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June 13, 2013 / dcwisdom

The Cove

My first thought about “The Cove” brought images of water coves, like in novels or movies, and cabin hideaways in mountainous depressions.  Never having lived in mountains of any sort, my mind worked from images to create an expectation.  Experiencing the Rockies numerous times, I honestly expected the Blue Ridge to be more “mountainous,” point-y, rocky, higher.  Instead, the peaks were beautifully rounded with thick forest growth to the tops.  I kept commenting to my company as we drove about how in the world did pioneers and settlers traverse over and through these beautiful hills?

The view off the back porch of The Biltmore...One excellent characteristic about the mountains is that  although the temps were hovering near 90 with low humidity, it was relatively comfortable.   Certainly unlike Texas.

Rabbit chase about Texas weather:  Several public people in my beloved state of Texas constantly encourage people to move to Texas mainly for political reasons, so let me tell you how it really is – HOT and STICKY in the summer, especially closer to the Gulf, but everywhere except further west where it’s just plain HOT.  So if you plan to move here in the summer from your northern state, BEWARE!  You won’t be accustomed to the humidity, so you might want to wait until fall or winter to acclimate yourself and your family.  You will pay higher utilities to be cool in your home, and you’ll learn to love iced tea, cold watermelon, and box fans.  FAIR WARNING.

Ok, back to The Cove…

Since I was a little girl, I watched Billy Graham on television.  I was drawn to the TV when he preached.  In recent years, I heard more about his wife, Ruth, and knew that she grew up in China with missionary parents, back when it was a true sacrifice to live deep in foreign countries.  She returned to the US for college to study to be a missionary to Tibet.  When she met Billy, she initially didn’t want to marry him because he didn’t want to be a missionary, only a pastor.  Wow.  WOW!  I think what blew my mind away was reading about this couple whose primary, unifying desire in life was to serve and worship God.  Nothing else.  Nothing less.  Because of His dedication to Christ, Billy became the world’s pastor.

Twenty-five years ago, Billy Graham Evangelist Association established Billy Graham Training Center “The Cove,” a retreat and training center for believers in Christ.  The link shows really beautiful pictures of the center.

DSC_0157Ruth Graham wanted The Cove to reflect Billy’s and her mountain home of elegance, warmth, peace, and comfort, and I believe she accomplished that.

Billy Graham Training Center - The CoveOur room was as beautiful as any five-star hotel, only homier and more intimately decorated.  And the trail leading to the chapel was steep enough that Becky and I held hands going down, like two little girls.

This notice was comforting...DSC_0031It doesn’t look as steep as it was.  Our three-quarter-mile hiking destination was the chapel, a gorgeous building with four floors, which is open to the public.

Billy Graham Training Center ChapelQuite extraordinarily beautiful.

Billy Graham Training Center ChapelRuth Graham had the architect design the building so that everything points heavenward, and each window has crosses.  The podium is 400 years old from a church in England (found in storage), and the pews are over 200 years old from a school for the blind.  A beautiful, old Steinway in perfect tune beckons any pianist to play.  Can you imagine playing a Steinway in Billy Graham’s chapel?  The prayer room is on the fourth floor (where I stood to take the chapel photo), and the lighted globe and prayer benches sit directly under the steeple and the cross.  When I entered, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit there.

Chapel Prayer RoomMany people come here to pray and leave prayer requests for the volunteers to pray over.

DSC_0026On a lower floor, this entire display case was about Ruth who passed in 2007.  She was a character!  I am her newest fan.

DSC_0033The mountainside vegetation and stream were stunning!  Pictures never do anything justice, don’t you agree?

I saw enough of the Blue Ridge that, yes, I want to go back, especially to The Cove.  I think The Cove will be beautiful at Christmas.

In a couple of days, I will show you The Biltmore.  Maybe you’ve been there?  Good grief!  Such opulence!

Praying for the East Coast folks.

Peace and love.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God bless Israel.  God help America and have mercy on her.

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3 Comments

  1. Sue / Jun 13 2013 8:43 PM

    Do try and get to the Billy Graham library in Charlotte, NC. Ruth is buried there. Well worth the trip. I feel so at peace each time we go to The Cove!

  2. Debbie / Jun 13 2013 7:10 AM

    What a beautiful place. Ruth and Billy Graham were so well together! They accomplished so much together for the kingdom. Many, Many lives impacted by this family. Those Blue Ridge mountains are soooo beautiful. Glad you didn’t see any bears!
    Debbie

  3. jmgoyder / Jun 13 2013 6:27 AM

    This is so interesting – thank you!

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