Did You Know Martin Luther King Jr. Prayed at a Billy Graham Crusade?

On this day (July 18) 50 years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a public prayer at one of the Rev. Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusades.

Both men were already well-known at the time, but history has shown that they will continue to influence history long after their time on earth.

These two men walked very different paths in life. King was 5’7” and Graham was 6’2”. At the time of their meeting, King was 28 and Graham was 38.  King was shot and killed in his fight for civil rights in 1963. Graham is still alive today and will celebrate his 100th birthday in November.

Both men made no secret of their Christian faith.

The Gospel Coalition tells the story of how King came to give the prayer at Graham’s crusade at Madison Square Garden.

Historian Grant Wacker said that Graham had made a point of not wanting to accept segregated audiences for his crusades. So, he contacted one of his African-American friends and fellow pastors to get advice:

“From the beginning at the Garden, Graham saw that his audiences were overwhelmingly white. A few days in, he contacted his black friend Howard Jones, the pastor of a large African-American Christian Missionary Alliance church in Cleveland, and asked what he should do about it. Jones advised, Do not wait for blacks to come to you. You need to go to them. The sub-text was clear: you and everything else about your crusade–associates, artists, music, choir, and congregation–present a virtually solid white front. If blacks are hesitant to come, what would you expect?” said Wacker.

Since King was the leader of the African-American civil rights movement, Graham invited him to speak at his crusade. King accepted.

“A great social revolution is going on in the United States today. Dr. King is one of its leaders, and we appreciate his taking time out of his busy schedule to come and share this service with us tonight,” Graham said, introducing the pastor and activist.

And then King began his prayer: “O God, our Heavenly Father–out of whose mind this great cosmic universe has been created, toward whom the weary and perplexed of all generations turn for consolation and direction–we come before Thy presence this evening thanking Thee for the many blessings of life.”

He then continued to pray for forgiveness for sin and asked for God to “give us penetrating vision, broad understanding, power of endurance, and abiding faith, and save us from the paralysis of crippling fear” in such a tumultuous time.

To read King’s entire prayer, click here.

Jim Carrey Spoke Really Powerful On Christ, Suffering & Salvation

Homeboy Industries is a Los Angeles-based organization that provides help to formerly incarcerated people and those who’ve been involved in gangs.

Jim Carrey recently gave a talk to the community and powerfully spoke about Christ. “This room is filled with God.

“We have to feel our suffering and feel our losses.”

“I believe that suffering leads to salvation.”

This is what he said on Christ:

“Your being here is an indication that you’ve made that decision already. You’ve made the decision to walk through the gate of forgiveness to grace. Your being here is an indication that you’ve made that decision already. Just as Christ did on the cross. He suffered terribly and He was broken by it, to the point of doubt and a feeling of absolute abandonment, which all of you have felt.”

“Then there was a decision to be made. And the decision was to look upon the people who were causing that suffering with compassion and with forgiveness, and that’s what opens the gates of heaven for all of us.”

“I wish that for all of you. I wish that for myself.”

Atheist Tripped Over Christian With Cerebral Palsy – The Pastor’s Response is BRILLIANT

Pastor Greg Locke recently experienced something weird. Something really weird.

When pastor Greg Locke took another pastor, Bobby, for a trip to Africa, they got into an argument with a devout atheist. The atheist tripped over the pastor, spilled his coffee but moments later yelled to his friend, who has Cerebral Palsy: ‘If your God’s so real, why do you have those braces on your legs?’

And pastor Bobby’s response?

Just brilliant. BRILLIANT!

Check out this video below: you will totally love it!

Sadie Robertson Reveals The Ugly Truth Behind The Modeling Industry And Points To God

Sadie Robertson never held back when talking about her faith and life. Last weekend she revealed some of the most “shocking things” she’s been told while doing photoshoots. She revealed the ugly truth behind the modeling industry and pointed to God.

“A few months ago I showed up for a photoshoot that I had thought was going to be a natural no makeup photoshoot,” she writes on Facebook. “The director of the shoot took a quick look at me and said, ‘Nope this girl does not have the face to pull off a no makeup shoot.’ So they proceeded to spend around 2 hours making it look as though I had no makeup on.”

“I have never thought of myself as a model, but getting to dip my toes a little in this industry I’ve heard shocking things, had my stomach ‘fat’ pinched to make sure I knew which part I needed to get rid of. I’ve been told if I would loose 10 pounds then I may look like an actual model … ,” she said. 

Luckily Robertson stays optimistic. Her message: don’t listen to the photographers, but listen to God! Let God define your identity.

“These things at one point in my life would have really hurt me, but now I smile because I know my identity does not lie in my looks, my pictures, people’s comments or my Instagram. My identity lies in the hands of my God who I believe created me to be fearfully and wonderfully made.”

“I believe EVERYONE has the face to pull off a ‘no makeup shoot’ because that is YOUR FACE. The makeup is the extra. It’s fun, but when it becomes your everything that’s when you begin to lose everything about what makes you… YOU.”

Bible study 
This week Sadie Robertson also announced she will lead a mid-week Bible study with fans and anyone else who needs encouragement via Facebook, each Wednesday on the Live Original page. “I will be reading Scripture for some mid-week encouragement. I hope this hits you exactly where you need it at just the right time,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Whenever you decide that you can’t limit yourself and that God can do amazing things … He’ll take you to places you never even thought you could dream,” she also said in an interview with the website Rare. “I remember praying when I was little, ‘God, just give me something, give me a platform, give me people to reach.’ I would have never thought that He’d give me this platform or this many people to reach.”

Former MMA, WWE Star Ken Shamrock Has Important Advice: Don’t Sit On Your Bible

Ken Shamrock

Ken Shamrock is a former MMA and WWE Star. But foremost he’s a Christian. Recently he told worshipers at a California megachurch recently that they should reject “passive” Christianity.

Speaking at Valley Bible Fellowship of Bakersfield on Sunday, Shamrock warned against being indifferent in witnessing, advising: “Don’t sit on your Bible,” reports Christian Today. “Don’t hug it to your chest and keep it to yourself. God created you a certain way. Just because you’ve become a Christian doesn’t mean you become passive.”

“It doesn’t mean you become all-loving and all-caring and there’s no discipline. You got to stand up and become the aggressive person God made you to be or the loving and intelligent person He made you to be.”

Shamrock also the attendees to not let the “seatbelt of sin” prevent them from evangelism. Because that’s what often happens. “The difference between speaking out on something like this is life and death. And when I say that I mean eternal life and eternal damnation.”

“Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to spread God’s Gospel or His Word because it is eternal life or eternal damnation.”

Rodney Howard-Browne: Pray, There Is A Planned Attack On The President

“It’s America’s time to pray.” That’s what evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne says in a video on Facebook in which he revealed more on Christian leaders praying with Donald Trump. He was one of the attendees who prayed with Donald Trump this week in The Oval Office, attracting a lot of media attention. He now says there’s a planned attack on President Trump.

“We have to lift our President in prayer because there is a planned attack on the President. And that’s all I can tell you right now,” the pastor said.

“I know where I’m talking about. I spoke to high-ranking people in the government. And this has been planned by people that hate God, America and our President. And we have to stop this in Jesus Name. And I believe we have the power to do that. I believe that God is going to protect our President.”

“We have to pay for protection, wisdom, direction and that God will surround him with godly leadership.”

“And what I actually prayed over the President is that if the enemy digs a ditch he will fall into it himself.”

“Let’s pray like never before. Maybe you didn’t vote for him, I don’t care. Do you want to live a peaceful life? Then pray! Pray, pray, pray!”


Cesar Carbello Was Brought Back To Life By Jesus During An AMAZING Experience

Check out this powerful testimony of Christ’s redemption and the transformation He did in Cesar Carballo, once a gang member and drug dealer. “My mother is my everything. But at the time she needed a hug. I wanted to hug, but I couldn’t hug her.”

Cesar Carbello found Christ at the moment he had to die after he was shot. “I was literally brought back to life.”

“It was like you are asleep and somebody’s grabs you in your sleep and you’re getting shaken awake. And it was like that.”

“When that hand grabbed me I felt the presence, the majesty, the fire, the life, the glory of Jesus Christ Himself.”

“And when I woke up the doctor was already writing a time of death on my paperwork. And I was looking around for this arm that just grabbed me. And it was nowhere to be seen. Nowhere there.”

“The ER-trauma doctor who was working there for 30 years said he had never seen something like that. There was no medical explanation for what just happened. He then was leaning in and whispered: ‘That was God’.”

Do Good Shepherds Break the Legs of Sheep Who Wander?

Do Good Shepherds Break the Legs of Sheep Who Wander?

Bible prophecy about the coming of the Messiah prepares us to think of Him as a Shepherd, such as this prophetic announcement in the book of Ezekiel:

“I will place over them one shepherd, My servant David, and He will tend them; He will tend them and be their shepherd.”  (Ezekiel 34:23)

Prophecies like this help us understand why an angel was sent to the shepherds of Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago announcing the arrival of this one Good Shepherd:

“There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.’”  (Luke 2:8, 10–11)

But why do the prophets ask us to think of Messiah as our Good Shepherd?


Sheep herders in Israel (Photo by The Advocacy Project)

The shepherd is a prominent, meaningful metaphor in the Bible.

In fact, Adonai is referred to as a shepherd in Genesis 49:24 and Isaiah 40:11.  In the latter, God is described as a tender shepherd who cares for His people, the flock.

“He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.”  (Isaiah 40:11)

In Psalm 23, the Psalmist tells us that the Lord is our shepherd and He protects His flock from evil.

Why is God’s flock compared to sheep and not cattle, chickens, or horses?

Sheep are in need of leadership.  Without it, they wander off and are injured or killed.  Isaiah explains that we “all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way”  (Isaiah 53:6).  This was just as true in his time, 700 years before the birth of Yeshua, as it is now.

It takes special qualities to be a shepherd of sheep and of people.  In ancient Israel, God often appointed those who demonstrated skill and wisdom in their leadership and care for their sheep with the privilege of leading God’s people.


Why Shepherds Can Become Great Leaders

So many great Jewish leaders were shepherds.

God handpicked shepherds with a proven record of trustworthiness in caring for their sheep to be the patriarchs and first leaders of Israel, most notably Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and King David.

What is it about shepherds that they can slip so easily into a leadership role?

For one, shepherds have a lot of time to think as they watch over their animals. According to Rabbi Ken Spiro, time to think is a prerequisite for leadership.

“To elevate oneself to the highest level, where one transcends the physical reality and enters a higher dimension of communicating with the Infinite, requires a huge amount of work, and a lot of time to think.”  (Aish)

Spiro further highlights that shepherds have a great deal of practice managing large groups of living creatures.

Moses-Burning Bush-Shepherd

Moses at the Burning Bush (Bible Primer, 1919)

“One of the great lessons that we need to learn from Jewish history is the difficulty and the challenges of unifying and trying to lead the most individualistic nation on earth.  Being a shepherd is good practice for this daunting task,” adds Spiro.

Although Moses was a prince of Egypt, and likely well-versed in the principles of Egyptian leadership, God prepared him for the task of leading the Israelites through a 40-year position as a shepherd.

It was likely very humbling, and humility is an important quality of a great leader.

Then, when he was ready, God appeared to him in the burning bush and ushered him into the role of leading the Israelites to freedom.

A Good King Praises His Good Shepherd

David was also a shepherd called to lead Israel.

David, who risked his life to protect his sheep from predators such as lions and bears, provides insight into the characteristics of a good shepherd in Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”  (v. 1–3a)

David’s solitude as a shepherd helped him to deeply understand that God was his shepherd.  He understood that he was His sheep.  It is a touching metaphor.

Like sheep, we are totally dependent on our Shepherd to provide our sustenance. The Shepherd is attentive to our needs.  When we enter the flock of the Good Shepherd, His very words feed our soul; His Spirit quenches our thirst, revealing to us mysteries that even the prophets and angels longed to know (1 Peter 1:10–12).

“He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.”  (v. 3b)

David perhaps realizes his own restlessness, and as He turned to God trusting Him with his life, he rested in His faithfulness.

Like sheep, people are restless, prone to wander, always searching for greener grass, and too often oblivious to danger.  Shepherds are watchful, keeping their flock safe from their own tendency to wander.  This protects them from dangerous terrain and waiting predators.

As well, shepherds would customarily create a sheepfold at night or enclosure topped by thorns to keep the sheep in and predators out.  They would sleep across the entrance becoming the door to the fold, effectively barring the entrance so predators could not creep up on them as they slept.


Israeli sheep feed in green pastures.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”  (v. 4)

When sheep do wander into dangerous circumstances, getting caught in a thicket, floating down a river, passing near a predator, the Shepherd uses his tools—the rod and staff—to defend, rescue and bring his sheep back into his protection.

People likewise find themselves in perilous circumstances they never imagined or are unprepared for.  God never abandons us to face those challenges alone.

The rod, often considered a disciplinary tool, is in reality a weapon used to defend sheep by warding off predators.  The staff is used to hook a sheep’s neck or leg to redirect, hold, or nudge them—not to hurt them, but rather to keep them safe.

A popular myth would have us believe that shepherds in ancient Israel broke the leg of a sheep who wanders.  While the leg is healing, it is said that the sheep would become endeared to the shepherd as he nurtures them back to health, carrying the disabled sheep close to his heart.

In reality, it is highly impractical and counterproductive to break a sheep’s leg.  They can weigh up to 75 pounds, so carrying even one disabled sheep would handicap a shepherd, preventing him from caring for his other sheep for several weeks.

Imagine if a shepherd were caring for multiple sheep in this condition!

Moreover, the sheep’s leg might not heal properly which would permanently handicap it from responding to predators.  And, in the end, the sheep might associate the rod and staff with punishment, not comfort and protection, making a shepherd’s job much more difficult.


A Samaritan carries a sheep during Passover.

If shepherds in ancient Israel did disable their sheep by breaking their legs, we would see it reflected in Jewish tradition.  What we see instead is this Midrash written nearly 1,000 years ago about Moses as a shepherd:

“One day, a kid ran away from the flock under Moses’ care.  Moses chased after it, until it came to a spring and began to drink.  When Moses reached the kid he cried: ‘Oh, I did not know that you were thirsty!’  He cradled the runaway kid in his arms and carried it to the flock.  Said the Almighty:  ‘You are merciful in tending sheep—you will tend My flock, the people of Israel.’”  (Shemot Rabbah 2:2)

The revered Lubavitcher Rebbe of the past century helps us understand the more Biblical truth about shepherding:

“Moses realized that the kid did not run away from the flock out of malice or wickedness—it was merely thirsty. … Only a shepherd who hastens not to judge the runaway kid, who is sensitive to the causes of its desertion, can mercifully lift it into his arms and bring it back home.”  (Chabad)

What an incredible lesson for us as well.  Before we judge and condemn our own sheep for what seems to be backsliding, rebellion, or lack of judgment, we have an opportunity to discover the reason for their action so we can more effectively lead them into greener pastures and quieter waters, not into a prison or hospital bed.

Isaiah (40:11) sums up our duties when he says a good shepherd “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”


1955 Israeli stamp

As we continue to read through Psalm 23, David, the shepherd and king, writes:

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”  (v. 5a)

A shepherd will never betray his sheep by allowing him to be taken by a predator; instead, he will keep predators at bay while he leads his sheep to graze.  Though people will fail to protect us in this way or even lead us into danger, our Good Shepherd never does.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  (v. 5b)

When sheep strayed and were injured, shepherds would use oil as a balm to help soothe the pain and heal the hurt.  This gesture is also a symbol of lavish generosity and goodness on the part of a host.

In David’s case, this shepherd was eventually anointed with oil as king.

Likewise, although Yeshua is the King of Kings, He came as a humble shepherd.  When He returns, His exalted kingship will be evident to all.

But we can bring this lesson back to our own level, as well.  God can and does exalt even the most humble of people, much to the chagrin of those who despise them.

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  (v. 6)

David-Bible illustrations-Shepherd-lion-bear

David defends his flock from predators (Delightful Stories, 1888)

Sheep are the most precious and valuable asset a shepherd has; therefore, a good shepherd treats them as a treasure. 

At great personal sacrifice, he is responsible for his flock throughout their lifespan, similar to nurses who watch over critically ill patients throughout the night, even after their 12-hour shift is finished to make sure their patients make it to their next treatment.

Likewise, Yeshua is such a Shepherd.  He will never abandon us, providing for us sacrificially.  He has even laid down His life for us.  (John 10)

Selfish Shepherding

The Prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah confirm that God looks on leadership like shepherding.  He is so concerned that leaders take the responsibility of shepherding seriously that He says He abhors shepherds who fail to care for their flock:

“Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!  Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.

“You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.  You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

“So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.”  (Ezekiel 34:3–5)

But He also promises to send the Good Shepherd to care for His sheep:

“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and He will tend them; He will tend them and be their shepherd.  I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them.  I the LORD have spoken.”  (Ezekiel 34:23–24)

This servant shepherd is Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, who as promised came from the line of David.


Children visit the sheep in the pen at a kibbutz in Israel.  (Photo by Wanderlasss)

Yeshua: The Good Shepherd

Yeshua came in fulfillment of God’s promise to send a good Shepherd to Israel.

In the period He was born, however, the shopkeeper and doctor had been raised up in social status while the religious leaders despised and mistrusted shepherds, officially condemning them as “sinners.”

Yet, Yeshua did not come to exalt Himself in the eyes of the religious establishment.  He fully understood His role as the Good Shepherd, coming humbly to “seek and save the lost”—His sheep (Luke 19:10).

Yeshua explained it this way: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders.”  (Luke 15:4–7)

The joy in finding what is lost but precious is further illustrated by the parable of the father who throws a grand banquet for his wandering son who returns home.  No punishment.  No shaming.  Just pure joy.  (Luke 15:11–32; see also vv. 8–10)


A sheep in the flock (Photo by Wanderlasss)

Like a good shepherd, Yeshua has persistently called out to His scattered sheep who have not yet come under His care and protection as their Messiah.

And even though He first came to the Jewish People as the Shepherd King of Israel, Yeshua made it clear that some of His sheep are not Jewish:

“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”  (John 10:16; see also Deuteronomy 32:21; Zechariah 2:11; Isaiah 49:22, 62:6–7)

Certainly, in the last 2,000 years, we have seen a great number from the nations hear the call of Yeshua and accept Him as their Messiah.  And we understand that when the fullness of the Gentiles is complete, all Israel will also be saved.

That prophetic time is not far off.  In the meantime, we are to care for the flock of the Shepherd of Israel.

Indeed, Yeshua instructed:  “Feed My lambs. … Take care of My sheep. … Feed My sheep.”  (John 21:15–17)

And while we are caring for the sheep under our watch — employees, students, patients, and children — we must continue to bless Israel.

“Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”  (Psalm 28:9)

Son Franklin Graham Reports on Rev. Billy Graham’s Condition before 99th Birthday

As the Rev. Billy Graham approaches his 99th birthday this fall, his son the Rev. Franklin Graham provided an update on the famous evangelist’s condition.

Although Graham is mostly house-bound due to the physical constraints of his age, the younger Graham shared that he is doing well and still enjoys seeing family and friends.

“He is doing well, he does have the physical challenges that come with his age,” Franklin Graham recently wrote on his Facebook page, as reported by FaithWire.com. “He enjoys visits from family members, including his sister who is his only remaining sibling. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren also come by more frequently in these summer months.”

The elder Graham also enjoys visits from his pastor, Don Wilton. Wilton visits Graham every week–something he has been doing for the past 20 years.

Graham also enjoys the company of his cat, called “Kitty.” Kitty was a present to Graham from his children for his 90th birthday.

For years, Graham has faithfully preached the gospel and he is a beloved figure for many.

The younger Graham ended his post by thanking his followers for praying for his father: “Thank you for your concern and prayers for him—you really don’t know how much that means to our family.”

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