James Wood. He has an IQ of 186; higher than Einstein. And he has a story about flying on a plane a month before 9/11 in which there were 4 Middle Eastern men who he later found out were planning the attack; 2 of which were on the planes that evil day.)

The “Decision” magazine also had an article about the Ugandan President who signed an Anti-Homosexuality bill on 2/24. President Yoweri Museveni has been outspoken about the split his Ugandan church made from the Anglican Church of Canada 10 years ago over this issue. An Ugandan Archbishop stated, “homosexuality is incompatible with scripture.”

President Museveni has been criticized from Western leaders such as President Obama over certain remarks he has made and I quote:

“We have been disappointed by the conduct of the west, the way you conduct yourselves there. “

Having been told the Ugandan’s must abide by this stance he answered unequivocally,

“That’ where we say no.”

President of Uganda

President of Uganda

 

President Museveni was interviewed by a CNN reporter who asked him if he personally dislikes homosexuals. His answer,

“Of course. They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?”


Chaplains respond to Elementary School Shooting

December 14, 2012 – The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed 10 crisis-trained chaplains to help provide emotional and spiritual care in the wake of Friday’s horrific elementary school shooting.