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Billy Graham writes: All of us care a great deal about our country. The intensity of opinions and feelings during the long political campaign showed the depth of that concern. Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray for those chosen to be our leaders—at the national, state, and local levels. The Bible urges us to do so with both respect and thanksgiving (see 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Tim. 2:1–3). We must also remember that no election will ever solve America’s most basic problems. That is because the trouble, at its root, is in the human heart, and the only path to true restoration—for a person or for a nation—is through repentance. The Bible says, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20, ESV). Only the gospel, God’s Good News, has the power to change lives, heal hearts, and restore a nation. More here…
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Billy Graham turned 94 yesterday:
“I never expected I would live this long, outliving my beloved wife, Ruth, as well as many friends and loved ones…I believe God must still have a purpose for keeping me here, and I look forward to seeing what that might be.”
How cool is that… Billy Graham still looking for purpose. For his birthday lunch, Billy asked for hot dogs and apple pie. And he’s writing another book… this one is due out later this year, will be about his 70+ years in ministry. Happy Birthday!
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Our weekly look at things going on in ministry… with my friend Matt Steen.  This week we talk about a bunch of stuff you just can’t make up:  things on Billy Graham, a book on Biblical womanhood (and the debate over the ‘v’ word), a straight Christian man who writes a book about what it’s like to be gay, a rabbi who gets caught doing something horrible (using an iPhone), plus why your church should be an airport and not a destination. There’s not much serious in this week’s podcast… but it sure was fun.  I hope you enjoy our jockularity… you might even agree with us on a thing or two.  🙂 Enjoy, if you can! Show Notes: Billy Graham, Mitt Romney, and is Mormonism a Cult? Billy Graham Bought a Whole Page in the Wall Street Journal to Tell You What He Thinks About Gays and Women Rachel Held Evans, Biblical Womanhood, and The V Word. Timothy Kurek, Straight Christian Man, ‘Comes Out’ And Pretends To Be Gay For A Year Archdiocese fights violence with 5,000 ‘Thou shalt not kill’ yard signs Do You Lie to Your Accountability Partner? Why Your Church Must Be An Airport  Rabbi Yitzhak spotted using iPhone, despite ban Sovereign Grace Ministries, Evangelical Church, Hid Child Abuse Claims Churches say social networking twice as effective as anything else
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Controversy
Russell Moore is under criticism this past week for a piece he wrote entitled “The Next Billy Graham Might Be Drunk Right Now”. Here’s what Russell wrote: The next Jonathan Edwards might be the man driving in front of you with the Darwin Fish bumper decal. The next Charles Wesley might be a misogynist, profanity-spewing hip-hop artist right now. The next Billy Graham might be passed out drunk in a fraternity house right now. The next Charles Spurgeon might be making posters for a Gay Pride March right now. The next Mother Teresa might be managing an abortion clinic right now. But the Spirit of God can turn all that around. And seems to delight to do so. The new birth doesn’t just transform lives, creating repentance and faith; it also provides new leadership to the church, and fulfills Jesus’ promise to gift his church with everything needed for her onward march through space and time (Eph. 4:8-16). After all, while Phillip was leading the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ, Saul of Tarsus was still a murderer. Here’s the link to the whole piece. What part of this is controversial you might ask? Well… comparing Mother Teresa to Charles Spurgeon, Charles Wesley, and Billy Graham, of course. We all know, after all, that Mother Teresa was unregenerate. Sounds like the beginning of a Rob Bell book. But when you think about it… some of our Bible heros had a pretty notorious past. And, some of our most beloved books of the Bible were written by murderers. True dat. (as the next Billy Graham would say).
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Controversy
In this piece by Tim Funk, Funk makes a case for Franklin Graham being much more like Jerry Falwell than his father.  What do you think? As he gives sound bites condemning Islam, promoting top Republicans and raising questions about President Obama’s Christianity, North Carolina’s Franklin Graham is sounding less these days like the next Billy Graham and more like the new Jerry Falwell. In the younger Graham’s controversial comments – offered recently and over the years on a host of TV news shows – religion scholars, political historians and even some of Graham’s fellow evangelical Christians say they hear strident echoes of the combative Falwell. Throughout the 1980s, as head of the Moral Majority, Falwell lambasted liberals, forged alliances with the GOP and elevated issues such as abortion, homosexuality and public prayer. The 58-year-old Graham, who came of age in a more religiously pluralistic America than the one that made his father famous, has spoken out against Islam in a way that American Muslims say encourages prejudice – and worse – against them. And though Billy Graham lost some credibility for promoting Richard Nixon during a time of American discord, his son readily mixes theological commentary with doses of political punditry. via Franklin Graham: The next Jerry Falwell? – Local – TheSunNews.com.
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Leadership
In a recent interview with Christianity Today, Billy Graham was asked, ‘would you go back and do anything differently’?  Here was his response: Yes, of course. I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. I wouldn’t have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn’t really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything. I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now. Interesting words from someone who’s lived the pastor’s dream in many ways. What do you think of Billy’s advice? And as you think about it today, whether you’ve been in ministry one year or 50 years… what would you do differently if you had the chance to do it over again? I’d love to hear! Todd HT:  Desiring God Blog / Christianity Today
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