Billy Graham: “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”


Having grown up Catholic, I was aware of Billy Graham, but I always thought it was one of those “born again” people and it wasn’t for me. How wrong I was!

It took his death on Feb. 21, 2018, for me to really get to know him. I’ve watched several of his biographical movies and even watched the movie that Kathie Lee Gifford watched that led her to Jesus. (It’s embedded below).

I can’t claim that I came to Jesus through a Billy Graham Crusade, but I know someone who did. For me, it was reading “Left Behind(ad)”.

However, in recent years, with the outbreak of social media in the world, I use the medium to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Follow me on Twitter). I know there’s only one way into Heaven and that’s through believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I can’t imagine what it’s like for a believer and a servant like Billy Graham the moment he died, he entered Heaven and was greeted by Jesus himself as well as his wife Ruth, his parents and many of the people that he helped lead to Christ. He used to say that,

“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

I love how his children spoke of him and especially the vow of Anne Graham Lotz to keep preaching the Gospel.

I guess watching all this has inspired me to come back to blogging here. It’s been a while. I’ve thought about it, but then good intentions are fine, but if action doesn’t happen, then nothing gets done.

I was blown away by Kathie Lee Gifford’s amazing response to Billy Graham’s death.

I pray that I and all Born Again Christians will be so bold and have the courage to proclaim the Good News of the salvation that only comes through Jesus Christ. That when it’s our turn to meet Jesus in person, that He will say,

Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:21)

This is the movie, The Restless Ones, that Kathie Lee Gifford watched that convinced her to turn to Jesus.

If you want to have peace and joy in your life, click here.

And I do recommend reading Billy Graham’s Biography, “Just As I Am(ad)”. What an amazing life!

Top picture by “Florida Memory” of Billy Graham at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida, February 11, 1961.



Heaven Can Wait, Government Can Save Us

God’s Story—Our Story: The Reign of Christ—Now and Forever

Sermon by Chuck Foreman, Teaching/Missions Pastor
First Christian Church—November 11, 2012

Scriptures: Revelation 1-5; 19-22; Romans 8; 1 Thessalonians 4-5;
I Peter 2:9-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Heaven can wait, Government can save us…


We’ve bought into an idea about “salvation” that is more like fire insurance than Biblical teaching. “Just give me that ticket out of hell and into heaven, and we’re good.” That kind of thinking doesn’t cause us to do anything about the combustible material in our lives that will probably burn our house down.

We think we’re heaven bound, but that we’re still trapped in an ugly, fallen world, in which we have to scrape and claw to get what WE want. We think all we really need is a government that will make it all happen for us.
Unfortunately when we think like that, there’s nothing about us or our ideas that ever changes anything or makes a difference in this world.

Our idea of heaven is more like an Escape Route or a Safe House, not a place where Christ reigns and gives us hope for restoring God’s will & reign on earth. And we think that government ought to make things better, and we hope that it will, so we whine & moan when it doesn’t, instead of rolling up our own sleeves.

The symbol for King in Chineese

The symbol for King in Chineese

What if we’ve missed something? What if what God really wants to do is to accomplish something revolutionary in us, thru us, among us—here, now— as we establish His Kingdom here, while we wait for the return of our King?

Illustration: Chinese character—“King” 3 horizontal lines representing heaven, man and earth, connected by a vertical line representing the one vested w/ power between heaven and earth to rule uprightly over man.

God’s Story is Our Story: Let’s review what he’s been up to and where he’s taking us…

Creation (Genesis 1-2)

The Fall of Man (Genesis 3)

A New Nation—Israel—The People of God (Genesis 12:2-3)

Israel’s Failure—Matthew 23:37-38

The Messiah—Immanuel (“God with us”—Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

The New Israel—The Church—The New People of God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-48)

The transformation of the politics of Paul, James and Peter…
Galatians 3:28-29 (Revolutionary for Paul!)
Acts 15:16-18 (James quotes Amos 9:11-12)
Ephesians 2:10; 3:6-11, 14, 21 (God’s mystery made known thru the Church as we do the good works we were re-created to do!)
I Timothy 2:1-4 (Pray for kings so we can live peaceful, quiet, godly, holy lives—this is ultimately what will influence people to be saved.)
I Peter 2:9-17 (The New Order)

John’s Revelation…
Revelation 1-5: Message to the 7 Churches of Asia Minor—God is going to restore all things to the way they were. You’re in on it—it matters how you live! So get your act together!

Revelation 6-18: The Cosmic Battle between God and Satan over the Church

Revelation 19: Victory! The Defeat of the Beast/Babylon/The Prostitute (Rome), The Wedding of the Lamb

Revelation 20: Satan’s Doom & the Judgment of Mankind

Revelation 21-22: The Final Act—The Reign of Christ Fully, Finally Realized

Revelation 21:1-5 God with us—Out with the old, in with the new!
(This is where we place our hope, not in the White House, not in the Stock Market!)
Revelation 21:9-10 The New Jerusalem, The Church coming down from heaven

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Let’s go meet our King!

Revelation 22:1-3a Eden Restored

Romans 8:18-25 The Redemption of Creation

Revelation 22:3b-5 We will reign with him forever!

Jesus is Coming—perhaps soon.

Listen to his final words: Revelation 22:7 Revelation 22:12

Jesus is coming someday. On that day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Are you ready? You’ll either do it willingly or not, but you will bow. Are you ready?

The question is not, Is Jesus King?. He’s King alright. The question is, Is he king of your life?

You can make him King of your life today. There’s a lot of joyful work to do in His Kingdom, as we eagerly, patiently prepare for his will to ultimately be done and his kingdom to finally come “on earth—as it is in heaven.”

Right On!

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The Deadly Virus in our Churches Today

I met with my pastors, Jon Taylor, Lead Pastor of First Christian Church of Phoenix, and Chuck Foreman, the teaching/missions pastor, this week to talk about collaborating on a small-group study on WWJD?. They agreed to help write it as well as a companion sermon guide.

Chuck forwarded me a newsletter from the Disciple Nations Alliance. I loved the opening message and tried to find it in a blog online at their website so I could share it, but could not. It was written just for the newsletter recipients. Thus, I’m compelled to share it here since it highlights the need for a church-wide study on WWJD?.

Coram Deo: Before the Face of God

A deadly virus is running rampant through the Church around the world. Not a physical virus, but a mental one—and very subtle. Victims typically don’t realize they are infected.

What is this virus? It’s the idea that the Christian faith is primarily personal and private. It addresses personal salvation, and it focuses on developing a pious inner life, but it has little to do with how someone lives the rest of his or her life.

There are huge problems with this.

We spend the vast majority of our time working, eating, playing, and living in relationship with family, friends, and co-workers. If my faith isn’t informing how I live my life, something else surely is. And that something is the accepted norms, values, and practices of my surrounding culture.

The virus enables Christians to assume they are theologically orthodox because they affirm correct answers to the questions of God, man, the fall, and salvation. Yet it prevents them from making a connection between these personal/spiritual topics and how they think about work, life, leisure, and the broader culture. While holding to a form of Christianity, in practice, they are functional atheists, Gnostics, or animists, depending on the culture from which they come.

This explains how Enron’s indicted former CEO, Ken Lay, while serving as an elder in his local evangelical congregation, could drive his company off a cliff. In business, you play by the rules; and in today’s America, the rules are established by the secular, pragmatic, materialistic culture. It is OK to “cook the books” and deceive shareholders, so long as you don’t get caught.

This is just want Satan wants, for the virus strips the church of its saltiness. It is no longer able to influence and shape culture. God’s truth is shackled—prevented from penetrating and saturating all areas of life and society. As a result, the nations are not discipled. Rather, the church increasingly reflects the values and practices of the nations. This is the tragic consequence: The failure of the church to understand, much less carry out, the Great Commission. The nations—trapped in structures of poverty, corruption, and tyranny—are paying the price.

This is the problem we exist to address. This virus has to be attacked head-on, exposed for the lie that it is. When Jesus said “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” he really meant it. His truth applies to every area of public life. It is not merely a message of salvation; it is an all-encompassing way of understanding everything. We are called not just to save people out of the world, but to bring the truth to bear in all areas, thereby living God-honoring lives and creating God-honoring cultures, starting with our families, churches, arenas of work and, ultimately, nations. As this happens, the nations are blessed, just as God promised they would be (Genesis 12:1-3).

God loves His Bride, and we see increasing evidence that He is awakening her to this inward threat. We believe God has raised up the DNA to be part of the solution, and we are grateful for your partnership in the endeavor.

In Galatians 5:13, Paul tells us Christians:

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

Here, “the flesh” refers to the sinful nature of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit. You see, it’s not “natural” for us to be godly. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. But Jesus shows us how to live righteous lives and commands us to do so. (Romans 12:1-3)

WWJD? The Revival is not just another fad

Our mission is to help Christians strive to be Christ-like. It’s not easy. We are tempted by the world on a daily basis. That is why the small-group study that we’re preparing is so vital. When discussed in the small-group setting, the group members hold each-other accountable. That makes a big difference from just reading a daily devotional.

Please follow WWJD? The Revival on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We will keep you updated on the progress of the study and when it will be available. In the meantime, look for devotionals, bible passages and encouragements.

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Author

One Righteous Man

Continuation from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

God prophesies the ultimate victory of mankind over Satan, the Serpent in Genesis 3:15:

“And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

Crushing the snake (satan)Paul refers to this same OT verse in his letter to the Church in Rome in Romans 16:20:

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Here’s what I want you to understand—from the moment of man’s first sin, God intervened to rescue mankind from the destruction our enemy has in mind for us. This rescue includes Nature too. Romans 8:19-24:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the Hero of God’s Story—the Hero who came to save us all from the eternal consequences of our sin.

But all thru history, up to this very moment in time, God has been looking for ordinary people, devoted to Him, whom He can use in His rescue plan. II Chronicles 16:9a:

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

Act 1, Scene 3: The Different Man

Within just a few generations, mankind had plummeted into the depths of moral decay & corruption. The bottom had fallen out of South, things had gotten so bad. Genesis 6:5-7 is the first account in the scripture of God experiencing regret and grief. Divine Grief—Genesis 6:5-7

So the Lord God had decided He’d had all He could take. The demise of humanity was imminent. But then, right in the middle of this hopeless scene, when all seemed lost, God stops dead in his tracks. Someone had gotten His attention—one man, a different man. His name was Noah. Genesis 6:8

Noah's ArkWhat was it about this guy, Noah anyway? Well, here’s the account of Noah…
Tell: (slide) The Account of Noah—The Different Man, Genesis 6:9-22

So back to our original question: What was it about Noah?
Genesis 6:8 “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

  • Righteous (vs.9)
  • Blameless (vs.9)
  • Walked with God (vs.9)
  • Entered into a Covenant Relationship with God (vs.18)
  • Obeyed God (vs.22)

Could you be another Noah for your generation, for your family, for your work place, your neighborhood?

Seriously, could you be one who would catch God’s eye as He surveys the earth for someone different, someone who stands apart from the rest of the pack?

Which of these 5 characteristics of Noah could you do or be? How many out of 5? Let’s start at the bottom, in the Deep South, where things tend to go, and work our way up.

  1. Righteous? Here’s where we always rule ourselves out. Listen, R & B aren’t about being perfect, they’re about faith & the simple willingness to repent like David, & to earnestly seek God like Noah. (Rom. 3:21-22; Heb. 11:6-7)
  2. Blameless? (Psalm 51 David was able to pray this prayer because of who he was—he was willing to repent. — I Samuel 13:14)
  3. Walk with God? (Psalm 119:11; James 4:8a; Galatians 5:22-25)
  4. Covenant with God? (Luke 22:20) God has established a covenant of forgiveness in exchange for faith with every Xian. Do you really believe? Do you trust that Christ’s death paid for your sin—that God will forgive you?
  5. Obey? (I Samuel 15:22) Story of Saul… (In Noah’s day, no one obeyed!)

Here’s what I want you to get about Act 1 of God’s Story—The Creation & the Fall of Man: When everything was heading south, Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord! So can you! The eyes of God Almighty are searching for you, to see if your heart is fully devoted to Him—because He wants to strengthen you—to rescue you not destroy you! That’s what God’s Story is all about!

I’m gonna ask you the most important question you’ll ever be asked, right now:
When all is said and done, how will Your Story read?

You can start re-writing your story today…

  1. Have faith in God and let Him declare you righteous—like Noah.
  2. Turn from your sin and let Him call you blameless—just like Noah & David.
  3. Start walking with God each day, like Noah did.
  4. Remember the Covenant God made with you to forgive you and save you.
  5. Determine that regardless of what the rest of the pack of corrupted humanity is doing—You are going to Obey your God!

And I promise—You will find favor in the eyes of the Lord! Right On!

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author

Check out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery.

Do not Fear Death!

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” ~1 Corinthians 15:55

Take care of your life; and the Lord will take care of your death ~George Whitefield

Jesus Resurrection

Jesus conquered death so we wouldn’t have to fear it.

Jesus didn’t spend much time worry about His death. Even as the Gospel story progresses and Jesus knows that His hour is approaching, He continues His mission in life. For each of us, God has a day set aside for us to face death. Why then should we worry? Until that day, let’s just spend our time doing what He did.








Check out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author

Wisdom is a gift from God

I’ve made my share of unwise decisions and I know many people including close family members who have made them also. All of these mistakes are opportunities to learn, but the key is to ask God for wisdom BEFORE you make the decision to HELP you make the right decision.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. ~Proverbs 3:13-14 Joyce Meyer writes in her book “Hearing from God each Morning

Wisdom discerns truth in a situation, while common sense provides good judgement regarding what to do with the truth. I consider wisdom supernatural because it isn’t taught by men; it is a gift from God.

King Solomon is known for his wisdom. Why? Because he asked for it. God told Solomon:

Ask for whatever you want me to give you. ~1 Kings 3:5

Wow! That’s like finding the magic lamp with the genie inside! What would you have asked for?

Solomon could have asked for wealth or for long life, but no. He asked for wisdom – to be able to discern, that is, tell right from wrong. (1 Kings 3:6-14)

Because of that, God gave him the riches and long life anyway.

Folks going through recovery from addiction memorize the Serenity Prayer and are told to recite it often. But that prayer is not just for addicts. It’s for everyone:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Each morning we should ask God to provide wisdom (notice it’s not one of the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23) for each and every decision we need to make that day.

We must stop and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do in this situation?”

Be wise and we will live long and prosper.

Read the book of Proverbs – it’s what God wants us to do and how He wants us to live.
Follow WWJD on Twitter

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author

Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter

When Everything is Heading South…

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

Usually when things begin to go south in our lives, it’s not because we’ve had nothing to do with it. But we often look for someone else to blame. Those “downward spiral” times when everything in our lives just starts to hit the fan are precisely the times when we need to stop and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We need to get on our knees alone with God and honestly ask Him, “How am I doing, Lord?” What do you want to teach me right now? Not so-and-so, not my mate, not the government, not my bank—but ME!?

Christ's ArmsA couple of ‘spiritual tune up’ suggestions:

Memorize James 4:8 and take it like big boys and girls as if God were getting right up in our faces. It goes like this:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8

We also need to understand and really believe that God is looking lovingly, deep into our hearts for something. He’s not looking for perfection; He’s just looking for openness to Him, a willingness to repent and change, and a desire to be used by Him.

Have you ever wondered what God does in his spare time?

Here’s what he’s up to:

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.~ II Chronicles 16:9a

God’s looking for a reason to rescue us, help us out of our downward spiral! He’s looking for some sign from us that we really want Him!

We’re going to see as we journey thru The Story of God this year together that rescuing His lost & fallen creation is THE PLOT in God’s Story—in Our Story.

Next: In the Beginning… If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery.

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter

Additional Reading: The Devil Made Me Do It