COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 4th

This week’s verse is brought to you by Eric, Director of Operations here at The Cove. His verse is 1 Peter 3:15.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; but do it with gentleness and respect.”

Eric Wilkes_Director of Operations


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: September 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)
“It cost Christ and all of his followers sharp showers and hot sweats, [before they made it] to the top of the mountain; but still our soft nature would have heaven coming to our bedside while we are sleeping, and lying down with us so that we might go to heaven in warm clothes.”   —Samuel Rutherford

view from the overlook May 2017

OVERLOOK PRAYERS

In May of this year, we were pleased to welcome Chip Ingram and over 200 military service personnel and spouses for a Military Marriage Retreat at The Cove. Aside from Chip’s powerful Bible teaching and practical insights on marriage and family life, there was a fun and light-hearted “first” at this weekend retreat. On Saturday (the day before the retreat ended), participants were invited to compete in the “Race to the Top,” making a challenging 4-mile hike to the top of the Cove Overlook.

Awards were given to the winners in the male and female categories, and we enjoyed hearing stories and viewing social media posts from those who completed the race.

Another Military Marriage Retreat will be held this month (September 8-10). Rev. Tommy Nelson will teach on “The Art of Living Well in Marriage,” and the couples will again be invited to compete in another “Race to the Top.”

EVERYBODY WINS

There are two “official winners” in the strenuous event; yet the real reward for completing the race is given freely to everyone who makes it to the top of the precipice: a breathtaking view of God’s creative work. If you’ve ever made the trek to the Overlook, you know. The Cove’s lush, green canopy of trees stretches out below, while the towering white steeple of Chatlos Memorial Chapel points heavenward as a testimony to grace.  Above and beyond rise the misty blue, green and gray shades of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The panorama is definitely worth the hike!

Of those fearless warriors who accomplish the feat, many pause not only to catch their breath, but also to sit and pray, hearts quiet before their Creator, in awe of the majesty and beauty of His creation.

PERSEVERING IN PRAYER

It might seem easier to pray in a picturesque setting like the Overlook, gazing out over the world from a higher vantage point; yet the majority of our prayers are prayed at street-level, trying to escape the distractions of everyday life and the temptations of our daily struggle with self and sin. In our real-life “Race to the Top,” we may often feel we take one step forward and slide two steps back.

Even on the mountain-top, it may seem as if our problems, distractions and failures have followed us up the slope—or maybe even beaten us to the top—meeting us there with accusations of guilt. “What do you think you’re doing, kneeling atop this mountain? You’re in no condition to pray! Just take a look at this long list of sins you’ve committed and important tasks you’ve left undone. Why, if I unrolled the whole thing it would stretch all the way back down to the valley.”

So much for Overlook prayers. But before getting up from your knees and giving up—before you start down the path of prayerlessness, remember the hope-filled words of the psalmist David. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2, NKJV).

Not only does our salvation, our life and our very breath come from God, but our ability to pray is a gracious gift from Him as well. As Billy Graham once said, “God Himself is the power that makes prayer work.”

The location doesn’t matter—whether you’re voicing a prayer from the scenic vantage-point of the Overlook or seeking the Lord with your head leaning over a mop bucket, He’s ready to hear. Whether you’ve had a victorious week of seeing God at work and sensing His presence or a week of failures and straying from His will, He’s ready to forgive.  Because Christ’s blood cleanses our sin when we confess it (1 John 1:7) and His Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26), God stands ready to hear our prayer. Like the “Race to the Top” of the Cove Overlook, the journey to persevering prayer is worth the effort.

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, NKJV).

During the month of September, pray especially for the military couples who attend the retreat. Pray for healing of relationships, rest for war-weary hearts and minds, and victory over battles with sin and temptation.  We are honored to serve these couples who have sacrificed so much to preserve and defend our freedom. Now let’s be faithful to pray for them.

Run with patience the race that is set before you” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV).

—Donna Riesen


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

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

SEPTEMBER CALL TO PRAYER

Erwin Lutzer — September 5-7
The Mysteries of God: Drawing Near to the God We Love, Fear, and Struggle to Understand

An Evening at The Cove with Travis Cottrell — September 7
An evening of fellowship, delicious food and uplifting music!

Tommy Nelson — September 8-10
Military Marriage Retreat — The Art of Living Well in Marriage

Chip Ingram — September 15-17
The Real God: How He Longs for You to See Him

SeniorCelebration: James Merritt with Sisters — September 18-20
Out of Options? Relying on God in Desperate Times

Please join our brothers and sisters in Texas in prayer today.  Sunday, Sept. 3, has been proclaimed a Day of Prayer in Texas by Governor Abbott. 

Saturday Snapshot — Songstress in the Chapel

Roxi visited us this week all the way from Bucharest, Romania. Enjoy as she sings, “There is None Like You,” in her native tongue.

So beautiful!  Please pray for Roxy and her husband as they share the love of Jesus through their church plant in Romania.

Video filmed in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel prayer room.


Are you a Christian church or nonprofit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event? Get more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Find a schedule of seminars, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media.
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5 Practical Steps to Encourage You in Prayer

Prayer is a vital part of every Christian’s life. Not only is prayer a command, duty and a privilege; it is a direct line of communication with Almighty God.

Prayer is a vital part of every Christian’s life. Not only is prayer a command, duty and a privilege; it is a direct line of communication with Almighty God.

We hope you’ll find these practical prayer suggestions, based on Billy Graham’s teaching, helpful in your prayer life.

1.  Desire the Will of God

Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done.” The key is not the words, but your attitude. Seek God’s will and God’s best for whatever you are praying about. He may respond in unexpected ways that please Him and will delight you. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

2.  Search Your Heart

God may not respond when you allow sin to remain in your life. If that’s the case, don’t stop praying. Rather, confess your sins or wrong motives to God. He already knows your heart. God has promised always to respond to that prayer (see 1 John 1:9). “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18).

3.  Pray in Faith

Express your requests freely to God in childlike faith. As a child who trusts a wise and loving parent, ask in complete faith that He is able to do whatever you ask and that He will know what is best.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18).

4.  Pray Every Day

God wants to hear from your regularly. He wants a relationship. Take time to talk to God daily and throughout the day, not just when you face a crisis and not only with a list of wants and needs. “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

5.  Pray for God’s Glory

Pray for things to happen in such a way as to provide God with the credit and to give God the glory. He is powerful, magnificent and majestic. And He is still our closest, most intimate Friend. Praise Him and ask for things that matter to Him. “To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen” (Romans 16:27).

From My Daily Prayer Journal With Insights By Billy Graham
(Now called Rooted in Prayer: A Personal Prayer Journal With Insights by Billy Graham)


Are you a Christian church or nonprofit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event? Get more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Find a schedule of seminars, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center and Ruth’s Prayer Garden. Tours are free.

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Cove Bible Verse For The Week of August 28

This week’s verse is brought to you by Elizabeth from the Johnson City, TN area.  She recently attended An Evening at The Cove with The Collingsworth Family and the Will Graham seminar.   Her verse is Jeremiah 29: 12-13.

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find Me.“ Jeremiah 29: 12-13


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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Saturday Snapshot — God and His Eclipse Gift To Us

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 ESV

It seems almost everyone has an eclipse story to share.  Whether you were in the path of totality or somewhere outside it, it was an epic event.

While the eclipse was visible across all of North America, it passed directly through 14 states, allowing people to witness 100% totality — said by many, to be a life-changing experience.

Unless clouds obscured your view, anyone in North America should have been able to view at least a partial eclipse this past Monday.

While Monday was a work day for many, staff and guests at The Cove, here in Asheville, NC, took a few minutes to experience the 99% eclipse.

Here’s a peak at some of us enjoying the heavens declaring the glory of God.

These are some of the ladies you talk to on the phone when you register for an event at The Cove…

Reservations team

Ruth’s Attic Bookstore manager got into the action! #TheGreatAmericanSolarEclipse

Aimee eclipse

A couple of our fine housekeeping ladies were looking pretty cool in their eclipse shades…

Tina Bishop housekeeping eclipse

These three help to make your experience at  the Training Center smooth and enjoyable.

Rita Autumn and Lou eclipse

The Training Center deck was a lovely viewing spot…

eclipse viewing on the TC deck

Program and Property Services staff enjoying the view…

Program and Property viewing eclipse

Light rays shining through tiny gaps in tree leaves created a beautiful effect on the Training Center deck floor…

eclipse crescent shadows at The cove

Angel wings?

Angel Wings shadows

We’d love to hear your eclipse story!  Tell us where you live, what percentage of the eclipse you viewed, and what the experience for you was like.  Comment below.


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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Recipe From The Cove Kitchen: Oysters Rockefeller

Recipes from The Cove kitchen logoOysters Rockafeller

Cove Executive Chef, Douglas Walls, is serving up a delicious and fresh seafood recipe that many guests are claiming as their new favorite. Chef Walls loves to add his own twist to traditional recipes, and he doesn’t disappoint with his non-traditional version of Oysters Rockefeller, known around here as “Oysters Dougiefeller”!

Oysters Dougiefeller

INGREDIENTS
6 shucked oysters
1 lb. spinach leaves
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup hot sauce (Chef uses Frank’s Hot Sauce)
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup shallot, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil
Sriracha sauce

DIRECTIONS
Pour olive oil in saute pan and when hot, add garlic, sautéing for one minute. Add shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the hot sauce, lemon juice and spinach greens and sauté until spinach is wilted.

Add panko bread crumbs, turn off heat, and season with salt and pepper.  Put the topping mix in the refrigerator to cool.  Once cool, place a good amount on each oyster.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Drizzle Sriracha sauce on top and serve on a bed of sea salt.

Print this recipe.

Get more recipes from The Cove kitchen. 

Enjoy delicious recipes like this on your next stay at The Cove. See a full list of upcoming events at The Cove, or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Hebrews 12:1-2

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 :  Hebrews 12:1-2

“Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which easily entangles us, and let us RUN with endurance the race that is set before us, (2) fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

THE FACTS:  

Since we have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, lay aside every encumbrance and sin and let us RUN with endurance the race set before us. Fixing OUR eyes on Jesus, author and perfecter who endured the cross.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:   

“You are the WORST runner I have ever seen!”  “But coach, it’s BLISTERING hot out here, the humidity is unbearable! Look…I come from a climate with a “dry heat”.  I just can’t run anymore in these conditions.”  This was the discussion that I was having with my college soccer coach, my senior year, during the 2nd day of preseason.  I was supposed to be the captain of the team, but I was running sprints–keeping in mind we were on number 5 and knowing we had to run about 95 more–I had to pace myself.  My coach responded to that with, “You run with reserve in your tank, and I need players willing to give me all they have every time.” #ouch

Now, dear reader, come to Rome with me–to the Vatican…

Vatican in Roman Times
The “circus” at the Vatican.

I’m going to be honest with you, I was ignorant on the history behind where the Vatican stands.  The area of the Vatican was known during the Roman Empire period as Ager Vaticanus.  It was a marshy piece of land where villas were built and the Emperor Caligula had beautiful gardens built for his mother.  The Emperor Nero added to it and built an impressive “circus” in the midst of the gardens.  What is Nero’s Circus you ask?  Well, it was a horse track, of sorts.  There was an arena built around a track for charioteers with horses.  In the middle of the track, there would have been a narrow strip of land, an isthmus of sort, that would have been adorned with obelisks or statues of the gods.  The obelisk in Neros Circus was one single piece of red granite weighing more that 350 tons! There were tunnels on either end of the stadium for the horses and athletes to come out, and there were seats for the onlookers.  There would have also been a section of “box seating” for the Emperor.

When the charioteers would come out, they would come to the box where the emperor sat and would pay homage to him, showing the crowd that they train and run for the emperor.  The crowd would cheer and chant the praises of the emperor, declaring his deity.  Often the emperor would address the crowd, being adorned in a sash of the god Apollos or Zeus, showing the crowd that he was a direct descendant from the gods,and that he had the authority as the son of the gods.  Can you see this imagery?

Vatican with 12 disciples on top
The Vatican, in all it’s glory. Do you see the statues of the 12 disciples at the top? They are life-size.
Kendra in front of the Vatican
Here I am in front of the Vatican!

With the emperor watching, these charioteers dressed in white robes, would have driven their horses in such a way as to win the race.  There would be nothing left in their tank, lest they be seen as a disgrace.  The point of these games were to declare to the world that Cesar is god.  This circus, Nero’s Circus is historically where the disciple of Jesus, Peter, was crucified upside down.  Peter was crucified at Ager Vaticanus.  I did not know this.

Peter
Statue of Peter.

Understanding what Nero’s Circus is, has given Hebrews 12:1-2 a deeper meaning.  We have been chosen by God to walk out of that tunnel for Him! Our run in this life, declares to the world–not that Cesar is God, but that Jesus is God!  The writer of Hebrews is using arena language here!  A language that the people of the time would have understood. This walk with Jesus, is an Olympic event.  Our walk, our RUN, declares that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.  This idea of discipleship is not just something on our Sunday schedule! It’s a BIG DEAL! So RUN!  Run #propelled2purpose.  RUN!

Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, we do not have the luxury of just walking it out, or running with reserve left in our tank.   RUN with perseverance the race set before us.  Each of us runs a different race, at a different pace, but for the same King.  The way we live and the way we run matters to a world that is looking on!  It will take perseverance!  Will it be hard?  Yes.  Will you have more excuses than you can count to bail out and quit?  Yes.  Is it worth it to stay in the race and finish well?  ABSOLUTELY!

RUN this life, your life, with purpose, where you are.  Press in, not out.  I Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you know that ALL the runners run, but only ONE gets the prize?” SO RUN like you are going to win it.  Your run…my run in front of our cloud of witnesses shows the world that JESUS is KING! SO RUN!

It was intentional that that particular Sunday school teacher poured into you, that pastor who taught you, that grandparent that finished well, and that mentor who lived Jesus to the end…. to show you how to RUN.  I Corinthians 1:11, “Follow my example as I follow Christ.”

 My cloud of witnesses include many people along the way who have shown me what it looks like to run their race for the True King.  These cloud of witnesses who have gone before showed me how to live Jesus to the cloud of witnesses in my race who sit and stand watching what I will do. I think of my middle school soccer team, my co-workers, my patients and my own children.  My cloud of witnesses who taught me are different from yours, and the crowd of witnesses watching me are different as well.  Our races are different, but our finish line is the same. 

SO, my DEAR READER…. RUN!!!!!  Run today as if it is your last.  How devastated would I be if Jesus said to me at the end of my race the same thing my coach said so long ago… “You run with reserve in your tank.” 

STOP holding back!  Peter did not hold back.  In front of his great cloud of witnesses, Peter, who began the summer needing to be restored because of the denials that were in his past, the guilt and shame that could have ended his race all together, ends well… here… at Nero’s Circus.  Caligula and Nero both thought they had built things that would forever stand to prove their deity, however today, centuries later, not many remember or have any idea whatsoever that those prestigious charioteers once raced for the pride of the deified emperor at the Anger Vaticanus.

Today, at the Vatican, most know that beneath the marble floors of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel lies a foundation where so many Christians finished their race, “ad mairoem Dei gloriam,” meaning: to the glory of God.  A foundation for the church that has lasted through the centuries.  “Upon this ROCK (Peter) I will build my church… Mathew 16:18.  Think about that… don’t be so quick to move on.  Think about what the Vatican is today.  There is not a shred of emperor worship left at “Nero’s Circus”, but the testimony of Peter still stands with strength to the glory of God.

So let’s RUN today and not hold back regardless of the heat and humidity as we FIX our eyes on Jesus. RUN.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  

Who are the witnesses in my life? Name the cloud of witnesses that have poured into you… both living and deceased. What are the names of those watching your race who need to see you live out the fact that your life has purpose given from the hand of the King of kings?

How are you running?  Would others describe you as one who runs each day with reserve in your tank or abandoned unto God?

LIVE IT OUT:  

TODAY… strengthen my feeble knees, aching feet, and hurting hips to RUN in such a way to bring joy to my Savior.  FIX my eyes on Jesus…. fix my eyes on my current race, not the race I wish I had or want to have, but the actual race before 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 AUGUST 21

This week’s verse is brought to you by Keith, the operations coordinator here at The Cove. His verse is Psalm 62:1-2.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be greatly shaken.

Keith_Operations_Coordinator


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.

Follow us on social media.
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Saturday Snapshot — Will Graham Teaches From The Book of 1 Samuel

Will Graham taught on 1 Samuel this past weekend, at The Cove.  From the disobedience of Saul, resulting in the loss of his position as king, to the anointing of David, a young shepherd boy, to the famous story of David and Goliath, Will taught how God’s Word shows us how to abide in HIS presence, grow in courage to obey HIM, and experience a life of adventure.

Here are a few snapshots from the weekend…

Always begin with prayer…
This is what happens in the green room before a seminar or concert.  Will, his worship team and emcee asking the Lord to speak.

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

Worship with Mark Christian (far right), Gina Kingsmore, Richie Kingsmore (at the piano), and Kameron Myers on the violin.

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

While Will serves as Executive Director at The Cove, he has also been called to teach God’s Word and share the Gospel around the world.

BGEA SHOOT #17097 - Cove 2017

Will and Kendra Graham greeting seminar participants.

BGEA SHOOT #17097 - Cove 2017

After the seminar, worship leader, Mark Christian had some fun with his drone and captured a birds-eye-view of both the Training Center and the Chapel.

drone shot from Mark Christian at Wil Graham seminar in 2017

drone shot of chapel from Mark Christian at Wil Graham seminar in 2017

SAVE THE DATE:

If you’d like to attend Will’s seminar next year,  he will be teaching August 10 -12, 2018.  You can register for 2018 seminars beginning next month (September 2017).


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.

Follow us on social media.
click map

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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove