Billy Graham & the Gospel

Billy-Graham

Isn’t it funny that even when you know things will happen it’s seems to always be at least a bit of shock when they do? That’s how I felt this morning when I saw the new that Billy Graham had died at the ripe old age of 99.

What a life and what a man!

As far back as I can remember in my walk of faith Billy Graham was there. I had heard of him and knew that he was the most famous evangelist in the world. He didn’t have anything to do with my decision to believe the Gospel and follow Jesus but I knew about him.

In our Youth Group (embarrassingly enough called the “Key Teens”) we watched several of the movies the Billy Graham Association put out. They always ended the same way too – the star of the movie would go to one of his crusades, hear him preach and then give their life to Christ.

Sure enough that’s a good ending for a movie intended to be evangelistic, but I always wished they would have followed the character to see how he or she did in their new Christian life. I was probably secretly hoping they would have some of the struggles I had with understanding and living out my faith.

Billy was a fantastic role model for anyone in the ministry. I am tempted to say the role model given how most famous “evangelists” act and live today. But of course that’s not true. There are thousands of good people in the ministry out there and I hope God blesses them all. Hopefully I can number myself among them.

Still I can’t help but wish we had more Billy Grahams.

But we don’t and we won’t. He was a one of a kind. A man called to minister to a specific time in world history. That time has passed and so has Billy Graham. Let us remember him warts and all and learn all we can from him.

I’ve decided that I’m going to devote next weeks edition of Disciple Up to Remembering Billy Graham, I hope you’ll check out the episode when it drops next Wednesday morning. Listening to people talk about him on TV made me realize how most of them don’t understand the Gospel that the Bible teaches and that Billy preached. I want to talk about that and some personal memories of him as well.

Thanks Billy, God bless as you enter into your rest and the presence of your Lord Jesus.

#BillyGraham  #RIPBillyGraham  #Welldonegoodandfaithfulservant  #BillyGrahamandtheGospel

 

 

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Billy Graham & the Gospel

Starting Over

Me hiking 11-18-17

Yep, I’m starting over. Not quite from the very beginning but pretty close. After missing my planned hike on the Arizona Trail due to sky high blood pressure I’m nearly back to where I started.

About 3 years ago I started hiking and losing weight. It culminated in 2016 by hiking in and out of the Grand Canyon in one day, and then hiking the first 200 miles of the Camino.  What amazing experiences. I came home firmly focused on doing more long range hikes.

But my blood pressure intervened and after a more than a three month battle it’s almost back where it should be.  However having to take all that time off has taken it’s toll. I’ve gained mucho weight and my hiking stamina is waaaaaay down!

I just got in from walking 2.47 miles in the desert. It took longer than it should have, but I managed to finish without being totally exhausted. So that’s a good sign. When I starting hiking a few years ago I couldn’t even do two miles, and was wiped out in the effort. So I’ve lost lots of ground but I’m still better off than when I started.

For all of that I’m grateful. I’ll be 65 by the end of the year and am also grateful I’m able to do what I can do at this age. I am also determined to get back what I lost and get back to where I want and need to be.

So yes, I’m starting over, by the grace of God, and am looking forward to where this new road will take me. Will I finally get to the Arizona Trail?

Stay tuned…film when I get it!!

 

 

Starting Over

30 Years of God’s Faithfulness At CCR

30th-anniversary-graphic

Today was the big day. After weeks for hard work by both Amy and myself, we finally celebrated God’s faithfulness to CCR for 3 decades! I’m very happy with how well it went. I only wish more people had been to there to celebrate with us.

Below are two of the videos we showed today. I had to remove the music because of copyright reasons, but you can still see the pictures so I hope that’ll be enough.

Enjoy!

30 Years of God’s Faithfulness At CCR

Tales From the Scrypt!

Tales Logo

I cut the first promo today for a new short form radio show that I’ve been asked to do on our local station KLPZ, 1380 AM. Here’s a bit about it:

In the Arabian Nights Tahir Shah said, “Stories are a communal currency of humanity,” and he was right of course.  In “Tales From the Scrypt.” starting on September 22nd I’ll be sharing stories taken directly from the Bible, the source of the greatest true stories ever told, every week. They’ll be dramatized yet remain true to the Scriptures so you’ll be drawn into these stories that illustrate the truth about life, humanity and eternity itself. You’ll hear stories from both Testaments, stories that Jesus, the Master Teacher told, and maybe some stories that you didn’t know were in there.  So please join me every Thursday morning on KLPZ at 9:30 AM for Tales From the Scrypt, “Stories You Can Believe In.”

You can listen online if you’d like too at www.klpz1380.com at 9:30 AM Arizona time. Just remember Arizona Time is like unto God in one way – it doesn’t change. No jumping forward or falling back around here!

I’d like to thank my friend Meredith for the title and my friend Keith for an idea that helped me come up with the tag line. These will be short (& hopefully sweet) little bits of truth and wisdom from the Scriptures, hopefully everyone will benefit from them.

So, what are you favorite Bible Stories? Do you have some that you’d like to hear adapted and presented on Tale From the Scrypt? If so let me know ok?

God bless and I’ll see you on the radio soon!

 

 

 

Tales From the Scrypt!

Camino Countdown #2

In just about 10 days I’ll be walking the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain for about 12 days or so. If you want to know about what that is check out my first post in this little series.

This time I wanted to answer a question I’ve been asked several times – “Why are you going all the way to Spain to do this? Aren’t there hiking trails in America?”

Yes there sure are. But they aren’t the Camino. So here’s a few of my why and why not’s for walking the Camino.

1) Spain has nothing to do with it.

Aside from the fact that Spain is where the Camino is of course. I’m not doing this because of the great scenery in Spain, thought I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I’m not doing this because I’ve always wanted to go to Spain. I’ve been to southern Spain and enjoyed it. But frankly I’m still amazed that I’m doing this and not spending my time in France checking out all the World War 1 & 2 history there that I’ve always wanted to see!

2) No, I’m not becoming Catholic.

While it’s true that I’ve been called “The UnCatholic Priest” for being celibate for such a long time, this has nothing to do with this as a Catholic pilgrimage. I don’t believe the tradition that James is buried in Santiago or all the other tales that have accrued around it.

3) It’s the Infrastructure Silly!

One of the reasons why I’m doing this is the infrastructure that has built up around the Camino. There are lots of small villages along the way with inexpensive hostels, etc. Most of the restaurants offer cheap “pilgrim meals” as well. It’s cheap and you don’t have pack your tent and stove along with you. That really makes this a great way to go for me.

4) Time with God.

While I’m not becoming a Catholic I do find the spiritual focus of the Camino appealing. It’s going to be (I hope) a great way to get out, get away, and spend significant time with God apart from all the usual pressures of life and ministry. I also hope to be able to have some enlightening conversations with my fellow pilgrims along the way and hopefully be a little salt and light to them.

5) Good for Body and Soul.

I first got interested in this because it seemed like a neat combination of my losing weight and getting in shape and my faith. God had helped me to get back where he wanted me physically, this would be a great goal to aim for once I hit my goal. This is the kind of thing I need to do to motivate myself to “keep on walking” and keep that weight off.

So that’s a little bit of my mindset going into this. More next time when I might just tell you the amazing story of a mysterious Spanish wallet that will going along the way with me.

 

 

 

Camino Countdown #2

Camino Countdown #1

As some of you know I decided late last year that I wanted to walk at least part of the Camino on my vacation this year. This series of posts will lead up to my actually doing as much of it as I can in just shy of two weeks.

What Is It?

The Camino is actually called the Camino Frances. It’s one of several routes that lead to Santiago in Spain. This tradition of walking from just about anywhere in Europe to Santiago goes back at least 1200 years.

It’s laden with tons of Catholic tradition and doctrine that I don’t believe in or agree with in the slightest. The reason people began trekking to Santiago is that there’s a tradition that Saint James ended up being buried there. The story is a stone boat showed up in Israel and his disciples put his body in it. Somehow the boat ended up off the coast of Spain and his body was taken ashore, buried and lost. Then, hundreds of years later, a man was given a vision and the resting place of St. James was  officially proclaimed by the Catholic Church.

Naturally I don’t buy any of that. But I do respect and honor those who made such a long and dangerous (in those days) pilgrimage. Whether or not you accept the tradition you have to admire their faith.

Camino-1

How Long Is It?

The Camino Frances (which is the main Camino – there are many others) traditionally runs from St. Jean Pied-dd-Port across northern Spain to Santiago. That’s a distance of 800 Kilometers or about 500 miles. From there you can continue to the coast and Finisterra which is another 90 miles or so.

Camino-Map 2

Why Am I Doing This?

That’s a great question, and one that I’ll answer in my next Camino Countdown! Keep watching for it and as they say on the Camino, Buen Camino!

 

 

Camino Countdown #1

Walk Against Drugs

Shirt

This morning I got to do two things at once. I did the long walk I like to do on Saturday mornings and took part in a walk against drugs & alcohol in our community.  This event was in memory of Cynthia Williams who died on March 9th this year.

Like just about everywhere in this country drugs and especially alcohol (it’s cheap) are a huge problem here on the River. I was happy to help raise our voices today. So I left home and walked to Walmart (just shy of 5 miles), then once we got organized we walked (strolled I would say) about a a mile to the Casino. After a while there I took off to walk back home.

A total of just over 11 miles. Not bad!

I was happy to see my friend and attender of CCR, Lisa Parten there. 

Lisa&I

Here’s a couple of more pics of the event.

crowd

Banner group

 

 

Walk Against Drugs