INVITATION: Billy Graham and the Lives He Touched
Basyle and Aram Tchividjian
The day Cheryl's 16-year-old daughter was killed was understandably the worst day of her life. Though she had been a Christian for many years, it was only through the ministry of Billy Graham that she was able not only to grasp the importance of forgiving the driver who caused Sonya's death but also to actually forgive him.
Melissa, who believed in Jesus "during emergencies and on Christmas and Easter," figured she would finally get her Jesus-freak friend off her back by agreeing to attend a Billy Graham crusade --- and, as a sweetener, she would get to hear Johnny Cash sing. By the end of the night, Melissa had surrendered her life --- every day of her life --- to Christ.
As a teenager in the Australian outback in the 1960s, Alexander would sit in his pickup every Sunday night listening to Billy Graham's "Hour of Decision" radio show. When it was announced that Graham would hold a crusade in Melbourne, Alexander scraped together enough money to travel several hundred miles to attend. As overwhelmed as he was by the city and the crowd, nothing could compare with the unforgettable experience of giving his life to Christ that night.
These and other stories pepper INVITATION, a tender tribute to Billy Graham by two of his grandsons, Basyle and Aram Tchividjian. Basyle, who teaches law at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and Aram, who runs a web company in West Palm Beach, FL, culled the stories from www.thankyoubilly.com, a website they and several other grandchildren developed to give people an opportunity to share their accounts of the ways in which Billy Graham led them to a relationship with Christ.
In addition, the Tchividjian brothers provide their own personal memories of life with the most famous evangelist in the world as well as glimpses into Graham's life and ministry long before they were born. What emerges is a poignant portrait of a man they love and respect and admire --- a man who would finish a phone conversation with a president and sit down to the dinner table as if nothing of significance had just happened.
INVITATION is also lavishly illustrated with aerial photographs of the huge stadium events that became Graham's trademark as well as close-ups of counselors praying with new believers, photos of Graham preaching to the masses and praying with individuals, and historical pictures of Graham's modest beginnings. They all add up to create a powerful yet personal pictorial chronicle of the life and ministry of the first evangelist to have a worldwide impact, an impact so immense that it is impossible to measure.
INVITATION would make a lovely gift book for anyone whose life has been touched in a profound way by Graham --- in other words, any one of the millions upon millions of people who came to Christ through the ministry of this one remarkable man.
--- Reviewed by Marcia Ford (email@example.com)
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