Like many, I was surprised and saddened to learn of Billy Graham’s death yesterday. Since he was 99 years old, it was expected, but it was still a surprise.
As I reflect on a life well lived, I acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Billy Graham. He impacted my life in a number of ways.
- My mother-in-law came to faith in Christ during one of Billy Graham’s first crusades in Los Angeles.
- As a junior higher, my parents and my brother and I sang in the choir during a crusade in Anaheim Stadium. I recall going forward and rededicating my life to Christ during that crusade. I benefited from the follow up material afterwards as it helped strengthen my faith.
- I attended the counselor training when a crusade was held in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
- Our church participated in phone counseling after several of the Graham crusades.
- Billy Graham’s practice of financial integrity and avoiding temptation with the opposite sex provided models to follow.
- Our church participated in the My Hope campaign four years ago. It provided one more tool of how to share your faith.
- A couple of articles I wrote were published in Decision Magazine.
- My wife and I visited The Cove and The Billy Graham Library two years ago and were greatly impressed and encouraged.
Salvation, discipleship, equipping, resources, examples, tools, models, encouragement, ministry opprotunites … I am indebted to Dr. Graham in many, many ways.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.