ARCHIVES FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 2018
 

Blog 89 for 12-9-2018
 

THIS CHRISTMAS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE REST

 

December has arrived, and my thoughts are being focused on the glories and majesties of Christmas. It is a fact, there is no season of the year like the month of December as we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Lord and Savior. This Christmas is going to be different than all the others for Bess and me. Through God’s providence I find myself being the interim preaching pastor, instead of the senior or lead pastor, in a seven month old church. This new assignment for me actually had its beginning on May 20, 2018, when I preached my first message to the wonderful people of Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland. I followed that very first assignment to preach again once in June, July, August and September. During this period of time I have watched the Holy Spirit pour out His tremendous presence and blessing upon this exciting new ministry. I feel richly blessed and very gratified to my Lord with the response of the people to my four Sunday series through November from Acts chapter 2. I am praying and believing that God’s anointed Word of “God’s Blueprint For A Powerful Church” will reap a bountiful harvest every week. I am inspired with the thought and promise that God’s Word never returns void!

 

The Holy Spirit has been leading me in the preparation of a mini Christmas series directly through the Scriptures. With the help of my Lord and under the direction of God’s Spirit, here are my plans for this series at the 10:00 a.m. service:

         December 9 - “The Miracle Birth Of My Lord”

                                 Luke 1:26-37

         December 16 - “The Message Of The Birth of

                                   My Lord”

                                   Luke 2:1-14

         December 23 - “The Moment Of the Birth Of My

                                   Lord”

                                   Galatians 4:4

 

Darrel Gash and the RFC Singers will be featured in an inspiring Christmas production of music “CHRISTMAS IS JESUS” on Sunday, December 16, at 6:00 p.m. in the beautiful auditorium of Kathleen High School at 2600 Crutchfield Rd. This will be Darrel’s 18th Christmas production of music he has produced and directed in Lakeland.     

 

Christmas really is all about Jesus!





Blog 88 for 12-1-2018

 

A REVIEW OF 2018

 

You have said it, I have said it, and all the world has said it, “Where has time gone?” With the arrival of the last month in 2018 I find myself reviewing the year that will soon be history. All of us have experienced peaks and valleys throughout the year. Bess and I have been blessed with many peaks, but there have also been challenges along the way. We are so grateful for an undeniable fact that is a sustaining force in our lives as we are preparing for 2019. God has been faithful throughout another year. He has not failed us one time as we continue to run the race on our way to the promised land! It really has been a glorious journey!

 

Every morning throughout the year Bess and I have spent time with our Lord at the breakfast table after our meal. It has become a very special time for both of us. We have tried our best to guard that time daily, and for the most part have been successful. Bess reads the Scripture that pertains to the devotional from John Henry Jowett that we have used through the year, and then both of us prays.  We pray over a long list of friends printed in a prayer book. As we call the names of people on the list, we believe and claim the promises of our Lord for each one. We are thrilled to report that God has answered our prayers for many of these. Some have been instantly, and others are waiting for God’s timing, knowing that He is never in a hurry, but is never late.

 

It has been a thrill to climax 2018 as the interim preaching pastor of Restoration Fellowship Church in Lakeland. I began this new ministry on November 4 and will continue through April. The growth of this brand new church is amazing! Without a doubt, God is doing a new thing. It really is exciting to be a part of it! This month of December is packed full of ministries and activities. I will be preaching a three part series on

December 9, 16 and 23rd on The Miracle, the Message and the Moment of the birth of our Lord. Darrel Gash and the RFC Singers will be featured in a Christmas concert of music, “CHRISTMAS IS JESUS,” on Sunday night December 16 at 6 in the beautiful auditorium of Kathleen High School. I invite all of you who do not

have a church home to spend the Christmas season with us at Restoration Fellowship Church at 2600 Crutchfield Road in Lakeland. You will experience the love, unity and harmony of a wonderful fellowship of people!

 

It really is true, the best is yet to come!

Charles Kirby



Blog 87 for 11-24-2018

 

WINTER RESIDENTS BRING JOY

I have been welcoming winter residents back to the sunshine for over 35 years. Throughout this period of time it has always been a time of joy for me. These dear people have always added so much to the churches and services where I have pastored. Last Sunday it was a delight to greet more of these wonderful people that are making their way south, and the number will continue to increase every week as more and more return for the winter season. Some of these will be singing in the Restoration Fellowship choir and for the Christmas musical on December 16. I have talked to others that can’t wait to worship at Restoration Fellowship Church during the winter.

One month has already passed since Bess and I arrived as the interim preaching pastor for the season. We are enjoying wonderful times of fellowship with great people since my time is more available than in the past. Amazing technology allows us to keep in touch with a host of people through our blogs and through the broadcast of Restoration Fellowship Church services through the internet. We really do appreciate the heart-warming comments from people across the U.S. and Canada.

The closing days of 2018 should challenge all of us to redeem the time because the days are evil. Now is the time to make plans for a great 2019 that is fast approaching. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful year for our Lord to come back to earth again? The signs of the time for His return are all around us. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

The best is just ahead!

Charles Kirby




Blog 86 for 11-17-2018

 

IT IS TIME TO REVIEW OUR BLESSINGS

God’s faithful servant JOB can teach us many special things at this time of the year. He testifies in Job 10:12 that God had granted him life and favor, and God’s visitation had preserved his spirit. Job was in his darkest days and life when he wrote this inspiring word for us to consider at this Thanksgiving season.

Job said God had granted him life. Everything else was taken from him, but he had life, life to praise and give thanks. It is great to be alive as human beings! We could be a rock, a tree, a bird or a beast, but God made us with dominion over the world around us. What a story we could tell if one by one we came to a megaphone to recount perils out of which we have come…

  • There was that horrible plane crash; you were spared and so was I.

  • There was that grinding car wreck; Bess and I were spared, and so were you.

  • There was that devastating fire; you were spared, and so was I.

  • There was that powerful hurricane; you were spared, and so was I.

  • There was that sickness unto death; you were spared, and so was I.

Oh, the wonder of it all! God gives life!

Job continues with his testimony by telling God that He had granted him favor. All of us have enjoyed God’s favor through the years. It really is a great favor to have a healthy body. Every time I have walked the hospital hallways to visit sick rooms, I have been grateful to my Lord for health. One of the greatest blessings from God is that of a sound mind. I cannot forget God’s very special favor of being born as an American and the benefit of living in the United States. We should never take this for granted.

Job continues with praise to His Lord by saying, “Your care has preserved my spirit.” It is a fact, God does visit mankind. He stopped by to see Job. No wonder Job could say, “When you have tried me, I will come forth as gold.” It is a tremendous thing to have a visit from God! Through the years it has been the very thing that has kept me going. God really does want to visit you during this special season of the year. He is waiting for you to ask Him to drop by.

 




Blog 85 for 11-10-2018

 

IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN!


This past Lord’s day Bess and I were blessed with the heart-warming reception of great and loving people. It was the first Sunday of our six month interim pastor term. We really are excited about the season ahead, and are asking our dear Lord to use us for His glory and honor. The unity and harmony of the people at Restoration Fellowship Church in Lakeland is a wonderful thing to experience!

During November we are winding our way through chapter 2 of the book of Acts, using as the title of the series “God’s Blueprint For A Powerful Church.” The keys to a dynamic and successful church are recorded here by Luke the disciple of Christ.

On Thursday, November 8, I attended my first staff meeting as the interim pastor of Restoration Fellowship. My heart was thrilled to listen to the progress reports since the official beginning on May 6. The first six-month journey of the new church has been incredible! I agree with Jay Ahlemann who says, “This pattern of growth is a miracle of God,” and I fully agree. Jay has started two churches, and says neither one of these had this record of growth in the beginning. One of these churches grew to over 3,000 in average attendance during his 25 years as the senior pastor. I will just keep believing that the best is yet to come!

It really is great to be back home again!

Charles Kirby







Blog 84 for 11-3-2018

 

MY URGENT PLEA

I firmly believe that the upcoming elections on November 6 will be the most important that our nation has experienced. If the liberals and socialists gain control of our congress it could plunge our nation into the point of no return. As never before, now is the time for all born-again, God-fearing and God-loving Christians to rise up to take a stand at the voting booths across the land. All of us should be awakened with what happened to Judge Kavanaugh. By now we should know what the outcome would have been had the liberals been in the majority. Our wonderful Lord has sure come to our rescue, and saved America from disaster! Without a doubt, God sure answered the prayers of all of us that urgently prayed during this challenging time. Bess and I continue to rejoice in gratefulness and thanksgiving to our great God.

Through the years at election times, I have always urged the people in all of my churches to vote Biblically and not politically. Some people have been upset with me for making this statement and taking this stand, but that did not change my mind because I knew God’s Holy Word supported me completely.

Since I have moved into a political realm, let me say that Bess and I pray for President Trump in our devotional time every morning. The incredible leadership he is giving to our nation cannot be denied. Even though we do not agree with some of his expressions and language, we are very grateful for the tremendous progress our nation is enjoying during the first two years of his first term at this present time. To God be all glory, honor and praise!

God Bless America!

Charles Kirby

Blog 89 for 12-9-2018

 

A SEASON OF HOPE!

 

I need HOPE.  Don’t know about you, but oh, the darkness in our world can wear one down, unless ONE HAS HOPE.  And I do have HOPE. Listen to Psalm 71:5a “For Thou art my hope, O Lord God…” How about Psalm 146:5,  “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for His help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” 1 Cor. 13:13, “...now abideth faith, hope and love…” Col.1 :27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory…”  Ps 42:5, “Hope Thou in God…”

Well, Jesus has come and is come!  And His coming made and makes all the difference in your and my world, yes, and all the nations of the world. He came to bring redemption, to rescue us, to save us from the darkness of sin.  Whatever your need is, or my need is, He is our need supplier. WOW! What a reminder, as we celebrate Christmas this year. Don’t be down and out...lift up your head and shout, “There’s gonna’ be a great day,” all because of Jesus.
 

Don’t get overwhelmed by shopping, by decorating, by cooking.  Just take a day at a time. Enjoy the journey. Praise the Lord. Rest in the Lord. Lie down in green pastures. Look to Jesus and live.

Jesus came, born at Christmas time, to restore the broken hearted; to bind up the wounded.  Jesus is good for what ails you. There is no fault in Him. You can count on Jesus.

The times in which we live cry out for help...for HOPE.  Only one can fulfil our needs. That’s Jesus. On any given day, things can look bleak; can make us despair.  But Jesus came to bring HOPE and help for our despair, our darkness, our troubles and trials.

Jesus did everything for us that we needed during His 33 years on this earth.  He, God incarnate, came as a Babe in Bethleham, grew up around Nazareth, went about His Master’s business, sweat drops of blood as He prayed, carried His cross to Golgotha, suffered and died for us, was buried, and God’s power rolled the stone away as Jesus, on the 3rd day, came out of that tomb, leaving His graveclothes undisturbed. And later He ascended to Heaven, and is now seated at the Father’s right hand, making intercession for us.  WOW! What a Friend we have in Jesus. He’s with us all the way to the end, extending HOPE and help.

    Have you heard Karen Peck and New River sing their famous song,”Hope for all Nations”?  Please enjoy it and be blessed. There is HOPE in Jesus.

 

                                  Love to all, 

 





Blog 88 for 12-1-2018

 

I LOVE...CHRISTMAS and MICKI CHERI

 

CHRISTMAS, here it comes! I LOVE the Christmas season. I love the beautiful decorations, the beautiful Christmas trees, the wreaths, the “set” dining table, the fireplace all aglow, the Christmas lights and candles penetrating the dark corners everywhere.  Need I go on and on and on?

I LOVE people, my personal family, my church family, my friends far and near, the fellowship, the sharing of meals, Christmas cards, gifts, laughter, phone calls, fun, making memories to last a lifetime.

I LOVE music, all that beautiful Christmas music, like “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”, and others, all the church Christmas musicals, concerts, choirs, and Christmas dressed carolers.

I LOVE Nativity Scenes, Christmas plays, hearing carillons play, bells chime, Christmas plays, and preachers, preaching the birth of the Christ Child, our great Savior.

I LOVE shopping the festive department stores, the sweet aroma of cookies and cakes baking, and seeing the excitement of children with wonder in their eyes.

I LOVE warm and sunny; cold and snowy; air conditioners and fire places. How’d you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island? How’d you like to spend Christmas on Rocky Top, Tennessee?

Micki Cheri, there she was on Dec. 4, 1963, my Miss America!  Oh how I LOVE that beautiful bright eyed and “bushy tail” baby girl, now grown up, a vessel of honor, a loving wife to Bob and mother to 2 delightful and special sons, Cody and Chase. She has been a blessing to us, living for Jesus; and, we wish her a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

May your days be merry and bright as you prepare for the birthday celebration of Jesus, our Messiah. 





Blog 87 for 11-24-2018

 

LIFE’S HARD STUFF

    I’ve been struggling with severe pain for about 2 months or so. I’ve been struggling with the changes brought about by our retirement.  I’ve been struggling with weight gain..and other hard stuff. In life, we all encounter struggles. I’m wondering today, as I write this blog, with what are my friends struggling?

    I’ve been reading Bruce’s and Stan’s book, “GOD IS IN THE HARD STUFF.”  And I want you to know that God walks the dark hills...with you. Standing somewhere in the shadows you’ll find Jesus. Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for He is with me. Count on God. He is there.  God has it under His control. He will carry you through. Remember the “one set of footprints” when He was carrying you?

    A comforting scripture for us today is Matt.11:28.  “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  WOW! Jesus, here I come.

    God doesn’t always take the difficulties away; but He provides supernatural help, hope, peace, and His presence.  Don’t leave God out of your life challenges. Lean on Him. Pray to Him. Love Him. Praise Him. Enjoy your dear friendship with Him as you experience “Hard Stuff” in your life.

    In 1944, Floyd Hawkins wrote a song entitled, “God Knows and That’s Enough for Me.”

“God knows my life with understanding true; He knows my frame, my strength and weakness too.  Oh wondrous thought! Whatever my lot may be, God knows and that’s enough for me.

God knows and that’s enough for me.  He knows what others cannot see. What e’re may come, with joy I’ll travel home.  God knows and that’s enough for me.”

    Phil. 4:6,7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

     In 1952, John Peterson’s “It’s Not an Easy Road” expresses what I’m trying to say in this blog.  

    Vs.1 “It’s not an easy road, we are traveling to Heaven, for many are the thorns on the way; It’s not an easy road, but the Saviour is with us; His presence gives us joy every day.

    Vs.2 It’s not an easy road, there are trials and troubles, and many are the dangers we meet; but Jesus guards and keeps so that nothing can harm us, and smooths the rugged path for our feet.

    Chorus: No, no, it’s not an easy road.  No, no, it’s not an easy road; But Jesus walks beside me and brightens the journey, and lightens every heavy load.”

Look to Jesus and live in peace and victory admist the HARD STUFF!





Blog 86 for 11-17-2018

 

LET US BE THANKFUL!

 

    I love the fall of the year...the time of harvest...the time for the changing of the colors...the time to get the family together, eat a meal, share memories and count our blessings, recalling the great things God has done.  There is no one who cannot find at least one blessing for which to be grateful. Oh, that we would praise the Lord for redemption full and free.

    Henry Smith in 1978 wrote this great little chorus.

“Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Give thanks to the Holy One.

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now, let the weak say, 'I am strong.'

Let the poor say 'I am rich.'

Because of what the Lord has done for us

Give thanks.”

God’s Word clearly says that thanksgiving and praise are in order for our Lord. Just listen.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Ps. 150:6

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Ps. 126:3

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Ps. 107:31

    Several of our family will get to come over and share that meal with us.  Needless to say, Charles and I are happy. We are looking forward to it. Our kids are preparing the grand Thanksgiving Meal!!!  How great is that. I just have to set the table. And I enjoy doing that. I love decorating the table, making it look beautiful (to me).

    I’m praying that your celebration of God’s greatness at this Thanksgiving Season will be joyous for you.  May God’s blessings to you be illuminated during this Season; and, may your praise to Him be glorious...magnanimous...abundant…and manifold!  He inhabits the praise of His people. From our house to your house, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Bess





Blog 85 for 11-10-2018

 

POLITICS, UGH!  ELECTIONS, NECESSARY!

 

A lot of Christians were praying diligently for the Nov. 6 elections.  And the evidence is clear; God heard our prayers. Thank You, Jesus!

 

Some of those voted in, were not our choice; but, we can’t deny that God helped us in other big ways.  It’s time to say “Thanks.” Again, thank You, Jesus!  We are blessed. Teach us Your truths, Your lessons, Your ways.  May we work together where we can; and, may we strongly stand against evil, where it rears its ugly head. Amen.

 

I do believe that God has a message for us all.  And, that is, we are entering into a time of war, the forces of evil against the forces of God.  We will need the full armor of God to stand.

 

Paul viewed the Christian life as a kind of warfare, in Ephesians 6:10-18; and wanted his readers to prepare for combat with a dangerous opponent. 
 

Vs.10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Vs.11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Vs.12 For your struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Vs.13 Therefore, put on the full armor of God, SO THAT when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Vs. 14 Stand firm, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place;

Vs. 15 And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Vs. 16 In addition, to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Vs. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.

Vs. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 

Can God count on me to STAND?  Can He count on you to STAND?

My answer is YES.  Remember that little chorus,
 

“I’ll say yes, Lord, yes to Your will and to Your way.  I’ll say yes, Lord, yes, I will trust You and obey. When Your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree.  And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes.”

 

Ok, let’s put on His full armor, the belt, the breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and Sword.  

Bess








Blog 84 for 11-3-2018

 

I WILL DO SOMETHING!

LIFE GETS BUSY.  Listen. Buy that part we need for the refrigerator; and, get it in before we leave for Florida.  Don’t forget to call the exterminators. Vacuum the carpet. Buy a few more groceries. (We’re expecting company from Virginia.)  Oh yeah, I must go to Walmart to get my refund; stop by Dollar Tree for a micro usb cable plus a micro usb adapter for use in high speed charging of our iphones, while driving.  Return one that doesn’t fit and get one that does. Drop by the hardware store to get the chainsaw sharpened. Don’t forget to write my blog. And all this happened in a half day!!!

I could go on and on, but you’ve gotten the point that LIFE GETS BUSY.  Things could consume your day so that you don’t live out your Godly purpose for that day.  I am determined. I’ve made up my mind. I will serve the Lord in the midst of every BUSY day.  I will do something purposeful to honor, magnify, and bring glory to my precious Redeemer.

I will call a discouraged friend; I will send an encouraging note to a shut in; I will give a neighbor a cool glass of sweet tea; I will invite someone(s) in for fellowship and a meal or snack; I will text kindness;

I will take someone’s hand.  I will be a friend. I WILL DO SOMETHING.

The Gaithers wrote an incredible song many years ago.  Listen to the words.
 

“There’ve been times when giving and loving brought pain; and, I promised I would never let it happen again.  But I found that loving was well worth the risk and that even in losing you win.”

“I’m going to live the way He wants me to live.  I’m going to give until there’s just no more to give.  I’m going to love, love ‘til there’s just no more love.  I could never, never, out love the Lord.”

“He showed us that only through dying we live; and, He gave when it seemed there was nothing to give.  He loved us when loving brought heartache and loss. He forgave from an old rugged cross.”

“I’m going to live the way He wants me to live.  I’m going to give until there’s just no more to give.  I’m going to love, love ‘til there’s just no more love.  I could never, never, out love the Lord.”


I WILL DO SOMETHING!

Bess