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Q & A with Josh McDowell

“People are still lost, the Gospel is still true, Heaven is still desirable, the commandment is still there – ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’ – and my heart is still in love with Christ. So, nothing has changed.”

This is the response Josh McDowell recently gave to Richard Greene with Decision magazine, when he was asked if the passion is still there to share Christ with others after doing it for more than five decades. (You can find the full interview here.)

“Young people are alarmingly walking away from the church in droves. Probably 80 percent,” says Josh.

And, this is what propels him to travel the globe, sharing the hope that can only be found in Christ. We as believers need to be prepared and equipped to impact our children and grandchildren for Christ.

This exactly what will take place at The Cove July 15-17. Josh, and his son Sean, will lead a seminar called “Unshakable Truth, Revelant Faith.” A few spots are still open!

Why We Should Still Honor America

A message from Billy Graham

Why We Should Still Honor America

As the turbulent ’60s concluded and a new decade began, Billy Graham appeared at a July 4th event in Washington, D.C. called Honor America Day.

We may be a vastly different people today than we were 200 years ago. … But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

More than 400,000 people attended, while millions watched on television or heard it on the radio in 123 other countries.

Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Glen Campbell, The New Christy Minstrels and Teresa Graves were among those who performed that day.

According to liner notes on an album produced after the event, Honor America Day was denounced by the extreme right and the extreme left, but was supported by ordinary Americans, “rich and poor, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Jews.”

The idea reportedly stemmed from a telephone conversation between Billy Graham and Hobart Lewis, editor-in-chief of the Reader’s Digest, with hotel executive J. Willard Marriott later taking over the bulk of organizational work.

Organizers hoped the event would provide an “antidote for the poisons of defeatism, cynicism, and disillusionment that boil[ed] from the wells of America’s unsolved problems.”

One commentator noted that Dr. Graham’s message was a “moving, articulate plea for unity, faith and courage amid the strife of the ’70s.”

Read Part of Mr. Graham’s Message:

“Pericles built a civilization upon culture and it failed. Caesar built a civilization upon power and it failed. Our forefathers founded the United States upon faith in God, and our country will survive only as it honors God.

“Our nation was built on a foundation of moral law, in which a person’s rights were also balanced by a person’s responsibilities. Why should I, as a citizen of heaven and a Christian minister, join in honoring any secular state?

“The Bible says, ‘Honor the nation.’ As a Christian or a Jew, or as an atheist, we have a responsibility to an America that has always stood for liberty, protection and opportunity.

“There are many reasons why we honor America today. America has opened her heart and her doors to the distressed and persecuted of the world. America has been the most generous nation in history. We have shared our wealth and our faith with a world in need.

“America has never hidden her problems and faults. With our freedom of the press and open communication system we do not sweep our sins under the rug. America defends the right of her citizens to dissent. Dissent is the hallmark of our priceless freedoms. But when dissent takes violent forms it becomes anarchy.”

“We may be a vastly different people today than we were two hundred years ago. Our society is far more complex, more pluralistic. But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

“He is still a God of love and mercy. But He is also a God of righteousness and judgment. Any individual or nation, which ignores His moral and spiritual laws, will ultimately face His judgment.”

Where’s the Father of the House?

By Trevor Freeze

What’s a dad to “be” and “do?” With Father’s Day tomorrow, Chip Ingram gives four crucial roles every godly father should be taking in their child’s life.

Assistant Mom.

No two words sparked more emotion at The Cove on Memorial Day Weekend than these two that Chip Ingram used to describe the role of fathers in today’s society.

You could almost feel the blood pressure rising among fathers attending Ingram’s parenting conference at The Billy Graham Training Center.

Dads have become “Assistant Moms.”

About the only title that’s worse: “Assistant to the Mom.”

“It hits a raw nerve,” said Ingram, President of Living on the Edge ministries. “Men don’t like to be called out.”

But the critical theme of fathers standing up and becoming leaders in the home could easily be detected in all five of the parenting sessions over the weekend.

If you had to boil down the conference in three words, it would be simply: Where’s the Dad?

Read the full article on BillyGraham.org.

The Power of Prayer

By Will Graham

In the annals of world history, you won’t find many mentions of a lady named Pearl Goode. She never ran for political office, never commanded troops, and never served as the CEO of a Fortune-500 company.

Pearl Goode at a breakfast during the 1963 Billy Graham Los Angeles Crusade.

Pearl Goode was a widowed nurse in her mid-60s, living in Pasadena, Calif., in 1949 when a young evangelist came to hold tent meetings in Los Angeles at the corner of Washington and Hill streets.

The very first night of the Crusade, she watched the fiery preacher Billy Graham and his team share the Gospel. As Pearl later recounted in an interview, “That night God laid those boys on my heart as a burden.”

Pearl then joined the volunteer prayer team for the Greater Los Angeles Crusade and was a part of seeing the campaign extended from three weeks to eight weeks, with people cramming into the tent every night to hear the Good News.

After that early Crusade, Pearl became a prayer warrior for the Crusades, without anybody on my granddaddy’s team even knowing. She would spend her own money to travel by Greyhound bus to wherever they were holding an event, quietly check herself into a motel near the venue, and immediately begin praying. Pearl estimated that she covered 48,000 miles by bus, simply to pray for the Crusades.

Even later in life when Pearl could no longer travel, or when my granddaddy was preaching overseas, she would make it a point to know exactly when he would be preaching, and she would spend those exact hours in prayer.

In an address he gave in 1994, my grandfather said, “She prayed all night many nights, and I could sense the presence and power of that prayer. When she died, I felt it.”

We must never underestimate the power of the prayer that is lifted up by wonderful saints like Pearl all around the world. Prayer – talking to God – is of paramount importance in developing our relationship with our Savior and in building up and supporting others through the work of the Holy Spirit. The great significance of prayer is – I believe – why we see so many calls to prayer in the New Testament*.

But, with everything going on in our world today, and with all of the distractions that life throws at us, how many of us actually make the time to become a prayer warrior like Pearl Goode? She would use her own money to travel to far-away states, only to lock herself in a motel room and pray all night long. What a challenge to the rest of us who can’t find 15 minutes in a day to spend with our Lord!

My granddaddy has told me that one of the few regrets he has in life is that he didn’t pray more. That impacts me deeply because almost every time I walk into his house he’s either praying or reading the Bible. He firmly believes that if he had spent even more time in prayer he could have reached even more people with the Gospel.

Pearl Goode, Billy Graham … you and me. Let’s make today the day we cast off the things of this world and commit to be a prayer warrior!

*Luke 6:28; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

Matthew West: “Every song has a story”

Matthew West, fresh off his appearance at the recent Will Graham Jersey Shore Celebration in Ocean Grove, NJ, will perform at The Cove on June 23.

The concert will be a mix of older, more familiar songs from the radio, as well as songs from his latest album, The Story of Your Life.

“As a songwriter, every song has a story behind it, and I am excited to play in an intimate setting like the Cove, because I’ll get to dive in to some of the amazing stories that inspired these songs,” he explained.

West’s hopes and prayers for this Evening at The Cove go far beyond music and entertainment. It’s about the most important connection a person could ever make—a connection with God. To register for this event, click here.

Matthew West
Matthew West at the Jersey Shore Celebration with Will Graham

Matthew accepted Christ watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television when he was 13. Joy Allmond from BillyGraham.org spent some time with Matthew and discussed his long-standing relationship with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Click here to read the story.

Bev Shea: Giving the Gift of Music to The Cove

Last week, our friend George Beverly Shea, who recently celebrated his 102nd birthday, donated his Johannus electronic organ to The Cove.

The organ will reside in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and will be a treasure for years to come. It wasn’t until after the organ was donated that we realized our existing organ had been struck by lightning and was no longer working. God is good!

Organ
George Beverly Shea donated his electronic organ to The Cove.

At the dedication, Bev gave us an even better gift when he sang a few of his favorite hymns for us while Randall Atcheson played the newly donated instrument.

Bev listens as Randall Atcheson plays the new organ at The Cove
George Beverly Shea
George Beverly Shea sings at the dedication of the new organ at The Cove

In February, George Beverly Shea was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium by The Recording Academy. Born in 1909, at 102 years of age, he became the oldest artist to ever receive a GRAMMY®, his second, awarded at a special invitation-only ceremony.

A Conversation with Kendra Graham

For Mother’s Day, our friends from BillyGraham.org recently caught up with Kendra Graham—wife of Will Graham—about the importance of a mother teaching her children the ways of God through His Word. Here’s a glimpse of that conversation.

How do you believe a mom should prepare herself to be a godly influence on her children?

For me, it has definitely been my daily quiet time with the Lord. Nobody knows better what your day is going to entail than God almighty. It’s the key to doing anything well.

How would you describe the importance of having a godly mom in a home?

I try to be a godly mom. It’s so hard. It seems as soon as you’re finished with your quiet time, you’re yelling at your kids! Something I can say from experience is that I watched my mom when she was raising us. I can look back and see how her days were bathed in prayer and how she was there for me. My mom’s mother, my grandmother, didn’t get saved until her death bed. So, I believed that impressed on my mom more of a passion to guide her children in the ways of God, keeping them in His Word. I have so much respect for my mom—she could have perpetuated cycle of sin, but God broke it with her. She stressed the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts, and had us memorizing Scripture from a very early age. Now, years later, those verses are still with me. I can see that my mom has helped me be a better mom by being a strong foundation for me. I hope and pray I can be that for my kids. I suppose it’s hard to really know until they grow up!

What are some of the ways you pray for your children?

I pray that they grow to love the Lord more every day and honor and serve Him. That He will be the main focus in life. That He will put a hedge of protection over them. That He will bring godly role models in their lives. The list is so long! God has entrusted these three lives to me. I can win the whole world for Christ, but that won’t matter if I’m neglecting the souls of my children. I pray that I never miss them through over involvement. I pray for myself as a mom—that I can focus on that of which God has entrusted to me.

For the complete interview, click here.

Kendra Graham has been married to Will for 13 years. Together, they have three children: Christine Jane (“CJ”), Rachel Austin and William Franklin V (“Quinn”).

Lessons from a Criminal

An Easter Message from Will Graham

As we enter the Easter season, we can learn several lessons from the criminal who hung alongside Jesus, says Will Graham in this timely message.

The cross means different things to different people. For some it’s just a pretty piece of jewelry. To others it is a decoration for their home. To Christians it is a symbol of the sacrificial love of Christ and His conquering of the grave.

However, to criminals under Roman rule in the first century, and those who witnessed the punishment, the cross was a symbol of torture, cruelty, death and humiliation.

As we enter the Easter season, we can learn from a man on a cross. This individual’s name is only known to God. We find this man – a criminal sentenced to death – hanging beside Jesus in Luke 23:39-43.

The first lesson that we learn is that he had a correct view of reality (vv. 40-41) and a correct view of himself. He saw himself as a criminal who was rightly condemned for the deeds he had committed. He correctly realized that he deserved death. Further, he had a correct view of Jesus. He recognized Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God and he testified to this while hanging on the cross. He knew he was a sinner, and Jesus was innocent.

The second lesson that we learn is that this criminal had a correct view of life after death. Though he was sentenced to death and hanging to life by a thread, he believed that his soul would continue to live after he died. Many people today live as if this life is all there is, but the Bible says that your soul lives forever and that it will abide in one of two places—heaven or hell. (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5, John 3:1-21)

Finally, we see that this criminal had a correct view of salvation (v. 42). He saw himself as totally helpless. He could do nothing to improve his odds in life or save himself. He was now bound to death and could not escape. Yet he cries out to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” He wanted to offer the last thing he had to give (his soul) to Jesus. He realized that Jesus was the Son of God and that he wanted to be a part of Christ’s Kingdom.

The criminal on the cross: he knew who he was and who Jesus was, he knew that his soul would continue after he died, and he knew that Jesus was the Savior. He could do nothing but cry out to Jesus and place his faith in Him for his salvation. To which Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Have you seen the world through the eyes of this condemned criminal? Do you understand your need for the Savior, and—more importantly—have you cried out to Him for your salvation?

If not, the Easter season is as good a time as any to surrender your life to Christ. If you have made that decision, I encourage you to not miss the opportunities God puts in front of you to share that same hope with those around you. Jesus saved the criminal on the cross, and He desires to save each of us as well.

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.