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Monday, June 24, 2013

If you ever look for me...

A brief devotional thought for today....

I have been in a deep contemplative mood as of late, and I have reached the point in life where eternal matters are of vast significance and claim an ever increasing amount of my free time.

Death does not scare me like it used to. I cling to "the Christian hope" that this world is but a shadow and that the real life is coming hereafter. Christ, thus, is becoming more real to me than I ever imagined, and in that place, where faith becomes sight, I shall see Him and be with Him eternally.

A line or two from a song will suffice:

If you ever look for me and don't find me here,
I'll be in heaven and I hope that I'll meet you there.
Then I thought about Mama and the songs that she used to sing.
She sang about Amazing Grace and the joy it can bring.

...words and music by Kevin Spencer.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Billy Graham to launch major national event this Fall

Famed evangelist Billy Graham, who turns 95 years old this year, will launch a major national event this Fall, an evangelistic campaign that he bills "The Living Room Crusade."

While Graham is no longer able physically to conduct his famous crusades around the world, he will use technological advances via video, the Internet, and other platforms, to launch a focused blitz to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who may have never heard it.

Graham will speak to America and to the world right from his living room in Montreat, N.C. He states that this may well be his very last public crusade. Advancing age and Parkinson's Disease has greatly hampered the famed evangelist in his efforts over the past 15 years. But Graham states that the spiritual decay and deterioration of America in recent years has been particularly troublesome to him. He hopes that this last crusade will do something to turn the tide and act as a major first step toward bringing America back to its spiritual roots.

Although Graham's message from his living room will be a central feature of the living room crusade, the event will also feature archived clips from Graham's ministry, including historical footage from previous crusades around the world.

In addition, Graham will be interviewed by his Pastor as part of the living room crusade.

Graham now belongs to the First Baptist Church of Spartanburg, S.C., located in the foothills of South Carolina an hour away from his home in the mountains. Until he became ill and stopped traveling, Graham had been a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, which at the time was the largest Southern Baptist Church in America, with over 20,000 members, and was pastored by famed Baptist preacher W.A. Criswell.

So far, over 12,000 churches of all denominations have signed up to participate in the living room crusade. Graham perfected the practice of enlisting local churches in his evangelistic crusades through the years, believing that not only can the churches effectively get people out to the meetings but follow up on those who come forward and sign commitment cards at the end of each meeting. This way each person who made a profession of faith in Christ at a crusade meeting would be referred to a local church for follow-up and discipleship.

No specific date has been set for the event this Fall. But as the time draws closer, the information will be released by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hello there!

I'm still here, just been overwhelmed of late with things I am into. I have too many irons in the fire perhaps, but I have to do what I have to do.

And that brings me to today's devotional thought.

I get very very tired and weary. Worn out, perhaps, is the best term for it. I know most of you can relate.

At times the fatigue is so overwhelming that I am tempted to give up. But I cannot. I know myself too well. As long as I have life, breath, my mental faculties, and the ability, I have to speak out about the things I care about. And that means I will always be involved in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song, teaching, and preaching. I will always be involved in the political arena because I believe it is a fight for the good and the right against evil. And I will always be involved in music ministry through the local church as long as I have the ability. I love directing music.

None of these endeavors bring in a lot of money. If I did these things for money, I would have quit long, long ago. There is simply no money to speak of in these things, at least not for me. But I have learned that submission to God's will is the ultimate thing a person should strive for. If it is His will for me to serve Him in poverty, then so be it. But I will never be silent.

And this brings me to today's scripture verse, "And let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6: 8-10).

And so my friend, keep holding on. Keep on keeping on. There are people who sorely need our message. There are people who need the "touch of the Master's hand." And there is a Heaven to gain, one day.

I have a couple of videos for you today. These have been posted in recent days, but the songs are from several years ago, not that long though, and I happen to think they are fantastic.

The first is from the Florida Boys in a live performance in Charlotte, N.C. It features the man who is perhaps the finest young bass singer in Gospel Music today -- Gene McDonald. Not only is he plenty low, but he can take a lead and sing it like a lead singer. He has that mellow quality to his voice that is most pleasing. And I happen to know that Gene is a fine Christian, having spent time with him and the boys on many occasions.

This one is called, "I Can, I Have, I Will." It is a real treat.

The next selection is also from the same program in Charlotte. Here the Florida Boys sing one of my favorites called "Sing Me a Song About Jesus." It features the finest quartet baritone who ever lived, Glen Allred. Enjoy...