Blog # 36

SIXTH IN THE CONTINUING SERIES ON GREAT LAYMEN AND CHURCHES I HAVE HAD IN MY PASTORAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE YEARS.

 

Bresee Avenue Nazarene Church in Pasadena, California, is a  historic Nazarene Church. It was named after the founder of the Church of the Nazarene, Phineas F. Bresee. Several famous Nazarene pastors have filled the prestigious pulpit through the years. During the “glory days” of this church, Dr. D.I. Vanderpool was the pastor. Reading the history of the church, I discovered that the big sanctuary was packed most of the time with people standing listening to the anointed preaching of Dr. Vanderpool. Some people that attended back then told me it was a tremendous thing to attend those services, as God’s glory came upon the great crowds again and again, as people sought God at the long altars. I took great joy and pleasure in hearing about Dr. Vanderpool’s ministry, because he was the General Superintendent that ordained Bess and me in Little Rock First Church in 1963.

 

For years Bresee Avenue was the college church for Pasadena Nazarene College, located across Washington Blvd. from the church before it was relocated to San Diego and named Point Loma Nazarene University. The imposing church facility sits on the corner of busy Washington Blvd. and Bresee Avenue. The building has a large sanctuary that seats over 1,500, a beautiful chapel that seats over 250, an office complex with a fellowship hall area and two floors of educational space. While I was the senior pastor, 2 million people could be at the church in 20 minutes. This massive harvest field was a tremendous challenge for me, and I continually tried to motivate the people to reach the golden harvest!

 

The third house behind the church was the former home of Nazarene evangelist Uncle Buddy Robinson, recognized as the most sought after not only by Nazarenes, but by other denominations in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He led thousands to Christ, traveling over 2 million miles preaching the Gospel of his Lord. While I never heard him preach, I have been inspired by his writings and recordings. When my load got almost too heavy to carry, I would walk to Uncle Buddy's house, and standing by myself on the sidewalk in front of his house, I would ask Uncle Buddy’s God to let the spirit of Uncle Buddy, and the Holy Spirit that lived in him, to fall fresh on me. To this day, I cherish those incredible moments! (Click HERE for a biography of Uncle Buddy.)

 

I will continue this blog next week, telling you about my challenge to leave the great Lubbock, Texas First Nazarene, and 2 outstanding laymen, TROY POTTER and RALPH DAVIS.

 

It is an inspiring fact as I look back, God has led me all the way!

 

Be sure to keep Christ in your Christmas!

Charles Kirby

 

Blog# 36

 

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

 

I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas lights.  I enjoy them on store fronts, in Christmas trees, the candle glow in windows of homes, and God’s lights in the heavens...star light, star bright...shine on harvest moon...the sun will come up in the morning…  Well, what do you know; it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

God had a lot to say about lights.  Remember Gen. 1:3, “Let there be light” and there was light.  Jesus said in John’s Gospel 8:12, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me, shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  We are admonished in scripture to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (Matt. 5:16), “Walk as children of the Light” (Eph. 5:8), and there are many more.

WOW! What a reason to light the Christmas tree.  WOW! What a reason to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  WOW! What a reason to rejoice and sing.  Philip Bliss wrote the words and music of this familiar song.    “The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; the Light of the world is Jesus. Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in, the Light of the world is Jesus. Come to the Light; ‘tis shining for thee. Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me. Once I was blind, but now I can see. The Light of the world is Jesus".

The lights of Christmas wake us up to the realization that the Baby born in Bethlehem of Judea over 2000 years ago at Christmas time is the True Light of the World. So, “come on, ring those bells; light the Christmas tree. Jesus is the King, born for you and me. Come on, ring those bells; everybody say, Jesus, we remember this your birthday.” (Andrew Culverwell)

 

          Celebrating His birthday with great joy,

                                      Bess