Take It Easy

Les Feldman

In preparation for this month, I endeavor to take a break from the depressing world news. It will still be there while I take a breather and look to the lighter and brighter side of things. 

I like to watch and listen to classic videos of the late Reverend Billy Graham; that voice, his echo chamber delivery, the tall handsome silhouette behind the microphone and the well-delivered word and wit so distinctly Billy Graham.

Taking it easy

From time to time, I share the videos with friends. Unfortunately, most are in black and white, and they are a bit spotty due to 1950-70’s technology, but the message and BG delivery more than compensate to be treasured and shared.

Funny things were bound to happen over six-plus decades of worldwide ministry. Here are a few humorous accounts from the life of Billy Graham, as retold by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at BGEA.org


Directionally Challenged?

The Rev. Billy Graham

Billy Graham once told about the time in a small town when he asked a boy how to get to the post office. After getting directions, Mr. Graham invited him to come to his Crusade that evening.

“You can hear me telling everyone how to get to heaven,” he told the boy.

The boy’s response: “I don’t think I’ll be there. You don’t even know your way to the post office.”



“I heard about a man some time ago who had a watermelon patch, and some young rascals in the community were stealing him blind.

“So he said, ‘All right, I’ll get ’em.’ So he put up a sign in his watermelon patch that said, ‘One of these melons is poison.’ He went to bed and got up the next morning, and sure enough they hadn’t stolen a watermelon. Everything was the same, except the sign had been changed. It now read, ‘Two of these watermelons is poison.’”


Riding the Elevator

“I was coming down on an elevator with some friends of mine and a man got on about the fifth floor and said, ‘I hear Billy Graham is on this elevator,’ and one of my friends pointed in my direction and said, ‘Yes, there he is.’

“The man looked me up and down for about 30 seconds and he said, ‘My, what an anticlimax.’”


Into the Rainstorm

When one of Billy Graham’s uncles died, he was about to begin a Crusade in Kansas. To make the funeral in time, he and George Beverly Shea boarded a small plane headed for Oklahoma — and flown by a student pilot. Mr. Graham wrote:

“We soon flew into a rainstorm. To cover my anxiety, I talked to the pilot again.

“‘What do you do for a living?’ I asked him.

“‘I lay carpet.’

“‘He lays carpet,’ repeated Bev with a doubtful nod.

“The worse the storm became, the more I talked.

“‘By the way, how long have you been flying?’

“‘Well, I’ve been working at it, off and on, for six months,’ he said proudly.

“‘I suppose you have your pilot’s license?’

“‘Oh, yes, sir, I have my pilot’s license,’ he assured me.

“‘And you have your license to carry passengers?’

“‘Well, no, sir, I don’t have that yet,’ he admitted.

“‘Don’t have that yet,’ repeated Bev, nodding in my direction.

“‘Have you ever flown this plane before?’ I asked, suspecting the answer.

“‘Not this plane,’ he said.

“‘Not this plane,’ repeated Bev, this time shaking his head.

“Bev and I would have jumped if only we could have found the chutes.”


A Comment from the Crowd

Billy liked to tell the story of a pastor who said in a sermon, “Apart from Christ, there was never a perfect man.” Someone in the congregation interrupted him, saying, “Oh yes, there was. My wife’s first husband!”


A Great Impact

Some years ago I was on a plane, and sitting across from me was the mayor of Charlotte, John Belk. There was a man sitting near us who was obviously intoxicated. He was acting boisterous and rude, bothering people around him, harassing the flight attendants and even trying to pinch women who made their way down the aisle. Trying to distract him and perhaps calm him down, John Belk tapped him on the shoulder, pointed in my direction, and said, “Do you know who’s sitting right there?”

“Who?” the man answered.

“That’s Billy Graham.”

The man jumped from his seat, came over to me with his hand extended, and said enthusiastically, “Put ‘er there, Reverend. Your preaching has done me so much good!”


Hit Me Again

“I heard about a man who was supposed to preach for 20 minutes, and he spoke for 30 and 40 and 50. An hour and 20 minutes later he was still speaking. The man who introduced him couldn’t stand it any longer and he picked up a gavel and threw it at the speaker. It missed the speaker and hit a man in the front row, and as the man in the front row was going into subconsciousness, he said, ‘Hit me again, I can still hear him.’”


This month we cover feature a serious subject: Kids that age out of Foster care. We as a society scantly provide some basic care for effected children who enter the portal of foster care mostly through the court system from abuse, neglect or abandonment, and when they turn 18, they are cut loose into society on their own, with little to no money, no safe place to live and ill prepared with no visible safety net. Please read this month’s feature about Big Children’s Foundation and the incredibly impactful work they are doing. The story starts on page 28.

For more stories, visit https://www.goodnewsfl.org/

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