ARCHIVES  JANUARY - FEBRUARY

2021

 

 

Blog 204 for February 27, 2021

 

 

 

THE FOUR KEYS TO SUCCESS IN THE REMAINING 10 MONTHS IN 2021

 

There is a movement that is trying to remind all of us of the need for constant improvement. Yet, we seem to be too mired in our past that we struggle with being all that God wants us to be. The Apostle Paul in the third chapter of Philippians reminds us of some keys to success as Christians. Almost two months in the new year of 2021 have already passed. With ten months to go, I am accepting the challenge of Paul to be all that I can be in the time that remains and to make the rest of the year a time of spiritual growth and development. I challenge you to join me in this exciting journey! Paul gives us four keys to success as Christians.

 

Philippians 3:12-14

New King James Version

12 Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

I. CONCENTRATE ON ONE MAIN GOAL - VV.12-13

This has to do with our focus. We have so many projects and things we dabble in; but to be successful for the Lord, we must concentrate on one main goal in life. The main thing, seeking first the Kingdom of God, must remain the main thing every step of the way. We must be moving forward with the Lord.

 

II. CONCENTRATE ON CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT - VV 12-13

We never arrive. Even the sanctified life is one of constant growth and spiritual development. We are on dangerous ground when we feel we have arrived and there is no area in which we need to grow. God is continually stretching us and causing us to be conformed to His will and purpose. 

 

III. FORGET THE PAST - V 13

“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” To forget the past is a constant, deliberate discarding any thought of past attainment or of past failure. 

 

IV. FOCUS ON THE FUTURE - VV 13-14

There is only one way to really forget the past, and that is to focus on the future. Where is our focus? Is it one of past sins and past failures? God wants us to focus on what we can become if we follow Him and focus on His grace and His possibilities for our lives.

 

Let us not forget to look to our Lord for help as we each seek to be all that He intended for us to be.

 

I still believe that:

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 203 for February 20, 2021

 

 

DAILY RULES FROM GOD FOR THE FUTURE

 

If we really want to experience a great future we must go to the source that will make it all possible. Our Lord gives us 7 keys, 7 daily rules to live by in the future that is before us.

 

  1. WAKE UP!

Decide you are going to have a good day.

Psalm 118:24 “Today is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

  1.  DRESS UP!

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. It is a very inexpensive way to approve your looks.

I Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

  1. SHUT ​​​​​​UP! 

Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

Proverbs 13:3 “He who guards his lips guards his soul.”

 

  1. STAND UP!   

Stand for what you believe in. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. 

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not grow weary while doing good, in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

 

  1. LOOK UP! 

Look up to the Lord  

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 

  1. REACH UP! 

Reach up for something higher. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” 

  1.  LIFT UP! 

Lift up your prayers  

Philippians 4:6 “Do not worry about anything; pray about everything” 

 

God answers knee mail!

 

 Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 202 for February 13, 2021

 

ONE PLUS GOD ALWAYS MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

 

 

 

Judges chapter 6 records one of the most amazing happenings in the history of mankind. It is the story of Gideon. He is one of my favorite personalities in all of God’s Word. The author of Judges, who is unknown, tells us Gideon was the least in his father’s house. As the incredible story in Judges unfolds, God is calling Gideon to save Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. God is saying to Gideon, “I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

 

Nowhere in the Word of God can we find a better basis to prove the value of one plus God. Gideon’s sword plus the sword of God...Gideon plus God...one plus God. What an army! It is just another way of saying if God be for us, who can be against us! One plus God makes the difference in any situation or circumstance!

 

 

 

The value of one is illustrated in the Bible. Noah was just one, but his life was an unmuddied stream in an ocean of iniquity. Joseph was just one, but he brought deliverance to a world in a great famine. Moses was just one, but with his rod seas divided and a nation was born in one night. Paul was just one, but he rocked the old world with the message of Jesus Christ.  It is a fact, one plus God has always made the difference through the centuries of time! Gideon plus God...You plus God. What a team!

 

 

 

As an old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” the old man countered. “How can your effort make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves.  “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

 

You, plus God, will always make a difference in your life! You have the opportunity to prove it.

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 201 for February 6, 2021

 

 

LIVING IN CAMP MEETING LAND

 

Through the years before becoming a Florida resident, I had heard of the Florida Holiness Camp Meeting. Bess and I knew some of our friends spent part of the winter season on the campgrounds and attended the annual camp meeting in February. I knew some of the outstanding preachers that were featured from year to year, like Dr. Lawrence B. Hicks, and his powerful message, “There Must Be A Heaven Somewhere!” It was exciting to attend for the first time in February of 1981.

 

 

The days and times of camp meetings are now few and far between. The Avon Park Florida camp meeting is another one that has survived. They are in their 82nd year with their annual camp meeting on January 31 through February 7. A famous Methodist preacher, Dr. H. C. Morrison, was the founder of this camp meeting on their camp meeting grounds, located on U. S. Highway 27 South. It has been my honor to be the featured preacher in several of the camp meetings through the years across America!

 

 

Bess and I have many friends associated with the Florida Holiness Camp Meeting. Dr. Ted Lee is the president. He and his wife, Beverly, are good friends. Dr. Lee has been associated with Olivet Nazarene University for several years. He will kick off the 96th camp meeting with a rally service on February 21th at 10:30 a.m. Camp Meeting ministers will be Dr. Gary Henecki, Rev. Bill Huddleston, Dr. Lonnie Potts, Bible Teacher, and Mark Murphy, Music.

 

 

Not only are camp meetings very limited across America, but revival meetings and crusades are also a thing of the past in most churches. Here is a very important question: if “Revive America” is the key to a national transformation, how will the Church world today be impacted by the Holy Spirit with another great awakening? The greatest need of our day and time is for a mighty move of God’s Holy Spirit across the land!

 

 

Dear Lord, send a great revival in my soul!

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 200 for January 30, 2021

 

 

How They Linger!

 

 

When Bess and I went to hear two of our favorite quartets a few nights ago, It brought back great memories that continue to linger. For 19 years I was the host for Saturday Nights In Lakeland. It became one of the most exciting events and ministries in my 56 years of pastoral journeys across America. The record will show that the timing was right for this ministry at Lake Gibson Church. I had tried this ministry one other place, at Saturday Nights In Lubbock, Texas, which was a singing church. I soon became aware that the timing was not right in Lubbock for this ministry. At that time the Speer Family was in their prime as one of the most popular groups in gospel music. When we had them for a Saturday night concert, the crowd was very disappointing, so I never tried it again until 25 years later.

 

 

In January of 1999, Les Beasley from the Florida Boys Quartet called me about hosting a concert on a Saturday night. He said all we had to do was tell the people and pass the plates for an offering. It was an amazing night! The place was packed, with standing room only; chairs down the aisles, and people in the lobby. It went without saying, the Lakeland area was a prime place for Saturday night gospel concerts. As a result, we experienced record growth for 19 years. Sunday morning growth increased in record numbers as an outreach of Saturday nights. People from all denominational backgrounds began to stream in. It really was incredible to witness! I am really getting excited just describing and thinking about those glorious years! To God be the glory! Great things He really did do!

 

 

Bess and I had an exciting evening on Thursday, January 14. Two of the most popular groups in gospel music were in concert at First Nazarene Church in Winter Haven. The Triumphant Quartet and Guardians Quartet were featured in a gospel quartet of music. Sitting in the beautiful large worship center God helped us to build in 1987, really brought back wonderful memories of the ten years of non-stop miracles, building two worship centers, buying six businesses and several houses for expansion and growth. It was inspiring to see wonderful people that were involved in our ministry.  We sure felt their love for us! We had the opportunity to spend time with Triumphant and Guardians. Both groups are anointed by the Holy Spirit every time they step on a stage to minister. Triumphant has been the featured singers in four of my crusades through the years, and keys to all of the spiritual victories through each crusade. Dean Hickman, the leader of the Guardians and outstanding tenor of the group, joined Dr. Stan Toler before his passing, writing the outstanding book, REVIVE AMERICA. “If you are hungering for an outpouring of God’s Spirit in your life and in the life of your church, this is a book that will guide you to it!”

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 199 for January 23, 2021

 

 

I AM GLAD GOD IS IN CONTROL!

 

I have had the experience of flying in some smaller private planes through the years. My friend, Roy Wall, from Lubbock, Texas, volunteered to fly me in his plane to speak in conferences in Texas and Oklahoma several times. It was something he really wanted to do. Even though I was accustomed to flying to speak across the country in big jets, I could tell he would be honored to fly me in his small plane, so I agreed. It really did give me an opportunity to have a wonderful fellowship with an outstanding layman in Lubbock First Nazarene Church. 

 

Roy’s plane was not equipped with an automatic pilot. If it had been, I probably would have been nervous in my journeys. I have read about the yoke in automatic pilot planes almost mysteriously turning the plane. As a matter of fact, it might look to the casual observer as if the plane was out of control and turning on its own. I can tell you that would really make me nervous! The fact is, an outside power would be directing the plane through a radio signal from the airport of our destination, guiding the flight, and drawing the plane closer and closer to itself, steadily being directed toward the goal. 

 

In recent times I have been tempted to think that our lives, our nation, the whole world are out of control, with no direction or destination. I must admit the big concern in my heart leading up to the elections on November 3rd and January 5th was political conservatives to be elected to office. That has been Bess's and my prayer every morning in our devotional times for months. The results of the elections have become one of the greatest disappointments I have ever experienced. There is no doubt in my mind that the price is going to be great for all of us in the future.

 

I have convinced myself that God is in control. My Lord gave me a tremendous promise from Isaiah 48:17 {NKJV} on Friday morning January 8 that is powerful! 

 

I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD,

WHO TEACHES YOU TO PROFIT,

WHO LEADS YOU BY THE WAY YOU SHOULD GO.

 

I am very excited to declare that God is sitting at the controls! God does everything with a careful plan and perfect design. He has planned carefully for each of us, arranging Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, even before the foundation of the world! Doesn’t it make sense for us to cooperate with God so His plan works in our lives as He intended? Without one doubt, the time is right for a mighty spiritual awakening to sweep through our nation and around the world! Do not forget this glorious fact: “Prayer is the key to heaven, and faith unlocks the door!” Can you begin to realize what would happen if God’s people would rise up in a revival of prayer covering America? Here is God’s promise I am continuing to stand on. Will you join me?

           

  • “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves,
  • And pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways,
  • Then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”   2 Chronicles 7:14

 

In a few days, on January 28 (Thursday) at 10:00 a.m., I will be preaching at the Florida Holiness Camp Grounds on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland. This is leading up to the 96th annual camp meeting that begins on February 21. It has always been a joy to speak to the many friends that spend the winters on the camp meeting grounds every year. Many of these people attended the services at Lake Gibson Church during my pastoral ministry. 

 

Dear Lord, send a great revival in my soul!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 198 for January 16, 2021

Bartow Regional Medical Center

 

 

MY RECENT HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE

 

I began an unexpected hospital experience on Monday, December 28. Dr. Remmer, my priority care doctor, after special examinations, had determined I needed hospital

Dr. Remmer

attention immediately. Since Bartow Regional Medical Center was the closest to our condo, I chose to go there. I was instructed to check-in through the emergency room. Can you believe this? The person that checked me in said, “You don’t recognize me, but I know you. You were my pastor for ten years in Winter Haven.” She told me I had her wedding, and that she really missed me and my ministry. I remembered her family and asked her to say “Hello” to her mother Lois, who is now 85. That was over 30 years ago. 

 

I spent the week there in the hospital until mid-afternoon on New Year’s Day. I really did receive excellent care during my stay. When I have visited church members when they were patients there, I was always impressed with the care they were receiving, and the beautiful new building and location on U.S.    Highway 98 North.

 

On Thursday morning December 31, I thought I was going to heaven. It really is impossible for me to fully describe what was happening in my body that morning. It seemed my heart was vibrating and I was trembling. Since Bess was home and not allowed to visit until 1:00 p.m. because of Covid - 19, I called her several times to ask her to pray for me and to send out a prayer alert. To say the least, she was frightened. By now a heart machine was rolled in to check my heart vitals. I could tell that there was concern written on the faces of the nurses and the doctor when he arrived. 

 

It was obvious when Dr. Jesus took over. The vibrating and trembling ceased and the facial expressions of the doctor and nurses changed. Once again my incredible prayer army had come to the rescue! I called Bess, who by now had just arrived and was parking. It goes without saying, we really did have a celebration! 

 

Florida Holiness Campmeeting Grounds

 

In a few days, I will be preaching in an assignment leading up to the 96th year of the Florida Holiness Campmeeting.  At this event, it is always heartwarming to see and worship with a very wonderful group of dedicated followers of our Lord!

 

Our God is still on the throne!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 197 for January 9, 2021

 

 

THE 4 KEYS TO SUCCESS IN 2021

 

There is a movement that is trying to remind all of us of the need for constant improvement. Yet we seem to be so mired in our past that we struggle with being all that God wants us to be. Let us look at the third chapter of Philippians as the apostle Paul reminds us of some keys to success as a Christian.

 

CONCENTRATE ON ONE MAIN GOAL - VV. 12-13

This has to do with our focus. We have so many projects and things we dabble in; but to be a success for the Lord, we must concentrate on one main goal in life. The main thing must always be the main thing.

 

CONCENTRATE ON CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT - VV 12-13

We never arrive. Even the sanctified life is one of constant growth and spiritual development. We are on dangerous ground when we feel we have arrived and there is no area in which we need to grow. God is continually stretching us and causing us to be conformed to His will and purpose.

 

FORGET THE PAST - V. 13

To forget the past is a constant, deliberate discarding of any thought of past attainment or past failure. A major challenge is to bury the defeats of the past and to reach forth unto those tremendous victories of the future. 

 

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE - VV 13-14

There is only one way to really forget the past, and that is to focus on the future. Where is our focus? Is it one of past sins and past failures? God wants us to focus on what we can become if we follow Him and focus on His grace and His possibilities for our lives.

 

The main goal for the new year and the main challenge in our life is to look to God for His help each day and to seek to be all that He intended for us to be as we are running life’s race.

 

Now is the time to plan for a great 2021.

 

Charles Kirby 

    

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 196 for January 2, 2021

 

 

SEVEN DAILY RULES FROM GOD FOR 2021

 

If we really want to experience a great New Year we must go to the source that will make it all possible. Our Lord gives us 7 keys, 7 daily rules to live by in 2021.

 

1. WAKE UP

Decide you are going to have a good day every day.

Psalm 118:24 “Today is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

 

2. DRESS UP

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. It is a very inexpensive way to improve your looks.  I Samuel 16:7 “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the

outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

3. SHUT UP

Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

Proverbs 13:3 “He who guards his lips guards his soul.”

 

4. STAND UP

Stand for what you believe. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

 

5. LOOK UP

Look up to the Lord. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

 

6. REACH UP

Reach up for something higher. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

7. LIFT UP

Lift up your prayers.

“Do not worry about anything; pray about everything.” Philippians 4:6

 

At the beginning of another New Year, I find myself praying more and more for our Lord to hasten His return for His waiting and expectant family.  Without a doubt, it is the only answer for a world that continues to fall apart. “Evan so, come Lord Jesus” is my daily prayer. All of us need to keep our lamps trimmed and burning. I really do believe our Lord’s return could be at any moment. Are you ready and expecting His return?


Charles Kirby

 

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. 

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.    

 

 

 Bess

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

Bess


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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." 

 


Bess Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

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."

 


 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

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”  

 

 Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

BESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 197 for January 9, 2021 

 

 

WHY REPEAT?

 

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.     

 

 

Bess