A Visit to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte

Billy Graham Library

It’s supposedly the #1 attraction in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, the Billy Graham Library. That means it’s more popular than NASCAR. Although I had seen the billboards advertising the Billy Graham Library and I routinely visit Charlotte and the surrounding area, I hadn’t visited until … my parents joined me in Charlotte for a family wedding. I grew up watching Billy Graham’s amazing crusades on our black and white TV, back in the ’60s. As a teen, I went forward to answer the call at a crusade in my hometown of Sioux Falls. And now, it seemed fitting, right, to go to the library and to visit the resting place of Rev. Graham and his wife, Ruth, at the library in Charlotte with my parents, the wonderful people who not only brought me into the world, but also, who started me on my journey of being a Christian.

Billy Graham library

These are my lovely parents, who are standing in front of the Billy Graham Library on a wet and chilly April day in Charlotte. The grounds are gorgeous.

Billy Graham Library barnInside the Billy Graham Library

Although the building looks “barnish,” it houses valuable documents and artifacts that chronicle Graham’s mission in life — to preach the gospel of Christ. Rev. Graham preached for almost 80 years, and you can follow, chronologically, his own journey. The Library is hosting special displays this year:

  • June-August: “New Frontiers” – 1980s & 1990s
  • September-October: “Looking to the Future” – 2000s & 2010s
  • November-December: “Then and Now” – Today

I especially liked the display that featured the time that Rev. Graham went to Berlin. It features live footage of the occasion, and the magnitude of the crowds is really, rather overwhelming. There is a hunger in the world to hear the word.

displayVisitors to the library will follow the life and journey of Billy Graham, and also learn about his #1 helpmate, his soulmate, Ruth Bell Graham — whose parents were missionaries in China. Find out more about this lovely lady and about how her plans, of eventually returning to China as a missionary, were changed and melded into an even greater plan.

Billy Graham's preaching bibleThis is a super interesting display — the preaching Bible that Billy Graham used on his crusades across the world.

Billy GrahamThroughout the library, you will be exposed to videos and photographs of the world and the times and how Rev. Graham effected change.

guns on display Billy Graham LibraryHow can I even improve on this little piece of information. Life changing. You’ll find nuggets of wisdom and pearls of knowledge throughout the journey in the museum, which will take at least 2 hours. Make sure to visit the gift shop, where you may find Rev. Graham and his team’s books, as well as several devotional books and lovely mementos of your visit.

Billy Graham farm homeRev. Graham had his family home moved to this site, keeping 80% of the original materials. He lived in this house from the age of 9 until he left for college. The interior is similar to how the Graham family lived, with original appliances and furniture, along with fascinating photographs.

billy Graham gravesiteRev. Graham passed away in February 2018, at the age of 99, and his grave is located on the site near his wife’s grave.

No admission charge, but a donation is accepted.

Visit the Billy Graham Library.

 

10 Things to Do When You Blow Out Your Knee

blown knee bandage smurf

One day I felt super excited about life, getting ready to embark on an outdoor writers’ event that promised driving fast trucks on off-road trails, shooting at a world class clays range, fishing with bass pro anglers and more fishing with fly-rods in a pristine world-class stream. The next day, I found myself back at home, sitting in a chair with crutches by my side and ice wrapped around my knee. A torn meniscus did me in, while at the reception at the aforementioned event, and waylaid me so that I couldn’t hobble around in the outdoors with a throbbing knee and frankly, now sour attitude. So, what can I do while I’m out of commission – along with deadlines and work that I’m committed to doing? Here’s my list and 10 suggestions to do when you blow out your knee, or something else.

10 Things to Do When You Blow Out Your Knee

  1. Order a fresh devotional book or find one that you like to read in your own library, and put your Bible on the table next to you. You know what to do next. I’m re-reading this one: God Always has a Plan B.  Seems appropriate. Cross reference the devotions to Bible passages.
  2. Read a book, or 5. I’m currently working through Band of Brothers ( a book I’ve always wanted to read), Among the Reeds (how a Polish family survived the Holocaust), Portraits of Courage (George W. Bush’s paintings of wounded warriors) and Meditation for Beginners.
  3. Pick up your laptop and sort through email inboxes, create files, discard, delete.
  4. Do the same to your photos on your phone and computer. Time for new files and deletions. Get everything backed up into the cloud or on a separate hard drive.
  5. Call people you haven’t chatted with for a while. Touch base with older family members. Concentrate on their lives, not your current, laid-up position.
  6. Drink a lot of water. Now is the time to start eating clean. You don’t need any extra empty calories.
  7. Clean out drawers. And organize. Read The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondō. She stresses touching everything you will organize. This helps you to associate with each item and to decide whether it really has meaning in your life.
  8. Do you meditate? This is a great time to start or improve.
  9. Listen to podcasts. Catch up on your favorites. Of course, one of my favs is the “Speak Life” podcast.
  10. Take a class. Craftsy and Skillshare are 2 websites I love for this reason — opportunities to learn something new, under the tutelage of pros and people who know. Just ask my family about my chicken fried rice from a previous class with Grace Young, the “Stir-Fry Guru”; it’s amazing.

blow out your knee exercise womanIf you have more suggestions, please share them here.

Crank up the Christian Tunes When Working Out

woman music christian music

About 30 pounds ago, I was a fitness instructor – jumping around on the fault line in Southern California, leading people through step aerobics and high impact workouts. See, I’ve dated myself already. So now, 30 years and 30 pounds later, I’m back in the gym and one of the first things I changed about my workout? The music. I decided to add Christian tunes to my workout regime.

Cranking up the Christian Tunes

Instead of listening to metallic rock, hard-driving and fast-packed thumping music with nasty words, I’ve switched the sound system over to Christian Rock. I’m revisiting the songs from 15 years ago, when I played in a Christian band at a big Baptist church in Missouri, and I’m starting with this CD, Integrity’s iWorship, “No Boundaries. It is a 2 CD collection of 33 worship songs, including these artists – Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Israel & New Breed and more. I look forward to exploring more modern Christian music as I practice this new choice of music in the gym.

I reference Ecclesiastes 3:3: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

christian tunesI like to think of it this way. As I tear down muscle fibers, to rebuild themselves, I am also tearing myself down again and listening to the words through these songs, and rebuilding myself. I am able to hear the words, think through them and leave after a workout with a stronger purpose in living the life that God wants me to live.

What are some Christian artists and songs that you do or would listen to when you work out?

Barb BairdOur friend, Barbara Baird, has been a Sunday School teacher, a concert choir accompanist at a Baptist college, a singer in church choirs and a keyboardist with Christian rock bands. She’s also a travel writer, a gun writer, a wife, mom and granny who lives in the Ozarks. She’ll contribute tips on lifestyle topics – such as travel, exercise, safety and who knows what else? Find her at Ozarkian.com and Womensoutdoornews.com.