As I pack to get ready to join my husband in Ashville, South Carolina for Billy Graham's 95th birthday party this Thursday night I feel very fortunate to have been invited to such a great man's celebration of his remarkable life of faith.
Billy Graham is best known for his crusades and has conducted over 400 of them since 1949. Before his retirement in 2005 he traveled and preached the Gospel in the United States and all over the world. If you think about it, he really brought church to people instead of having people come into the church. His team would set up the crusades in stadiums, various meeting halls, or even in fields of grass that had been cleared in preparation of his arrival.
This reminds me of what I heard at a Christian Business Men's meeting a couple of weeks ago (yes, as a woman they even invited me!). The speaker that evening was a family court judge and he had been counseling and encouraging men and women for many years. He regularly deals with individuals at their very lowest times in life. I'm sure you can imagine the hellish stories he hears as people come into court seeking dissolution of marriage or to petition for issues having to do with child custody and more. Throughout his career he told us that he found it more important to try to "get heaven into people instead of getting people into heaven." The Bible teaches us that "the kingdom of God is at hand" which means that we can access it anytime. Jesus came to earth to live as one of us so that people could have access to the Father, God. So many people are living in a personal hell of addiction, disease, or extreme heartache: I love the judge's approach to sharing the Christian message.
How many people has Billy Graham encouraged and blessed in his life time? How many people has he encouraged to find heaven on earth or heaven for eternity? As my father-in-law, Dr. Robert H. Schuller always said, "anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in one seed."
Helping to share inner-peace and to hopefully encourage heaven on earth to people less peaceful than myself has always been a passion of mine. This is why I love my participation in The Global Peace Foundation. Robert and I leave December 1st for this year's event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I will be reporting on that mission more in the coming days and weeks.
*Please join me and my husband on November 15th at 6pm California time for "The Call" as we discuss being thankful and finding happiness no matter what our circumstances in life. To access our call simply dial 530-881-1300 and when prompted enter this code: 642848# We will interview our youngest son, Anthony, as he tells us what it means to reach-out to people of different cultures and faiths. He will join us in Malaysia as he reaches out to the youth of that nation.