“In Him and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12
Each month one of our staff, Donna Riesen, prepares a “prayer note” to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We will begin sharing these with you on the first of each month in hopes that, you too, will be encouraged.
By Donna Riesen:
Have we lost Jesus? Another Christmas season has come and gone, and we’ve shopped and eaten and wrapped and traveled, but have we marveled at the miracle? Like Mary, did we take the time to “ponder in our hearts” the truth of God coming to earth as a helpless baby, on a rescue mission of love? Like the Wise Men, did we go out of our way to seek Him?
Aside from the New Testament birth narratives, the visit from the Wise men, the account of Christ’s circumcision, and the flight to Egypt, the Bible is silent on a large portion of Jesus’ childhood until Luke 2:41-52 gives us a brief glimpse of the boy Jesus at age 12.
Following their usual custom as faithful Jews, Mary and Joseph made their yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Luke records an astonishing sequence of events as—after an entire day’s travel on their return to Nazareth—Mary and Joseph realize they have lost track of Jesus. If you’ve ever lost sight of your child for even a few minutes in the aisles of a department store, you know that heart-stopping feeling they experienced.
(Side note: Before accusing the couple of child neglect, we should consider that the large crowds who made the Passover journey together usually divided into two groups: men, and women & children. Since Jesus was now twelve years of age, Mary may have assumed her Son had joined with the group of men to make the journey home, while Joseph probably believed Him to be with the women and children. Since the crowd of pilgrims probably included lots of extended family, Jesus would have had plenty of relatives to look after Him in either group. Who wouldn’t volunteer for that babysitting job?)
After searching and inquiring to no avail among the group of travelers, the worried couple made a hasty return trip to Jerusalem. Verse 46 tells us that “after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46, NKJV). We let out a sigh of relief at hearing that the boy was found safe, then catch our breath again in amazement as we read that “all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers” (2:47, NKJV). The amazement increases as we picture a frazzled Mary scolding the Son of God: “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought you anxiously” (2:48, NKJV).
Jesus’ reply gives us the first clue that He is aware of His identity and destiny as the Son of God. “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49, NKJV)
The Bible then tells us in verse 50 that “They did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.” In spite of being misunderstood, verse 51 shows us the humility of Christ, as He “went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”
From the day the angel first appeared to her in the little village of Nazareth, to the temple at Jerusalem, and then to the foot of the cross, tender-hearted Mary would have much to keep and ponder.
As we ponder the happenings of 2015 and look ahead to 2016, may our prayer be to never lose track of Christ. As He was found in the temple discussing the Scriptures with leaders two and three times His age, may we be found seeking for Him in the pages of His Word and in prayer.
As Cove staff, we are privileged to work in a place where we are daily “about our Father’s business.” Whether we are changing bed linens, changing an inn reservation or changing a lightbulb, we all serve in a place where lives are changed by the power of the Word of God and the work of His Spirit. 2016 will be a year of change for all of us at The Cove. Although we will “hit the ground running,” may we never run ahead of Christ in self-sufficiency or lose track of Him by lagging behind in disobedience. Instead, let’s enter this new year on our knees in a posture of prayer. If you’ve lost track of Jesus, that’s the best place to start.
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There’s nothing like Fall in the mountains of Western North Carolina! Earlier this week, we took a drive around our property so we could share some of the beauty with you.
First, we’d like to share the drive up to our beautiful chapel and visitor’s center.
Did you know we give free tours of The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitor’s Center? Come on by! We’d love to see you. For more information and hours of operation, click here.
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Next, we’d like to share the scenery starting up by the Shepherd’s Inn and The Training Center and on down the mountain. It feels a bit like you’re on a roller coaster, so hang on!
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Our flowers are attracting some beautiful winged creatures. Just look at the intricate design God chose for these two!
A guest from Australia, who amazingly enough is not a professional photographer, shared these photos with us.
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Come celebrate the ministry of Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie during his final time speaking at The Cove, August 14-16, 2015. Dr. Ogilvie, an amazing man of God, prolific author, spiritual leader, and gifted Bible teacher has been a regular speaker at The Cove since 2004.
His seminar titled, Grace Upon Grace, will encourage your walk with the Lord, as you immerse yourself in His truth and learn to live in the flow of His breathtaking grace.
We hope to see you here August 14 – 16, 2015. Your presence would be a blessing to him.
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We’ve got some serious prayer warriors that work and volunteer here at The Cove. This is Betty who celebrated her 92nd birthday this week.
Betty has volunteered at The Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center here at The Cove for 26 years! When she first started volunteering, she gave tours to our visitors. Betty is now faithfully volunteering every Friday–dedicated to praying for our visitors, guests, fellow volunteers and staff.
When this picture was taken, Betty had already prayed for 481 people. No, that’s not a typo–four hundred eighty one–all covered in prayer before noon! How does she keep track? She makes a check next to their name or on their prayer request card and keeps a running tally.
At 92, Betty is sweet, sharp as a tack and quick witted. If you are visiting us on a Friday morning, make sure to stop by and say hello to her.
Fun fact: Betty earned 12 varsity letters while in high school.
Would you like to volunteer at The Cove? Click here to complete a volunteer application.
Make a plan to visit The Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitor’s Center. Tours are free. Click here for hours of operation and directions.
If you’ve had the opportunity to stay in one of the two inns on our property, you know how clean and comfortable the rooms are. You may even know that your bed–in fact your entire room–was prayed over before your arrival.
Today, we’d like you to meet one of the special people who are responsible for The Cove’s clean and prayed-over rooms.
Linda has been a part of the housekeeping staff at The Cove since October 2004. After working with her husband in the home improvement field for years, Linda’s daughter, who was on The Cove’s housekeeping staff at the time, asked her mom to come and work with her. Having suffered from back problems all her life, Linda told her daughter, “My back wouldn’t take it.” She did, however, agree to volunteer some. After volunteering for several months, Linda was asked to join the team as an employee and she agreed.
You’re probably wondering why Linda decided to accept employment despite her history of back pain. When asked, she replied with a warm smile, “It’s like a healing has taken place. It’s very physically demanding, but it’s not like work. I know this is where God wants me.” Linda continues by sharing a Scripture that she has proven to be true: “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
Serving at The Cove is a bit of a family affair. Not only did Linda’s daughter work here, but her sister, Ruth, does too. “My sister and I make beds together,” Linda says.
While Linda enjoys the time of fellowship with her sister, she says the entire housekeeping team is like a family.
“When a new housekeeper comes, we adopt her in like a little sister, and if it’s an older one, it’s another mama. There is just a bond here that we can’t explain.”
Every Day Steeped in Prayer.
During the week, before Linda comes to work, she begins her days attending prayer time from 6 – 7 a.m. at her church. But, the prayer doesn’t stop there.
It’s a well-known fact that The Cove housekeepers pray over the rooms as they clean. Linda said, “It’s like the Scripture, ‘pray without ceasing’; that’s what we do, we pray as we go.” She adds, “I also make it a point to pray for the guests when I go home, when I’m not distracted with anything else. I pray that as they come, God would take care of everything back home for them so they can get away without anything distracting them.”
So whether it’s cleaning, stocking or checking rooms, Linda’s heart is full with anticipation of the good things the Lord has for her and each of our guests here at The Cove every day.
“Every day I come through the gate, it’s a new day and a total new world. Mr. and Mrs. Graham’s vision became provision for so many people.”
Interested in working at The Cove? See a list of job descriptions by clicking here.
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Check out some of our special products carried at Ruth’s Attic Bookstore here at The Cove that would be perfect for celebrating mom on Mother’s day (it’s just around the corner–Sunday May 10) or maybe treat yourself to something nice!
Lamb Over Me Chinese Symbol
Ruth Bell Graham was born in China to missionary parents and carried a lifelong love for the people of this land. The “Chinese character for Righteousness” is placed at the top of the stone on her resting site at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, NC. The same character is on her father’s gravestone. Her father served as a medical doctor in China for 25 years.
Ruth Graham’s “Lamb Over Me” Pendant: $19.99
Blessings to you!
To order any of the products seen on this post, you may either purchase on-property at Ruth”s Attic bookstore, by phone at 1-800-950-2092 (menu 3) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give the gift with eternal benefits. Cove gift certificates make the perfect gift for your loved ones. To order a gift certificate call 1-800-950-2092.
Colors are popping up everywhere here at The Cove! We’re seeing it through beauty in its natural form to the shiny metal type.
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We’d love for you to stop by and see us! Our Chapel and Visitor’s Center is open Monday – Friday 9 – 5 p.m. Click here for more information.
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