Posts belonging to Category People

Vote for TIME Person of the Year

TIME Person of the Year? Who will be TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year 2008? Some of the top contenders include Barack Obama, Tina Fey (?), Michael Phelps, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. TIME will let you cast a vote, but the editors will announce their own selection on December 19. Judging from the TIME cover photos of the past year, I predict … (Click here for TIME covers from the past year.) Feel free to share your own prediction in the comments.

Update: No big surprise here, but TIME has indeed selected President-Elect Barack Obama as Person of the Year 2008.

Brit Hume – On Retirement, Family and Faith

From Reuters: “After 12 years at Fox News Channel and four decades in the news business, Washington managing editor Brit Hume will leave ‘Special Report’ and daily journalism for a quieter life, spending time with his grandchildren and following his Christian faith (the anchor still will contribute to the network as a political analyst).”

Hume made the following coments about his faith in Christ:

I certainly want to pursue my faith more ardently than I have done. I’m not claiming it’s impossible to do when you work in this business. I was kind of a nominal Christian for the longest time. When my son died (by suicide in 1998), I came to Christ in a way that was very meaningful to me. If a person is a Christian and tries to face up to the implications of what you say you believe, it’s a pretty big thing. If you do it part time, you’re not really living it.

And from a separate interview interview with The Insider:

The Insider: How do you envision life being different on a day-to-day basis? What will you do?

Mr. Hume: I thought about the three G’s: God, granddaughters, golf. That’s not comprehensive, because obviously I have a chance to spend more time with my dear wife, who worked with me here for so many years and was a vice president and bureau chief. She retired two years ago. … And since my son died, I have been, really, I felt rescued by God and by Christ. I have an intense desire to pursue that more ardently and have it be a bigger part of my life than it has been.

The Insider: How will that translate?

Mr. Hume: It’ll translate into Bible study. It’ll translate, I think, in the fullness of time, into work that I might be able to do, like to find the right cause, and so on. It’s a big world out there. A lot can be done.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Billy Graham – The Song

Billy Graham turns 90 years old today. That makes him a nonagenarian. Happy birthday, Billy! Here is a nice tribute song to Billy Graham sung by Terry Taylor and Gene Eugene.

Click “►” button to play | Length: 1:13
[audio:SwirlingEddies_ BillyGraham.mp3]
(“Billy Graham”; from the album Outdoor Elvis)

“BILLY GRAHAM” – by Terry Scott Taylor/Camarillo Eddy

I don’t know about those other guys
There’s somethin’ in the back of their eyes
But Billy, you’re the man
Who don’t use slight of hand
Ain’t wearin’ no disguise
I love you, Billy.

I love the simple things you say
And you never seem to get in the way
No one is quite like you
Compassionate and true
“Just as I am”, I say
I love you, Billy.

Note: Billy’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian is celebrating “Daddy Bill’s” birthday over at his blog. Feel free to drop on over to read or add to the comments.

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Kirk Cameron: “I’ll Only Kiss My Wife”

The script for Kirk Cameron’s new movie, Fireproof, called for Kirk’s character to kiss the actress playing his wife in the movie. There was just one problem. Cameron refuses to kiss any woman except for his real-life wife.

“I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman,” the former child star of “Growing Pains” told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford Monday on TODAY in New York.

To get around the conflict, the filmmakers employed a bit of movie magic, Cameron explained. They dressed his wife, actress Chelsea Noble, like the movie’s female lead and shot the scene in silhouette.

“So when I’m kissing my wife, we’re actually husband and wife honoring marriage behind the scenes,” Cameron said as Gifford and Kotb melted from the romanticism of the moment.

Fireproof opens in theaters this Friday, September 26th. You can learn more about the movie at the Fireproof website. Click here to find theaters and show times near you. (Note: Fireproof was made by the same group that produced Facing the Giants in 2006.)

Steven Curtis Chapman on Good Morning America

Steven Curtis Chapman and his family share with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America how their faith has helped them cope with the tragedy of losing their 5-year old daughter, Maria Sue, last May.

(Video length: 9:46)


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Son of Top Hamas Leader Comes to Christ

From the Christian Post: Top Hamas Leader’s Son Converts to Christianity

The son of a top Hamas leader has converted to Christianity and prays someday his family will also accept Jesus Christ as their savior, an Israeli newspaper reported. Masab Yousef, son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheik Hassan Yousef, revealed for the first time in an exclusive interview with Haaretz newspaper that he has left Islam and is now a Christian. Prior to the interview’s publication last Thursday, Yousef’s family did not know of his faith conversion even though he is in regular contact with them …

Yousef, who is now 30-years-old, was first exposed to Christianity eight years ago while in Jerusalem where out of curiosity he accepted an invitation to hear about Christianity. Afterwards, he became “enthusiastic” about what he heard and would secretly read the Bible every day.

“A verse like ‘Love thine enemy’ had a great influence on me,” Yousef recalled. “At this stage I was still a Muslim and I thought that I would remain one. But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves ‘great believers.’ “I studied Islam more thoroughly and found no answers there. I re-examined the Koran and the principals of the faith and found how it is mistaken and misleading … There is only one way to Paradise – the way of Jesus who sacrificed himself on the cross for all of us.”

Yousef, who has taken the biblical name of Joseph, said he dreams of one day becoming a writer to tell his personal story and about the Middle East conflicts … He also dreams that someday he can return to his homeland and his family will accept Jesus Christ. “I know that I’m endangering my life and am even liable to lose my father, but I hope that he’ll understand this and that God will give him and my family patience and willingness to open their eyes to Jesus and to Christianity,” Yousef said.

It’s Not About Baseball

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers set a first round record in the Home Run Derby Monday night with 28 home runs. Josh recently returned to baseball after five years of drug addiction that nearly took his life. He credits God and Christ in helping him overcome his addiction. Here is the video from the Derby:

(Video length: 5:04)

And here is Josh’s testimony printed in ESPN last year around this time.

How am I here? I can only shrug and say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s the only possible explanation. There’s a reason my prayers weren’t answered during those dark, messed-up nights I spent scared out of my mind. There’s a reason I have this blessed and unexpected opportunity to play baseball and tell people my story …

Every day I’m reminded that my story is bigger than me. It never fails. Every time I go to the ballpark, I talk to people who are either battling addictions themselves or trying to help someone else who is … A father will tell me about his son while I’m signing autographs. A mother will wait outside the players’ parking lot to tell me about her daughter. They know where I’ve been. They look to me because I’m proof that hope is never lost.

They remind me that this isn’t really about baseball … I’ve been called the biggest surprise in baseball this year, and I can’t argue with that. If you think about it, how many people have gone from being a crack addict to succeeding at anything, especially something as demanding as major league baseball?…

This may sound crazy, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my path to the big leagues … You’re probably thinking, Bad decisions and addiction almost cost him his life, and he wouldn’t change anything? But if I hadn’t gone through all the hard times, this whole story would be just about baseball. If I’d made the big leagues at 21 and made my first All-Star team at 23 and done all the things expected of me, I would be a big-time baseball player, and that’s it.

Baseball is third in my life right now, behind my relationship with God and my family. Without the first two, baseball isn’t even in the picture. Believe me, I know.

See related post:  It’s Not About Baseball (2)

Larry Norman on NPR

NPR ran a feature on Larry today on their Day to Day program. The program began with that wailing guitar intro and vocals from “The Rock That Doesn’t Roll.” The announcer then shared biographical information about Larry interspersed with clips from Larry’s songs and comments from Larry’s brother, Charles Norman. Other song clips included: “Why Don’t You Look into Jesus,” “Sweet, Sweet Song of Salvation,” and “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music.” The entire segment on Larry was just over two minutes long.

Here is the blurb from the NPR site:

Day to Day, February 27,2008 · Guitarist, singer and songwriter Larry Norman died earlier this week. Norman is sometimes called the father of Christian rock, but his long-haired look and hard-rock approach made him something of an outsider to mainstream religion. We hear from his brother, Charles, about Larry Norman’s legacy.

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Amy Grant Talks about Dealing with Depression

As part of an interview at BeliefNet, Amy Grant shares the following about dealing with depression in life:

It’s so funny what age is doing. I never thought getting older would be so great. But when it comes to depression, I have experienced less the older I’ve gotten. And I think part of it is, there are things that I know to look for in myself. I know winter time hits me like a ton of bricks.

My great-uncle told us when were kids, “If you’re born into this family, you need to go take a brisk walk every day.” He didn’t know what endorphins were, but he knew that we battled that downward spiral. If I will make myself get some exercise, that always helps. And then, invest in somebody else. That’s not hard when you’re part of a family. Even if I’m feeling like a piece of wood, I’ll wake up in the morning and I just think, “Somebody’s got to put the bacon on. I will feel better about this moment if I do eggs on toast with a little melted cheese for the kids.” It takes about four minutes to make breakfast for your children in the morning. You start doing little acts of getting beyond yourself. Sometimes it takes days or weeks. But you just learn there is a process to getting out of a slump.

Tiny little things that you have to do, responsibility that you can’t slough off, is good when you battle depression—making lunch for your kids, or having to do laundry because nobody has clean underwear. Rather than grind your teeth over it, go, “Thank God I have got to do this little task that makes me move.” And the more that [I’m] used to the rhythms of [my] own life, the more I realize, as bleak as this feels right this minute, it’ll pass.

Have you ever struggled with depression, whether mild or serious? What has been helpful to you when you are feeling down?

HT: Semper Reformanda

Most Admired Man and Woman of 2007

What do President George W. Bush and Senator Hillary Clinton have in common? You guessed it — they both scored highest in the Gallup poll for the most admired man and woman in the world for 2007.

For the sixth year in a row, President George W. Bush is the most admired man and Sen. Hillary Clinton the most admired woman in Gallup’s annual survey. But neither winner had a very decisive win this year, with former President Bill Clinton nearly tying Bush and Hillary Clinton barely topping talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. This is the seventh time Bush has been most admired man and the 12th time Clinton has been most admired woman.

These results are based on the Dec. 14-16 USA Today/Gallup poll, which asked Americans, without prompting, to say what man and woman “living today in any part of the world, do [they] admire most?”

Most admired women:

  1. Hillary Clinton (18%) – U.S. Senator and presidential candidate
  2. Oprah Winfrey (16%) – talk-show host
  3. Condoleezza Rice (5%) – U.S. Secretary of State
  4. Angelina Jolie (3%) – actress
  5. Laura Bush (3%) – U.S. First Lady
  6. Margaret Thatcher (2%) – former British Prime Minister
  7. Benazir Bhutto (2%) – former Pakistani Prime Minister
  8. Nancy Pelosi (1%) – U.S. House Speaker
  9. Maya Angelou (1%) – author and poet
  10. Queen Elizabeth II (1%) – Queen of England

Most admired men:

  1. George W. Bush (10%) – U.S. President
  2. Bill Clinton (8%) – former U.S. President
  3. Al Gore (6%) – former U.S. Vice President
  4. Barack Obama (5%) – U.S. Senator and presidential candidate
  5. Rev. Billy Graham (3%) – evangelist
  6. Nelson Mandela (3%) – former South African President
  7. George H.W. Bush (2%) – former U.S. President
  8. Bill Gates (2%) – founder of Microsoft
  9. Pope Benedict XVI (2%) – Pope
  10. Jimmy Carter (2%) – former U.S. President

I think a far more interesting follow-up question would be, “Why do you admire this person most?” So who do you admire most in 2007?

Update (12/27/2007): I just learned that former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (#7 on the list) was killed in a suicide attack following a political rally in Pakistan earlier today.

Celebrating Ruth Bell Graham – TV Special

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is airing the television special Celebrating Ruth Bell Graham in the month of December. In my area (Massachusetts) it will show on NBC on December 8th at 7:00 p.m. You can check TV listings for your area here.

You can also watch the program online at this link at the following times:

  • Tuesday, December 4, 7 p.m. Eastern time
  • Saturday, December 15, 10 p.m. Eastern time
  • Wednesday, December 26, 7 p.m. Eastern time

If all else fails, you can always order the DVD of the special for $16.95 (shipping 12/10 – should make a nice Christmas present). And I expect they will eventually add this to their online archive of previous TV specials here.

Here is a brief preview of the program. (Video length: 1:31)

From the war-torn countryside of ancient China, to the impressive halls of America’s White House, Ruth Bell Graham’s life took her on a journey that few could imagine.

Meet this unique woman who captured the heart of Billy Graham and gained the admiration of countless others. Discover why her husband called her, “…the greatest Christian I’ve ever known.”

Laugh with those who knew her best and discover fresh insights from those who loved her deeply. Find out how her “behind-the-scenes” wit and wisdom helped produce an extraordinary legacy.

Plus, be inspired by world premier music videos from Avalon and Fernando Ortega, and enjoy a special performance from the Gaither Homecoming Friends.

Watch the Billy Graham Television Special this December as we celebrate the “very full life” of Ruth Bell Graham.

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Happy Birthday to Billy Graham!

Today, November 7th, is Billy Graham’s birthday. He is 89 years old. This is from the press release at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.

As evangelist Billy Graham marks another birthday, turning 89 on Wednesday, he expressed gratitude for his health, his family and the ongoing hope of being reunited with his wife Ruth in Heaven.

Since the passing of his marriage and ministry partner of nearly 64 years on June 14 this year, Mr. Graham said he has been surprised at the depth of his grief, but simultaneously encouraged by the commensurate magnitude of God’s grace.

“At times, I feel as if part of me has been ripped out, and in a sense that’s what has happened, because Ruth was such an important part of my life,” he said. “But my faith gives me great comfort, and I can’t imagine going through something like this without strength that only the Lord can provide. It has been an added blessing that our five children have been so faithful in visiting and spending time with me – I am grateful for and proud of each of them.”

While Mr. Graham has stayed close to home most of this year, he was hospitalized for a couple of weeks at the end of August for diagnosis and treatment of intestinal bleeding. He has continued his recovery at home since being discharged on Aug. 30 from nearby Mission Health and Hospitals in Asheville, N.C.

“I am looking forward to spending the holidays with family,” Mr. Graham added. “I know in many ways this time of year will be especially difficult without Ruth, who maintained many of our family traditions. But I am thankful for the confidence we have in Heaven. It is for this reason I will rejoice most in Christ’s birth this Christmas.”

Happy birthday, Billy!