Blog 204 for February 27, 2021
Who hasn’t thanked God for His goodness, His manifold blessings of health, wealth, prosperity, ease, and comfort? It’s easy as we age to begin to accumulate things, such as the trappings of a blessed life; things like two cars, two homes (winter and summer homes), a gated community, a thriving business, a boat, bank accounts, including a savings account, acres of land, a private airplane, just to name a few. And don’t forget all the friends and business associates, kids and grandkids! Wow! How easy it is to be thankful to God for His bountiful blessings, for His goodness, no matter how many or how few of the trappings we may have.
Who has thanked God in the tough times, in the dark times, in the hard places of life; places like depression, physical sickness, death, joblessness, loss, addictions, homelessness, years that the locusts have eaten? We could go on and on, but you get the picture! It’s about time we begin praising God for His goodness both “in season” and “out of season."
Corrie ten Boom, at age 85, was gifted with a (first) home in California. Her friend asked her,” Corrie, hasn’t God been good to give you this beautiful home?” She replied firmly, “Jimmy, God was good when I was in Ravensbruck, too.” Remember she was a prisoner in Ravensbruck, the infamous women’s concentration camp. Look for God in the shadows and the sunshine. He’s as close as the mention of His name. God is good all of the time.
Those who are experiencing that hard place in life, begin focusing on the goodness of God. We were reading Job the other day, and what a difficult season of life he faced, yet He knew the great, GOOD God that he served. We must realize anew the goodness of our God. Know your GOOD God, no matter what your season is. Be encouraged. May your spirit be lifted as you listen to the Gaither Vocal Band singing, “God Is Good All The Time."
Love and prayers to you all.
Blog 203 for February 20, 2021
Haven’t you ever heard that “the early bird gets the worm”? Well then, get up! Let’s get going. “The night is far spent, the day is at hand…." (Romans 13:12). “We must work the works of Him who sent us while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work.” (John 9:4) "And we must SHINE; for you are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:14). Verse 16 says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." Make your testimony count!
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” I heard my parents say this many times as a child. In this statement, there is some truth. Sleep is good, restorative, and necessary for us. Sleep is the death of each day’s life. Morning is the dawn of each new day. Sleep is healthy for us. God made the nights and the days. Read the beauty of creation in Genesis 1: 1-5. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) We have “day” work to do. We can’t stay in bed. We must arise. Someone said that since the early worm gets eaten by the bird, sleep late. NO! NO! NO! We must “Rise and Shine and give God the glory, soldiers of the cross!” We must make our testimony count.
Philippians 2: 14-15 says, “Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you SHINE LIKE STARS in the world.” Isaiah, in his prophecy concerning the children of Israel, (an appropriate scripture for us today) said in Isiah 6:1 “ARISE, SHINE, for your light has come; and the GLORY OF THE LORD shines over you." The time is now to make your testimony count. Enjoy a church congregation singing “Jesus Revealed in Me,” written by Gypsy Smith.
Blog 202 for February 13, 2021
A WEALTH OF “Go-To” FRIENDS
CHEERS TO THEM!
(Part 2 of 2)
Everybody needs someone. To have friends makes one rich. To have “Go-To” Friends is a blessing beyond measure. Going the distance, helping out, teaching us, bringing joy, holding our hands, comforting and encouraging us, contacting us, thus putting a smile on our faces, praying for us, and on and on one could go expressing the benefits of “Go-To” Friends. We are richly blessed to have many of them; and, we would like to give a CHEER and extend deep APPRECIATION to all our “Go-To” Friends. Here is Part 2 of last week’s blog.
6. Here in Lakeland, Fl, and all of the Polk County area, many “Go-To” Friends have been a part of our history, and remain strong partners in our journey. Take Dick and Carol Noble, Henry and Judy Mulder, Carol Justice, Kaye Simpson Kirby, Rev. Jon and Jean Betz, Darrel, Dianne, and Andrew Gash, Ruth Craig, Charlotte White, Bob and Judith Brian, David (deceased) and Nancy Goldston, J.R. and Norma Hutchinson, and Dwight and Patti Pennington. And yet there are more! I call these our prayer partners. Charles and I send them our thanks and appreciation for this lasting, and strong bond of friendship.
7. And over on the East coast of Florida, Melbourne, a group of sweet Christian friends supported our ministry there and among them all, are some “Go-To” Friends, like Sue Price, Nick and Gloria Walker, Mike and Marsha Spencer, Dick and Ginny Bailey, and Glenn and Mary Bolyard. These are those who continue holding our hands and appreciating our ministry. We thank them and appreciate more than words can say their kind friendship.
8. And we cannot leave out our Canadian Christian “Go-To” Friends. What a delight to have John and Lorraine Armitage, Kaye Jeffery, Gordon and Maureen (Languille) McGeorge, partners in life’s journey. They hold our hands in prayers and conversation and sincere friendship. Charles and I thank them and appreciate them for deep friendship and great joy along our path of life.
9. All over this land there are Ministers, Pastors, Evangelists, Preachers, those who have served alongside us through the years; “Go-To” God-called heralds. Those lifetime friends, like Jay and Pat Ahlemann, Dwight and Kaye Southworth, David and Carolyn Diehl, Bobby and Libby Huffaker, J.D. and Esther Bailey, and Gene (deceased) and Peggy King. These dear ones know the hazards of the road. They are the “No Condemnation” “GoTo” Friends...friends for a lifetime. They also know, as do we, the Glory Road! What revivals! What outpourings! What souls saved! What miracles! Charles and I want to thank them and offer our appreciation for their faithful service to God and His Church, and for holding our hands along this journey.
10. From Arkansas to Texas to Virginia to California to Florida to Indiana, to Tennessee and beyond, there are folks we call friends. Like Patrick and Lois Sampson, Fred (deceased) and Nancy Church, Ray and Lenore Gabbard, Linda Gorby, Wayne Byrum, Steve, and Jana Johnson, George and Edye Flora, and others. What special “Go-To” friends they are. We thank the Lord for them. They have held our hands through the years. They have helped us along the way. Thank God for friends. What a blessing.
Thank you, Lord, for “Go-To” friends along the journey; those that we’ve remembered and those that have slipped our minds. All are precious in YOUR SIGHT and ours. What a joyful journey we’ve had. Love and appreciation to all. Please enjoy Michael W. Smith’s YouTube video, “Friends.”
Blog 201 for February 6, 2021
A WEALTH OF “Go-To” FRIENDS
CHEERS TO THEM!
(Part 1 of 2)
Everybody needs someone. To have friends makes one rich. To have “Go-To” friends is a blessing beyond measure. Going the distance, helping out, teaching us, bringing joy, holding our hands, comforting us, encouraging us on the journey, contacting us, putting a smile on our faces, praying for us often and even daily, and on and on one could go expressing the benefits of “Go-To” Friends. We are richly blessed to have many of them; and, today we would like to give a cheer and extend deep appreciation to a multitude of lifetime friends. They are friends who serve, give of themselves, and ready to help at a moment’s notice.
1. Way out West, in California land, there’s a man named Duane. Duane Kendall, that is. I call him my technology teacher. He has taught me so much. He is ever gracious to accept both Charles and my phone calls for help. He’s consistent, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I so enjoy his reply when asked how he is. His answer is, “Just outstanding."
You can’t get much better than that. He often has to teach me the same lesson over (and over) again. He freely puts these blogs we write on our website. He adds color and nice, appropriate pictures, etc. to our blogs. What a special “Go-To” Friend. Charles and I both send him our thanks and appreciation for his friendship and help.
2. Across the “Dawson/Kirby” canal, right here in the Creekwood Association, there is a couple named Kevin and Peggy Dawson. I call them my God-given next-door neighbors. I cannot tell you, readers of my blog, what precious, Christ-like, kind, helpful neighbors they are. What a delight to share their friendship. What special “Go-To” Friends. Charles and I both send them our thanks and appreciation for their friendship and help along life’s journey.
3. Way up Indianapolis way, are many “Go-To” Friends, like Ray and Vicki Haas, Jerry (deceased) and Shirley Cassel, Phil and Arveta Pitts, Gary and Linda Heller, Wayne and Joan Alford, Jack (deceased), and Jane Smithson, Bill (deceased) and Marge Carpenter, and on and on we could go. I call them Friends of encouragement. They have helped me so much; even when, perhaps, they didn’t know it. Their long-time friendship of keeping in touch brings a smile on our faces and encouragement to our spirits. What a joy to share life with them. What special “Go-To” Friends. Charles and I both send each of them our thanks and appreciation for their lasting friendship and help along the trail.
4. Over East down to Virginia, there are our “Go-To” Friends, Howard and Peggy Cress. They would do anything for us should we call. I call them, friends who will not forget you. Through thick and thin, they are the same. Peggy has sown couch covers, window treatments, bedding covers, and you name it. She is a person that can do anything. Her sewing is even represented at our cabins. At present, I enjoy her handiwork on my dining room windows. What blessings to have had so many years of friendship with this fine couple. What special “Go-To” Friends. And there are so many other Virginia “Go-To” friends, such as Bobby and Rose Howard, Frank Davenport, Tony Waskey, Ray, and Lois Masse, Paul Ebright, Larry and Jenny Jenkins, and, etc. Charles and I both send them our thanks and appreciation for this lasting, strong bond of friendship.
5. There are many in the Winter Haven, FL area who keep walking with us and are more of our “Go-To” friends. “If it keeps getting better and better, oh Lord, I don’t know what I’m gonna’ do.” To name a few (of many), Hank (deceased) and Barbara Shell, Dale and Kitty Sweet, Steve (deceased) and Cindy Stultz, Charles and Vonnie Davis, Byron and Peggy Claussen, Barbara Fivecoat Graham, Jean Finkbiner, Wally and Diane Blackburn, Jody and Jane Postin, and perhaps a “million” more. To walk alongside us on our life journey is a great comfort. These among a multitude of others from all over this continent are our “Go-To” Friends. Charles and I both send them our thanks and appreciation for this deep bond of friendship.
Thank you, one and all, for enriching our life’s journey. We truly are blessed. And what a joyful journey it has been. With love and appreciation,
Enjoy Michael W. Smith’s YouTube video, “FRIENDS."
Blog 200 for January 30, 2021
I was talking to my great friend, Gail, the other day about a song I used to hear her sing. I asked her the correct name of the song and if she had a YouTube video of her singing it, to which she replied, “Sorry, but I don’t." She told me who wrote it and that I might look up Cheryl Pruitt (also, Prewitt) to find the lyrics or even a YouTube video of Cheryl singing it. To which I did; though, search I did but to no avail.
Actually, I remembered Cheryl from the past. She’s a Mississippi girl, born in Ackerman, MS, February 15, 1957. Her Alma Mater is Mississippi State University, which is close to my hometown. I remember when she won Miss Mississippi in 1979 and the next year, in 1980, when she won Miss America. Cheryl’s youthful past was a difficult and devastating time. Searches on the internet revealed that Cheryl endured tremendous adversities which nearly ended her dream of becoming Miss America. As a young girl, she survived a horrific car crash that cracked her back and crushed her left leg, resulting in a physical handicap and facial stitches. Wikipedia records that despite a history of poverty, sexual abuse, a physical handicap, and a total of 200 facial stitches, Cheryl Prewitt became Miss America in 1980.
What troubles are you having now? What difficulties are you facing? What decisions do you need to make? What’s holding you back? Is your heart broken? What will fix it? What are your dreams? What are your obstacles? What is holding you back from making your dreams come true? Talk to God about it. Cheryl (Prewitt) Salem is an American Christian evangelist, author, musician, and former beauty pageant titleholder. Somehow she conquered her obstacles through prayer and determination. She stayed close to God during her life journey.
Your dream may not be to win a “Miss America” title. But you do have a dream. What’s it going to take to see that dream fulfilled? I, for one, don’t know, but God does. Would things like getting rid of certain attitudes, affections, and associations help? Would replacing sinful, negative things with forgiveness, compassion, love, and thanksgiving, help? God’s purposes for your dream coming true may take a longer time than you thought. Rest assured that if you have prayed, are obedient to God’s plan, and are willing to wait for the fulfillment, victory is yours. So hang on, BLUE SKIES are coming!
Enjoy the YouTube video of the Perrys singing “Blue Skies Coming."
Blog 199 for January 23, 2021
“Hocus Pocus” or the Real Thing?
We’ve just recently celebrated Christmas and the New Year. Many youngsters received a myriad of surprise gifts. In my mind’s eye, I can just see the light, the sparkle in their eyes, and the smile on their faces when they opened those gifts!
Charles, at times in his pastoral ministry, liked to perform magic for the children. It was a delight for us to see their eyes “pop wide open"...and their faces glow in wonder and amazement as he said, “Hocus Pocus." Some of the children even cried, “Do it again!!!"
God doesn’t do magic. He doesn’t give us “Hocus Pocus” delight, but He does perform MIRACLES. And those are needed every day by millions in His amazing world.
I wonder what’s on your heart today? What miracle do you need? I know for sure that I need the real thing; not some “hocus pocus” trick. Let me tell you, having traveled on the narrow road for about 65 years, that Jesus cares for us. He will not forget His own. He sees what we are going through. He sticks closer than a brother, a sister, a mother, or a father. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Whatever your need is today, as you read this blog, hold those shoulder high, as you lift your eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh your help. There’s a miracle in the making for you. Rejoice in the Lord. This is the day that He hath made. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim; in the light of His glory and grace.”
Read these wonderful promises of God and be blessed.
Matt. 7:7 “Ask and it shall be given you, seek…, knock…”
John 13, 14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Eph. 3:20 “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
Hebrews 13:5 "...I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
There are yet thousands more wonderful words of life. Find them in God’s Word. Enjoy the song “Wonderful Words of Life”
Blog 198 for January 16, 2021
MY HUMANITY IS SHOWING!
I got up one morning with the blues still filling my spirit. All I felt like doing was crying…..crying over lots of stuff; crying over our leaders of government, including President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. I’m crying over the misguided words of our mouths and the failures of our Christian influence on our culture. What has happened to the body of Christ? Have we put down our weapons of warfare, causing our enemies to triumph? And, I’m crying over all the things I can’t even phrase. I feel like I’ve cried a river of tears. The only thing that gives me the courage to keep on keeping on, is that TEARS are a language God understands. I’m reminded that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Surely HE must be weeping over these United States of America, as well as other countries of the world. He must also be weeping over the chaos in so many of our families and the closing of our churches.
As in my yesterdays, I am today, not just soaking in my own tears, but my spirit is being called into action. I am praying. Calling on God to defeat our enemy...to heal our land...to strengthen us for what’s ahead...to restore the church again...TO SAVE THE LOST, to put HIS thumb in our backs, preachers and laymen alike…to shine through us...to protect us with HIS royal blood, keeping us safe ‘til the storm passes by, and even so, to COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS.
This is just verse one of this great old hymn, written by Martin Luther. Verse 2 tells us who THE RIGHT Man is, who is on our side. He’s the MAN of GOD’S own choosing. HIS NAME IS CHRIST JESUS, LORD SABAOTH. HE MUST WIN THE BATTLE. AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.
Praise our Mighty Fortress. He inhabits the praise of HIS people. “The prince of darkness grim - We tremble not for him. His rage we can endure, for, lo, his doom is sure…” “.....GOD’S TRUTH ABIDETH STILL. GOD’S KINGDOM IS FOREVER.” Whew!!! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! I’m standing in the gap; how about you?
Enjoy this great old song on YouTube video.
Blog 197 for January 9, 2021
Repeating can be good! Just listen to music and often lyrics are repeated. Think about directions to someone’s home. They are repeated numerous times. In cooking, a chef may repeat the combination of spices many times in his meal preparation. Reading the Bible over and over and over is a blessing! I’m glad you agree that repeating can be a good thing. It can be profitable. So, here goes...a blog from last year.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
The skies may be overcast. The sun may refuse to shine. And you may be sinking low.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
The storm clouds may appear. The rains may fall. And you may cry a million tears.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
The weeds may take over. The flowers may die. And you may despair.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
Insects and animals may destroy the garden. The food supply may vanish. And you may break down.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
God may walk right in and solve your difficult problem, hear your cry.
And, ON ANY GIVEN DAY…
God may turn your deep mourning into great joy.
Our God is faithful. He will mend your broken heart. He will dry your tear-stained eyes. He will supply your deepest needs. He will make a way for you.
ON ANY GIVEN DAY, you can always count on HIM.
Written by BESS KIRBY
Blog 196 for January 2, 2021
LET’S START THE YEAR OUT RIGHT!
1. Begin with a firm foundation. Be settled in your faith. If you don’t already know Jesus as Savior, get to know Him. Read His Word, the Holy Bible. Call upon Him in prayer. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 at least once a week, especially until you get rooted in Christ.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
2. Get established in God’s Word. Read it every day. Love both the Old and the New Testaments. Find the “do’s and don’ts." Look for those 10 Commandments. Live by them. Find God’s promises. Be encouraged by them. Promises like, ”I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Being established in God’s Word means knowing it and living it.
3. Grow as a Christian believer. You are never too young or too old to grow in Christ. Growing is a by-product of the law of seedtime and harvest. “Study to show yourself approved…” Learning and putting it into practice is growth. Human perfection is unattainable. There is only One who is perfect. That’s God. But we are made to grow, not only physically, but also spiritually.
4. Get into a Bible Believing Church. You might even join a Bible Study Group. Listen to the instructor, the preacher, the teacher. Listen to the discussion. Take it all to God in prayer, praying for wisdom to discern the Truth. Read the scriptures. Use Bible resource books such as commentaries. Even consider memorizing scripture. In our youth is the best time to memorize the scriptures. That way we will have His Word hidden in our hearts all the days of our lives. (But, even in old age, memory is good for us.)
5. Learn to pray. Listen to the “old-timers” as they pray. Feel the Power. Read “The Lord’s Prayer." Find many other scriptures in the Bible about prayer. Ephesians 6:18 says “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” Supplication means earnest, urgent entreaty.
6. And finally, Walk the Talk. If you profess, then, by all means, possess! Live like a believer. Practice what you preach!!!
Enjoy the Mark Trammel Quartet singing “Your Walk Talks,” about this subject...your talk matches your walk.