Blog 99 for 2-16-2019
OUR WEB MASTER IS HERE!
Duane Kendall and his wife, Eileen, from California, are in Lakeland for a visit, and will be at Restoration Fellowship Church on Sunday, February 17. Duane is an outstanding pianist. For several years he was the pianist for Jim Bohi, an incredible gospel singer. They traveled together across America ministering in concerts, revivals, conventions and camp meetings. Duane will be featured at the piano in the 10:00 a.m. service.
Duane is the webmaster for CHARLES KIRBY MINISTRIES.COM. Before we retired from the pastorate at Lake Gibson Church, Duane served faithfully and effectively as the webmaster for the church for several years. He donated his time as his ministry for his Lord.
Duane was responsible for airing the three week-end services on the internet during the season. It became a world-wide ministry with viewers from across America and in other countries of our world. It was not unusual to have 2,000 viewers. It was thrilling for me to receive weekly emails and notes of appreciation for this outreach ministry. A wonderful group of people made decisions for Christ during the times of invitation that were given in all the services! I have often thought how exciting it is going to be when I will have the opportunity to meet these redeemed souls when we all get to heaven!
Serving as the webmaster for CHARLES KIRBY MINISTRIES.COM Duane devotedly and faithfully helps Bess and me with our weekly blogs. It goes without saying, Duane makes it all happen! There again, he calls it his ministry. His sweet wife, Eileen, sacrificially gives Duane to us to spend untold time on the phone. What a team they really are!
Duane and Eileen, welcome back to Lakeland and to Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland for the very first time!
Blog 98 for 2-9-2019
HIGHLIGHTS FOR THREE MONTHS
It is hard to believe that three months have passed since Bess and I arrived as the Interim Preaching Pastor at Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland on November 4th. The response of the people to our ministry has been very heartwarming.
Nine months have passed since Restoration Fellowship had its beginning on May 6, 2018. It really has been an incredible journey! I don’t have experience with the planting of new churches, but those that do tell me that Restoration Fellowship is an amazing story. Every Sunday since the beginning has been a record Sunday in attendance and finances. January was a tremendous month of growth in all areas. The major highlight of the journey is the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the services. The music is fabulous and heartwarming! A wonderful choir and a variety of singers are ministering every Sunday. The attitude and unity of the people is exciting to witness! As I greet people that are coming to worship, it is thrilling to sense a spirit of excitement and expectation as they enter! Without a doubt, it is a major key to the victorious services every Sunday. Some people travel a distance to be in the services, like the Wards. They drive from Bradenton and told Bess this past Sunday, “We love this place!” A couple called us on Monday, after a great Sunday, and said, “It has been a long time since we have been excited about going to church, and now we can’t wait for Sunday to come.” Pastor Jon Betz has been leading in a tremendous outreach to the area surrounding the church. Hundreds of homes have been contacted and given an invitation to visit the services. It is paying off with visitors coming.
To God be the glory!
Blog 97 for 2-2-2019
A REVIVAL ON THE OPEN SEAS
Bess and I have just returned from the Singing At Sea cruise. It really was an incredible week. We were the host for 28 wonderful people. As always, it was an excellent experience. It gave us the opportunity to visit with the singing groups that we have hosted through the years at “Saturday Nights In Lakeland.”
They all expressed their appreciation for our friendship and ministry, and told us how much we are missed as the host. It was very heartwarming.
The highlight of the cruise was the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon the concerts and preaching. Through the years it has always been a spiritual experience, but this year it reached an all time high. Five preachers were at their best with powerful preaching of God’s Word. Bess and I were blessed over and over again and spiritually challenged. It reminded me of the old time camp meetings of past years. Wave after wave of God’s glory swept through the sessions with people on their feet shouting praises to our Lord. I told C.T. Townescend, one of the preachers, that God has His hand on his ministry and is using him to revive pastors and churches. At 36 he is a powerful preacher of God’s Word. About two years ago God used him as the preacher of a revival in Burlington, North Carolina, that lasted 3 months with scores coming to Christ.
The 46th Singing At Sea cruise is scheduled for January 20-25, 2020. Bess and I will again be hosts. As best we can remember, this will be our 15th cruise.
We would love for you to go with us. It will be an experience you will remember! We have brochures that we can give to you concerning the cruise. Now is the time to make the decision because the cruise will once again fill up early. All you will need to do at this time is make a deposit of $200.00 to hold your cabin. Be sure you list me at the bottom of the brochure as your tour host. You can call us at 1-800-519-3342 for any questions you may have.
Have a great 2019!
Blog 96 for 1-26-2019
CHRIST HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ANSWER!
In the history of mankind, Christ has always been, and will forever be the answer to individual and national challenges. It has been proven many times in American history when our forefathers were not afraid to publicly acknowledge Christ, and call the nation to prayer in times of crises. They never were concerned about being politically correct. They laid a firm foundation by being Biblically correct. That is the main reason America has survived these 243 years! They stood on the promise of God’s Word in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
At this present time, I am preparing and preaching a series through John’s gospel on “Christ Is The Answer In 2019.” In my study and preparation, I am being inspired by the Holy Spirit to think some powerful thoughts. What would happen in these last days if some of our political leaders, who really profess a strong faith in Christ, would not be ashamed of the Gospel, and would follow the example of our founders, by reminding our nation that Christ really is the answer to the hate, strife and division that are destroying our great land at this present time? Ladies and gentlemen, there really is no other way!
Blog 95 for 1-19-2019
SINGING AT SEA
The week of January 21-26 is the 45th annual Singing at Sea cruise. Bess and I are hosting this event once again. There are 28 in our group, sailing from the Port of Tampa on Royal Caribbean cruise line’s Brilliance Of The Seas to Costa Maya and Cozumel Mexico. Twenty-five southern gospel music groups will be featured in 75 gospel concerts during the week. An extra special feature will be the preaching of four outstanding preachers. Once again it is like a camp meeting and a time of revival and spiritual renewal. The cruise is sponsored by Templeton Tours from Boone, North Carolina. Another added feature will be our dear friend, Dr. Jerry Goff, as an outstanding emcee for the week. He always does a tremendous job every year.
There are many cruises available today, but none like Templeton’s Singing at Sea. It is totally Christian with the casino and bars closed during the week. Once again the ship is completely sold out with 2,500 people sailing. It really is an unforgettable experience! NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR PLANS TO BE ON BOARD FOR THE 2020 CRUISE, JANUARY 20-25, OUT OF THE PORT OF TAMPA, sailing to Key West and Nassau. Just like this year’s cruise, it will fill up early. Once again, the Lord willing, Bess and I will be the hosts for the 15th year. We always enjoy 5 days and nights of comedy, preaching and great southern gospel music, featuring our wonderful friends that we have hosted for many years in our churches.
Blog 94 for 1-12-2019
OFF AND RUNNING IN A NEW YEAR!
I have been deceived and misled! I really did think life would slow down, at least a little, and time would not pass so fast after retirement. However, I have discovered that is not true. It is a fact, time does not stand still, so here we are, off and running on another year! As a matter of fact, with this blog we are almost in the middle of the first month of 2019. The exciting thing about it all is that we are closer to the return of our Lord! What a glorious time that is going to be for every born again, Spirit-filled believer! If you are not ready, do not delay.
With the recent Christmas celebration of His first coming, just like He promised, it should remind us that He has promised to return a second time for His family. What a time that is going to be! Don’t forget, all the signs for His return have all been fulfilled. It could happen at any moment!
I am really excited about a new life changing series from the book of John that begins on Sunday morning, January 13, at 10:00 at Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland. The title of this series is “Christ Is The Answer In 2019.” The Apostle John will teach us that Christ is the answer to our discouragement, to our doubt, to our disability, to our desires, to our darkness and to our death. The setting for this entire series is in John 20:30-31. I really do believe this is going to be an exciting journey through John’s gospel!
May your 2019 journey be guided by the Holy Spirit,
Blog 93 for 1-5-2019
CHRIST IS THE ANSWER IN 2019
Here we are in a brand new year. The old has passed and the new has arrived. I do hope you have already done it, but if you haven’t, now is the time to do it. It is time to bury all the hurts, disappointments, failures, sins, losses, frustrations...and the list goes on, from the old year or even from past years. That really is the place to begin to experience God’s best in 2019. Please know I will rejoice in grateful praise to my dear Lord if you will accept my challenge!
On Sunday January 13, I am beginning a brand new 6 Sunday series on “Christ Is The Answer In 2019.” The setting for this series is in John 20:30-31. Our Lord is going to give us 6 wonderful answers!
Christ Is The Answer To Man’s Discouragement
2. Christ Is The Answer To Man’s Doubt
3. Christ Is The Answer To Man’s Disability
4. Christ Is The Answer To Man’s Desires
5. Christ Is The Answer To Man’s Darkness
6. Christ Is The Answer For Man’s Death
John 11:1-4; 25,26
Bess and I are praying that this will be a transforming series for everyone that hears it, either in person or through the internet! I have given you the titles and Scriptures so you can be prepared to receive it.
It really is true, the best is yet to come!
Blog 99 for 2-16-2019
IS GOD CALLING YOU?
Good morning, or is it midday for you, or even, evening? Whatever time it is for you, I send you greetings. Please accept my thanks for visiting me through my blogs.
I read yesterday on Facebook, a post that our special friend Neal Putman shared. Not sure, as I write this, who authored this information, but I know I didn’t. I liked it so much that I hurriedly wrote it down and wanted to share it with you.
It reminded me that Men of the Bible whom I call great, were mere humans; made mistakes, had personality problems, committed sins, had issues, maybe too old, maybe too young, maybe too short, maybe to tall. Should I encounter great Women of the Bible, I would discover much the same. They are human, also. So am I.
I’m so thankful for the SLEEPLESS grace and love of God!!! I’m so THANKFUL for the all-time, undisputable, undeniable, Champion of LOVE. HE forgives our past, redeems us, fills us, and sets us on a course to do great exploits for HIM.
Here is what I wrote from the Facebook post. “Jacob was a cheater; Peter had a temper; David had an affair; Noah was a drunk; Jonah ran from God; Paul was a murderer; Gideon was insecure; Thomas was a doubter; Elijah was moody; Moses stuttered; Zaccheus was short; Abraham was old; and Lazarus was dead; Miriam was a gossiper; Martha was a worrier; Sara was impatient; and Mary Magdalene was a hooker.” The post concluded by saying, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Aren’t you glad? Maybe God is calling you today. He will equip you. He will help you. He will go with you. You can count on Him. Our God is an awesome God.
Loving Him more every day, I am
Blog 98 for 2-9-2019
RAMBLING OR GETTING TO THE POINT???
Rambling, I guess that’s what I’m doing today. I looked up the meaning of “ramble.” Meaning #1 was “to go aimlessly from place to place.” Meaning #2 was “to talk or write in an irregular or pointless fashion.” So, as I begin this February blog, my writing may be irregular or pointless. But, please hear me out!
Well, I woke up this morning feeling fine… from biscuits, sausage gravy, sliced tomatoes, sweet tea, devotions, and prayer, I began my rambling, going from one thought to another; from one plan to another; from one room to the other. I organized, planned, phoned Kaye, got food items together to take to Kaye, stopped by Publix Supermarket where I ran into Ollie, took items to Kaye, ate a salad at Wendy’s, stopped by Walgreens, wrote this blog, and hope to yet go to the neighbors to see her new light fixture over her dining table. I hope to make more phone calls, checking on friends.
I had other plans that I didn’t get to; so, they got put off until tomorrow or even the day after or who knows when. I’m wondering, do you accomplish everything you propose to do in a day? My answer is NO. Things change. Great thoughts press in. Other items get our attention; which reminds me, a dear friend of mine in Arizona sent me a copy of a book she’s been teaching in a Bible Study. It’s entitled, “Bad Girls of the Bible” and what we can learn from them; written by Liz Curtis Higgs.
I have begun reading it. Thinking about teaching it sometime. Would any of you out there in internet land, go to a Bible Study about “Bad Girls of the Bible”? Why don’t you saturate me with your comments about this.
|Click here to send your comments to Bess about a Bible Study on "Bad Girls of the Bible|
That way, I will, at least know you are reading my blogs. Having read chapter one, it sounds like a wonderful, inspiring, eye opening, close to home, revealing, Bible Study.
Finally, as I wrap up this blog and remember how I began, let me conclude with a point, lest all this seems pointless to you. Page 39 in the paperback book, says this: “Don’t get into a debate with Satan - get out!”
While the day brought a myriad of experiences, both expected and unexpected, I sign off as I started the day, FEELING FINE with Jesus on my mind.
Blog 97 for 2-2-2019
SPECIAL FEBRUARY MEMORY MOMENTS
Every New Year in January, I begin to write all family birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, special days, etc., on the new calendar, in an effort to get organized for the year ahead. I proceed to get all the cards I’ll need for the next month or so; address the envelopes, stamp them, write my message, enclose a suitable gift, seal and mark the date to be mailed. I have now completed this family task for February. Let me tell you about these momentus February occasions.
The first special memory is Feb. 3, the birthdate of Bob Luetkemeyer. Bob is our son-in-law. What a great man of God he is. What a great husband he is to our precious daughter, Micki; and, what a great father to our two grandsons, Cody and Chase. When Micki and Bob got married, we didn’t realize what a jewel of a man she had chosen. So, Happy Birthday, Bob! Your card is on the way.
The second special memory is Feb. 6, the birthdate of our dear grandson, Cody Luetkemeyer. Wow, what a talented Christian young man he has grown up to be, having served on the staff at a megachurch in Melbourne, FL, in the technical field. He is now enrolled in college completing his 4 year degree. Congrats, Cody, have a great birthday. Your card is on the way.
The third special memory is Feb. 7, the birthdate of my dear, loving sister, Gwendolyn Pearson. She lives in our hometown of Houston, MS. I think she was about 3 when I was born; so she was there waiting for me and helping me along my life journey. What a great and good sister. After graduation from Trevecca Nazarene College and Peabody College in Nashville, TN, she spent her life teaching in the Nashville area, Houston, MS area, and Swaziland, South Africa, in public, private, and Christian schools. She is an inspiration to me. So, Happy Birthday, Gwendolyn. Your card is on the way.
The fourth special memory is Feb. 17, the birthdate of our dear grandson, Michael Kirby. The years have flown, and now he is all grown up and serving our great nation in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii. He surprised us this Christmas time by showing up at our door. Wow, what a wonderful surprise. So, Happy Birthday, Michael! Your card is on the way.
We can’t forget Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019, another Feb. Special Moment. And who should walk by, but one Charles Lee Kirby, my forever Valentine. I thank God for the day he asked me to marry him. It has been and still is the richest of blessings, to have Charles as my lifetime partner; to walk the hills and valleys of life’s journey with him. What a wonderful and kind husband; what a great father to our two great children, Chuck and Micki; What a great preacher! How about it? Don’t you think I won the biggest of prizes? So Charles, Happy Valentine Day. Your card will be on the way.
My challenge to all who read my blog: Open your eyes, look all around you, and begin to count your blessings, naming them one by one, and seeing what God has done.
Blog 96 for 1-26-2019
Phil. 3:13,14 says,
“FORGETTING those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Before Charles retired as Pastor at Lake Gibson Church, he had these words framed, hanging on his wall near the door. As a matter of fact, he has had these framed words on his office walls for many years. I’m sure they encouraged and motivated him on particular days.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
We have to be determined. We have to make up our mind that we will serve the Lord. FORGET your sinful pleasures. FORGET your past bad habits. Don’t let those habits such as smoking, drugs, alcohol, porn, infidelity, abuse, etc., hold bondage on you anymore. Turn to Christ. Find your strength, grit, determination, and help from the Lord and His followers. Pray, fight temptation. Be a Christ follower. Commit yourself to a new life in Christ in this new year. Use persistence. Press on, leaving your former life behind.
Make this chorus your year’s song. “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.”
Johnson Oatman Jr. wrote this great hymn:
Click on the arrow below to hear this hymn as performed by our webmaster Duane Kendall on the Roland keyboard and sung by a group including his daughter and granddaughter
“I’m pressing on the upward way. New heights I’m gaining every day. Still praying as I’m onward bound, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay. Tho’ some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground. I want to live above the world tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled; for faith has caught the joyful sound, the song of saints on higher ground.”
FORGETTING the past, let us reach forward, pressing toward the goal of a Christ-centered life. “Wasted years, oh, how foolish.” Jesus really is the joy of living. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. Great is His faithfulness.
Blog 95 for 1-20-2019
I Kings 18:21 says “If the Lord be God, FOLLOW Him.” Rev. 14:4 says “these are they which FOLLOW the Lamb.”
To be a Christ FOLLOWER demands more than just one trip to the altar. Actually, it requires more than 2 trips to the altar. It begins with repentance and belief in the finished work at Calvary. It demands decision and determination. It requires self-denial and obedience. It requires Bible study. It requires growth. It requires FOLLOWSHIP.
Do you really want to be a Christ FOLLOWER? Then, listen up. Here are some biblical instructions. Acts 16:31 says
”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
Rom. 10:9 says
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
Remember this scripture from your youth…
”If we will confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul, the apostle exhorts us to unity, holiness, love and maturity. He admonishes us not to be tossed to and fro, carried about with every wind of doctrine, but to “grow up” (vs.15) in Christ, our Lord.
In his epistle to the Thessalonians, he speaks about “your faith groweth exceedingly” (1:3). When writing to Timothy, Paul said in 2:15,
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Are you? Am I? Willing to have a growth spirt this new year? Willing to grow a “foot”? Or an inch taller?
Look at II Timothy 3:16,17.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
In 1878, Wm. O. Cushing wrote these words, well worth singing.
“Down in the valley with my Savior I would go where the flowers are blooming and sweet waters flow. Everywhere He leads me I would FOLLOW, FOLLOW on, walking in His footsteps 'til the crown be won.
“Down in the valley with my Savior I would go where the storms are sweeping and the dark waters flows. With His hand to lead me I will never, never fear; danger cannot fright me if my Lord is near.”
“FOLLOW, FOLLOW, I will FOLLOW Jesus. Anywhere, everywhere, I will FOLLOW on. FOLLOW, FOLLOW, I will FOLLOW Jesus. Everywhere He leads me I will FOLLOW on.”
In red print in my Bible, Jesus says in John 12:26,
“If anyone serves Me, let him FOLLOW Me…”
I want to be a Christ FOLLOWER. I will be a Christ FOLLOWER. I am a Christ FOLLOWER. Join me on the journey.
Blog 94 for 1-12-2019
Are you? Am I? “LOOKING for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13)?
Have we laid aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us? Are we “LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…"(Hebrews 12:2)?
Are you? Am I? Pursuing peace with all men, and holiness…”LOOKING diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many be defiled”?
LOOKING for the right things is biblical! We are beginning a New Year’s journey. We must keep LOOKING ahead, putting one foot in front of the other, marching forward into the unknown of tomorrow with faith in our “lifetime” faithful Partner, JESUS CHRIST, our LORD.
In Gen.12:1, the Lord said to Abram, “Get thee out of thy country...unto a land that I will shew thee.” Verse 4 tells us that “Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him…” It was a new journey for Abram. He had no idea of the things that would happen along the way; but he kept his eyes focused on the goal. Read of some of the challenges he faced in the following chapters. And don’t overlook the miracles and blessings along the journey.
But, remember, “Tho’ we walk through the valley of the shadow of death…," we have a rear guard. We don’t walk alone. Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they sing, “You’ll never walk alone.”
The hymn writer, Wm. A. Ogden wrote these words in 1887,
“I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah! The message unto you I’ll give. 'Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah! It is only that you 'LOOK and live.' LOOK and live, my brother (sister), live. LOOK to Jesus now and live. 'Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah. It is only that you 'LOOK and live.'”
Keep gazing in the right direction. Keep LOOKING ahead. The future is unknown, but God, as your rear guard, will take care of you in this year’s journey.
My gaze is fixed on JESUS, and my feet are moving. I’m on my way.
Blog 93 for 1-5-2019
In a recent morning devotion, reading and meditating on Psalm 23, Charles and I began REMEMBERING God’s blessings, His protection & His help during last year, 2018. At the first of every New Year, it is good to look back and REMEMBER the good things God has done.
That segment in Psalm 23, “..Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me”.....that segment really brought to my REMEMBRANCE, that God had been our rear guard on the Hwy last year when we were side swiped and swirled around, across 2 additional lanes in early morning work traffic. While Satan would be done with us, I REMEMBER that God saved our lives. Wow!
1. I REMEMBER the blessing of Chuck’s and Kaye’s Wedding.
2. I REMEMBER a friend’s open heart surgery and many other sicknesses prayed for; and God’s blessing of healing.
3. REMEMBER the blessing of cabin renters.
4. I REMEMBER when bills were due, there was supply.
5. I REMEMBER the blessings of great & plentiful friends and family.
A look back is a good thing. REMEMBERING blessings and miracles is biblical. God put a rainbow in the clouds, and He said in vs. 15 of Gen. 9, “I will REMEMBER My covenant...the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.” Jesus said after He broke the bread and gave it to His 12 Apostles, “This is my Body which is given for you; do this in REMEMBRANCE of Me.”
Yes, REMEMBERING the goodness of the yesteryears, telling the children and grandchildren what the “stones of REMEMBRANCE” (Joshua 4) are all about…..yes, this is biblical.
God has been good to you and good to me. He’s been so good to the Kirbys. And we REMEMBER. Triumphant Quartet sings a wonderful song entitled “We will REMEMBER”. Listen to it below, as they sang it at NQC a few years back. ******GET YOUTUBE******
Take a look back; review prayers answered, miracles received, mountains moved, and REMEMBER what God has done for you. Share the good news with family and friends of God’s great faithfulness.
Happy REMEMBERING! Bess