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The Day Billy Graham Came To Camden Yards

Billy Graham preaching final public sermon at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland
April 5, 2021

“I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s death,” the woman on the phone said to my wife. Ava was a little confused since I was very much alive in the next room. Which is exactly what she told the caller. A moment later, my wife hung up after the woman realized she had the wrong David Paul.

Ironically, I knew exactly who she was talking about. A day earlier I had seen the death notice for my namesake in the newspaper. Other than the same first and last name, the details of our lives were pretty different. Still, I had never seen my name attached to an obituary and it was a little jarring. I even cut it out of the paper and saved it for years.

It was a tangible reminder of Psalm 90:12…my favorite verse in the Bible. “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” My life is finite on this earth. So is yours. Living with that perspective every day can be a game changer.

I don’t know if Billy Graham pondered that truth much, but he lived his life as if he did. Most of Dr. Graham’s public ministry was over when I began to truly appreciate how God had used him over many decades.

I was among the thousands of people who were at Camden Yards on July 7, 2006 when Billy Graham preached his final public sermon. We didn’t know we were watching history, but I think many of us knew that was possible. Dr. Graham was frail and it clearly took a lot of effort for him to preach on the final day of his son, Franklin Graham’s, three day evangelistic meetings in Baltimore.

That was a profoundly meaningful day for me that came to mean even more as the years have ticked by. Especially since my favorite verse, Psalm 90:12, has started to have a fresh application for me.

In the premiere episode of Long Story Short, my podcast about living an intentional life, I weave together the story of this remarkable preacher, Psalm 90:12, and a precise spot in Camden Yards. This is a really fun episode and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

But, even more so, I hope it helps you live your life a little more intentionally.

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