Archive for: June, 2007

The plywood coffin of Ruth Graham

Ruth Bell Graham, wife of the renowned evangelist, passed on a few days ago. Her coffin, it was reported, was made of plywood by several inmates at a major prison facility in the South.

Billy Graham prayed then kissed a red rose and placed it atop the coffin.

Perhaps making your own simple “box” may appeal to some of you. It does to me. The savings, methinks, would be considerable and such a project might increase one’s humility. At least, it should.

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Gone from here but not forgotten

Another Father’s Day is upon us. I am, like you, remembering Dad. George Andrew Anderson was his name. Needless to say, he wasn’t a perfect man but he was a good man in the opinion of one who observed him day by day.

The defining moment of his life was World War 2. He came back from Europe a changed man, everyone said. He felt spared by God and lived accordingly. He had witnessed devasting loss of life and property. After that experience, material possessions meant very little to him.

He read the Bible with us each evening and prayed. As a lad, I would peep through the crack in his bedroom door to see him in his pajamas, kneeling on his bed before God.

Dad, known to his students as Dr. Anderson, taught at a number of Christian colleges in the South. Clinton, SC. Montreat, NC and Bristol, TN. Prior to his death, we often talked about non-traditional church issues and he was very open to them and encouraged me to continue my informal research.

He was both thrifty and generous. Thrifty, because he lived through the Great Depression on a farm in Virginia.

After his death, I was sifting through his papers and found a number of cancelled checks to “Jesus to the Communist World.” (This was a ministry of Richard Wurmbrand, now called “Voice of the Martyrs.”) They were very large checks for a man of his means. Several were for more than 10 thousand dollars. The phrase “Bible distribution” appeared on the comment line of each check. Perhaps some of these Bibles led to conversions which resulted in house churches in Russia and China. I’d sure say so but only God knows.

Mom and Dad raised six boys and one girl. I was second from the last and have sometimes thought that if he had believed in and practised modern birth control, I would not be here… After we children left the nest they adopted two others – young adults for a period of a few years each.

Dad was a most unforgettable people-loving, Jesus-loving guy who used his humble home for the Kingdom. I look forward to meeting him again in that eternal place beyond the skies.

How, may I ask, does/did your father or grandfather influence you in intentional and unintentional ways?

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