One of the Great Honors of My Life: Time with Billy Graham

I have admired Billy Graham my whole life.

I have vivid memories of my dad asking me to sit next to him on the leather couch in our home to watch him preach. Even as a young boy, I sensed that he was in a league of his own when it came to making the Christian faith make sense to the masses.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have the privilege of meeting him. When he and Ruth invited Lynne and me to their home on a mountain near Montreat, North Carolina, we would have walked to get there. Over a home-cooked meal, and later in front or a roaring fire, we talked world affairs, the state of the Church, and family matters.

As we neared the time of our scheduled departure, Billy handed me his Bible and asked me to read a passage from it. I told him that I was the one who needed more scripture in me, not him. But he insisted, so I read my favorite Psalm to him, Psalm 34. When I reached verse 8, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good,” Billy tilted his head back, closed his eyes and said softly, “So good, soooo good.”

I will never forget those hours with Billy and Ruth. I count it as one of the great honors of my life.

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
     his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
     let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
     let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
     he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
     their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
     he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
     and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
     blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
     for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
     but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
     I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
     and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
     and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
     seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
     and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
     to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
     he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
     and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
     but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
     not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
     the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

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