Those who wanted to say “goodbye” to the man of God Billy Graham at his funeral could have filled a stadium … so, it was by invitation only.
Receiving one of those invitations was my longtime friend – and the appreciated longtime friend of so many – was Dr. Larry Lewis. So he and wife Creda went.
Longtime friend Larry Lewis is still in an illustrious ministry career: following Seminary graduation he planted” churches in the northeast; was pastor of the Tower Grove Baptist Church in St. Louis; was President of Hannibal-LaGrange University; served as President of the North American Mission Board (with its 5,000+ missionaries); and then as the Mission America Coalition’s liaison with scores of denominational and other Christian leaders … and he is not through yet! He and Creda lost in death their longtime spouses in 2007 … found each other … and are continuing to serve God together!
Although the Billy Graham funeral service was attended by the President and Vice-President of the United States, only the five children were speakers.
Powerful moments included the statement by the youngest, Ruth, self-declared to be the “black sheep” of the family, who violated the advice of her parents by entering into, not one, but two bad marriages. Realizing her mistake, she wanted to return home to her parents. But how would she be received? She wondered. But returning to her North Carolina home, where she grew up, she found the treasured answer! Her father and mother were awaiting her at their door with a “welcome home” and a “we love you,” and outstretched arms!
This carries a tremendous message for God Himself. We all sin, and we all make mistakes. But, as with the “Prodigal Son,” (Luke chapter 15: 11-32), we are still loved by God Himself. He wants the best for us, but sin gets in the way and, because of Jesus death and resurrection, all can be forgiven!
Another powerful moment: son Franklin Graham affirmed what we all probably knew. “There were not two Billy Grahams … on in the stadiums and on television, but what you saw is what he was at home.
There was just one Billy Graham … gracious, kind, and Christ-like … when he was at home with family!
Past Brief Radio with links related to Billy Graham
To hear … “Tom Phillips, Ex Dir, Billy Graham Library; VP, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; explains the BG team’s “Modesto Manifesto’” … click on … www.haroldhendrick.com/2017/03/06/tom-phillips-ex-dir-billy-graham-library-vp-billy-graham-evan-assn-explains-modesto-manifesto/;
To hear … “Will Graham, Billy Graham’s grandson re Louie Zamperini of “Unbroken” and 2015 Rose Bowl parade” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2015/03/14/will-graham-billy-grahams-grandson-re-louie-zamperini-of-unbroken-and-2015-rose-bowl-parade/;
To hear … “Art Bailey re Rock the River with Franklin Graham under the St. Louis Arch…” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2009/03/06/art-bailey-re-rock-the-river-with-franklin-graham-under-the-st-louis-arch/;
To hear … “Attorney John Galvin, follower of Jesus, a leader with 2,000+ Billy Graham Rapid Response Chaplains” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2017/06/27/atty-john-galvin-follower-jesus-leader-2000-billy-graham-rapid-response-chaplains/;
To hear … “Dr Tom Phillips, 30-year friend of Billy Graham re works of God thru Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2016/01/15/dr-tom-phillips-30-year-friend-of-billy-graham-re-works-of-god-thru-billy-graham-evangelistic-assn/;
To hear … “Ron Shea, son of Bev Shea, Billy Graham’s singer 60+ years; moving stories re Bev, 104 at his death” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2013/09/28/ron-shea-son-of-bev-shea-billy-grahams-singer-60-years-moving-stories-re-bev-104-at-his-death/;
To hear … “Franklin Graham re www.rocktherivertour.com; St. Louis Arch, Quad Cities and Minneapolis” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2009/07/22/franklin-graham-re-www-rocktherivertour-com-st-louis-arch-quad-cities-and-minneapolis/;
To hear … “Appalachia’s Mary Damron loves poor children; voice of Franklin Graham’s Operation Christmas Child” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2010/10/26/appalachias-mary-damron-loves-poor-children-voice-of-franklin-grahams-operation-christmas-child/;
To hear … “Jeff Naber leads Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of chaplains, 40’ truck helping people in Ferguson” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2014/12/22/jeff-naber-leads-billy-graham-rapid-response-team-of-chaplains-40-truck-helping-people-in-ferguson/;
And to hear … “Art Bailey re Franklin Graham’s www.rocktherivertour.com, St. Louis Arch, other cities” … click on … http://haroldhendrick.com/2009/07/13/art-bailey-re-franklin-grahams-www-rocktherivertour-com-st-louis-arch-other-cities/.