Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Saturday Snapshot – Deliciousness at The Cove

Saturday Snapshot

O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Him. (Psalm 34:8, NKJV).

A stay at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove provides ample opportunity to feast on God’s Word, but as any Cove guest will tell you, there’s also plenty of delicious food!

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Our Executive Chef Douglas Walls and his team serve thousands of guests each year, as they come to enjoy a seminar, concert or retreat in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Here are a few behind-the-scenes pictures of dishes that he’s served this week.

Grilled grouper served with whipped parsnips and wild rice pilaf.  Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled grouper served with whipped parsnips and wild rice pilaf.
Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled pork chop with creamy risotto and shaved brussel sprouts.  Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled pork chop with creamy risotto and shaved brussel sprouts.
Photo Credit: Chef Douglas Walls


To enjoy recipes from The Cove at home,
click here.

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

Interested in hosting your own event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and newly opened Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours.  Tours are free.

 

Saturday Snapshot – Photo Challenge Recap

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The Cove’s 14-Day #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge is all done!
We debuted our photo challenge in the Saturday Snapshot post
three weeks ago.

#InTheGardenPhotoChallenge was all about putting a spotlight on the aesthetic and spiritual beauty in and surrounding a garden.

On The Cove’s Instagram (@thecovenc) feed we shared
images from the newly opened Ruth’s Prayer Garden each day.

How it worked: We asked everyone to post one photo per day on their personal Instagram and/or Facebook that followed our daily prompt. Everyone then included the hashtag #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge in their post!

Following are the images we shared, as well as some from others who have joined in and shared from their neck of the woods.

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June 1: Bloom

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June 2: Light

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June 3: Tree Bark

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June 4: Sky

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June 5: Cloud

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June 6: Green

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 June 7: Moss

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June 8: Stone

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June 9: Fragrance

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June 10: Bird

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June 11: Pathway

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June 12: Prayer

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June 13: Growth

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June 14: Sanctuary 

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Thanks to everyone who has shared photos of their gardens with us!

See some of their photos here:

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

And don’t forget to follow The Cove on Instagram @thecovenc.

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

Saturday Snapshot – Retreats, Mountains, & Sunsets

It’s been a beautiful week here at The Cove. The daytime temperatures have stayed in the mid 60s to the low 80s without a whole lot of humidity.  Very nice!

The earlier part of the week was quiet here at The Cove (a great time for maintenance projects to be completed!), and then later in the week, we had a couple hundred come for a Samaritan’s Purse retreat for their site managers and volunteers. Here some of them are in full retreat mode enjoying time on the Training Center deck! (Photo taken from the prayer room on the 3rd floor.)

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This next photo was taken just before 9 p.m. earlier this week at the chapel.

One of our lighting and audio tech guys took the photo as he was leaving the chapel and shared, “It was that magic moment when the light on the building and the light in the sky were balanced beautifully!”  He’s a lighting guy, so he knows what he’s talking about!  Isn’t this beautiful!

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This last picture was taken on Friday afternoon from the deck off Billy Graham’s office on the 3rd floor.  Aren’t the mountains and lush forests of of Western North Carolina pretty!?

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We hope you enjoy your weekend and feel God’s loving presence in a mighty way.

Blessings to you!


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

Interested in hosting your own event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and newly opened Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours.  Tours are free.

 

Saturday Snapshot – Ruth’s Prayer Garden Dedication

Ruth Bell Graham lived a life committed to and dependent on prayer.  Several years ago, she wrote these words as a reflection on how we should pray:  As we come to this garden of prayer, we come being reminded that we come to acknowledge our Father. As we come into His presence, we come being anxious or worried about nothing. We come to worship Him in everything.

This past Wednesday, June 1, 2016, Ruth’s Prayer Garden was officially dedicated with a special message from her grandson, Will Graham, executive director at The Cove.

“Prayer is our umbilical cord to our Heavenly Father,  This is going to be a place of spiritual life and vitality.” Will Graham said of the 1.5 acre garden featuring more than 150 plan varieties.

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Over 150 people in attendance at the dedication.

Listen and watch as over 150 people in attendance  on Wednesday lifted their voices unto the Lord in worship and adoration.

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Ruth’s Prayer Garden — a garden for every season.
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The garden is a lovely place to stroll and take in all the beauty.
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Beautiful violin music played in the garden before the dedication began.

Watch as the violinist played throughout the the garden paths.

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Benches are placed throughout the garden so one can sit and pray.
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It was fun having so many people enjoying the garden at one time!
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A beautiful rose still fresh with dew during the dedication.
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Over 150 plant species are present in the garden. There will be something in bloom every season.
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Prayer. This is what Ruth would have loved to see taking place in this garden.
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Thankful for the leadership on this project from Lucas, The Cove’s supervisor of grounds maintenance. That’s a wooden bow tie he’s sporting!

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.

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.

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!

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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.

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“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.

Saturday Snapshot

There are around 130 groups that hold their own events, meetings and retreats at The Cove each year.  Of these groups is a regionally located church that holds their annual women’s retreat here.  This past weekend, 250 women came for a time of rest, renewal, relaxation, and inspiration.  How we loved having them here!

Today, we’re sharing photos that one of the women from this group shared with us.  Enjoy!

Oh, the beauty of God’s creation!  Just look at the view from the overlook.  Many from this group ventured out and hiked to the overlook, a 6-mile round-trip hike from the Training Center.

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The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center, open to the public for tours, but also a popular spot to visit for our groups staying on property is featured in the next few photos.  The structure, history, and beauty of this place are something to behold.  Billy Graham said,  “There are two gorgeous chapels in eastern America. One is at Duke University and the other is here at The Cove.”

Click here to plan your next visit to our chapel and visitor’s center.

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You’ll find intricate detail throughout the chapel.
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Calligraphy in the chapel prayer room. One of Mrs. Graham’s favorite verses.
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One of God’s beautiful creatures popped by for a visit.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the photos!  Thanks to Ashley for sharing them with us.

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.

Saturday Snapshot – Tweet Tweet

Yes, we have plenty of beautiful birds on The Cove property, but today the tweeting we’re sharing is of a different sort.

Earlier this week, we had a two hundred people attending a special leadership renewal retreat for youth leaders and their spouses.  Some in this group, probably because they need to keep up with the youth, were utilizing social media – Twitter in particular – to share their experience.

Today we’re sharing some of their “tweets”.

Don’t worry, if you never plan on using Twitter, this is an opportunity for you to take a glimpse into what happens in the Twittersphere!

A quick lesson on Twitter for non-Twitter-users:  Twitter is a real-time social media sharing site in which you are only allowed 140 characters or less to communicate your message.  Other people on Twitter can reply to, like, or re-tweet (share) your message.

These first two “tweets” capture our guests’ anticipation of rest, renewal, and learning of Biblical principles.  This is exactly what Billy and Ruth Graham envisioned this place to be….a place of rest, renewal, and instruction.

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You can’t beat the food at The Cove.  Here, one of our guests shares his delicious experience.

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Our chef has shared several of his recipes from The Cove kitchen.  Click here to see if one of those recipes strikes your fancy and for printable recipes.

If you’ve tasted the bread pudding you’re probably salivating right now.  We are too!

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Here a guest shares a couple quotes that resonated with him from one of our seminar speakers, Alex McFarland.

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As our guests and speakers depart three days after their arrival, they share thoughts of their Cove experience:

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Tweet from Sean McDowell from LRR May 2016

Besides Twitter, you can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Periscope.

We’d love to see you in person at The Cove!

Click here for a schedule of upcoming seminars, retreats, and concerts at The Cove.

Would you like to hold your group event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

God bless you!