7.09pm. Billy Graham has had extensive coverage in this evening’s national and local news on TV. He arrived in Bristol today to commence a week’s Crusade which will take him to other cities — Bristol, Sunderland, Birmingham, Liverpool and Ipswich between now and the end of July. It is 30 years since he came to Harringay and [Helen and] I went to hear him. That experience resulted in my thinking I too had a calling to preach, and I laboured under that delusion for about 25 or more years. Still I am thrilled that thousands of souls will be converted to Christ in the coming weeks, even though evangelicalism as a way of life now leaves me cold.
The Hilliards have put a poster in their window this evening. They attend Street Baptist Church, where John Ratcliffe goes, and I have been wondering whether they have a coach party going to Ashton Gate, and whether we might join it. Especially we pray that Mr Holt might go, and be saved from his gambling, which has so injured his life, even landing him in prison.
I always wanted to make a success of preaching, and failed. Billy Graham was asked today about the success he had achieved, and said that he didn’t know that he had. I no longer believe that “success” has any real meaning: it is simply a concept one has of one’s self, and one’s self has no existence outside of the Only Self, which is God. I wish I could have understood this 30 years ago. The people who will get themselves converted during the next few weeks will ultimately learn that there is no “self” to get converted. It is all a delusion — but totally necessary for the “soul” to find its way back to God.
After breakfast this morning I typed the labels and prepared the Jiffy bags and envelopes for tomorrow’s Bible Study, and did other jobs until the post arrived at five past ten. There was a final notice about the overdue water rate, but Ian Dean sent us £46 in bank notes, so I was able to write up two Giro slips to pay the money into my account.
At 11.00am we went into town to pay the money over the counter at the Post Office and buy stamps, and to do the shopping. I had to wait in a long queue at the post Office, which was crowded, and it was midday before we arrived home.
During the rest of the morning, and until 3.00pm, I answered the letters, Freda helping me after lunch for literature for overseas. Freda came with me to the post and we then walked round the Avenue; after we got back we had a cup of tea, then watered the garden until 5.00pm. It was cloudy and quite cold, and there was a brief shower while we were having tea, but hardly enough to wet the ground.
TUESDAY 28th AUGUST
WEDNESDAY 29th AUGUST
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