Why We Should Still Honor America

A message from Billy Graham

Why We Should Still Honor America

As the turbulent ’60s concluded and a new decade began, Billy Graham appeared at a July 4th event in Washington, D.C. called Honor America Day.

We may be a vastly different people today than we were 200 years ago. … But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

More than 400,000 people attended, while millions watched on television or heard it on the radio in 123 other countries.

Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Glen Campbell, The New Christy Minstrels and Teresa Graves were among those who performed that day.

According to liner notes on an album produced after the event, Honor America Day was denounced by the extreme right and the extreme left, but was supported by ordinary Americans, “rich and poor, black and white, Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Jews.”

The idea reportedly stemmed from a telephone conversation between Billy Graham and Hobart Lewis, editor-in-chief of the Reader’s Digest, with hotel executive J. Willard Marriott later taking over the bulk of organizational work.

Organizers hoped the event would provide an “antidote for the poisons of defeatism, cynicism, and disillusionment that boil[ed] from the wells of America’s unsolved problems.”

One commentator noted that Dr. Graham’s message was a “moving, articulate plea for unity, faith and courage amid the strife of the ’70s.”

Read Part of Mr. Graham’s Message:

“Pericles built a civilization upon culture and it failed. Caesar built a civilization upon power and it failed. Our forefathers founded the United States upon faith in God, and our country will survive only as it honors God.

“Our nation was built on a foundation of moral law, in which a person’s rights were also balanced by a person’s responsibilities. Why should I, as a citizen of heaven and a Christian minister, join in honoring any secular state?

“The Bible says, ‘Honor the nation.’ As a Christian or a Jew, or as an atheist, we have a responsibility to an America that has always stood for liberty, protection and opportunity.

“There are many reasons why we honor America today. America has opened her heart and her doors to the distressed and persecuted of the world. America has been the most generous nation in history. We have shared our wealth and our faith with a world in need.

“America has never hidden her problems and faults. With our freedom of the press and open communication system we do not sweep our sins under the rug. America defends the right of her citizens to dissent. Dissent is the hallmark of our priceless freedoms. But when dissent takes violent forms it becomes anarchy.”

“We may be a vastly different people today than we were two hundred years ago. Our society is far more complex, more pluralistic. But of this we can be sure. God has not changed and His laws have not changed.

“He is still a God of love and mercy. But He is also a God of righteousness and judgment. Any individual or nation, which ignores His moral and spiritual laws, will ultimately face His judgment.”

Rebecca St. James Coming to The Cove

“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” This quote is what worship is all about, says Rebecca St. James. And, that’s the focus of her latest album entitled I Will Praise Him, which was released this spring.

Australian born St. James has become one of Contemporary Christian Music’s most enduring and beloved artists, embraced by audiences worldwide.  Her signature sound yielded 17 Top 10 singles (nine of which were No. 1) and two RIAA Gold Album certifications (commemorating sales of more than 500,000 units) for God (1996), as well as GRAMMY winning Pray (1999). 

Her new worship album might appear as a departure from her pop hits for which she’s known, but actually she describes it as back to the foundation of her music. In a recent interview with CCM Magazine, she elaborates:  “My other albums, even those that I would consider more teaching or topical rather than worship are mostly all vertical in nature. There aren’t that many that are just person-to-person. I think it’s just kind of an essence of who I am. Even live, so much of what I do song-wise is directed to God.”

You can experience Rebecca St. James live at The Cove on Aug. 11. Contact us today to reserve your seats!

Unshakable Truth

Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? The answers to these questions shape how we live our lives. We cannot live out God’s purpose for our lives until we understand what it is and how it should be reflected in our lifestyle.

July 15-17, renowned author and apologist Josh McDowell, along with his son Sean, will join us for a special seminar entitled “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith.” The content for this special study is based on their new book “The Unshakable Truth” which explores the 12 foundational truths of the Christian faith, why they are credible and how they are critical to living out what you believe.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/12467549 w=400&h=227]

Unshakable Truth – Promo – Josh & Sean from Josh McDowell on Vimeo.

Space is still available for this specially priced “Next Generation Retreat.” Contact us today at (800) 950-2092 to learn more.

An Interview with Matthew West

Our friends from 106.9 The Light interviewed Matthew West this morning – he talked about what fans can expect at his concert at The Cove tomorrow. In addition, he discussed his upcoming Christmas album, life in Nashville and his experiences with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child.

You can listen to the interview here.

A few tickets still remain for his concert tomorrow night at The Cove. We hope you can join us. You can find more information here.

Matthew West: “Strong Enough”

This Thursday, our friend Matthew West will be joining us for An Evening at The Cove.

Matthew’s latest single, “Strong Enough,” has spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Christian music charts. This song was inspired by a single mom, Tonia, and the story of her daughter, Haleigh, who was home visiting from college when she was in a devastating car accident. After 13 surgeries in three years and being forced to give up her college aspirations, Haleigh was very frustrated.

“The Lord doesn’t put anything on us that he doesn’t think we are strong enough to handle,” Tonia told her daughter. “Oh yeah? Well, he must think I’m pretty FREAKIN’ STRONG!” was Haleigh’s honest reply.

That story led Matthew to pen the song “Strong Enough.” The song ultimately draws its inspiration from Philippians 4:13 and the simple truth that we don’t have to be strong enough. In fact, we are not strong enough … but God is!


Join us on Thursday when Matthew will sing this and other hits from his album The Story of Your Life.

Where’s the Father of the House?

By Trevor Freeze

What’s a dad to “be” and “do?” With Father’s Day tomorrow, Chip Ingram gives four crucial roles every godly father should be taking in their child’s life.

