Saturday Snapshot – A Look at the 2017 Program Guide

The 2017 Program Guide is out and we’re pleased to share it with you today on video.

To have a Program Guide mailed to you, please click here and complete the online request.

Get registered today for one of our seminars, programs, or concerts. Click here for a schedule of upcoming seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

If you’d like to hold your own event at The Cove, click here for more information.

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

Bless you, friends.  Have a wonderful weekend!

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — Esther 1:1a

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 1:1a

“Now it took place in the days of King Ahasuerus….”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  It took place in the days of King Ahasuerus…

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   It took  place in the days of King Ahasuerus…so what does that mean?  What were the days of King Ahasuerus?  King Ahasuerus was better known as Xerxes the great.  Xerxes ruled and reigned over the Persian Empire from 485bc-465bc.  Xerxes was a wicked and cruel leader whose motto was, “One world, one ruler,” and that one ruler was him.

God’s chosen people, the Israelites, find themselves in the midst of the Persian Empire as slaves to Xerxes–like 44% of the world found themselves at that time.  How did they end up there?  What happened to God’s promise to His people about having a land of their own?  God’s people conquer in the book of Joshua, but here in Esther they are conquered.

God’s chosen people were to obey and follow God, and if they did, God would bless them, but if they did not, God would send them into exile to discipline them and bring them back to Him.  Israel obeyed for awhile, but then… they stopped.  God was true to His Word.  King Nebuchadnezzar came in to Jerusalem, and in 536bc, wiped the city out.  Remember, Daniel and his friends were taken and in Daniel 1:1 they firmly decide not to defile themselves… they decide to go vegan before vegan was a trend.  Daniel and his friends were found to be more fit than all the other captives, so they get to keep their diet.  God shows Daniel and his friends favor.  Daniel ends up being a confidant to not only the Babylonian kings, but to the Medes and the Persians as well.  This is unheard of!  #ThefavorofGodisreal.

Daniel is a prophet and tells the people that God will allow them to return to the land of promise after 70 years of captivity.  Darius (Xerxes father) releases God’s chosen people to return back to their land of promise.  Less than 1/4 decide to go back… and now… here we are… the days of King Ahasuerus…

Soooo why did the Israelites not return?  God had CLEARLY called His people to be led by Him to their land given by Him.  Was Persia such a fabulous place?

It’s easy to point our fingers and judge for sure… there was a time in my life when I read this book and did just that… judged them.  I mean seriously… if they had returned like they were supposed to then there would be no need for Esther to risk her life… but no… they are disobedient, stiff necked people.  Yep.  So am I.

Would you have gone back?  I mean, you just got that promotion at work… your kids just got into the best school system… 1st world amenities…to go where?  Last time they heard about Jerusalem it was burned to the ground, completely destroyed.  No indoor plumbing?  Having to boil water over a fire?  What school system was in place there for your kids so they could have a shot at some sort of future?  Yeah… none.  It’s not like they could site visit and then if they didn’t like it, return over the long weekend.  You go–you stay.

Oh… so “God” had called them out?  Well…. where has God been these past 70 years?

God has been SILENT–that’s where God has been.

NOW God wants us to give EVERYTHING up and follow Him?  Trust that His Word is true for me and my family?  Hmmmm…. wow… now that my friend, is quite a gamble isn’t it?  And THAT is where we find ourselves today… not so far off from those Israelites in 536bc.  That very same calling is on our lives… TRUST that God’s Word and His promises are true and will hold…. for me.  There it is.  In the days of Ahasuerus… God’s people found themselves still living in exile… because it was hard to gamble it all on the fact that God is who He says He is.  We don’t know we need to be #delivered until we need to be delivered.  The Israelites needed #deliverance… so in chapter 1 Almighty God was going to work on that.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  SO, what say you?  Has God placed a calling on your life that you have put on the back burner?  When things calm down, when I’m more economically stable, when my kids are out of the house…  What is keeping you from going all in?  What is preventing you from believing and taking God at His Word?  Will God really be faithful to you?

Maybe God has been silent for YEARS… and now… you are to just believe His Word will hold for you in your desperate situation?  Has God allowed a desperate situation in your life so you have no options left on the table except to trust Him?

When has God shaken you to wake you up to your need?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today… help me to surrender the battle I face at the feet of Jesus.  Help my unbelief and #deliver me.

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If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it started last week, but it’s not too late to join us!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)


NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

UPDATE from January 10th study (last week): Friends, we had major technical difficulties with the LIVE streaming.  We are chatting with the tech people at Periscope and Twitter and hope to have it up and ready to go next week.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please pray this will get figured out.

Cove Bible Verse for Week of January 16

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them,” (Romans 8:28, NLT). 

Lucy | Chapel Visitor | Florida

SMALL_Lucy_Florida_Vistor_Chapel


We’d love for you to stop by and 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.

Saturday Snapshot — Winter Wonderland

Well, we received about six inches of snow last weekend.  Asheville’s first snowfall of the winter season left us with quite a beautiful sight.
Here are some pictures from last Friday, as the snow first began to fall and then some from Monday, after the snow had stopped.

The Chatlos Memorial Chapel lightly dusted with the first kiss of snow late Friday afternoon.

chapel  with snow on Friday 1 6 17The view from the Training Center prayer room window at about 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
snow on TC deck on Friday afternoon 1 6 17

Brrrrrr…..

snow on bench on Friday afternoon 1 6 17And here’s what it looked like on Monday after the snow stopped falling, but remained cold enough that melting was not taking place.
snow view from prayer room 1 9 17

rocking chairs on side deck of TC with snow 1 9 17 rocking chairs and tables in snow 1 9 17S’mores anyone? 
firepit after weekend snow to use

Stay warm and dry, friends.  Did anyone try out one of the recipes we shared last Saturday?  If so, let us know how it turned out.


Click here for a schedule of upcoming 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 — Psalm 62:12a

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 :  Psalm 62:12a

“And lovingkindness in Thine, O Lord…”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Lovingkindness is Thine, O Lord..

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

Have you heard the song, “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin?  This is the song rolling around my heart and mind as I review for the Bible study workshop tonight at the Cove.

The word “lovingkindness” in the Hebrew is the word “checed”… this is a word that’s difficult for scholars to define because it has such a deeper meaning than we can articulate.  The closest meaning they have agreed upon is this: “the loving kindness of a father toward his child.”  God moves to us with the love that a father has for his child.

I understand that not all of us had that “perfect” father experience… but the love of God towards us, is just that… the perfect father experience.  God rules with a “fatherly rule.”  The kindness of a father speaks to the motivation and the heart that God has towards us.  God rules with fatherly tenderness.  God rules with the fatherly wisdom of what is best for us… not necessarily what we want or think we are entitled to.   He knows what we need before we even think we need it–before we cry out for help He is there to #deliver us.  He is perfect in all of His ways.  He loves us more than we even accept, so much in fact, that He sacrificed His own life for us, so that we might live. It’s who He is.

God’s love toward us  not only implies love and tenderness, but it implies the fact that He is to be followed, to be listened to, to be surrendered to.

Surrendering to follow our good, good Father is a challenge, isn’t it?  We don’t trust that He has our best in mind.  Often we think God just wants to hurt us…if only He would bend to our every whim, then we would trust Him.

I argue, it is precisely that He does not bend to our every whim which is the reason to trust Him.  Praise God we have a heavenly Father who can see what is for our best! Praise God we serve a God who moves towards us in fatherly tenderness when we don’t deserve it!  Praise God He is a Father who is desperate to spend time with us, walk with us, lead us, and guide us!  God rules from a compassionate heart, He loves you, He loves me!  This is the intimacy of God for us: His hand made creation.

Oh, that through this study, this year, you would find an intimacy with Jesus that you have never known.  We don’t know what challenges 2017 will hold, but what we can be assured of is this:  “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD #delivers him out of all of them!”  Psalm 34:19.  May we run to and find refuge in the arms of our God, full of the lovingkindness of a good, good Father.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Where is God calling you to trust Him?  Do you believe that He wants the best for you?  How has God tried to show you how loved you are by Him?  Do you fight His love or accept it?

LIVE IT OUT:  Determine to spend time with God on a daily basis, in His Word, claiming His character.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove it starts tonight!  We’d love to see you in person.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Kendra’s winter Bible study at The Cove in person (January 10 – February 21, 2017),  we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.  We are also streaming the study LIVE via Periscope.  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.  We will begin streaming LIVE each Tuesday evening around 7:15 p.m. ET (give or take a few minutes).

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

Make sure to follow The Cove on Twitter and Periscope, so you will be notified when we go LIVE.  We are @TheCoveNC.

UPDATE from January 10th study: Friends, we had major technical difficulties with the LIVE streaming.  We are chatting with the tech people at Periscope and Twitter and hope to have it up and ready to go next week.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Please pray this will get figured out.

