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O Thou Whose Stillness Drowns

A poem by Ruth Bell Graham

O Thou Whose Stillness Drowns

O Thou

Whose stillness drowns

earth’s total noise –

its grating sounds:

progress,

traffic,

voice;

flutterings

of my frustration,

mutterings,

agitation;

the screaming silences

without,

within;

the din

of questions clamoring

for their “why?”

and “how?”

now!

the rumblings

of man’s discontent,

erupting hate,

violence;

war’s distant thunder

rolling near,

and everywhere

the cries

of fear

that paralyzes

as it grips…

and near at hand

a faucet drips.

O Thou,

Whose stillness drowns

earth’s total noise,

only in Thee

is stillness found…

And I rejoice.

New Website!

We just launched a brand-new, redesigned website. Check it out at www.thecove.org. We’ve organized the content to make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for – upcoming events, news and announcements, information about hosting a guest group event, and more.

In addition, in the “Resources” section, you can find a daily devotion from Billy Graham, plus the archive of past daily devotions. We hope you’ll consider reading those as you grow in your daily walk with the Lord.

Stop by and, as always, feel free to let us know what you think.

Report from Will Graham, Rock Thurrock Event in UK

Our assistant director, Will Graham, who often travels the world preaching the Gospel, just completed an 18-day visit to the United Kingdom on Monday. His trip culminated with Rock Thurrock, an evangelistic event over the weekend just outside of London.

While it was held in a smaller venue, nearly 300 people came forward when invited to make a decision to follow Jesus. And, about 75 percent of those were between the ages of 10 and 18. Please join us in praying for these new believers!

Will Graham preaching in Thurrock, just outside of London

In addition to his messages, Will brought greetings from his father, Franklin Graham, and grandfather, Billy Graham, who has a long history of ministry in the United Kingdom. Throughout his time in the country Will was warmly welcomed by many people who recalled seeing the elder Graham preach in one or more of his many UK events, beginning with his Greater London Crusade at Harringay Arena in 1954 and ending with Mission England in 1989.

Prior to the opening night of Rock Thurrock, Will spent two weeks touring the United Kingdom and speaking to several different groups from Cardiff to Exeter.

“I’ve spoken with Christians and church leaders across the country, and they’re all telling me the same thing,” Will said. “They all say that it feels like God is getting ready to do something big in the UK. They’ve seen things they haven’t seen in 30 years, such as the level of prayer and unity in the churches.”

Earlier in the week, a wide range of church leaders from the London area gathered to hear the news that Will’s father, Franklin Graham, would be part of a large-scale evangelistic outreach in the UK. It is anticipated that the event will take place in London in 2013.

To learn more about Will Graham and his ministry, join him on Facebook and Twitter! Please continue to pray for his ongoing ministry.

You’re Free to Stay Put

“In becoming a Christian, we don’t need to retreat from the vocational calling we already have-nor do we need to justify that calling, whatever it is, in terms of its “spiritual” value or evangelistic usefulness. We simply exercise whatever our calling is with new God-glorifying motives, goals, and standards-and with a renewed commitment to performing our calling with greater excellence and higher objectives.”

We are called to glorify God, no matter our occupation. These words are a great reminder from Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham and pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He wrote on this topic in a recent article for Christian Post.

Remember this: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)

Tullian will be with us at The Cove this fall presenting a special seminar entitled “Jesus + Nothing = Everything.” Click here to learn more. And, if you are on Twitter, be sure to follow Tullian at @pastortullian!

How Have You Changed Since 9/11?

This past weekend was one of reflection, prayer and remembrance. We think of the families of those who lost their lives 10 years ago in the worst terrorist attack our country has ever seen.

On Sunday, The Cove served as a host-site for a simulcast of “A Wake-Up Call for God’s People” with Anne Graham Lotz and Joel Rosenberg. In the September issue of Christianity Today, Anne answers the question, “How have I changed since 9/11?” Here’s an excerpt of her response:

September 11 was an alarm that penetrated my daily responsibilities and my busy ministry schedule, warning me…of what? Then years ago, I could not have answered that question. All I knew with certainty was that God was trying to get the attention of his people, including me. Like the prophet Isaiah in the year that King Uzziah died, I looked up with the eyes of faith.

What I saw was not just a fresh vision of Jesus Christ. Like Isaiah, I also saw a humiliating vision of my own sin. I spent days on my face before God, confessing my sin and receiving his cleansing. The result was an authentic experience of personal revival.

To read more from Anne, pick up the latest issue of Christianity Today.

How have you changed since 9/11? Let us know in the comments section.

Who Can Ever Forget?

A Letter from Franklin Graham

Three days after those attacks, my father and I were invited to Washington. My father addressed the nation from the National Cathedral, while I served as a commentator outside with Judy Woodruff of CNN.

I still remember the message of God’s comfort and hope my father spoke to a wounded and grieved nation: “The cross tells us that God understands … for He took upon Himself in the person of Jesus Christ our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares: I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pains that you feel, but I love you.”

This day is not only a significant date in American history, but it has affected all of us in a very deep and personal way, my family included. My son in the army has had five deployments and has already received a purple heart. Soldiers under his command have been killed defending our freedom. Friends that he went to school with have been severely wounded.

When we look at the price these young men and women in uniform are paying for our freedom, we quickly realize the debt we owe them.

Nothing, however, compares to the debt each and every person owes to the Lord Jesus Christ for dying for our sins. As the Apostle Paul said, “We are debtors” (Romans 8:12, ESV). We will never be able to repay what He did for us on Calvary’s cross. But the glorious good news of the Gospel is that God has forgiven our debt of sin against Him.

Jesus Christ paid the price for us through His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection. Our Lord has “forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13–14).

The Bible teaches clearly that our Savior who was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead will come back again. As we look at the chaos around the world today, we certainly see some of the signs He told us would accompany His second coming. Everywhere I go, people ask me if I believe His return is close. I do. How near, I don’t know, but I believe time is short.

We need to tell as many people as we can how they can be saved before it is eternally too late. The best investment today is not in the stock market or putting money in the bank but investing in winning souls. The Bible says, “He who is wise wins souls” (Proverbs 11:30, NASB).

The 9/11 anniversary also serves as a reminder of the tremendous opportunity for ministry God has given to our Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. As a result of the terrorist attacks, we developed the Rapid Response Team to recruit qualified volunteers from all over the country, train them in how to care for emotional and spiritual hurt, and deploy them to major catastrophes as crisis chaplains.

Since then, over 4,500 men and women have joined the Rapid Response Team to represent the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Chaplains have comforted, encouraged, and prayed one-on-one with over 160,000 people at more than 100 disaster sites in the U.S. and a dozen internationally. Nearly 12,000 people have made a life-changing commitment to Jesus Christ as a result of this ministry.

God is at work, drawing people to Himself, healing hurts, and changing lives. Yet eternity is at stake for so many who still need to hear. Now is not the time to slow down. If God enables you to help us financially, a gift this month will be an investment in lives changed for today and forever.

May God bless you,

Franklin Graham

For more encouragement and resources related to 9/11, visit www.billygraham.org.

Steve and Annie Chapman This Weekend

Looking for something fun to do this Labor Day weekend? There are some seats still available for our “Evening at The Cove” with Steve and Annie Chapman!

The Chapmans have been ministering through music for more than 25 years. Family remains the theme of their lyrics, and they present a concert of music and stories that is designed to encourage all who attend.

The video below is of their song “You Will Always Be Mine,” which is a unique look at the importance of a husband and wife being “in the yoke” together and working as a team, especially in the challenging area of parenting.

Franklin Graham, BGEA’s “Rock the Lakes” Will Stream Live This Weekend

This weekend, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is joining local churches in Milwaukee, Wis., for Rock the Lakes – two full days of high-energy music and fun for the whole family. We will be joined by Skillet, Lecrae, The Afters and The Almost on Saturday and Canton Jones, Michael W. Smith and The Charlie Daniels Band Sunday afternoon. There will also be uplifting messages from Franklin Graham.

The events will stream live on the Web – you can watch right here on Notes from The Cove! The live streaming will begin at 4 p.m. CT both Saturday and Sunday, August 20 – 21.

Please join us in this event – BGEA and Franklin appreciate your prayers, as well as your help in spreading the word about the live stream event as we attempt to reach around the world with the Gospel. You can direct your friends here, or send them to www.billygraham.org/rockthelakes.

Click here to launch the video player!

Praying for The Cove’s Future Guests

By Amanda Parrish

In a life often run dry by constant activity, the pressures of decisions, disappointments, anger and regret, many seek a chance to pause and breathe.

Giving participants this chance is part of the heart of The Cove. Challenging guests to relax, refresh and renew while growing and learning is an important part of ministry. This challenge lives within the hearts of staff members and volunteers. Beyond the greeting smiles, lies a heart of more than mere politeness. All incoming groups have been cared for long before entering the gates at the bottom of the mountain. Fully aware of life’s many challenges and difficulties, the staff and volunteers at The Cove commit to praying and providing for guests before their arrival and during their stay.

Nearly every department of The Cove, from office staff to house cleaning, has determined to care not only for the physical needs of the participants, but also the core spiritual needs.

To the approximately 20 housekeepers charged with cleaning the inns and cabins, scrubbing bathrooms and changing sheets is not just a necessary duty. Their goal is to provide a restful environment, relieving the guests of pressures and worries, allowing them the space to hear God.

“We are here to take the cares of the world away so they can focus on the Lord,” Tina McGuinn, who oversees lodging and housekeeping, said. “That’s our dearest ministry.”

Cleaning the sinks and dusting the furniture, these precious women dedicate much of their time praying for the participants. The housekeepers pray for the encouragement, the refreshment and the healing of the guests. They pray the teaching and quiet time will remain with the participants and be incorporated into life as they return home. They pray for an outpouring of joy, peace and rest. Their purpose does not lie solely in cleaning, but ministering in the simplest way. The staff’s desire is to help relieve the pressures of the world, allowing guests to be free to move toward the heart of God.

Deanna Sales, food service coordinator at The Cove, said the dining room staff prays for the guests as well. While greeting participants and serving their tables, the staff pray for the needs of the guests. Familiar with life’s struggles, each staff member can sympathize with the need for refreshment and a friendly, encouraging smile.

Before each meal, the dining room workers gather together, grasp hands and take a moment to share needs. Prayers for the refreshment of each guest entering the dining room, strength for the staff and peace for those “closest to eternity,” fills the small circle before the meal rush begins.

Kay Whithington, volunteer coordinator for the Prayer Intercessors at The Cove, also seeks to minister to guests and staff. “Our hope is to be a source of encouragement,” Whittington said.

This team of volunteers prays consistently for the staff and participants of The Cove. Walking about the grounds, meeting in the chapel and praying about the needs and concerns of all on campus is part of their ministry.

Office staff also grasps the opportunity to pray for the guests. Receiving a list of seminar participant’s names, each member of the staff prays for the group and for the individuals.

The importance of praying and caring resonates with many guests. Some face the difficulties of life and find strength to continue and others worn thin find encouragement to begin again. This is a ministry of caring ingrained into the heart and history of The Cove.