Tag Archives: Bible

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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KENDRA GRAHAM ONLINE BIBLE STUDY

Exodus 3:7-8 (NASB)

(7) The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.

(8) So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.

WHAT DOES IT SAY?

  1. The LORD said I have SURELY seen the affliction of MY people

I Have given heed to their cry because of taskmasters

I AM AWARE of their sufferings

  1. SO I HAVE COME to deliver from the Egyptians

to bring them to a spacious land flowing with milk and honey

to the place of Canaanite, Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite

What Does it Mean?

Suffering and affliction: these are two words we do not jump up and down about, but they’re words we can all relate to.  Here in Exodus chapter 3, God has heard the cries of His people in Egypt, and so He has come to Moses to inform him of what is going on in Egypt.

Moses’ face is in the dirt; he is not speaking, God is speaking.  I think that’s something, don’t you?  Moses obviously has an opinion about what’s been happening to the Hebrews in Egypt, don’t you think?  I mean, the reason Moses finds himself there in the desert at all is because he has seen an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave to death and he has subsequently murdered the Egyptian in a heated outburst of anger.  The treatment of the slaves bothers Moses so much, it has led him to commit murder.

Don’t you wonder if Moses had heard about this “God of the Hebrews” and questioned whether He had any real power at all?  Why hadn’t God intervened?  Why hadn’t He stopped all these atrocities from happening?  I think Moses legitimately thought he knew the depth of it all. Being a prince of Egypt, he’d had a “behind the scenes” view and had actually come to a place where he had  refused to be called the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter (see Hebrews 11:24).  Yet even at this point Moses still doesn’t know the depth of the brokenness of the Hebrews in Egypt, so God informs him.

The word for affliction is “oiny” which means much more than just physical abuse.  God is informing Moses that His people have suffered tremendous physical, emotional and mental abuse at the hands of the Egyptians and are crying out from the depths of their souls to be #delivered from Egypt. The word aware is, “Ra’ah,” which means God more than knows what the affliction is; it is as if it had been done to Him.

God sees the injustices.  God sees the pain; He walks with us in it, because He understands what it takes to have victory in it. I don’t like that.  I want God to protect me from it, not walk with me in it.

I love how in Exodus 3:8 God tells Moses, “SO I HAVE COME to deliver” (emphasis added).  God is not asking Moses to use his contacts in Egyptian politics or to use his power as a son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.  God is telling Moses, I AM is going to deliver them.  Moses, with his face in the dirt, probably feels more useless than ever: his relevance in Egyptian culture has long passed, he is wanted on a murder charge for which he is guilty, and he has no idea how to even begin to help a people that are that broken and hurting.  What could Moses say? What could he do?  Moses can do nothing.  All he brings to the table is his ability to bend his knee in the dirt to the I AM who will do the #delivering.

God came Himself.  God did not trust the Hebrews to anyone else.  Likewise, God did not trust you to anyone else.  He came Himself.  God Himself came in the form of a man: His name is Jesus.  Jesus lived a perfect life and then paid the debt that a holy God requires.  Jesus was stricken for us (see Isaiah 53).  Jesus died a horrible, horrific and painful death on the cross so that He could walk us through the pain and suffering of this world.  We pray to a God who understands all sides of the hurt.

God never acts on our time table or in the way we think is best, but when we cry out to Him, God hears, He answers, and He comes Himself.

What Does it Mean to Me?

When have you felt abandoned by God? What injustices has God          seemed to have missed or not cared about in your life? In what              area of your life is it time to claim that God is “the God Who                    Sees”? (Jehovah Roi)

When have you cried out to God with true intensity?  When have you seen God act on your behalf.

What causes you to doubt that the depth of your pain matters to an Almighty God?  When has anyone really understood your pain?

Who are you looking to, to deliver you?  How many people have let you down or left you disappointed?

LIVE IT OUT

Today, instead of just crying out to a friend,  or my mom,  or a boss, I will cry out to GOD, whose name is Jehovah Roi, the God who sees.  Lord, give me ears today to hear Your Word, a heart to believe Your Word and eyes to see You walk with me in this world.


Join Kendra Graham  for a free Women’s Bible Study at The Cove, Tuesday evenings through February 26. The study will also be live-streamed through social media. To view a snippet of the study entitled #I Am Enough, click here. 

To register for this study, please visit this link.

To watch the first session, visit this link. 


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

 

Cove Bible Verse for the Week of February 5th

What a blessing it is to be able to meditate on the Word of God!

This week’s verse is Psalm 1:1-2

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.


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 Garden. Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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The Word — Cove Staff Guest Post

By Laura Brown

On my desktop at work, there is a picture of my front porch.  Nothing fancy, just a couple of Adirondack chairs and, for summer, some strands of hanging Chinese lanterns.  This is a special place to me for more than one reason.  In the morning dawn, I watch an occasional fox canter around the side of the house looking for small moving shadows that will become its breakfast.  A neighborhood tabby cat crouches, stealth mode, in the culvert across the street, ear attuned to sounds of movement, in quest of a morsel to fill his belly. 

As I watch from the perch of my porch, I’m not unlike them.  I too have come here in the early morning to be fed.  I open to the Book of 1 Peter and read, “…love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever, because, ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.’  Now this is the Word which by the Gospel was preached to you.” (Italics mine.)

The Word – according to these verses, I have been born through the Word of God, a Word that lives forever.  This is my cereal and toast.  It is this very Book, resting in my lap each morning under soft light, that brought me to Christ, to be ‘born’ in Him, to say take the broken crumbs of my life and use them all. These Words that are alive, they are the Words that were preached to my Grandmother, who read them to my Mother, who read them to me.  These living Words that never wither or fall away, but endure.

So why, when I love to eat, do I often struggle to feed on the Word? Honestly, some mornings, when the sheets are soft and my sleep is deep, I struggle to respond to the sound of crickets representing the alarm clock on my phone.  I don’t just want to hit snooze, I want to make the bad crickets go away and fall back into dreamland.  It’s the growing relationship that pulls me out of bed.  Like love letters from my husband when we were dating, my heart longs to hear from God in His Word.  (Hmmm…in school, I wasn’t attracted to my husband, he was a friend.  The more I got to know him, the more I was drawn toward him.  One day I realized his inner beauty and knew I could not spend life without him…how like my relationship with God!)   

It’s amazing, the longing for God that has grown over time.  More powerful than the need for sleep, more powerful than the growl of my stomach, more powerful than the want of any earthly relationship is the ache to sit with God, in His Word, on my front porch in the morning.  When finally, I win over my will, and sit at the table of God’s Word, I am always fed… and I never leave hungry.  The Word has become my home and there’s nothing like God’s Home Cooking.

Question for our readers:  Where is your special place to feed on God’s Word? 

Laura Brown is the Administrative Assistant to Guest Group Sales and Program here at The Cove.  She has been married for 30 years, has 2 grown children and 2 adorable grandbabies.  

For more information on bringing a group to The Cove, click here.