Category Archives: Uncategorized

Five Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is just around the corner…

It doesn’t matter if your Dad is 35 or 75, there are certain gifts that have timeless appeal and will always be remembered.

Here are five priceless Father’s Day gift ideas, where you can’t go wrong…

 

1. A hand-written card
2. Another tie.  Seriously. One day these can be made in to a tie quilt!
3. A golf club.  Can a man ever have enough golf clubs??
4. Breakfast in bed
5. A gift certificate to The Cove

Call The Cove today at 1-800-950-2092 to give a gift with eternal impact.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17

What Does The Bible Say About Angels?

ANGELS PROTECT AND MINISTER TO GOD’S PEOPLE
See Psalm 91: 11 & 12
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.  12 In their hands they shall bear you up,  lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

Angels are mentioned throughout the Bible as protecting God’s chosen people or bringing them messages from God—appearing to Jacob (Genesis 32:1); Daniel (Daniel 6:22); Moses and the children of Israel (Numbers 20:16); Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds (Matthew 1: Luke 1; 2); and Philip (Acts 8:26), to mention a few.  Angels ministered to Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4), and angels rolled back the stone of Christ’s empty tomb (Matthew 28:2).

ANGELS GLORIFY GOD
See Revelation 5: 11, 12
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Angels sing praises to God, and they will accompany Christ when He returns to earth to set up His kingdom.  Matthew 25:31 says, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”

ANGELS CHARACTERISTICS
See Isaiah 6: 2, 6
2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.

There are many opinions about angels and what they are like; we look to the Bible for God’s insight on His messengers.  The Bible may not tell us everything we want to know about angels; but we know God’s Word is true, and from it we can glean the following.  Some passages, as this one, describe angels as having wings (see also Daniel 9:21).  Angels are powerful holy beings (2 Peter 2:11; Luke 9:26) who do not have physical bodies as we know them.  They are usually invisible to the human eye; however, at times their appearance is glorious with the light of God surrounding them (Matthew 28:2-4).  They occasionally appear in human form (Genesis 19).  In fact, Hebrews 13:2 warns, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
In his book, Angels: God’s Secret Agents, Billy Graham said, “We may not always be aware of the presence of angels.  We can’t always predict how they will appear.  But angels have been said to be our neighbors.  Often they may be our companions without our being aware of their presence.  We know little of their constant ministry.  The Bible assures us, however, that one day our eyes will be unscaled to see and know the full extent of the attention angels have given us (1 Corinthians 13:11, 12).”

These excerpts were taken from The Billy Graham Training Center Bible.

If you are visiting The Cove before December 31, 2012, stop by Ruth’s Attic Bookstore and save $5 on the softcover, hardcover & bonded leather Billy Graham Training Center Bible and $10 on the genuine leather edition Billy Graham Training Center Bible.   Click here to print coupon.

Service, Sacrifice and Freedom

In honor of Memorial Day, we are featuring excerpts from two Billy Graham books, in which he describes the impact of his ministry to soldiers on the front lines of the Korean War.

From I Saw Your Sons at War

Seated here I can close my eyes, and for the moment shut out these familiar scenes of home.  Then I can hear again the roar of artillery…see the utter devastation of the Korean countryside…see the homeless orphan children crying for food and warmth in the chill of a Korean winter.

I can see also the American GIs standing on a snow-covered, wind-swept hillside to hear the Gospel, and then go back to the trenches…see some of those same GI’s in a front  line MASH hospital (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), dying, and as they die,  hear them talk about home in Arkansas…Oregon…Minnesota…Vermont.

And when I open my eyes, and it hardly seems possible, for here the only planes we ever see here are friendly passenger planes, headed north to Washington…or south to Charlotte, and Atlanta.

It seems unbelievable that just weeks ago I walked amid the complete destruction which is the aftermath of a modern bombing and artillery barrage.

And though the entire trip seems so remote and far away now that I am home, I know this, that my visit to Korea was the greatest experience of my ministry. Nothing has ever made such a profound, and I pray, lasting impression on my Christian life.

From Just As I Am

My first sermon on the front lines saw me on a newly built platform graced by a painting done by a soldier forty miles away. Troops had carried the painting (which depicted Christ watching over an exhausted soldier) to us overnight, and it stood next  to me as I preached.

I did not use humor or stories to break the ice that night. I dove right into the Gospel, and
hundreds responded. I felt the Spirit of God in that meeting.

Men of every rank came forward, many in tears—and they were rough, rugged men—to receive Christ.

In a field hospital about a mile behind the front lines on Christmas Eve, we went from bed to bed, bringing greetings and trying to encourage the wounded.

One young man was so mangled that he lay face down on a canvas-and-steel contraption. A doctor whispered to me, “I doubt he’ll ever walk again.”

“Mr. Graham, can I see your face?” asked the young man. “We’ve all been praying for you and looking forward to your coming. I won’t be able to be at the service.” So I lay on the floor beneath him and looked up into his hollow eyes, still stunned with his fate. I prayed with him.

“Sir,” said the young man to General Jenkins, who was escorting me, “I fought for you, but I’ve never seen you. Could I see your face?” The general got down on all fours, slid under that bed as best he could, and talked with the young man. I saw a tear fall from the soldier onto the general’s cheek.

When we walked from the bleeding, broken dying men of that hospital into the crisp, clean, thirty-below-zero air of Christmas Eve, I felt sadder, older, and more aware of the needs and suffering not only in Asia, but also in the entire world.

Billy Graham My Answer Columns for Memorial Day

Our son is planning to enlist in the military in a few months. I know we’re supposed to
believe God will take care of him, but right now we’ve got a bad case of nerves and our fears are a lot stronger than our faith. How can we get over this?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

My husband is serving with the military overseas, and I can’t begin to tell you how difficult
it’s been for our children and me. How can we get through this? I pray all the time, but it’s still very hard.
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

I prayed a lot while I was on duty in Iraq and I made all sorts of promises to God about the
way I’d live if He got me out of there alive. Well, He did, but I’ve been back about six months now, and I’m ashamed to say I have not followed through on my promises. How can I do better?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

 

Billy Graham: A Tribute to His Mother

“Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me,” Billy Graham said of his mother, Morrow.

Writing in Just As I Am, Billy shared several stories that point to the important role his mother played in shaping his life.

As we prepare to honor mothers this Sunday, check out what he had to say in the autobiography and also at the May 11, 2003, San Diego Crusade.

“In many Crusades over the years,” wrote Billy, “I have devoted at least one message to the subject of the family. In my Depression-era growing-up years, I suppose we Grahams on our North Carolina dairy farm bore some resemblance to the fictional Walton family on television. It’s easy to feel nostalgic about simpler times, but they obviously were not easier times. Nor were they necessarily happier times.

“What we did have back then was family solidarity. We really cared about each other, and we liked to do things together. Jesus’ word picture of a hen gathering her brood under her wing fits my mother. She saw to it that we gathered frequently and regularly—and not just around the dinner table or in front of the radio for favorite broadcasts. She gathered us around herself and my father to listen to Bible stories, to join in family prayers, and to share a sense of the presence of God.”

On August 14, 1981, Morrow Graham quietly left this earth in her sleep and entered Heaven.

“When word came,” said Billy, “I wept and yet rejoiced at the same time. Of all the people I have ever known, she had the greatest influence on me. I am sure one reason that the Lord has directed and safeguarded me, as well as Ruth and the children, through the years was the prayers of my mother and father.”

Speaking on Mother’s Day 2003, Billy told the audience in San Diego that his mother was a farm woman. “She and my father didn’t have much education … But my mother was a woman of God. She always had devotions with us, she always prayed with us, she always loved us, and did so many things, as I look back now, out of the way. And she and my father, when I was in Bible school, they would go up to a room upstairs and kneel down every morning at 10 o’clock to pray for their son in Bible school.”

PHOTO shows Billy Graham and his mother.

An Easter Message from Franklin Graham

Franklin GrahamOn the Saturday after Jesus was crucified, His followers must have felt utterly defeated. Meanwhile, the Pharisees felt they had silenced a critic, the Romans felt they had quashed a rebellion, and the governor had washed his hands of the whole affair.

Then Sunday morning dawned, the gravestone was rolled away, and history was turned inside out. The news—Jesus is alive!—was almost too good to be true. Yet it was undeniably true. So true that His disciples dedicated the rest of their lives to telling the whole world the Good News about Jesus Christ.

On the cross, He died for our sins.

In the tomb, He defeated death.

Nowhere else in this sin-sick world can we find such everlasting hope.

Modern medicine is wonderful—almost miraculous sometimes—but doctors will never defeat death. Now, some of us may live to be a hundred or more.

Every day we have on this earth is a gift from God, but ultimately everyone has to be prepared to face death and judgment. Through the triumph of the cross and resurrection, Jesus has already dealt with both of those.

Unfortunately, multitudes of people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior are putting their hopes in the wrong places. In the secular West, we put our confidence in government and science. We define security in terms of money in the bank.

Globally, billions of people blindly follow religions that will never lead them to eternal life. In Egypt, a powerful group called the Muslim Brotherhood has a creed that says, “Islam is the solution.” Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet, but they do not believe He was crucified or resurrected.

Without that faith, their solution is completely futile. Apart from Christ, men everywhere are separated and alienated from God, without hope in this world or the next. The Apostle Paul wrote, “there is none righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. Faith in Christ’s work on the cross brings forgiveness of sin and imputes God’s righteousness to us. Lost, sinful man is reconciled to God.

Just listen to Paul, who was brutally opposed to the Gospel until he encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. “If Christ has not been raised,” he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The resurrection assures Christians that we don’t have to fear the grave. “When you were dead in your sins … God made you alive with Christ” (Colossians 2:13).

Scripture Quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

Recipe from The Cove’s Kitchen: Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

You will love this one!!!  We served this recently at our Women’s Bible study luncheon, here at The Cove.   

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients:
8 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 tablespoons chicken soup base
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cooked white rice
1 cup diced, cooked chicken meat
16 slices lemon
8 egg yolks

Directions:
1. In a large pot, combine the chicken broth, carrots, onions, celery, soup base, and white pepper. Bring to a boil on high, and then simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Blend the butter and the flour together. Then gradually add it to the soup mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, stirring frequently.

3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add some of the hot soup to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return the egg mixture to the soup pot and heat through. Add the rice and chicken.

Add lemon juice last for fresh taste.

Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.  Enjoy!

Don’t miss when we post other recipes here!  Make sure to subscribe to our blog…just go to the top right hand side of this page to do so. 

Want to taste the food at The Cove for yourself?  Come see us! 
Visit our website, www.TheCove.org, to see a list of programs and events.

Conversations with Pastor Jim Cymbala

By Joy Allmond

On March 28-30th, Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastor and author, Jim Cymbala, will come to The Cove to speak on “Ministering Christ to Others.”  In this interview, Pastor Cymbala discusses the Gospel, Church misconceptions, and the Holy Spirit.   

Cove: What are some of the things you will set out to discuss during this seminar?

Cymbala: I’m going to talk about the calling that’s on all of us to minister to people, especially those of us in leadership. We’re going to discuss the importance of the Word and the importance of the Word being the seed and planting that seed. We’ll explore what is the Gospel and what is not the Gospel.

Cove: I would imagine that most (if not all) of the people in attendance are already believers. Why is it important to review the Gospel with them?

Cymbala: It seems to be a review of that which seems simple, but foundational things can be lost. When we lose this, we’re at a disadvantage when we’re trying to produce fruit for the glory of Christ. We have to constantly depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. In some cases, He’s the forgotten member of the Trinity.

So, we’ll talk about that and also the kind of heart that’s needed to share Christ. Sometimes our sharing can become mechanical and sterile and we’re not seeing people the way God sees them. That can disqualify us from being really effective. When we preach the Good News but not have the heart of Christ, we miss the blessing and power available God promised us when we do His work.

Cove:  What are some of the misconceptions the Church has about the Gospel?

Cymbala: There are lots of misconceptions, but there are a few very common ones I see. Some believe that Jesus died without call to repentance—to just believe. Once I was visiting a church in another state. At the end of the service, the minister said, “Right now as I close, pray this prayer out loud, ‘Dear Jesus, I know you died for me. I put my trust in you.’ Now you’ve just become a Christian.”

48% of the people who call themselves “born again” evangelicals do not believe Christ lived a sinless life. 1,200 people stop reading the Bible every day.  This boils down to a lack of sound teaching in the Word of God.

Then on the other hand there is legalism. We tell God we’re going to try to live a better life. When we do this, we try to produce only what the Holy Spirit can. How can we be holy without Him controlling our lives?

This hinders us when we try to minister to people.

Cove: What do you hope to see happen as a result of this seminar?

Cymbala: I want to see God revive us, fill us with the Holy Spirit. I want Him to give us a new compassion, a new dependence on God’s word, a new faith, just a new beginning. The great thing about Christianity is no matter how you find yourself backsliding, getting hard-hearted, or getting mechanical in your worship, God is so good that He always can give you a new beginning.

For more information and to register for Pastor Jim Cymbala’s seminar, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.  Will Graham, grandson to Billy Graham, and Executive Director at The Cove, will lead the closing session.

Bev Shea: 103 and Still Singing!

This week, on Feb. 1, our dear friend George Beverly Shea celebrates his 103rd birthday! He has accomplished so much in his lifetime, ministering alongside Billy Graham since the beginning. Just last year, he was honored with a GRAMMY® for Lifetime Achievement. He is such a friend to the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and The Cove.  In fact, he donated the organ currently in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, and he joins us regularly for our Senior Celebration events. And, he’s still singing! Here’s video proof:

 

 

George Beverly Shea

In honor of Bev’s birthday, here’s an excerpt we found from his memoir Then Sings My Soul:

One morning not long ago Billy and I were out for a morning walk through the enchanting streets of Lyons, France.

“Billy, how long do you think I’m going to be able to keep up with you?” I asked.

He stopped and said apologetically, “I’m sorry, Bev, I didn’t realize I was walking so fast.”

“That’s not what I mean. How long do you think I’m going to be able to keep going in this work?”

 

“Why Bev,” he answered seriously, “I want you to sing for me all your life.”

“I’d like that,” I told him.

And I would. Singing is my life, and I hope that I can serve the Lord with my voice, in some way, for many years to come. Yet I realize that the day will dawn when it will be better for everyone if I do all my singing “down behind the barn,” where I first sang as a boy. If I feel that God wants me to stop I won’t resist Him for a moment. Not that I think that that time is imminent – for never in my life has God opened as many doors as He has in the past two or three years. Opportunities have come to me that I never expected; I am still awed by the responsibilities He has placed on my shoulders. Yet with the additional challenges, He has given new strength, new insight, new friends, and sustaining old friends.

Please join us in wishing Bev a happy birthday!

Unparalleled Service, Majestic Beauty

 “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

Need a location for your next group retreat? At The Cove, you will discover an experience far beyond that of typical conference centers. Our year-round facility rests on 1,200 acres in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Amid rich natural forest, woodland streams and abundant wildlife, you will find stillness and seclusion within our gated, all-inclusive retreat.  Our well-equipped meeting, dining and lodging facilities, combined with scenic views and unparalleled service, provide a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere.  The Cove can accommodate small groups, such as board meetings and church staff retreats, as well as large groups up to 450 guests. If you choose The Cove, we know you’ll leave refreshed and ready for what God has in store.

But, don’t take our word for it. Listen here to what others are saying  about their group experiences at The Cove:

“Every aspect of our encounter with The Cove was done with Excellence.  I thought to myself, ‘Lord, this facility and people must please you and reflect a touch of what you intended for man in the beginning.  The grounds are well landscaped and maintained, the beauty of the mountains, the hiking trails, the architecture of the buildings, excellent food and rich fellowship, and so on.’”  — Guest from a large Christian Organization

“I cannot say enough about The Cove.  The ladies thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  The atmosphere was heavenly and the fellowship was second to none.  What a glorious time we had.  I’ll tell anyone before you go to heaven you have got to stop by The Cove.  A special thanks to your staff they were so accommodating.” – Guest from a large Church in Jacksonville, FL

 

 
For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-800-950-2092, visit our website at www.TheCove.org or email us at GuestGroups@TheCove.org

A Fresh Start

Photo from Flickr by alkruse24.

With each New Year, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean…to get a fresh start. Most people take this opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions, which might include a new diet, starting an exercise program, spending more quality time with family, saving money or reaching a particular goal at work. Whatever the resolution, turning the calendar to “January 1” provides the added motivation we sometimes need to begin again.

There’s a great article from Anne Graham Lotz on BillyGraham.org on the topic of beginning again. In all of human history, few names are greater than that of Abraham. Yet his life was marked by failure. The reason we associate Abraham with faith and friendship with God is that when he failed, he didn’t quit. He began again.

If your goal in 2012 is beginning again in your relationship with God, we want to help. We have a number of resources on our website at www.thecove.org/resources. You can also visit the “Spiritual Growth” section of BillyGraham.org.

Or, if you prefer to just get some time away on your own, check out our Personal Spiritual Retreats. These are self-directed opportunities for an individual or a couple to refocus on growing their relationship with God in the beauty and peaceful quiet of The Cove in Asheville, NC.

For more information, please visit www.TheCove.org or contact our reservations department at (800) 950-2092. Special rates are available for those in full-time Christian ministry.

Whatever you do, we pray that for you, 2012 will be a year that you strive to know God better and help others know Him.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2