The Sunday Message

My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world. – Billy Graham

Christian evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham turned 99 years old this week (Nov. 7). I think Rev. Graham has been one of the most important Christian leaders of my lifetime.

I’ve written this before, but it’s worth sharing again:

I remember as a child watching the Billy Graham Crusade on a local television station (we only received three stations). I would sit on the floor and listen closely to what Reverend Graham had to say. It seemed before you knew it, the song “Just As I Am” would be playing, people would be walking forward to get prayer and ask God to come into their lives, and then the show would end.

I think my dad liked to watch Billy Graham on television because he knew that the whole thing would be over in an hour – plus he did not need to get dressed in his Sunday best to watch the show on TV.

Graham did not go through his 99 years without some controversies. I think he handled those controversies as well as he could.

He’s met with and has been called the “spiritual advisor to American Presidents.” I read somewhere that he had met with every President from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.

In honor of Graham’s 99th birthday, the online Christian magazine “RELEVANT” has a story posted called, “14 Billy Graham Quotes That Help Shape American Christianity.”

Read it HERE.

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love. – Billy Graham

Happy Birthday, Billy Graham. Thank you.

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The Sunday Message

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.”Revelation 21:4 (TLB)

A quote from Reverend Billy Graham goes like this: I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right.

Amen to that. I think of all his quotes, I remember that one most.

I remember as a child watching the Billy Graham Crusade on a local television station (we only received three stations). I would sit on the floor and listen closely to what Reverend Graham had to say. It seemed before you knew it, the song “Just As I Am” would be playing, people would be walking forward to get prayer and ask God to come into their lives, and then the show would end.

I think my dad liked to watch Billy Graham on television because he knew that the whole thing would be over in an hour – plus he did not need to get dressed in his Sunday best to watch the show on TV.

Some religions believe that you have to ask Jesus to come into your life and ask for forgiveness of your sins (repent). You can do this by praying something like this prayer from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:

Dear Lord Jesus,
I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead.
I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior.
Guide my life and help me to do your will.
In your name, amen.

Go to THIS WEBSITE if you have questions or want more information.

Have a great week!

 

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The Sunday Message

Every day is a gift from God, no matter how old we are. – Billy Graham

When I was younger it seemed that the hours, days, weeks and months were very long especially when I was looking forward to something (recess, birthday, Christmas, summer vacation, etc.).

Now that I am older, it seems that those same days, weeks, and months fly by. Here we are at the end of another February. This month always seemed to go by quickly (fewer days), but even more quickly since I am older.

A few years ago an “older” friend told me that when his feet hit the floor each morning he thanks God for giving him another day. I try to do that each morning because like Billy Graham said, “Every day is a gift from God…”

The good news (maybe it is good news) is that we are living longer – Reuters recently reported that the average life expectancy will rise in many countries by 2030, breaking through 90 years in some places.

So for those of us who are 45 and older, we have reached the time when we probably have fewer days left than we have lived. It’s like we have a countdown clock ticking toward to the end of life.

How will you use your remaining days? Tick, tick, tick…

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The Sunday Message

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

I happened to see that the Decision America Tour 2016 is coming to Helena, Montana, next week (August 9). The event will be held at the state capitol at noon.

The Decision America Tour is part of Christian evangelist Franklin Graham’s ministry. Franklin Graham is the son of famed evangelist, Billy Graham.

I have not always agreed with some of the tactics used or things said by Franklin Graham, but I do believe it’s always a good thing to pray for our leaders and our nation. I think it’s important to vote.

According to an article in the Great Falls Tribune, the Decision America Tour will not endorse political candidates or legislation, and no candidates or current public officials will speak at any of the rallies.

That’s a good thing.

According to the Decision America Tour website:

Franklin Graham is traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to hold prayer rallies, to preach the Gospel, and to challenge believers to take a stand and take action. He’ll be urging Christians to vote, to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to His people.

You can visit the Decision America Tour website HERE.

 

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The Sunday Message

While reading the paper Saturday morning I happened to catch this story:

State senators in Idaho have voted 34-3 to approve a bill allowing for the academic study of the Bible in public schools.

In Senate Bill 1342, legislators noted that “the Bible is expressly permitted” for use as a reference tool where religion intersects with other subjects, such as literature, comparative religion, U.S. and world history, music, sociology, astronomy, ethics, biology, and “other topics of study where an understanding of the Bible may be useful or relevant.”

You can read the whole article from the Christian Examiner HERE.

I think this bill is a good compromise. Times have changed.

I remember when I played middle and high school football my team would kneel and recite The Lord’s Prayer before we took the field. Our coach would lead the team in reciting the prayer.

I did not have a problem with it. I don’t think my parents did either. They were not overly religious, but they did send me to Vacation Bible School almost every summer, but we seldom attended church – unless someone died.

I don’t ever remember anyone getting upset about the team saying The Lord’s Prayer. In today’s world, a team from a public school could probably still recite the prayer because of freedom of speech, but the coach could probably not lead it.

Today we are a more diverse society. What if some players were not Christians or believed in another religion?

Our country was founded on the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

I enjoy studying (not judging) the differences between religions. I’ve had friends that would answer my questions about their religion and ask me questions about mine. I’ve read books about the differences in the major religions in the world. It’s fascinating.

One thing I have learned is that there are good and bad people in each religion. People struggle with their religious beliefs and doing what is right.

In short, life is a journey. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Be kind to others.

Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart. – Billy Graham

 

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The Sunday Message

Wow – we made it to 2016. Congratulations!

I was hoping to use this “Sunday Message” column to change the world or, at least, use this spot on the internet to write something insightful enough that it sticks with my readers during the week and makes a difference.

The Sunday Message idea was this: For at least one day each week I would write about religion or church or something along those lines. I almost quit writing the Sunday Message a year or so ago, but I guess God stepped in. I happened to watch a video from one of the pastors in my church. He said something about connecting to people that made me want to continue writing this weekly column.

And so it continues…

As for me writing something insightful – that is up to you – the reader – to determine. I guess lyrics from the Cheers theme song may fit what I am trying to do:

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

I am not an expert on religion or the Bible or anything like that. I do try to read/listen to the Bible each day. I attend church almost every week, although I sometimes find it boring.

I’ve failed as a Christian more times than I have succeeded.

I’ve been a Christian since I was 18 years-old. I have encountered many mountains and many valleys along the way. In other words, I’ve been stuck in the ditch many times in my walk with God, but I have also experienced some very wonderful things.

I have been mad at God many times in my life. I have also spent many times praising him for all the good he has done.

So that is kind of where I’m coming from with The Sunday Message.

Going into 2016, some people are more hateful and intolerant toward others than I have ever seen. That should bother us all. I don’t care about the color of your skin or your religion or who you date or who you marry. We need to respect each other. We need to pray for each other. We need to pray for our leaders, even if we did not vote for them.

I know that in the end, God will sort it all out. The great pastor Billy Graham once said, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”

I guess I will end my message with this question (just to make you think):

Someone once said, “If you were brought before a jury and charged with the ‘crime’ of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

Have a great week – and a wonderful 2016!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to another (almost)award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

Before we get started today, I just want to dispel the rumors about the new movie “Magic Mike XXL.” The movie is not about me. Let’s move on…

If you are a first-time visitor, “Caught My Eye” is posted here every Friday morning. This column is where I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Sometimes I throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both. Buckle up…

Today’s topics include Veterans’ Graveside Service, MT Legislature lobbyists, COOL, Flag Day & U.S. Army’s birthday, the pool party, Franklin Graham, CNN Quiz Show, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud!

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