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The Billy Graham I Knew | A Special Discussion on the Great Evangelist

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2021 3:00 am

The Billy Graham I Knew | A Special Discussion on the Great Evangelist

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 26, 2021 3:00 am

In this episode, Pastor Greg Laurie sits down with a friend for an in-depth conversation on the life and ministry of evangelist Billy Graham. Joining Pastor Greg is author and editor Yves Le Sieur to discuss some of what inspires them about Billy today and the kind of legacy he left when he went to Heaven in 2018.

Billy Graham was the first to acknowledge that God placed him where he was in life. God gave him special gifts that were unique. He had an amazing ability to connect with people, and that ability launched him from obscurity to being a household name—and more importantly, transformed millions of lives for Christ.

While there will never be another Billy Graham, there’s a lot we can learn and apply as we pursue God’s calling in our own lives. In this discussion, you'll learn about Pastor Greg’s newest book, Billy Graham: The Man I Knew in addition to other aspects of ministry.  

How to lead a church

How to find your calling

How to be a man in modern times

How to deal with doubt

What it feels like to bring someone to Christ

You can receive a copy of Billy Graham: The Man I Knew when you donate to Harvest Ministries at harvest.org/support.

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Grigori podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast but is a great service to be here in this library. By the way, for those of you don't know my name is even as you have been a writer for a variety of publications including GQ, including national Geo, the woman magazine.

More recently, and which I've had.

That's when I met you. That's right. And we did an interview on the other side of your office yes yes on the one thing I love about this place and I was kinda particular about wanting to be here is that we have a library with bunch of books much knowledge now but a little bit what Rev. Graham said that all the knowledge in the world will matter if you have got in your heart. Yeah and so that's the first thing I want to talk about a little bit about all these years later, 70 years of Crusades and Rev. Graham asked Winchester, 1918, watching matter. Still today, we still talk about it and we still have reverence and moving as anybody I think he was 57 times the most like men most respected and most admired men more than any other person anybody. I think the second one was 28 somewhere yeah once he still matter today many matters more.

Even today, I think sometimes of the passing of time you get more perspective on how singular of figure was any know there have been different evangelists that appeared on this have appeared on the scene in American history. Arguably, going back to George Whitfield before we were even the nation. He preached the gospel to the colonies and thousands of people came to Christ and later we became a nation within fast forwarding history and you of Charles Finney within the will of Adil Moody nibbling Sunday and it's funny after every one of those guys. People said they'll never be another DL Moody will never be another Billy Sunday and no Billy Graham comes on the scene in here eclipsed all of them. As far as his affect course he had mass media at his disposal. Billy Graham was the King of all media before Howard Stern claimed the title he was an innovator in radio and television and film and in an and satellite technology and everything else you can think of but I think he matters today because here is a man who lived a godly life there. There was no scandal attached to his name.

He both started and ended his spiritual race well and I think there are take away truths from his life. In fact I wrote this book to introduce Billy to a younger generation who may be seen. Billy like a one-dimensional figure like Abraham Lincoln on a five dollar bill. We are pretty him. He was a great guy not want you to know him and even work. I put a lot in here about his childhood about his youth and inserted introduce you to this energetic guy who was willing to take risks, and I hope it will be an inspiration for a generation of young people because God is always going to raise up people to change the world while speaking a changing world we live in a very invited were right is a lot of fraction everywhere. It sounds it seems like when Rev. Graham started to preach the country was unified by those dangers of arousing downward to his coming right all that, but somehow he found the way to put himself in the middle thing right yet not be of those things yeah and still go be that the single simple creature from God from the sow that he was his room still for a man like that nowadays.

And I'm, you know. Emily made a barrel to you at some point in our conversation, is there room for preachers pastor evangelists to be those kind of guys who can be in the middle of culture without being of the culture and still talk about Jesus. I think there's room for it and I think there's a need for Billy was a bridge builder, not a bridge burner and it's worth noting that he had a close relationship with every president from Truman to even Pres. Obama. He had a kind of vibe.

I miss start with Truman.

He was just coming to his own and doing zoning as a very young preacher and he went to the White House and he made the mistake of putting his hand on the president's shoulder and prayed for him and later found that he broke protocol and so he apologized to Truman who said of course he didn't know so much of a brief due but Billy was very close with Eisenhower.

He was close with Pres. Johnson. Even Pres. Kennedy. We did not really know all that well.

Fact I once asked Billy I believe you have any regrets in life and he says yes I do. He was preaching that a presidential prayer breakfast of Pres. Kennedy was in attendance.

Afterwards, the president said Billy would you ride with me back to the White House or something. Want to talk to you about the Lisette Mr. Pres., nine sick with the flu maybe can come back in a week or two and meet with you and the president said that's fine. And tragically, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas only days after that Billy said I always regretted that because I wonder what he wanted to talk to me about but I think even a guy like Kennedy knew that he could trust Billy. He had a relationship with Nixon.

He had a relationship with Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush affect George W. Bush.

Billy played a key role in him getting off of alcohol and coming up with his faith in Christ and even Pres. Obama came to visit Billy at his home in Montreat, North Carolina tight you he was always a bridge builder and back of the day that there was great racial tensions there is today and that he was friends of Martin Luther King and he called him Mike and Ted. So Billy did not feel called to go in March with Dr. King, but he did something that was very risky for grant. He had Dr. King pray at one of the services at Madison Square Garden. Dr. King was a controversial figure. People who are racist didn't like this, but Billy would cross those lines. There is a son of the South breaking down racial barriers. He did Crusades earlier in his ministry were there were segregated. Bill is that I will not speak to a segregated crowd.

Everybody can come in here the gospel that was something that was very important to him from the very beginning and I think people feel comfortable about around him. He he was on a judgmental person. He was a very kind person. Billy and his political views. He was very conservative politically but even he never means that his cause Billy's cause is always Christ.

I think it's it's interesting woman to jump a little bit talk about the presidents. I think the reason my reading the book you get the idea that the reason why the presence trusted in him is because he was trustworthy. You never reveal that everything and was saving work with Churchill and the same thing with another person on a spread throughout history with me in the what it is now, and I think that by the time that Rev. Graham, in his last few years.

The other was an associate yet that is really that strong would it be possible to do this now in this day and age and be able to have a level of privacy when it comes with compositions because any you go to the White House and nobody knows it down and people have opinions about Iago that really true, yet may I mean yes and no.

I mean, I think that people would be aware of your comings and goings, but Billy was a man who lived a scandal free life.

So there's no worry there but tight it's it's how much you want to reveal kill people reveal a lot in social media, they reveal more than they should and sometimes old tweets come back and haunt them later in life. Aberrant Billy was very careful about what he said he was very conscious of what he said to people and even when I was with them in private.

I was always pressing them for details about conversations of people because when you shook hands with Billy Graham you shook hands with Mr. history know I quote CS Lewis. He met CS Lewis I admire Winston Churchill he met and spoke with Winston Churchill all the presidents and the celebrities of the day from Bob Hope to Bing Crosby to John Wayne to all these people he interacted with them as well.

Johnny Carson and Ty Bono came over to his house and I said what was it like to meet Bono, and Billy said he read poetry to Ruth because Ruth is a poet and of course Bono, poet, songwriter, Diderot connected with her that well there's a guy you know in a relationship with all these people but then even the end of the present day with people like Bono and others. He was always a bridge builder and people were drawn to him and I think that they were drawn to was Christ you know Billy was a humble man and I think Jesus emanated from him. I've met a lot of interesting people I've met a lot of famous people of shook hands with four presidents I've been in the Oval Office. I've seen power. I've seen all these things, but I've never been more impressed by a person. I was by Billy and he was the godliness man I ever met people asked me when I read the book but I thought and I thought it was a love story about hope and I thought that this book of the totality of it is a little bit of the totality of what Rev. Graham was it's really hard to get in one chapter at a time you want to look at totality of his life of it was really about hope a lot of things in the book that we talk about with his career. China troubles in the South trouble political scene was a lot of hopelessness I Churchill really talked about how I that he was.

Not very hopeful for the world.

But what did Donna mean every time he came back.

I have hope.

Yes, I have hope in Jesus Christ right is in part to keep remaining hopeful nowadays depends on putsch who you put your trust in what you put your hope in.

I think if you put sure hope and trust in a politician. The answer is yes, regardless of what side of the political aisle you're on. I think if you put it in human solutions.

Are you going to be greatly disappointed.

Billy had a simple, profound faith that he Throughout his entire life is hope was in Christ you know people asked Billy to run for office early on in his career, and I I have no doubt that if you chose to run for the presidency.

He would've one because he was such a great communicator and not to mention the fact that he was very photogenic and very appealing on multiple levels, but he understood what his calling was in fact his response and that was well. I have a higher calling and he really did it in the market he made is greater than any American president. The market Graham made is greater than any world leader because he made a mark for time and eternity and on people's lives it in it in the media. Huge difference in so many lives in. So I think that he had hope because he always kept his focus on Jesus and in fact there is a chapter in the book contrasting Billy Graham with another evangelist named Charles Templeton and NUC what direction Billy took in his life. Continuing to trust the Lord continuing to believe the Bible and the choice that Templeton took you have a team of people you surround yourself with trust for Graham. There were three that can again optimize and TW Wilson, George Shea and and of course Chris Barrows as how significant with those men know only in his personal life and how to grow this ministry that grew leaps and bounds quickly how significant were the very very significant and George Beverly Shea was of course the beloved gospel singer of his day, who would usually sing right before Billy would come up and preach Cliff Barrows was the song leader, insert of the host of the Billy Graham event and TW Wilson was a longtime friend of Billy going way back to his early days in Charlotte. In fact, when Billy went to hear the evangelist Mordechai Hammer. He ended up coming to Christ.

His buddies were TW in TW's brother Grady so these were the guys he felt comfortable with them was interesting. After Billy would preach hee hee love to hang out with Grady. I never met Grady but I did get to know TW quite well. He loved to be around them. There was a lot of jokes a lot of stories about the old days, they kept him grounded and they were a sounding board, they would tell them the truth, and also TW was United States sheriff and and would be a protector of Billy if necessary. But he also would wash Billy's socks in the sink of the hotel so he was just observing the Billy TW could've been a great pastor somewhere and evangelist and zone right but he felt he had a calling to serve Billy Graham and help Billy Graham and so that the these were a loyal team that were with them to the very end and it's an amazing thing to think about. There is there's a bunch of crows that I died love from Rev. Graham and one of them that I really found his.

He says quote when I stepped on this platform. Last night, which have never been before and go down and examine whether or not the pastor left them to support me. I was trusting that the carpenters will build right move in the same way, which cries you commit yourself and you trust your heart is a trust you'll not only your team around you and them and to make the connection to you now. You're the pastor of a big church. We also the leader of an organization hard is it to reconcile the two and how do you find the time to trust all the people that you have to in order for this to work well you develop relationships general Billy spent years traveling with these guys when you travel with people. He spent a lot of time together. You know, because there's the event then there is the days are the times were there is not an event happening. So you're with each other.

You're doing things together here in airplanes and cars together and I think he saw that these were trustworthy guys.

It really loved him and wanted to be with them and so any new did he get rely on them but Billy was a very trusting person by nature is well. He was not a walled off person. He was a very open person and and I don't know where that came from. He just was any was very like I said earlier, assessable and approachable and I think people sense that with them and you know it Billy on the fly. Everybody is floss right nobody's perfect.

Billy didn't walk on water. Billy's one of Billy's flaws was he could be maybe two. Trusting that times he I wouldn't call him nave.

He was far from nave as very intelligent, had StreetSmarts as well but but there was this aspect of Billy's nature, or I folded times he would baby over complement a person and I don't think it was insincere.

I think in Billy's eyes he really saw the person that way and maybe I had a different opinion of that person and I would think. I don't know if I think that exactly you know but but I thought okay but if you can I have a flaw that's a pretty awesome flooding as if you never flow you have the problem with this guy. His he thinks too highly of other people. Well actually that's a biblical virtue, but you know perhaps people took advantage of Billy a little bit here and there, you know, asking Billy dudes endorse this or say. Then Billy was very careful with those things. But sometimes this team and this taken a step in the protect them a little bit because people would try to exploit his good nature that will be with Nixon right over 100% Billy was shocked when he heard those recordings of what Nixon said in the use of profanity and so forth. And that was a Nixon.

He did not know and top but I think them to Billy's credit after the president resigned in one of the exile, in effect in San Clemente.

Billy still reached out to them. Billy still went visited him and he never talked about it, he just did it. Any one of the let the former president know that he was loved by God and by Billy and Ruth still so that he was a real friend to Richard Nixon who I do believe exploited Billy somewhat people that don't realize that in addition to being Rev. Graham who we became. He was president of the college shell was a college graduate. Both him and his wife Ruth Biaggi from Wheaton College. There's a little bit of controversy with him being the president of that school. What you think he really thought of it because I think that he was a little not quite convinced that he should be the president.

Athletically, when in almost as a sense of duty. You think that nobody regretted that by that he could concentrate more on his crusades, and on his logistic work, rather than being the president when you know everything in life is preparation for something else and I think that Billy went through some things were he discovered what he was not called to do before he fully discovered what he was called to do in one of those things was being the president of the University and Dr. Riley approached the very young Graham and wanted him to take his mental Billy never felt called to a higher education that was never something he aspired to.

But this Dr. Riley was so persistent that Billy finally agreed and after he took the position over.

He began to regretted realizing this is not what I'm called to do. But in his tenure there, he he did an amazing job of growing the school building a bunch of buildings that were paid off and actually got the school going in a great direction and I think learned some things that would help them later as he was forming an organization, the Billy Graham evangelistic Association. I've been on the board of this organization for 25 years that they are just so careful about everything their accounting, their reporting the way they run it it it's always been just an amazing organization run was such integrity, and that's a reflection Billy so I think he learned there that okay and not called to do this but but I think you did a good job in the interim, he also built a radio station for them and it was sort of a sign of things to come, because radio would become very important Billy in the beginning and the launch of his national and later international ministry is something that's interesting. I made a note about it is a something more important to know what you're not called value as opposed to being called to do something. Yeah I mean I often encourage people you know if you want to get involved in serving in the church volunteer for everything and you know maybe it will be good and all those things but sometimes finding what you're good at is first finding that which are not good at so you know someone volunteers in Sunday's gold one not really good with kids and they volunteer over here but then they find their sweet spot. So Billy had some hits and misses. That was one where he became the president of the college. The other was when he became the pastor of the church. I was offered to him. He was newly married. He didn't talk to his wife about it. They said you can use just a couple Woodhead. That's right.

And she said you've gotta talk to me about these things Billy were married now so he was still sort of thinking like a single guy. Then, but he thought it would help them. You will be financial stability and so forth.

But but even that you give them a heart for pastors and in he learned more about the church and Billy always love the church in support of the church, but he he was not called to be a pastor but for a short period of time.

He was and there were some important lessons to learn there as well.

So yeah, I do think it's important to find out which are not called to do before your you find out what you are called while you muster up my nose because I wanted to talk about the whole idea of being a pastor and evangelist. I think that Rev. Graham found pretty quickly that he was really gifted as an evangelist and pastoring might not be as to be of unintended you do both. You do both had a pretty high level heart is that it's not as hard as people think it's sometimes it's like putting on one had taken off another sometimes I do both simultaneously.

But when I speak of the crusade event door.

We put a film together that's evangelistic in nature.

I just simply shift gears to speaking like an evangelist which is a little different than the Bible expositor so maybe above the text then and I finished my message and then when I ship to evangelizing. I just make it more like a conversation so I've just spoken on whatever subject that all turned to the viewer or the listener.

However, in speaking to them and check it out. You have an appointment with God, and I do is say well I I didn't see that on my Google calendar I know you have one son in your Google calendar. It's on the heavenly calendar. This is your night to come into our relationship with Jesus Christ. It really went said to me Greg I think you should leave your pastorate and go to full-time evangelism and work with us. The BGA I said to Billy you know Billy you saying that to me it's like Moses just asked me to do this and he kind of smiled. I think Billy understood the affecting how the people I said I'm of the seriously pray about that and I did pray about it and it was in a troubled me for a while because there was part of me that didn't want to go would be a full-time evangelist, but also I felt a calling to be a pastor and a finally went back to him and said Billy actually feel called to do both and and I'm not the only person who is a pastor and evangelist have been others. Historically, I think CH Spurgeon was a great pastor and evangelist Martyn Lloyd Jones is who has written a lot of great commentaries and said she also felt that he was called to be a pastor and evangelist.

Arguably, the apostle Paul was a pastor and an evangelist, as was Simon Peter. I'm not comparing myself to them, but I'm saying the gift mix is not that unusual. Still, a short line. There's not that many of them will receive nowadays there's not that many. There's a lot of pastors and a lot of great teachers and there's very few evangelists must be reading my note. Yes, well, their knowledge of many evangelist brothers only one person identified as evangelist in the New Testament. His name is Philip nobody else's call that Philip the evangelist and we read about Philip sharing the gospel with the men from Ethiopia who worked for the Queen and was searching for God in Jerusalem and any joint Philip on the road and Philip share the gospel and this man came to Christ, so it does seem that it is a calling that you don't see as often. I wish more people were called to be an evangelist because I think we need evangelist in our culture right now are people who can drop religious of verbiage and speak in a way that normal people could people can understand that me and I've heard it said that the objective of a pastor is to get the cookies on the lower shelf of the children can get to them.

I do not try to impress people when I speak I try to communicate with people and and I'm very happy when someone writes me and says you know we want you as a family and her 10-year-old really loves your jokes or something.

I'm really happy when I hear a young person is understanding what I'm saying. I'm wanting to be understood by them so I think that Billy always understood that he didn't interview once with David Frost in and he said to Frost. I study to be simple. It it takes more effort to be simple than it takes to be complex you have to work at it harder, I'd say this. Billy was not simplistic, but he was simple when he got under the pulpit. He understood that his job was to preach for a decision.

You know the difference between Bible exposition in evangelism is an exposition you you know you talk about the backdrop the history of the language, the culture, what this means in context in the Bible, then you make present-day application and exegete a text and evangelist. It's different. He gets into the pulpit and in she gets in. You know it. An evangelist can be a man or woman. Some of the greatest evangelists I've met have never stood behind the pulpit, there just great communicators you can.

I've seen women go and engage people boldly with the gospel. Some of this is not limited to men or women you can be an evangelist not even be technically in ministry but your ministry but coming back what I was saying this, the evangelist preaches for a decision.

Another which in the beginning of the message to the end there building to a moment where they're going to say here's what Jesus said, here's what he promised his hearers claims know what are you going to do about it. They put the ball in your court and they asked for a decision. We talk about the idea of simplicity and messaging location. I think it was one of Israel, gives me this was a guy that you send yourself you are all of you still are, but somehow was able to talk to anybody the plumber and to the president. This idea that communication becomes a very difficult, if not everybody can do that you find yourself sometimes. I was talking to your son Jonathan. The and is asked is how you doing doing well, you know, we just have the men's conference and it was a busy time, and while you are ready. Just you rated a lot of energy in the room was man sometimes people just come and talk at you just want to tell you things he said no. And sometimes you just want to talk with them is R&R to this to be able to say okay this is for this person needs to be engaged. I need to be engaged with this person like you just say okay well I'll come back in a minute. How can you do that without somebody leaving saying here's a great glory. They want to talk to me is R&R to this yeah I think there is an art. I think it starts with having an interest in people, you know, when you were with Billy Heaton never talked about himself, but he always wanted to know about you been with preachers that they love to talk about themselves and I think this might think that it that's fine as a place of that because many times I'm very interested in what they think Billy would say tell me about yourself.

I was with him once at the red lobster that Terry wanted to go to lunch, so we'd sit down he is a baseball cap on. I think he thought that helped you know disguise similar. He had such a famous profile. He could've been carved in Mount Rushmore and Inso were talking and the first thing he said to me was well Greg tell me about yourself, and then he listened. He was very interested in hearing my story and I'm thinking why my talking about myself, the Billy Graham all I want to do is ask him questions, but he was that way. He took an interest in people and that he might tell your story to someone else and he would tell her with complete accuracy.

So he willing to listen to what a person was saying the night. I think that's a little secret because it's been said that everyone's favorite subject is themselves.

So when you take an interest in someone. They look they love it and they love to be heard in leading people thought they were heard by Billy in and that's probably one of the secrets of his relationships with presidents as he was a good listener. He paid attention within you would ask him is thought that things in and then he would tell you but but he never dominated the conversation that that was an interesting quality about in the book wanted a theme that comes across. Besides Rev. Graham's love for Jesus was, of course, his love for his wife and after reading the whole story I read a lot about Rev. Graham before. I also read a lot about you. There's a parallel life between his ministry, his wife Ruth supporting of this ministry and the way Kathy is to you how important is this an and not just in the fact that while you and I have a lot of she supports me and it's great but really and in the growth of this ministry for the last 40 years you know how important is this have this partner that normally can count on, but also helps you grow only as a member, the pastor as men of God important. I think it's vitally important. I don't think there would've been a Billy Graham without a Ruth Graham and she was in every way. His equal.

She was very intelligent, very articulate very insightful.

You know it's interesting.

Ruth could've easily had a international women's ministry.

She could've written a lot of book she wrote a few but that she chose to be primarily a wife and a mother and spend time at home, but she was such a great support with Billy I was with them. In many occasions watching them interact. Members always very impressed because they were like any other couple that they would funeral have their disagreements.

Ruth would tell Billy what she didn't agree with you she was a great sounding board for him or others might be old Billy, that's wonderful, Ruth would tell them if she didn't agree and Billy would often say Ruth is liberal Bible students of this house needs. They all know he's just being modest. Actually I think is pretty true.

Like when you walk by Ruth's little studies yet a desk there just piled high with books on top of books and and when he would speak with her. She just had all these thoughts" and I mean I honestly enjoyed being with Ruth as much as I enjoyed being with Billy and sometimes Billy would be away during the Crusades, and we would speak up at a place called the Billy Graham training center at the coven.

Ruth would invite us all over for lunch and would spend hours with her. Ruth love to laugh.

See she was.

She too was a great listener. She was just so much fun to be with, but then she would have these incredible insights that were so helpful went on. I said to Ruth I was just starting out. I'm in my 30s and said will Ruth and starting to do these Crusades and speak in the stadiums and I need to really brush up on my apologetics and Ruth said Greg you just concentrate on the gospel. That's a Billy always did, that's great advice. Kind of like something your mother would say to you, and it was good.

I needed to hear that in you know, so she was some such an asset, and my wife Kathy is the same to me and she I value her opinion about anybody else's opinion and when I hear good news. The first person want to talk to is my wife when I hear God is the first person I want to talk to assert she helps me process it and think it through and will and she always has interesting ideas and perspective on things. Because gender she's been with me from the very beginning, as was Ruth with Billy so that so important to have someone like that that that you can have in your life and and I remembered a time much later in their lives. Ruth was very ill that she wasn't long for this world and we have a mutual friend in the second, Jeannie and who came to play his guitar for Billy and Ruth any he played in instrumental version of the hallelujah chorus and as he was playing I was looking Dennis, I looked over Billy Bennett, Ruth, and Ruth was just glowing. She was in very poor health, but she was just almost like glowing and I looked over Billy and he was just looking at her smiling and I thought there's some kind of a moment happening here. I don't understand it but I can see it and after the sun was done, Billy turned Ruth and said that was the song they played on our first date because Billy took Ruth to see Handel's Messiah. The course the hallelujah chorus as part of that and I thought wow, what a precious memory, but I saw that love that he had for her to the very end and when Ruth died was at Ruth's memorial service.

Billy was devastated. He it had a huge impact on him, he really needed Ruth in life and and he continued on after that but but he missed her so much. I think it's hard to recover from this loss and the one thing that he really struck me about her. She was witty. She seemed witty to me physical in the book as she wrote in her 1982 memoir. It's my turn.

The Christian walk is wise. Responsibility balances delicately between knowing what to submit and when to outwit adapting to our husbands never implied the annihilation of our creativity rather than velocity and I thought it was so apropos because there's a lot of debate now about the role of the family.

The role of a man and within our family of God, and I think we we had lunch. We talked about it a little bit know what is it that we've lost a little bit out of it is to be a man in today's world and how is it to leave your family and godly way.

How difficult is it right now.

I me I hear is from from my friends who are Christians or non-Christians like well you know I don't want to do now how do we address that how we deal with man nowadays and I know that you the unit tell me the answers were Jesus and I know it black and may lead their family now have member that seen in the Godfather were a Johnny Fontaine comes to Vito Corleone and he starts to cry and veto slots in the just be a man right. I don't think I'm in the what is to be a man anymore and and you know there's so much blurring of the lines right out of the genders and in our roles, but you know God.

God invented all of this. He knows what he's talking about starting with marriage versus stereotypical view the man as they had of the home. What he says goes.

The woman is to submit well that's actually not what the Bible teaches. Yes it is true God is place the man in a position of authority in the home, but it is also true that the Bible says in the book of Ephesians to both husband and wife submit yourself one to another in the reverence of God soap before pulse is a word about wife submitting the husband's Paul says submit to each other and the word submit mean support one another.

Beach others greatest supporters are we going to this for the mutual humility, but we acknowledge that we have different roles or things the men can do or effectively than the woman things that the woman can do more effectively than the man. Rather than fight over this. Let's celebrate this we both have an important role to play, then what is the man to do. He is the love the wife as Christ loves the church that servant leadership that's not male chauvinism. That's not lording over the wife that's putting her needs and interests above your Ronan including her and loving her and cherishing her in and then she is to submit on to him as under the Lord. So even that for the woman as an act of worship the Christ that we can fight about these things but I believe the Bible it and I think when a family will come into an order under what God says, but with the with an understanding of what it means it can be a beautiful thing and and I don't you know, my wife and our partners suite. We discussed things we talked about things and we agree on things I can't really think of many decisions. There's maybe a couple but many decisions in life where I said were doing this if you want to or not I are usually unable to get her to agree with me on one decision was when I bought a 67 Mustang and she was very unhappy and said that was a bad thing.

But then that ended up being the impetus for a book and a movie about Steve McQueen so I think she later said, yeah that is probably a good thing that you both read redemption. Yeah something Donnie on them in the book to you is that I think that Rev. Graham was surprised at is effect known people over how quickly youth cries all of that grew some intimate apparel once again with the only harvest of the Crusades here with you.

Are you ever surprised when wow three nights at Anaheim Stadium. Or if you teeter somewhere or this building or the other building is your time when you set homelike what's happening here and through the years and I'm guessing now that you year I will sit older, more experienced on both anger and wiser and all those things that we acquired what we out with time is time you sit down God, what have you done as you get older your a little back and connect the dots. I have a friend named Michael frenzies he is to be in the Colombo crime family. He was group being groomed to become the next Don. The next Godfather if you will and does so he you know was in the mob and got himself a lot of trouble. We were sent to prison and there they're having problems in the crime family and they said the Michael, you need to. This is my second mob reference I mentioned Godfather 200 of this is good but some so they said the Michael, you need to get help us right now we need your help and so he wanted to get involved again even though he was told by the feds. If you have any contact with members of organized crime will send it back to prison he that was his intention to get involved again and he crossed some line kind of a minor offense. He was sent to prison in the whole crew. He was involved with all were killed in short order. As he was in solitary confinement, so sitting in the rethinking. Why is this happening to me. Will God allowed him to go to their prison find Christ because a prison guard gave to frenzies. A copy of Scripture, and Michael came the Lord also protected this life and I think that we realize in time that God is at work and in the details of life and sometimes when you're going through it you don't understand. It's like poor joke he had never read the book of Joe, you know one day he wakes up and and calamity is striking and you know he's losing his possessions. He's losing his livelihood. And worst of all his children have died, and he finds himself covered and boils. He didn't know there was a conversation in heaven between Lucifer, a fallen angel and the Lord and the Lord allowed certain calamities to happen to Joe. He didn't understand God was at work but as you've lived longer. You can look back and start connecting those dots and say okay I didn't understand this at the time, but the Lord prepared me for this other thing in the allowed this because this other thing was going happen you start seeing the truth of Romans 828 which says God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.

Another called according to his purpose, and nine I think Billy can look back and see that his life I know that I can look back and see that my life as well. Let's equity you mentioned the idea of doubt and then, brings me back to Charles Templeton in the chapters relate to converging path evangelist out and I think that by what I read and read other materials to that that Rev. Graham was we are broken Templeton at one point decided like you know what this is baloney.

But towards the end of his life music so they get a chapter that you believe that you somewhere sitting with Rev. Graham now doubts that's why wanted to sit in his library is a lot of moods what wisdom these folks and sometimes we forget that he really was, and that we need is the one from this Bible that we have everywhere he is on Rev. Graham had doubts after this that that he had real doubts in the really get on his knees and prayed and asked the Lord to guide and view ever been in this position essay like Lord I don't know about any of course you know it's been said that doubt is not assigned to the man is wrong, it may be assigned to these think we have to think these things through and I definitely had what I had doubts. Right after I became a Christian like. Is this real wood away do now is this going to work for me and and is alert begin to change my life.

I realized I those doubts were were not right but you know when my son died in an automobile accident in 2008 I doubts like what why did God let this happen to me. You know what is the REIT. How could this possibly ever you know have anything good come out of it and so that was really devastating to but I'm up and said this is not original to me. We need to doubt our doubts and believe our beliefs and that that is the moment when we really, I think. Find out what we've built our faith on because of faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. So sometimes people will go through a crisis in life. Something bad will happen to them or someone they love and those they because that happen. I no longer believe in God, I've lost my faith and my response is will maybe that's good is what is that faith and what is that faith then is in Christ because bad things are going to happen to good people, inexplicable things are going happen that we will not understand until we get to heaven. Can we trust God.

In the interim, and succumbing to Billy, and I was able with my son to just realize that all these things that I preach the people and talk to people were true because they leaned into everything in it all work for me.

God was there for me.

Any company through the hardest moment of my life so I know if he can do that for me can do it for anyone because at the end of the day I was on the preacher I was a father who lost a son that's what I was grappling with in God helped me through it. I put that in the present, not just the past tense because it's still very hard and I still miss my son so much for coming to Billy Charles Templeton. They were both preachers with youth for Christ since about four Billy had his his big ministry opportunity at the Tinton everyone knew his name so he was just starting out.

Many thought Templeton was the better of the two preachers, Templeton was very articulate a very effective communicator, very intelligent man exit was a very talented graphic artist as well, but that Templeton started having doubts, and in he questioned if this was a good way to reach people what happened. All these people that make professions of faith in these meetings that they hold and so he began to get an education and that was sort of being influenced by some liberal theologians and and begin to doubt everything and he encouraged Billy to join him in the stout Billy struggled with this because there were certain things. Billy was not sure up and so Billy parted company with Templeton and he was up at Forest phone conference center in the mountains of San Bernardino and Billy took his Bible related out of the tree stump and he said I accept this book by faith, and I choose to believe it's true. And from that moment Billy never look back and never really entertained any serious doubts, and of course went on to have his worldwide ministry.

