Well a guest list of 800 headed by Donald Trump, Rupert Murdock, Sarah Palin and many other household names remembered and came.
But in typical Billy Graham style, he said “I don’t want it to be about me; I want it to be about the cross”. So the whole party started with a global broadcast of a multimedia event that he called “MY HOPE AMERICA”. It was a 30 minute presentation that was not only shown to his 800 guests but was broadcast live around the world. If you didn’t see it you can catch it on the internet at http://myhopewithbillygraham.org/programs/the-cross/.
No matter what your spiritual bent is, you have to admire this 95-year-old senior who had a vision and a calling in his early twenties and never looked back. In fact he was guided in part by a 6-word phrase written in the Bible of an heir to the Borden milk fortune, William Borden, who died in Egypt on his way to the mission field: "no reserves, no retreat, no regrets". He often used this phrase to challenge students in setting the course for their lives.
He was called in the latter years of his ministry “Pastor to the Presidents” because he met personally with each president since Dwight Eisenhower, with whom I understand he had a close personal relationship.
Even when tempted by lucrative offers he stayed true to his calling. Wikipedia says “Graham was offered a five-year, $5 million contract from NBC to appear on television opposite Arthur Godfrey, but he turned it down in favor of continuing his touring revivals because of his prearranged commitments. I’m sure glad he did. Graham had missions in London, which lasted 12 weeks, and New York City in Madison Square Garden in 1957, which ran nightly for 16 weeks. I remember personally going to one of his crusades in Philadelphia back in the 50’s. He’s been a spiritual beacon of America for my entire life.
If our government leaders and court justices had heeded his message instead of those who want to exorcise God out of every corner of our public life we may have had a different track record. Instead, since we have as a nation largely ignored his message, we have:
• Gone from being the world’s largest creditor to being the world’s largest debtor
• Seen some of our largest national institutions, including General Motors, declare bankruptcy
• Seen the decline of our public educational system
• Killed over 50 million of our would-be American Citizens before they were born. Is it any wonder there are not enough workers paying into the Social Security system to sustain it?
I wonder what America would be like today if we had heeded his message as a nation? While time is running out quickly, Billy Graham is still trying to show us the way with “MY HOPE AMERICA”. Thanks, Billy!
See you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for us at www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsMacon.