ARCHIVES  NOVEMBER - DECEMBER

2020

 

 

Blog 195 for December 26, 2020

 

 

 

LOOKING BACK THROUGH THE YEARS

 

Everyone has probably said many times through the years, “Time really flies.” I have said more than once that the year 2020 is like a vapor. In just a few short hours we will embark on another brand new year. The year we are leaving behind has been, for all of us, the most challenging year in our lifetimes. We sure do not want to travel down that same road of tears, sorrow, and pain in the new year that is before us. I am agreeing by faith with the words of the old hymn, “He Leadeth Me” that I have sung in congregational singing through the years. “Lord, I would clasp Thy hand in mine, nor ever murmur nor repine, content, whatever lot I see, since 'tis my God that leadeth me.” And then as we sang on, we sang “By His own hand He {my God} leadeth me.”

 

A few days ago I received a response to a recent blog I had posted on Charles Kirby Ministries that brought back some great memories and many faces of the past that have impacted my life. Here is one that was a great blessing and encouragement to me in my retirement years.

 

 

Dear Charles and Bess:

Listening to “Oh Lamb of God” and remembering when I took your altar call at the Church of the Nazarene in Virginia Beach, in 1972. My father brought

me up in the Church of England, a wonderful Christian man. We were a

young Navy family with a newborn son, who you had dedicated. I want to

tell you that your ministry changed our lives and I will never forget you

and thank you for the blessing and power your words brought me. My son

became a minister and missionary in Russia and Latvia because you sowed the seed.

God bless you both,

Teresa….

 

This email brought back the many memories of the past in my life through the words of the tremendous song “FACES” by Rodney Griffin and sung by the great music of the group Greater Vision.

 

I dreamed that my life was done

As I stood before God’s Son

It was time to see what my reward would be

With love, He reviewed my life

To count what was done for Christ 

For that is what will last eternally

 

He said though you did not see the yield,

You were faithful to plow the field

At other times you were faithful to plant the seed

No matter how small the task, you did just as I asked

And thanks to you these souls have been set free.

 

Then He showed me the faces of the ones who’d come 

Because of me, so many faces that I had led to Calvary

All those years I thought nobody saw as I labored in

Lowly places, that’s when Jesus smiled and showed

Me all the faces.

 

May our dear Lord help all of us in 2021 to sow precious seed that will reap an abundant harvest. Let us remember that He is keeping the record! I am praying that all of you reading these lines will have a great New Year.

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 194 for December 19, 2020

GOD’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU AND ME

It is Christmas time 2020. God has a special Christmas gift for all of us. What a shame it would be if we left unwrapped and unreceived that wonderful gift that God has for each and every person. Wrapped up in John 3:16 is the whole story of Christmas. If every other verse in the Bible was thrown away, there would still be enough simple Gospel to save the whole world. It has been called the Gospel in a nutshell: the world’s greatest love story; the Gospel of Christ in one sentence. I call it God’s Christmas gift to all of us. Let’s look at this wonderful gift.

THE CAUSE OF THE GIFT
God loves you and me so much that Jesus is God’s love Gift to us. The verse does not say that God loved, but that God SO loved. God’s love gift is unsurpassed. It knows no bounds. I love you SO much means something different. God’s love gift is unending. Jeremiah 31:3 says “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.” There has never been a time when God did not love you and me, and there will never be a time when His love will cease. God’s love gift is unconditional. The Bible says, “We love Him because He first loved us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Even if you may say, “I love the devil and hate Jesus,” God still says, “I love you.” Even if you may say, “I will live my own life,” God says, “I love you.”

“Could we with ink, the ocean fill, Or the stars of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade. To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.”

THE COST OF THE GIFT
When you buy a Christmas gift, you always consider the cost. The cost of God’s Christmas gift to you and me was His only begotten Son. No gift can ever compare with the cost of your salvation. Everything that sin cost, Jesus paid at Calvary. All the vile, cruel, filthy sins of all mankind for all the ages were laid on Jesus. All that hell is and will be, Jesus suffered and paid the price.

THE CONDITION OF THE GIFT
It is simple: “Whoever believes in Him should not perish.” If I were to offer you a gift today, you would reach out your hand to take it. You do not take Jesus with your hand, you take Him with your heart. The condition of this gift is faith. “By grace are you saved through faith.” We are saved by faith alone. This is not intellectual faith or belief. This faith is an action word...a trusting in and a relying on Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation. If you trust in anything else but Jesus for salvation and eternal life, you are going to die without Him and be lost for all eternity. Have you met the condition of God for His wonderful Christmas gift to you? 

 

Charles Kirby
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 193 for December 12, 2020

 

 

BLACK BEARS AND SNOW AT OUR MAJESTIC VIEW CABINS

 

It does snow at The Majestic View in the Smokies, and I have the proof with pictures. We are continually amazed at the people that book our cabins that really do want to see snow. All of these people are usually from the deep south, especially Florida. Our northern friends see all the snow they want to see and don’t book a date in the winter season, especially January and February, with greater snow possibilities.

 

Guess what just happened. A lady from South Florida, staying in the Snuggled-In cabin had prayed for snow while they were at the Smokies and our cabin. Much to the delight of the couple, five inches of snow had covered the ground on the morning of December 1 when they arose for the day. To say the least, they were very excited! As a matter of fact, people were also in the Stargazer cabin and commented on the beauty of the white snow that covered the ground. For 15 years this past September, Bess and I have owned our two cabins and have never been at the cabins to see snow when it snowed at The Majestic View. Perhaps the lady from Florida just may have given out the key.

 

The same lady from Florida that had her prayer answered with falling beautiful white snow, had also prayed that they would see black bears during their time at our cabin. I must say that Bess and I have wanted to see black bears at our cabins when we spend time there, but they have never come for a visit. Steve Johnson, up above us, where Majestic View Way ends has had black bears in his front yard. We know black bears are everywhere in the wooded mountains that surround our cabins, but they have never come to see us. 

 

 

 

At about 8:30 a.m. on Monday, November 30, the husband in the Snuggled-In cabin was making coffee, and could hardly believe what he saw as he looked out the kitchen window. In the short lane from Majestic View Way that comes to our two cabins, in plain view, were four large black bears just standing, while one stood on his back legs. The couple that had seen it all called us in Florida to share the exciting news. They are pastors of the First Baptist Church in Stuart, Florida. We first met them last summer at First Baptist Church in Sevierville. They are a great couple that really loves our cabin! They gave us a five-star rating. 

 

Life is always exciting in the Smokies!

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 192 for December 5, 2020

 

EXCITING!!!

I just met with Dr. Graham, my cancer doctor, to discuss the results of 37 radiation treatments. He gave me an excellent report! My recent blood test revealed my PSA had dropped from the level of 14 prior to the treatments to the level of 2.1 at the present. Dr. Graham was really pleased with the progress. He scheduled another follow-up for March 30 before we leave for the mountains in April.

 

It is a wonderful fact, God really does answer prayer! I am convinced that the great prayer army that surrounded me in prayer during my radiation treatments made the difference. Two doctors had told me before I agreed to the treatments that they had seen cancer cells in tests that had been left after the removal of the prostate 15 years ago at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. They told me those cells need to be removed with radiation treatments. Looking back, without a doubt, I am very glad I took their advice.

 

My Great Physician has been my Healer throughout the years. My first big miracle was the healing of my stuttering, stammering tongue at 18. Then there was the healing of melanoma cancer on my back that the doctor discovered. The healing of a hernia was tremendous in the mid-70s! I am continually standing on Isaiah 53, “Our Lord was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed.”

 

 

 

The first thing we should do when we have a physical challenge is not to go to the doctor, but to the Great Physician in prayer. I firmly believe that there would be more healings in the Church, and miracles of God, if we would seek the Lord God first.

 

Dear Lord, flow your healing stream through everyone who reads these lines! 

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 191 for November 28, 2020

 

A TRANSFORMING THANKSGIVING

 

Can you believe it? Here we are at another Thanksgiving season. It really is another wonderful opportunity to rejoice and to count our many blessings. My dear friend, Stan Toler, who went to heaven at a very early age, taught us that Thanksgiving is an attitude and a way of life. We can learn so much from the Scripture in Luke 17:11-19 concerning ten lepers. All of these lepers experienced physical healing, but only one discovered wholeness. Luke records the incredible story of our Lord teaching us that thankfulness completes healing. “Now on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!' When He saw them, He said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed.” Keven Riggs said, “The most destructive acid in the world is found in a sour disposition.” I do believe that thanksgiving is hindered by the sin of ingratitude. Verse 15 says, “One of the lepers, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.” What about the other nine that were also healed? Hans Selye has said that “Gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than any other attitude in life.” 

 

 

Once again it is time for us to remember that Thanksgiving is more than food and football. In verses 16-19 the leper that was healed “threw himself at Jesus and thanked him, and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten lepers cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?' Then Jesus said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'" We should be thankful for the opportunities in life. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” We should be thankful for the challenges of life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We should be thankful for the blessings of life. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” 

 

 

In this time of individual, national and world-wide crises it is a great time for all of us to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1. I bless all of you with our Lord’s abundant blessings as we are nearing the end of another year that has passed as fast as vapor. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 190 for November 21, 2020

 

ANTI-GOD

AND

ANTI-CHURCH

 

Recently when our daughter Micki, son-in-law Bob, and grandson Chase spent the week-end with us at our cabin in the Smokies, we talked about the conditions of our nation. It really was painful for me to tell them that I was very sad that they will never know just how America once was. I told them about the wonderful decade of the ’50s when we could leave our doors unlocked without fear of an intruder coming in. It was with grateful pride that I described the wonderful respect that ministers of the Gospel had in every community and city. I had to admit that was no longer the attitude of the people today. I told them about the change that started to happen in the early ’60s when young people marched on our nation’s capital, leaving their destruction all around. I remember seeing benches in the Capitol Mall area they had burned and destroyed. Even so, all of that was nothing in comparison to the riots and destruction we have witnessed in Portland, Seattle, Wisconsin, and other American cities. We have been told by Rush Limbaugh that some of the young rioters of the ’60s have gone on to become liberal political leaders of today. We are now hearing them say in the U.S. news networks that their goal is to change America from the Judo-Christian nation that has made it the world’s greatest nation. 

 

It never entered my mind that the day would come when I would painfully try to describe my America...the land of the free and the home of the brave, as Anti-God and Ant-Church. On June 17, 1963, Madalyn Murray O'Hara petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to disallow prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. It became the first major anti-God movement in the history of America. Without a doubt, it started our nation in a downward plunge, from which there has been no recovery. I am absolutely positive, according to Scripture, that the heart of our Lord was broken. This godless action has given rise to the slaughtering of babies directly from the womb of mothers right at childbirth. Almighty God will never approve of the same set of mirages that continues to sweep the country. God’s Holy Word leaves no doubt concerning this godless practice. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” 

 

COVID-19 has impacted church attendance across America at an alarming rate. It has closed many church doors of all denominations. Many God-called pastors have no pulpit from which to proclaim the Word of God. A number of liberal Governors are refusing to approve of church attendance in their states because of the crowds and the possibility of COVID-19 infestation. This is totally against the U.S. Constitution. Our Lord has made a great promise for all to read when He said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell {COVID - 19} shall not prevail against it.” It is a fact, the only thing that can transform our nation is for a spiritual awakening like those in the past!


CHARLES KIRBY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 189 for November 14, 2020

 

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IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN!

 

We have just returned from the mountains to spend the winter season and part of the Spring in our wonderful condo at Imperial Lakes. Fifteen years ago this past October, we purchased this very special retreat-like place. I still remember the feeling I had when we first walked through the front door...two canals and the 18th tee on a country club. I had only agreed to take a look when Bess had asked me to go and check it out. It really was an overwhelming experience, and the price was right. Although almost 2,800 square feet was much more than we needed since our kids were on their own, we were hooked. It really is great to be in a gated community on a cul-d-sac next to the water. Every time we think about selling for something smaller, we have a hard time making the decision.

 

We have had a great summer and fall season at our cabins in the Smokies. We have owned them 15 years this past September as a gift from God. Due to my radiation treatments in Lakeland, we did not arrive until July 20. I knew several projects were waiting for me to arrive. It is great to report all of them have been completed. Much to the delight of Bess and friends my ancient chainsaw is history. That means my tree climbing did not happen. However, I am planning to purchase a new one next Spring. There are some limbs begging for my attention. Some of you that have seen the hillsides that I have mowed are glad that I have given that job to someone else. I am very happy with that decision.

 

Bess and I continue to minister to a regular number of people through our weekly blogs. Some of these people we have never met and were regular worshippers with us through the internet. Their comments and support are always heartwarming. Our great webmaster, Duane Kendall, makes this ministry possible. We continue to pray for him at the recent loss of his wife. I have some preaching invitations while I am back in Lakeland. It will be an honor for this ministry. We will have the opportunity to worship in several churches where we are not members. 

 

The 2020 year in many ways has been like a blur. I keep wondering how much longer our Lord will delay His coming. As our nation and our world continue to fall apart, I find myself praying, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” It is a fact, all the signs for His return have been fulfilled. We sure do need to “Keep our lamps trimmed and burning.”

 

We do know Jesus is coming again! Are you ready?

 


CHARLES KIRBY

 

 


 

 

 

Blog 188 for November 7, 2020

 

 

 

GOD WILL COLOR OUR LIVES!

 

We have just come through the peak season for the changing of the leaves here in the Smoky Mountains. During this time, the mountains have been ablaze with God’s beautiful colors. The sights all around our cabins have been fabulous!

 

 

About 5 miles away is the Foothills Parkway that runs from Interstate 40 highway to U.S. Highway 321. You can see it in the distance, up above our cabins, through the trees. It is one of our favorite places to view the colors each year. Since it is on our way to the Cosby Post office, we usually make several trips to check on the colors during the season. There are several places on the Parkway provided to pull off the road and view the beautiful valley below. If it wasn’t for the many beautiful trees, our cabins would be in view. 

 

 

One major reason we favor the Foothills Parkway, to view the colors, is the lack of traffic. It seems like everyone comes to these mountains in October. We try to avoid Gatlinburg at this time of the year. Two of our friends, staying in the Snuggled Inn cabin, wanted to go over the mountains, through the Smoky Mountain National Park to Cherokee, North Carolina. We got in a traffic jam, on the other side of Gatlinburg, unlike any I have seen. Traffic had come to a complete stop. The last place to change our minds about going over the mountains was right ahead of us. Guess what we did? As a matter of fact, all four of us rejoiced that we had been delivered!

 

 

If our Lord can color the beautiful trees with incredible beauty, just think about what He can do with each one of our lives. Since the year 2020 is coming to an end so quickly, now is the time for us to determine that we are going to let the Holy Spirit color our lives with God’s beautiful presence throughout 2021. The key is a willing heart and obedient life.

 

 

Dear Lord, please color my life with your beautiful Presence each day!

 

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

Blog 195 for December 26, 2020

 

 

 

REMEMBERING 2020 / ANTICIPATING 2021

 

As with all new years, 2020 started out with hope for the future and excitement for the unexpected. Looking back at January’s calendar, 2020 started out with promise.  We enjoyed a week cruising the islands of the sea with friends.  It was the “Singing at Sea” cruise; the all Christian cruise with many gospel quartets, trios, family groups giving concerts daily. The covered gambling tables were a visual that this was a Christian cruise.  And there were morning Bible studies and afternoon and night “old-time” preaching.  WOW! What great services.

 

February rolled around. It brought many family birthday celebrations.  And who can forget Valentine's Day? During this month we were able to share a meal with special friends.

March winds began to blow. On the 8th, I sang a special at church entitled “Love the People That God Gives You.” We went out to eat with friends after the service. Charles could tell that something was wrong with me. So I was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with UTI and came home the same day with a prescription. The following day or so, I had a follow-up with our primary care physician.  Charles had a check-up this month, also.  Late March brought in Covid-19.  Many of our cabin renters began to cancel their reservation and what they had paid was immediately sent back to them due to the pandemic. That was hard on us.  It did not just affect March, but April and May.

 

The rains of April ushered in Charles’ doctor visits to the oncologist, specialist, and cancer doctors. Also, the CT scan, marking him for his radiation treatments.

 

May flowers bloomed for us as we got to go to the mountains for a week before Charles’ 37 days of radiation. On May 26, he began his first treatment, on a schedule of one a day, five days a week.

 

The summer months of June and July were filled with radiation treatments and the effects of those treatments. Charles drank lots of water, walked at least three times a day, and took a nap every afternoon. His treatments were in the morning.  But in late July, he finished his treatments, and our car headed for the mountains.

 

August arrived and we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary on the 19th.  Bob and Micki came up and celebrated with us and we with them, as they were celebrating their August 23 anniversary.

 

September rolled around and brought visits from precious friends, staying in the other cabin or at a close hotel. There were Rev. and Mrs. Jay Ahlemann from Strasburg, VA; Phil and Arveta Pitts, friends from Indianapolis, IN.

 

October brought in the Fall season; and with the great weather, came more friends. There was a college friend, Linda Cook, from Alabama; and Howard and Peggy Cress from Virginia. And, in the midst of a hard year, God began to change the color of the leaves.

 

 

Amazing November brought beautiful colors.  Even though we had thought the leaves peaked in late October, we were overwhelmed at how long they stayed and how, even in November, they looked like they were in peak season.  A double whammy! We left that beauty and headed home for Thanksgiving and doctors' appointments.

 

Early December brought our grandson, Cody, home from Colorado for a visit.  It was so good to see him. On the 25th, we celebrated Christmas with a few family members.  Most of all, we celebrated the miraculous birth of Jesus, HIS path to Calvary.

 

As we anticipate the NEW Year, we pray for healing in our land; healing from the strife, bitterness, and hatred in our land; healing from the coronavirus. We pray for righteousness and holiness to change our behavior.  We pray for revival in our land. We pray for healing from all manner of sicknesses. Please, JESUS, heal our land.

 

I’m so glad the whole world uses the word “NEW” when referring to January 1, 2021. Though 2020 has been a tough year; a hard year; a disappointing year; we are still putting one foot in front of the other.  Jesus is still waking me up every morning. I have an assignment.  May I be found faithful.  In the dictionary of my mind, “New” means not the same; something different; a change; another opportunity. So I say, out with the old and in with the new! A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. 

 

Bess   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 194 for December 19, 2020

 

 

The Greatest Celebration of Them All

This pandemic cannot rid us of this all-time celebration of the Birth of Jesus. Separating us from the family will not quench the celebratory joy of Christ’s birthday.  God and you; God and I are a majority.  We are never alone.  A branch of Magnolia leaves, a garland of cedar, or pine, or fir leaves, can be our palm branches as we begin to decorate, celebrate, and pay homage to our Great King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

 

Facial masks will not mar the smiles, the excited praise, and the exuberant joy, nor the singing heart.  Remember the scripture that says, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God…” The Heavens declare His glory. HIS own sun, moon, and stars can light our celebrations. The birds will be the carolers.  Even heavenly hosts and choirs of angels will join in the singing. In many hamlets, bells will toll, and over the countryside, you’ll hear jingle bells “dashing through the snow.”

 

Social distancing will not mar our Christmas. Many of our relatives live miles away.  However, some of our immediate family live rather close; and hopefully, we will get together. Our hugs will be “heartfelt.” Our laughter will be genuine.  Our joy, full.  Peace will reign. Yes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” “SO, HAVE YOURSELVES A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS DAY.”

 

Thank God for redemption’s plan. Baby Jesus, born on Christmas Day so long ago, was part of God’s plan to save us from our sins.  

 

“Oh, happy day, that fixed my choice of Thee my Savior, and my God! Well, may this glowing heart rejoice, And tell its raptures all abroad. Happy Day, Happy Day when Jesus washed my sins away! He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day. Happy Day, Happy Day when Jesus washed my sins away.”

 

I do love the Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” words written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1864.  Enjoy this YouTube video of the Gaither Vocal Band mix.   And rejoice as you view the birth certificate included here. It was a Christmas card that I once sent out to friends, purchased from Zion’s Hope, of Winter Garden, FL. 

 

      

 

 

Bess K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 193 for December 12, 2020

 

Preparing our hearts and minds for the birthday of King Jesus

BABY JESUS WAS BORN WITH A MARVELOUS MISSION. He came to save us from our sins. From the very beginning of His birth, Jesus was on a redemptive journey.  What a story to tell to the nations! Jesus, the divine Son of God, left Heaven’s splendor to come to earth in human form. He came, was born, was raised in Nazareth, confounded His teachers of the law, and at the proper time, He went before Pilate’s judgment hall.  He was beaten, bore His cross, and the cross was dropped in its socket. Jesus suffered excruciating pain and He died alone for you and me.  Take time to read about Passion week in the four gospels.  What an amazing life, lived in the flesh with a missional purpose; getting us ready for the “ringing of those golden bells”; getting us ready for entering those golden gates; getting us ready for that resurrection morning. Baby Jesus lived, died, and arose.   His purpose was fulfilled.  His mission was accomplished.

 

 

JESUS LIVES WITH A MAGNIFICENT MANDATE.  He, in His divine robe, will one day return to earth again at God’s appointed time.  Every eye will see His coming.  This time He comes in power and great glory.  His first coming as a babe was prophesied. And, His second coming as KING JESUS was prophesied.  Satan will be bound a thousand years.  “What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.  When I look upon His face, the one who saved me by His grace.  When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the promised land, what a day, glorious day that will be.  There’ll be no sorrow there. No more burdens to bear. No sickness. No pain. No more parting over there.  And forever I will be with the One who died for me.  What a day, glorious day that will be.”

 

Are you ready for Jesus’ second coming?  He’s coming for those clothed in their wedding garments; those saved from their sins. Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? You must know Him!  You must serve Him. You must have faith in God. You must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.  You must call upon the  Lord. You must confess your sins; ask forgiveness of your sins.  Turn your eyes upon JESUS. He’s waiting with outstretched arms to welcome you into His kingdom. Don’t wait. Be saved today.

 

As we celebrate His birth this Christmas, sing some praise songs.  Thank Him for His first coming, for dying and rising again; thank Him for His soon return back to earth again to take us to Heaven. Celebrate well.  He is worthy of a great celebration!  Bess

 

P.S. My favorite invitation song is “Just As I Am.”  Find a hymnbook and read all the lyrics.  Think of your favorite Christmas song, read those lyrics; sing it as praise to our great Savior.  
 

 

 

BESS

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 192 for December 5, 2020

 

“Fa, La, La, La, La, La, La, La, La”

 

Decorating one’s home for the Christmas Season can be a daunting task. Of course, if you have the money to pay for a decorator, it would not pose a problem.  However, if you are like me, who loves to decorate and make things beautiful, maybe even “over” decorate, it can be a challenge. And what about decorating every room in your home? What about decorating several Christmas trees?  If I have counted right, already I have 11 trees decorated.  Don’t faint.  Six are those smaller ones in groups of 3.  Two of my trees are wall trees, that is, they hang on a nail.  The other 3 are stand-alone trees.

 

Here is my secret.  Three years ago after we retired, we began to go to our cabins in East Tennessee for an extended period of time. We always spend Christmas here in Florida; so after Christmas and the New Year and our first year of decorating in retirement, I had a creative idea. I thought why can’t I leave the decorated trees up while we are at our cabins...until we return to Florida in the middle of November.  I could cover the trees with garbage bags.  And that is just what I did.  So when we returned on November 15, 2019, all I needed to do was take the garbage bags off, and “Voilà!”, my home was decorated. So I did the same thing in 2020. I’ll probably leave them up for the 2021 season.  This has become fun!!!

 

Let me share a few pictures of our 2-year-old Christmas decorations.

Living Room

Den

Dining Room

Bedroom

Front Door

Dining Room

The most important Birthday Celebration is just around the corner. It’s JESUS’ birthday. It’s because of this birthday, that we decorate and get our home ready for the biggest celebration of them all.  So deck your halls, your walls, etc. Get ready for the Celebration.  Jesus loves you and so do I.  

 

Merry Christmas to you!   

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 191 for November 28, 2020

 

DECEMBER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

 

This coming Tuesday ushers in December 1, 2020.  Where have the months gone? Three days later on Friday, December 4, 2020, our precious daughter, Micki Cheri Luetkemeyer, will celebrate her 56th birthday.  I can hardly believe it. How old does that make me? Oh well, it is what it is and I’m as old as I am! So, right off the bat, I want to wish Micki a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more yet to come.

 

December is a month of miracles; the greatest being the birth of the Savior of the world, JESUS CHRIST, my REDEEMER, and soon-coming KING. Oh, what a joy to celebrate HIS birthday this month too!

 

Actually, Micki and I are miracles of HIS healing power. Let me share our story.  Early in my pregnancy, I was put to bed due to bleeding and the location of the placenta. There was the possibility of Micki drowning in the blood of the placenta should she be birthed naturally; and even me dying from loss of blood.

 

At the time of this pregnancy, our dear son, Chuck, was a 3-year-old toddler. Sometimes, when possible, we had help with Chuck.  Other times he would just walk around the house by himself as I lay in the bed while Charles was doing the work of ministry at our Arkansas church. Of course, much of the time he was playing either on the bed where I was or on the floor nearby.  It was such a difficult time for me.

 

But GOD made the difference for us. The end of the story projects the miracle touch of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m alive and healthy; Micki is alive and doing well.  So our hearts will forever sing a joyful song. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”

 

Remembering this difficult time in my life reminds me that God will take care of His own. Listen to the words of this familiar song written by Civilla D. Martin in 1904, 116 years ago.

 

“Be not dismayed what-e’er betide,

God will take care of you.

 

Beneath His wings of love abide,

God will take care of you.

 

Thro’ days of toil when heart doth fail,

God will take care of you.

 

When dangers fierce your path assail,

God will take care of you.

 

All you may need, He will provide,

God will take care of you

 

Nothing you ask will be denied,

God will take care of you.

 

No matter what will be the test,

God will take care of you.

 

Lean, weary one, upon His breast,

God will take care of you.

 

Chorus: 

God will take care of you,

through everyday o'er all the way. 

 

He will take care of you.

God will take care of you.”

 

Feeling so blessed to know and love Jesus.  Glad His invitation was to “whosoever will.” And I too will be His follower. If you need to do business with Jesus, He’s waiting with outstretched arms to welcome you into HIS family.     

 

Bess  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 190 for November 21, 2020

 

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The Last Thursday

 

Can you believe it’s November?  Can you believe it’s almost THE LAST THURSDAY of November, THANKSGIVING DAY? I love the memories of the family all gathered around the table enjoying each other and the turkey and dressing, thanking God for His bountiful blessings.  May it still be so for us all.

 

Governor John Hancock of Massachusetts issued a proclamation in 1783 for a Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate the victorious conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Basically, he said,

 

"whereas these United States have been rescued from dangers and calamities...whereas their freedom, sovereignty, and independence have been acknowledged…

 

whereas Divine Providence has bestowed favor on us so that we have every reason for PRAISE and GRATITUDE to GOD, and 

 

whereas we are surrounded with blessings from the Hand of the Almighty, I do appoint Thursday, December 11, 1783, to be religiously observed as a day of Thanksgiving and prayer, offering up fervent supplication...to cause pure religion and virtue to flourish...and fill the world with HIS GLORY. Congress recommends that all states observe this Thanksgiving Day, 1783.”

 

In the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln initiated the first annual National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise on October 3, 1863, issuing a formal proclamation, passed by an act of Congress. President Lincoln said that no human mind nor mortal hand has worked out these great things.  They are gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, HE remembered mercy.  President Lincoln further invites all citizens in every part of the United States; those who are at sea and those in foreign lands, to set apart and observe THE LAST THURSDAY of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our great GOD who dwells in the Heavens.  In addition to our praises and humble penitence for our national sins, ask His tender care for widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers.  Ask Him to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it quickly to peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.”

 

As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day on THE LAST THURSDAY of this month, at your home, I recommend several things.

 

1. Count your Blessings.  

2. Give voice to your Divine Benefactor, the Giver of all good gifts, spiritual and physical.  

3. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  

4. Relish time with your family and friends.  

5. And not only thank God for the blessings He bestowed on you, but honor Him by being a blessing to someone else.  

6. We are blessed to be a blessing. 

    

Greetings, love, and friendship to all.  

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 189 for November 14, 2020

 

 

 

CLOUDY SKIES AND RAINBOWS

 

Dr. Maya Angelou wrote a great statement that I quote here. “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”  So many of us need to take this to heart.  In our present skies of BLM, Antifa, 2020 political elections, loss of jobs, family struggles, pandemic and other health issues, riots and deaths, our skies are overcast and cloudy. The storm clouds gather.  Wouldn’t we like a little sunshine?  Wouldn’t we like for our God to blow away the dark clouds?

 

God does have a message for us.  It’s a message of hope. It’s a message that “help is on the way."  It’s a promise that our God reigns.  It’s a message that God promises redemption.  It’s a message that obedience to the laws of God pays big dividends.

 

God said something powerful early in His Word. It’s found in Genesis chapter 9:12-17. And Andrew Jenkins with Irene Spain in their country classic song, expressed it this way.  “When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds."  Verse 13 of chapter 9 says “I set MY rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” Revelation 4:3 reads this way in the NKJV. “And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

 

Josiah K. Alwood wrote about cloudless skies this way:

"Oh, they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,

Oh, they tell me of a home far away;

Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,

Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.

 

Oh, the land of cloudless day,

Oh, the land of an unclouded sky,

Oh, they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,

Oh, they tell me of an unclouded day.”     

 

And I remember a song that Charles and I used to sing as a duet during our pastoral years, entitled “The Day Without a Cloud” written by A. H. Ackley.  While it was a favorite of mine, I can only quote a few lines here. 

 

“The day without a cloud. The day without a cloud. Sometime, somewhere we too shall share God’s perfect day without a cloud.”

 

So, until that great day when we are called to our Heavenly Home, while we are still in this world of cloudy skies, join me in trying to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.  We really do need each other.  We need to lend a helping hand.  We need to lift the sights and spirits of our family and friends.  We need to share Christ with our cloudy storm-tossed world. Blessings to all.  May God make me a blessing to someone today.  Please enjoy a trio of girls, The Peasall Sisters in their YouTube video from two years ago singing “God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds."  

 

 

Bess

 

 


 

 

 

Blog 188 for November 7, 2020

 

 

 

HOMEWARD BOUND

 

Florida beacons to us as November rolls on.  Thoughts of HOME, warm our hearts.  And, come November 13, our car heads toward the south. 

 

 

Our time in the Smoky Mountains at our cabin has been beneficial/ therapeutic.  Charles has recovered nicely from his 37 radiation treatments.  We both have doctor’s appointments when we get home.  For those of you reading this blog, may I request prayers for our safe travel on Nov. 13 and maybe Nov. 14, the days we will be driving HOME.  And thanks, in advance, to you for the prayers.

 

Our Florida condo is much larger than we need; but every time we’ve been away for an extended period of time, and return...and walk through the door, we think...and often say, “We love our condo." It is such a comfortable place.  We have good neighbors.  We feel safe there.  Thank God for HOME.

 

 

During our upcoming (almost) 6 months in Florida, We will have enjoyed THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS, and NEW YEAR celebrations with family and friends. Then in 2021, we will begin celebrating family birthdays and other family celebrations. Life will include social times with special friends.  Life will be good; and always, GOD is great!

 

 

The family gospel music group, The Bowling Family, sing a song that I love, mainly because it is so true. The title is “Love the People That God Gives You”, which certainly includes your birth, personal, and extended family, the untold friends one has, your “Go-To” Friends, your Neighbors, and all Sorts of Others.  Please enjoy this YouTube video sung by the Bowlings.

 

 

Home and Family are great gifts of God.  

 

 

Bess