The evangelist Billy Graham has died aged 99. Here are some quotes, first from his 1997 autobiography, Just As I Am:
- Graham was a 20-year-old college student taking a moonlight stroll on a golf course at the Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, Florida, when he decided to dedicate his life to preaching the Gospel:
'No sign in the heavens. No voice from above. But in my spirit I knew I had been called to the ministry. And I knew my answer was yes.'
- After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the Mayo Clinic, Graham said his illness brought him closer to God:
'Suffering is part of the human condition and it comes to us all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to Him in trust and confidence.'
- On a lingering regret about spending so much time away from his family as he preached around the world:
'Every day I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.'
- On his years spent counseling presidents:
'If I had to do it over again, I would also avoid any semblance of involvement in partisan politics. An evangelist is called to do one thing, and one thing only: to proclaim the Gospel. Becoming involved in strictly political issues or partisan politics dilutes the evangelist's impact and compromises his message.'
- On dying:
'I know that soon my life will be over. I thank God for it, and for all He has given me in this life. But I look forward to Heaven.'
'My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world.'
'Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.'
'The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.'
'Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.'
'No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.'
'Believers, look up – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.'
'When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.'
'Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
'God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.'
'A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.'
'God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, "I love you."'
'I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.'
Additional reporting by Reuters.
Other sources: AJC.com, Brainyquotes.com