iOS app Android app

Larry Ross
GET UPDATES FROM Larry Ross
 
Larry Ross is President of A. Larry Ross Communications, a full-service agency he founded in 1994 to provide cross-over media liaison emanating from or targeted to the Christian market. He has more than 30 years experience in mainstream and Christian public relations, providing strategic PR counsel at both agency and corporate levels to help individuals and organizations influence public opinion.

Following several years in the late seventies as field spokesman for the General Motors Corporation, Larry has been involved with various public relations firms in New York, Philadelphia and Dallas. After handling media positioning for baseball great Joe DiMaggio, he has served as principle spokesperson for evangelist Billy Graham since 1981.

Larry's mission is to "restore faith in media," by providing "value-added P.R. that defines values" and gives Christian messages relevance and meaning in mainstream media. "Newsweek" magazine headlined him as "Point Man for God" and a "New York Times Magazine" personal profile feature quoted him as saying his job is "…to find the sweet spot where faith and culture intersect." His work includes consultation and ongoing representation for many of the world's most influential Christian leaders, ministries and churches. His clients include Pastor Rick Warren.

Larry is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He and his wife Autumn have three teenage sons, and live in Lewisville, Texas.

Entries by Larry Ross

Bill Maher and Howard Stern Are Still Invited to Dinner; RSVP Required

(5) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 4:42 PM

A funny thing happened while recently flipping channels and tuning in to the middle of Stephen Colbert's Late Show interview with guest Bill Maher.

Noting the old adage that one should avoid discussing sex, religion or politics over dinner, Colbert asked Maher if he ever gets invited to dinner parties? His guest replied, "I wouldn't be invited to YOUR dinner party, because we are very opposite - you are married and religious."

Colbert acknowledged that, as a practicing Catholic, he "gives religion a shot," admitting, "I'm not good at it, but that doesn't mean I don't keep doing it." Then Maher, a self-defined atheist, confirmed he was also raised Catholic, and had been active during his development years.

"Come on back, Bill, the door is always open," Colbert admonished. "The 'Golden Ticket' is right before you; all you have to do is humble yourself before the presence of the Lord and admit there are things greater than you that you do not understand and salvation awaits you.

"Take Pascal's wager," the host continued in signature Colbertian form. "If you're wrong, you're an idiot. But if I'm right, you're going to hell."

For a brief moment Maher seemed speechless, but quickly recovered. He admitted there are things in the universe he doesn't understand, but said that in response he doesn't make up "silly stories." After Maher further opined his views about the folly of faith, Colbert explained how his religion gives him connectivity, as well as humility in the face of this kind of attack.

"You brought it up," Maher said defensively. "You gave me the big lecture about coming back to the Church." But Colbert clarified that he did not reprimand him on religion, but rather merely extended a open invitation.

A Tonight Show Prophecy Nearly Two Decades Ago
This conversation was reminiscent of an unlikely exchange nearly 20 years ago, which I covered in an editorial in Christianity Today, between two other guardians of the Zeitgeist on The Tonight Show, when Jay Leno interviewed radio shock jock Howard Stern in January 1996.

After claiming his new tome was "the fastest-selling book in the history of books," Stern held up a Bible and announced, "The Gideon Company is now putting my book in the place of Bibles in hotels." An incensed Leno held up the Scriptures his guest brought as a prop and replied, "Howard, something horrible is going to happen to you... This book will strike you down as you go down the road. It will go through the windshield and pierce your heart.

"I am sounding like an evangelist now, but I predict that's what will happen - suddenly, all that is in this book is making perfect sense to me," Leno concluded, still holding up the Bible.

Leno was right to prophetically infer that, like all of us, Stern will one day face God's judgment. Twenty years later, Colbert emphasized the grace and love of God, who welcomes all who would turn to Him in repentance and faith - including Bill Maher (and even Howard Stern).

Both talk show exchanges are significant and get right to the heart of the human condition, namely our rebellion and need for a Savior. Colbert's response to a snarky snub from his guest perfectly illustrates the way many individuals can't help but twist, misinterpret and be misled when it comes to the promises and invitations of God.

Like Bill Maher, in our sin and selfishness, many of us see invitations from God as intrusive. The enemy can twist these invitations to seem like "lectures," as he tempts us to take our eyes off of the marvelous offer before us, and put our eyes on ourselves. All the while he taunts us about how we don't deserve grace or how we would lose our autonomy, as "we really know the best way to order our lives." The litany goes on and on.

Because God's ways are so much higher than our ways, we constantly miss the mark in our thoughts and attitudes of Him. We think of sin as something that breaks God's rules, when it's really more like something that breaks His heart. We think of His laws as a ball and chain, when they're really more like a map and compass to tell us where we are, where we came from and how to get where we're going without getting in harm's way.

Sometimes even followers of Jesus regard the directions of the Holy Spirit as unwarranted interruptions, when they are really petitions to a more marvelous life than we could ever imagine, as we grow deeper into God's heart and move further into true freedom - from sin, death, guilt and shame.

In reality, it is Satan himself who gives us the lecture on our misgivings, and our flesh that stirs up repulsion at the thought of being with God. The Lord's impossible invitation to us, and all of mankind, is made possible only through the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit. It is strikingly simple, if not impossible to carry out on our own strength: "Come, everyone who thirsts..." (Isaiah 55:1a). "...Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you" (Zechariah 1:3).

Bill Maher is invited to Jesus' dinner party

Matthew 22:1-10 describes the Kingdom of heaven, open to all, in the well-known parable of the Wedding Feast. Bill Maher is a highly desired guest at the Kingdom banquet. However, there won't be any discussion of politics or religion, because Jesus will be exalted as the only undeniable Savior and King.

All anyone has to bring when he or she comes to Jesus is nothing, because that is all any of us have without Him. "(The Lord) is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (Peter 3:9).

As Colbert reminds us, we have to humble ourselves. "Come on back, Bill (insert your name here)...the door is always...

Read Post

The Flags of Our Fathers

(1) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 7:55 PM

2014-06-28-larry_autumn_funeral.png

Saturday I buried my 88-year-old father, a World War II veteran who served well his nation and his God.

Dr. Arthur M. Ross, Ph.D, affectionately known as "Papaw," served well his country and his God. A Patriot who enlisted in the Army at...

Read Post

'The Christmas Candle': Miracle of Faith Renewed and Hope Restored or Light of the World?

(3) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 2:42 PM

It's a scene as common to the Christmas season as It's a Wonderful Life rebroadcast on television 24/7, or the decorations that lace the walls of shopping malls from mid-October until late January. You exit the grocery or department store, feet aching, arms heavy with shopping bags to the twinkling...

Read Post

T.D. Jakes' International Faith and Family Festival Seeks to Scratch a Societal Itch

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 4:56 PM

Bishop T.D. Jakes launches the inaugural International Faith and Family Film Festival, August 29-31, as part of his ninth annual Megafest event, held for the first time in Dallas this week.

"Americans are looking for wholesome entertainment that reflects the values they practice...

Read Post

Leadership With Love

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2013 | 6:54 PM

"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Billy Graham & Me," released this week from Simon & Schuster, is a unique hardcover anthology documenting the life and legacy of the world's best-known evangelist.

Subtitled "101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers and Other People Who Know Him Well,"...

Read Post

First Motherless Mother's Day -- Not

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2012 | 9:39 PM

This will be the first Mother's Day of my life without my mother physically, but she'll be with me in spirit.

Ruth Hanselman Ross, 82, died just over one month ago on Good Friday and was resurrected to a heavenly body on Easter Sunday. During the interim, while she remained...

Read Post

At Home With Billy Graham on His 93rd Birthday

(1) Comments | Posted November 10, 2011 | 8:48 PM

Evangelist Shares Reflections on Growing Older with Grace and Guidance to Finish Well in "Nearing Home"

Evangelist Billy Graham has been celebrating his 93rd birthday (Nov. 7), with visits to his mountain home today and over the weekend from his daughters, who have been reading cards and greetings...

Read Post

Oral Roberts Showed Us the Way to the Throne

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2009 | 2:00 PM

Last week, the world lost legendary nonagenarian Christian leader and educator, Dr. Oral Roberts, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century.

Following his interment this morning at a private graveside service in Tulsa attended by family,...

Read Post

In the Wake of Tiger's Sins, What Matters Most -- Reputation or Reconciliation?

(3) Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 10:13 AM

As the eye of the Tiger continues to heal behind closed doors, his statement of contrition on Friday was the first step in what will be a long journey out of the woods to repair the huge divot in his family and get his personal life and public persona back...

Read Post

Is Sarah Palin 'Going Rogue' at the Intersection of Culture and Faith or Politics?

(28) Comments | Posted December 5, 2009 | 5:23 PM

Since the November 17 release of former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin's autobiography, Going Rogue, I have been fascinated by the crowds and controversy that have followed the author at every appearance on her current publicity tour. Now that she is again a private citizen after being a local and state...

Read Post

From No Country For Old Men To No Movie For Faith Audiences? I Don't Think So

(18) Comments | Posted November 25, 2009 | 9:57 AM

The Road, a sobering film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and All The Pretty Horses, is a national Thanksgiving holiday theatrical release, opening today. Unlike other recent doomsday movies that build toward a cataclysmic event marking the end of...

Read Post

Who Says America Doesn't Have a Prayer?

(21) Comments | Posted January 19, 2009 | 10:35 AM

In his song, "Dignity," Bob Dylan - the unofficial poet laureate of the Baby Boomer generation - wrote, "...the soul of a nation is under the knife..,' and went on to describe the many and varied ways people search for the elusive virtue of self respect.

This has never...

Read Post