Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Billy Graham America's Pastor - A New TOS Review!

In our family we LOVE read alouds and it's becoming our DNA for our homeschool. So when I had to choose from among all of the plentiful books in YWAM Publishing's offerings from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now or the Heroes of History I scanned for one I was sure was there ... a man whose life I knew of, but wanted to know more ... a man who had lived through some of the most tumultuous times of our country and world -- Billy Graham America's Pastor.

As you know Evangelist Billy Graham recently passed away, only a few short months until his 100th birthday. But in his almost 100 years over 80% of his life was spent serving the Lord. What a testimony that is! My children had not been exposed to a lot of Mr. Graham, but after his death they heard snippets on the Christian radio of him speaking and they were enthralled ... totally tuned in to his voice as if he was speaking straight to them. So I figured it would be a great time to introduce him to the man whose mission on earth:
"He's alive! I've given my life not to a dead Christ, but to a living Christ, and he's given me a song to sing: he's given me a flag to follow. I have a reason for existence. I know where I've come from. I know why I'm here. And I know where I'm going. Do you?"
This is the man, Billy Graham. At every opportunity he uses everything at his disposal to reach the lost for Christ just as we are commanded in the Bible in Matthew 28:19 -- "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 

The authors, Janet and Geoff Benge, have done a marvelous job of weaving real life examples in and amongst all the facts and dates of Mr. Graham's rather busy schedule. It also talked a bit about his wife Ruth, whom you could tell that he was madly in love with even though most of their married life was spent thousands of miles apart. The book begins with Billy at the young age of 12. He was known as Billy Frank when he was a child and grew up in Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. You get a sense of how different being a child then is just so different then today. The first few chapters tell of his early life on the farm his family owned and ran and how he started on his path with the Lord.

It then goes on to tell how Billy and Ruth met and the beginnings of their courtship. Their first date was to a concert of Handel's Messiah. AS the story progress we can see just how the Lord honored his willingness to serve and opened many doors to further the Gospel. He also had many jobs ... as a president of a college, he took over a radio spot, finally even took on TV and after a while created movies ... all for that end goal -- to bring the lost to Christ.

He also met many influential people throughout his lifetime and travelled the world. He seemed to have a close relationships with many Presidents, but especially with Lyndon Johnson. He was also friends with then Vice President Richard Nixon and was greatly hurt later as President Nixon stepped down from office. It's interesting also to note that Billy Graham spoke with over 7 presidents, in private, and always brought the topic to their relationship with Christ.

Even though Mr. Graham was gone from his family for the majority of the year, he had a wonderful and loving wife who cared for their young children to adulthood mostly on her own. It's a testament to say that all of their children are also following Christ, even the once rebel - Franklin Graham. Billy Graham was also very influential during the civil rights movements for he would have no crusades that segregated those coming. Not only was this his policy here in America in the deep south, but also in countries like South Africa before the Apartheid.  We have loved this biography and I certainly can't wait to read it again!

We had done a previous Heroes of History book and study on Laura Ingalls Wilder,  so I knew that anything we chose from YWAM's collection would be excellent. And I was happy that the unit study and guide was also available for the new book we chose on Billy Graham. These studies are jam-packed with comprehension questions, essay type questions, geography, timelines, and activities to really delve into the person you are studying and search it from all angles and subjects.

These downloadable study guides are just $5.49 and coordinate beautifully with the books. Each of the 17 chapters has 6 comprehension questions you can discuss with your children or just assign 2-3 per chapter. One for chapter 7 states -- How was the Los Angeles campaign different from others Billy had led? There are also key quotes that could be memorized over the course of reading the book. Then there are activity ideas and field trip ideas. We are still sifting through ALL the possible info, but I did make sure that we did have an experience to gel our hearts with all we read about Mr. Billy Graham America's Pastor.

Just a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity for an impromptu field trip and one of the main things we had discussed doing was going to the Billy Graham Library just outside Charlotte, NC. It was a wonderful addition to reading the book and we were able to capture and see more than I anticipated. We loved all the exhibits and even the special one dedicated to his wife Ruth. In encourage you that if you are in the area of Charlotte it's a great place to stop.

My eldest daughter is just about half way through the book, but here are some of her comments:
"I found out in the third chapter that Billy Frank Graham used to be a broom seller. God really can use anyone if they are willing and open to the possibility."
"Billy had to put a lot of trust in God to be able to run at least 5 different companies all at one time. I hope that one day I will be able to share amazing stories to my kids about my life, just like Billy Graham was able to with his own children. Although, I would like to stay home for longer times then it seems he did." 

So now I'm having a hard time trying to pick our next book from YWAM Publishing -- should it be C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller or John Newton: Change of Heart from the Christian Heroes series and just released in May! Which should I choose??

And don't just take my word on it, but you will need to check them out and the others who reviewed a myriad of other biographies by clicking the link below. You can also find YWAM Publishing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Christian Heroes, Heroes of History & Study Guides {YWAM Publishing  Reviews}

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Quick Linker