Tag Archives: The Cove

PRAYER NOTE: FEBRUARY

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.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV)

We made it through! Although much of the snow has melted, images remain frozen in our memories…we, the survivors of “The Blizzard of 2016.”

The huge winter storm affected the entire eastern third of our nation and disrupted the lives of more than 100 million people. Aside from the usual snow-day inconveniences of school closings and grocery stores emptied of milk and bread, there were serious and deadly consequences resulting from this massive weather system. At present, the total number of deaths attributed to the storm stands at 55. At any given moment during the storm or in its immediate aftermath, a look at online news feeds and TV newscasts revealed a study in contrasts.

One minute we viewed pics of adorable snow-suit clad children sledding with dad; next, we heard accounts of horrific traffic fatalities as semi-trucks lost control on icy highways. We grinned as we watched a Giant Panda delightedly frolicking in the powdery snow…but grins faded as we heard the tragic report of a mother and toddler who perished in their idling car—deaths blamed on carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the vehicle’s clogged tailpipe. Our hearts broke as we learned the child’s father had been just outside, shoveling to free the car of snow.

In an odd confluence of events, we saw simultaneously the breathtaking beauty of a world covered in glistening white…”Yaaay, God!”…and the heartrending tragedy of death and destruction…”Why, God?” The varied images of the blizzard brought it into focus again: The human condition exists in a kaleidoscopic jumble of joy and pain, laughter and tears, hope and despair. At any moment, you may have a relative suffering from cancer and another celebrating the birth of their first child. On any given Sunday, your pastor may be preaching to a business professional who just received a promotion, and another who never found work after last year’s layoff.

The Old Testament records the account of Job, who after learning of the loss of his cattle, servants and even his own sons, held tight to his faith as he issued this challenge to his wife, Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? (Job 2:10, NKJV).

As the account of this faithful man’s suffering continues, we see him begin to question God. Yet among the many lessons the book of Job teaches us, one of the most important is this: God is big enough to handle our questions. In Job chapter 38, God lays out some questions of His own, all designed to lift Job’s eyes away from his current dire situation and up to the omnipotent, sovereign God who created and sustained him. Among the many revealing questionsGod asked Job is this: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?” (Job 38:22, NIV).

Rather than providing a detailed meteorological map and a lesson on low pressure systems and atmospheric phenomena, God gave Job a vivid mental image of the true Source of blizzard conditions. When we’re hit with a storm of trouble and “Yaay, God!” changes to “Why, God?”, we’re tempted to ask, “Who’s minding the storehouse?” The God who’s big enough to handle our questions answers, “I AM.” There are other biblical references to God’s storehouses. The psalmist David reminds us, “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; He sends lightning with the rain and bring out the wind from His storehouses.” (Psalm 135:7, NIV).

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us this reassurance: “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” (Luke 12:24, NIV)

After confronting the Israelites with their sins of apathy, unfaithfulness and corruption, the prophet Malachi delivers God’s message of hope, promising blessing to His children if they will turn back to Him in repentance and obedience:

“’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty,’and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10).

On any given day in 2016, we will minister to a wide range of people at The Cove. When this year’s seminar season begins on February 12 with the Chip Ingram Military Marriage Retreat, some of the military personnel who attend will have just returned home from a long deployment. No doubt there will be couples whose marriage is near breaking from the strain of long periods of separation and stress. Others may be visiting The Cove simply as a relaxing getaway and a means of celebrating and strengthening an already strong marital bond. Newlyweds and seasoned marriage partners will be in attendance—each person as individual as a snowflake. How can we adequately minister to the heart of each participant? We can’t, but God can! Pray that He will throw open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on these men and women. Pray that God will open their hearts to each other and to Him.

The February 24-26 Leadership Renewal Retreat with Jim Henry will bring pastors from various denominations and varied situations. One pastor and spouse may arrive with joy and excitement, happy to be attending the retreat and anticipating some well-deserved downtime. Another pastoral couple may come with heavy hearts, seeking respite from a troubled ministry that is strained to the breaking point. Each retreat participant will arrive with a different set of needs and expectations, but all will be knocking at the door of the same Storehouse. Pray that the blessings of refreshment, renewal and encouragement will be poured out upon these faithful servants. Praise God, He hears our prayers, and His storehouse is never empty.

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Join us in praying for the following events in February:

FEBRUARY 2016 EVENTS
(For more information or to register, click on the links below.)

Women’s Bible Study with Jane Derrick — Morning:
January 12-February 23
Love that Makes A Difference

Women’s Bible Study with Kendra Graham — Evening:
January 12-February 23
Portrait of a Disciple

Military Marriage Retreat:
Experiencing God’s Best for Your Marriage
with Chip Ingram — February 12-14

An Evening at The Cove (dinner, concert, and meet & greet) with Brandon Heath — February 14 (lodging also available)

Leadership Renewal RetreatFree to Lead: Encouraging the Shepherd with Jim Henry — February 24-26
NOTE: This retreat is free to qualifying pastors and their spouses.

We appreciate your prayers.  God bless you!

Prayer Note: January

Each month one of our staff, Donna Riesen, prepares a “prayer note” to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We will begin sharing these with you on the first of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

By Donna Riesen:

Have we lost Jesus? Another Christmas season has come and gone, and we’ve shopped and eaten and wrapped and traveled, but have we marveled at the miracle? Like Mary, did we take the time to “ponder in our hearts” the truth of God coming to earth as a helpless baby, on a rescue mission of love? Like the Wise Men, did we go out of our way to seek Him?

Aside from the New Testament birth narratives, the visit from the Wise men, the account of Christ’s circumcision, and the flight to Egypt, the Bible is silent on a large portion of Jesus’ childhood until Luke 2:41-52 gives us a brief glimpse of the boy Jesus at age 12.

Following their usual custom as faithful Jews, Mary and Joseph made their yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Luke records an astonishing sequence of events as—after an entire day’s travel on their return to Nazareth—Mary and Joseph realize they have lost track of Jesus. If you’ve ever lost sight of your child for even a few minutes in the aisles of a department store, you know that heart-stopping feeling they experienced.

(Side note: Before accusing the couple of child neglect, we should consider that the large crowds who made the Passover journey together usually divided into two groups: men, and women & children. Since Jesus was now twelve years of age, Mary may have assumed her Son had joined with the group of men to make the journey home, while Joseph probably believed Him to be with the women and children. Since the crowd of pilgrims probably included lots of extended family, Jesus would have had plenty of relatives to look after Him in either group. Who wouldn’t volunteer for that babysitting job?)

After searching and inquiring to no avail among the group of travelers, the worried couple made a hasty return trip to Jerusalem. Verse 46 tells us that “after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46, NKJV).  We let out a sigh of relief at hearing that the boy was found safe, then catch our breath again in amazement as we read that “all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (2:47, NKJV). The amazement increases as we picture a frazzled Mary scolding the Son of God: “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought you anxiously” (2:48, NKJV).

Jesus’ reply gives us the first clue that He is aware of His identity and destiny as the Son of God. “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49, NKJV)

The Bible then tells us in verse 50 that “They did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” In spite of being misunderstood, verse 51 shows us the humility of Christ, as He “went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

From the day the angel first appeared to her in the little village of Nazareth, to the temple at Jerusalem, and then to the foot of the cross, tender-hearted Mary would have much to keep and ponder.

As we ponder the happenings of 2015 and look ahead to 2016, may our prayer be to never lose track of Christ. As He was found in the temple  discussing the Scriptures with leaders two and three times His age, may we be found seeking for Him in the pages of His Word and in prayer.

As Cove staff, we are privileged to work in a place where we are daily “about our Father’s business.” Whether we are changing bed linens, changing an inn reservation or changing a lightbulb, we all serve in a place where lives are changed by the power of the Word of God and the work of His Spirit. 2016 will be a year of change for all of us at The Cove. Although we will “hit the ground running,” may we never run ahead of Christ in self-sufficiency or lose track of Him by lagging behind in disobedience. Instead, let’s enter this new year on our knees in a posture of prayer. If you’ve lost track of Jesus, that’s the best place to start.

Click here to see what’s happening at The Cove.

Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study – Mark 5:28

ONLINE BIBLE STUDY-1

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 Mark 5:28

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.

FACTS: If I just touch HIS garments I WILL get well.

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?

LESSONS: ​I was recently asked a question which has kind of stuck in my mind, and I’ve thought on it for the past few days.  I have been to Kenya, Paupa New Guinea, and countless stateside places to be with Wil as he ministers; so what do the women have in common from West Virginia to Paupa New Guinea?  The one thing that stuck in my my heart immediately is “brokenness.” Not to be a sapper of joy this Thanksgiving, focused on the worst things of life, but brokenness is a fact of life.  I am NOT thankful for brokenness…. but then on the same hand, I am.  It is in my brokenness and my desperateness that I saw my incredible need for a loving and gracious Savior.  It is also in my brokenness that in my pride and my anger… oh, and bitterness too, that I refused to come to a Savior.

We have all been there…some of us are there right now… desperate and in need.  What we do with that desperateness is of utmost importance.  This verse here, states it all… if this woman who has been in great need, extreme issues for 12 years, would just come to Jesus… she would be healed, she would be whole.  Isn’t that great… and not great at the same time?  If we go to Jesus to get healed… well, then, we will be healed! That means we will not have anything to hold over anyone anymore… that means that those rotten people who did this stuff to me won’t be reminded every time they see me, because I won’t be suffering anymore.

I will be healed, and better… Then… those people won’t know how badly they hurt me… So we stay away, willing to bleed out, because that will show them.  Truly, this is hard, because I know for me, I stayed in my situation, bleeding out, hurting, because I liked the excuses my situation afforded me.  I really didn’t want to be healed.

But then… the day came, when my pride no longer mattered more than my pain, and I went to Jesus–head low, hurting, and messy… and I was healed.  The worst/ best time of my life that I talk about constantly, because the grace of God was freely given to me.  I wasn’t judged or condemned.  I wasn’t scolded for taking so long.  It was as if Jesus would have waited a lifetime, just for me to come.  I am so thankful for the relentless love of a gracious Savior who just wants you to come as you are, and be healed.  What you choose matters.  Jesus takes broken things and makes them beautiful, oh that you would let Him.

 

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?

​What is a testimony of brokenness that you are thankful for since it drove you to Jesus?  Are you currently broken, knowing if you just come to Jesus you will be healed, and instead of this being great news, that is the problem?  Do you really want to be well?  Will you grab the testimony that is just in your grasp or will you hold on to the misery of brokenness?


LIVE IT OUT!
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.

Come to Jesus today.  Lay your burdens down, speak them out, yell them out, cry them out, write them out… to Jesus… He has waited for you and loves you more than anything!  Today, I am thanking God for healing me and taking my broken mess and painting a portrait I can’t not share.

Homework: Pick a verse or a few verses and use the three-question method to see what the lessons are, how they apply to your life, and how you can live it out.

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

JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.

If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.

If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.

Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..

If you’d like to register for Jane Derrick’s Tuesday morning study (January 12 – February 23, 2016), click here.

Order Your Mother’s Day Gifts From The Cove!

Ruths Attic Logo wKO_CMYK
Spring is blooming all around us at The Cove and we want to rejoice in the Lord’s beauty with you!

Check out some of our special products carried at Ruth’s Attic Bookstore here at The Cove that would be perfect for celebrating mom on Mother’s day (it’s just around the corner–Sunday May 10) or maybe treat yourself to something nice!

Bird painting
Spring Bird Painting: $33.00 (Limited quantities available.)

mother books
Footprints of a Pilgrim: $22.99
Treasured Moments with Mother Graham: $14.99
Letters from Ruth’s Attic: $9.95

silver bangle Bangles From Heaven Sterling Silver Bracelet: $82.99 (Also available in silver plated, call for details and price.)

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Spring Teapot: $30, Mug: $12 (Limited quantities available.)

coffee and mug
Cove Special Blend Whole Bean Coffee: $13.99
Billy Graham Training Center Mug with lid/coaster in colbalt blue: $11.99

Lamb Over Me Chinese Symbol
Ruth Bell Graham was born in China to missionary parents and carried a lifelong love for the people of this land. The “Chinese character for Righteousness” is placed at the top of the stone on her resting site at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. The same character is on her father’s gravestone. Her father served as a medical doctor in China for 25 years.
lamb over me symbol pendant
Ruth Graham’s “Lamb Over Me” Pendant: $19.99
chinese symbolpicture of ruth
Blessings to you!

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 email at bookstore@thecove.org.

CoveGiftCert
Give the gift with eternal benefits.  Cove gift certificates make the perfect gift for your loved ones.   To order a gift certificate call 1-800-950-2092.

 

 

Women’s Spring Luncheon with Cissie Graham Lynch

Cissie Graham Lynch with Title

Ladies, join us after church on Palm Sunday (March 29, 2015) for our annual  Women’s Spring Luncheon.

This year our speaker will be Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Cissie Graham Lynch.

When times are difficult, it can be hard for our hearts to sing praises to the Lord, but it is important for us to remember to praise Him through all the chapters of our lives. Learn the discipline of a worshipful walk with Christ and discover the joy that surpasses all understanding.

Come and enjoy a festive afternoon with music, a message from Cissie Graham Lynch, and a delicious meal. Open to area women ages 15 and above.

An Evening at the cove

Women’s Spring Luncheon: Here We Are To Worship
Program Fee: $29.00 Per Person. Call 1-800-950-2092 to register, or visit TheCove.org for more information.

Watch Cissie Graham Lynch here to learn more about her message she will deliver on Palm Sunday.

We hope to see you in March for the Women’s Spring Luncheon with Cissie Graham Lynch!