March 24, 2018

The Saturday Monks Brunch: February 24, 2018


Billy Graham died this past week. He was the face of evangelicalism in the second half of the twentieth century, distinguishing it as a defined movement between fundamentalism and mainline Protestantism.

Today, we devote our brunch to discussing this iconic figure and his legacy. Today, there is a new meaning to the word “post-evangelicalism,” for the old evangelicalism is now truly past.

I want to be remembered as a person who was faithful to God, faithful to my family, faithful to the Scriptures, and faithful to my calling … a man who dedicated his life to the Lord and never looked back.

Billy Graham

“The Rev. Billy Graham was one of the most dominant Christian figures over the last 75 years. No more than one or two popes, perhaps one or two other people, came close to what he achieved.

“He was the key leader and the major spokesman of the evangelical movement during the last half of the 20th century. That movement has become one of the strongest in all of world Christianity and world religion, and he played the major role in that.

“He held evangelistic crusades in more than 80 countries; he preached in person to more than 80 million people and live through various media to hundreds of millions of others.

“He brought evangelical leaders from all over the world together, giving them a sense of being part of a great movement and showing them how to cooperate with each other to accomplish a great deal more.

“In huge international conferences, his organization taught tens of thousands of preachers from nearly every country in the world how to do the everyday nuts-and-bolts work of direct evangelism.

“He was a friend and counselor to virtually all the presidents since Dwight Eisenhower and a statesman not only for evangelical religion and Christianity but for the United States and democracy. In recognition, he received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow on a civilian.

“Billy Graham represented core American values in a singular way. Though he made some missteps, he remained free of scandal. He achieved his success by hard work rather than by inheritance or luck. He used the latest technology and media, but depended on the loyalty of a small group of friends who were with him for decades. He hobnobbed with the famous, the wealthy and the powerful around the world, yet seemed surprised that people were interested in him. He often seemed to have the kind of wonder of a small-town boy. He was both genuinely humble and genuinely ambitious and aware of the tension between those inclinations. He was not a perfect man, but he was an uncommonly good one.

“I don’t think any single person will be ‘the next Billy Graham.’ Evangelical Christianity has become so large and multifaceted that no one person can dominate it in the way that he did, regardless of talent or dedication. It’s just not going to happen. But ‘Billy Graham’ is not an office in the Christian church that has to be filled, like pope or bishop. Multitudes of people inspired by him will carry on the work of preaching the Christian gospel. And that’s what was most important to him.

“He will be remembered as a person of integrity and, if results are the measure, as the best who ever lived at what he did. He was, in the words of scripture, ‘a workman who needeth not to be ashamed.’”

• William Martin, senior fellow in religion and public policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, author of “A Prophet With Honor: The Billy Graham Story” and the pre-eminent expert on the Rev. Billy Graham


[Billy Graham] helped launch numerous influential organizations, including Youth for Christ (he was the first full-time staff member of this entrepreneurial and innovative organization), the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Christianity Today. The ripple effect of his shaping influence extends to such schools as Wheaton College in Illinois, Gordon-Conwell Divinity School in Massachusetts, Northwestern College in Minnesota, and Fuller Seminary in California. His encouragement and support helped develop the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Greater Europe Mission, TransWorld Radio, World Vision, World Relief, and the National Association of Evangelicals.

He brought the global Christian community together through international conventions: a 1966 Congress on World Evangelism in Berlin, the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, and three huge conferences in Amsterdam for itinerant evangelists in 1983, 1986, and 2000, which drew nearly 24,000 working evangelists from 200 countries.

• Marshall Shelley, CT


Phillip Yancey — Billy Graham did not invent the word evangelical, but he managed to restore the word’s original meaning—”good news”—both for the skeptical world and for the beleaguered minority who looked to him for inspiration and leadership.

J.I. Packer — Up to 1940, it was every institution for itself. There wasn’t anything unitive about the situation. There were little outposts of resistance trying to keep their end up in face of the liberal juggernaut. Increasingly, from the 1950s onward, evangelicals came together behind Billy Graham and the things he stood for and was committed to.

Russell Moore — Billy Graham was, in my view, the most important evangelist since the Apostle Paul. He preached Christ, not himself, not politics, not prosperity. When many saw evangelicals as just so many Emer Gantrys, he carried unimpeachable personal integrity.

President George H.W. Bush — Billy Graham was America’s pastor … I think Billy touched the hearts of not only Christians, but people of all faiths, because he was such a good man.

President Jimmy Carter — He shaped the spiritual lives of tens of millions of people worldwide. Broad-minded, forgiving and humble in his treatment of others, he exemplified the life of Jesus Christ by constantly reaching out for opportunities to serve. He had an enormous influence on my own spiritual life, and I was pleased to count Reverend Graham among my advisers and friends.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NY: As anyone growing up in the 1950s and 1960s can tell you, it was hard not to notice and be impressed by the Reverend Billy Graham. There was no question that the Dolans were a Catholic family, firm in our faith, but in our household there was always respect and admiration for Billy Graham and the work he was doing to bring people to God.

John M. Perkins — I remember Billy telling me he regretted not doing more to remove the ropes of racism. He repented and asked for my forgiveness. Even though he had done so much, Billy had humility and I admire him for this.

Randall Balmer — He became the friend and confidante of popes and presidents, queens and dictators, and yet, even in his 80s, he possesses the boyish charm and unprepossessing demeanor to communicate with the masses.


Lewis V. Baldwin on Graham’s less than full support in the battle against segregation — “He opposed racism and segregation in principle but refused to consistently attack it publicly and also refused to march with King and other ministers who protested against these social evils. This is where Graham missed the mark.”

Reinhold Niebuhr on Graham’s simplistic gospel message — To proclaim that every human problem can be solved and every hunger satisfied and every potential can be fulfilled when a man encounters Jesus Christ and comes in vital relation to God in him is not very convincing to anyone — Christian or not — who is aware of the continual possibilities of good and evil in every advance of civilization, every discipline of culture, and every religious convention.”

Matthew Avery Sutton on Graham’s failure to face up to the issues facing the world because of his end of the world theology —“Graham had good intentions, as his work desegregating his crusades demonstrated. But when his influence really would have counted, when he could have effected real change, real social transformation, he was too locked into last-days fearmongering to recognize the potential of the state to do good. We are all paying the price.”

The fundamentalist critique of Graham is summarized by Mel White — “Fundamentalist Christian leaders accused Graham of: “breaking down the walls of biblical separation between sound and apostate churches,” and for “sending thousands of converts back into Roman Catholic and modernistic churches that preach heretical gospels,” and for “claiming that Pope John Paul II was a moral and spiritual leader and that when he died surely went to heaven,” and for “accepting an honorary degree from a Catholic university” and for “inviting Catholic bishops, Jewish Rabbis, and even Muslim clerics to sit with him on the platform of his citywide evangelistic campaigns.”

Read this piece on Billy Graham’s own regrets, called “What I Would Have Done Differently.”

Read Christianity Today’s complete coverage of Billy Graham.

And more at the Memorial Site at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

And here’s a full list of articles covering Billy Graham at Google News.

“I am convinced the greatest act of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them about God’s love for them in Christ.”

• Billy Graham


  1. Wait just a minute! I was first last week. Now I know I’m dreaming and everything’s going my way!

  2. john barry says:

    ChrisS, If Matthew 20.16 nailed it , enjoy it while you can.

    • Well that’s just the thing. All week I had a lingering fear that I’d be last today.

      • ChrisS, Teacher Question to Spanky “Tell me something about Washington

        Spanky ” First in peace, First in war and last in the National League”

        Little Rascals or Our Gang 1934 , I think.

        • Love it!!! Sounds like Mark Twain.

        • That Other Jean says:

          That would be Charles Dryden, an early baseball humorist:: ” The Washington Senators: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

  3. john barry says:

    I believe that the leadership qualities and the personal conduct and example of Billy Graham needs to be added to the list of his wonderful human qualities. He set the standard and tone of his ministry and all the various offshoots that he was associated with. To continue my silly rift I did yesterday about cliché’s Billy Graham walked the walk not just did the talk. As far as I know there were no major scandals or abuses of authority in areas under his prevue.
    Billy Graham was as sincere in his private life as he was on the world stage, to the best of my knowledge.
    I like Eric Hoffer and I think Billy Graham was truly a true believer in the Hoffer sense and of course as a Christian. I do have a way with torturing the language.
    I an thankful that Billy Graham and others were “there” in the wings on the stages of my life. Changes in society, media, culture and traditions may make the emergence of someone with the impact and following of Billy Graham impossible.
    Billy Graham made the world I live in a better place. His leadership was based of course on his faith, his responsible behavior to represent his faith in a positive manner and his convictions, he led by example. I really believe many of our problems in our major institutions of all facets of society is lack of leadership such as Billy Graham demonstrated.

    A charming , honest and good interview is available online , please goggle Woody Allen interview with Billy Graham, 1969, it should pop up. To me it shows how much we as a society have changed . The dialogue between Woody Allen and Billy Graham is delightful and funny, a side of BG rarely seen. Woody Allen is funny with a great wit and I am sorry but now he creeps me out. However , I hope you have a chance to see the clip.

    Can one man make a difference? Ask those who knew Billy Graham , which is a lot of people. God Bless Billy Graham and He did and He will. What a life.

  4. Susan Dumbrell says:

    j.b. asks “can one man make a difference”?
    My personal answer is “yes”.

    On May 10th 1959 I packed in with a huge crowd of 150,000 people to hear Billy Graham preach.
    I went with my Sunday School class. It was awe inspiring to say the least.
    Sydney had never seen a man like him preach or someone who could attract such a huge crowd to hear God’s message.
    The following August, I, with the rest of my Sunday School class made our ‘Confirmation’ in the Church of England, later renamed the Anglican Church of Australia.
    It was for me a turning point in my life inspired by Billy Graham’s Crusade for Jesus.

    To bring it up to today, I have as they say “moved up the candle” and have progressively worshiped at churches with High Church Anglican tendencies.
    A far step from the Evangelical preaching of Billy Graham but this would not have been my journey unless he had touched that spot in my heart and soul opening me up to a solid faith in Jesus. I have learnt that churchmanship comes in many guises.
    At present, as some of you know, I worship each Sunday in a little bush church in NSW Australia. It is High Church Anglican and splendid. Bible based, fine preaching, glorious worship, great singing and good companions on the way.
    I am blessed.

    May light perpetual shine on Billy Graham.


  5. Funny – the fundamentalist critique of BG here and the Reformed critique of him I heard in my TR days sound an awful lot alike.

  6. I went with my wife, at her request, to a Billy Graham Crusade. It was held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens N.Y. We didn’t get to actually see Graham or any of the Crusade in person; there was not enough room in the main concourse, so we were funneled, along with tens of thousands of others, to an overflow area where we watched the proceedings on a large screen in a huge grassy field. It was an appallingly hot summer day, and I’m afraid I didn’t get much out of the event, except tired and sweaty. Being in the park did bring back memories of having attended the 1964-65 World’s Fair there with my family when I was five years old. The Crusade and Graham were both dwarfed in the immense and bittersweet nostalgic shadow that the Unisphere cast over my imagination.

    R.I.P., Billy Graham.

    • I was about 10 when my parents took my sister and I to the 64-65 World’s Fair.

    • We are the same age. I was living in Long Island at the time but we never made it to the Fair. That Giant Globe is etched in my memory as we drove past it a thousand times.

      • When I was a child at the Fair, the Unisphere seemed to be a framework for the expression of so many promises, and an emblem of hope for their fulfillment. I imagine that now it is haunted by the ghosts of a million disappointed dreams; I know some of my own reside there.

        • And oxidation, on a more mundane note. I don’t think my parents had two pennies to rub together to bring us to the fair in those days. I’m sorry I didn’t get there.

    • Roker Park, Sunderland, 1984. Miserable wet night in the north-east of England. The place where Billy Graham spoke is no longer there (demolished in 1997, these days it’s a housing estate) – the football club moved up the road a mile to a new stadium.

      Time moves on.

      So did I.

      As a no-longer-practising Christian, I look at what is going on around me and wonder. I cannot see how there could be another Billy Graham in today’s world, and to be honest, I’m not sure I’d want it. I certainly wish no good to Franklin Graham, and I see more hope in the young people at Parkland who are standing up for gun control than I see in any evangelical church.

      So politely: thank you Billy Graham, and goodnight. You will not be forgotten. But neither should you now be missed.

    • Y’all went to the 1964-1965 NY World’s Fair, too?

      It’s a small, small world!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Y’all went to the 1964-1965 NY World’s Fair, too?

        You saw the Future we threw away to screw in the mud at Woodstock.

  7. I am convinced the greatest act of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them about God’s love for them in Christ.

    If he had added, use words if necessary, I would completely agree.

    • The Master came at his right time
      Into the world. When his time was up,
      He left it again.
      He who awaits his time, who submits
      When his work is done,
      In his life there is no room
      For sorrow or for rejoicing.
      Here is how the ancients said all this
      In four words:
      “God cuts the thread.”

      We have seen a fire of sticks
      Burn out. The fire now
      Burns in some other place. Where?
      Who knows? These brands
      Are burnt out.

      From The Way of Chuang Tzu, as translated by Thomas Merton

  8. I’ve watched many
    come and go
    but learned little
    about life or death

  9. Susan Dumbrell says:

    candles glow for us
    we have sung our songs of joy
    and leave rejoicing

  10. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Back off a little please.
    What about Trump’s sons too. Shudder.

    • Richard Hershberger says:

      Too soon? Let us know when enough time has passed that we can talk about all the bad stuff, too.

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        Could we concentrate on BG’s message,
        “God’s love for us in Christ”
        and not the man.
        We are all fallible. We mess life up all the time in our relationship with our fellow men and women and with our selves and our vain attempt to follow the Gospel.
        We are forgiven.

        • We ALL mess up, nobody disputes that. But the messups of those who assume roles of leadership affect more than just themselves.

  11. Vis-a-vis the charge of antisemitism: Nixon had a talent for bringing out the worst in people, especially in private conversations. He seemed to give his imprimatur for expressing the worst in the suppressed and retrogressive parts of a person’s worldview, as does Trump. Aside from that conversation with Nixon, is there any record of Graham doing or saying anything antisemitic, or being unfriendly or hostile to Jewish people? My impression is that he was viewed by the Jewish community as a friend rather than an enemy, despite those remarks to Nixon (for which he apologized, and which apology the Jewish community seems for the most part to have accepted, given their otherwise friendly relationship).

    • To be clear: I’m no fan of Graham, and don’t view him as a hero of the faith.

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        Your choice Robert but as I said he provided me with a turning point.
        I am what I am today because of my decisions made in 1959.

        • You are what you are today because of the what God did at the creation, and at the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is doing at this moment, and will do. I don’t question Graham’s instrumentality for God’s purposes for you and many others; I do question the weight we tend to place on our own decision, despite Graham’s insistence that it is of utmost importance.

        • Susan, I don’t mean to question your experience, or the sense of importance you feel your decisions in 1959 had. At the heart of my faith is the trust that God is always coming to us, however much we may run away from him, and that eventually, because he is God and we are not, he overtakes us, and passes us, and we fall into his arms exhausted and ready to be carried like the man the Samaritan found on the side of the road.

          • Or like unconscious Lazarus outside the rich man’s gate was ready to be carried by the angels into the bosom of Abraham.

    • And I’m not a fan of the supposed aura of innocence that a couple of comments yesterday lauded him and his work for. I think that was all illusion, the kind of illusion that Americana casts over religion as well as the rest American culture and history.

      • Evangelicalism’s stock and trade nowadays is nostalgia. Fond memories of packed-out stadiums for BG crusades seem to be a big motif in that pattern.

        And however pious the man was personally, the legacy is decidedly mixed. And Franklin is just one part of that problem.

  12. “Another dead anti semitic homophobe.”

    Not sure I’d typify BG in that way, but Premillennial Dispensationalism has certainly been a bane on American Evangelicalism.

  13. john barry says:

    Donaldbain, I do not think most people today want to talk about the current of evangelicalism and politics today, but it seems you do. I quote the Byrds, ” there is a time to every purpose under heaven, a time of love. a time of hate.” We would not disagree with the Byrds as it was a big hit , in the day as we young say.
    I was not aware nor do I think the world in general was aware you were compiling a list of dead anti semitic homophobe people and who would be the judge of who belongs on that list? When your list is compete perhaps it can be shared with the world that awaits it . How about a list of anti semitic people in a coma or with the flu, it might be shorter.
    If you disagree with me , you need to notify my son as he is responsible for my actions and I his.

  14. A certain comment was deleted. When that is done, those in the thread disappear too.

  15. “Uncommonly good man” is a great descriptor for Billy Graham. He was human, and a man of his time and culture, but within those limitations he was pretty amazing, a true treasure.

    I’d buck against “most important evangelist since Paul”, but I think Billy Graham would, too, and that’s part of why I like him. *grins*

    • Tokah, Well, if it was alluding to Paul McCarthy I would agree.
      I never thought about it but Jesus , Paul, Peter, Judas and the gang of 12 started the so famous they only need one word first name genre in the NT. Elvis, Madonna, Cher and Beyoncé are in the current group that I can recall real fast but they may not have the staying power of the gang of 12. I almost forgot the Rock which was the name given to Dwayne Johnson before he was given the key to the WWE gate.

      Another plug for the Woody Allen/Billy Graham interview 1969. It jus makes me miss 1969 or shows how far we have progressed or not. I do not know how to link or put my phaser on stun so I am limited tech wise in what I can do.

  16. I light a candle
    for the dead; by baptism count
    myself among them

    • Okay, Robert – this goes beyond your usual superlative haiku. Thank you for a little thump in the heart this morning.


  17. Ronald Avra says:

    When I think of Billy Graham, I have an immediate association with the naïveté that occupied my life at that point. I don’t seem to be able to get beyond that mark.

  18. The mistake a lot of people make is to view Graham through the lens of what came after. His career moves did create a certain template but American Evangelicalism had a different flavor before the rise of the Religious Right. Graham was suspicious of these folks and consequently they were suspicious of him. Graham’s odious son Franklin is more typical of what came after.

    It is sobering to have encountered folks this week who don’t know who he was. America suffers from long term memory loss.

    • Nostalgia for bygone mythical eras and national amnesia seem to go hand-in-hand in America. The truth about our past is to be avoided at all costs, and by all means.

  19. What a strange week. The massacre of the seventeen in Florida, the tumult of the response, the ‘tribal’ formation of pro-NRA and anti-NRA with the ensuing verbiage, and when all the pain surfaced and all the tears fell, there as if an anti-climax,
    we lose Billy Graham.

    A strange week. Yes. I won’t forget it anytime soon.
    Billy Graham’s leaving does signal the end of an era. He was something of a ‘constant’ in our lives and now he is gone. May he rest in peace, yes. And may we find our way back to peace with one another. It’s time.

    • I endorse the hope for finding our way to peace, but I don’t think we will get there by going back, because the peace that existed in the past was limited to certain classes, communities and people-groups, but excluded others. Forward, then, in hope toward the a new kind of peace that has never existed in our national life

      • Robert,
        Peace was never the exclusive territory for certain classes, communities and people-groups.
        Remember we all carry burdens – those that came before us did and so do we.
        Some burdens are visible, most are not. True peace is elusive and knows no class.

        • I’m talking about civic peace between neighbors. I think that’s what Christiane was referring to. There never was an era of civic peace available to all types of people, in all kinds of neighborhoods, more or less uniformly in our country. The materialistic inebriation and sense of security of many in the white middle class that followed WWII was often mistaken by many of us as such a peace, but that’s because we were sealed up in our suburbs inhaling our own fumes. Let’s not get all spiritual here; you’re comparing apples with oranges.

          • flatrocker says:

            That’s a deal. I won’t get all spiritual on you if you promise not to go all in with the stereotypical profiling of the cleverly constructed mirage of white middle class “peace” in the 1950’s.

            • Okay. After all, they called it white flight because you had to be and stay high to live and believe in it. No loss to me; I’ve been disabused of that notion, along with the notion of the basic goodness of America.

          • Christiane says:

            Yes, Robert, that is what I was thinking of . . . . with maybe an underlying base of ‘respect’ that seems now to be missing as we have turned to ‘labels’ to define others instead of being able to look them in the eyes and get to know them as persons. It’s easy to despise based on derogatory labels, but it is not in our human nature to be without compassion for someone who is troubled. ‘love your enemies’ only makes sense in a context where the PERSON emerges from the hated label and we see our brother who may be troubled and HE becomes more important to us than any disagreements that have divided us . . .
            then the grounds for exclusion and hatred are disrupted and we may even find ourselves helping the troubled neighbor to carry his burden for HIS sake, not out of pity, but because in helping him, we celebrate our common humanity

            • Yes. Did not mean to be didactic in saying we cannot make our way back to peace. I’m really in agreement with you; we need to get back on track to growing our common national humanity instead of diminishing it (as we are now). But I’m afraid we have an inferno to go through before we get back on track; and speaking for myself, I’ve lost trust in the underlying character of this country, and wonder if we will get back on track.

              • Christiane says:

                I understand this . . . I am horrified that ‘our country’ is treating the DACA kids so poorly. That is NOT who we are.

                I am FOR the decent treatment of human persons who reside within our borders no matter legal or not. If they came here for a better life, like my paternal Canadian grandparents, then I get it that they are here for the right reasons. I don’t even know if my own memere and pepere had ‘papers’ in that long ago time.

                Those DACA kids: they are to me a test of our national collective humanity. How we treat them reveals the sadness of what we have become. So tired of the fear-mongering, the greed, the mean-spiritedness (my own, too) and the seeming lack of hope . . . .

                The children who survived the latest massacre: WOW.
                They are so well-spoken and seem to have an integrity far beyond their years. And they are being effective in shaming many of us who haven’t stood up against the ‘far right’ extremist nonsense. These kids give me hope for better times to come.

                • “I am horrified that ‘our country’ is treating the DACA kids so poorly. That is NOT who we are.”

                  Japanese internment camps. Jim Crow. Native American reservations.

                  It IS who we are, and who we’ve always been. 🙁

                  • john barry says:

                    Then why in the world would anybody from any other place come to the USA? It seems the children brought here illegally would be looking for a way out to the land and go back to where there was no history of racism, greed or generational ignorance . How cruel of the parents of these “children” to bring them here to be threatened by laws legally enacted by Congress. If only the real Americans had a way to change their government every 2 years that would be great.
                    I cannot find that place that is the yardstick that the USA is judged by. Do not worry progressives, you have won the war , the victory is yours. California and New York City are the future of the country.

                    • That’s right, j.b., demographics are overwhelmingly against the MAGAers. It will take a while, but it’s inexorable…apart from ethnic cleansing, which I don’t believe some of the MAGAers are above resorting to. How many remains to be seen….

                  • @Eeyore — In 1954, there was Operation Wetback. That’s what it was called.


                    That’s who we were, and apparently still are.

                    • Robert F. Again rejoice in your victory . The slow decline of Western Europe is a forerunner of the future of America. I guess the ethnic cleansing card in now better than just the race card.
                      I guess the nation state is now an outdated concept to many. I am on the wrong side of history and my ideas will land in the ash heap of history, I love my cliché’s. Next you will be telling me Jesus did not have blue eyes and did not look like Jeffery Hunter. All my bubbles are being burst.
                      Our only hope is immigrants who will bring their culture, customs, languages and law here to make America great again , well no, America was never great just ruthless with no moral compass. . Sounds like a plan to me. At least we can still get cheap fruit picked for now, so I guess it is worth it.
                      I compare average true believer progressives to Boxer in Animal House. I am not sure who Napoleon is right now but my paranoid mind will come up with a name soon.

                    • Why does this surprise you? Civilizations rise, then they fall. America is no different. Overall, America’s ideals are better than most, but we have deep flaws. And America does NOT have a special relationship with God, no matter how much evangelicals insist otherwise. We can fervently wish that we did not have to live in an era of decline, but that is not for is to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the times tgat are given to us.

                    • @Eeyore — I guess I put too much faith in the possibility that our liberal democracy could live up to those high ideals. For my part, one of the things I intend to do with the times given to us (and the time still left to me) is refute the perniciously idealized version of the past that the MAGAers say is our history, whenever the opportunity presents itself. I’m tired of the bullshit. The Devil is first and foremost a liar.

  20. There may be peace in the valley but with my luck I live in the mountains. Now that smoking is almost the only social taboo in USA is there a peace patch to replace the peace pipe? Peace replacement gum, peaceatine, this has to stop. So finding peace is not easy.
    Most people are not avoiding the truth about our past, they just do not know it or change it.

    • Being overweight is also a social taboo in the USA, though many Americans are. But it tends to hit the poor far more than the affluent, so the people whose voices count in our society don’t mind being judgmental about it.

      • Robert F. How did you know I was poor?. I would be the proper weight if I was 6ft 8 inches tall but I am trying to get taller, easier than losing weight.

        I was so poor as a kid they sent my picture to China and they sent back food. Joke that has lost its relevancy as we now import food from China but if you are old enough u will get it.

        Doctor told me I was fat. I told him I wanted a second opinion. You are ugly too , he said.
        I think it was the great Rodney Dangerfield line .

        I am not that shallow and judgmental, I think people should be judged on their God given looks not their incomes but hey I am just a liberal type of decent human being, standing up for the “people, even if it cost me nothing.

  21. the mountains
    are not lost, only cloaked
    in layers of fog

  22. john barry says:

    How odd it is how our minds work, at least mine . “Billy” Graham seems to fit so perfectly to the message and style of Billy Graham. I just do not think William or Bill would have the connection that Billy gave.
    Conversely , I never cared for the “Jimmy” Carter label for a President, just does not fit but perhaps both outlooks are colored by history and personal viewpoints.
    When I was a young man I always thought if my name was George Beverly Shea I would go by George B. Shea proving once again how shallow my thoughts were and in many cases still are.
    Once again I am tackling the tough issues that need to be addressed..

  23. Susan Dumbrell says:

    rain falls on parched ground
    seeds burst to renew the world
    our renewal – when

  24. Now look! Just as I feared. Last!