Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Saturday Snapshot

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1

It is so wonderful to see all the deer on our property this time of year.  This week we’ve had a mama and her fawn that greeted some of our staff right outside their office windows.  The others (four of them, but could only get three in the picture!) were caught crossing the road early one morning.

Doe and fawn outside admin June 2015
Doe and her fawn outside a staff members window.
four deer crossing road June 2015
Deer XING

The video below was filmed almost exactly two years ago in our staff parking lot, but we wanted to share with you today because you don’t get to see this type of footage very often.  Enjoy!

Click here to view the video if it does not show up in your browser.

Saturday Snapshot

Salt of the earth.  That’s what comes to mind as we share this picture with you today.

Featured are some of our hardworking and talented maintenance and grounds crew alongside a couple of volunteers from Campers On Mission–that’s one of the volunteer’s RV they’re standing near.

Maintenance crew with Campers on Mission June 2015 sm

Why an RV at The Cove, you may be wondering?  Now, before you jump in your RV and head our way, please understand that we don’t have camp sites or hook-ups for RVers who are attending a conference, retreat, or event at The Cove.  You all are invited to stay in one of our two lovely inns here on property. :)

We do have four designated RV hook-ups that are used by volunteers from Christian RV and camping groups who share their gifts and talents with a variety of Christian organizations around the United States.

The volunteers perform a variety of tasks while at The Cove, but the majority fall under grounds care, building maintenance, laundry/housekeeping, office work, prayer intercession, and tours at our chapel on property.

The two groups that serve The Cove are the SOWERS  and Campers on Mission.  For more information on either ministry, click on the links below.

Click here for more information on the SOWERS ministry.
Click here for more information on Campers on Mission ministry.

Click here to visit our website featuring upcoming retreats and events.

Saturday Snapshot

This photo captures a sweet moment of refreshment and fellowship on the Training Center deck for a group of chaplain volunteers attending a four-day training retreat at The Cove this week.

The chaplains, who minister to the brokenhearted in the aftermath of disasters, are attending training classes to equip them to support the emotional and spiritual needs of those they come across in their work.

Click here to read a full article on this crisis ministry conference.

chaplains from RRT on TC deck outside June 2015

Would you like to host your group’s next retreat, conference or ministry program at The Cove?  Click here to find out more about our facility and how we can meet your group’s needs.

Saturday Snapshot

Bobcats and squirrels and bears! Oh my!

We’ve had some pretty special visitors near the Cove administration building over the last week or so.

Just look at this beautiful bobcat who passed through earlier this week!  Have no fear–bobcats are not a threat to humans.  Cove staff was delighted to see this cool cat crossing our path.  In case you were wondering, he measured about 15″ to his back.  We are guessing he was probably 30 lbs.  This photo makes him look a little larger.

bobcat at The Cove May 20 2015

This little squirrel was either admiring its reflection in the glass or listening in on the meeting that was going on right on the other side of the windows.  Thank you to Cove Executive Director, Will Graham, who snapped this photo.
squirrel with Wil May 2015

Beautiful black bear out for a stroll.
Bear in admin parking lot May 2015

See what’s going on at The Cove by clicking here to visit our website.

Saturday Snapshot

We are blessed with Scripture etched in stone on some of our  buildings around the property.  These remind us of the abounding love, protection and grace we receive from our Heavenly Father.

Stone verse
The verse John 10:14 carved in stone at the entrance to Shepherd’s Inn.

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The verse 2 Chronicles 6:18b at the entrance to Chatlos Memorial Chapel.

While attending your event or retreat at The Cove, make sure to allow for plenty of time to explore our property and take a moment to meditate on God’s word.

Click here to view upcoming events at The Cove.

Interested in bringing a group to The Cove for a special retreat, click here for information.

 

Behind The Scenes: Housekeeping at The Cove

HOUSEKEEPING TWO

If you’ve had the opportunity to stay in one of the two inns on our property, you know how clean and comfortable the rooms are.  You may even know that your bed–in fact your entire room–was prayed over before your arrival.

Today, we’d like you to meet one of the special people who are responsible for The Cove’s clean and prayed-over rooms.

Meet Linda.

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Linda in one of the inn rooms.

Linda has been a part of the housekeeping staff at The Cove since October 2004.  After working with her husband in the home improvement field for years, Linda’s daughter, who was on The Cove’s housekeeping staff at the time, asked her mom to come and work with her.  Having suffered from back problems all her life, Linda told her daughter, “My back wouldn’t take it.”   She did, however, agree to volunteer some.  After volunteering for several months, Linda was asked to join the team as an employee and she agreed.

You’re probably wondering why Linda decided to accept employment despite her history of back pain.  When asked, she replied with a warm smile, “It’s like a healing has taken place.  It’s very physically demanding, but it’s not like work.  I know this is where God wants me.”   Linda continues by sharing a Scripture that she has proven to be true: “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).

Serving at The Cove is a bit of a family affair.  Not only did Linda’s daughter work here, but her sister, Ruth, does too.  “My sister and I make beds together,” Linda says.

While Linda enjoys the time of fellowship with her sister, she says the entire housekeeping team is like a family.

“When a new housekeeper comes, we adopt her in like a little sister, and if it’s an older one, it’s another mama.  There is just a bond here that we can’t explain.”

Every Day Steeped in Prayer.

During the week, before Linda comes to work, she begins her days attending prayer time from 6 – 7 a.m. at her church.  But, the prayer doesn’t stop there.

It’s a well-known fact that The Cove housekeepers pray over the rooms as they clean.  Linda said, “It’s like the Scripture, ‘pray without ceasing’; that’s what we do, we pray as we go.”  She adds, “I also make it a point to pray for the guests when I go home, when I’m not distracted with anything else.  I pray that as they come, God would take care of everything back home for them so they can get away without anything distracting them.”

So whether it’s cleaning, stocking or checking rooms, Linda’s heart is full with anticipation of the good things the Lord has for her and each of our guests here at The Cove every day.

“Every day I come through the gate, it’s a new day and a total new world. Mr. and Mrs. Graham’s vision became provision for so many people.”

Pilgrims Inn
The Pilgrims’ Inn
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Enjoy the warmth of a fire while relaxing at one of our two inns.
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There are lots of places in our inn lobby to sit and read or visit.

Interested in working at The Cove? See a list of job descriptions by clicking here.

Click here to visit our website and see what’s happening at The Cove.

Saturday Snapshot

We have a super talented team in our kitchen that creates delicious meals and desserts for our guests every day!  Check out what they were up to one morning earlier this week.

chopping chocolate

Melanie spends time chopping chunks of chocolate for homemade brownies.

Natalie and Melanie

Natalie and Melanie working well as a team as they prepare desserts for guests at The Cove.

natalie with cookies

Pastry Chef Natalie showing off her delicious homemade cookies!

chef doug

Executive Chef Douglas expertly chops onion for a cranberry and pineapple salsa which will be used to garnish turkey burgers for lunch.

Click here to search for recipes from The Cove kitchen.

Make sure not to miss our “Behind The Scenes” feature on The Cove Kitchen coming up next month!

We’d love to see you at The Cove this year!  Click here to visit our website to see what’s coming up.

Saturday Snapshot

If you recall, Ruth Bell Graham had a tendency to keep a lot of things that were given to Billy Graham over the years.  She even wrote a book titled Legacy of a Pack Rat.  Many of the items that were stored in their attic in Montreat, NC eventually found their way to The Cove for display in our memorabilia area or to be stored for later use.

This is a soccer ball given to Billy Graham during the Bramall Lane Crusade in Sheffield, England in June of 1985.  As you can see, the Sheffield United Football Club players all signed it.  What a neat piece of history!

Soccer ball signed by Sheffield United Football Club during Bramall Lane Crusade June 22 thru 29 1985 Sheffield England 2

While attending your event or retreat at The Cove, make sure to allow for plenty of time to explore our memorabilia and pictorial area in the Training Center.

Click here to view upcoming events at The Cove.
Interested in bringing a group to The Cove for a special retreat, click here for information.

Looking Up: A Place of Prayer

The Chatlos Memorial Chapel
Written by Donna Riesen,  Program Communications Assistant

2011 The Cove Josh McDowell Seminar_IMG_3784 2

On a misty, overcast Friday morning in early April I walk the wide gravel path up to the Chapel. Pausing just outside the doors of heavy black walnut I read again the Scripture carved into a heavy stone mounted to the right of the entrance: “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have built” (2 Chronicles 6:18, KJV). Once inside, I walk across the heavy stone floors and into the sacred space of the Chapel sanctuary, a beautiful space that exudes a simple yet solemn reverence without stuffiness or pretense. Tall, expansive windows allow the beauty of God’s creation to enter and speak volumes to the soul. The gleaming wood of the walls is in perfect harmony with the natural beauty outdoors. From floor to ceiling the eye and the heart are drawn upward. Is this what Mrs. Graham intended?

Billy Graham Chapel - Interior Worship

On staff at The Cove for more than five years, I’ve heard the stories about the history of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel—how Ruth Graham had a hand in its design and plans. Her gracious spirit, love of beauty and appreciation for rustic, local handcrafted woodwork are seen in charming touches throughout The Cove. But above any other location on The Cove’s property,  many feel the Chapel brings us closest to seeing the world through Ruth’s eyes.

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After taking in the quiet beauty of the sanctuary, I climb the short stairwell to reach the small prayer room above the rear of the Chapel. By no mere accident, the prayer altar is situated directly beneath the steeple and the cross. A lighted globe sits in the center of the prayer table—a testament to the heartbeat of evangelism that pulsed through both Billy and Ruth. Mabel, a Cove volunteer of 3 to 4 years, welcomes me in and offers to sit and chat for a few moments. “What’s it like to serve as the volunteer assigned to the Chapel’s prayer room?” I ask. “Do you get the chance to pray with people very often?”

2011 The Cove Josh McDowell Seminar_IMG_3793 2

Mabel’s eyes light up. “Well,” she says, “When I ask if they have a prayer request some people are too shy to say. I can usually tell whether or not they’re interested in having me pray with them.”

“And what if they are?” I ask.

“If there’s a group, I always ask if they’d like to hold hands, and then we pray. Right here under the steeple,” Mable explains.

I can tell Mabel is an experienced prayer warrior, and as she shares a little of her personal story with me I begin to understand why. A senior adult, Mabel sent a lot of prayer requests heavenward before ending up at The Cove as a Chapel volunteer. After enduring the heartbreak of losing a son to a brain tumor and then saying farewell to her husband who died 6 months later, Mabel was despondent and crushed. While she knew without a doubt that both her loved ones were in Heaven with Jesus, Mabel was unsure how to proceed on this new pathway through the wilderness of grief and loss. “I ask my Heavenly Father anything I want to,” she exclaims, “And if you ask God to show you what to do next, He will!” Through her involvement with the Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, Mabel learned about the need for Chapel volunteers and eventually found her niche here in the prayer room. With the confident assurance of one who has seen God work she declares, “God does answer prayer!”

We talk a little more about what it’s like to have the privilege of praying with those who request it. “Well sometimes,” Mabel confesses, “It’s hard not to cry with them when they share their requests. Sometimes even the men open up!”

“All of us have problems,” she notes. “Sometimes so many hit us at once that we’re almost afraid to look up!” Sitting here in the quiet of this small prayer room, directly beneath the 87-foot steeple with its 8-foot cross, I’m sure this is what Ruth Graham intended. She intended for us to look up.

Jerry Miller, former director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, tells the story of how Ruth influenced the construction of the Chatlos Chapel’s steeple. “The architects had the steeple at a certain height,” Jerry says. “We told that to Mrs. Graham and she said, “That’s not tall enough.” When asked how high she wanted it, she replied with an uncertain “I don’t know.”

Jerry explains how the solution was reached. The chapel was built using a crane in order to avoid cutting down trees. “We got the contractor with the crane and we got him out there with the architect,” Jerry says. “We got him to raise the ball on the crane and put the ball where we wanted to put the steeple.”

“I turned to Mrs. Graham and said, ‘You just look at me, and if it’s not high enough, you tell me.’”

As Jerry relates, the crane rose higher and higher; but every time he looked at Mrs. Graham she said it wasn’t high enough, so the contractor was told to keep going. Finally, Mrs. Graham’s lofty goal was reached and she nodded her approval. The steeple was built to a height of 87 feet, with an 8-foot-tall copper cross on top.

On this warm April day, the steeple with its cross towers above The Cove’s green canopy of trees, inviting us to look up and seek our Creator, whom “the heaven of heavens cannot contain.” And Mabel, just one of an army of faithful volunteers, points visitors heavenward. Exactly as Ruth intended.

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With heartfelt gratitude to Mabel and every Cove volunteer:
Thank you for your faithful service in helping us carry out our mission of training people in God’s Word to win others to Christ.

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove has a large number of volunteers who assist us in all areas of operation. Among these are 84 volunteers who help us greet visitors at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Cove Visitors Center.

Happy National Volunteer Week!
April 12-18, 2015

Click here for information and hours for the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.

If you would like to volunteer at The Cove, click here to complete the volunteer application.

Saturday Snapshot

Colors are popping up everywhere here at The Cove!  We’re seeing it through beauty in its natural form to the shiny metal type.

Dogwood blossoms at TC april 2015
Dogwood in bloom.
Dogwood Bloom at TC
Dogwood in bloom.
Redbud at the TC April 2015
Redbud near the fire pit at the Training Center.
Redbud at the TC April 2015 2
Redbud.
motorcycle of visitor at The cove April 2015
This beautiful visitor, seen near the Chapel, was enjoying the warm weather and clear skies.

We’re on Instagram!  Click here to join us over there for more behind-the-scenes shots.

We’d love for you to stop by and see us!  Our Chapel and Visitor’s Center is open Monday – Friday 9 – 5 p.m.  Click here for more information.

Interested in joining us for a seminar, concert or retreat?   Click here to visit our website.