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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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Why is everyone so mean?

In all my 62 years on this earth I have never known people to be so mean and hateful.

Sure, there have always been bullies but not to the extent there is today. It has become extreme and belligerent.bully

As one who was always smaller than most of those in my class age group, I was picked on a lot. Many gave me nicknames like, “little bit” or “shorty’ or “redhead” but it was rare the accusations were directed to annoy or offend me. That isn’t the case today.

We have become a society of loathing and abhorrence because of a lack of discipline, not to mention the enemy has been on a roaring rampage for decades.  That’s no excuse. We have to change this hostile atmosphere.

My daughter was going through a lot during her younger years. As a child of a single parent in an area where divorce had not hit to the high percentage rates of today, she was bullied by a classmate. She was only 6 or 7 when this young girl began insulting and tormenting her along with a few of her miserable friends. For a while, I paid little attention to her complaints. As time passed, it was quite noticeable she wasn’t making any of this up.

My concern grew to a breaking point when I would pick her up from school only to find her crying. She was already dealing with enough without the harassment of an obviously spoiled and jealous child.

The next day I called the principal and asked to meet with her teacher along with the student in question. The appointment was made for that afternoon.

The teacher, appeared to have no idea at all this had been happening. In fact, she made it clear to me this child I was accusing was a perfect student with top grades but so was my daughter. Only my daughter wasn’t hateful and mean to the other students.  The bully watched me speaking to her teacher with total dread in her eyes.

She knew she had been caught. It was apparent she played the innocent, sweet child with the teacher but treated others with distaste and mockery when the teacher wasn’t around.

I made it clear to the teacher what wasn’t going to happen any more and if it did there would be consequences for her and the student. The teacher allowed me to speak directly to the bully. She sheepishly approached me as I laid the groundwork for future classes with my daughter and that she would never again speak to her much less bully her. I told her I knew exactly what she was doing and to stop it immediately. I  told her  I would not hesitate to call her mother and inform her of her obstinate behavior and get a restraining order against her. The child left the room with the fear of God in her by the time I finished. The teacher was very appreciative of my visit but also quite aware that I meant business.

That child never bothered my daughter again.

For years, many childish bullies like this one have been getting away with their distasteful rhetoric and in some cases violence. We have laws that haven’t been enforced but should be that would help close the door on such vile conduct.

The decision I made to handle this the way I did, came about after much prayer and seeking God for answers as to how to deal with it. As a nation, we need to be searching God’s heart for His guidance to find solutions to steer people in His direction.

NO one gets away with anything. Any maybe that needs to be preached on every street corner in America.




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In Honor of my Dad

My father was a WWII Air Force Veteran.20161111_093554.jpg

After the battle of Normandy, my dad along with many other military personnel were shipped overseas to France. They were considered the “clean -up crew.”

He never spoke much about his duty but this I do know.

The ocean waters made every one on board sea sick. It took weeks to get to their destination so it was a horrible situation to be in. I’ve often wondered how frightened he may have been. Did he think he would make the trip? Did he think he would come home once his time was served there if he made it across the ocean to begin with? Some died before ever reaching Normandy. Whatever his emotional state was, he never shared that with me.

Dad survived on 24 Clark Candy bars because he couldn’t eat the ship food which was as nauseating as  the rough waves.

Once they arrived on the shores of Normandy, I can only imagine what they found. I’m sure they were to find as many American soldiers as they could and bring them home.

While they were there, dad and some of his ship mates gave supplies of food to local French people who were left with nothing after such a bitter war. Many were widows and orphaned children wandering around trying to find whatever they could to get by. Maybe what dad did gave these war ravaged people some hope.

Dad served this country honorably for 2 years because the war had finally ended. He returned home and went to Erskine College, graduating in 3 years on the GI bill. His love of History was his Major.

As a result of his service, one activity dad and I shared was our trips over the years to the local library. He and I were the readers of the family and we would stock up on books to last us a few weeks at a time. He was an avid reader of History books and biographies. He would often share stories of what he had read of other wars and battles from the past.

I don’t think it coincidental that I now live a few miles from one of the largest F-16 Jet Fighter Training bases in the world. Dad’s love of aircraft was something he did talk about over the years. Now, I witness on a regular basis these very machines my dad worked on and loved, fly over my house in amazing formations. These incredible inventions are a sight to behold.

As a member of a community of Air Force/Army personnel, I am humbled and honored to be a part of their lives. Daily, I witness families watching loved ones get deployed, or moved to other bases in the US and around the world. Its a lifestyle I could never do; but then these people are heroes.

And so was my dad.shaw





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Intimacy with Jesus rids a life of fear and loneliness.  Readjustment from needing sympathy is thrown out.
You will no longer live in the depths of pathetic unworthiness.

Remaining so closely knit to his presence removes self. Ultimately what others will see is Jesus.
No other stamp of influence will show up as his character is having his way.

True sanity is the description of those who treasure intimacy with Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)



This is the Way I Am

Sorry, no it’s not.

Just because you inherited negative family traits doesn’t give you the right to keep them. Honestly, I hear people using the crutch of recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction or whatever addiction as if it gives them the right to excuse bad behavior.


The idea one who is recovering should be given special treatment is ludicrous. No one made you drink Strawberry Hill. No one made you smoke dope. No one clicked the porn site but you. No one made you do anything. It was your choice.

Coming from a family with a history of alcoholism, I have seen and heard it all. Maybe I am slow on understanding here, but I came from the same genes they did and I don’t drink.

I found it rather astonishing years ago when one member of my family drank hard liquor and moonshine most of his life. That was until he was 65 and the doctor strongly advised him,

“If you don’t stop now, you will be dead in 5 years.”

He quit. Never touched it again and even stopped smoking. Lived to be 85 and died from heart disease.

Another family member had the same death sentence from another doctor. Ditto.

So tell me, if a person can quit all of a sudden, cold turkey later why not do it sooner?

Why impose your self-centered lifestyle on the rest of us for years on end?

Why burden others with your lack of disrespect for them?

Why should friends and family pick up the pieces of your hangover?

This behavior is not limited to addictions.

Anger, frustration, immaturity, foul language, gossiping, bullying, abuse are examples of “this is the way I am and I can’t change it.”

Oh, yes you can.

Don’t think for one minute you deserve anything for your egocentric attitude.

A lack of etiquette is no alibi for making other people miserable.

What we do affects others around us. Some are generational curses handed down over and over.

All it takes is one person to stop it. What we allow will continue.

On the other side of this coin is the enabler; the one who will do almost anything to keep the peace with one who claims an addiction or self prescribed enslavement. The enabler simply adds to the narcissistic vanity instead of exposing them.

The addictive or abusive behavior is almost always surrounded with lies. Lies that lead to secret displays of wrongdoing.

As God teaches us about his truth, we are given wisdom for transparency. The ability to perceive the lies opens the door for communication.

No doubt one who endangers themselves and others with untreatable habits needs help. However excusing them over and over is not the answer.

Having witnessed these lifestyles more than I ever wanted to, my compassion runs thin. Usually the most compassionate in the bunch, I am not fooled by the desires of self-pitying rituals that create their own cliffs to fall off of.

The fueled language of “I am an addict” or “you can’t drink because I am in recovery”  are words of a controlling manipulator.  Get over yourself.
These scapegoats of iniquities are not the way you are; it is the way you choose to be.

Don’t ask me to be your doormat. I am all out of sympathy.





Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


Children of a Lesser God

There is no lesser God when the Cross of Christ is present. He is the same, was the same and will be the same.

He is the same God for all. No one is lesser in his eyes. How could they be when he created them?

We live in a fallen world. God is incapable of creating evil.

1 Timothy 4: 4 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”

Alfred Lloyd Tennyson wrote:

“O me! for why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world,
But had not force to shape it as he would,
Till the High God behold it from beyond,
And enter it, and make it beautiful?”

John 1: 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”

Aren’t you glad a lesser god didn’t make the world?

What would be the point in anything?

If a lesser god had created the world, we would see chaos, destruction, war, degradation, and evil so poisonous mankind would have ceased to exist long ago.

Life of any kind would have died out, never been born or had the survival skills to remain.

So…..if you grasp the significance of the perfect God, it defies all other theories that God creates anything lesser.
We are created in his perfect image. The image we receive as Christ our Savior which we will acquire when we join him.

A lesser god would only create imperfection which would send a ripple effect of more imperfections.  The question then arises,

If the world were created by a lesser god, how could that god continue to exist?

For the skeptics, non-believers and such how can you justify the perfect God is the blame for the chaos,
disorder and rampant death in the world we live in?

To deny the existence of our perfect God is to deny your own existence.
The reason being is God took the evil and made good out of it over and over.

When Adam and Even sinned, God could have said,

“Ok. I’m done with you people. Forget my plans. You have messed up big time. Therefore I am ending it all now.”

Whoa! You should be glad that decision wasn’t left up to most people instead of God Almighty.
Ending the world at that moment most likely would have occurred.

But…..God didn’t. A lesser god would have. The ugly prince of this world would have allowed a destructive apocalypse promptly. The destroyer would have won. The evil he imploded would have set the galaxies in an instant demise.

The Alpha and Omega, the Chief Shepherd, the Anointed One, our Everlasting Father knew what had to be done.
He wasn’t about to allow evil to win. He planned it down to the last breath of his son on the Cross for the redemption of mankind.

A lesser god could never have produced it.

A lesser god would never have wanted it.

A lesser god would have lost it all for the sake of no one.

The true and only God of the universe is the only avenue the world exists today.
In the midst of horror, tragedies, wars, and disgrace, he sent his son to shed the only blood that would count.

The blood of Jesus, holy and pure set itself against non-existence of mankind.

The perfect blood of Christ covered the imperfect blood of the enemy.

So……the next time you question the existence of our awesome, magnificent perfect God, think about how fortunate you are not to be children of a lesser god.

Photo by Freddy Winter





Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved