All posts by mcoleman

Obedient Rest: A Cove Devotional

One of our newest interns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Abigail Bowen, wrote a devotion entitled, “Obedient Rest” that we would like to share with you. 

Obedient Rest

Busy.

The word that permeates our culture and our calendars. It’s a hot topic in every conversation and has taken the place of “good” in response to the question “How are you?” We pull out our calendars and compare with one another how little spare time we have in our lives.

I don’t know when this busyness became the trend. But I think part of it is because we have forgotten the beauty of rest; we have forgotten what God calls us to and what He did on the seventh day.

As I write this, I realize what a theme the need for rest has been for others and me in the past few weeks. A theme that came to a peak this weekend.

We spent Saturday at The Cove. Its seclusion from the city created an environment of rest and restoration. I don’t know about you, but when I am surrounded by trees and can’t see busy roads or tall buildings, I feel the most peace. The world slows down its spin for a moment and we get to enjoy the pace of a day as a day, not as a square on a calendar. Billy and Ruth Graham’s heart for The Cove was just that, too. They prayed that it would be a place of rest and that people would come there to come closer to God.

Walking through the woods along the trail to Ruth’s Chapel, I felt that rest. When we had to run through the woods because the rain began pouring down on us, I felt that rest. As we sat on the deck in rocking chairs under the overhang protecting us from the rain, I felt that rest. In the moment, I did not consciously acknowledge that I was resting because it felt natural. It felt like how life should feel.

Then, on Sunday, the pastor spoke about the fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. The way he spoke about rest was unique and not like anything I had heard before. He said we should work FROM a place of rest and not FOR rest. When you start your week, your day, or even every new hour from a place of rest, it allows you to thrive in what you do. Working for rest becomes draining because once the weekend is over, you have to push toward a place of rest again. But, if you start from a place of rest, if rest is the beginning and not the end goal, it creates a sturdy foundation for your week, or day, or hour.

Even in the Christian culture, we focus more on how our work is glorifying to God. In reality, though, we glorify Him in our rest too. It is an act of obedience to take rest. “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of the disobedience” – Hebrews 4:9-11 (NKJV).

I am thankful for the reminder of rest this weekend brought me, especially at 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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 37:5-6

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 37:5-6 (NIV)

“Commit your way to the Lordtrust in him and he will do this:
 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
 your vindication like the noonday sun.”

When we give God our plans, He will perfect them.  We can be sure that we are on the right track and great things lie ahead.


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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The Cove Weekly Snapshot

We had a wonderful week at The Cove with multiple groups on campus. The week started with an Intensive Bible Training and the arrival of  several Guest Groups for their retreats and donor events. We also offered a Personal Spiritual Retreat for individuals or couples looking to refocus on growing their relationship with God in the beauty and peaceful quiet of The Cove.

We were blessed to have Pastor Mark Yarbrough with us from the Dallas Theological Seminary. Worship was led by Richard and Gina Kingsmore.

We had students attend from the Dallas Theological Seminary that received seminary credit for their graduate work and CEU credit for a teacher certification. We also had several families and individuals who wanted to dive deeper into the Word.

Here is a sweet mother and daughter that decided to take their vacation to The Cove and spend time in the Word and with one another.

We also had several guest groups events and a personal spiritual retreat. The Training Center lobby  at The Cove was filled with many conversations, fellowship, and prayer.

To end our week, we have an Evening at The Cove with the wonderful group Veritas. They are a classical crossover vocal group that leads uplifting songs of worship. They recently  released their third full-length album, “Simply Veritas”, a collection of a cappella standards, patriotic tunes, and classic hymns, dear to their hearts.

Our summer is just beginning and we have an incredible line-up of Bible teachers, worship artists, and more. We hope that you can visit us soon!


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Weekly Bible Verse: Isaiah 26:3

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Isaiah 26: 3 (NIV)

“You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.”

The Lord wants to be your relief from worries and stress.  He is the source of peace.  When we keep our hearts and minds on Him, He will sustain us and keep us moving forward in His perfect plan.


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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I Am Not Afraid

One of our newest interns at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Abigail Bowen, wrote a devotion entitled, “I Am Not Afraid” that we would like to share with you. 

I Am (not) Afraid

Every day we come face to face with our fears. Fears of failure, of not being enough, of rejection, loss, hurt, and many others. When our fears make their appearance, we pull our guard up and use cleaver phrases to disguise the real reason we won’t do something. “I’m not qualified,” we say. “Someone else would be better at that.” Or even, “Someone else is already doing that, and I wouldn’t be as good.” Translated, these excuses say one thing: “I am afraid.”

In the Bible, there are so many examples of courageous men and women who hardly seemed fazed by these types of fears. God, however, was intentional in making sure that there was a backstory for each of those people. He revealed character flaws in everyone so that when we read the Bible, we can see the way He works through people, despite their fears and flaws.

Moses is a man God worked through in incredible ways. But the grand moment when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and called him to free the Israelite’s, he made excuses about his qualifications for the task.

In Exodus 3:11, right after God finished telling Moses His desire for him to rescue His people from slavery, Moses responded, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” To which God explained, “I will certainly be with you” (3:12). That wasn’t enough for Moses. He kept asking for signs and proof that God was who He said He was. He said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you” (4:1). So, God gave him more signs and more miracles. Even after he exhausted all of his questions, and God thoroughly proved Himself, Moses had one more excuse: “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10).

Whenever I read this story, I always think to myself, “Moses, C’mon! God is literally talking to you through a burning bush what more do you need?” But then, I remember how many times I am scared to do what I know God is calling me to do. I turn to him with all my excuses and questions, trying to convince Him that He has the wrong person for the job.

That’s what fear does in our lives—it keeps us from listening to the burning-bush moments from God. It tells us that we need more evidence that this is what we’re supposed to do, where we’re supposed to go. Or, fear comes in and simply tells us that we aren’t qualified.

We all know how the story ended: Moses went to Egypt and rescued the people, but he could only do that because he trusted God. God doesn’t rely on what we can do; He focuses on what he can do through us. So, when God calls you to something, and life throws the doubts into your mind, remember what He promised Moses.

“I will certainly be with you” Exodus 3:12 (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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Weekly Bible Verse: 1 Samuel 12:16

Our weekly Bible verse comes from 1 Samuel 12:16 (NIV)

“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”

When our faith and trust is in the Lord, then He will do exceedingly more in our lives than we can imagine. Just have patience, trust His plan, and be expectant of great things ahead.


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 Cove Snapshot: A Week at The Cove

We had a wonderful week that started with a Pastor Renewal Retreat with Pastor Jim Cymbala. This is a ministry that we offer at The Cove that is completely free for active pastors and their spouses. They enjoy free meals and lodging. Many pastors come here to just be refreshed and rejuvenated to continue in God’s Kingdom work.

We also had several guest groups to join us. One of the groups brought over 150 of their ministry team for a leadership conference. The guest group called Ceizs USA is a church from Miami. The founding church is in Brazil. This group traveled from Miami to The Cove and had an incredible time. Here are a few pictures of the group.

Praying together for revival in their city.

Lead Pastor and founder of Ceizs Church in Brazil, Pastor Marco Peixoto sharing a special message with the group.

Several members from Ceizs USA church in Miami.

The Cove offers the perfect place for groups to get away year-round and experience rich fellowship with one another- and with God. Surrounded by 1,200 acres of natural beauty but only minutes from downtown Asheville, The Cove’s surroundings provide the ideal setting for a conference, ministry retreat, or donor event.


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest

Weekly Bible Verse: 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Our weekly Bible verse comes from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)

And He said to me,  ‘My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness. ‘ Therefore most gladly I will 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 I am strong. ”

During the times that we face unexpected trials or hardships, we can know God will be there to guide us through.  Through Him, we have hope and guidance to move forward.


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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June Prayer Note

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.

Prayer Note(3)

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)

 The Stories Jesus Told: Renewing Our Minds Through the Parables

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV)

Do you recall sensing the presence of the Lord the first time you drove into The Cove?  Perhaps you have been told by guests, “I felt the presence of God as I arrived on property.”  It’s a common refrain we enjoy and will never tire of hearing.   But, even more, it’s an answer to the prayers of our founders and staff.

At The Cove dedication in May of 1993, Billy Graham told of his and Ruth’s visits to this property.  The Grahams, “came over and looked at The Cove several times.  One day, she and I walked up this mountain and climbed to the top, came down about half way and then she and I had a prayer meeting ourselves, just the two of us.  And we dedicated this property to the Lord.”

Each department across Cove property could tell of times the Lord has gone before them, prompting them to speak to someone, to double check something, to pray for a specific guest or co-worker, to share a particular Scripture, to make a phone call.  Later they would discover how the thing they were prompted to do was the very thing someone needed or the detail they might have missed had they not been obedient to His prompting.  Yes, the Lord goes before us and we are so grateful.  If it were left up to us, we would certainly fail.  Yet, as we serve and seek the Lord, we have the assurance He is involved in the details of The Cove’s workings, as well as the intimate details of our personal comings and goings.

Mr. Graham, determined this property should be used for none other than the Lord’s purposes, made the following bold statement, “I give God the glory for making The Cove possible.  If The Cove ever departs from this vision, then ‘Ichabod’ – the Lord hath departed – will be written over this place. And may every one of us pray this will never happen to The Cove.”

As you pray this month, inviting the Lord into June’s events at The Cove, remember to pray that we stay true to His calling, for His glory.  What great assurance we have knowing it is the people the Lord loves, cares about and goes before – our guests, our leadership, our co-workers and you.

Written by: Laura Brown


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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Weekly Bible Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:15

Our weekly Bible verse comes from 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)

…This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

The monumental battles in life are not monumental to our God who has already overcome this world.


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest