RUTH TO LEAD VESPERS SERVICE DURING STAUNTON, VIRGINIA’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA EVENT!

Ruth will be the featured speaker for this annual July 3rd event in Staunton VA!

STAUNTON, VA – Happy Birthday America is pleased to announce Ruth Graham will be the featured speaker at the Vespers Service on July 3 in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park.

“Transparent” is the word most people use to describe Ruth Graham, founder and president of Ruth Graham Ministries. Daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, she has family roots that run deep in Augusta County. Graham is the author of multiple books, including best-selling In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart (Zondervan 2004), in which she demonstrates her heart for those who face life’s difficult challenges. Her passion is to motivate people by God’s comfort and loving acceptance from a place of woundedness to a place of wholeness in Christ.

“For years my family and I have enjoyed the 4th of July celebrations at Gypsy Hill Park,” says Graham. “I appreciate the emphasis on our American values and traditions and the recognition that God is our foundation. In God we do trust and the Happy Birthday America events celebrate that fact.” Wil and Langdon Reid of Wilson Fairchild were pleased to learn of Graham’s acceptance to appear at the Happy Birthday America event for 2019. “Ruth’s books and messages are always so relatable and inspiring,” says Langdon. “She has a wonderful gift in her speeches to motivate the positive in us and really shine for God. We are blessed to have her here on the 3rd.” “We are honored and humbled that Ruth Graham accepted our invitation to speak at the Vesper service this year,” says Wil Reid. “She, like us, is carrying on a family tradition that has always represented the blessing of being an American.”

Graham is an experienced Bible teacher and conference speaker. She is a frequent interview subject in the news media having appeared on Good Morning America, Life Today, Fox and Friends, and The 700 Club. Graham has three children and nine grandchildren. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The free Happy Birthday America concert on July 4 will feature hometown headliners, Wilson Fairchild, (Langdon and Wil Reid) along with special guests The Malpass Brothers. Happy Birthday America is a non-profit organization hosting the annual Independence Day festivities in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park. The event was created by The Statler Brothers in 1970 as a free, family-oriented, hometown celebration of July 4. Details may be found at www.happybirthdayamerica.org.

Hornet’s Nest and Prayer….

My brother, Franklin, certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest! Let me tell you something – he’s been that was since he was a young boy – he could make all three of his older sisters cry at the same time and he’d be grinn’ like a Cheshire cat!

Be he asked for prayer for President Trump. The Bible says we are to pray for those in authority – that includes Mr. Trump, Mr. Pence, Mrs. Pelosi, Mr Schumer and Mr. McConnell. And any other leader you want to add. They could all use it.

We should be praying for Kim Jung Un, Isis and radical Islamists, too.

I have a sense that the weight of the Presidency is heavy on Mr. Trump. Perhaps he started out on a lark but it is much bigger than any man or his ego. It is a God-given authority and responsibility. I get the sense – not from anything I’ve heard or know – that it weighs heavy on him and getting heavier.

You may not like him but he’s the man God put in place for this time in our country.

The fact that he showed up at McClean Bible Church and wanted prayer, indicated that he is feeling that weight and he is looking in the right place. There were those that were critical of David Platt for praying for him. My goodness! When can a pastor not pray for someone that asks?

My father would have – and did many times for our presidents. Was he wrong for praying for G.H.W. Bush the night he declared war on Iraq? No. Mr Bush needed the comfort of and wisdom of prayer.

I do hope Mr. Trump seeks out Pastor Platt many times more. And let’s all rally around him. He carries a heavy load and we should be lifting him and all our leaders up in prayer. These are perilous times.

When was the last time you prayed for the President? Vice-President? Mrs. Pelosi? Mr. Schumer? Your Governor? Senator? Mayor?

 

Is My Brother a Bigot?

An opinion writer at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, wrote an opinion criticizing my brother, Franklin Graham, for saying that Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s homosexual lifestyle is a sin.

She quotes a Robert Jones from the People’s Religious Research Institute, “While Franklin Graham has not changed his tune on LGBT rights in decades, the American public has. Graham’s recent comments about Pete Buttigieg are strongly out of step not only with the country as a whole but with most Christians.”

As believing Christians, we do not get our convictions from the most recent polling data. That changes from day-to-day, year to year. Our convictions do not have to be in step with the American public. Our convictions are based on the Word of God.

Ms. Rubin writes:”Graham’s generation may be the last that condemns gay marriage. The PRRI report found that 53 percent of young white evangelical Protestants (ages 18 to 29) favor the legality of same-sex marriage, compared to just 25 percent of white evangelical seniors. Nearly 6 in 10 young Republicans (ages 18 to 29) favor the legality of same-sex marriage, compared to only 28 percent of Republican seniors.”

Have we lost biblical convictions to political correctness and our own standards? Is there no higher authority? Are our standards based on polling? Popularity? Feelings? Our own opinions? I fear so.

I once asked a young UVA student what her world view was. She said she just wanted to be kind to everyone. There was no acknowledgement of an absolute power and higher authority than herself. This is how our young people are making decisions. Is that the right way?

In the book of Judges in the Bible, it says over and over again that “every man did what was right in their own eyes.”(Judges 17:6) That is where we are. We are doing what is right in our own eyes – from same-sex marriage to post-birth abortion. We are calling good evil and evil good.

My convictions, and my brother’s are based on what God says in the Bible. Franklin wasn’t just stating his opinion – I don’t much care what his “opinion” might be ’cause it could change. But Franklin was quoting what God says. Ms. Rubin’s argument isn’t with my brother but with God Himself.

God says homosexuality is a sin – as is adultery, murder, lying – a sin that can be forgiven.

But God will hold us accountable for our sins as a nation and as individuals when we thumb our noses at His absolute truth as revealed in His Word.

 

What You Need To Know About Easter

Someone passed this on to me. I thought it was too good to keep to myself!

“The test will cover the last seven chapters”.

Those words or something like them still strike anxiety or fear in me.

It did help a bit if we were told “here is what you need to know”.

It would have been even better yet if another brighter classmate could have taken the test for me.

But now I find I need a substitute test taker for the driver’s test or the eye exam.

There is One who has created us, knows us, loves us, and examines us….and does so through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. He has taken the exam on our behalf and the results are clear, summarized in the bible verse that many of us learned as elementary children, John 3:16.

FOR GOD — The Greatest Deity
SO LOVED — The Greatest Caring
THE WORLD — The Greatest Company
THAT HE GAVE — The Greatest Gift
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON — The Greatest Perfection
THAT WHOSOEVER — The Greatest Invitation
BELIEVES — The Greatest Simplicity
IN HIM — The Greatest Attraction
SHOULD NOT PERISH — The Greatest Promise
BUT — The Greatest Difference
HAVE — The Greatest Certainty
EVERLASTING LIFE — The Greatest Possession
— Source Unknown

It’s “what you need to know” as we look forward to Easter.

Transformation not Reformation

It was a joy to be able to return to Angola Prison two weeks ago. I saw many men I met years ago when the team for Ruth Graham & Friends went to hold a conference there with the men. It felt like a reunion.

We didn’t have a lot of time there. A group of us were there to witness the seminary program established by The New Orleans Baptist Seminary in connection with The Global Prison Seminaries Foundation. While Burl Cain was warden at Angola he had a vision to put a seminary in the prison for the men to get their degrees and then be used as chaplains either at Angola or other prisons.

That is taking place! So exciting.

When I visited Angola years ago a young man gave me the big belt buckle he won at the rodeo – they have a rodeo twice a year where the men can compete as well as sell their crafts to the public. It is a great event they look forward to. As does the public. It is a huge event.

 I knew his belt buckle was a treasure to him and I was deeply humbled and honored that he gave it to me. I told him I would keep it safely and if he ever wanted it back, he could have it.

A couple of years later I went back to attend the rodeo. What a wild time it was! Since the men are in for life, they have nothing to loose! So they go for broke! Anyway, I took the belt buckle with me and asked to see the young man. When he came up to me after a chapel service, I again told him he could have it back. He sweetly said, no, he wanted me to keep it. Again, I told him I would keep it safe until he wanted it back – if he ever did.

Well, went I went back two weeks ago, I took the buckle with me hoping I would get the opportunity to see him. As we toured the new seminary building on the prison grounds we listened to the impact it was having in the men’s lives. As we left we were told one young man had just finished his doctoral dissertation. They held it up and told us the name of the young man: Alex Hennis. I let out a whoop! That was the young man who gave me the belt buckle!

I was thrilled. And asked if I might meet with him during lunch.

He came. It was a grand reunion. I am so proud of him. He not only got his doctorate but has earned 2 Masters degrees and is working on his third! His seminary professors attended his parole hearing, vouched for him and told the parole board they were going to make him an adjunct professor when he was released! Wow!

That is not reformation but transformation. And we are seeing that in every prison where there is a Seminary/Bible College. I am thrilled. I love it.

That’s how real prison reform takes place – in the heart. Not some government program. Not by throwing money at it. The men – and women – have to have a heart change by the power of the Lord Jesus.

This is real. The Global Prisons Seminary needs to be multiplied to reach every prison. I know they are now trying to get into the Federal prison system. This program has been researched and documented by scholars at Baylor University – it works!

Not reformation but transformation!

Ruth to lead Vespers Service during Staunton, Virginia’s Happy Birthday America Event!

Ruth will be the featured speaker for this annual July 3rd event in Staunton, VA.

 

STAUNTON, VA – Happy Birthday America is pleased to announce Ruth Graham will be the featured speaker at the Vespers Service on July 3 in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park.

“Transparent” is the word most people use to describe Ruth Graham, founder and president of Ruth Graham Ministries. Daughter of the late evangelist Billy Graham, she has family roots that run deep in Augusta County. Graham is the author of multiple books, including best-selling In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart (Zondervan 2004), in which she demonstrates her heart for those who face life’s difficult challenges. Her passion is to motivate people by God’s comfort and loving acceptance from a place of woundedness to a place of wholeness in Christ.

“For years my family and I have enjoyed the 4th of July celebrations at Gypsy Hill Park,” says Graham. “I appreciate the emphasis on our American values and traditions and the recognition that God is our foundation. In God we do trust and the Happy Birthday America events celebrate that fact.”

Wil and Langdon Reid of Wilson Fairchild were pleased to learn of Graham’s acceptance to appear at the Happy Birthday America event for 2019. “Ruth’s books and messages are always so relatable and inspiring,” says Langdon. “She has a wonderful gift in her speeches to motivate the positive in us and really shine for God. We are blessed to have her here on the 3rd.”

“We are honored and humbled that Ruth Graham accepted our invitation to speak at the Vesper service this year,” says Wil Reid. “She, like us, is carrying on a family tradition that has always represented the blessing of being an American.”

Graham is an experienced Bible teacher and conference speaker. She is a frequent interview subject in the news media having appeared on Good Morning America, Life Today, Fox and Friends, and The 700 Club.

Graham has three children and nine grandchildren. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

The free Happy Birthday America concert on July 4 will feature hometown headliners, Wilson Fairchild, (Langdon and Wil Reid) along with special guests The Malpass Brothers.

Happy Birthday America is a non-profit organization hosting the annual Independence Day festivities in Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park. The event was created by The Statler Brothers in 1970 as a free, family-oriented, hometown celebration of July 4. Details may be found at www.happybirthdayamerica.org.

 

Eyes That Wait

My new book manuscript is in! Praise the Lord! It’s like delivering a baby. Now the doctors (editors) say “Isn’t it nice. But let’s take off this toe and this finger and rearrange this arm.” The editing process is grueling.

However, the Word of the Lord is eternal and true.

Psalm 123:2 talks about us waiting on the Lord like a servant’s eyes are on the master watching how they might serve. But it says a curious thing “our eyes wait upon the Lord our God until he has mercy on us…” (KJV) How do our eyes wait? The Amplified version says, “our eyes look unto the Lord.” That is probably more of the meaning.

The Message puts it this way: “We’re watching and waiting, holding our breath, awaiting your word of mercy.”

While those translations are true and help us understand I began to think about my eyes waiting…

Eyes are a reflection of a soul – a window to the soul. I was recently in the store and I went up to one of my favorite associates. She was her cheerful self but her eyes were sad. I told her she looked sad and she began to cry. Yes. Eyes tell us quite a bit. They can tell when we are tired. Angry. Puzzled.

When we are frantic our eyes can be rather jumpy, not able to focus on any one thing – just going from one thing to the next.

To get our eyes to wait we have to settle. We have to focus. This scripture tells us to have our eyes wait on the Lord. Carefully, watching. Focus on Him!

What’s happening in Richmond?

I live in Virginia. It has always been a lovely, genteel state. Maybe we are a bit arrogant in our thinking of ourselves…UVA is called “The University”, as if there are no others…! My mother used to laughingly say, North Carolina was “A valley of humiliation between two mountains of conceit.” Her parents were both Virginians…going way back. And being able to trace your family “way back” is important to Virginians. They have the “FFVs” – First Families of Virginia!
Like I said, the attitudes can be a bit on the arrogant side.
What has happened to our governor, I can understand. What he did years ago should not play havoc with his life now. Not if he does not hold racist views. And I do not believe he does…he was a product of his time and culture. Right or wrong.
But he is now trying to use all the current buzz words to get himself free of this mess. Like he was born into “white privilege”. That he needed to be more “sensitive”. All that may be true and I believe he will come to terms with it.
For him and the abortion activists, this was a God-send. The media is not talking about his radical position on late-term abortion but on some years ago photo that may or may not have been him.
Why?
In his interview about abortion, he stated the baby could be born, kept comfortable while the parents and the doctors decided whether or not to end its life! That would be murder. He is an advocate of that. He is a pediatric neurologist for crying out loud. If a baby has to be kept comfortable till the doctors and parents make a decision…then they can end its life! That is ludicrous!
We ought to be screaming about the injustice and evil of this.
He doesn’t need to resign over the racist photo but his stand on abortion. Wake up folks!
This is pure evil.

Nashville Christian Family Magazine Article

Check out the article about Ruth in the current edition of Nashville Christian Family Magazine.  Access the publication here:

www.christianfamilynashville.com

How to Praise God

I had an interesting conversation with my 9-year-old grandson yesterday morning. He was asking how I could be sure God was the real God when there were thousands of God’s. He likes to argue.

The last Psalm, 150, which I read this last day of the year is full of praise for our exalted God.

It begins with the exclamation and command: Praise the LORD! When “Lord” is capitalized it is the Almighty God. Yahweh. It makes us have big thoughts about God – too often my God is too small. I need to think worthily of Him.

Then it says to praise Him in His sanctuary – that’s inside. Then to praise Him in His mighty expanse – that’s outside. So praise Him everywhere.

Then praise Him for His mighty deeds – what He has done for you. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Not just plain greatness, but excellent greatness. That’s who He is.

Praise Him with trumpets. Trumpets usually herald or announce. Tell of His greatness to all you meet in 2019. Praise Him with harp and lyre – that is usually comforting and soothing. He is our comforter.

Praise Him with dancing – praise Him bodily. I’m not good at that. I was raised a staid Presbyterian so that sort of thing is difficult for me. We never danced! It is not my usual display. That’s something I need to learn.

Praise Him with stringed instruments. The strings of any instrument are under enormous pressure. A typical piano has 10 tons of pressure on its strings. Praise His while you are under stress and pressure. Praise will put it all in perspective.

Praise Him with cymbals. Cymbals are usually for celebration! So praise Him in the joyful moments to the coming year…and repeat it.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”

May God bless you greatly in 2019!