Assistant Mom.

No two words sparked more emotion at The Cove on Memorial Day Weekend than these two that Chip Ingram used to describe the role of fathers in today’s society.

You could almost feel the blood pressure rising among fathers attending Ingram’s parenting conference at The Billy Graham Training Center.

Dads have become “Assistant Moms.”

About the only title that’s worse: “Assistant to the Mom.”

“It hits a raw nerve,” said Ingram, President of Living on the Edge ministries. “Men don’t like to be called out.”

But the critical theme of fathers standing up and becoming leaders in the home could easily be detected in all five of the parenting sessions over the weekend.

If you had to boil down the conference in three words, it would be simply: Where’s the Dad?

Read the full article on BillyGraham.org.

The Power of Prayer

By Will Graham

In the annals of world history, you won’t find many mentions of a lady named Pearl Goode. She never ran for political office, never commanded troops, and never served as the CEO of a Fortune-500 company.

Pearl Goode at a breakfast during the 1963 Billy Graham Los Angeles Crusade.

Pearl Goode was a widowed nurse in her mid-60s, living in Pasadena, Calif., in 1949 when a young evangelist came to hold tent meetings in Los Angeles at the corner of Washington and Hill streets.

The very first night of the Crusade, she watched the fiery preacher Billy Graham and his team share the Gospel. As Pearl later recounted in an interview, “That night God laid those boys on my heart as a burden.”

Pearl then joined the volunteer prayer team for the Greater Los Angeles Crusade and was a part of seeing the campaign extended from three weeks to eight weeks, with people cramming into the tent every night to hear the Good News.

After that early Crusade, Pearl became a prayer warrior for the Crusades, without anybody on my granddaddy’s team even knowing. She would spend her own money to travel by Greyhound bus to wherever they were holding an event, quietly check herself into a motel near the venue, and immediately begin praying. Pearl estimated that she covered 48,000 miles by bus, simply to pray for the Crusades.

Even later in life when Pearl could no longer travel, or when my granddaddy was preaching overseas, she would make it a point to know exactly when he would be preaching, and she would spend those exact hours in prayer.

In an address he gave in 1994, my grandfather said, “She prayed all night many nights, and I could sense the presence and power of that prayer. When she died, I felt it.”

We must never underestimate the power of the prayer that is lifted up by wonderful saints like Pearl all around the world. Prayer – talking to God – is of paramount importance in developing our relationship with our Savior and in building up and supporting others through the work of the Holy Spirit. The great significance of prayer is – I believe – why we see so many calls to prayer in the New Testament*.

But, with everything going on in our world today, and with all of the distractions that life throws at us, how many of us actually make the time to become a prayer warrior like Pearl Goode? She would use her own money to travel to far-away states, only to lock herself in a motel room and pray all night long. What a challenge to the rest of us who can’t find 15 minutes in a day to spend with our Lord!

My granddaddy has told me that one of the few regrets he has in life is that he didn’t pray more. That impacts me deeply because almost every time I walk into his house he’s either praying or reading the Bible. He firmly believes that if he had spent even more time in prayer he could have reached even more people with the Gospel.

Pearl Goode, Billy Graham … you and me. Let’s make today the day we cast off the things of this world and commit to be a prayer warrior!

*Luke 6:28; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 2:8

Will Graham

Will Graham is the third generation of Grahams to proclaim the Gospel under the banner of BGEA. Will has spoken to audiences around the world. He graduated from Liberty University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion and in 2001 graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. He currently serves as assistant director of the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C.

Matthew West: “Every song has a story”

Matthew West, fresh off his appearance at the recent Will Graham Jersey Shore Celebration in Ocean Grove, NJ, will perform at The Cove on June 23.

The concert will be a mix of older, more familiar songs from the radio, as well as songs from his latest album, The Story of Your Life.

“As a songwriter, every song has a story behind it, and I am excited to play in an intimate setting like the Cove, because I’ll get to dive in to some of the amazing stories that inspired these songs,” he explained.

West’s hopes and prayers for this Evening at The Cove go far beyond music and entertainment. It’s about the most important connection a person could ever make—a connection with God. To register for this event, click here.

Matthew West
Matthew West at the Jersey Shore Celebration with Will Graham

Matthew accepted Christ watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television when he was 13. Joy Allmond from BillyGraham.org spent some time with Matthew and discussed his long-standing relationship with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Click here to read the story.

Chip Ingram on The Cove: ‘It’s just awesome!’

By Trevor Freeze

Chip Ingram searched for the right words.

The teaching pastor for Living on the Edge ministries has come to The Cove to speak at least a dozen times and it never gets old.

In fact, anytime he can bring his wife with him, like last weekend, he does.

“The setting’s just awesome,” Ingram said.

But to describe it in more detail took a little more thought process.

“It’s excellence without opulence,” Ingram said. “It’s well done but it’s not overdone.”

And what hits Ingram the most is how thoroughly enjoyable his experiences at the Billy Graham Training Center have been.

Year after year after year.

“It really honors God, from the top to the bottom,” he said. “From the person at the door to the the kitchen staff to the maids who pray for the guests when they make their beds, there’s a servant’s attitude here that’s real.”

Ingram gave a “Next Generation” parenting retreat over Memorial Day weekend aimed at those 45 and under called “House or Home” and if the wrap-up testimony time was any indication, this was more than just a three-day seminar where couples walked away with head knowledge.

“God works here,” Ingram said. “Not to be overly mystical or anything, but the hand of God’s favor has been on this man (Billy Graham) and organization.”

Cove view
The view from the deck of the Training Center

The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove