Tag Archives: Ruth Bell Graham

Saturday Snapshot – Ruth’s Prayer Garden Dedication

Ruth Bell Graham lived a life committed to and dependent on prayer.  Several years ago, she wrote these words as a reflection on how we should pray:  As we come to this garden of prayer, we come being reminded that we come to acknowledge our Father. As we come into His presence, we come being anxious or worried about nothing. We come to worship Him in everything.

This past Wednesday, June 1, 2016, Ruth’s Prayer Garden was officially dedicated with a special message from her grandson, Will Graham, executive director at The Cove.

“Prayer is our umbilical cord to our Heavenly Father,  This is going to be a place of spiritual life and vitality.” Will Graham said of the 1.5 acre garden featuring more than 150 plan varieties.

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Over 150 people in attendance at the dedication.

Listen and watch as over 150 people in attendance  on Wednesday lifted their voices unto the Lord in worship and adoration.

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Ruth’s Prayer Garden — a garden for every season.
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The garden is a lovely place to stroll and take in all the beauty.
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Beautiful violin music played in the garden before the dedication began.

Watch as the violinist played throughout the the garden paths.

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Benches are placed throughout the garden so one can sit and pray.
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It was fun having so many people enjoying the garden at one time!
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A beautiful rose still fresh with dew during the dedication.
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Over 150 plant species are present in the garden. There will be something in bloom every season.
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Prayer. This is what Ruth would have loved to see taking place in this garden.
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Thankful for the leadership on this project from Lucas, The Cove’s supervisor of grounds maintenance. That’s a wooden bow tie he’s sporting!

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

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

Something New at The Cove: Ruth’s Prayer Garden

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“We cannot pray and remain the same. We cannot pray and have our homes remain the same. We cannot pray and have the world about us remain the same. God has decreed to act in response to prayer. ‘Ask,’ He commands us. And Satan trembles for fear we will.”  —Ruth Bell Graham,  Legacy of a Pack Rat

By Donna Riesen:

Ruth Bell Graham was a woman of prayer; and Ruth’s Prayer Garden, opening June 2, 2016 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, is designed to honor her memory and encourage others to pray. As the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth’s schedule was packed full with commitments—at times she traveled with her husband to crusades around the world, yet most often Ruth supported him behind the scenes and out of the spotlight by shouldering the responsibility of caring for their five children at their home in Montreat. This remarkable woman could not have had the impact she had on her husband, her family, and the world, without the daily discipline of prayer.

Winding along pathways surrounding Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Ruth’s Prayer Garden will offer a peaceful place for prayer and meditation amid the natural beauty and serenity of The Cove.

“My grandfather wanted this place to be known as a mountain of prayer,” says Will Graham, executive director of The Cove and grandson of Billy and Ruth. “There’s prayer going out all over The Cove, from our Intercessory Prayer Team to our staff prayers to our Personal Spiritual Retreats. There are so many needs facing us today, we can’t pray enough!”

“Like The Cove itself, this garden is designed to be an extension of my grandparents’ home at Montreat,” Will says.

With five children in the household, the Graham home was a place of laughter, activity, and the usual childhood scrapes and squabbles; but more importantly, it was a place of prayer.

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“I would go down to her room late at night,” daughter Anne Graham Lotz remembers. “I would see the light on underneath the door and I’d go in, and she would be on her knees in prayer.”

Daughter Ruth Graham reflects, “Faith was the very heartbeat of life at Little Piney Cove. We began and ended each day as a family on our knees in prayer.”

Ruth’s Prayer Garden was created to honor and perpetuate this legacy of prayer.

The garden was also designed to be a reflection of Ruth’s love of nature and appreciation for the beauty of her North Carolina mountain home. Lucas Jack, horticulturist and supervisor of Grounds Maintenance at The Cove, explains how great care was taken to convey Ruth’s personality as a gardener and plant- lover. When asked about the process of planning and designing the gardenscape, Jack noted, “Everything that I know of Ruth Graham has been learned secondhand, which is difficult when trying to piece together a ‘botanical personality.’ I learned she really didn’t have dislikes but had a lot of favorites. She loved color and appreciated gardens in general, and we’ve tried to convey her botanical personality by including many of the plants and flowers she loved.”

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Roses, daylilies, touch-me- nots will line the winding paths. “Our goal was not to overwhelm the visitor with the landscape,” Jack says, “but to allow them to enjoy the experience and feel as if they are part of it.”

Ruth’s love for color and beauty may have been the result of two strong childhood influences: her early childhood years in China as the daughter of medical missionaries, and her teen years in Montreat.

According to grandson Will, “My great-grandfather Nelson Bell loved gardens and gardening. He loved flowers and plants, and he used them to teach lessons to his children. When we work with our hands in a garden, God teaches us things.”

If she were here today, Ruth Bell Graham would probably agree. When you visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden, enjoy the view and take time to smell the roses; then bow your head and echo the disciples’ request to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1, NKJV)

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We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.

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

Remembering Ruth Bell Graham on Her Birthday

billy_ruth_graham_0808Today we celebrate the life of Ruth Bell Graham.  Ruth was born June 10, 1920 in China, where her parents served as medical missionaries. 

She lived a full life which demonstrated the grace and mercy of the Savior she first met when she was a little girl in China.

Ruth went to heaven on June 14, 2007 while living in Montreat, North Carolina.

None of us know the day we will join Ruth in heaven, but we can be assured that it won’t be long before we see her again. 

It won’t be long…A Poem by Ruth Bell Graham

It won’t be long –
the sun is slowly slipping out of sight;
lengthening shadows deepen into dusk;
still winds whisper;
all is quiet:
it won’t be long
– till night.

It won’t be long –
the tired eyes close,
her strength is nearly gone;
frail hands that ministered to many
lie quiet, still:
Light from another world!
Look up, bereaved!
It won’t be long
– till Dawn!

Click here to purchase Ruth Bell Graham’s book of poetry, Sitting by my laughing fire.

Mother’s Day Poem by Ruth Bell Graham

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Ruth Bell Graham with children in 1958 — Montreat, NC

By Ruth Bell Graham

For all these smallnesses
I thank You, Lord:

small children
and small needs;
small meals to cook,
small talk to heed,
and a small book
from which to read
small stories;
small hurts to heal,
small disappointments, too,
as real
as ours;
small glories
to discover
in bugs,
pebbles,
flowers.

When day is through
my mind is small,
my strength is gone;
and as I gather
each dear one
I pray, “Bless each
for Jesus’ sake–
such angels sleeping,
imps awake!”

What wears me out
are little things:
angles minus
shining wings.
Forgive me, Lord,
if I have whined;
… it takes so much
to keep them shined;
yet each small rub
has its reward,
for they have blessed me.

Thank You,
Lord.
____________________

God bless all mothers and their children today.   

“Pray” — A Poem by Ruth Bell Graham

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Pray
when all your soul
a tiptoe stands
in wistful eagerness
to talk with God;
put out your hands,
God bends to hear;
it would be sin
not to draw near.

Pray
when gray inertia
creeps through your soul,
as through a man
who fights the cold,
then growing languid
slumbereth,
and slumbering
knows not
it is death.

Pray
when swamped
with sin and shame
and nowhere else
to pin the blame
but your own will
and waywardness;
God knows you,
loves you nonetheless.

So…
pray
.

From Sitting By My Laughing Fire by Ruth Bell Graham.

A Poem by Ruth Bell Graham — Then Let It Snow

By Ruth Bell Graham:

If I could have each day

one hour of sun,

glorious,

healing,

hot,

like now—

then

let Winter come!

Not

mild and brief,

but

wild, without relief;

let the storms rage,

let the winds blow,

the freezing rains

lashing my windowpanes;

then

let it snow!

long

and

deep

and cold.

I would not mind at all:

it would be fun…

if I could have

each day

my hour of sun.

Click here to purchase Ruth Bell Graham’s book of poetry, Sitting by my laughing fire.

Remembering Ruth Bell Graham

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Today would have been Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham’s, 93
rd birthday.   

Ruth went to heaven on June 14, 2007. 

Join us as we celebrate and remember the beautiful life and legacy of this great woman of faith.  A woman who loved people and loved Jesus! 

Watch here as Fernando Ortega sings Give Me JesusThis performance was produced for The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association as a tribute to Ruth.
 

Fernando Ortega will be performing at The Cove on Sunday November 17, 2013.  Click here for details and to register. 

Why?

whyWhether it is the death of a loved one, a devastating storm, a bombing or a terrible illness, we often find ourselves asking why.

In the following poem by Ruth Bell Graham, she addresses the “whys” in her life.

I lay my “whys”

before Your Cross

in worship kneeling,

my mind too numb

for thought,

my heart beyond

all feeling.

 

And worshiping,

realize that I

in knowing You

don’t need a “why.”

 

– From Ruth Bell Graham’s poetry collection, Sitting By My Laughing Fire.

Ruth Bell Graham: Prayer of a Mother for Her Children

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Franklin, Bunny, Anne, Gigi, and Ruth with baby Ned – at home in Montreat, N.C. (1958)

Jesus, good Shepherd, they are not mine but Yours,
for I am not mine but Yours.
I am Yours, Lord, and they are Yours,
because by Your wisdom You have created
both them and me,
and by Your death You have redeemed us.
So we are Yours, good Lord, we are Yours,
whom You have made with such wisdom
and bought so dearly.
Then if You commend them to me, Lord,
You do not therefore desert me or them.
You commend them to me:
I commend myself and them to You.
Yours is the flock, Lord, and Yours is the shepherd.
Be Shepherd of both Your flock and shepherd.

You have made an ignorant mother,
a blind leader, an erring ruler:
teach the mother You have established,
guide the leader You have appointed,
govern the ruler You have approved.

I beg You,
teach me what I am to teach,
lead me in the way that I am to lead,
rule me so that I may rule others.
Or rather, teach them, and me through them,
lead them, and me with them,
rule them, and me among them.

Anselm (1033 – 1099), Archbishop of Canterbury, translated by Sister Benedicta Ward, S.L.G. Adapted for mothers by Ruth Bell Graham.