COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR WEEK OF March 27

This week’s verse is brought to you by:
Kent | Cove Guest Group Manager | 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old was gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

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Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Saturday Snapshot — The Ladies Take Over the Mountain

For the last 15 years, an amazing group of ladies from a church in South Carolina have been holding their women’s retreat at The Cove.  Each year is fun, with a creative theme, workshops, skits, exercise, prayer, and fellowship. It’s always a joy to see these ladies come together here, experiencing the love of God, away from the daily distractions of life.

Here’s a sneak peak into their 3-day women’s retreat…

The leadership team came a day ahead, to pray and prepare for the ladies. #prayerwarriors

praying in chapel before event for blogThese group leaders don’t miss a detail!  Each woman had her own door decoration.

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….and goody bags packed with special surprises.  bed with goodie bag in inn room

The theme for the weekend was, “True Reflections: A Makeover to Remember.” A weekend at The Cove is always memorable!

Brookwood_1_Makeover Sign Post1

Here’s a fun photo booth moment captured by one of the ladies who attended. #faithlift

Elizabeth Godfrey Photobooth Pic
Courtesy of Elisabeth Godfrey

These lovely ladies embodied the meaning of Proverbs 31:25 — She laughs at the time to come.

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The fruits of the Spirit were beautifully displayed on stage and in the lives of these sweet women.

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Have a blessed weekend, friends!


Interested in holding your own church retreat, conference or ministry event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — John 18:1-2

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  John 18:1-2

“When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of Kidron, where there was a garden, into which He Himself entered, and His disciples. (2) Now Judas also, who was betraying Him knew the place for Jesus had often met there with His disciples.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

Jesus had spoken these words, went forth with disciples over ravine, where there was a garden, into which He entered and disciples.   Judas betraying Him, knew the place, Jesus often met there w/ disciples.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

Night had fallen.  Jesus had taken time out with His disciples in the upper room, breaking bread with them and pouring wine, symbolizing what was to happen within the next 24 hours. Judas had left the last supper to go and do what he intended to do.  Jesus went forth.  Those are powerful words…  Jesus went forth, knowing what Judas was in the process of doing, knowing what was on the horizon, knowing that truly His body was going to be as broken bread and poured out wine…. yet…. He went forth.

Jesus and His disciples made their way through the city, out of the east side gate, over the ravine of Kidron, and into the garden.   Was there a chill or a dampness to the night as they approached the little brook there?  Did the disciples have to tighten their outer garments to keep warm?

The garden was in sight.  This was a garden place that the disciples knew well… ALL the disciples knew well, even Judas.  Jesus could have gone to a different garden… a different town… but no, this night, this is why He came, so He went forth.

How often had Judas met Jesus there?  What sermons, what individual chats did they all experience, there in that place that were not written for all of us to know?  How personal was this place to them?  To Judas?  Very personal… they knew it… the words are not… “Yeah… I think I know where you are talking about…” or “Let me pull that up on google maps”… Jesus met OFTEN there WITH them– THERE–His disciples, His best friends.  Have you ever wondered if the reason Jesus often met there, in that garden place, was to ensure that this moment, this night would happen?

You see, we desperately need Jesus to go through with this, or we are doomed.

Every person who experienced a miracle in the ministry and life of Jesus, needs Jesus to go through with this night, lest their infirmity be returned 100 fold…. we were not created to carry the burden of our own sin…. so Jesus went forth, leading the charge, not hiding from it, compelled by His great love for us–His handmade creation.

This particular garden is located on the east side of Jerusalem and in a few hours from this moment, Jesus will be drug from the east side of Jerusalem, and in the end will be lifted up high on a hill, on a cross on the west side of Jerusalem.  Jesus will complete it all, for all.  Sin will be put away as far as the east is from the west.  So, you see, we need Jesus to not shrink back here, and so Jesus went forth.

Jesus went into the garden that night, not only to pray for the strength needed, but He went to that garden–to that place–that night, to be found, by the one betraying Him.  Have you ever thought about that?  Jesus did not go to hide, He went to be found.  Jesus came to be found by you and me, so He shows up in places that we know well, so that we won’t miss Him.

I reflect back in my childhood all the way through today, and I see distinct places where Jesus was found along the way.  I see His providential hand moving the scenes even if I missed it at the time.  Jesus came to be found by you, too!  If you have never found Him, spend this time before Easter, in this period of lent, looking for Him, asking Him to open your eyes, so that you can see Him. Jesus endured this night, not to play some mystical hide-and-go seek game with you… but He went forth to be found.  Don’t miss Jesus this Easter!

I love those who love Me; and those who diligently seek Me will find Me. Proverbs 8:17

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

Where can Jesus be found in your life?

Will you ask Jesus to reveal where He is, if you cannot see Him?  Sometimes, it comes down to the fact of our pride… we don’t want to know because we want the excuse that God has abandoned us… but God with skin on went forth to be found this night in the garden… for you, and for me.  Let’s start fixing our hearts on the Truth, even if it’s hard.

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, see where Jesus can be found in my life, whether it be in an ordinary or extraordinary place, and thank Him specifically for that.


What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR WEEK OF March 20

This week’s verse is brought to you by:
Ken | Erwin Lutzer Seminar Guest | Albany, GA

“Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20). 

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Picture taken at The Cove overlook — a 3.5 mile hike from the Training Center.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR WEEK OF March 13

This week’s verse brought to you by:
John | Erwin Lutzer Seminar Guest | Albany, GA

“I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6). 

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Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Saturday Snapshot — Sights and Sounds to Soothe Your Soul

“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” Isaiah 49:10

We have a beautiful stream that meanders throughout our 1,200 acre property, and there are several places along the trails where you can stop , sit on a bench, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the nature that surrounds you.

Today, we’re sharing a little piece of the tranquility found in our woods.  We hope you enjoy.

TIP: If you’d like the video to continuously loop, so you can enjoy the sights/sounds for longer than 1 minute, right click your mouse and select “loop”.

Have a blessed weekend, friends.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 9:29

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 9:29

“Then Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter of Purim.” 

Step 1

Your Extraordinary Call

THE FACTS:  

Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm Purim.

He sent letters to all Jews in kingdom of Ahasuerus, words of peace and truth.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

Esther was not just “Esther” she was “Queen Esther.” Esther had been queen for about 6 years at this time… it was not new, she just had no idea of the influence and authority she had been granted until she “selah-ed” … paused… simmered in who God is, what His promises are for her, and then stepped in the faith that God’s promises and His Word would hold.

It was in the stepping that she found that God had gone before her and had already #delivered her.  What did Esther already have that God wanted to use???  Well… in chapter 5 Esther put on her royal robes…. that was the start.  God was not going to use something she didn’t have… God had already #delivered her with something she DID have.  Here in chapter 9… Esther is finally stepping into the authority she was given and she used…. a pen.  Esther picked up that pen with ALL AUTHORITY… I love that she is daughter of Abihail… she is still that orphaned girl–an ordinary girl with an extraordinary calling–that picked up a pen and wrote with authority! Esther surrendered the ordinary she had in her hand to Almighty God and He made it extraordinary… drawing His people unto Himself.  Esther’s faith drew a nation NOT TO HER but to GOD!
God used a stick in the hand of Moses.  God did an awful lot through that seemingly ordinary shepherd’s stick, to again, draw HIS people to Himself.  In John 21, the disciples had a fishing net in their hands… God changed the use of that net for fish, to a net for men and began to draw a dying world to Himself.  God used their net, to bring His hand made creation to HIMSELF… not to the disciples.         Look what God can do through ordinary items that He has put in our hands!  The problem is that often we want in our hands what someone else has in their’s or we want the spotlight, and the glory for ourselves.  “If God would only give me “that”… well then I could really reach people for Him.”  Our focus is not quite right, often due to the lack of “selah” … a pausing to simmer in who GOD is, not who we think we are.There is an extraordinary call on your ordinary life.  Stop getting bogged down in believing your purpose is less than it is because all you have are the mundane repetitive things of life! Instead ask God to give a new meaning to your mundane!  Ask God to transform the mundane to extraordinary even in those little things you do.  Watch God use your mundane to draw your kids, your neighbors, your Sunday school class, or even that person your meet in the line at Walmart, to Him for His glory.In Ephesians 1:18-23, Paul pleads that we would know the hope of our calling, and greatness of the strength and power of Jesus on a personal level.  We have spiritual royal robes, that many of us have yet to don.  Oh that we would submit and surrender that which is in our hand, and see what God will do with it.  It will take courage.  It’s time to stand.  You are not alone. #deliveredwithpower

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

What is in your hand currently that God wants to use in an extraordinary way to draw His people to Him and His glory?

 Are you willing to ask God what is in your hand and then wait for Him to show you?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, do all, no matter how mundane for the glory of God with all the authority that He has given you as a child of the King.


What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.

Cove Bible Verse for Week of March 6

This week’s verse is brought to you by:
Michelle | Cove Program Manager | Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord you God in your midst, The mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing,” (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV). 

SMALL_Michelle_Program Manager


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Saturday Snapshot — Blooms and Blue Skies

It’s a glorious time of year in the mountains!  The majority of the blooms on our property now are daffodils, crocuses, and Lenten rose.   Enjoy!

Daffodils and blue skies March 2017
Don’t the yellow, blue and green look gorgeous together?!
daffodils along the creek March 2017
Daffodils along the creek. Very serene.
Chatlos Memorial Chapel with crocus and blue skies March 2017
Crocus in the foreground. 87-foot steeple of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel in the background.
Lenten Rose at admin March 2017
Isn’t it lovely that God has these Lenten Roses come up around the season of Lent?

What’s coming up in your yard?

Have a beautiful weekend!

P.S. If you didn’t already see the Spring garden tips post from our gardener, click here to read now.


Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

 

Cove Gardener Shares His Top 10 Spring Gardening Tips

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March 20th marks the first day of spring this year, but we’re seeing lots of spring color and growth already, here in Asheville.  Unless you still have snow covering the ground, this is a good time to get outside and tend to the things the good Lord created in our gardens and yards.

Following are 10 great spring gardening tips from Lucas, our gardener here at The Cove.  From planting, to pruning, to mulching– he’s got you covered!

By Lucas Jack, Cove Grounds Maintenance Supervisor

1. Don’t Guess—Soil Test!

This is a tip we frequently share with visitors when they ask our advice about plant problems. Soil testing to determine nutrient and Ph levels is a crucial step towards having a successful garden.  Knowing what nutrients are lacking (or are present in excess) can mean the difference between a green thumb and black thumb.  Soil testing is simple, and it starts with a call to your local agricultural extension office.  There’s an extension office in every county in America, and they are associated with Agricultural College of each state (NC State for North Carolina, UT for Tennessee, UGA for Georgia, Clemson for South Carolina, etc.).  The good folks at your local office will direct you in how to send a soil sample to your state lab.  However, summer is too late—so be sure to do this ASAP!  The test results will tell you what fertilizer you will need to ensure growing success this season.  It will also tell you to how to change the Ph of your soil to maximize nutrient use by your plants.

2. To Prune or Not Prune? That is the Question.

Put down those sharp pruners before you hurt yourself!  Do you know what to prune and what not too?  Often gardeners make the mistake of pruning everything—or worse, nothing.  Plants such as roses need to be pruned before spring, so if you haven’t pruned them hard already, don’t do it now; just get all the dead or crossing canes out, cut back any old blooms from last year, and prune to a height of about 75%.  Some plants bloom on last year’s wood, so be sure to research what to prune and when. Cut back ornamental grasses and debris from perennials.  Prune back hollies now; tackle the obvious die backs and don’t be skimpy.

For the best treatment of Mountain Laurel, be sure to cut it back to within 4 inches from the ground (this will make for a dense shrub in the future, packed with beautiful blooms).   When planning to prune, just remember: Everything has a season, just like you; so take your time and make the right decisions based on research.  It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter and the Glory of Kings to search it out.  (Proverbs 25:2) So, learn first, prune second.

Finally, just a few short but crucial pruning tips from a gardener who’s seen it all: do not top trees, do not top your crape myrtles and do not prune your “dead hydrangeas” back!

3. Its Alive, It’s Alive!

Speaking of hydrangeas…they may not be dead.  Hydrangeas are often slow to push leaves in the spring, and their stems look dry and brittle.  But don’t despair; they may not be dead!  Wait patiently, and by May 1st you should know whether your hydrangea is dead or alive.  The Clematis vine has a similar growth pattern.  The vine itself may look bad but quickly buds out, producing beautiful blooms from what was seemingly dead, similar to me and you when we came to Christ—once dead, now made alive!  A final tip about hydrangeas: Hydrangea macrophyla species (Endless Summer, Dooley, All Summer Beauty, Larnath White, etc.) should be pruned after bloom, but selectively.  Hydrangea penniculata (Limelight, etc.) can be pruned in the spring time.