Cove Bible Verse for Week of January 9

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God,” (Acts 20:24, ESV). 

Dariush | Guest Group | Acts 20:24

SMALL_Dariush_GuestGroup


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

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.

Saturday Snapshot – Snow Calls for Chili, Soup & Chowder

The first snow of the season came on Friday afternoon!

Our webcam is up and running again, so feel free to take a look at the beautiful white snow from the rear of the Training Center.

Click here to view our webcam.

What’s the weather like in your area?

If you’re hunkered down, like some of us are, try making this delicious black bean and turkey chili recipe to warm you right up.

Here are a couple other great options for the cold winter months:
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Lentil and Beef Chowder

Enjoy!  Bless you, friends.

P.S.  We will be LIVE streaming Kendra Graham’s Tuesday evening Bible Study on Periscope (Tuesday Evenings: January 10 – February 21, 2017).  If you’re not coming in person, we’d love for you to join us from the comfort of your home.

We will begin streaming via Periscope sometime between 7 and 7:20 pm ET).  Can’t watch live?  Don’t worry, you can catch the replays in the Periscope app indefinitely.

Here’s how you can watch:

Not sure how to use Periscope? 
1.
 You must first sign up for Twitter (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2. Then you sign up for Periscope (it’s free).  Click here for step-by-step instructions.

 

 

Cove Bible Verse for Week of January 2

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart,” (Psalm 91:4). 

This year, we are mixing up The Cove’s Weekly Scripture Verse.
We have asked employees, guests, volunteers and even some speakers to share with all of us their favorite verse.

Traci | Program Support Associate | Psalm 91:4.

SMALL_Traci_Program Support Associate


Ladies! Beginning next week, there are two weekly opportunities to participate in a free women’s Bible study at The Cove in Asheville, NC. On Tuesday mornings at 9:45 a.m., join Jane Derrick for a study through Psalm 91. On Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., Kendra Graham will guide participants in a Bible study through the book of Esther.

For more information, or to register, call (800) 950-2092 or visit www.thecove.org. We hope to see you there!

 

PRAYER NOTE: JANUARY 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

Happy New Year!  We look forward to what God has in store for His children this new year.  We hope this prayer, and the Scripture to follow, will give you words to meditate upon as you walk with Him into 2017.

The Spirit to Know You

A prayer by St. Benedict of Nursia

O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive Thee,
intelligence to understand Thee,
diligence to seek Thee,
patience to wait for Thee,
eyes to behold Thee,
a heart to meditate upon Thee,
and a life to proclaim Thee;
through the power of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord.


And our prayer for you from 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.


Join us in praying for the following events in January:

Women’s Morning Bible Study with Jane Derrick – January 10 – February 28

Women’s Evening Bible Study with Kendra Graham – January 10 – February 21

We also have many Guest Groups on property during the month of January, taking time to focus on God and His leading during their conferences, retreats, and ministry events.

Thank you for praying!

Saturday Snapshot — New Year’s Resolution

This photo was taken last year one night after an Evening at The Cove concert.  We share it with you today, the last day of 2016, as a symbol of hope.  We pray 2017 will be a year filled with God’s blessing, peace, comfort, direction, and presence in your life.

Happy New Year, friends!

chapel at night

For those of you making New Year’s resolutions, here’s an answer Billy Graham once gave someone who asked.

Make Jesus Your New Year’s Resolution

Question:

Every year I come up with a long list of New Year’s resolutions, but then I end up not keeping even one. I’m sincere when I make them, but then they somehow fall by the wayside as time passes. What’s my problem? God must be very disappointed in me.

Billy Graham’s Answer:

I suspect many readers could echo your words. After all, each of us wants to become a better person and have a better life—and yet it eludes us. Even the Apostle Paul admitted, “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).

Sometimes our New Year’s resolutions fail because they aren’t realistic—and frankly, there’s no use including something on our list that simply isn’t going to happen. Others fail because we don’t take steps to make them happen—that is, we have no action plan. In other words, we wish for something to happen—but that’s all it is: a wish. Still others fail because we aren’t willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary to bring them about.

But we also fail for a deeper reason: We don’t have the moral and spiritual strength within us to live the way we know we should. We need God’s help—and yet in our pride we refuse to turn to Him, and we try to improve our lives without Him. As a result we fall short.

At the beginning of this new year turn to Jesus Christ and commit your life without reserve to Him. Then ask Him to give you the strength to become the kind of person He wants you to be. Make Jesus’ words your guide: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove