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Greg Laurie Interview on Billy Graham: The Man I Knew

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2021 3:00 am

Greg Laurie Interview on Billy Graham: The Man I Knew

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 5, 2021 3:00 am

Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie relays some fascinating insights based on his brand new book, Billy Graham: The Man I Knew.

“People need to know about this man who was called by God to be the greatest evangelist in history.”

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry. Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks for the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal blog go to harvest data work.

Billy said the meeting many times I'm just a country region would God elevated him and I remember he just rode lotion when he spoke those cute cute drunk coming up today.

New beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie relation fascinating insight based on this brand-new book Billy Graham, the man I knew people need to know about this man was called by God to be the greatest in history. Greg, I your brand-new book called Billy Graham the man I knew loved the book 1 of your best drinks, and I'm in a flip all the way back to the back of the book. The second paragraph of the chapter you call acknowledgments and I find this fascinating. Here's what you write. You say my collaborator Marshall Carolyn, I have consulted a veritable library of Graham books, articles, periodicals, YouTube videos and thousands of documents on the Internet including the 1004 page file, the FBI kept on Billy research reached as far back as the Civil War. Yeah.

Oh my goodness, this book contains dimensions of Billy's life, and background which have never been explored anywhere before that part I found absolutely fascinating. The fact that you have done. I mean, you knew Billy, it says so in the title Billy Graham, the man I knew, yes, but you have dug so deeply into giving us such a rich biography on the man that you call the single greatest evangelist who ever lived.

That's right. What I want people to understand his place in history. He's truly a historical figure along the lines of our great presidents and people that impacted our country and even people that impacted our world and so we wanted to go back to Billy's roots. His father and his grandfather, his great-grandfather, so we we tell the story with a wide overview but then we go in deeply into his life and what I wanted to do today was show the human side of Billy.

You know sometimes a person can fade into history and people never really had any interaction with them and they almost become one-dimensional like Pres. Lincoln on the five dollar bill, but he was a real flesh and blood guy, Abraham Lincoln, and so was Billy Graham and it was my privilege to spend a lot of time with him a lot of time just hanging out with them a lot of time asking them questions a lot of time listening to him preach end and I got to know him there, I say as a friend and and he was just such a great man to observe you know the private Billy was even more impressive than the public.

Billy and the public. Billy was very impressive. I mean I can't think of a greater preacher I've ever seen.

But privately he was very humble, very gracious and always was interested in whoever he was speaking to.

They might be a famous person like a president, and they might be somebody you've never heard of before. Billy took an interest in people in general and and had a wonderful way about him. And every time I was with them. I was had to pinch myself.

I mean I was with them a lot so it wasn't like every time I was with the my butterflies in my stomach or something like that but I never will stop realizing this is Billy Graham I'm hanging out with here and talking to and it was great to access him in here things from him and share things with them and be of some small help to him in the final years of his ministry as Billy was ending his ministry. I was starting my crusade ministry and he asked me to assist them with illustrations in building bridges to younger audiences, so I love doing that effect. I found more pleasure in prepping a message or Billy Graham that I found in prepping one for myself. I would Billy actually use some of the material I gave him it was just like one of the greatest moments of my life. Bad welt near the start of the book you describe. When Billy himself came to the Lord through the preaching of a country evangelist named Mordechai Hamm.

Yes, what a great name Mordecai him and you mentioned that the Billy Graham evangelistic Association still has the decision card that Billy completed that night. He made a commitment. That's a real piece of history.

Yeah, really, is that they not only have that decision card but they have all whole building called the Billy Graham library and if anyone is ever in North Carolina Charlotte, you really should go visit it. You know presidents have their libraries but this is amazing because it's like an interactive place to go to theirs and credible exhibits they take you through his life from his childhood growing up on the dairy farm along with his brother Melvin. They have Billy in this tent revival days and then on through all of the things that he did around the world and it presents the gospel as you walk through and there's places where you can see the Bible. He used his briefcase and yes, that decision card of one of very young Billy Frank walked forward at the invitation of evangelism, Mordechai Hamm, who would set up his tent there and Charlotte, North Carolina, and who could have ever thought that that lanky farmboy would go on to be not only the greatest evangelist of his lifetime, but in my opinion, the greatest evangelist in history and you know Billy said to me many times and in interviews as well. I'm just a country preacher understand that was not false humility that was Billy. Just telling the truth.

He was just a country preacher but God elevated him. I remember that he use the illustration. If you see a turtle on a fence post. You know, we didn't get there by himself and Billy was the first to acknowledge that God placed them in the place that he was in and in God gave him special gifts that were unique and he had this ability to connect with people and it was throughout his entire life and ministry from the early passionate fiery Billy preaching for the youth for Christ and then it is crusade in the tent there in Los Angeles that launched him into a global ministry to the older Billy elder statesman, Billy.

And finally the lion in Winter if you will, the grandfatherly billing and he always connected with this audience. I can think at times I was with them. I was with them in Atlanta Georgia needed a crusade there. In fact he introduced me to Jimmy Carter, former president at that point, and that's kind of an interesting thing to be introduced to Jimmy Carter by Billy Graham.

But that's exactly what happened, but Billy was quite a bit older. At that point and they started doing these youth lights were, they were using contemporary Christian bands, which was sort of a departure from the tradition of the Graham Crusade and some of the team members weren't all that thrilled about it I thought it was a great move and he had packed. You know events thousands of young people wanted some fascinating disease.

Great bands would play like DC talker and artists like Michael W Smith.

But when Billy walked out there. By the way trust in his suit not changing the way he dressed not trying to be Mr. cool. He was the coolest of cool because he was him.

He was an authentic Billy Graham and he walked out there.

He got the greatest applause of the night and when he spoke those kids listen, you could've heard a pin drop.

So we had this ability to connect from the beginning to the middle to the end of his ministry. Remember seeing him in New York. It is final crusade in Flushing Meadows. There and and I remember he just looked at the crowd and said God loves you and then he would turn to another part of the crowd and say God loves you and it wasn't as intricate as his early messages, but in its simplicity. Maybe it was even more powerful because he lived what he preached. There were two Billy Graham's. He was the same in private that he was in public and he was a godly as men I've ever met. Well II know what listeners are going to want to get a copy of this brand-new book again called Billy Graham the man I knew and it's available right now@harvest.org investor Greg. I really enjoyed reading about Billy's early days preaching, and how sometimes it didn't go all that well and you said you had a few times when you first started it didn't exactly make the highlight reel what what you say to a young person listening who feels called to preach and teach but you know they're wondering if they have what it what I would say I think of the words of the Lord to Moses who had something of a speech impediment and try to get out of being called to represent him and the Lord said, I'll be with you, and I think you know you just have to take steps of faith and be willing to leave your comfort zone to let God use you and nobody starts out perfectly and Billy had his hardships and challenges and difficulties. One time he got up to speak and and pretty much took every sermon he had ever come up with and give them all at one time and it was over with them like nine minutes that reminds me of one of the times I spoke in front Billy.

They asked me to be in his Board of Directors and I was there the table and there said Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows and other legends of the Graham team and and they asked me to do a little devotion and all I remember is is not going into an altered state of consciousness. I mean here. I've stood in stadiums and preach the thousands of people, but I've never been more and intimidated that I was speaking in front of Billy Graham himself and and he was very affirming and very encouraging buddy. He was Billy Graham. And when I was starting out. I made a lot of mistakes. One thing I've talked about people listen to our radio program know as I was speaking one of the first times out of Ephesians 6 there was talk as speaking from the King James version 2 is talking about the fiery darts of the wicked one to beware of them in the center saying the fiery darts of the wicked one. I said that diary part of the wicked one, hard to recover from that. Everyone left and didn't remember anything else I said that night and a lot of people say they were there to hear and I don't think they were all there. But anyway, that one is kind of lived in time. Another time I was speaking in a given entire message and it was at the end. It was an evangelistic message and I said let's P I meant to say.

Let's pray I said let's peel out. I just prayed really present. I can't believe I just said that so badly you and it's only radio what we can edit it.

It was said so look when you're starting out serving the Lord. If you're preacher or just sharing your faith. You can make mistakes but that's okay. You know, just give it your best shot. Learn from your mistakes, and press on a method Billy bid and in fact he became a brilliant orator the master communicator, but he never lost touch with who he was a farm boy from North Carolina and God raised him up to be the greatest evangelist not only of his lifetime. The my opinion, the greatest evangelist in human history.

So that's why wanted to write a book about a minutes called Billy Graham the man that I knew by the way, that title came from Franklin Graham.

I've written other books on people you may have heard of like Steve McQueen and Johnny Cash wrote a book called Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon wrote another book called Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon, so was my intention to call this book, Billy Graham, the making of an American icon, Franklin said to me that he would not want to be called an icon. Is it really says no you shouldn't call it that. You should instead call it Billy Graham, the man that I knew and I said that's a good title so we had already done the cover art was on its way and we redesigned it were able to change it to this title, and he was a man I knew I got to know him well and he never disappointed me. That's quite a thing to say but it actually is true. Yeah, and it's good to hear that to you know and and his character really does come out in the book. If you would take a moment to describe the time you got a call late one night from Dennis at Eugenia and he was doing his imitation of Billy right well. Dennis and I have been friends for years. Dennis is a musician. Amazing guitar player and a friend of Franklin Graham and work with the Billy Graham team for years as well, so I was back in North Carolina at a Billy Graham board meeting and so we had dinner that night and I said to Billy Billy.

If there's anything I can do for you.

Preparing sermons or whatever. Let me know what you need and I'll work on it.

Billy said okay. Thank you that I went back to my room that night and I got a call to late like 10 o'clock.

I so that was Dennis. He would always call and see how to go tonight, I was Billy Don and so he called and he did an amazing Billy Graham, imitation and so Dennis calls these as hello Rick this is Billy Graham and and I was thinking about what you said to me tonight. I know it's not Billy so I'm like actually watching TV and I'm flipping the channels you know like you do.

I'm flipping the channels. Is it right right and I think it whatever he was saying.

I'm saying yeah whatever ability you know, just because I know it's Dennis waiting for him to say Greg, it's Dennis and he goes on and then Dennis says, and I was thinking about what you said tonight and I'd like your help and then I thought for a moment. Wait I didn't tell Dennis I said that the Billy, then at Dominique this is Billy Graham and I'm blowing him off right already so choosy Billy yes how can I help you, and I realize that II was like ignoring Billy Graham which is kind of crazy thing. But that's exactly right with doing you know another of funny thing that happened you know Franklin is quite the prankster, so I had a photo of Billy that I had printed out and I got one of those cool like silver metallic pens because I wanted them to sign it so I took it back when I was going to see him and Billy very graciously signed it and I rolled it up into one of those tubes you know and I had it in my hotel room and as it turns out the maid picked up the tube, thinking it was trash and threw it in the dumpster. I just about had a heart attack. I went and found the dumpster clawed my way through it, founded put it back in my room. So then, of Franklin says, come on up to daddy's room. You know, so I got there and there is Billy and Franklin and then Franklin says daddy, you know that picture you signed of yourself, and gave to Greg and Billy says yes. Franklin says Greg threw it away and I said no I didn't throw it away. Let me do it away.

No daddy he threw it away.

Billy Skinner smiling and I thought to myself they're in this together there working together right now, I realize I just think that I said look I didn't throw it away. One of founded and I explained it and we all had a laugh but you know he was some you just a great guy to be around and he took his message very seriously. But he never took himself too seriously and it was always just a joy to be with them and there were so many memorable conversations and moments that are with me forever and I wanted to put them down of this book so other people could hear these stories because this humanizes him and what I mean by that is there's been many books written about Billy, and rightly so, but but sometimes there may be a little more academically oriented or they're giving you is complete history.

I did not feel the need to write that book it's been written. This is a personal book I'm talking about my interaction with them when I saw and I am an evangelist and Billy was the master evangelist so it's an evangelist writing about an evangelist. There's a lot of insights here for everyone, but I think this would be a really helpful book for anyone who loves to preach. If you're a pastor if you're an evangelist there's a lot of take away truth is they learn from Billy and I share in this book that will help you to be a better communicator of the gospel. Yet it's right and in the book, Billy Graham, the man I knew, is available right now@ourwebsiteharvest.org you mentioned Franklin a moment ago Billy son, longtime friend of yours and Franklin is a pilot. Yes, a private pilot and I understand he took you up in a small plane one time. Do you remember anything special. Yes, about that flight. Yeah you don't forget a flight like that. It was a very small plane and Franklin said you what you want to go fly with me. Is it okay Doug on the plane just two seats he's blinded I'm shotgun we take off and immediately he begins a rapid dissent.

I mean, my stomach came up and I'm terrified down upbeat pulls it up but we go down again and fly like a crazy man like I would've given anything to get off of that plane. So then he says them you want to fly over daddy's house. I said okay so we come swooping over the home of Billy Graham and he let Billy know that he was coming so Billy and Ruth are down on their front lawn and we got down close enough. Or, we could actually see them and make them out and there there standing next to each other, waving at us in the air and I thought I would give anything to be down there with them instead of up in this cockpit with this crazy man, but we landed and then the next time Franklin said you want to fly with me. I was like maybe another time. He is such a very good pilot, but he was just having some fun at my expense. When you've actually been to Billy and Ruth Graham's home yet several times that many times just it's in Montreat, North Carolina which is right outside of Asheville, and I always felt like going to his home was better than going to the White House up in the White House quite a few times that the privilege of standing in the Oval Office twice praying for the president. Both of those occasions. That's a great honor but I was more excited to go to the home of Billy Graham, the it's it's a log home.

Ruth found all kinds of the old wood from Barnes and other things to use to build it and I had heard decorating touch throughout it. It was a humble home. Some of the furniture was a bit threadbare. I it was a lived in the home. It was a real place and they had a fireplace with a mantle, and carved in wood were the words of a mighty Fortress is our God in German and it was a massive fireplace and I would just sit there in front of that fireplace and there's books laying around in the open it up and one is autographed by by Golda my year and here's another book autographed by Mohammed Ali is her people. Billy interacted with some of whom came to his home there in Montreat. Many presidents came to visit him there. Pres. Obama. Toward the end of his term as president went to visit Billy at Montreat and Billy would just build friendships and bridges to these people and share the gospel with them. But you know even to sit down and have a meal Ruth would go into the kitchen and cheer the sign hanging over her sink.

That said, divine service done here three times a day.

They had a doormat when you walked up to the front door that said, not you again!

Which I was Ruth Schumer.

She was very funny, very quick to laugh. She was in every way. Billy SQL I enjoyed being with her as much as I enjoyed being with him and I was always a little bit honestly intimidated by Billy. I tried to be myself around them.

But he was Billy Graham were with Ruth. I felt very comfortable and I would joke Moran and she had such great insights and so many wonderful things to say. Once sitting in the home in Montreat. I was just starting my evangelistic ministry and I said oh Ruth of these doors are opening up you know to preach the gospel in stadiums and in I think I need to really brush up more of my apologetics now and she said Greg you just preach the gospel. That's what Bill always did she call the bill on that occasion and I remembered that not like I don't need to know my apologetics, but she reminded me about what my real mission was an and by the way, she was a great cook and the food was fantastic and it was just so much fun being with them and that environment with their animals they that the few German shepherds, and it you know, I just savored every moment of it. And those are some of the greatest moments of my life. Actually, well today here on a special edition of a new beginning. Were talking with Pastor Greg about his new book, Billy Graham, the man I knew available@harvest.org your pastor Greg. I wish I was thinking the other day about what day-to-day life must be like for a major A-list movie star. You know that they just can't go to the grocery store or walk through the mall, you know, it would turn into a crowd control problem will Billy Graham was is recognizable as any movie star and more well respected. It could he do everyday things.

You know could could he drive through McDonald's what he would he would and he really would be on and about.

He didn't have a security team around him. He was just Billy may be of one friend with them but do you know he was recognize wherever he went by me. This profile could have been on Mount Rushmore. Such a familiar face, sort of chiseled you know incredible and so I was with him once at the red lobster having lunch and any so he had a ball cap on. I guess thinking that would disguise him and the funny thing is, there was an atheist convention going on at the same time as Billy was holding this Crusade in this town and there were people coming up to him that were attending an atheist convention. I know because they have the little ID tag still to be in the convention, but they were thrilled to meet Billy and he was so gracious to everyone of them will anyway so he had this hat and he lost it and then he said to me, Greg, could you get me another hat. I said absolutely so I went down to the local mall like I was on a mission from God.

I'm getting. I hat for Billy Graham, the Billy basically were ball caps, and so I think I found this dry thing was called lids maybe, but it was I walked. It was all my goodness, there were too many hats over so many ads to choose from. And then I didn't take the time to find out is hat size and so II look the little guy even pray. God help me find the right hat for Billy Graham. My goodness and I finally chose one. I don't remember what size it was, it would look like and I went back to the hotel and gave it to me. Think me and more. Then the next day I open the paper and there's a photograph of Billy wearing the hat. I said I got of that hat that's and I got it, then I think you misplace that shortly afterwards and think he lost hats quite frequently and I don't really know. Think of much good because people seem to recognize them.

No matter what IEEE you mentioned in the book that this is an evangelist's view of the life of the greatest evangelist in history and that there are great takeaways for all of us in learning about Billy's life with whatever couple of the takeaways for you as an evangelist. Yeah well I observed Billy very carefully. You know when he was on the platform.

I would be sitting up there and I could watch him and I watched him as he gave the invitation and thousands of people would come forward to accept Christ, and I asked him after Billy what are you personally experiencing physically when you give an invitation and his response was, I feel like power is going out of me and I understand that because I've stood on stages in stadiums and arenas and seen many people come forward in urine that definite time of spiritual warfare of the devil really attacks those were called to present the gospel. I think one of Billy's secrets was he didn't take himself too seriously. He took his message very seriously.

But, but he was really a genuinely humble guy I think of one occasion I was with them in Portland, Oregon, and he had preached at that night of the crusade that was a powerful Mike Johnny Cash and actually played that night as well and so were leaving the stadium and there are people lined up on each side being held back by these ropes and some security people just Billy Billy and you know is like Moses was walking through an and I was walking next to him and then we got in the car and were driving out and so his longtime friend and associate TW Wilson is at the wheel. I'm riding shotgun in the back seat is Billy and his son Franklin so I thought I want to complement Billy's return rising, Billy. That was a great message tonight.

He looked at me with those steely blue eyes and he said well it's just gospel. I turned back around a fellow I know it's just that's clear and then I thought is that Mel something he had said a particular nature by Carranza Billy I love that point.

When you said Christ can re-sensitize your conscience, and he looked at me and said well he can of the Dr. Bachrach I'm not seeing anything else that I was I was learning something in what was learning was innocent people loved. You know, just all was not great tonight and how did I doing none of that. He didn't want to talk about it. It was done all the accolades all the adulation he was moving on, and it was behind him and then we went back to his hotel and somebody given us these cold barbecue sandwiches barbecue beef sandwiches to eat.

They were hot when they were given to us, but cold by the time the crusade was over. So we went up to his room to eat these cold sandwiches and Billy disappears and comes back out in his pajamas and his dress shoes.

I guess he got his slippers and so I'm sitting there in his room.

Billy and his pajamas. TW is telling some jokes were laughing were having a good time and I was learning to, I was learning that you know when you have these moments were used by God and people come to faith. That's great, but you know now you gotta get back to normal life that something actually put into practice in our own crusade to think afterwards and I want some big party and got with a bunch of people I just go back to normalcy by government to go back and maybe hang out with my grandkids or do something normal is because it's it's kind of an altered state of reality to be on a stage in front of a lot of people in and how the Lord worked to you in that way and you want to remember to continue to give God the glory.

It's not you, it's him and and I think that something Billy understood from the beginning to the end of his ministry. He would often say I'm just a country preacher and I would say will bill your the greatest country preacher for burden, but he really was in this art just still that young farm boy from Charlotte North Carolina used the milk cows and didn't enjoy it all that much, but you know God called him and and so he he maintained his humility and he came through all of this with his integrity intact and is not something we need to hear in this time, homeward sharing the stories of people who are in Christian leadership.

Failing morally in other areas. It's good to know that we have a guy that he live the life he was the same guy in private that he was in public so this is a book that will give you insights in the Billy it'll show you the funny side of Billy it'll show you things that maybe you've not seen in other books and it was my honor to write it and it's called Billy Graham the man that I knew you really read something from the book you write this, the two most important moments in a person's life are when they are born and when they realize what they are born for. Yes, a over and over we see evidence of what Billy was born for.

Do you help us discover what we are born for in this new book right.

Yes, of course, because you know God has a plan for each of our lives. No Billy wanted to be a professional baseball player. That's what he aspired to. He was a dairy farmer if he would've followed the trajectory that his life would've taken he would've gone on, perhaps to inherit the dairy. They had the Graham Brothers dairy. You know, so he would have had a successful, happy life on the farm there in Charlotte, North Carolina. But after he accepted Christ at the revival meetings of evangelist Mordechai him a calling came on Billy's life, and he was resistant to it. At first he didn't aspire to be a preacher.

He was a fun-loving normal young man who, as I said wanted to go play baseball. God put a call in this life and God puts it: everybody's life are not all called to be preachers certainly were not all called to impact the world like Billy Graham did, but we are all called to preach the gospel and we are all called to impact our world. You know when we hear the great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

We can personalize it and just simply say we need to go to all of our world and preach the gospel.

So this book that I've written on the life umbilical Billy Graham, the man that I knew I'd show how the Lord directed him how the Lord called him and I describe in detail the amazing changes that happen in his life and he wanted to go one way of the Lord, let him another way and and how God was in control of his life from beginning to end and how the Lord will do that for you as well. I'm hoping that this book will introduce Billy to a whole new generation, especially of young people that don't really know Billy. They were racing Billy on television all the time. Then everyone in person do it Billy Graham Crusade so I'm doing my best to bring this story in an understandable relatable way to you I show his humor. I show his humanness. I show some of his vulnerabilities and you only love and appreciate a more after you've read it because he was the same guy in private that he was in public.

There were not too Billy Graham's. He was the real deal. That's why decided to write a book about Billy Graham because people need to know about this man who was called by God to be the greatest evangelist in history will Billy passed away in 2018, that the news wasn't unexpected given his age, but nevertheless it was news. We all felt it hurt to hear that.

Do you remember where you were when you heard that Billy had gone home. Yes, I was actually in Israel and I was on a little tour with some fellow pastors.

In fact, Sissy Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of Billy was with us on that trip and she heard the news differently than everyone else. We all lost a hero. So when we look up to. She lost her grandfather and she is very close to him and we were all very sad. No, Billy was 99 years old, so he lived a very long life, but yet you know it was the end of an era and so there was great sadness and losing him because I just feel like we need another Billy Graham right now in our world.

You know a man who's a pastor to presidents regardless of what side of the political aisle thereon. A man who can speak to us during cultural moments of me. Billy was there.

After 9/11, speaking to the nation really being a chaplain to America and he played such a viable role, and of course the great evangelist, but so yeah, I remember the day very distinctly and then I attended his memorial service that was held.

A bit later. Back at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte North Carolina. They put a tent top in tribute to the fact that he started his ministry in a tent.

It just turned out that that was one of the coldest days ever in North Carolina and the wind whipped through that tent the president came he had the presidential limo called the beast idling right there. He didn't get up and say a word. He was just there pain is tribute to Billy Graham, the vice president was there many other people. You've all heard of and just about every pastor I've ever met. Fact as I walked around and looked at the diversity of people that were there people from every denominational background every kind of theological background.

I thought well this is what heaven's gonna look like if we like it or not, you know where were going to be there because we believed in Jesus and we believed he died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead, but does these are people that would not normally hang around each other. But even in this funeral service. It was a reminder of the bridges he built to so many people in the Christian world and so many came from around the world to pay tribute to the great evangelist and in fact when his library was dedicated to Pres. Jimmy Carter of Pres. George H. W. Bush were there in person, as was President Clinton, so that alone shows you how he reached people on both sides of the aisle and he was loved and appreciated by these presidents that valued his counsel because Billy kept it confidential and he would rarely reveal something about a president. I asked him lots of questions.

What was it like when you're with this person.

What did they say he kept it confidential.

He did tell me one amazing story though about Pres. John F. Kennedy. I asked him if he had any regrets in life and he said yes I do and he told me the story of how he was that the prayer breakfast there in Washington DC and the president will always be in attendance, and Pres. Kennedy was there. Billy spoken after it was over with the president said Billy I would like you to ride with me back to the White House.

I have something I want to talk to you about.

Will Billy was very sick and he said Mr. Pres., I I'm afraid I'm gonna have to decline.

I don't want to get you sick. But maybe I could talk to you as soon as I'm over this sickness and Pres. Kennedy agreed and and then only days after that Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas and Billy always regretted that because he wondered what did the president want to talk to me about but you know he would keep these conversations in confidence and I think that's why people trust in them so much and wanted to to share their heart with him knowing that he would give them good counsel and I do write about his relationships with presidents and its fascinating his relationship with Pres. Johnson is really surprising, they they had a very close friendship. There were both Southerners, you know, so they connected on that level. He was very close to Pres. Reagan as well. Not as close to Pres. Carter but an audit continued with the Bush family.

George H. W. Bush.

He really played a role in George W. Bush coming to Christ and then fast forward he was very close to Bill Clinton and Hillary as well and they admired him and and fact, Bill and Hillary came to his final crusade, and in some people get very upset because are so partisan these days and how dare you be with those people.

What you talking about you know Jesus spent time with all kinds of people.

He was called critically, I might add, the friend of sinners. Billy build bridges the people and he always shared the gospel and he always emulated Christ and they think we can learn from his example. So I write about that a lot more in this new book I've written called Billy Graham the man I knew you, and you can get a copy from us by going to harvest.org pressure you thought a lot about his life as you written this book if he could be here with us right now and over just a few minutes. What would you ask him. Well, that's a good question. What I remember what I asked him when I had the opportunity. I was in his home in Montreat, North Carolina, and I said, Billy. If an older Billy could speak to a younger Billy. What would he say and really without missing a beat, Billy said I would tell myself to breach more on the cross of Christ and the blood of Christ because that's where the power is, and that was something he lived by throughout his entire life as far as what I would ask Billy today will, of course, if he was with this back from the other side I would want to know a lot about the afterlife, so Billy went to heaven. Lucky kid and you know what happened up there but I think I would just tell him how much I appreciated him. I did tell him that when I spoke with them for the last time I told him I loved him.

He told me he loved me. I don't see that the people lightly. By the way, and so this I had those opportunities they have final conversations with him, but probably just say you know you you're going to be loved beyond the time you're on this earth and your legacy will live on and I want to just save you.

Thank you for being a good example not only a great preacher but thank you for being a good example in a good model of what it means to be a real Christian is so good and that spirit is reflected throughout the book.

It's a fascinating read and we hope you get your own copy of this new book Billy Graham, the man I knew where making it available to thank you for your investment in the work of this ministry God is touching lives and changing lives through this outreach and the teaching and preaching of the gospel.

So to get your copy of Billy Graham, the man I knew from Pastor Greg Laurie writer set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online harvest.what next time.

Join us for some powerful insight.

Pastor Greg helps us focus our perspective on eternity. Join us here on a new beginning. Read more possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor great free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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