Kendra’s Bible Study… Deuteronomy 32: 4, 9-12

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

 

Always begin your time by first praying and reading your verses.
Step 1: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 2: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Today’s Scripture:  Deuteronomy 32: 4, 9-12

Here are a few of Kendra’s lessons.  Please share your lessons with us too!

Verse 4:
Step 1: ROCK! His work is perfect, His ways just, faithful, righteous and upright

Step 2: God says: This IS my immovable unchangeable character.  I AM trustworthy, I AM protective!  My ways are right, I got you, TRUST ME!

Step 3: God is telling me that He is safe, and just and right, solid, never changing w/ the wind of culture… Do I claim the promise of His character in my life?  Do I know My God?  Do I trust God? How, When have I trusted Him?

Verse 9:
Step 1: The LORD’s portion (inheritance) is His people.

Step 2: I say: I am an embarrassment to God. I have nothing to offer.  There are so many more important people and issues than me for God to deal with.
GOD says: YOU ARE MY treasure! MY inheritance! I am PROUD to claim you! I have chosen YOU!

Step 3: Do I realize that I am God’s inheritance and He is proud of that fact?  God is not embarrassed to claim me, am I embarrassed to claim Him?  Do I feel like treasure to God?

Verse 10:
Step 1: He found him in a desert, howling wilderness.  He encircled, cared for and guarded him as the apple of his eye.

Step 2: I say:  I have been rejected, kicked out, forgotten, left to the elements, unimportant and very very alone.
God says: I AM here with My arms around you, holding you up, caring for you in the midst of your misery, very aware of where you are, and you are not alone, I AM here.  I found you and will guard you with all that I AM, for you are the apple of My eye, you mean everything to ME!

Step 3: What is keeping me from seeking the One who loves me this much?  What causes me to believe the lie that God has left and doesn’t care?  LORD, will you show me  You are here today in my circumstance?  Where have I looked for love & acceptance in this world only to be let down b/c it was not You?

Homework for March 13th online discussion:  1 Kings 19: 19-21

For more information on what’s going on at The Cove, visit www.TheCove.org

NEW for Seniors at The Cove…

Next week is the first of a NEW series of concerts designed to encourage senior adult believers at The Cove!  The SeniorSalt Impact evening programs will begin with a delicious buffet-style dinner, followed by a worshipful evening of music and fellowship.  All for only $29 per person!  Register for one or all three of the concerts today!   

Coming up on March 1…The Cockman Family:

The award winning Cockman Family Bluegrass Gospel Group is made up of four brothers, their sister and their Dad.  They have a unique bluegrass gospel style. Their harmonies, original songs and original arrangements of the old gospel songs have been immensely popular with their audiences. Fans love their family-style entertainment as well. As the family continues to grow, the grandchildren are also joining in on the tradition…the 10 and 11 year old girls were awarded the 2011 WMA Harmony Yodeling Duo of the Year and the 2011 WMA Youth Harmony award at the Western Music Association Showcase and Awards Show in Albuquerque, NM!  For more information on the Cockman Family, visit their website: www.cockmanfamily.com

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

July 5 – The Burchfield Brothers

Dove Award nominees Jon and Ben Burchfield make music that inspires the soul. Combining such styles as Smoky Mountain Jazz, Gospel and Classical, along with a bit of Irish flavoring, this unique duo from Nashville, Tennessee mesmerizes audiences of all ages.  An evening with The Burchfields can be described as “reaching the ages,” as familiar music, masterfully played with stylistic diversity, bridges the gap of the generations. They have traveled throughout the United States and abroad sharing their dynamic arrangements of hymns and praise songs.  The Burchfield Brothers share a God given passion to create music, and for them, it is an expression of their love for Christ.  For more information on the Burchfield Brothers, visit their website: www.burchfieldbrothers.com.

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

 August 30 — Randall Atcheson
Performing in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel…hurry space is limited!

Widely acclaimed pianist/organist, Randall Atcheson, is the epitome of a musical Renaissance man. His gift and versatility for musical styles was evidenced early in life when he was recognized as a prodigy on both piano and organ. In fact, he became the only student in the history of The Julliard School ever allowed to pursue, and receive, simultaneous degrees in piano and organ performance.  Atcheson has performed many times at Carnegie Hall and has traveled the world over thrilling music lovers.  He is listed on the distinguished international roster of Steinway Artists.  Randall will be performing a rare concert in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel here at The Cove!

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

NOTE: As part of these evening events, we also offer an optional overnight lodging stay, at applicable rates, complete with a complimentary breakfast. 

For information on all the programs and events at The Cove, visit: www.TheCove.org
Click here to go directly to the Senior Events page. 

 

Behind the scenes at The Cove…A Faithful Servant

By Corinne Holmquist
 
Garlene greeting guests upon entering the Training Center

Push past the double red doors of the Billy Graham Training Center into the lobby with the living-room feel, and you might catch a glimpse of petite five-foot-two-inch lead hostess Garlene Johnson.

People have told her she resembles Norma Zimmer of the Lawrence Welk Show. “Not because I sing, but because of my big hair,” she teases.

But Garlene is more than her cute blonde bob. You’ll see her slender hands busy touching up and tidying around the place. Hands reaching out to greet and guide guests toward the dining room or auditorium. Hands clasped in prayer with someone over an illness or death. Or failing marriage. Or job loss.

Across from where she stands hangs a painting of her friend, Ruth Graham. “I like to look across the room at Mrs. Graham’s picture and think that as I greet guests…they feel they are entering the living room in her own home,” Garlene says, adding she always felt warm and comfortable there.

Garlene standing near Mrs. Graham's portrait

At 77, “and proud of every year”, Garlene is the longest-employed hostess at The Cove, logging in 20 years of service and memories.

“She’s the “quintessential Southern Belle” says Scott Holmquist, Cove executive director. “She’s known for her graciousness and warmth.”

Her touches, big or small, help people unwind so they can rewind with God in the seminars and surroundings ahead.

She’s lady-like, yes, (she doesn’t like to pump her own gas). But fragile, she is not. (She once owned a rifle thinking she could scare off an intruder, but gave it away). Blessed with energy, she’s presently planning 20 weddings for this year at Montreat College and Montreat Presbyterian Church. Through it all, Garlene’s compassion oozes from her life experiences knowing that God loves and leads you through the hard times. Being organized helps, too.

Born in Lincolnton, N.C. in 1935, Garlene was the oldest of three daughters. Her dad died in a car accident when she was 8; he was 39. Ironically, her grandfather also died at that age.

“Over the years I just accepted it as God’s will. Their faith (of her grandmother and mom) gave me the faith to go on,” she reflects.

Garlene moved to Montreat attending college, working, and later marrying Kay N. Stutts. They were blessed with two daughters, Joy and Becky. Garlene soon taught middle and high school English in nearby towns. She also taught Sunday school to two of Billy and Ruth Graham’s children: Anne and Ned.

When Kay suddenly died at age 49, Garlene clung to God, again remembering the faith of her grandmother and mother who were widowed early. Years later, Garlene found love a second time, marrying George L. Johnson, the widowed father of Karlene Shea, who is married to George Beverly Shea.

Sadness struck again when George, a “Christian gentleman of prayer and the Bible” (like her first husband), died after a long illness. “It was still a shock,” she says.

Garlene as a new Cove employee in 1991

In 1991, Garlene ventured into a seminar at the Cove. One of the managers, whom she knew from church, asked if she would like to volunteer as a hostess.
“Oh yes,” she said without hesitation. “I didn’t even have to pray about it. I’ve been there ever since.” She’s found inspiration from those who enter The Cove.

One couple she met several years ago had a daughter suffering with brain cancer for three years. “Each year as they returned, their spirits were uplifted as they waited for the Lord to call her home,” she recalls. “What an inspiration this couple was to me!”

“I also met a young boy in a wheelchair. He was born without legs and had stubs for arms. As he was leaving, he asked if he could give me a hug. What a precious hug that was—one of the best I have ever had!”

Says Garlene: “The years that I have worked at The Cove have been… rewarding. As I enter the property, I feel that I am on ‘holy ground’ where the property has been prayed over by so many, for so long. When I begin work, I am with my Cove family where we like to begin our day with prayer and devotions.

It’s fun to meet guests from all over the world. Some have been to the Cove numerous times; others for the first time. I hear exciting stories about how God has worked in their lives through speakers, worship, and through that ‘still small voice.’”

It’s a voice she’s heard before. And as guests walk through the doors of the Training Center carrying life’s loads, Garlene’s touches for the kingdom continue.

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When Garlene prays with guests, she often uses these verses from the NIV:

Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Lamentations 3:23:
“They [compassions] are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

If you would like to learn more about The Cove and possibly meet Garlene in person, click here to visit our website.

GUEST POST: Embracing God This Valentine’s Day

By Anne Graham Lotz

Today, the world will celebrate the day of love—Valentine’s Day. For some, it is a time of special celebration … for others, it is a time of special challenge as there is no special person with whom to share this day.

If the latter is your experience and you are feeling depressed, would you consider this? The most special Person in all the universe loved you enough to give His life for you—and this Valentine’s Day, He is longing not only to embrace you, He is longing for you to embrace Him.

Everyone needs a hug! And as you delve into the pages of your Bible, God will respond with His own arms opened wide.

As you seek Him, you will find that He will draw you nearer to Himself in an ever more intimate relationship. So get into His Word each day and begin now to enjoy His embrace.

When we are in the midst of a trial, instead of withdrawing or exploding or complaining, you and I need to run to our Heavenly Father, throw our arms of faith around Him, and embrace Him more tightly. Why?

Read Psalm 84. The Psalmist gives us three reasons:

I. HE IS MY SONG

Psalm 84:1-4

From Psalm 84:1-4, what are some themes for our song? List the phrases.

Identify phrases from the following verses that reveal a common theme: Isaiah 49:13, 52:9; Job 35:9-10; Psalm 126:5-6.
What is the common theme in Exodus 15:2, Isaiah 12:2 and 2 Samuel 22:1? List phrases from each verse.
What phrases reveal the common theme in Psalm 28:7, 18:1, 32:7 and 126:2?
What are the phrases that express a common theme in Psalm 42:8 and 59:16?
Which theme has been lacking in your life? If you have lost your song, do you need to tune your heart to all the themes given above?
What are some other themes that fill your heart with joy? Write out the verses.

II. HE IS MY STRENGTH

Psalm 84:5-7

From Psalm 84:5, what is the source of our strength? If you lack strength, what practical things can you do to draw from the Source?
From Psalm 84:6, what does God’s strength enable us to do? Note that the Valley of Baca referenced in this verse is the Valley of Weeping. What do the springs represent? See John 4:13-14 and 7:37-39.
From each of the following lists of verses, what else does God give us strength to do?

Ezekiel 2:1-2, John 5:1-9, Micah 5:4, Jude 24-25.
Isaiah 63:1, 2 Samuel 22:40.
Mark 11:25, Colossians 3:13 and Matthew 18:21-22.
Isaiah 30:15.
Psalm 73:26, Isaiah 57:10.
Hebrews 11:34.

What are you saying you can’t do? What phrase in Psalm 84:5-7 contradicts your protest? What encouragement do you receive from Deuteronomy 33:25?

III. HE IS MY SHIELD

Psalm 84:8-12

Who is our shield? See Psalm 7:10.
How does this relate to Ephesians 6:16?
What difference do you think our proximity to the Shield makes in its effectiveness?
What are the two primary things we must do to stay close to our Shield? See John 15:7, 10.
In each of the following lists of verses, how do we benefit from our Shield?

Nahum 2:5; 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 18:30, 91:4.
Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 18:35, 144:2; Jeremiah 51:11.
2 Samuel 22:31, 1 Peter 1:5.
Psalm 3:3, 5:12, 84:11.

If God Himself is our Shield, what do you think could get past Him?
How do Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-6 indicate that when something unpleasant, unwanted, unexpected or unplanned comes into your life, it is only with God’s permission?
What has God allowed past the Shield that guards your life? Why do you think He has given His permission? See John 11:4, Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

How long has it been since you wrapped your arms of faith around the One who loves you, and embraced Him? Don’t let your problems or pressures or pain or pride keep you from doing so. Today, give the Lord a Valentine gift … something to truly delight His heart … a hug from you!

 Anne Graham Lotz will hold a special seminar at The Cove called “Pursuing MORE of Jesus” November 9-11. For more information or to register online, click here.

Called “the best preacher in the family” by her father, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz is an international Bible teacher, speaker, and best-selling author of 14 books. The New York Times named Anne one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation. Anne lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, Danny Lotz. She has three grown children and three grandchildren. She is the founder and president of AnGeL Ministries, where she has led Just Give Me Jesus revivals for people worldwide.

Kendra’s Bible Study…thoughts on Joshua 7

 

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their 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 suggests you use the following process, which she learned from her Aunt Anne (Graham Lotz), when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process using John 1:1.  You will find today’s Scripture at the bottom of this post.  We look forward to hearing from you! 

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to His voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

****************************************************************

Today’s Scripture:  Joshua 7: 1-26 (defeat at Ai, the sin of Achan)
Share with us your lessons and what they mean to you. 

Basic Training for Marriages

By Joy Allmond

When pastor, author and radio host Michael Easley comes to The Cove this weekend, he will get to minister to a group of people very close to his heart: military couples.

Easley and his wife, Cindy, developed a passion for military couples several years ago when they lived in the Washington, D.C., area and were part of a church that had a great number of military service people.

“Cindy and I fell in love with these men and women who were in service to God and with our church. During this time, we grew a great love and appreciation for men and women in uniform.”

And now, Easley wants to serve them. He is leading a marriage seminar for military couples, just like the ones he served alongside through the local church in the Washington area.

“For those who faithfully serve our country, this is a great need today,” said John Parrish, director of programs at The Cove. “Our desire in providing this seminar is to encourage military service men and women from God’s Word and to also say thank you for their service and sacrifice for our country.”

During the seminar, Easley will take a look at how the roles change when a husband or wife gets deployed.

“These deployments are tough on families and marriages,” he explained. “There are a lot of transitions. It’s hard to get a handle on what it looks like to recalibrate when they come home and need to assimilate back into the fold of the household.”

Military couples face unique challenges, such as post-traumatic issues, and Easley believes that getting back to the basics—the very words of God—is the best way to help them address these challenges.

“We will cover passages of Scripture from Genesis to Ephesians to Revelation. These all explain what a marriage is about. We will go back and see what the text says about the roles of men and women and God’s intention for marriage. I want this to be refreshing and recalibrating. I want God to expose what the Scriptures tell us beyond the noise of culture.”

Whether you are military or civilian, Easley points to Ephesians chapter five as one of the best lessons on marriage in the Bible.

“Notice that the wife’s instructions are about a fourth the length of the husband’s,” he said. “The primary message here is for the husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. We have no personal rights in marriage as men.”

There is an important message in this passage for women, too. In a culture that vilifies men and makes them look foolish in sitcoms, for example, Easley explains that it is a big challenge for wives to respect their husbands. The best way to encourage wives to genuinely respect their husbands, he says, is to point them to Scripture.

“This, in turn, will encourage a husband to become the man God intends him to be,” he said.

Parrish also wants to see couples living out their potential.

“Our hope is that as the military couples attend this seminar at The Cove, God will customize the teaching, the quiet times, the conversations between each other as well as with other couples in such a way that they say, ‘God spoke clearly to me this weekend about what I need to do next in our relationship to honor Him and to honor my spouse,’” he explained.

“Our desire is that God shows up in some amazing ways that will transform how they do life together—and that God gets all the credit.”

Learn more about the Military Marriage Seminar, Feb. 10-12.

GUEST POST: Dependence on God…

By Lyndsey Parham

“Sometimes God wants to force a choice out of us by bringing us to tough situations. You won’t be dependant on God until you are at a place where you solely rely on God.”  ~ Kendra Graham

Isn’t that the truth.

For me, it wasn’t until the Lord walked me through a very challenging season that I truly got and understood this. Dependence on the Lord comes at a place and time when He becomes what you solely rely on. You can try your best to communicate and prepare for this kind of dependence, but we are creatures that learn from experience. This experience became my very own, very personal, very specific “Aha!” moment.

A couple of weeks ago, I was given a gentle reminder of this truth through the Joshua Bible Study at The Cove with Kendra Graham.

 

As a 27 year-old woman, I am at a place in my life where I really appreciate true and authentic based teaching of God’s Word. I care more about what the Word has to say than I do about if I was “entertained” well enough by a speaker. I was so encouraged when Kendra began by talking about how we are to “treat God’s Word right.” Meaning, we don’t want to rely solely on what other people say a verse means. Anyone can hop into Scripture and gain insight into what the Lord wants to reveal to us through His written word.

Kendra went on to say that the “more you dig the sweeter it can be” when you have you own “Aha!” moment in Bible study. And aren’t those moments just the best? I love when you spend time pouring over the Word and then all of a sudden, it seems, that those same words you read a month ago, become so alive as you happen to read them again during a time that you couldn’t need them more. Isaiah 55:10-11 in action.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (NIV)

I love that. His Word never returns void. There is something about getting in the Word for yourself and then joining in a Bible study where multiple women have done the same. We learn and grow from what each other have gained in their own time with the Lord! Kendra shared that “we aren’t supposed to have all the answers: that’s the point of the body of Christ.”

I am so grateful to be sharing in this Tuesday night Bible study. Especially since we are spending time in the book of Joshua. Big things go down in Joshua. We see the Israelites struggle and experience victory, but even more so, we see God act in some huge ways.

Having recently moved back to Asheville from the Lone star state of Texas, I always heard from my mom and sister about these “Tuesday night studies.” Now I get to experience them in person.

And I am so very glad for that.
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NOTE from The Cove: We will begin a Cove Bible study community, which comes about from women wanting to share their “lessons” from their weekly Bible study with Kendra Graham.  Kendra’s study, here at The Cove, only lasts for 7 weeks in January and February of each year, so this is a place for the conversations and the relationships to continue.  A place where women can come together and share their 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!

If you want to be notified each time Kendra posts a verse for study or starts a new conversation, make sure you subscribe to our blog.  It’s easy, just type in your email address in the box on the right hand side of this screen.
Jane Derrick, Cove Bible study teacher, will also have a Bible study community on our blog.  See Bible Study Community with Jane Derrick.

Lyndsey is a 27 year old working her way through this journey. She enjoys blogging about her adventures, hot cups of tea, iced cups of coffee, i-can’t-believe-this-is-real-life stories and photos. Lyndsey is a North Carolina girl at heart with a Texas soul. She enjoys hammocking on the back-porch and is adapting to the mountains once again. You can check out Lyndsey’s blog at http://throughthelynds.wordpress.com/