All posts by notesfromthecove

A Night of Worship

This Saturday evening, area worship leaders and musicians will offer A Night of Worship – a free community concert event at The Cove, in Asheville, NC beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Robert Williams from Seacoast Church Asheville will be the musical director for the evening, and Seacoast will also be the house band.  Nate Huff of Highland Christian Church and Lucas Parry of Biltmore Baptist East will join us in leading worship. While it’s free, registration for this event is required as space is limited. Before the concert, you can enjoy a gourmet meal. (The cost for this option is $20).

Call us at (800) 950-2092 to reserve your seat!

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:16-21

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:16-21 

FACTS, What Does it Say?

16: At the end of 3 days after they made a covenant with them, they heard they were neighbors, living within their land.

17: Israel came to their cities on the third day.

18:  Israel did not strike them b/c the leaders swore an oath by the LORD God of Israel.  The congregation grumbled

19: The leaders said, “ We swore by the LORD the God of Israel, we can’t touch them.”

20: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us for the oath we swore.”

21:  They became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation.

LESSONS, What does it mean?

16-17:  The deceit of Gibeon towards Israel is discovered.  People will set out to deceive me in this world, unfortunately it is a cold hard fact.

18-19:  Hold fast to your word, your word needs to be your bond, it reflects upon the God I say I serve, especially when it is difficult.   Popular opinion may try to sway and pressure me to break my word, after all, the oath was made upon a lie… so doesn’t that make a nice loophole for me to get out of it?  The right thing to do is never the easy thing.

20:  Don’t sin on top of a sin.  Perspective is everything… Don’t be so quick to complain about someone else’s integrity that I degrade my integrity in the process, maybe I am currently being tested in the exact same way…  “In your anger do not sin” Psalm 4:4, Eph 4:26

21:  Better is one day in Your courts as a wood chopper, water carrier, door holder or bathroom cleaner…. than a thousand elsewhere! Perhaps my reaction to the situation will bring that person into contact with their Saviour! PRAISE that God kept His Word to me in spite of my poor behavior!

Application, What Does it Mean to me?

16-17: When have I been purposely deceived by someone and what was my reaction when I found out? Have I ever purposefully deceived someone to get my way or to get ahead, and what was the other person’s reaction when they found out? Anger? Hurt? disappointment? What was my reaction in both situations?  Godly or ungodly?  Did I attempt to make things right, or is it always right so long as I come out ahead? 

18-19: Even strong godly leaders will make mistakes, am I quick to point the finger, or do I realize I am just one decision away from making the exact same mistake?  Am I swayed by the convincing arguments of friends to break my word to someone?

20: Will I give people what I think they deserve? Or will I be careful that I don’t find myself in the same exact sin?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name even when it’s difficult?  Will I hold fast to my oath for the sake of God’s name when people both godly and ungodly would understand if I didn’t?

21:  Will I keep an eternal focus when I am currently suffering and taking a loss? When has my reaction to a situation been a good example of Christ for someone else and when has my reaction to a situation been a not so good example of Christ? Have I thanked God for His faithfulness to me regardless of my deceitful actions?

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications from a verse or two and what they mean to you.  Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.   

HOMEWORK: Joshua 9:22-27

Insight Into an ‘Intense’ Week at The Cove

Mark Yarbrough, Vice President for Communications, Associate Academic Dean, and Assistant Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, will be leading an Intensive Bible Training seminar (IBT) at the Cove on June 18-22.  As some of you may have questions on what this seminar may include, we thought we would share a very helpful response from Mark to a potential participant.  (Don’t forget to see what Howard Hendricks has to say about Mark at the bottom of this post!)       

Letter from Tammy to Mark Yarbrough: 
Hi Mark.  I am considering attending your training intensive at The Cove (It may be full by now but I haven’t checked.) and a question.  I have been a student and teacher of the Word for many years and am looking for something to refresh and encourage me and take me deeper.  I live in Kansas City Mo, so travel to The Cove is a financial investment as well as a spiritual one, and I wanted to make sure this was the right intensive for me.  It it for more of a “Beginner” Bible student, or deeper study for those more familiar with the Word?  Thank you for your time. — Tammy

Response from Mark Yarbrough to Tammy:
Greetings from Dallas. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write.  

I’m glad you are considering the intensive training at the Cove. I hope my comments below give clarity to your questions and assist you in the decision making process. I’ll join you in prayer in that regard. I’ll trust with you that the Lord will make clear what you should do.

In describing what you are looking for…you have used words that are near and dear to my heart: “refresh”,  “encourage”, and “deeper.” That is precisely what we are after.

In many ways, the refreshment comes through the Word, the physical environment at the Cove, and the incredible staff that is present to assist your every need. I minister/speak at many places…and the ministry philosophy at the Cove is second to none. The staff is absolutely incredible, and the very design of the week is intent on pulling us out of our normal hustle and bustle…and focusing our attention to the living Word. The physical environment and beautiful surroundings even direct our attention to the Lord. It is amazing how the Lord can speak when we slow down to listen! I know that is true in my life. Fellowship is also a key ingredient to refreshment. The entire team is available to help–including a resident “pastor” for someone who desires to talk to and pray with someone else. Also, the intensive week-long sessions are generally, and purposefully, smaller in number (as opposed to larger seminars that may have several hundred). The “intensive seminars” are designed so that someone feels the individual attention so that they do indeed get “refreshed.” That also happens as we interact with one another. Fellowship is a blessing! 

In regard to “encouragement” and “deeper”– our sessions are “intense,” but not to the point of overwhelming. I firmly believe that the material covered, and the way it is presented, is applicable for all: for those who are earlier in their walk…but also for those who are grounded in the Word and who want to be challenged to step beyond their current position. Last year, we ran this same general session and we had in attendance those who were early in their understanding of the Word and those, such as yourself, who were competent Bible teachers. We cover some challenging areas: biblical studies and methodology (hermeneutics), evaluation of biblical genres (narrative, poetry, parables, preformed material, etc.), the process of correlation (developing principle statements and themes), and the validity of application. I really believe that there is something for everyone in the study, and that the student knows the depth to which the study needs to move them. I’m a classroom handout nut (!), and I enjoy passing along recommendations for books, studies, etc. We have lots of Q and A. I enjoy a lively, interactive classroom setting that keeps us moving…and moves us to be students of the Word. So, I think you will be challenged to go deeper! If that is what you are looking for, I believe this is it.

I hope that gives a little insight into the week. If you feel you desire more information, I’d be happy to share some more insight.

I also know my friends at the Cove would be thrilled to answer any questions you may have over the schedule for the week.

I hope to see you in June!

Blessings in Christ,
Mark Yarbrough

Endorsement from Howard Hendricks:
“We are living in a time when a working knowledge of the Bible is vital for our spiritual health.  Personally, I miss deeply my visit to The Cove and the opportunity to teach the Word of God, but fortunately, God has provided one of my young associates, a capable Dallas Seminary professor, Mark Yarbrough, a man of considerable giftedness biblically and technologically.  I recommend him to you for your enjoyment and serious biblical study.”

Howard G. Hendricks
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Christian Education and Leadership Dallas Theological Seminary

Click here to register for Mark’s Intensive Bible Training on June 18-22 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:7-15

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:7-15 

What does it Say? FACTS:

7: Israel said to the Hivites: Perhaps you are living within our land how shall we make a covenant with you?

8: a. BUT they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”

     b. Joshua said to them: “Who are you and where do you come from?”

9-10: They said, “Your servants have come from a far country because of the fame of your God; we heard the report of all He did in Egypt, and to the kings beyond the Jordan.

11: So our elders and inhabitants spoke: Take provisions  for the journey and go and meet them and say, we are your servants, make a covenant with us.”

12: This our bread was warm when we took it for provisions on the day we left to come to you, but now is dry and crumbled

13: These wineskins were new behold they are torn, our clothes, our sandals worn out because of the very long journey

14: SO the men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. 

15: And Joshua made peace with w/ them, a covenant, to let them live, and the leaders swore an oath to them. 

What does it mean? Lessons:

7. The Israelites, I think had a feeling, had questions in their gut, who these guys really were…..  they pressed them for an answer…. who are you… really?  Israel knew that God said not to make a covenant with anyone within the land, they knew the rules, but their eyes were seeing something very believable, their ears were hearing something very believable.  Discernment is something given by God and must be sought out from God. Our senses and emotions will betray us.

8. a. BUT they said to Joshua…. notice they did not answer the question…. where is Gibbs from NCIS on this one? Or “The Closer” right?  Flattery and compliments from the enemy.  Notice the enemy answers Joshua, not the leaders who asked the question, looking for who the softy is perhaps?  I wouldn’t think it would be Joshua.  They are trying to divide the leader from his counsel.  The enemy loves to divide and conquer, be alert.  Often times the enemy will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

b. Joshua presses for an answer to the leaders’ question, who are you?  Stand your ground.  Be firm.  Don’t be deceived.  Seek discernment from the One who gives wisdom upon request.

9-10:  There is STILL no answer to the question.  A far country is not WHAT country.  Notice now they brought up Egypt and the kings beyond the Jordan, but cleverly left out the most recent victories, so again as to “verify” their story.  They were sure to comment on how “far” the fame of the LORD had reached.  People are clever… the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9  Be careful of the flattery of others.

11:  The Gibeonites had no wish to fight Israel, they were just wanting a promise that they would not be destroyed, and they would be more than happy to be their servants, their slaves.  Be careful what you promise and to whom. Your word is your bond.  Your word reflects on the God you serve.  Be careful. Be careful. Be careful.

12-13. Be careful, what things appear to be, are not always what they are in reality.  Only God can give insight, so ask Him who gives wisdom liberally!  When someone is pushing me to believe something…. especially when they want me to believe it NOW and ACT NOW, and SIGN NOW, be wary.

14:  They believed their eyes, ears and touch.  Things are not always what they seem.  Times when we don’t think we need to seek counsel of the LORD are probably the very times we most need to seek the counsel of the LORD.

15:  Be careful of the promises I make.  Covenants should not be taken lightly.  My word is my bond, so be careful what situations and  people I bond myself to.

What does it mean to me?

7: Am I quick to believe all I see and hear, or am I seeking God on all things, even when the answer seems obvious to me, right in front of my eyes?

8: a. Am I quick to believe flattery and words that tickle my ears and ego?  Am I alert to the tactics of the enemy?  When has the enemy used the tactic “divide and conquer” in my life?  Was it successful?  Did I learn from that?  Was I bamboozled or wise?

8: b. Am I in prayer for discernment?  Am I quick to believe what I hear so I won’t have to press in any longer?  I hate confrontation, but am I willing to hold strong and face up or am I quick to crumble and just believe what I hear because it is easier?

9-10:  When have I been moved by the flattery of someone else to do something I normally would not do?  Have I used flattery to get my way?  Is that right?

11: Do I flippantly make promises with people or am I careful and prayerfully consider the covenants I make?  Is my word my bond, or an avenue to get what I want?

12-13: Am I quick to believe what I see?  Do I rely on my own senses to make decisions or do I prayerfully consider all things?

14: In whom do I trust? Myself? Circumstances?  Or am I constantly seeking God’s counsel?  Am I quickly making decisions, or patiently seeking and waiting for God’s answers? 

15: Have I impatiently made promises to do things, and be places that I never consulted God about?  Everything seemed right on the surface, but after I was committed I knew it wasn’t right?  Am I impulsive in my decisions?

LIVE IT OUT:

Take everything to God in prayer.  Wait for God to clearly reveal His wisdom on the matter then have the guts to follow through with His leading.

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 16-21

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

Open House & Night of Worship

What are you doing on Saturday May 12? If you are in the area, we hope you will stop by The Cove. We are hosting our annual open house community event from 10am-3pm, along with our friends from Camp Cedar Cliff and 106.9 The Light.

Come experience the beauty of The Cove and enjoy a day of activities for the whole family. At the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, you can view a special exhibit honoring legendary gospel singer George Beverly Shea, who at 103 years old, received a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY in 2011!  Don’t forget to also visit the Training Center, browse the memorabilia displays, visit Ruth’s Attic Bookstore, Shepherd’s Inn and more.

Camp Cedar Cliff will offer a taste of summer camp with fun activities – including archery, BB guns, a bounce castle and other inflatables, as well as a climbing wall, double zipline, face-painting, and horse rides. Illusionist Matt Fore will perform at 11:30 and 1pm.

Our friends at 106.9 The Light will open up their studios for tours. Listeners will be able to meet their favorite on-air personalities and get a great behind the scenes look at how it all works!

Samaritan’s Purse will have one of its Disaster Relief trucks available for tours and   Operation Christmas Child will be handing out shoe boxes.

And, you want to hear the best part? It’s all FREE!

On Saturday evening, area worship leaders and musicians will offer A Night of Worship – a free community concert event at The Cove, beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Robert Williams from Seacoast Church Asheville will be the musical director for the evening, and Seacoast will also be the house band.  Nate Huff of Highland Christian Church and Lucas Parry of Biltmore Baptist East will join us in leading worship. While it’s free, registration for this event is required as space is limited.

Before the concert, you can enjoy a gourmet meal. (The cost for this option is $20). Call us at (800)-950-2092 to register for A Night of Worship and to reserve your seat at the dinner table.

We look forward to seeing you, your family and friends on Saturday May 12th!

GUEST POST: God’s Example…

By Neil Anderson

In the vast ocean of eternity there was a tidal wave of time that began with the incarnation of Christ and ended with His crucifixion. God stepped out of eternity into time in order that we might step out of time into eternity. His example set the bar so high that human achievement is beyond our grasp. The incarnation was the sternest possible rebuke to our pride. We cannot fully comprehend the example of Christ who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). He went from the highest state of being to the lowest state of human existence, becoming a helpless infant born in a manger to humble parents with no social status. For you and I to become a slug doesn’t come close to approximating the descent. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Our Lord’s time came to an abrupt end at the crucifixion, which was the sternest possible rebuke to our selfish nature. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 Jn. 3:16). Can you imagine what life on earth would be like if we all believed the Apostle Paul and lived according to Philippians 2: 3-5:    

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

Neil Anderson’s seminar titled The Core of Christianity takes place on July 13-15 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Neil Anderson is the founder and president emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries, a best-selling author, and former pastor and aerospace engineer. He was formerly chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in the USA. He holds five degrees from Talbot, Pepperdine University and Arizona State University. For more information on Freedom in Christ Ministries, visit http://www.ficm.org/

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:1-6

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

 

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:1-6 

Verses 9:1-2 What does it say:  
When all the kings beyond the Jordan heard of it (Jericho, Ai, the reading of the Law), they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel.

Verse 9:1 What does it mean: 
Here, the kings beyond the Jordan hear of what went down, mainly Jericho and Ai…. then they hear that the Israelites have a gathering where basically the “Law of the Land” is read…. and they don’t even have possession of all the land?  Who do they think they are?  Well, this really made the rest of the kings in earshot pretty mad…. so what do they do?  Well, they decide to put aside their differences and come together and fight against Israel.  Hmmmm, this sounds vaguely familiar even today, does it not?  I think it is pretty remarkable that these kings, who surely had their own fighting amongst themselves, decide to unite, against their common enemy. 

Verse 9:1 What does it mean to me:
What would happen if we in our country put aside our differences in the church and united to fight against our common enemy for the glory of God?  What is so important that keeps us at odds with one another?  Baptisms? Praise songs? Order of service? Liturgy? If the enemy can unite, why can’t we?

Verse 9:2 What does it mean:
Those in opposition to God fear what God can do.

After I experience the victory God gives me, the enemy will try to overwhelm me to prevent me from continuing to live in victory

When I live a life of obedience to God I should not be surprised when the enemy notices and sets his sights on me. 

Verse 9:2 What does it mean to me:
Do I realize the reason why the enemy comes together with such fervor to beat me down is because the enemy actually lives in fear of what God can do?

When have I experienced the thrill of victory only to be faced with an enemy who wants to overwhelm me in the next minute?

Am I surprised when I hear the enemy is set on coming against me?

John 15:18  “ If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.”

Verses 9:3-5 What does it say:
When Gibeon heard, they acted craftily- took out worn out sacks, wineskins that were torn and mended, worn out and mended sandals, worn out clothes, all the bread in their provision was dry and crumbled.

Verses 9:3-5 What does it mean:
I need to be careful what I see with my eyes is not always the truth.  The enemy is deceptive and crafty.

Verses 9:3-5 What does it mean to me:
Am I naive, quick to believe everything and everyone I see, or am I seeking godly discernment? Proverbs 14:18 “The naive inherit foolishness, but the sensible are crowned with knowledge”  Proverbs 14:15  “The naive believes everything but the sensible man considers his steps.”

Verse 9:6 What does it say:
They went to Joshua at Gilgal and said to Israel, “We have come from a faraway country make a covenant with us.”

Verse 9:6 What does it mean:
I cannot always trust what I hear people say.  It is not always what they do say, but what they don’t say…. “a far away country”…. what country?  Name it.  Those who seek to deceive leave out little facts…. be aware.  Details matter.  Bring what I hear before the LORD and ask Him to sort it out… it is above my pay grade.  People do not always say what they mean and mean what they say.

Verse 9:6 What does it mean to me:
Do I realize the enemy will say the things that I want to hear…  so I will not question it?  Am I really listening to what people are saying and to what they are leaving out? Do I hear what I want to hear so that I won’t have to act and discern? 

*Proverbs 15:5 “For your guilt teaches your mouth, and you choose the language of the crafty.”

Even though others do not say what they mean and mean what they say, will I rise above and have integrity in a world that knows not the meaning of that word?

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 7-15

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 8:30-35

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:30-35

FACTS from verses 30-35:

30.  Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD

31. a. Just as Moses commanded Israel, as it is written in the book of the Law,

      b. an altar of uncut stones which no man has wielded a tool. 

32. He wrote on the stones the Law of Moses in the presence of Israel.

33. ALL Israel, elders, officers, judges, priests, stranger, native standing on both sides of the ark, half in front of Mt Gerizim and 1/2 in front of Mt Ebal just as Moses commanded to bless the people.

34. Then he read the words of the law, according to ALL that is written.

35. There was not a work of all Moses commanded which Joshua did not read.

LESSONS from verses 30-35: 

30.  Here Joshua and Israel have this huge win!  Israel has just faced the very people who had beaten them back a short time ago and they take back their honor! The people honor their promise to God to obey and then in their obedience they enjoy sweet victory.  So, Joshua, you have just beaten Ai, what a turnaround from your previous engagement! You not only beat them, you annihilated them! So, tell me, what are you and the Israelites going to do?  Are you going to Disneyland?  Where is the BIG celebration?  Instead of reveling in victory the way most people would, doing interviews and party hopping, Joshua leads the children of Israel on a march about 20 miles away.  In Deuteronomy chapters 27-28, when they reached the Promised Land, they were to build an altar to God in this very place.  Joshua knew God’s Word and knew the importance of immediate obedience.  Joshua led the people in obedient victory but also to immediate worship…. Joshua did not even take a day to whoop it up… they were focused on living lives focused on the One True God.

MY LESSON:  Keep your focus!  FOCUS Before the battle laying down my own plans for a great victory…. FOCUS during the battle on being careful to OBEY ALL… FOCUS after the battle (HARDEST OF ALL) giving ALL the glory and Worship back to God!  FOCUS off ME ON HIM! Sometimes we are most vulnerable right after a big win! (Joshua chapters 6-7)

31a. Joshua knew chapter and verse of where he was to go and what he was to do.  Joshua did not concern himself with having to know the why aspect.  God said it, so he did it.

MY LESSON: Be quick to obey because it is written. 

 31b.  Uncut stones.  The altar built is not about Joshua’s ego… that he can build a “rocking” altar.  The altar is not about the talents that any one has to bring to the dance… look what kind of intricate design I can build on this altar, it will be amazing and gorgeous and I will leave a sign at the base, so people know my abilities to make an altar of such magnificence and maybe I can have a little start up business here… NO… the altar is of uncut un wielded stones… ALL the focus, ALL the glory, ALL the honor goes to God. 

My Lesson: God is jealous for HIS GLORY… I need to stay out of it, but be careful to give it in the way He commands.  God uses the rough uncut things in the world to bring glory unto Himself and Himself alone.

32.  I need constant reminders of what God has said.  I need to go out of my way to remind myself, then remind myself and remind myself again of what God has said.  We are sheep, easily distracted and quick to forget.

33. Be careful to obey ALL…. again… no detail was overlooked or put aside, we tend to say things like:  “Well, who cares, so long as we are all there and I read such and such… it doesn’t matter who stands where, who is present and who isn’t”.  IT ALL MATTERS.  EVERYONE MATTERED to God.  Our presence in His presence according to His Word matters.  If one stranger or Levite stayed back in their tent, it would have mattered.  God’s Word is for everyone.  God has something to say to Everyone.  If we don’t show up, it’s noticed by God and it matters to God.

34-35.  Nothing taken out of context, nothing left out…. God’s Word is not a buffet, we can’t pick and choose what we want to hear and discard the rest… all is for our good and God’s glory.  I also like this, because this allows God to just have the platform, lets God speak for Himself!  God’s Word is convicting, exhorting, encouraging, reproving, rebuking, restoring, redeeming and loving all on its own without any added personal commentary. 

APPLICATIONS from verses 30-35:

30.   Am I quick to focus on God before the battle and during, but then after the victory is God a first thought or after thought?

31a.  Am I quick to obey or do I refuse to move until God graces me with the “why” of the situation?  Am I in God’s Word so that I have clarity of what He has called me to do?

31b.  Am I careful to obey God just as He said, or do I think maybe I should add some “needed flare” on my part to get the message across?  Do I try to tell God what parts of my life He can use and what parts He can’t use? (He can use the pretty parts…. not the rough uncut parts…)

32.  Am I reminding myself daily of what the Word of God says?

33. Have I ever fallen into the trap where I tell myself, “Well, if I’m not there it really won’t matter? No one will miss me?”  If God has laid on my heart to do something or be somewhere… He has something for me, to show me, share with me etc… so how many things have I missed because I discounted my presence at a certain place?

34-35.  When do I want to leave out the hard stuff and just focus on the blessings want or think I deserve?  How many times do I leave important things out because I don’t want to “offend” people? Or turn them “off” to the Gospel?  Do I realize that it is not my job to turn anyone “on” or “off” to the Gospel, but it is my responsibility to be obedient in ALL things?

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 1-6

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
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Will Graham Keeping Vision of ‘Granddaddy’

By Trevor Freeze

As Will Graham travels the globe preaching the Gospel, he loves the ability to stay in touch with the latest technology, but as new director of The Billy Graham Training Center, nothing can replace digging into the Word of God.

In a world ruled by technology, it’s the perfect getaway.

The mountaintop retreat known as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is one of those rare places you can go and completely disconnect from life.

And reconnect with God.

Somewhere in that tension where the speed of technology meets the screeching halt of unwinding is the challenge that’s in front of its new director, Will Graham — grandson of The Cove’s founders, Billy and Ruth Graham.

“It was always (Billy Graham’s) vision to be a place to get away and get into God’s Word,” Will Graham said to a roomful of local and Christian media outlets recently. “I want to continue what my granddaddy started. And use technology to further that.”

Currently, the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, N.C., — founded in 1988 — has extended its reach by streaming sessions live videos over the Internet to a worldwide audience. The Cove’s website is cutting edge with virtual tours, interactive floor plans and Googlemap plug-ins.

And the Cove experience has also gotten a little techy as visitors can use GPS units to find one of 315 prayer pillars, which are scattered around the 1,200-acre campus.

Flanked with an iPad and iPhone and a well-worn black leather Bible, Will Graham is armed and ready for whatever life brings his way.

He’ll be the first to tell you he’s not an Apple pitchman — quickly interjecting “I wish I had bought their stock” — but he’s seen the power of new innovations while traveling the world preaching the Gospel.

Keeping in touch with his wife Kendra and his three kids — CJ, Rachel and Quinn — has never been so easy, even when he’s delivering the Good News on the other side of the globe. “I don’t know who the man was who invited Skype, but it’s amazing,” Graham said.

Throw in updates on Twitter, Facetime and Apple TV… “I can send them a picture — hey, look kids, I’m riding on a kangaroo,” Graham quips. “You can take a picture with your phone and it shows up on your TV at home.”

And in no time, Graham is back at home, playing Wii with his son or watching the stars with his daughter’s new telescope. Graham recently returned from preaching to nearly 10,000 at Celebrations — his version of a Billy Graham Crusade — on back-to-back weekends in Texas. Before that he was sharing Christ in the Seven Sister States of India. Next month, he’ll be evangelizing in Australia.

It’s hard for Graham not to feel homesick.

“I tell you, I love being around my wife,” Graham said about the hardest part of being an international evangelist. “If I put God first when I’m gone for two weeks or three weeks, I believe God is going to make that one week I’m home feel like a month.”

And when he’s home, he regularly visits his famous “granddaddy” just up the road, at his Montreat, N.C., home often times on Sunday after attending the early service.

“By the time I get there, I can usually sit with him and watch his pastor on TV,” said Will Graham, son of Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

Growing up, Graham remembers aspiring to follow in the evangelistic footsteps of his father and grandfather: “I wanted to be someone who flew around and told people about Jesus.”

And now that he’s doing just that at age 37, he still looks for advice on how to effectively minister the Gospel.

His “granddaddy” has dispensed a few pearls of wisdom over the years, including the three most important parts of ministry —”pray, pray and pray” — along with his biggest regret: “I wish I would’ve taken less speaking engagements. And studied the Bible more.”

There is an unusual mix of familiarity and reverence when Will Graham talks about his grandfather.

“People tell me, ‘You sound like your granddaddy,’ ” said Graham, featured in last month’s People magazine article. “I don’t try to sound like my granddaddy, but when you grow up 60 miles apart in the same neck of the woods, you end up sounding alike.”

The obvious comparison is that both are evangelists, but many see similarities in the heart they have for people. Before joining The Cove as assistant director, Graham was a pastor for six years at Wakefield Baptist Church in Wake Forest, N.C.

“I love my granddaddy,” Graham said. “Anytime I can be associated with him in the same sentence, it’s an honor.”

Will Graham will hold a special seminar called “When the Shadows Speak” June 29-July 1.  Space is still available – click here and reserve yours today. 

 

Women’s Day Away at The Cove…

By Joy Allmond

On April 19, women from all over the region will descend on the quiet, peaceful grounds of The Cove, in Asheville, NC.

During this one-day seminar, they will hear from Bible teacher and author Lisa Harper, who will bring truth from the gospels and lessons from recent life experiences to convey the liberating power of a relationship with Jesus.

“I love that kind of intensive Bible study. I’m excited to go pretty deep in short amount of time. Plus, I’m pretty biased about The Cove,” she said with a grin.

Stumbling Into Grace is the title of Harper’s most recent book. Over the past few years, she has gone through a series of challenges and disappointments—including the death of a parent, the loss of a friendship and a health scare. She explained that this book (and this Cove seminar) is the result of a hybrid of her journals and what the Lord was showing her through her study of Scripture through those times.

“We tend to not talk about certain things in ‘sanitized’ church settings. I’ve experienced a ton of loss over years. And, there are so many things, like what I’ve faced and what others face that can’t be tied up with a neat application bow,” she said.

“It is so cool that the emotions that every woman faces runs parallel with what Jesus said in the gospels. So, during my own healing time, it was a natural for me to write this message because of what Jesus was teaching me.”

Harper is passionate about helping other women discover that they don’t need to “have it all together” for Jesus to love them. As she quoted Brennan Manning,  “Jesus loves us as we are, not as we should be.”

She wants them to see that Jesus is more accessible though failures, disappointments and hurts. As she puts it, “There is sanctity in scars.”

She wants others to understand that Jesus is the hero of the Bible, not us. She wants women not to glory in sin, but glory in the redemption of Jesus.

During her day at The Cove, one of the passages she will explore with the guests is the story of the man at Bethesda—a paralytic who had been visiting for 38 years, in hope of healing.

“Jesus asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ Well, he’s a paralytic, so of course he wants to get well. He acknowledges that he can’t drag himself to the water. Then, Jesus tells him get up and walk, she recalled. “Like this man, I want us to recognize that life is hard, but we were made for more than this. Jesus came to restore.”

As for her day at The Cove with the women who join her, she wants to see them begin to understand God’s delight in them, and for healing to take place.

“There are woman bound by shame and by a lack of real intimacy with Jesus. I pray that this day will be a turning point in a new direction for them.”

Ladies, there is still time to plan on joining Lisa!  Click here for more details!