Our faithful Lord called Billy Graham home to heaven! He has had an influence on all of our lives.
For over 11 years it was my privilege to sing and lead the music internationally for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Of all the men I have met, I believe Mr. Graham had the greatest influence on my life.
One of the interesting things that I'll never forget happened during the South American crusade held in Argentina. It was never covered by the media, yet it speaks to the testimony of Mr. Graham. The actual crusade was held at the River Plate Stadium in Bueno Aires, where crowds of over 62,000 people attended each night. In addition, the crusade was aired simultaneously all across South America, by satellite hookup, where more than 5 million people watched. The Graham Association pre-produced videos of my singing in Spanish and English, and these videos were inserted into the actual crusade feed that was sent via satellite to the various countries. However, that year the Argentinian, beloved football team unexpectedly went to the finals. They needed the stadium for the final football game. The stadium had been reserved by the Billy Graham team for months and everything was already all set up. The platform was in place, the cameras, sound, everything was set for the first day of the crusade. It was the talk all over the country about how they needed that stadium for their game. Through prayer and consideration, Billy Graham gave up the stadium for the first night of the crusade to the soccer team. Hundreds of people worked all night and into the next day to transform the stadium back so the Argentinian team could play football. This response to their need made the Argentinian people so appreciate Billy Graham! As we traveled through-out Buenos Aires, the cab drivers, hotel clerks, and people talking on the street all spoke of how wonderful Billy Graham was to give up the stadium for that special night for their team. This opened hearts to be receptive to the gospel during the subsequent nights in that same stadium. The Buenos Aires crusade turned out to be the largest event Mr. Graham had held in his 50 years of public ministry.
Right before the San Juan, Puerto Rico crusade, we had a staff rally for about 550-600 of the workers. I lead the music and sang right before Mr. Graham spoke. After the meeting, Mr. Graham sought me out. He told me how the Holy Spirit welled up inside him as he listened to the music. Billy Graham was humble and had a way of making you feel like a king in his presence. He was an inspiration and affirmation of the ministry to which God called me over 45 years ago.
Billy Graham was called to serve his resurrected Lord when he was just a teenager. God called him and he never looked back. Mr. Graham willingly had the desire to listen to the Holy Spirit and be faithful to what God called him to do. What an inspiration to continue the work He began in us and finish it until we are with our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever! Praise our faithful God.
As a child of God we will face and encounter adversity. We live our entire lives in spiritual warfare. John 16:33 says: "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world". And right before this part of the verse the Bible says: "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace". We may not gain the victory over problems or difficulty, but He has won the victory. It's all about God!
The strain and difficulty in the midst of adversity is what gives us strength if we trust in Him." We must strive to remain true to Him. When you face the strain you WILL gain the strength to carry on. Adversity was never designed to "please you" but was designed to "develop you".
Warfare doesn't end when your enemy runs out of energy. As Derek, my brother in Christ quotes: It ends when God births enough change in you so what entered through a weakness can exit through a strength. Remember, warfare only takes place in the areas next in line for change.
In His peace,