Billy Graham’s Incredible Ministry … and His Incredible Marriage
In the wake of Billy Graham’s death at age 99, the media is naturally focusing on the unparalleled impact the evangelist had around the world. As the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reports, “Throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people who attended one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet, and 34 books.”
But one aspect of Graham’s life may not receive focus—his marriage of over 63 years to Ruth Bell Graham. And that is unfortunate, because their marriage is a grand story in itself.
- A memorable quote from Billy Graham: “My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which I believe comes from knowing Christ.”
- A memorable quote from Ruth Graham, reminiscing on what attracted her to Billy: “He was a man who had a purpose, a dedication in life; he knew where he was going. He wanted to please God more than any man I’d ever met.”
These words say a lot about the secret to a successful marriage—even one where the husband was constantly traveling. For Billy and Ruth Graham, it was all about serving Christ … together.
There's an opportunity here to get to know your neighbors...because ain't no party like an Oscar party! The Oscars are going down this weekend and expect this year to be different. Hollywood's had some serious soul-searching to do after the Weinstein allegations. But it's challenged the Academy to let new, diverse movies and voices to take the stage. This will surely provide for some great conversations, perhaps spark new missional opportunities!
Here are the details: Sunday, March 4 on ABC. The pregame starts at 6:30pm ET. Show time is at 8pm ET. Here's how it all comes together. Jimmy Kimmel is baaack. Fingers crossed everyone reads from the right envelopes.
I recently completed research on over 3,600 men and women struggling with unwanted sexual behavior, be that pornography, an affair, buying sex, etc. I found that the sexual fantasies, porn searches, and sexual behaviors we pursue are not random. They are a direct reflection of the parts of our story–past and present–that remain unaddressed. If you want to find freedom from pornography, you must identify the reasons that bring you to it.
So you've preached your sermon. Now what?
The conclusion of a sermon is a dangerous moment for the preacher. He has just spent 30-45 minutes in an expository deluge, dumping his study and zeal upon his congregation. The 10-20 hours of sermon preparation are now ancient history and he’s climbed in his car for the drive home. Most likely, he is exhausted – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
I’ve been there. And over the last 30 years, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about what I should do and what I shouldn’t do following a sermon. Here are three key lessons.
As Evan Williams, a co-founder of Twitter, recently put it, “Convenience decides everything.” Convenience seems to make our decisions for us, trumping what we like to imagine are our true preferences. (I prefer to brew my coffee, but Starbucks instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I “prefer.”) Easy is better, easiest is best.
Here's the kicker...
An unwelcome consequence of living in a world where everything is “easy” is that the only skill that matters is the ability to multitask. At the extreme, we don’t actually do anything; we only arrange what will be done, which is a flimsy basis for a life.
We need to consciously embrace the inconvenient — not always, but more of the time.
My kids loved watching the Olympics. I loved watching the Olympics. There's something alluring and majestic to a truly "global" competition that draws us all in.
Then my kids started asking questions. Why are their uniforms so tight? How do countries decide their "team colors"? Why don't women compete against men?
All good questions. The last one reminded me of this article.