ARCHIVES  NOVEMBER - DECEMBER

2020

 

 

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 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