Saturday Snapshot – Photo Challenge

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Do you have an Instagram or Facebook account? We would love for you to participate in our 14-Day Photo Challenge beginning June 1.

Our theme is “In The Garden.”  We chose this because we will be celebrating the opening of Ruth’s Prayer Garden (and sharing photos from this garden), right here at The Cove in Asheville, NC, on June 2, 2016!

So, here’s how you can take part in our 14-Day Photo Challenge: Beginning June 1, share one photo per day on your Facebook or Instagram account based on the photo prompts we’ve outlined below and include the hashtag: #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge. 

By using the hashtag #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge we’ll all be able to see what each other are posting in that one central search location.    

14 Day June Photo Challenge Pinterest and Blog

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional photographer–neither are we!  We will be using both an iPhone and a Canon camera to take our pictures.

Need some ideas of what to share? Post a picture of the flowers blooming in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard), the bumble bees pollinating the blooms in your garden, or a photo of the special place you call your spiritual sanctuary. Each day we will be sharing photos from Ruth’s Prayer Garden.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we will be sharing in our
14-Day Photo Challenge! One of Ruth Bell Graham’s favorite flowers was a rose. What a fitting bloom to commemorate her legacy in Ruth’s Prayer Garden at The Cove. 

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FYI: Anyone taking part in the photo challenge may have their photos shared by The Cove and other participants. 


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.  Make sure to leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here too.  Both tours are free.

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

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 62:9-12

Kendra Blog Title

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” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Psalm 62:9-12

“Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath
(10) Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
(11)  Once God has spoken;
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God;
(12) And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord,
For You recompense a man according to his work.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:

Men of low degree, men of rank are together lighter than breath.
If riches increase, don’t set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken, twice I have heard THIS: POWER BELONGS to God.
Loving kindness is Yours.  You recompense a man according to his work.

Step 2

THE LESSONS: 

David had a period of struggle, silence, surety, and finally submission.  It’s a process.  Don’t you hate that?  I know I do.  I wish that in my heart of hearts I could just get to this submission part without so much work and heartache.   I wish we didn’t have to have the adversity in order to bring us to the feet of Jesus, but honestly, it’s in the adversity that we see our extreme need.  God is so patient with us, and will bring us through so that our hearts know that power indeed belongs to God.  We must experience Truths in order to really be able to say we believe them.  We believe Truth because we have seen the promises of who God is to be real in our personal world.

David has had his character questioned and assaulted.  In the beginning of this Psalm, David is in a panic for all that is going on.  David could be unseated, David could be mocked, people could believe the lies, and David could lose his standing among the people who he needed to trust him.  I love the fact that David did not hold on to his status so tightly.  David heard with his ears, but twice, more importantly heard with his heart that God is in control. God will have David where He has David regardless of the chatter and the dire look of the situation. God is in control?  God has this?  This is hard to grasp…hard to believe.  It makes us feel better if we can “do” something to fix it.  I want to “do”, I don’t want to wait…. especially in silence, like David has done here.

Once we wait in silence, focused on the Word of God and we will see that in this ever shifting and changing world, our only surety is the Truth of who God is.  God’s Word will stand.  God’s Truth will hold.  We do not know this, and we cannot submit to this way of thinking until moments like this in David’s life, and similar moments like this in our lives, when all we have, and our only hope is that truly God is who He says He is and His Word will hold.

God sees you in your situation.  God sees how your world is uncertain, falling apart, stressful, and you don’t know how it’s going to work together.  God sees how other people get joy out of making your life difficult and hard.  Press in to God’s Word.  KNOW this: Power Belongs to God.  No man can usurp the power of God as stated in these verses.

Hope in the power of God, gives us the strength we need to daily walk through our circumstance in faith, and then in the end, just like the Apostle Paul says, it’s a “hope that does not disappoint”(Romans 5:5), because in the end we will see that God has got this.  We will hear with our eyes and ears when we read the Word, then hear with our hearts when we have that personal testimony of how in God’s lovingkindness toward us, gave us strength to press in.  Jesus will walk us through and teach us, ever so patiently about who He is.

Submission to who God is, in the end will become a “sigh” of relief instead of a “sigh” of anxiety and frustration.

Step 3

APPLY IT:

When have you been brought through this process that David has, so that you know the Truth of who God is in His Word is the Truth of who God is to you?

Do you question whether God will make things right, and if He understands the direness of the situation?  How hard is it to trust that in submitting to God your hope is not in vain?  Will you listen for God to speak not only to your ears, but to your heart?  (This is HARD… because my heart already hurts so much, it’s so HARD to let God take the anxiety and work it out the way He wants.)

LIVE IT OUT:

LORD, today you know the enormous amount of anxiety I have in my heart over situations and people I cannot control, yet I keep trying to control them!  I think if I am anxious about it, I can change something, but LORD, these moments are meant to press upon me my need for an Almighty God.  Be that Almighty God to me today and as I hold on to the hope of Your Word, give me the strength in faith to take one baby step after another pressing in.  Give me a great testimony of You through all of this.  Help me in this struggle to trust, and in silence, give me Your surety, as I submit to You with my head, so that in the end may I know You more in my heart.

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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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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

 

 

Saturday Snapshot – A Peak Behind-The-Scenes

The Cove has a lot of special people working here.  Their hearts for Jesus is reflected in all they do.  Do you ever wonder about some of the people behind-the-scenes, that you may or may not ever see while you’re here?

Well, today, we’re sharing a little bit about the personalities of some of these people through an item or items that they have in their work-spaces.

The departments that are represented in today’s post are Program (plan and coordinate all our seminars, senior-events, personal spiritual retreats and concerts), Guest Groups (work with churches and other Christian ministries that want to hold their own events at The Cove) and the Executive Director’s office.

Here we go…

Looks like someone has a green-thumb!  The person that has this beautiful plant arrangement in her work space helps with our Guest Groups department.  The little frog  looks like quite the daydreamer!

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This Program department employee, is following the rule of three decorating guideline.  Angel, plant, and faith…not a bad combination! IMG_0539 sm Teresa Matthews office decor

This Program department employee has a little table in her office with a few of her favorite things: God’s Word, tea, and a devotional.  A lovely way to spend time during a break or lunchtime. IMG_0537 sm Lauras Bible devotional and tea

We are thankful for Billy Graham’s faithful obedience to our heavenly Father.  This poster is a reminder to pray without ceasing.   This is displayed in another Program department employee. IMG_0536 sm Billy Graham pray in Michelles office

Yet another employee from our Program department, who cross stiched this beautiful “Names of God” piece.  She said that it took her about one month working on it in the evenings and weekends.    IMG_0534 sm Teebers cross stich names of God piece

This employee, also works with our Program department and received these roses from her husband who had surgery last week.  Apparently she took good care of him!  IMG_0529 sm donnas roses from Bruce

This Program department employee has a real knack for seasonal decorating.  The little sheep is the constant presence as decorations change several times throughout the year.  IMG_0533 sm Tracis desk

And if you’re a Vikings fan, then you’ll love and appreciate this crafty tissue box cover.  This employee works in the Executive Director’s office and is clearly a huge fan!

IMG_0540 sm Middys Vikings kleenex box

Friends, we hope this little behind-the-scenes snapshot was fun for you.  If you’d like to see other departments featured like this in the future, let us know.

What do you have in your work or home that tells a little about your personality?  Share with us in the comments below.

Have a beautiful and blessed weekend!


Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Come take a free tour of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center.  Click here for hours and directions.

 

 

Something New at The Cove: Ruth’s Prayer Garden

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“We cannot pray and remain the same. We cannot pray and have our homes remain the same. We cannot pray and have the world about us remain the same. God has decreed to act in response to prayer. ‘Ask,’ He commands us. And Satan trembles for fear we will.”  —Ruth Bell Graham,  Legacy of a Pack Rat

By Donna Riesen:

Ruth Bell Graham was a woman of prayer; and Ruth’s Prayer Garden, opening June 2, 2016 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, is designed to honor her memory and encourage others to pray. As the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth’s schedule was packed full with commitments—at times she traveled with her husband to crusades around the world, yet most often Ruth supported him behind the scenes and out of the spotlight by shouldering the responsibility of caring for their five children at their home in Montreat. This remarkable woman could not have had the impact she had on her husband, her family, and the world, without the daily discipline of prayer.

Winding along pathways surrounding Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Ruth’s Prayer Garden will offer a peaceful place for prayer and meditation amid the natural beauty and serenity of The Cove.

“My grandfather wanted this place to be known as a mountain of prayer,” says Will Graham, executive director of The Cove and grandson of Billy and Ruth. “There’s prayer going out all over The Cove, from our Intercessory Prayer Team to our staff prayers to our Personal Spiritual Retreats. There are so many needs facing us today, we can’t pray enough!”

“Like The Cove itself, this garden is designed to be an extension of my grandparents’ home at Montreat,” Will says.

With five children in the household, the Graham home was a place of laughter, activity, and the usual childhood scrapes and squabbles; but more importantly, it was a place of prayer.

RUTGH WITH KIDS

“I would go down to her room late at night,” daughter Anne Graham Lotz remembers. “I would see the light on underneath the door and I’d go in, and she would be on her knees in prayer.”

Daughter Ruth Graham reflects, “Faith was the very heartbeat of life at Little Piney Cove. We began and ended each day as a family on our knees in prayer.”

Ruth’s Prayer Garden was created to honor and perpetuate this legacy of prayer.

The garden was also designed to be a reflection of Ruth’s love of nature and appreciation for the beauty of her North Carolina mountain home. Lucas Jack, horticulturist and supervisor of Grounds Maintenance at The Cove, explains how great care was taken to convey Ruth’s personality as a gardener and plant- lover. When asked about the process of planning and designing the gardenscape, Jack noted, “Everything that I know of Ruth Graham has been learned secondhand, which is difficult when trying to piece together a ‘botanical personality.’ I learned she really didn’t have dislikes but had a lot of favorites. She loved color and appreciated gardens in general, and we’ve tried to convey her botanical personality by including many of the plants and flowers she loved.”

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Roses, daylilies, touch-me- nots will line the winding paths. “Our goal was not to overwhelm the visitor with the landscape,” Jack says, “but to allow them to enjoy the experience and feel as if they are part of it.”

Ruth’s love for color and beauty may have been the result of two strong childhood influences: her early childhood years in China as the daughter of medical missionaries, and her teen years in Montreat.

According to grandson Will, “My great-grandfather Nelson Bell loved gardens and gardening. He loved flowers and plants, and he used them to teach lessons to his children. When we work with our hands in a garden, God teaches us things.”

If she were here today, Ruth Bell Graham would probably agree. When you visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden, enjoy the view and take time to smell the roses; then bow your head and echo the disciples’ request to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1, NKJV)

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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.

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

Saturday Snapshot – Stop & Smell the Roses

“I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener.” (John 15:1, NKJV)

In case you haven’t stopped to smell the roses this week, we’ve got you covered!  Of course, you’ll have to use your imagination and trust us that they do smell good…especially the pink ones.

Do you remember the video devotion our gardener shared here back in March?

Well, just look at the fruits of his labor!

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Rose bush heaven near the Training Center.
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This one smells particularly good!

Do you ever stop and marvel at the awesome designs and colors our Creator blesses us with though His flowers?

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A bird’s eye view.

The Kousa dogwood, also know as the Japanese dogwood, is a beautiful addition to The Cove’s spring landscape.  This variety of dogwood blooms a few weeks later than the native flowering dogwood, and the white star-like pieces are not actually flowers–they are modified leaves–and the green part in the middle is the actual flower.

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The rhododendrons in May never disappoint!  This gorgeous group flanks the road as you drive through the gates.

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Get up close and personal with this rhodie near the administration building.

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These pretty blooms really remind us that God is in the details….in the garden and in our lives.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the flower show today!

Have a lovely weekend!


 

Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Come take a free tour of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center.  Click here for hours and directions.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 62: 6-8

Kendra Blog Title

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” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Psalm 62: 6-8

6: He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

7: On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

8: Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

Step 1

THE FACTS:
6:  He only in my rock, salvation, stronghold, I shall NOT be shaken
7: On God: my salvation, and glory rest, the rock of my strength, my refuge
8: (So YOU) …Trust in Him ALL times, pour YOUR heart to Him, God, refuge for US

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   Here in these verses is where the Psalm changes. Did you catch it?  Look back to the first few verses…. David is immersed in struggles, his circumstances.  He is overwhelmed, yet as the world comes down on him hard and fast, he has decided he will not be “greatly shaken,” because he will-on purpose-make God’s Word and God’s promises his stronghold.  His head will tell his heart to endure, press on and believe God is who He says He is.

In the next few verses, David has some questions, and as he pours out his heart before God in the midst of pain and frustration, he pauses.  David’s outward struggle moves to an inward silence.  David will wait for God to speak before he does.  Ugh… I still sigh at this.  This is so hard.  So much hurt… yet David pours that hurt out to God, refusing to project that pain upon anyone else… even if they deserve it.  Selah.  Silence. Ugh. *sigh*

Now… from struggle (vs 1-2) to silence (vs.3-5), to sureness and security (vs 6-8).  As soon as David’s moment of silence is over, what are the words spoken?  I will tell you what his words do NOT do, they do not spew out bitterness and hurt upon those who sought to hurt him and destroy his reputation.  No, they speak of confidence and strength in GOD, not the disappointment of man.  In verses 6-8, David’s words are strong and sure.  God IS MY guarding rock.  Here David is speaking from his heart…not his head.  David is coming out of this time of silence, waiting upon God, with absolute confidence that God is his encircling guard–this Truth was spoken in verse 2, but it was LEARNED in the school of silent waiting upon God.  In David’s moments of silence he learned that the I Am that I Am, is El-Shaddai, his strong tower, his safety.  In David’s silence of mouth, God was able to speak to his heart and open his eyes so David could see who God is.  David, in these verses now has absolute surety that his refuge is secure.

David has not trusted God in vain.  In silence David pressed in to those issues that were pressing down on him with such force he thought he would crumble.  David didn’t crumble, because the Rock that encircled him will always stand.  David has chosen wisely.  David pressed in to the end, and because of that, he can say to us, with clarity, confidence and courage, YOU, all of YOU… who find yourself in this situation, when you think you can’t stand for another minute, when you think the world is about to tear you apart…. when you can’t rectify all the rumors and assumptions about the situation… “TRUST in God at ALL times,  pour out YOUR heart… In God’s presence is your strong refuge.”

You are not forgotten.  You have not been left out to dry.  You have not been thrown under the bus by God.  God is not ignorant of the pain you are enduring justly or unjustly.  Just as David was being protected by God, God will protect you.

When we spend time in silence, saturating our hearts and minds on the Truth of who God is, then, God’s Truth, God’s Word, goes from being a tag line and a nice theory you hear each week in Sunday School or at Bible study, to being believed, being REAL.  Saying something is true and knowing something is true, in actuality, are very different things.

The fact of who God is, traveled 18-inches down from the head of David to his heart, as he struggled through the silence, then  from his heart, his mouth SPOKE (Matt 12:34)….the silence broken, and the words were a precious testimony that no one could take away from David, or you or me…. this testimony of who God is would have never been learned if David refused to be silent.

“Though it tarries wait for it” Habakkuk 2:3….. dawn is breaking…. press in.

Step 3

APPLY IT:   Do you have confidence in God as your strength and salvation, or do you believe your salvation from this particular situation is based upon your own strength, ability, and wit?

Has God called you to a time of silence so that you can know–that you know–that you know–that God loves you, God sees you, and God will be YOUR refuge?

How do you need God to be your refuge?  Will you saturate yourself in the Truth of God’s Word as you press in or will  you bug out, finding it easier to believe the lies that God has forgotten you?

Can you say with confidence as the Apostle Paul did in 2 Timothy 1:12, I KNOW whom I have believed and AM persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day?

LIVE IT OUT:  LORD, give me an open heart in this time of SELAH, so that when I speak,  it’s Your Truth on my lips.  As I focus on who You are, draw me closer to You… help me remember that You are able, You are Strength, You are love, You are refuge, You are protector, and that the plans you have for me are plans  to prosper, not to harm, plans to give hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 #Truth #SELAH

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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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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove