Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 I Corinthians 10:31

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
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.

FACT:
Whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
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?

LESSONS:
There is a saying that my dad instilled in my heart from a young age, “If you are going to do something, do it right.” So what does that mean?  What does it look like to “Do something right”? Is it cleaning that toilet until it sparkles? Is it about being a nurse in the limelight and getting credit for being a 21st century version of Florence Nightingale? What does it look like to do things for the glory of God as stated here in this verse?   I am,  in the middle of my crazy work summer schedule, showing up at the hospital day after day delivering those babies. I am cleaning up vomit, charting in a crazy computer program that often defeats me, and listening to the lives of patients as they struggle and soar through life. It’s easy for me to think that being hidden away on one hall of a big hospital means there is less purpose, less importance, and what I do or don’t do doesn’t really matter. This is completely untrue.

It’s not about the what. It’s not about what I do, whether it is cleaning up the trash in my patients room, listening to my middle schooler tell me about her day, or if it’s leading a Bible study at the Cove; it’s about the why; it’s all about my heart behind why I do what I do. To do things “for the glory of God,” means that even in the smallest most unnoticeable things, people don’t see me, they see the compelling compassion of God. John 3:30 says it best, “He must increase but I must decrease.” It’s about Who I reflect when I do a task. What we do is noticed, and God has placed us where He has–not to climb the ladder, or get ahead, or put others down so we can go up–it’s about reflecting the character of Jesus in the big things with big people, and the small things with small people. God has entrusted me to represent Him here today. Lord, give me the strength to reflect Your character and Your glory where You have placed me!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
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?

Where have you been placed today? Today, can we worry more about what God thinks of our work than others? How can we bring glory to God in the menial tasks we have day after day? Are we more worried about personal glory, or God’s glory?

LIVE IT OUT!
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.

Today… Lord, help me to focus on You and do all things to the glory of God.

HOMEWORK: Romans 12:1-2

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

Happy Independence Day!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAYAN INDEPENDENCE DAY PRAYER

By Donna Riesen:

If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”(II Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)

Lord, we come to You on behalf of America and on behalf of The Cove. We come in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who took on the form of humanity, lived a sinless life and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. We come in a spirit of gratitude for what You have given. We come in a spirit of neediness for what we lack. Grant us the gift of repentant, humble hearts and trusting, faith-filled prayers.

As U.S. citizens we have enjoyed the blessings of tremendous freedom, but we have turned so many of these blessings into idols that have replaced You in our hearts. As we celebrate America’s Independence Day, we praise You for the freedoms we enjoy, but in dependence upon You we ask You to turn us from these idols of our own making. Grant us to know Your truth, for that alone will truly set us free from these idols of sin to which we have become enslaved:

FREEDOM OF SPEECH has been replaced with the idols of selfishness, bitterness and cruelty. May You continue to grant us as citizens the legal rights to speak our conscience fearlessly, to declare the truth of Your Word boldly, and to share our faith with others with gentleness, compassion and sincere love. May we never abuse this freedom by speaking with bitterness, cruelty or deception. After seeking Your face for courage and searching Your Word for wisdom, help us to speak the truth in love. Bless the words that are spoken at The Cove, whether from the Auditorium stage or on a telephone in a cubicle. May all our speech be honest and kind, seasoned with salt and glorifying to You.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION has given way to the lifeless, unmoving idols of apathy, shallowness and unbelief. May we never take for granted the great privilege of public worship. May Your church be unified in its mission of spreading Your truth and united in its purpose of glorifying Your Name. Lord, please convict us of sin, cleanse us with Your blood, and embolden us with the courage to smash our man-made idols of self-righteousness and dead religion. May The Cove’s mission of training people in God’s Word to win others to Christ be carried out with faithfulness, and may it never become an illicit or illegal activity in this country. We pray that we will remain free to carry out this mission without hindrance, but we also ask You to grant us the courage and commitment to stand faithfully for You regardless of the cost.

