“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
The beauty of the spring season is upon us and a wonderful reminder that our Creator, Almighty God, brings new life to all who seek His face.
With spring in mind and Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 8th, 2016) right around the corner, we’re sharing some lovely seasonal products from Ruth’s Attic Bookstore at The Cove. Whether you purchase in person, or call and have us deliver right to your home, we hope you will find something that will delight you, or be the perfect gift for someone special in your life.
Each of these products are great reminders of how God shows His love, mercy, and grace to us each and every day.
To order any of the products seen on this post, you may either purchase on-property at Ruth”s Attic bookstore, by phone at 1-800-950-2092 (menu 3) or by email at email@example.com.
To see a full list of events at The Cove, click here.
God bless you!
This creamy and satisfying side dish is a guest favorite here at The Cove!
Risotto is very versatile, and goes well with lots of different dishes. Add in wilted spinach, cherry tomatoes, pesto, or cooked crab meat for a more creative dish! Risotto is paired well with chicken or steak and is delicious with asparagus.
We have a free printable version of the recipe found at the bottom of this post.
Creamy Risotto Recipe
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot (or 1/4 onion), chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock or cold water
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a medium skillet over low/medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add Arborio rice and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes or until shallots are tender. Pour in chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat. Do not cover and stir occasionally. Continue to add stock (or water, as needed) as rice cooks until it becomes tender and liquid begins to absorb. This can take 10-20 monutes. Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese once rice is cooked. Incorporate salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy! Let us know how you like it!
To find additional recipes from The Cove kitchen click here.
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 Acts 16:23-25
“When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; (24) and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. (25) But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:23-25
(Verse23) struck with many blows, threw into prison, (verse 24) fastened feet in stock, (verse 25) Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God, prisoners were listening.
Recently, some of the information about what happened behind closed doors to Saeed Abidini has come out in interviews in the media. I had the honor of spending a day with the Abidini family not so long ago. It overwhelms me when I hear the horrible atrocities that Saeed had to endure. Saeed was beaten so badly one day that he was unable to sleep for 20 hours, he was in so much pain. What did Saeed do? He prayed for his captures, his family, the other prisoners and praised God. This blows my mind. How is this humanly possible? Answer, it isn’t.
How often do we read these stories, especially the one of Paul and Silas in prison, and we tell it with such gusto each and every VBS season, how God shook the prison and set the captives free, and they sang in prison and it was great! It is great… but when you hear of a beating first hand, of someone you know, and you look in their eyes, and you see the scars, and you hear of the torture… it is almost something you don’t want your children to hear or ever know about.
It’s sobering. It’s frightening.
At least it is to me. Perhaps you have a greater faith than me and would step up with gusto to endure such cruelty. I tend to have an easier time bringing questions to God about the whole situation. I did not listen to Saeed’s story and break out with a hymn of praise as he was describing the beatings. Tears were welling up in my eyes and my heart was heavy. That was me, don’t get that confused with how Saeed was.
Saeed had the most peaceful look upon his face, as if he was remembering those moments in the dark with Jesus. Saeed is not bitter or angry, instead he is grateful that God entrusted him with such a story of grace. There were others in the prison who needed to hear Saeed’s prayer and praise. There were others, an American, who needed his encouragement. There were prison guards who needed to know that Jesus saves, and gives strength to the weak.
Saeed said that while in prison, the presence of God was so permeated that you could not miss it if you tried. God was so close to him, and His presence so real to him in this time that he could not help but praise His name. Saeed was pressured to turn his face away from Jesus, but he said he couldn’t… not even if he tried. Then he praised even more. God trusted Saeed with a difficult testimony.
It takes so much less for me to run from God and shake my little dust fist in the air and tell God that He got all this difficulty wrong in my life. God needed Paul and Silas to press in here, in this prison, because there was a jailer and captives that He loved more than anything. Paul and Silas had been in the streets for days preaching about the Gospel to the Philippians, but alas, it would not be the testimony preached from the rooftops that would reach these particular people… it would be the testimony lived out in prison that would finally capture the heart of the jailer.
God was trusting Paul and Silas with suffering, they had to be in the innermost cell… they had to have a jailer employed to keep them in… the lengths God will go to for one person, a jailer no less… but through it all, the presence of God would so drench that place, that even when the foundations of the prison would shake, the captives would refuse to leave.
This is what the presence of God does.
We were created to experience His presence, and in His presence, joy is inevitable even when your feet are in stocks. It wasn’t the fact that Saeed, Paul and Silas were delivered from the pit that gave them joy, the fact of joy was the presence of God in the pit.
“Freedom in Christ is not a matter of location, but a matter of the heart” -Casper Ten Boom (when he was captured and placed in a concentration camp in World War 2.)
What about you? Perhaps today you find yourself in a pit, in a place of struggle and everywhere you look is darkness and frustration, and you are questioning where God is in this???
Today, will you ask Him to focus your eyes on Him, and even in this place of bondage, give you freedom? Where is it that you need to press in to, and grab a hold of that testimony God wants to forge in your life? “When God leads us down hard paths, He gives us strong shoes.”- Corrie Ten Boom from The Hiding Place.
LIVE IT OUT: Today Lord, open my eyes to see where You are working. Give me strength to walk where You lead.
What Scripture are you studying now? What have you learned? How has the Lord spoke to you? Share with us in the comments section.
To see more of Kendra’s Bible Studies, click here.
We hope that 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 will share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.
By Donna Riesen
“The most important events in human history were the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” –Billy Graham
There are those hoping for “huge” turnouts on a certain day in March at key locations all across our country. No, I’m not referring to March 1st, “Super Tuesday.” I’m referring to an even more significant date on the calendar: Sunday, March 27th, Easter Sunday. While I am praying about results from Super Tuesday, I’m hoping that on Resurrection Sunday, churches throughout the U.S. will be filled to overflowing, both with those who know Jesus Christ and with those who need to come to know Him.
Our country is in the midst of a pivotal election year, with great issues hanging in the balance, and we as Christians should be faithful and committed to pray and to vote as God leads us. Yet even as we pray for God’s will and His blessing on our country, we acknowledge this reassuring truth: Our hope does not rest on election results, it rests on the fact of Christ’s resurrection.
While talk show hosts and political pundits make predictions and wait expectantly for exit poll results in key states, we can pray the prayer of the psalmist David, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5, NKJV).
As the noontime sky darkened on a Friday afternoon outside the walls of Jerusalem 2000 years ago, the hopes and expectations of Jesus’ followers seemed to be dashed. After long centuries of waiting and praying for the arrival of the promised Messiah, the one in whom they had placed their hopes hung bleeding, hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross. How could hope survive, when the promised deliverer was dying a horrible, shameful death? And how could a day like that ever have earned the name “Good Friday?”
We call it good because on that day, the good and holy and sinless Son of God gave His life to pay the penalty for our sin. We call it good because three days later, the stone was rolled away, the tomb was empty and death was defeated. We call it good because God’s agenda always exceeds our own expectations.
When the women went to the tomb on the Sunday morning after Christ’s crucifixion, they expected to find His cold, lifeless body sealed within a tomb. Instead, they found the stone rolled away and the grave empty, except for the linen graveclothes left behind. The angel summed it up succinctly: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5, NIV).
Talk about exceeding expectations!
We have much to pray about in this election year, but praise God that the results of Resurrection Sunday far outweigh the results of any Super Tuesday. This is why we can pray with great hope about any situation.
As you pray for The Cove throughout the month of March, pray with a resurrection mindset. Expectations are high as we head into the month of March, with a little of everything on The Cove’s ministry schedule. We know what we’ve planned for and what we’re expecting as we review The Cove’s calendar, but what is really on God’s agenda? Let’s remain faithful in prayer and watch for God to exceed our expectations!
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His 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 in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:18-20, ESV).
“Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 19-21, HCSB
Join us in praying for the following events in March:
MARCH 2016 EVENTS
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)
An Evening at The Cove
with Phillips, Craig & Dean, March 1
Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat
with John Parrish & Trish Lancaster, March 4-6
Exit Ramps off the Narrow Road to Life
with Larry Crabb, March 7-9
Women’s Spring Luncheon: I Want It ALL
with Gwen Smith, March 13
SeniorSalt Impact Crusade Journey Hymn Sing
with Ron Whittemore and David Gaines, March 14
Women’s Seminar — The Larger Story: What the Christian Life is All About with Rachael Crabb, March 31-April 1
We appreciate your prayers. God bless you!