Tag Archives: Personal Spiritual Retreat

Burned Out? A Message from Will Graham

If you take a real assessment of your life and ministry today, how does it look?

Perhaps you haven’t seen the fruits of your labor that you’d hoped for or expected. Maybe you’re resentful of others around you who don’t seem to be carrying their own weight in the ministry. It could be that your team is great and you’re seeing a harvest, but you’ve been going non-stop as far back as you can remember and you’re just burned out.

If you’re struggling, you can probably empathize a bit with the church in Ephesus, to whom God speaks in Revelation 2:1-7. The early believers there worked hard in the ministry, and they were good at it. They were tireless, discerning and persevering. Even in the face of hardships and persecution the church continued to serve those in need.

The problem was that they labored so hard in ministry that they lost their focus and the source of their motivation. The church had forsaken its first love. They were too wrapped up in the process of doing God’s work to make time for God Himself.

We’re called to so much more, however, than just “staying busy for Jesus.” If this struggle is all too familiar in your life and ministry, look specifically at the first half of verse 5, which gives us three key steps to return to the correct path:

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:5a, ESV

First, believers in the church at Ephesus are commanded to remember back to when they had first encountered the Living God and were bursting with excitement. Just as marriages can become mundane if we forget that original passion and don’t make an effort to keep it burning, so it can be with God. We can go through the motions and do the work but not remember the desire we once had for Him.

Second, repent. It feels odd to say we need to repent for doing ministry, but according to the passage, it had reached the point where the people of the church were ministering with the wrong spirit and motivation. The issue was bad enough that God called them to repentance.

Finally, “do the things you did at first.” Or, as I would put it, renew your relationship with Him. Spend time in prayer and in the Bible. If we give God the best of our time, and focus that time on building our relationship with Him, I believe we will quickly remember and reconnect with our “first love.”

My friends, if you’re feeling burned out, it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, repent, and renew. God will lead you and your ministry from there and use you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.


Will Graham
Cove Executive Director

Click here to join Will Graham at The Cove August 10-12.

If you’re at the point of burnout and need to reconnect with God, consider coming to The Cove for a Personal Spiritual Retreat.
Click here for more information.

8 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Personal Spiritual Retreat

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When Billy and Ruth Graham founded The Cove, they dreamed of a place where people could get away from the daily distractions of life and grow in their relationship with God.

Billy Graham prayed it would be a place of instruction, inspiration, intercession and impact.

Ruth Graham prayed it would be a haven for retreat, rest, relaxation and renewal, “where we can meet with the Lord Jesus personally and privately, and we’ll never be the same again.”

Our Personal Spiritual Retreats are designed to help facilitate your time alone with God. We’ve outlined some benefits you’ll get from this special time:

  1. Retreat. Life can make you grow weary. Sometimes you just need to step away from the daily distractions and rest in the care of Jesus.
    He tells us to “Come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
  2. Renew. Do you ever feel like you need to start afresh? Sometimes coming before the Lord with all your baggage in tow and leaving it at His feet is all you need to renew your heart and spirit. A retreat at The Cove is a good place to begin this process.
    “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
  3. Refresh. Refreshment can come in many forms. At The Cove, you will be refreshed with the care of our servant-hearted staff, from the delicious food to nourish your body, to the comfortable rooms that have been prayed over, to walking any of the 10 miles of trails throughout the property. As you enter our gates, you will feel the presence of God amidst the tranquility of our beautiful 1,200 acres on this mountain.
    “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1, 2 
  4. Relax. When you’re running on empty, it can be impossible to relax. Everything about The Cove is designed to offer you a place to rest and relax, from the comfortable furnishings throughout the property, to the serene stream meandering alongside the walking trails. Find a bench in the woods to sit and spend time with God.
    Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
  5. Impact. Allow God’s Word to impact your life. Maybe you need to draw closer to your Savior. Maybe you would like to hear from Him in order to make an important decision in life. Spend time meditating on God’s Word—it will never return void.
    “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12
  6. Intercession. You have the privilege of going straight to the throne of God. Spend time in prayer for others in your family, your community and around the world. Prayer is powerful. Delight your heavenly Father by praying in Jesus’ name and without ceasing.
    “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”  Ephesians 6:18
  7. Instruction. The Bible is your very own instruction book. Use it to learn more about God, His people and how He wants you live your life.
    “Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12
  8. Inspiration. Do you have a decision you need to make? A move you are considering? A new project you are looking to embark on? Maybe you think your ministry needs to go in a new direction. Allow God to fuel you with His inspiration by spending time alone with Him prayer and in His Word. 
    “I will hear what God the Lord will say.” Psalm 85:8

Click here to find a time that will work for you to get away on a
Personal Spiritual Retreat.

Watch here as Dr. John Parrish shares what you can expect while attending a GUIDED Personal Spiritual Retreat.

Want to get away and participate in a Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat? Call 1-800-950-2092 to sign up while space is available!

Enjoy these testimonies from others who have taken part in a Personal Spiritual Retreat:

“I felt the presence of God from the time I drove onto the property. Nothing could be stronger or better than His sweet presence.”

“I loved everything from the devotional, reflections, surrounds, staff, food and God’s presence.”

“This was far more than I imagined it would be, very emotional, powerful and moving.”

“I would recommend it no matter the situation they are going through. It is enlightening and helps to strengthen your faith and walk with God.”

“I was so richly blessed! May the Lord continue to guide you, encourage and equip you as you serve others. Blessings! May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13”

What’s Happening at The Cove – September 2015


“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

We’ve had a busy summer with lots of great ministry taking place on this mountain–we give thanks and praise to the Lord for that!

We’re looking forward to what we have in store for September too!  Scroll down and see what we’ve got scheduled.  We hope to see you then.


Click on the link below for September dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
September Personal Spiritual Retreats


MILITARY MARRIAGE  RETEAT— God and Family: Enhancing Your Most Important Relationships (Free to active duty military personnel & spouses.)
with Gary Chapman,  September 4-6, 2015
NOTE: Lodging is full at this time, however there is still room available in the seminar.

PASTORS’ INSTITUTE The Stewardship of Influence and Spiritual Leadership (Free to qualifying pastors & spouses.)
 with Johnny Hunt, September 8, 2015
3 rooms still available for optional “Stay Over” on the 8th.

Spiritual Infiltration: Apostasy Through Jude’s Eyes
(Free to qualifying pastors & spouses.)
with Jerry Vines,  September 9-11, 2015
NOTE: Lodging is full at this time, however there is still room available in the seminar.

SeniorCelebration— Joy for the Journey: Making Our Latter Days Our Best Days! — SOLD OUT
David Bruce with Guy Penrod,  September 14-16, 2015

Wisdom: The Greatest Gift
with R.T. Kendall,  September 20-22, 2015

What The Church Can Be
with Bob Russell,  September 22-24, 2015

Stony creek - Copy
Stony Creek at The Cove

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What’s Happening at The Cove – July 2015

COMING TO(1)“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,  and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

During the month of July, the sun shines down through the miles of trees that cover the grounds at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.  Come grow closer to the Lord and bask in His goodness and beauty while attending one of our events in July.

Check out our schedule for the month of July below.


Click on the link below for July dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
July Personal Spiritual Retreats


The Book of Zechariah and the Coming of The Lord

with Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.,  July  6-10, 2015

The Cause: Strengthen Your Faith for College!

with Sean McDowell, July  10-12, 2015
(Free lodging seminar—pay program fee only—meals included! Student pastors/pastors attend for free with 4 student registrations.)

An Evening at The Cove
Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet.

with Michael Card,  July 12, 2015

Hesed: A Portrait of God

with Michael Card,  July  13-17, 2015

SeniorCelebration— From Faith-lite to Faith-full: How God Can Transform Ordinary You
Lon Allison with Steve Amerson,  July 20-22, 2015

Encountering Jesus
with John Munro,  July  24-26, 2015

WOMEN’S  SEMINAR—Choose Love: How Three Simple Choices Can Alter the Course of Your Life
with Stormie Omartian,  July 31-August 1, 2015

90_Cove Sunset 2
Sunset at the Cove

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)

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What’s Happening at The Cove – June 2015

“I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised and his greatness is unsearchable.” Psalm 145:1-3

Come help us kick off the summer season here at The Cove!   We’ve got something for everyone and we look forward to serving you on your visit!  Check out our schedule for the month of June below.


Click on the link below for June dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
June Personal Spiritual Retreats


SeniorSalt Impact Crusade Journey Hymn Sing
Ron Whittemore with David Gaines, June 1, 2015

Who Is In Control ?
with Steve Brown, June 12-14, 2015

Being Captured by the Passion of Christ

with Woodrow Kroll, June  15-19, 2015

An Evening at The Cove
Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet.

with Andrew Peterson, June 20, 2015

How to Read God’s Word Like a Bible Scholar:
A Practical and Engaging Exploration of Scripture

with Mark Yarbrough, June 22-26, 2015

An Evening at The Cove
Join us for dinner, concert and meet & greet.

with NewSong, June 28, 2015

Discipleship Counseling:
Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ

with Neil Anderson, June 29- July 3, 2015

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Stream at The Cove.

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)

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What’s Happening at The Cove – MAY 2015

COMING TO(1) “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3

 Make plans to join us next month at The Cove!  We’ve got something for everyone and we would be honored to serve you on your visit!  Check out our schedule for the month of May below.

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS(1) Click on the link below for May dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
May Personal Spiritual Retreats

SEMINARS AND EVENTS Click on the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Walk Through God’s Story 
with James Emery White, May 1-3, 2015

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
Ron Whittemore with David Gaines, May 12, 2015

Culture Shock: Whatever Happened to Right and Wrong?
with Chip Ingram, May 22-24, 2015

Growing in Love with God
with Ken Boa, May 26-28, 2015

Military Marriage Seminar: Building a Lifelong Love 
with Gary Thomas, May 29-31, 2015
Free to active duty military personnel & spouses!

Flowering Tree behind Shepherds InnFlowering tree in spring at The Cove

Want to get away with God, but can't(2) Click here for more information.

What’s Happening at The Cove – February 2015

View from the overlook.
Do you have big plans for this new year?  We would love to be part of that plan. 
As Jesus invited his disciples, we invite you to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”  The Cove was designed to be a place to get away from the daily demands of life and hear from God, through His word and His Spirit. 

Check out our schedule for the month of February below.  Click one that interests you for more details and to register.

We look forward to serving you soon!


Click on the links below for February dates or call 1-800-950-2092. 

February Personal Spiritual Retreats


Click on each of the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

An Evening at The Cove – Dinner, Concert & Meet and Greet
with Brandon Heath, February 12, 2015

Military Marriage Retreat: Building a Resilient Marriage in
Turbulent Times
(*Free to active duty military personnel and spouses)

 with John Cook, February 13-15, 2015

Church Staff Retreat- Nehemiah: Elevating Excellence in Ministry
 with Michael Catt, February 19-20, 2015

Leadership Renewal Retreat: Encouraging the Shepherd
(*Free for qualifying pastors & spouses)

 with Jim Henry, February 23-25, 2015
Please note: Limited availability. Lodging is now full.

Jonah: The Prophet Who Hated Success
(*Free lodging seminar-pay program fee only- meals included!)

 with Larry Crabb, February 27-March 1, 2015

139-3985_CRWOne of many cozy armchairs by the fireplace in the Training Center Lobby.

Want to get away with God, but can't(2)
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What’s Happening at The Cove – October

Whats Coming_October

Autumn is just around the corner and Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful sites to behold during the “leaf” season.  We hope you will come enjoy God’s colorful display and His sweet presence here at The Cove.

Check out our schedule for the month of October below.  Click one that interests you for more details and to register.

Come and Join Us!


Click on the links below for October dates or call 1-800-950-2092. 

October Personal Spiritual Retreats

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat
 with John Parrish, October 29-31, 2014


Click on each of the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Name Above All Names
 with Alistair Begg, October 6-8, 2014

Prescription for Renewal — A retreat for Medical Professionals Only.
with Erwin Lutzer, October 10-12, 2014

An Evening at The Cove — Dinner, Concert & Meet and Greet
with NewSong, October 12, 2014

SeniorSalt Impact Concert
 with The Burchfield Brothers, October 13, 2014

Pastors’ Institute: Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church (Free for Pastors & Spouses)
 with Randy Pope, October 16, 2014

Our Future Hope: Thinking and Living Now in Light of Eternity
 with Randy Alcorn, October 22-24, 2014

Connecting the Dots in Our Lives: Seeing God at Work in Our Problems, Suffering and Pain
 with Mike MacIntosh, October 24-26, 2014

Ministry Workers’ Retreat: A Time of Refreshing
 with Anne Graham Lotz, October 31-November 2, 2014

TC arial fall

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove- Aerial Shot of Fall.


Hispanic Men Hungry To Hear From God Come to The Cove

The Cove-Retiro de Hombres- Spring 2014A pastor of 25 years, Eduardo Jimenez, was going through a difficult time in ministry, and it felt like his world had begun to cave in around him. 

It was 2011 and his wife of 32 years had come to him after having struggled for several months in their marriage. 

“She felt abandoned.  She said I focused more on my ministry than on her,” Eduardo recalls.  She asked him to make a decision. 

“I felt like a little boat in the ocean without direction.  I didn’t know where I was going.”

Eduardo had prayed for a place to get away.  A place where he could step away from the daily distractions and hear from God. 

“I had to make a decision.  I couldn’t wait.” 

He first heard about The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, located in the mountains of Asheville, NC, in the 1990’s while living in Miami, FL, but he never visited.  It was now, living in Raleigh, NC, just four hours from The Cove, that God reminded him of this place of retreat. 

Eduardo called The Cove and booked a Personal Spiritual Retreat. 

He asked his wife to wait for him to go to The Cove and be with God.

His wife, who Eduardo credits with being a very godly woman, said yes.  She told her husband she would wait and pray. 

A few weeks later he made the trip from Raleigh to Asheville.  “When I came to The Cove, I felt the presence of God, from the gate, all throughout the property.” 

With tears in his eyes, Eduardo whispered, “I felt like God was telling me, ‘I am waiting on you.’”

small Meandering road DSC_0096The first day of his retreat, Eduardo stayed in his room and fasted.  At the end of the day, he felt God calling him to the woods.

God told me, “I didn’t bring you to this place to be locked up in a room, I want you outside, in the woods. There I will teach you.”

He spent the following day in the woods from 9 am to 9 pm, walking the trails, meditating on the Scriptures on the prayer pillars and spending time with God.

On his last day Eduardo spent the entire morning and afternoon hiking the 3-1/2 miles to the overlook.  “This time was tremendous,” he said. “There are no words.”

What he experienced at the overlook that day “Was so good, I wanted more.  I told God I will continue to come here to hear from Him.”

Eduardo returned home a different man.  “I was transformed,” he said.   

Since that time, Eduardo has come four times on a Personal Spiritual Retreat. 

On one of these visits, God laid on his heart to invite men from his Hispanic church in Raleigh to come to The Cove with him.  He felt called to bring these men to be with God in the woods.

You can see the passion in Eduardo’s eyes as he shares the birth of this idea, to the planning, to the execution.

“Sometimes with Hispanic families, money is an issue,” he says.

Many of the men work in construction, landscaping and agriculture jobs.  “These are not 9-5 jobs with a paid vacation.  It is hard for them to plan to be away.  Sometimes their bosses will not let them go,” Eduardo’s son Angel explained. 

Despite the obstacles, Eduardo admits, “If God poured this on my heart, I knew He would do something.” 

God provided. 

Leading up to the retreat, church members began putting away $25 a week, as most of them could not afford the expense all at once. Those that were more financially stable and felt lead also gave, in addition to their own, to support those who could not afford to go. 

It all came together and it was clear that God’s mighty hand was blessing this ministry.     

The Cove-Retiro de Hombres- Spring 2014In April, Eduardo and his son brought 12 men to The Cove to spend time with God. The message they wanted to impart to the men was: To be men after God’s own heart and to focus on establishing their identities in Christ.  Acts 13:22 Eduardo acted as their guide and interpreter.  The men spent lots of time (all day) in the woods, they studied God’s Word and shared life stories, they prayed and worshiped in the Chapel and enjoyed a time of fellowship with one another unlike any other they had ever experienced.   

God worked mightily in the lives of these men as they set aside time to be with Him. 

Eduardo says he will bring more men in the future. 

The Cove-Retiro de Hombres- Spring 2014“It all began at the overlook.  God transformed my life there.  And now I have a call to bring more Hispanic men to The Cove.  I know 100% God will talk to them.” 

Eduardo’s prayer is that God will provide the proper tools and support to spread the word about this opportunity for Hispanic men.  He says that there are English speaking churches all over the country that have small Hispanic subset congregations. His hope is that these English speaking pastors will learn about this opportunity and share with Hispanic pastors and their congregations, who may be going through a difficult time as it was in his case.

Eduardo is sure that God will restore their hearts and will give them a fresh vision to continue to do God’s will in their lives. Psalm 37:23

If you would like more information on future Hispanic retreats like this, you may contact them directly here:
(919)  602-8403
Twitter: @TheCoveHispanic
FaceBook: www.Facebook.com/TheCove4Hispanics 


Click here to visit The Cove website.

Need Some Time Away With God?

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Jesus

Looking out over God’s creation from the deck of the Training Center.

It’s a new year and many of us are a couple of weeks into working on our New Year’s resolutions.

What are your goals for 2014?  Perhaps you have set up a plan to maintain a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise.  Maybe you are working on landing that perfect job you’ve always wanted.  Is this the year you will finally stick to your financial budget?  All worthy goals, indeed. 

But what about setting a goal with eternal benefits?     

Have you considered committing to deepening your relationship with God this year?  

Tending to this relationship would leave a lasting–eternal–impression. 

Would you agree that our lives are more meaningful when we choose to make our relationship with our Heavenly Father our number one priority?

Isn’t it true that whether we are deep in a valley or high on a mountaintop, when we feel God’s presence, there is nothing more comforting or life sustaining?   

At The Cove, we are committed to preparing a place of peace, love, beauty and care which creates a safe space for your divine meetings with God, minus the distractions of daily life.  Our Personal Spiritual Retreats are designed with all of this in mind. 

Fire pit at the TC
Warm yourself by the fire as you reflect on the goodness of God.
Enjoy prayer time at the beautiful Chatlos Memorial Chapel on the property.


Enjoy the solitude along a beautiful stream on our 1,200 acre property.

Following are some words our guests have shared from their experiences while on a Personal Spiritual Retreat at The Cove.

“If you need a place to relax in the beauty God created and a time of quiet reflection, this is a wonderful place to be.  God’s presence is here.”

“Prayer was such a strong part of this retreat.  All the people here reinforced prayer and hospitality.”

“I loved the free time and the variety of places inside and out.  To be still and read, pray, journal, be quiet and rest, to walk around inside and out.  I also loved the fellowship, laughter and Godly conversations at meal times.  We made good friends.  You really can have intimate alone time with God here in a wonderful environment.”

“I heard God clearly.”

“The Cove facility is completely covered in prayer and the presence of God. There’s no other place like it.”

“Everyone should take some time out of their busy lives to reflect on their relationship with God.”

“It is truly a wonderful experience.  It’s time away from the business of life to reflect on your closeness to God. Drawing closer to God through pray and reading His word.”

“This is special place and the retreat was well worth it. We have never spent time alone like this, just being in God’s presence.”

“This retreat was life changing.”

We hope you will consider spending some quiet time with God at The Cove this year.  It would be our pleasure to serve you as you grow deeper in your relationship with your Heavenly Father. 

Click here to see available dates for both self-directed and guided Personal Spiritual Retreats at The Cove in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.