Weekly Bible Verse: Matthew 9: 12-13

Our weekly Bible verse reminds us that He is here for our every need. He will fulfill you. He will satisfy you. He will give you healing and peace.

 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:12-13, NKJV)


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- UNBROKEN: PATH TO REDEMPTION

 “I AM the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage.  I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.  Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I AM the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”

(Exodus 6:6-7, NASB)

What Does it Say?

I AM the LORD and WILL bring YOU out from burdens of Egyptians. I WILL deliver YOU from bondage, I WILL redeem YOU with outstretched arm. I WILL take YOU for MY people.  I WILL be YOUR God. YOU shall KNOW I AM, who brought YOU out.”

What Does it Mean?

There is a powerful message of freedom in the new movie, “Unbroken: Path to Redemption.”  The main character in the film, Olympic champion and World War II hero Louis Zamperini is a man burdened by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of his wartime experiences. After Louie’s plane crashed, he survived 47 days at sea on a raft in the South Pacific—only to be captured by the Japanese and specifically targeted and tortured by Mutsuhiro Watanabe, known to prisoners as “The Bird.”


(Picture of Louis and “The Bird”)

Louis was plagued by nightmares which kept him in bondage and drove him to alcohol, enabling him to forget his misery, if only for a few hours.  On this dark and dangerous path of destruction, Louis’ marriage was being destroyed and his relationship with his daughter threatened. His very life was destined to come to an abrupt end if Louis continued in the direction he was headed.

In a key scene (without giving the entire movie away), Louis finds himself at a point requiring him to choose who he will bend his knee to. The image of “The Bird” is mocking him, telling him, “You will NEVER be free from me!”  “The Bird” is saying in not so many words, “BEND YOUR KNEE TO ME!”  Louis walks towards him, drawn to destruction…. drawn to bend his knee forever to the very thing that will kill him. But…there is hope. Behind Louis’ right shoulder there’s another image—a different choice: a preacher, with an outstretched arm, preaching the Word of God. It’s a choice that offers FREEDOM from all that has burdened him. In this moment of great struggle, Louis does bend his knee.  (You’ll have to watch the movie to see to whom.)

Here is where the choice lies, for each one of us.  We will bend our knee to the slavery Egypt offers or to the freedom the living God offers. The misery of bondage beckons us, reminding us that we’re broken—useless and left alone by a God who has forgotten us and cannot hear our cries. The TRUTH of God’s Word reminds us that we are loved—that we were created on purpose, with purpose. There is a battle raging over your very soul. Your choice matters. Your knee will bend, but to whom is what lies in the balance.

The truth is that God, with His outstretched arm, has broken the chains of bondage that have kept us enslaved to the world and all its misery. Here in Exodus, God declares what He is going to do for His people; then the story continues and HE finishes it.  I love what Pharaoh’s magicians say about what is happening in Exodus 9, “It is the finger of God.”  Forget all the power of God’s outstretched arm to save His people: God is doing it with just a finger (I bet it was the pinky finger)!

God saved His people. But, why?  Did He save them just to put a feather in His cap?  Just to impress the superpower of the day?  It was more than just saving… God saved His people so that they could knowI AM,” personally.

God created us to know Him.  He led His people into the wilderness not to torture them, but to teach them. God saved them from horrific misery and bondage; but it was more than that, and God continues to be more than that today.

Through Jesus Christ, God came personally in the form of man.  He came for one reason: to free us from the bondage and misery the world has to offer.  Jesus, by the power of His out-stretched arms on the cross, conquered the power sin has over our lives. Three days later, He conquered death and the grave when He rose from the dead in power. The chains of sin and death are broken forever, not just so we can be saved, but so that for the rest of our lives we can experience the power of that freedom and know its author personally. His name is Jesus.

We are not forced into freedom, it is a choice.  Freedom—the path to redemption—is an incredibly difficult choice.  As you watch the movie, you’ll see it played out. In Laura Hillenbrand’s book, Unbroken, Louis himself states just how hard the struggle was to walk away from “The Bird,” when he says, “It is actually hard to walk away from everything that is killing you.”

God severed the chains of bondage that had gripped Louis Zamperini’s life, and He can do the same for us today, if only we will walk away from our bondage and walk towards God, accepting the freedom He has bought for us with His own blood.

The very same choice the Hebrews faced so long ago is the choice you have before you today:  Bend your knee to Egypt, or bend your knee to the LORD GOD who has delivered you with His outstretched arm. (Or finger!)  You cannot live on both sides of the Red Sea; you must choose. Egypt will kill you in the end. The Bible tells us “the enemy “has come to steal, kill and destroy,” but Jesus has come to give LIFE and LIFE abundantly (see John 10:10).

What Does it Mean to Me?

  • What kind of life are you holding on to? Are you living a life with your knee bent in bondage to the past—toward bondage to guilt and shame? Toward enslavement to the rat race and a life defined by the power and influence of Egypt (the world and its culture)?
  • Why do we choose to live in bondage instead of freedom?
  • Why is it so hard to leave Egypt and all that it has to offer?

LIVE IT OUT

LORD, open my eyes to see You, and open my heart to follow You. Take away the struggle of chasing Egypt, and place within me a new heart to hear and follow You. Oh, that I may know the One who freed me!

Watch the trailer here. 


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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God’s Endless Love: 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 “God’s Endless Love,” was inspired by a message Quinn recently heard his dad preach. Enjoy this reminder of God’s love…

God’s Endless Love
By: Quinn Graham

God loves us all

No matter what we do He loves us

We murder, steal, fight, and break the Ten Commandments

He still loves us

He never will forget us

He will never stop loving on us

He came down to earth for us

We tortured Him by beating Him up and then hanging Him on a cross to die

Yet, He still said that He loved us even though He was dying on the cross

Three days later He came back from the dead                                        

He came back not in revenge  for what we did to Him

But He came back in love

And His endless love will never end

He will love every single person on earth forever

No matter what we do He loves us.


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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Lessons from Billy Graham

Lessons from Billy Graham: What I learned portraying my grandfather in Unbroken
By: Will Graham

In 2014, Angelina Jolie directed an award-winning film called Unbroken. It tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent turned Olympian and war hero. After Louis’ WWII plane crashed in the Pacific, he floated at sea for 47 days before being captured and ruthlessly tortured by the Japanese. He survived unimaginable atrocities and starvation, finally making it home to his family after the war.

The movie Unbroken ended on a high point, but that’s not where Louis Zamperini’s story ended. In fact, the struggles were just beginning.

After returning home, Louis’ life looked great on the outside. He was a celebrity, he married a woman whom he dearly loved, and they had a beautiful little baby. On the inside, however, Louis was sinking into a dark well of despair. He suffered from what we now know as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), was haunted by nightmares, was on the verge of divorce, and had become an alcoholic.

He had survived the ruthlessness of war, but was now on the road to destruction in peacetime.

This second part of Louis’ story is being told in the Universal Studios film Unbroken: Path to Redemption, slated for nationwide theater release on Sept. 14, 2018. In it, we witness Louis in all of his heartache and pain, but we also get a glimpse of the answer to his struggles.

You see, Louis only found true and lasting peace when he surrendered his life to Christ at my grandfather’s historic 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. After beginning a relationship with Jesus, Louis never had another nightmare, never took another sip of alcohol, and his marriage was restored.

Early last year I was approached with the unique and unexpected opportunity to portray my grandfather in the film. I’m not an actor, but I prayerfully decided to accept this role. It was a nerve-wracking experience that took me far out of my comfort zone, but it was also an incredible blessing.

The biggest impact for me came from deeply studying my grandfather in preparing for the role, immersing myself in his early sermons.

First, I was reminded of my grandfather’s deep love for – and reliance upon – the Bible. He quoted scripture repeatedly and at length throughout his messages. His most commonly used phrase was “The Bible says…” He knew that the Bible was the divine, powerful, living Word of God, and it pierced the hearts of those hearing it.

Second, my grandfather preached with a sense of urgency. He knew that heaven and hell hung in the balance. Decisions made in that massive tent on the corner of Hill and Washington streets in Los Angeles would not only affect lives, but eternities as well.

Third, my grandfather didn’t just ask people to respond to the Good News of Christ. He commanded them with an authority that could come only from God. “This may be your only chance. Come now!” he would call out. Of course, those in the audience had the free will to walk forward or not, but my grandfather made it very clear that this was their opportunity to begin a new life with Jesus.

Looking back on it, we now know that Louis Zamperini was one of those who responded to the call, and he was radically changed and saved. That was 1949, but today there are just as many – if not more – people like Louis out there. People who are lost and struggling, who have no hope or peace.

Will you be like my grandfather, holding tight to the Scripture as you share the hope that you have with urgency and authority? I’m committed to doing so, and I hope you will too.

To view the trailer for the movie  Unbroken: Path To Redemption, click here. 


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: RESOLVE TO REMEMBER

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.

RESOLVE TO REMEMBER

The first day of school has come and gone for millions of children throughout the country. Supplies have been purchased and parental wallets emptied. New teachers have been met and homework assignments commenced. And tears have dampened the concrete sidewalks of many an elementary school as parents dropped off wide-eyed children for the first day of first grade. (More often than not, the tears were from the red-rimmed eyes of parents rather than from the students.)

MEMORY KEEPERS

Prior to making that first trip to school, many eager little ones have stood smiling on the doorstep of their home, holding a “First Day of First Grade” sign so Mom could capture the momentous occasion in a Facebook or Instagram post. Each adorable image of a smiling child armed with a new backpack and clean white sneakers reminds us that there are certain times in our lives when we consciously desire to preserve a memory—occasions when we are acutely aware of the fact that time moves swiftly and treasured moments pass. The six-year-old might be clueless as to the twelve-year journey he or she is embarking upon; but Mom and Dad understand the significance, and they seek to preserve the memory with more than just a mental snapshot.  Someday they want this child to look back and marvel at how far they have come and how much they have learned.

God understands it too. Memory is a priceless gift He’s blessed us with; and it’s far more than just a helpful resource for compiling grocery lists, getting high test scores or remembering people’s names. Our God-given capacity for memory can strengthen our faith and enhance our prayer life. Throughout His Word, God instructs us to recall the past and remember His faithfulness.

I WILL REMEMBER

There are examples of this throughout the Scriptures, especially in the book of Psalms.  I have considered the days of old, the years of long ago. I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, and my spirit ponders:  Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. Then I said, ‘It is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed.  I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God?  You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.  You have by Your power redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah” (Psalm 77:5-12, NASB).

 Psalms 105 and 106 are summaries of the Lord’s patient dealing with Israel, despite their pattern of willfulness and propensity to wander. We can recognize the repetitive pattern in our own lives: “Then they believed His words and sang His praise. They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for Hhis counsel” (Psalm 106:12-13, NKJV).  Yet praise God for the words “He remembered” that occur multiple times in these two chapters. “He remembers His covenant forever” (Psalm 105:8, NKJV). “For He remembered His holy promise” (Psalm 105:42, NKJV).  “And for their sake He remembered His covenant” (Psalm 106:45, NKJV). Even when we are forgetful, He remembers.

In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah, “The Weeping Prophet,” recalls God’s loving kindness and faithfulness even in the midst of His judgement of Israel:  “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’” (Lamentations 3:20-24, NASB).

LESSONS FROM A FORGOTTEN LUNCH

Jesus Himself reminded His own disciples of the importance of recalling God’s faithfulness. In Matthew 16:6, He spoke of their being “on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Saducees.” The disciples took this simply as a subtle reference to the fact that they had forgotten to bring bread to eat. “But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?  Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?  Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?’” (Matthew 16: 8-10, NASB).  With these words their Master was encouraging them to recall two very recent instances of God’s provision and faithfulness. Because Jesus knew the missing bread incident involved more than just missing lunch, He turned it into a learning opportunity. His disciples had yet to understand their need to look beyond their earthly circumstances and look up to their Heavenly Father and provider. He knew their needs were greater than the simple lack of physical nourishment; they had need of spiritual depth and discernment.

As we look ahead to the busy fall season, let’s determine to look with the eyes of faith. And when faith grows dim and doubt creeps in or our meager resources seem inadequate, let’s search our memories for reminders of the times when God has shown Himself faithful.  Let’s ask Him to give us long memories, grateful hearts and strong faith. Let’s resolve to remember.

Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, HCSB)

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate your prayers for these upcoming September events:

Richard Blackaby — September 4-5
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz)
Pastor Renewal Retreat— Leading Out of the Overflow

 Erwin Lutzer — September 5-7
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
The Inheritance of the Redeemed

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — September 7-9
(Facilitator: John Parrish)

Jerry Vines — September 10-12
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Tom Bledsoe; Artists: Overflow, John Innes; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
SeniorCelebration — Songs for the Journey: Four Psalms to Live By

Gary Thomas— September 14-16
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
Military Marriage Retreat — Cherish: God’s Way to Change Everything for Your Marriage

An Evening at The Cove with CeCe Winans — September 18(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)


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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Saturday Snapshot: A New Season

As we move into this next season, we can expect that change is coming. We see it between summer and fall, as the temperatures cool slightly and the leaves slowly begin to change. We see it as kids go back to school and families  wrap up vacations and return to work.  We all know it’s inevitable that we will experience change in our lives, in ways big and small.

As we anticipate that change is coming, what are some ways that we can be prepared and stay firm in our foundation? Let’s take a look at Psalm 28:7, ” The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (NIV).

No matter what change comes in our lives, it cannot destroy the unshakeable truth that our God’s love for us never changes.  He is our strength and shield for everything.  We can always lean on Him for the support that we need. Change and transition is hard for most people, but it becomes less difficult when we recall the promise that God is always  our firm foundation.  One of the ways that we can stay strong is by trusting in His Word,  meditating on verses just like this one and holding tight to His promise.

Another way to stay strong is by simply acknowledging and anticipating that change will come. It may come through a trial or just by a shift in life circumstances. Maybe it is a positive change that you direct, knowing that you want something new. Knowing that change will arise can prepare you for it.  As we look at 1 Peter, we see that the Apostle wrote this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters who were getting ready to face a change that would threaten their very lives: persecution.

In this short epistle (letter), Peter encourages the believers and instructs them in how to face the looming persecution they will undergo because of their faith. He tells them to, ” gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13, NKJV). When he spoke of “girding up [their] mind,”  Peter was referring to what many of those early Christians knew as “girding up your robe.” In the historical context of this verse, the term is reminiscent of the ancient Near Eastern custom of pulling up long robes and tucking them a belt when running so that nothing would be loose. In this passage, Peter is telling them to do this with their mind. He is saying that their focus needs to be on Heaven and on Jesus. Peter understood that when believers are heading into persecution, they have to make sure that their only thought pattern and focus is the Lord. He knew that these Christians would not endure if they did not have that singular focus in their mind. They could not allow “loose” thoughts to run wild. As we acknowledge that change will come to us in the days ahead, let’s remember to prepare our minds by focusing on Christ and Him alone. The enemy may want to put doubt, fear, and other things in our minds, but we will stand firm as we keep a singular focus on Him.

Another way to stand strong is through worship. Psalm 59:16 states, “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” As we move through change and things begin to feel uncomfortable, that is the time to press-in even more in our worship of the Lord. As we enter His Presence, everything changes! Our perspective changes, and we gain hope and strength. We have peace. As we walk through seasons of change, we must pursue His Presence in the difficult moments.

How are you going to go through the changes that will come this year? How about the battles you know are inevitable. We can anticipate opposition, just like the people Peter spoke to in 1 Peter. Because of the words the Lord spoke to them through Peter’s letter, they had a plan of action when that time came. They were prepared; and because they were prepared, the First Century Church exploded! As those early believers kept their eyes on Christ, they did not waver; and as a result, everyone around them deeply desired what they had. Those around them wanted that eternal promise.

We have the same opportunity to show Christ to everyone as we ourselves go through periods of change. As people watch us go through this next season, will they be drawn to Christ in us? Will they want what we have? We must make up our minds now as to how we will go through this next season. He is with us and will never leave us!


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

“Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you.  I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”   (Leviticus 26:11-13, NASB)

 What Does it Say?

I will make MY dwelling among you. My soul will NOT reject you. I will walk among you, be your God and you MY people.  I AM the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, so you not be slaves, I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

What Does it Mean?

Aaron Shust recently wrote a song called, “Zion.”  There’s a line in the song that says, “You have no other shepherd, you have no other Lord.”  This phrase has been rolling around in my heart and mind for a few days, and in the end it brought me back to Egypt.

God’s chosen people had been captive in the land of Egypt for over 400 years.  Pharaoh was the leader God’s people knew.  The Egyptian gods were gods with whom the Hebrews were well-acquainted.  Throughout the land of Egypt, Pharaoh was seen as deity—a direct descendant of the gods.  In the eyes of the Egyptians, He made the sun rise and set, and he ensured the Nile would flood so the crops could grow. It was Pharaoh who brought the seasons and Pharaoh who protected the land.

Do you think it was possible for the Hebrews to believe that their own God had forsaken them after 400 years?  Is it too far-fetched to think that some Hebrews even found themselves in Egyptian temples, worshipping Egyptian gods?  Did the Hebrews ever look to Pharaoh to have their needs met?

In many ancient pictures of pharaohs, the ruler is portrayed holding a shepherd’s crook in one hand and a flail in the other, with his arms crossed over his chest.  In this way, the pharaoh was represented as being the shepherd and lord (or master) of Egypt.  The flail had multiple meanings: it was seen as a tool representing harvest, but it was also seen as a tool of power and punishment. The shepherd’s crook, on the other hand, represented the pharaoh as the leader of his flock.

In the Exodus, God’s chosen people were called out from under the leadership of and bondage to the pharaoh, yet that was all the Hebrews had known for generations.  God must have seemed very silent to them throughout those years of captivity.  Exodus 3 speaks of the pharaoh being a harsh taskmaster, breaking the Israelite slaves in both body and spirit.  Yet here in this Leviticus passage we see it revealed that Pharaoh would no longer be shepherd and lord:  YHWH, I AM that I AM would be their God and they would be His people.  That was the deal.

God was not ignorant of the hardships His people endured.  The Exodus 3 passage tells us God heard their cries and sent Moses, the deliverer (a foreshadowing of the day when God Himself would come as deliverer through Christ’s incarnation).  Here in Leviticus, the Word of God reminds His people that God did not reject or forsake them.  YHWH is a God who desires to walk with His people; yet in order to walk with them, God had to call them out.  When God called His people out of Egypt—out from under the thumb of Pharaoh, out from bondage, and out and away from the gods Egypt worshipped, He was calling them #home.  They would have to go through the desert, yes; but that was where they would learn to walk with, see, and experience the love of this personal God who #delivered them.

God’s call is the same today, and the same choice lies before us.  We are created to serve someone or something; that’s how it is. The choice is Egypt, or God.  Egypt had all the amenities and wealth of life. Sure, the Israelites were slaves. It was terrible and they were miserable, but it was predictable. Walking with God in freedom is a daily choice of dependence.  Freedom is HARD.

God created us to walk with Him—to know Him and to need Him.  There is no better shepherd, no kinder Lord than the LORD, YHWH.   We have been called out from the slavery the world offers, into the freedom that God gives.  The world of Egypt (the world) offered slavery and death, and it still does today; whereas God gives LIFE and life eternal (John 10:10).

I pray that you’ll determine today to have no other Shepherd, no other Lord.  Resolve to let YHWH lead you #home, even if the desert must be traversed in the process.  Oh, that we have ears to hear the One True God and voices to declare that the LORD is our God and we are His people.

What Does it Mean to me?

Who is my shepherd?  Who is my Lord?  Am I walking with God daily in freedom, or am I a slave to the world and all of its demands?

Do I even want to live in the freedom God gives?  What is the hardest thing I would have to leave behind in my “Egypt”?

Live it out:

Teach me how to walk with You, Jesus, even if it is through the desert.  Draw me to Your Word and teach me.  Give me the strength to live in the freedom You offer and died to give.  (John 3:16)

“Zion”
Aaron Shust


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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click map

Weekly Bible Verse: 1 Peter 5:8

Our verse for the week comes from 1 Peter 5:8

 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (NKJV).

As you head into this week, stay on guard and be vigilant. The way that we have victory over the enemy is by: praying, reading the Word, speaking life-giving words over situations, and above all trusting the Lord in all times. He already won the victory!


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: The 2019 Program Guide Schedule

We had a wonderful week as we launched the 2019 Program Guide Schedule with such an incredible line-up of speakers and worship artists!

Here is just a snapshot of who you will see in 2019

We are so thrilled to announce that Beth Moore will be with us October 30th-November 1st! You can register for her event by clicking here.

Matthew West will be joining us on May 19th! Matthew is a multiple- Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner and lauded by The New York Times as “a vivid and compelling songwriter with impressive approaches to the familiar.” A four-time GRAMMY® nominee, Matthew West’s discography includes acclaimed releases: Happy (2003), History (2005),Something to Say (2008), The Story of Your Life (2010) and Into The Light (2012). His 2010 studio album, The Story of Your Life, was inspired by 10,000 stories from every state in the U.S. and 20 countries. The album garnered attention from CNN Online, Fox News, Billboard, Country Weekly, American Songwriter and more. The Story of Your Life gave West the largest street week debut of his career, selling over 10,000 units the first week landing at No. 3 on Christian Soundscan, and No. 41 on the Billboard Top 200.  To register for Matthew West, click here

Mark your calendars for June 28th-30th for Lisa Harper as she returns to the Cove. Lisa has been lauded as a gifted communicator whose writing and speaking overflow with colorful pop culture references that connect the dots between the Bible era and modern life. Her style combines sound Scriptural exposition with easy-to-relate to anecdotes and comedic wit. She is a blessing to have with us. Lisa’s seminar tends to sell out quickly, so make your reservations now! Click here to register!

We are also excited to have Will Graham back August 9th-11th! Since beginning his evangelistic ministry with youth-oriented, one-day events in Canada, Will has spoken to audiences across North America, Australia, India and other parts of Asia and South America. To register for his seminar, click here!

We have so many more incredible speakers and worship artists! Take a minute this Saturday and visit our website to see our 2019 Program Guide Schedule. We hope you will come visit us at the Cove and take some time to connect deeper in your relationship with the Lord and receive refreshment from Him.


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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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove