Oh dear! I was “called on the carpet” this week. I was mistaken when I said my mother’s older sister was 94 years old. She let me know that she is not 94! I was wrong…please forgive me Aunt Rosa. So…to be very careful, I’ll just let it stand that you are my mother’s wise, beautiful, spunky older sister…I know she misses her siblings terribly…no one with whom to share those China childhood memories. (My mother, was born in China and lived there until she was 18 years old when she went off to Wheaton College.) When mother was nearing heaven Aunt Rosa came to visit and they spent hours talking about China – such a happy childhood for them. Mother loved China, the Chinese people and all things pertaining to China.
I had a great trip to Ashland Seminary this week in Ashland, Ohio. They have a program called, Women in Dialogue, and asked me to come speak for them. It was a full house…I spoke of my faith journey, the good, the bad and the ugly, then answered questions and signed books. Everyone was so warm – I had a great time. The next day I had the delight to finally meet David Aikman – we had breakfast together. He is a dear friend of my parents – accompanying them to China in 1988. He has written extensively about my father in, Billy Graham, His life and Influence. He also mentored my collaborative writer, Stacy Mattingly, an extremely gifted writer who has been teaching at Boston University. She is a dear to me. David and I had a lot to talk about.
Then I was given the intimidating privilege of speaking in the Seminary chapel – my topic was, Fear Not Tomorrow. Afterwards my friend, Pastor JC Church, whom I had met through James Robison, picked me up and took me to his church. He is very supportive of my vision for encouraging the Church to become a safer place for broken people. He is a dynamic pastor in north central Ohio. I met with his church leadership and we had a great time of fellowship. They are doing transparency. I applaud them. On the long drive to the Cleveland Airport yesterday I asked him what he was preaching on this Sunday (today) and he preached me a rich sermon. I loved it!
A full trip…on Saturday morning I awakened at 3:30 AM. I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t so spent concentrated time with God. He spoke very clearly to me about some things in my life I have to deal with. I think I told you back in the summer when I was on that trip to Canada – and jumped off the cliff – that one of the men in the group just happened to mention the words “submit” and “obey”. They struck my heart. During this early morning time, God put HIs finger on the areas where I need to submit and obey. And now I must do it! I’ll keep you posted.
By the way, I am starting a new blog on BeliefNet called “A Safe Place with Ruth Graham”. Should be up this week.
Ruth, it was such an honor and delight to meet you, to hear you speak and to share our love of our Lord! You lifted the hearts and rafters at Hugo Young Theatre on Thursday evening for 720 energized and enthusiastic souls! Thank you for visiting Ashland, OH, and for giving all of us a lot of food for thought and an extra kick in our step, all for the love of Jesus Christ. I especially loved having the opportunity to chat with you and to hear about your life; you have a remarkable life story which continues to unfold with such grace despite your struggles. You are truly an inspiration! It is no coincidence that God arranged for you to be in my life this past week, the timing is quite extraordinary. May God continue to Bless you and to guide you through these coming days of “submit” and “obey”. I look forward to “A Safe Place with Ruth Graham”, I could use a safe place now and again. Again, thank you for being you, and for allowing us to get to know you. Have a lovely week! ~Gayle Marie Martin
I felt as if I made a host of new friends! Thank you for your kind remarks and the fun we had in the car from the airport! You are a delight – can’t wait to wear my beautiful scarf!
Once again…….you touched my heart!! Submit and Obey….for there is no other way…to be happy in Jesus….than to trust and obey!!
My love and prayers remain!!
Amen! I miss seeing your dear face…soon…on my visit to Carson Newman. Give my love to all there!
I watched the 2 hr. birthday tribute to your Daddy. What an amazing birthday present!!! What a different world we could live in if people did this for each other. It’s a shame that it normally only happens at someone’s funeral. As I listened to some of the wellwishers and they told of how someone else that had been at a Billy Graham revival and that person prayed for them and/or led them to the Lord it made me think about how many millions your Dad witnessed to and how many of those went out and witnessed to others.
He’s so proud of all his children’s accomplishments, too. You all are so loved, Ruth.
Your Aunt Rosa sounds as spunky as my great-aunt Louise, who died last year at the age of 99. Aunt Lou never considered herself a “senior citizen.” When she had to give up driving in her 80’s, she worried about who would take “the old people” at church to their doctor appointments.
i loved reading the book… a foreign devil in china! praying for your dad & payson! elaine in alabama