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Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Matthew 26:56

Kendra Blog Title

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

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Kendra Graham notes from :  Matthew 26:56

“But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.  Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.”

THE FACTS:  

All this was done so Scripture of prophets be fulfilled. All the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

We were hand made by God to walk with God, know God and need God… but sin separates us from Him… So He came Himself, not trusting us to another, to make things right. Romans 5:17

Jesus was bound in the Garden of Gethsemane and led to the house of Caiaphas, where the scribes were already assembled.  Jesus was led down the mountain, across the Kidron Valley, and up the ancient steps to the house of the High Priest.  Was that night especially dark?  Was the only light on the path, the light from those arresting Jesus?  I wonder if even the insects and the nocturnal animals chose to just stay in that night?

Jesus was arrested in the cover of darkness, where injustice and evil prefer to reside undetected by the light.  Jesus even asks them why they took him in the cloak of night, when daily He taught in the temple, and at any time they could have seized Him in the light of day.  The question went unanswered.

There was a group already assembled at the house of the old High Priest, Caiaphas.  No wake up call in the middle of the night needed, it was as if everyone was on the same group texting thread and court was in session before Jesus arrived, like it was the norm…. away from the cameras and questions that would have been asked during the day.  The first three, of six trials of Jesus would take place in the middle of the night.

Jesus was alone.

The verses, here in Matthew, say that all His disciples fled and forsook Him.  None of them stayed to fight the mob.  None of them stood in great faith.  You see, the closest disciple of Jesus needs Him to die on that cross and rise from the grave just as much as the worst of sinners does.  The Bible says, “we all have sinned” – Romans 3:23.  It’s at this point that you see why God had to come personally.  God could not trust this part, His suffering and death to just anyone.  All of us would flee… BUT GOD loves us so much that He came personally, while we were enemies against Him, and died for us — Romans 5:8.  The wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23.  Someone has to pay that wage.   We were not created to pay that debt or bear the wrath of God, so God bore it Himself — alone.

This past May, as I ascended those ancient steps to the house that is historically accepted to be that house of Caiaphas, my soul was stirred as I saw Psalm 88 in a new light.  This house has been excavated in layers which shows that the “house” was much more than just a home:  There is evidence of living quarters, but also, the size and how it is laid out shows that perhaps it was also used much like a governmental building of sort.  It was much too big to just be a home, but what was found below was much more telling.

Kendra and Will Graham at the bottom of the ancient steps
Will and Kendra Graham on the ancient steps to Caiaphas’ house.

As you arrive, you enter a courtyard.  Today there is a church built on this location.  As you enter the church and begin to descend down, you see evidence of holding cells, or a small prison, which would not be a stretch to imagine that the home of the High Priest would have held religious prisoners.  The Jewish leaders were allowed to hold prisoners, they were just not allowed in Roman control to execute them.

Caiaphas Courtyard where Peter denied Jesus 2
Caiaphas’ courtyard, where Peter denied Jesus.

In this dark base of the home, there are holes cut out in the rock where leather straps would have been affixed to strap arms of the prisoners above their heads a little wider than shoulder length apart.

Prison with leather straps where they would tie up prisoners or bind them
Prison, with leather straps hanging from the ceiling, where prisoner would be bound.

In this pit there was a place of solitary confinement where they would put the worst of the criminals.  In this pit, there is a small hole from above, where the bound prisoner would have been lowered down into complete darkness.  There would be no escaping if someone was placed here.  Between the Jewish trials and the Roman trials, there was a period of waiting for the palace to awaken and be ready for business.  Is it too much to think, that Jesus could have been lowered into that pit, to await His trial before Pilate?

Pit

Underground cave info

When we descended down to the bottom of the pit, in what is believed to be the house of the high priest, silence overtook us.  Here in this pit we read Psalm 88 aloud, with the aid of a small light:

LORD, You are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.

May my prayer come before You; turn Your ear to my cry.

I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draw near death.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength

I am set apart with thudded, like the slain who lie in the grave whom You remember no more, who are cut off from Your care

You have put Me in the lowest pit, the darkest depths.

Your wrath lies heavily upon me; you have overwhelmed me with all Your waves

You have taken from Me, My closest friends and have made Me repulsive to them.  I am confined and cannot escape;

My eyes are dim with grief.  I call to You LORD, every day; I spread out my hands to You.

Do You show Your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise You?

Is Your love declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in destruction?

Are Your wonders known in the place of darkness or Your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

But I cry to You for help, LORD, in the morning, my prayer comes before You.      

Why LORD do You reject Me and hide Your face from Me?

From My youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair.

Your wrath has swept over Me like a flood; they have completely engulfed Me.

You have taken from Me friend and neighbor, darkness is my closest friend.  

Can you hear Jesus pour His soul out?  Alone, abandoned and bound. What prophetic words written by David, so many years prior to this night.  Jesus, experiencing the complete and total wrath of God for us–instead of us.  Jesus endured it all.  God not trusting us, His hand-made creation, to anyone else, so He came personally to pay this incredible debt so that we can walk with Him, and know Him as we were created to experience. All this was  done to prove the Scriptures of the prophets.

God DOES love us! God is willing to give everything He has for us to be able to walk with Him and know Him!  God really does look at us like a bride sacrificing all He has for our eternal safety (John 3:16).  Jesus was abandoned, so we are not! This is the Gospel! This is the good news! Jesus was found worthy to the be Lamb at Passover for sin, once and for all!  We have been #delivered from the darkness because He was bound and #delivered to the darkness! So come on!  Come on! Let’s live bold and courageous, in the light, while there is still day, #Propelled to tell the Good News! God’s wrath has been stilled, by Himself.  Even when all forsook Him, He refused to forsake us.  We are free, we are #delivered, so live #propelled2purpose.

APPLY IT:  

How often do we see what God isn’t doing for us instead of what He has and is doing for us?  When was a time that I forsook Jesus, yet He refused to forsake me?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, Lord, open my eyes to see your goodness and your faithfulness as I remember the suffering You endured on my behalf.


What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 4th

This week’s verse is brought to you by Eric, Director of Operations here at The Cove. His verse is 1 Peter 3:15.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; but do it with gentleness and respect.”

Eric Wilkes_Director of Operations


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.

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Prayer Note: September 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)
“It cost Christ and all of his followers sharp showers and hot sweats, [before they made it] to the top of the mountain; but still our soft nature would have heaven coming to our bedside while we are sleeping, and lying down with us so that we might go to heaven in warm clothes.”   —Samuel Rutherford

view from the overlook May 2017

OVERLOOK PRAYERS

In May of this year, we were pleased to welcome Chip Ingram and over 200 military service personnel and spouses for a Military Marriage Retreat at The Cove. Aside from Chip’s powerful Bible teaching and practical insights on marriage and family life, there was a fun and light-hearted “first” at this weekend retreat. On Saturday (the day before the retreat ended), participants were invited to compete in the “Race to the Top,” making a challenging 4-mile hike to the top of the Cove Overlook.

Awards were given to the winners in the male and female categories, and we enjoyed hearing stories and viewing social media posts from those who completed the race.

Another Military Marriage Retreat will be held this month (September 8-10). Rev. Tommy Nelson will teach on “The Art of Living Well in Marriage,” and the couples will again be invited to compete in another “Race to the Top.”

EVERYBODY WINS

There are two “official winners” in the strenuous event; yet the real reward for completing the race is given freely to everyone who makes it to the top of the precipice: a breathtaking view of God’s creative work. If you’ve ever made the trek to the Overlook, you know. The Cove’s lush, green canopy of trees stretches out below, while the towering white steeple of Chatlos Memorial Chapel points heavenward as a testimony to grace.  Above and beyond rise the misty blue, green and gray shades of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The panorama is definitely worth the hike!

Of those fearless warriors who accomplish the feat, many pause not only to catch their breath, but also to sit and pray, hearts quiet before their Creator, in awe of the majesty and beauty of His creation.

PERSEVERING IN PRAYER

It might seem easier to pray in a picturesque setting like the Overlook, gazing out over the world from a higher vantage point; yet the majority of our prayers are prayed at street-level, trying to escape the distractions of everyday life and the temptations of our daily struggle with self and sin. In our real-life “Race to the Top,” we may often feel we take one step forward and slide two steps back.

Even on the mountain-top, it may seem as if our problems, distractions and failures have followed us up the slope—or maybe even beaten us to the top—meeting us there with accusations of guilt. “What do you think you’re doing, kneeling atop this mountain? You’re in no condition to pray! Just take a look at this long list of sins you’ve committed and important tasks you’ve left undone. Why, if I unrolled the whole thing it would stretch all the way back down to the valley.”

So much for Overlook prayers. But before getting up from your knees and giving up—before you start down the path of prayerlessness, remember the hope-filled words of the psalmist David. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2, NKJV).

Not only does our salvation, our life and our very breath come from God, but our ability to pray is a gracious gift from Him as well. As Billy Graham once said, “God Himself is the power that makes prayer work.”

The location doesn’t matter—whether you’re voicing a prayer from the scenic vantage-point of the Overlook or seeking the Lord with your head leaning over a mop bucket, He’s ready to hear. Whether you’ve had a victorious week of seeing God at work and sensing His presence or a week of failures and straying from His will, He’s ready to forgive.  Because Christ’s blood cleanses our sin when we confess it (1 John 1:7) and His Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26), God stands ready to hear our prayer. Like the “Race to the Top” of the Cove Overlook, the journey to persevering prayer is worth the effort.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, NKJV).

During the month of September, pray especially for the military couples who attend the retreat. Pray for healing of relationships, rest for war-weary hearts and minds, and victory over battles with sin and temptation.  We are honored to serve these couples who have sacrificed so much to preserve and defend our freedom. Now let’s be faithful to pray for them.

Run with patience the race that is set before you” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV).

—Donna Riesen


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

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

SEPTEMBER CALL TO PRAYER

Erwin Lutzer — September 5-7
The Mysteries of God: Drawing Near to the God We Love, Fear, and Struggle to Understand

An Evening at The Cove with Travis Cottrell — September 7
An evening of fellowship, delicious food and uplifting music!

Tommy Nelson — September 8-10
Military Marriage Retreat — The Art of Living Well in Marriage

Chip Ingram — September 15-17
The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him

SeniorCelebration: James Merritt with Sisters — September 18-20
Out of Options? Relying on God in Desperate Times

Please join our brothers and sisters in Texas in prayer today.  Sunday, Sept. 3, has been proclaimed a Day of Prayer in Texas by Governor Abbott. 

5 Practical Steps to Encourage You in Prayer

Prayer is a vital part of every Christian’s life. Not only is prayer a command, duty and a privilege; it is a direct line of communication with Almighty God.

Prayer is a vital part of every Christian’s life. Not only is prayer a command, duty and a privilege; it is a direct line of communication with Almighty God.

We hope you’ll find these practical prayer suggestions, based on Billy Graham’s teaching, helpful in your prayer life.

1.  Desire the Will of God

Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done.” The key is not the words, but your attitude. Seek God’s will and God’s best for whatever you are praying about. He may respond in unexpected ways that please Him and will delight you. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

2.  Search Your Heart

God may not respond when you allow sin to remain in your life. If that’s the case, don’t stop praying. Rather, confess your sins or wrong motives to God. He already knows your heart. God has promised always to respond to that prayer (see 1 John 1:9). “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18).

3.  Pray in Faith

Express your requests freely to God in childlike faith. As a child who trusts a wise and loving parent, ask in complete faith that He is able to do whatever you ask and that He will know what is best.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18).

4.  Pray Every Day

God wants to hear from your regularly. He wants a relationship. Take time to talk to God daily and throughout the day, not just when you face a crisis and not only with a list of wants and needs. “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

5.  Pray for God’s Glory

Pray for things to happen in such a way as to provide God with the credit and to give God the glory. He is powerful, magnificent and majestic. And He is still our closest, most intimate Friend. Praise Him and ask for things that matter to Him. “To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen” (Romans 16:27).

From My Daily Prayer Journal With Insights By Billy Graham
(Now called Rooted in Prayer: A Personal Prayer Journal With Insights by Billy Graham)


Are you a Christian church or nonprofit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event? Get more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Find a schedule of seminars, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Tours are free.

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Saturday Snapshot — God and His Eclipse Gift To Us

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 ESV

It seems almost everyone has an eclipse story to share.  Whether you were in the path of totality or somewhere outside it, it was an epic event.

While the eclipse was visible across all of North America, it passed directly through 14 states, allowing people to witness 100% totality — said by many, to be a life-changing experience.

Unless clouds obscured your view, anyone in North America should have been able to view at least a partial eclipse this past Monday.

While Monday was a work day for many, staff and guests at The Cove, here in Asheville, NC, took a few minutes to experience the 99% eclipse.

Here’s a peak at some of us enjoying the heavens declaring the glory of God.

These are some of the ladies you talk to on the phone when you register for an event at The Cove…

Reservations team

Ruth’s Attic Bookstore manager got into the action! #TheGreatAmericanSolarEclipse

Aimee eclipse

A couple of our fine housekeeping ladies were looking pretty cool in their eclipse shades…

Tina Bishop housekeeping eclipse

These three help to make your experience at  the Training Center smooth and enjoyable.

Rita Autumn and Lou eclipse

The Training Center deck was a lovely viewing spot…

eclipse viewing on the TC deck

Program and Property Services staff enjoying the view…

Program and Property viewing eclipse

Light rays shining through tiny gaps in tree leaves created a beautiful effect on the Training Center deck floor…

eclipse crescent shadows at The cove

Angel wings?

Angel Wings shadows

We’d love to hear your eclipse story!  Tell us where you live, what percentage of the eclipse you viewed, and what the experience for you was like.  Comment below.


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.

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Recipe From The Cove Kitchen: Oysters Rockefeller

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logoOysters Rockafeller

Cove Executive Chef, Douglas Walls, is serving up a delicious and fresh seafood recipe that many guests are claiming as their new favorite. Chef Walls loves to add his own twist to traditional recipes, and he doesn’t disappoint with his non-traditional version of Oysters Rockefeller, known around here as “Oysters Dougiefeller”!

Oysters Dougiefeller

INGREDIENTS
6 shucked oysters
1 lb. spinach leaves
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup hot sauce (Chef uses Frank’s Hot Sauce)
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup shallot, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil
Sriracha sauce

DIRECTIONS
Pour olive oil in saute pan and when hot, add garlic, sautéing for one minute. Add shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the hot sauce, lemon juice and spinach greens and sauté until spinach is wilted.

Add panko bread crumbs, turn off heat, and season with salt and pepper.  Put the topping mix in the refrigerator to cool.  Once cool, place a good amount on each oyster.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Drizzle Sriracha sauce on top and serve on a bed of sea salt.

Print this recipe.

Get more recipes from The Cove kitchen. 

Enjoy delicious recipes like this on your next stay at The Cove. See a full list of upcoming events at The Cove, or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 21

This week’s verse is brought to you by Keith, the operations coordinator here at The Cove. His verse is Psalm 62:1-2.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be greatly shaken.

Keith_Operations_Coordinator


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.

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Ruth’s Attic Bookstore Spotlight– Inspiration For Your Creative Spirit

Ruths-Attic-Logo-wKO_CMYK

As the relaxed flow of summer winds down and you prepare for the festivities that inevitably follow fall, you may be looking for a way to unwind and reconnect with the Lord. That’s why we’re sharing some lovely products from Ruth’s Attic Bookstore at The Cove that are bound to inspire creativity and draw you closer to God.

Whether you purchase in person, or call and have us deliver right to your home, we hope you will find something that will encourage you, or be the suitable gift for someone special in your life.

Each of these products is a great reminder of how our Creator God inspires a creative spirit within us.

Beautiful Word Bible
The Beautiful Word Bible (NIV) has hundreds of colorful illustrations scattered throughout the scriptures. There is also room for you to scribble your own notes and designs. $49.99 (ISBN: 9780310444275)
Colored Pencils
You’ll find two packs of colored pencils for sale in Ruth’s Attic Bookstore. From left to right $9.99 (ISBN: 6006937132658) and $10.00 (ISBN: 0759830240635).
Coloring Book Inside
This is a look inside The Color of a Song: It is Well with My Soul coloring book that you can see on the shelf in the next picture. $9.99 (ISBN: 081983615993)
Coloring Books
Ruth’s Attic Bookstore carries a wide collection of adult coloring books and journals.
coloring journal
This Jesus Makes All Things New coloring journal is great for writing and drawing your prayers or taking notes from a Bible study. $8.00 (ISBN: 7038000600594)
psalms in color
This little box contains cards inscribed with different Psalms and adorned with many designs for you to color and enjoy. $4.99 (ISBN: 6006937135239)

To order any of the products seen on this post, you may either purchase on-property at Ruth”s Attic Bookstore, by phone at 1-800-950-2092 (menu 3) or by email at bookstore@thecove.org.

God bless you!


 

CoveGiftCert
Give the gift with eternal benefits. Cove gift certificates make the perfect gift for your loved ones. To order a gift certificate call 1-800-950-2092.

To see a full list of events at The Cove, click here.

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COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 14

This week’s verse is brought to you by Jon, the assistant program director and afternoon show host at Billy Graham’s radio station, 106.9 The Light, located here at The Cove. His verse is Psalm 90:12.

“Teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Jon Wood_Assistant Program Director 1069

 

 


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.

Follow us on social media.
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COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 7

This week’s verse is brought to you by Polly, a guest from one of our Intensive Bible Trainings. Her verse is Psalm 27:14.

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Polly_Yarbrough_Guest


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.

Follow us on social media.
click map

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest