Saturday Snapshot

Bobcats and squirrels and bears! Oh my!

We’ve had some pretty special visitors near the Cove administration building over the last week or so.

Just look at this beautiful bobcat who passed through earlier this week!  Have no fear–bobcats are not a threat to humans.  Cove staff was delighted to see this cool cat crossing our path.  In case you were wondering, he measured about 15″ to his back.  We are guessing he was probably 30 lbs.  This photo makes him look a little larger.

bobcat at The Cove May 20 2015

This little squirrel was either admiring its reflection in the glass or listening in on the meeting that was going on right on the other side of the windows.  Thank you to Cove Executive Director, Will Graham, who snapped this photo.
squirrel with Wil May 2015

Beautiful black bear out for a stroll.
Bear in admin parking lot May 2015

See what’s going on at The Cove by clicking here to visit our website.

Recipe From The Cove Kitchen: Coconut Cheesecake with Brownie Crust

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logo


At The Cove, we are blessed with amazingly gifted chefs with a heart to serve God.  Today, our pastry chef Natalie shares her recipe for
Coconut Cheesecake with Brownie Crust.  Delicious!

Coconut Cheesecake with Brownie Crust
Served at The Cove
Makes 1 – 9 inch pie, 6-8 servings

Brownie Crust:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour and baking powder and set aside. Melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler. Whip eggs with the sugar until thick and light in color. Fold melted butter and chocolate into eggs. Gently stir in the flour. Pour into a 9 inch round cake pan that is lined with parchment paper and greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out with wet crumbs.

Coconut Cheesecake:
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut

Directions: Mix cream cheese on medium speed with a paddle until smooth, scraping the bowl several times. Reduce speed to low and add sugar and salt. Mix until smooth, scraping the bowl. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, scraping the bowl well after each addition. Stir in the coconut milk and vanilla. Stir in shredded coconut. Pour batter over baked brownie crust. Bake at 325 degrees, in a warm bath, for 45 minutes-1 hour or until center is almost set. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake crust and cool completely in the water bath before refrigerating or freezing.


Enjoy other recipes from The Cove kitchen here.


Saturday Snapshot

We are blessed with Scripture etched in stone on some of our  buildings around the property.  These remind us of the abounding love, protection and grace we receive from our Heavenly Father.

Stone verse
The verse John 10:14 carved in stone at the entrance to Shepherd’s Inn.

DSC03419 2

The verse 2 Chronicles 6:18b at the entrance to Chatlos Memorial Chapel.

While attending your event or retreat at The Cove, make sure to allow for plenty of time to explore our property and take a moment to meditate on God’s word.

Click here to view upcoming events at The Cove.

Interested in bringing a group to The Cove for a special retreat, click here for information.


Andrew Peterson to Perform at The Cove

Untitled design

By Donna Riesen

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and today we are thanking the Lord for the blessing of fathers. In addition to the treasured gift of life, a good father will give his child a myriad of other valuable gifts over the course of a lifetime: love, wisdom, guidance, discipline, and an appreciation for the varied applications of duct tape. When we pause to think about it, some of us would love to give back a few of the things we’ve inherited from our fathers: a lead foot, a stubborn streak, male-pattern baldness or the tendency to snore!

Whether we were raised in a godly Christian home or brought up by unbelieving parents, each of us possess the same inherent human nature and propensity towards sin that our father inherited from his father and his father’s father before him. What an amazing gift of love our heavenly father gave us when He sent His own Son to redeem us from sin and bring us into His family, giving us “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1 Peter 1:4).” If you have been blessed with the gift of a Christian father who points you to Jesus and lives life as a godly example for you to follow, then you have much to celebrate, on Father’s Day and every day.

Gifted musician and lyricist Andrew Peterson beautifully celebrates the joys of family and gives voice to many of the deep emotions that accompany marriage, parenthood and family life at its core. The son of a pastor, Peterson spent his early childhood years in the rural farmland of Illinois before his family relocated to Florida when Andrew was seven.

In the song “All the Way Home,” he testifies to the blessing of being raised in a Christian home: “Well, they may not have walked on water, but I know that their house stood firm. All the way home they followed the tracks that the saints have trod. By the grace of God they walked in the rain of His mercy, let it soak them down to the bone. And they splashed in its puddles and danced in its streams as they’d go. And oh, they walked in the rain of His mercy…when they sat in their home, when they walked along the road, when they slept and when they rose.”*

In the song, “Tools,” Peterson recalls the memory of being invited to enter his grandfather’s shed to take his choice from among the selection of old tools. “You sent me to the shed with all the tools. I remember how you said that I could take what I could use. I got a hammer and a ratchet set. A hundred tools I ain’t used yet. They’re rusty, but they work as good as new. Tools.” The lyrics then turn to reflect the singer’s gratitude for the heritage of wisdom and faith passed down from his grandfather:  “When my daddy was a baby, oh you gave him to the Lord. And the faith you handed down has somehow stuck around. And love has called you home again to roam again no more. You sent me to the shed with all the tools. I remember how you said that I could take what I could use. Faith and Love and Hope are what I carried home. They’re rusty but they work as good as new. Tools.”*

Peterson’s latest recording, After All These Years: A Collection (Centricity Music), is a twenty-song retrospective that features four new songs and re-recordings of several old favorites. The title track, “After All These Years,” is a new song, and as Andrew explains, it is a song of gratitude. “I felt compelled to open this collection with an Ebenezer stone. I like the idea of having to sing a song that reminds me of God’s provision at every concert for the next year or two.”

God has provided a gift for the body of Christ through the insightful lyrics and musical artistry of Andrew Peterson. From songs that capture the deep woundedness and struggle of life in a fallen world to songs of hope and anticipation of the new world to come, his music gives voice to the heart cry of God’s family.

Perhaps the most heartwarming depiction of the joys of earthly family and fatherhood comes in Peterson’s song, “Family Man.” Enjoy this early father’s day gift…

Join us June 20, 2015 for An Evening at The Cove with Andrew Peterson.  This special night will include dinner and a concert, followed by a meet-and-greet opportunity with Andrew.  Father’s Day is June 21, so consider blessing your dad with the gift of Evening at The Cove tickets.  Dad, bring your son–children as young as nine may attend!

Overnight lodging is available at applicable rates and includes breakfast the following morning.

Click here for more information.

Andrew Peterson


“All The Way Home” from the album Carried Along (2000).
“Tools” from the album Love and Thunder (2003).

Kendra’s Bible Study…Isaiah 53:10-11

The Book of Isaiah

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!

Kendra Graham notes from Isaiah 53:10-11

In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.


Verse 10a: The LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief.

Verse 10b: He would render Himself as the guilt offering.

Verse 10c: The pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Verse 11a: As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied.

Verse 11b: The knowledge of My servant will justify many as He will bear their iniquities.

Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?


Verse 10a: Notice this is written in the past tense. Isaiah is written hundreds of years before Jesus, but when God says He will come Himself to fix the gap sin created between Him and His handmade creation, no matter what the personal cost is to Him, it is as if it is done already. The promises of God are done! Oh, that we would believe. It pleased the LORD to crush Himself, to crush Jesus, putting Himself to grief, since we were not created to bear such a burden. God loves us more than anything, His handmade creation and has gone the distance to bear in full the debt our sin leaves us in. Jesus praying in the Garden that night, if there be any other way, then let’s do that, but trusting in where His Father was leading Him, in spite of the crushing pain and grief. Oh how He loves you and me…Jesus went forth, because we were created to know Him, walk with Him and need Him.

Verse 10b: There is the sin offering, offered in the temple, inside the walls of Jerusalem. The sin and the guilt offering is found in Leviticus on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. There are two goats. Straws are drawn for the sin and guilt offering. One goat is offered as the sin offering inside the temple, the other goat is the scapegoat. The scapegoat is driven outside the city walls, carrying the guilt of the sin just atoned for. The scapegoat is driven off a cliff, so that the guilt of those sins would not return to the people. Jesus was the sin offering, shedding His blood in the city being scourged beyond recognition, but then, as He carried His cross, He carried the guilt of sin as well, outside the city, dying on a hill called Calvary beyond the walls, forsaken by God. Jesus went forth, trusting that as He paid for the sin with His blood and then carrying the guilt of the sin beyond the city, that indeed the payment for sin would be satisfied, because here, in Isaiah 53, it says that the LORD was indeed satisfied. Jesus went forth for us and carried the guilt and the shame for what we have done, yet many of us, choose to carry that sin and shame anyway. Jesus paid it in full. Jesus fully felt the shame of your sin and my sin, and for some reason we feel that Jesus’ payment fell short, so we pick up these bags we were never intended or created to carry, and we carry that sin and shame for years and years. Jesus felt every bit of shame for what we have done, oh that we would render His sacrifice sufficient for it! The LORD Yahweh rendered the sacrifice of Jesus sufficient, but often we do not. Jesus went forth and paid it. Oh how He loves you and me!

Verse 10c: I love what Tim Keller has been quoted in saying: “On the cross, Christ wins through losing, triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness and service, comes to wealth through giving all away.” Because of what Jesus has done, Jesus prospered, and we prosper!

Verse 11a: The payment for sin was satisfied completely. Paid in full. No more is owed. My guilt will not pay down the debt, the shame I hide will not pay down the debt. Jesus paid it all.

Verse 11b: Personally knowing Jesus, and what He has done justifies us before God. Believe your debt is paid. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Acts 16:31

Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 10a: Do you trust God through the crushing times of life? Do you realize that you pray to a God who understands what it means to be crushed and in anguish? Do you realize the love of Jesus as He went forth for you, and was crushed and forsaken by God so that you could have the opportunity to do that which you were created to do: walk with God, know God because you were created to need God?

Verse 10b: Have you allowed Jesus to take the shame and guilt He rightfully paid to have on your behalf, or do you prefer to hold in to it yourself, thinking there is another way to pay the debt and redeem yourself?

Verse 10c: Do you look at the cross as a moment of defeat or victory? How often is God’s definition of victory so contrary to our own ideas of how victory and prosperity should look?

Verse 11a: What sin, guilt and shame are you determined to carry in spite of the fact Jesus took it upon Himself to carry? While you are carrying your guilt and hiding your shame, has it produced a life of victory? Do you think that God taking the payment on Himself for your guilt and shame has fallen short in your case? Do you believe the verse: “For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”? Romans 6:23. Will I accept the free gift God offers through Jesus?

Verse 11b: Do you believe Jesus is God with skin on who came to fix the gap that sin created since the beginning of time? Who do you say Jesus is? Do you believe God satisfied His own wrath for sin Himself so that you could walk with God, know God, because you were created to need God?


Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Humbly before God, today, now, give your heart and life to knowing the God who came Himself not trusting you to another. Today, ask God to forgive your debt that sin has left you in, and then to help you place your shame and guilt both past and present upon Him as well. Jesus paid a high price for your baggage, He knew what He was getting inside that suitcase of guilt you haul around day after day, and He paid full price for it. Oh, that as we pray Jesus would help our unbelief and our unwillingness to give up what rightfully belongs to Him. We would rather give Him something shiny and impressive, but He paid for our filth. Give it up, today, now; then, spend today, and the next day, walking with and getting to know the God who loves you and gave everything to have you beside Him. You are not created to go through life without Him, start the journey today. Get to know the God who created you with His own two hands, and loves you more than anything.

Homework: Mark 16:4-8

Get stuck? and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

Saturday Snapshot

The wildflowers are in full bloom!  The images below were taken near the overlook on top of our mountain.  We are thankful to partake in such beauty here at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Luke 12:27

Friends,  be blessed by God’s work on our mountaintop. The Trillium have bloomed and the birds are singing a beautiful song!










Come see us!  Click here to see what’s going on at The Cove.  We’ve got something for everyone!



Today is National Day of Prayer.
Please join us in prayer for our nation, our nation’s leaders and our military.
“Heavenly Father,

We come to You in the Name that is above every name—Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You.

Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God—the One we trust in times like these—we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land.

We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word.

We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You.

Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness.

We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You.

Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope.

Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free.

We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts.

In Jesus’ name, our Savior.


– 2015 National Prayer by Dr. Jack Graham


Please take a moment to visit the National Day of Prayer site.

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove