Tuesday, September 11, 2007

From The Cove/Billy Graham Center

Our General Overseer has encouraged all the members of the Executive Committee to "adopt" a small group of other leaders to get together with on a regular basis for times of prayer, study, and devotion. Each of the five men has a "Covenant Ministry Team". Frances and I are a part of the Tim Hill Covenant Ministry team. Brother Hill is the Second Assistant General Overseer and also a singer and song writer. He has invited his team to come to the Billy Graham Training Center located in "The Cove" near Asheville, NC.

So...Frances and I decided to leave home Sunday morning, go by the nursing home where her Mom is bedfast to visit and pray with her, then leave for the Asheville area - thus giving us an extra day on the road to rest before our meeting began. We found Mamaw Hildreth in better shape than expected. The speech therapist had found a set of headphones with a pocket amplifier that attaches to the shirt pocket and has made it possible for us to communicate with Mamaw. This is the first time I think she has really understood what I was trying to say to her for the past six months. It's amazing that she responded to every question and comment with sensible answers. It's like she was her old self. Of course this did not change her weakened physical condition, nor her paralyzed limb - but it is so good to be able to talk and know that she understands what is being said and is able to respond to conversation. That was sooooo good for Frances.

After feeding Mamaw her lunch and dinner we traveled on towards Asheville. On a whim, I asked Frances if she would like to stay in Maggie Valley, NC and she agreed. So we stopped about an hour before dark. We sat out in two rocking chairs in front of the entrance for about 10 to 20 minutes before retiring to the room. Next morning we "lolligagged" around and didn't check out until about 20 minutes before 11:00a, which was check-out time. This was quite a change of pace for me. When we got on the road we drove to the Moose Cafe, near the Farmer's Market on the West side of town, had a great lunch, then came on here and checked in by 1:30p.

We started off the meeting with a great meal at 5:30p, then church. Church consisted of an old timey Gospel Singing. First Bob and Jeanne Johnson, who have appeared on the Gaither Videos, and then the Voices of Lee directed by Danny Murray. Tim Hill then spoke to us before we had communion. It was a great service.


Tabitha said...

It sounds like it was a wonderful time of relaxing and worshipping. I hope you had a great time. I believe that I could use a weekend like that to recharge. I love you!

toothsleuth said...

Boy I would've loved to hear that good preaching! I miss those old-timey services. Believe it or not, I still remember those. I might have been hiding under the pew playing, but you just don't forget the images from those days (or the strong annointing of the Holy Spirit!). I was reading on your previous blog about the classes that you and Frances are taking at Lee. I think that is so awesome that they provide that service for such a great price. I would definitely take advantage of that! Let me know how the class goes!

Lowell Brannen said...

That sounds like the kind of job that I would like to have. One of those kind where you get all the fringe benefits and get to meet a lot of great people and travel around the country and across the sea. Wow. I think I'd call that a "cushy" job. :)

fred said...

Hey Lowell, You've just inspired nnother blog which I'll call "Cushy Jobs I've had!" I'm chuckling out loud.

Favorite One said...

Now I'm chuckling out loud! I don't remember any of that "cush" when I was living at home... Just kidding, of course! By the way, now that Curty has your former boat, maybe he'll take it out more than you or your brother did. He's already loving it! Glad you & mom had a good trip & I'm glad you're home. Luv ya!

K E Alexander said...

The Cove is a beautiful place. Glad you two had an opportunity to do this. Ministers need more retreat-time. I'm glad the COG is finally recognizing this!

About Me

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Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton