Notes From The Cove

Pastor Renewal Retreat Online at The Cove

The Cove is offering a retreat for Pastors and their spouses through a livestream event with Pastor Chip Ingram at The Cove. This is an opportunity for pastors and their spouses to get rejuvenated to continue the important Kingdom work that God has called them to do. A time to receive insight, instruction, and best practices from experienced Christian leaders.

This upcoming livestream event is September 28-30 and is $30 to register. Can’t watch live? You can still sign up and get on demand access to the session videos for 30 days after the event. The video on demand will be available on October 1st. Click here to register for this livestream or learn more information.

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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.

 

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Weekly Bible Passage: Mark 3:25-33

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Mark 3:25-33:

woman wearing brown sun hat

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

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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.

 

 

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The Future: A Psalm by Quinn Graham

We have a modern-day psalmist on our hands:  Quinn Graham, Will Graham’s son and Billy Graham’s great-grandson, has written a special  psalm to share.

 

The Future

brown concrete road during daytime

The future is unpredictable

No one knows what is coming around the corner

It could be something tragic

Or it could be something marvelous

The only person who knows is God

He knows what will happen the next day, week, year, decade, lifetime

All we know is that we should trust in Him

He knows what we will never know

We try to predict what will happen next

But we fail because you can never predict what God will do

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”


-Proverbs 3:5-6

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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.

 

 

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Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

God of Compassion and Judgement

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 9:28-35 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

 “But as soon as they had rest, they did evil again before You; Therefore You abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they ruled over them. When they cried again to You, You heard from heaven, and many times You rescued them according to Your compassion,  And admonished them in order to turn them back to Your law. Yet they acted arrogantly and did not listen to Your commandments but sinned against Your ordinances, By which if a man observes them he shall live. And they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck, and would not listen.  “However, You bore with them for many years, and admonished them by Your Spirit through Your prophets, yet they would not give ear. Therefore You gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands.  “Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.  “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness, do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You, which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria to this day.  “However, You are just in all that has come upon us; for You have dealt faithfully, but we have acted wickedly.  “For our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers have not kept Your law or paid attention to Your commandments and Your admonitions with which You have admonished them.  “But they, in their own kingdom, with Your great goodness which You gave them, with the broad and rich land which You set before them, did not serve You or turn from their evil deeds.”

8. Repentance and Revival (Nehemiah 8-13). Rebuild & Renew: The Post-Exilic Books, by Ralph F. Wilson. JesusWalk Bible Study Series.

In this extended section of scripture, Ezra, the high priest continues his sermon to the Israelite people during the dedication of the re-built walls where he reminds the people of their cyclical pattern. One of sin and disobedience, which would lead to some sort of oppression and or bondage, which would cause a national cry to God for help. Finally, there would be repentance and a return to God and His blessings.

Early in my walk as a Christ Follower, I used to read passages like this and wonder how a people who had a close relationship with God and had been given so many blessings could ever wander so far from Him. I bet I am not the only one. Yet today, I see some of the same things happening.

As I studied this passage, a couple of things stood out to me. God is long suffering, and goodness is on full display as He gave his people chance after chance to repent. God demonstrated His love with judgement and hard times as a way to call His people back to Himself. No matter how far we roam, and no matter what we do, verse 31 says “In Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, for You are a gracious and compassionate God.”

God is the same today as He was all those years ago. He is great and mighty, and He will bring judgement. He is also gracious, compassionate, and willing to bring us back to Himself when we repent.

As I see many of the same patterns happening today, I am in constant prayer for the church, and the American church in particular who has been given so much. I pray we learn from history, and seek God in repentance for the sins of our nation. I also pray for God’s great compassion on us His Church, His Bride.

What can we learn from Nehemiah? 

  • God admonishes his Children as a loving parent. He sets boundaries for a reason.
  • Pray and grieve over national sin as much as I do for my personal sins.
  • If I sin and turn from God, He will allow consequences for my actions.
  • Have hope in the hard times because God is full of compassion and only allows things to happen that will bring us back to Himself.
  • Trust Him in both the good and the bad. Ask if there is a lesion to be learned in the trial.

God is slow to anger and quick to redeem because we are His children. He loves us with the everlasting love of a father. Take heart. Know that even though times may be hard, He is with us through every trial.

woman sitting on brown bench while reading book

Isaiah 43: 1-2 (NASB)

 “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. Where have I become stubborn and try to do things my way?
  2. In what area of my life am I prone to wander away from God?
  3. What hard things in life do I know God allowed to call me back to Himself?
  4. Am I at a place where I need to repent and return to God?
  5. In what way do I ignore national sins in my prayers?

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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.

 

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 33:18-22

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 33: 18-22 (NIV):

But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,  to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”
person standing on hill
As you start your week, you can put your hope in the One that will never forsake you. God is with you today and He is with you this week. Spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word and He will fill you with joy, hope, and peace.
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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.

 

 

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Tuesday Devotions: A Study in Nehemiah

 

God’s Promises Fulfilled

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

 Nehemiah 9:22-25 (NASB)

 “You also gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted them to them as a boundary.
They took possession of the land of Sihon the king of Heshbon and the land of Og the king of Bashan.  “You made their sons numerous as the stars of heaven, and You brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to enter and possess.  “So their sons entered and possessed the land. And You subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites,
And You gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they desired.  “They captured fortified cities and a fertile land, they took possession of houses full of every good thing, hewn cisterns, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees in abundance. So, they ate, were filled and grew fat, and reveled in Your great goodness.”

20 Sunrise Quotes - Sayings About the Start of a New Day

 

As the Israelite people dedicate of the re-built walls, Ezra, the high priest continues in his sermon. Here he is re-telling of God’s faithfulness to His people. After they had been delivered from bondage in Egypt and wandered the desert for forty years, they finally entered into the land of promise. And just as God had promised, the kings and people who occupied the land before them, became their possession. Verses 23-25 tells us they not only possessed the land, they also thrived. Every good thing was given to them.

God was faithful to His promise. They possessed the land, they prospered in God’s provision and the Israelite people were fruitful, and multiplied in number during the time of prosperity. God is faithful to His word. We can trust Him.

What I noticed in this passage were a few things. One is the answer to His promise took many years and most of those who the heard the promise died in the wilderness before they saw the fulfilment. Their children saw the answer. The second thing I noticed, is those who did not enter into the land were the ones who died wandering the wilderness because of disobedience.

However, to the ones who remained faithful to God, they received all that God spoke about years earlier. They entered into a land with houses they did not build and wells they did not have to dig, and fields and vineyards they did not plant. God’s provision for His people is perfect.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • After a dry season, God’s blessings will flow.
  • Some of God’s promises may be for our children to see fulfilled.
  • Don’t give up on my prayers if I don’t see answers right away.
  • Look forward to the abundance of His blessings to come.

It took a long dry season for God to get His people to learn to trust Him for food, water and clothing, their very existence. When they had come to a place of total surrender and a close walk with Him, they entered into His promise and to a place of amazing abundance.

Matthew 6:30-32 (NASB)

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What promises is God giving me that I have been waiting to see an answer?
  2. Are there promises made to our parents that we can claim the fulfillment?
  3. Are there areas of disobedience in our lives that are holding back God’s answers?
  4. What can we do to be thankful and trust God in the provision during the dry season?

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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.

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 3:2-6

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 3:2-6 (NIV):

“Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”

woman praying beside tree

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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.

 

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A Study in Nehemiah

God of Compassion and Provision

By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte

Nehemiah 9:18-21 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

“Even when they cast themselves a metal calf, saying of it, “This is your god
that brought you up from Egypt,” and committing other gross provocations;
 still, you, in your great compassion, did not abandon them in the desert.
The column of cloud did not leave them by day; it kept leading them along the way.
By night the column of fire kept showing them light and the path to take.
 You also gave your good Spirit to teach them, did not withhold man from their mouths and provided them water to quench their thirst.  Yes, forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing —their clothes did not wear out; their feet did not swell up.” 

silhouette photo of mountain during golden hour

During the dedication of the walls, Ezra the high priest read from the book of the law, then he reminded the Israelite people of God’s amazing provision for them through the years. Verses 18-19 are an example of God’s mercy and grace. Even after the people created a golden calf and worshiped the idol as the “god” who brought them out of Egypt, God still had compassion on them and did not abandon them. Instead, he provided for them a pillar of cloud during the day and of fire by night to lead and guide them through the desert.

The God who had mercy and compassion on his people then, is the same God who has mercy and compassion on us today. It doesn’t matter what you might have done, return to the Father, and He will lead you and guide you just as He did for his people all those years ago.

Verses 20 and 21 tell us that God gave his Spirit to teach His people. God also not only provided the basics such as food and water, He also sustained them by miraculously keeping their clothing from wearing out. In fact, the word says they lacked for nothing. Even after all of the grumbling and complaining, God did not withhold any necessity in life, and provided the most important gift they could ever receive. His Spirit.

Dear Friend, God will do the same for you, all you need to do is ask.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • Repent daily and seek God’s forgiveness. He is compassionate and ready to forgive.
  • Seek God’s guidance. He will give you His light (which is the Holy Spirit) to follow.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great in His compassion.
  • He will provide our every need.
  • God truly is slow to anger and great is compassion. Do not turn away, and seek the Holy Spirit. He will provide.

woman praying beside tree

Psalm 145:7-9 (CJB) Complete Jewish Bible

 “They will gush forth the fame of your abounding goodness, and they will sing of your righteousness.  Adonai is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and great in grace. Adonai is good to all; his compassion rests on all his creatures.”

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What have I made into an idol and put before God?
  2. Is there anything I’ve done that I wonder if God will still have compassion on me?
  3. Do I worry if God will provide all that I need?
  4. What can I do to be more thankful for what God has already provided?
  5. What can I do to be better at acknowledging where my provisions come from?

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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.

 

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Weekly Bible Verse: Psalm 146:8

Our weekly Bible verse comes from Psalm 146:8 (NIV):

“The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.”

white printer paper with kanji text

As we begin our week, may we trust in the Lord knowing that He is our portion and the rock on which we stand. Let our prayer be to continually open our eyes to see how He sees and to love how He loves.

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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.

 

 

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‘God Always Has a Plan’: Encouragement from Will Graham

2020 has been a year for the books, and these uncertain times may have you worried.

Yet, even when life gets difficult or shaky—God is unmoved.

“It’s been an unusual year,” Will Graham recently told visitors at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. “But it’s been one of the greatest years of ministry that we’ve ever seen.

“That’s what God does. He never disappoints. God always has a plan.”

Graham, executive director of The Cove, recently held an in-person and virtual conference on faith, pulling from 1 and 2 Samuel. He’s been studying those books of the Bible in his personal time and with Cove staff for about eight years.

Graham believes these lessons from the life of David speak to the needs of people around the world today:

Lesson 1: Get back to God

“David was a wanted man … a hunted man,” Graham said. “His own father-in-law hates him. … And of all the places, he’s living in the wilderness.

“I can only imagine his faith being shaken.”

Yet, God continued to show up in David’s life. And through the Lord’s faithfulness, David’s own faith was renewed and his heart restored.

When doubt and fear creep in, making this turn back to God is key.

“Sometimes we fail to connect the promises of God with our reality. And when we’re in unstable times, that shakiness in our lives causes us to fail to connect the dots,” Graham said.

“But God is on our side. He fights our battles for us. All the angels, all the hosts of heaven fight our battles for us.”

Lesson 2: Open your eyes to divine appointments

When David was at his lowest, he started to seek revenge. He allowed the actions of those who wronged him to harden his heart.

Graham explains: “David put his faith in his sword instead of God. Things had rocked his world. … He didn’t wait on God. He said, ‘God, I’m going to take care of this myself.’”

When situations don’t go the way we expect, it can be easy to respond like David, wanting to take matters into our own hands.

But as Graham put it, God will often send someone to stop us from making “stupid mistakes.” For David, this was Abigail, the wife of his enemy, Nabal. Thankfully, David listened. And it’s a reminder that when God sends wise counsel, it’s best we do the same.

And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from blood guilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” —1 Samuel 25:32-33 (ESV)

Lesson 3: Fear leads to disobedience

Though fear is a natural response in hard times, we can’t allow fear to “run rampant” in our life, Graham warns.

“It’s in times like this that we can identify with David. Even the mightiest men have their moments of weakness,” Graham said.

“[But] when you don’t live by faith, fear is going to grab your heart. And when you have fear in your heart … you start to disobey God.”

This is proven through the stark contrast we see in 1 Samuel between Saul, the current king, and David, the future king.

Both were chosen by God. Both experienced fear. But David chose to soften his heart, while Saul did not.

“Saul’s disobedience would lead him down a path that he never came back from,” Graham said.

Lesson 4: There’s a Savior for the sin we see

Whether it’s your own actions that have you weary or the circumstances around you—steady faith is possible.

“If we’re going to live in troubling times, unstable times like we’re seeing today, then [we need to] understand our place in this world,” Graham said.

“We are created beings by God. [But] we are not God. … We’re sinful, rebellious—yet whom God loves.

“If we’re going to live in this modern world, we need to have a faith that understands [this] position.”

It’s only then that we begin to see our need for God and how fear and disobedience keep us from Him.

“That’s what I love about the Bible. It doesn’t hide sin. It doesn’t misrepresent sin. It shows it for what it is.

“Sin is a destroyer. But the Bible also gives us the answer and that’s the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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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.

 

 

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