ARCHIVES November - December

2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 293 for November 26, 2022

 

 

 

Psalm 119:71-72 “My troubles turned out all for the best…they forced me to learn from your textbook. Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine.” (MSG)

 

 

Life is a series of problem-solving opportunities. The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you, depending on how you respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They act foolishly and resent their problems rather than pause to consider what benefit they might bring. Here are some ways God wants to use problems in your life. 

 

  1. GOD USES PROBLEMS TO DIRECT US
  • Sometimes God must light a fire under you and me to get us moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change our ways. Is God trying to get our attention? “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.” {Proverbs 20:30}

 

    2.  GOD USES PROBLEMS TO INSPECT US

 

  • People are like tea bags. If you want to know what is inside, then just drop them in hot water. Has God ever tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about us? “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test our faith, and this will give you patience.” James 1:2-3 (NCV)

 

     3.  GOD USES PROBLEMS TO PERFECT US

 

  • Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than in your comfort. There are only 2 things you are going to take with you into eternity…

  • Your relationship

  • Your character

 

Conclusion: Here is the point in this message: God is at work in your life…even when you do not recognize it or understand it. But it is much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

Blog 292 for November 19, 2022

 

Still Remembering Thanksgiving Past

 

Growing up in the hills of West Tennessee, Thanksgiving Day was always an exciting day for me.  It was the day reserved for rabbit hunting.  The day was always hosted by my uncle Edwin and Aunt Ruby Cooper, along with my four Cooper cousins.  They lived on a large country farm near Henderson, Tennessee.  It was a perfect place for rabbit hunting, and every year was an outstanding experience.  My memory has failed me concerning the most exciting rabbit hunting days of them all through the years.  As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember how old I was back then, but I think I was around 10.  My dad thought I was old enough to take an automatic twenty-two rifle hunting on this particular day, and what a day!  I will always be glad I didn’t miss it.

 

When we began the day, it was a warm day with sunshine.  I remember we spent the entire morning with very little success.  I was thrilled when Uncle Edwin said it was about time for lunch and we could take a break.  Just thinking about Aunt Ruby’s great cooking made me hungry and ready to go to the house.  To say the least, I was not disappointed.  That morning we had covered a lot of territory and I was ready for a break and some great country cooking from Aunt Ruby.  I guess the reason that meal was so great was that I was so hungry, and I did really eat.  Aunt Ruby had the best Tennessee country ham I have ever eaten.  As a matter of fact, they processed their hams in the smokehouse from the pigs they raised.  I am getting hungry just thinking about it because It is lunchtime as I am writing these lines.

 

While we were eating and visiting around the table, something was happening on the outside that we were not aware of.  The weather had quickly changed and the temperature had dropped until it started to sleet and then snow, and it was heavy snow that quickly covered the ground.  Not very far from the house, there was a large thicket of bushes and undergrowth.  Someone in the group said rabbits may have gone in there to escape the blizzard-like weather.  All of us circled the thicket and the hunting dogs started running rabbits in all directions.  One rabbit started toward me and I started shooting my rifle several times until a bullet hit it in the nose and it was dead.  My dad and all the gang were amazed that I had killed a rabbit with a rifle.  With all the guns shooting at running rabbits, it sounded like Cox’s army.  When we were done we counted the 52 rabbits we had killed.  Without a doubt that remains the most exciting Thanksgiving Day, I have ever experienced!  Precious memories, how they linger!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 291 for November 12, 2022

 

 

 

Another year has come and gone. This really was a birthday unlike all the rest since it involved the big eighty-five.  My Lord has given me eighty-five years filled with His abundance of miracles and blessings. It was great to celebrate the event with a full week in the mountains, headquartered at the beautiful Majestic View cabins in Cosby, Tennessee. The mountains were ablaze with beautiful colors. What a sight!  

 

I really am a blessed man with so many friends! Since Bess and I have pastored 12 churches across America during 56 years of pastoral ministry, we have made a host of friends. What a treasure! Many of these have gone on to meet our Lord, and are waiting for our arrival. What a celebration we are going to have! We cannot afford to miss it. Jesus is coming for all of those that are washed and cleansed by His precious blood. Are you ready?

 

It really has been wonderful to read all the cards and beautiful expressions of appreciation. I am very grateful to all of you and send my love. 

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 290 for November 5, 2022

 

 

 

EXTRA SPECIAL EXCITEMENT

UNLIKE ALL OTHERS 

 

On Monday, October 17 at 8:57 a.m., while Bess and I were in the mountains for a week, our neighbors, Kevin and Scott, had an amazing encounter with a live water moccasin that had made itself at home in our front door entrance. When they opened the screen door to attempt to kill it, the snake had positioned itself in a thick artificial cedar bush. To say the least, they were in for a battle. They had no other choice but to attack the snake until it was dead. They left the blood on the concrete floor for us to see the results when we returned from our trip. 

 

The snake had come out of the canal next to our condo. We had seen black snakes before, but never water moccasins. It goes without saying, we will surely be on the lookout for its relatives. We will not put any more bushes at our entrance that might attract its relatives. 

 

We have no room for snakes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 293 for November 26, 2022

 

 

 

 (1)  HE is no respecter of persons.  He uses people like David, a shepherd boy; Moses, a man who stuttered; Simon Peter and Andrew, mere fishermen; Matthew, a tax collector; Lydia, a woman with a retail business; Mary, the mother of Jesus, a teenager; Daniel, a dreamer.  Now add your name to the list. No one is excluded. I’m adding my name to the list; Bess, a simple helper. 

 

 

(2)  HE answers all sorts of prayers.  In Matthew 8, Jesus said to the leper, “I am willing; be cleansed.”  He rebukes the winds and calms the sea.  And to the Centurion, Jesus said, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel."  In Matthew 9, Jesus said to the man sick of the palsy, “Arise and walk." For what are you praying? HE can do anything. I’m praying for the completion of a difficult journey. Add your prayer request.  HE’S the same yesterday, today, and in all the tomorrows.

 

 

(3)  HE performs all types of miracles.  In Matthew 8, HE healed a leper and a demon-possessed man, a paralyzed servant, and a fevered mother, and HE calmed a great tempest.  In Matthew 9, Jesus healed a paralytic, raised a dead daughter, healed a woman with an issue of blood, and opened the eyes of a blind man. As you reflect on your past miracles, praise HIM. And, whatever your miracle need is today, pray, believe; and rest assured that God has a wonderful answer for you. I’ve already turned in my miracle request. What a comfort to know and love our God.

 

 

WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE.  He can hear our prayers and answer them.  He can send a miracle our way from His throne room. He is our awesome LORD.  Give Him praise today!  I am praising Him right now.  HE is so worthy of our praise.   

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 292 for November 19, 2022

 

 

 

 DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THE FALL SEASON, the beautiful change of colors, the time to harvest the crops, and the time to gather the family around the table for that Thanksgiving spread?

 

 

I’m so sorry to tell you, but I have never had a major garden; never plowed the ground; worked the soil for planting; nor even planted or watched it grow.  And, as far as I remember, my folks only had one small garden one season.  So I never grew up knowing much about what it takes to have a great harvest; the in-between events of the growing season.  But I’ve learned many things through the years about what it takes for a successful conclusion…that is, from the cradle to the grave; from the garden to the dinner table; and from youth to old age.

 

While all of us enjoy the Thanksgiving meal together with family and friends, may we be reminded of the great harvest time “when all God’s children get home”...HIS table spread.

 

My advice to you and me in this life journey is (1) To read and study God’s Word  (2) To pray much and believe and (3) To make the necessary corrections called for…so that, when it’s “Harvest Time” for our lives, we will have on the wedding garment. 

 

May we be ready to meet Jesus, our Messiah, and join in crowning HIM, Lord of all. 

 

                

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

Blog 291 for November 12, 2022

 

 

 

          Collections/Things of Earth

 

Do you have a collection of things you enjoy?  Yes, I do.   However, I’m getting tired of some of them, though some still bring me joy.

 

Throughout my married life (62 years) I have begun several collections; some of which never lasted long, such as my china cups and saucers. I have very few. Some of my collections have been given to me, such as Precious Moments, miniature angels; and some Christmas Carolers. Here are the other collections I have; Beanie Babies; Teddy Bears  (not the famous ones found in my Teddy Bear Encyclopedia);  Thread Bears (They are my favorite) and they are not even listed in the Teddy Bear Encyclopedia; Christmas Houses/Villages, (I enjoy these at Christmas time.)  Would “stuff” count as a collection?  I have a bunch of stuff.  Much of this I would like to sell to anyone who is interested or even give some away.

 

One of my favorite collections, the “Thread Bears,” is an interesting family of Bears.  I don’t have too many; nor can I find them anymore. They play ball, go to school, play instruments, read the local paper, etc.  They are family.

 

 

I do consider myself out of the collecting business,  I have more than enough stuff!  I want to downsize.  As I write this, I’ve been reminded of the chorus which says,

 

 

“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.”

 

I think age has a lot to do with the desire to downsize…as we get closer to leaving this world and going HOME, where we will live forever.  No stuff to worry about there. What a precious thought.  I guess the moral to this blog is: to not get too attached to things; let go of things and pick up our wings for “going home."  Home is where the heart is, and my heart is turning toward my heavenly home. Be blessed.  God loves you and so do I.  

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 290 for November 5, 2022

 

 TRAILS…

 

Do you like to explore trails? Well, for sure, trails lead to somewhere or to someone.  Let me share a funny family “trail” story.

 

Our son has been staying with us for a while. I kept seeing little spots on the kitchen, dining room, and hallway tile floors.  I wondered what it was, and I wanted to follow the trail.  Of course, it was “sweet” tea droplets.  The trail started at the refrigerator door, then across toward the counter and sinks; then into the dining room, onto the hallway, and stopped at the stairs. (If any dropped on his way upstairs to his bedroom, you couldn’t tell because of the dark plaid carpet on the stairs and in the upstairs bedrooms.)  Our family trail turned out to be a “tea” trail; the culprit was our son.  No problem, but let’s be careful, don’t fill the glass too full, etc. and etc. That “Trail of Tea” took us to its conclusion.

 

I’m reminded of another trail.  It’s the “Trail of Tears.” Lots of people are crying today for all sorts of reasons. I’m so glad we have a Gentle Shepherd to care for us.  And, what a comfort to know that tears are a language our Shepherd understands.

 

 

 

I’ve been reading about the historical Cherokee Trail of Tears,  designated a National Historic Trail.  This was when the U.S. Government forced the North American Indian Tribes to move from their homelands in the Southern U.S. to Indian Territory in the early 1800s. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 resulted in the forced relocation of over 15,000 Cherokee people, a third of whom died during the journey. This Cherokee Trail of Tears is considered one of the most regrettable episodes in American History. In the enforcement of moving them to Oklahoma, almost 4,000 died along the way.  My, my, my! No doubt about it, tears must have flowed.

 

Many folks today are facing deep hurt, great harm, and even severe persecution, as crime is all around us.  Sin and degradation march on Main Street.  Yes, tears are flowing.  It seems as if the whole world is sinking lower and lower into the pit of darkness and damnation.  I’m asking the question today: Where do our trails lead us today?  Hopefully, to a good conclusion!

 

If you are crying today, remember to choose God’s way.  HIS Trail can bring you to a good place, a place of peace, a place of rest, a place of help and hope. Listen to these words that Gordon Jensen wrote. 

 

“Often you’ve wondered why tears come into your eyes when burdens seem to be much more than you can stand.  But God is standing near. He sees your falling tears. Tears are a language God understands. 

 

When grief has left you low, it causes tears to flow, and things have not turned out the way that you had planned. But God won’t forget you, His promises are true.  Tears are a language God understands.

 

God sees the tears of a broken-hearted soul.  He sees your tears and hears them when they fall.  God weeps along with man and takes him by the hand. Tears are a language God understands.”

 

Get on the right trail today…the Glory Train…the Green Pasture. Leave the trail of tears. Go God’s way, for tears are truly a language God understands.   

 

 

 

Bess