By Rosie Moore

When I was first married many, many years ago, my husband and I would cruise in the car almost every weekend. One time I suggested that I wanted to hear Billy Graham preach. So, on we went.

Traveling from Manheim, Pennsylvania to Ocean City, Maryland was quite a trek, but nothing deterred us. Hearing Mr. Graham’s sermon on that summer day, with the ocean waves murmuring beside his voice, was a memory never to be forgotten.

Now I have the privilege of hearing his voice on TV every Saturday night. On my TV he is on Channel TBN.

William (Billy) Franklin Graham was born on the family dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1918, the eldest son of four children. I’ve heard him reiterate many times in his crusades how he would get up at four in the morning, milk twenty cows, go to school, then come home and milk those cows again.

After graduating from high school, he attended Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee, but was almost expelled. He found it too legalistic in coursework and rules. Mr. Jones warned him not to throw his life away. “God can use that voice of yours. He can use it mightily,” he told Billy. He then transferred to Florida Bible Institute but eventually graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois. There he met his wife, Ruth Bell, whose parents were Presbyterian missionaries in China. They had five children, one of whom, Franklin, is following in his father’s footsteps. During his time there he accepted the Bible as the infallible Word of God.

Since his ministry began in 1947, Rev. Graham has conducted more than 400 crusades in 185 countries on six continents. He was spiritual advisor to U.S. Presidents, particularly Dwight Eisenhower, Lynden Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He also preached to millions more through TV, video, film and webcasts. He has written numerous books. And numerous quotes have been made by him.

Here are two of my favorite quotes: “Courage is contagious, when a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”  and, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost, something is lost, when character is lost, all is lost.”

Now he sits on his porch that overlooks the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, knowing that when he meets his Creator, He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Thought for the day: What happiness there is when I awake to find near me the gift of a morning.     Abby Grandson, “Dear Abby”

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