From Ramez Athalla (via Leighton Ford)

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I feel it is most appropriate, when talking about Reconciliation today, to honor Billy Graham who did more than anyone else in our lifetime in proclaiming worldwide the message of reconciliation.




Ø He insisted on integrated crusades

Ø He included RC & Orthodox leaders of the countries in which he preached on the platform with him.

Ø He called for and raised for funds for the Lausanne Congress of 1974 which resulted in the Lausanne movement which still challenges evangelicals to work together in the task of World Evangelization.

Ø He planned several Evangelists’ conferences to especially train national evangelists

Ø He refused to be “politicized” – and when he made statements he later regretted having made, he apologized.

Ø He was a model of moral and financial integrity


As we remember his life and honor him in his death let us commit ourselves to emulate his exemplary lifestyle.   


A Prayer for Growing Old

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The Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen.

From Aging Matters, R. Paul Stevens pg. 113-114

If God Is There…(Leighton Ford)

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Sunday morning I listened to On Being – an interview with Mary Karr, poet and author of The Art of Memoir.

She went to church one day years ago when her small son said he wanted to go to see “if God is there.”

That was the beginning for her.

Do listen on line . her language is salty .. the way she expresses her faith is catching

She recommends to her atheist friends to try praying for 30 days to see if life is better, and because it is a practice of hope.

It makes for interesting and provocative listening!

Leighton Ford

Good News Is For Sharing – Colin McCartney

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“After a conference in Alberta I was walking across a river in Banff and came across a young man gazing at the beauty of the river while smoking marijuana.

I approached him simply because where he stood was a wonderful view. He had a French accent so I asked him where he was from. When he told me he was from Montreal I told him I was born and lived there as well.

This opened up a common ground as we talked about our beloved city. I then asked him what a good Montrealer like him was doing in Banff.

In between puffs of his weed he told me he was searching for the meaning of life. I said a quiet prayer and told him how I had found the meaning of life.  I shared my story of an accident in which I had broken my neck and could have died. That was my time in which I experienced the meaning of life, as being God’s son whom he loves and is pleased with.

We talked back and forth about God as a loving father not a brooding judge. That led me to speak about God’s love revealed in Jesus Christ and what Jesus did for us. I didn’t ask him to get on his knees and say the prayer right there in the spot but I did tell him that God is crazy about him and has already forgiven him if he would just accept his grace through repentance and trusting Jesus.”


Rev. Colin McCartney is the founder of UrbanPromise Toronto and current President and Founder of Connect Ministries. Rev. McCartney has appeared on Canadian television, radio and national newspapers regarding urban issues. He is an author of two best sellers (“The Beautiful Disappointment” and “Red Letter Revolution”, Castle Quay Publishers), mentor to pastors and business people and is in high demand as a ministry trainer and coach. Colin is also a popular speaker who has spoken to audiences as large as 7,000


Taken from Good News Is For Sharing (Leighton Ford Ministries, Revised Edition, 2017)

Sandy: A Heart For God

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November 27th marks the 36th anniversary of Sandy Ford’s passing. Through his amazing, short life on earth, he influenced an incredible number of people. Through Leighton’s loving retelling of his son’s life, Sandy has influenced countless more.

Have you ever read Sandy: A Heart For God? If not, this is a great opportunity to not only read a book but also to meet a young man you will never forget, a young man who ran his race for God with uncommon determination and impact. It is a book you will cherish and will want to pass on to the young men and women in your life.

It is available through both Amazon and InterVarsity Press.

Click here to purchase the Kindle edition for $5.99.


Can We Ever Have Completely Pure Motives? (Leighton Ford)

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There have been moments in my own work when I have been preparing to speak to a group. At such times I have found that as I get quiet I also become troubled. The inner voice of God’s Spirit speaks to my conscience and reminds me of pride, or laziness, or impurity, or failure to pray or prepare. At moments like this, all I can say is, “My God, I come before you with mixed motives and an impure heart. I am a sinful man. Forgive me for Christ’s sake. Fill me with your Spirit, and use me just as I am”.  Then I stand and speak and minister, confident that only God knows my heart well enough to sort out the pure from the impure. I give him all I know of myself and ask his forgiveness where necessary. If I were to wait until I was one hundred percent sure that my motives were pure I would never speak or serve or minister! I would be completely paralyzed. Only one person was totally devoted to another’s cause, and that was Jesus Christ, my leader. Since he has graciously called me, forgiven me and included me in his family, I seek, however imperfectly, to serve his cause.


Leighton Ford


From Transforming Leadership (1991, IVP).

There’s Good News Today (Leighton Ford)

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A few days ago I was speaking at a church in the mountains, and asked a question that dated me.

“Does anyone here recognize the name of Gabriel Heatter?”

Quite a few hands went up, which also dated them. Gabriel Heatter was a nationally respected radio newscaster during the dark days of World War II, well known for his signature sign-off: “There’s good news today.”

His name came back to me recently when my wife and I were watching the national news, and it was all so bad that I got up and walked away.

Later I remembered a little story tucked away in the Bible. The Israelis in the city of Samaria were desperate, under siege by an enemy army. Food was running out. Even children were being eaten.

Four leprous men were sitting outside the city, shut out because of their disease. One of them finally said, “We’ll die if we stay here. The worst the enemy can do is kill us. Let’s take a chance and go to their camp and see if they’ll spare us.”

When they got there they were astounded. The enemy camp was deserted! The Lord had sent in the wind the sound of a great army coming and the enemy had fled. The four leprous men started to grab for themselves the food, weapons, treasures left behind. Then one said, “This is wrong. This is a day of good news. If we don’t tell it we will be guilty.” So they ran back to tell what they had found.

They were evangelists those four men! Evangelists in the sense of being good-news-tellers.

I was ordained as an evangelist. Some times I am hesitant at first to be introduced that way, only because “evangelist” is a much misused and abused term. Advocates of any one of many causes are often dubbed evangelists. And some evangelists have given the word a negative connotation.

I am honored to be an evangelist because the word itself, classically and in the Bible, simply means a bearer of the evangel. Five centuries ago William Tyndale, one of the first translators of the English Bible, wrote that the Greek word “signifieth good, merry, and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” Nothing to be ashamed of there!

I was ordained years ago to preach the good news of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That I hope to do as long as I live. I have also decided that I want to notice some everyday good news, and tell about it.

“What good news do you have” I asked a ninety-year old retired pastor who is suffering back pain. “We talk too much about health, not enough about hope,” he said. “Health is blown away like the wind. Hope opens a door to the future.”

Over lunch I asked a young public defender who he was representing last fall when he walked as a peacemaker between the police lines and the protesters. “Just me,” he smiled. “I had friends among the police. I knew many of the protesters. And I knew God wanted me there.”

I know a woman at a local Y who interrupts her morning workout each day to listen to a veteran of two wars, who is recovering from surgery, and just needs someone to talk to.

You and I can hardly avoid the bad news that bombards us 24/7. And we may not be able to stop the violence, cruelty, and the bitter divisions and name-calling on a macro scale. But, as my late friend George Beverly Shea used to sing, “Little is much if God is in it.” Small acts can be good news

So I want to be like those four men outside Samaria who could not keep quiet about what God had done. I plan to look every day for some bits of good news, and to pass it on.

I invite you to join me!

Leighton Ford

Originally published in the Charlotte Observer on July 8, 2017

The ‘Whisper of Things’ (Leighton Ford)

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During a recent installment of her wonderful radio program, On Being, Krista Tippett was interviewing the artist/philosopher Enrique Martinez Celaya.

Ms. Tippett: You use the word “whisper” a lot — do you know that? — in your writing.

Mr. Martínez Celaya: I didn’t know that.

Ms. Tippett: “The whisper of the order of things.” And then you said somewhere, “The whisper is faint, but the best art helps us to hear it.”

Mr. Martínez Celaya: Yeah, I mean I think the reason why I use “whisper” is because maybe — maybe I have little ears.

But it seems that both in science and art and anything — in anything, the truth is not screaming that much. And I think that you have to be attentive, silent enough, be able to look and listen very, very carefully. And even then, you have to be very lucky to hear something. But when you do hear something, it’s transformative. And that order of things, that more stable reality underneath the appearance of things, is life-changing. And I think scientists will say that’s the case, and I think poets, and I think theologists — I mean I think everybody agrees that truth is — requires some suppressing of other things to see it.”

This makes me think of the “still, small voice” of Scripture!

Leighton Ford

Beauty, Song, and St. Patrick’s Day (Leighton Ford)

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I have been reading the book Beauty by the Irish poet-philosopher John O’Donohue.

He writes about the beauty that is in music this way: “Often in the human voice things long lost in the valleys of the mind can unexpectedly surface.”

This made me think about my dear brother-in-law Billy. At 98 years old he is profoundly deaf. He can’t hear me speak because my voice is deep and he can’t hear Jeanie because her voice is soft but I have found that if I sing he can hear.

Some months ago we were with him and as usual he couldn’t hear what was being said so the four of us who were with him decided to sing some of his old crusade songs: “To God Be The Glory”; “My Jesus, I Love Thee”; “Blessed Assurance”.

When we stopped he said, simply, “Sing more”.

So we sang “How Great Thou Art” and when we finished he quietly breathed “Amen”.

I believe that the beauty of music touched the deep beauty of Christ
in his soul.

It led me to think we ought to be more like the Psalmist, singing his great songs of praise and sometimes desolation, and like Paul who encouraged us to sing to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs the beauty of the Spirit through our voices.

And perhaps on this St. Patrick’s Day we should consider being more like the Celts, whose soulful and haunting music has touched and touches so many souls. In classic Celtic music the melodic line moves up and down the primary chords. Students of music tell us that this is because such a melodic progression makes it easier to sing in harmony – so that the gifts of each can bring richness and beauty to the whole.

Leighton Ford

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