Saturday, February 21, 2015

Live from The Cove (Billy Graham Training Center)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately, but my posts have been few and far between. Whether you call it a rut or just plain exhausted and stretched too thin—my ability to write dissipated. Not completely, but I’d sit at the computer, start a devotion, article, or even a blog post and after a paragraph or two say, “That’s junk,” and walk away. I’m sure those of you who artists and writers can relate.

This weekend, I’m attending a writers’ conference at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  Arriving on “the mountain,” each year is like stepping into the presence of God. Don’t get me wrong. Every day I live in His presence. He’s in everything I see and experience. But here…words don’t exist in the English language to describe the tranquility and holiness of this place.

I first stopped at the chapel, slipped inside, and sat on the back row while the guide talked to a couple near the front. When the guide finished, I moseyed up as she took their picture and then offered to take mine as they left.

She asked if I played the piano, which I do. She insisted I play the grand piano at the front of the chapel—the one played by George Beverly Shea. If you know me, performing in public scares me. Actually, performing in front of anyone makes me anxious. I made some lame excuse about not being able to play without music, and she pointed me to a stack of hymn books. To my surprise (and relief) I was totally at peace as I picked up the hymnal and flipped through, settling on the great Billy Graham crusade invitation hymn, “Just As I Am.” The music reverberated through the chapel, a beautiful tone like no other piano I’ve ever played.


When I finished, I strolled through the chapel by myself, spent some time in prayer, and then took a few photographs. You’ll notice from the photos there are no stained glass windows. The Grahams wanted God’s nature to show through the windows instead. Wise choice.





My desire and zeal for writing has been rekindled. I'm excited about writing and feel so blessed that God has gifted me to share His message through the written word. 

As I sit here at my laptop overlooking the beautiful landscape, a few snow flurries flutter by my window, I wonder—is this what Moses felt when he went onto the mountain to meet God (Exodus 24, 33-34)? Based on the radiance of his face when he came down off the mountain, certainly his spirit was renewed each time he fellowshipped with God in that special place and time.

The peace and tranquility I’m experiencing for this finite time is only a slice of what heaven will be like and what Moses experienced, but I’ll soak up as much as I can and return home with a renewed spirit to do the work God has equipped me to do.

Thanks for joining me on my journey.

God bless,
Laura


©Laura Hodges Poole

9 comments:

  1. Praise God for His presents and peace! Happy to hear you're feeling rejuvenated.

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    1. Thanks, TC. It's a great feeling. I look forward to seeing God at work in my writing.

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  2. Laura, I have never been to the Chapel. I must make time for it next time I'm at the Cove. Wasn't our conference glorious? I came home so aware that I had been in God's presence. I've lost a lot of my family this year, but it is such a blessing to have a family in the writing community. Now, get to work!

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    1. Yes, the conference was glorious! Our writing family is a blessing. I'm ready to work! God bless.

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  3. What a beautiful post. Im so glad you got to be there for a time of peace.

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    1. Thanks so much, Penny. It was incredibly peaceful! God bless.

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  4. I stumbled across your blog today and enjoyed my visit! My husband and I were scheduled to be at the cove for the pastor/pastor's wives conference this week but we had to change our plans at the last minute. Loved your pictures and the encouraging blog posts! Blessings! Myra http://thesodizzylife.blogspot.com

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