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Communicating Optimism and Hope

The importance and power of a positive perspective.

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt fromThe Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham (Zondervan, 2005). This is about leadership, but as any pastor knows, church leadership begins in the pulpit. We felt this counsel about the importance of hope would be especially relevant for preachers, for hope rides and rests on the Word.

Longer than anyone else, decade after decade after decade, Billy Graham has been included in Good Housekeeping's most-admired list. Over the years, presidents and other luminaries have appeared, then faded. But Billy has always been at or near the top of the list.

One day Fred Smith, who had chaired one of Billy's Cincinnati crusades, asked us, "Have you thought about the Good Housekeeping list?"

"Not particularly."

"Take a close look. Every person on it is positive."

When thinking about those who have appeared on the list, images come quickly to mind. Dwight Eisenhower's big, broad smile. John F. Kennedy's vigor and crinkly-eyed humor. Billy Graham's warm gaze beside ...

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