ARCHIVES  NOVEMBER-DECEMBER   2019

 

 

Blog 143 for December 28, 2019

 

TIME HAS MADE A CHANGE

 

Every year that passes brings many changes in our lives and world. As we are coming to the end of 2019 I am reminded of the many changes that have occurred in my life. It brings to mind the words of the old song George Yance sang:

Time has made a change

In the old home place

Time has made a change

On each smiling face                  

Time has made a change in me

 

During this year I have had to say farewell to three of my great friends...Jerry Golf, Steve Stutz and John Remer. Two of these, Jerry and John, were wonderful golf buddies. Steve and I never played golf together but were great friends. He told me I was his favorite pastor and preacher over and over again until he went to heaven.

 

 

Jerry Goff

 

Steve Stutz

 

John Remer

 

 

​​​​​During the winter season of many years, Jerry and I tried to play golf every week. Most of those times were spent talking about church services, church growth, and worship. Many times he would sing me a song he had just written. He wrote over 500 songs through the years. When Jerry was the master of ceremonies for Singing At Sea cruises for many years, he would ask me to open the first night in prayer. During the introduction of me, he would always talk about my ministry and church. As a result, a number of people started to attend our services. John Remer was the last one to leave us. He would always be excited when I would call about a golf game. Even though he had problems with his legs he was always ready to play. It goes without saying, neither one of us were golf pros, we just enjoyed playing and the fellowship.

 

Time has made a change for six of my golf playing friends: Chuck Manker, Pat Patterson, Pat Sampson, Hank Shell, Jack Smithson, and Mel Wright. I had a tremendous friendship with all six of these men and really do miss them very much. One great reason that heaven will be so wonderful is that it will be a place of reunion.

 

It is now the moment and time for me to ask all of you one of the most important questions you have ever been asked. I know that time has made a change in your life and mine through the years. However, there is another question that is more important and that is this. Has Christ made a change in your life and living? Do you remember the time when you asked Christ to forgive your sin and to come into your life as Savior and Lord? That is the first step for a fabulous change in your life so you can spend eternity with Him in the glorious place called heaven!

 

I am so glad that time has made a change in my life! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

 

CHARLES KIRBY

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 142 for December 21, 2019

 

A GREAT CHRISTMAS CONCERT OF MUSIC

 

 

If I have said it once I have said it more times than I can count.  Darrel Gash amazes me with his production of music for the two major Christian seasons of the year. When you think it can not get any better through the years, it always does year after year. I have attended and been blessed by over 40 of his musical productions for the Easter and Christmas seasons. It has always been an inspiring experience, and this year is no different. “THAT WONDERFUL NAME” musical on the 14th sure has helped to set the tone for another celebration of the birth of our Lord. 

 

Christmas Sunday through the years has always been a very special Lord’s Day for me. Bess and I will be at Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland on this day to experience the wonderful ministry of music by Darrel Gash, the RFC Singers and the preaching of Pastor Wilcox. We have prayed for the Holy Spirit’s anointing to be upon all of these ministering servants. It will be a great prelude to the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day!

 

My 10 trips to Bethlehem through the years totally transformed my celebrations of my Lord’s birth. My favorite Holy Land guide, Saad, through these years helped to make it extra special. He would take us to the original birthplace underneath the public tourist site in the Church Of The Nativity. This hallowed place always did make a tremendous difference.

 

Join the celebration...Jesus Is Born!

 Remove empty line

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 141 for December 14, 2019

 

GOD’S GIFT OF IRON SHOES

The most beautiful cluster of promises in the Old Testament is found in one of the Bible’s most unread books. They are nestled together in the 33rd chapter of Deuteronomy. God never put promises like these together without a reason, and that reason is stated in the following verse…”Your sandals shall be iron and bronze.” - Verse 25

God was lifting the veil of the future for some of His chosen people to see. He was trying to say to them, “Your road is going to be so rough that you will need iron shoes.” Then He added the assurance of these beautiful promises. These promises are not confined to the people of Asher. There comes a time in our lives when God hands us a pair of iron shoes to wear. Some of you reading this blog need iron shoes. You need faith to appropriate three great promises that are found here in this inspiring Scripture.

 

The first great promise is in verse 25: “AS YOUR DAYS SO SHALL YOUR STRENGTH BE.” All you have to do is fill in the blank...As your pain, affliction, tragedy, loss, disappointment. Please remember this incredible fact: Christ always comes to the rescue in the dark passages of life! God sent manna to his people in the wilderness...just enough for each day. God is really an on-time God. I like to remind all of us, God never gets in a hurry, but He is never late!

 

The second great promise is found in Verse 27: “UNDERNEATH ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS.” This passage no doubt had its origin in the mountainous wilderness where Moses had traveled. No doubt Moses had watched a mother eagle teach her young to fly. She would soar high up in the air with the eaglet on her powerful wings, only to push it off and then fly down to catch it on her strong wings until at last, it had caught on before crashing into the rocky terrain below. Christ says to the distressed, defeated, discouraged, depressed and downtrodden... "Underneath are the everlasting arms.”

 

If we wear iron shoes like a Christian, we need to know we have a sanctuary to which we can go for new strength, protection, and power. Moses gives us the answer when he writes, “THE ETERNAL GOD IS YOUR REFUGE" in Verse 27. The psalmist reminds us “God is my refuge and fortress" in Psalm 91:2. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Go into your closet and shut the door and stay alone with God.” I learned a powerful lesson as a kid coon hunting with my dad, uncles, and cousins. When the coon dogs had treed a coon, and there was a hole high up in the tree, we knew the coon had found his refuge and there was nothing we could do. The coon was safe and secure because he had found a refuge. It is great to know the hounds of life cannot penetrate our refuge if we hide in the Lord our God!

 

The great hymn "HIDING IN THEE" has the answer:

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,

I have fled to my refuge and breathed out my woe;

How often when trials like sea billows roll,

Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.

Hiding in Thee, Hiding in Thee, Thou blest Rock of Ages I’m hiding in Thee.

 

Charles Kirby

 

Blog 140 for December  7, 2019

 

 

IS GOD REALLY ON OUR SIDE?

 

 

Every morning Bess and I are spending time together with our Lord. After reading God’s Word, we pray over a long list of needs and requests from our family members and our friends. We rejoice together when we hear the good news of answered prayer!

 

Daily Bess and I are praying for God to bless and save America. Recently we were inspired by King Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the Temple. Without one doubt it was the most marvelous petition in the Old Testament. That such a prayer was heard by God is evidenced by the fact that He said, “Amen,” by filling the Temple again with His glory according to 2 Chronicles 7:1. In the Divine appearance, we have the Divine secret of constant revival as Solomon proclaims in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

 

“What can we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” as the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:31. Just think what could happen in the White House and Capital of the United States if President Trump would be inspired and challenged by King Solomon! Since God really is on our side, we know what would happen. 2 Chronicles 7:14 would become a reality, not only in Israel but also in America! The key is found in a little two-letter word, “IF.”

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the time is ripe for a mighty move of God’s glory! Since we know, without a doubt, that God is for us as the Apostle Paul proclaims, “Who can be against us?” Where has the truth its waving flag? Stand near the flag, my soul, and you will be near the Lord God Almighty!

 

Dear Lord have mercy on all of us and our great nation!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 139 for November 30, 2019

 

THE POWER OF BELIEF

 

Through the years of my Christian journey and preaching ministry, I have tried my best to walk by faith and not by sight. Actually the Power of Belief began when I preached my first message. I had told the Lord if he would heal my stuttering tongue I would answer His call to preach. The first time I spoke in public without stuttering was during my very first message. The Power of Belief came into effect when I stepped into the pulpit and opened my mouth to preach. At that very moment, I knew that my faith had touched the hem of the garment of my Lord!

 

Bess and I have been praying that the Power of Belief will transform many of our friends on our daily prayer list. The Apostle John has so much to say about the Power of Belief in I John 5:1-13. As a matter of fact, I am claiming this powerful Scripture for some major challenges Bess and I are presently encountering. I am also claiming victory for all of you that are reading these lines my Lord has given to me. May the Power of Belief become a transforming force in your life.   

 

The Apostle John is saying by belief I find life. I do not obtain the vitalizing air through controversy, or clamor, or idle lamentation, but by opening the window! Faith opens the door and window of the soul to the Son of God. It can be done without tears, it can be done without sensationalism. Our Lord says, “If anyone will open the door, I will come in. And he that has the Son has the life.”

 

John says by belief I gain my victories. “Who is he that overcomes...but he that believes?” It is not by flashing armor that we beat the devil, but by an invincible life. To believe is to obtain the winning spirit, and every battle brings its trophies to our feet. 

 

John goes on to say by belief I gain assurance. “He that believes...has the witness in him.” So many Christians fight in doubt and indecision, and their uncertainty impairs their strength and skill. It is the person who can quietly say “I know” who is terrible in battle and who drives foes in confusion from the field.

 

Please join me in walking by faith and not by sight!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 138 for November 23, 2019

 

IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN!

 

Winter has arrived in the Smoky Mountains. The temperature has dropped into the 20s a few times with highs in the 40s while I am enjoying Lakeland’s temperature in the 80s and high 70s. It really is good to be back home again! I am reminded of John Denver’s song with my adaptation.

 

“Hey, it’s good to be back home again.

Sometimes our condo felt like a long lost friend. Yes, and hey, it’s good to be back home again.”

 

Bess and I had a wonderful season at our cabins in the Smokies. We kept very busy with our rentals. Our Lord has given us a great 2019! We are so grateful. Updating our cabins and maintaining our property is an ongoing challenge. I have a fitness center mowing the grass on the sloping hills. One is very steep.

 

We made several trips that involved speaking, a family reunion, a great cruise beginning in New York City and traveling to the New England area and Canada. It was great to fellowship with many of our friends when they came to the mountains. Friends really are a treasure!

 

Our Lord has given us the opportunity to minister to people with special needs and challenges. Our prayer has been, Jesus use us! In my second pastorate in 1964, I hosted the Ozark Harmony Boys for a big rally. The place was packed with 262 people. KSUD Radio was there to broadcast the service. This was a church with only 7 people when we became pastors in August of 1962. To say the least, it was beyond description and propelled my ministry to new heights where I had never been!

 

At this exciting rally, the Ozark Harmony Boys sang a song that impacted me then and comes to my mind as I write these lines. As a matter of fact, the words of that song, “Jesus Use Me,” continue to be my prayer.

 

"Jesus use me. Oh Lord, don’t refuse me; 

For surely there is a work that I can do.

Even though it's humble, help my will to

crumble. Though the cost be great, I’ll work for you.”

           

The inspiration and challenge of that song has motivated me through the years and continues to be my sincere prayer to my dear Lord.

 

It really is great to be home again!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 137 for November 16, 2019

 

A FRIEND AND HIS GOSPEL ROOM

 

Neal and Frances Putman are great friends to Bess and me. We got acquainted through the Lake Gibson Church website when they lived in the Palm Springs area of California. Every week-end they would watch our Saturday and Sunday services. They had become great Southern Gospel fans but were limited from seeing music groups due to a lack of concerts in their area. They loved our emphasis on music and Bible preaching. For two years they rented a condo in the Lakeland area from January through March to be involved in our week-end services. Neal told everyone about our ministries and invited them to attend. When Neal heard about our Holy Land trip he and Frances decided to go. He wanted me to baptize him in the Jordan River. He inspired two of his friends from California, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Case, also Gospel music lovers, to travel with us. This was my 10th trip to the Holy Land. We had a great time! Fred has wanted me to go one more time.

 

Frances and Neal Putman

 

Through the love of Neal and Frances for Southern Gospel music, they decided to leave California for a new home in a new location. Neal’s research for the best place to hear the most Southern Gospel music would be in East Tennessee and chose Fairfield Glade as their new home.

 

It has been almost two years since Bess and I visited the Putmans in their beautiful Fairfield Glade home. He had told us about his Gospel room museum, but I had no idea what we were going to see. When we went upstairs and walked in the door, Bess and I were in total amazement at what we saw. A large room was entirely filled with Gospel mementos. A long wall was filled with the covers of record albums from Gospel music groups through the years. Several of the groups are no longer in existence, along with some of the famous singers and musicians that made up the groups. Newspaper articles of major gospel events are included. In the middle of the room are binders organized on tables of featured events that have happened throughout the years. Triumphant and Cathedral quartets have been given special attention. Neal has honored Bess and me with binders and posters of our 56-year pastoral ministry. Included is a section of our retirement celebration, along with Bess and my weekly blogs from the very beginning to the present. He has included our 19-year ministry at Lake Gibson Church along with Saturday Nights In Lakeland's 19-year season.

 

 

By now I am sure you can see that the Gospel Room in Fairfield Glade, East Tennessee, is an unforgettable experience for others to see. It really is a Gospel museum. Bess and I love the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame in Dollywood. However, Neal’s Gospel Room has things that are not found in the SGM Hall of Fame. Neal treats it like a full-time job in his retirement years. He works on it daily to keep it up to date. I congratulate him for his vision and labors of love in the advancement of the Gospel of his Lord through Southern Gospel Music!

 

Let’s make a joyful noise unto our Lord!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 136 for November 9, 2019

 

JERRY GOFF HONORED WITH DIAMOND AWARD

 

 

 

Bess and I attended the Creekside Gospel Music Convention at the Smoky Mountain Convention Center in Pigeon Forge for the first time on October 29. Jan Goff invited us to attend a special honor of a Diamond Award that would be presented to her in honor of her husband Jerry Goff. We were delighted to hear about the event and to have the opportunity to attend.

 

One of the highlights of the event was Jerry’s secretary for over 20 years who described his ministry. Since Jerry had spoken to me about her from time to time, I was delighted to hear what she had to say about the integrity of Jerry that was guided by God’s Word. It really was a great tribute to Jerry that warmed my heart.

 

Another special feature of the evening was Jan joining a men’s quartet to sing one of Jerry’s most popular songs, “I’ll Meet You In The Rapture,” with each of the men pantomiming Jerry’s voice on each of the verses. It “brought the house down,” with the crowd rising to their feet. Tank Tackett, one of the original members of the group Jerry and the Singing Goffs, was present to sing in the group. He really helped to make it extra special! Jeff Stice was at the piano and was also a recipient of a Diamond Award for his outstanding piano talent and ministry. Jeff was the original pianist for Triumphant Quartet. He was featured at the piano for Jerry’s funeral. In my few minutes with him, I found out that he, like me, is really missing Jerry.  Jeff depended on the wisdom of Jerry for guidance for many of his decisions. 

 

I have been reminded again that Heaven is looking brighter all the time!  What will be your eternal destination when you leave this old world? The straight and narrow is the only way according to God’s Word!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 135 for November 2, 2019

 

 A GREAT MONTH IN THE SMOKIES!

 

The month of October is always a great month in the Smoky Mountains. This year has been no different than all the rest. To Gospel music lovers Dollywood is the center for month-long concerts of music featuring a variety of gospel groups. Bess and I have had the opportunity to visit with many of the groups we have hosted in the past. We value the friendships we have established over the years. It is heartwarming to feel their love and appreciation with their expressions.

 

The mountains are ablaze in color. Standing at the big picture window in our Stargazer cabin, we are overwhelmed with the view and color of the mountains this time of the year. It is obvious that this is going to be a banner year for color. Bess and I are taking drives to surrounding areas to enjoy the beauty of God’s amazing creation.

 

We discovered and bought our two cabins 14 years ago at this time of the year after we sold a cabin we had in Bryson City, North Carolina. We were captivated by the location at the end of Majestic View Way cove and the incredible view. We found no other location equal to this. Owner Bill Floyd made us a great deal, which really became a gift from GSURROUNDINGod, who helped us to pay it off in a tremendous time. We really do give Him praise for His wonderful blessing and provision. These cabins have been a fabulous retreat from a busy and demanding schedule in the pastoral ministry.

 

For all of these 14 years, our Lord has blessed us with great renters. Many of these are repeat customers. The reviews our renters give to us after renting have been outstanding! They love the dead-end cove of peace and quiet, along with the fabulous views. After spending time in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Ashville, and the historic areas, they enjoy the retreat of the cabins. 

 

The year 2019 is about over with just a few days left. Bess and I are so thankful for God’s abundant blessings to us in this retirement time from the 56 years of pastoral ministry. We love our wonderful condo in the Imperial Lakes Country Club community just outside Lakeland, Florida. It is another retreat area on the 18th tee and two canals on a cul de sac. 

 

Bess and I are praying together every morning for God to bless America. He is the only one that can save this nation from the mess we are in! Surely He is coming soon for His family that is anxious for His return. Now is the time to make sure you are ready!

 

Jesus really is coming back to earth again!

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

Blog 143 for December 28, 2019

 

   I AM  THINKING ABOUT WISE MEN!!!

 

If you have read my blogs for December, you know, I’ve been “thinking”!  I have thought about God incarnate, the Babe in Bethlehem’s manger. I have thought about angels, who announced His birth, and shepherds who were the first to be notified and first to follow the star to the manger.  Well, today, I’m thinking about 3 Kings, those wise men, the Magi.

 

Matt. 2:1 introduces us to the wise men from the east, who inquire about the newborn “King of the Jews," whose star they have seen in the east (Matt. 2:2).  There is no mention here of “three” or “kings." Presumably, the number three arose from their 3 gifts (Matt. 2:11); while the idea that they were kings probably came from reflection on Psalm 72 and Isaiah 63, which both make reference to visits by kings.  Although the names of the wise men are not mentioned, later tradition attributed variations of Balthasar, Melchior, and Casper.

 

In Matthew’s account of the story of the Magi, the guidance of a “star” is mentioned 4 times in Chapter 2:2,7,9,10. Its purpose was to guide the wise men to the newborn Baby.  Given that the Magi were almost certainly astrologers, the kind of phenomena familiar to them would have included comets and a conjunction of planets.

 

The star first sighted by the wise men (2:2) could be explained as a “supernova," a star that suddenly increases in size and brilliance.  The astrologers seeing this would search for its meaning. Checking the statement of Tacitus in his Annals, they would realize that “a comet means a change of emperor," and that the conjunction of planets is associated with the birth of a king.

 

A common role for such wise men was to discern the rise of a new king.  And, it was God who guided the wise men by utilizing the ordinary processes of creation. The wise men, the astrologers, must have learned something of the Jewish messianic expectation (Num. 24:17) “a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel."  Once they saw the star, they were convinced to make the long journey to Judea to acknowledge His birth. And they brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

Take the opportunity to read of the Magi’s visit in Matt. 2:1-9,11; Lk. 2:30-32.  Enjoy the lyrics to that familiar hymn, “We Three Kings," page 202 in the Nazarene hymnal. And worship as you listen to the beautiful song, “I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel," sung on YouTube by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (with lyrics in Spanish and English)..... For WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM.

 

A blessed New Year to you and yours.  

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 142 for December  21, 2019

 

I AM THINKING ABOUT

THE SHEPHERDS!

 

Going to the Holy Land has been one of the greatest highlights of our life’s journey. Walking where Jesus walked. Going to Bethlehem. Seeing places where Jesus lived out His purposeful life; His message of love, of redemption, of paying our debts. Oh, what love. And one of the many places we visited was “Shepherd’s Field." The sheep know the Shepherd’s voice.

 

One of my sweet friends is Phyllis Parker Webb of the famous Rick Webb Family Singers. On our retirement, two and a half years ago, she presented us with one of her original oil paintings, entitled “MY Sheep Listen To MY Voice."  It hangs in our home for all to see. I share a picture of it here for you.

 

 

As the inhabitants of the Roman World were preparing to go to their own town to register for the census for taxation purposes, a decree that Caesar Augustus issued, shepherds were out in their fields watching over their flocks per their custom. Joseph and pregnant Mary made their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register, traveling at least 85 miles, either on foot or sitting on a donkey. And while they were there, she delivered her firstborn Son; wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. Too busy a time...so many people there, registering for the census.

 

The shepherds were living in the fields nearby, watching over their flocks at night, when an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and naturally, they were afraid. As God’s angels always do, they said, “Do not be afraid." Then the angel gave the shepherds the good news of great joy; the sign - Christ the Lord was born in a manger. “Lord” was commonly applied to Caesar, but it was also a title for God in the O.T. So whenever Jesus was called “Lord,” both Jewish and Roman ears would have perked up. God was in Jesus bringing salvation in a way that the greatest Roman emperor could not even imagine.

 

Shepherds were ordinary people. The sign; this Savior, Christ, and Lord, would be found in a feeding trough rather than in the lap of luxury in an imperial palace. When the angel had left, the shepherds said one to another (they kept saying to one another), “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. The shepherds believed the angel’s message. So they hurried and found them as the angel had said. When they had seen the Child, they spread the word and all who heard it were amazed. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen. The Baby in the manger was confirmation of the angel’s message.

 

The story of the shepherds relates so closely to our great Shepherd. Please enjoy these YouTube videos, Evie singing “Shepherd of Love” and the Hoppers, singing “Gentle Shepherd.”

 

I’m so glad that the Lord is my Shepherd. Psalm 23. Hope He is your Shepherd, too. 

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 141 for December  14, 2019

 

 

 

I AM THINKING ABOUT THE SINGING ANGELS!

 

Angelic visitations are associated with Jesus’ birth.  While every child’s birth is special; they are not normally announced by angels.  Luke 2 records the birth of Jesus; and the angels sang the 4th Nativity Hymn, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”  (Luke 2:14)

 

  • Nativity Hymn #1 was sung by Elizabeth. (Luke 1:42-45)
  • Nativity Hymn #2 was sung by Mary. (Luke 1:46-55)
  • Nativity Hymn #3 was sung by Zechariah. (Luke 1:68-79)

A familiar angel to us all is Gabriel, the arch-angel, who announced that Mary would have a Child who would be the Messiah, and also, the Son of the Most High God. Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah and announced the birth of John the Baptist. Gabriel appeared to Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary, and told him that Mary’s Child was the Son of God. That night, Jesus was born; a host of angels appeared to the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem, announcing that “there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:1)  And at a later date, Gabriel warned Joseph to leave Bethlehem to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt. (Matthew 2:13) Another angel, when the time was ripe, told Joseph it was safe to return to his Jewish homeland. (Matthew 2:19-21)

 

Angels are spirit beings who serve God. Psalm 91:11 says, “He will give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."  WOW! How wonderful is this. Over our 80 plus years, Charles & I remember with thanksgiving, the many CLEAR times, God has covered us.  He has had us in the palm of His hands. He was watching over us all the time. He saved us from calamity. When you are on the Lord’s side, He has your back.  He goes before you, preparing the way. Lyrics of a favored song flood my mind today…"Never a burden that He does not carry. Never a sorrow that He does not share.  Whether the day may be sunny or dreary. Jesus, (that Baby born in Bethlehem) Jesus is always there."

 

Kirk Talley wrote a song about angels, “Serenaded by Angels." You can easily view it on YouTube.  You have a lot of choices but the best one I like is him singing it at one of Bill and Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming videos.  Our response to being “serenaded by angels” or (“touched by angels") is to believe the message, obey the message, glorify and praise God, and spread the Good News.

 

The YouTube I want you to enjoy is Bill and Gloria Gather’s Homecoming video, taken in South Africa, and the song is, “Angels We Have Heard On High."  You will be blessed. 

                      

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 140 for December  7, 2019

 

I AM THINKING ABOUT THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD!

 

As I began thinking about Christmas, I decided to explore more about the ADVENT SEASON.  The four weeks leading up to Christmas is a time to reflect on what that Baby born in Bethlehem’s stall so long ago, means to us.  He means everything for sure; but I wonder, can we even comprehend it all?

 

The ADVENT SEASON anticipates His coming, His arrival, His birth; and It gives perspective on the "WORD” made flesh. Yes, it is Jesus, the WORD, arriving in human form as a baby on that first Christmas morning.  The WORD truly became flesh! John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.” John 1:14 says “The WORD became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (The God-Man)

 

The WORD, who was with God and who created this vast universe (vs. 1-3), became a human being.  The theological term for this is “incarnation.” To say, He who is God became flesh, sets Him apart from all other teachers, prophets, and religions.  This is amazing. What the incarnation tells us is that God is not a distant God. And, because He became flesh, there remains forever a closeness to humanity. Remember the little chorus that we love to sing…"He’s as close as the mention of His name.”

 

As I think of Jesus, the Savior of the world, the God-Man and the Son of Man, I realize that we have an accessible God.   WOW! Another song comes to mind that I’ve enjoyed through the years: “I never walk alone. Christ walks beside me. He is the dearest friend I’ve ever known.  With such a friend to comfort and to guide me. I NEVER, no I never walk alone.”

 

In the Old Testament, the statement, “I will be with you,” appears more than 100 times. And that same truth is told throughout the New Testament with such phrases as, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

 

Feast on these additional scriptures.  In Jesus Christ, God has made His dwelling among us (John 1:14).  Matthew points to Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “They will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). And, Matthew tells us in (1:23) that Immanuel means “God WITH us.” Again, Matthew tells us in (28:20) that Jesus’ last words to His disciples were these, "and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

One preacher’s sermon went like this:

  1. Who is Immanuel? Immanuel is GOD with us.

  2. Where is Immanuel? Immanuel is God WITH us.

  3. Who is Immanuel with? Immanuel is God with US.

I serve an awesome God.  “And, He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.  And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”  Enjoy the YouTube of “In the Garden” and praise Him for His closeness.   What a mighty God we serve! 

 

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 139 for November 30, 2019

 

 

(Part 5 of 5)

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

I AM THANKFUL FOR CHRISTMAS

 

Can you believe Christmas, 2019, is only a few days away?  It almost seems like yesterday that we celebrated Christmas 2018.  But no sweat for me, because I love Christmas. The Immaculate Conception is amazing.  When we focus on Baby Jesus and how He came to this earth, Deity becoming humanity, it is amazing.  Our faces light up. Our eyes open wide. We have the look of wonder. We want to hear more. Wow-We! Tell me more about Jesus. Lest you are still blindsided; I, for one, am thankful for Christmas!!!

 

 

Micah 5:2, one of the many Messianic prophecies, announced way ahead of time, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.  We live “eons” after the many Messianic prophecies. We live after Jesus’ earthly life and His ascension back to Heaven.  We have eternal life today because He came as a Babe in Bethlehem with a purpose...to pay our sin debt. At this Christmas season, I honor Jesus and His “whosoever will” Redemption plan.  Because of “whosoever will”, I got to partake. And let me tell you, “It is glory just to walk with Him”.

 

I wish for you and yours a glorious Christmas, as you celebrate with Family and Friends, JESUS, MESSIAH!  He makes life worth living. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

                                               Bess Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 138 for November 23, 2019

 

(Part 4 of 5)

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

I AM THANKFUL FOR SECOND CHANCES

 

November is moving so rapidly. We’re now home in Florida, close to our children and their families, and close to many great friends.  I’m so thankful. When I started my blogs for November, I said early on, that “The Lord has filled my world with a lifetime of abundant blessings.”  It is so. A huge blessing is a second chance. I’ve needed many of these throughout my life. Remember that little saying we learned as a kid. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again until you do succeed.” Well, I had many “start overs and second chances.”

 

Have you had any “oops” in your life?  I have. Sometimes, it’s as simple as writing a check, and you mess it up.  So you have to start again. Sometimes, it’s the things you say or write. The words are not right, so you have to start over again.

 

Sometimes it’s the ingredients you put into your mind. They are of poor quality. They turn out to be disastrous. They lead us to a dark place.  We need help. We need to start over again. It’s then that The Potter gives us a second, third, even fourth chance to start over. Oh, how great is His love toward us.

 

Have you been broken? Are you addicted to a dead-end street? Is the hole you’re in, so deep, you think you can never get out again?  Have you grieved the Lord with some recent choice? Do you need help? Do you want help? Do you feel like giving up? Do you yearn for sweet peace and for faith to increase?  Do you cry for deliverance? How many times I’ve said, “I’m so sorry Lord.” I’ve messed up, done some things I shouldn’t have. I needed forgiveness. I needed to start over again.  I needed a second chance. And God gave me that opportunity...to start over again. PTL.

 

I’ve been feasting on Dr. Jerry Goff’s great song, “He Didn’t Throw the Clay Away,” as I’ve listened to several artists, sing his great song.  Oh, my, what a blessing! It just makes you love Jesus more. Please be inspired to start over again if need be, as you listen to this song. Be inspired to lift your voice in praise to the Lord for His great love for you.  He’s the God of the second chance. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His Holy Name.” Enjoy. Be raptured as you listen to Dr. Jerry’s song. 

                                                

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

BESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 137 for November 16, 2019

 

(Part 3 of 5)

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

I AM THANKFUL FOR TEACHABLE MOMENTS

 

There are not enough days, not enough hours, not enough minutes to get in all my praising.  I am still praising the Lord; thanking Him for establishing my goings and building me up in the most Holy Faith; praising Him for my Birth Family and my Personal Family and for YOU.

 

Growing up, I had a myriad of teachable moments.  As one can imagine, family life is a special place for learning.  We learn from each other. We especially learn from parents, from siblings, from teachers, from pastors, from you, our friends.  Remember that what you do and what you say and how you act are teachable moments for us all, especially to those looking on.

 

From my birth family, I learned to respect my elders; to obey, to share, to love each other, to tell the truth, to get along with others, etc.  One could go on and on. (Somewhere in the scheme of things is the hickory stick, the switch, the paddle, etc.) There is so much learning in family life; not only positive things but negative things as well, such as, do not cheat; do not fight, etc. Thank you, Jesus, for lessons learned from the family.

 

From teachers and pastors, I learned right from wrong, God’s plan of salvation, truths in God’s Word, the 10 Commandments, to tell the truth, to be a team player, to serve, to pray, to mend fences, to admit guilt, to be kind, to not cheat, and so much more.

From life, from YOU,  I’ve learned to be a good neighbor, to share the bounty with others, to care for others, when hurt, to let Jesus bind up my wounds, to not hold a grudge, to not return evil for evil,  but good for evil, to work out problems, to pray lots, and to study God’s Word, finding help, hope, and healing in the Bible.

 

Children teach us.  Friends, associates, & others teach us. The influence of others plays a huge part in the teaching process. Difficult times teach us. And we must let those difficult, hurtful, heartbroken, & stressful times, move us closer to God.  We must become better, not bitter. We can always run to our “Hiding Place” for God will take care of us. After all these years, I’m still standing; that’s proof enough for me.

 

   The songwriter said it this way, “I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions about tomorrow, there’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong, but in every situation, God gave blessed consolation that my trials come to only make me strong. Through it all, through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God. Through it all, through it all, oh I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”

 

God’s Word says it this way, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Phil. 4:6

 

Enjoy this YouTube video of “Through it All” by the Boothe Brothers. 

 

       

                             

He’s teaching and I keep “learning to lean.”   

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 136 for November 9, 2019

 

 

(Part two of five)

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY PERSONAL FAMILY

 

How blessed I am.  I have my wonderful husband, Charles; my son, Chuck, his wife, Kaye, children, Kyle, Michael. Tyler, and their spouses; my daughter, Micki, her husband, Bob, and children, Cody, and Chase. Charles and I pray for them every day.

 

God chose Charles for me. And, He birthed in our family, two children, the “almost perfect” son and the “almost perfect” daughter (“almost” because only GOD is perfect).  God chose them for us, their personalities & their appearances because WE needed them. They have given us many teachable moments. Without them even knowing it, they have contributed to our spiritual growth and increased wisdom.  And, I am sure God has used Charles and me to contribute teachable moments for them. Then God started adding to that number, as our family grew from generation to generation.

 

It’s fun to reminisce those beginning days of our personal family. It started with an “in love” courtship; that developed into a 59-year marriage (as of August 19, 2019). There in my hometown of Houston, Mississippi, on that August day in 1960, we said our vows before God and man at my Nazarene Church.  That was the start of my personal family.  

 

In 1961, our son, Chuck, was born in Nashville, TN. Soon after his birth, we moved to our first pastorate in Greenwood, MS, where I taught in the High School. Those toddler years were so precious. Though I prepared to teach on the secondary level, I just love little preschoolers.

 

From Greenwood, MS, we moved to West Memphis, AR, where our daughter, Micki, was born.  I taught there as well. As the years came and went, and our children grew older, those moves from one church pastorate to another were hard on them.  But they were “troopers.” Soon after arriving at a new place, they had found NEW friends.

 

And now, many years have passed.  Those toddlers, have personal family stories to tell, themselves.  Into every personal family story, some rain will fall. Our personal story is not without pain. But I’m so glad that God has walked the journey with us every step of the way.  We have never had to walk it alone. As we soon face the last stretch of God’s winding road to our eternal home, Charles & I will be walking “Hand in Hand with Jesus.” 

 

In the meantime, we want the Charles Kirby Family circle to be unbroken in God’s Heaven. All accounted for. All redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  All praising God for all He’s done. I am so blessed with a great personal family. Thank you, Jesus.

 

“Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING...be thankful to Him and bless His Name.” Psalm 100:4.

 

 Please enjoy this YouTube, all-time favorite song, “For All He’s Done,” sung by Greater Vision

 

 

                                                Bess  

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 135 for November 2, 2019

 

(Part one of five)

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS
I’M THANKFUL FOR MY BIRTH FAMILY.

 

November is here. It ushers in THANKSGIVING DAY, our 4th Thursday of the month. What a wonderful holiday; a time for family and friends to get together for good food, great fellowship, and bountiful thanks.


The Lord has filled my world with a lifetime of abundant blessings. It all started on November 17, 1938. My mother gave birth to me “way down” in the Mississippi Delta. God had pre-arranged my specific family, my birth, and my subsequent life. His plan for me started in eternity.


I was blessed at the beginning, as I still am in this 4th quarter of my life. Already, God had a secure, loving family nest picked out for me; 2 great parents and 2 caring sisters, with an order in for a big brother to join us later. There was no need for me to be afraid in this new world. I felt loved. I felt snuggled. I felt like stretching. I felt like smiling. WOW! 


In this family, I grew up, learned right from wrong. God had provided a safe environment; a heritage of His Word and His Redemption plan. I heard God’s Word from faithful pastors, Sunday School teachers, and training at home. I went to church with my sisters, and we even sang specials there. It was during these growing up years that I gave my heart to Jesus. I confessed my sins, asked His forgiveness, believed that He died on a cross for me, was buried, and resurrected Himself; yes, I believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I was saved. So, almost since the age of accountability, I have loved and served Jesus. “How can I say thanks for the things He has done for me...things so undeserved…”


The whole month of November is not too long for me to COUNT MY BLESSINGS and PRAISE THE LORD! My Dad and Mom are waiting for me in Heaven. My sister Mildred, waits for me, too! Gwendolyn, Fred, and I will one day join them as we, the GUS PEARSON FAMILY, all together, PRAISE GOD and CAST OUR CROWNS AT JESUS’ FEET.


I am “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20) Enjoy Evie Tornquist as she sings “MY TRIBUTE.” 

 

Bess