Meanwhile, Charles Templeton's life took a very difficult course multiple marriages and divorces. He wrote a best-selling book farewell to God I think was the title so he was celebrated look anytime someone says I don't believe in God anymore. They will be celebrated by the secular press until they've got what they want from you, then you will be discarded. You've served your purpose. Next, and so Templeton had his moment in the sun. This former evangelist who now is atheist or an agnostic, but the course that Templeton's life took is very sad and so toward the end of his life. My friend Lee Strobel went to visit him and he wanted to talk to Templeton about him and grandma and why he turned away from the faith, and as they were having the discussion about Jesus Lee Strobel was really surprised because Lee's to be an atheist himself.

He wrote the book the case for Christ Decatur Christ right and he was row for the Chicago Tribune. He was in a very successful writer. He went from atheism to faith in Christ. So he kind of understood the mind of the atheist, so he's is talking to Templeton and tumbled and starts talking about Jesus and says I miss him I miss him and then he began to cry and Lee was really surprised by this and die and then Templeton ended the meeting so that was sort of a breaking. I think Templeton was beginning to doubt his doubts, like, well, maybe this isn't right and so his wife writes that on his deathbed, Charles Templeton said I see the Angels and so I think it's entirely possible he returned to his faith and maybe he was just the prodigal son who took a long trip away from home but came back at the end but you look at the course. Her life took in what Billy went on to accomplish anything of the potential that Templeton had. I thought that was pretty sad, but a powerful contrast of the importance of making the right choices in life must be a pretty interesting composition heaven right now. There was something that that you wrote in the book that Templeton said that Billy's faith was too simple. There such a thing. Well I think I was this estimation at the moment but I think that this part of the secret sauce of Billy Graham.

Simple is not bad. Simple is good simplistic and simple are two different things. And Billy was a deep thinker.

He was a very intelligent man, a very well read man when he was around people, be they world leaders or theologians or whoever they were.

He always was learning, always asking questions always reading, always studying very aware of things and expanding and growing, as was his eyes that his wife Ruth, a great reader a great learner and the sort but that simplicity of his faith is a virtue Jesus. And unless you become like a little child, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Simple just means I trust in an all-powerful loving God who is in control of my life.

Some might call that simple. I call that smart and that's what I choose to do as well, though some may criticize me or others that have this kind of faith but well Let's compare notes at the end.

Let's see how your decisions influence you aware that lead you and let's see where my decisions influence me and where it led me, I will see how it works out.

I I think I've made the right decision and I've enough examples of godly men and women who preceded me and of course the Scripture. Most importantly, in and so that is the course I meditate God says I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life, that you may live. I love this.

It's like the Lord says to hear his life. You make the choice when it sort of like a tested teacher says here's a test and here's a question. By the way, here's the answer to the question to you given any on the test sconces I set before you life and death, blessings and curses coaches like that. By the way, the answers choose lotteries choose my way I choose to follow me choose to live by my word and I think whatever sacrifices you make will be more than made up to you by God, I love the idea in the book throughout the book is the idea of revival in America in postwar pre-or post war pre-civilized possible rise nowadays, the idea of revival is always ever present you spoke really famously by the Jesus revolution wrote a book about 70s I win the minutes of the new revolution we in the midst of a movement that we in the midst of a revival or and I know that we need a revival in this country is it can be permissible. We get to be able to be allowed to have a revival in this country. What does it matter for allowed or not of God wanted to happen that'll happen when revivals are broken out. It's a spontaneous work of God one person to find revival. This way God get so tired of people misrepresenting him he decide to just show up himself. You know and and I think it's a it's when a revival or the word provide means to restore to original condition. Sometimes it's called an awakening. I use the words and in different ways. I think the culture needs an awakening and I think the church needs a revival, so the church needs to be revived or restored to original condition. So were more like the first century church. The church that turned the world upside down. The church living in a first love relationship with Jesus of simple faith if you will, the culture needs a spiritual awakening when the culture sees a revived church. It will impact you know. Second Chronicles 714 God says of my people. What are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then they will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. In a God doesn't direct his remarks to the government. He doesn't direct his remarks to culture God doesn't say of Hollywood will do this sort of Washington DC will do this. He says if my people will do it.

So the change we need in America does is not gonna start with the White House is going to start in God's so God's people need to get right with them and turn from our wicked ways and and then God promises all hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. So to me the healing of the land. The healing of a nation is what America needs and that statement was given contextually to the nation Israel, but I think in principle applies to any nation including the United States.

So Billy preached on revival quite a bit. I think there are moments in his ministry were more revival King. Like when he preached over 1 million people in Korea that that's revival like you don't hear of that happening. Just every day and and there were moments places were Billy Dicker saves Los Angeles later Madison Square Garden in Boston and other places where it was like the name of Christ was on the front page of the newspaper lights were being changed. Culture was being impacted while at times like revival to me so sometimes revival can be localized. You can break out the single church or in the community and sometimes it can be a national spiritual awakening. I don't think were having one of those right now, but I seem revival like fires here and there happening in different places we've had for great awakenings in America. The most recent being what is called the Jesus movement vector making a film about it John or when my friend who runs kingdom productions I who directed I can only imagine is making a film called Jesus revolution based in part on my book and it will be the story of the last great spiritual awakening that happened here in Southern California when two men came together a young hippie preacher named Lonnie Frisbee, and a pastor named Chuck Smith and it was like nitrile meat, glycerin, kaboom, and in amazing things happen in young people were being reached and I was one of those young people so this movie will also tell the story of how I came to faith how my wife Kathy came to faith and how we met each other but that you know it's been said that theme of revival spreads the flame of revival.

So were hoping by telling the story and in the movies are different than when you read a book you read it a certain way but but a movie can move you emotionally, so our hope is that when people see this film, though almost feel like they were there a bit.

You take him back in time in our hope is that it might have a role, or spark an interest in the younger generation the safe. We want a spiritual awakening like that for our generation want to read something from the bug to communicative brings to fruition in the book you read quote but have one tremendous fear.

Billy said you may be looking for a man or team from America to bring revival. There is only one person can send revival in this Holy Spirit. I believe there is a hunger for God and by the grace of God before these three months have passed, were going to see great revival in the City of London.

If I limited the City of London vitamin A the last three months we can find out today absolutely and and they did see a spiritual awakening in London.

There were there were filled with fear and trepidation because the venue they booked the press really turned on Billy, even before he landed there heat to guardianship over and by the time he arrived, the press suggests average 10 and and he did not return fire.

He treated them with respect and kindness of the kind of LOL well you know maybe this Yank isn't so bad, and that but they predicted failure for his event in the first night when is packed to overflowing, and it just one of her nights and nights and nights Billy went over to England many times even had ministry to the Queen Billy had a great impact on the Queen and her faith in drawing her closer to Christ. Some of even said the letter to Christ that was reflected in an episode of the very popular series. The crown and I think the effect of Graham on the Queen was even greater than with the crown showed but yes these things are true wheat we don't plan revival. We pray for revival, it's like we pre-prayer the ground you know we we get things ready again going back to second Chronicles 714 God says if you will humble yourself and pray and seek my face and turn from your wicked ways. All hear from heaven forgive your sin and heal the land on in the story of Jonah and Nineveh when he went there and preach the gospel. This huge revival broke out.

There were over a million people living in the city of Nineveh, and it happened just by one man being obedient to God. Reluctantly, I might add the obviously ramp from the Lord will know the story of Jonah in the Whaler Joan in the great fish but that's not really the focus of the story. It's really a story of the greatest spiritual awakening in the Bible because people turn from their sin so I went, says Chuck Smith, who was a pastor at Calvary Chapel in regarded by many as the father of the Jesus movement we ever see another Jesus movement and structure plot response was I don't know for desperate enough, I think, will we really get desperate and realize that it's not a political solution.

It's a spiritual solution and we really start calling out to the Lord in desperation I think God will hear you don't organize a revival you agonize for revival in prayer. We need to get to that point. I think what we do gobble here and prayerfully answer you quoted Charles Spurgeon in the book and is just what you said. If you are filled with agony for them and the sinners you will God give me convert converts. Why will dial that energy that Rev. Graham had to bring people to God.

I think it's it's such a theme throughout the book you the one thing I was really curious because I also will make appeal to you this several times in the book that you mentioned that Rev. Graham lost 20 pounds a lost 30 pounds. He lost another 20 pounds which is about and was ever dwindling in Edo because of the intense amount of work and travel all of that how you deal with that. You have also very busy schedule which I can believe that. Were having two hours together. I just wish I could lose a 20 pack, but how do you how do you do that how do you find the energy. I know that Rev. Graham respond in the book you the Holy Spirit feeds me and I just but in a practical matter, how do you find the energy to do this ongoing we have you done that for years that he did it for 70 exit closing on 50 in Bavaria, even older than the fake well you know it's a funny thing with Billy. He he was so filled with energy. You know, today we would probably diagnose them as being hyperactive, but does that energy served him well later in life. He was always a very energetic guy, a very intellectually curious person and a person who loved to grow and learn and and so you the an enormous reservoir of energy just by the way, the Lord wired him and but I think even more than that. He loved what he did he love the Lord. He loved to see people reached by the Lord, you know, for me either.

It's like I moved more by individual stories than I am by how many people showed up to a meeting. I mean, obviously, when I speak I love to have a full house if I can and reach as many people as I can, but when I hear a story of a life that was changed the life that was impacted how something that was said maybe turned a person from suicide or turn them from their drug addiction, indicating the Christ, and while that that is what keeps me going and I think that's what Billy going as well and you know I love what I do. It's not a job. It's my calling.

It's my passion. I do it because I want to. I know people my age to our retiring summer even pastors and will I look. I can never retire from preaching the gospel. I can never retire from from teaching the Bible.

That's what I'm called to do, but I actually love what I do and in my favorite things to do are actually studying, preparing, writing and delivering messages. There's other things I don't like to do as much that are involved in what we do but you know, and I think more you think about travel back in the days of Billy Graham, especially in the 40s.

It was brutal. Planes were a lot slower back then should and Roscoe together. That's right so they would eat. It was so grueling the blood from the road.

That's probably why he loved so much weight that an plus when Billy first started preaching. He was like a machine. He proud that staves like a panther. He was in constant movement as he got older he is in did move around as much. But as always a lot of energy and Billy, even in those older years is kind of the spark of energy.

I think at times when I was helping him with his messages. He was in his 70s at this point and late 70s even and so I go to his hotel room and an odd look at what he was going to preach and I I collected some illustrations this and I've actually preach them to him and said he Billy at this point, you say this, here's an illustration. Here's how I would say I would just stay until I can send it to just look at me and then if you like. Slowly pick up his phone and call the secretary Stephanie and say Stephanie, I want to the users illustration that Greg just gave me and so I give it to Stephanie and that I would look at him thinking. How is he going to muster enough energy to preach tonight and then he would get to because he was struggling with Parkinson's. He was on medication and so he had a lot of issues that he was dealing with physically but then he would step one of the pulpit and as Ruth would say, it's like 20 to 30 years came on the new minnows yells in full so the funny thing is, people they call that so you know, exhausting.

It is exhausting. Preaching is very tiring, but at the same time it's energizing their times. I'm like you know my mood and I would send to prosper them just like I have a really feel like speaking right now you know but I know God will bless once I step up there and their times I've started on MT and ended on full. It energizes me even when I can afford little sick like cold symptoms or whatever. I get up and preach and come up feeling stronger so I think when you when you find what you're called to do. It'll energize you, you know you'll get tired in the Lord's work, but you should never get tired of the Lord's work.

So I have to be honest, I don't understand people were much younger than me say I burned out a ministry will really I get tired I take a little break. I'm good. I don't understand burning out because you draw your strength from Christ, you keep your eyes on Christ and you do it for Christ. And I think that will help you to run this race. Well, in the book reference room, Graham really talks a lot about when people would come to Christ during his Crusades is energy was sucked, and you mentioned it as well. But then he said that at the end he would filled with the spirit, he saw that I thought happened last weekend where the menstrual chaos and those hundreds of but by the way, we are all at or as close it and Josh Canada noticing that Josh and the ribbon open my eyes and there were hundred 50 guys and we all got the tears I saw your face. It was a phase and not seen before and I went to the Crusades before I met you and all that and you are far away in the rafters somewhere hard to see I saw your face. There was a it's like something came over you.

There was a smile that had not seen before explained to me. How's it feel when you have a call for somebody to accept cries and they actually lift their hand and make that trek and I know you guys are not were not the most, you know, women tend to be easier with this. You absolutely are more "open men are more guarded.

This you guys. You know, commit to this, I thought it was spectacular but you felt he won't let me answer by saying when I post effectively. That same question the Billy penalty Hartfield.

I once asked Billy what do you feel physically and emotionally. When you give the invitation is that what you many times sitting on the stage of them from behind in the we can look around at the room and he praying that he would look around a little bit morning might say a couple of things in and he said I feel like power is going out of me that I thought the same thing when I'm giving them an invitation, especially the stadium. I feel the spiritual warfare going on around me. I feel like him in a vice. It's being close and ended some. I met people say well must really be a of fulfillment to your ego to stand up there in front of all those people at the believe it or not, it's the opposite.

Because I feel real responsibility when I step up there to speak.

I'm representing God and I'm representing his word and I don't want to mess it up so that that's a certain amount of pressure to begin with and then I I'm hoping the crowd will understand what I'm saying and and the Lord will work in their heart so that spiritual warfare bit so it's like depleting in energizing simultaneously.

It's like your your emptied butcher filled and as you do it any realize that the privilege and you realize it's not you there's nothing I can see them make a person believe something I can say to convince a person, but I recognize that the Holy Spirit works of the word of God, and I recognize there are certain elements that need to be reinforced which in the case of the evangelist is is the death and resurrection of Jesus in her attempts to crossover. Sometimes we fail to bring the cross over, you know, Paul said, I don't want to know anything else among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I want us Billy really if an older bully could speak to a younger Billy and you could give yourself advice. What would you say and he says I would tell myself to preach more on the cross of Christ and the blood, because out of the powers and an extended people fail to understand that in an evangelistic appeal. We need to talk about the death and the atonement of Christ on the cross for our sins in his resurrection from the dead, and how to come into a relationship with, and that the essence of the heartbeat of the gospel so that is something that always needs to be there but you know afterwards I discovered that after I preach. It's very important for me to as quickly as possible. Return to normalcy. I wanted was with Billy in Portland, Oregon, and it was a great meeting in Portland Oregon packed out stadium Johnny Cash thing that night. So as Billy was leaving the stage.

I was walking next to him and where going through a sea of people on both sides.

The ushers are starting keeping them at bay. People are calling out. We love you Billy Billy and he he just kind of walk through this sort of nodded and smiled a little, but he was only waving you just gonna walk through.

Then we got in the car and TW was driving I was riding shotgun. Billy was in the backseat and Franklin and I turned back toward him and I said Billy. That was a great message tonight. Billy looked at me and said will is just gospel that the term backbone. I know it's just gospel and then I thought of appointing me. They said to Becquerel is the Billy. Another point you made when you said Christ can re-sensitize your content. That was a great point Billy Billy said Willie can my plan so I just on a regular complement everything with the accident to it again and so we get to the hotel and someone had given us these cold barbecue beef sandwiches to eat which were warm once, but by the time we got to the hotel.

They were cold.

Billy invited us all up to his hotel room he disappeared for a few moments came back out wearing his pajamas in his dress shoes, and he forgot his slippers and we sat around and eat those cold sandwiches and I thought Tamil learning something here. First of all don't believe your own press you're not all that the baggage checks you're just a delivery boy, you're there to deliver the message of the gospel. Whatever happens, it's been done by God. Now just be normal again. Don't sit around and think you're someone's important and I just thought Billy was with people.

He was comfortable with. There were jokes. It was fun stories. There was just a relaxing and then it was on to the next thing in and so that the I think that was one of the keys of the successes coming back to his team he had people that kept them grounded people.

He felt comfortable with and and he did walk around like with, you know, like with a big head. He was actually a very down to earth kinda guy and I was on a persona that was not there was no was happy I was with them too many times into many settings. There is no way that was fake. That was real. In fact, he had moments of insecurity.

You know he he he himself will I don't know if this is going to work. Or, you know, he would have a bold idea and pursue it and then he would have moments where he wasn't sure and he just like anybody else struggling with these things you mentioned in the book that he was probably the coolest person you knew, and that says a lot because you cannot.

You literally wrote the book on cool did I bequeath then it's right here has denied any other words ligaments evict me a little mechanical Johnny Cash.

Also, the Godfather of the Godfather, but you say in the book that he was a cool guy yet. Yes is a PI was. I watched some sermons last night and there was a ton of young people in the crowd that obviously looked very different and we was very nice suit tie perfectly coiffed and all that he had a bunch of kids that it felt like he was as comfortable with the president that he was with these young kids how important is it just be able to speak to this younger generation of people that we have now your kids that are either coming to cries and are there in the beginning their lives and really quite know where to go yeah will you not to me.

Coolness. It's a word, and he goes back to the 50s. It's, you know, stood the test of time, but was it all.

He's cool. And maybe that's because of the way they dress serve their the persona or whatever it is, but to me, coolness is is been an original being authentic and Billy was an original and he wasn't a copy of somebody else, he wasn't taken up of the styles of video serve the younger Billy for the double-breasted suit. The hand-painted ties that buck shoes so he could. It was in the style group of his David as he got older he would generally just force and and I think of an instance where he was now in his late 70s, maybe even early 80s and he started using some of the Christian rock bands he work with the bank of DC talk to Michael W Smith in the whole stadium was filled with all these young kids and so the people love the band. They love the music but the greatest ovation and applause was saved for Billy when he walked out and Billy wasn't trying to be groovy. He wasn't trying to be cool. He was dressed in his normal suit, but it was sort of like your grandfather was walking out is going to tell you the truth and you love your grandfather 20.

How sometimes kids will connect to a grandfather, even more than the parent. You know, because the role of a grandfather is different than the role of the parent and he was like this beloved grandfather figure who was going to tell you the truth, yet he had a very reassuring presence and so he would just get out there and speak like he always spoke but as he had lived there for all these years and even resonated more I think of the last time I heard Billy speak at Flushing Meadows in New York and he gave his final message, and he just turned to the ground lease as God loves you and he turned to another section of the crowd, God loves you to another section of the crowd, God loves you, and I think that's kind of like the most obvious thing ever said, but Billy saying it it it was powerful and it was just a life that had been live for the glory of God.

And so here is an an event that is intended by all these people and President Clinton and Hillary Clinton are there Hannity and Colmes are there now.

Alan Colmes, who died was the liberal and Sean Hannity was a conservative data show on Fox news go Hannity Colmes so they were debated from a conservative a liberal view. Colmes was there listening to Billy Graham Hannity was there. Everyone was there. Billy crossed all these lines in and just you know was so sure of his message and and I just think to me that is the coolest thing of all to be authentic to be real and to be who God wants you to be letting because he was authentic was able to be himself and affect a lot of people on that's why there's something he does run the book about speak truth to power and he did that through his entire life and only with with presence here but abroad, the dictators and all that. Is there someone nowadays that can do this to be able to go either abroad or here in the states and are the same kind of impact. I know it's kind of a large question but you know, I am wondering how possible is that, especially in the will of religions that will I think it's possible, but I don't know of anyone doing this I mean if there wasn't enough to be the evangelist in America and relate to the world. Billy was also a counselor to world leaders from the King or the Queen or King's to. Of course, but to the Queen of England to Winston Churchill from Harry Truman to Pres. Obama from from you know Cliff Richards to Bono to Johnny Cash to Johnny Carson. I mean, you know, it just all these diverse people. He he always was of faithfully are reaching them in the and I don't really know of anyone doing that right now it seems like today.

Everything is so partisan here either in this camp or urine that can and Billy always kind of transcended that and I wish there was someone that can be that person. I know there are certain pastors that have great influence with people and culture today and I appreciate that and and I'm thankful there are men of God out there speaking truth of these folks, but I know there are ministers that speak to people were in political power as well, but I don't know of anybody that is done it on the scale that Billy did it, and for as long as Billy did it and I really wish there was someone like that today. It's very hard. Eve you know when you're in the Oval Office sitting across from the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on the planet. In this see something that's different than maybe he wants to hear our people don't know what kind of pressure that's like you know maybe you been in the bosses office so you can kiss up to the boss. Think of if it's the president and so that, but Billy was able to be truthful with the with these folks and then he didn't come out and talk about it afterwards and and that was a great quality and that's why so many of them trusted him. It wasn't an official position. He was not like the official chaplain to the president but in effect, he was the chaplain to the presidents and I don't see anybody doing that right now and I pray God raises someone up to do it.

Rev. Graham's legacy is unparalleled. But he also was grooming people order him and that ministry was cut their budget old guys that were altogether and okay was next Franklin who your great friends with found his way eventually, but there was some some issues with Franklin as well live rebellious. Truly a hero of the prodigal son is on the back and now you know Franklin is is is a leader in his own ride Meadows God in all this, you see some of the parallels with Jonathan the way it's it's it's moving a little bit, and I've seen Jonathan over the last few years grown in his own, you know, I just kind of rose nose for for one of the service of the man I was astounded. I was really impressed and out deepest is known as knowledge, but is that for the love that he have for Christ. Regardless, we will honey see the idea legacy well. Our job is to pass the baton. You know the Christian life is a race but it's like a baton race so you know we carry it for a time Billy carried it for his generation. I'm one of the many people carrying it in this generation. And then we had the baton on the baton of the gospel and is the word of God and then that person needs to carry it and pass it on as well. You know, John said the apostle John said I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in truth. And just because you're the son of a preacher doesn't mean you'll be a preacher.

It doesn't mean you should be a preacher. That's a calling from God, but that Jonathan has been called by God, and I was been impressed by how seriously he takes his preparation. You know, Jonathan is never tried to be cool. Jonathan just is cool but gathers these like I don't know what you want to call up sometimes preachers they want to be cool. They want to be trendy. I've always been impressed by the fact that Jonathan would rather deliver solid content and deliver the word of God and and we think God that he is is you know gotten that in that. That's our objective is. You know, Paul said to Timothy that you pass these things on the faithful men who will be able to teach others also. I have a friend named Bill who had the privilege of meeting Billy and it was a brief encounter, and he said Billy what advice would you give to a younger preacher, Billy said, get yourself a Timothy, and of course Paul had Timothy Richards typically have that line might my notes, who's youth well II think you know I probably have many Timothy's one does not choose their successor. I think God chooses that if there is to be a successor. I mean, when you see a successor God chooses a man or a woman he gives in the ministry. They run their course, they go to heaven and God chooses other people know they make on the following line before behind that one person, but it's not like some mental of a certain calling goes that's more of an Old Testament concept of likely a mental of Elijah fell on Elisha or the mental ability falls on Franklin.

I think God's anointing was on Billy to be. Would Billy was called to do God's anointing came on Franklin for Franklin to be who God has called him to be God's anointing is on me to be what I'm called to be God's anointing will be on Jonathan to be what God has called him to be not to carry on my ministry, but to do his own ministry, but I tried to take time and my older years now this been with younger men and women and share with them things that I've learned hopefully that can be helpful to them things that I can pass on to encourage them because you know when you're older you. You've seen a lot of things you've experienced a lot of things. Hopefully you've learned a few things when you're younger a crisis it it doesn't make sense. You know, because you're just starting to connect the dots and so it's helpful for older person to maybe offer perspective and a sense of reassurance and a reminder of the gods in control and he will continue to guide you, and you'll get through whatever it is you're going through so in I've tried to do that for other young men, but I'm really thrilled you know what how God's working in my son's life, you know, he was very impacted by his brother's death.

A lot of people think about how it affected Kathy and I it was devastating for Jonathan. Jonathan was closer to Christopher than any person he knew, including his mom and dad's big brother, his big brother and he could tell his big brother. The truth, and the last word that Christopher said to Jonathan before Christopher went to be with the Lord because Jonathan was struggling spiritually at that moment Christopher said Jonathan what's it gonna take to get to take me to get right with God. So Jonathan wanted to have another conversation with his brother and then this horrible event happened, so this impacted Jonathan amendment, saying that Jonathan would've made that commitment. If Christopher had not been called home to heaven for what I'm saying is, it came through a connection to what happened to his brother. So I think whatever Jonathan accomplishes in his life you note. Chris Christopher played a role in that fact. Jonathan named his son after his brother so he has the same name. The full name Christopher David Lori. Frankly, it was really hard for us to say that name afterwards by this little Christopher is growing up.

He's his own version of Christopher and it's like the name lives for another generation were so thrilled with that but so we all of we have to pass on what God is given to us, but ultimately it's the Lord that calls and equips people for their own ministry there something that you talk about in the book and and Billy really you mentioned a couple times about regret.

If you had something that he regretted, and others that is overly present candidate. Harley regretted on his or something that you look at you have regret. I don't have any larger projects like I will and this whole thing up and I should never have done this thing. There are things all I should probably you know taken all the speaking engagements and that all this traveling then overcommitted myself here or there, but in the big things in life. I think largely made the right choices. We always learn from our mistakes and our missteps by member Billy was, as you know, if you know what regrets he had.

He said I was heads not spend as much time traveling and I wish I had not taken his many speaking engagements and I wish had spent more time in a praying and telling the Lord how much I love him. I mean certainly I don't think I read the Bible is much as I ought to.

I don't pray as much as I could.

I don't think I share my faith as often as I ought to. Especially one on one. I have the same challenges and struggles that any Christian has, I always know that I fall short or shouldn't have said that that way to that person or so. There are those kinds of regrets in life than just the human struggle, but you know by large, I don't really have any big regrets to speak up and I'm thankful for that.

But hate the day is young will see. I might do some really stupid today. I don't know. I wanted I want to get a wrap up with. So the beginning of our of our chat that I thought the book was a book about love and hope. I love that description.

No one else is said that by the way sets that's beautiful because I wanted to be a hopeful book, I will. People will read and laugh even all that I didn't know that that's funny you know because you know I think that in life.

Your life can be very hard and in really difficult things can happen and I think humor so important you know to enjoy the humor to enjoy the good times to savor the good moments the bad moment will come soon enough.

The problem will come soon enough.

So enjoy life as you're going through it and an end. I wanted you know Billy would be willing to Billy visiting with his white hair standing there. You notice this sainted figure and yet he became better but there was a younger Brasher energetic Billy almost like a bull in a china shop. A risk taker.

A guy who was willing to just go for it and I love that quality about him to. So I wanted to show that side of him and that that who morphed into that that older man of God that lion in Winter if you will, but so it just showed that there stages of life that we go through and we just want to be the best us in each stage of life you know it, and so to savor each day to enjoy each day to be thankful for the time that God gives you. We don't know how long were going to be on this earth. Nobody dies. And so you know you live your life well and honor the Lord and because then one day you can have your last meal and you give your last statement and for me. I'll deliver my last sermon and and then eternity.

But then the greatest life is coming still to come.

There greatest the best is yet to come.

And Billy would often talk about how we look forward to going to have and so you know he's with Ruth now reunited with her eye and he's in in pure joy and pure bliss. And I'm sure greatly rewarded for his faithfulness to the Lord. The ban is all back together all those guys are these served with Cliff and Bev and TW O'Grady and so many others are there all there together.

Maybes comparing notes of Billy Sunday and diluting. I don't know but a but you know he certainly had a great reward waiting form the something that will close with this to bear little about this idea. This book is about love and hope. The sublease in the book that shocked me. You don't you love them. He also said that you don't say these words very often. Other than your family. Tell me why you chose to. To say that in the closing of the book really that you told me love them what you know a lot of people say love you love you love you bro love you man you know I don't say that to just anybody, and I sent it to him because I genuinely loved him because as a young boy living with my grandparents.

I watched them on television and he impressed me, but I didn't understand what he did.

Then I went and saw him as a 17-year-old preaching the stadium and I thought this is what I want to do when I grow up, but I never thought it preach stadiums, but I felt a connection like I think I'm called to do evangelism to and then later in life. I met him for the first time in the hallway and in Canada and Calgary and then then I met him again in 85 and spent a little time with and then I got to know him.

Then they became friends with him and I just couldn't believe that I was able to be friends with this man and spent so much time with them and to me he was a father figure and this and his wife was a mother figure in. I didn't have a dad mom growing up so I didn't try to become their weird adopted son but but I but he was a father figure to me. And so, yes, from a distance, but knowing him personally. He was so tenderhearted and so gracious and so kind and in being with him. And so what I was with him at a board meeting in Charlotte North Carolina and work and were sitting there and I told him the story I told him a funny story that I'd heard that some people that was true, and in I said Billy did you ever hear the story that's told about you of when he drove the limousine. He said no and Billy loved a good story love jokes. Says it appears how the story goes, so Billy Graham comes out of an airport and there's a limo waiting for. First of all delete it right around the limos but for the sake of the story. There's a limo waiting, foreman, and the Billy says that the chauffeur I'm telling this to Billy Graham just got a funny Billy says of this over. I've always wanted to drive a limo. Can I drive in the limo driver since Ernie gets in the back so the drive along the highway in and they're going over the speed limit and he's pulled over by the police and the police officer asked for his drivers license and he looks at the driver and he calls back to the police station is that his boss, I've got something here and an honor to deal with. We have a very important person. All I can tell you is Billy Graham is a chauffeur and so EE sort of smile because it's a joke and and the funny thing is, later on, when Billy was unable to walk as well. He was in the White House in a wheelchair, visiting the president and President Bush was pushing Billy around in his wheelchair, so it was kind of a thing that had a parallel to a real-life event, but the reason I said that to him as I just looked at him. He was really preaching at this point he was done he was quite old and II just thought while I don't know what I'll see him again. I don't know what I have an opportunity to say this to them and it was very spontaneous that was implanted to said Billy I love you, and he looked at me and said well I love you too and I believe he meant it.

You know it wasn't just something he just said so that was that something I wanted to put in there because you know with my upbringing.

It was hard for me to accept love and it was hard for me to give love because I was never told in on my childhood but my mom I love you I'm proud of you. So this is the man that I connected to a father figure that went back to the earliest days of my youth that he was actually able to meet and know in person and he never disappointed me. So I just wanted to tell him I loved best Lori this is a tremendous book and it's you.

I look at it is my as you can see what all the notes it's become my companion book to my Bible by because there's parallels to to life that I think is important for people to know.

I know it's successful book already, so he does need anybody anybody's help.

But God has blessed you with with those words, and it's my privilege and document thank you even know Billy would say to us. In closing it's not about me it's about Christ.

You know I did write this book to glorify Billy Graham wrote this book to glorify the Savior that Billy Graham followed the God work through a man, and God always works through a man in the works. The woman, and so we can learn from these people and I know his ultimate mission was to call people to Christ. And so I wanted to write this book and this is probably either closest book I've written on the topic of leadership using Billy as a model. He cures a leader. Here's what I learned about leadership from this man and so I think it has a lot to say that people in ministry, but just everyday people were simply followers of Jesus Christ today that you everybody great glory here.

Thanks for listening to our podcast and to learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show.

Just go to harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org


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