Weekly Bible Verse: Proverbs 2:1-5

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Proverbs 2:1-5 (NIV)

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord  and find the knowledge of God.”


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.


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Saturday Snapshot: Will Graham New Release ‘Redeemed’

We are so excited for Will Graham’s devotional book to be released on October 23rd! Redeemed: Devotions for the Longing Soul features 50 devotions. Some include stories about Billy Graham. Others use examples from Will Graham’s life and ministry. All devotions point to the eternal hope we have in Jesus Christ!

“God Stories.”

That’s what Will Graham calls the anecdotes in his first book Redeemed: Devotions for the Longing Soul.

“I’m excited about it because I get to share some personal stories,” Will said.  There are stories of his grandfather, “Daddy Bill”- known to the world as Billy Graham- his grandmother, Ruth Graham, and his own experiences.

Click this link to order your copy! 

*All proceeds from Ruth’s Attic help support World Wide Evangelism through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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KENDRA GRAHAM: ONLINE BIBLE STUDY

“And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for 6 days. (4) Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the 7th day you shall march around the city seven times and the priests shall blow the trumpets. (5) And it shall be when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall will fall down flat, and the people will go straight ahead”  (Joshua 6:3-5, NASB)

What Does it Say?

  • You march around the city, all men of war circling the city once, for six days.
  • Priests carry seven trumpets before the ark.
  • On the 7th day, march around city seven times; and priests blow trumpets.
  • When they make a long blast on the trumpets, the people will shout with a great shout.
  • Walls will fall flat.  People go straight ahead.

What Does it Mean?

I shared earlier this summer about my visit to Seattle and the unforgettable experience of watching a glass blower as he placed glass pieces into the fire and went on to create absolute masterpieces.  A piece of that glass now sits on the desk where I study each morning.  It’s a jellyfish paperweight.  (I know that may seem like an odd choice, but my Aunt Tina and I signed up for a glassblowing class, and that was the craft of the day!)

I was hesitant to try my hand at this.  I had been watching the skilled artist do his thing, and I was blown away by his talent.  I do not have talent.  I should tell you that I stopped doing art projects when I was six and my snowflake in Miss Ruyle’s class turned out to be a total disaster. Yet Aunt Tina is such an encouraging person, and since she was going to take the class, I agreed to give it a shot. We signed our names on the waiver (the one that states the ovens are 2,000 degrees), and we picked a time slot to blow a piece of glass together.

The description of the class sounded innocent enough. The first qualification was that the participant had to be over the age of five—yes, a jellyfish glass paperweight is something a 5-year-old could make. I kept reminding myself of that all day. My heart raced as Aunt Tina and I returned to the glass shop at our appointed time. I was terrified the jellyfish would be similar to the snowflake downfall of 1980.

The glassmaster took me into the studio and had me pick out colors.  That was easy enough.

Then the work began. He put a piece of glass on a rod and patiently talked me through the process.  It was challenging.  I had to keep my rod spinning the entire time while simultaneously adding color and shape to my glass blob. The glassmaster never left my side, continuing to  instruct me and once in a while taking over the task of spinning the rod when I forgot and became distracted with a different task.

In the end, I did it!  My jellyfish looked like a jellyfish and everything!  I could not have done it if the glass master had left my side.  The individual tasks were none too hard or overwhelming, but I could not have completed the entire project without without the help and guidance of the skilled glassblower.

God Brings Down the Walls

This experience reminds me of the times when God asks us to step up and do something with Him.  Here in this passage in the book of Joshua, God was going to bring the walls of Jericho down.  God did not need Joshua or his army; yet He was teaching them what they could do if only they would live a life of obedience to Him.

Jericho was a formidable city—daunting with its huge outer walls. From the outset, the task seemed impossible; yet God was with Joshua as He had been with Moses.  As these verses record, God told Joshua exactly what He wanted him and the Israelite army to do:  Joshua and his army were to walk around the city once a day for six days; then on the seventh day, they were to walk around it seven times.

Simple Tasks, Unconventional Strategy

Was this beyond their capabilities?  No.  If the Israelites could do anything at this point, it was walking—they’d just finished doing that exact thing in the desert for 40 years!  Walking was in their gifted column.  GREAT!  Easy peasy.  Oh, and the priests would need to go out in front, carrying seven trumpets; and just behind them would come the Ark of the Covenant (a visual reminder of God’s promises and provisions).

Is any part of that task list difficult?  No.

Does it make sense? No, not so much. God was clearly telling Joshua what He wanted the Israelite army to do; now the question was, would they do it?

This is not how war is done, by the way. No general has ever re-used this tactical plan.  Priests do not normally go in front of the army.  Priests are not usually armed.  When the priests blew those trumpets, they probably already felt like sitting ducks; and now, drawing all that attention to themselves, well….

Did God hate them?  Did God want them killed for some reason?  Had God read the rules of war?  I’d have a lot of questions, especially if I’d been one of those priests:  “Joshua, did you hear God right?”

God calls us to tasks, and often those tasks are not beyond our capability; we can walk, we can blow a trumpet, we can shout…. but the task does not appear to promise success in the end. We might end up a laughing stock. We’ll be the butt of jokes.  That person will never speak to me again if I do that.  My friend will think I’m crazy.  We may think of a host of reasons not to obey God and take up the task, but what if we simply obeyed?  How might we see God work?

All for God’s Glory

Whatever task He is asking you to perform, the work is impossible without God.  He is doing the work, just as the glassmaster was really making the jellyfish that was in my hands.  The work can’t be done—and is impossible to complete—without the Master at our side.  It’s God who deserves the credit and the glory in the end.

Can’t you just hear Joshua’s response as the news reporter interviewed him after the walls fell?  “Yah, well, we really had been practicing walking with power, and well, these new Air Jordan sandals, well they did the trick!”  The idea of Joshua taking the credit is laughable.  There is no other explanation but God. The problem often lies with us wanting a tithe of God’s glory.

Closing the Faith Gap

When God calls me to things that are only possible with Him, the question really comes down to obedience.  There is always a gap between what I can do and what God must do.  That gap is faith.

Do we have ears to hear what God is asking of us and the faith to do it?  His command could be as simple as, “Text that friend of yours this verse that I showed you today.”

“But she’ll think I’m crazy!” So we don’t.

What if we did??  Obeying in the simple things is HARD, but in the end we just might see those walls of Jericho fall if we can get over our pride and desire for control and if we let God put those sandals on our feet to walk, place a trumpet in our hands to blow and give us a message for our voice to shout. The simplicity of faith is often HARD as we rely on God to do what He says He will do.

What Does it Mean to Me?

Do I have a testimony of a time when God nudged me to do something simple and I did it?  What were the results?  Was it for my harm or for His glory?

Has God ever called me to do something my pride just wouldn’t allow me to do?  Have I ever regretted that?

Live it Out:

Today I pray that You, Lord, will make me sensitive to Your Spirit.  Give me the faith to stop and talk to that person who passes my way, to encourage a clerk at the store with a gift or a word, or perhaps just text a friend with a verse.  Lord, may it be You Who leads me. I tend to think I know best, and I know there’s someone who needs to hear from me. Help me to obey as You lead.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 51:10

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 51:10.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10, NKJV). 

May this be our prayer this week. As we ask Him daily to purify our hearts and renew us with His presence, we are able to reach others with His love.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Saturday Snapshot: Beautiful Fall

Fall is finally here! Can you believe it? This week at The Cove, the temperatures dropped and the leaves are changing colors! Our amazing staff has also decorated The Cove for the season!


There are beautiful flowers all around the property.

Pumpkins, flowers, and leaves changing!

We even have some of our friends snooping around this week to see our fall decor.

As the leaves continue to change in the next few weeks, we will update you with the pictures! It is a beautiful time to visit The Cove!


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Weekly Bible Verse: Isaiah 43:1-2

Our Weekly Bible Verse comes from Isaiah 43:1-2

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze” (NIV). 


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.


 

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PRAYER NOTE: SMALL THINGS

We hope 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 share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

SMALL THINGS

From tiny houses to minimalist design…small is big right now. There are websites, blogs and apps to help you reduce clutter and downsize anything from your wardrobe to your life.  Taken in the right spirit, this new appreciation for smallness can be a good and positive thing—a counterbalance to the excesses we so often fall into.

But what if the only thing small in your life is your bank account, your education, or your list of accomplishments? What if your trial looms large in comparison to your tiny store of strength, courage or faith?

A BIG TASK

The Old Testament book of Zechariah contains messages of hope for the future as it records the prophet’s words to the people of Judah who were returning to Jerusalem after their 70-year exile in Babylon. After his initial call to repentance (Zechariah 1:1-6), Zechariah turns to recording visions of encouragement and reassurance given by God to His people. Faced with the enormous task of rebuilding the temple, the returning exiles felt small indeed.

Hounded by a lack of resources which included crop failures and financial distress, God’s people needed the encouraging visions God shared through His prophet.  They needed a reminder that their smallness would not hinder the completion of the work they’d been called to do.

The book of Zechariah is not simply a long cheerleading session or a collection of motivational speeches. It is a proclamation of the omnipotent God’s plan for His people. “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem’” (Zechariah 1:16, NKJV).

A GREAT GOD

Zechariah delivered the encouraging promise that the temple would indeed be built, despite the seemingly meager resources of the returned exiles: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6, NKJV).

“Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you. For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the whole earth, will rejoice when they see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:9-10, HCSB).

Through these words, the great God who had called His people to be a reflection of His glory was giving them the assurance that the seemingly impossible task facing them would be completed. Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, had begun the work of building the Lord’s house, “and his hands will complete it,” the Lord declared. With such an assurance, who would indeed “scorn the day of small things?”

As believers today we may not be called to build a physical temple, but our great God calls even the smallest of us to participate in the great work of building His kingdom. Regardless of the part we’re called to play, the key is to work for His glory and not our own. When we seek to have God’s vision for the world, we begin to recognize our own smallness and learn to depend upon and magnify His greatness.

We come to God in a prayer of humility, recognizing our weakness and casting ourselves on the one who is all-powerful—Almighty.  We bow before Him in repentance, confessing our sinfulness and placing our trust in the Savior who is holy, just and sinless, yet merciful and forgiving. We come to Him in need, acknowledging our lack of resources and leaning on our loving Father who knows our need before we ask. (See Matthew 6:8.)

The “day of small things” may not be an easy or comfortable day, but praise God it can be a day of deep spiritual growth for each of us if makes us recognize our need and drives us even lower to our knees.

A TIMELESS PROMISE

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV).

—Donna Riesen


SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — October 1
 (Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore)

Jonathan Falwell — October 1-3
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
The Power and Promise of Heaven: Letting Our Tomorrow Guide Our Today

James Merritt — October 3-5
(Emcee: John Parrish; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg; Pastor-in-Residence: David Taylor)
A Holy Who? God’s Spirit and Our Relationship to Him

An Evening at The Cove with Laura Story — October 7
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

Kay Arthur & David Arthur — October 8-10
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seefeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
Dying to Live: Exploring the Crucified Life

Prescription for Renewal — October 12-14  (and Missionary Medicine Seminar — October 11-12)
(Main Speakers: Jim Cymbala and Joni Eareckson Tada; Host: Franklin Graham)

Albert Mohler, Jr.— October 23-25
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)

Pastor Renewal Retreat — The Bible’s Story as the Story of the World: How Biblical Theology Rescues Ministry from Triviality

Bob Russell — October 29-31
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Johnny Prettyman; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Living Confidently in Turbulent Times


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media.click map

My Best Friend: Quinn Graham

We have a modern-day psalmist on our hands:  Quinn Graham, Will Graham’s son and Billy Graham’s great-grandson, has written a special  psalm to share. This one, entitled “My Best Friend,” was inspired by Quinn’s  friendship with Mr. Chuck…

My Best Friend

(For my best friend Mr. Chuck)

Who is the best friend anyone can ever have?

He cares for me when I am alone

He gives me wonderful gifts which I don’t deserve

He does many more things for me, yet I can only give back little

All I can do for him is vacuum and clean his house that isn’t really dirty

In return he gives me amazing gifts like a robot set

He loves God very much

He loves me very much

And I love him very much

For he is my best friend

I will always be a faith friend to him

Because he is also a faithful friend to me

Mr. Chuck has shown me more friendship than I have ever seen

Thank you, Mr. Chuck, for being the best friend anyone can have!


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Weekly Bible Verse: Isaiah 40:29

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” (ESV) 

How do you gain strength in times of weakness? His Word gives you His promise that He is with you. He is present in the trials and seasons where you feel weak. He will be your strength. He will give you what you need this week. Trust in Him. When you feel exhausted, it is time to surrender and let God take over. He is your strength and  hope.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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KENDRA GRAHAM: ONLINE BIBLE STUDY

#Enough for the Next Step

 

“So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. ”
( I Kings 19:8, NASB)

 What Does it Say?

He arose, ate, drank and went in the strength of that food 40 days and nights to Horeb, mountain of God.

What Does it Mean?

My husband and I recently watched “Hacksaw Ridge,” a movie that depicts the true story of Desmond Doss and the battle that occurred on Hacksaw Ridge in May of 1945.

A conscientious objector, Desmond did not object to his responsibility to serve in America’s military; but because he refused to take a life, he refused to carry or shoot a gun. Desmond Doss was a medic who was determined to save life, not end it.

The Medic Without a Gun

The battle that day was a grave one, and Desmond walked into it armed with nothing more than his medic supplies, his Bible and his faith.  Many lives were lost, and the American forces retreated off the ridge and back down to safety—all but the injured and the medic without a gun. Those who could retreat, did so; yet Desmond stayed, determined to treat, care for and protect the injured left on that ridge (American and Japanese).  Fear and exhaustion overwhelmed Desmond as he cried out to God, asking Him why he was there…

Immediately a cry was heard through the black smoke: a soldier, in pain, needing attention. The exhausted young medic asked God for the strength to get to the injured man and for the wisdom to be able to help him.  Alone in the dark that night, Desmond Doss treated and lowered to safety more than 75 soldiers who would have no doubt died without immediate attention.  When Desmond was interviewed years later, he remarked that his only prayer had been, “Lord, help me get just one more to safety.”  Just one more…

The Prophet Praying to Die

In this chapter of I Kings, Elijah is beat up, exhausted and ready to die. Unable to muster one more step, the beleaguered prophet sits down beneath a juniper tree (rotem– broom tree).  There, God provides shade in the middle of the wilderness, to take the heat off of Elijah. He then provides the prophet with food and water (resources that are desperately lacking in the desert). God comes to Elijah, providing the prophet with what he needs to take the first step, then the next step and then the next.

The Journey to Where God Is

Where was Elijah going, anyway?  God was leading Elijah exactly to the same place He leads us today: to where He is.  Elijah had just enough sustenance to make it to where God was—Horeb, the mountain of God.  Horeb, the same mountain where Moses had been leading sheep and encountered the bush that burned but was not consumed.  Horeb, the mountain to which God had led the children of Israel after their deliverance from Egypt.  Horeb, the mountain where Moses had been given the Ten Commandments—the mountain Moses had climbed when he cried out, “Show me Your glory.”

The journey to Horeb was a long, arduous, 40-day trek; yet it was a journey with purpose:  God wanted Elijah to know Him, to know His Name.  Elijah had given up comfort, ease and worldly prosperity, but he would gain an intimate knowledge of who God is and who he, Elijah, is to God.  Was the risk of giving it all up worth the reward in the end?

In the end, Elijah—the man who had begged for death to come swiftly—never tasted death as he was swept up in a whirlwind directly into the presence of God.  All the wealth and power that King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had at that same time in history could not be compared to the impact, testimony and relationship that Elijah had with the Great I AM.

Elijah had just enough for the next step… and found out God Himself was #enough, especially in the struggle.

 

The God Who Is Enough

Today, perhaps you are like me and the next step is exhausting to think about.  As Elijah was fed by God, may we too come to His Word today and depend on His provision for the same thing.  Dependence on God is a great thing, but it leaves no room for personal glory; and although we hate the thought of being dependent, in reality all of us are.  We’re dependent on a job, a relationship, a paycheck, a church, a doctor, or a coach… What if we just turned our eyes to Jesus and depended on Him to work through all those things?  Oh it’s hard, and we will fight giving God control over even the smallest detail, not to mention the largest!

Today, open God’s Word and ask Him to feed you…. just enough for the next step.  May God show you that His Name and His promises are #enough.

What Does it Mean to Me?

When has God given me just enough for the next step?  (Your testimony matters!)

How do I need God to provide strength for the next step?

What promises of God do I find in His Word that I can hold on to in times of exhaustion and heartache?

LIVE IT OUT

God, You promise that You are Jehovah Raah, the Shepherd, so lead me. You say You are the bread of life and the living water, so nourish. God, You claim that You are Jehovah Shalom, peace, so bring peace to the tumult.  God, Your Word tells me You are Jehovah Nissi, my banner in times of battle, so take up for me.  Please give me the strength to lay these things down at Your feet, and grant me the faith to believe that You are #enough for the next step.

 



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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove