Kathie Lee Gifford Thanks God After Billy Graham’s Death

On February 21, the world lost the incomparable Reverend Billy Graham. At 99 years old, the Christian minister had changed the lives of millions of people, teaching them the ways of the Lord. Graham had been ill and withdrawn from the public eye for many years now. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992, and hospitalized for pneumonia in 2011.

Graham died of natural causes, according to Ted Shearer of DeMoss Associates, at his mountaintop cabin in North Carolina.

Preaching from the age 16, Graham devoted his life to bring others the news he knew to be true. It is believed that he preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries, which doesn’t include magazines, radio shows, television broadcasts, and internet readings.

Graham at his famous Los Angeles Crusade in 1949.LA Times

One of the people who was touched by Graham was TODAY host Kathie Lee Gifford.

“My whole family came to faith through the Billy Graham Organization,” Gifford told Megyn Kelly. “And I personally did, going to the first movie the Billy Graham Organization ever put out, it was called The Restless Ones. And it was like God met me, my heart, right where I lived! I wanted to be an actress. So where does God meet me? In a movie theater.”

“My father is Jewish, my mom Christian, and although we didn’t have a devout home, it was just sort of an understanding of that Judeo-Christian tradition in our home,” she continued. “It was Billy that connected the dots for me. Billy made the message simple enough for a little 12-year-old girl in the back of a movie theater to understand.”

So why was it that Gifford thanked God after the passing of her dear friend Billy Graham?

The Reverend Billy Graham Has Passed Away At 99

Billy Graham, one of the world’s most famous Christian ministers, has passed away at age 99.

A spokesman for the reverend’s Evangelistic Association said Graham died at his mountaintop cabin in Montreat, North Carolina on Wednesday morning.

A representative for his son Franklin’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, reported that Graham was surrounded by family when he died just before 8 a.m.

While a cause of death was not reported immediately, Ted Shearer of DeMoss Associates told Fox News the reverend had died from natural causes.

Graham had been ill and withdrawn from the public eye for many years now. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992, and hospitalized for pneumonia in 2011.

Graham spoke before his last revival meeting in New York in 2005, at age 86.

Graham at his famous Los Angeles Crusade in 1949.LA TImes

Born on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Caroline, Graham was drawn to preaching at age 16, when he listened to a traveling evangelist.

He was ordained in 1939, and went on to become one of the world’s most popular and well-known Christian ministers.

His Evangelistic Association estimates that Graham personally preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries, with millions more receiving message of faith in magazines, radio programs, Christian television broadcasts, and over the internet.

Condolences and celebration for Graham have poured in from around the world following news of his death, including from the president and vice president.

Actor Confirms Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion Of The Christ’ Sequel Is Finally Being Made

More than 14 years after the original film proved to be a box office smash, it looks like Mel Gibson is finally ready to make a sequel to The Passion of the Christ.

Made for just $30 million and with no big Hollywood stars in leading roles, Gibson’s film took the world by storm in 2004. It earned over $611 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing R-rated film in North America at the time.

Icon Productions

To this day, the movie is still the highest-grossing non-English language film ever made.

Audiences and church groups packed into theaters to watch Gibson’s take on the final 12 hours before Jesus’s crucifixion. Now, it seems like Gibson is ready to pick up where he left off.

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Last year,  the actor and director hinted that he was ” trying to craft” the story of Jesus’s resurrection “in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening,” but he also admitted the process seemed “never-ending.”

Now, the original film’s star, Jim Caviezel, says the project is moving ahead. And he’s shared new details about what fans should expect from The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.

7 Questions That You Should Ask Before Deciding To Say “I Do”

“Till death do us part,” it’s a pretty intense promise to make when you get married. Unfortunately, it’s not something that many people actually consider before they get up there in front of their friends and family and make the lifelong commitment to one person. Marriage doesn’t quite have the same seriousness attached to it as it used to. You can thank Hollywood for that, as we have watched celebrities get married and divorced every time the wind seems to shift.

When it comes to getting married, what you know about the person you are about to commit to isn’t the problem, it’s what you don’t know that can end up becoming a deal breaker. Communication is key both before and during marriage, and it’s time to start asking some tough questions before making the life-long commitment.

Here are 7 things you should definitely talk about before you decide to get married.

Contrary to popular belief, all people aren’t sexually compatible. There is no data on just how many marriages end because the sex is just that bad or infrequent, but it is safe to assume that uncompatible sex-lives has crushed its fair share of marriages. Before you get married, talk to your partner about what you want from a sex life, and get their feedback on what they want and expect. If you both expect to go in different directions, you just saved yourself a major head and heartache.

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Everyone has their own individual dreams and goals. Sure, people have goals for themselves as couples, but often times those can be outweighed by what they want on individual levels. Have a discussion about the future to see if you both see yourselves being able to do these things together. If one of you wants to travel the world, while the other wants to stay local and raise a family, maybe things aren’t going to work out.

New Love Times

There are any number of cliched jokes surrounding in-laws. And for the most part, they are just that, jokes, but sometimes those jokes just aren’t funny because they hit way too close to reality. You might be marrying your spouse, but you’re also marrying into their family, whom they are likely quite loyal to.

If the in-laws are going to cause a lot of undue stress to your marriage, it’s time to find out early on. Ask you future spouse what they honestly think about your parents and ask them for an honest answer.

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It’s a very rare occurrence to meet someone these days that doesn’t have at least a little bit of personal debt. Often times that debt can be quite high, and when you marry someone you also marry their problems. So in order to avoid any feelings of resentment towards having to fix past problems that had nothing to do with you, talk about it beforehand.

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Waitress Denied Tip Due To Her “Bad Tattoo”

Serving staff at restaurants have a tough job. They are constantly on their feet, deal with with rude people all day, and make less than minimum wage. They count on their tips to supplement their income, which is why it’s always encouraged to tip a minimum of 10%, with 15% being the average.

Awesome Jelly

However, one couple in Illinois felt their server, Samantha Heaton, didn’t deserve a tip, all because of a tattoo she had on her arm. The couple left a note on the receipt, claiming her “bad tattoo” was the reason she was being jilted.

“I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to leave that (note) kind of hurt,” Heaton told the Rock River Times. “Like, I have bills to pay too.”

The bill came to $60, and by normal 15% tipping standards, should have come to $69 with the gratuity.

So what was so offensive about Heaton’s tattoo?

Chick-fil-A Broke Their Biggest Rule And Opened On Sunday For A Heartwarming Reason

The restaurant chain Chick-fil-A is famously known for two things: tasty chicken, and closing their doors on Sunday.

The second tradition dates back to the chain’s founder S. Truett Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist who decided to run his business based on his deepest convictions.

Cathy poses in front of one of his restaurant.Zuma Press

That means your local Chick-fil-A is closed every Sunday, and on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, when workers like to be home with their families.

It’s a big trade-off between religious beliefs and profits, but it’s one that was very important to Cathy. Here’s how he explained it:

“I was not so committed to financial success that I was willing to abandon my principles and priorities. One of the most visible examples of this is our decision to close on Sunday. Our decision to close on Sunday was our way of honoring God and of directing our attention to things that mattered more than our business.”

Today

Even the chain’s location in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Atlanta Falcons play on Sundays, isn’t open on the seventh day, the stadium’s busiest day by far.

But despite all the importance the restaurant puts on this one rule, they broke it earlier this week. As you’ve probably guessed, they had a very good reason.

The Hidden Meaning Behind Amish Clothing Rules

Despite the fact that the Amish make up less than one percent of America’s population, their solitary and unusual way of life attracts a lot of interest from the outside world.

It turns out there’s a lot we misunderstand or just get wrong about the Amish and their traditions. Most of the questions that outsiders (or “English,” as the Amish call them) ask are about the Amish dress code.

Greeningz

While it’s pretty simple, you might be surprised by what’s allowed and what isn’t.

Amish Dress For Men

The rule of thumb for all Amish clothing is that it should be plain, to avoid calling attention to yourself or standing out from the crowd. The Amish believe this promotes modesty, and helps them live apart from the rest of society.

Le Parisien

Even buttons, neckties, zippers, and belt buckles are too flashy for most Amish, so you won’t see men wearing them. Instead, they dress in dark trousers with suspenders, a dark vest or coat, and a straw or felt hat (depending on the season).

Their jackets – called mutza suits – don’t feature collars or lapels, and use hook-and-eye fasteners instead of buttons.

Beardholic

The Amish don’t wear wedding rings, but you can spot a married Amish man by his beard. Boys stay clean shaven until they’re married, then grow a beard – but not a mustache, which is too flashy and associated with the military by the pacifist Amish.

Amish men take their beards seriously, and cutting one off can be considered a hate crime.

And Amish women have a dress code that’s just as strict.

Pope Francis Wants To Change The “Our Father” Prayer

Pope Francis, the current Pope of the Catholic Church, is perhaps one of the most liberal members the Vatican has ever seen.

He’s not afraid to state his opinions about his religion and suggest changes if necessary.

From the moment he stepped onto the balcony at St. Peter’s in Rome as Pope, he put a new emphasis on poverty and simplicity. He has embraced a man with severe facial disfigurement and washed the feet of a group of young offenders, things that have never been done by previous popes.  

He preaches mercy, and hopes that religion will be a way to unite and better people.

Last year, the Pope issued a worldwide survey of Catholics asking for their views on single parent families, contraception, and gay marriage.

Now he has a new task to enrich the lives of his religious followers.

Pope Francis wants to change a line in Christianity’s best-known prayer.

10 Facts About Pope Francis That Are Holier Than Thou

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis is arguably one of the most well-known public figures in the world. The epitome of all things good and holy, how much do you actually know about the leader of the Catholic Church, aside from his hearty grins and simplistic lifestyle?

In honor of Pope Francis’s 81st birthday on Dec. 13, here are 10 surprising facts about the divine man himself.

1. Pope Francis is the first pontiff to be elected from South America

He is the first to be elected pope from outside Europe since Gregory III was elected in 731, and is also the first Jesuit to behold the title.

2. He is the first pope to go by the name Francis

The pope chose Francis to honor St. Francis of Assisi, who was “the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.”

3. Before the papacy, the pope worked at a nightclub

He worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires bar to earn money as a student.

4.  Pope Francis speaks eight languages

He speaks Spanish, Latin and Italian fluently, and has an understanding of German, French, Portuguese, English, and Ukrainian.

5. He has a Master’s degree

He studied philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires and also has a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires.

A 240-Year-Old Secret Message Was Found In The Butt Of A Jesus Statue

A 240-year-old secret message has been found in a wooden statue of Jesus Christ, located in the secret compartment of the statue’s derriere.

The statue, called Cristo del Miserere, was removed from the church of Santa Águeda in Sotillo de la Ribera, Spain, for restoration. The conservators at the company found a note by dislodging a removable piece of the statue that covered its butt, Science Alert reports.

The note seemed to be intentionally hidden away for hundreds of years, in what seemed to be an act to form an early rendition of a time capsule.

“Although it is usual for many sculptures to be hollow, it is not so much to find handwritten documents inside,” historian Efrén Arroyo, a member of the Holy Week Brotherhood of Sotillo de la Ribera, said.

While the message was an unexpected find, it was what was written on the hidden document that was the most surprising.

6 Reasons The Pioneer Woman Is Not To Be Messed With

It’s not always easy to be a woman in America, especially in the business world where men often take the lead. However, Ree Drummond is not only turning that stereotype upside down, she’s keeping close to her Heartland faith and family values!

Here is what happens when country spirit meets city-slicker attitude!

She may be living it out on the land, but she got her education in the big cities of Chicago and Los Angeles!

Despite her humble beginnings as a blogger back in 2006, Drummond has amassed a huge amount of wealth, and that has translated into expansions of property. She is currently the 23rd largest land-owner in the United States with 433,000 acres where wild horses are known to roam free.

Among the many skills that Drummond has acquired over the years, one of her favorites is her ability to dance. She used to do ballet when she was a teenager, and although she praises it for keeping her flexible, she also points to it as something that saved her life as a youth.

She was nearly the victim of an abduction one night walking back to her car, and it was her agility that got her out of their grasp and away from the criminals.

She could never have imagined how her life would have turned out, and what she had in store in the years to come.

List Showing 10 Most Sinful Cities In The US Leaves Some People With Explaining To Do

To err is human, but us humans sure seem to do a lot of erring, don’t we?

Credit monitoring company WalletHub set out to figure out just how much sinning happens in America’s biggest cities, and wound up ranking more than 180 cities from least to most sinful.

The Catholic Catalogue

This isn’t just a tally of each city’s church-goers, the list uses statistics like violent crime rates, excessive drinking numbers, charitable donations, and even tanning salons per capita (remember: vanity is a sin).

In total, the study compared “32 key indicators of evil deeds” to decide the final ranking. “No place is innocent,” the website warns. “We all have demons.”

Here are the 10 Least Sinful Cities, according to WalletHub:

173. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

174. Aurora, Illinois

175. San Jose, California

176. Santa Rosa, California

177. Plano, Texas

178. Port St. Lucie, Florida

179. West Valley City, Utah

180. Brownsville, Texas

181. Pearl City, Hawaii

182. South Burlington, Vermont

California and Texas both come off pretty favorably on this list. But despite Port St. Lucie’s spot in the Least Sinful list, Florida makes a few more appearances on the list of Most Sinful Cities.

Pope Gave An Impassioned Plea To Cops Everywhere

No matter where in the world you go, you’re going to encounter drivers who don’t feel like the law applies to them. Whether it’s people going WAY above the speed limit, tailgating you to the point that you can’t brake safely, running lights and signs that are blatantly obvious, or at worst driving under the influence. sometimes getting out onto the road can feel like a war zone.

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If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ve probably experienced just how insane the driving can be in the major cities there. Personally, while on a tour of Rome, I lost count of how many times tiny Smart Cars would cut in front of our tour bus and force the driver to brake very hard, leading to some pretty tense and frustrating moments for everybody. Not only that, but the narrow streets in the older parts of each city tends to lead to people driving on the wrong side of the road just to save a minute of driving!

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It’s a sentiment apparently shared by many people living in Italy, including the local police, and even Pope Francis himself! However, in a very Pope-ly fashion, His Holiness has urged law enforcement to be merciful towards the drivers they pull over…

A Religious Recap On Why The Duggar Women Don’t Wear Pants

It’s no secret that the Duggars live by a strict set of rules. Their beliefs are always front and center, and that’s totally okay. But because they’re in the public eye, they’re subjected to a lot of criticism. Granted, when your eldest son molests your younger daughters, it deserves to be criticized.

But one of the biggest questions that surrounds the Duggars is what religion they practice, exactly. We know they practice it to the extreme, but what set of guidelines are they following?

WandTV

There has been a lot of speculation that the family is a part of the controversial “Quiverful” movement, which says contraception is bad and advocates for having as many children as possible. Mochelle and Jim Bob Duggar have denied this, saying they are “”simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God’s Word and apply it to our lives.”

It’s also been reported that they’re part of the Independent Funamental Baptists Church, and even as broadly recognized as “followers of the conservative patriarchal movement.” The only label the family has given themselves is “conservative Christians,” when Michelle Duggar spoke about miscarrying her second child after Josh was born. The family believes this was because of their use of birth control.

InTouch Weekly

“As conservative Christians, we believe every life is sacred, even the life of the unborn. Due to our lack of knowledge, we destroyed the precious life of our unborn child. We prayed and studied the Bible and found a host of references that told us God considered children a gift, a blessing, and a reward,” the family has explained. “Yet we had considered having another child an inconvenience during that busy time in our lives, and we had taken steps to prevent it from happening.”

While their exact religion may not be known, the family has been outspoken on their belief that women should not wear pants for modesty reasons. They have even referenced the Bible for this decision.

Why A Famous Pro Wrestler Quit His Job In Order To Serve God

Professional wrestling is a world of heroes and villains, and no one played the part of the villain better than Ted DiBiase, “The Million Dollar Man.”

When his character joined the WWF in 1987, he quickly became a fan-favorite. With his signature evil laugh and his catchphrase “Everybody’s got a price,” DiBiase used his character’s bottomless wallet to wreak havoc on the other pro wrestlers.

It was no surprise that his career spanned decades, and included more than 30 title wins (not including his character’s own title belt the “Million Dollar Championship”). Fans still remember some of his classic sketches, including the time he bribed a swimming pool owner to keep the neighborhood kids out, so he could take a dip by himself.

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But while DiBiase’s son Ted Jr. has carried on his father’s legacy, over the past few years fans haven’t seen much of The Million Dollar Man. It turns out that’s exactly what he wants. A new documentary about DiBiase’s life called The Price of Fame is shedding light on the sudden end to his impressive career.

It turns out The Million Dollar Man became the Million Dollar Minister

Russian Man Says He’s The Reincarnation Of Jesus, And He Already Has More Than 5,000 Followers

In the wilderness of Siberia, thousands of people have flocked to a group of small towns named Petropavlovka.

What would drive people to drop everything and move to a cottage in one of the coldest and most remote parts of the planet? The chance to meet the Son of God in the flesh. Petropavlovka is home to almost 5,000 “Vissarionites,” who worship a man who claims to be Jesus reincarnated.

Vissarion, a.k.a. the Teacher, lives in a private compound nearby, but his followers get to hear him give sermons where he discusses topics like vegetarianism, reincarnation and the coming apocalypse, which he says will be a “great flood.” Before that day comes, Vissarion hopes to unite all the world’s religions.

His followers also study the Last Testament, Vissarion’s 10-volume “sequel” to the Bible which includes philosophy, descriptions of aliens and warnings about the future. His followers are also forbidden from drinking and smoking, or using money.

So who is Vissarion? And how did his Church get started?