Saturday Snapshot

This 1,200-acre piece of land we call The Cove is indeed a beautiful place. From the towering hemlocks to the meandering brook bubbling down the mountain, every direction you turn is yet another snapshot of God’s one-of-a-kind creation.

If you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest you may have seen some of the Bible verse graphics (shown below) we have created with Cove scenery as the backdrop.

We hope that you enjoy these.  Feel free to use and share.

If you are not following us on one of the social sites mentioned above, just click on one of the names above and you will be directed to the site.

God bless you!

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Lam 3 22 and 23 JG

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Visit our website at TheCove.org.

Cliff Barrows – Celebrating 25 Years of Ministry at The Cove

Earlier this week we had an amazing time of worship and celebration as we celebrated the goodness of God and the faithfulness of one of His servants, Cliff Barrows.  Mr. Barrows was honored for 25 years of ministry at The Cove.

0039 smThrough laughter and tears, a full auditorium listened as Cliff shared fond memories of his time at The Cove and some of his experiences over the years with the Billy Graham Crusades. Guy Penrod, Tom Bledsoe and Pete Briscoe were all a part of this wonderful celebration.

A special one-of-a-kind bird house replica of Chatlos Memorial Chapel at The Cove (hand-made by Cove employees) was presented to Mr. Barrows and his beautiful wife Ann in recognition of their many years of faithful service. The presentation was made by Will Graham, Executive Director of The Cove and grandson of Billy Graham. Will thanked Mr. Barrows for his ministry and shared his affection for his “Uncle Cliff”.

Cliff later said that he and Ann had decided to place the treasured birdhouse right on their kitchen table where they will be able to enjoy it at all times.

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Barry and Jim are the two talented Cove employees who created the beautiful birdhouse.
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Barry working on the birdhouse in The Cove woodshop.

Above all of the festivities, it was the Lord Jesus Christ that was given all of the glory that night and the sweet presence of the Lord was surely in that place.

On behalf of all of us here at The Cove, thank you Mr. and Mrs. Barrows. Thank you for ushering us into the presence of Jesus all of these years. We look forward to creating more memories in the years to come. We love you very much!

Click here to visit The Cove website.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 5:11-13

Nehemiah

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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:11-13

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 11: Please give them back this day their fields, vineyards, olive groves, houses, 1/100 part of the money, grain, new wine and oil you are exacting from them.

Verse 12: We will give it back, require nothing from them. (b) I called the priests and took an oath from them that they would do according to their promise.

Verse 13: I shook out my garment, “Thus may God shake out every man from his house and possessions who does not fulfill this promise, he be shaken and emptied.” The assembly said “Amen”. (b)They praised the LORD. Then the people did.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 11: Nehemiah used the Word of God to speak and convict the people of God in the previous verses. Nehemiah was angry and instead of chewing the people out with some choice words, he consulted with himself, he calmed down and He read the law of the LORD in regards to extracting extra high taxes from the people…. it was against God’s Law. Who cares about what I think and you think, what does God say? God’s Word doesn’t change. Sin is a BIG DEAL in God’s eyes…. so BIG that He was compelled to come and take the penalty for it Himself on the cross. Sin must be dealt with. When the Word of God was read, and the nobles realized their sin in front of a Holy God…. they were broken over it. In this case, conviction doesn’t just lead to saying “I’m Sorry” and all is done and over with, Nehemiah laid it out there, the nobles and rulers must make restitution in this case, and give back what they had unjustly taken from the people, give back what they stole. This reminds me of Zaccheaus in the New Testament, a very similar situation with a tax collector. When He was confronted with his sin in the presence of Jesus, Zaccheaus couldn’t wait to make restitution, 10 fold. The conviction of the Spirit of God, hurts, but is sweet when fellowship is restored. Our actions show the evidence of God’s grace and mercy we received.

Verse 12a: As evidence of a true repentant heart, the nobles and rulers had no arguments about giving back what they had extracted and stolen. A true repentant heart does not need to justify their sinful actions. I love that. To admit you are a sinner, takes tremendous humility.

Verse 12 b &13a: Words vs action. It is one thing to say in front of Nehemiah and the people, yes, yes, we were wrong and to agree to fix it, so the attention will go away, but it is another thing to actually make restitution. I believe here, the nobles and rulers were truly broken over their sin, but it’s one thing about money and things, they are sure hard to give up when the rubber hits the road… truly! We HATE accountability, but personal accountability, no matter how much we hate that people will doubt our word, is so needed. George Washington said “I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” All of us are bent to that sin nature, admit it or not. We need accountability, even the most noble of the noble can fall!

Verse 13b: They praised and they did. True repentance brings such joy in restitution! They praised the LORD with their hearts, the sin being dealt with, then they went and they did what they promised. There is such sweetness in that reunion with the LORD. When the sin is removed we realize what we have been missing in the presence of the LORD. Praise God for personal forgiveness, grace and mercy! The JOY of repentance!

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 11: When have I been convicted by God’s Word? Is there something today, here and now that has been between me and my Lord? With things right between God and I in the heavenly realm, has God laid on my heart something that needs to be done in the earthly realm? Speaking forgiveness to someone? Accepting forgiveness from someone? Returning something I have stolen whether it be money, things, a reputation…? What has God laid on my heart to do?

Verse 12a: Am I truly repentant, or am I still offering up reasons for justification to a Holy God about my sin and what He is convicting me of? When will I let go of my pride?

Verse 12b & 13a: Do I buck accountability? Who do I have holding me accountable? Do I think that person does that because they refuse to trust me, or has God allowed that person as a safeguard upon my heart?

Verse 13b: Have I been missing that closeness with the LORD because I refuse to make things right? When has that sweet restitution to the LORD brought such joy and thankfulness for the cross?

LIVE IT OUT!
Today, LORD, convict my heart over Your Word, and give me the strength to make things right, this is only possible through Your supernatural strength and guidance. Prick my heart with Your Word, and prod me to move on it. Thank you for your forgiveness of me, help me to forgive others, and seek that forgiveness and restitution when called for.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:14-16

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

The Cove Honors Pastors for Pastor Appreciation Month

Pastors' Institute John Pope 2014

October is Pastor Appreciation Month! 

What better place for the shepherd to hear God’s voice than in the quiet and peaceful mountain setting of The Cove.

We are pleased to invite pastors and their spouses to attend the Pastors’ Institute event at no charge (program and meals). As an additional blessing, the cost of meals and lodging will also be covered for those who would like to arrive a day early to enjoy some extra quiet time with God.

If you are a pastor, we hope you will allow yourself some time to get away and take advantage of this opportunity. 

If you are not a pastor, but your pastor has been a blessing to you, please encourage them to register for this free event. 

Click here for all the details and register by calling 1-800-950-2092.

Note: Pastors must complete a resource application form to register for this event. Applicant must be actively serving in pastoral ministry (this includes those serving in part-time ministry as well as bi-vocational). Resources will cover Pastors’ Institute registration fee for pastor & spouse and lodging and meal costs for optional Come Early (October 15).

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Join Us for An Evening at The Cove

Isn’t it about time you treated yourself to an evening out?

We have just the idea!

Join us for dinner, an uplifting concert with Jason Crabb, NewSong or Fernando Ortega and a chance to meet these popular Christian artists, all in the intimate setting of The Cove.

Jason crabb PROMO

Click here for tickets to Jason Crabb on Sunday, September 21st.

NewSong Promo

Click here for tickets to NewSong on Sunday, October 12th.

Kendra’s Bible Study… Nehemiah 5:6-9

Nehemiah
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!

Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 5:6-9 

WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.

Verse 6: I was very angry when I heard their cry & these words.

Verse 7: a. I consulted with myself, b. contended with the nobles & rulers, held an assembly against them.

Verse 8: We have redeemed our Jewish brothers who were sold, now to sell your brothers to us?  They were silent.

Verse 9: The thing you are doing is not good.  Walk in the fear of God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?

Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?

Verse 6: The fact that God’s people were hurting unjustly at the hands of each other, angered Nehemiah.  The hurt of God’s people mattered.  The disunity of God’s people mattered.  Nehemiah was just not in the “business” of building a wall; the actual people were personal to him, as shown by his emotional response.  It was more about the people within the wall, than the wall itself.  Oh that we could truly understand when Jesus said, “I desire compassion over sacrifice.” Matthew 12:7.  It is easier to do stuff in front of people than to actually love the people you are doing it for.

Verse 7a:  Before you go and freak out and rant and rave…. it is always best to consult yourself first.  Then you are not putting down other people, saying things you will regret or making more of a problem than solution.

Verse 7b:  Confrontation and accountability is never easy, but necessary.  Confront the problem head on using the Word of God, not my word.  Don’t let problems and disunity fester no matter who it is you have to confront.  Best to get it over with after the initial anger has subsided. Exodus 22:25 states the nobles and rulers were wrong in what they were doing.

Verse 8: The Truth is stated.  Let the Truth do the convicting, not accusations or finger pointing.  Simply stated the Truth will set you free, but make you miserable first. – James A Garfield
There was no defense or justification on the part of the nobles when confronted with the Truth.  You may not like the Truth, but that does not change the fact of the Truth.

Verse 9:  Confront the issue.  What you are doing is not good.  We already have enemies (basically the rest of the world as we know it) and now to add to that, we are enemies against ourselves?  The reason we don’t do what the rest of the world does and we do not take advantage of our fellow man and brother for our own personal gain, is not because we can’t but because we walk in more fear of God, than man.  We care about what God cares about more than our own selfish gain;  if we do not, then we need to take a hard look at the condition of our soul. God cares about people. The Word of God is delivered, then the choice rests with those who heard.  Matthew 6:24 “NO ONE can serve two masters; for either you will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.

As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.

*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think.   This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?

Verse 6: Do I have compassion for the people God has placed in my family? Church? Neighborhood? Daily Life?  Will I take time and ask God to give me compassion for those I run in to daily?

Verse 7a: Am I quick to speak in anger to everyone around, or do I wait until the anger has simmered down?

Verse7b: Do I base my arguments on the emotion of anger, or the fact of God’s Word?

Verse 8:  Do I let the Word of God to the talking, and let God do the convicting, or do I want to point my finger and justify my point of view?

Verse 9: Do I care more about being successful according the standard of the world, or do I care more about what God has set forth in His Word?  Where is my focus? Do I strive to (Leviticus 11:24)  “Be holy as God is holy?” Am I pursuing holiness? (Hebrews 12:14).

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, convict me according to Your Word.  Give me compassion for your people, and give me the ability to live it out.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:11-13

Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove