Blog # 28

 

A BOYHOOD PREACHER TURNS 80

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

Charles Kirby

 

Blog#28

Bess’ blog, Oct. 13, 2017

 

Living with an 80 year old Man

(A short and sweet blog)

 

There are challenges for sure!  At least that’s what I’ve been told by others.  They say, (Who are they?) Every morning when you wake up and wonder where you are, you grab your cane; get up; reach for your glasses and teeth; put your clothes on and grab your hair piece. Ready for the day!


Oh well, I’m glad my 80 year old man never wonders where he is and is physically fit, so has no need for a cane. He doesn’t wear glasses; nor does he have false teeth.  And, the hair he has, is still glued to his head.   Wow! What a man!

I’m blessed beyond measure.  I live with a man who has a heart for God.  I hear him pray every morning.  He’s a hard worker; a good man; a faithful husband and father.  He cares for the body of Christ. He loves the church. He still has a “hot” heart for God and His kingdom work.  He wants to stay in God’s harvest field, bringing in the sheaves.  Wow! What a man!

How many “old” men of God have done great exploits for Him?  We have a book, full of stories of the conquests and great work done for our Lord and Savior.  It’s the B-I-B-L-E.  That’s good enough for me.  And remembering my journey with this 80 year old man, brings joy as I recount the many miracles, the accomplishments, the advances, the souls saved, the churches built up.
 Wow! What a man!  

Don’t despair of old age...nor young age.  All God’s children have a special place in His kingdom. Spring turns to summer; summer to fall; and fall turns to winter.  And then we’re home… that is... home, where the heart is.  So it’s time to turn your heart toward HOME, as James Dobson would say.  I leave you with this sobering question.  What about your heart?  Is it right with God?

 

           Loving this 80 year old man of mine,

                            (Think I’ll keep him!)

                                         Bess