4. Between the Hedges

If your hedge is way overgrown, go ahead and prune it low now!  Hedges such as boxwood, holly, or Yew can often withstand a very hard prune to the ground.  When done, they usually flush back out in the spring with gusto! (Caution: Hedges such as hemlock do not.)  However; be prepared. After pruning, anything between the hedges will be visible, so make sure the lawn looks like UGA’s Herty field.

5. Don’t Plant that Yet!

All big box stores will sell you a tomato plant in March; but unless you live in south Georgia, just leave it on the shelf and be fine with the fact that you haven’t wasted your money.  Consult the USDA’s cold hardiness map which identifies the typical last and first frost dates for zones throughout the U.S. (For example: Western North Carolina is within Zones 6 and 7, and to the south Zones 7, 8 and 9.  In Zone 6 our average last frost is May 15th.)  Vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, corn, peppers, and Okra will be absolutely stone cold dead if exposed to frost.  Other issues can arise from cold damp air that can likewise kill your plants.  It’s important to do your research as to what you can plant early, such as spinach, potatoes etc.

6. Ah, I love the Smell of Mulch in the Morning…

When preparing to mulch, plan to use pine straw for most shrubs and pine mulch for everything else.  Before applying mulch rake up debris and put in a compost pile.  Apply 3 inches of mulch to previously un-mulched areas and only apply a dusting of mulch to previously mulched areas.  Apply pine straw to a thickness that you cannot see the soil underneath.

One final piece of advice: Don’t use weed blanket.  Here’s why:  If you don’t remove and replace the mulch each year, you’ll end up with a compost layer covering your blanket, which then allows weeds to grow on top of the fabric.  The weed roots will then grow through the pores of the fabric, making it completely useless.  So go ahead and rip that stuff out!

7. Let’s Split!

Grasses, iris’, daylilies and other clumping perennials can be split once they begin to emerge.  This allows them to get over split shock and transplant shock.  Share extras with your neighbor, or fill-in bare spots in your garden with the new starts. Don’t do this late in the year because often their roots will rot.

8. What a Bunch of Manure.

Fertilizer is simply fancy manure.  When choosing fertilizer, it’s important to follow the guidelines of your soil test.  Here are a few other helpful things to know:

  1.  Slow release fertilizers are great if you missed your window for a soil test and aren’t sure what to put down.  They are often coated with a polymer which breaks down with higher temperatures, thus allowing the nutrients to slowly release when plants need it most.
  2. Urea nitrogen-based fertilizers are usually very safe for use on most plants and often do not pose a “burn” risk if used properly
  3. Ammonia nitrogen-based fertilizers can easily burn plants if used improperly or in high doses.  The advantage they offer is a quick release of fertilizer.

Remember: Consult your soil test and your county extension agent to determine the best fertilizer to use!

9. Black Thumb or Egyptian Plague?

By now I’m sure you’re overwhelmed with info, but a few last things to keep in mind:  Sometimes diseases and insects are your issue—not your inability to “grow” a plant.

In the spring, wet and damp conditions can lead to fungal diseases and insects such as aphids.  Fungal diseases can take out your plants in a hurry, so once again take a sample of the plant to your local extension office if you aren’t sure what the problem is.  You can also find helpful information from a web search, but make sure to assess all the symptoms present before deciding to spray.

10. I Want My Yard to Look Like Augusta National.

Good luck with that! But even if you’ve set your goals a bit lower, here are a few tips for a healthier lawn:

Fertilize cool season grasses like fescue now, and over seed if needed. If you don’t want weeds, then use a pre-emergent fertilizer; but be sure not to over seed until fall if you’ve used a pre-emergent.  More is not better, so use the recommended rates and don’t over apply.

Make sure your mower has a sharp blade, a fresh spark plug, and fresh oil.  Purchase a few extra blades as well.  Disinfect the housing of the mower blade, and decontaminate your mower deck with a kitchen cleaner or outdoor use bleach.  Fungal spores and other pathogens can live on the debris under the mower deck so clean well, and make sure to sharpen your mower throughout the season.

Lastly, now is the time to have your local licensed irrigation company scheduled to come out and prepare your irrigation system for use.  If you don’t have a system but want one, now is the time to start planning.  Remember that time you had to stand in the bread line at the grocery store because you didn’t think it would snow but it turned into a blizzard?  Avoid falling victim to summer drought by being proactive and getting your system fixed or installed.  When the drought comes, everybody gets in line.

Thanks for reading!  Hope this helps, and happy gardening!  – Lucas


We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.  Tours are free.

 

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove