Tag Archives: Christian music

Imagine This…

This could be you…

Putting a busy week behind you, you drive through the gates of The Cove. 

Dogwoods, redbuds and rhododendron greet you with splashes of color along the gently curving drive.

IMG_3501_emlThree wild turkeys strut in front of you and dash off to the side of the road.  One turns and spreads his tail feathers, vibrant colors that only God could dream up.   

Peace settles over you. You have heard people say you can feel the presence of God when you come on The Cove property.  You feel that peace.

You have decided to make this outing a mini-retreat, so you check into your inn room.  The room is sweet and comfortable.  There are no televisions.  You embrace the freedom from distractions.

As you walk from the inn to the Training Center, the birds sing, you hear something shuffling through the woods.  A turkey?  A deer?  How great is our God!

It’s time for dinner.  The chef has prepared a prime-rib meal tonight.  The food is delicious and plentiful.  You enjoy fellowship with people from all over the country.  Some returning and others enjoying their first time experience at The Cove.  Stories are exchanged, friendships created.    

IMG_4205_emlNext… an after-dinner coffee on the expansive deck overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains.

Is this your life!? 

Feeling very thankful. 

The concert is about to begin.  You take your seat in the intimate 460-seat auditorium.  There is not a bad seat in the room. 

The lights dim and Chris August steps on stage and begins to sing. 

This soulful singer doesn’t hold back.  Jesus is lifted high.    

After the concert, everyone is invited to come and meet Chris at the meet-and-greet.  What an opportunity!

The evening flies by. 

As you lay your head on your pillow, you thank God for a time of sweet rest and worship.

Shepherds Inn roomSweet dreams…

Breakfast awaits you in the morning. 

Join us on Saturday, May 10th for An Evening at The Cove with Chris August. 

For tickets and information, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Watch here as Chris August sings Starry Night. 

Natalie Grant Finds God’s Peace in ‘Hurricane’

Natalie Grant from BGEA articleBy Kristy Etheridge, BGEA Staff Writer

You’re spinning out of control again. Your life feels like a sinking ship. You’re wondering how it came to this.

The first few lines of Natalie Grant’s new single, “Hurricane” aren’t just another set of lyrics; they tell the personal story of an inner battle Grant experienced for more than a year.

“The hurricane started with the birth of my third child,” Grant told the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Already a mother of twin girls, Grant had a “surprise” pregnancy after being told she couldn’t have any more children.

She loved her new baby daughter, Sadie, but found herself facing postpartum depression that pulled her into a dark and difficult season.

“There was an inner war—the guilt I was feeling that I was this Christian artist who was supposed to have her life together, and here I was, dealing with depression,” Grant said.

As a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who won the Gospel Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year five times, Grant’s success has led many of her listeners to assume she’s always on top of the world, finding the perfect balance of marriage, motherhood and music.

Grant says that’s just not the case.

“I must give off some sort of very false impression,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t balance it at all. I’m terrible at it. That’s where the grace of God comes in. I get to wake up in the morning and try it all over again.”

Grant says focusing on God’s Word is what keeps her sane…and what helped pull her out of a season of depression.

“Get yourself in God’s Word,” Grant said. “Even if it’s only for 15 minutes in the morning. Take some time and spend it with the Lord. On the days that I don’t, those are the days I feel that crushing weight.”

On Aug. 22, Grant will lead worship at a place where studying God’s Word is a way of life—the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.

The 1,200-acre mountain retreat is the result of Billy and Ruth Graham’s vision of a place where believers could go to be spiritually refreshed, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Grant is returning for a second year in a row for An Evening at The Cove. Her last visit was in Sept., 2012. “It was amazing, and that’s why we’re coming back,” Grant said. “We loved it. Not only did I just love the audience, I loved the venue. It was so intimate, and the setting is unbelievable. My band stayed there in some of the cabins. It was just a time of refreshing for us.”

Grant’s latest trip to The Cove comes at a busy time, as she prepares to release her new album, Hurricane, in mid-October before going on tour—an event that used to be a family affair.

“With the twins, they never missed a show,” Grant said. “They toured with me full time. Then I had my third child, and going from two to three is really a shell shock. You’re outnumbered. You feel like this is a game-changer.”

To make sure she puts her family first, Grant has scaled back her touring a bit, and she makes a point to not be away from home longer than three days if her family isn’t traveling with her.

“My calling as a wife and a mommy is first,” Grant said.

While finding that perfect balance will always be a work-in-progress, Grant is confident that she’s answering God’s call in her life—as believer, singer, wife and mom.

As for the lyrics about life spinning out of control…well, fortunately, that’s not where the story ends. It’s never too late, never too far…and when you feel the rain, call His name.

Grant has learned that life’s storms may not cease as quickly as we’d like, but God is always there, in the midst of every struggle.

He’ll find you in the hurricane.

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to purchase tickets for An Evening at The Cove with Natalie Grant.

Aaron Shust Finds The Words To Speak

by Janet Chismar

Headlining An Evening at The Cove on Sunday, Aug. 12, Shust is no stranger to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Back in 2008, he led worship at the Will Graham Celebration in Burleson, Texas. He also spent time at The Cove in personal reflection while he was on staff at Perimeter Church in Atlanta.

But it was his encounter with Billy Graham in his home town that stands out in Shust’s mind. “Billy came and did a Crusade in Pittsburgh when I was a kid,” he recalls. “I got to sing in the choir, and sit in the third base section of the stadium learning the songs for those couple of weeks. His preaching has always been so simple and straightforward—and undeniably beautiful.”

Shust’s childhood was significant in two respects. He accepted Christ at the age of 4, and then started playing piano at the age of 7. As a teenager, he added guitar to his repertoire, influenced by the sounds of the sixties and Motown.

While attending Toccoa Falls College, he studied music theory and developed an aptitude for the likes of Bach and Mozart, as well as Bob Marley and U2. Shust honed his stage skills on campus and while performing in churches and coffeehouses.

All the hard work and preparation paid off. His song “My Savior, My God” took radio by storm, topping six different charts at once while on its way to becoming the most played song of 2006 on the Christian Adult Contemporary charts.

“My Savior, My God” earned Shust a trio of Dove Awards for “Song of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” and “New Artist of the Year.” Other hits followed, including “To God Alone” and “Give Me Words to Speak.”

Inspired by the Master Songwriter

So where does Shust get so many great song ideas? You guessed it—he is most inspired by the Master Songwriter himself. “If I want good, pure worship music to come out of me, I need to be filling myself with Truth. Listening to other worship songs helps stylistically with the music. I think, ‘Do I want to head this direction?’ But if I listen to a steady diet of Phil Collins, I am going to sound like Phil Collins.”

More importantly and obviously, says Shust, “I need to fill myself with the Word of God, which is absolute truth; it’s inerrant. As Chris Tomlin has said, there are songs throughout the Bible. They are in the Psalms obviously, but there are so many songs of praise hidden throughout Scripture, especially in the Old Testament. You’re reading along and all of a sudden, King Nebuchadnezzar breaks into song at one point.”

Looking back into the Word of God offers glimpses of incredible worship songs that already exist. “Sometimes,” Shust adds, “I try to use them verbatim; they are just so perfect the way they are. But then other times, I try to word a song to give a fresh perspective on Truth.”

Since those early days in Pittsburgh and then Georgia, Shust has grown professionally and personally. Even now, God is showing him fresh insights, especially in his role as a father to two little boys. “I know God loves me, but I still have my doubts about this when I act unbecomingly. Becoming a dad has changed my perspective. Nothing my kids do will make me love them less. If I can say this as a wicked father, how much more does a heavenly Father love me? Nothing I can do will change that.”

God also teaches Shust valuable lessons through his work. While writing for his last album, Take Over, for example, Shust gained fresh insights into submission. “It was a theme that was my heart during the writing season. I actually didn’t realize it until writing was over. I looked over the lyrics while trying to come up with a title. I realized this album was all about submission. It’s all about Romans 12:1-2 – offering our bodies as living sacrifices—it’s about surrender. I think that the theme of dying to self is important to all of us as believers everyday.”

A Night of Worship

What can The Cove audience expect on Aug. 12? Shust feels it is his job is to play audience favorites. “When I go do a concert, I can’t just cover my favorite worship songs and the hymns that I enjoy; the ones I believe take you into worship. What God put it my heart to do is to lead people in worship, not just sing a bunch of songs and entertain them, but to allow them to engage.

“So I am challenged to write songs that allow the audience to engage in worship, and then stick with those songs during concert time and make it easy for the congregation, the audience to engage. We put lyrics up on the screen. I fashion it like I fashion a worship set at church.”


Don’t miss an Evening at The Cove with Aaron Shust: register online or call 800-950-2092.

Aaron Shust, Natalie Grant and FFH at The Cove!

Looking for a delightful evening out that will refresh your mind, body and soul?

Look no further!

Join us for An Evening at The Cove in Asheville, NC and experience a worshipful concert and engaging fellowship as renowned artists celebrate God’s goodness, truth, and beauty in song.  Enjoy friendly conversation over a delicious dinner while looking at the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, followed by an inspiring music program.

An Evening at The Cove with Aaron Shust — August 12
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove with Natalie Grant — September 8
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove with FFH — September 27
For more information click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Later in the year…

An Evening at The Cove with:

Marty Goetz — October 20
Fernando Ortega — 
November 8
Christmas at The Cove w/ various artists — December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15

For information on all 2012 Evening at The Cove & Christmas at The Cove events, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.
Space fills up quickly, so reserve your spot today!