Prayer Note: August

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


Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…”  Do you recall any of the wishes you made when you were small?  I made a multitude of wishes as a child—whether it was wishing on a star, throwing a penny in a fountain, or wishing as I blew out the candles on a birthday cake—but I always followed up with a quick prayer, just as extra “insurance.”  Raised in a Christian home, I was taught early to understand the difference between a fun game of wishing versus real praying to my Heavenly Father who knew me and loved me, and I soon began to perceive that real results were more likely to come from prayer rather than wishes. Thankfully, my understanding of prayer has grown since childhood, and I’ve begun to appreciate the fact that prayer is about much more than seeing results or having my every wish fulfilled. Now when I look up at the first star of evening, I’m moved to worship rather than wishing.

I think most of us have done our share of “Star Light/Star Bright” praying — deciding on our own about the outcome we desire, and then sending up “a wish and a prayer” that God will come around to our way of thinking and send the answer exactly as we requested. Praise God He doesn’t work that way! As C. S. Lewis explained, “Prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted.”

As we grow in our faith and begin to know God in a deeper way through the reading of His Word and the witness of the Holy Spirit, we learn to appreciate the conversational quality of prayer. We come to Him with our needs and concerns, yet our prayer time involves much more than just submitting the day’s “wish list.”  We begin to seek the Giver more than His gifts. We learn to listen for the still small voice of His Spirit.

“Change your definition of prayer,” Max Lucado recommends. “Think of prayer as less an activity for God and more an awareness of God. Seek to live in uninterrupted awareness.” (Come Thirsty. Thomas Nelson, 2012.)

Let’s ask God to transform our hearts, strengthen our love for Him and deepen our awareness of Him until we begin to grasp the meaning of Paul’s exhortation to “pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV).” Our prayer list may be long, and we should not hesitate to bring our needs to the feet of our Father and trust Him to answer according to His will; but our greatest need is to know Him in a way that transcends our present situation.

As speaker Michael Card shared during a recent Intensive Bible Training session at The Cove, “Could it possibly be true that the greater miracle is not the healing or the unexpected check that saves from bankruptcy, but the unthinkable truth that God has chosen to be with us through it all? Could it possibly be true that the miracle is not provision, but Presence?” The Maker of the Stars desires to give us something so much greater than just fulfilled wishes. He desires to give us Himself.

Please pray faithfully for The Cove throughout the month of August. Pray for the health and safety of our speakers, artists and seminar attendees. Pray for God’s provision and leading as we seek to serve and honor Him in this ministry. Most importantly, pray that those who visit The Cove will encounter God in a way that will transform their hearts and cause them to grow deeper in love with Him.

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


Join us in praying for the following events in August:

All seminars in 2016 are free (lodging and meal fees apply).
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)

When Faith Collides With Fear
with Will Graham— August 5-7

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat
with John Parrish & Trish Lancaster — August 8-11

Don’t Waste Your Sin
with Steve Brown,  August 12-14

Living Like One of Heaven’s Heroes
with Herb Reavis— August 15-17

Women’s Seminar — The Jesus We’re Aching For: The Gospel According to Mark
with Lisa Harper— August 19-20

An Evening at The Cove
with Laura Story— August 20

SeniorCelebration: God’s Great Salvation: Chosen, Redeemed, and Sealed
with Mel Blackaby — August 22-24

Life on a High Place
with Wayne Barber — August 26-28

Thank you for praying!

Saturday Snapshot — A Delight For All Your Senses

This week we bring you snapshots from around The Cove to delight all your senses.  Enjoy!

These beautiful roses adorn the front desk at the Training Center.  They come from the garden of Ed Graham, a pastor-in-residence at The Cove (and Billy Graham’s cousin).  Ed’s roses are famous for, not only their beauty, but their wonderful smell.  Since you can’t smell through your screen, you’ll have to trust us on this one.  Delightful!

Eds wonderful smelling roses July 28 2016

Michael Card spent five days teaching on Recovering the Lost Language of Lament.  We saw Jesus’ words come alive, Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

We give thanks and praise to God for this powerful week of ministry.

Michael Card IBT 2016

Chef Douglas was in the kitchen cooking up some tasty creations this week.  While our food is presented on a fantastic buffet spread, we thought it would be fun to plate up the food to give you an idea of the types of delicious food chef and his team lovingly prepare for our guests.

Friends, you can be assured, while spending time with us at The Cove, you will never go hungry!

chef with a variety of meals July 28 2016

The chapel steeple, the deep blue sky, and the white puffy clouds were such a pretty site!

chapel and clouds in July 20167

Moss-covered rock walls line the paths throughout Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Come and find a comfortable spot to sit, pray, praise, read, and delight in the Lord’s grace, peace, and love.  Click here for hours and directions to visit our garden.

Bible resting in the moss in Ruths Prayer Garden July 2016

Bless you, friends!  Thank you for spending time with us each Saturday to see what’s going on at The Cove.

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

Interested in hosting your own event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

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


Saturday Snapshot – Kingdom Parenting, Bears, Flowers, Facebook & Rain

Lot’s going on at The Cove this week!

Tony Evans taught the first ever parenting seminar at The Cove (this was actually last week, but sharing now).  His seminar, Kingdom Parenting, gave practical biblical instruction on training kids in the power of prayer, wisdom, loving God’s Word, getting through trials, and much more.  A blessing to both parents and grandparents alike.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

Evans-1004 smIf you’ve ever been to The Cove, you know the food and fellowship in the dining room is wonderful!  This fine fella’s smile says it all! Click here for recipes shared by our culinary team in the kitchen. 
Evans-1021 sm

We never tire of the beautiful view off the Training Center deck.  

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

Evans-1024 sm

This family of bears were hoping to join in on the Kingdom Parenting seminar, but unfortunately, the cubs were too young to attend.  Last we heard, they were off to Camp Cedar Cliff.

(Photo captured on one of our security cameras.)

Ruth’s Prayer Garden is abloom with purple coneflowers, hydrangeas, tiger lilies, roses, and more!  If you haven’t stopped by for a garden tour, make plans to now.  You won’t be disappointed.  
Purple Coneflowers July 2016 at Visitors Center sm

The sun peaking through the forest canopy.  Reminder to be a light in this world!

Purple coneflower chapel with sun shinging

Just look at the vibrant color on these Tiger Lilies!

Tiger Lily at the chapel July 2016

Stephanie Seefeldt leads worship at The Cove several times throughout the year.  This year, she streamed a few worship sets LIVE on her Facebook page.  This one during the R.T. Kendall seminar.  Sorry about the sideways picture, but we wanted to share with you the number at the bottom of the image.  705 people were able to join in Cove worship from all around the world.  Isn’t technology amazing!

Stephanie Seefeldt FB Live

We’ve been praying for rain, so these rain clouds rolling in one evening early this week were a most welcome site.  TC with storm clouds July 2016 smWe hope you have a lovely weekend, friends!  “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2 ESV)

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

Interested in hosting your own event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

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



Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Psalm 63:1

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 : Psalm 63:1

“Oh God You are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”Step 1

THE FACTS:  Oh God, You are my God; earnestly I seek YOU, my soul thirst for YOU in a dry and weary land.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Daily there is confusion and chaos.  I love to go back to this verse a lot.  It’s one of those verses that tends to steady my feet and focus my gaze.  Oh God… “Oh God” being the God we pray to at meals, sing to at church, hear the pastor preach about….. but MY GOD… now “My God” is something entirely personal.  My God is personal.  Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches,  but let him who glories, glory in this: that he understands and knows Me, that I AM the LORD.”  This is the purpose and the key to life.

To know the LORD… to spend time in God’s Word.  God’s Word is Truth.  (John 17:17)

In times like this, when information is pouring into us at the speed of light… it is important, to daily–before the chaos begins– to spend time soaking in the Truth.  God’s Word has been true from the beginning of time and will not cease to be true today.  God can be trusted.

With so many things vying for our attention, vying to control us, we must now, more than ever, decide to know “my God” and not settle to just hear about who He is from others.

God loves you more than anything, and knows the struggle and confusion of life, so He came, personally, with skin on, and His name is Jesus, so that we could walk through this life with Him.

When you are tired, weary and exhausted…. earnestly seek “my God,” for “My God shall supply all your needs in the riches of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19).

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Are you in a dry and weary place in life?  Do you know “my God” or have you settled to listen about “oh God”?  Will we get into God’s Word as God’s people and begin living lives to glorify Him or will we live in fear of what will happen next in this crazy world?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today I will be determined to get into God’s Word and begin to learn about this God who loves me more than anything.


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

To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Saturday Snapshot — Animals and People Abound

This beautiful deer was greeting our staff and guests as they came in the Training Center one morning this week.  She and her friends have enjoyed dining on our flower beds!  The perks of sharing space with God’s precious creatures on this 1,200 acres.

deer at the TC July 2016

Cove bears generally stick to the rules while on property.  This one yielded just in time for a quick photo before he sauntered off in to the woods.

bear at yield sign July 2016

Despite all the animal pictures we share here, we also have humans on property too!  Pastor Lon Allison was a HUGE blessing to an auditorium filled with pastors and their spouses.  The event was a 2-day Pastor’s Institute in which pastor Allison taught on discipleship.

Lon Allison at PI July 2016

This is one of five Leadership Events The Cove offered this year which was free (program, meals, and lodging) to qualifying pastors and their spouses.  If you are interested in attending one, look under the Leadership tab on our website.

There is only one more remaining in 2016 and lodging is now full, but we still have room in the auditorium and dining room.  Keep your eyes out for our free 2017 events for pastors too.

Wishing you a blessed weekend and week to come!

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

Interested in hosting your own event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

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

Recipe from The Cove Kitchen: Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logo

Grilled Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Bread Pudding
Grilled Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

This delicious dish is a guest favorite at The Cove.  It’s much simpler than it looks, so give it a try and let us know how it turns out!

Grilled Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Bread Pudding

Serves 4



4 (6 ounce) iron steak filets
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side over medium high heat. Remove from heat, brush with melted butter and let rest for 5 minutes.



1 French baguette, diced into small cubes
½ stick of unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups beef stock
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dice bread into small squares (crouton size) and place in a 9″ x 13” greased pan.

Bake bread for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Add blue cheese sauce (see directions below). Toss to coat bread well with sauce. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

For blue cheese sauce:

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add chopped shallot and minced garlic. Saute one minute and add beef stock and heavy cream, and bring to a boil. Add blue cheese crumbles and Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat for 2-3 more minutes until cheese is melted.  Add chopped fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Click here for printable recipe.

For more recipes from The Cove Kitchen, click here.

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove