Tag Archives: Asheville

Lessons from Billy Graham

Lessons from Billy Graham: What I learned portraying my grandfather in Unbroken
By: Will Graham

In 2014, Angelina Jolie directed an award-winning film called Unbroken. It tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent turned Olympian and war hero. After Louis’ WWII plane crashed in the Pacific, he floated at sea for 47 days before being captured and ruthlessly tortured by the Japanese. He survived unimaginable atrocities and starvation, finally making it home to his family after the war.

The movie Unbroken ended on a high point, but that’s not where Louis Zamperini’s story ended. In fact, the struggles were just beginning.

After returning home, Louis’ life looked great on the outside. He was a celebrity, he married a woman whom he dearly loved, and they had a beautiful little baby. On the inside, however, Louis was sinking into a dark well of despair. He suffered from what we now know as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), was haunted by nightmares, was on the verge of divorce, and had become an alcoholic.

He had survived the ruthlessness of war, but was now on the road to destruction in peacetime.

This second part of Louis’ story is being told in the Universal Studios film Unbroken: Path to Redemption, slated for nationwide theater release on Sept. 14, 2018. In it, we witness Louis in all of his heartache and pain, but we also get a glimpse of the answer to his struggles.

You see, Louis only found true and lasting peace when he surrendered his life to Christ at my grandfather’s historic 1949 Los Angeles Crusade. After beginning a relationship with Jesus, Louis never had another nightmare, never took another sip of alcohol, and his marriage was restored.

Early last year I was approached with the unique and unexpected opportunity to portray my grandfather in the film. I’m not an actor, but I prayerfully decided to accept this role. It was a nerve-wracking experience that took me far out of my comfort zone, but it was also an incredible blessing.

The biggest impact for me came from deeply studying my grandfather in preparing for the role, immersing myself in his early sermons.

First, I was reminded of my grandfather’s deep love for – and reliance upon – the Bible. He quoted scripture repeatedly and at length throughout his messages. His most commonly used phrase was “The Bible says…” He knew that the Bible was the divine, powerful, living Word of God, and it pierced the hearts of those hearing it.

Second, my grandfather preached with a sense of urgency. He knew that heaven and hell hung in the balance. Decisions made in that massive tent on the corner of Hill and Washington streets in Los Angeles would not only affect lives, but eternities as well.

Third, my grandfather didn’t just ask people to respond to the Good News of Christ. He commanded them with an authority that could come only from God. “This may be your only chance. Come now!” he would call out. Of course, those in the audience had the free will to walk forward or not, but my grandfather made it very clear that this was their opportunity to begin a new life with Jesus.

Looking back on it, we now know that Louis Zamperini was one of those who responded to the call, and he was radically changed and saved. That was 1949, but today there are just as many – if not more – people like Louis out there. People who are lost and struggling, who have no hope or peace.

Will you be like my grandfather, holding tight to the Scripture as you share the hope that you have with urgency and authority? I’m committed to doing so, and I hope you will too.

To view the trailer for the movie  Unbroken: Path To Redemption, click here. 


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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Saturday Snapshot: A New Season

As we move into this next season, we can expect that change is coming. We see it between summer and fall, as the temperatures cool slightly and the leaves slowly begin to change. We see it as kids go back to school and families  wrap up vacations and return to work.  We all know it’s inevitable that we will experience change in our lives, in ways big and small.

As we anticipate that change is coming, what are some ways that we can be prepared and stay firm in our foundation? Let’s take a look at Psalm 28:7, ” 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” (NIV).

No matter what change comes in our lives, it cannot destroy the unshakeable truth that our God’s love for us never changes.  He is our strength and shield for everything.  We can always lean on Him for the support that we need. Change and transition is hard for most people, but it becomes less difficult when we recall the promise that God is always  our firm foundation.  One of the ways that we can stay strong is by trusting in His Word,  meditating on verses just like this one and holding tight to His promise.

Another way to stay strong is by simply acknowledging and anticipating that change will come. It may come through a trial or just by a shift in life circumstances. Maybe it is a positive change that you direct, knowing that you want something new. Knowing that change will arise can prepare you for it.  As we look at 1 Peter, we see that the Apostle wrote this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters who were getting ready to face a change that would threaten their very lives: persecution.

In this short epistle (letter), Peter encourages the believers and instructs them in how to face the looming persecution they will undergo because of their faith. He tells them to, ” gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13, NKJV). When he spoke of “girding up [their] mind,”  Peter was referring to what many of those early Christians knew as “girding up your robe.” In the historical context of this verse, the term is reminiscent of the ancient Near Eastern custom of pulling up long robes and tucking them a belt when running so that nothing would be loose. In this passage, Peter is telling them to do this with their mind. He is saying that their focus needs to be on Heaven and on Jesus. Peter understood that when believers are heading into persecution, they have to make sure that their only thought pattern and focus is the Lord. He knew that these Christians would not endure if they did not have that singular focus in their mind. They could not allow “loose” thoughts to run wild. As we acknowledge that change will come to us in the days ahead, let’s remember to prepare our minds by focusing on Christ and Him alone. The enemy may want to put doubt, fear, and other things in our minds, but we will stand firm as we keep a singular focus on Him.

Another way to stand strong is through worship. Psalm 59:16 states, “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” As we move through change and things begin to feel uncomfortable, that is the time to press-in even more in our worship of the Lord. As we enter His Presence, everything changes! Our perspective changes, and we gain hope and strength. We have peace. As we walk through seasons of change, we must pursue His Presence in the difficult moments.

How are you going to go through the changes that will come this year? How about the battles you know are inevitable. We can anticipate opposition, just like the people Peter spoke to in 1 Peter. Because of the words the Lord spoke to them through Peter’s letter, they had a plan of action when that time came. They were prepared; and because they were prepared, the First Century Church exploded! As those early believers kept their eyes on Christ, they did not waver; and as a result, everyone around them deeply desired what they had. Those around them wanted that eternal promise.

We have the same opportunity to show Christ to everyone as we ourselves go through periods of change. As people watch us go through this next season, will they be drawn to Christ in us? Will they want what we have? We must make up our minds now as to how we will go through this next season. He is with us and will never leave 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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Weekly Bible Verse: 1 Peter 5:8

Our verse for the week comes from 1 Peter 5:8

 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (NKJV).

As you head into this week, stay on guard and be vigilant. The way that we have victory over the enemy is by: praying, reading the Word, speaking life-giving words over situations, and above all trusting the Lord in all times. He already won the victory!


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: The 2019 Program Guide Schedule

We had a wonderful week as we launched the 2019 Program Guide Schedule with such an incredible line-up of speakers and worship artists!

Here is just a snapshot of who you will see in 2019

We are so thrilled to announce that Beth Moore will be with us October 30th-November 1st! You can register for her event by clicking here.

Matthew West will be joining us on May 19th! Matthew is a multiple- Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner and lauded by The New York Times as “a vivid and compelling songwriter with impressive approaches to the familiar.” A four-time GRAMMY® nominee, Matthew West’s discography includes acclaimed releases: Happy (2003), History (2005),Something to Say (2008), The Story of Your Life (2010) and Into The Light (2012). His 2010 studio album, The Story of Your Life, was inspired by 10,000 stories from every state in the U.S. and 20 countries. The album garnered attention from CNN Online, Fox News, Billboard, Country Weekly, American Songwriter and more. The Story of Your Life gave West the largest street week debut of his career, selling over 10,000 units the first week landing at No. 3 on Christian Soundscan, and No. 41 on the Billboard Top 200.  To register for Matthew West, click here

Mark your calendars for June 28th-30th for Lisa Harper as she returns to the Cove. Lisa has been lauded as a gifted communicator whose writing and speaking overflow with colorful pop culture references that connect the dots between the Bible era and modern life. Her style combines sound Scriptural exposition with easy-to-relate to anecdotes and comedic wit. She is a blessing to have with us. Lisa’s seminar tends to sell out quickly, so make your reservations now! Click here to register!

We are also excited to have Will Graham back August 9th-11th! Since beginning his evangelistic ministry with youth-oriented, one-day events in Canada, Will has spoken to audiences across North America, Australia, India and other parts of Asia and South America. To register for his seminar, click here!

We have so many more incredible speakers and worship artists! Take a minute this Saturday and visit our website to see our 2019 Program Guide Schedule. We hope you will come visit us at the Cove and take some time to connect deeper in your relationship with the Lord and receive refreshment from Him.


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: 1 Peter 4:7-8

Our verse for the week comes from 1 Peter 4:7-8

” But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins‘”(NKJV). 

As you start this week, remember to love one another with a fervent love.  Take some time and ponder what this truly looks like and what steps you can take this week to put this into practice.


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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Verse of the Week: Jeremiah 29:13

Our verse for the week is found in Jeremiah 29:13, ” You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (NKJV).(Photo taken from the Will Graham seminar)

There is nothing sweeter than being in the Presence of God. It changes everything.


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: Operation Christmas Child

We had such a wonderful week with Operation Christmas Child as a  guest group!

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse. The mission is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.   The group met in the auditorium for worship and teaching. They spent time in prayer over the children and families that they would be reaching this next season.

One of the guests shared that his favorite part of giving a child a shoebox is when they first open it up. They are so grateful for each and every item. He shared that even getting a washcloth is something that the kids rejoice over. To see their eyes filled with hope and excitement is amazing! 

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 146 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received. 

We thank all of the amazing staff and volunteers who work so hard to reach these kids all over the 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.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Weekly Bible Verse: 2 Peter 1:5-9

Our weekly verse comes from 2 Peter 1:5-9

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,  to knowledge self-control, to self-control, perseverance, to perseverance godliness,  to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (NKJV). 

No matter where you are today or who you interact with, remember that others can know the love of Jesus by the way you show His love to them.


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: August is Here!

 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2, HCSB).

 

Can you believe that August is here? This is a great month to visit The Cove! The mountains are so beautiful this time of year and it makes for a perfect time to come and get renewed in God’s Word. We have an incredible group of speakers that include: Steve BrownWill GrahamRT Kendall, Stuart and Jill Briscoe with John InnesChip Ingram, and Herb Reavis, Jr.! 

A great time to escape from the distractions of the world and enter a place where there is peace and serenity. This is a time to just sit quietly with God’s Word and be immersed in His beauty.

From beautiful walking trails to dinner overlooking the mountains, The Cove will be a place for you to be renewed, refreshed, and recharged.


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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Playing with Boxes: Prayer Devotional

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)

 

PLAYING WITH BOXES

I recently saw a video of a toddler who received a mini-trampoline for Christmas.  After unwrapping the gift (with some assistance) and seeing the bright, colorful picture of a trampoline, he carefully climbed up onto the lid of the box, stood up, and began jumping up and down on the image of the trampoline!

Are we ever guilty of doing the same thing with God? He has given us the privilege of communicating with Him by means of prayer; and in a miraculous gift of His grace, He’s given us His promise to hear and answer (see Psalm 34:15, Matthew 7:11, John 15:16 and 1 John 5:14). Yet often our time is dedicated to everything but prayer. We read books and blog posts and articles on prayer, we download podcasts on prayer, we have prayer journals on our nightstands and prayer reminders on our iPhones. But do we pray? The books and blogs and podcasts are all good and helpful things, but if all we do is read about prayer, we’re like the toddler jumping on the cardboard box. God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts, and He desires to share His own heart with us as we pray. Still, there are times when we’re guilty of simply looking at the pictures or jumping on the box rather than investing the time and effort for serious prayer.

Until we “open the box” to receive and use this powerful means of communicating and communing with our allpowerful God, we will only be wasting our energy—like the child jumping on the picture of the trampoline. He might experience a few brief moments of fun pretending he’s jumping on a trampoline, but until he experiences
the real thing, he won’t know what he’s missing. Our prayer life can be so much richer than simply giving thanks before meals and drowsily praying a few sleepy lines before we drift off to sleep.

Like the loving parent who gently removed the child from the box lid and then took out all the parts and assembled the trampoline, God desires to give us what we need for our prayers to become airborne. How do we get our prayer life off the ground? God Himself gives us the desire to pray (Philippians 2:13) and the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 12:3), and He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us in our praying (Romans 8:26). Despite our apathy, weak faith and long list of excuses, we need only look up to our “Abba” Father and voice a simple plea for help.

“Help me, please, Lord! I’m all out of excuses and I’m tired of jumping on cardboard boxes. I want to know more of You and hear You speak. I want to be a faithful intercessor, praying on behalf of my family and friends, my church, and my country. I want to have Your heart—one that is broken over my sin and broken over the needs of a lost world that needs You. Lord, teach me to pray!”

If we ask Him, the Lord will put the pieces together for us and draw us into deeper communion with Him. God will give us the desire to pray and the time to pray, and the faith to believe; and His Holy Spirit will guide us and prompt us with regard to who we should intercede for and how we should pray on their behalf.

Our loving Father has told us to come to Him with our needs and requests. So jump in with both feet and pray!

Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, HCSB)

By: Donna Riesen

We appreciate your prayers for these upcoming August events:

Steve Brown — August 3-5 
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: John Chisum; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
How to Be Right Without Being Insufferable

 Will Graham — August 10-12
(Emcee: Traynor Reitmeier; Worship Leader: Mark Christian; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
Satan’s Snares and God’s Goodness

 Stuart and Jill Briscoe — August 13-15
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Tom Bledsoe; Artist: John Innes; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
SeniorCelebration — A Celebration in the Psalms

 R.T. Kendall — August 20-24
(Emcee: Michael Everhart; Worship Leader: Marty Goetz; Pastor-in-Residence: Jim Brackett)
Intensive Bible Training — Popular in Heaven, Famous in Hell

 Chip Ingram — August 24-26
(Emcee: Bill Wolfe; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seefeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: John Parrish)
Why I Believe

 Herb Reavis, Jr. — August 27-29
(Emcee: Ron Whittemore; Worship Leader: Stephanie Seeffeldt; Pastor-in-Residence: Kevin Wimbish)
The Second Coming: Hope for the Here and Now

 


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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