The Billy Graham Library is the place to go this Christmas if you want to experience a live nativity, take a horse drawn carriage ride (for a fee), listen to carolers, and take a tour through the Journey of Faith museum to learn about the life of a North Carolina farm boy that God used to touch millions.
So, when my family and I first walked up to the front of the library we, of course, had to stop and watch the live nativity for a few minutes. Notice that there isn’t any wise men in this picture? There weren’t any at the first nativity, either. I loved listening to my twins talking about the different animals. There were donkeys, sheep, small camels, and goats in the scene. One of my boys had me laughing when he said, “Mommy, they have a decoy!” It took me a minute to realize he was talking about the goat standing to the left of the Shepherd. The animal hardly moved. I guess he thought it was fake like his daddy’s decoy turkeys he uses for hunting.
The inside of the library is decorated so beautiful at Christmas. The thing I have noticed about the library is that it’s always put together well. It isn’t some half taken care of ministry. The volunteers are always friendly and professional. The building and grounds are always clean and well maintained. The decorations at Christmas are always elegantly done. The library is the face for the Billy Graham ministries and it’s a beautiful one. It shows that they care about their ministry and are intentional about what they do.
We went to the information booth and received our free tickets to go through the museum. That’s right, free. There is no fee to visit the library or tour the museum. We jumped in line and waited….. a while. Yeah, the place is pretty packed on a Saturday night during Christmas season. At least, we had each other to talk to….. and our cell phones to look at. Honestly, while in line last night I looked around at all the people staring at their phones and thought, “What did we ever do while we waited before we had smart phones?” I guess we talked to each other. Any way, we finally got to Bessie, the talking cow. My boys loved this part of the tour. Honestly, it’s a genius way to get children interested in the tour at the very beginning. Another thing the ministry does for the kids is provide a quiz sheet to use during the tour. Once the tour is over and the sheet is completed, they turn it in for a prize. My kids were all over that.
The tour takes you through some of the different stages and aspects of Billy Graham’s life and ministry. When we went through the room about Ruth, Billy’s wife, I couldn’t help but be in awe of that woman’s strength and ministry mindset. Honestly, I don’t understand it. I feel so lacking in comparison to her (don’t we all?). I guess that’s why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. God doesn’t do the same work in everyone’s life. God made her and prepared her especially for the calling he placed on her life and he has made me for the calling on my life. If we were all the same and shared the same calling, wouldn’t life be dull? It is so inspiring to look at her life and know that God can work through us to do amazing things.
My favorite area about Billy was “MY ANSWER: BILLY GRAHAM AND THE MEDIA.” They played clips from different interviews from famous television personalities. It amazes me how, no matter how difficult or awkward the questions asked, Billy Graham wasn’t easily shaken, refrained from getting defensive, and ALWAYS answered questions by focusing on what God says – instead of what Billy thought.
I totally had to take a picture of this store front. This is part of the “STORM WARNINGS: HOPE FOR THE TROUBLED HEART” display. Who remembers televisions like these? Wow. Serious throw back.
This collage was so interesting. Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, JFK Jr., and Muhammad Ali were among some of the cool people he is pictured with here.
I came across this picture of the Carolina Crusade at Ericsson Stadium from September of 1996. I was in that massive crowd somewhere.
This poem that Bono wrote about Billy Graham may be my favorite part of the museum. I love Bono. *sigh*
The journey from Father to friend
is all paternal loves end
It was sung in my teenage ears
In the voice of a preacher
loudly soft on my tears
I would never forget this
Or its lyric voice that gave my life
a meaning that wasn’t there before
a child born in dung and straw
wish the Father’s love and desire to explain
how we might get on with each other again…
To the Rev Billy Graham (that preacher)
Ruth and all the Graham family
From Bono (March 11 2002)
With much love and respect
We spent so much time on the tour that we didn’t have any time to do a carriage ride. That’s fine, because we had lots of family fun just watching the nativity and touring the museum.