Saturday Snapshot – Summertime at The Cove

He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 33:5, NKJV). 

We have loved the beautiful summer sunshine at The Cove this week. Just look at these gorgeous mountain views and blue skies from the Training Center deck.

This picture was taken Wednesday afternoon as our guests were wrapping up a session during the Intensive Bible Training seminar with Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

Mountain_View(small)

The bright and vibrant blooms throughout the grounds at
The Cove have been nothing short of spectacular. What’s your favorite summertime flower?

Summer_Flowers_2016(small)

Back inside, where it’s much cooler, visitors can always enjoy a refreshing snack of soft-serve yogurt from our yogurt machines. Yum!

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We hope you enjoy your Fourth of July weekend with loved ones.

Blessings to you and your family. Safe travels!

If you’re in Asheville over the weekend, come visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and newly opened 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.

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

 

Prayer Note: July

We hope that 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 will share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)By Donna Riesen

 “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof (Leviticus 25:10).”

This passage of Scripture from the Old Testament is inscribed on the Liberty Bell at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. The streets rang with the sound of freedom as the bell was sounded on July 4, 1776, after the Second Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.

Bonfires and Illuminations…
In a letter written to his wife in July of 1776, Founding Father John Adams shared his feelings on the momentous occasion. “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.“

Fast forward 240 years to Wednesday, June 15, 2016, when someone ignited a fireworks display inside an Arizona Wal-Mart. While the resulting blaze could have ended in tragedy, the store was evacuated and the fire quickly extinguished, thanks to the quick and appropriate actions of store personnel and prompt response from the Phoenix Fire Department.

I don’t think this is what John Adams had in mind.
As we celebrate our freedom this July Fourth, the atmosphere throughout the country may seem more like the chaotic, near-tragic scene from Wal-Mart, rather than the “Pomp and Parade” John Adams foresaw.

In a nation troubled by senseless shootings, terror threats, political polarization, racial tension and unrest, widespread immorality, and economic instability, there may not appear to be much to celebrate. Add to this the rise of political correctness, rejection of Biblical standards, and outright hostility toward Christians, and many believers may feel tempted to forego participation in this year’s “bonfires and illuminations.”

Illumination or Conflagration?
There is no shortage of words when it comes to discussion of how to solve the problems plaguing our republic. Google “2016 Election” and you’ll get a search result of around 200 million. Not to mention that this is probably the first U.S. election in which the major party candidates exchanged verbal blows via “Twitter Wars.” We’ve come a long way from the high and lofty language of the Founding Fathers. #GiveMeLibertyOrGiveMeDeath. Words written by the Apostle James seem to elucidate the current state of our heated and contentious national discourse: “So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites (James 3:5).”

Since words can fan the fires of freedom or ignite the flames of destruction, how should we as Christians speak into America’s current state of affairs? We must speak the truth and boldly stand for our right to declare it, yet season our words and our actions with love and grace. But the best and most effective way to use our words is to lift them before the throne of God in prayer.

Confession and Intercession…
Praise God that over 140,000 individuals throughout the U.S. have joined together to pray for our country during Franklin Graham’s Decision America tour. Sharing messages from the book of Nehemiah, Franklin Graham is crossing the country proclaiming the good news that God can restore America, if we only will pray. In each state he has visited so far, crowds of thousands have turned out to join together in praying 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

In addition to praying for the ministry of The Cove throughout the month of July, please continue to pray fervently and faithfully for America. The words of the Decision America Tour mission state it best: “Because Jesus Christ is the only hope for America (1 Corinthians 3:11), we call our nation to God and pray for His forgiveness and blessing (2 Chronicles 7:14) and for the liberty and freedom to continue to proclaim His Name until He returns (2 Corinthians 4:5).”

I hope you’ll enjoy a picnic, parade and fireworks with friends and family this Fourth of July, but accompany all the festivities with this heartfelt prayer: “God, please bless America!”

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Join us in praying for the following events in July:

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

An Evening at The Cove
with The Collingsworth Family— July 7

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
with Ron Whittemore & David Gaines — July 11

Pastors’ Institute: 3-D Discipleship: Loving, Growing, Reaching
with Lon Allison, July 12-13

Kingdom Parenting
with Tony Evans— July 14-16

Intensive Bible Training: The Midnight Cry 
with R.T. Kendall — July 18-22

An Evening at The Cove
with Michael Card— July 24

Intensive Bible Training: Recovering the Lost Language of Lament
with Michael Card — July 25-29

Thank you for praying!

 

Saturday Snapshot – Deliciousness at The Cove

Saturday Snapshot

O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Him. (Psalm 34:8, NKJV).

A stay at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove provides ample opportunity to feast on God’s Word, but as any Cove guest will tell you, there’s also plenty of delicious food!

Blog graphic snapshot (1)

Our Executive Chef Douglas Walls and his team serve thousands of guests each year, as they come to enjoy a seminar, concert or retreat in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Here are a few behind-the-scenes pictures of dishes that he’s served this week.

Grilled grouper served with whipped parsnips and wild rice pilaf.  Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled grouper served with whipped parsnips and wild rice pilaf.
Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled pork chop with creamy risotto and shaved brussel sprouts.  Photo credit: Chef Douglas Walls
Grilled pork chop with creamy risotto and shaved brussel sprouts.
Photo Credit: Chef Douglas Walls


To enjoy recipes from The Cove at home,
click here.

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.

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Matthew 10:42

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” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from :   Matthew 10:42

And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.  Matthew 10:42

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

Whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water, I say he shall not lose his reward.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

“Your patient just came into triage,” my charge nurse reports. “Your patient did cocaine two weeks ago but nothing recent; she is resisting giving any sample today to test for drugs in her system. This is her 4th baby. She has not had prenatal care.”

This is what I do. I work in labor and delivery. I get to see the miracle of life day-in and day-out on a full time basis during the summers. I love my job, but I don’t necessarily love all my patients.  When I received report on this patient a week or so ago, I was furious. I was mad at this woman.  Cocaine!? Really? No prenatal care? This poor baby. Will no one stand up for the baby? Will no one fight for this little boy yet to be born? I was telling all of this to God and I was stomping around looking for a wheelchair thinking to myself, “I should just make her walk…” I was in the moment with my self-righteous anger and had some really valid points!

Then that still small voice spoke to my soul… (Sometimes I hate that still small voice… I’m riled up … I want that voice to escalate to the level my soul is on! I need validation!)

God, of course, will refuse to stoop to my shallowness and for that I am glad–truly. As my soul is stirred, God calmly and slowly asked, “Are you done?”  Am I done? Well, honestly I could go on… But that is my cue to be done… So I said, “Yes.” God moved my heart to understand that I have been called to care for her as if I was caring for Him. Ugh! I had nothing else to say. My arrogance had been humbled in just a few words spoken to me by my Creator.

This verse here in Matthew challenges us to serve those we think are undeserving of being served. The words  “little ones”  can more accurately be translated as “the humble.”. You serve because it is as if we are serving Jesus. It’s the woman at the well, the woman with issues, the woman caught in adultery.  Hurting, humble women…. Like my patient caught up in cocaine who may have never been served a day in her life. This woman who may never see her children again after she gives birth since they will most likely be wardens of the state in the social services system. This woman…. Jesus would have stopped to care for. This woman… HE sent me to give cups of ice to–two at a time, since water is not allowed during labor at the hospital where I work.

I sat with her. Held her hand. Encouraged her. Spoke to her by name. Cleaned her. Made sure she got her epidural promptly.  I loved her, not because it was in me to do, but because God loves her and gave me what I needed to show her that.

At the end of the day my patient said, “I ain’t never had no one “hep” me afore, You good to me, nurse.” I responded, “You are loved by God and I was supposed to show you that.”

No further words were spoken. My shift ended minutes after the baby was born. This verse in Matthew states I won’t lose my reward, and truly, I saw the love and grace of God in a new way. My reward was seeing the love of God in a personal way, not just for my patient, but for me. It’s hard to receive. It was hard for my patient to receive those words. It’s hard for me to receive them too.  The Truth is…. God loves us and sent His son Jesus to prove His love to each of us in a personal way. (John 3:16).

Step 3

APPLY IT: 

Who has God placed in your life today that needs to see HIS love? Your family? Your patients? Your co-workers? Someone who crosses your path just for a moment in a store, at a practice, or at the gym? An enemy maybe? Will you be on the look out for the hand of God wanting to show you and others His deep personal love?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today Lord, open my eyes to see and my hands to serve the humble ones you send my way. Give me the strength to do it, because You and I both know that it is not in me. Help me to receive Your love today so I can give it out.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

Saturday Snapshot – Photo Challenge Recap

14Day_June_PhotoChallenge_Header_2016

The Cove’s 14-Day #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge is all done!
We debuted our photo challenge in the Saturday Snapshot post
three weeks ago.

#InTheGardenPhotoChallenge was all about putting a spotlight on the aesthetic and spiritual beauty in and surrounding a garden.

On The Cove’s Instagram (@thecovenc) feed we shared
images from the newly opened Ruth’s Prayer Garden each day.

How it worked: We asked everyone to post one photo per day on their personal Instagram and/or Facebook that followed our daily prompt. Everyone then included the hashtag #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge in their post!

Following are the images we shared, as well as some from others who have joined in and shared from their neck of the woods.

14-Day_June_Photo_Challenge_Pinterest_and_Blog

June 1: Bloom

BLOOM(small)

June 2: Light

LIGHT 1

June 3: Tree Bark

BARK(small)

June 4: Sky

SKY(small)

June 5: Cloud

CLOUD(small)

June 6: Green

GREEN(small)

 June 7: Moss

MOSS(small)

June 8: Stone

STONE(small)

June 9: Fragrance

FRAGRANCE(small)

June 10: Bird

BIRD(small)

June 11: Pathway

PATHWAY(small)

June 12: Prayer

PRAYER(small)

June 13: Growth

GROWTH(small)

June 14: Sanctuary 

SANCTUARY(small)

Thanks to everyone who has shared photos of their gardens with us!

See some of their photos here:

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We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.

Click here for directions and operating hours.
Make sure to leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here too.  Both tours are free.

And don’t forget to follow The Cove on Instagram @thecovenc.

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

Saturday Snapshot – Retreats, Mountains, & Sunsets

It’s been a beautiful week here at The Cove. The daytime temperatures have stayed in the mid 60s to the low 80s without a whole lot of humidity.  Very nice!

The earlier part of the week was quiet here at The Cove (a great time for maintenance projects to be completed!), and then later in the week, we had a couple hundred come for a Samaritan’s Purse retreat for their site managers and volunteers. Here some of them are in full retreat mode enjoying time on the Training Center deck! (Photo taken from the prayer room on the 3rd floor.)

group shot of sp june 2015 sm

This next photo was taken just before 9 p.m. earlier this week at the chapel.

One of our lighting and audio tech guys took the photo as he was leaving the chapel and shared, “It was that magic moment when the light on the building and the light in the sky were balanced beautifully!”  He’s a lighting guy, so he knows what he’s talking about!  Isn’t this beautiful!

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This last picture was taken on Friday afternoon from the deck off Billy Graham’s office on the 3rd floor.  Aren’t the mountains and lush forests of of Western North Carolina pretty!?

view from TC Billy Graham office deck June 2016 sm

We hope you enjoy your weekend and feel God’s loving presence in a mighty way.

Blessings to you!


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.

 

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Matthew 10:27

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” in the upper left hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these post straight into your email inbox.

Kendra Graham notes from : Matthew 10:27

“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  “When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else, once you are back in the light.”- Oswald Chambers.

The dark is a hard place to be.  There was a time in my life where I felt that everything I touched fell apart.  Mistakes, shame, and guilt stuck to me and the load was overwhelming.  I felt abandoned and alone.  I was fighting God, shaking my fists at God, screaming out in my soul that the pain was too deep, too hard, too much.  This went on for years…. until I stopped.  My heart hurt beyond repair, mostly by my own doing.  I was shattered, stained, and now silent with nothing else to say at the feet of Jesus…. the dark is a hard place to be.

In the dark, Jesus so tenderly took my worn out soul, and began to breath life into me once again.  In the dark, through the power of God’s Word, He began to whisper to me.  God began to show me what it is that He sees when He sees me. The truths of who God is and what is real more than what I feel.  There in the dark, is where those Sunday School stories that I learned  in my head for so long, began to be inscribed upon my heart.  Inscribing upon the heart hurts….  but it is purposeful hurt.  God began to transform my heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and I would love to say that I was all for the process… but that process was and is painful.

I remember vividly, day after day I would beg God to get me out of that dark hard place…. I would say, “If You really love me, You will deliver me!”  Then…. one day came…. when in that dark place, I stopped asking for deliverance because there, in the dark, of all places, the Light shone more radiantly, more personally than I had ever known.  My scars and stains didn’t change…. but funny thing is when that Light shines, right in the middle of it, I was able to see what beauty God can make…. the beauty of stained glass…. the testimony of a faithful God in the midst of my mess.

The faithfulness of God was taught to me in the dark.  This blog, the Bible study I teach at the Cove, the churches I visit and speak in are all resultant from that difficult time.

Recently I journeyed to Wichita, Kansas to speak.  I spoke on the women with issues in Mark 5:25-34.  This woman lived a life for 12 years in the dark of solitude and isolation; yet, she knew that if she reached for Jesus, just the tip of His garment, she would be healed.  Oh to persevere among a crowd determined to beat her back… yet she reached… letting go of  everything else, and holding tight to the hem of Jesus’s garment.  This woman was healed.  The crowd stopped — the entire world stopped for that moment so that Jesus could stoop down, brush away her tears and hear her ENTIRE story.  Jesus whispering to her in her darkness among the crowd, “Go in peace and be healed.”  One sheep in a crowd of sheep willing to not just “bump” into the Shepherd, but to touch Him, to really touch Him.

That message proclaimed because I understood the pain of that woman, because that same message to the woman with issues, was whispered by God to me in my darkness… it is forged on my heart.  That day, in Kansas while proclaiming in the light what God had done, another hurting woman fought through the crowd, weeping at the altar, reaching for the hem, straining to hear Jesus speak to her in her darkness…. and she heard the sweetest whisper of love from her Faithful and True God…. she was stained, it’s true, but His Light shined through and in that Light she became, and we all become, beautiful stained glass windows to Him.

Pay attention when God puts you in the dark, darkness is the time to listen.  In the dark even the smallest spark of Light will not be missed and will become a precious personal message often for someone else. Lessons learned in the dark are meant to be proclaimed in the light!    #Proclaim #beautyfromashes #stainedglass #loved

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Are you in a period of darkness in your life?  Struggling to hear God?  Maybe struggling to get away from God?  Will you today, tune your ear to hear the whisper of God’s Word to you?  Will you reach out today?  What message has God inscribed on your heart in the dark that you can share in the light with each of us?  Oh that we would be bold to share the faithfulness and love of God… will we keep it to ourselves or shout it from the rooftops?

LIVE IT OUT:  LORD, calm my heart, close my mouth, open my ears, write on my heart that which You want to teach me.  Teach me to sing in the dark… if this is where I must be.

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What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
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To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove