Tag Archives: Bible Teaching

What’s Happening at The Cove – October

Whats Coming_October

Autumn is just around the corner and Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful sites to behold during the “leaf” season.  We hope you will come enjoy God’s colorful display and His sweet presence here at The Cove.

Check out our schedule for the month of October below.  Click one that interests you for more details and to register.

Come and Join Us!

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Click on the links below for October dates or call 1-800-950-2092. 

October Personal Spiritual Retreats

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat
 with John Parrish, October 29-31, 2014

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Click on each of the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Name Above All Names
 with Alistair Begg, October 6-8, 2014

Prescription for Renewal – A retreat for Medical Professionals Only.
with Erwin Lutzer, October 10-12, 2014

An Evening at The Cove – Dinner, Concert & Meet and Greet
with NewSong, October 12, 2014

SeniorSalt Impact Concert
 with The Burchfield Brothers, October 13, 2014

Pastors’ Institute: Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church (Free for Pastors & Spouses)
 with Randy Pope, October 16, 2014

Our Future Hope: Thinking and Living Now in Light of Eternity
 with Randy Alcorn, October 22-24, 2014

Connecting the Dots in Our Lives: Seeing God at Work in Our Problems, Suffering and Pain
 with Mike MacIntosh, October 24-26, 2014

Ministry Workers’ Retreat: A Time of Refreshing
 with Anne Graham Lotz, October 31-November 2, 2014

TC arial fall

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove- Aerial Shot of Fall.

 

Kendra’s Bible Study… Nehemiah 5:2-5

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 5:2-5

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 2: “We, sons and daughters and many, let us get grain to eat and live.

Verse 3: “We are mortgaging our fields, vineyards, houses, to to get grain because of the famine.

Verse 4: “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.

Verse 5: “Our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. We are forcing our sons/ daughters to be slaves. We are helpless, our fields and vineyards belong to others.

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 2:  I love that Nehemiah does not leave out the tough stuff.  The book of Nehemiah is so much deeper than just building a wall.  God cares so much more about us than just getting stuff done…. everything is personal, and God works in personal ways throughout the process.  God is working here on the hearts of His people toward one another.  To do the wall project, people had to work, and work hard, all day, and keep watch at night…. so who was maintaining the fields? For awhile, the fields would need to wait, there was a famine anyway, so the fields were not lush and productive…. this meant, there were hungry people.  Were they hungry because they were lazy? No.  There was a famine and a wall to build.  At times like this, is when you come together and help one another get through.  The problem was…. there was no “helping” one another.  There were needy, hungry people working on the wall, trying to do what they could to survive.

Verse 3-5:  Since the fields were not producing, and the work on the wall needed to get done, the people were mortgaging their fields just to try to stay afloat, because regardless of food production the people would be taxed on the land and the food they should have grown. In order to pay the debt, the people had no other choice but to send their children into slavery to pay the debt that is owed.  paying off debt and being good stewards of our money God has entrusted is one thing, but in this case, the land owners (their own people) were exacting the money and placing impossible taxes on things, knowing there was a famine, and knowing about the wall project, and doing this to their own people.  The wealthy within the walls of Jerusalem were looking at the situation with greed in their heart, seeing there was money to be made in the crisis, who cares that they will be required to destroy their own people and friends, it was an opportunity for them to make money. (verse 11)  The people have worked so hard, and come so far, and beat off enemy attacks yet prevailed against it all, yet here, among themselves, without one “shot” fired from an enemy, there is potential for the whole thing to come tumbling down from within.  Is this not the story of so many churches and ministries out there?  We destroy ourselves, no need for an enemy at all.  Jesus tells us:

John 13:35, “By THIS everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you LOVE one another.” Ephesians 4:3 “Make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace.”

Unity takes effort.  Do not take advantage of your brother or sisters poor state, instead, fight for them.

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 2: At work, at school, at church, there are people I interact with every day that are needy, how has God enabled me to bless their lives? (Not forgetting the needy ones may be the little hands and feet you tuck into bed each night…. we get so busy sometimes we overlook those under our nose).

Verse 3-5:  Do I take advantage of people or invest in people?  Do I try to exact things from people because they are a Christian? (This is a Christian dentist, mechanic, doctor… so he should give me this or that for free or at a discounted price?…. this is taking advantage)  Am I quick to turn my back on someone if it is to my advantage? How am I working to keep unity in my home, school, job, church?

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, give me the eyes to see the need and the heart to love Your people in the unity of the Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this verse?  Please leave your remarks in the comments section below.

Homework: Nehemiah 5:6-9

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

Join Will Graham As He Teaches on the Book of 1 Samuel

1samuel

By Will Graham 

Epic battles, the prophesied deaths of an entire family, the earthly embodiment of the holiness and presence of God carried away by captors, a nation judged by the Lord – Nobody can say that 1 Samuel 4 lacks action and drama!

Last year at The Cove, I hosted a seminar in which we began the process of working through the entire book of 1 Samuel, verse by verse. We progressed through the first three chapters of 1 Samuel, and things were looking pretty good for Israel. Samuel was being used by God in incredible ways as the Word of the Lord went across the entire nation. We’re told that God did not let a single word of Samuel’s “hit the ground.” In other words, everything Samuel said on behalf of God was impactful and came to be because he only spoke when and what God told him to speak.

Now, when things are going really well, doesn’t it always feel like something negative must be lurking around the corner? You’re on the peak of the mountain, but you’re still surrounded by valleys of darkness. When we return to 1 Samuel for my seminar in August of this year, that’s where we’ll find Israel. Things are turning bad.

You see, God had already spoken against the priest Eli and his family in chapter three, saying He would do something so amazing it would make “ears tingle” in judgment of the sin in the house of Eli, particularly with his two sons.

That fateful day of judgment came in chapter four as the Israelite army went out to battle the Philistines. The battle raged, the Israelites were defeated and lost 4,000 men.

While the soldiers of Israel were tending their wounds and trying to figure out why they suffered such great losses, they had an idea. They would send for the Ark of the Covenant. It was almost like they were treating the presence of God as a magic box that would guarantee military success.

So Eli’s sons took the Ark of the Covenant from the temple into the battlefield, and – in fact – the mere presence of the Ark and the thunderous roar it drew from the Israeli camp did initially intimidate the Philistines. However, they readied themselves for battle.

When the fighting was over, 30,000 soldiers from Israel, as well as Eli’s two sons, were dead. Worse, the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines. It was a dark, dark day for Israel as the judgment of God fell upon it.

We’re told that Eli was anxiously waiting for word about the Ark; not about his sons, but about the Ark of the Covenant. A weary survivor ran back to Eli and told him his sons were dead and the Ark was captured. When he heard this, Eli – who we’re told was old and heavy – fell out of his chair, broke his neck and died.

His pregnant daughter-in-law, upon hearing that Eli and her husband had died, went into labor and gave birth to a son. The life began to slip from her as well due to complications from the birth, but with her last breath she named her son Ichabod, saying “The glory of God has departed from Israel.”

I know, this is some pretty heavy stuff, but have you ever noticed that we learn more about the love and hope of God as we go through hardship? I believe that will be the case with the lessons we’ll draw from the next few chapters of 1 Samuel.

We’ll look at parenting, for instance. Eli had two sons who were lost in sin, but he didn’t do anything to discipline them and bring them back to God. He’d speak against his sons, but he didn’t deter them. In some ways, he had become as bad as them. He had his choice of meat in the temple and had become spiritually lazy. We’ll look at being a good example for your children and grandchildren.

We’ll also look at the idea of Ichabod. What’s Ichabod in your life? In what ways does it feel like God has departed from you, and how can you get the glory of the Lord back in your life as it was in Israel before God’s judgment on the nation and the family of Eli.

And, of course, we’ll look at the holiness of God. You see, God’s judgment is real, and His holiness is not a joke. When idols were placed in front of the Ark of the Covenant, they fell and physically broke. When people touched the Ark, they died. In fact, the Philistines couldn’t even keep the Ark of the Covenant – their great trophy from battle – because God inflicted their people with tumors just for being near it and possessing it.

There is power in the holiness of God, and this seminar will be an opportunity to hear the Word of the Lord, allow it to work in your life, let it take root and turn you back to Him. We’ll see that God’s love for us compels Him to chase us, even through our own wickedness.

And, spoiler alert, by the time we get to the end of the seminar, the Ark will be back in Israel…

God bless you, my friends –I hope to see you in August!

Click here to register for Will’s seminar at The Cove August 15-17, 2014.

Watch here as Will shares his excitement on teaching from 1 Samuel. 

Kendra’s Bible Study…Nehemiah 4:13-15

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 4:13-15 

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.

13:  I stationed men in the lowest parts, exposed places, in families with their swords, spears, and bows. 

14:  When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, officials and people: Do not be afraid of them, remember the Lord who is great and awesome; fight for your brothers, sons, daughters, wives and houses. 

15: When our enemies heard God had frustrated their plan, all of us returned to the wall, to his work. 

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? 

13:  Do not panic, don’t run, be courageous.  Be on guard. Don’t live in denial, know where the weakness lies and fortify!  Nehemiah’s people will not go out looking for a fight, but the people of God will be ready to make a stand if need be. STAND. 

14:  It is important to remember who we serve.  He that is in us (me!) is greater than he that is in the world…. easy to say, hard to believe.  It is important to remember what is at stake as well (our families’ present and future generations).  The STAND you make and the STAND I make TODAY matters! Courage now. 

15:  Often times when the enemy sees it will not be an easy victory, and we will just not hand over the keys to the city and rights to our lives, the enemy will back down and we can get back to work. 

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?

13:  Where has God placed me to make a stand?  What places in my life, in my church, in my family, on the job, need to be fortified?  Do I tend to respond in panic when attacks are imminent or do face them in the power and strength of God’s Word and promises?   

14:  Have I sidelined myself not thinking that what I may or may not do for God matters? When have I made a stand for Christ and when do I wish I had the courage to make a stand for Christ?

LIVE IT OUT!
Lord, help me today, where I am to be able to make a stand for You.  Whether it is with my children as I break up an argument, or at work while my co-workers strike up  conversation, or anywhere I may be.  Give me confidence in Your Word and Your promises as I stand on them today.

Homework: Nehemiah 4:20-23

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

A Moment in History That Changed Billy Graham’s Life Forever

By Will Graham, Cove Executive Director and grandson of Billy Graham

On a daily basis I’m blessed with memories and stories of the many ways God chose to use my grandfather to reach people around the world over the course of many decades. Nearly everywhere I go people stop to tell me about how entire families and generations were impacted by his ministry. It’s humbling.

What many people may not know is that it almost didn’t happen. Everything we know of the ministry of Billy Graham from the late 1940s on – the massive stadium events, the evangelistic movies, the radio programs, the counseling of presidents and kings – hinged on a singular moment in history that took place at the California retreat center of Forest Home.

I visited Forest Home last year to get a fresh perspective on my grandfather’s story, and I’m returning there next week to speak at their annual Summer Family Camp.

As such, now seemed like the right time to share the story of the evangelist named Billy Graham, a discouraged young man searching for answers and direction in his life, unsure of God’s plan for him.

At the mid-point of the 20th century, he had already been an evangelist with Youth For Christ and had preached across Europe in the aftermath of World War II. He had held his first “Billy Graham Crusades” in places like Charlotte, N.C, and Grand Rapids, Mich. He was also the president of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn., the youngest college president in the country.

Not everything had gone as planned, however. His crusade in Altoona, Pa., had been – in his own words – “a flop.” It was spiritually difficult and he felt things had gone poorly, and it left him questioning whether or not evangelism should be his focus.

At the same time, a very good friend and contemporary of my grandfather’s, a man named Charles Templeton, had begun challenging my granddaddy’s way of thinking. Mr. Templeton, who had preached with Youth For Christ as well, had gone on to study at Princeton, where he began to believe that the Bible was flawed and that academia – not Jesus – was the answer to life’s problems. He tried to convince my grandfather that his way of thinking was outdated and the Bible couldn’t be trusted.

My grandfather had more questions than answers.

As a young man in his early-30s, all of these things were swirling in his mind when he traveled to California in 1949. Should he invest fully in the college, which he knew meant seeking further education for himself? At the time Northwestern wasn’t accredited, and for it to become so he – as president – would need to get an advanced degree, which would require taking several years off from preaching.

Should he leave the school and follow the calling of an evangelist, even though Altoona had gone so poorly?

Did he even believe the Bible from which he was preaching, or should he follow Templeton in questioning its validity? 

It was at this time that my discouraged grandfather reluctantly accepted the invitation of Henrietta Mears to visit and speak at a Christian retreat center called Forest Home. Mears had worked at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis for Pastor Riley, who was also my grandfather’s predecessor at Northwestern, and she was a very well-known and godly woman. She would end up having a huge impact in Hollywood, Calif., as she served as the director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. She took grief for inviting him to speak because he was not part of the camp’s denomination, but God had a plan in all of this.

As I toured Forest Home last year, it moved me greatly to walk the paths that my grandfather walked as he struggled with the Lord, and ultimately had the experience that would change the course of his ministry and the eternities of millions.

You see, while he was at Forest Home, he spent a great deal of time studying the Bible, and he kept seeing the same phrase pop up. “Thus sayeth the Lord… Thus sayeth the Lord…” While my grandfather had always accepted in his head the authority of the Scripture, this became the turning point as he realized in his heart that God’s Word is divinely inspired, eternal and powerful!

Forest Home Bible on Tree Stump smallOne night at Forest Home, he walked out into the woods and set his Bible on a stump – more an altar than a pulpit – and he cried out: “O God! There are many things in this book I do not understand. There are many problems with it for which I have no solution. There are many seeming contradictions. There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science. I can’t answer some of the philosophical and psychological questions Chuck and others are raising.”

And then, my grandfather fell to his knees and the Holy Spirit moved in him as he said, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word!”*

My granddaddy wrote in his autobiography that as he stood up his eyes stung with tears, but he felt the power and presence of God in a way he hadn’t in months. “A major bridge had been crossed,” he said.

Forest Home pic Billy on mountain smallThe resulting change did not go unnoticed. The next day my granddaddy spoke at Forest Home, and 400 people made a commitment to Christ. Henrietta Mears remarked that he “preached with authority” that she hadn’t seen before from him.

This was August 1949, and mere weeks later Billy Graham would go on to hold the historic 1949 Los Angeles Crusade in the tent erected on the corner of Washington and Hill Streets. That outreach was scheduled to last three weeks, and ended up going for eight weeks as people packed the “Canvas Cathedral” and media outlets nationwide began talking about the upstart evangelist.

Because of that moment kneeling by a stump at Forest Home, I get to hear stories of lives changed through my grandfather’s ministry. Because of that moment, my father and I are invited around the world to share the same hope of Christ that my grandfather preached in Los Angeles and hundreds of other locations both near and far. That moment not only changed Billy Graham’s ministry. It impacted eternity.

*Just As I Am, Billy Graham, 1997
___________________________

Click here for information on Will Graham’s seminar at The Cove Agust 15-17, 2014.