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5 Quotes From Billy Graham on Being Thankful

As we approach the week of Thanksgiving, many of us eagerly anticipate spending time with family, walking in the Autumn leaves, delicious food, a day or two off work, and yes, even FOOTBALL!  As Christians, we have something especially wonderful to be thankful for…God! 


Read on as Billy Graham shares his thoughts on thankfulness.

“A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord.  Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.”  

“When thanksgiving is filled with true meaning and is not just the formality of a polite “thank you,” it is the recognition of dependence.”

 “Grumbling and gratitude are, for the child of God, in conflict.  Be grateful and you won’t grumble.  Grumble and you won’t be grateful.”

“Why should we give God thanks? Because everything we have comes from God.”

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Birthday Billy Graham

By Will Graham

Everywhere I go, people ask me about my grandfather and how he’s doing. As we celebrate his 94th birthday today, you may be asking the same thing. Well, I’m really pleased to tell you that he’s doing very well, especially for someone who has spent so many years on the road and accomplished so much in his lifetime. He misses my grandmother dearly, and looks forward to the day when he gets to go home to Heaven, but he also understands that God still has him here on this earth for a reason.

The other question I often get – usually right after people ask how he’s doing – is “What’s your grandpa really like?” I have to admit that the question often amuses me a little, as if my grandfather morphs into some sort of other being (for better or worse) when he’s at home away from the cameras and news media.

The truth of the matter is that the Billy Graham that I see when I visit his house is the exact same Billy Graham that you’ve seen on television or in person for decades. There’s only one difference: at home he’s quiet. He doesn’t talk.

When you see him in a television interview, or preaching from the stage, he’s always spreading his message. In fact, in the early days of his ministry he was referred to as “God’s Machinegun” because he would walk the stage and speak so fast and with so much passion.

But when he gets home, he doesn’t want to talk (especially not about himself). He wants to hear you speak. He wants to know how you’re doing. He wants to know about your family, your ministry, your job. 

If there’s one thing that I’ve always appreciated so much about my grandfather, it’s his humility. He honestly has no idea why God chose to use him – the son of a dairy farmer – to speak to so many people about the love, hope and salvation of Christ. He once said, “I feel like I’m just along for the ride, watching what God is doing.” It’s never been about him. It’s always been about God, and those around him.

I remember the day that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association broke ground on the ministry’s new headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a cold day and drizzly October day, with everybody bundled up under a tent. Many speakers had wonderful and glowing things to say about my grandfather, what he has accomplished and how loved and admired he is.

When it became his turn to speak, my grandfather took the podium to applause and quietly began with words from the book of John. “Jesus must increase, and I must decrease,” he said. “I sort of cringe when I hear my name called in something that I know has been the work of God through these years.”

If you are asking what is Billy Graham really like, there’s your answer, my friends. He’s a humble man who cringes when his name is mentioned, who doesn’t want to talk about himself, but deeply loves others and deeply loves his Savior.

It’s my honor to wish my grandfather a very happy 94th birthday. I love you Daddy Bill!

Click here if  you would like to see what Billy Graham is doing on his birthday next year?   

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. Will and his wife, Kendra, have three children. He currently serves as executive director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 23:3-7

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 23: 3-7 homework

Facts: What does it say?
v. 3  You have seen all that the LORD your God has done, He has been fighting for you.
V.4  See, I have apportioned TO YOU these nations which remain as inheritance, nations from the Jordan, to the Great Sea, to the setting sun.
v.5 The LORD will thrust them out, & drive them from you; you will possess their land as the LORD promised
v.6 BE very firm.  Keep and DO ALL written in the law of Moses, so you don’t turn right or left.
vs.7  So you will not associate with these nations, mention, serve or bow to their gods.

LESSONS.  What does it mean?
v.3  God is faithful to His promises and His people.  When God works in our lives, and gives us a testimony of His great power, we need to cling to that and set our hearts not to forget what He has done.
vs. 4  God has victories for His people to claim.
vs. 5  God calls us to do things that only He can accomplish.  When God calls us, there is always a gap between what we can do and what God must do (Crawford Lorrits).  This gap is where obedience is a must and our faith will be tested, but God will be glorified on the other side! BELIEVE IT!
vs. 6  Be FIRM and DO ALL…  Faith is a verb.  Faith becomes real, personal and tangible when we put to action and obey the God we say we believe in.  We obey with action, not just words. We cannot be a people of a great faith without being a people of great obedience.
v
s.7 Bank tellers do not train with counterfeit dollars so they can pick out the false currency, they train day after day with the real deal, so when the fake comes along, it’s obvious & easy to spot.  We need not fill our minds with learning the intricacies of all other ideas and religions of the world, we need to fill our hearts and our homes with the very Word of God, the TRUTH, day in and day out, so when a counterfeit comes along, it’s easy not only for us to spot, but our children as well.

APPLICATION: What does it mean to me?
vs.3  Do I live my life upon the fact that God will continue to be faithful to His Word and faithful to me?  How has God been faithful to me in the past?  Do I need to cling to that for the present?
vs.4  What victories does God have for me to claim?  Do I choose to live in defeat over the victory God has given?  Perhaps I have not claimed the victory because I don’t want to show up to the battle God wants me to face?  (God gave Jericho to Joshua before the battle ever began, but Joshua still had to obey and show up on site! Joshua 5-6)
vs.5 What has God called me to that He must do? (Not where have I called myself to, or where I would like to be, or where I think I deserve to be, or where it is logical for me to be, this is God centered not me centered)  Have I spent time in God’s Word and asked Him?vs.6  Is it now that God is asking us to ACT upon those beliefs we have said for years that we so strongly believe? What would it look like if we as Christians actually lived out in real life what we say we believe in our hearts?  How will I begin to implement godly obedience in my life?
vs.7  Am I more concerned about the gods of this world and not offending anyone than I am with knowing the Everlasting God, the LORD Jehovah and the Creator of Heaven and earth?  

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?
Please share this blog link with them.

Homework: Joshua 23: 8-11

Time to register for our FREE annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove.  Classes begin on Tuesday January 8, 2013 for both Kendra Graham’s evening study and for Jane Derrick’s morning study.  Bring a friend or your Sunday school class and enjoy digging into the Word in the beautiful setting of The Cove, in Asheville, NC. 

Click here for more information and to register or call 1-800-950-2092.

 

 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 21:43-45

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 21:43-45 homework 

What does it Say? FACTS

v43.  The LORD gave Israel all the land He swore.
v.44  The LORD gave them rest, according to all He had sworn to their fathers. The LORD gave their enemies into their hand.
v45.  Not one of the promises the LORD made failed.  ALL CAME TO PASS.

What does it mean?  LESSONS

v.43  God says what He means and means what He says.  What God says He will do, He will do.  Evidence of the faithfulness of God can be measured personally.
v.44  God’s promises span generations.  Even though God promised “their fathers” and their fathers had died, no part of God’s promises died.  God promised a previous generation, so present Israel took Him at His previous Word, stepped out on faith then…  God became their leader, defender, refuge, strength, strong tower, encourager, shield and banner in a world that should have chewed them up for breakfast.  This is what their testimony says about who God is to them personally.  They overcame by the Word of their testimony.  It is great to hear of God’s great stories from old, but there are great stories of God to be written today, when your personal faith becomes forged… often it is through the fire that things are forged… through the hard times, times of affliction and pain, the times when you are tired and want to run as fast as you can to the middle of nowhere and throw in the towel on your faith… those are the times you need to hold on, nails splitting from the grip you have on Jesus! Hold on to that hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5)… CLAIM IT, don’t let anyone steal the blessing that is at the end of all this! Your personal testimony of God’s faithfulness to you! Don’t settle for someone else’s story, let this be yours?
v.45  God’s Word is true.  God is trustworhy.  Doesn’t matter if I believe it or not…. God says it, thus, it is so.  Doesn’t matter how I feel about it, think about it, believe about it, or whether or not I act upon it.  It is because God has said so…. the only one missing out if I don’t live my life based up on the TRUTHS of His Word, is me. 

What Does it mean to me?  Applications

 v.43  How has God been faithful to others in my life? Do I believe God will be faithful to     me? Lord, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)!
v44. What testimony does God want to work out in my life? Have I been satisfied to hear of the awesome works of God in other people’s lives not knowing God wants to be personal to me?  Do I have a personal testimony of God’s faithfulness to me?
v45. How would my life change if I really lived on the FACT God is who He says He is?

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?
Please share this blog link with them.

HOMEWORK: Joshua 23:3-7

Time to register for our FREE annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove.  Classes begin on Tuesday January 8, 2013 for both Kendra Graham’s evening study (7-week long) and for Jane Derrick’s morning study (8-week long).  Bring a friend or your Sunday school class and enjoy digging into the Word in the beautiful setting of The Cove, in Asheville, NC. 

Click here for more information and to register or call 1-800-950-2092.

A Poem by Ruth Bell Graham

By Ruth Bell Graham

Lay them quietly at His feet

one by one:

each desire, however sweet,

just begun;

dreams still hazy, growing bright;

hope just poised, winged for flight;

all your longing—each delight—

every one.

At His feet and leave them there,

never fear;

every heartache, crushing care—

trembling tear;

you will find Him always true,

men may fail you, friends be few,

He will prove Himself to you

far more dear.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 14:6-11

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 14:6-11 homework

FACTS: What does it say?

6: Caleb said, “You know what the LORD said to Moses”
7:  I was 40, when Moses sent me from Kades Barnea to explore the land. I brought back a report according to my convictions.
8: but my brothers who went with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear.  I followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
9: So Moses swore to me: “the land which your feet have walked will be your inheritance because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
10:  NOW Just as the LORD promised He has kept me alive so here I am today 85!
11:  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous now as I was then.

LESSONS: What does it mean?

6.    Do not forget the words of the LORD.
7.    STAND for the convictions of my heart and my God. It is so easy to stay quiet, afraid to “offend” others by the convictions of God’s Word.  Hey, its GOD’s Word, not mine.  They are God’s promises, not mine.  The question is do I believe GOD is who He says He is, or that He is a liar in my case.  God said the land was to be theirs.  Caleb believed it.  Simple, yet hard and complex in the face of reality!
8.   Consensus, even among godly leaders may not necessarily be what God has called them to.  When I know God has called me to something, what do I do?  There is ALWAYS a GAP when GOD calls…. there is that which I can do and that which GOD MUST DO… that GAP is called faith and obedience, and if were easy or if it always made sense and if the pieces always fell together from the onset, then where would God be needed in all that?  Am I quick to fall in with the crowd, the consensus? What has God called me to that He must accomplish in totality?
9.   Know that My God is faithful to complete and do that which He has promised to me.
10.  God’s promises are true.  When I act on God’s promises, and trust Him, walk the walk instead of focusing so much on talking the talk, I will find that I have a testimony, a personal testimony of God’s faithfulness to me!!!!  Often times we want this great amazing faith of Joshua, Caleb and Paul, yet we don’t want to have to obey and trust and struggle to get it…..  It is always worth it!!! If we could ask Joshua, Caleb and Paul, they would say, press in and press on!
11.  God gives me continued strength even when I should be weak.  When the world says you should be done…. maybe God is saying, “Hey, you are nowhere close!” 

APPLICATIONS, What does it mean to me? 

6.  Do I know what God’s Word says to me?  What has God said to me?  Have I forgotten the words God has spoken into my life over me?
7. Have I been quiet when God has asked me just to stand for what I believe in?  How have I been asked to stand for Him?  Did I stand tall or shrink back?  Am I so afraid of the reactions of others, even the reactions of other Christians, that I keep quiet on what God’s Word has charged me to do? Do I have any idea of what God’s Word has promised me?
8. Am I quick to fall in with the crowd, the consensus? What has God called me to that He must accomplish in totality?  Have I ever seen God miraculously fill in that GAP in my life and truly “Make all things work together for good?” What testimony of the GREATNESS of God am I missing out on in my life because I am afraid of that obedience?  AM I in God’s Word enough so that I know without a doubt what God has called me to?  AM I quick to walk away if people, even godly people do not support me?  Will I be like Caleb and “trust MY GOD wholeheartedly?”
9. DO I know what God has promised me?  Do I believe the promises of God?  DO I really believe that God will continue to be faithful to His Word, even when it involves me?  What do I really believe about who God is?
10. What is my testimony of God’s faithfulness?  When have I gone out on that limb and trusted that God would have to come through?  Am I pressing in and pressing on, hanging on by the skin of my teeth to who God says He is, or am I running the other way in fear?  Will I stick this out, to have the testimony in the end? Or am I done here and now?
11. What is it that You want to do through me, LORD?  Help my unbelief!

LIVE IT OUT:

Get into God’s Word daily, know what God is saying, know what GOD is promising, know who God is, and then live my life like He is telling the Truth!!!! LIVE OUT God’s Word on a daily basis in my life, in my family, in my community, at my school, and yes, even in my church!!!  LORD, Help my unbelief!!!

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you.
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?
Please share this blog with them.

HOMEWORK: Joshua 14:12-15

A Poem by Ruth Bell Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Sitting by my laughing fire… 

…my shelf of peace…

This is my ledge
of quiet,
my shelf of peace,
edged
by its crooked rails
holding back the beyond.
Above,
a hawk sails
high
to challenge clouds
trespassing
my plot of sky.
Below
in the valley
remote and dim,
sounds
come and go,
a requiem
for quiet.
Here on my ledge,
quiet praise:
of birds,
crickets,
breeze –
in different ways;
and so do I –
for these:
my ledge of quiet,
my plot of sky;
for peace.

Click here to purchase Ruth Bell Graham’s book of poetry, Sitting by my laughing fire…

True Freedom

By Will Graham

I believe that most of us who have placed our faith in Jesus would agree that we have found the cure for the heart problem that ails the world. We’ve experienced the peace that passes all understanding, while every day we watch others sinking in despair with their hearts far from God. Sadly, it’s rare when we actually seize the opportunity to toss a rope to the man or woman beside us who is drowning in their hopelessness.

I was recently reminded why it is so important to not miss these chances to reach others when God offers you the opportunity. I was speaking at a weekend Celebration in Terrell, Texas, just east of Dallas. My good friend and ministry partner Todd Pierce, a rodeo cowboy, came down from Idaho to share his testimony from the stage of what Christ has done in his life.

On Saturday, the second of the three days of the event, Todd was preparing to come over to the Performing Arts Center where the Celebration was being held. As he pulled up to a stop light, he saw a man by the side of the road asking for spare change. God moved in Todd’s heart, and Todd pulled his car off to the shoulder of the road and waved the man over.

Todd invited him to the Celebration, and – after hearing what the man had to say about “those Christians” – convinced him to come along. The man quickly went off to find his brothers, and the three of them returned and climbed into the back of Todd’s car.

I had no idea that any of this was taking place while I was backstage preparing to preach on youth night. That evening, when I offered the invitation for the young people in the crowd to make a commitment to Jesus, I quickly noticed the full head of gray hair making its way down to the front.

One of the three men that Todd had picked up – nicknamed “Freebird” after the Lynyrd Skynyrd song – heard the Gospel and, there in the Terrell ISD Performing Arts Center, prayed to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Afterwards he told Todd, “They call me ‘Freebird,’ but I’ve never felt free in my life until tonight.” He couldn’t believe that people loved him and hugged him even though he was wearing dirty clothes and hadn’t showered.

The next morning, as our team met for devotions in the local Holiday Inn, we rejoiced at the work that God had done in Freebird’s life. We were grateful that Todd responded when he felt God calling him to pull the car to the side of the road.

As we closed our time together, we received word that Freebird was on his way to the hotel. He had decided that – having made a commitment to follow Christ – he wanted to be baptized as well! That morning, along with Todd and our emcee Mark Christian, I had the amazing blessing of helping to baptize Freebird in the Holiday Inn swimming pool.

When we asked Freebird – whose real name we learned was Fred – if he was going to come to Sunday afternoon’s final Celebration service, he declined. “No, I’m leaving right now to head home to Alabama,” he said.  “I called my wife and told her we’re kicking this alcohol thing, and we’re getting our marriage right.”

My friends, people need the Lord! Do you have an urgency in your spirit to share Him with others? Do you want to see people find true freedom in Christ? Do you believe that eternity is at stake?

When the Holy Spirit nudged Todd to stop alongside the road, he could have easily said, “I’m going to share my faith with thousands of people this weekend. I’m doing my part. I don’t need to do this too!” And when the man by the side of the road started bad-mouthing Christians, Todd could have driven away. But, of course, he didn’t do either of those things. Because of that, Freebird’s eternity – as well as his marriage and his life here on earth – has forever changed.

How often do we watch our co-workers, family, friends, and neighbors – even the man asking for extra change on the street corner – struggle through life without sharing with them that they can have true hope for eternity? We’re always too busy, or too timid, or – frankly – too jaded to share the love and peace we’ve found. Don’t miss those opportunities!

I pray that I never forget what Freebird taught me, and I pray that you too will be challenged to truly see that people need the Lord. 

A Tribute to Ruth Bell Graham from Her Grandson Will

Will Graham, Executive Director at The Cove, the son of Franklin and Jane Graham and the grandson of Ruth and Billy Graham, penned this tribute to the enduring love between his grandparents. Five years after Ruth’s passing on June 14, 2007, we join Will in remembering this godly woman’s legacy.

It’s such a gift to have grandparents who impart profound truth without even trying, living in such a way that the lessons are impossible to ignore.

by Will Graham

“I always thought it would get easier with time, but it hasn’t. I miss her more now than
ever,” my grandfather, Billy Graham, shared as he talked about my grandmother, Ruth, who passed away in 2007. His booming voice, heard by millions around the world on TV, radio, and in person, now escapes as little more than a whisper.

Daddy Bill loves Tai Tai (the affectionate nicknames that we grandkids have for them). I guess one should probably say “loved” since she is no longer living here on earth, but that wouldn’t be accurate. He loves her with a love that cannot be destroyed by the physical separation of mortal death.

For more than 60 years as he traveled the world sharing a message of hope to the masses, she was his strength and inspiration on the home front, a practical joker who could make a princess and a beggar feel equally comfortable in the same room. He would refer to her as the greatest Christian he had ever known and comment that she knew the Bible far better than he did. She helped to prepare and equip him to go out and accomplish what he was called to do.

In my grandparent’s home, my grandmother—who had suffered years of declining health—had a room where she spent much of her time. It was where she slept and where she  studied the Bible. Several translations were spread across a large desk, all featuring big margins for taking notes. This room was also where she ultimately slipped into eternity.

My grandfather still stops as he makes his way past to look into her room, as though he might find her sitting up in bed with the mischievous grin and quick-witted comments that she carried until her final day on earth.

As he looks into that room, my grandfather still sees a simple woven wreath of Jerusalem thorns hanging on the wall amidst family photos. Directly across from it is the bed where my grandmother courageously faced the debilitating pain that followed her for years.

She would never complain about the pain, though you would occasionally see her bright eyes wince and her teeth grit. Rather than lamenting, she would point up to those thorns, similar to the sharp, long blades that were formed into the crown that Jesus wore at His crucifixion. “If He endured so much for me,” she would say, “I have nothing to complain about.”

It’s such a gift to have grandparents who impart profound truth without even trying, living in such a way that the lessons are impossible to ignore. Daddy Bill and Tai Tai have taught me so much about life, love and even pain and death, and I will be forever thankful for both of them.

Will Graham will be speaking at The Cove on June 29-July 1 in a seminar titled, When The Shadows Speak.  You can register by calling 1-800-950-2092 or visit our website by clicking here.

Billy Graham on Prayer

Billy Graham

Prayer is not using God; it is more often to get us in a position where God can use us.

I watched the deckhands on the great liner United States as they docked that ship in New York Harbor.

First, they threw out a rope to the men on the dock.

Then, inside the boat the great motors went to work and pulled on the great cable.

But of course the pier wasn’t pulled out to the ship; the ship was moved snugly up to the pier.

Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together.

But it doesn’t pull God down to us; it pulls us up to Him.