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COVE BIBLE VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 23RD

He is Faithful

Our verse for the week comes from Hebrews 10:23. 

He is faithful in all things. We can have this hope and not fear or doubt because He is always with 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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Special Message from Will Graham: Are the Lost Worth the Cost

Are the Lost Worth the Cost?

By: Will Graham

God’s gift of salvation is free to us as we call upon His name and place our faith and hope in Him. Praise the Lord for that free gift! Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of our sin is death (eternal separation from God), and that is too much for us to bear. But while the gift of salvation is free, this does not mean that there is no cost to being a follower of Christ.

So many want to live the Christian life without any sacrifice, but there’s more to it than that. For instance, in saying “Yes” to Christ, we’re saying “No” to much of what the world around us has to offer.

Another “cost” that Christians should—must—pay is associated with reaching the lost; those who haven’t yet recognized their need for a Savior and are still living life on their own terms in a dark and dying world. If you look at Luke 15:8-10 you’ll see what I mean:

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”  (Luke 15:8-10, NKJV).

“Light a lamp” First, it can cost resources to look for the lost.  The text tells us that the woman lit a lamp in order to find her lost coin. You may not think that’s a big deal, but the lady chose to use a very precious and expensive asset by lighting the oil. That’s how important the coin was to her.

“Sweep the house” Second, it can cost time to look for the lost. Whether the English word “sweep” here literally means cleaning, or if it means searching inch-by-inch, both reflect a laborious investment as she seeks the prized coin. She did it without hesitation because of the value of that which was lost.

“Search carefully” Finally, looking for the lost will cost patience and thoroughness.  The woman “searched carefully until she found it.” She illuminated the room, searched, cleaned, and looked again. There was an emotional investment, and she continued because it was precious to her.

Yes, there is a price to be paid for reaching the lost. The question remains: Are they worth it?

Do me a favor—stop for a moment and think about those around you who have not made a decision for Christ. Think about your mom or dad, your brother or sister, your neighbor, your co-worker.

Now tell me—are they worth it? Of course they are!

In fact, our text tells us that the souls of those around us are so important that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 

 Every soul is precious and needs to hear the message of hope in Jesus Christ. He paid the ultimate price for you. Ask Him to help you as you extend yourself to reach others.

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Click here for a schedule of seminars, 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: Pastor Renewal Retreat with Jim Cymbala

Our week started with a Pastor Renewal Retreat featuring the ministry of Pastor Jim Cymbala.

Pastor Cymbala was born in Brooklyn, New York,  and serves as the lead pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Because of the challenges God has brought him through over the years, Pastor Cymbala is an amazing speaker for other ministers to hear.  So many pastors today can relate to those same challenges.

When Jim and his wife started in ministry,  they found a congregation of less than 20 people meeting in a rundown building located in an impoverished part of downtown Brooklyn. Over the years God has shown his faithfulness to them and their congregation in many incredible ways. Pastor Cymbala believes that churches are built on prayer!  Brooklyn Tabernacle’s present campus includes a large renovated theater in downtown Brooklyn where thousands of people come each week to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Jim is the author of several books,  including Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, which was named Christian book of the year. His wife, Carol, directs the six-time Grammy Award Winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir whose music has blessed people around the world.

Cove Pastor Renewal Retreats include free meals and lodging (based on availability) for those actively serving in pastoral ministry. Each retreat provides the opportunity to interact with peers and receive insight, instruction, and best practices from experienced Christian leaders. We are pleased to offer these retreats as an opportunity for pastors and their spouses to be refreshed in the Word and have some time to rest.

Of their retreat experience this weekend one pastor and his wife wrote, “We had an amazing time at The Cove with Pastor Jim Cymbala. God has a way of using servants who have a passion to share the Word to lift and edify others. We are filled-up and encouraged.” We were sold out at this weekend’s retreat, but we do have many more coming up! We encourage you to let your pastor know about these retreats! We hold them during the week so that pastors will still be free for their church’s weekend services. It will be a blessing to your pastor and their spouse.

Upcoming Pastor Renewal Retreats led by:

Jim Henry: May 1st-3rd (click here to view more)

Ed Stetzer: May 30th- June 1st ( click here to view more)

Richard Blackaby: September 4th-5th (click here to view more)


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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Prayer Note: April 2018

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)

JUST WHO DO WE THINK WE’RE TALKING TO?

“…in Jesus’ name, amen.” We often end our prayers in this way—probably more times than we can count. But what do we do after our petitions have been made and our prayers ended? After saying amen, have you ever raised your head, risen from your knees and stooped right back down to pick up your burden?


The little girl stood with tiny feet planted in the cool, wet sand. A strong, salty breeze blew and the hot sun warmed her skin. Not yet old enough to comprehend the immensity of the vast ocean before her, she busied herself with the task of collecting water in her little red pail. With patient determination she squatted low and tipped the bucket down to allow the incoming wave to fill it. Then, squealing with excitement, up she jumped, grinning as she ran, cool seawater splashing over the sides of the bucket as she scampered across the sandy shore. Her parents watched, amused at the seriousness with which their little one viewed this endeavor. The tiny water-bearer grinned up at them as she dumped the seawater into the hole she’d dug earlier. She watched with a mixture of fascination and exasperation as the thirsty ground drank up most of her offering. Then, shrugging her shoulders she rose and ran back down to the shoreline for another fill-up. With sober determination she knelt and tipped the bucket down to allow the next wave to fill it. Satisfied, she lifted her head, scanning the huge incoming waves with wide eyes and an expression of surprise. “Mama,” she cried, “it just keeps on coming!” Then she lifted her half-filled bucket and began making her way back across the sandy beach…

How often my prayer life resembles the activity of this industrious child on her first trip to the beach. I bow my head and dutifully tilt my bucket of need, prepared to catch the incoming flow of blessings I’ve requested of my Father on behalf of myself and those I love. After pouring out praise and petitions, I rise and think the ‘task’ of prayer is complete. Another item checked off my list. Yet often the depth of need seems to remain or grow bigger. Worry and anxiety return to keep me company. I’ve poured out my bucket of prayers, yet the burden still weighs heavy and the depth of my need increases.

LIFTING OUR EYES

What if, instead of keeping my head lowered and my eyes on my tiny bucket, I simply lifted my eyes to survey the vast ocean of grace and goodness in front of me?

What if when we prayed, we paused with each request to consider Who it is we are coming to? How might our prayers change if we began to try to comprehend just a fraction of the limitless sea of sufficiency we have in Christ? Would it help us to pray without ceasing if we paused to remind ourselves that His mercies never cease?  (See 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Lamentations 3:22.)

“Lord, there’s a big decision I have to make—please give me wisdom. Your Word says that You Yourself are the embodiment of Wisdom, and that in You ‘are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3, NKJV). You’ve told me to ask for wisdom when I need it (see James 1:5), so I’m asking now. Thank You for hearing and answering, Lord!”

“Jesus, I’ve blown it again. I’ve failed You and fallen into the same hateful sin. I confess it before You and ask You to forgive me. You are the Savior who died to pay the penalty for my sin, and You are my Redeemer and Deliverer. (See Colossians 1:13-14.) Thank You that nothing in all creation can separate me from Your love.” (See Romans 8:38-39.)

“God, I’m facing a huge task and I’m in need of strength. Your Word tells me that You are my ‘refuge and fortress’ (Psalm 91:2, ESV).  You are omnipotent—all-powerful, and You give strength to the weary and power to the weak. (See Isaiah 40:29.)  I need Your strength and power today, and I’m trusting You for it. Thank you.”

“Lord Jesus, these waves of grief and loss washing over me threaten to knock me off my feet. The Scriptures tell me that you were ‘a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3, NKJV) and that You are ‘near to the broken-hearted’ (Psalm 34:18, ESV). Please help me as I bring these pieces of my shattered heart to You. Let me rest in You, trusting You to hold me and bring comfort, courage and healing.”

“Heavenly Father, the need I’m faced with appears huge—insurmountable—like a towering mountain casting a great shadow over me. Yet I thank You that I can ‘seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings’ (Psalm 57:1, HCSB).  Help me to remember that You are the all-sufficient Creator who holds all things together. (See Colossians 1:16-17.) As I lift my eyes to the hills, help me to remember that my help comes from You, the Maker of heaven and earth. (See Psalm 121:1-3.)”

As we pray for the seminars and events that will take place at The Cove this month, let’s search the Scriptures, claim God’s promises, and pause to remember just Who it is we are talking to.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV)

Keep praying and seeking!

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of April:

Jan Harrison — April 8
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg)
Women’s Spring Luncheon —
Life After the Storm: God Will Carry You Through

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — April 9
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore)

Jim Cymbala — April 10-11
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg)
Pastor Renewal Retreat—
Breakthrough Ministry: Lessons From the Book of Acts

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — April 16-19
(Facilitator: John Parrish)

An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps — April 19
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

 

Cove Bible Verse for the Week of April 2nd

Let’s put on the full armor of God this week!

This week’s verse is Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.


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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Cove Bible Verse for the Week of March 26th

God has great plans for you!

This week’s verse is Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


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

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

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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Cove Bible Verse for the Week of March 19th

May we serve the Lord with a humble heart this week!

This week’s verse is Luke 18:14

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


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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Kendra Graham Online Bible Study: Isaiah 66:2

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our 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!Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left-hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

KENDRA GRAHAM NOTES FROM ISAIAH 66:2

Be Humble. Be Faithful. 

For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,” says the LORD.
“But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and who trembles at My Word.” (Isaiah 66:2, NKJV)

What Does it Say?
All things My hand has made, all things exist, BUT on this ONE I will look: him who is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at My Word

What Does it Mean?
As things are calming down in the family and in the media regarding the life of Billy Graham (“Daddy Bill,” to family), one thing consistently strikes me; one thing is constantly brought to the surface: Daddy Bill was faithful to the God he loved and remained faithful to the end. I have seen things on YouTube from the archives of the Billy Graham vault that I have never seen before: interviews he granted and shows on which he appeared, people he touched. I see God’s favor all over Daddy Bill’s life. What was his secret? IT was no secret at all; it is truly what God’s pleads for all of us to experience.

So God, in His love and mercy, gave us His Word to cling to, day in and day out.

I love this verse in Isaiah! God is saying in HIS WORD, which never fails or changes (See Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17), that over everything He has created in the earth and in heaven, the ONE thing He looks upon is “him who is of a poor and contrite spirit.” We all want God’s hand upon our lives, do we not? Do we not pray that for our families, children, churches, nation and ourselves? Have you ever thought about that—really thought about it? The hand of God! Just how big is the hand of God? How heavy do you think His hand is? If the hand of God is upon you, can you even stand? These are just a few of the questions I’ve thought about with regard to the hand of God.

So God, by His grace, keeps me low, dependent and on my knees. This is NOT a bad thing, it is a gracious thing. In order for me to stay in God’s presence, He demands humility. (Ugh!) This is a HARD thing, absolutely; but it is the loving-kindness of a Father who does what it takes to keep me in His presence. In Micah 6:8 the Bible says that God requires of us to walk humbly with Him. It is not in us to be humble; it is in us to be proud and self-serving. Oh, we can sometimes be selfless, if it serves us better. The only way true humility is possible is through being in the Word of God daily and allowing God to keep His hand upon us, even when it hurts, even when our knees buckle—especially when our knees buckle.

It was in desperation that the disciples called out to Jesus who was asleep in the boat when they thought they were going to drown. Those disciples tried every sailing trick in the book before they went to wake Jesus; and honestly they did not ask Jesus to fix the situation, they demanded Jesus look at the situation that He sent them to (see Mark 4:35-41). If we were never desperate, we would never see our need for God. God loves us enough to allow us to be desperate.

Faithfulness is who God is (see Deuteronomy 7:9 and Psalm 86:15). It is His character. Faithfulness is something each of us must decide to embrace on a daily basis. Some of us think it’s too late; too many mistakes have been made. That is a lie. Start today—this very moment—one step at a time. Get into God’s Word. Allow the hand of God to burden you and bring you to your knees, contrite and poor in spirit. The lower we are, the more God is visible. Do we really want people to see us anyway? REALLY? Our failures and pitfalls become very small as we fall in the presence of Jesus; the grace and love of God who loves us with an everlasting love becomes very BIG and very visible. When this happens, it is not us they see, but it is Yaweah,  who has come desperate for His handmade creation to know Him and to walk in His presence.

SO…how heavy is the hand of God? It is so heavy that it keeps us low, and it is gracious enough to keep us in His presence; for if the hand of God be upon us, we will find ourselves at His feet.

Dr. Billy Graham led a life that mattered to so many people and touched so many lives because he was willing to be:
1. humble
2. faithful.

“Daddy Bill” had a life lived with God’s hand upon him, and he was willing to stay in a dependent, humble posture which allowed God to use whatever means necessary to keep him there. Now THAT is a hard prayer to pray! God, keep us a people of humble and contrite spirits.

What Does it Mean to Me?

What does it take for you to remain dependent upon God? Do you hate God for it? Do you raise your fist in bitterness and anger? Or do you bend your knees, allowing your spirit to be poor and contrite in the face of a God who loves you so much that He died for you? (See John 3:16.)

Does it bother you or encourage you that God looks upon the poor and contrite of spirit? How would your spirit be described by God? Are you willing to ask God to look upon you and place His hand upon your life?

LIVE IT OUT:

Today, allow the hand of God to keep us in His presence as we open His Word and allow it to transform us. Begin today to learn what it means to walk humbly with God as we learn more about Him in His Word, so that we too can say, “The Bible says,” when those hard questions are posed.

I LOVED that interview. So worth watching. A man who walked humbly with his God and loved people more than platform.


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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Cove Bible Verse for the Week of March 12th

Be filled with joy and peace this week!

This week’s verse is Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.


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

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

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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PRAYER NOTE — MARCH 2018

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)

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.  (Revelation 13:14, NKJV)

One week ago yesterday the word came that our beloved founder Billy Graham had passed into the presence of the Lord. The days since have been a mixture of the heaviness of loss and the sweet and certain hope of heaven.

We’ve heard funny stories about Mr. Graham and chuckled. We’ve wept as we heard tender accounts of his kindness, humility and love for the Savior. We filed past his simple pine casket and later lined the Training Center entrance in solemn silence, hearing the bell toll as Mr. Graham’s earthly body exited the building for the final time. We watched in awe as the motorcade passed through miles and miles of North Carolina streets and highways lined with citizens standing quietly to pay their respects to a man they loved, although most had never known him personally. Flags flew. Homemade signs were held high. Respect was shown and love was poured out.

Prayers were lifted. As a staff we’ve prayed for comfort and strength for Franklin, Will and the entire Graham family. We’ve prayed for the memory of Mr. Graham to be honored and for God to be glorified in the events at The Cove, in Charlotte and in the U.S. Capitol. We’ve prayed for the many who have heard or will hear the gospel for the first time as Mr. Graham’s final and most powerful sermon is preached through his death.

Prayer may be the most fitting way to honor the memory of Billy Graham. His ministry was birthed in prayer, and his entire life was bathed in it…

A FAR-REACHING PRAYER

In May of 1934, the prayer of a Charlotte businessman during a day-long men’s prayer meeting held at the edge of the pasture on the Graham’s dairy farm was prophetic, as he petitioned the Lord “that out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth.”

Just 15 years old at the time that petition was voiced, young “Billy Frank” had not yet come to have a personal relationship with Christ. He would later write with regard to that prayer, “At that time, in 1934, it certainly wasn’t obvious that that someone might be me.”

 A PRAYER OF SALVATION

Later that same year, traveling evangelist Mordecai Ham arrived in Charlotte and began an 11-week revival meeting. It was at this tent revival that Billy Graham walked forward, knelt in the sawdust and prayed, confessing his sins and accepting Christ’s gift of salvation. When he rose to his feet “a new creation,” only God knew the incredible journey of faith that lay before him.

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Mr. Graham described the prayer he prayed in his room at home later that night. “For the first time in my life I got down on my knees without being told to do so. I really wanted to talk to God. “‘Lord, I don’t know what happened to me tonight,’ I prayed. “You know. And I thank You for the privilege I’ve had tonight.’”

 A PRAYER OF SURRENDER

The next pivotal prayer took place in Billy’s college years during a solitary, late-night walk on the greens of a Tampa, Florida, golf course. There Billy knelt in the moonlight and surrendered completely to God’s call on his life.

“I got down on my knees at the edge of one of the greens. Then I prostrated myself on the dewy turf. ‘O God,’ I sobbed, ‘if You want me to serve You, I will.’”

 A PRAYER OF FAITH AND TRUST

In the late summer of 1949, a young Billy Graham knelt before a tree stump at Forest Home retreat center, settling once and for all an intellectual, spiritual and emotional struggle with regard to the truth and validity of God’s Word. In the shadowy moonlight, with an open Bible in front of him, he poured out his heart to God. “Father,” he prayed, “I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.”

Mr. Graham would later write in his autobiography, “When I got up from my knees at Forest Home that August night, my eyes stung with tears. I sensed the presence and power of God as I had not sensed it in months. Not all my questions were answered, but a major bridge had been crossed. In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.”

He went on to speak as scheduled at Forest Home and saw 400 individuals make commitments to Christ. Weeks later he would begin his historic 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. Scheduled to last three weeks, the engagement ended up running for eight weeks as the huge tent was packed night after night. This would be the beginning of a worldwide ministry that would take him around the globe and allow him to preach the gospel to in person to more than 200 million people.

THE RESULT OF A LIFE OF PRAYER

And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’”  (2 Corinthians 12:9, NKJV)

At the age of ninety-nine Billy Graham was physically weak and had a desire to “depart and be with Christ” and his beloved Ruth; yet God saw fit to prolong his earthly life until Wednesday, February 21, 2018. While we do not know the reasons why, we are grateful God allowed Mr. Graham to see the beginning of his hundredth year. We can only imagine that perhaps it was for such a time as this.

It’s been said by many that Mr. Graham’s whole life was a sermon. Yet the final sermon he is preaching after his death may bring more individuals to Christ than were seen in his largest crusade. From the earliest Hour of Decision broadcasts, technology has advanced to the point that Billy Graham’s preaching is now available around the clock, around the world. The clear and compelling message of the gospel is being proclaimed to millions, and Christ’s strength is indeed being made perfect in the ultimate and final weakness of this North Carolina farm-boy–turned-preacher.

In an age of selfies and self-absorption, Billy Graham shines as an example of quiet humility and selflessness.

In a time of bitterness and rancor, he remains a kind and gentle voice for humanity.

In an age when many refuse to accept the concept of absolute truth, the voice of this powerful preacher still rings with the firm declaration, “The Bible says.”

In a world wracked with hatred, violence, and hopelessness, Billy Graham’s lifelong message is still being declared:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him  should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16, NKJV)

As we enter the month of March, we do so in a spirit of gratitude and prayer: grateful for the privilege of serving in this remarkable ministry at “such a time as this” and prayerful that God’s strength will be made perfect in our weakness.

Keep praying and seeking…

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of March:

Women’s Bible Study — Tuesday Morning, March 6
(Teacher: Jane Derrick; Worship Leader/Emcee: Carole James)
Living the Blessed Life (Matthew 5:1-12)

Michael Easley — March 2-4
(Emcee: Bill Wolfe; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Military Marriage Retreat — Living Like Heaven is a Real Place

Crawford Loritts — March 5-7
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Navigating Life’s Challenges   

An Evening at The Cove with The Collingsworth Family – March 14
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

Jennifer Rothschild — March 22-23
(Emcee: Patty Stump; Worship Leader: Michael O’Brien)
Women’s Event — Unshakeable: The Keys to an Unbreakable Faith