Weekly Bible Verse: John 16:33

Our weekly Bible verse comes from John 16:33:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

This verse offers not only peace, but great joy and hope.  The victory is won!  There is nothing we cannot face knowing Christ has claimed the victory over this world.


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

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

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

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Prayer Note for April

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.

 

A God Who Senses All

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15, NASB).

In God’s amazing design for the human body, He gave us multiple senses through which we explore and understand the world. Think about grandma’s chocolate cake. Our lips taste the sweetness, our nose smells the richness, and our hands feel the soft texture of a delicious dessert. Similarly, our eyes absorb the beauty of a setting sun or post-thunderstorm rainbow, while our ears perk up at the power of a full symphony or soulful choir. We are blessed because God gave us multiple senses through which we establish a richer understanding of the people and places around us.

In Psalm 34, we are reminded that God similarly uses His senses to absorb every moment of our heartfelt prayers. In fact, verse 15 says that His eyes are “toward the righteous.” What an image! Think about that for a moment. God runs toward us, seeking to hear, see, and feel our every word and emotion, with joy and without distraction. God’s ears yearn to hear every cry of pain or scream of anguish that life’s challenges bring our way. His hands ache to hold the wet tears that fall down our faces in seasons of grief or loss, while His eyes rest lovingly on our crumpled bodies broken by relational heartache, illness, grief, or rejection.

I think it’s one thing to say, “God hears our prayers,” but it’s an entirely different image in our heads and hearts when we imagine each prayer wrapped entirely in all of His senses. And it is this image of an all-sensing Savior that reminds me that I can pour my whole self, ugly tears and all, into precious moments of prayer. The more He sees, hears, and touches during my prayers, the greater my strength will become. Let’s keep praying!                                                                                                                                            – Lori Brown


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

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

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

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Weekly Bible Verse: Proverbs 24:14

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Proverbs 24:14:

“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
    If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off.”

When we seek God through His Word, we have tapped into the greatest source of wisdom.  It is where we find hope, peace and guidance  for the future.  No situation is hopeless when we seek God’s wisdom.


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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A Psalm by Quinn Graham: Spring is Here

We have a modern-day psalmist on our hands:  Quinn Graham, Will Graham’s son and Billy Graham’s great-grandson, has written a special  psalm to share. This one, entitled “Spring is Here” is a great reminder for us to cherish God’s beautiful creation and the seasons that He gives to us.

Spring is here

 

The end of Death is here

And the start of Life has begun                                                   

Everything that was once dead, is now coming alive

The grass brightens up

The trees start sprouting leaves

The flowers start to bloom

And the sky brightens up

The world starts warming up

And you also start warming up

Because you know that Life is back once again

God created seasons

These seasons are what make earth so diverse

Summer is hot and everyone is outside

Fall is a bit colder with winds and beautifully colored leaves

Winter is cold and chilly; every plant life is dead, and every animal is hiding

Spring is the end of the coldness and life kicks back into action

The earth starts to warm up

The plants come back from the dead

The animals come out of hibernation

And it is just a wonderful time….

God created seasons to show how beautiful His creation is

He created the most beautiful world ever!


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

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

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

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 118:5-6

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 118:5-6:

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    he brought me into a spacious place.
 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?” (NIV)

Life is hard.  When it seems unbearable, He is our refuge.  He is our source of peace.   His Word will bring the encouragement that you need for each day.


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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KENDRA GRAHAM SPRING BIBLE STUDY

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. Our prayer is that you  will grow deeper in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and His promises for you. 

STEP ONE: Pray

STEP TWO:  Read the Text. 

Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.

(Exodus 17:1, NASB)

STEP THREE:   WHAT DOES IT SAY?
THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE

All the congregation of Israel journeyed from wilderness of Sin according to the command of the LORD, camped at Rephidim and there was no water for people

STEP FOUR:  WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
THE LESSONS

Have you ever felt like God had definitely led you to a place; I mean you felt a calling deep in your bones and it took such a tremendous act of faith on your part to trust God in His leading, only to get where He led and all you see is lack and hardship?

I am sure you all are better than me, but my first reaction is not to get on my knees and pray, my first reaction is to raise some serious questions.  Did I hear God right?  Was this all a huge mistake?  Why would God impress such a bold move of faith and then lead me to a place like this?

I have some questions about what God is up to. Does He hate me?  Has He abandoned me?  Has God led me right off a cliff just to watch me fall?  Did God lead me here so that He could hide me from everything productive?

Here in Exodus 17:1, God’s people have followed Him all the way from Egypt, through the Red Sea, to Marah, to Elim, to the wilderness of Sin, and now to Rephidim.  Where is Israel going?  The people of Israel are on their way to Sinai.  God has promised to take them out of Egypt (Exodus 3:8) and lead them to Sinai (Exodus 3:12), and then God will lead them to the Promised Land (Exodus 3:8).

The Wilderness of Sin is halfway to S-I-N-A-I. Rephidim is 3/4 of the way to Sinai.  Israel is ALMOST there!

Rephidim was historically known as a “place of resting.” It was a place in the desert where there were palm trees, and it was known for having water. Yet here in this passage, when the Children of Israel arrive at Rephidim, there is no water.

This is a problem.  There is expectation when God leads you and calls you to a place, isn’t there?  Israel had faithfully followed God and His leading for more than two months at this point.  They had done some grumbling along the way, yes, but the Bible tells us the “whole congregation” followed God.  What did they get for following God?  Hardship and need.  As we come to this part of the story, it almost seems as if God went out of His way to dry up the water that was supposed to be there, doesn’t it?  It seems that way to me.

I think that at times as we read a familiar Old Testament story and already know its ending, some of the original tension of the story can be lost, and we’re almost prevented from getting a real appreciation of the amount of faith God was calling His people to have. Let’s stop where we are and live in the moment of this verse: God’s people followed Him to a place where they would have a greater need than before.  Can you see that in your own life?

God’s people could not manufacture water in the desert.  So many times we do not come to God until all other options are off the table, so God, in His grace and love, brings us to places where we cannot be creative enough to provide for ourselves.  God wanted His people thirsty.  Why?

God’s name is “Jehovah Jirah”—Jehovah, the LORD, the God who is highly exalted above all Gods, and Jirah, who wants to be personally known as your provider. The fact is, we do not know that God provides for us, until we have need.  We do not know that He is the Living Water (John 4:10, John 7:38)…until we thirst.  My soul within me cries “Ugh!” and “Yay!” at that very statement.  I hate to have need! Yet I love when I get to see God provide.

I tend to have faith that God will provide for Israel, and for Moses, and for my pastor, and for all the really important people in the world; yet my faith fails when it comes to me believing that God wants me to know He is my provider.  God wants to write His name across the stories of our lives, and He cannot do that so long as I continue to be so self-sufficient.  Dependence is both a great place to be and a hard place to be.  God was leading Israel, and God is leading you and me.  Let’s hold on to that together.

God leads us to where He is… out of Egypt to Sinai!  For the Children of Israel, Sinai was the place of God’s presence.  Remember that God goes before us like a shepherd goes before His flock (Psalm 23).  Keep following the Shepherd. Keep depending on Him. Keep pressing on, and keep your eyes on Jesus when all your eyes can see is dry desert and all your soul can feel is a deep thirst.

Hold on to the fact of who He isShout it out!  Shout it in the car…on your walk…in your house on top of your coffee table:  “JEHOVAH JIRAH is God’s name, and because of HIS name He will be MY JEHOVAH and MY PROVIDER even when I can’t see how!”
(See I Samuel 12:22)

STEP FIVE:  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME?
NOW APPLY IT…. TODAY
.

 When has God led you to a place that seemed more lacking than full?  When has Jehovah written His name, “Jirah,” your provider, across the story of your life?  How is God trying to teach you to trust in His name?  What causes you to doubt that God will provide for you?

STEP SIXLIVE IT OUT.

Today, in all the chaos, in all the empty, and in all my thirst, I will claim the name of Jehovah Jirah; even if I do not feel it or see it, I will shout what His name is and ask God to open my eyes and heart to the truth that He is “Jehovah” who wants to be known to me as “Jirah.” 


Will you prayerfully consider encouraging someone with your story of how God wrote His name of “provider” across the story of your life?  We would love to hear from you here, in the comments section.  Also, consider sharing your story of God’s provision with someone in your own community.  As God’s people we need to get back to a place where we not only remember His name, but believe it!  Your stories can help encourage us to hold on to Him in the hard and desolate places.  Life is hard, but Jehovah is Jirah!

Thank you again for joining us for this Bible study. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Praying that you have a very blessed week ahead!


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

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

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

Follow us on social media.click map

 

Weekly Bible Verse: Hebrews 4:14-16

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Hebrews 4: 14-16:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

In times of trial or struggles with sin, how comforting it is to know that Christ has been there and understands what we are going through!  Because He did not sin, we know that we can look to Him for strength and grace when we are in need.


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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Saturday Snapshot: A Look Around The Cove

If you have never visited The Cove, we would love to invite you to come this year. Founded by Billy and Ruth Graham, this 1200 acre property  is one of the most beautiful places to visit in North Carolina.

As soon as you drive through the entrance, you will feel the peace and the presence of the Lord.  Billy and Ruth Graham prayed over this property for years and the staff continue to pray before guests arrive.

This photo was taken behind one of our Inn’s on property. A place to relax and to focus on God’s Word. It is also a great place to have conversation with friends.

A photo of the outside of the Training Center at night. The Training Center has a 458 seat auditorium, meeting spaces, Ruth’s Attic Bookstore, and more.  The outside area is a favorite among guests. It is very peaceful and quiet.  The rocking chairs provide the perfect place to take in the mountain views.

We have many trails for hiking or just peaceful walks. One specific trail is approximately 3 miles long and leads to the top of the mountain behind The Cove. It has a panoramic view of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Dining Room provides chef-prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will want to come hungry.

“There are two gorgeous chapels in eastern America. One is at Duke University and the other is here at The Cove.” —Billy Graham

The Chatlos Chapel and Visitors Center is open Monday-Friday for guests to visit and the cost is free. A wonderful place to also view the history of Billy Graham and the ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.


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

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

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

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 28:6-7

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 28:6-7:

“Praise be to the Lord,
    for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.”

Start your week off with praise to the Father and take comfort in knowing that He hears your cries for mercy.  He is your strength and shield and always there to help you.  Praying that this brings you joy and sustains you in the week ahead.


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

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

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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Shoulder to Shoulder: Singleness after Widowhood

Our blog post comes from one of our staff members at The Cove. Patty Nicholas has worked at The Cove for 15 years as a Guest Services Event Coordinator.  Patty lost her husband seven years ago to a heart attack. She lost her father two days later to a rare illness. Through her grief journey, God has given her a voice now  to help others. 

Shoulder to Shoulder : Singleness After Widowhood.

“Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day (1 Timothy 5:5, KJV). 

I recently read a statistic which stated that in the United States alone, 700,000 women become widows every year. Another statistic stated that one in five women will be widowed by the time they are fifty-six. These figures are shocking . . . and then it happens to you.

Nearly seven years ago, I became a number when I lost my husband. How does one move from being married for almost twenty years to suddenly single in the blink of an eye? Just like any other emergency, if you have some advance preparation, you are able to handle the situation. I already had a strong relationship with God.
I found this passage in 1 Timothy 5 both comforting and true.
It was true. I was desolate. Loss of income, loss of friends, and in loss of direction for my life thrust me into a very dark and dry season. It was also true, that when felt as if I had lost everything, I still had the Lord. He was my oasis in the desert.

It was comforting to know that God could fill that void in my heart. I reached out to Him in prayer and supplication, I found I could trust Him for everything.

You don’t have to be widowed, single, or even desolate to reach out to God. However, there is a unique relationship with a person on their own. When you have nothing else and God is all there is, you realize God is all you need.

Questions:
How prepared are you for an emotional emergency?

Has there been a desolate time in your life when God showed you He could be all you needed?

If you are not widowed or single yourself, is there someone that you know who can use an encouraging word?


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

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

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

Follow us on social media. click map

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The blog of the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove