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Bev Shea: Giving the Gift of Music to The Cove

Last week, our friend George Beverly Shea, who recently celebrated his 102nd birthday, donated his Johannus electronic organ to The Cove.

The organ will reside in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and will be a treasure for years to come. It wasn’t until after the organ was donated that we realized our existing organ had been struck by lightning and was no longer working. God is good!

Organ
George Beverly Shea donated his electronic organ to The Cove.

At the dedication, Bev gave us an even better gift when he sang a few of his favorite hymns for us while Randall Atcheson played the newly donated instrument.

Bev listens as Randall Atcheson plays the new organ at The Cove
George Beverly Shea
George Beverly Shea sings at the dedication of the new organ at The Cove

In February, George Beverly Shea was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for lifelong artistic contributions to the recording medium by The Recording Academy. Born in 1909, at 102 years of age, he became the oldest artist to ever receive a GRAMMY®, his second, awarded at a special invitation-only ceremony.

A Conversation with Kendra Graham

For Mother’s Day, our friends from BillyGraham.org recently caught up with Kendra Graham—wife of Will Graham—about the importance of a mother teaching her children the ways of God through His Word. Here’s a glimpse of that conversation.

How do you believe a mom should prepare herself to be a godly influence on her children?

For me, it has definitely been my daily quiet time with the Lord. Nobody knows better what your day is going to entail than God almighty. It’s the key to doing anything well.

How would you describe the importance of having a godly mom in a home?

I try to be a godly mom. It’s so hard. It seems as soon as you’re finished with your quiet time, you’re yelling at your kids! Something I can say from experience is that I watched my mom when she was raising us. I can look back and see how her days were bathed in prayer and how she was there for me. My mom’s mother, my grandmother, didn’t get saved until her death bed. So, I believed that impressed on my mom more of a passion to guide her children in the ways of God, keeping them in His Word. I have so much respect for my mom—she could have perpetuated cycle of sin, but God broke it with her. She stressed the importance of hiding God’s Word in our hearts, and had us memorizing Scripture from a very early age. Now, years later, those verses are still with me. I can see that my mom has helped me be a better mom by being a strong foundation for me. I hope and pray I can be that for my kids. I suppose it’s hard to really know until they grow up!

What are some of the ways you pray for your children?

I pray that they grow to love the Lord more every day and honor and serve Him. That He will be the main focus in life. That He will put a hedge of protection over them. That He will bring godly role models in their lives. The list is so long! God has entrusted these three lives to me. I can win the whole world for Christ, but that won’t matter if I’m neglecting the souls of my children. I pray that I never miss them through over involvement. I pray for myself as a mom—that I can focus on that of which God has entrusted to me.

For the complete interview, click here.

Kendra Graham has been married to Will for 13 years. Together, they have three children: Christine Jane (“CJ”), Rachel Austin and William Franklin V (“Quinn”).

Lessons from a Criminal

An Easter Message from Will Graham

As we enter the Easter season, we can learn several lessons from the criminal who hung alongside Jesus, says Will Graham in this timely message.

The cross means different things to different people. For some it’s just a pretty piece of jewelry. To others it is a decoration for their home. To Christians it is a symbol of the sacrificial love of Christ and His conquering of the grave.

However, to criminals under Roman rule in the first century, and those who witnessed the punishment, the cross was a symbol of torture, cruelty, death and humiliation.

As we enter the Easter season, we can learn from a man on a cross. This individual’s name is only known to God. We find this man – a criminal sentenced to death – hanging beside Jesus in Luke 23:39-43.

The first lesson that we learn is that he had a correct view of reality (vv. 40-41) and a correct view of himself. He saw himself as a criminal who was rightly condemned for the deeds he had committed. He correctly realized that he deserved death. Further, he had a correct view of Jesus. He recognized Jesus as the spotless Lamb of God and he testified to this while hanging on the cross. He knew he was a sinner, and Jesus was innocent.

The second lesson that we learn is that this criminal had a correct view of life after death. Though he was sentenced to death and hanging to life by a thread, he believed that his soul would continue to live after he died. Many people today live as if this life is all there is, but the Bible says that your soul lives forever and that it will abide in one of two places—heaven or hell. (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5, John 3:1-21)

Finally, we see that this criminal had a correct view of salvation (v. 42). He saw himself as totally helpless. He could do nothing to improve his odds in life or save himself. He was now bound to death and could not escape. Yet he cries out to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” He wanted to offer the last thing he had to give (his soul) to Jesus. He realized that Jesus was the Son of God and that he wanted to be a part of Christ’s Kingdom.

The criminal on the cross: he knew who he was and who Jesus was, he knew that his soul would continue after he died, and he knew that Jesus was the Savior. He could do nothing but cry out to Jesus and place his faith in Him for his salvation. To which Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Have you seen the world through the eyes of this condemned criminal? Do you understand your need for the Savior, and—more importantly—have you cried out to Him for your salvation?

If not, the Easter season is as good a time as any to surrender your life to Christ. If you have made that decision, I encourage you to not miss the opportunities God puts in front of you to share that same hope with those around you. Jesus saved the criminal on the cross, and He desires to save each of us as well.

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

We are all called…

By Will Graham

As an evangelist, I have been called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ whenever and wherever I can, and I’ve had the opportunity to do that in many venues around the world.

Are you ready for the uncomfortable part? You, my friends, are also called to be evangelists. Just because your last name isn’t Graham doesn’t mean that you get a “free pass” on offering the hope that you have to your friends and loved ones.

While you may not preach in front of hundreds or thousands, you should still be able to put into action the words of 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (NIV)

There is an often quoted saying by St. Francis of Assisi that reads, “Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words.” I appreciate what St. Francis was saying. His desire was that people not just preach, but live what they are preaching. He also said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach, unless our walking is our preaching.”

Unfortunately, I think many of us hide behind the mentality of “lifestyle evangelism.” We timidly think that if we live a good enough life, people will see our faith and will, in turn, make a decision for Christ.

On some level, that may be true. We are supposed to live in a way that the light and love of Christ shines through us. We want others to realize there is something different about us. But our calling to fulfill the Great Commission doesn’t end there.

In Romans 10:17, it is written, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.” (emphasis added; NKJV) Notice that the verse doesn’t say faith comes through a friend being a really nice guy. It doesn’t say faith comes from a positive transaction with a local businessman. It says “faith comes from hearing” – not showing.

What would you say right now if a friend called you and asked why you believe in Jesus? Do you have the words to say, and the verses to back it up? Further, do you have the heart of an evangelist in you; one that breaks for the lost souls around you who are dying without the hope of Christ?

That is your calling. We are all called to be evangelists. Are you willing to spend the time in prayer and in the Word so that you’ll be ready when those opportunities arise?

Yes, we should behave in a way that opens the door to conversations about our faith. Our actions should affirm our love for Christ and not be a stumbling block for others. But, on top of that, my friends, “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

Welcome to Our Blog!

We are very excited to launch this new blog. The idea came from a genuine need to have a place for not only sharing in more detail about what God is doing through this ministry, but also providing you additional access to our speakers and leaders.

For more than 20 years, The Cove has developed seminars and programs specifically designed to encourage and strengthen the walk of Christian pastors and lay people – all in the serene surroundings of the mountains of Asheville, NC.

We wanted to create a place where you could get a detailed view of The Cove and encouragement in your walk with the Savior – through the eyes of our guest speakers, our staff and other believers who have experienced The Cove for themselves. On this blog, we’ll offer guests posts from seminar speakers; posts from Will Graham, evangelist and assistant director of The Cove; sneak previews and recaps of seminars; and more.

We encourage you reach out to us and let us know what you would like to see in this blog. We’d love to see you in person at The Cove, but in the meantime, we’ll look forward to connecting here!