Well, the time has finally come! The week of the Ya Ya Mid-Winter Retreat has arrived! (Only this time it is either the week of the Ya Ya End of the Winter Retreat or Early Early Spring Retreat.)
It has been a long time coming but that just makes it even more exciting as the anticipation has grown stronger and stronger. A whole week at Pawleys Island…I can hardly wait to get there and be surrounded by my friends from the past, into the present, and hopefully always the future!
While I am away I will simply leave you with a short anecdote for each day or perhaps a positive thought or quote. I hope this week brings nothing but joy to all of you. I probably won’t be doing much corresponding while away…but will share all the fun and adventures when I return.
When I came across this adorable anecdote that Billy Graham used to make a point several times in his evangelical presentations…it struck home to me…even more so with the recent passing of this amazing man of God.
Billy Graham would have been 100 in November this year…and what an extraordinary life he lead! After reading some bibliographies on him…I chose these short excerpts for their different experiences and feelings he had as a young man preparing for the life he would lead.
ORDINARY MAN… EXTRAORDINARY CALL.
Christened William Franklin Graham, Jr., Billy was born on November 7, 1918 in a small town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, and grew up on the family dairy farm. Reared in Scottish Presbyterian heritage, his family believed in strict observance of moral values, but also took time to laugh at his father’s many jokes.
The Grahams instilled a strong work ethic in their children. Often their Big Ben alarm clock woke them at 2:30 a.m. to work the farm. Billy’s job was to milk twenty cows every morning and afternoon, as well as shovel warm manure and refill feed troughs with fresh hay from the barn.
Once, while visiting an aunt, all the children were ordered to spend time reading the Bible. After about ten minutes, Billy declared, “I just read a whole book in the Bible.” (Little did his aunt realize that Billy had discovered the Epistle of Jude, the shortest book in the New Testament!)
It wasn’t until he had transferred to the Florida Bible College that he found his calling in the swamps of the Florida bayous. He had accepted Christ as his Savior while still a teen but he just wasn’t sure he was meant to become a preacher.
Paddling a canoe across the Hillsborough River to a little island near the Bible Institute, Billy practiced preaching to alligators, birds and trees honing his sermons in preparation of additional opportunities to preach. Still, he struggled to surrender his will to God’s Will. He wasn’t sure he was thrilled with the thought of preaching for the rest of his life.
One night in 1938, however, while taking one of many nighttime walks around the golf course, Billy got down on his knees at the edge of one of the greens, prostrated himself before the Lord, and prayed, “O God, if You want me to serve You, I will.”
From that night on, Billy’s life purpose was set.
And we all know the rest of the story…the ‘preacher man and the presidents’ …he would rise to the top yet always remaining true to himself and his Creator.
One way he did this was to tell simple anecdotes (much like Jesus’s parables) so people could quickly understand the metaphors. For example:
The following is a very meaningful story which is called “Let Go”, and written by Dr. Billy Graham.
A little child was playing one day with a very valuable vase. He put his hand into it and could not withdraw it. His father too, tried his best, but all in vain. They were thinking of breaking the vase when the father said, “Now, my son, make one more try. Open your hand and hold your fingers out straight as you see me doing, and then pull.”
Smile, if you will–but thousands of us are like that little boy, so busy holding on to the world’s worthless penny that we cannot accept the freedom of grace. I beg you to drop the trifle in your heart. Surrender! Let Go!
And so until tomorrow…It is time for all of God’s children to let go and seek the next adventure God has in store for us. (* And I think mine just might be at Pawleys Island! 🙂 Let’s go!
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Before I left Saturday afternoon to babysit for John and Mandy I was in my favorite recliner (my only recliner) and looked out the wide open shuttered windows to see the Bradford tree completely filling in the whole vision of the window . It was so pretty…a happy pretty.
Eva Cate, Jake and I had fun Saturday evening playing together…and Sunday Tommy accompanied me to Walsh’s to help watch Rutledge and Lachlan play outside so Walsh could get some things done inside before Mollie and Eloise returned. Thanks Tommy!