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When Billy Graham was a gangly teenage baseball player, he imagined himself swinging for the stadium wall, loping around the bases, nearing the victorious home run of his dreams

Now, he’s turning 93 on Nov. 7. He’s frail, with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that keep his bent frame bound to a walker and wheelchair. His eyes are too blurred by macular degeneration for reading.

Yet, even as he approaches the 100-year mark in his life, he’s still crusading — as a spiritual leader and as an author. In a new book next month, he writes about being once more at bat, striking the only home run that matters in a metaphorical stadium.

Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well is a swing for salvation from the evangelist who has tried to take the whole world (or at least 185 nations where he’s preached) to heaven with him.

Grant Wacker, professor of Christian history at Duke University, has studied Graham’s impact on American culture since the telegenic preacher was a young “role model of masculinity and vibrancy.”

“Now, he’s become a model for aging gracefully despite a disability,” Wacker says. ” Even with the Parkinson’s, you see him soldiering on, still preaching in his own way.”

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article courtesy of USA Today.com

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