T H E  W I L D   L I L Y   I N S T I T U T E

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R !




. . .

Watch the Thursday night during 

Covid video

at 7 PM:

click here


"Poems . . . could well be termed the footprints of a pilgrim."

Ruth Bell Graham

January Author of the Month:

Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Bell Graham grew up in China, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries. She traveled extensively with her husband, Billy Graham, on his many Crusades around the world. While their five children were growing up, she took on the responsibilities of managing the household to give Billy the freedom to travel and preach wherever God called him.

These poems, first published as a collection in 1977, are from all phases and periods of her life. "I wrote because, at times, I had to. It was write, or develop an ulcer-or forget," she said. "I chose to write. At times I even wrote for the sheer fun."

Numerous family photos taken over the years-including some never before published-add a rich context to this edition, creating a treasured memory book of the life of this remarkable woman.

Sitting By My Laughing Fire, Ruth Bell Graham was published in 1977 by Word Publishing.

(Source: Backmatter, Goodreads).

I love these last details of Fall

when past its prime;

the graying hills,

no longer color-crowded, climb

subdued to meet a brilliant sky;

when sunlight spills,

filtering through branches

newly bare,

to warm a newly covered ground,

and light the way

for tired leaves

still falling down.

Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Bell Graham Life

Ruth Bell Graham Dies 

Wife of Billy Graham Succumbs to Lingering Illness, Surrounded by Loved Ones at Her Deathbed

DropCap_MONTREAT, N.C., JUNE 14—Mrs. Ruth Bell Graham, beloved wife of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, died at 5:05 p.m. today, at her home at Little Piney Cove in Montreat, N.C., surrounded by her husband and all five children. She was 87. A public funeral service to honor Mrs. Graham has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, in Anderson Auditorium at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, N.C. Public funeral service

“Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team,” Mr. Graham said of his life-long marriage and ministry partner. “No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.

“I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together,” Mr. Graham continued. “We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.”

Mr. Graham confirmed today that his wife’s final resting place will be at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway in the Prayer Garden on the grounds of the recently dedicated Library bearing his name adjacent to his ministry headquarters in Charlotte. Earlier this year the Grahams agreed together that they would be buried side-by-side at the Library, a decision made by the two of them alone.

Ruth Bell was born June 10, 1920, in Qingjiang, Kiangsu, China, the daughter of medical missionaries L. Nelson and Virginia Leftwich Bell. She attended high school in Pyongyang, (now North) Korea. She first came to the United States at the age of seven, while her parents were on furlough. She returned to the United States at the age of 17 to attend Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. Shortly after his arrival on campus, she was introduced to “Preacher,” the nickname other students gave the strapping Billy Graham from Charlotte, North Carolina. They were married in August 1943, following their graduating together that June.

Between 1945 and 1958, Mrs. Graham gave birth to five children, whom she raised—sometimes single-handedly—while her husband was away on extended national and international evangelistic crusades. The three daughters and two sons who survive her are all actively involved in ministry, including eldest son Franklin, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) founded by his father.

“My father would not have been what he is today if it wasn’t for my mother,” Franklin said. “She stood strong for what was biblically correct and accurate. She would help my father prepare his messages, listening with an attentive ear, and if she saw something that wasn’t right or heard something that she felt wasn’t as strong as it could be, she was a voice to strengthen this or eliminate that. Every person needs that kind of input in their life, and she was that to my father.”

In 1959, Mrs. Graham published her first book, Our Christmas Story, an illustrated volume for children. She went on to write or co-author 13 other books, many of them works of poetry she wrote as an emotional release while her husband was so often on the road through the years.

“I don’t believe Mother has adequately been recognized and honored for what she had done; because, without her, Daddy’s ministry would not have been possible,” said Ruth Graham, youngest daughter—and namesake—regarding her mother’s influence and partnership in her father’s ministry.

“How does one live with one of the world’s most famous men?” daughter Ruth continued. “God began training my mother for this position years ago in China. Her parents exercised a profound effect upon the development of her character, and laid the foundations for who she was. What she witnessed in her family home, she practiced for herself—dependence on God in every circumstance, love for His Word, concern for others above self, and an indomitable spirit displayed with a smile.

“Her happiness and fulfillment did not depend on her circumstances,” the younger Ruth concluded. “She was a lovely, beautiful, and wise woman, because early in life she made Christ her home, her purpose, her center, her confidant, and her vision.”

Mrs. Graham’s significant role in Mr. Graham’s ministry was recognized in 1996, when they were jointly awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a special ceremony in the Capital Rotunda in Washington, which reflected a consensus of love and support from all branches of government in attendance.

Ruth Graham was always a vital part of Mr. Graham’s evangelistic career, and he turned to her for advice and input about many ministry decisions. One of the early uses of media by the BGEA was the “Hour of Decision” radio program begun in 1950, which she named. After her upbringing in China and high school experience in Korea, she continued to have a burden for the people of Asia. She encouraged her husband to visit and later accompanied him during his historic visits to the People’s Republic of China.

Ruth Graham has been in frail health since suffering spinal meningitis in 1995. That was exacerbated by a degenerative back condition that began with a fall out of a tree while helping a grandchild fix a swing in 1974 that resulted in chronic back pain for many years. Bedridden or wheelchair-bound since the late 1990s, Mrs. Graham wasn’t able to accompany her husband during his last few years of ministry, but was always a continued source of inspiration and support for him through her prayers and wise biblical counsel.

Mrs. Graham is survived by her husband Billy; daughters Virginia, Anne Morrow, and Ruth Bell; sons William Franklin, III, and Nelson Edman; 19 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

Source: Ruth Bell Graham Memorial

Movie Night with Voetelle

YouTube Specials

Emily Isaacson is known for her lucid and dranatic poetry, as well as her astute vision to  use revelation to make information, images, and words relevant and meaningful. Her use of images and soundtracks to create movies during Covid lockdown has contributed to some of her poetry being put to sound and images for her viewers.

See her YouTube here.

Call to the Poets

Before the Fire

There was a vandalised wall

between my heart

and my mind.

The graffiti coloured wall drove

believers underground

for fear of persecution.

Few continued on in this vein

of silence over spiritual matters,

of quiet church,

humming the great hymns of the faith

in reservation

behind bolted doors.

When the wall came down,

missionaries came

like tiny people,

only for us to tell them

there was no watermelon

on this side of the wall before now.

They talked about Creation,

but we had only heard

of evolution.

Their script

was to smile, accept us,

and invite us in.

We were an acceptable darkness,

with poverty of religion,

no candle to see by,

like being married

with no wedding rings

and no church.

Then there was a bonfire,

and people surrounded it

with their hands stretched out;

better to be warm, we thought,

than cold.

Now we could sing louder.

Alleluiah, alleluiah

rang over the hills

of Germany:

it was a sad and glorious song.

Emily Isaacson, published in Hallmark (2017)

Self portraits by Isaacson

Emily Isaacson is a poet with both Canadian and American influences, who is a dual citizen. Her prolific verse and multimedia art bring poetry to life: she has created over 50 videos of her poetry, and hosted a weekly poetry movie on YouTube during Covid lockdown. In the last fifteen years her sites have been visited over 1.7 million times by more than 45 countries. She is also an arts advocate who has taught on Creative Writing. She has a Bachelor of Science from Bastyr University in Seattle and is currently the Director of the Wild Lily Institute, founded to preserve her poetry and legacy.

She now invites you to her secret cache of over 35 photos, taken by herself over a time span of 15 years.

All photos are under copyright by WLI. To use any of these photos for media purposes, please contact us.


The Fleur-de-lis

What is Emily Isaacson's claim to fame?


She was chosen to write the sacred manuscript of The Fleur-de-lis to commemorate the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.


This historical book of Canadiana literature contained over 800 poems in English and French and was published in three volumes.


Not only that, it was her first real publication of her work, and took her over 5 years to complete. She claims this divine invitation was given to her by God and that it is a prophetic and anointed work.


Read more about this amazing book . . .  


"But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences;

they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh."

-- Virginia Woolf,  A Room of One's Own

Click Here to Add a Title




ISAACSON'S Latest Poetry


Upcoming Books

AGELESS by LILITH STREET                     Release: TBA 

Love in the Time of Plague by Emily Isaacson     TBA


Dying Swan by Emily Isaacson


What is the length of the 

complete works?

Isaacson's complete works includes over 1600 poems in chronological order, ranging from age 13 to her most recent unpublished works. The book is at present approximately 1,100 pages.

We are taking offers from publishers at this time, although the book publication may go to the highest bidder who is a traditional publisher.

The Wild Lily Institute

1.7 Million Visits to WLI

 1 6 1 , 8 9 2  visitors

1, 7 9 8 , 2 4 4    visits  to  all  Wild Lily sites.

What are WLI sites?       

S P I R I T U A L   L I F E 

Take courage and find solace in your faith ...

Visit our page of encouragement

Love in the Time of Plague.

Recommended Reading

List of the Month

Visit here: January pics

Toward the replanting of a land—

once deserted, cold, and barren, still;

now citrus, and the olive, myrtle stand,

our pride in the distance, through the hills

spilling fine perfume and virgin oil.

Early songs still rise from temple mount

amid the prayers, centuries old toil.

--Emily Isaacson, The Replanting

House of Rain


More on our in-house design . . .