Ruth on TODAY in Nashville!

Click here to watch Ruth’s interview on TODAY in Nashville.https://www.wsmv.com/today_in_nashville/ruth-graham-discusses-new-book—oct/video_097cc31b-906f-5acb-88a5-392caaee9b87.html

Forgiveness is Unfair!

I recently published a book on forgiveness. Not that I am an expert – I am an apprentice. I am one who has struggled long and hard with this idea of forgiveness. I have had to forgive others for the pain they caused me. I’ve had to ask forgiveness from those I wounded. It’s been a journey.

And I have read volumes on the subject. I wanted to know what worked, what didn’t. I wanted to know what was biblical and what wasn’t. I wanted to have someone share their journey – honestly and transparently. I couldn’t find such a book. So I wrote it!

We often think of forgiveness as a way to get healthy emotionally. Or a way of letting something go. Or a gift we give ourselves. I believe there are elements of all of those but it is so much more.

I had a rather shallow understanding of forgiveness until I visited death row at Angola Prison in Louisiana some years ago. A prisoner’s experience made me go,”Wow!” and begin to rethink my understanding.

Forgiveness in is unfair and costly. Ask Jesus how unfair it is and just how much it cost. And I have learned forgiveness is a process – a life-long process.

It was a beautiful picture in Dallas recently of Brandt Jean, brother of Botham, killed by Amber Guyger, giving Amber a hug and saying he forgave her for killing his brother. Oh! That we all could do that.

However, I think that in the weeks and months to come Botham will experience an emotional rollercoaster of anger, pain, resentment. He will wonder if he truly forgave. He did! He made the decision to forgive and that decision was the doorway for the Holy Spirit to inhabit that decision so it will be effectual. Emotions don’t tell the truth. Only God’s word is sufficient for truth. Trust it. As I am sure Botham does and will.

 

Watch Ruth on Good Morning Texas!

Ruth was on Good Morning Texas this morning to talk about Forgiving my Father, Forgiving Myself.” Click this link to watch the segment. https://www.wfaa.com/article/entertainment/television/programs/good-morning-texas/forgiving-my-father-forgiving-myself-author-ruth-graham/287-b3585497-dc98-4dd1-bee8-f1c29767f26e

 

Ruth interviewed by Sheila Walsh of Life Today

Ruth was on the set of Life Today yesterday for a special interview with Sheila Walsh. Watch for on air dates to see the full interview. We’ll post dates and times soon!

 

Ruth to appear on Life Today with James & Betty Robison

Ruth is am looking forward to taping on Life Today and, if you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you can join her! Come be a part of the live studio audience Oct. 1 @ 7 PM.  She’d love to see you there!  For reservations, click here: http://bit.ly/TVTaping

Storms Are Not Political

Dorian has ravaged the Bahamas and continues the agonizingly slow march up the Eastern seaboard. It seems the news programs can report on little else. The news that has consumed them for months has taken a back seat – swept from the headlines. That suits me. Perhaps we can focus more on more important issues than politics. Like thinking about how we can come together to help others. Think beyond our selves to help the suffering.

Storms are not political. They hit Republicans and Democrats. Independents and Socialists. The Left and the Right.

And haven’t you seen that in your life? A storm may have swept in unbidden. Maybe you were not warned ahead of time or if you were, you still were taken aback. A life-changing diagnosis. A betrayal that took your breath away. A job loss that has undermined you financially. You feel insecure. Inadequate to face the trial God has allowed to rock your world.

We all feel that way at times. It is not to be underestimated or brushed aside or covered over with w Bible verse.

I think it is good to feel the pain. Let it rock your world. Let it knock the breath out of you. All of that is normal and human. I will caution you not to stay in those places. You may revisit them but don’t pitch a tent and set up camp. You will feel bitterness. That’s normal, too. But you cannot nurture it, feed it and coddle it. The Bible say, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled…”

Staying in bitterness (letting the roots go down into the soil of our spirit) causes us to fall short of God’s grace. How gracious He has been to us – giving His own Son to die in our place, cleansing us from sin and then giving us new life in him. Why would we want to fall short of that? If we have been given such generous grace, we want to extend that to others.

We may not want to extend grace to one who has wounded us deeply. We may even be angry with God because of the disease that is ravaging you or someone you love. God can handle your anger. He would draw you closer to Him in His love. But extending grace is evidence of God’s work in your life. Maybe you can’t do it immediately, I’m not suggesting that we can. It takes time but make it your goal to be gracious and kind.

So often when I am struggling with a relationship that just sets my teeth on edge I remind myself of Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 4, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Peter and Paul had a huge, public disagreement that nearly tore the early Church apart. I believe this is how they settled it. I believe Paul had to “work out his own salvation with fear and trembling” as he dealt with Peter and he had to learn to be kind, and tenderhearted and forgiving towards Peter. And Peter had to do likewise. This is the example they say for us. And the instruction for us.

So when storms hit you like a huge tidal wave, reach for the safety of God’s gracious arms.

 

Community

My family is at the beach – a week we anticipate all year long!

My youngest daughter could only be here 2 days because of the children’s school. My son came a 4 days but had to get back to work. My eldest will leave tomorrow because she is training for a marathon and has to get back to do a “big” run. I’ll close the house up on Saturday and drive home.

And we will anticipate next year!

It is fun to be together. Lots of laughter and teasing. And time to talk – something we don’t often have in our busy schedules.

As is my practice, I get up each morning to walk the beach. I listen to praise music as I do. It’s thrilling to listen to Damaris Carbaugh sing In the Presence of Jehovah as the sun comes up on the horizon! Such glory! I do feel as if I am in His presence. (Of course I always am but at the beach listing to that song makes it so real.)

This year there aren’t many shells on the beach -I’m a big shell collector. Most this year are small, common and broken. Just like me! And I have noticed that at certain spots on the beach there are more shells. It must be some sort of Ocean Reef beyond the shore at that particular spot that spits them out.

Individually, they just sit in the sand alone. But when are washed up in an area where there are more shells – as a group – there is a beauty collectively as the water washes over them.

To me, that speaks of community. How we are much better in community than by ourselves. especially as the Holy Spirit washes over us! There is beauty when the family of God comes together. One day we will all gather on that distant shore and reflect Jehovah’s glory and presence.

But why wait ’til then. I want to reflect Him now where God has placed me in community.

 

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.