Drop Your Operation Christmas Box at The Cove This Week

Emma Tarpley and friends Hope and Lydia delivering 100 OCC boxes in November 2015 2Have you packed your OCC shoebox?

If you have, or plan to, we’d love for you to drop your box(es) here at The Cove.

Packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox is a simple way to let hurting children around the world know that they are loved and not forgotten.

November 14-21, 2016 is National Collection Week, and The Cove is one of many drop locations for your boxes.  We are at 1 Porter’s Cove Road in Asheville, NC (just off exit 55). 

You may drop your box off anytime during this week at our gatehouse, but you may also visit our volunteers at the drop-off truck during the following hours:

Truck Hours:
  • Monday, November 14: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 15: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 16: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 17: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 18: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 19: 12:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 20: 1:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 21: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Not sure how to pack a box or need some pointers on what to pack?  Click here or watch this video:

See you soon!  God bless.  

Saturday Snapshot – Billy Graham Turns 98

Billy Graham turned 98 this week.  Birthday wishes, blessings, and prayers poured in from all over the internet.

While Mr. Graham spent his birthday at home with family and close friends, we did some celebrating here at The Cove, too.

Here’s a birthday card signed by the staff here at The Cove.

Billy Graham 98 birthday card from staff

On the evening of Mr. Graham’s birthday, his eldest daughter Gigi Graham rolled out a cake to a packed auditorium of seminar participants and everyone sang happy birthday.  Gigi is sure to share the memory of that special evening with her daddy on her next visit with him.

Billy Graham 98 birthday Gigi and pastors singing happy birthday 11 7 16

So, who got to eat the cake? Those attending the Al Mohler seminar did!  Not one, but two kinds!

Billy Graham 98 birthday cake chocolate 11 7 16

Billy Graham 98 birthday cake 2 11 7 16

Earlier in the day, Asheville area television station, WLOS, came to The Cove to talk to Gigi about her father, his faith, and the legacy he will leave.  The interview took place in Mr. Graham’s office at The Cove.

Billy Graham 98 birthday Gigi Graham being interviewed by Frank with WLOS

Seminar participants were happy to be at The Cove on Mr. Graham’s actual birthday.  His faithfulness in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the world over, has inspired countless Christians, many who come to The Cove to get away and grow in their relationship with God.

Billy Graham 98 birthday pastor being interviewed by Frank with WLOS

Watch the television spot on Asheville local news station here:

Thank you for joining us in celebrating the life and ministry of Reverend Billy Graham.  Have a blessed weekend, friends!


Click here for a schedule of upcoming 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.

Saturday Snapshot — Take a Drive With Us

Hi, friends!  Jump in the car and come take a spin around the property with us!  We are loving the November color!

In contrast, this picture was taken two years ago this week!

snow at the cove november 1 2014 piled up on tables

If you haven’t signed up to spend some time celebrating the birth of our Savior with us at one of our wonderful Christmas at The Cove events, click on one of the links below, to do so.  Many of the events are sold out, so we’ve only listed those with seats still available.

Christmas at The Cove with Reggie & Ladye Love and Friends
(Dinner and concert.  Overnight lodging available.)
December 1, 2016
December 2, 2016
December 3, 2016

Christmas at The Cove with Tommy Coomes Band
(Dinner and concert.  Overnight lodging available.)
December 5, 2016

Women’s Christmas Luncheon with Karlene Shea (wife of the late George Beverly Shea)
December 11, 2016

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Esther 3:1

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!

Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 3:1

“After these events, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  The king promoted Haman, the Agagite, and established his authority over all princes.

Step 2


After these things…. what things?
After Esther, Mordecai’s niece, had been chosen as queen?
After Mordecai had received a position at the king’s gate?
After Mordecai had personally saved the king’s life by getting wind of an assassination plot, informed Esther, who informed the king, who then found the information to be true?

After all these things, Mordecai was recognized, Mordecai was promoted, Mordecai was seen by the king as as asset to the kingdom…. or NOT.

Mordecai was not only overlooked for the promotion, which he probably rightly deserved, but that promotion was given to his sworn enemy, an Agagite.  The Agags were a group of people who were enemies of the Jews.  It goes back to those years of wandering in the desert with Moses.

So what do you do with that?  All your hard work is not recognized.  Your loyalty not thanked.  Your friendship with the queen ignored.  Then to top it all off, your arch enemy is promoted over you.  That is pretty much the story of Mordecai’s life.

Always looked over.  Always having to sacrifice.  Never rewarded.

Mordecai lost his parents, he lost his single life when he chose to raise his niece Esther, then lost her to the king.  His life could be summed up in the next country music hit!

What do I love about this verse?  I like the fact that I don’t read in the following verse: #storyofmylife #nothinggoesmyway #Godhatesme #WhereisGod?

Mordecai could have taken a much different route in his assessment of the situation.  Instead, Mordecai states the facts.  As we get into the text and chapter more, we see that this Agagite that was promoted was a manipulative, power seeking, arrogant, evil man.  Again, for me, more questions…. why do the cunning sneaky people always seem to get to the top?  Why does God seem to ignore the faithful, and allow evil to rise with such ease?  We miss God’s favor even in the times of injustice. If Mordecai could see to the end, he would see God is moving the scenes, working in the shadows in the midst of injustice for the deliverance of His people.

We are incapable of seeing the favor of God at times, because when it really comes down to it, we don’t believe–really believe–that God is in control.  We believe God needs our help, we believe God needs us to right the societal wrongs.  I know I’m quick to shake my fist and my head at the way God allows some people to rise while smothering (it seems to me), those who are really trying to serve Him.

If you can relate, then pick your head and your heart up.  Read the rest of the book!  God does have this, and He moves in a more profound and large way than i could have ever dreamed of! God does see everything.  Faith, unfortunately is not about a life of emotional blessing after blessing.   Often, it seems like it is the exact opposite!  Frequently God has to knock the bottom out of us, and really get us in touch with humility in order to get us in personal contact with Him and His character.  We will never cry out to Him until we are desperate.

It is not about the “what” God gives us, it’s about the “Who” we get in the process! We get to know God in a personal way.  God needs us to move from a theoretical knowledge of Him, to a personal one.  God stretches our faith, allows it to struggle in the depths, so when deliverance comes in a mighty way, we can then boldly say, “I KNOW in Who I have BELIEVED and KNOW that HE IS ABLE!”  Faith is not faith until it is struggled with and stretched.  I hate every minute of it! BUT in the end, I LOVE it!  In the end, I can’t help but proclaim, “Oh how He loves you and me!”  Be confident!  God does see.  God is working.  God is in control.  We are free!  We are delivered from being dependent on promotions and the spotlight.  Nothing that is done for the glory of God goes unseen or unrewarded.  Keep on serving Him with passion!


Step 3


What causes us to doubt that God is in control, aware of the dire situation we are facing?

Can you relate to Mordecai in this story, always overlooked and forgotten about?  Will you, today, in this moment give that feeling of injustice to God, and ask Him to show you how or ask Him to give you confidence that He sees and is indeed still working on behalf of you, because you are His?

When have you demanded God work in a certain way, and God didn’t, so you got angry only to see days, weeks, or years later, that God did understand more than you could see at the time?

Will we look for God’s favor, and remain on our knees even in the midst of questioning and injustice?

Today Lord, as I walk through this day, help me to focus my eyes on the FACT that You are in charge! Help me not to look to people, a job, a title, a promotion,or a government to give me hope for the future, but help me to solely look to You and trust that You hold me and my family in the palm of Your hand.  #Delivered


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

If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, here in Asheville beginning in January 2017, we’d love to see you.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

Prayer Note: November 2016

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


Last month a four-year-old taught me a lesson in trusting God. Little Gracie entered the room where her grandma was watching the evening news just in time to hear the announcement of plans to close Disney World in anticipation of hurricane Matthew. Her grandma explained that since a big storm was coming to Florida, they were going to have to close the Magic Kingdom in order to keep people safe. Eyes wide with alarm, Gracie exclaimed, “But what about the princesses? I hope they run into the castle right now and lock the door!”

My favorite image of Gracie is from last summer’s Fourth of July barbecue. Wearing a pink tutu, a tiara, and a red-white-and blue “Super Girl” cape, she’s standing in the crook of a tree, held safe by her father’s strong arms. Gracie’s a brave and spunky little girl; yet even at the age of four—a magical time when fairly tales seem real—she knows there are some things way bigger than a prince, a princess, or even Super Girl.


Gracie knows what to do when a storm is coming. Do we?


None of us will make it through this life without being hit by a storm. A raging tempest of trouble may arrive in the form of serious illness, divorce or financial loss. The windows of our soul may be rattled by the cold winds of anxiety, fear and worry. Our emotional life may be overshadowed by heavy clouds of disappointment, heartbreak, depression, grief or loneliness. And we may become frustrated and discouraged as we view the path of destruction left in the wake of overwhelming tempests of evil and injustice blowing throughout the world.

It’s human nature to run for cover when we see dark clouds gathering, and our destination matters greatly. For Christians, the only wise move is to run to the Refuge. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB).

Does this mean we’re cowards? Weaklings who must lean on religion as a coping mechanism? It means we are human. When life’s hurricane of hardship begins to blow, some run to the protective refuge of money, power, or financial security. Others seek to escape from hurt and disappointment through alcohol or drug binges. The list of man-made storm shelters is a mile long, and most of us have at one time or another sought refuge in one of them.

The Old Testament book of Psalms is filled with references to God as our refuge. In times of trouble and distress the psalmist found his security and protection in Almighty God, his shelter and safe haven through the storms of life. A survey of the book gives a beautiful picture of God as our refuge in every situation:

Heartbreak, Sorrow or Grief —Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8, NIV).

Worry or Anxiety —Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever, let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:1-4, NASB).

Then there’s the general, catch-all category of “Trouble” —But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him” (Psalm 37:39-40, NASB).

Whatever stormy situation you may be experiencing in life, turn to the Word of God for encouragement and strength; then pour out your heart to Him in prayer, thanking Him for being your “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1, NASB).

O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  (Psalm 34:8, NASB)

Please continue to pray for all those who were affected by Hurricane Matthew, as well as for the Samaritan’s Purse volunteers and other relief workers who are responding to aid the hardest hit areas.

As you pray for the needs of The Cove in the month of November, ask God to reveal Himself as a refuge for those who come here with deep hurts and heavy hearts due to storms they may be encountering.

Join us in praying for the following events in November:

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

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — November 2-4
(Facilitators: John Parrish and Trish Lancaster)

Anne Graham Lotz and Rachel-Ruth Wright — November 4-6
Emcee: Traynor Reitmeier; Worship Leader: Fernando Ortega; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Passing the Baton of Truth to the Next Generation

Click here to join Anne and Rachel-Ruth for this seminar via live stream simulcast.
(3-day simulcast begins Friday, November 4. Cost is $30)

An Evening at The Cove with Fernando Ortega — November 6
Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

R. Albert Mohler Jr. — November 7-9
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Joe Horness; Pastor-in-Residence: Ed Graham) Leadership Renewal Retreat: The Conviction to Lead

Don Wilton and Rob Wilton — November 15-17
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Ed Graham)
The Power of One: The Key to Praying and Fasting

Thank you for praying!

Saturday Snapshot – What’s That Up In the Sky?

Ever wonder how we get the amazing aerial photos of the Training Center?  Like this one?

fall aerial TC

In the past, we had a photographer hanging out of a helicopter–yikes!  Today, because of the amazing technological advances, we are able to use a drone (an unmanned aerial vehicle).

Earlier this week we took a drone up to the overlook to get a birds-eye view of the Training Center, Shepherd’s Inn, the chapel, and of course, the beautiful mountains.

We had some guests (on break from the Erwin Lutzer seminar) who hiked to the overlook and were able to watch the drone in action…

drone off the overlook october 2016 with onlookers sm

Be on the lookout for one (or several) of these pictures to appear in our 2017 Program Guide (mailing in January).

Speaking of 2017…you know registration is open, right?  Click here to see what’s on our calendar for next year.  Seminars are all free (a small materials fee will apply), so we encourage you to come and bring 10 or 20 friends with you.

Of course we’d love for you to stay in one of our inns and eat your meals with us in our dining room with beautiful mountain views, too. You will find the lodging and meal rates on our website too, or if you’d like to talk to a human, call 1-800-950-2092.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!  Bless you.


Saturday Snapshot – Bloggers and Pretty Color

Earlier this week, 30 local-ish Christian bloggers attended a 2-hour meetup at The Cove to be encouraged through fellow Christian bloggers and to learn ways to be more effective communicators.

There were lots of connections made, knowledge shared, and a feeling of gratitude that God placed this special call and gifting on these writers’ lives.

If you’re a Christian blogger and would like to be part of a Private Facebook group we’ve created, please let us know in the comments and we’ll add you to the group.

blogger meetup 2016 small

With each day comes more vibrant color. We will continue to share our pictures week-to-week so you can enjoy right along with us.  We trust it is beautiful where you are as well.

view from TC October 19 2016 sm

Angies Fall design outside the gatehouse

a bench with fall flowers

stairs leading to the parking lot

Fall John Deere 2

Fall decoration in TC

fall boquet in TC

fall boquet 2  in TC

Fall wreath above fireplace at TCHave a wonderful weekend, friends!

Fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit our area.  Make sure to visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove