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!

Mistaken Identity

It has come to my attention that a columnist named Ruth Graham has made disparaging comments about President Bush’s dog. That is not me. I do not know this Ruth Graham nor do I personally know President Bush’s dog! I think you all know me well enough to know this is not my style. I have met both 41 and 43 and find them to be very special gentlemen. Their family and mine have a long-standing friendship. Please understand that this is decidedly not my thinking. I regret any confusion.

Persecution

Last year, as you may know, I attended the “Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians” in Washington, DC. I was so moved by what I heard and saw that I knew I had to do something.
I asked a few local pastors and Christian leaders to meet with me over lunch to talk about what we might be able to do in our area.

We decided on a “prayer gathering” on the “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted” on November 7th. We had about 500 people gather and we prayed – we talked about the needs of various areas and then we prayed! We didn’t talk about prayer, sing about prayer, preach about prayer – we prayed. It was a thrill for each one there – we felt God’s presence in a powerful way. It was thrilling!

Since then, we have met on a monthly basis to pray for our local pastors as well as to look to this year’s International Day of Prayer which is November 4th. It has been so rewarding to gather early on a Tuesday morning without coffee or “goodies” (until today thanks to my sweet friend, Peggy) and just pray for our churches to be aware, for pastors to be bold preaching God’s Word and especially those who suffer persecution simply because they love Jesus.

What a joy it was to see Andrew Brunson step off that plane in Germany on his way home! It’s what we have been praying for — and then to see him humbly kneel beside the President to pray for him. Tears streamed down my face. But for every Andrew Brunson there are 100s more. He was fortunate to be an American where the government would not forget him – not leave him behind. There are so many whose governments are the very ones oppressing and persecuting. It is dangerous to be a Christian in certain parts of the world.

According the the World Watch List, North Korea is #1 for persecution of Christians. That’s no surprise! (I am hoping that will soon change due to the opening of N. Korea to diplomacy.) Afghanistan is number 2. Somalia is number 3.

Let’s pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering.

I’m Back! With Pictures!

I’m back!

It was a busy summer and much has happened. Uppermost in my heart and mind is my sister, Anne’s diagnosis of breast cancer. She has a virulent form and they will attack it aggressively. I hate it for her. She has a great attitude and goes into this physically strong – she has taken good care of herself. I know she wants God to be glorified through out the process. (I have a lovely photo of the 2 of us at our Father’s 90 birthday party but I had to scan it to my computer and it won’t go into this blog! AHRRRUGH!)

This summer I have been working with my surgeon to get the correct balance of fluid in my brain. Not an easy process with some difficult side effects – as you can see – a “face plant”! But he is patient and I am wild about him and his staff. They treat me beautifully. Last time I went down to Richmond for the adjustment is was just before the hurricane…lots of rain and wind predicted. I mentioned my concern about driving since I had relatively bald tires, to a sweet friend in church and she volunteered to take me. So dear of her to spend her whole morning hauling me down and back. I am grateful for such special friends.

 

IMG_1953Family spent some time trying to clear out my Father’s home. We had a good time together and when one of us would get teary, the others would cheer them up. So hard to see it “moth-eaten”. Not like my Mother had it at all. Sad. But we all go through the same thing when our parents die.

 

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My children and their families all spent a week together – and me – at our favorite beach. Such chaos! Such fun. A photo of them all except one who was upstairs watching TV and missed the photo call – we got it later. We has our Bible Museum t-shirts on

 

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We had gone up there to see the display honoring my Father. So grateful to the Green family for what they have put in the center of DC. It honors God and the Bible. An amazing collection of artifacts!

 

Museum of the Bible display 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got together with family – all the cousins enjoyed each other. The grown cousins and the little cousins. Such fun!

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I saw a special friend — I always try to see her on the way back from the beach. Special lady — Jane Bateman and fabulous speaker. I love her

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Then I had occasion to go to Maine for a prayer event for the Persecuted Church and got to see my dear college roommate. We’ve been close for many years.

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Well, that’s probably all you need to know for now! But there is more to tell!

 

Stumbling in the Dark

I read this morning that God’s Word “is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). When that was written, in ancient times, folks didn’t have flashlights. To light up the night, they used torches – as they did when the leaders of the synagogue, arrested Jesus in the garden. Torches were not always suitable – casting too much light.

It brought a memory back to me.

Some years ago when my family and I visited the Holy Land, our guide showed us a small oil lamp that could be attached to your shoe or sandal to light your path. That’s what the Psalm is referring to: “a lamp unto my feet.” Its light only spread as far as your next step. You couldn’t see a long way down the path. You had to tread carefully as you navigated the path, not going farther or faster than your lamp shown.

It’s a good illustration for me. Jesus is that lamp – that light. He said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

I know if I am walking into a dark place, I look for a light switch and if there isn’t one, I look for a candle. And if I see a light in the distance, I am comforted and head towards it. I have to respond to it either by heading towards it or turning on the light switch or lighting the candle.

Isn’t that what we all want – light? We live in a darkening world…we see people stumbling aimlessly into each other, into unsubstantiated claims by self-proclaimed prophets, into lies and false promises, into one relationship after another that do not satisfy… walking in darkness.

We have closed our ears and eyes.

It is sad. Especially since the one true Light is inviting us into a personal relationship with Him. He has issued an invitation to us: “Come unto me all ye that are burdened and heavy laden…”(Matthew 11:28-30). We have to respond to that personal invitation. Have you?

 

Billy Graham’s Vows to His Wife

This was written in long-hand on the day of my parent’s wedding:

“To love thee, to cherish thee, to protect thee as long as we both shall live. To be tender, kind, patient and true is the deepest desire of my heart tonight.

My darling, I love you with a love that knows no bounds and together under the leadership of the Holy Spirit we shall walk life’s road together.

May we be calm in His presence
May we rest our souls in Him.
May we feed on the fullness of His Word.
May we die to all things of time.
Bill”

They were married 67 years. And they both lived up to that desire. It shows the man of God he was even then…

I miss them both.

The Bible

This past weekend the Museum of the Bible opened an exhibit about the Bible’s impact on my father’s life and ministry and the emphasis he always put on the Bible. They were gracious to ask me to say a few words about my father “the man” while my nephew, Will Graham, was to say a few words about his grandfather’s “ministry.”

It sort of got twisted around – he thought he was to talk about his grandfather “the man”, and I was to talk about “the ministry.” It didn’t matter. We both shared the impact of the Bible on my father’s life and ministry.

We teased each other because we had both decided to tell the same story about my father. I told Will that since I was going first, I got to tell it! Well, the man who introduced us, got it mixed up and Will got to go first…so he told the story! (Maybe Will bribed him – wouldn’t put it past him!)

I love my nephew, Will. And he told the story much better than I would have, anyway. So it was fine by me.

My two girls, their husbands and seven of my grandchildren joined me in D.C. and we all took the opportunity to tour the museum on Saturday.

It is fabulous. We learned so much about the Bible – but there is so much more to know! It is a fascinating look at a living book. The museum is the most technologically advanced of any museum in the world. There are six floors – chucked full of treasures, antiquities, scrolls, tablets, Bibles – all presented in such an excellent way. (Even the impact of the Bible on high fashion!) One of the most convicting displays was the “library” representing the Bibles already translated into a known language – but also, representations displayed of all those that have yet to be translated…Oh my! There is work to be done. Many who have yet to hear the story of Jesus and His love for them.

The museum wants you to engage with the Bible. And we did! It gives a grand overview of the Bible on a first visit then you can certainly dig deeper and take much longer. I felt a bit overwhelmed as we toured eager to linger.

But it truly engaged my grandchildren! Most of them enjoyed the “fly over Washington” which simulated a helicopter, or drone, ride over the city and into it’s building highlighting scriptures that are etched into our nation’s official buildings. However, some in our group suffer from motion sickness…that wasn’t fun for them.

There is a biblical “village” with actors living as they did in biblical times. There are interactive videos. There are light displays. As you enter the lobby, if you look above you, there is a 200 foot LED ceiling that changes displays. There is a permanent collection from the Vatican. There are loaned collections… So much.

Go! And don’t hesitate to take the kids.

 

Will It Be Too Late?

Sunday night I attended a concert “Melody of One” sponsored by the Comfort My People ministry of Advancing Native Missions. They encourage and advocate for Christian ministries in Israel like evangelism, pregnancy care center, sending of humanitarian goods, discipleship program for Israeli soldiers who have finished their term of service and other vital areas. It is exciting to hear what God is doing.

The music by Aaron Shust (Love Made a Way) and Joshua Aaron was outstanding! What a concert they gave – in a small intimate setting. Very special. Their music is so worshipful because it is biblical. You cannot confuse it with a popular love song, like so many contemporary worship songs, because it powerfully proclaims God for Who He is in His holiness, and majesty. And Jesus as the Redeemer of mankind. No soft fuzzy Jesus – but sin defeating, Satan destroying Redeemer who is coming back.

It seems clear to me that we are in the end days before the Lord’s return. So many signs…The question is, are we ready?
Are we about His work as we watch eagerly for His return? Or does it even cross our minds as we scurry about our day-to-day business?

He is coming. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But He is coming. Either when He comes in power riding a white horse with His eyes of fire or when He comes to you in death. He is coming. You will see Him face to face. Either with horror because you weren’t ready or in great joyful anticipation.

You make the choice this side of heaven. When you see Him, it will be too late. Make your choice now by asking Him to be you Lord and Savior today. It will be the greatest decision you ever make.

 

A Servant’s Heart

It’s been almost six weeks since my surgery for hydrocephalus and I am enjoying a new quality of life! So thankful. I still need stamina…it will come.

Last weekend my oldest daughter and I drove to North Carolina to attend the 70th birthday party of a man who helped my family for over half of his life. He sacrificed his life for the lives of my parents and us – even the grandchildren.

He knows everyone! They’re were about 200-300 people there. It was so much fun to see many people I had not seen in a long time – many people connected to my family in some way.

He is the most positive person I know. Anything you ask him to do he acts like it’s the greatest thing in the world. He always has a smile and is full of enthusiasm. He is always thinking of something he can do for others. If ever someone had a servant’s heart, it is Maury Scobee.

He has a special place in our family. My younger brother, Franklin, met him when they were at LeTourneau College in Texas together. They became friends and one day Franklin took him to meet with my parents and as my father said, “Franklin never came back to pick him up.” We are glad he didn’t.

He babysat the grandkids taking them on fun adventures. He had to find Revlon’s “naked pink” lipstick for my mother. He went to the grocery store. No task was too small or too large. He travelled with my father around the world, giving of himself to my father’s needs of any sort. He was always smiling and laughing. He was at my father’s hospital bedside many, many times. My father trusted Maury and relied on him in so many ways. A world-wide ministry takes a toll but Maury eased the load for my Father. We are grateful to and for him.

Along the way he made countless friends – some famous – some just regular folks – it doesn’t matter to him. He loves them all and stays in regular contact with them. I don’t think he has an enemy.

He accompanied Mother and my 2 older sisters and me to China back in 1989. He was the only man along and we counted on him for so many tasks – hauling our luggage which, at that time did not have wheels, and we didn’t pack lightly, photographing our journey as well as being the videographer creating documentation of our trip back to the place of Mother’s birth. On the first night back to Hong Kong after an arduous journey through China, we dispatched him to McDonald’s to get us cheeseburgers! Even though he was as tired as we were he did it cheerfully. It was a trip of a lifetime and he was integral to it all.

It wasn’t easy and sometimes very difficult but I never saw him angry or upset. He usually was cheering up someone else. He’s had his share of heartaches – losing a brother to cancer, losing his own mother. But he never wallowed in his sorrow instead he looked to find someone he could help. He is a very special man.

He never married – though we tried to set him up more than once. He was married to the ministry to my family. He is someone who had our backs – over and over again. He was always a constant. We could count on his smile and laugh and his prayers.

The whole family loves him. Maury Scobee is an example of a servant’s heart, if ever there was one. God blessed my family with Maury.