Goodbye Billy Graham and God Bless You

“There is a great identity crisis among students today. Who am I? What is the purpose of life? Where did I come from? Where am I going? The Bible has a direct answer to these questions.”

– Billy Graham

Guys,

In October 2017 I published my first book on Kindle Direct Publishing. That book was a short biography on Billy Graham. I have written nine other books since then, but that first book was very special because it was about Billy Graham. Billy Graham had a profound impact on my life. That’s why I love writing about him.

I have read Mr. Graham’s autobiography countless times. I listen to the audiobook whenever I drive and I’ve read the huge printed copy half a dozen times. I love his simple writing style and his humble and profound message about God.

I felt privileged and honored to write about Billy Graham. His life and message inspired me to give my life to Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that Billy Graham is in heaven enjoying the fruits of his long labor for the Lord. God bless you all and God bless Billy Graham. May he rest in peace.

Introduction

Billy Graham was America’s most famous Evangelist. He preached a positive, personal relationship with God. His message transcended all class and ethnic divisions.

Graham grew up with an All- American dream to play baseball. Instead, he became the most celebrated religious figure of the 20th century. Confident to presidents and prime ministers, and friends with royalty and Hollywood stars. A voice of truth to millions who heard and received his message. A comforting voice to a nation in its most painful hours. A man who accredited others with his achievements and God with his successes. He will likely have no equal in our lifetime. He was Billy Graham.

Graham’s mission was a simple message of profound spirituality and social compassion He was free of the dark scandals, financial or sexual, that cast a shadow on the reputation of so many other preachers. His sincerity was transparent and convincing, and cannot be denied. Graham was an icon essential to a country that was founded on faith.

Spiritual Crisis

On the eve of the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, an old friend who had become an atheist influenced Graham. Billy found himself assailed by doubt about the Bible’s trustworthiness. Billy knew in his heart that these doubts would destroy his effectiveness to be able to preach the Gospel.

His spiritual crisis was finally resolved at a conference center east of Los Angeles.

“I began to study the subject intensively,” he said later. “I also thought of Christ’s own attitude toward the Scriptures, and how he never once imitated they might be false. Then one night I got my Bible, and I went out in the moonlight and put it on a stump and knelt down. I said, ‘Oh God, I cannot prove everything. I cannot answer all the questions. But by faith, I accept this Book as the Word of God.’ From that moment on I have never doubted God’s Word. When I quote the Bible, I believe I am quoting the very Word of God, and there is an extra power in it. One month later, we began the Los Angeles Crusade.” said Billy Graham.

The same message he had preached to the cypress stumps as a Bible student in Florida he would take to the nations of the world. Graham’s growing influence and prestige brought him to the attention of the famous and influential, from Hollywood celebrities, to corporate moguls, and significantly, to those who occupied the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Over the years Graham’s friendship with eleven American presidents earned him the title of “Pastor to the Presidents.” From Truman to Bush II, Graham was the spiritual guide to the most powerful men in the world.

What I Will Miss the Most

It is Billy Graham’s voice that I miss the most. The beguiling yet commanding North Carolina drawl, along with his stab of a finger, itself as sure as Billy’s faith in God. “The Bible says …” Graham would announce, pointing to the book that seemed permanently attached to his other hand. And then he would tell us what it said and why it meant what it said and why we must give our lives over to it. . Unlike many traditional evangelists, he abandoned narrow fundamentalism to engage broader society. His speeches let us all know “The Word,” as Christians understand it, is eternal. Its Graham’s voice, which for decades seemed just as enduring, is suddenly gone.

Billy Graham’s Impact

Billy Graham at the apex of his international stature faced the closing years of the century. His sense of calling remained the same. His sense of where that calling was taking him was new. In the late 1980’s, Responding to fledging opportunities to hold meetings in Eastern Europe, and later in the Soviet Union, Billy Graham withstood criticism from many, who accused him of compromising his faith for political expediency.

Those first meetings may have only been a crack in the wall holding back freedom behind the Iron Curtain. But it would allow the first gleams of light to energize the efforts of others. Within a decade, the Soviet wall would collapse.

Over the years, Graham has certainly had his critics. Yet, the consistency of his character and integrity of his life have turned more than one enemy into a lifelong friend. Graham has participated in every Presidential inauguration since Lyndon B. Johnson became President. He’s been a counselor and friend to eleven Presidents, including special relationships with Presidents Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Graham has preached his message of the good news of faith in Jesus Christ to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history- over 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories have heard him face-to-face. His pioneering use of television and radio helped him to spread the Gospel around the world. Over six decades Graham preached and as late as 2005 was attracting crowds of over 242,000.

Millions more have been touched by his voice on radio and television motion pictures. He had authored 23 books, many of them best sellers. The list of his honors and awards is endless. Arguably Billy Graham was one of the most influential men of the 20th century. I have no doubt he is happy and in heaven. God bless you, Mr. Graham, you will be missed.

 

Being Jack’s Grandfather

“There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson.”

– Victor Hugo

I love learning. My greatest lessons haven’t been in a classroom, but from grandson Jack. Let me tell you about being Jack’s grandfather and what he’s taught me.

Intro

Two years ago I became a grandparent. My wife Muna is the love of my life, but my grandson Jack is the joy of my life. Jack is love, pure and simple.

Family

Family life is deeply felt through births and the departures of loved ones. The adding and subtraction of loved ones makes a family close. A death is grief and loss. The death of a beloved family member is an amputation. A birth in a family is an addition and celebration. The birth of a grandchild makes you feel immortal. It is a second chance to love again.

Meeting Jack

Meeting Jack for the first time did something to me. I’ve heard people talk about religious experiences, but I’ve never had one until I met Jack. The first time I met Jack something in me changed. I was hit with an intense and unexpected joy. I looked at him, and I knew that I could never love anything in my life as much I loved Jack.

Jack made me succumb to love beyond reason. Being Jack’s grandfather is what I put on this earth to do. If I had known how wonderful it was to have a grandson, I would have done it first.

Being a Grandfather

I don’t have kids. My wife shares her two wonderful kids with me. Both of them are grown and in their early twenties. Muna had Rebecca young. Rebecca had Jack young. This explains why we are grandparents in our 40’s.

Being Jack’s grandfather is the most vivid and transforming experience of my life. Jack made me an extraordinary witness to life. Being a grandfather is a great feast of life. It allows you devour the things you love about being alive.

Jack is a reminder of the unending love of God. Being Jack’s grandfather has strengthened my faith. I feel God’s love every time I see him smile. He makes my heart sing when he laughs. Jack is a glimpse into the greatness of life. My time with him has been precious. My memories with him are the happiest of my life.

Knowing Jack

Jack has light brown hair and blue eyes. Jack is chunky and always smiling. Jack is a great toddler. He never cries unless he is really upset. Jack watches everything. He never gets bored. Everything seems to make Jack laugh.

Jack has given me an understanding of love I never knew before. Being a grandfather is a wider and greater love than I’ve ever known. Becoming a grandfather altered my identity and changed my place in the world.

Your forties are a strange place. You are not old, but you are not young. I do not feel old enough to be a grandparent. I have friends my age who are just having kids. My father was my age when I was born.

Jack taught me time couldn’t be measured by a clock. Time approaches in waves, unexpected and sudden. Being a grandparent moved me up a notch in the life cycle. The change in our lives as grandparents was big and unexpected. Jack was a great addition to our lives. He is a constant source of love and inspiration to us both.

My own experience as a grandchild is limited. My father’s dad died before I was born. His mother died when I was young. My mom’s parents were good people, but I hardly knew them. They lived far away.

I’ve never had kids. With Jack, I got to skip all the hard work and jump to the joy of being a grandparent. DNA has nothing to do with commitment or love. I will always love Jack. He is my grandson, case closed.

Lessons from Jack

Spending time with Jack is a joy. Jack is an indiscriminate, nonjudgmental lover of everything. His joy is contagious. Jack’s response to anything loud, soft or spongy is ecstatic. Jack laughs and giggles at everything.

Jack always lives in the moment. His entire world is the here and now. I have to be in the here and now to keep up with him. I tickle and play with him while keeping him from eating dog food (his favorite thing). I am not in-charge of Jack. His parents set the rules.

I treasure my time with him because it’s limited. We watch him once or twice a week. I always look forward to seeing him. Jack always makes my day better and lighter. Jack is always happy to see him, and I am always overjoyed when it’s our turn to babysit him.

There is a golden rule for being a grandparent: “Keep Thy Opinions to Thyself.” My dad once said, “Only give advice if asked or in a life-threatening situation.”

Jack’s parents are young, but they are great parents. What advice could I give? I’ve never had kids. Jack is the first time I’ve ever changed diapers, an experience I’ll always remember. There is a reason young people have babies. They have the energy for it.

Jack’s Gifts

Jack is his own person. As Jack’s grandpa, I have few expectations or agendas. I want him to have a happy, healthy life, that’s it. Jack is a free pass to act like an imbecile. Playing with Jack and making him laugh is my all-time favorite thing to do. Jack has given me a “pure and nearly perfect love.”

My Mission

I want to add something of enduring value to Jack. I want to help guide him through the mystery and wonder of life. I will always let him know he is loved and cherished. I will be there for him. I will try to answer all the questions he asks. I will try to harvest the lessons of my own life to give him wisdom, love, and understanding.

My own pledge to Jack is that I will always do my best to have a heart full of love for him, arms that will always hug him, ears that will truly listen and an understanding that is never-ending. Being Jack’s grandfather is the greatest joy of my life so far.

I gotta go, “Little Einsteins” is on…nothing beats Little Einsteins according to Jack, lol!

Dom’s Plan to Earn Cash and Make Money

“You can be ‘a victim’ or ‘a volunteer’, it’s all about how hard you want to work.”
– Thomas E. Arenberg, Senior Executive (retired), Accenture

Too often I’ve seen dumb, lazy people making more money than me. How do they do this? What is it I am not doing?

Passive income is the Holy Grail way of earning cash and making money.

According to Wikipedia, “Passive income is income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it.”
Passive income: How do I make it?

I am going to do four new things to make money.

1. Become an Amazon Bestselling Author

I wrote my first ebook four months ago, and I’ve made $500 in that time. I don’t make a lot of money at what I do, but I do get to do what I love- that’s priceless! I will tell you about a lot of other authors who have made a lot more. The main thing was just getting brave enough to put my ebooks out there. I know dozens of other great writers who were still wondering if they should publish too.

2. Dropshipping

Another idea for passive income is dropshipping.
What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail method where products are shipped to customers directly from the supplier instead of to you.

Here is a basic overview of how it works: 1. Customers place an order on your website.
2. Next, you place the order with your Supplier.
3. The Supplier ships your Customer the Product.

Bottomline: You keep the profit, minus the price you paid your Supplier and other fees.

Why do dropshipping?

1. You don’t carry any inventory.
2. You purchase products only after a Customer has placed an order and paid for the Product.
3. Your Supplier handles the warehousing, and shipping of the products.

Bottomline: Dropshipping saves you a great deal of time and money. You act as the middleman in the exchange.

What I like about that is you can make on Dropshipping, is by learning how to find products that have a pretty good profit margin, and listing them by following a simple system.

Imagine you had five products that each sold ONLY for a profit of $100 each month. Maybe the spread on some of them is only a meager $20 profit margin. You would need to sell five of those over 30 days to reach $100 a month. Dropshipping is solely a part-time income.

3. Make YouTube Videos

Making money with a simple YouTube channel is easy for anyone with access to the internet. I am learning how to use AdSense, to being an affiliate, and to selling products on my YouTube. I am learning there are numerous ways to make a passive income from a small YouTube Channel.

4. Become a Udemy Instructor

Udemy is an online learning platform. I want to teach courses in the military history category focusing on World War I and World War II. Udemy has no classes on the World Wars.

The World Wars are my jam and a subject I feel very comfortable with. There is a big demand for World War I because the 100th Anniversary of the conclusion of the war is in November 2018. That’s my deadline to become a recognized “expert” on World War I.

How to think about Cash Flow and Passive Income

My goal when I first published on Amazon was a monthly passive income that increases monthly in $100 increments. My first month by first two books made $100 and then the second month it $200, you get the idea.

I want to change the way I think about money (and in particular expenses) in a fresh way. This ties into what I was talking with about earlier. I trying to think of the simplest things somebody can do is to make an extra block of money each month.
I asked myself these questions:

1. What would an extra $500 a month mean to my family and me?
2. Would I be willing to learn NEW skills to accomplish this in 2018?
3. How would I like set a Facebook Business Page group where people could ask me any question about anything dealing with World War I or World War II?
4. Can I see myself changing my life and my finances $100 per month at a time?
5. Can I challenge myself to make AT LEAST $100 in passive monthly income within the next 30 days?
6. Would do I need to learn to enact this system and change my life forever?

My Goal– Tying It All Together

I want to create and sell my courses by April 2018. I want to completely replace and surpass my income as a full-time writer, instructor, and part-time dropshipper.

With the Udemy Course, I will write a book about World War I. I will do a podcast, YouTube Channel, and audiobook from my course material. All of those will generate cash flow and passive income.

None of these paths is easy. All of them take me way out of my comfort zone. I have to learn new skills and do things I am not comfortable with or necessarily want to learn. But I think the rewards will be worth it. Looking back through my life, it’s time this like that I remember that I am my best self because I have to strive and work hard. I’ll keep you posted.