Dr. Charles Kirby


 
BLOG #  33: NOVEMBER 17, 2017
 

In September of 1965 Bess and I accepted a call to pastor the First Nazarene Church at Abernathy, Texas. It was a major move for us, moving from the mid-south and away from families to the high plains of west Texas, and to a small town of 2,500 near Lubbock. The church was the most beautiful in town, and filled with tremendous dedicated laymen including the Spruills, Halfords, Patersons, Ingrams and many more. They had worked hard to pay off the debt of the beautiful church building and the lovely parsonage. They really loved our family, and spoiled our young children, Chuck at 3 and Micki at 13 months. They told me something no other church has ever told me. They said if I saw a financial need or challenge to just let them know and they would take care of it. Several times I put those big cotton and grain farmers to a test, and they always responded to the challenge I presented.

 

The big challenge of my ministry there was was to reach the younger generation. I knocked on almost every door in town to reach new people. Instead of a bus ministry I challenged the congregation to have a car parade to Sunday School every Sunday morning. It was an exciting time for all the people to see many brand new people coming on Sundays for the first time in years. It was a challenge every Saturday morning to be out knocking on doors to line up people to fill the cars for the Sunday School parade the next morning. Some dedicated ladies would decorate the cars early on Sunday mornings with bright colored streamers for the parade. It really was a sight to see!

 

After two years in Abernathy, Dr. A. Milton Smith, District Superintendent of the South Arkansas District, called me to consider a call to pastor the Little Rock Cedar Lane Church. In my blog next week I will tell you about my response.

 

God is continuing to lead Bess and me all the way!

Charles Kirby




BLOG #  32: NOVEMBER 11, 2017

 

God led Bess and me from Greenwood, Mississippi, to West Memphis, Arkansas. When we arrived in September of 1962 there were seven people in the church, five Mousers and two Spears. The church building was a gothic brick building in design that seated around 200. At one time the church had averaged around 150 in attendance, but had fallen on hard times. The district superintendent and advisory board decided it looked like a hopeless situation, and would probably need to close the church and put it up for sale. Through God’s providence Bess and I met the District
Superintendent, Dr. A. Milton Smith, at a meeting arranged by God in Little Rock. Dr. Smith talked to me about the church, and challenged me to consider becoming the pastor.  I could not escape the impression of the Holy Spirit concerning the church and relocating. He made it very clear it was His will for me to accept the challenge and become the pastor. It was the beginning of three years of amazing miracles!

There are many highlights of our ministry in West Memphis. It was the beginning of my bus outreach ministry. I heard about a bus for sale at a Memphis Baptist church for $250.00. The church didn’t have $250.00. To this day, I have no idea how I got the money to buy that bus. Two things I know for sure, I did not steal it, and God provided the money for the purchase. It was a happy day when I drove that bus across the Mississippi river to the church. Now I really had a problem. There was no one to drive the bus and be a bus pastor, so I knew it all depended on me.

I spent Saturdays knocking on doors rounding up people to ride the bus on Sunday. It was exciting to see the results of my labors with a bus load every Sunday! God taught me many things about this ministry that I would use years later to build a very large bus ministry at Little Rock and Virginia Beach.

The Holy Spirit started sending people to attend the church, and there was an exciting growth explosion! Out of that dynamic growth God sent  a former Nazarene song evangelist to help me. ORLANDO “TUT” RUSSELL, with a booming voice, became a great friend and supporter. I used him every Sunday to lead the singing and sing before I preached. He really inspired a lot of growth! One Sunday in 1964 I received 44 brand new members into the church. They reached out to others, and here is where Frangelism began for me, even though I did not know what to call it then. The church was awarded the Small Church Achievement Award from Nazarene headquarters in Kansas City.

The most exciting Sunday in my time at West Memphis happened on a fall rally day that featured Tut Russell and the Ozark Harmony Boys. I convinced Harold Penn, manager and owner of KSUD Radio Station, to broadcast the service live. Two Hundred sixty two people packed the worship center with standing room only.

The tremendous growth inspired us to look for another location in a more visual location. God opened the door for us to purchase three acres from a Baptist church on a busy boulevard for relocation. The pastor that followed me relocated the church and built a new building. He had a short-term ministry, and my friend Jay Ahlemann became the pastor, and took the church to another record height that has never been surpassed.

It really has been fun to be the pastor of growing churches!

 

 

Charles Kirby



BLOG #  31: NOVEMBER 03, 2017

AN AMAZING FEMALE LAYMAN

 

She was inspired by the Holy Spirit to leave her familiar surroundings in Jackson, Mississippi to help plant a church in Greenwood, Mississippi. It happened at a Nazarene District Assembly Home Missions rally. She was a Stanley home products dealer with an established business route in Jackson. She was willing to leave that, and the fellowship of her home church and friends to move to the beautiful city of Greenwood with 25,000 people that did not have a Nazarene church to help plant one.

 

EUNICE PHILLIPS was one of the most amazing layman I have ever known. Her faith and sacrificial spirit was a tremendous inspiration to all that knew her. When Bess and I, along with 6 week old Charles Jr., arrived as the first pastor of the Greenwood Nazarene Church in August of 1961, she greeted us with enthusiasm and expectation. She told us about  God’s call for her to move to Greenwood, and about the dreams she had for the church. She let us know she was totally committed to help establish and grow the church. I have never seen a layman work like she did to invite and reach people for the church.

 

When we arrived to begin our pastoral ministry, there were 3 people in the church. Eunice Phillips, Beverly, her adopted daughter, and Cecil, Beverly’s boyfriend. The Mississippi District had built a beautiful small church building in a good location on a corner lot across the street from the Yazoo River. My salary was $25.00 dollars a week paid by the district. Bess got a job teaching English at Greenwood High School for $2,300 a year. In many ways that year, August 1961 to September 1962 was a blur. I went all out to grow the church, walking the streets going door to door, inviting people to attend the church. Eunice Phillips had many contacts through her Stanley products job, and worked continuously inviting people to church. The church started to grow from 3 to 20 and on up to 30. Eunice was thrilled to see the results of reaching out to brand new people, and it inspired her to give it all she had! I purchased a duplicating machine and started mailing church news to a mailing list of contacts and attenders, promoting the services. I can still see the beaming face of Eunice with the growth. Her efforts and sacrifice was paying off! On up to 50 the attendance climbed, and to a rally day crowd of just under 100 that filled the small worship center.

 

The church averaged 67 in attendance that one and only year we were in Greenwood. In September of that year God moved us to West Memphis, Arkansas to resurrect the First Nazarene Church that had only 7 people left after a continuous decline of several years. The Greenwood church went through several pastoral changes and didn’t survive. There is no church there today. I am sure heaven will reveal the results of the seeds sowed by a dedicated, sacrificial and obedient lady by the name of Eunice.

 

On Sunday May 22, after church, Bess and I went to Dollywood to hear Karen Peck and New River in concert at 3 p.m. They honored us with front row middle seats. Karen told the huge crowd that we were there and then dedicated the song, “My God Will Always Be Enough” to us. A number of people that have been to Lake Gibson came down after the closing to speak to us. It was a wonderful way to close out another Lord,s Day!

 

It really is true, “My God Will Always Be Enough!”

Charles Kirby





BLOG #  30:  OCTOBER 27, 2017

GREAT LAYMEN IN MY PASTORAL MINISTRY

 

Great laymen are keys to a great church. In my 56 year pastoral journey across America I have had many who have stood by me through thick and thin to help me  accomplish what I thought God had called me to do in each church. This blog is the beginning of a series on wonderful laymen that have served with dedication and faithfulness in my churches, and I am honoring with love and gratitude.

LEROY COX in Virginia Beach, Virginia, went home to be with his Lord a few days ago on October 15 at the age of 96. Leroy was an outstanding layman in Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach. He was the owner of a large television and appliance center that served the Tidewater area. He was a great inspiration to me and a faithful supporter during my three-and-a-half-year ministry that saw the church grow from 213 to 719 in average attendance. He encouraged and supported me with a great outreach ministry of 15 buses, and was thrilled with the exciting growth! Leroy stood by me in a challenging time with a staff member that had family in the congregation. When the ministry of the staff member continued to decline, I had to make the most difficult decision in my pastoral ministry at that time, to dismiss that staff person. Leroy’s support of my decision and action never wavered, and with his help and encouragement I survived, and the church rolled on!

 

Before I announced my retirement to the church in February, Leroy telephoned me in my office to thank me for my ministry on the internet. He let me know that he and Maxine, his wife, went to church with us every Sunday on the internet since they were not able to attend the Tidewater Central services. At Leroy’s passing Bess and I had the opportunity to minister to Maxine and other family members several times before the celebration service on October 19. Maxine told us how they would move their chairs close to the television to not miss a service on the internet on Sundays.
 

One of the family members was grandson Frank Davenport who, at 53, expressed his love and appreciation for me and my ministry. While I pastored Tidewater Central church Frank was stricken with acute leukemia and was given no hope to survive. The church rose up to pray and fast for a miracle from God. Leroy’s faith was an incredible inspiration to me.
 

I flew to New York city to be with the family at the hospital and to pray and anoint Frank for God’s healing. One of the greatest miracles in all of my ministry happened when God healed Frank! While we were talking on the phone together, we rejoiced again over the tremendous miracle! Frank told me about his job with the FBI. He reminded me how he wanted to make his hair look like mine when he was young. We laughed about the time I went to his house to style his hair like mine. I still remember how excited he was. His parents, Bill and Linda, along with Leroy and Maxine would tell me that Frank would ask them, “Does my hair look like Pastor Kirby's?"
 

Bess and I continue to rejoice over how our Lord, in the beginning time of our retirement, continues to give us the opportunities to minister to others, especially like the Cox family in Virginia Beach!

God is so good!

 

Charles Kirby


Coming next week: One amazing lady who was a layman and a special honor from KAREN PECK at Dollywood on Sunday October 22





BLOG #  29:  OCTOBER 20, 2017
 

A BOYHOOD PREACHER TURNS 80 - Part 2

I ended my blog last week describing how my cousin, Nona Faye, and I played church in the barn after school and on Saturdays. Even though I has a stuttering and stammering tongue until God healed me at 18, I never stuttered and stammered while preaching in the barn.

A horrible inferiority complex began to dominate my life. I refused to look people in the eye and sucked my thumb through the 3rd grade. In school I refused to speak publicly or give a speech because I would stutter. Fellow students would laugh at me until I would take an F rather than speak publicly. I lived in fear that I would be called by the teachers to answer questions, so I would try to block their view of me by trying to hide behind the heads of students sitting in front of me. I lived this way all through elementary, middle school and high school. It was a miserable existence for me. More times than I can count, I would come home from school to cry at my mother’s knee, asking “Why does God put me through this?” My dear mother would often say, “Charles Lee, God is going to Heal you in His time.” I would respond by asking, “When!” I am ashamed to say this, but I really did hate God. I knew there was no way I could be a preacher with my speech impediment that was dominating my life. The truth about this major hurdle in my life is that I did not stutter talking to friends, it only raised its ugly head when I tried to speak publicly before people. Satan really had me in his grip and under incredible bondage.

 

The shock of my life came when I entered college at Trevecca in Nashville. All freshmen were required to take a class called Written And Oral Communication. I was petrified my first day in the class to hear the professor outline the requirements of the class included included giving oral reports. It goes without saying, I did not do well in that class, because I only did the written phase and not the oral. It was during this time I continued to rebel against God, and run from His plan for my life. There never was a doubt in my mind concerning God’s call to be a preacher of the gospel.

An amazing thing happened to me on a Sunday morning in Nashville while I was in college. I went to church at College Hill Church to hear pastor Claude Galloway, whom I really liked and respected, preach. As I sat on the back row, the Holy Spirit really spoke to me and said, “It is time to stop running.” He overpowered me with strong conviction until I found myself leaving my seat during the invitation to take the long walk down the center aisle to the altar. I was overcome by God’s presence, and told Him as I wept and prayed, that I would surrender to His call to preach if He would heal my stuttering, stammering tongue. I have no idea how my pastor of my home church, Phil Storey, whom I really loved, heard about what happened that Sunday morning so quickly. He called me and said, “Charles, I know you are coming home next week-end, So I want you to preach Sunday night.” Fear swept through my spirit, and I tried to speak, but could not say a word. He hung up the phone and all I heard was a buzz.

 

That was the fastest week in my life! There I stood 60 years ago this past March in 1957, to preach my very first sermon to a real live audience of people, and not cows and horses. “The Tears And Torments Of The Finally Lost” was the title of that message. I can still see my friends that had come to see “the show,” because I had never spoken in public without stuttering and stammering. The miracle of miracles really happened that Sunday night! As I stepped to the pulpit and open my mouth to speak, for the first time in my life I never stuttered and stammered! My friends were in shock. Two dear lady saints that had prayed for me, who always sat on the second row, and were old time shouting saints, stood to their feet raising their hands and shouting praise to their Lord! Everyone who really knew me, and my struggle to speak without stuttering, knew they were witnessing a miracle!

Almost immediately I started receiving invitations to preach across the southeast. I would leave the college campus in my 1954 green and white Ford on Fridays or Saturdays to preach on Sundays and in week-end revivals, returning to the campus late Sunday nights or early Monday mornings. Other preacher boys on campus, studying for the ministry, who did not have many invitations to preach, were amazed how busy I was, and seemed not to understand. The truth is, neither did I. All I knew it had to be God!

To God be glory and honor now and forever!

Charles Kirby





 

BLOG #  28:  OCTOBER13, 2017
 

A BOYHOOD PREACHER TURNS 80

I was born on October 13, 1937 to Lee Olen and Dorothy Pauline Kirby. My birth took place in their country farmhouse home in the Bear Creek community near Pinson, Tennessee. It was a beautiful setting overlooking the clear waters, at that time, of Bear Creek. There was a wonderful spring nearby that never ran dry. I was thrilled a few years ago, when I visited our old home place community, to discover the spring is still flowing to this day. I drank from that spring many times as a boy lying on my belly to lap at those cool waters. I took advantage of the opportunity to drink from that spring one more time, perhaps the last. As I was drinking, I thanked my Lord for the day  I discovered springs of living water that flow through my soul this day!

From my earliest recollection I knew I would be a preacher. I thought of it as my dream job. When people would say to me, “You will be a carpenter just like your dad,” I knew that would never happen. Even though I did help my dad from time to time in his carpentry work, my mind was focused on being a preacher. I actually started preaching at 3 years of age, according to my parents, by using as a pulpit the square platform hand rail at the bottom of the staircase. That was my favorite thing to do, so I would preach every day. A renter that helped my dad with the farming, lived upstairs. He really loved me, but my preaching made him nervous. My dad, recounting that period of time, said my preaching put him under conviction. The renter never would go to church with us, and told my dad, “If you don’t stop Charles Lee from his preaching, he is going to lose his mind.”  He really must have been convicted by the Holy Spirit.

When I was in the first grade my parents sold the old home place and bought one of my favorite places to live, growing up, about 10 miles from Jackson, Tn. It was a wonderful truck farm with an orchard with delicious apples and peaches; a very good barn for two cows and Patsy, our beautiful horse, I loved to ride; a large pasture for the cows to graze, Patsy to roam and where I could ride, and wonderful land for farming.

Our house was large enough for my mother’s sister, aunt Lockey, uncle Dewey and cousin Nona Faye to live in one side. When I was in the 3rd grade, my cousin Nona Faye and I had our own church and worship center in the barn. She played a make-believe piano from a bale of hay, and my dad built me a pulpit. It became our favorite thing to do after school and on Saturdays. We really had church! I dressed up in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, and preached up a storm. It was in the barn and in this setting that I developed the dynamics and excitement of expression in preaching. It was in the barn that I discovered the Kirby kick that has been known and witnessed by many people through the years. It really did give me a great background and head start for my homiletical and preaching training when I went to college and majored in religion.

As I am celebrating 80 years, looking back on my life, it really has been an exciting journey! The longer I have lived the more I have witnessed the providence of God in my life. This blog is only the beginning of

“A Boyhood Preacher Turns 80.”  I will continue with my life’s journey in my blog next week.

Thank you, Lord, for guiding me all the way!

Charles Kirby





BLOG # 27:  OCTOBER 6, 2017
 

TIME: A Powerful Force In All Our Lives

 

Since I began my retirement in May, I have been thinking more and more about TIME. You and I have said it over and over again: “Where has the TIME gone? The year is passing so fast; I can’t believe it is almost Christmas again; The older I get, the faster TIME flies.” It really is a fact of life, TIME is a powerful force in all our lives!

 

It is very difficult for me to believe, but it is absolutely true. Bess and I have been retired and at our cabins in the Smokies 41/2 months. It has been a wonderful TIME for us! We have spent this TIME getting adjusted to a totally different lifestyle without the stress and pressure of schedules and assignments. One reason 41/2 months of TIME have passed so fast is because we have been very busy upgrading our cabins, traveling, ministering and meeting with friends.

As we are winding down our Spring, Summer and Fall TIME here in the mountains, we are planning our TIME for the Winter and Spring in Lakeland. We are excited about a new door of ministry opportunity that is opening! TIME will reveal the results and benefits that are ahead. Our dear Lord is directing our paths!

 

The Holy Spirit inspired me early Thursday morning, while I was still in bed, about the powerful force of TIME.  As I meditated in the holy presence of our Lord, He spoke to me through Scripture.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the TIME, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

 

The powerful force of TIME has brought us to this incredible place in world history. It goes without saying, our day is a TIME of evil. The tragedy in Las Vegas dominates the TIME on television  and radio stations. The darkness of sin continues to darken our world while the bright light of the Gospel is trying to dispel the darkness in the hearts of mankind. Guns have never caused the darkness. The powerful force of sin is the root cause of the evil that covers our world. There is only onE cure. It is redemption through the blood of Jesus!

 

I have been thinking, what would happen if every born again, Spirit-filled Christian would take advantage of the powerful force of TIME to let the light of our Lord shine through us. Without one doubt, we would make a difference! ladies and gentlemen, TIME is running out. World conditions and the Word of God is pointing to the TIME of our Lord’s return. Dear Lord, please save us from slumber and sleep! TIME is continuing to make a change in you and me!

 

                            Time has made a change

                            On each smiling face.

                            Time has made a change

                             In the old home place.

                             All the world can plainly

                             See time has made a change

                             In you and me.

 

God bless each one of you!






BLOG #  26:  September 29, 2017
 

It has been a joy this last week in September for Bess and me to host two wonderful couples.   Dick and Carole Noble, Dan and Jean Oliveira have
 

Bess and Charles

Bess and Jean
Photos by Carole Noble

Dan and Dick

rented our Snuggled-In cabin for the week to attend the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge.  Both of them are members of Lake Gibson church in Lakeland, where we served as their pastors.   It has been fun doing so many things together...eating and fellowshipping together at some great restaurants, like The Old Mill, experiencing Billy Graham’s Cove in Asheville, going to Dollywood, and of course traveling back and forth to the convention on three special evenings.   We certainly have made some great memories.  Isn’t that what friendships do?

 

The quartet convention was outstanding once again.  This is the 3rd year it has been held at the beautiful LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge after moving from Louisville.   This was the 60th anniversary for the National Quartet Convention that began in 1957 at the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis.  Over 12,000 have attended this year.   Thursday night was incredible, with a turn-away crowd that completely packed the auditorium.  One of the big highlights in attending the NQC is seeing so many people that have attended Lake Gibson Church through the 19 years Bess and I served as pastors.  And then there is that large number that have watched the services on the internet that have never had the opportunity to attend.   We talked with so many of them from across the country and Canada.   One was the Fenn family from Harrogate, Tn that stopped us in the huge lobby.  Rebecca and her four children, Christina, Daniel, Josh and Hannah warmed our hearts.  Rebecca told us they worshipped with us every weekend, and the children would wait for the services to begin.  And when they did begin, they would call their mother and say, “Mother, Pastor Kirby is on!”  These were four siblings, two teens and two younger children, with such an interest in our services.  Once again, as Bess and I walked away, we were rejoicing over the impact of the internet ministry!

 

To God be the Glory!

Charles Kirby




 

BLOG #  25:  September 22, 2017

Friends are priceless! Since Bess and I retired, we are now able to spend more time with our friends. Many of them come and go to the mountains. Several of them have places here in the Smokies. It is great meeting them at some of our favorite restaurants for a meal and wonderful fellowship. It is fun running into people we have known through the years but haven’t seen them in a long time. We see them at Dollywood, the Old Mill, our favorite restaurant, at the outlet shops  and other places Bess likes to shop. I usually find a bench while I am waiting, and catch up on the news. It always amazes me at the people I meet that know me. Many of these have seen me on the internet while watching the Lake Gibson Church services. We have a pleasant chat and get acquainting during these times.

Next week, September 24-30, is the 60th National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge. Some 12,000 people will attend. We will see many of our friends and others that have watched Lake Gibson services through the years. Bess and I will visit with all the groups that are featured singers at Saturday and Sunday nights in Lakeland. I will have the opportunity to spend time with the agents I have worked with for 19 years that books the music groups. We have become wonderful friends. Bess and I will be attending three nights, Tuesday, Wednesday and  Thursday. We usually arrive at 4:00 p.m. and stay through most of the evenings. We try to catch all our favorite groups when they are featured. Some really are anointed by the Holy Spirit. Those are our favorites.

For several years I served as chaplain for the Southern Gospel Promoters Association, and had some responsibilities at the convention. Since I gave  up that position a few years ago, it is more relaxing for me to attend.

Since I am thinking about friends, let me introduce you to my greatest friend that sticks closer than a brother.

                 “Friendship with Jesus, fellowship divine.

                 Oh what blessed sweet communion, Jesus

                 Is a friend of mine!”

Cherish your friends!

Charles Kirby



BLOG # 24 . SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


 

A few Sundays ago Bess and I joined our friends, retired Nazarene pastors, to attend a home mission church worship service. A tenor singer that has sung at Lake Gibson Church in several Saturday Nights In Lakeland concerts was the featured singer. He sang with the Dixie Echoes and Florida Boys back then, but now has his own concert ministry.  He had a wonderful ministry to all of us that attended.

 

After our friend completed his music ministry, the 40 year old pastor of the church gave a mini message from Exodus on Moses, the Israelites and Pharaoh on following God’s leadership. In the message the pastor told the congregation he had been a bi-vocational pastor all of his ministry. He told us two weeks before, the Holy Spirit impressed on him to take a step of faith, and resign his job as circulation manager at the Newport Plain Talk newspaper and become a full time pastor. He stated how the past week had been a very difficult time for him as he had battled Satan over his step of faith. I was really moved by his faith and his trust in God to provide for him, his wife and his son.

 

To say the least, the Holy Spirit moved on my spirit to help him. The Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me to write a check for $100.00 to give the pastor as I was leaving the service. As I put the check in his hand I blessed him for his step of faith, and told him I would keep him in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot begin to describe the joy I felt in my spirit as Bess and I got in our car.

 

Through the years Bess and I have really been blessed as we have honored and obeyed the words of our Lord in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For the same measure that you use, it shall be measured back to you,” I need to tell you that $100.00 has already returned to me many fold in so many ways! I do not have the space to name all the ways because they are legion. It is a fact, Luke 6:38 is really true! I encourage all of you that are reading these lines in this blog to let God guide you in the days ahead in all the ways you can give, and they are so many. It really is fun to prove our Lord, and to enjoy His abundant blessings!

 

Don’t forget, our Lord gave His all for us!

 

Charles Kirby





BLOG # 23 . SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

I HAVE LIVED A SHELTERED LIFE!

Recently it finally hit me...I have lived a sheltered life! Since Bess and I retired we have continued to visit a new church every Sunday from all denominations. As soon as we got in our car this past Sunday, I said to Bess, “I can’t take it anymore. I must have my soul fed from God’s Word. Next Sunday I want to hear an exposition of the Scriptures from Pastor Dean Haun.”

I have discovered what I had thought was normal in churches in these last days really is normal. It can actually be summarized two ways:

  1. A lack of Biblical exposition of God’s Word directly from the Scriptures that feeds the soul. We need more than story-telling preaching that develops shallow Christians.

  2. Music that appeals only to those on the platform in a praise team. Choirs are almost non-existant. Most of the congregation just stands without participating in music they do not know. No familiar hymns are ever sung. The atmosphere and the volume of singing totally changes if a hymn is at last chosen.

The Holy Spirit convicted me years ago from being a topical story teller to an expositor of the Scripture. The effectiveness of my ministry totally changed, and miracles of grace happened with exciting growth! The Holy Spirit also taught me that music that appeals to and inspires the soul rather than inspiring the head is a wonderful prelude to a Spirit-anointed service. As a result, God gave me wonderful music ministers and worship leaders that helped to prepare the people for God’s Word. Darrel Gash at Lake Gibson Church in Lakeland is the best example I know. Anymore, they are few and far between and very hard to find.

This Sunday Bess and I are planning to worship in a wonderful church with inspiring music by the congregation, orchestra and choir. By the way, it will be a blended worship that will include hymns. It will prepare the way for Dr. Haun’s dynamic exposition of God’s Word followed by an invitation. As we leave I know what we will say. It is the same we say every time we have worshipped there. “This is a worship service that has fed our souls, and one like it should be.”

Dear Lord, may our worship honor You and feed our soul!

Charles Kirby







BLOG #  22:  September 1, 2017

 

A SAD TIME FOR THE NAZARENE CHURCH

The bones of Phineas F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene in 1908, are rattling in his grave in Los Angeles. The doctrine of Scriptural holiness he had preached as the pastor of the First Methodist Church of Los Angeles he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring to the new church. The doctrine and the new church spread like wild-fire across America. Scriptural holiness has been the distinguishing doctrine of the Nazarene Church from the very beginning until now. However, compromisers and liberal preachers are doing all they can to destroy the foundational roots that have guided the church through the years. It guided my parents into the church in 1944 during a revival with the silver-tongued orator, Dr. L.B. Hicks as the evangelist in what became our home church, the First Nazarene Church in Jackson, Tennessee. I preached my first sermon from that pulpit on March 28, 1957, 60 years ago this past March. I have been a career Nazarene pastor for 56 years, pastoring churches across America, the last 19 years at Lake Gibson Nazarene in Lakeland, Florida. It has been an incredible journey for Bess and me!

During this journey of a lifetime, I have been faithful to proclaim God’s Word without fear or favor, and remain true to the doctrines of the Church, including the fullness of the Holy Spirit in every believer’s life through the experience of entire sanctification and Scriptural holiness.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky, states, “For some time now, it has been increasingly clear that every congregation in the nation will be forced to declare itself openingly on the issue of same- sex marriage. That moment of decision and public declaration will come to every Christian believer, individually. There will be no place to hide, and no place safe from eventful interrogation. The question will be asked, and invitation will be extended, a matter of policy must be decided, and there will be no refuge.”

Ladies and gentleman, I never dreamed the day would come when I would be forced and directed by the Holy Spirit to write these lines about my denomination. But that time has come and I cannot be silent! An indication that our moral resolve is weakening, and we are questioning our moral responsibility and leadership as Nazarenes occurred on the floor of the Nazarene General Assembly this past June when 97% of the delegates voted to remove the word “Perversion” from the Nazarene Manual statement on human sexuality as related to homosexuality. Since when did this behavior cease to be a perversion? Our overwhelming action on this appears to be indicative that we have lost our moral courage as a church, and are now more concerned about not offending someone.

Perhaps the most alarming and disturbing action associated with all of this also occurred during the past General Assembly when leadership of the Nazarene Church permitted for the very first time an exhibition of the rainbow flag and the LGBT letters...worldwide symbols of the homosexual movement.   Click HERE to see the Nazarene Church web site that is sponsoring the booth.  Allowing for the appearance of the rainbow flag and the LGBT letters in full display at an exhibition booth at a Nazarene General Assembly may have seemed innocuous, but it is not. If anything it was naive and foolish, and a betrayal of trust, and I cannot be silent!
 

I have told general church leaders the past few years that the Nazarene Church was in serious trouble and in a state of decline, but to no avail. I have based the fact of that statement on the response I have received from viewers to my messages from the worldwide web aired from the pulpit of Lake Gibson Church. It has been overwhelming when I have preached against the culture changing the Church rather than the Church changing the culture, and being Biblically correct rather than politically correct.

The only thing that can save us is a mighty move of the Holy Spirit to fill every pulpit in the church until preachers will experience the powerful anointing of God’s Spirit, to be bold in proclaiming the truth found in the Word of God without compromise...a modern day Great Awakening!
 

Dear God, please revive Your Church!

Charles Kirby





BLOG #  21:  August 25, 2017






BLOG #  20:  August 18, 2017


THERE IS A WINDOW UP THERE!


I am sitting at the bar in Stargazer cabin looking out the window to the majestic mountains. What an inspiring sight! Bess and I just replaced the double window with an outstanding picture window. It has opened up an incredible expanded view of the mountains, far more than we had envisioned. We are continually finding ourselves overwhelmed with the wonderful expansion. It has opened up a new world!  The Holy Spirit has reminded me of a phrase in an old song…”through the upper window, you will see me standing by.”

FAVORITE CAMPMEETING MESSAGE

In one of my favorite campmeeting messages I close with the story of two brothers. The younger brother had made wrong choices and was a total failure, while his older brother had become a successful executive as the president of a railroad. He decided he would try to help his brother by giving him a job as a ticket taker at the gate of the train depot. His brother told him it would not be an easy job because some people would be rude, abusive and impatient, in a hurry to board the train. The assignment was to keep smiling with every passenger, even with all of the abuse, and say, “ticket please.” The older brother had his office up above the passenger boarding gate and told his brother he would be watching him to make sure he succeeded.

The older brother was right. He watched people as they were abusive and rude to his brother. However, the younger brother would just smile and say, “ticket please,” and look up to his brother at the window. It prompted a passenger to speak to him about what he had been witnessing as people were rushing to board the train. He said, “I have been watching the abuse you are receiving from some people boarding. How do you do it ?” The younger brother said. “See that window up there? That is my older brother’s office. He is the president of this railroad. I have been a total failure with my life, but my brother decided to try to help me to succeed, so he gave me this ticket taker job. He said all I want you to do is keep smiling, and say, ‘ticket please,’ even when people are abusive and rude. I know he is watching me from that window up there. I can not fail to do what he has asked of me because he has rescued my life."

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a window up there. The President of life’s railway to heaven is watching from the upper window to make sure we succeed as we board and ride the Gospel train to Heaven’s railway station. We must keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

 Don’t forget who is looking out the window up there!


BLOG # 19:  August 11, 2017

 

On April 22 in blog 3 I wrote about the DOUBLE RAINBOWS Bess and I followed to our cabins as we were returning from Pigeon Forge. To understand the message in this blog, you will need to go back and read blog number 3[CLICK HERE].

 

Since the incredible experience we had on the deck of our cabin, God has been blessing us tremendously! There has hardly been a day without a wonderful very special blessing. Many times the blessings have been double just like the rainbows.

 

Our Lord has given us many opportunities to minister since we began our summer journey on May 22. God has helped me in my two preaching assignments. We have made three major trips to minister. Our Lord has kept us safe as we have traveled the many miles. Next week we have another trip scheduled, and are trusting God’s provision.

 

Bess and I are enjoying our special devotional time every morning after breakfast. We pray for so many of our friends that are in need. We give God praise for the many double blessings in the growth of our cabin rentals to close out 2017. We declare God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done as our Lord’s prayer instructs us. One of our major prayers has been for God to give Lake Gibson Church the pastor He knows it needs. We will continue to prevail in prayer for our Lord to supply this great need.

 

I still believe the best is yet to come!


Charles Kirby




Blog # 18, August 4, 2017

 

“Send Another Bus!” has been my most popular and most requested message through the years. I have preached it all across America and Canada in church growth conferences and camp meetings. Hundreds have sought God at altars of prayer, accepting the challenge to “stand in the gap” according to Ezekiel 22. On Sunday July 30, I preached it again by request of my dear friend, pastor Jay Ahlemann, at his church, Restoration Fellowship in Strasburg, Virginia. Once again, a thrilling number of people responded to the invitation! 

 

An amazing thing happened on Tuesday, August 2, on Facebook. My ministry friend, Lowell Clyburn, described a convention service in 1987 in Georgia where I preached that message. I will never forget what happened as he described it. It was held in a large Baptist church

Rev. Lowell & Pam Clyburn

auditorium. I remember the church was filled with people, and they responded to the invitation, filling the entire front of the auditorium. It was on a Saturday, and on Sunday, a mighty move of God swept through the local churches, including his, that were represented at the convention. As Lowell went on the describe the move of the Holy Spirit on the Georgia District, it carried over to the next week in the District Assembly.

Precious memories, how they linger!

Come Holy Spirit, we really need You!




Charles Kirby


BLOG # 17:  July 27, 2017

 

Directions are very important. The right directions will be the key to make it to the desired destination. The Word of God is a book of directions. It outlines the route to make it to the most wonderful destination known to mankind...the Eternal City of God...Heaven!

 

This week I gave directions to people to take the best route from our cabins to Pigeon Forge. My directions were clear and simple. However, they were not followed, and as a result they got lost on a narrow curvy road that went from pavement to dirt. Through God’s providence, a sheriff was in the back country, and came to their rescue. Two and a half hours later they finally made it to their destination. When we met them at an agreed place, they told us about their incredible experience. I know the wrong road they had taken because Bess and I have taken that road before. I marvel that a sheriff was parked in the remote area and led them out.

 

I was reminded that our Heavenly Sheriff, the Lord Jesus, will lead us out when we take the wrong road and do not follow the directions that are clearly marked in God’s Word. By the way, what route are you on? Are you following the directions our Lord has given to you? He has said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

 

Let’s stay on the right road!


Charles Kirby

BLOG # 16:  July 21, 2017

 

Since Bess and I arrived here at our cabins on May 22nd it has been non-stop for us. That means 2 months have already passed. People told me that would happen...time zipping by quickly, but I didn’t believe it. I thought time can’t pass any faster than it is for me as a pastor. Guess what? Now I am a believer, because it is happening! I guess the main reason is because we have been working continuously at our cabins, inside and out, and they look great! We are having a great time!

 

Can you believe Charles and Bess Kirby have become gardeners? Our knock out rose bushes look great! Just yesterday a tragedy happened. We lost connection to the outside world through television  (Fox News) and I am to blame. Planting 10 beautiful yellow plants, I cut the Direct television communication line, and our television went blank, along with the Snuggled-In renter's TV. I did it with my shovel digging a hole for another plant. Last night and today the television remains black, and will be until the man from Direct TV comes to repair the mess I created...and it is such a beautiful yellow plant!

 

Guess what the Holy Spirit has said to me through it all? It is so easy to lose connection with home and with our dear Lord. The Holy Spirit is our connector, but the communication line must never be cut in two. It is a fact, so many people have no communication with home because the line directly to the Heavenly Father has become occupied with other things of lesser importance. But it is such a beautiful yellow plant! Let me appeal to you NOW to check your communication line. If there is something in your life that is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit, repent and let Him repair and open the line directly to the Father. He is waiting on you!

 

Holy Spirit, we really do need You!

Charles Kirby




 

BLOG # 15:  July 14, 2017

Not very far from our cabins, just on the edge of Ashville, is an incredible place. When I am there I feel like I am standing on holy ground.  This tremendous place is THE COVE, part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Bess and I have been there twice. It is a very beautiful place, and a dream of Ruth Graham to honor her husband.  It traces his life and ministry from the beginning. There is no charge for taking the tour and visiting the museum. The Lord willing, we are planning to go back again to hear the Collingsworth family on August 19.

 

Bess and I are continuing to beautify and upgrade our cabins. You can see some of the upgrades by going to our cabin website at www.themajesticview.com and taking a tour. New pictures of both cabins have been posted. Bess has done a good job taking new pictures, and Duane Kendall, our webmaster has included them. We appreciate all of our friends that are telling others about our cabins and the rental possibilities. More and more people are discovering the beauty of our location. Driving up Majestic View Way to the cabins is a heart-warming experience for me every time I make that drive. We are grateful for all of the wonderful comments of the glorious majesty that surrounds us in these fabulous mountains!

 

Rejoicing always!

 Charles Kirby





BLOG # 14:  July 7, 2017

This past Lord’s Day was the best spiritual Sunday I have experienced since making our cabins our summer home in retirement on May 22. One reason it was so wonderful is that it was just like Lake Gibson when I was the pastor. It reminded me of home. The music by the choir, orchestra and congregation was tremendous! The inspiring and anointed exposition on Gideon and his small army of men reminded me of a message I have preached. Pastor Haun, Sr. pastor of First Baptist Morristown did a fabulous job feeding my soul! The music was the best we have experienced in all of our visits to a variety of churches in the area. As we waded through the crowd of people leaving the worship center, Bess said to me, “This was our best worship experience!” I agreed with her.  

 

On our way to the car I was talking to myself. It went something like this. “Why can’t churches today understand what true worship really is? People need a variety of music that is blended to include hymns that are filled with Bible doctrine and the exposition of God’s Word directly from the Scriptures.” That is exactly what we experienced!

 

It was a God and Country morning with the worship center ablaze with red, white and blue. As a matter of fact, Bess and I looked at one another when pastor Haun said, “I know some churches don’t have God and Country day any more, but as long as I am the pastor here we will continue to celebrate America on this day.” It reminded us of someone else that has said the same thing.

 

God Bless America and President Trump!

 Charles Kirby




BLOG # 13:  JUNE 30, 2017
 

 

BESS AND I JUST RETURNED FROM LAKELAND THIS AFTERNOON. I PREACHED THE FUNERAL MESSAGE YESTERDAY MORNING FOR CAROL WILSON, ONE OF MY FAVORITE LADY CHURCH MEMBERS. SHE AND DALE, HER HUSBAND, HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL MEMBERS OF TWO OF MY CHURCHES, MELBOURNE FIRST AND LAKE GIBSON. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A “QUICK TURN AROUND TRIP,” IT WAS A SPECIAL HONOR FOR ME TO MINISTER TO DALE AND HIS TWO SONS AND FAMILIES. PLEASE KEEP DALE IN YOUR PRAYERS. AFTER 64 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, THE ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE A CHALLENGE FOR HIM.

 

SUNDAY IS JULY 2ND. THIS IS THE SUNDAY THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOD AND COUNTRY DAY IN ALL THE CHURCHES I HAVE PASTORED ACROSS AMERICA THROUGH MY 56 YEARS OF PASTORAL MINISTRY. SINCE I WON’T BEGIN MY NEW MINISTRY TO OTHER CHURCHES UNTIL JULY 30, I WILL BE SITTING IN THE WORSHIP CENTER PEW BOOSTING PASTOR HAUN, AND ENJOYING THEIR CHOIR AND GREAT MUSIC.

 

SINCE I WILL NOT BE IN THE PULPIT SUNDAY TO DELIVER MY GOD AND COUNTRY MESSAGE, LET ME PREACH TO YOU. THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW ME KNOW I AM A “RED-BLOODED” AMERICAN. EVERY DAY I AM THANKING GOD FOR OUR PRESIDENT, DONALD J. TRUMP. HE IS DOING WHAT HE PROMISED IF ELECTED. I RESIST AND RESENT WHAT THE LIBERALS AND MEDIA ARE TRYING TO DO TO STOP HIM. BESS AND I DO NOT WASTE OUR TIME WATCHING AND LISTENING TO CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS AND ALL THE OTHERS THAT ARE AGAINST HIM. WE WATCH AND LISTEN TO FOX NEWS ONLY, THAT REFUSES TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT. MAY OUR LORD GOD BLESS AMERICA AND PRESIDENT TRUMP ON OUR 241ST BIRTHDAY!!

 

LET’S ALL CELEBRATE AMERICA!

 Charles Kirby

 

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SON, CHARLES LEE KIRBY, JR ON JULY 3RD!!  YOU WERE ALMOST A FIRECRACKER!







BLOG # 12:  JUNE 23, 2017

Lake Gibson Church outreach continues to amaze me! I am continuing to be confronted by people who have seen me on the internet through Lake Gibson church services. A few days ago in two different restaurants, two couples told Bess and me they have heard me preach on the internet and really enjoyed the church services. Several people from Ohio and North Carolina introduced themselves to Bess and me at Dollywood and said they really love our services and ministry. On top of all this, two couples from the Newport area that have been watching the services from Lake Gibson, invited us to join them for dinner last night (Thursday) at Carver’s Apple House, one of our favorite restaurants in the Smokies, just ten minutes from our cabins. It was a very delightful evening! They were so gracious and kind to us in their expressions. In the past, I have told you about a lady (Anita) that told me in Wal Mart that she watched our services.

 

All of this is incredible! Our dear Lord has certainly blessed this tremendous ministry that reaches across America and to other countries of our world. I am reminded it takes preparation in music and preaching to make this ministry effective. A faithful and dedicated media team sends the services out every week so people can view and worship. Without them, this ministry would not be possible. Also, people sending financial support really does help. My heart has been warmed many times when I have opened envelopes containing checks and very gracious notes.

 

Our cabin website at www.themajesticview.com is being updated by Duane Kendall, our wonderful webmaster. If you go there, you will see some of the upgrades, new pictures, etc, in both cabins since May 22nd. Bess and I really have been busy. Yes, I have cut down four more trees this past Wednesday and it looks great! Those of you that have stayed at our cabins in the past will see the difference we are making. We urge you to book a date and come back. It is our life-blood in these retirement days. For others of you that have not been to our area here in the Smokies, we urge you to check it out. There is so much to see and to do. Please call us at 1 800  519-3342 to book a date.

 

May our dear Lord bless all of you!

 Charles Kirby




BLOG # 11:  JUNE 16, 2017

As I sit on the deck of Stargazer cabin looking at the glorious mountain peaks, I am reminded of the peaks in all of our lives…some high and some low. Our up and down emotions describes all of us. At times we are on the mountain peak, and perhaps soon thereafter we are on the valley floor. Bess and I just completed our morning devotional time with our Lord, and these moments with Him assures us His love, mercy and grace is never up and down, but is consistent and faithful to all of us through every situation we may face. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” He always must be high and lifted up in our lives every day.

I have been talking to you the last few weeks about our four grandsons, Chase, Cody, and Michael. Today I am featuring Kyle, our fourth and oldest at 23. He lives in Tallahassee where he obtained an AS degree. He has been certified by the State of Florida in Leon County as a paramedic. He really loves it. When he found out I was on an emotional journey after my retirement, he called me here at our cabins to encourage me, and lift me up from the valley floor to the mountain  peak. His wisdom amazed me and really made me proud! We are planning to play golf at the beautiful Smokey Mountain Country Club near by when he comes to our cabins. It is an incredible golf course, and you guessed it, with high peaks and low valleys. I was there a few days ago and tried to conquer the peaks. I really enjoyed the  challenge and did not do bad. I really love that place!

Enjoy the peaks and learn from the BLOG # 11:  JUNE 16, 2017

 Charles Kirby




BLOG # 10:  JUNE 8, 2017
 
The 3rd grandson I will recognize in this blog is Michael.   He is in the Navy and stationed in Hawaii.   He got a good start on a Navy career by spending four years in R.O.T.C. in high school in Lakeland.   Since joining the Navy he has already visited several countries in our world.  He calls us every time khe is in a new port.   He is advancing in rank and loves the promotions, especially the increase in pay.   He is thinking about making the Navy a career at this present time.   Kyle, our 4th and oldest, is next up.   You will hear about him next week.

Next Monday, June 12, Bess and I will be here in the mountains at our cabins three weeks.   We have done a lot of work and upgrades. People that have stayed in our cabins in the past will see the changes.They will be impressed! During this time here we have only taken one play day, spending time at Dollywood on a glorious, beautiful day,  
 
We have worshipped in three different churches during this time here.  Sunday will be another one.  I will be writing later what we are experiencing.  It is exactly what I had expected.  It really is a sad day for the Church in general with so many many people searching.   The harvest is ripe!  We are seeing people up here that have watched me on the internet, and some that have attended the services at Lake Gibson.   It is very heartwarming to hear their comments.
 
 
Enjoying these mountains!!

Charles Kirby





BLOG # 9:  JUNE 2, 2017
 

In blog 7 I started telling you about my 4 grandsons. I began with Chase who just graduated from Wade Christian High School in Melbourne with a 4.0 grade point average. Cody is the brother of Chase. He is on the staff at Calvary Chapel, a mega-church in Melbourne. He works as a computer specialist, and really loves his ministry.  Cody maintained a 4.0 grade point average through high school at Wade Christian and in collage at East Coast University in Melbourne. He played basketball at Wade Christian for four years and has served as an assistant coach for the Junior Varsity at Wade. He is an outstanding young man with a heart for God. 

My first mowing and weed eating challenge was completed on Wednesday, May 31. It is a fact, I really don’t need a fitness center to work out. I will get all of the exercise I need with my mowing and weed eating on the slopes of Majestic  View.  By the way, it really does look good!  I guess I should be proud of myself, and I am!

In blog #3 I wrote about the amazing double rainbows Bess and I followed for 15 minutes to our cabins. As we watched the incredible sight from our Stargazer cabin deck, we claimed the rainbows as a promise of double blessings from our Lord. Since then we have experienced many wonderful blessings. On May 30 a thrilling blessing, hard to describe, happened to us. Immediately Bess and I said, “It all goes back to the double rainbows!”

A fabulous  happening just occurred as I started this blog on Friday, June 2. My secretary for 16 years, Kaye Simpson, has encouraged me for some time to write a book about my life and ministry. I did talk to a publisher, but was too involved to pursue the possibility. However, the phone call that came about two hours ago was thrilling and encouraging about the book.   In the mid 70’s Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, told me I should write a book about my life experiences. Since then I have had two miracle healings of cancer.   So a book just might be in the making. 

Having a great time in the beautiful smokies. Bess and I just saw a deer in front of our Stargazer cabin.  Bess took the picture of the deer.


 

Charles Kirby



BLOG # 8: MAY 26, 2017
 
Who said retirement is boring?
 
Since Bess and I arrived at our cabins on May 22, we have been as busy as bees.  When our friends stay in our cabins, they will see the fruits of our labors.  Stargazer and Snuggled-in cabins are being upgraded to the delight of Bess.  As her friends know, she is very good at decorating.   I get to enjoy the fruits of her labors.  
 
We have been working hard setting up our lap-top and printer.  Just today, Friday, we made two trips to Staples in Sevierville.  Duane Kendall has been a great “geek”, along with Josh at Staples.
 
Phone calls, emails, notes and letters are a delight.  I found a quiet place in a busy store to respond to a phone call from a dear friend, and to pray for his healing through a medical procedure.   Another dear ministry friend called to report on his heart procedure and we both rejoiced together.   Ministry is always a delight for Bess and me.
 
Now it is all coming back to me.  So many people told me when you retire you will be very busy and never bored.  How can anyone be bored here in these beautiful Smokies and these glorious mountain views?
 
Rejoicing!


Charles Kirby



 

BLOG #7   May 19, 2017
 

Grandsons are very special! Bess and I have 4 young men that really bless us and make us proud! Chase is the youngest, and the son of Micki and Bob. He is graduating from high school in Melbourne. After church on Sunday, the 21st, Bess and I will attend his graduation party. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade average. He was just recently voted the MVP on his school soccer team. He is also finishing his second year of college, making the President’s List with a 4.0 grade average. I must admit, he did not get his smarts from me.
 
Bess and I will arrive at our cabins on Monday the 22nd. Our work is already cut out for us, beginning on Tuesday. Lowe’s will install new carpet in our Stargazer cabin on Wednesday and in the Snuggle In cabin on Tuesday the 30th. I will take over the grass cutting responsibilities from Steve, our neighbor, that has been helpful to us since our Lord gave us the cabins 12 years ago. He is a lay preacher, and really loves the Lord. He and his wife, Jana, live above us where Majestic View Way ends. That means I will need to buy a lawn mower from Lowe’s in Newport and be ready to tackle the grass on three slopes. As I am thinking about the new assignment, I really am grateful that most of our nearly two acres is woods. During our two week vacation time in April, I purchased a new weed eater and blower so I would be equipped and ready. 
 
Next week I will tell you about Cody, the older brother of Chase. He is in a staff position at the large Calvary Chapel Church in Melbourne. Also, I will update you on the happenings at Majestic View cabins on Majestic View Way in Cosby, Tennessee. 
 
I love the Smokey Mountains!

Charles Kirby



BLOG #6   May 12, 2017

MOTHERS LAY A FIRM FOUNDATION
 
As I remember my mother, I rejoice over the firm foundation she laid for my sister Diane and me. It reached all the way to our grandchildren. The power of influence is a priceless treasure. It endures through the years. The godly heritage my mother left all of us is greater than earthly wealth and possessions. We are so blessed!
 
In a few days Bess and I will head for the mountains, where we plan to spend the first summer in retirement. Fourteen years ago our Lord blessed us with two very nice cabins in a gorgeous area of the Smokey Mountains. It is peaceful and beautiful, beyond description, as we drive Majestic View Way, and are inspired by the incredible view of the mountains. It really is a fabulous sight! We are looking forward to our friends coming to see us and booking the Snuggled In cabin. It sure will help us in retirement. The Stargazer cabin will be our home for the summer and fall.
 
Living with anticipation!


Charles Kirby



BLOG #5   May 5, 2017


What does a high energy person do with retirement? That is the question that is uppermost in my mind during the first full week of a new journey I had never taken before. I guess I just didn’t think very far ahead. I have preached through the years that 95% of life is adjusting to change. It is a fact, our Lord is the great adjuster!
 
Much of my first full week has been helping Bess in her shoulder challenge with doctor’s appointments and therapy. She received a great report today, May 4, from her surgeon. The therapist are really helping her tremendously. Her pain has almost been non-existent. Thanks so much for so many of you who have prayed for her. I am so grateful. Prayer has been the key!
 
Once a preacher, always a preacher. I am communicating with district superintendents and local church leaders in speaking assignments across the country. I will let my Lord lead me where He wants to use me, and where He wants me to go.  Once we get back to our cabins around June 1, I will have much to do. Physical labors will be great for me.
 
Now it is time to open your Bible and turn to my favorite Scripture from God’s Word in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
 
The Lord is my strength!


Charles Kirby


BLOG #4    April 29, 2017

Bess and I have been having a wonderful time of vacation and restoration at our cabins. We have avoided working around the cabins, like we usually do, when we spend vacation time at the cabins. For those of you that are interested, I haven’t cut any trees or trimmed any limbs. I didn’t want Bess to fall again, just in case she decided she wanted to help me. {I think she has learned her lesson}Those acorns she stepped on October 19, and dislocated her shoulder, are still there. We decided we would just spend time relaxing and having fun this trip up and save the work for later. Oh yes, there will be trimming and staining the two decks and much more. By the way, it is a different day. I am trying my best to adjust to retirement. 

After church tomorrow morning we will head back to Lakeland so Bess can have her shoulder manipulation on May 2. After the procedure, she will go immediately to therapy. People have been telling us it will be very painful, but we are not accepting that. So many have been praying for God’s healing provision that will make the recovery a miracle time. That is what we are believing! Thank you so much for your prayers and agreeing with us. Bess is scheduled for therapy five days a week until Dr. Volpe says it is enough and she is healed. That will sure be a happy day!


Expecting God’s healing blessing!

Charles Kirby


 

BLOG #3    April 22, 2017
 

AN AMAZING HAPPENING!!!

I’ve always been fascinated my rainbows, but none like happened a few days ago.  Bess and I were returning from a meal with friends at the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge when it happened.  We ran into a heavy rain storm about 15 minutes  from our cabins that only lasted a few minutes. A very brilliant rainbow appeared, along with a second one, not as brilliant.  (Bess took the picture you see) As we marveled at the sight, I said to Bess, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were at our cabins.”

As we talked about Noah and the meaning of rainbows, we agreed rainbows were a sign of blessing and favor from God. As we continued on our journey, the two rainbows did not fade away and disappear, but remained in brilliant  color. As we drove up Majestic View Way to our cabins, both rainbows were guiding us home.  When we walked onto our deck, the brilliant rainbow was centered in front of our cabin with the second one close behind.  Bess and I stood in amazement for several minutes giving our Lord praise.   Both rainbows remained for an unusual length of time.

Bess and I are accepting this amazing happening as a sign from our Lord that God’s blessings and favor will follow us through our retirement.

Enjoy God’s blessing and favor,


Charles Kirby

 

BLOG # 2:  April 15, 2017

Easter has always been my favorite Sunday. Two Easters in my pastoral career stand out as the most exciting and dynamic in two of my churches. The first was in 1972 at Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. That was the very first time any of my churches went over the 1,000 mark in attendance.  I can still remember the excitement of this incredible day! Total attendance was 1,342. The Downings were our featured music guests for the entire day. The church was jammed with people. We had 648 people present that rode our 15 buses. We rented Point-Of-View School down Parliament Drive from the church for an exciting children’s rally with over 500 in attendance. Back at the church, we had to put a large crowd in the courtyard area, looking in the open doors and windows of the worship center. Of course the overflow section of the worship center was packed. Since the doorways into the worship center opened out into a long hallway, chairs were placed there for people to sit, and down every isle as well. All of that was really amazing, but the most incredible and glorious happening of the day was in the evening service when 125 people came to faith in Christ as the Downings kept singing “I Will Meet You In The Morning Just Inside The Eastern Gate.” People filled the front and altar areas several times. That remains to this day the most victorious service I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
 
The next great Easter Sunday happened in Lubbock, Texas in 1976 at Lubbock First Nazarene Church. We rented Texas Tech Coliseum for an Easter rally with Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Our great music family joined Bro. Bob for a thrilling service. What a sight to see a host of people coming forward at the invitation to receive Christ! Over 3,400 people attended that one service. It really was amazing to witness it all!
 
Today is Saturday April 15, 2017. It is Easter week-end once again. Tonight Darrel Gash and the LGC Singers will close out our 19th season of “Saturday Nights In Lakeland” with a fabulous production of Easter music with “Jesus Paid It All!” Easter morning we will have two Easter services. The annual Sunrise Service will be in the beautiful garden courtyard at 7:30 a.m. and a Resurrection Celebration service will be at 10 a.m.. Thinking about everything as I write these lines, it is very sobering. This is going to be my final service at Lake Gibson, when I will bring my last message as pastor for 19 years.  It will also climax 56 years as career pastors for Bess and me. Wow! What a journey!
 
Precious memories, how they linger!


Charles Kirby


Blog # 1:  April 8, 2017

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week leading up to the resurrection of our Lord on Easter. Ten times I have taken the Palm Sunday walk from Mt. Olivet to Gethsemane’s garden. It really is a holy walk our Lord took on Palm Sunday. It is a continuous downward slope, and offers the pilgrims who take this walk a time of reflection and rededication. This is where our Lord made the final decision to take the low road to the cross rather than the high road to an earthly throne. I really am blessed, thinking He had me in mind in that decision that has transformed my life for all eternity!  Hallelujah, what a Savior!  To climax this holy week, Bess and I will end 56 years of pastoral ministry on Easter morning.  Hallelujah, what a journey!
 
Have a glorious Easter 2017!


Charles Kirby