Blog 67 Charles Kirby
I HAVE A STORY TO TELL...A LIFETIME OF PREACHING
I have been notified by the Florida Nazarene District Superintendent, Larry Dennis, because of my plans to be the preaching interim pastor of Restoration Fellowship Church in Lakeland that my ordination credential will be revoked.
I met all requirements to be an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene and was ordained at the altar of Little Rock, Arkansas First Nazarene Church by General Superintendent D.I. Vanderpool on September 13, 1963, at the South Arkansas District Assembly before a great crowd. I can still feel his holy hands on my head asking if I would be faithful in preaching God’s Word without fear or favor. With Bess by my side, with tear stained eyes, I said I would, and also keep myself above reproach.
When I retired after 56 years as a pastor in May of 2017, I did not retire as an ordained preacher of the Gospel of my Lord. The preaching flame has been burning in my heart since I was a young boy preaching in a make-believe church in the barn at my old home place. It will not go out until God calls me home!
I began my preaching ministry in my first year of college after God healed my stuttering, stammering tongue. At the altar of College Hill Nazarene Church in Nashville I told God I would surrender to His call for me to be a preacher of the Gospel if He would heal my stuttering. It was a miraculous healing, and almost immediately launched me into a preaching ministry. I began to get calls to preach revivals on the weekends. I would leave the college campus on Fridays in my 1954 green and white Ford, and travel across the Southeast to preach Friday night through Sunday night, returning to the campus usually early on Monday mornings for an 8:00 a.m. class. God really blessed me tremendously during this time with great victories in all of these churches. I even went back to most of these churches a second and third time. It really was an exciting time in my life! It was a fact, God was honoring my obedience to His call to preach His Holy Word! After Bess and I married, we continued in revivals until we began our pastoral ministry in a home mission church with three people.
In June of 1972 I was a featured speaker at the General Nazarene Sunday School Convention with thousands attending in Miami Beach. At that time Bess and I were serving as pastors of Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The church had grown to become the 10th largest Sunday School in the Nazarene denomination. Roy Henley, from the Department of Church Schools in Kansas City, interviewed me concerning our growth. The providential exposure to thousands of Nazarenes from across the country and Canada opened a brand new door of preaching opportunities for me that ran into 2007. That is 35 years of preaching in conferences and camp meetings while maintaining my pastoral ministry and preaching on Sundays in my local church. I have just today, Wednesday July 11, 2018, reviewed my schedule and counted 45 states and districts where I was a featured preacher during those years. It included other denominations like Wesleyan, Churches of Christ in Christian Union, Missionary Demonination and a week's tour of Western Canada, along with a special Central Canada convention. I have not counted any revivals I held during these years, just conventions and camp meetings.
It goes without saying, God has blessed me abundantly and beyond my greatest expectations as a preacher of the Gospel of my Lord. I am so thankful for every opportunity He has given to a stuttering and stammering Tennessee country boy. Every morning God wakes me up He reminds me He is not finished with me yet. So I will continue to preach His Word at every opportunity until He calls me home!!!!!!!
With a thankful heart!
Blog # 66 JULY 7, 2018
I REALLY DID SEE THE STARS
When my pastor broke the 78rpm record over my head when I was a teenager, I really did see the stars.
I really wanted my home church to grow, but it never could move beyond the 100 mark in attendance. I came up with the idea to have a “Break The Record Day.” I challenged my pastor, Phil Storey, to promote the event, which he did. I told him he could break a 78rpm record over my head when we broke the attendance record which was a little over 100.
The big day finally happened. “Break The Record Day” was set, and everyone got excited! People were working hard to invite everyone they could to help break the attendance record. On this day the attendance went up to 150, a new record. Pastor Storey called me to the platform to be seated in a chair so he could break a record over my head. Everyone was celebrating the event when the pastor held a record marked 150 over my head. When he smashed it on my head, pieces fell everywhere around my chair, and I really did see stars!
This became my first experience as a promoter, and I really loved it! It was during this time that I discovered God had given me the gift of promotion. I did not realize it then, but God was preparing me for the promotion of the Gospel of my Lord that I would later use in the ministry God was arranging for me.
In my pastoral ministry through the years God has helped me to use promotion for church growth in all of my churches. It all began with 3 people in my first church in Greenwood, MS, with a xerox machine with purple ink. I would promote the church with mailers sent out to a mailing list of people. The church grew from 3 to an average attendance of 68 in one year. The bus ministry began in another church with promotional ideas that filled a bus. There was Disney on Parade, old fashioned day, God and Country days, pack a pew, newspaper ads, “Saturday Nights In Lakeland” and the list goes on and on! It really has been fun to be a promoter of the Gospel of my Lord through the years. By the way, I am still promoting!
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of my Lord!
Blog # 65 JUNE 30, 2018
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12
It is time to once again celebrate the birthday of our great nation. The journey began 242 years ago in 1776, and what a journey it has been! Every nation in the history of mankind that has honored God, giving Him His rightful place, has been a nation blessed and kept by God. The greatest statesmen in American history were men that maintained a firm conviction concerning God and a strong faith in Jesus Christ. Let me name a few.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON said, “I have carefully examined the evidence of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity, I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”
PATRICK HENRY said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” ANDREW JACKSON said, “I mightily offer up my prayers to the throne of grace for the health and safety of you all, and that we ought all to rely with confidence on the promises of our dear Redeemer, and give Him our hearts. This is all He requires and all that we can do.”
May the God of the universe once again raise up great statesmen in these troubled times who will dare to take a stand with unwavering faith in almighty God, looking to the next generation instead of the next election. King Solomon spoke with wisdom from God when he said in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
May God bless America with a mighty move of His Holy Spirit across the land in these last days!
Blog # 64 JUNE 23, 2018
MY INTERIM PASTOR ASSIGNMENT
On Sunday November 4 I will begin serving as the preaching pastor of the brand new Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland. While this will be a totally different assignment for me, God’s providence is leading me to this preaching position. I am planning and preparing for an inspiring and encouraging ministry of building people up in the faith of our Lord. My theme will be, “Living In The Sonlight Of God’s Love.” I will also be available to assist where I am needed during the season I am serving.
Restoration Fellowship Church is off to an amazing beginning! It came into existence on May 6 due to unexpected circumstances. The church is worshipping in the beautiful 500 seat auditorium of Kathleen High School at 2600 Crutchfield Road. Andrew Gash teaches in the school and arranged for the use of the auditorium with the school administration, avoiding a long application process. I preached there on May 20th and received a heart-warming welcome and wonderful response. I am looking forward to preaching there again this coming Lord’s Day, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. Bess will be singing one of her favorite songs.
From time to time we are faced with many of life’s surprises, disappointments and challenges. People that are not focused on Jesus are the first to fall and leave life’s greatest race. One of my ministries recently has been one of encouraging people to keep running and to not be dropouts. Bess and I have shed many tears in sleepless nights with broken hearts over situations we never thought we would have to face. I have told people to follow the truth because our Lord has said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The key is to stay focused on Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
Let’s keep looking unto Jesus!
Blog # 63 JUNE 16, 2018
THE HERITAGE OF A GREAT FATHER
Reviewing the blessings of a wonderful father makes me realize how rich I have been all my life. The benefits have been more than I can count. I am so grateful to my Lord for giving to me such a priceless gift.
Lee Olin Kirby was raised on a farm in the Bear Creek community near Pinson, Tn. He was blessed with godly parents who taught him Godly principles that were passed down to Diane, my sister, and me. My dad had a heart for God that influenced everything he did. This made a great impact on my life. He had a kind and tender spirit that guided his life. I never once saw him mad or lose his temper when I may have thought he had a reason. This really became a great example for me.
My dad loved to sing. He was an excellent bass singer, and sang in the Compton Quartet’s weekly Sunday morning broadcast on WTJS radio out of Jackson. As a young man he was in great demand singing and playing his guitar in concerts around the area. His friend, Eddy Arnold, begged him to teach him how to play the guitar, and the rest is history. Without a doubt in my mind, Dad could have been a Grand Ole Opry star like Eddy, because he had the talent and personality. He could make the guitar talk with his picking, and had no time for those that drummed the instrument. I have often thought what my life would be like if dad had chosen the Grand Ole Opry route.
At this special time of the year to honor fathers, I challenge every dad to be a man and father after the heart of our heavenly Father.
It is an honor to be a father!
Blog # 62 JUNE 9, 2018
THURSDAY, A DAY OF TEMPTATION
Thursday, June 7, was a day I had to fight temptation as a powerful foe. I had placed myself in that position many other times through the years. Every other time I had given in and yielded. However, on this day I had told Bess I was not going to yield, but resist the strong urge to give in. It all happened once again in Ashville, North Carolina.
It was a magnificent day when Bess and I had decided to drive the one- hour trip through the beautiful peaks and valleys of the Smokeys. We planned to head to one of our favorite restaurants (Harbor Inn, Ashville) in the mountains to enjoy the best catfish found anywhere at an amazing price, along with the best sweet tea in America, that is, next to Bess’s. After we finished eating, we drove over to the Ashville Outlet Mall close by, where I was attacked with another powerful force of temptation just like all the others that had happened to me through the years. As a matter of fact, it started when I walked through the door of Dilliards Department Store.
Through the 15 or more years I have gone to this Dilliards, which stocks inventories from Dilliard's stores across the southeast, I have found the most incredible deals in shoes and clothing I have found anywhere. Once again I started reading the signs from the huge stock of men’s clothing. They read, 65% off of the original price, along with another 40% off. Just like before, I saw expensive shirts marked down to $4.95 and expensive pants priced at an amazing price of $10.00. The urge and the attack were very strong once again, but I did not yield to the temptation! On our journey back to our cabin I was rejoicing because this time I had defeated the powerful force of temptation.
Let me set the record strait, buying expensive shirts, pants, suits and sport coats at an unbelievable price is not a sin. However, yielding to a temptation of Satan to disobey God’s Holy Word absolutely is. The Bible says, “Yield not to temptation.” Just think what would happen in our world today if everyone attacked with the powerful force of temptations from Satan would refuse to yield. It really would be world-changing!
Determined to resist temptations!
Blog # 61 JUNE 2, 2018
GOING TO CHURCH IS FUN!
Last Sunday Bess and I went to First Baptist Church in Morristown, one of our favorite churches here in the mountains. Sometimes when we are there, we see Gerald Wolf of Greater Vision and his family. It really was an exciting and victorious worship on a Memorial Day Sunday. The beautiful worship center was filled with a great crowd giving praise to our Lord, inspired by a full choir and orchestra, leading with wonderful blended music. It lifted me “out of my seat,” as I thought, this is real worship! Pastor Haun followed with a powerful message from his series in Revelation 19 on the Four Hallelujahs. As Bess and I were leaving, with our souls fed on the Word of God, we both said, “This really is the way church should be!”
The Sunday before on May 20, Bess and I worshipped for the first time at Restoration Fellowship Church in Lakeland. It was a thrill to see so many of our friends and to sit under the ministry of our favorite worship leader, Darrel Gash, once again. No music leader can do it like Darrel. He prepared the congregation for me to open God’s Word just like he always did when we were together at Lake Gibson. It was easy to preach with such a beautiful, sweet and unified spirit to people that love Bess and me. The climax to the service was thrilling with several people responding to the invitation.
Bess and I were amazed with the beautiful Kathleen High School auditorium. It really makes a beautiful worship center with 500 theater seats. Andrew Gash is a teacher at this school. Because of his respect from the principal, administration and county school board, Andrew was able to secure the auditorim for the very first worship service on May 6, and to use it as a church worship center in a last minute decision. Approval for this to happen usually takes several weeks, following application and county procedures. It is obvious it all happened through the providence of God!
On Mother’s Day Bess and I enjoyed a revival service at Newport Nazarene Church. Our friend, J.D. Bailey, was the evangelist, with a song evangelist couple from North Carolina we had never heard. It was an outstanding service with wonderful worship!
This Sunday, June 3rd, Bess and I plan to worship at First Baptist Church in Sevierville. Pastor Dan Spencer, worship leader Scott, along with the choir, do a great job in ministry. We just might see some of the Triumphant Quartet gang like we have done from time to time. That is always fun!
Church really is fun!
Blog # 60 May 26, 2018
THEY TOOK THE CROSS DOWN!
When Bess and I arrived at our Tennessee mountain home we were shocked to discover they had taken the cross down. This cross had been there for a long time, and had greeted thousands of travelers as they traveled toward Gatlinburg, with the words “Risen Savior.” It was no easy task to remove the cross. It was made of concrete and rested on a concrete base, the last remains of the cross. We passed back by later and watched them bulldoze the base and move it away. It was a sad sight for Bess and me.
In blog 22 Bess wrote about three crosses, that included this cross, that led to our cabins. Just like she wrote in her blog, the way of the cross really does lead home! The song writer was inspired to write these words.
“I must needs go home by the way of the cross; there’s no other way but this. I shall never get sight
of the gates of light if the way of the cross I miss.”
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a fact. The only way for all of us to get to heaven is by way of the cross. I am positive the day will come when the people responsible for removing the cross on U.S. Highway 321 in Cosby, Tennessee, will one day run to the cross of Jesus, if they haven’t already, and plead for the mercy of almighty God. I really do hope they will not be to late to make it to heaven.
On Sunday morning May 20, Bess and I had an incredible experience. I was invited to preach at the new Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland. I was amazed with the outstanding crowd, on the third Sunday of the existence of this brand new church, in a beautiful 500 seat high school auditorium. There were 1,100 views of the video on Facebook in the week following the service. I will write more about it in my blog next week.
God is still on the throne!
Blog # 59 May 19, 2018
I just had a great work out in my fitness center here in the mountains. On a clear crisp morning I have been reviewing my work facing the incredible majestic mountains. Mowing grass on three sloping hills is not an easy task, but it sure makes a difference. I must say my inspection tells me I did a good job. Everything is beautiful, but it will not last long. The process will have to be repeated soon because this red clay mountain soil is a fast producer. It really is helping me to be physically fit, so I am not complaining.
The second division in my fitness center is the challenge to be spiritually fit. Since I do not have to prepare sermons every week after retiring, it is easy to let spiritual cobwebs entangle my life. The schedule and demands of the pastoral life are behind me. My mind is now clear to focus more on being spiritually fit. Prayer is my avenue to a deeper spiritual life. I am trying to discipline myself to communicate more with my Lord in my surroundings here in these mountains...walking down the lane, cutting limbs (not climbing trees), mowing grass, pulling weeds and sitting on the deck enjoying the fabulous view. “Pray without ceasing” is a practice from God’s Word I am using now more than ever. I know it is the key to keeping spiritually fit.
What about your fitness center? I challenge you to make sure you are spiritually fit in these last days. Remember our Lord’s command to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added.” I still believe I will be alive when my Lord returns for His Church! It remains a fact, the best is yet to come!
Blog # 58 May 12, 2018.
THE WINDOW OF MOTHERHOOD
I am looking out the window of motherhood as we honor all mothers at this time of year. My mind has stored up within it the sweetest memories of a Christian mother; Her kiss soothed away more pain than all the soothing syrup she ever administered; Her smile had the sparkle of a thousand dew drops; her face the radiance of hundreds of orchestras; her apron string was a golden cord flung out from the throne of God to anchor my sister, Diane and me to lives of truth and virtue.
As I am looking out the window of motherhood I see a sanctuary of memories. My mother believed in me and prayed that God would heal me of a stuttering stammering tongue. She told me that God would heal me at His appointed time. At 18 God answered her prayer.
Looking out the window of motherhood I see a repository of conscience. It is very true, mothers are the conscience of the world for good or for evil. To be a real mother is to achieve the highest degree. More worthwhile is the love-lighted home than the fickle of floodlights with the vanity and empty praise of the world.
My mother’s lap was a throne of power. I am reminded of a statue in Venice of a young mother with her child on her knee and the inscription, “A woman is a queen when her realm is her lap.” We have heard it said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world; the hand that wrecks the cradle, rocks the world.” As I am remembering my mother, her knee was my first sanctuary where my soul was set in the mold of a blessed destiny. Her godly influence lives on in my daily life. What a heritage I have as I review the anchor of Christian motherhood!
In Ponca City, Oklahoma is the artist’s conception of the Pioneer Woman of the West. A Bible is firmly held to her breast with her right hand, and with her left hand she holds the hand of a boy, while she gazes steadfastly into the future, a symbol of the motherhood that makes men, safeguards the home, builds the Church and makes secure Christian civilization.
I wish for every mother God’s very best. Just remember this, you are very special!
BLOG 57 . MAY 5, 2018
I LOVE THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN AIR!
It really is great to be at our wonderful Smoky Mountain cabins! Twelve years ago our Lord gave us a great blessing by making it possible for us to purchase our two cabins in a fabulous location up Majestic View Way. What an incredible private setting with majestic mountain views surrounded by a quiet peaceful atmosphere that is almost impossible to beat.
One of the first things we did after our arrival was to help our ministerial friend, Gene King, celebrate his 80th birthday at the Chop House. We studied together at the same college and pastored together in Virginia. He and his wife, Peggy, live close by in the ancient town of Dandridge. We often meet them for the best catfish in the area at the Taste of Dandridge restaurant.
As we look at our cabin rental books we are so blessed. We are ahead of last year at this same time in bookings. However, we do have some choice dates open. Now is the time to lock in dates. It is always great to have friends to book the Snuggled-in cabin next door to our Stargazer cabin. We really enjoy good times of fellowship together in the mountains.
It was a delight to preach this past Sunday at the Nazarene Church in Newport, 10 miles from our cabins. It is a church on the rebound from a major decline. The pastor and wife are about 40 and working to resurrect the church. The pastor wants to meet with me to talk about the future. I am praying about where I might be involved to help the church experience a new day. They have a nice building that is well kept with an impressive worship center. Please help me in praying about my involvement with the church.
Enjoying the blessings of my Lord!
Blog # 66 JULY 7, 2018
1. How big is your God? He’s big enough. “...According to your faith, let it be to you.” (Matt. 9:29) Stuart Hamblen wrote these words: “How big is God? How big and wide His vast domain? To try to tell, these lips can only start. He’s big enough to rule the mighty universe, yet small enough to live within my heart.” Another song writer of long ago said it this way: “The Saviour can solve every problem.” Please know today, that whatever you are going through, whatever is a problem for you, whatever need you have, He is able, more than able to meet your need. He’s big enough! “...Do you believe that I am able to do this? They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord’.” (Matt. 9:28b)
2. Will God heal your hurts? Yes. First Peter 5:7 says that we should “Cast all our care on Him for He cares for us.” God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Jesus never fails!!! You can count on Him. Matt. 4:24 says “...and He healed them.” Is. 53:5 says “...by His stripes we are healed…”
3. Will God bind up your brokenness? Yes. He’s the Healer of broken hearts. The song writer said, “He’s the Healer of broken hearts. He’ll mend your shattered dreams. He’ll pick up the threads of your broken life and weave them together again. To your soul He’ll bring peace and joy; a friend in need He’ll be, the Healer of broken hearts, this Jesus of Galilee." Hosea 6:1 says, “...He will heal us;...He will bind us up.”
4. Is God able to supply your need? Absolutely. Phil. 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 2 Chron. 25:9b says, “...the Lord is able to give you much more…”
5. Does God keep His promises? Yes, Yes, Yes. He changes not. He will do what He says He will do! 2 Pet. 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but, is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Mal. 3:6 says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change…” You can take His promises to the bank!!!
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Blog # 65 JUNE 30, 2018
LET’S HAVE A JULY PARTY!!!
And, LET’S DECORATE IN RED, WHITE, AND BLUE!!!
(Part I) Most folk’s who have been in Charles’ church office when he pastored Lake Gibson Nazarene Church, know that he loves eagles. Now that he is retired, we have packaged them up and brought them to the mountains so we can enjoy them. Those eagles have reminded me of the upcoming celebration of America’s birthday. One cannot celebrate Juy 4th without thinking of the American Flag, the sacrificial Military, our great country, the Red, White, and Blue, and those soaring Eagles. America is celebrating it’s 228th birthday, this 4th of July, 2018. SO…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! MAY GOD BLESS YOU!
Freedom is not free. It costs. Many have paid a great price, the ultimate price. Many soldiers have suffered physically, emotionally, and mentally. We pause to honor those who have served, who have gone to war to keep us free and safe.
And, freedom from sin, costs. “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but should have everlasting life.” John 3:16
(Part 2) Most folks who saw a relatively young man come down the church aisle most Sunday mornings and sit by his mother on the 2nd pew, seeing him put his arm around her, must have concluded that he loved his mom. That he did! Not only does he love his Mom, but his Dad also; and, we love him. He, Charles Lee Kirby, Jr. can almost celebrate his birthday with the USA; his birthday, being July 3. So…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHUCK! MAY GOD GRANT YOU MANY MORE!
I’m proud to be a Christian and I’m proud to be an American,
Blog # 64 JUNE 23, 2018
Yesterday - Today- Tomorrow
Morning - Night
Recently, in the yesterdays, we were excitedly surprised to see a doe and her baby in our yard at the cabin. They didn’t stay long; but, the baby was just learning to walk. It reminds me of what Job said in chapter 8:9; “For we were born yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are a shadow”. WOW! What a Creator God we serve. He is awesome! We get so excited when we see deer. We also love it when we see bear, turkeys, peacocks, and elk in this East Tennessee and Western North Carolina area. At night the doe came out again, perhaps looking for food. No sight of the baby; maybe Mom had already put baby to bed. Hopefully, we will put some corn out today or in the tomorrows.
Bill and Gloria Gaither said in one of their great songs, “Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today.” How true. The Collingsworths’ sing an encouraging song that says, “Fear not tomorrow, God is already there.” Yes He is. Every day brings familiar and unfamiliar circumstances. There are great surprises along the way. New things crop up, as well as, new challenges. But whatever a day brings, we know who makes the day and we know who holds our hands.
This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it. “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…”Hebrews 3:7. James 4:13,14 says, Come now, you who say, Today or Tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy & sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. And Matt. 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Those choruses learned as children are still true. Everyday with Jesus is sweeter than the day before. And Everyday is a victory day when you put it in the hands of the Lord.
I’m thanking God for my yesterdays; they taught me a lot; and, they are gone. I can’t get them back. That staggering reality behooves me to make every new day count for righteousness. I thank HIM for today. It presents me fresh new opportunities. Oh God, please help me to use the day honoring YOU and helping others...loving YOU and being a good neighbor. I thank God for my tomorrows; may I not walk in fear, but rather in trust and faith and assurance that I never walk alone. YOU walk with me.
As I awaken to each new morning you give me, may the question on my mind,”What exciting new things are in store for me today?” be the spirit of my heart; for YOU are good all the time and all the time, YOU are good.
Enjoying the day,
June 16, 2018 Blog 63
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY
My Retired “Working” Man
Living in a Florida Condo can spoil a person. There’s not much outside work to be done. It’s all done for you; no mowing, no cleaning out the gutters, no outside painting, no cutting/trimming trees, just to name a few.
Living in the country...in the mountains...in a small community does not provide those services. And the above jobs are just a small sampling of the many jobs on the mountain man’s list. So I “hired” me a working man!!! And he’s a good one.
A Man’s work or a woman’s work is never done in the country. There’s mowing in the summer, trimming & cutting trees, painting decks, doors, picnic tables,etc., cleaning out gutters, watering and fertilizing plants, repair items, replace broken & worn out items such as fireplace screens, new flooring, new bedding, new appliances, some new furniture, and lamps.
I could go on and on. You live life, too; and, you know the unexpected challenges that may occur any day. Keeping a place up requires a lot of work and of course, some green stuff.
So why is all this work reason to say “Happy Father’s Day” to a wonderful, hard-working, retired Man? Well, because I don’t have to do it all and he does a great job and he seems to love it. I have much for which to be thankful. Keeping 2 rentals “up to snuff” is a forever job.
To honor my retired “working” man, I share these pictures with you so you might see him doing some of these jobs.
Thank you, my love, for all your labor of love.
Relaxing in the mountains, because Charles works!!!
June 9, 2018 . Blog 62
SOMEBODY KNOWS WHO YOU ARE!
Recently we took a trip out of state. I found it interesting that when we crossed a bridge, I saw a sign with someone’s name on it. That bridge was named for that someone. I also found it so around these Smoky Mountain parts. And, I got to wondering just who these people were. I quickly got pad and pen and started taking names. Now, I could google the names and perhaps find some interesting information. I didn’t do that...I just kept wondering…..
Who is Robert E. Sims? What great work had he done?
Who is Wallace C. Large? How did he get a bridge named after him?
Who is Dr. Glenn C. Shultz? Is he a physician?
Who is Judge Lacy Thornhill? Is she a Christian Judge?
Who is Alton Windgate, Sr.? Is he still living?
Who is E.C. Rowell? What was his business?
Who is Jake Parrish, Jr.? What’s he like?
Who is Albert Gore, Sr.? Wasn’t he a Senator?
Suddenly it struck me...God knows! I John 3:20 tells us that God knows everything. Matt. 10:29-30 and Luke 12:6-7 tell us that God knows when a sparrow falls and He knows the number of hairs on my (and your) head. So, who are these people? God knows and that’s what counts. We can’t hide from God! He sees right through us, straight to the heart. He sees the good we do. He sees the bad we do. He is Omniscient. God know us by name. He knows us by heart. He knows you and He knows me.
In closing, I will borrow a lyric from one of Floyd Hawkins’ many songs, “God knows and that’s enough for me. He knows what others cannot see”. Thank you Jesus. In all this universe, among all the peoples of the earth, You know me by name and by heart. May my heart please you.
June 2, 2018 . Blog 61
IT’S TIME TO PRAISE…
FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST!
The Scripture, God’s eternal word, Psalm 150 says, “Let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord”. It says in Psalm 9:1 & 2, “I WILL praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart. I WILL tell of all your marvelous work. I WILL be glad and rejoice in You. I WILL sing praise to your name, O Most High.”
The song writer, Fanny Crosby in 1869 said, “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer. Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest arch-angels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children; In His arms He carries them all day long. Praise Him! Praise him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered and bled and died. He, our Rock, our Hope of eternal salvation...Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus, the crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus, who bore our sorrows! Love unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong! Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness. Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song!”
I say Andrae Crouch’s 1971 lyrics. “How can I say thanks for the things YOU have done for me, things so undeserved, yet YOU give to prove your love for me? The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to THEE (YOU). To GOD (YOU) be the glory! To GOD (YOU) be the glory! To GOD (YOU) be the glory for the things HE has (YOU have) done; With His blood He has (YOU have) saved me; with His power He has (YOU have) raised me. To GOD be the glory for the things HE has (YOU have) done. Just let me live my life; let it be pleasing, Lord, to THEE (YOU). And, should I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary. With His blood He has (YOU have) saved me; with His power He has (YOU have) raised me. To God be the glory for the things He has (YOU have) done.”
Join me this week...and every week, praising our great Savior, our mighty Fortress, the Lord God almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He inhabits the praise of His people. God wants to hear us sing. Can’t you just hear Dianne Gash singing that song?
Blog 60 . May 26, 2018
DON’T BE AFRAID; ONLY BELIEVE.
GOD HAS A GOOD TRACK RECORD!
When I think of the mighty acts God has done down through the ages as recorded in the Old and New Testaments, in the lives of the patriarchs, I AM AWED. I AM AMAZED. I AM SPELLBOUND. I AM FILLED WITH WONDER. I AM FILLED WITH EXCITEMENT. We, you and I, serve an amazing God. He is able, more than able, to meet your and my every need.
Remember in the O.T., to name a few…
God gave instructions & strength to Noah to build an ark and thereby save himself, his family, and 2 of every sort of living & creeping thing from flood waters. Gen. 6:9-22
God put a rainbow in the sky, establishing His covenant with Noah, his descendants, & every living creature that would never again flood to destroy the earth. Gen. 9:11
God provided for Abraham (age 100) and Sarah (age 90) to have a son, Isaac, through which God’s covenant was established. Gen. 17:17-21
God used Joseph (sold into slavery) to interpret Pharoah’s dreams, and eventually to help his family. Gen. 37-47
God brought victory. God used people and things. Remember Moses, the Pharoah of Egypt, the 10 plagues of Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, the miracle of water at Marah, Quails & Manna from Heaven, & water from the rock, as God brought His people from Victory to Victory, from Miracle to Miracle.
Remember the victories in the N. T., and be blessed.
6. Jesus fed 5000 as He broke the 5 loaves and 2 fish.
7. Jesus walked on the water, the Sea of Galilee.
8. Jesus fed 4000, braking 7 loaves & a few little fish.
9. Jesus rose from the dead! Resurrection power!
10. Jesus healed blinded eyes; He made the lame to walk; the deaf to hear; the dumb to speak.
11. Jesus healed the centurion’s servant; raised a widow’s son; healed a Demoniac; healed a woman with an issue of blood; raised Jarius’ daughter; restored a deformed body (Luke 13:11-13);cleansed a grateful leper; healed a crippled man by the Sheep gate; raised Lazarus; a lame man was healed; Imprisoned Apostles were freed; paralyzed healed;Dorcus restored to life;Peter freed from prison;
12. Jesus helped disciples bring in a full net of fish; He served them breakfast. WOW!
In my spirit, I’m singing, “Be not dismayed whatever betide; God will take care of you. Beneath His wings of love abide; God will take care of you. Through days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you; When dangers fierce assail, God will take care of you. All you may need He will provide; God will take care of you. Nothing you ask will be denied, God will take care of you. No matter what will be the test, God will take care of you. Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.
God will take care of you through everyday, over all the way. He will take care of you. God will take care of you.” Civilla Martin,1904
Our God has an awesome track record. He cares for you. Don’t be afraid, only believe.
Take time to read the first 18 verses of Exodus 15 where Moses and the children of Israel are singing, celebrating God’s deliverance. Awesome power is exhibited. Nothing is impossible with God.
Great is His faithfulness!
Blog 59 . May 19, 2018
PRAYING FOR OUR NATION, OUR WORLD
Sorry it’s taken me several weeks to get to Part 2 of my original Part 1 article, “Join me in Prayer / Our world needs Jesus”. That was posted on April 21, 2018.
Anyday one might read of an 8th grader, a 15 year old teenager bludgeoned to death by a 16 year old teen, being lead into a wooded area near his home, beaten to death with a baseball bat.
OR one might read about a man accused of killing the mother of his 3 children. OR one might see on the news, the bombings in Austin, TX; or, a woman accused of seriously sickening her son’s girlfriend by poisoning her with antifreeze.
And what about school shootings? We could go one and on.
Oh, the tools Satan uses...alcohol, drugs, sex sins, anger, mental problems, emotions, poverty, riches, power, lack of power, jealousy, abuse, infidelity, and so much more. However Satan can woo you to his control , he will.
When you think you’ve seen it all, heard it all, then something else bad happens. Our nation, our states, our counties, our communities, our towns and cities, all need a cleansing, a heartfelt, Holy Spirit infilling. We need Jesus, our redeemer. We need the Bible, God’s Holy Word. We need the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance. We need REVIVAL.
Are we a dried eyed people in a Hellbound world? Open your Bible and read Psalm 119, all 176 verses. Verse 126 says, “It is time for you to act, O Lord, for they have regarded Your Law as void.”
Join me in prayer for our world. The people walk in darkness. May we be an instrument of change. Let’s pray until we pray through.
God is a God of miracles. He is not willing that any should perish. Oh God, revive us again!
Blog # 58 May 12, 2018.
I REMEMBER MAMA, A MORGAN.
My Mom, Drudie Mildred (Morgan) Pearson, was born Sept. 30, 1911 in the Reed Community of North Mississippi to Walter and Mattie (Saxon) Morgan. “Little” Reed Community is out in the country from “little” Vardaman, Ms, the Sweet Potato Capital of the World. She was the youngest of 3 daughters. Her parents were great Christians, believed in holiness of heart and life. They attended Poplar Springs Baptist Church, the only church in the immediate area. My grandparents are buried in the church cemetary.
The Morgans were farmers. Their country home had no inside water and no bathroom, but a well and a path. The home had 5 rooms, divided by a wide center porch, 4 rooms on the right side and one plus a storage place on the left side. You could walk from front to back through the center porch. There was also a front porch the length of the front of the house. Toward the back, on the porch was the well and a stand which had a pan, bucket for drawing water from the well and a dipper for drinking. There were chickens outside in the back. What a delight as I reminisce!
The Morgan girls attended the country school. Of course, they had to walk; no school buses then. Mother enjoyed playing basketball. She did well in school. After graduation, she became a teacher, having taken some sort of teaching seminar. She didn’t have to go to college for it.
It was at a revival meeting, Mother was playing the piano. Dad happened to be there. He liked what he saw and determined to meet her after service. He got his first date with her. And the rest is history.
My memories of the Morgans consist of going to see Ma Ma and Pa Pa. My memories of Mother fill a lifetime. Having 3 baby girls, one right after the other, would be difficult for any mom; notwithstanding, that she almost died in the birth of baby girl #2. But God had a plan for one mother, my Mother, to mother her 3 girls and one son, born 5 years later. And so she did. She took care of us. She taught us right from wrong. She disciplined us when needed, always loving us.
She was a teacher, a seamstress, a business woman, a bookkeeper,,,a good cook and housekeeper. Raising a family isn’t an easy task, but she worked hard at it.
Sometimes as a child, I wanted my way. Sometimes I didn’t like my discipline. Sometimes I wanted to spend more time with my friends. But tell me, what more does a girl need than the same Father and Mother, sisters and brother for all the years of their life?
Both my parents had precious godly parents, attended church faithfully; so, they passed that on to us.
To take care of my physical needs; to provide dentist visits, eye exams/glasses, all the necessities; and, to take care of my spiritual needs with faithful church attendance and participation; To pay for my college education so that I had no college debt when I graduated…(and they had 3 girls in college one of those years), was a gift, par excellence! Each girl received a 4 year degree, having been paid for by our parents. They sacrificed so much.
What more could I have asked? I received a wonderful family and I found Jesus as my Savior! Thank you Lord, for my dear Mother (& Father) there in Heaven. She endured the challenges of life with hope, joy, and determination. Her life journey ended in re-union, joining Dad and Sister #2; and victory over the spiritual battles of life, seeing Jesus. I miss her so. It won’t be long now. I’m on my way. See you soon Mother.
BLOG 57 . MAY 5, 2018
BACK AT OUR SMOKY MOUNTAIN PARADISE
FINALLY, the cabin is beginning to look a lot more like home. When we come back to the mountains for an extended stay, there are several things we must do to make our cabin feel and look like home; the reason being, that we rent it out when we are not there, so we store our personal things in the basement. Here’s the routine. 1. Go to the basement, bring up the personal items. 2. Incorporate those items along with the other items we have brought from Florida. And lest we forget, 3. Go buy groceries. Stock our freezer and our “make-do” pantry with shelf items. And 4. Organize our business corner with small desk, laptop, printer, supplies, etc.
Next we take it easy. Oh, there’s always something to do, like mow the lawn, water the flowers, and whatever comes under the umbrella of upkeep of the property. So, what about taking it easy? Well, taking a day at a time, doing what retired folks do; such as, sitting in the swing, viewing the mountains, greeting our neighbors, going out to eat at our 2 favorite restaurants, Carver’s Apple House and the Old Mill (I could name a few more.), getting together with our Smoky Mtn. friends, going to DollyWood, worshipping on Sundays at our 2 favorite churches, First Baptist, Sevierville and Morristown, strange thing ...some song keeps popping up in my head…”If it keeps getting better and better oh Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna’ do.”
Now don’t slack off on your praying for us, thinking that God is too good to us. Well, we do know for a fact that God is good to us. And, we are so thankful. He’s good to you, too. He’s faithful yesterday, today, and forever. We all, can count on Him. Keep serving Jesus. He’s our greatest Friend and supplier. He’s our only hope.
Sittin’ on the porch, listening to the birds sing, as we wait for the deer, at our TN Mtn. home, Ya’ll come see us, you hear???