Tag Archives: Asheville

Women’s Day Away at The Cove…

By Joy Allmond

On April 19, women from all over the region will descend on the quiet, peaceful grounds of The Cove, in Asheville, NC.

During this one-day seminar, they will hear from Bible teacher and author Lisa Harper, who will bring truth from the gospels and lessons from recent life experiences to convey the liberating power of a relationship with Jesus.

“I love that kind of intensive Bible study. I’m excited to go pretty deep in short amount of time. Plus, I’m pretty biased about The Cove,” she said with a grin.

Stumbling Into Grace is the title of Harper’s most recent book. Over the past few years, she has gone through a series of challenges and disappointments—including the death of a parent, the loss of a friendship and a health scare. She explained that this book (and this Cove seminar) is the result of a hybrid of her journals and what the Lord was showing her through her study of Scripture through those times.

“We tend to not talk about certain things in ‘sanitized’ church settings. I’ve experienced a ton of loss over years. And, there are so many things, like what I’ve faced and what others face that can’t be tied up with a neat application bow,” she said.

“It is so cool that the emotions that every woman faces runs parallel with what Jesus said in the gospels. So, during my own healing time, it was a natural for me to write this message because of what Jesus was teaching me.”

Harper is passionate about helping other women discover that they don’t need to “have it all together” for Jesus to love them. As she quoted Brennan Manning,  “Jesus loves us as we are, not as we should be.”

She wants them to see that Jesus is more accessible though failures, disappointments and hurts. As she puts it, “There is sanctity in scars.”

She wants others to understand that Jesus is the hero of the Bible, not us. She wants women not to glory in sin, but glory in the redemption of Jesus.

During her day at The Cove, one of the passages she will explore with the guests is the story of the man at Bethesda—a paralytic who had been visiting for 38 years, in hope of healing.

“Jesus asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ Well, he’s a paralytic, so of course he wants to get well. He acknowledges that he can’t drag himself to the water. Then, Jesus tells him get up and walk, she recalled. “Like this man, I want us to recognize that life is hard, but we were made for more than this. Jesus came to restore.”

As for her day at The Cove with the women who join her, she wants to see them begin to understand God’s delight in them, and for healing to take place.

“There are woman bound by shame and by a lack of real intimacy with Jesus. I pray that this day will be a turning point in a new direction for them.”

Ladies, there is still time to plan on joining Lisa!  Click here for more details!

Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8: 9-17

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:9-17

FACTS from verses 11-13
11. All the people of war came before the city and camped. 
12. He took 5,000 men and set them in ambush.
13. Joshua spent the night in the valley.

LESSONS from verses 11:13: 
Sometimes God’s plan leads to an offensive attack at the doorstep of our enemies.

God’s plan involves my active obedience and it will probably take an insane amount of   courage that will strengthen my faith in the end.  It is never easy.  There is always a gap between what I can do and what God must do…. that gap will demand courage and will produce faith in my life.  

APPLICATION from verses 11:13:
Would I rather live in a defensive mode or offensive?  Am I willing to go on the offensive against the enemy?  Are there places and things if God calls me to do them that I just won’t do? “I’ll go there, but I won’t go there”?

Do I trust God if He asks me to place myself in a position of vulnerability in front of friend or foe? Or do I demand from God a place to play it safe and a constant “comfort zone”?

Will I press in to what God is asking of me, or get out?  Was I thinking this would be easier than it really is?

FACTS from verses 14-17
14.The king saw it, rose and went to meet Israel in battle. 15. Israel pretended to be beaten and fled. 16.All the people pursued and were drawn away from the city. 17. They left the city unguarded

LESSONS from verses 14-17
14. Often the ENEMY will use the EXACT SAME strategy against me until it doesn’t work anymore.
15. GOD uses a NEW strategy with His people, Trust God with His plan and the results.
16- 17. The enemy is often times bold in their pride and arrogance, James 4:6 “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The enemy will over-reach due to their arrogance.

APPLICATION from verses 14-17:
What strategy for defeat has the enemy used on me time and time again and has found victory in my defeat?

Have I asked God what His plan is, His new strategy for the enemies defeat and His victory in my past or present circumstances?  Am I willing to “do all”  according to God’s plan even if I don’t like it, or it’s not easy, or it doesn’t make any sense?

When do I think the arrogant enemy just prospers and prospers thinking that God does not see it?  Do I take God at His Word and trust that He is in control?

Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 18-23, 29

Share with us your lesson(s) and what it means to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.    

Kendra’s Bible Study… Deuteronomy 32: 4, 9-12

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…what it means…and what it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

 

Always begin your time by first praying and reading your verses.
Step 1: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 2: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Today’s Scripture:  Deuteronomy 32: 4, 9-12

Here are a few of Kendra’s lessons.  Please share your lessons with us too!

Verse 4:
Step 1: ROCK! His work is perfect, His ways just, faithful, righteous and upright

Step 2: God says: This IS my immovable unchangeable character.  I AM trustworthy, I AM protective!  My ways are right, I got you, TRUST ME!

Step 3: God is telling me that He is safe, and just and right, solid, never changing w/ the wind of culture… Do I claim the promise of His character in my life?  Do I know My God?  Do I trust God? How, When have I trusted Him?

Verse 9:
Step 1: The LORD’s portion (inheritance) is His people.

Step 2: I say: I am an embarrassment to God. I have nothing to offer.  There are so many more important people and issues than me for God to deal with.
GOD says: YOU ARE MY treasure! MY inheritance! I am PROUD to claim you! I have chosen YOU!

Step 3: Do I realize that I am God’s inheritance and He is proud of that fact?  God is not embarrassed to claim me, am I embarrassed to claim Him?  Do I feel like treasure to God?

Verse 10:
Step 1: He found him in a desert, howling wilderness.  He encircled, cared for and guarded him as the apple of his eye.

Step 2: I say:  I have been rejected, kicked out, forgotten, left to the elements, unimportant and very very alone.
God says: I AM here with My arms around you, holding you up, caring for you in the midst of your misery, very aware of where you are, and you are not alone, I AM here.  I found you and will guard you with all that I AM, for you are the apple of My eye, you mean everything to ME!

Step 3: What is keeping me from seeking the One who loves me this much?  What causes me to believe the lie that God has left and doesn’t care?  LORD, will you show me  You are here today in my circumstance?  Where have I looked for love & acceptance in this world only to be let down b/c it was not You?

Homework for March 13th online discussion:  1 Kings 19: 19-21

For more information on what’s going on at The Cove, visit www.TheCove.org

NEW for Seniors at The Cove…

Next week is the first of a NEW series of concerts designed to encourage senior adult believers at The Cove!  The SeniorSalt Impact evening programs will begin with a delicious buffet-style dinner, followed by a worshipful evening of music and fellowship.  All for only $29 per person!  Register for one or all three of the concerts today!   

Coming up on March 1…The Cockman Family:

The award winning Cockman Family Bluegrass Gospel Group is made up of four brothers, their sister and their Dad.  They have a unique bluegrass gospel style. Their harmonies, original songs and original arrangements of the old gospel songs have been immensely popular with their audiences. Fans love their family-style entertainment as well. As the family continues to grow, the grandchildren are also joining in on the tradition…the 10 and 11 year old girls were awarded the 2011 WMA Harmony Yodeling Duo of the Year and the 2011 WMA Youth Harmony award at the Western Music Association Showcase and Awards Show in Albuquerque, NM!  For more information on the Cockman Family, visit their website: www.cockmanfamily.com

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

July 5 – The Burchfield Brothers

Dove Award nominees Jon and Ben Burchfield make music that inspires the soul. Combining such styles as Smoky Mountain Jazz, Gospel and Classical, along with a bit of Irish flavoring, this unique duo from Nashville, Tennessee mesmerizes audiences of all ages.  An evening with The Burchfields can be described as “reaching the ages,” as familiar music, masterfully played with stylistic diversity, bridges the gap of the generations. They have traveled throughout the United States and abroad sharing their dynamic arrangements of hymns and praise songs.  The Burchfield Brothers share a God given passion to create music, and for them, it is an expression of their love for Christ.  For more information on the Burchfield Brothers, visit their website: www.burchfieldbrothers.com.

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

 August 30 — Randall Atcheson
Performing in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel…hurry space is limited!

Widely acclaimed pianist/organist, Randall Atcheson, is the epitome of a musical Renaissance man. His gift and versatility for musical styles was evidenced early in life when he was recognized as a prodigy on both piano and organ. In fact, he became the only student in the history of The Julliard School ever allowed to pursue, and receive, simultaneous degrees in piano and organ performance.  Atcheson has performed many times at Carnegie Hall and has traveled the world over thrilling music lovers.  He is listed on the distinguished international roster of Steinway Artists.  Randall will be performing a rare concert in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel here at The Cove!

To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

NOTE: As part of these evening events, we also offer an optional overnight lodging stay, at applicable rates, complete with a complimentary breakfast. 

For information on all the programs and events at The Cove, visit: www.TheCove.org
Click here to go directly to the Senior Events page. 

 

Behind the scenes at The Cove…A Faithful Servant

By Corinne Holmquist
 
Garlene greeting guests upon entering the Training Center

Push past the double red doors of the Billy Graham Training Center into the lobby with the living-room feel, and you might catch a glimpse of petite five-foot-two-inch lead hostess Garlene Johnson.

People have told her she resembles Norma Zimmer of the Lawrence Welk Show. “Not because I sing, but because of my big hair,” she teases.

But Garlene is more than her cute blonde bob. You’ll see her slender hands busy touching up and tidying around the place. Hands reaching out to greet and guide guests toward the dining room or auditorium. Hands clasped in prayer with someone over an illness or death. Or failing marriage. Or job loss.

Across from where she stands hangs a painting of her friend, Ruth Graham. “I like to look across the room at Mrs. Graham’s picture and think that as I greet guests…they feel they are entering the living room in her own home,” Garlene says, adding she always felt warm and comfortable there.

Garlene standing near Mrs. Graham's portrait

At 77, “and proud of every year”, Garlene is the longest-employed hostess at The Cove, logging in 20 years of service and memories.

“She’s the “quintessential Southern Belle” says Scott Holmquist, Cove executive director. “She’s known for her graciousness and warmth.”

Her touches, big or small, help people unwind so they can rewind with God in the seminars and surroundings ahead.

She’s lady-like, yes, (she doesn’t like to pump her own gas). But fragile, she is not. (She once owned a rifle thinking she could scare off an intruder, but gave it away). Blessed with energy, she’s presently planning 20 weddings for this year at Montreat College and Montreat Presbyterian Church. Through it all, Garlene’s compassion oozes from her life experiences knowing that God loves and leads you through the hard times. Being organized helps, too.

Born in Lincolnton, N.C. in 1935, Garlene was the oldest of three daughters. Her dad died in a car accident when she was 8; he was 39. Ironically, her grandfather also died at that age.

“Over the years I just accepted it as God’s will. Their faith (of her grandmother and mom) gave me the faith to go on,” she reflects.

Garlene moved to Montreat attending college, working, and later marrying Kay N. Stutts. They were blessed with two daughters, Joy and Becky. Garlene soon taught middle and high school English in nearby towns. She also taught Sunday school to two of Billy and Ruth Graham’s children: Anne and Ned.

When Kay suddenly died at age 49, Garlene clung to God, again remembering the faith of her grandmother and mother who were widowed early. Years later, Garlene found love a second time, marrying George L. Johnson, the widowed father of Karlene Shea, who is married to George Beverly Shea.

Sadness struck again when George, a “Christian gentleman of prayer and the Bible” (like her first husband), died after a long illness. “It was still a shock,” she says.

Garlene as a new Cove employee in 1991

In 1991, Garlene ventured into a seminar at the Cove. One of the managers, whom she knew from church, asked if she would like to volunteer as a hostess.
“Oh yes,” she said without hesitation. “I didn’t even have to pray about it. I’ve been there ever since.” She’s found inspiration from those who enter The Cove.

One couple she met several years ago had a daughter suffering with brain cancer for three years. “Each year as they returned, their spirits were uplifted as they waited for the Lord to call her home,” she recalls. “What an inspiration this couple was to me!”

“I also met a young boy in a wheelchair. He was born without legs and had stubs for arms. As he was leaving, he asked if he could give me a hug. What a precious hug that was—one of the best I have ever had!”

Says Garlene: “The years that I have worked at The Cove have been… rewarding. As I enter the property, I feel that I am on ‘holy ground’ where the property has been prayed over by so many, for so long. When I begin work, I am with my Cove family where we like to begin our day with prayer and devotions.

It’s fun to meet guests from all over the world. Some have been to the Cove numerous times; others for the first time. I hear exciting stories about how God has worked in their lives through speakers, worship, and through that ‘still small voice.’”

It’s a voice she’s heard before. And as guests walk through the doors of the Training Center carrying life’s loads, Garlene’s touches for the kingdom continue.

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When Garlene prays with guests, she often uses these verses from the NIV:

Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Lamentations 3:23:
“They [compassions] are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”

Psalm 139:23-24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

If you would like to learn more about The Cove and possibly meet Garlene in person, click here to visit our website.

GUEST POST: Dependence on God…

By Lyndsey Parham

“Sometimes God wants to force a choice out of us by bringing us to tough situations. You won’t be dependant on God until you are at a place where you solely rely on God.”  ~ Kendra Graham

Isn’t that the truth.

For me, it wasn’t until the Lord walked me through a very challenging season that I truly got and understood this. Dependence on the Lord comes at a place and time when He becomes what you solely rely on. You can try your best to communicate and prepare for this kind of dependence, but we are creatures that learn from experience. This experience became my very own, very personal, very specific “Aha!” moment.

A couple of weeks ago, I was given a gentle reminder of this truth through the Joshua Bible Study at The Cove with Kendra Graham.

 

As a 27 year-old woman, I am at a place in my life where I really appreciate true and authentic based teaching of God’s Word. I care more about what the Word has to say than I do about if I was “entertained” well enough by a speaker. I was so encouraged when Kendra began by talking about how we are to “treat God’s Word right.” Meaning, we don’t want to rely solely on what other people say a verse means. Anyone can hop into Scripture and gain insight into what the Lord wants to reveal to us through His written word.

Kendra went on to say that the “more you dig the sweeter it can be” when you have you own “Aha!” moment in Bible study. And aren’t those moments just the best? I love when you spend time pouring over the Word and then all of a sudden, it seems, that those same words you read a month ago, become so alive as you happen to read them again during a time that you couldn’t need them more. Isaiah 55:10-11 in action.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (NIV)

I love that. His Word never returns void. There is something about getting in the Word for yourself and then joining in a Bible study where multiple women have done the same. We learn and grow from what each other have gained in their own time with the Lord! Kendra shared that “we aren’t supposed to have all the answers: that’s the point of the body of Christ.”

I am so grateful to be sharing in this Tuesday night Bible study. Especially since we are spending time in the book of Joshua. Big things go down in Joshua. We see the Israelites struggle and experience victory, but even more so, we see God act in some huge ways.

Having recently moved back to Asheville from the Lone star state of Texas, I always heard from my mom and sister about these “Tuesday night studies.” Now I get to experience them in person.

And I am so very glad for that.
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NOTE from The Cove: We will begin a Cove Bible study community, which comes about from women wanting to share their “lessons” from their weekly Bible study with Kendra Graham.  Kendra’s study, here at The Cove, only lasts for 7 weeks in January and February of each year, so this is a place for the conversations and the relationships to continue.  A place where women can come together and share their journey towards scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…what it means…and what it means to you!

If you want to be notified each time Kendra posts a verse for study or starts a new conversation, make sure you subscribe to our blog.  It’s easy, just type in your email address in the box on the right hand side of this screen.
Jane Derrick, Cove Bible study teacher, will also have a Bible study community on our blog.  See Bible Study Community with Jane Derrick.

Lyndsey is a 27 year old working her way through this journey. She enjoys blogging about her adventures, hot cups of tea, iced cups of coffee, i-can’t-believe-this-is-real-life stories and photos. Lyndsey is a North Carolina girl at heart with a Texas soul. She enjoys hammocking on the back-porch and is adapting to the mountains once again. You can check out Lyndsey’s blog at http://throughthelynds.wordpress.com/

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

Free Marriage Seminar at The Cove for Active Duty Military

This is just a small way we can say thanks to our brave men and women in uniform. Active duty military personnel and their spouses are invited to a FREE Military Marriage Seminar Feb. 10-12. Participants will see the biblical perspective on marriage with application for the unique experiences of military life. Renowned Bible teacher Michael Easley will be the key speaker, but we’ll have other special guests including Captain Jim Kinney, retired after 26 years in the Navy; Sara Horn, founder of Wives of Faith; and Cindy Easley, nationally known marriage speaker.

Also note that you can come early for some extra time to relax and enjoy the beauty and serenity of The Cove or stay over for An Evening at The Cove with Sara Groves and enjoy dinner and a concert—either way, it’s our treat, and another way of expressing our thanks.
*Please note: if both “Come Early” and “Stay Over” options are chosen, applicable charges will apply for one event.

Space is very limited, so if you or someone you know is interested, act quickly! You will need to complete a short application for the military scholarship and fax it to (828) 771-4808 or mail it to:

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove
Attention Military Awards Committee
P.O. Box 19223
Asheville, NC 28815

UPDATE: On-site lodging for this event is full, however our staff can assist you with nearby hotel accommodations at a discounted rate. Call us at (800) 950-2092 for more information.