I ONCE GAVE BILLY GRAHAM A PIECE OF MISSISSIPPI CARAMEL CAKE—SORT OF…

Billy-Graham-Birthday Like many of you, I’ve been touched by the home-going of Dr. Billy Graham in numerous ways.  And like so many, I have my own Billy Graham stories.  (They really aren’t that big of a deal, but due to being raised during the prime of his career, it’s fun to think about.)  Besides the obvious—seeing movies, hearing him on TV, etc., I had three more “personal” experiences. First, I attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Jackson, MS, as a teenager and one of my friends gave their life to Christ.  Second, I was a summer camp counselor while in college at Camp Rockmont, a Christian boys camp in Black Mountain, NC, where Dr. Graham’s grandson attended.  He was in our “tribe” and stayed in the cabin next door. His name is Jonathan Lotz, Anne Graham Lotz, son.  He was a good kid and from what I understand has become a fine young man.  Third, my son Trey, and I attended a conference a few years ago at the Billy Graham Training Center (The Cove).  While there, I actually drove Trey over to Camp Rockmont to see where I worked that summer during my college years.  While there, we “ran into” the Camp Director when I worked there.  (I didn’t tell him, but I actually thought he had passed away.)  He invited us into his house and we shared memories and stories.  Here’s the story that eventually connected to Dr. Graham having caramel cake… My seasoned friend/boss and his wife had known the Grahams for years.  (They were practically neighbors up there in those mountains.)  He shared that his now deceased wife use to make Billy Graham a Mississippi Caramel cake every year.  (She was a native Mississippian and her mother had taught her how to bake.)  Dr. Graham often expressed how he missed my Camp Director’s wife and her caramel cake.  Sooooo, upon our return from the trip, I found a first-class caramel cake making company in my native state of Mississippi and had it sent it to my Director because he had been so kind to Trey and me.  Several weeks later I received a letter from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association thanking me for the cake.  My former boss had eaten a piece and then sent the rest to his friend/neighbor, Billy Graham.  Billy Graham’s secretary sent me a note saying that although Billy wasn’t supposed to eat sweets on a regular basis, they allowed him to eat a piece of the caramel cake.  He greatly enjoyed it and shared the rest with his staff.  Isn’t that awesome?  So, Trey and I feel like the one and only Dr. Billy Graham ate a piece of caramel cake that we had sent to the mountains.  It was a mountaintop experience for my son and me for sure.   I will likely frame that note now and forever remember how sweet it was that God allowed us to have that experience.  As I reflect on his life during the past week, I feel a sense of loss.  One of the greatest Christian men and evangelist that ever lived is no longer on earth.  And we rejoice that he is in heaven with Jesus and his beloved wife.  Like so many others, I just miss the reality of him still being alive.  It made the world a better place, even though he was confined to his bed recently. But we have a responsibility to continue the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We all have a mission field, a sphere of influence, so let’s use it for Kingdom Purposes and finish strong—just like Dr. Graham!  Life will be that much sweeter if we will…

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