In My Right Mind

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking." - Mark Twain

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Location: Universal City, Texas, United States

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just As I Am, I Will Miss Billy Graham

I have been thinking for some time, about just how short this life is, and what we take for granted. It’s ok for me to do this you understand. I am in that "mid-life crisis" zone of my life. While, most men at this time of their life tend to have an illicit sexual affair, (because, they need some sort of proof that they are still "manly"), I, being the nerd that I guess that I am, tend to focus more on just how fast time has flown by, as well as just how short life really is anyway.

I must confess that I am afraid of several things that I know will, unfortunately, occur (whether I like it or not):

My father and/or mother will die.
Paul Harvey will die.
Billy Graham will have to stop preaching his crusades.

I must sigh a sigh of relief, that the first two fears are not yet an issue. But, that leaves the third. Unfortunately, I may not be so lucky there.

I was just watching the Fox News channel’s "Hannity & Colmes" show. They had an interview, first with the son and daughter of the Reverend Billy Graham, and then an interview with Rev. Billy Graham himself. I was sad to learn that the upcoming Crusade in New York, might very well be his last.

Unfortunately, when one thinks of evangelists nowadays, the first word that comes to mind is "crook". That’s a shame. As a devout Christian, I must say that I am ashamed of the bad example that some who claim to be sent "in the name of Christ", have set for those who have innocently come seeking God. Billy Graham has never been one of those.

Billy Graham has been preaching the same simple gospel since he first started. He preached his first sermon in New York back in 1947. I can remember as a young man in the 70’s watching the Billy Graham Crusades on television with my Grandmother. I also remember that I always wanted to watch his program.

It’s not really clear to me why that was so. After all, there wasn’t any rock music to draw a teenager like me in with. George Beverly Shea was the singer on Graham’s crusades that I remember the most, and he was definitely far from being a pop or rock singer. It’s funny, but now, every time I hear the hymn "How Great Thou Art", I can’t help but hear in my mind Mr. Shea singing it.

No, I think that it was Rev. Graham’s sermons that held my attention. But, even when one considers his sermons, what could possibly be the attraction? After all, it’s not as if Graham’s sermons were on par with the intellectual level of, say, a speech given by someone as astute as C. S. Lewis. As much as I admire intellect, it was definately the simplicity of Rev Graham’s message that was the attraction. Salvation, the ultimate point of Christ's sacrifice, is not, thank God, all that complex.

As far as I can tell, Billy Graham has never been about making money. He’s never been about miraculous healings, nor any other attention getting agendas. Instead, Rev Graham has always been about preaching the salvation message of the Kingdom of God.

All I can say, is that I have always been able to hear the name "Billy Graham Crusade" and I have always been able to relax, and trust that it is what it has always claimed to be. Graham’s crusades don’t stir controversy.

I know that I will miss him. He has been a blessing in my life, as well as in the lives of countless others. I can only assume that God has another witness designated to take his place.

Rev Graham, if you need to retire please know that even though we will miss you greatly, we wish you the best and are praying for God’s blessings to be showered down upon you and yours. Thank you for your service sir, and we apologize if we have ever taken it for granted.


Anonymous DJ said...

NEW YORK (June 25) - As his final American revival meeting continued Saturday, a fragile Billy Graham was met onstage by former President Clinton, who honored the evangelist, calling him ''a man I love.''

Clinton spoke briefly before Graham's sermon and recalled how the man known as America's pastor had refused to preach before a segregated audience in Arkansas decades ago when that state was in a bitter fight over school desegregation.

''I was just a little boy and I'll never forget it,'' said Clinton, who was joined by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. ''I've loved him ever since. God bless you, friend.''

DJ: Are we really supposed to believe that Ol' Bill remembers Graham taking a stand against discrimination when he was "just a little boy." Clinton's about as truthful as ... well I can't think of anything awful enough to compare it to.

Graham called the Clintons ''wonderful friends'' and ''a great couple,'' quipping that the former president should become an evangelist and allow ''his wife to run the country.''

DJ: Wow, scary. Which would be worse, a serial adulterer and liar pretending to bring God's message or The Wicked Witch of the South in the White House?

1:00 PM  

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