FREEDOM FROM FEAR has turned us to embrace to the cold, unseeing idols of detachment, disinterest and indifference. Lord, help us to pray faithfully for our military as they sacrificially place their lives on the line to preserve our freedom, but help us also to understand that no military branch, political party or system of defense will protect us from harm. You are our refuge and strength, Lord. Help us to rest peacefully in that truth. May Your peace and protection rest upon the property of The Cove. May You continue to make it a place where people will come to find respite and relief from the daily stresses and anxieties of life. May they return to their homes free from fear and full of faith.

FREEDOM FROM WANT has led us to worship at the altars of materialism, gluttony, greed and excess. We are foodies who post selfies of our super-sized platters and over-priced plates. We are insatiable consumers who have consumed our way into self-indulgence and selfishness. Thank You for the prosperity you have bestowed upon this nation. Forgive us for our ingratitude, selfishness and poor stewardship of our land, our finances and our blessings. Make us a more grateful, generous and wise people. Thank You for blessing The Cove. Help us to be good stewards of the spiritual, financial and environmental resources You have given to us here, and may we always follow Your leading in sharing them with others and making them available to those who are in need.

Lord, it is for freedom that You have set us free. By Your grace and mercy, help us to live in that freedom.

–Amen.

Happy Independence Day from all of us at The Cove!

 

What’s Happening at The Cove – August 2015

COMING TO august

I lift up my eyes to the hills. from where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord,  who made heaven and earth. The Lord is your keeper;  the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day,  nor the moon by night.”
Psalm 121: 1-2, 5-6

Make plans to attend a retreat or  The Cove this summer. Click on an event for more information and see what’s happening here during the month of August!

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS(1)

Click on the link below for August dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
August Personal Spiritual Retreats
Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat with John Parrish,  August 3-6, 2015

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS

An Evening at The Cove -  Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet with Laura Story,  August 6, 2015

When People Whine, A Prophet Prays, and God Speaks 
with Will Graham,  August 7-9, 2015
Lodging is full for this event, but we do have seats available in the auditorium.

Finding Power for Life 
with Jonathan Falwell,  August 11-13, 2015
Lodging is full for this event, but we do have seats available in the auditorium.

Grace Upon Grace
with Lloyd John Ogilvie,  August 14-16, 2015
Note: This event will mark Dr. Ogilvie’s final time speaking at The Cove, so we plan to make this a special time of celebration for him.  

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
Ron Whittemore with David Gaines,  August 18, 2015

The Unexpected Adventure of Being Salt and Light
with Lee Strobel,  August 19-21, 2015

Seasons of the Soul: Overcoming Trials and Dealing With Tension 
with Pedro Garcia,  August 21-23, 2015
Lodging is full for this event, but we do have seats available in the auditorium.

An Evening at The Cove -  Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet with Jason Crabb,  August 23, 2015

Not I, But Christ
with Wayne Barber,  August 28-30, 2015

©FRONIERGROUP.BGEA2007_2645d

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)

Click here to visit our resources page.

Saturday Snapshot

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

It is so wonderful to see all the deer on our property this time of year.  This week we’ve had a mama and her fawn that greeted some of our staff right outside their office windows.  The others (four of them, but could only get three in the picture!) were caught crossing the road early one morning.

Doe and fawn outside admin June 2015
Doe and her fawn outside a staff members window.
four deer crossing road June 2015
Deer XING

The video below was filmed almost exactly two years ago in our staff parking lot, but we wanted to share with you today because you don’t get to see this type of footage very often.  Enjoy!

Click here to view the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Join Stormie Omartian at The Cove for a Two Day Women’s Retreat

STORMIE OMARTIAN (2)

Ladies, join us for a special two-day retreat here in Asheville at The Cove with Bible teacher and award-winning author, Stormie Omartian.

Stormie will break down these three simple choices that you can make to alter the course of your life:

  1. Receive His love for us.
  2. Express our wholehearted love for Him.
  3. Love others.

When you make these simple choices each day, you will see how God can transform your life and the lives of those around you forever.

Grab a friend, neighbor, sister, daughter, or maybe even your whole Sunday school class and join us July 31-August 1, 2015 for this special opportunity to step away from the daily distractions of life and dig into God’s word with other women who have hearts to love God more and make an impact in their circle of influence.

As an additional blessing, singer, songwriter, and author Gwen Smith will be leading worship during the retreat.

Click here to register or call 1-800-950-2092.

If you’d like to extend your stay a bit and enjoy some rest and refreshment before the seminar begins, request the Come Early option.

Recipe from the Cove Kitchen: Banana Pudding

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logo

Did you know that Cove Executive Director, Will Graham’s, favorite Cove dessert is banana pudding?  Well, our pastry chef, Natalie,  is sharing her delicious recipe today.  We hope you will enjoy as much as Will and our guests do.

Banana Pudding from Canva

Banana Pudding
Served at The Cove
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients
1 package (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup whole milk
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Vanilla Wafers
Bananas, sliced as needed
Extra sweetened whipped cream as needed for topping

Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar into soft peaks. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the pudding mix and continue whisking for 2 minutes. Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture 1/3 portions at a time. In the bottom of a 9”x9” casserole dish, spread an even layer of vanilla wafers. Spread sliced bananas on top of wafers. Spread half of pudding mixture over the bananas. Repeat wafers, bananas, and pudding.

Top with sweetened whipped cream.  For best results, make 1 day ahead of time and chill overnight.

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF VERSION OF BANANA PUDDING RECIPE.

To find additional recipes from The Cove kitchen click here.

Enjoy delicious recipes like this on your next stay at The Cove.  Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to book a group retreat.

Kendra Graham’s Summer Bible Study – Ephesians 4:32

Kendra Graham(1)

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Summer 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 Ephesians 4:32

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
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.

FACT: 

Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving,  just as God for Christ’s sake forgave you.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
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?

LESSONS:

Have you ever been deeply hurt by someone that was supposed to be on your side but threw you under the bus instead? The raw searing pain of hurt. What does God’s Word say about this? How should I react to the one who has wronged me in the body of Christ? Be kind, tender and forgiving. Ugh. Now that is hard. My natural inclination is to go into all out protection mode; build some walls, toughen up, don’t let anyone close enough to do that again. I don’t want to be kind and tender for sure. My heart which is, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “Deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” wants to gut the person in the same way with which I was hurt, to make them pay. After all, someone has to pay for that pain, someone has to bear the cost, to make it right.

Here, in Ephesians 4:32, God’s Word says my response needs to be one of kindness and tenderness, forgiveness, not anger bitterness and revenge. Hard passage to read. Harder passage to implement. Why should I be kind and tender? They were not kind and tender to me. Why should I shoulder the cost and forgive the debt of that hurt without requiring payment? Because of the last phrase of the verse: “… just as God, for Christ’s sake forgave me.” I have run from God, He has sought me. I have rejected God, He has fought for me. I have sinned against God, He has forgiven me. I have wounded God with my words, actions and intent, He has shown me kindness, tenderness and love.

Why has God done all this for me? I am His handmade creation who He loves more than anything. I was separated from knowing God and walking with Him because of my sin, so God, not trusting me to another, came Himself in the form of a man, the Christ, the Messiah, Jesus, and He shouldered all the pain Himself, not holding me to a single indiscretion. In tenderness and kindness, God, forgave me so that our relationship could be restored. Jesus did this for me, and Jesus did this for you.

Truth be told, even if the person who hurt us, suffers as deeply as you and I have, it will not be enough. The hurt can never be undone to us.   We forgive others because Jesus forgave us first… when we were not looking, asking, or deserving forgiveness, Christ paid to forgive us anyway.

Go, face the person who wronged you, speak forgiveness to them with as much tenderness as you can muster through the power that is given us through Jesus, and perhaps in the end you won’t lose a friend, but you will enable restoration of brother/sister through gentleness (Galatians 6:1), after all, truly this is the end goal, that we all keep “unity in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
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?

Who do you need to confront and forgive? Are you holding debts over people’s heads that they will never be able to pay, yet you continue to try to extract payment from them? Are you more interested in restoring your brother/sister in Christ or destroying them for what they have done? Will you pray for God to change your heart if it needs to be changed? Will you forgive for Christ’s sake if for no other?

LIVE IT OUT!

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.

Follow through with forgiveness.

Homework: I Corinthians 10:31

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

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove