Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

When Life Loses Its Color

Remember in your yearbook superlative section, where it listed the most likely to be President, cutest couple, class clown, etc.?

Do you ever feel like you could have been titled the most unlikely to be used by God? 

Ann Barrows approved for 2014 use smallThis week Ann Barrows, wife of longtime friend and ministry partner of Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows, spoke to a group of Senior Adults during the 3-day Senior Celebration.  In a workshop entitled “When Life Loses Its Color,” Ann examined how God uses the humbling experience of getting older to prepare us for Kingdom living.

She assured the group, “As long as there is life and breath in you, there is something God has for you!”    

Ann shared the truths that God has taught her through the “colorless days” and calamities of her life. 

Prior to marrying Cliff, Ann was married to her first husband, James Prince, who died of cancer after 34 years of marriage. 

“Life lost its color when he died,” Ann says.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!  For my soul trusts in You;  and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.  Psalm 57:1

She recounted the day James told her, 4-weeks before he died, that he prayed God would bring someone very special into her life.  Hearing this broke her heart.  She couldn’t imagine losing her husband, much less marrying someone else. 

Today, Ann gives thanks for this gift her dying husband gave her that day.

Just months prior to losing her husband, Ann was introduced to Billie Barrows, Cliff Barrows’ then wife, by a mutual friend.  Ann was able to minister to Billie in a special way through her bout with cancer.  On their first phone conversation, Ann asked Billie is she could pray for her right there on the spot.  Thus a beautiful friendship began.  “God knit our hearts together,” Ann said.  “We had cancer in common.  We became great friends.” 

Their friendship, initially only over the phone, grew.  They first met face to face at Ann’s husband’s funeral.  Billie lost her fight to cancer 1 year and 4 months later. 

After Billie’s death, Cliff told Ann, “Someday we need to sit down and have a long talk.” 

Ann smiles as she remembers receiving a call at 2 a.m. one morning, some time later.  Cliff was on the other end of the line, calling while ministering at a Crusade in Puerto Rico. He asked Ann for permission to see her.

The day Cliff visited Ann’s home, they stood in the hallway for 45 minutes just looking at one another.  “There were tears. Lots of tears,” Ann remembers.

Cliff told Ann that he felt the Lord did not want him to be alone any longer.  He felt the Lord wanted them to be together. 

The next day, Cliff asked Ann to marry him.  God had confirmed in both their hearts that this was of His doing. 

“You might wonder how I could marry someone I barely knew.  I learned more about Cliff through my friend Billie than most people know about the mate they chose to marry in an ordinary circumstance.” 

“Billie had told me of Cliff’s servant’s heart, his unconditional love and commitment to her.”  Ann knew he was a good and godly man. 

cliff and ann barrows at the coveAnn and Cliff have been married 19 years in June, blessed with a large family with 53 members.  “We have been through just about everything in our family.  There are no exemptions just because my husband is Cliff Barrows.” 

God had a plan much greater than either Cliff or Ann Barrows could have imagined.

Ann reminds us of the calamities that Naomi from the Book of Ruth went through.  Famine forced Naomi and her family to leave their home in Bethlehem, the “City of Bread,” only to enter Moab, the “City of Incest,” where her husband and both their sons died.

It became a “colorless day” for Naomi.

“When you become a widow, it is easy to feel like life is over,” Ann shared.

When Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth, one of her Moabite daughter-in-laws, would either of these women have felt like there was much left for them? 

God’s plan for both Naomi and Ruth was much greater than either could have imagined.

Ruth married Boaz, the son of Rahab the harlot. 

Don’t you imagine these two would have been voted least likely to be part of a Royal lineage?   

Yet in the New Testament account of Christ’s birth, Matthew tell us that our Savior Jesus Christ comes from the line of Boaz and Ruth.

God had a plan much greater than either Boaz or Ruth could have imagined.  He was not done with them yet!

And had it not been for Naomi, Ruth and Boaz would not have met. 

God’s plan for Naomi was much greater than she could have imagined.  He was not done with her yet!

God in His sovereignty is at a work in your life in a mighty way right now.  He has a work for each of us to do. 

“Does God have remarriage for every woman?  No,” she explained, while Naomi was to remain single, Ruth was to remarry.  Naomi was no less blessed of God because she did not remarry. 

Each of us is precious is His sight. 

Ann directed us to Habakkuk 1:5 for another example of God’s awesome works and sovereignty.

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

If we watch, God will amaze us time and time again. 

Ann noted, that during trials we often ask the Lord why or for how long, our suffering will continue. 

She encouraged us to keep our focus fixed on God at all times, reminding us that when we focus on our circumstances, we tend to fall apart.

Staying focused of God can be hard to do when the circumstances are controlling our feelings, Ann acknowledged, but our feelings don’t always tell us the truth. 

Her advice?  Run to the strong tower in your day of calamity, and God will give you the “peace that surpasses all understanding” and grace that endures.

Habbakkuk’s response to the calamity of his time was to rejoice in the God of his salvation and to give thanks in all things.  

Have you learned how to embrace your calamities?

Ann encourages us to grow and be strong and share with other people the reason for our hope and how God has brought us through many things.

God’s plans for us are much greater than we could ever imagine, and He often uses the “least likelys” to carry out His plans. 

If life has lost its color for you, take heart—God is not finished with you yet!______________________________ 

Would you like to attend a Senior Celebration with Cliff Barrows?  Click here for information and to register.

Recipe from Cove’s Kitchen — Carrot Apple Ginger Juice & Pink Lemonade

IMG_3209Mom was right when she told us to “eat our vegetables!” but now we can drink them too!

Cove Sous Chef, Hallie Saunders has a passion for sharing the healing properties of various foods, mainly whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Hallie is a cancer survivor and knows a thing or two about healing your body with the very food that we put in our bodies.  

When asked why she loves juicing so much, she tells us, “Juice is one of the most powerful whole foods that you can put in your body.  It takes very little energy to digest, so you maintain almost all of the energy and nutrients that it gives.”

Hallie offers these four important facts about juicing: 

  • Juicing can help prevent cancer and heart disease
  • Juicing can boost immunity
  • Juicing cleanses the body of toxins
  • Juicing treats a variety of diseases from anemia and constipation to arthritis

Watch here as Hallie shows you how to prepare two delicious juice recipes, Carrot Apple Ginger Juice and  Pink Lemonade juice.  Both with ZERO sugar and just three ingredients each. 

 

Recipes

Carrot Apple Ginger Juice 
5 medium carrots
2 apples
1/4 inch piece of ginger
Feed all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!
Yields: 8oz

Pink Lemonade 
4 to 5 small apples
1/4 of lemon with rind on
1/4 inch piece of beet
Feed all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!
Yields: 8oz

Don’t have a juicer?  Most any juicer will work, but Hallie recommends the Champion Juicer.  

We want to hear what you thought of these juices.  Which was your favorite? 

Please share in the comments section below. 

We would love to see you in person!  Visit www.TheCove.org to see what’s going on at The Cove.

Recipe from The Cove Kitchen: Apple Delight Wrap & Whipped Parsnips

Jan 23 2014 shoot Doug and Hallie 3We receive rave reviews about the food that comes out of The Cove’s kitchen, and if you’ve had the opportunity to dine with us, you know why.

Not only is the food delicious, but the recipes, 99% made from scratch, are healthy. 

Watch here as Executive Chef Douglas Walls and Sous Chef Hallie Saunders share a delightful and healthy Apple Delight Wrap recipe and whipped parsnip side dish. 

Apple Delight Wrap
(Serving Size: 1 Wrap)

1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped kale
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chopped purple cabbage
2 Tbsp. of mixed nuts (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds or other nuts of your choice)
1/4 cup of cooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped apples

1/4 cup Hummus
Drizzle of Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Combine 1 Tbsp. of Apple Cider, 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp. of Soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. Honey)

Chop vegetables by hand or in a food processor. 
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place in a tortilla wrap of your choice, roll and slice in half and enjoy.

Whipped Parsnips
(Serving Size: 1)

2 parsnips (peeled & roughed chopped, boil down until they are soft)
2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of Heavy cream
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve with the apple delight wrap. 
Garnish with chopped scallions.

Plan a trip to The Cove!  See what’s happening here.

Children Sharing the Love of Jesus With Children A World Away

What happens when three best friends, all under the age of 12, set a goal to share the love of Christ with 100 children from around the world?

God’s Spirit moves mightily.

The idea came to them last year when Lydia (age 10), Hope (age 11) and Emma (age 11) who live in Marion, NC were packing a few Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, as they had done for many years. 

The girls decided that for Christmas 2013, they wanted to pack 100 boxes. 

100 boxes!  No small feat by any measure.

So the planning began.

They began raising funds for the contents of the boxes early in March. 

How did they raise the money?  The old-fashioned way, of course…

Yard sales, lemonade stands, showing an outdoor movie on a sheet, making Duct Tape wallets and bows to sell, and going door to door asking for donations.  

And then the fun part…time to shop!

photo 5Each box contained a stuffed animal, notebook, coloring book, pencils, jump rope, bandana, washcloth, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues and other fun items they thought the children receiving would enjoy.

On November 22nd, they loaded up the truck and headed to The Cove, one of Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection locations, to drop off their boxes.  Hope and Lydia had dropped off their boxes at The Cove last year and said that the experience was wonderful, so they decided to go back this year. 

photo 3Harold was the volunteer at The Cove the day the girls came by.  Harold has witnessed a lot in his days, but seeing these girls with such beautiful hearts for the Lord brought him to tears.  Before the girls left, he asked if he could pray over the boxes.  He not only prayed for the children who would receive the boxes, but he thanked God for the children who made it all happen.

You may be wondering if the girls have a plan for next year.  Yes, they do!  They plan to pack another 100 boxes and raise enough money this time to cover the shipping fees for the boxes as well. 

Watch here as the girls tell what they enjoyed most about packing the boxes.

It’s not too early to start thinking about packing your boxes for next year.  Visit the Operation Christmas Child website here for more information.    

Korean Worship at The Cove

Korean Worship August 1 2013Have you experienced Korean worship? 

If you have not, it is a treat like no other!

We had a wonderful group staying at The Cove this week who were here to focus on prayer, evangelism and Bible teaching.

A benefit of working at The Cove is that our staff witness beautiful moments of worship shared by the groups meeting here.       

All the words sung by this group were Korean, but it didn’t matter if our staff was able to understand the language or not, the Holy Spirit filled the room, and THAT was felt by all!

Watch and listen here as voices and hearts were lifted in worship to our Almighty God. 

If you would like to bring your church or other Christian ministry group to The Cove, call 1-800-950-2092 or click here

Behind the Scenes: Goats at The Cove

We are excited to introduce you to two of The Cove’s newest employees! 

Meet Zeke and Bill E.Goat.

zeke standing

These two, plus 16 other goats, have been hired to eradicate kudzu, an invasive weed, that is taking over a steep hillside at The Cove. 

Kudzu will grow over anything in its path (other plants, buildings, road signs) and eventually kill other plants it covers because it blocks out sunlight.

Zeke, our canine employee, is half Kangal and half Great Pyrenees. He is the protector of the goat herd.  He is a gentle lad and appears to enjoy his job.   

Bill E. Goat and his fellow goat co-workers are a cross between Boer and Kiko.  They enjoy eating vegetation such as kudzu, all the while, leaving behind “fertilizer” for the soil.  It’s a very eco-friendly way of working. 

photo5

Curious as to how this all works?

It’s quite an interesting process! 

1.  Site is prepared during the winter months for containing the goats by fence. — Our goats will graze on 1.2 acres during their term of employment.

2.  Goats and their canine protector are delivered to the job site in the summer when the foliage is plentiful, for an agreed upon time. — Our goats are due to complete their first “grazing” after one month.

3.  Goats return home or to another job site for a couple of months.

4.  Goats return to site for second “grazing” period.

5.  Now the site should be manageable enough to plant grass seed and/or let the natural weeds grow. 

6.  Goats are praised for their good work and sent home, hopefully never to return again.     

Another way to eradicate kudzu….make kudzu jelly!  We hear it is delicious.

Behind The Scenes…Through the Lens

Have you ever met someone and wondered what they are like outside of work or away from the usual setting in which you see them?

When you come to The Cove, you are sure to be greeted by staff members with smiling faces that reflect what is deep inside each of their hearts…a love for the work to which God has called them.They are called to serve you, so that you are free to hear from HIM while at The Cove. 

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as
good stewards of God’s varied grace
.” 1 Peter 4:10

A call to serve. Now, that’s a beautiful thing. But, maybe there’s more than meets the eye. Let us introduce one of those smiling faces to you today – Patty Smith. 

Patty works in our Housekeeping department. What most people do not know is that she has a passion and a gift for photography…and serving at The Cove. The photographs below are from Patty’s personal collection, captured right here on property.  Enjoy!

How long have you worked at The Cove and what brought you here?
Patty: “I have worked at The Cove for ten-years. I began as a housekeeper. For the last six-years, I have been a housekeeping supervisor and also help with front desk and other lodging duties. I married right after high school and had my first child a year later. I started college but quit to raise my son and later my daughter, as well. I was blessed to be able to stay at home for many years and homeschool my children. But, there came a day when I thought I should help with the finances. I wasn’t actively looking for a job but was praying and thinking about it. One day a new member of the church I was attending, who knew nothing about me, asked if I needed a job and told me she just started working as a housekeeper at The Cove. I felt good about it so I applied and was hired.”

How did you first start taking photographs?
Patty: “I wanted to be a photographer when I was ten-years old. I was not encouraged to become anything in my home growing up. The goal for my stepfather was to get me and my sister to the obligatory age of 18 and out of the house. I never stopped wanting to take photographs, but had very little resources since I was married right after high school and did not have the finances to do very much. In the last few years I have been able to pursue the dream that all but died. I am working on a degree in Fine Art with a concentration on photography right now in my 40s!”

 

How and when do you take photographs at the Cove?
Patty: “One of the hardest lessons I have learned as a photographer happened at the Cove one morning. I was coming down the cabin road around 7 a.m. when two very large bucks tumbled down the bank right in front of me and continued the fight that had obviously began up the mountain side. They locked horns and pushed one another furiously for about five-minutes in the road, right in front of me. I sat in my car, headlights on them, and watched; lamenting the fact that I did not have my camera or even my cell phone. That particular moment is recorded only in my mind. So now, except for rare occasions, I keep my camera in my car. Most photos I have taken are spur-of-the-moment. You can’t plan to drive around the curve and find a mama bear and her two cubs playing on a cabin porch. There are other times when I am working and I might see a particular flower, tree, or block of color and patterns that I think I want to capture. I remember those places and when I have a free moment I get my camera and take a picture. I have driven around the Cove property, after work, in the spring and fall or on a rainy day when the colors and the surprises found from just looking a little closer, tug at me. God is an artist. Our grounds maintenance crew also have an artistic vision. I am amazed some days, when I really look, how beautiful The Cove is.”

What is your favorite part of working here?
Patty: “The job I have is physically demanding and some days I feel like I just can’t make it another day. But, I am surrounded by very precious ladies in the housekeeping department who pray for me and encourage me. When it gets a little bit hard something tends to happen to remind me that we make a difference, even in our small way. One of those moments happened just recently when a deployed military participant checked in and said he was overwhelmed by the beauty of The Cove. He said he was almost in tears as he drove up the road. In his words, “I have served 2 tours in Iraq and I get to come here.” His attitude and appreciation made my tiredness fade a little. People like this make every hard task a little easier to bear.”

Do you have a favorite Cove story?
Patty: “There are many stories that fill the years and I don’t really have one that stands out among them. I have had the privilege of meeting Billy Graham and escorting several speakers to their cabins. I have been blessed when helping Cliff Barrows by his genuine concern for me personally. On that same note, Steve Brown blessed me just recently when I called him to check on a problem with his wireless internet connection in his cabin and he asked if I slept well the night before because he had prayed for me personally. When you feel insignificant and small in the great scheme of things going on and plans being made, these moments are life-affirming and appreciated. I think it is the sum of these small moments that create the big story.”

We all feel blessed to work at such a beautiful place and serve people like you! We hope to see you at The Cove soon.

Come see us! Fall Saturday Hours for the Chapel at The Cove …

“There are two gorgeous chapels in eastern America.  One is at Duke University and the other is here at The Cove.”  Billy Graham

The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitor’s Center is nestled on the 1,200 acre property of The Cove, The Billy Graham Training Center, in the mountains of Asheville, NC.  Take a free tour or enjoy a few minutes alone for prayer and reflection in the elegant simplicity of this beautiful place.

The building is constructed using blue granite stone hand hewn by local craftsmen and is furnished with antique pews from the Royal London Society for the Blind, a 400-year old pulpit from the Church of England and handcrafted wrought iron chandeliers. 

Our Visitor’s Center includes an “Ambassador for God Around the World—Billy Graham” display and a tour guide will share interesting facts about the ministry. 

The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitor’s Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  We are also open on Saturdays in the Fall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (October 6 – November 17, 2012).  The Cove is closed to visitors during most major holidays and other special occasions.  Admission is free.  Come see us!      

Would you like to meet a few of the wonderful tour guides at The Chatlos Memorial Chapel?  Watch here as Rip, Wanda and Dawne share their experience volunteering at The Cove. 

Click here for more information or to view photos of the Chapel.   

Click here for a schedule of Cove seminar, leadership training, senior adult events, personal spiritual retreat and concert dates.   

Behind The Scenes…Intercessory Prayer at The Cove

We are blessed to have over 100 volunteers at The Cove.  From helping you find a seat in the auditorium, to guiding you on a tour in our Chapel and Visitor’s Center, to praying over our guest’s and visitor’s prayer requests, these faithful servants play a vital role in our ministry. 

Pam is a volunteer at The Cove who helps out in administration and is on the Intercessory Prayer Team.  Read on as she gives you a BEHIND THE SCENES look at her role here.       

                                              ——————————–

As a volunteer at the Cove one of the things I am involved in is the Intercessory Prayer team.  I feel it truly is a privilege and honor to be trusted and asked to pray for the concerns others have on their hearts.

As a team we are praying for an average of 900 different prayer cards that are turned in at The Cove each month. These cards are available on site in various locations for the guests and visitors on property.  So, how does it work?  When guests are here for a seminar or other event, they can fill out a prayer card(s) with requests and concerns that God lays on their hearts.  They drop the card(s) in the one of the prayer boxes that are located throughout the property. These cards are collected and given to members of our prayer team who immediately begin praying for them. Each of the cards is prayed over at least 4 times, and then destroyed.

There are 20 members on the Prayer Team who sign up for different time slots to be on Cove property praying.  My female prayer partner and I come together once per week to meet and pray for the prayer requests. 

My favorite location to pray is up in our prayer room on the 3rd floor of The Training Center.  I have such a fabulous view of the mountains of the Cove, the changing sky above, the great birds that are soaring, and also a view out of the Cove to the world beyond with its buildings, mountains, valleys, and horizon. Every time I am there the scenery is different, varying with the seasons and weather patterns.

What kinds of requests do we get?  Here’s a sample: broken marriages, prodigal children, concerns for grandchildren, loss due to death or suicide, salvation for souls, future spouses for Christian children in this world, friends and family who are sick, those close who are dying, struggles in the local churches, court cases and battles, guidance for  life, the need of a job, a house that needs to sell, career changes, false accusations, mission outreach projects, fractured relationships between parents & children, pain in ministry, physical pain and suffering, medical tests and treatments, guidance with finances, help with addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.

There is also a place to share praises on the cards. So, even though we see the burdens that are on people’s hearts, we also often get a glimpse of the blessings God is pouring out. What a thrill to praise the Lord for His goodness, grace, love, compassion, sustaining power, faithfulness, protection, provision, guidance, comfort, and peace.   We even get some cards that are sharing answers to prayer, and we rejoice in those as well.  What a gift to see the hand of God working in the lives of those who come and share with us, as we partner with them in approaching our Father God with the desires of our hearts.

Interested in volunteering at The Cove?  Click here to download an application.