Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Saturday Snapshot — April Showers Bring May Flowers

April showers bring May flowers….

The vibrant colors of spring show off God’s artistic touch in such beautiful ways.  All we have to do is look around…

This rose in front of the Training Center is one of the first to bloom this season.  Oh, how we wish you could smell it!

Do you remember the video devotion our gardener shared with us last year?  If not, or you’d like to watch again, click here.

rose 800 px smells divine

Two of God’s beautiful creations!  He spoils us, doesn’t He?

rhododendron with butterfly

Pink and purple azaleas delight those passing by in the Training Center parking lot.

red and purple azaleas together

The butterflies were all aflutter on the azaleas near Chatlos Memorial Chapel.  Can you hear the stream in the background.  Ahhh….

We’d love to hear what your weekend plans are.  Tell us in the comments below.


 

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

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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

PRAYER NOTE: MAY 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO PRAY

“In the end we shall find every promise of God perfectly fulfilled. Then why should we not let our hearts rest in peace about everything that happens? Nothing can happen that can break a single one of these precious promises. There is no promise of an easy passage, but there are promises for every day of the voyage. Each day, let us take one promise for our own, live on it, test it and prove it—and thank God for it.”  —Amy Carmichael

Earlier this year I sat at a small table in a fast-food restaurant, waiting for my husband to return with our quick lunch of burgers and fries. We were on the return leg of a 9-hour journey, halfway home after having made an emergency trip to Florida to visit an aging parent who was dealing with his own serious health issues while caring for a spouse who suffered from dementia.

Gazing out the large plate-glass window opposite my table, I prayed silently for their increasingly desperate situation, asking God to intervene and bring healing, wisdom and provision. For the hundredth time, I confessed to the Lord that I didn’t really know what to pray. No sooner had I said amen than I lapsed into my fallback mode of worry and anxiety, staring absently out the window while trying to figure out how to solve this impossibly tangled situation. There were serious medical issues, financial constraints, family dynamics, and logistical issues to consider. Even nutrition was a concern. While Meals on Wheels was available, I worried they might not be willing to call to request delivery as often as it was needed.

As I sat drowning in my sea of worry, the scene taking place outside the window gradually came into focus: A huge flock of birds was descending upon the gas station opposite the restaurant. The sheer number of birds initially caught my eye; then I discovered what had drawn them. A box-truck carrying crates of a popular snack chip had pulled up alongside the pump, and the driver had thrown open the back doors and was generously distributing “Meals on Wheels” to the delight of this cluster of hungry birds! I sat in amazement, watching this parable unfold in what seemed like slow-motion. The driver flung out his arms, liberally distributing provision for the flock, “over and abundantly, above all [they] could ask or think” with their tiny bird brains.

Meanwhile, my bird brain finally got it! As I “considered the birds,” the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the words of Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount:

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”  [Matthew 6:25-26, NKJV]

Praise God for the way He speaks so gently to us, feeding us with the manna of His Word and nourishing our spirit to strengthen and sustain us. He heard my prayer and patiently guided me away from my worries and back to His Word and His promises.

As I write this months later, I continue to struggle with the tendency toward worry. Yet I look back on the intervening days in amazement, having seen my Heavenly Father provide, uphold and sustain my earthly father. My dad is now at the beginning stages of grieving the loss of a spouse.  For long days he sat in a small room of a nursing home, gently watching over his wife as she succumbed to the debilitating disease of dementia.  The window near her bed revealed two bird feeders, often frequented by tiny, brightly-hued finches and brilliant-red cardinals.  Outside the back door of the facility, a brightly painted birdhouse held three small eggs which hatched just days before my stepmother died.  We watched as mama and papa bird made frequent trips to feed and care for their little ones. Each time I visited I prayed the Lord would use those birds to remind Dad of His promises.

Billy Graham has said, “The best way to pray is to open the Bible and pray Scripture back to the Lord, claiming His promises and asking that He strengthen and guide [us] in obeying His Word.”

