All posts by notesfromthecove

Mel Blackaby Teaches at SeniorCelebration at The Cove

Last night, we kicked off a wonderful time of worship and Bible study at our SeniorCelebration, hosted by Cliff Barrows.

Soul-stirring music from the Smith Family set the stage for the evening, and Mel Blackaby of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga., led a time of study on the topic of abundant life, using Scripture from John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

How do you have abundant life? If you don’t have joy and peace, you may have “religion,” but not a personal relationship with Christ. Abundant life is not about us … it’s about Him. We must give ourselves away.

Jesus did not tell us to go and make “decisions.” He said go and make “disciples.” If our hearts are truly changed, we will experience true joy and excitement at the opportunity to serve Him.

This seminar, which wraps up on Wednesday, promises to be another event where those attending leave challenged and full of Biblical truth to return and make a difference in their home churches. New friendships begin and prayer connections are found with people who have never previously met. Abundant life is not what we receive, but rather what we can give to others.

The Smith Family performs at The Cove's SeniorCelebration

Will Graham Reflects on his Time in Kenya

Will Graham, assistant director for The Cove, recently held a Celebration in Nakura, Kenya, where in preached the Gospel (in the rain) to thousands.

Will’s wife, Kendra, joined him on this trip and spoke to a women’s group.

“We had a wonderful time. She had a wonderful time,” Will said. “She was extremely nervous. She hadn’t worked with a translator very much, but she was a huge blessing to the women. She’s a gifted speaker and very good communicator of the Bible.”

You can read about Will’s and Kendra’s experience here.

Live Webcast Tonight!

Join us tonight, Friday, July 15th at 7:15 ET for a free live webcast from The Cove!

Josh and Sean McDowell will be with us leading a seminar called “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith.”

The first session will stream live on www.thecove.org. You can also participate in a live Q&A session.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience a session at The Cove from the comforts of your own home.

Rebecca St. James: I Will Praise You

On Aug. 11, contemporary Christian music artist Rebecca St. James will perform an intimate concert at The Cove. Her latest album, I Will Praise You, is all about the vast “unfathomable love of God.” She’s describes it in detail to The Baptist Standard:

“In this season of new music, God has been reminding me: ‘This is about Jesus. This is about praising him and inviting other people into that journey with you.’ My mission statement and focus is, ‘Get out of the way, Rebecca, and just let people see Jesus.’ It’s all about his glory.”

Hear more of Rebecca’s inspiration:

You can hear Rebecca St. James live at The Cove on Aug. 11. Tickets are still available. Contact us today to reserve your seats.

Josh McDowell: 3 Practical Steps to Help Believers Share Their Faith

From Josh McDowell*

First of all, make sure your life backs up your words of proclamation. If people don’t see it in your life and in your attitudes, no matter how well you present the Gospel, your words will fall on deaf ears.

Second, listen to the other person. Ask him or her, “What is your spiritual journey?” Do this before you share your own. This communicates that you care.

Third, declare biblical truth within the context of your own testimony. I share my story, but I proclaim truth within it.

Next, be ready to defend your faith. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). Which simply means, when somebody asks, “Why do you believe in Jesus?” give an answer. “Why do you believe in the Bible?” Give an answer.

But when you witness, make sure you use Scripture because God promises to honor His Word.

And finally, call for a decision. That’s where most people miss out. We tell our story and everything else, but we don’t ask for a decision. That’s essential!

You can learn more from Josh when he leads “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith” at The Cove. Click here to learn more.

*Excerpts from a recent interview with Decision magazine.

Military Scholarships

To honor the brave men and women in uniform and their service to our country, the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is pleased to offer full scholarships for active-duty military personnel and their spouses to attend a Cove seminar.

Come and be renewed through encouragement and sound biblical teaching from respected Christian speakers, while also enjoying plenty of time and space to be alone with God in the quiet seclusion of this mountain retreat.


Photo from Flickr by USACEpublicaffairs.

If you, or someone you know, is currently in active military service or is a military chaplain with the North American Mission Board, please visit www.thecove.org or call (800) 950-2092 to inquire about these special scholarships!

Q & A with Josh McDowell

“People are still lost, the Gospel is still true, Heaven is still desirable, the commandment is still there – ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’ – and my heart is still in love with Christ. So, nothing has changed.”

This is the response Josh McDowell recently gave to Richard Greene with Decision magazine, when he was asked if the passion is still there to share Christ with others after doing it for more than five decades. (You can find the full interview here.)

“Young people are alarmingly walking away from the church in droves. Probably 80 percent,” says Josh.

And, this is what propels him to travel the globe, sharing the hope that can only be found in Christ. We as believers need to be prepared and equipped to impact our children and grandchildren for Christ.

This exactly what will take place at The Cove July 15-17. Josh, and his son Sean, will lead a seminar called “Unshakable Truth, Revelant Faith.” A few spots are still open!

Why We Should Still Honor America

A message from Billy Graham

Why We Should Still Honor America

As the turbulent ’60s concluded and a new decade began, Billy Graham appeared at a July 4th event in Washington, D.C. called Honor America Day.

We may be a vastly different people today than we were 200 years ago. … But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

More than 400,000 people attended, while millions watched on television or heard it on the radio in 123 other countries.

Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Glen Campbell, The New Christy Minstrels and Teresa Graves were among those who performed that day.

According to liner notes on an album produced after the event, Honor America Day was denounced by the extreme right and the extreme left, but was supported by ordinary Americans, “rich and poor, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Jews.”

The idea reportedly stemmed from a telephone conversation between Billy Graham and Hobart Lewis, editor-in-chief of the Reader’s Digest, with hotel executive J. Willard Marriott later taking over the bulk of organizational work.

Organizers hoped the event would provide an “antidote for the poisons of defeatism, cynicism, and disillusionment that boil[ed] from the wells of America’s unsolved problems.”

One commentator noted that Dr. Graham’s message was a “moving, articulate plea for unity, faith and courage amid the strife of the ’70s.”

Read Part of Mr. Graham’s Message:

“Pericles built a civilization upon culture and it failed. Caesar built a civilization upon power and it failed. Our forefathers founded the United States upon faith in God, and our country will survive only as it honors God.

“Our nation was built on a foundation of moral law, in which a person’s rights were also balanced by a person’s responsibilities. Why should I, as a citizen of heaven and a Christian minister, join in honoring any secular state?

“The Bible says, ‘Honor the nation.’ As a Christian or a Jew, or as an atheist, we have a responsibility to an America that has always stood for liberty, protection and opportunity.

“There are many reasons why we honor America today. America has opened her heart and her doors to the distressed and persecuted of the world. America has been the most generous nation in history. We have shared our wealth and our faith with a world in need.

“America has never hidden her problems and faults. With our freedom of the press and open communication system we do not sweep our sins under the rug. America defends the right of her citizens to dissent. Dissent is the hallmark of our priceless freedoms. But when dissent takes violent forms it becomes anarchy.”

“We may be a vastly different people today than we were two hundred years ago. Our society is far more complex, more pluralistic. But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

“He is still a God of love and mercy. But He is also a God of righteousness and judgment. Any individual or nation, which ignores His moral and spiritual laws, will ultimately face His judgment.”

Rebecca St. James Coming to The Cove

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This quote is what worship is all about, says Rebecca St. James. And, that’s the focus of her latest album entitled I Will Praise Him, which was released this spring.

Australian born St. James has become one of Contemporary Christian Music’s most enduring and beloved artists, embraced by audiences worldwide.  Her signature sound yielded 17 Top 10 singles (nine of which were No. 1) and two RIAA Gold Album certifications (commemorating sales of more than 500,000 units) for God (1996), as well as GRAMMY winning Pray (1999). 

Her new worship album might appear as a departure from her pop hits for which she’s known, but actually she describes it as back to the foundation of her music. In a recent interview with CCM Magazine, she elaborates:  “My other albums, even those that I would consider more teaching or topical rather than worship are mostly all vertical in nature. There aren’t that many that are just person-to-person. I think it’s just kind of an essence of who I am. Even live, so much of what I do song-wise is directed to God.”

You can experience Rebecca St. James live at The Cove on Aug. 11. Contact us today to reserve your seats!

Unshakable Truth

Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? The answers to these questions shape how we live our lives. We cannot live out God’s purpose for our lives until we understand what it is and how it should be reflected in our lifestyle.

July 15-17, renowned author and apologist Josh McDowell, along with his son Sean, will join us for a special seminar entitled “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith.” The content for this special study is based on their new book “The Unshakable Truth” which explores the 12 foundational truths of the Christian faith, why they are credible and how they are critical to living out what you believe.

Unshakable Truth – Promo – Josh & Sean from Josh McDowell on Vimeo.

Space is still available for this specially priced “Next Generation Retreat.” Contact us today at (800) 950-2092 to learn more.