COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 10th

This week’s verse is brought to you by Susie, a Training Center hostess here at The Cove. Her verse is 1 Peter 5:7.

“Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Susie_TrainingCenterHostess


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of 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.

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Saturday Snapshot — Update on Mr. Graham

Hello, friends!  We hope you are enjoying the summer months.

We have a special update (and a sweet snapshot) for you today from Franklin Graham, on his father, Billy Graham…

“Some have asked about an update on my father Billy Graham. He’s now approaching his 99th birthday in November, and while he is doing well, he does have the physical challenges that come with his age. He enjoys visits from family members, including his sister who is his only remaining sibling. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren also come by more frequently in these summer months. His pastor, Dr. Don Wilton from Spartanburg, South Carolina, continues to visit weekly which means so much. This has been a tradition of prayer and encouragement for more than 20 years—we are so grateful to Pastor Wilton.

My father also has a constant companion you might not have heard of. No one could ever remember her name, so we all call her “Kitty.” She was a gift from all of us children on his 90th birthday and continues to be by his side.

Mr Grahams kitty July 2017

Thank you for your concern and prayers for him—you really don’t know how much that means to our family.” — Franklin Graham

Have a wonderful weekend!


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

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

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COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 3rd

This week’s verse is brought to you by Tammy, an administrative assistant for 106.9 the Light, Billy Graham’s radio station located on property here at The Cove. Her verse is Hebrews 4:16.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Tammy Walls


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of 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.

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PRAYER NOTE: July 2017

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

THE BEAUTY OF IMPERFECT PRAYERS

Farmhouse style is one of today’s leading decorating trends—yet it’s less about trendiness and more about finding beauty in simplicity and uncovering charm in imperfection. Using rustic treasures juxtaposed with classic or updated pieces, farmhouse style combines simple, unpretentious elements (think shiplap, burlap, mason jars, distressed wood) with modern accents to create a charming, graceful and homelike atmosphere. Can a decorating style teach us anything about prayer?

A look around The Cove tells us Ruth Graham would probably have loved this design trend. She embraced the idea of incorporating rustic, imperfect objects with a few scratches and scrapes into her home’s décor. As her daughter, Gigi, shares, “She was an original when it came to seeing the beauty or possibility in an old broken chair, a piece of scarred wood, or an old, uneven door that formally hung on a chicken coop. She paid extra to workmen to work on salvaged materials because of the chance of bending or breaking the tools they were using.”

I like to think Ruth would be among today’s DIYers who collect plain, unpretentious items and recycle or repurpose them in creative ways that combine beauty and practicality.

In her book, Legacy of a Pack Rat, Ruth related the story of visiting an eccentric man who had built a great house completely of salvaged materials. She explained how this collector of scrap metal and antiques would take broken bits of china and glue them together to form charming and creative objects.

“Few ever came out whole. They remained simply the collection of one who cared. When I expressed interest, he gave me a blue and white plate, carefully glued together—pieces missing. ‘You remind me of God,’ I said. By the look on his face, I knew I had shocked him, and I hurriedly explained. ‘God pieces back broken lives lovingly. Sometimes a piece is irretrievably lost. But still He gathers what He can and restores us. Perhaps it gives pleasure to no one else, but to Him.’”

According to Ruth’s daughter, Gigi, this little piece of pottery still exists.

“Like the Lord,” Gigi says, “Mother looked for the possibilities in all the knots and cracks—not only in objects but in people.” Ruth valued people—with all their “knots and cracks,” yet she understood the necessity of acknowledging our faults and imperfections and confessing them before God in prayer.

Ruth-Bell-Graham-with-children-in-1958-Montreat

The Scriptures are full of accounts of honest prayers.

THE PSALMIST’S PRAYER

As we move through our days, we all end up with a few scratches and scrapes on our souls. As the psalmist David put it, “My heart within me is distressed” (Psalm 143:4, NKJV). An honest look inside the home of our heart will reveal sin stains, scars and woundedness—imperfections that can’t be covered up with shiplap or disguised with a coat of white paint. The Pharisees tried that “fixer-upper” technique, and Jesus exposed them as hypocrites and “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27).

Jesus knew that all our futile attempts to tackle sin on our own with inner DIY projects would always end in failure. That’s why He came—to make the broken whole.

THE PRAYERS OF THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR:
PIOUS PLATITUDES OR HONEST REPENTANCE?

Jesus taught that the prayers God honors are the simple, real, honest, heartfelt prayers of the broken. To illustrate, He shared the parable of The Pharisee and the Tax Collector, recorded in Luke 18:9-14. After the loud and blustery prayer of the prideful Pharisee, came the humble, repentant petition of the tax collector: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (18:13). Recognizing the beauty of this simple confession, Jesus exclaimed, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (9:14).

THE PRAYER JESUS PRAYED IN OUR PLACE

Perhaps the most honest, raw and gut-wrenching prayer recorded in Scripture is the cry of Jesus from the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46, NKJV). The horrific physical pain Christ endured was nothing compared to the spiritual torment He experienced. Bearing the weight of the sins of the world and suffering in our place, He felt the full weight of the wrath of God as the Father turned His back on His beloved Son. Because Christ suffered, died, and arose victorious over sin and death, those of us who have accepted His gift of salvation need never ask if God has forsaken us. Although we may experience times of great suffering, darkness or pain, we can know that our debt of sin has been paid by His substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf.

THE SIMPLEST PRAYER

A Cove co-worker who is going through an incredibly difficult trial told me recently of an incident that took place as she was putting her toddler to bed. Her mind heavy with anxiety, she put on a smile and asked quietly, “What song would you like to sing before you go to sleep tonight?” Her sweet little one replied, “Jesus! Jesus!”  Together they sang, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong.”  Rather than a stirring sermon or a heavy theological treatise, the Lord used this tiny voice and simple lyrics to remind her of His love for her and to encourage her to lean on His strength in the midst of her weakness. Sometimes the name of Jesus is all we can manage to pray.

As we pray for the ministry needs of The Cove and as we pray for each other, let’s commit to pray with honesty, humility and an acknowledgement of our brokenness. We are all “fixer-uppers,” distressed and imperfect, yet we’re serving the One who makes the broken beautiful. There are unspoken needs carried deep in the heart of each staff member and each Cove guest; and as we pray, we can trust the Holy Spirit to intercede on their behalf. The One who makes beauty from ashes is at work transforming lives at The Cove—this month, watch for signs of His creative touch!


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of July.

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

JULY CALL TO PRAYER

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — July 6

Darren Thomas — July 7-9
Jesus, Don’t You Care?

Woodrow Kroll — July 10-14
Intensive Bible Training— The Most Unique Person Who Ever Lived

Tim Lundy — July 14-16
Pray Like Jesus

An Evening at The Cove with Michael Card — July 16

Michael Card — July 17-21
Intensive Bible Training — Luke: The Gospel of Amazement

Lisa Harper — July 21-23
Women’s Seminar — The Sacrament of Happy

 Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — July 24-27

Alex McFarland — July 28-30
Apologetics and the Gospel Message: A Study of Colossians

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COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 26th

This week’s verse is brought to you by Abby, a Safety Associate here at The Cove. Her verse is Psalm 37:5.

Commit your way to the Lordtrust in Him, and He will act.

Abby_Safety Associate


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of 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.

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Saturday Snapshot: Intensive Bible Study with Mark Yarbrough

This week kicked off the first of five Intensive Bible Training seminars, in which participants take an in-depth approach to understanding a specific topic or section of the Bible.  These 5-day seminars, take place every summer and feature seminary-level instructors.

This week Mark Yarbrough, from Dallas Theological Seminary, walked our guests through Galatians in a seminar titled Reveling in Grace: The Gospel of Freedom.

Here are a few shots of what went on in his seminar:

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Mark Yarbrough answering tough questions from the crowd…

yarbrough teachingParticipants taking notes and listening carefully to the teaching.

yarbrough notes

39 pages of notes for the week! These fill-in-the-blank pages are especially helpful…

Mark Yarbrough teaching at The Cove June 2017 notes sm

Taking those kinds of notes, can work up an appetite!

lunch

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

If you’d like to register for one of the remaining 5-day Intensive Bible Training seminars, click here.


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Ruth’s Prayer Garden—1 Year Anniversary

“Prayer is our umbilical cord to our Heavenly Father.  This is going to be a place of spiritual life and vitality.” 

Will Graham spoke these words on June 1, 2016, one year ago at the Ruth’s Prayer Garden dedication.  

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Will Graham addressing those attending the Ruth’s Prayer Garden dedication.

The 1.5 acre garden featuring more than 150 plant varieties is located adjacent to Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitor’s Center, and was named in honor of Ruth Bell Graham.

The Garden offers a peaceful place for prayer and meditation amid the natural beauty and serenity of The Cove.

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 sign sm

Since the Garden dedication one year ago, nearly 20,000 people have visited.

Many enjoy a stroll along the pathways to take in the beauty and see what’s in bloom, while others appreciate sitting on one of several benches and directing their hearts to the Lord in prayer.

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 pathway sm

Each season will provide new color, texture and fragrance throughout the garden.

Let’s take a look at what’s in bloom this month:

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 sm

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 white flowers sm

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 delicate pink flowers sm

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 prayer hydrangea with chapel in background sm

IMG_2992_webThis marker (1 of over 300 throughout The Cove property) beckons the passerby to slow down and locate the nearby prayer pillar.

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 prayer pillar marker sm

The Scripture referenced on the prayer pillar reminds us of Jesus going to the mountain to pray:

Ruths Prayer Garden June 2017 prayer pillar sm

We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Be sure and leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here, too.  Both tours are free.  Get directions and operating hours.

You can also browse the schedule of seminars, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

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KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — Genesis 22:13 & 14

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 :  Genesis 22:13 & 14

“Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.

Abraham called the name of that place, The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.””

Step 1

THE FACTS:  

Abraham looked and behind him, a ram was caught in the thicket  and Abraham went and offered him up in place of his son.  Abraham called the place, “The LORD Will Provide”.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

I just returned from Israel two weeks ago and am still processing all that I saw.  There is so much, that I’m having a hard time soaking it all in.  I wish I could process in the present, but that is not how my brain works.

Allow me to take you to the Mount of Olives…

View from Mount of Olives from KG 2017 Trip smAt the top of the Mount of Olives you are on the east side of Jerusalem and look across the Kidron Valley, past the walls of the great Old City of Jerusalem and to the place called the Temple Mount.  The top of the mountain we are looking at, is Mount Moriah.  Mount Moriah is the place where Abraham walked long ago with his son Isaac, who was bearing the weight of the wood for the sacrifice on his back as they maneuvered, together, up the mountain.  On the top of that mountain, Abraham is willing to offer his son to God, trusting that God would either raise Isaac from the dead, or stop the process completely.  Isaac was the son of promise to Abraham; the son that he had waited 100 years to have.

The wood was laid on the altar, then atop the wood, Isaac was placed.  God stopped Abraham from harming his son in that moment by providing a ram in the thicket.  Abraham trusted God completely with his most dear possession – his only son from his wife Sarah.  Everything God had promised Abraham was wrapped up in Isaac, but Abraham trusted the Who that did the promising, over the what of the promise.  This is huge.  We tend to have faith for the what… and overlook, or yell at, or are disappointed in the Who.  We were created to trust and walk with the Who of the promises, not the promises themselves.

As you look at Mount Moriah from the Mount of Olives, I noticed something that took me by surprise.  As I scan across…. from left to right…. on the far right I saw this place, on the exact same range as the temple mount, the top of Mount Moriah …. and what I see is a place called Calvary.  The place of the skull, the place where the Bible says Jesus, God’s one and only Son, bore the wood for the sacrifice on His back (John 19:17), yet there were no angels sent to stop the process.  Here, on the same mountain, so many years later, there was no ram caught in the thicket that dark day.  Yet on that day, instead of a ram, we hear in our hearts the words of John 1:29, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  “God who spared not His own Son…” Romans 8:32.  Abraham was supplied a ram, which was insufficient until the Lamb.  Jesus was led as a lamb for slaughter and bound as a sheep before her shearers (Isaiah 53).  The Lamb was led bound from the Garden of Gethesemene on the Mount of Olives, over the valley of Kidron, through the east gate – up, up, up the ancient steps which led to the top of that famous mount of sacrifice.  Jesus was tried by 3 Jewish audiences, and 3 Gentile audiences, found to be perfect without blemish, thus pronounced worthy to be slain as the perfect sacrifice of God.  God knowing we were not created to bear such a burden, so He bore it Himself, pouring all His wrath out upon Himself.  Jesus, Redeemer of Israel and the world.

Isaac saved from slaughter, and Jesus offered as that lamb to slaughter in his stead, my stead and your stead, all on the exact same mountain range.

Oh the deep deep love of Jesus.  I do not believe I will ever be able to process all this in it’s entirety.  How appropriate that Abraham called that place, “The LORD will provide.”  Yahweh, the LORD GOD, WILL provide….[ future… will]…. and He did.  God may have provided Abraham with a ram that day, but He provided all of us with the Lamb years later.  Praise God! He has provided indeed!

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

What makes me question God’s provision for me?  When have I been more focused on the “what” of the provision than the Who is providing?

LIVE IT OUT:  

Today, Lord, help me to go through the day in awestruck thanks for the provision You have granted to me.  Show me how to walk more closely with my Jehovah Jirah.  Oh that You would be more personal to me.


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

COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 19th

This week’s verse is brought to you by Michael, senior pastor from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA.  His verse is 2 Corinthians 4:5.

For we preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bondservant

Michael_Catt_Pastor_Sherwood_Baptist_Albany_GA


Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Click here for a schedule of 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.

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Saturday Snapshot – Behind the Scenes with Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Volunteer Retreat

SP Blog Header

As you may know, many groups use The Cove as a place to hold their own conference or retreat.  Last weekend, Samaritan’s Purse booked the entire property for their annual Disaster Relief Volunteer Retreat.  The event brings together volunteers from all over the country for training and rest.  Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Volunteers respond to all major natural disasters and begin the necessary clean up and rebuilding as soon as they arrive on the scene.

Included in the weekend were workshops including:
“Equipped for the Gospel,” “Fostering a Passion for Ministry,” and “Intercession – Helping by Prayer”.

They also held a ministry fair in which volunteers could have their questions answered on CDL drivers’ requirements, Rapid Response Chaplain program, HR and other general information.

And it wouldn’t be a retreat without these hard-working individuals taking time for rest and renewal.  The Cove had them covered in that area!

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the weekend.

registration table staff
These ladies are manning the registration table to ensure everyone gets everything they need.
registration table stuff
These are a few of the materials that are given to each guest of the retreat.
Q&A
Q&A time facilitated by Josh Holland.
Info Table
Samaritan’s Purse is a multi-faceted organization, and this table provided information about many of the different areas they encompass.
guests 1
Guests enjoy refreshments and God’s creation on the back deck of the Training Center.
Rebuilding Staff Meeting
Rebuilding Staff Meeting.
guests
Guests discuss their last session.
greenroom
The Green Room is ready for the Tommy Coomes Band.
Merch Store
Just a couple of pieces of merchandise sold in the Samaritan’s Purse Store set up on the first floor of the Training Center.

On Saturday there were hands-on activities demonstrating construction basics and chainsaw safety. Several of the guests were able to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty by learning new skills and brushing up on old ones.

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SP Collage

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Guests heard from several inspiring speakers…

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Richard Blackaby sharing with the volunteers.
AnneGLotz
Anne Graham Lotz addressing the volunteers.
Speakers
Kenneth Bevel from Sherwood Baptist Church speaking to volunteers.
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Global Medical Mission Hall of Famer, Dame Aileen Coleman, encouraged volunteers.

Click here to learn more about Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief.


 

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

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

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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove