By Trevor Freeze
What’s a dad to “be” and “do?” With Father’s Day tomorrow, Chip Ingram gives four crucial roles every godly father should be taking in their child’s life.
No two words sparked more emotion at The Cove on Memorial Day Weekend than these two that Chip Ingram used to describe the role of fathers in today’s society.
You could almost feel the blood pressure rising among fathers attending Ingram’s parenting conference at The Billy Graham Training Center.
Dads have become “Assistant Moms.”
About the only title that’s worse: “Assistant to the Mom.”
“It hits a raw nerve,” said Ingram, President of Living on the Edge ministries. “Men don’t like to be called out.”
But the critical theme of fathers standing up and becoming leaders in the home could easily be detected in all five of the parenting sessions over the weekend.
If you had to boil down the conference in three words, it would be simply: Where’s the Dad?
By Will Graham
In the annals of world history, you won’t find many mentions of a lady named Pearl Goode. She never ran for political office, never commanded troops, and never served as the CEO of a Fortune-500 company.
Pearl Goode was a widowed nurse in her mid-60s, living in Pasadena, Calif., in 1949 when a young evangelist came to hold tent meetings in Los Angeles at the corner of Washington and Hill streets.
The very first night of the Crusade, she watched the fiery preacher Billy Graham and his team share the Gospel. As Pearl later recounted in an interview, “That night God laid those boys on my heart as a burden.”
Pearl then joined the volunteer prayer team for the Greater Los Angeles Crusade and was a part of seeing the campaign extended from three weeks to eight weeks, with people cramming into the tent every night to hear the Good News.
After that early Crusade, Pearl became a prayer warrior for the Crusades, without anybody on my granddaddy’s team even knowing. She would spend her own money to travel by Greyhound bus to wherever they were holding an event, quietly check herself into a motel near the venue, and immediately begin praying. Pearl estimated that she covered 48,000 miles by bus, simply to pray for the Crusades.
Even later in life when Pearl could no longer travel, or when my granddaddy was preaching overseas, she would make it a point to know exactly when he would be preaching, and she would spend those exact hours in prayer.
In an address he gave in 1994, my grandfather said, “She prayed all night many nights, and I could sense the presence and power of that prayer. When she died, I felt it.”
We must never underestimate the power of the prayer that is lifted up by wonderful saints like Pearl all around the world. Prayer – talking to God – is of paramount importance in developing our relationship with our Savior and in building up and supporting others through the work of the Holy Spirit. The great significance of prayer is – I believe – why we see so many calls to prayer in the New Testament*.
But, with everything going on in our world today, and with all of the distractions that life throws at us, how many of us actually make the time to become a prayer warrior like Pearl Goode? She would use her own money to travel to far-away states, only to lock herself in a motel room and pray all night long. What a challenge to the rest of us who can’t find 15 minutes in a day to spend with our Lord!
My granddaddy has told me that one of the few regrets he has in life is that he didn’t pray more. That impacts me deeply because almost every time I walk into his house he’s either praying or reading the Bible. He firmly believes that if he had spent even more time in prayer he could have reached even more people with the Gospel.
Pearl Goode, Billy Graham … you and me. Let’s make today the day we cast off the things of this world and commit to be a prayer warrior!
*Luke 6:28; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8
Matthew West, fresh off his appearance at the recent Will Graham Jersey Shore Celebration in Ocean Grove, NJ, will perform at The Cove on June 23.
The concert will be a mix of older, more familiar songs from the radio, as well as songs from his latest album, The Story of Your Life.
“As a songwriter, every song has a story behind it, and I am excited to play in an intimate setting like the Cove, because I’ll get to dive in to some of the amazing stories that inspired these songs,” he explained.
West’s hopes and prayers for this Evening at The Cove go far beyond music and entertainment. It’s about the most important connection a person could ever make—a connection with God. To register for this event, click here.
Matthew accepted Christ watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television when he was 13. Joy Allmond from BillyGraham.org spent some time with Matthew and discussed his long-standing relationship with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Click here to read the story.
As many of you know, Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham, is the assistant director here at The Cove. In addition, he travels around the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. In fact, please pray for him this weekend, as he is in Ocean Grove, NJ, for the Jersey Shore Will Graham Celebration!
Get to know Will in this video, and learn about his heart for sharing the Gospel.
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!
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.
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.
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”).
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.
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.”
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!