CHARLOTTE, N.C. Evangelist Billy Graham will turn 93 on November 7, following the release of his 30th book, “Nearing Home,” through which he shares personal autobiographical reflections and wisdom on growing old.
“All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in my latter years,” Mr. Graham wrote. “I wanted to share some of the things I have learned about this stage in life with others, as the aging process is something most of us will experience.”
While working on the book consumed much of his focus during the previous year, Mr. Graham still found time to spend with family members, sharing his life and thoughts with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as he encourages others to do with their own families.
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith,” he added.
As he has done throughout his career spanning more than 60 years, the evangelist practices what he preaches, and is careful to spend as much time as possible with his family, lunching weekly with son, Franklin; regularly getting together with his daughter, Gigi, who lives near by; and receiving others when they come to visit.
On occasion Mr. Graham also hosts old friends and Christian leaders he has known through the years. “I always enjoy visiting with those who come to see me, and I hope that I am able to encourage them in some way as they have been a great encouragement to me.”
Still interested in world events, Mr. Graham spends time each day watching the news headlines and discussing newspaper articles with staff, family and friends. His daily Bible reading and prayer time remain a priority, and he receives regular visits from his pastor to pray together and discuss biblical passages and spiritual matters.
Part of Mr. Graham’s studies is devoted to future projects such as the prospects of additional publications or the opportunity for ministry via the Internet. “I am amazed at the wonders of technology and am grateful for the ways in which we are able to use it to share the Gospel around the world,” Mr. Graham said. “I look forward to seeing how God may still be able to use me to serve Him in these latter years.”
Editor’s Note: For those who would like to send personal birthday greetings to Mr. Graham, they are encouraged to do so on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReverendBillyGraham or on Twitter using the hashtag #happybdaybillygraham.