Distractions: A Psalm By 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 “Distractions” is a great reminder for us to keep our focus on God. 

Distractions

I

Distractions are a big thing in our world

They well… distract us

They distract us from God

You should never get distracted from God

When getting distracted you tend to put God aside

When you put Him aside for later you tend to forget                     

And when you forget about Him

You could take a wrong turn in the  path and start heading away from God

Heading away from God is a bad thing

 

II

At first you may not notice it

Then it grows

You start to feel like something is missing but you don’t know what

Even though you know God exist you still have a hole in you

That’s when you know you have wandered to far from Him

Instead of putting Him first you start putting the things that distract you first

You care more about your idol than your God

Once noticing it you would want to turn back to Him

But the problem is the Devil           

He wants you to stay distracted

He wants you to love your idol more than God

That’s when you know that enough is enough

And you need to put your idol down and go back to God

 

III

God’s hands are always open, and He will forgive you no matter what

He loves you no matter what you did

You may have other things in life that distract you but…

You just need to put God first.


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 55:22

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

“Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken”

Throughout the Bible, God tells us that we can lean on Him in times of struggle and He will take care of us.  There is nothing He does not understand and nothing beyond His control.


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 19:32

Our weekly bible verse comes from Psalm 19: 32:

It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.”

Where would we be without strength and guidance from our Heavenly Father?  Even in the valley, with Him as our guide, we will never be lost.


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: Week at The Cove

This past week at The Cove was quite busy with several Guest Group Events, a wonderful Seminar taught by Pastor Jonathan Falwell, and many guests at our Visitor’s Center.  Everyone enjoyed the wonderful weather and the beautiful surroundings.

View from the Training Center Deck
Pastor Jonathan Falwell Seminar


Pastor Jonathan Falwell teaching on “Understanding the Important Doctrines of The Bible”


Beautiful flowers at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitor’s Center

The trails are great for a relaxing walk or even a nice run

A quiet evening on the Training Center Deck


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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Faith to Walk on Water

At The Cove, we have morning devotions with our staff. These devotions are led by managers of each of the departments. We also have employees who write and share devotions from time to time. One of our managers, Michelle Coleman recently wrote a devotion entitled, “Faith to Walk on Water” that we would like to share with you.

Faith to Walk on Water

Our devotion comes from Matthew 14:22-23

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,  and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

What does it take to have the kind of faith that Peter had to step out of the boat and to walk on the water? When we read this passage, we sometimes see the Peter that did not focus on Christ and began to sink. However, there was the other Peter. The one that had the courage and bravery to actually step out of the boat. As we study Peter, we see a disciple that wavered in his faith at times. He was passionate,  but also uncontrollable in his emotions.  In this moment of stepping out of the boat, he showed his passion and his boldness in getting to God. He was the only disciple that even thought about stepping out of the boat. However, when he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink.

Do you remember that moment that you accepted Jesus into your heart? It was a defining moment in my life. I remember being so excited about this new relationship. I wanted to learn everything I could about Jesus. I was bold in telling others about Him and could not get enough of the Bible. This passionate enthusiasm began to diminish when I went through some tough times. I remember hitting my first “storm” a few months later and my thoughts immediately turned to the situation in front of me. I started processing how I could fix the situation. I took my eyes off Jesus and began to get overwhelmed and fearful in looking at the issues that surrounded me.  When I finally turned my attention back to God in the midst of this time, I had an overwhelming sense of peace and a new perspective.

What we saw in Peter on the water was a man with a Kingdom mindset. A man who had a focus on Jesus and not on the world around him. By having this mindset, God enabled Peter to do the impossible. Peter had the strength, courage, and ability to walk on the water in the middle of the storm.  When he took his eyes off Jesus, the fear set in.

I do not know what you may be going through today. What I do know is that God can give you His peace in the midst of the storm. He can give you the ability to not only get through this time, but can do greater than you can even imagine. His Word states in Proverbs 18:10:

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.” 

It all comes down to having a singular focus on Jesus. It is having a Kingdom mindset in every situation. Peter grew in his faith after this moment and led one of the greatest movements in history of spreading the Gospel. Later in Peter’s ministry, he was able to encourage people who were being persecuted for their faith in God. It was a very dark and painful time for Christians. Peter said to them, “Therefore 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). He pointed people back to a focus on Jesus. To “gird up the loins of your mind” meant to take every thought captive that was not from the Lord. Peter knew that the only way the people would endure this horrific time in history was to focus everything on Jesus.

As we end this devotion,  a question remains. Where is your focus? Are you trusting God for every situation in your life right now? He will calm the storm and give you the tools to walk through the toughest of times. He will give you His peace when there is none.

My prayer is that you have the faith that Peter demonstrated to trust God in this season and have a singular focus on Him.

If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please click here. He loves you and has a great plan for your life.


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 41:13

Our weekly bible verse comes from Isaiah 41:13 (NIV):

 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Navigating through this life without God is a difficult and uncertain task.  We can be certain that if we take God’s hand and trust His guidance and wisdom, there is no reason to fear.  He will help 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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Spring at The Cove

Spring is a beautiful time of year to visit The Cove. The flowers are blooming and the trees are a vibrant green. We would love for you to come join us!

Enjoy these pictures from around The Cove.

When you drive into the gates of The Cove, you will feel a wonderful peace and are surrounded by God’s most wonderful creation.


A couple enjoying a walk on one of the walking trails. The Cove has trails that connect the various buildings on the property. It also has a 3 mile trail to the top of an overlook that is breathtaking.


The Cove has streams throughout the property and are close to many of the trails.

Flowers are blooming all over and bringing a beautiful fragrance.


A few of our friends at The Cove.

 

A view from the overlook at the top of the mountain.


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: Ephesians 2:19

Our weekly bible verse comes from Ephesians 2:19 (NIV)

” Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household”

Acceptance in this world is fleeting.  We know this is not the case with our God and Father.  We are His and He is ours.


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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Struggling in the Stillness

At The Cove, we have morning devotions with our staff. These devotions are led by managers of each of the departments. We also have employees who write and share devotions from time to time. One of our staff members, Lori Brown recently wrote a devotion entitled, “Struggling in the Stillness” that we would like to share with you.

Struggling in the Stillness

“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” Exodus 14:14 (ESV).

Exodus 14 encourages me every time I read it.  After 400 years of slavery and torture in Egypt, God creates a way for the Israelite’s to escape bondage and head to the promised land. Life is good and filled with much rejoicing as the people rush out of their homes and toward the Red Sea. But things get tricky at the water’s edge. Reality hits hard as the people acknowledge they have two choices: to die at the hands of Pharoah’s advancing armies or drown in the deep waters. Yikes! It is any wonder that the group’s songs of praise turn to panic as they feel trapped and alone.


Each time I read about their panic, I can’t help but imagine God looking down from heaven, shaking His head, saying, “Really? Could you not trust me for at least 24 or 48 hours? Are you really going to let those deep waters put you in panic mode? Do you not believe anything I said or promised Moses? And by the way, how did you lose your obedience and trust in me that fast? You haven’t even been gone a week from Egyptian bondage.”

Sadly, I see myself in their fear and panic. Despite God’s repeated blessings, there are days when I wrap myself in a mantle of disobedience and defiance, believing the God who promised to deliver just left the building. On Monday morning after a weekend of worship and praise, I say I’m going to trust God with all my heart, but by lunch time Tuesday, when life’s challenges hit, I turn into a grumbling, complaining wilderness soul who seriously believes God is pushing me back to Egypt.

As I grow louder with my grumbling complaints, I imagine God looking down and whispering in my ear, “Really? Are we going to do this again? How long are you going to keep running? Don’t you think it’s time to trust? Isn’t it long past the time to be still and confident?”
Like a preschooler on the front pew, I struggle to be still or quiet for more than a few seconds. Well, hold on. Let’s take this one step further and admit the real issue, since it’s not just impatience: I REALLY struggle in the silence and quiet that accompanies a season of waiting on God to act because my mind registers his silence as total abandonment.

While I know in my head that God has a mind-blowing “Red Sea” plan to make a way in my impossible circumstances, just as he did for the Israelite’s, I still believe that I have to “fix” things, meaning I can’t fully trust Him. But lack of trust and an unwillingness to be still while he prepares and provides only leads me to a good, old-fashioned spiritual melt down. Anger and grief finally yield to pure exhaustion when I reach the end of my rope and yet again admit that I’m not the one who can part the waters.


If you’re also at that point of fatigue, frustration, and doubt – that place of realizing that none of your efforts can ultimately fix the problem or make a way in the wilderness, then take hope in this promise today. Your God is STILL in the business of rescuing His people, but not without stillness before Him. Being still and waiting for Him to make a way is an act of obedience, and God desires that full surrender before He can show the path. God cares for His creation, so take time to be still while He guides you into his perfect will.


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: Matthew 28:20

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Matthew 28:20:

…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

What a comfort to be assured of His presence always!  Through His Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit, we can experience Him each and every day.  When we seek Him, we will find 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.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove