My grandmother and mother knew that I would become an Anglican priest. I dismissed this expectation, being convinced that I would become an electrical engineer like my father. In my family system, there were no adult males that attended church. In 1965, my late mother had a spiritual encounter at a Billy Graham event at the Pacific National Exhibition. Fifty-two years later, my mother’s family faithfulness has had a huge impact on my life. I am a more loving, forgiving person today, because of my mother’s faithful example and prayers.
Similarly, the late Billy Graham’s family faithfulness has had a huge impact on countless people. President Eisenhower memorably said: “Billy Graham is one of the best ambassadors our country has but he told me, ‘I am an ambassador of heaven.’” How had Billy Graham continued for the past sixty years of Gallup polling as one of the ten most admired people in the world? My hunch is that it has to do with humility and not taking himself too seriously. Henry Kissinger commented: “To my surprise, I found myself not only impressed but deeply moved by how he touched some profound spiritual yearning…I have an immense regard for Billy Graham. He is a strong but humble man, with a generous and compassionate heart that is open to every human being of every religious faith and to those who profess to have none.” It is not easy to finish well as a high-profile public figure. Everything that they say and do is constantly scrutinized. They and their families are living in a public goldfish bowl.
Family faithfulness does not mean that a person never makes mistakes. Faithfulness means being willing to humbly admit one’s mistakes and being willing to grow and change. During a Newsweek interview in 2006, Graham commented: “Much of my life has been a pilgrimage—constantly learning, changing, growing and maturing.” Part of the way that Billy Graham coped with unceasing public attention has been through his self-effacing humour. In his autobiography Just as I am, Billy was always transparently telling hilarious stories about his foibles and mistakes. He is famous for having personal access to every American president since Harry Truman in 1950. The opening sentence of Billy’s autobiography is “It was July 14th 1950, and I was about to make a fool of myself.” Unschooled in presidential protocol, the 31-year old Billy Graham innocently told the reporters the content of his conversation with the President. Truman was so offended that he dismissed Billy Graham as a counterfeit. Later Billy Graham visited President Truman, apologizing profusely for his ignorance and naivete. “Don’t worry about it”, replied Truman, “I realize that you hadn’t been properly briefed.” Billy Graham vowed that such a mistake would never happen again if he was ever given access to a person of rank or influence.
I have been privileged to serve on the Executive of the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope. During this time, I have met both the Billy Graham family and the Billy Graham team. Are they perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yes. I do sense a family faithfulness, a willingness to humbly admit where they need to grow and learn. My thankful prayer regarding the March 3rd to 5thGreater Vancouver Festival of Hope is in thanksgiving for the tens of thousands who came to hear the Good News and the thousands who experienced rising faith for themselves.
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials
For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario.
My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1
My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx .
In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx .
It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).
Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox
The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life.
In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org . Cheques are also acceptable.