Tag Archives: Bible Teaching

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — ESTHER 8:2, 7-8

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

Kendra Graham notes from :  Esther 8:2, 7-8

“And the king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai.  And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. (7) So King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold I have given the house of Haman to Esther, and him they have hanged on the gallows because they had stretched out his hands against the Jews.  Now, you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  The king took off his signet ring and gave it to Mordecai.  King said to Esther, “BEHOLD, I have given the house of Haman to Esther, now YOU WRITE as you see fit, in the king’s name, seal it w the king’s ring; a decree written in the name of king & sealed with signet ring may not be revoked.”

Step 2

THE LESSONS:

It matters what you do, it matters that you believe and act on the beliefs that you so passionately profess.

Here in the story, the climax has been reached: Esther has prayed and fasted for three days, she has stepped out in faith and trusted that God had given her the title of queen, “For such a time as this.”

Esther, risking her life walks into the throne room and after two banquets, she pleads for her life and the life of her people living in the Persian empire.  The king is incensed–who would dare try to kill his queen?  Killing the queen is tantamount to treason, an action worthy of death.  Haman is identified as the culprit.  Haman is promptly escorted out of the room with a bag placed over his head.  Haman will be hung on the very gallows he built to impale Mordecai, who is the enemy of Haman, but the hero of Jews.

Haman is gone, but the edict of Haman is still very much alive.  In just 9 short months, the Jews across the Persian empire will be slaughtered.  Esther has saved her own life from Haman’s hand, but now she continues to plead for the lives of her people.  The king must reverse the edict, the king must do something so that he saves her people, and in verse 3 we find Esther weeping and pleading at the king’s feet.

I LOVE the response of the king!!!  “Behold! I have given…”  I love the word “behold”.  Behold is a demonstrative participle which means the king is demonstrating (showing) Esther the power that she possesses.  The same power that Haman had in order to write an edict to destroy is the same power Esther has to protect and save.  Esther possesses the very power of the king to write an edict that cannot be revoked!

The king then tells her to GO AND DO IT!  GO! Esther, in the power of the king of Persia!  Go Esther!  The very words written on the page will be sealed with my signet, proving it is binding!  GO Esther!! YOU WRITE!  And there it is.

Think for just a second, what if Esther said, “Yeah, I hear what you are saying–I see the ring and all–and I hear you telling me that whatever I write you will stand behind it and “okay” it, but honestly, I just don’t believe it.  I like the ring and all, and I will wear it and show everyone that the king gave it to me and explain that there is just nothing that can be done for my people.  I tried.” #supercoolring #canthelp #sorry

THAT WOULD BE CRAZY!!!  The king had delivered the Jews, but Esther needed to step out and believe the power that the signet ring is endowed with.  Esther was charged, “You write,” and she did.  God delivered His people through the ring of a pagan king, because Esther and Mordecai wrote and completed the task set before them.

Can you hear the Jeremy Camp song playing in the background as you read this?

“The same power that raised Jesus from the grave!  The same power that commands the dead to wait, lives in us!  The same power that moves mountains when we speak.  The same power that can calm the raging sea, lives in us.  He lives in us.”

YES, THESE WORDS ARE SO TRUE! Let’s sing it!  BUT do you REALLY believe the words, or is it just a catchy tune?

All the promises in Jesus are yes and Amen (2 Cor 1:20)!  That means that ALL, ALL, ALL God’s promises are as if they are done and completed already in our lives!

We are free! 

We are #delivered!!! 

We don’t believe it.  Oh, I have faith for you, I believe God has delivered you, but me?  Often times I do not believe the  promises of God are yes and amen for me.

For such a time as this, it is time that we begin to STAND and, just as Esther was charged by the king, we must also “behold “and remember what we have been given!

Step 3

APPLY IT:  What would you do differently if you really believed that the very power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead really lives in you?

 Where has God called you to make a stand  or send out a statement, but you don’t believe that you have really been delivered?  Will you ask God to show you specifically?

Hint: It will always be hard, and more often than not, it will usually not be something you would have chosen yourself.  Faith is HARD… but it is how God proves to YOU that His promises are ALL yes and amen to you!

Have you gone to church for years, and profess to be a Christian but your life is not reflective of the power of Christ, but the fear of failure?

LIVE IT OUT:

Ephesians 1:18-19 — “I pray that the eyes of your heart (and mine) may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His (Jesus’s) inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.  These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which he brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand.”

That same power is the desire of God to work through us.  Oh, how God wants to show us our faith is not in vain in the Lord (I Cor 15:58).

Today STAND, SIT, WRITE, PRAISE, WALK, RUN in VICTORY!  Believe, then go and do because you are free, you are #delivered.

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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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If you’re in the local area and can attend our free annual Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, here in Asheville beginning in January 2017, we’d love to see you.

Registration is open and you can sign up online for Kendra’s evening study or by calling 1-800-950-2092.  (Click here to sign up for the morning study with Jane Derrick.)

Watch, as Kendra shares what you can expect from her study on the book of Esther:

2017 Women’s Bible Study is Open For Registration

The 2017 free Women’s Bible Study is right around the corner and we hope you’ll make plans to join us in January.

Watch as Jane and Kendra share about their studies in the videos below:

Online registration is available this year, so click here to register for Jane’s Tuesday morning study (January 10 – February 28, 2017) .  If you prefer, you may also register by calling 1-800-950-2092.

An optional $12 lunch will be available after Jane’s study each week, but reservations must be made by noon on the Friday prior to each week’s study.  To make your lunch reservation, call 828-298-2092.  Lunch is a popular option, so be sure to get your reservation in early, as dining room seating is limited.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 10 – February 21, 2017) by clicking here.  If you prefer, you may also register by calling 1-800-950-2092.

Please share this post with your church and your circle of women friends and family.

See you in January!

Saturday Snapshot — Will Graham Update

Will Graham not only serves as The Cove’s Executive Director, but has also followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Billy Graham, in answering the call to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

This week and throughout the weekend, Will is preaching in Peterhead, Scotland (3,838 miles from The Cove).   Please keep Will and all the souls that will attend his events this weekend in prayer.

Off to Scotland we go!  Enjoy!

Wil Graham in Scotland with litehouse
Will Graham
Wil Graham being prayed over in Scotland
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Wil Graham preaching in Scotland
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Scotland field near ocean Wil Graham preaching in Scotland Oct 2016

Scotland mossy rock near ocean Wil Graham preaching in Scotland Oct 2016 2 bright

boat view through stone arch in scotland wil graham preaching oct 2016Isn’t it fun to see God’s creation in other parts of the world?!

Join Will Graham at The Cove next year during his seminar August 11-13, 2017.


The changing colors of fall make this season one of the most beautiful times to visit our area.  Make sure to visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and 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.

 

Saturday Snapshot — Prophecy Seminar and a Simulcast

Nearly 500 guests joined Anne Graham Lotz, Jonathan Cahn, and special guest Bill Koenig for a prophecy seminar and study on the book of Joel here at The Cove last weekend.

An additional 800+ people from 9 countries opted to join us online for the simulcast from the comfort of their own homes.   Isn’t it amazing how technology connects us! Just like here on our blog.

AGL
Wake up and keep watching for Christ’s return.
Selah leading worship
Beautiful worship with Selah.
Selah Amy singing It is Well With My Soul
Amy Perry (Selah) singing “It Is Well With My Soul”.
Jonathan Cahn
Jonathan Cahn, pastor, Messianic Jewish Rabbi, and author of The Harbinger.
anne on last day
Jesus is coming!

If you’d like to access a replay of the seminar, you may purchase on-demand access to the five sessions individually by clicking here.

You may also purchase the CDs, MP3s, and DVDs of the full seminar through our bookstore by calling 1-800-950-2092 (menu option 3) or emailing bookstore@thecove.org.

We’d love to hear from you.  What have you got planned this weekend?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

 

 

KENDRA GRAHAM’S ONLINE BIBLE STUDY — I Corinthians 10:31

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 :  I Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Whether you eat, drink or whatever, do all to the glory of God.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  

There’s a song that Steven Curtis Chapman sings that is based upon this verse, “Every little thing that you do.. bring a smile to His face, tell the story of grace.. what ever you do, it all matters…”  I’ve needed this song this past and the coming week to help me focus on the moments that God puts in front of me.   Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing laundry, helping with homework, cheering at a game, working at the hospital, or listening to my husband or kids, I need to do it to the glory of God.   This can be hard.

I battle wanting to be doing and being somewhere else–doing something more important in my eyes–than whatever it is that I currently am.  This needs to stop.  Oswald Chambers made a statement that left a mark on my soul,  “Ministering in everyday surroundings does NOT mean we select our own surroundings.”  So often I think I know where I need to be and what I need to be doing, but believe it or not, it’s through the daily grind that God is patiently teaching me to bring Him glory…. in whatever I do, even something as basic as eating and drinking.

Think about some of the things Jesus did–some were “menial” things really–that made a huge difference.  Jesus washed nasty, dirty, stinky feet.  He ate dinner and broke bread, savoring the moment with His disciples, pouring His last words into them.  Jesus sat by a well and asked for a drink.  In the process He changed a woman’s life, and subsequently, an entire town.  Jesus brought glory to His Father whether it was cleaning, eating, or drinking.

Our character, and what we really believe about who God is, comes out in doing these menial things, too.

As I pondered this, I realized that I cannot do the things God puts in front of me on a daily basis for the glory of God without the power of God coursing through my  heart, soul and mind.  I cannot, because it is not in me to do these things AT ALL.  I cannot use a towel and water basin, as Jesus did, to the glory of God, without God empowering me to do so.

I am weak, shallow and prideful, but God loves me enough to strengthen me, deepen my relationship with Him, and humble me through everyday tasks.

What a mighty God we serve!  It matters to God that what I do, I do for His glory, because of His name sake.  There’s no room for complaining.   I like to think that when God asks me to do something really big and important that I’ll be ready to shed my selfishness and do what He calls me to, and in doing so, glorify Him.  Honestly, if you and I cannot be trusted to bring God the glory in what He puts in front of us today, in this moment, what ever makes us think He should trust us with anything bigger?

Wash the feet of those teenagers, those co-workers, that spouse that God has trusted you with today.  Let’s steadily minister in the everyday opportunities given to us in this moment and just see how God shows up.  These “little” things, like the song says, matter.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  What menial things are on the page for you to do today?  Will you ask God to empower you to do those things today for His glory?  When have you gone about your day for God’s glory and saw God show up in an unexpected way?  Do you battle with insignificance?  Today, how will you set that battle aside as you focus on where God has placed you and ask Him to focus your eyes on where He is in your everyday circumstances?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today Lord, empower me to do those little things for Your glory, even when in my eyes there is no glory to be found in them.  Today Lord, open my eyes to the people you place in front of me as I am eating and drinking at the table, and Lord, open my heart and my mouth to pour into them YOU as I engage over Cherrios, yogurt, or a bagel.  Change me, so they can see You.  #tothegloryofGod #today #don’twastethemoments

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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.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Proverbs 3: 5-6

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 :  Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart. Lean NOT on your own understanding. In ALL your ways submit to Him.  He will make your path straight.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  UGH.  That’s what these verses mean, in a nutshell, to me.  These verses are HARD for me.  “Trust in the LORD, lean not on you own understanding…”  These statements are hard  for me to both process and implement, especially when life involves trusting God with your children.

One of my girls right now has been placed–providentially–in a HARD situation.  She feels overwhelmed, under-qualified, like she carries the pressure of the world on her shoulders.  She’s struggling, stumbling and drowning.  As a parent I want to sneak into her brain and her heart and help her to feel courageous and confident in the fact of God’s promises.  I can’t do this for her.  The choices are hers to make.  UGH!

It’s interesting how I can see where and how my daughter needs to have faith, walk in confidence of God’s promises, and know who He is, when it comes to her situations.  Yet, when it comes to me doing the exact same thing in my own situations, I freak out, feel overwhelmed, and think God has abandoned me.  Hmm, I wonder who she learned this from?

God is working out in each of us the exact same thing: TRUST/ FAITH.  A life of trusting in the LORD and not on our own understanding will never become a reality except through CONFLICT.   There are situations where we don’t want to trust in the LORD, or we want to lean on our own wisdom and understanding. We’re convinced that our own thought processes are logical and make sense, and from our point of view, God’s thought process does not.

Trust, by definition, isn’t trust without being tested and proven.   God allows us to be in places where we have a choice to make: 1. Trust God and His Word and that His promises will hold, or 2. Trust ourselves and our limited view of the event.

All too often I veer off and choose #2, because I like the illusion of having control.  God is good, and loves us enough to place us in circumstances where we’re required to make this choice.  Oh, how He pleads in His Word with us that we would trust in Him–trust that He will make our paths straight, and that as we model that choice to our children, they would, in turn, understand that as God’s promises hold for us, those same promises will hold for them.

Regardless of choices made by others, may it be said of us, that we will submit our ways to the LORD.  This is SO HARD in the here and now, but the result is promised, “He WILL make our paths straight.”  We must believe that what God has said He WILL do–He will indeed do–and in spite of not understanding or seeing the end before the beginning, we prove our trust/faith as we take one step at a time, minute by minute.

As I type this out, I’m processing and trying so hard to trust.  It’s difficult to observe struggle in the lives of those we love, isn’t it?!  I’d love to take the struggle from my sweet girl! I’m trying to claim these verses for myself in this moment, and praying that someday, she will, too.  #thestruggleisreal #trustisHARD #God’spromiseswillhold

Step 3

APPLY IT:  In what ways is your faith being tested?  What is challenging your trust in God right now?  Will your choice prove your faith in the promises of God or kill it?  Where do you need to submit your ways to Him?  How will you do that?

LIVE IT OUT:  Oh Lord, give me strength, for my strength fails me continually!  Help my unbelief as You guide my feet and give me the strength to step forward on Your promises and not to run in fear.  You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Time 2:16).  Today, I will choose to put my hope in You and will determine to praise You, my Savior, My God (Psalm 43:5).  Help me to trust the hardship of my children to You, as You are working out in them the exact same thing You are working out in me!

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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.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Joshua 1:9

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 Joshua 1:9:  

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage.  Do not tremble or be dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage, do not tremble or be dismayed, the LORD your GOD is with you wherever you go.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  Well, here we go! It’s the last week before school officially starts.  I don’t know about you, but for me, as I look to this year, I see all the places I need to be and the commitments I’ve made, and instead of being excited and ready to conquer the new school year with fresh energy and focus… I kinda want to hide.  Schedules…demands…yuck! Gone are the days of sleeping in and enjoying the summer.  Now it’s off to science fair projects and research papers.

I have three kids: one in high school, one in middle school, and yes, one in elementary school…just to keep things going in completely different directions!

When I asked my kids about what they are looking forward to this year, all of them expressed…. fear.  The girls are afraid because they are on new travel soccer teams and they don’t know the girls or the coaches.  My middle school daughter is afraid because this will be her last year in a school she absolutely loves.  My youngest and only son is scared because he is homeschooling this year and is afraid his teacher may lose it come Christmas. :)  OK, that is a REAL fear! I am afraid because what if I can’t homeschool adequately?  What if I can’t get these girls to their games across the wide blue yonder each weekend?  What if the school work load is too hard and these children need more help than I have time to give them?  Fear…. fear… fear.

Fear keeps us from doing that which God has called us to.  I may not be preparing to march around Jericho, but I sure feel the impending battles that are just around the corner.  Has God really called me to where I am?  What is it God is doing this school year in our family and among all these schools and teams we are part of?

I go back to Joshua 1:9 often because it reminds me that God knows that fear is a very real emotion that we battle with.  God did not chide Joshua for having fear, but He did call Joshua not to give in to fear.  We have a choice who we give the power to in our lives.  Fear is our natural response, so we must saturate ourselves in the Word of God on a daily basis.  This is our only hope.  We need to determine to trust that God IS with us and will lead us.  Setting our hearts and minds to believe the promises of God as we step out daily is a HUGE challenge, but so worth it.  God loves to leave us in these dependent situations, where we can’t even begin to conquer or vanquish all that is demanded of us.  This way, God stays at the forefront.

As the academic year begins and we feel pressed upon and pulled in so many directions, may the first direction we determine to set our feet, eyes and heart in, on a daily basis, is in the Word of God.  In the Joshua 1:8, it says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it; for THEN you will make your way prosperous and you will have success.”  Success summed up: Stay in the Word of God and follow His lead…. day by day, by day.  Let’s dedicate to do that this school year, and show our children what courage looks like.  Courage is following hard after God.  Just do and go where the LORD leads today, then again tomorrow…all for His glory.

I love the quote accredited to Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important.” As my kids and I discussed our fears, we came up with the promises of God that we can focus on instead.  Fear quickly turned into anticipation of what God will do and how He will accomplish the impossible in our personal lives.

  • God is faithful and true (Revelation 3:14).
  • God will not leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
  • With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
  • Our God reigns (Psalm 93:1).
  • “See, I have set before you an open door and NO ONE can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept My Word and have not denied My name.” Revelation 3:8

Step 3

APPLY IT:  How have you given in to fear instead of faith?  What promises of God do you need to claim to get through the day?  Are your eyes seeking to see things beyond today?  Will you determine this school year to begin your day with your eyes and heart set in God’s Word?  Where is God calling you to be courageous?

LIVE IT OUT:  TODAY, I will claim the promises of God as I go out.  LORD, may You and Your promises trump all fear, and give me the courage to tackle what You have set before me this day.

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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 — Love, Rain & the Great Commission

“We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

He asked,  and she said yes.  Today they say “I do” in her home church.  This sweet couple got engaged back in February in our chapel prayer room.  Sharing this picture with us they said, “We pray God will direct us as we build our future together in a Christ-centered relationship.”

Will you join us in praying for them as they embark on this journey together?

And just in case you were wondering….we do not hold weddings in our chapel.  But, we’d sure like you to stop by for a visit!

Adelaide and Tyler after engagement at chapel on Feb 27 2016Pretty much every afternoon this week, the heavens have opened up and poured out the rain. This is a behind-the-scenes shot of our Property Services manager taking care of a leak in one of our administrative offices.  The smile on this man’s face captures his obedience to this verse in Colossians: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”  (Colossian 3:23)

doug fixing leak in Lauras office August 2016

And ACTION!  A LifeWay film crew was on property this week filming a segment for their Explore The Bible children’s Bible study. This lesson was focused on the Great Commission and Billy Graham’s part in sharing the gospel.

Lifeway film crew shooting a piece for childrens bible study curriculum August 9 2016

Wishing you a blessed weekend!


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 Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study — Matthew 11:28-29

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 11:28-29

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Step 1

THE FACTS:  Come to Me all who are: weak & heavy-laden.  I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from Me, you will find rest for your souls.

Step 2

THE LESSONS:  This blog post came on a difficult day for me.  I’ve been given the day off from my job at he hospital, which might not seem like a bad thing, but in my heart of hearts I can’t afford the day off.  I’m a labor and delivery nurse and mostly just work in the summers and a few other dates throughout the year.  This schedule gives me flexibility, but is not a consistent source of income.  This day off set my fingers running numbers, and put my head and heart in an absolute panic!

In this moment, God purposely set my eyes in His Word on this verse today: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls” Matthew 11:28-29.

Like me, have you ever had a difficult time resting?  Like being in control?  I like knowing that my children’s needs will be provided and paid for by hard work.  But not today…God whispered in my ear, “Rest.”

After panicking and shedding a few tears, I wondered, “Doesn’t God know I NEED this day of work?”  While I was crying, God whispered again, “See how tired you are, dear one?” And as I write  these words, I’m off to crying again.  I am tired…so tired, weary and heavy laden.

This verse is in red… red letters…the words of Jesus–God with skin on, and He has said specifically to me (and you too)…”COME TO ME, {Kendra}, and I WILL give YOU rest.”  Jesus is giving me a rest from my responsibility– not in the way that sounds–I don’t want to walk away, hide in my house and quit my job…but God is willing and able to give me rest in the midst of work.  Isn’t it comforting to know that while we take responsibility for our children and love them more than words can say, ultimately, they belong to God who loves them more than we could even imagine?

An alternate rendering of this verse in the Greek explains it like this, “Come to me all you who are working to the point of exhaustion.”  Is there anyone out there who can relate?  Some of us are absolutely overwhelmed.  We have things on our plate that we never asked for, and we have found ourselves in a  stormy, out of control, season of life where we are just trying to breathe.  Where we are working and working, and doing the very best we can, but rest is eluding us.

So what do we do?  This verse tells us exactly what to do… “COME TO ME.”  I’m seeing that perhaps God is allowing me to be completely over my head and in a place where I can’t handle it.  I think maybe God allows times like this to prove His sufficiency to me.  God is flushing the pride out of me and reminding me that it’s not about my control over anything.  This verse shows me where I am… and then tells me to come to Him with it all.

So, where do I go? Where do you go when you are stressed to the max? Who are we turning to?  Are we going to the wrong source?  Is that why we are in such a panic?  I know that’s why I’m in such a panic.  I want to turn to my job, pay check and bank account…. which is always, and will always be insufficient.  Perhaps being overwhelmed and unable to make numbers crunch is actually a wake up call to come to a deeper intimacy with my God (Psalm 63).

After I come to Jesus, the next command the verse gives is to take His yoke upon me.  The phrasing here, with the yoke being put on…you put the yoke ON.  This phrase “putting on a yoke” does not imply that the oxen will sit in the barn, but that he is going out to work.  The way oxen work is that the younger, more ignorant oxen is paired with an older one; the younger oxen just follows in the steps and in the direction that the older oxen goes in.  The older oxen bears most of the burden of the work and knows where to go in the work; the younger oxen just has to focus on following where his partner leads.

Here we see God is not swooping in and erasing all our problems in a grand manner. He is not lightening the load just yet, but we are to come and stick our head in His yoke and follow where He is going amidst the responsibilities that are before us.  HE promises this: YOU (personal pronoun here, you, {Kendra!} WILL find rest for YOUR soul.

Jesus is not relieving me of the responsibility, but rather relieving me of the burden of that responsibility if I just follow Him.

Today, through His yoke, He led me to actual REST.  The burden for my workday rests on Him.  The burden of the needs for my kids rests on Him.  GOD HAS GOT THEM and ME in His hands… God loves my children more than even I do! I am saying this out-loud to myself as I type it, because it is so hard to believe sometimes.

We all want to control our own hours, pay checks, every little aspect of our own little worlds, and yet God wants us to rest, and let Him bear the burden.

Each of us must set our yoke to follow Him.  HARD WORDS for me today, how about you?   He’s telling us to REST…REST…REST.  So what choice do we have?  I have chosen to rest today, calling on Jehovah Jirah–MY Provider, YOUR Provider– who is not ignorant of our needs at all, yet knows them more intimately than we can ever imagine.

Step 3

APPLY IT:  Who or what is the source you run to when you are weak and overwhelmed and have worked yourself to the bone?

Will you set yourself in the yoke of Jesus and His Word, or will you try to solve everything in your own failing and insufficient strength?

Is this time of your life perhaps pressing down so that you can see your extreme need for an all- sufficient God?

Is God calling you to a deeper intimacy with Him through this circumstance?

LIVE IT OUT:  Today, when I begin to panic every hour on the hour, knowing that all I have to give is insufficient, I will set my head to claim in my heart who YOU are.  Today I will REST in Your yoke, You have given me.

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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 – Kingdom Parenting, Bears, Flowers, Facebook & Rain

Lot’s going on at The Cove this week!

Tony Evans taught the first ever parenting seminar at The Cove (this was actually last week, but sharing now).  His seminar, Kingdom Parenting, gave practical biblical instruction on training kids in the power of prayer, wisdom, loving God’s Word, getting through trials, and much more.  A blessing to both parents and grandparents alike.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

Evans-1004 smIf you’ve ever been to The Cove, you know the food and fellowship in the dining room is wonderful!  This fine fella’s smile says it all! Click here for recipes shared by our culinary team in the kitchen. 
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We never tire of the beautiful view off the Training Center deck.  

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

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This family of bears were hoping to join in on the Kingdom Parenting seminar, but unfortunately, the cubs were too young to attend.  Last we heard, they were off to Camp Cedar Cliff.

(Photo captured on one of our security cameras.)
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Ruth’s Prayer Garden is abloom with purple coneflowers, hydrangeas, tiger lilies, roses, and more!  If you haven’t stopped by for a garden tour, make plans to now.  You won’t be disappointed.  
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The sun peaking through the forest canopy.  Reminder to be a light in this world!

Purple coneflower chapel with sun shinging

Just look at the vibrant color on these Tiger Lilies!

Tiger Lily at the chapel July 2016

Stephanie Seefeldt leads worship at The Cove several times throughout the year.  This year, she streamed a few worship sets LIVE on her Facebook page.  This one during the R.T. Kendall seminar.  Sorry about the sideways picture, but we wanted to share with you the number at the bottom of the image.  705 people were able to join in Cove worship from all around the world.  Isn’t technology amazing!

Stephanie Seefeldt FB Live

We’ve been praying for rain, so these rain clouds rolling in one evening early this week were a most welcome site.  TC with storm clouds July 2016 smWe hope you have a lovely weekend, friends!  “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 1:2 ESV)


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 Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.