Recipe from The Cove’s Kitchen: Lentil & Beef Chowder

Delicioso!  We served this chowder the other day at our Women’s Bible study luncheon, here at The Cove, and had an ENORMOUS amount of requests for the recipe.  We hope you will enjoy this as much as we did!  

Lentil & Beef Chowder
Yield:  4 Quarts ● Portion Size: 8 oz. ● Serves: 16

1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
½ cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onions
½ cup diced celery
2 Tbsp. diced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
8 cups chicken stock
8 cups beef stock
12 oz. lentils
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
¾ teaspoon black pepper
¼ lb. butter (1 stick)
1 cup flour

1. Brown the beef. 
2. Add butter to the beef and melt, then add flour and stir for 20 seconds. 
3. Add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the “roux”. 
4. Stir in the beef and chicken stocks.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir often.  
5. Add red bell pepper, lentils, mushrooms, black pepper, and thyme. 
6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.  Stir often. 
7. Serve with sour cream and chopped herbs. 
8. Relax and ENJOY!

Don’t miss when we post other recipes here!  Make sure to subscribe to our blog near the top right hand side of this page. 

Want to taste the food at The Cove for yourself?  Come see us!
Visit our website,, to see a list of events.

Unparalleled Service, Majestic Beauty

 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

Need a location for your next group retreat? At The Cove, you will discover an experience far beyond that of typical conference centers. Our year-round facility rests on 1,200 acres in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Amid rich natural forest, woodland streams and abundant wildlife, you will find stillness and seclusion within our gated, all-inclusive retreat.  Our well-equipped meeting, dining and lodging facilities, combined with scenic views and unparalleled service, provide a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere.  The Cove can accommodate small groups, such as board meetings and church staff retreats, as well as large groups up to 450 guests. If you choose The Cove, we know you’ll leave refreshed and ready for what God has in store.

But, don’t take our word for it. Listen here to what others are saying  about their group experiences at The Cove:

“Every aspect of our encounter with The Cove was done with Excellence.  I thought to myself, ‘Lord, this facility and people must please you and reflect a touch of what you intended for man in the beginning.  The grounds are well landscaped and maintained, the beauty of the mountains, the hiking trails, the architecture of the buildings, excellent food and rich fellowship, and so on.’”  — Guest from a large Christian Organization

“I cannot say enough about The Cove.  The ladies thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  The atmosphere was heavenly and the fellowship was second to none.  What a glorious time we had.  I’ll tell anyone before you go to heaven you have got to stop by The Cove.  A special thanks to your staff they were so accommodating.” – Guest from a large Church in Jacksonville, FL


For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-800-950-2092, visit our website at or email us at

Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastor at The Cove

Pastor Jim Cymbala

Brooklyn Tabernacle’s Pastor, Jim Cymbala, knows a thing or two about “Ministering Christ to Others,” the title of his upcoming seminar at The Cove in Asheville, NC, March 28-30.

God called Jim and his wife Carol, to a small church in Brooklyn, NY, in the 1970s. It was in this struggling inner-city church where the Cymbalas realized God’s love could meet the most desperate of human needs. Pastor Cymbala now oversees Brooklyn Tabernacle’s thriving congregation of several thousand people, through which several other churches and missionary stations around the world have blossomed.

At his seminar at The Cove, Pastor Cymbala will speak to the great need of ministry in the world today that’s anointed by the Holy Spirit, centered on God’s Word, and filled with love. Participants will discover how the Holy Spirit, the Word, and God’s people as loving vessels are the solutions for the challenges facing the church.

Will Graham, grandson to Billy Graham and Assistant Director at The Cove, will lead the closing session. For more information or to register for this event online, click here or call 1-800-950-2092. If you come, you’ll take home fresh inspiration to share Christ with others while acknowledging your dependence on Him.

GUEST POST: A Ministry of Presence

By Jack Munday, Director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team

Dealing with tragedy often leaves people feeling overwhelmed and helpless. What do you say to a loved one who found out that she has cancer? Or to a friend who just lost his parents in a tragic accident? As you wrestle with the realities of life and death, what can you do to bring the smallest amount of comfort into an unbearable situation?

Many, if not all, of you reading this are going through a life-changing hardship, or know someone who is. When the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, a nationwide network of chaplains trained in crisis-response, deploys into an area impacted by a man-made or natural disaster, we often find that up to 70 percent of the people with whom we interact were already in the midst of a personal tragedy in their lives before the large-scale disaster struck.

When personal disasters occur, there are multiple needs that must be met. There are the obvious physical needs, such as financial assistance, medical care, rides to the hospital and pharmacy, and others. Beyond that, however, exist the emotional and spiritual needs that often receive less attention.

What do you do if a friend or loved one’s world just changed forever? Perhaps the most important thing to offer is what we call a “ministry of presence.” Simply being there for your friend can mean more to them than you may ever know. It seems that many of us have a built-in fear of getting too close to sorrow, so our first inclination is to run from the pain. We’ll say, “I’m praying for you,” as we run out the side door. We treat our friends, with whom we were laughing and shopping two weeks ago, like we want nothing to do with them.

Jack Munday
Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Director Jack Munday ministers with victims of all kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made.

The emotional toll of that, especially in addition to the physical circumstances of whatever they are going through, is enormously destructive. That’s why it is so important to be there for your friend. What should you say? Consider this: maybe you don’t need to say anything!  Many of you know the biblical story of Job, a wealthy man who lost nearly everything he had – his possessions, his family and his health. Three friends came to mourn with him, and the Bible tells us: “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:13, NIV) They didn’t have to say a word; they just sat with him as friends. In fact, everybody was a lot better off when the friends weren’t speaking!

Very few people who are going through a tragedy feel like listening to a sermon. What they do want is the chance to share their story and the concerns of their heart. Ask questions that give them that opportunity. We have found that asking “How are you holding up?” is a much better option than asking “How are you doing?” If you ask “How are you doing?” many will reply “fine,” even though we all know they aren’t. Or, in more extreme circumstances, they may angrily retort, “How do you think I’m doing!?” Asking “How are you holding up?” acknowledges that they are going through a hard time and opens the door for an honest answer.

I would also encourage you to not discard the spiritual as you minister to the emotional needs of your friend. As we travel through despair and trial, it’s important to know God is greater than our current pain and sorrow.

Two verses that offer a great amount of hope are Jeremiah 29:11, which reads, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (NIV) Also, Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) God is very much able to take the broken pieces of our lives and make something good out of them, though we may never know this side of Heaven what that is.

The cornerstone of the Christian faith is the wondrous truth that God, rather than remaining distant and aloof from our suffering, sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ into this world as a “Man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). After dying on the cross for our sins, Christ – through His resurrection from the grave – made it possible for us to have hope that endures for eternity.

Whether you are supporting someone who is dealing with tragedy, or if you yourself are the one walking through this valley, lean on God, not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5). And please remember that through it all, often the best thing you can do is simply be available to offer love, respect, support and encouragement … without ever saying a word!

If you are interested in learning more, The Cove is offering a leadership training seminar entitled “Sharing Hope in Crisis” on February 25. This program will equip you to give effective emotional and spiritual care to people experiencing tragedy and crisis. Designed for use in daily life and ministry, as well as community or regional catastrophic situations, it will introduce you to the work of RRT and is a requirement to be an RRT chaplain. Click here to learn more.

Jack Munday is the director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, a nationwide network of crisis-trained chaplains who are prepared to deploy into manmade and natural disasters to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of survivors. He is also a senior chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplains and a chaplain with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Jack lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife of more than 40 years, Bonnie.

Ladies, Join Us for Bible Study

Beginning next week, there are two weekly opportunities to participate in a free women’s Bible study at The Cove in Asheville, NC. On Tuesday mornings at 9:45 a.m., join Jane Derrick for a study through the book of Acts. On Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., Kendra Graham will guide participants in a Bible study on the life of Joshua.

If you are able to participant, we are sure you will sense God’s presence in the majestic setting of The Cove and during meaningful times of worship and Bible teaching. There will be small group opportunities to connect with new and old friends.

At the morning study each week(starting Jan. 10), an optional ($10) lunch will be available by reservation.  Reservations for lunch must be made by noon on the Friday prior to the Bible Study. Please note meal tickets are non-refundable.

For more information, or to register, call (800) 950-2092 or visit We hope to see you there!

A Fresh Start

Photo from Flickr by alkruse24.

With each New Year, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean…to get a fresh start. Most people take this opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions, which might include a new diet, starting an exercise program, spending more quality time with family, saving money or reaching a particular goal at work. Whatever the resolution, turning the calendar to “January 1” provides the added motivation we sometimes need to begin again.

There’s a great article from Anne Graham Lotz on on the topic of beginning again. In all of human history, few names are greater than that of Abraham. Yet his life was marked by failure. The reason we associate Abraham with faith and friendship with God is that when he failed, he didn’t quit. He began again.

If your goal in 2012 is beginning again in your relationship with God, we want to help. We have a number of resources on our website at You can also visit the “Spiritual Growth” section of

Or, if you prefer to just get some time away on your own, check out our Personal Spiritual Retreats. These are self-directed opportunities for an individual or a couple to refocus on growing their relationship with God in the beauty and peaceful quiet of The Cove in Asheville, NC.

For more information, please visit or contact our reservations department at (800) 950-2092. Special rates are available for those in full-time Christian ministry.

Whatever you do, we pray that for you, 2012 will be a year that you strive to know God better and help others know Him.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Free Marriage Seminar at The Cove for Active Duty Military

This is just a small way we can say thanks to our brave men and women in uniform. Active duty military personnel and their spouses are invited to a FREE Military Marriage Seminar Feb. 10-12. Participants will see the biblical perspective on marriage with application for the unique experiences of military life. Renowned Bible teacher Michael Easley will be the key speaker, but we’ll have other special guests including Captain Jim Kinney, retired after 26 years in the Navy; Sara Horn, founder of Wives of Faith; and Cindy Easley, nationally known marriage speaker.

Also note that you can come early for some extra time to relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of The Cove or stay over for An Evening at The Cove with Sara Groves and enjoy dinner and a concert—either way, it’s our treat, and another way of expressing our thanks.
*Please note: if both “Come Early” and “Stay Over” options are chosen, applicable charges will apply for one event.

Space is very limited, so if you or someone you know is interested, act quickly! You will need to complete a short application for the military scholarship and fax it to (828) 771-4808 or mail it to:

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove
Attention Military Awards Committee
P.O. Box 19223
Asheville, NC 28815

UPDATE: On-site lodging for this event is full, however our staff can assist you with nearby hotel accommodations at a discounted rate. Call us at (800) 950-2092 for more information.

Recipe from The Cove’s Kitchen: A side dish to share

Recipe from The Cove’s Kitchen: Pea Salad

You asked for it, you got it!  Pea salad is a favorite of many of our guests. Perhaps this dish will find a place at your table. If so, let us know how it turns out!

Yield: 1½ lb  ●  Portion Size: 4 oz  ●  Portions: 6


9 oz          green peas
½ Cup    dry roasted peanuts
6 oz          shredded cheddar cheese
¼ Cup     red onion minced
1 Cup       mayonnaise
2 Tbsn     heavy cream
2 Tbsn     buttermilk
4 Tbsn     cider vinegar
1 tsp         granulated sugar
To taste   Salt & Pepper


Blend to combine for dressing: 
Salt & Pepper

Toss to combine:

Mix the dressing with the other ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Serve and enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe.

Want to taste the food at The Cove for yourself?  Come see us!
Visit our website,, to see a list of events.

GUEST POST: What Does it Mean To Me?

By Kendra Graham

Have you ever walked out of church, away from Bible study, or gotten up from your quiet time and wondered, “So, what does that mean to me?”  I found myself asking this question time and time again. I loved the Lord, and I spent daily time in devotions, whether it was reading a passage of Scripture, doing a Bible study book on my own, or reading something like Our Daily Bread or Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. But, I still felt like something was missing.

Shortly after I was married to my husband Will, I was introduced to his Aunt Anne [Graham Lotz]. Anne had just come out with her first published video series, “Vision of His Glory,” a study on Revelation. I was intrigued.  Anne taught a method called the three questions: What does it say? What does it mean? and What does it mean to me?

It was that last question in the series that caught my attention, and deep inside my soul I screamed, “Yes! This is what I have been waiting for!”

Anne taught me how to study God’s Word without using every commentary aid on the market, and it made all the difference in the world!  My daily quiet times became the most anticipated part of my day! I was now able to open God’s Word, read it and listen for God to speak to me! God’s Word began to transform my life like never before. The hunger in my soul was being satisfied, yet at the same time I just wanted more and more. And, more there is, everyday…. just enough to get me through until the next time we meet in the stillness of my morning.

I have always respected God’s Word with the utmost respect, but now, God’s Word has become precious in the indescribable ways. Come to the upcoming Bible study on Joshua, allow me to teach you the treasure of these three questions, and hear God speak personally to you.

Click here to learn more or to register for the Bible study.

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove