Tag Archives: Military

Saturday Snapshot – Race to the Top

Who doesn’t love a good challenge?

Many of the participants for last weekend’s Military Marriage Retreat sure did!  Anytime we have active-duty military men and women on property, hiking or running to the overlook is a popular option during free time, so this year we thought we’d make an official race of it–complete with prize packs for the winners!

Our Race to the Top challenge started from the trail entrance near Chatlos Memorial Chapel and ended at the top of The Cove overlook–a nearly 4-mile uphill trek!


Each participant  timed themselves (the honor system seemed appropriate with our honorable military participants) and completed the challenge during their free time.  Some woke up early and headed up at sunrise, while others ventured up in the afternoon.

Finish times ranged from 41 minutes and 12 seconds to over 2 hours.  As you can imagine, it wasn’t a feat for the faint of heart, but 39 people finished the race.

Here are some of the racers:


DSC_2144 DSC_2154 DSC_2156 DSC_2158 DSC_2161 DSC_2166



Selfie 1

We think the view from the top, as well as the journey along the way, was a fun experience for all.

And the winners were…

Winner 2
Women’s Division Winner – Kati. She completed the race with a time of 46:03.
Winner 1
Men’s Division Winner – Christopher. He completed the race with a time of 41:12.

Congratulations to the winners, as well as to all the participants. Racing to the overlook here at The Cove is certainly no easy feat!

There was more than a race going on over the weekend…118 military couples were enlightened by powerful Bible teaching from Chip Ingram, and led in worship by Marty Goetz.


Chip Ingram

Marty Goetz

The next Military Marriage Retreat at The Cove will be held September 8-10, 2017.  Tommy Nelson will be speaking on the topic of Living Well in Your Marriage.  The retreat is free (includes program, meals and lodging) to active-duty, Guard, and Reserve service-members, so please help spread the word.

Saturday Snapshot

Technical difficulties yesterday, so our Saturday snapshot is coming to you on Sunday.

What a weekend we’ve had.  125 military couples from 17 states attended a military marriage retreat led by Dr. Gary Chapman.

We captured this sweet moment during a time of worship on Friday night.

God moved mightily in the marriages of these brave couples this weekend.   Praise Him!

military marriage hand holding Sept 2015 2 small


Saturday Snapshot

111 wounded veterans, some with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, and their spouses  were encouraged and challenged while attending the Operation Heal Our Patriots reunion here at The Cove earlier this month.

Click here to watch a recap video of the weekend and to read a full story of all that took place.





Johnny and Shannon Montoya


Would you like to host your own event at The Cove?  Click here to visit our website or call 1-800-950-2092.

National Day of Prayer

Today is National Day of Prayer.

Please join us in prayer for each and every person in this world, for our national and local government and for our military. 

How can we pray for you?


“Our world today desperately hungers for hope, and yet uncounted people have almost given up. There is despair and hopelessness on every hand. Let us be faithful in proclaiming the hope that is in Jesus!” — Billy Graham

FREE Military Marriage Retreats at The Cove

It is an honor to support our brave men and women in the military.  Active duty, guard and reserve military personnel and their spouses are invited to a FREE Military Marriage Retreat on February 15-17 (June 28-30 too, see below) at The Cove in Asheville, NC. 

Participants will refresh their spirits as they stroll our extensive mountain trails, connect with new friends, and experience life-changing Bible teaching with a unique perspective on military marriages. 

Our speaker, John Cook, Chaplain (Army Colonel – Retired), has spent the vast majority of his life associated with the military and has a keen understanding of the challenges facing military families today. Pastor Cook currently serves as senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.   

“One of the things that God has revealed to me at The Cove Military Marriage retreat was we’ve been married for 16 years and the fact that we should never get complacent in our marriage.
No matter where you are, no matter whether you’re a newlywed or have been married for 30 years that you always need to grow.”

— 2012 Military Marriage Retreat Participant —

Would you like to spend Valentine’s Day with us too?  Come one day early for time to relax and enjoy an Evening at The Cove with Brandon Heath.  You will enjoy a delicious dinner and a worshipful concert while celebrating your love for one another.   Coming a day early can be included in your scholarship too!

“Our experience at the Cove was an absolute blessing.  We were both refreshed and renewed in our love for one another and our commitment to our marriage, our family, and our relationship with Jesus Christ.  The fact that the Military Scholarship Program made it  free of charge for us to attend, made it so much better and alleviated a financial burden.”
— Military Seminar Participant —

Space is limited so if you or someone you know is interested, register today.

We also have a Military Marriage retreat on June 28-30.  Click here for more information and to register.   

You will need to complete a short 1-page 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
PO Box 19223
Asheville, NC 28815

Click here to download your military marriage retreat scholarship form. 


Service, Sacrifice and Freedom

In honor of Memorial Day, we are featuring excerpts from two Billy Graham books, in which he describes the impact of his ministry to soldiers on the front lines of the Korean War.

From I Saw Your Sons at War

Seated here I can close my eyes, and for the moment shut out these familiar scenes of home.  Then I can hear again the roar of artillery…see the utter devastation of the Korean countryside…see the homeless orphan children crying for food and warmth in the chill of a Korean winter.

I can see also the American GIs standing on a snow-covered, wind-swept hillside to hear the Gospel, and then go back to the trenches…see some of those same GI’s in a front  line MASH hospital (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), dying, and as they die,  hear them talk about home in Arkansas…Oregon…Minnesota…Vermont.

And when I open my eyes, and it hardly seems possible, for here the only planes we ever see here are friendly passenger planes, headed north to Washington…or south to Charlotte, and Atlanta.

It seems unbelievable that just weeks ago I walked amid the complete destruction which is the aftermath of a modern bombing and artillery barrage.

And though the entire trip seems so remote and far away now that I am home, I know this, that my visit to Korea was the greatest experience of my ministry. Nothing has ever made such a profound, and I pray, lasting impression on my Christian life.

From Just As I Am

My first sermon on the front lines saw me on a newly built platform graced by a painting done by a soldier forty miles away. Troops had carried the painting (which depicted Christ watching over an exhausted soldier) to us overnight, and it stood next  to me as I preached.

I did not use humor or stories to break the ice that night. I dove right into the Gospel, and
hundreds responded. I felt the Spirit of God in that meeting.

Men of every rank came forward, many in tears—and they were rough, rugged men—to receive Christ.

In a field hospital about a mile behind the front lines on Christmas Eve, we went from bed to bed, bringing greetings and trying to encourage the wounded.

One young man was so mangled that he lay face down on a canvas-and-steel contraption. A doctor whispered to me, “I doubt he’ll ever walk again.”

“Mr. Graham, can I see your face?” asked the young man. “We’ve all been praying for you and looking forward to your coming. I won’t be able to be at the service.” So I lay on the floor beneath him and looked up into his hollow eyes, still stunned with his fate. I prayed with him.

“Sir,” said the young man to General Jenkins, who was escorting me, “I fought for you, but I’ve never seen you. Could I see your face?” The general got down on all fours, slid under that bed as best he could, and talked with the young man. I saw a tear fall from the soldier onto the general’s cheek.

When we walked from the bleeding, broken dying men of that hospital into the crisp, clean, thirty-below-zero air of Christmas Eve, I felt sadder, older, and more aware of the needs and suffering not only in Asia, but also in the entire world.

Billy Graham My Answer Columns for Memorial Day

Our son is planning to enlist in the military in a few months. I know we’re supposed to
believe God will take care of him, but right now we’ve got a bad case of nerves and our fears are a lot stronger than our faith. How can we get over this?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

My husband is serving with the military overseas, and I can’t begin to tell you how difficult
it’s been for our children and me. How can we get through this? I pray all the time, but it’s still very hard.
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »

I prayed a lot while I was on duty in Iraq and I made all sorts of promises to God about the
way I’d live if He got me out of there alive. Well, He did, but I’ve been back about six months now, and I’m ashamed to say I have not followed through on my promises. How can I do better?
Read Mr. Graham’s Answer »


Basic Training for Marriages

By Joy Allmond

When pastor, author and radio host Michael Easley comes to The Cove this weekend, he will get to minister to a group of people very close to his heart: military couples.

Easley and his wife, Cindy, developed a passion for military couples several years ago when they lived in the Washington, D.C., area and were part of a church that had a great number of military service people.

“Cindy and I fell in love with these men and women who were in service to God and with our church. During this time, we grew a great love and appreciation for men and women in uniform.”

And now, Easley wants to serve them. He is leading a marriage seminar for military couples, just like the ones he served alongside through the local church in the Washington area.

“For those who faithfully serve our country, this is a great need today,” said John Parrish, director of programs at The Cove. “Our desire in providing this seminar is to encourage military service men and women from God’s Word and to also say thank you for their service and sacrifice for our country.”

During the seminar, Easley will take a look at how the roles change when a husband or wife gets deployed.

“These deployments are tough on families and marriages,” he explained. “There are a lot of transitions. It’s hard to get a handle on what it looks like to recalibrate when they come home and need to assimilate back into the fold of the household.”

Military couples face unique challenges, such as post-traumatic issues, and Easley believes that getting back to the basics—the very words of God—is the best way to help them address these challenges.

“We will cover passages of Scripture from Genesis to Ephesians to Revelation. These all explain what a marriage is about. We will go back and see what the text says about the roles of men and women and God’s intention for marriage. I want this to be refreshing and recalibrating. I want God to expose what the Scriptures tell us beyond the noise of culture.”

Whether you are military or civilian, Easley points to Ephesians chapter five as one of the best lessons on marriage in the Bible.

“Notice that the wife’s instructions are about a fourth the length of the husband’s,” he said. “The primary message here is for the husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. We have no personal rights in marriage as men.”

There is an important message in this passage for women, too. In a culture that vilifies men and makes them look foolish in sitcoms, for example, Easley explains that it is a big challenge for wives to respect their husbands. The best way to encourage wives to genuinely respect their husbands, he says, is to point them to Scripture.

“This, in turn, will encourage a husband to become the man God intends him to be,” he said.

Parrish also wants to see couples living out their potential.

“Our hope is that as the military couples attend this seminar at The Cove, God will customize the teaching, the quiet times, the conversations between each other as well as with other couples in such a way that they say, ‘God spoke clearly to me this weekend about what I need to do next in our relationship to honor Him and to honor my spouse,’” he explained.

“Our desire is that God shows up in some amazing ways that will transform how they do life together—and that God gets all the credit.”

Learn more about the Military Marriage Seminar, Feb. 10-12.

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.