I pray that God will encourage you today, in whatever situation you are walking through. If you don’t know how to pray, open your Bible and ask Him to speak His Words of comfort, strength and truth into your heart. Then hold tight to His promise, knowing He is holding you as you continue your journey.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of May:

MAY CALL TO PRAYER

SeniorCelebration: Pete Briscoe — May 8-10
Through His Eyes: Seeing as Jesus Does

Larry Crabb Seminar— May 15-17
Counterfeit Christianity: Recognizing False Teaching in Order to Live the True Gospel

Rachael Crabb Women’s Seminar— May 18-19
Love: The Mark of a Christian

Jonathan Falwell Seminar— May 22-24
Finishing Strong—A Study of 2 Timothy

Henry, Richard and Mike Blackaby Seminar— May 24-26
Living Out of the Overflow

Military Marriage Retreat with Chip Ingram — Experiencing God’s Best for Your Marriage – May 26-28

An Evening at The Cove Dinner and Concert with Annie Moses Band — May 28

Saturday Snapshot — Cinematic Filming

This week we had a special opportunity to have a drone pilot and his team stop by to do some aerial cinematography of the beautiful Cove property.  We look forward to showing you the finished footage in the future, but in the meantime, here are some behind-the-scenes shots for you to enjoy.

Drone being put together
Getting the equipment ready for flight.
Calibrating the drone before takeoff
Calibration process.
Drone closeup in parking lot
Ready for takeoff!
Drone pilot and camera man
Pilot and camera operator in action.

And here is the drone in flight with the Shepherd’s Inn in the background…

And here is a bit of the filming off the Training Center deck.  The drone later took off much further back and higher…

We can’t wait to share the footage captured by the drone — from our preview today, it looks absolutely breathtaking!

Happy weekend, friends!


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

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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

 

Saturday Snapshot – 2017 Spring Photo Challenge Recap

 

Spring Photo Challenge recap header

The Cove’s 14-Day Spring Photo Challenge has come to an end. Thanks to everyone who participated!

We wanted to create a challenge that would celebrate the Winter to Spring transition and although Spring hasn’t fully sprung yet, we were impressed by everyone’s originality!

Following is the photo prompt list and all 14 days of our posts.  We hope you enjoy!

Spring Photo Challenge Pin

 Day 1 - Photo Prompt: “Fun”

Isn’t this fun! Ruth Graham had quite the sense of humor, and this picture shows it! She tucked this photo of herself into Billy Graham’s suitcase before he left on a trip to share the gospel. . .                                    Photo: A photo of a photo of Ruth Graham located in The Cove Visitors Center.

Fun - Day 1

 Day 2 – Photo Prompt: “Sunshine”

Thankful for His new mercies each and every morning.                       Photo: Sunrise off The Training Center deck captured by one of our employees.

Sunshine - day 2

 Day 3 – Photo Prompt: “Bloom”

Our Grounds and Maintenance employees work hard to grow and preserve these beautiful blooms at the Training Center and all over the property!                                                                                                                            Photo: Blooms around the first sign to the Training Center parking lot.

Bloom - Day 3
Day 4 Photo Prompt: “Water”

“The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Proverbs 18:4                                                          Photo: The creek just below Chatlos Memorial Chapel.

Water - Day 4

 Day 5 - Photo Prompt: “Handwritten”

More ideas can be expressed and retained when one writes by hand. Handwriting scripture is a great way to train your mind to reflect on God’s word.                                                                                                                               Photo: Handwritten scripture by one of our employees.

Handwritten - Day 5

 Day 6 – Photo Prompt: “Prayer”

The Lord has heard many prayers lifted from the prayer room in the Training Center. Aren’t you thankful we have a living God who hears our prayers?!                                                                                                                           Photo: The Prayer Room on the 3rd floor of the Training Center. 

Prayer - Day 6

 Day 7 – Photo Prompt: “Garden”

There are fresh signs of life budding all around us, here at The Cove.    Photo: Fresh buds peeking through in Ruth’s Prayer Garden.

Garden Day 6

Day 8 – Photo Prompt: “Weather”

Asheville, NC can experience a varying range of weather in just one week! Whether rain or shine, the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround The Cove, always reflect the splendor of God’s creation.       Photo: Sunny sky captured from The Training Center parking lot.

weather

Day 9 – Photo Prompt: “Critters”

Make sure to click “play” and turn up the volume for this one!

Day 10 – Photo Prompt: “Book”

This is the Graham family book section at Ruth’s Attic Bookstore in the Training Center. What’s on your bookshelf?                                                 Photo: Taken in Ruth’s Attic Bookstore which is located on the bottom floor of The Training Center.           

Book - Day 10

 Day 11 – Photo Prompt: “Grass”

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8                                                                                                Photo: Dew on the grass outside the Administration Building, here at The Cove.

Grass - Day 11

 Day 12- Photo prompt: “Renewal”

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.                                                                                                                             Photo: The Bible on the pulpit in Chatlos Memorial Chapel.

Renewal - day 12

 Day 13- Photo prompt: “Basket”

With the coming and going of Easter, there were bound to be a bundle of baskets around the house. Maybe not like this one, though. Photo: Basket next to the fireplace in the Training Center lobby that has several balls of yarn and a half crocheted blanket.

Basket - Day 13

 Day 14- Photo prompt: “Cross”

Let us celebrate what Christ did for us on the cross, not only at Easter, but every day.                                                                                                         Photo: Cross on the wall of The Training Center dining room.

Cross - Day 14

Here’s a peak at what other photo challenge participants shared with us!  To see them all, visit #CoveSpringPhotoChallenge in Instagram or just click here.

bill and june

black cat

bw handwritten

bee flowers

 

blooming book

cross hill

veggie basket

Click here to follow our Instagram page.

Be on the lookout for our next photo challenge in Autumn 2017!


We’d love for you to stop by for a visit and tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center.  Both tours are free.  Click here for directions and operating hours.

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

PRAYER NOTE: APRIL 2017

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note” — an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

“The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on the beauty of Christ.  It is never weary of Him.”   —Jonathan Edwards

While we’ve had some roller-coaster weather patterns in Western North Carolina during the past several weeks, springtime at The Cove does not disappoint; it’s a season of beauty and new life. It’s fitting that at Easter, surrounded by the breathtaking display of color, growth and rebirth, we’re reminded of how God used the ugly reality of the cross—an instrument of death—to open the door to the beauty of His presence. Billy Graham spoke of the irony: “If Jesus had not risen from the dead, no right-minded person would have glorified anything so hideous and repulsive as a cross stained with the blood of Jesus…An unopened grave would never have opened heaven.”

On June 1st of last year, we gathered outside The Cove’s Chatlos Memorial Chapel for the dedication of Ruth’s Prayer Garden. We listened as Will Graham spoke of gardens mentioned in the Bible, beginning with the Garden of Eden, the exquisite garden paradise where sin first reared its ugly head. He went on to picture the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus sweat great drops of blood as He prayed, knowing the cup of suffering from which He would soon drink, yet surrendering His own will to the will of His Father. Soon after, He would rouse the sleepy disciples, Peter, James and John, and feel the cruel kiss of betrayal from another. Arrested and bound, Jesus left this garden and began the walk that would eventually lead to the cross. The next garden Jesus would be seen in was the one where He would emerge from a borrowed tomb, alive forever and victorious over sin and death.

As gardens go, we all agree Ruth would be pleased with the beautiful one that bears her name, yet we also know she would point the focus away from herself and on to her Savior.

As Cove staff, it’s our duty and privilege to steward the resources the Lord has blessed us with, and we’re honored to be the ones to help maintain and preserve its facilities and grounds. Our Property Services and Grounds Maintenance crew works hard all year round to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of this very special place. Lodging, Guest Services, and Building Maintenance staff do a great job of ensuring that our inns and Training Center are clean, safe, welcoming and well-maintained. It’s our goal that when guests arrive in this lovely mountain setting they are welcomed with hospitality and grace. While some of us play a more direct, hands-on role in caring for The Cove’s grounds and facilities, each of us plays a role in ultimate goal of this special place: honoring and exalting Christ and pointing others to Him.

The story is told that after Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece “The Last Supper,” he invited a friend to view the finished work. “Observe it and give me your opinion of it!” the artist requested. In awe, da Vinci’s friend surveyed the artist’s masterful depiction of Jesus at table, surrounded on both sides by His disciples. Arms outstretched, Christ held a cup, painted beautifully with exquisite detail. “It’s wonderful!” the friend replied, “The cup is so real I cannot divert my eyes from it!” Immediately da Vinci took a brush and drew it across the cup, exclaiming, “Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!”

the-last-supper-1921290_1280

As you pray for The Cove this month, ask God to help you serve faithfully in your daily tasks and pray that He will give you opportunities to point others to Him. Pray that all those who visit The Cove will sense His presence and see His likeness in each member of our staff. Ask God to work in the hearts of our speakers as they prepare. Pray that they will proclaim His Word with power, yet with a humility that points away from themselves and on to the Savior. Let’s pray that throughout every inch of this property, “Nothing shall detract from the figure of Christ!”

—Donna Riesen


Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.   (Psalm 95:6, NKJV)

April 2017 events to pray for:

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — April 3
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore; Musician: David Gaines)

Ron Hutchcraft — April 6-8

An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps — April 27

 

Saturday Snapshot — Bear Frolics

We love the critters who share this 1,200 acre property with us. These two are obviously working on an interesting communication strategy.  Sibling rivalry or deciding who gets to work as a greeter at the Training Center?  What do you think?

Happy weekend, friends! Be blessed.

P.S. Speaking of working at The Cove…we have several associate positions (this means 19 hours or less per week) and 1 part-time position open.  If you, or someone you know, is looking to work in a wonderful environment with people who love the Lord and serving His people, look no further!  Click here to see the list of jobs and apply.
NOTE:  After you click, make sure to select “Billy Graham Training Center” on the left sidebar.


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

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

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

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR WEEK OF April 3

This week’s verse is brought to you by Barbara, one of our precious and faithful volunteers here at The Cove.  Her verse is: Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). 

SMALL_Barbara_Volunteer


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

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

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

Saturday Snapshot — Pilgrims’ Inn Gets a Fresh Look

Who doesn’t like to freshen up a bit?  It was about time for  one of our two inns, Pilgrims’ Inn — in this case, to get a little renovation love.

And…we have just the person to give you the behind-the-scenes video tour…

Join our manager of property services, Doug Van Wirt, as he shares the new addition in the lobby and the renovated inn rooms.

P.S. Doesn’t Doug’s voice sound perfect for one of those radio theater shows!

If you’d like to lay your head down in one of our inns and experience all that The Cove has to offer, click on one of the links below.

Have a blessed weekend, friends!  Don’t forget the #CoveSpringPhotoChallenge begins today (April 1, 2017).  We hope you’ll join us over on Instagram for the fun!


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

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

Take Our Spring Photo Challenge

Spring Photo Challenge Blog Header

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…well, Spring is in the air, and how better to share with one another than through pictures from each of our own neck of the woods?

You may have participated in our photo challenges in the past, but if not, it’s easy, and we hope you will join in and share through the lens of your camera (or smartphone in most cases)!  (Click here for a photo recap of our last photo challenge.)

Our 2017 Spring Photo Challenge begins Saturday, April 1st.

Here’s how it works:

Post one photo daily, using the daily prompts noted below, on Instagram or Facebook.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CoveSpringPhotoChallenge when you post your photo so we can all see what each other are sharing.

Spring Photo Challenge SM

Not a picture taking pro?  Don’t worry, neither are we. All of our photos will be taken with an iPhone.  No fancy photography skills required!

Need some ideas of what to share? Post a picture of the blooming flowers, your favorite spring activity, a page or quote from an inspirational book, or a photo of the place where you find renewal.

Most importantly, have fun!  Take time to enjoy the lively buzz of spring.

FYI: Anyone taking part in the photo challenge may have their photos shared by The Cove and other participants. 


The bright, blooming foliage of spring make this time of year one of the most incredible seasons to visit our area.  Make sure to visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.