All posts by notesfromthecove

Billy Graham Sermons Available Online!

Have you heard? The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has launched – for the first time – an online audio archive of Billy Graham’s sermons. The searchable database, which you can find at, contains 1,673 messages spanning the more than six decades of Mr. Graham’s worldwide ministry.

You can search the database by topic, date or location. This project is unique in that such a large amount of data is being shared with the public in one location. Previously, one would have to request hard files, transcripts or rely on outside sources to find Billy Graham messages for use. Audio can be streamed, but not downloaded. We hope you are as uplifted by these messages as we are.

GUEST POST: Be Filled with the Spirit

By Will Graham

Have you ever noticed how life’s distractions and temptations can change your spirit? Think about it. You go into work in the morning with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, only to overhear a co-worker denigrating your abilities in front of your boss. How do you react? Later you have an opportunity to work your way out of a difficult situation by bending the truth to fit your needs and cover your back. How do you react now? Finally, you see an accounting error that could add some extra money to your paycheck if you simply stay quiet and do nothing. With all of these frustrations and temptations piling up, you probably would not be feeling overly spiritual at that point.

The fact of the matter is that in our fast-paced society, with so many different distractions around every corner, it is easy to be filled with a worldly mindset and not filled with the Holy Spirit. That, however, is no excuse. Frankly, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? It means that you are to be under the total influence of the Holy Spirit—God, dwelling in you, ordering your steps.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr in the Scriptures, gives a beautiful picture of someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 6:3 and 7:54-8:1 offer a few key characteristics in this example of a man who was facing the cold reality of death at the hands of an angry mob.

First, someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit is of good report (6:3). It is not that having good report—being known by others as virtuous and pure—fills you with the Holy Spirit, but it is the Holy Spirit that allows you to have this trait. The Sanhedrin were opposite of this. They called murderers, betrayers, stubborn, and disobedient (7:51-53). Why?  Because they resisted the Holy Spirit. They wanted nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.

Second, unlike the Sanhedrin, those who are filled with the Holy Spirit welcome the truth (7:55-56). Stephen sees Christ standing at the right hand of God, and he commits his spirit to God. He was glad to see Jesus and trust Him with his spirit. Those who are not filled with the Spirit were the same ones that—in verse 57—began to “cry out in a loud voice” because they heard truth and wanted to drown it out by their own words.  They also covered their ears, trying to prevent the truth from affecting them.

Finally, those who are filled with the Holy Spirit will intercede for others (7:60). Stephen was falsely accused, falsely arrested, and was about to be stoned, and yet he prayed for those who were about to stone him. What compassion! The only way Stephen could do this was because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. This was not a one-time deal but a way of life for Stephen. Acts 6:3, 5, 8 and 7:55 all state that Stephen was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit.

This needs to be a way of life for us as well. Too often we only want to be filled with the Spirit on Sundays, and as soon as we leave church, we return to our worldly routines of mundane tasks, acceptable temptations or angry confrontations.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit—being of good report, welcoming the truth, and compassionately interceding for others—has a lot to do with your effectiveness as an evangelist for the cause of Christ. If you are someone who truly wants to reach the lost (a motivation all believers should share), you need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. If you have been witnessing to that friend from work, but then turn around and terrorize your colleague for speaking ill of you, or bend the financial rules for dishonest gain – My friend, you are doing more harm than good for the Kingdom of God.

Conversely, if you are living a Holy Spirit-filled life, in which—much like Stephen— you take the distractions, frustrations and temptations of this world and handle them with the purity, truth and compassion of the Holy Spirit, others will want to know what it is that makes you tick. They will want to know what is missing in their life that is present in yours.

My friends, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Eternity is at stake.

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

Join Us Online Tonight!

Tonight, you can tune in at 7:15 ET for the first session of Tullian Tchividjian’s seminar, Jesus + Nothing = Everything…for free!

Tullian Tchividjian

We all need the Gospel. It is every bit as important for growing in Christ as it is for becoming a Christian. Allow the Holy Spirit to pull you deeper into the Gospel as you rediscover its necessity, beauty, and brilliance for everyday life. Understand how it all adds up—Jesus plus nothing equals everything you need to live with boundless courage, audacious freedom, bold sacrifice, and heroic generosity.

Click here to watch online!

GUEST POST: Let the Fire Fall

By Cliff Barrows

When I was 10 years old, my father took me to Yosemite National Park in California. And, there at Camp Curry (which is today called Curry Village®), the National Park guide was talking to us about Glacier Point – the face of the mountain that extends more than 7,000 feet above Camp Curry, commanding your attention from the valley floor.

He explained that on the top of that mountain, workers had been amassing wood and debris and had been burning it all day so that it was a huge mass of coals. He said to us, “Come back at 9 o’clock tonight and you’ll see a sight you’ve never seen before.”

Well, we were there. I had a hold of my dad’s hand. And, there was the guide, adjusting his signature park ranger hat. He was looking at his watch and said, “Alright, it’s 9 o’clock. Let’s listen. We’ll hear a voice from up on top of the mountain.”

All of sudden, we heard, “Are you ready, Camp Curry?”

Our guide cupped his hands and shouted up, “We … are … ready! Let the fire fall!”

And, up on the mountain, there were guys with pusher boards with poles. They pushed that great big pile off the ledge, and those coals cascaded down the face of the mountain.

We all said, “Oh, look at that.” They did that time and time again. They stopped it now many years ago.

But, in my own mind and heart, I know many times the Spirit of God has said to me, “Are you ready, Cliff? Do you want Me to pour out My power upon you? To let Me work in this area of your life so that I can be manifested? And, being convicted, I’ve said, “O God, I am ready. Let the fire of your Holy Spirit fall in my life as never before.”

Today, my prayer is again, Philippians 3:10 (in the Amplified version) which says “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers, and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death.”

Yosemite Firefall
Yosemite Firefall. Photographed by Richard Marklin on May 18, 1963.
Cliff Barrows

Clifford Burton Barrows (born April 6, 1923 in Ceres, California) is the longtime music & program director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He has been a part of BGEA since 1949. He is best known as the host of Graham’s weekly Hour of Decision radio program, and the songleader and choir director for the crusade meetings. Cliff appears regularly at The Cove, including SeniorCelebration events and Christmas at The Cove. Visit for more info.

God Honors Those Who Honor Him

One of the most remarkable realities we discover in our relationship with God is that He will never be in debt to us. No matter how much we give or how much of ourselves we pour out for His sake, He always manages to give back more than we gave. That God honors those who honor Him was never more evident than in the life of Daniel.

Tonight, we begin a seminar with Bob Coy, studying the life of Daniel, whose unwavering faithfulness, persuadable leadership, unquestionable integrity, and influential vision enabled him to honor God. You can tune in to the first session live on the Web for free. You’ll learn to cultivate these character traits in your own life and be prepared to seize every opportunity the Lord provides to honor Him.

Join us tonight at 7:15 P.M. ET for a live webcast of Bob Coy’s seminar, Daniel: Honor for Honor.

The SOWERs at The Cove

This month (and through the rest of the year), we have some great helpers with us at The Cove. They arrived in recreational vehicles, but they got right down to business!

*This post is from Jane Slocomb of the SOWER Ministry

Who are the SOWERs – the new volunteers at The Cove? SOWERs, or “Servants on Wheels Ever Ready,” are a group of approximately 750 couples who desire to serve Christ by serving others.

We are born-again Christians who have recreational vehicles (RVs), are self-supporting and are retired or semi-retired. We delight in serving the Lord by using our various skills and God-given gifts to perform volunteer work. We enjoy the RV lifestyle and the adventure of traveling throughout the United States and North America. Some of us are full-time RVers, while others maintain homes and travel periodically to work on various projects.


The SOWER Ministry provides volunteer help to non-profit Christian ministries. We assist Christian churches, camps, conference centers, orphanages, schools, colleges, missionary retreat centers and training facilities, refuges for neglected or abused children, and recovery homes for adults and other ministries through the organized teamwork of volunteers.

We are primarily a physical labor ministry. For most projects, the men are involved with the construction or remodeling of structures and associated utilities, repair of vehicles, and landscaping, using their various skills of carpentry, electrical, plumbing, roofing, masonry, mechanics, etc. Women help with office work, tutoring, sewing, painting, kitchen work, cleaning and more. SOWER men work approximately six hours per day and the women work three hours each day, four days per week.

SOWERs hard at work!

This is our first project at The Cove. We are delighted to be here and have been enjoying the wonderful staff who have made us feel so much a part of the ministry. If you have been over to the maintenance area you have seen a bit of construction going on. The first project the men have been doing is the construction of the RV sites for future SOWERS. The women have been working at the Administrative Building helping the staff with various projects.

Being a SOWER is not all work. At every project, we meet old friends and new friends. There are social celebrations, getting together with other SOWER groups that are close by and lots of fellowship. We enjoy special ongoing relationships as we connect and reconnect with each other over the years. Each new relationship is a precious jewel in our hearts. So many times we receive such rich blessings from the project that the little we are able to give seems quite secondary. That is the case here at The Cove.

If you would like to learn more about the SOWER Ministry, visit

Billy Graham’s New Book: Nearing Home

We are very excited about the buzz surrounding Billy Graham’s new book – his 30th. The book, officially debuting on Oct. 18, is called Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well. It contains personal autobiographical reflections from Billy Graham on how he has come to view old age, including the realization that the time to prepare for one’s senior years is now.

Learn more about the book from his son Franklin and his long-time colleague Larry Ross in this article on You can find excerpts from the book on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website, as well.

Also, here’s an article about the book from Michael Gordon of The Charlotte Observer.

Skip Heitzig Playing the Ukulele?

That’s right. Skip Heitzig, pastor of 14,000-member Calvary of Albuquerque, was with us here at The Cove. And, we learned that when he’s not preaching, teaching, writing or ministering to thousands through his multimedia ministry, he enjoys playing his ukulele.

An old familiar song…

“Holy Holy Holy”

Something else you might not know about Skip. As a teenager, he got caught up in drugs and ventured into the occult. But God reached him one day in 1973 as he was watching a Billy Graham crusade on TV. The Gospel message penetrated his soul and he knelt and prayed to receive Christ. To God be the glory!

“Connect” with Skip and tune in to his radio show at Also, if you want to see more videos from The Cove, check out our YouTube channel at


O Thou Whose Stillness Drowns

A poem by Ruth Bell Graham

O Thou Whose Stillness Drowns

O Thou

Whose stillness drowns

earth’s total noise –

its grating sounds:





of my frustration,



the screaming silences



the din

of questions clamoring

for their “why?”

and “how?”


the rumblings

of man’s discontent,

erupting hate,


war’s distant thunder

rolling near,

and everywhere

the cries

of fear

that paralyzes

as it grips…

and near at hand

a faucet drips.

O Thou,

Whose stillness drowns

earth’s total noise,

only in Thee

is stillness found…

And I rejoice.