BLOG # 8: MAY 26, 2017
Who said retirement is boring?
Since Bess and I arrived at our cabins on May 22, we have been as busy as bees.  When our friends stay in our cabins, they will see the fruits of our labors.  Stargazer and Snuggled-in cabins are being upgraded to the delight of Bess.  As her friends know, she is very good at decorating.   I get to enjoy the fruits of her labors.  
We have been working hard setting up our lap-top and printer.  Just today, Friday, we made two trips to Staples in Sevierville.  Duane Kendall has been a great “geek”, along with Josh at Staples.
Phone calls, emails, notes and letters are a delight.  I found a quiet place in a busy store to respond to a phone call from a dear friend, and to pray for his healing through a medical procedure.   Another dear ministry friend called to report on his heart procedure and we both rejoiced together.   Ministry is always a delight for Bess and me.
Now it is all coming back to me.  So many people told me when you retire you will be very busy and never bored.  How can anyone be bored here in these beautiful Smokies and these glorious mountain views?

Charles Kirby


BLOG #7   May 19, 2017

Grandsons are very special! Bess and I have 4 young men that really bless us and make us proud! Chase is the youngest, and the son of Micki and Bob. He is graduating from high school in Melbourne. After church on Sunday, the 21st, Bess and I will attend his graduation party. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade average. He was just recently voted the MVP on his school soccer team. He is also finishing his second year of college, making the President’s List with a 4.0 grade average. I must admit, he did not get his smarts from me.
Bess and I will arrive at our cabins on Monday the 22nd. Our work is already cut out for us, beginning on Tuesday. Lowe’s will install new carpet in our Stargazer cabin on Wednesday and in the Snuggle In cabin on Tuesday the 30th. I will take over the grass cutting responsibilities from Steve, our neighbor, that has been helpful to us since our Lord gave us the cabins 12 years ago. He is a lay preacher, and really loves the Lord. He and his wife, Jana, live above us where Majestic View Way ends. That means I will need to buy a lawn mower from Lowe’s in Newport and be ready to tackle the grass on three slopes. As I am thinking about the new assignment, I really am grateful that most of our nearly two acres is woods. During our two week vacation time in April, I purchased a new weed eater and blower so I would be equipped and ready. 
Next week I will tell you about Cody, the older brother of Chase. He is in a staff position at the large Calvary Chapel Church in Melbourne. Also, I will update you on the happenings at Majestic View cabins on Majestic View Way in Cosby, Tennessee. 
I love the Smokey Mountains!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #6   May 12, 2017

As I remember my mother, I rejoice over the firm foundation she laid for my sister Diane and me. It reached all the way to our grandchildren. The power of influence is a priceless treasure. It endures through the years. The godly heritage my mother left all of us is greater than earthly wealth and possessions. We are so blessed!
In a few days Bess and I will head for the mountains, where we plan to spend the first summer in retirement. Fourteen years ago our Lord blessed us with two very nice cabins in a gorgeous area of the Smokey Mountains. It is peaceful and beautiful, beyond description, as we drive Majestic View Way, and are inspired by the incredible view of the mountains. It really is a fabulous sight! We are looking forward to our friends coming to see us and booking the Snuggled In cabin. It sure will help us in retirement. The Stargazer cabin will be our home for the summer and fall.
Living with anticipation!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #5   May 5, 2017

What does a high energy person do with retirement? That is the question that is uppermost in my mind during the first full week of a new journey I had never taken before. I guess I just didn’t think very far ahead. I have preached through the years that 95% of life is adjusting to change. It is a fact, our Lord is the great adjuster!
Much of my first full week has been helping Bess in her shoulder challenge with doctor’s appointments and therapy. She received a great report today, May 4, from her surgeon. The therapist are really helping her tremendously. Her pain has almost been non-existent. Thanks so much for so many of you who have prayed for her. I am so grateful. Prayer has been the key!
Once a preacher, always a preacher. I am communicating with district superintendents and local church leaders in speaking assignments across the country. I will let my Lord lead me where He wants to use me, and where He wants me to go.  Once we get back to our cabins around June 1, I will have much to do. Physical labors will be great for me.
Now it is time to open your Bible and turn to my favorite Scripture from God’s Word in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The Lord is my strength!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #4    April 29, 2017

Bess and I have been having a wonderful time of vacation and restoration at our cabins. We have avoided working around the cabins, like we usually do, when we spend vacation time at the cabins. For those of you that are interested, I haven’t cut any trees or trimmed any limbs. I didn’t want Bess to fall again, just in case she decided she wanted to help me. {I think she has learned her lesson}Those acorns she stepped on October 19, and dislocated her shoulder, are still there. We decided we would just spend time relaxing and having fun this trip up and save the work for later. Oh yes, there will be trimming and staining the two decks and much more. By the way, it is a different day. I am trying my best to adjust to retirement. 

After church tomorrow morning we will head back to Lakeland so Bess can have her shoulder manipulation on May 2. After the procedure, she will go immediately to therapy. People have been telling us it will be very painful, but we are not accepting that. So many have been praying for God’s healing provision that will make the recovery a miracle time. That is what we are believing! Thank you so much for your prayers and agreeing with us. Bess is scheduled for therapy five days a week until Dr. Volpe says it is enough and she is healed. That will sure be a happy day!

Expecting God’s healing blessing!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #3    April 22, 2017


I’ve always been fascinated my rainbows, but none like happened a few days ago.  Bess and I were returning from a meal with friends at the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge when it happened.  We ran into a heavy rain storm about 15 minutes  from our cabins that only lasted a few minutes. A very brilliant rainbow appeared, along with a second one, not as brilliant.  (Bess took the picture you see) As we marveled at the sight, I said to Bess, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were at our cabins.”

As we talked about Noah and the meaning of rainbows, we agreed rainbows were a sign of blessing and favor from God. As we continued on our journey, the two rainbows did not fade away and disappear, but remained in brilliant  color. As we drove up Majestic View Way to our cabins, both rainbows were guiding us home.  When we walked onto our deck, the brilliant rainbow was centered in front of our cabin with the second one close behind.  Bess and I stood in amazement for several minutes giving our Lord praise.   Both rainbows remained for an unusual length of time.

Bess and I are accepting this amazing happening as a sign from our Lord that God’s blessings and favor will follow us through our retirement.

Enjoy God’s blessing and favor,

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 2:  April 15, 2017

Easter has always been my favorite Sunday. Two Easters in my pastoral career stand out as the most exciting and dynamic in two of my churches. The first was in 1972 at Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. That was the very first time any of my churches went over the 1,000 mark in attendance.  I can still remember the excitement of this incredible day! Total attendance was 1,342. The Downings were our featured music guests for the entire day. The church was jammed with people. We had 648 people present that rode our 15 buses. We rented Point-Of-View School down Parliament Drive from the church for an exciting children’s rally with over 500 in attendance. Back at the church, we had to put a large crowd in the courtyard area, looking in the open doors and windows of the worship center. Of course the overflow section of the worship center was packed. Since the doorways into the worship center opened out into a long hallway, chairs were placed there for people to sit, and down every isle as well. All of that was really amazing, but the most incredible and glorious happening of the day was in the evening service when 125 people came to faith in Christ as the Downings kept singing “I Will Meet You In The Morning Just Inside The Eastern Gate.” People filled the front and altar areas several times. That remains to this day the most victorious service I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
The next great Easter Sunday happened in Lubbock, Texas in 1976 at Lubbock First Nazarene Church. We rented Texas Tech Coliseum for an Easter rally with Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Our great music family joined Bro. Bob for a thrilling service. What a sight to see a host of people coming forward at the invitation to receive Christ! Over 3,400 people attended that one service. It really was amazing to witness it all!
Today is Saturday April 15, 2017. It is Easter week-end once again. Tonight Darrel Gash and the LGC Singers will close out our 19th season of “Saturday Nights In Lakeland” with a fabulous production of Easter music with “Jesus Paid It All!” Easter morning we will have two Easter services. The annual Sunrise Service will be in the beautiful garden courtyard at 7:30 a.m. and a Resurrection Celebration service will be at 10 a.m.. Thinking about everything as I write these lines, it is very sobering. This is going to be my final service at Lake Gibson, when I will bring my last message as pastor for 19 years.  It will also climax 56 years as career pastors for Bess and me. Wow! What a journey!
Precious memories, how they linger!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 1:  April 8, 2017

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week leading up to the resurrection of our Lord on Easter. Ten times I have taken the Palm Sunday walk from Mt. Olivet to Gethsemane’s garden. It really is a holy walk our Lord took on Palm Sunday. It is a continuous downward slope, and offers the pilgrims who take this walk a time of reflection and rededication. This is where our Lord made the final decision to take the low road to the cross rather than the high road to an earthly throne. I really am blessed, thinking He had me in mind in that decision that has transformed my life for all eternity!  Hallelujah, what a Savior!  To climax this holy week, Bess and I will end 56 years of pastoral ministry on Easter morning.  Hallelujah, what a journey!
Have a glorious Easter 2017!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #8   May 26, 2017

  ​Just call me”In Love”. With Charles, certainly. But, I’m really speaking of Jesus. You might ask, “Why?. Well, ‘if it keeps getting better and better, Oh Lord; I don’t know what I’m gonna’ do’. Retirement is not for the weak. And I don’t have blinders on. BUT GOD...! Do you know that God makes all the difference. If your faith is rooted and grounded in Jesus, His death & resurrection; then, you know that new days, blessed days are coming. I already feel stronger based on my belief system. Nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God.

If God has ministered to you through this blog; send me a quick
email . May you have a wonderful, new week. 




BLOG #6   May 12, 2017

With a grateful heart, I write my blog today.  First, I thank God for His manifold blessings.   They are too many to count.  How great is our God. Next, I thank my dear life partner, my husband, Charles for standing by me through "thick and thin."  Next, my precious children, Chuck and Micki and their families for giving me such great joy.  And I'd NEVER leave out our many friends and prayer warriors.   

​Thank you for your love, friendship,​ many kindnesses, and your prayers.   Thank you for praying for my healing.   Our God hears our prayers and answers them.  HE is miraculously touching me.  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR THAT MIRACLE.  MY SHOULDER WILL BE LIKE NEW.  I've touched "His garment" in prayer and He is touching me and making me whole.

Thank you, one and all, 


BLOG #5    May 5, 2017

​ ​ As I write this blog, I’m sitting on our cabin deck, looking at God’s nature...the majestic mountains, the tall, lush green trees, the beautiful flowering plants and, at the same time, rocking my cares away. You can’t look at God’s magnificent creation and concern yourself about anything. Oh, how sweet it is....

As we spend more time in the mountains, we hope to enjoy deer and lots of different kinds of birds in our small backyard. We, of course, will try to entice them to come, putting up salt and mineral blocks and then seed for beautiful, colorful birds.

“This is our Father’s world; and, to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world. I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas- His hand, the wonders wrought.”

WOW! What a beautiful world.

So thankful for the beauty of Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and the whole world. What a Creator God we love and serve. This is the day to praise Him. Be bold in your praise. God inhabits the praise of His people.

Love to all, 

Bess Kirby 

BLOG #4    April 29, 2017

Here’s another favorite song of mine.  It always encourages me.  I’m singing this today...TRUST HIS HEART, written by Eddie Carswell and Babbie Mason.

1. All things work for our good, though sometimes we don’t see how they could. Struggles that break our hearts in two sometimes blind us to the truth.  Our Father knows what’s best for us. His ways are not our own.  So when your pathway grows dim and you just don’t see Him. REMEMBER You’re never alone.

(Chorus) God is too wise to be mistaken; God is too good to be unkind; so, when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan; When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.

2. He sees the Master Plan and He holds our future in His hand. So, don’t live as those who have no hope; all our hope is found in Him.  We see the present clearly; but, He sees the first and the Last; and, like a tapestry, He’s weaving you and me to someday be just like Him. 

WOW! When we don’t understand; when we don’t see His plan; when we can’t trace His Hand; we can TRUST HIS HEART.  Oh, how much He loves us.  Choose your song today and sing it to Jesus.  May the joy of the Lord be your strength. 

Bess Kirby

BLOG# 3:    April 22, 2017 ​

 ​One of my favorite songs is an oldie Goldie, titled “GOD REACHES DOWN” by Frances Erickson & Floyd Hawkins.  It has such beautiful harmony...written for a duet.  Here are the lyrics,; they may encourage you today. 

1. Just when the burdens of life are most heavy, Just when my cup seems too bitter to bear, God reaches down with His hand of compassion, lifting the load and soothing my care.

(Chorus) God reaches down; God reaches down, just when it seems I no longer can stand. Giving me strength and renewing my courage. God reaches down His almighty hand.

2. Just when it seems beyond human endurance, when great afflictions have saddened my way.  God reaches down with His love everlasting, whispering, “Lo, I’m with you always.”

3. Sensing this truth that God knows all the reasons.  He knows each test that will bring heaven’s gain, Confidence leans on His arms everlasting.  Morning will break; then all will be plain.   

Oh yes, My God reaches down to help me, to encourage me, to strengthen me.  He’ll do it for you, too.     Continue singing your praise to the Lord.  Do it daily.  

Bess Kirby

BLOG # 2:   April 15, 2017

After Easter, somebody needs to testify.  So here I go.  I love music; love to play the piano and sing.  So I want to sing praise to the Lord every day for what He’s done for me.  I want the world to know that I do believe in a hill called Mt. Calvary.  I do believe that the Man on the middle cross was God incarnate, Jesus the Son of God, my Redeemer; that He suffered such cruelty, shame and awful pain to pay my sin debt.  I should have been crucified; but Jesus, God’s Son took my place. So, why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come?  I will arise and SING PRAISE TO THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE GOD.  Sing along with me today.   

Bess Kirby

Blog # 1:  April 8, 2017 

As I think of Passion Week, I’m reminded of the two bombshells Jesus laid on the disciples before Gethsemane.  The first one was that He would be leaving them; He would no longer be with them. Oh my!  What would they do?  Of course, He would send them another comforter.  The second was that one among them would betray Him.  Oh my!  There was division in the camp.  Who was it?  Palm Sunday week was a difficult time for the disciples.  They were confused; scared no doubt, questioning, not sure about their future.  But today, as I chat with you, I remember the title of a grand old hymn, “The Way of the Cross Leads Home”.  All of us have crosses to bear.  Not to the extent of Jesus’ cross.  Jesus would go through much; and, the disciples would have a tough time.  But at the end of it all,  Betrayal, Gethsemane, the trial, the scourging, the cross, His death and burial, there was the resurrection!!!  Wow!  That says it all.  The end was the beginning for His early disciples; it is for you and me, as well.  He brought us salvation; forgiveness of our sins & peace with God.  And one day, we will be at home with God.  Oh what love that He should die for me (and you). 

Let’s THANK HIM for the great price He paid when He took our place and cancelled our sin debt.  I’ll be worshipping with you this Passion week and Easter.   

Bess Kirby