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Dr Billy Graham and Anne Graham Lotz, in a Facebook photo taken on his 99th birthday

Dr Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said her hope was that the passing of her father would serve as a rallying cry for Christians to rise up in evangelism, teaching and preaching.

“My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father’s House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those with whom they come in contact.

“Because Daddy’s message is God’s message.

“My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father’s House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place.”

“While he may be physically absent and his voice silent, I am confident that his message will continue to reverberate throughout the generations to come.”

Writing in a Facebook post captioned Daddy is home posted the day after his death, Lotz acknowledged that Graham’s work as an evangelist took him out of the house for extended periods.

“I have often stated that I was raised by a single parent because ministry took my father away from our family – for weeks and months at a time. Daddy estimated that he was gone from home approximately 60 per cent of his children’s growing-up years. Now, he has left again. This time, he will not be coming back. At least, not until Jesus does, too.”

Billy Graham dead at 99

But where the world saw her father as “America’s Pastor”, Lotz recalled Graham in simpler, more heartfelt terms, closer to home.

“When I think of him, I don’t think of Billy Graham, the public figure. I think of my Daddy,” she wrote.

“The one who was always a farmer at heart. Who loved his dogs and his cat. Who followed the weather patterns almost as closely as he did world events. Who wore old blue jeans, comfortable sweaters, and a baseball cap. Who loved lukewarm coffee, sweet ice tea, one scoop of ice cream, and a plain hamburger from McDonald’s.

“Who was interested in everything and everyone, from the small to the great. Whose mind remembered details that even a computer would have trouble recalling.

“For years, over his head as he preached was the banner that quoted the words of Jesus: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus completed that sentence by saying that no one comes to the Father but by Me.

“Based on what Jesus said, Daddy is safely with the Father. In Heaven. Daddy not only claimed Jesus as the only Way to God, he lived by the Truth publicly on platforms and privately behind closed doors, and is now enjoying real Life.

https://www.facebook.com/AnneGrahamLotz/photos/a.10151085215612476.441331.149929282475/10155526344082476/?type=3&theater

A man who lived his message

“But when I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message … a simple man who had responded to God’s love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. Simple faith. Faith that now matters more than anything else.

“And it’s a message of genuine hope for the future, of love for the present, of forgiveness for the past.

“It’s a message, when received, that brings a fresh beginning, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven’s door.

“It was this message, which Daddy carried to the world, that penetrated my own heart as a young girl and has created in me a personal, passionate resolve to communicate it myself to as many people as possible. And so, even as my tears seem to be unending, I silently rededicate my life to picking up and passing on the baton. Would you do the same?”

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Posted by the Salt&Light editorial team

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