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254 of 257 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing You Real Peace In Your Final Days
As I read this book the words "peace" and "simple" kept popping into my mind. Billy Graham is the master of keeping things simple, and of communicating the message of the gospel leading to peace in one's life like no one else I know. In this short book Graham honestly and simply addresses the aches and pains of aging, preparing for and how to handle finances, what to...
Published on October 18, 2011 by David P. Craig

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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay but slightly depressing
Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well" by Billy Graham.

As the title suggests Billy Graham is writing about looking at how we finish our race. He has given many wisdom's about dealing with limitations that this part of life can bring. Also included are wise preparations that people need to look at and not just ignore. Some of these things are spiritual...
Published on November 25, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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254 of 257 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing You Real Peace In Your Final Days, October 18, 2011
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This review is from: Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well (Kindle Edition)
As I read this book the words "peace" and "simple" kept popping into my mind. Billy Graham is the master of keeping things simple, and of communicating the message of the gospel leading to peace in one's life like no one else I know. In this short book Graham honestly and simply addresses the aches and pains of aging, preparing for and how to handle finances, what to focus on (what will last beyond the grave), and what to spend your time on so that you will indeed finish well. He doesn't water down the difficulties of aging, but he is helpful in showing practically what to focus on so that you can finish your life well and leave a positive legacy for those you leave behind.

I wouldn't say this is a great book, but it was definitely written by a great man. Reading the book brought tears to my eyes, because I don't know if we will ever see a Christian have the influence that Graham had worldwide in our lifetimes. Though the book is simple, and not necessarily groundbreaking or earthshaking in its message - it is powerful and carries the weight of authority because it is backed by the one-two punch of Biblical authority written by a man that has lived a life of integrity for over 90 years (and counting).

My life verse was written by Paul to a young Timothy and I know of only two people that I think can say this with powerful authority and simplicity leading to peace with God - Paul and Billy Graham - "Watch your life and doctrine closely, for if you persist in doing this, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Tim. 4:16)."

Billy, thanks for your faithfulness, your integrity, and for teaching people all over the world how to have peace with God in a simple and powerful way for all these years - and now in perhaps your last book. I recommend this book for those who are aging, those who know they are nearing home. And especially for those who need to know if they are at peace with their Maker or not, because clearly this is the most important issue of all - and Billy is the best at clearly and simply letting you know how you can be at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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141 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Wisdom from Billy Graham, October 18, 2011
This book was just released today and I did in fact pick up my copy. I started reading it and even though I'm only half way through it, I find it to be a very touching book and one that has given me a lot of food for thought on my own life. As written by Mr.Graham, this book isnt just for older people. It should especially be for the younger people such as myself (age 39). I have thought a lot about aging as my parents both turned 70 this year. It is mind boggeling to think about that actually. Billy Graham starts out by telling us that we are taught how to live, but not about how to die. This book is full of his personal insights and biblical insights that are comforting to the reader. This is one of those books that you get excited to read it because it is from Billy Graham and especially at this stage in his life, but this is one of those books that make you relaize that you have been given a special gift and that gift is personal advice from one of the worlds most loved spiritual leaders. It's a book I will treasure always and will probably read from time to time. I am so impressed and moved by this book that I am purchasing several copies and giving them away as gifts to loved ones and to my church. I am thankful that Billy Graham wrote this book because unless we die young, we will all face getting older. I'm taking his words of wisdom to heart and it's my prayer all readers of this book do too. I encourage everyone to read this most heartfelt book.
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106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finishing strong, October 23, 2011
By 
Joel Holtz (Vadnais Heights, MN) - See all my reviews
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This book is really a tribute to two people, Dr. Graham himself, and his beloved wife Ruth who went home to be with the Lord in 2007. Dr. Graham writes about Ruth throughout the book, and it's obvious how much he misses her.

NEARING HOME is full of great advice, including the importance of reflection no matter what your age, that we should be prepared emotionally, physically, and spiritually for whatever old age brings, and how old is "genuine and authentic."

FADING STRENGTH BUT STANDING STRONG, Chapter 5, is the longest in the book and perhaps the best. In it, Dr. Graham talks about the hidden perils of aging.. fear, depression, anger, loneliness, and the subtle temptation to think of only onself.

For me, the most surprising thing about the book was reading Dr. Graham's brutal honesty about some subjects. But then, would we expect anything else from such a man of integrity? For instance, he writes at one point.. "I can't say that I have liked getting older." And that the decision to retire from crusade ministry came "somewhat reluctantly."

Geared mostly from the vantage point of a 90-something yr old man, but people of any age will benefit from this book.

Thanks Dr. Graham, for your incredible and integrity filled ministry over the years!
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comfortable Conversation With Billy Graham About Getting Old---But Not Just Written For the Elderly, October 29, 2011
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I've read most of Billy Graham's books and thought this one might be a little different. It is. It's Billy Graham as a person. It's a quiet, sensitive, practical conversation, the kind you might have with a very close friend. We might have said to him, "How did you really feel about..." and he tells us. He shares his heart with us. At the same time, it isn't a sentimental tear-jerker kind of a book. It's a book about how we can have a victorious journey. It's very much like sitting there in front of a fireplace and talking for hours, about getting older, planning for retirement, helping your parents with financial planning, helping your children face their own need for planning for the unexpected, how other faithful followers of Jesus have led by their example in old age, losing loved ones, thinking about the reunion with your loved ones at some time in the future--getting closer all the time, being ushered "into the eternal presence of my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ", and leaving a legacy.

Speaking of leaving a legacy, Rev. Graham talks about his friends that many of us feel like we know well, Cliff Barrows, aged 88 at the time of this writing, and George Beverly Shea, aged 102, who Billy Graham says "thinks of me as his younger friend." He tells about recent impressive events. Cliff Barrows directed at one and at a different event "Bev" sang, at 102 years of age. Legacy, indeed! That just makes me smile and brings (happy) tears to my eyes.

Toward the middle of the book the discussion turns to where I suspect his heart and thoughts are much of the time, on his beloved wife Ruth who died 4 years ago. I laughed out loud at what she requested to be put on her tombstone, and laughed even more when I found that that they actually honored her request. "End of Construction. Thank you for your patience." He gave the special verses that she quoted often during the last part of her life here on earth. Having heard her lovely voice and distinctive accent, I was able to "hear" her quoting those verses from memory. Toward the end of the book I found a topic that I was hoping for, Heaven.

Billy Graham talked throughout his book about how God speaks through His scriptures. Something he wrote about that hit home with me, just a simple sentence about not letting other readings interfere with your reading of God's word, but I can't find it now and don't want to misquote it. Reading God's Word is a continuing theme throughout the book, as you'll see when you read it.

Finally, the part that will make a difference in my life is about our mistakes. "We look back over our experiences along life's journey, we may have regrets about the choices we have made, but remember, that was then...this is now." I needed to hear that. Even when we know that God has forgiven us through Jesus Christ, it isn't easy to forgive ourselves. It's easier to keep beating ourselves up, at least that's been my method, but as Billy Graham said, "that was then...this is now."

This is a comfortable personal conversation with Billy Graham. It's all about faith.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of comfort to those facing a life-threatening illness, as well as readers in their later years..., November 7, 2011
By 
RNS (Murfreesboro, TN USA) - See all my reviews
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Dr. Billy Graham, America's most well-known and respected Christian evangelist and preacher -- who dreamed of playing major league baseball as a young man -- turned 93 years old yesterday. And, of his old age, he candidly writes in this -- his latest book -- "I never thought I would live to be this old. All my life I was taught how to die as a Christian, but no one ever taught me how I ought to live in the years before I die. I wish they had because I am an old man now, and believe me, it's not easy."

This is not a candy-coated view of the challenges of old age. Instead, he invites us along on his own personal journey -- the loss of his wife Ruth, his difficulty of knowing when to step down from the ministry he loves so dearly, and how the roles of elderly followers in the Bible might serve as role models for the elderly today and how God intends for us to continue to live useful lives.

One point Graham makes that readers probably haven't considered, is the fact that -- when one reaches this point in their lives -- we each have a choice to make. We must choose whether or not we truly WANT to be content where we are in life. Then, if if we do, we must then put forth the effort and spiritual desire to LEARN to be content. The importance and impact of this choice lies in the fact that -- whether we realize it or not -- "as long as we are still breathing, we're [still] leading the way and [we] are being watched by those [in generations] following us." As such, we serve as spiritual examples for our children, grandchildren, friends and all we come in contact with. So, for those of us who have "traveled the distance," he urges them to continue to "live bravely" and be mindful of their responsibility to pray for others and "lift up those still working and carrying the load."

While we sense his sorrow -- throughout the book -- regarding the loss of his wife, Ruth, there is still the focus and a great deal of Bible-based spiritual advice that one would expect from this learned and wise minister. I also agree with another reviewer here, that Chapter 5, titled "Fading Strength But Standing Strong," is the best chapter of the book. Reading about an older man moving a freezer alone and being so proud that he could still do tasks like that -- referred to as "old man strength" -- brought a smile to my face. (Hey, old guys always like knowing "we've still got it!") And, while I am not elderly, I am dealing with a very serious illness -- which make me FEEL 90. (smile) As such, I found Dr. Graham's words comforting, practical and useful in making sure that I keep a good attitude and remain spiritually focused for myself, my wife, my family and my friends and colleagues.

While Graham writes in a fairly straightforward, conversational style, I was particularly struck by the eloquence when describing why he wrote "Nearing Home": "Someday our life's journey will be over. In a sense we ALL are nearing home. As we do so, I pray that you and I may not only learn what it means to grow older but -- with God's help -- also learn to grow older with grace and find the guidance [we] need to finish well."

Graham's impact on the current evangelistic Christian community worldwide is enormous. For example, I read recently that his staff estimate that more than 3.2 million individuals have responded to his preaching by repenting of their sins and accepting the teachings of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Imagine that ! One can only say that this humble, sincere and loving man has definitely been THE major force of the 20th century evangelistic community!

That said, this gentle man reminds us, "We were not meant for this world alone... we are meant for Heaven, our final home." Wise words that should bring a sense of peace to all among us who wonder how God wants us to view and live the last years of our lives.

R. Neil Scott
Middle Tennessee State University
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A non-Christian Reads Billy Graham, November 5, 2011
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The evangelist Billy Graham (b. 1918) is a person I have admired from a distance for many years for his passion, commitment to his religion, oratory, and integrity in tempting circumstances. He is a revered public figure who has offered counsel and spiritual guidance to twelve presidents, including President Obama. My own religious convictions are not those of Billy Graham. I am largely a secularist, but I have learned from Judaism, my birth religion, and from Buddhism which I have studied for many years, and from some Christian mystics, among other sources. I am not sure I could articulate a creed, and I doubt that Billy Graham would fully approve. I doubt that I would have selected Graham's new book, "Nearing Home" to read on my own, but when the book was offered through the Amazon Vine program, it struck a chord. I wanted to revisit Graham. It is also valuable to hear a perspective on important matters that is not necessarily one's own.

The book interested me because it addresses themes of aging, retirement, and death. I am 64, retired, and wanted to hear what Graham had to say. Graham brings personal knowledge as well as religious teaching to bear upon his subject. He retired in 2005 from the rigors of the evangelical ministry in which he had engaged for more than 50 years. In 2007 his wife of 63 years, Ruth, died. At the age of 92, Graham has become increasingly frail and his activities curtailed severely. He is candid about the resultant frustration and pain.

Graham's book, written in anticipation of his own death, is itself a example of how to live well with aging. His book offers much insight and advice which appears to come from Graham's life and to be sincerely felt. Graham has much to say about making the decision to retire and finding valuable, productive ways to use one's time. He discusses important, mundane matters such as the need for estate planning and making a will, to living with pain, to serving as an example to one's family and to young people. He stresses the possibility and need for continued spiritual growth throughout life. The book is eloquent with much common sense and a good degree of uncommon wisdom.

With his years of public speaking and impassioned oratory, Graham writes simply and well. Much of the book comes from his own experience, while he also makes good use of news stories, anecdotes, and popular culture. There is a great deal of Biblical quotation. It may be superfluous to say, but I am impressed with Graham's close knowledge of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. He quotes with ease, and his Scriptural references invariably are on point and illuminate what he is trying to say.

Non-sectarian wisdom and Christian teaching are inextricably bound together in this book. Graham generally begins his discussions with observations that will appeal to readers irrespective of their religious beliefs. His advice then typically takes a distinctively evangelical Christian turn. Examples abound on every page, but here is a short paragraph that impressed me. Graham is discussing "Leaving a Legacy" by which he means acting in one's old age in a manner which will inspire younger people. Under the heading "Our Greatest Hope" Graham writes:

"What is your greatest hope for your children and grandchildren (and for others outside your family who are part of the next generation)? Is it that they will become men and women of compassion, honesty, morality, responsibility, selflessness, loyalty, discipline and sacrifice? Your hope should be that they will become men and women of faith, trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior and seeking to follow Him as the Master of their lives every day." (p. 120)

Here Graham poses an important question to which he provides an excellent answer in his second sentence. He then pivots to explain his answer in Christian terms. A reader could accept the second sentence from Graham while offering his or her own spiritual understanding in a third sentence, which might or might not agree with Graham's. A secularist, Jewish person, or Buddhist, for example might want to put spiritual beliefs in their own terms. As I read the book, I thought Graham said some very broad based valuable things that could teach people of diverse religious persuasions. I was uncomfortable with some of the explicitly evangelical portions of the teaching, which suggest that Graham's way to God might be the only way. The book becomes more theological in tone as it proceeds, with the final chapter devoted to a depiction of Heaven followed by a call to the reader to come forward and accept Jesus as one's Savior. This mirrors the great evangelist's procedures at his many religious crusades. Graham can be accepted, if not necessarily followed, in speaking in his own religious voice.

I was reminded in reading this book of many books by the Dalai Lama. Like Graham, the Dalai Lama has a worldwide following and is revered by many people who are not followers of the path of Tibetan Buddhism. And both these spiritual leaders offer insights that may prove valuable to those outside, respectively, Tibetan Buddhism or fundamentalist Christianity. A major difference is that the Dalai Lama does not ask his readers, many of whom are willing to do so, to become Buddhists. Rather, he askes them to follow seriously their own religious path. Graham cannot avoid the voice of proselytizing. His teachings are valuable but the teachings of the Dalai Lama are probably closer to me.

I enjoyed reading this book and learning Billy Graham's thoughts on aging and on living the latter parts of one's life with grace, dignity, and purpose. The book will appeal mostly to Graham's followers, but I am pleased I was given the opportunity to read it.

Robin Friedman
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay but slightly depressing, November 25, 2011
Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well" by Billy Graham.

As the title suggests Billy Graham is writing about looking at how we finish our race. He has given many wisdom's about dealing with limitations that this part of life can bring. Also included are wise preparations that people need to look at and not just ignore. Some of these things are spiritual inheritances that we want to leave to the next generations but also practical financial and daily living matters. Although its written with these things in mind; Billy Graham also brings younger people into the picture and includes stories and insights to benefit them as well. And of course he also writes passionately about the need for Jesus Christ /Salvation. Not to just know about Jesus but to model our lives upon that example.

Those who are older in age would probably benefit the most by this book. But I also believe that there is something for the younger as well. In one section he points out that our instant technological society with all its gizmo's while its a plus in some ways; its also made "Patience a lost virtue". I hadn't really heard it expressed quite that way before. And if you are a follower of what Billy Graham has accomplished through following Jesus, it would be a worthy addition to your Library. I liked that fact that scripture was placed strategically in his writings. On that note, I do have to admit there were times, I also felt that it was kind of depressing. I'm trying to be fair though; so that might have had more to do with the subject matter and which side of the age issue I'm on.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read for any age, November 8, 2011
This is actually the first book I have read by Billy Graham. Yes, I know he is a famous evangelist and I have seen him on TV numerous times during his televised crusades. So I was indeed looking forward to reading his book on Nearing Home mainly because I am getting closer to this stage of life myself. The subtitle is `Life, faith, and finishing well' and I certainly want to finish well!!

I loved the chapter on `Don't retire from life'. Billy Graham gives examples of those who retired and went on to other ministries. He also told of those who retired and didn't plan for their future and practically gave up on life. Billy also talks of the Golden Years but his theme is not in the amount of `gold' you own, but in the treasure of gold you are building above. Throughout his book the theme is definitely God centered and how our years should be valued as God values them and not as the world does. In a nutshell, he writes as he preached........very basic, down to earth, Gospel truth!

As I started reading I thought of people I thought this book would be an encouragement to. I have a relative who is young in life, but has just been told she has an aggressive form of cancer. As the book is titled, she is `Nearing Home'. I believe this book would be an inspiration to her and others who may be `nearing home' sooner than expected. For those who are able to live beyond the 65 mark, this book is a reminder and encouragement of what is really important in life.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Graham: How to Effectively Face Important Transitions, November 7, 2011
When Billy Graham was driving through a small municipality, he was stopped by a police officer and he received a ticket for going over the speed limit. Graham appeared in court. The judge asked, "Do you plead, Guilty, or not guilty?" Reverend Graham pleaded guilty. The judge responded, "That will be ten dollars." All of a sudden the judge recognized the renowned evangelist. "You have violated the law," the judge replied. "The fine must be paid, but I'm going to pay it for you." He took a 10 dollar bill from his own wallet and paid the ticket for Graham. Afterward he took the evangelist out for a steak dinner! "That," said Billy Graham, "is how God treats repentant sinners!"
And in "Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well" one reads about that great grace. A grace that not only forgives, but gives blessings too; and this amazing grace offered to sinners is what motived Reverend Graham for decades of worldwide evangelism.

"Nearing Home" contains spiritual and practical wisdom conjoined with guidance to help the reader, young or old, to be prepared for the joys as well as the difficulties that come with old age and illness. The author observes that scripture makes it clear that God has His purposes for His people to live a pleasing life on earth before we go home to be with our Lord.

Graham muses: "I have a certainty about eternity that is a wonderful thing, and I thank God for giving me that certainty. I do not fear death. I may fear a little bit about the process, but not death itself, because I think the moment that my spirit leaves this body, I will be in the presence of the Lord."

The reader learns How To:

- Know and embrace God's will for you as you approach worries and trouble
- Trust God when one loses a loved-one
- Grow in strength amidst deep challenges
- Effectively face important transitions
- Deal with fear through trusting Jesus
- Live with a heart directed toward our heavenly hope

"No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock," Billy Graham laments, "and it still hurts very deeply." Ruth and Billy would were married for over 60 years. He called her his soul mate and best friend; she was also a person who could keep him down to earth. She was an advocate for Jesus, the kind of woman who once tried to hide a broken arm from Billy because she didn't want him to know she went hang-gliding. She also referred to her own burial plot as her "launching pad." "I realize now," Graham noted, "in a way I never could have before, that a very important part of me has been taken away." And so he has a deeper compassion for all those who mourn and that God in Christ will comfort them.

He is grateful to God for all the many decades they were married. "They are over now, but God was good in giving us to each other, and I want to be grateful for those memories and not suppress them."

Graham adds: "Most of all, I take comfort in the hope we can have of eternal life in Heaven because of Christ's death and resurrection for us. I've preached this message almost all my life, and it means more to me now than ever before."

This is a simple, but fascinating read that will help encourage those facing loss, old age, illness or other challenges through faith in Christ.

Graham says: "The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless."
I received this book gratis from Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review.

By Mike Robinson
Author of "Truth, Knowledge, and the Reason for God."
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book about facing the end of life, October 25, 2011
By 
ambersweet (Hendersonville, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This is a wonderful well written book about the end of life. I have utmost respect for Dr. Graham and what he has meant to a fallen world. I am one of the aged (80) and have felt the loss of a spouse. Thank you for your Godly insight into a subject lot of people do not want to face, much less discuss. God Bless You.
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