17 years ago I stood in a crowd of thousands of people in a California amphitheater. We were there to hear some guy speak. I didn't really know who he was but I knew that he was famous... and I could sense from the energy of the crowd that something huge was going to happen. I knew that God would move and my life would be changed. His name was Billy Graham.
I was 13 years old and in 3 months I would undergo a major surgery to fuse my spine in order to stop the progress of my Scoliosis. The back brace I wore had become a part of me... something that I couldn't imagine living without. It held me together... binded the parts of me that were broken and seemingly, defined the parts of me that were not. My head knew that back surgery was 'routine'... my heart hadn't gotten the memo.
I was terrified.
When a doctor preps you for surgery, he explains the pros in depth... and quickly mentions the cons. The risks. Death always seems to be a risk. This time was no different.
I stood surrounded by friends and strangers at the same time. A man came on stage and I can't remember a word he said... but his words hushed the crowd of thousands and the world seemed to fade away. His presence was empowering... his words echoed off the walls of your heart.
I would say I couldn't speak for everyone there... but I'm certain that I can.
His words changed people. They changed me.
I remember his question; Would you like to dedicate your life to Christ? I'll help you!
But I had done that years ago. His conclusion didn't apply to me. Until...
Have you already given your life to him? Have you spent each day living purposefully? Living for him? Would you like to RE-dedicate your life to him? Let me help you...
And I did.
And my fears faded. Death no longer filled me with fear but instead, filled me with hope! My hope rested in him and in him alone. The promises I had made years ago renewed in my heart and became the anthem of my life.
All because of his words.... of the words that my Jesus put in the mouth of a man.
A man named Billy Graham.
In early October I was contacted by the Billy Graham Association. One of their head publicists reads our blog. A compliment? I think so!
The Billy Graham Association wanted to host a blogger luncheon. They were inviting some of the top bloggers in our region and wanted to clue us in on the BGA and what makes it tick, what they have to offer our community, and most of all, who this guy is.
If you've ever heard of Billy Graham, then you know that no one in their right mind would pass up an opportunity like this. And if you've never heard of him, a quick Google search will give you some perspective.
The day was amazing! Billy Graham Headquarters... the birth-place of so many of his movies and crusades and interviews... breath-taking! The library... a chronicle of his life... of the millions of people who were imprinted in the patchwork of his heart from the day he was born... inspiring. Pieces of his life... large and small, minute and monumental... all played a part in the purpose of his life... humbling.
I didn't learn anything about the life of Billy Graham that I didn't already know. It's impossible to attend one of his crusades and lose track of him... he's just 'that guy'. What I learned had more to do with his ministry than anything...
The Library, located in Charlotte, NC, has something to offer for everyone... free tours of the library that chronicles the plan God has for his life from day 1, Christmas festivities free of charge, tea parties and luncheons for kids, gardens more beautiful than any I've ever seen...
A hidden gem.
Billy Graham's life work defines 'purpose'. His library, just one small glimpse into the life of a true prophet, gives anyone who visits determination to find their own. Men like him are few... his life has been rich and full... but his time is growing short. Pray for this man. Learn more about him... visit his legacy... support his cause.
I am honored to have been given a glimpse into his life... a life that changed lives... including mine.
My perspective was changed, my fear was squelched, and my life-verse can now be echoed through his words...
"My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world."
~ Billy Graham
To Lisa and the many people who made opened up this opportunity and included me in the impressive list of bloggers who were invited... thank you! I am proud to be considered a Billy Graham Blogger and look forward to working with you in the future to continue the purpose of Billy Graham's life and of his library... to carry on his legacy.
Other BGA Bloggers;
Emily A. Clark
A little about us...
A little about us...