ARCHIVES AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2017

 

 

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 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!


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 #  26:  September 29, 2017

 

Do you Wonder???

 

Do you wonder what and how the Kirbys are doing in retirement?  Well, here’s an update.

In the 4 months we have been at our cabins in Tennessee, we have been excited and frustrated, at peace and in turmoil, happy and sad.  Does that sound like the human condition? “Sometimes, I’se up and sometimes, I’se down.”  Let me explain.

  • Excited...excited that we’ve had something to do.  Working always helps.  Updating our cabins with new carpet, new stainless steel appliances, some new furniture, new wall decor, new picture window, paint, planting flowers, new pots and pans, new swing chains, and other misc. Items.

  • Frustrated...frustrated that we were not (and still are not) at the top of our technology class. Did you think we were actually taking a class? Since we do have a cabin rental business and depend on its success in our retirement, we needed to set up an office...a desk, lap top, printer, WiFi, files, etc. Well, finally after a few  months and intense  help, we’ve gotten our small/corner business office set up and running rather smoothly.  Thanks to Duane Kendall.  Before leaving Lakeland for these mountains, Andrew Gash gave us iphones and he began our lessons on them. After arriving here, Duane Kendall continued the lessons. We cannot thank these two guys enough.  Duane continues to be our genius teacher.  Maybe we’ll help you next time you are frustrated.  Do you dare ask us???

  • Peace...peace in God’s Word; in His care; in His supply; in His direction.  Every morning, I thank God for His Word. It truly is a lamp to my feet, a light to my way.  I don’t have to worry or fret (tho’ sometimes I do.  I’m sorry…). God’s Word brings peace.  One song writer said it this way, “God will take care of you, through every day o’er all the way”.  And another writer said this. “Oh, the peace that Jesus gives, never dies, it always lives; like the music of a song, like a glad eternal calm, is the peace that Jesus gives...is the peace that Jesus gives.”

  • Turmoil...turmoil concerning the uncertainties of life. Uncertain about our future; uncertain about our health; uncertain about our cabin rental business; and what about our country and world; and our beloved Lake Gibson Church; and our kids,family, and grandkids? This is the time I must sing when imprisoned by turmoil.  All I must do is cast all my care on Jesus, for He cares for me. So, I will.  Will someone record this testimony?

  • Happy...happy to be a child of the King; happy to share His love to a world. Glad for the opportunity to have given largely to the Sunset Gap Ministry to the Appalachian people. Happy for great neighbors, for personal friends, for new acquaintances.  Being a child of the King is a joy-filled thing. There are victories around every curve.  And you never walk alone. Wow!

  • Sad...sad at times as we adjust to retirement. Sad because we miss belonging, we miss pastoral ministry, we miss friendships and fellowship.  But God has a new ministry for us; and, we will rejoice in it. We will not stay on Frustrated, Turmoil, or Sad streets; only move on Excited, Peace, and Happy streets.

The 2nd verse of one of our favorite songs says this.

“Tomorrow I could rise to find that everything has changed.  This way of faith could take me to some unexpected place. But in all the twists and turns of life, I’m sure of this one thing.   Where the road is so uncertain, my God will go with me.  My God will always be enough for the longings of my soul. He alone can fill my cup ‘til my spirit overflows.  From a well of living water, He renews me with His love. My God will always be enough.”               

                               Serving with you the incomparable Christ,

               

                                                            Bess





BLOG #  25:  September 22, 2017

 

Psalm 37 is a great inspirational and encouraging word.  Just listen to some of its jewels.

  • Trust in the Lord.

  • Feed on His Faithfulness.

  • Delight yourself in the Lord.

  • Commit your way to the Lord.

  • Rest in the Lord.

  • Wait...for Him.

Life brings changes.  Sometimes those changes are to our liking; sometimes, they are not; but trust, but feed, but wait, but rest.

If you are in a hurtful, discouraging place today, read Psalm 37. It’s too bad that hurt often occurs within the body of Christ, the church.

  • Many times in our christian service, we constantly hit closed doors.  It hurts. It brings discouragements.

  • Changes are made and we’re not told.

  • The picture we gave or the pew we purchased in honor of parents, is taken out of the church.

  • The honor once given, is removed from the wall.

  • You were not asked to sing or play the piano.

  • You wanted to sing in the choir, but were refused.

  • Someone got your seat; you had to sit at the back.

  • The church was not friendly.

I could go on and on; but, my word to you and me today is this: Look on the sunny side of life.  Have faith.  Enjoy God’s presence.  Rest in the Lord.  Be positive.  Be an encourager. “Let the sun shine in. Face it with a grin. Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.”  That is, the SON shine in.

God keeps watch.  God remembers the good you have done!  God will take care of you.  So, fret not.

“I have been young, and now am old; yet, I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”  So rest.

 

This little pencil is thinking of you and praying for you,

Bess

P.S. Mother Teresa said, "I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”    May the beauty of Jesus be seen in us.


    





BLOG # 24 . SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

HURRICANES AND PRAYERS

 

Thinking of the seriousness of the weather and the projected path of the recent Florida hurricane, Charles and I were constrained to pray for life and property, to ask for God’s protective blood covering over our FL home, and the homes of our children and grandchildren, our Creekwood neighbors, our Lake Gibson Church property, and our Lake Gibson Church family and friends.  Before and during the 2 hurricanes, we prayed for all Texans and all Floridians, who would be affected by them.

And yet today, we are still praying; this time our prayer is 3-fold.

1.PRAYING FOR HELP

We often hear the phrase, “Help is on the way”.  Well, truly, God’s help is on the way (many times in the lives of His vast army of volunteers); He’s on the way to those who have lost so much during these hurricanes.

    2. PRAYING FOR HOPE

The scripture says. “Hope in the Lord”.  There is always a brighter tomorrow.  So, dear God, blow away the dark clouds of depression, despair, disillusionment, and doubt.  Replace it with hope, expectation, blessing, and the sunshine of a new day.

    3. PRAYING WITH THANKSGIVING

And finally, after Irma, my personal prayer to God for my family, neighbors, church family and friends. It’s a short prayer...a simple prayer… a clear prayer...a universal prayer...a prayer approved by God...a daily prayer...a heartfelt prayer...a joy filled prayer...and a prayer written for the whole world to see.

 

THANK YOU JESUS.

 

I’m loving Him more everyday,

Bess


 

BLOG # 23    SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

               “Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.”   
 Psalm 119: 97                            


 
  1. God is unlimited by time.

  2. You can always count on God’s love because it is even more reliable than the rising of the sun.

  3. Journey through life with God.

  4. God’s joy in us can coexist with the most difficult circumstances.

  5. Whatever you have plus God equals an incalculable fortune.

  6. God gifts us with an unimaginably glorious life that will never end.

  7. Spending time with God is increasingly countercultural.

  8. In the midst of intense spiritual warfare, put on the whole armor of God.

  9. Clear out clutter and open up your heart to God’s Wonders.

  10. Though you may feel isolated and alone at times, this is only an illusion.

  11. Pondering Jesus’ willingness to suffer can strengthen you to endure your own hardships.

  12. Be still in God’s Presence, and wait patiently for Him to act.

  13. You are never alone because of God’s continual Presence.

  14. God is the ideal Person to be in charge of your life.

 

“Let the …..meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” 
Psalm 19:14

 

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and …..Finally brethren, whatever things are true,... noble,...just,...pure,lovely,...of good report,....meditate on these things.”

Phil. 4: 6-8

 

                                 

Thinking about Jesus, His power and awesomeness; what He’s done for me, and what He does for me everyday.  I wouldn’t want to live a day without Him.  Enjoying my journey with Him.

 

                                                               Bess

P.S. These 14 statements are thoughts taken from Oswald Chambers’ Devotional, “My Utmost For His Highest.”









BLOG #  22:  September 1, 20177

The Cross of Christ means so much to me...because “The Way of the Cross Leads Home.” And I’m on my way. Remember that old hymn by the same name. 

 ”I must needs go home by the way of the cross; there’s no other way but this.  I shall ne’er get sight of the Gates of Light, if the way of the cross I miss.  
(Chorus) The way of the cross leads home. The way of the cross leads home. It is sweet to know as I onward go. The way of the cross leads home.”

Ever since we purchased two cabins in the Smoky Mountains, there has been a cross on the property of a factory in our small community of Cosby. Recently the factory went out of business; and, we wondered if the new occupant of the property...whoever it was...would remove the cross.

Just a few weeks ago, improvements began on the property. Would the cross come down; or, would it stay?  I’m glad to say that so far, it is still standing.

I can truthfully say to renters, or visitors, or family, that the way of the cross leads home ( to Majestic View Cabins ). So, should you be coming, just follow the crosses on 321; then Greasy Cove Road to Buckeye Lane to Majestic View Cottage Rental sign.

The big cross at the factory is the #1 marker; then shortly, pass marker #2, the Allen Baptist Church square sign with a cross on it; then very close, see the smaller shaped cross advertising Denton Baptist Church, the #3 marker, turning there...and on to the cabins.

It was the cross, the atonement, that made the difference for me. So if you want joy, real joy, let Jesus come into your heart. Just “Kneel at the cross; leave every care; kneel at the cross; Jesus will meet you there...come while He waits for you.  Listen to His voice, leave with Him your cares and begin life anew...Jesus will meet you there.”

                           I’m on my way to Heaven by way of the cross; there’s no other way but this.

   Come go with me…..

Bess






BLOG # 21:  August 25, 2017

 

God washed our car.

We’d been to Lakeland, FL for a simple medical procedure and were driving back to the mountains, when we ran into rain. It was quite a downpour, but lasted just a few minutes.  When we ran out of it, and were back in the sunshine, it reminded me of how we in the midst of life’s challenges, the dusty and dirty places, (we) need a washing, a personal “car” washing. God had washed our car with that downpour.

Living life day in and day out, year after year, through the toils of each day, the rough and tumble of life’s challenges, (living life) gets us dusty/dirty. It’s not just our cars that need washing from time to time, we do also. Nothing like being washed with God’s Spirit.  It feels so-o good.

The clean car when we take it off the dealer’s lot, doesn’t stay clean, but needs frequent washings. You may have been driving in a dust storm on the high plains of Texas. Or, maybe you got stuck in the mud on a dirt road.

We all got washed in the blood when we found the Lord.  We got cleansed by God’s Holy Spirit when we surrendered our lives to His will and His way. And God is continuing His cleansing as we grow in Him. There’s no one perfect except the Lord Jesus Christ. We need (and we can get) spiritual washings throughout our Christian journey.


When life’s struggles have disillusioned us, when life events have hurt us deeply, when challenges are too big for us to handle and we have temporarily forgotten God’s ability and His great care for us, it’s time to go to Him in prayer for a refreshing, a washing. He’s as close as the mention of His name.

So wash me, Lord. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow for the issues of today.  And, who, reading this blog, needs a washing today? Jesus is ready to forgive, to restore, to cleanse, to lighten your load, infuse strength for the day, and turn things around for you.    NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WHEN YOU PUT YOUR TRUST IN GOD .

 
I stand before you, Lord, for a washing. Keep me clean in this dirty world.

  

Bess





 

BLOG # 20:  August 18, 2017

Charles has, for a long time, called me a “city slicker.”  Can a “city slicker” ever become a “country girl”?  What do you think?

Since moving to the mountains, I’m wondering, “What does it take to become a country girl?”

Does moving to small town USA, alias, Cosby, TN, the backdoor entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains, the moonshine capital of the world, qualify me as a country girl?

How about shopping at the Cataloochee grocery store (established in 1927)? 

test

                                                              Cataloochee Grocery Store 

Or shopping at Newport Dry Goods store?

                                                             Newport Dry Goods Store 

Or reading the Newport Plain Talk newspaper, established in 1900! 

                                                        Newport Plain Talk Newspaper

Well, I do believe one must have a “moving day”; moving from the past to the present; from the old to the new.  So here’s what I want to tell you.  I’m choosing, moving, and making my way to a “heavenly country,” whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:16.

Hebrews 11:16New King James Version (NKJV)

16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly  country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The gospel song writer put it this way:



Oh yes I'm moving, moving, moving, moving
Moving up to gloryland
Oh yes I'm moving, moving, moving, moving
Holding to His nail-scarred hands
Don't know when I'm leaving but I'm ready to go
When I get to heaven I'll be welcome I know
Oh yes I'm moving, moving, moving, moving
Moving up to gloryland



     

Count me country; “Heavenly country,” that is.

Bess 

HERE IS A SLIDE PRESENTATION WITH ALL THE PICTURES I TOOK ON THIS TRIP:





BLOG # 19:  August 11, 2017

Here are a baker’s dozen faith and confidence builders. And here is the bottom line... God will take care of you . Read in unison with me the second line of every one. I’ll read the first line.

   




1.  Troubles come and troubles go,

            Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     2.  Sickness here and sickness there,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     3.  The rain falls on the just and the unjust,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     4.  Night falls and day dawns,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     5.  Loss happens and gains come,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     6.  Sadness tonight; joy in the morning,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     7.  Defeat today; hope tomorrow,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     8.  Death now, life tomorrow,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     9.  Financial disaster now; riches tomorrow,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    10.  Prison today, freedom tomorrow,

           Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     11. Guilty today, forgiven tomorrow,

            Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     12. Sick today, healing tomorrow.

            Blessed be the name of the Lord.

     13. Heartbreak now; hope & comfort ahead,

            Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

           Keep the faith, God will take care of you .  

Bess 

BLOG # 18:  August 4, 2017

Saturday, August 5, we will be at my  “Pearson Family Reunion,”  remembering with thanksgiving, the efforts of Mama Pearson, my paternal grandmother, in soul winning, in reaching out to her country community, resulting in the organizing of a Nazarene Church, located a few miles out from my small hometown, Houston, MS. We have had these reunions for many years.  It seems as if family reunions have a life span. Who knows if there will be anymore; and if so, how often and how long? Pray for our safety in travel to and from the reunion.

On our return trip we will go by Neal and Frances Putman’s home in

Glade, TN, for a visit. It will be good to see them. Neal is a great booster of Lake Gibson Church and the Saturday and Sunday night concert series in Lakeland, FL.

I want to express sympathy to the Lake Gibson Families who have recently lost loved ones. we are praying for you all during this difficult time and the awful adjustment in the days ahead. Also, We are praying for those who are sick and even in the hospital.  Furthermore, we continue to pray for the great Lake Gibson Church in their search for a new pastor.  The church is great, first of all, because of Jesus Christ, its Head; and 2nd, because of its great devoted, active, on fire, Christian laymen.  Love God’s family so much. 

Tune in to my next blog,

Bess