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Life Lessons from Billy Graham

During our time in North Carolina, my wife, Carol, and I visited the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville as well as the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. Viewing the various exhibits and listening to the presentations, we were left with several impressions about the principles implemented by Billy Graham during his years of ministry.

He Embraced Change. Billy Graham started his ministry with a crusade under a tent in Los Angeles in 1949. As technology was introduced and developed, he used any and every media available—radio, TV, motion pictures, telephone counseling, internet, DVDs. He used various music styles to reach different audiences—hymns, contemporary Christian music, Country & Western. He scheduled events and tailored the music and message to reach a younger audience.

He was willing to Share the Message of the Gospel with Everyone. He went on television talk shows, did interviews on radio and TV. He wrote a weekly newspaper column. He wrote books. He met with celebrities, politicians, presidents, world leaders, as well as average people. He made no distinction between gender, race, creed, or background. If one was interested, he was willing to share the message.

Billy Graham Adapted his ministry to Meet Needs. For years, the BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) was known for holding stadium crusades. Two years ago, our church participated in My Hope with Billy Graham, a small group DVD program. We were impressed to learn they developed the Rapid Response Teams for crisis events. Their teams show up to counsel after floods, shootings, and disasters.

In addition to preaching the gospel, the BGEA has focused on Equipping Others for Evangelism. They gathered evangelists from around the world for conferences in Amsterdam. Their team has always embraced younger associates and team members. During the crusade, they trained people how to counsel and follow up with new believers.

Billy Graham recruited and developed a Team of Loyal People. I was impressed that he finished with the same people he started with—Cliff Barrows, George Beverly Shea, Tedd Smith, TW Wilson, Leighton Ford, and other key people who served as board members or team members.

With all the changes and adaptations that he implemented over the years, Billy Graham had an Uncompromising Message that never changed. He preached a simple gospel message that stated that all have sinned and Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins. His message was based on, “The Bible says …”

Great lessons to learn. Great lessons to put into practice.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2016 in Evangelism, Ministry, Passion, Personal growth

 

Charlotte – NFL game

We closed out our day in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium where we watched the New England Patriots play the Carolina Panthers. How’s that for a balanced day–evangelical history at the Billy Graham Library, NASCAR history at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and NFL present at a game. Long, but fun day.

 
 

Charlotte – NASCAR Hall of Fame

Carol and I spent the day in Charlotte, NC. After visiting the Billy Graham Library, we headed downtown to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. (What can I say, we are balanced people.)🙂

 

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in NASCAR, North Carolina, Photos

 

Charlotte – Billy Graham Library

Carol and I spent the day in Charlotte, NC. Our first stop was the Billy Graham Library. It was a very inspiring and motivating place, one which reminded us of the call on our lives and the ministry God has called us to.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Evangelism, North Carolina, Photos

 

You know you are in the south

After spending a few days in North Carolina, we started the following list.

You know you are in the south when …

  • You hear, “Y’all” a lot—How y’all doin? Have a nice day, y’all.
  • Men wear overalls everywhere.
  • People ride in the back of pickup trucks—road crews, teenagers, adults, children.
  • Billboards advertise for guns and ammo—the 2nd Amendment is alive and well.
  • A hardware store at an outlet mall says it provides “daycare for men.”
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Culture, Fun

 

The Cove

This morning, we toured the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, just outside Asheville, NC. They have a beautiful visitors center which gives a glimpse into Billy Graham’s ministry over the years. The chapel and prayer room are beautiful, quiet places for reflection, as well as Ruth’s prayer garden outside.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Evangelism, North Carolina, Photos

 

Great Smoky Mountains

Today was a long, extended road trip. We started in Asheville, NC, and drove 80 miles west on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We drove through the park, stopping at various places. I walked to the top of Clingman’s Dome and up the tower. We also drove through Cade’s Cove and viewed one of the historical settlements in the park. We saw some wildlife–elk, deer, and wild turkeys. We came out the other end of the park in Gatlinburg, TN, where we enjoyed barbecue sandwiches at Bennetts Pit Bar-B-Que. It was another good day, albeit a long one.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in National Parks, Photos

 
 
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