I have always been awestruck by Mr. Billy Graham. Although at 90, age has taken its toll on Mr. Graham physically, a spokesperson says "the lion still has a roar."
Today, Billy Graham spends most of his time in the remote western North Carolina mountain home where he and his wife, Ruth, raised their five children. "There are a lot of miles on that body," his daughter Ruth said. "His world has become smaller."
It has been a difficult time for Graham. In summer 2007, his wife, Ruth, died after being bedridden for many years. The grief is still constant for Graham.
Graham's family and associates say that his mind is sharp despite his age, and that for a man who is 90, he's in good physical shape. Graham exercises with a physical therapist on a regular basis and still swims and takes walks when he can. However, the fragilities of old age are also a reality. Graham uses a walker to get around. His hearing is failing. Macular degeneration is stealing his eyesight.
Yet despite these obstacles, Graham continues his ministry. With the help of an assistant, Graham is writing another book about growing older. "I have discovered that just because we grow weaker physically as we age, it doesn't mean that we must grow weaker spiritually," Graham said. "In fact, we ought to be growing stronger spiritually, because our eyes ought to be on eternity and Heaven -- on the things that really matter."
Graham's children say that despite his remarkable life, he is a humble man who doesn't dwell on the past. "My father doesn't look backwards," his daughter Ruth said. "He really does see that God was the one who did it, and he just happened to be in the room."
As we begin a new week, I'd like to share a few of my favorite quotes from Mr. Graham, and hope they will be a source of inspiration to you on this Sunday morning ...
A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
A real Christian is a person who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip.
Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.
Courage is contagious.
When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.
God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.
I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.
It is not the body's posture, but the heart's attitude that counts when we pray.
Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.
Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.
Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength.
The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.