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February 21, 2018
ANNE’S TRIBUTE TO HER FATHER
My Father’s legacy is one that encompasses the world…and engulfs my own life. When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy. The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s. Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great. Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.
But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message…a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else.
For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me. Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors, and is now enjoying real Life.
I have often stated that I was raised by a single parent because ministry took my father away from our family—for weeks and months at a time. Daddy estimated that he was gone from home approximately 60 percent of his children’s growing-up years. Now, he has left again. This time, he will not be coming back. At least, not until Jesus does, too.
While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come. My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father’s House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those with whom they come in contact. Because Daddy’s message is God’s message. And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past.
It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven’s door.
It was this message, which Daddy carried to the world, that penetrated my own heart as a young girl and has created in me a personal, passionate resolve to communicate it myself to as many people as possible. And so, even as my tears seem to be unending, I silently rededicate my life to picking up and passing on the baton. Would you do the same?
February 20, 2018
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags…
No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you…
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
Isaiah 64:6-7, Acts 3:19
As I listen to the unending speculation regarding how a young man could open fire and kill 17 innocent people, then listen to the solutions that are offered, my spirit is actually outraged and grieved. While some of the suggestions may have validity, the ones I have heard and read are more like band-aid treatments for what is a deep, gaping wound in our nation–a wound that is becoming infected. No one person, no one administration, no one political party is responsible for the outbreak of lawlessness and violence that is gripping our nation. We are all responsible! Our entire culture is to blame!
Feb 18, 2018
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February 17, 2018
I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord… Psalm 121:1-2
I am at a loss for words. What else can be said about the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida? So many shattered lives have left me numb, with a nauseous knot in the pit of my stomach. I want to gather every one of those mothers, every one of those fathers, every one of those siblings, every one of those classmates, every one of those teachers and coaches and administrators, every one of them, and place them in the arms of Jesus.
O God, hear our sobs! Our screams! Our silence! Our pain is white-hot. We are angry. We are broken. We are oppressed. Please, comfort the grieving. Speak peace to the fearful. Draw near to those who are crushed in spirit. Bind up their wounds.