Traveling Wisdom Found at the Cove and the Beautiful South

Do you know about God or do you really know God? Recently, I traveled through WV and NC and I reflected on just that question.

Before we get too far into the question above, I wanted to share some morsels that I gleaned as I traveled through the beautiful south with my wife, Jen, best friend Michael, and his wife Nicole.

Recently, I heard a story of a very healthy and fit woman who was 39 who simply died of a massive heart attack. My wife baby-sat her children in the past. It was a sad reminder of how precious life is, and we should NEVER take life for granted.

I realized that way too many couples don’t allow themselves enough time to get away and re-charge their batteries. They allow the pressures of family and life in general to give them reasons why they can’t reserve valuable, quality time. If it has been too long for you and your spouse since you have taken a getaway (even if  it’s a long weekend), I challenge you to spend time planning your next excursion today.

As we transitioned on from our time with our friends at the mountains of Snow Shoe, WV, we journeyed through many towns in North Carolina, and Jen was able to meet some of my dear family that she had never met (we are newly married). I was reminded of how precious quality time is with your loved ones, and even more so the matriarchs and patriarchs of your family. We were able to stay with several loved ones that were in their late 80’s and mid 90’s. The love and wisdom that could be shared was uplifting, and it was also very life-giving to my family, who is nearing the end of their journey of life to spend time with us as they were able to reflect on their earlier decades of marriage. Too many families today in America’s fast paced work culture forget to make regular time for family. It proves to be a worthwhile investment!

This was my second journey to Billy Graham’s COVE. It was my wife’s first time there, and we were blessed by Jonathan Falwell’s messages he delivered during the five sessions we spent together during his series on: Pursuing Holiness in a Broken World.

It was also very encouraging to read how Ruth Graham (Billy’s wife) was the only person that he ever fully confided in life, and this was because of her committed relationship with God that he could trust in year by year.

I wanted to share with you today some of my top insights that I gleaned from the journey. I pray they challenge and encourage you!

Pursuing Holiness in a Broken World

1.    Self-Sufficiency goes against the word of God. We must depend on God, and not even take one step toward believing we can take care of ourselves through what we might believe are “our perfect plans.”


2.    If you want to be (and remain) in the center of God’s will, let the Holy Spirit replace your natural desires with His desires for your life!


3.    We need to really want to know God. Most people only have a factual knowledge of God vs. a growing/deepening knowledge of God – that is where the true and lasting victory comes from!


4.    Practical insight from the conference – Download this app and/or bookmark this site – It is a great help for people who want to better understand the original context and meaning in scripture so misinterpretation does not occur.


5.    Victory can never be won unless a battle is fought. Hiding in comfort zones actually hold you back from victory. We need to venture beyond our safety and engage in the spiritual battle vs. trying to hide from the enemy.


6.    Below is a passage of scripture that really spoke to me during the conference. I also explain how the 3 snares or land minds mentioned below were described uniquely to me and it provided greater clarity:


1 John 2:15-17 (NLT)


Do Not Love This World


“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”


1.    The Lust of the Flesh – This is not just sexual sin. It is an unquenchable desire for thrill seeking and pleasure just for pleasure’s sake. There is nothing wrong with pleasure, but too many people spend life chasing it and are never fully satisfied or content.


2.    The Lust of the Eyes – This is not just sexual sin. It is a distortion of everything we see with our eyes. Satan does not want us to see this world through God’s eyes, and tries to sell us a bag of garbage daily so we can’t look at humans or His creation in the manner with which God originally intended.


3.    The Pride of Life – This can be stated as pride in your possessions. Many people constantly seek more money or a different job so they can simply get bigger houses, better cars and more stuff. They want to keep up with the Jones’, when in reality this is one of the biggest spiritual land minds that is missed. Possessions are not bad, but they can become idols when you seek contentment in life in them (even if it is your home) vs. soaking in the only lasting contentment that exists – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in which one removes their grip on the wheel of control in life, and allows God to drive for them daily.


 So, when will you open yourself to go on your next spiritual journey and travel adventure? What date can you commit to this by? Your life is too precious not to…

God bless,


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  • ginger kelshaw

    wow! i might just print this up for others to read! everything was nicely said…to the point! God bless you Joe as you continue your work!

    • joesharp

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement Ginger! Bless you indeed!