Tidbits - March 1 2018

  • Print

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



BILLY GRAHAM

  There will never be another Billy Graham, and that is sad if you consider your self a Christian.
  Billy was “America’s Pastor,” not the “Democrat’s Pastor,” nor the “Republican’s Pastor.”
  He had prayer with 12 presidents, from Truman to Obama, some Democrats, some Republicans, but all Americans.
  Evangelical leaders today, including Billy’s son Franklin, feel they have to get involved in politics.
  I don’t like that.
  The God and Jesus of liberals is the same God and Jesus of conservatives. Christians don’t need a religious leader judging candidates and telling them who to support.
  Billy Graham did endorse Richard Nixon, but after Nixon got in trouble, Rev. Graham said he would never get involved in party politics again.
  I watched the excellent Netflix series “The Crown.”
  In one episode, Queen Elizabeth was so moved by  Billy Graham’s crusade in England that she invited him to the palace.
  She was criticized by her advisors, because as Queen of England, she is the official head of the Anglican Church, and she shouldn’t be having an audiences with this American Baptist, they said.
  She didn’t care what her advisors recommended. She wanted to meet Billy Graham, and his preaching greatly influenced her.
  Over the weekend, I discovered Amazon Prime was carrying some old “Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.” I always loved those shows and laughed my head off.
  The first episode was the roast of Bob Hope. Among those roasting Hope was Billy Graham. Presidents, Queens and Hollywood legends were all influenced by this Southern preacher.
  Like many, Billy Graham was part of my life, all of my life.
  I probably rebelled as a child, when in our one TV house, the family watched the Billy Graham crusade instead of “Gunsmoke,” or whatever western or variety show was on that night.
  I guess the music may have moved me as much as the preaching.
  George Beverly Shea lifted my spirits every time he sang, and Cliff Barrows  led the music. Often a guest singer would perform. I particularly remember Ethel Waters singing “His Eye is On the Sparrow.”
  In 1987 Graham brought his crusade to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. My church Emory chartered a bus, and we filled it up.
  I remember the massive community choir singing, “Nothing Is Impossible, When You Put Your Trust In God.”
  I don’t remember many more details of that night, but I am so glad I went. I’m sure I’ve still got a program somewhere.
  Billy Graham didn’t live in a $10 million mansion. He didn’t build a Christian theme park, or have television studio that rivaled Hollywood.
  He just went all over the world, preaching under tents, or in 100,000 seat stadiums. It is estimated he reached 2.2 billion through live crusades, radio and television.
  What a life he lived!
  P.S. - Years ago I printed a segment in this column about Billy Graham visiting Saluda County with a college friend and attending Good Hope Baptist Church.
  I can’t find this story or the details, but I know someone will let me know!

TEACHING MOMENTS

  Most of my old cars no longer run.
  I have a “community battery” I move between the ones that do crank.
  Saturday, in moving the heavy battery, I pulled a muscle in my back.
  It only hurts when I bend over. Have you ever counted how many times a day you bend over? 
  I think God gives us these little injuries to make up appreciate good health.
  I had some medicated back patches, used mainly during cold football games to help keep me warm.
  Sunday night, I discovered I had run out.
  Monday, I bought a box and went into the bathroom at work to put the patch on.
  I took the patch out of the  box and promptly dropped it on the floor, which meant I had to bend over.....
  Ain’t that ironic!

DON’T WATCH

  I’ve never watched an episode of “This is Us.”
  Fans say it’s great. You cry every week.
  My response is, “Why do you want to cry every week?”
  Last week, I discovered “Cool Runnings” was available on Netflix.
  I hadn’t seen this movie in over 20 years, and had forgotten how funny it was.
  At the end, however, when the Jamaican bobsled team walked their wrecked bobsled to the finish line, I had tears running down my face.
  Sunday, I was dreading “The Walking Dead” return, because I knew a popular character, young Carl Grimes, was going to die.
  Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, has been on the show since he was ten years old. He’s now 18.
  At the end of the episode, I had tears running down my cheeks.
  I may as well watch “This is Us!”

TAKING ACTION

  You’ve seen the story on the front page.
  A threat to a Saluda County public school was posted on social media one day last week.
  Within hours, the person who made the post was on his way to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
  Why didn’t this happen in Florida? There were plenty of opportunities to stop the shooter, but nothing was done.
  Most of the threats made to schools after the Florida shooting probably weren’t serious, but the charges against those who made the threats are going to be.
  The gun debate continues.
  One commentator on CNN said the problem is not the gun, but the gunman.
  He said if you take away his gun, he is going to get a butcher knife, or he is going to get in a car and plow into a crowd.
  I know the other CNN personalities weren’t too pleased with his assessment.
  The networks in their anti-gun stance leave out a few facts.
  I saw a report last week on the murder capital, Chicago, which has some of toughest gun laws in the country.
  Of the many crimes involving guns in Chicago, only three percent were committed by people using registered guns.
  You do the math. Ninety-seven percent of the crimes in Chicago were performed by criminals using unregistered guns.
  So, what good are stricter gun laws?

CAN’T GET AWAY

  I got following note on Facebook Messenger from Saluda native Erin Wilson Monday morning:
  “I live in Alexandria, Virginia, and work in the Old Town District. I was on the trolley and was talking to  two ladies.
  I found out they were visiting from Birmingham, Alabama. So, I mentioned that it’s so different up here for we Southerners. They asked where I was from. I told them I was from SC.
  The lady said that her sister-in-law was from SC. I asked where, and she said Saluda!
  I told her that was where I was from, as well, and asked what was her sister-in-law’s maiden name.
  She said it was Forrest, and mentioned that  her dad owned a clothing store.
  To which I said, ‘Yep, CB Forrest.’ Turns out I had been talking to Sallie Forrest’s in-law. Really a small world.”
  Yes, it is!