ARCHIVES   JULY - AUGUST   2019

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 126 for August 31, 2019

 

HOLY GROUND IS NEAR OUR CABINS

 

One of the most beautiful and holy places anywhere is less than a one hour drive from our cabins. It represents the dreams and creations of Billy and Ruth Graham. It is located on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina, off of Interstate 40 highway. As you drive into the beautiful guarded entrance gate you realize you are entering a spectacular garden of 1200 acres. It really does offer the opportunity that Billy and Ruth Graham envisioned four decades ago for everyone that enters to discover the wonder of God’s presence. 

 

 

Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is the place I am writing about in this blog. When Bess and I discovered this incredible place we knew we were on holy ground. You have to experience the wonder of this place personally to really

 

 

appreciate it! The buildings and grounds are absolutely breathtaking and first-class! Seminars and programs are free of charge and offered throughout the year. They are led by some of the most well-known speakers and teachers of today. An evening at the Cove offers the opportunity to see and hear some of our friends in the concert.

 

A popular feature and favorite of Bess's and mine is the free museum of Billy and Ruth Graham. It includes Ruth’s Garden, a beautiful building designed by Ruth that includes an amazing chapel and the lifetime ministry of Billy Graham. Every time I go it feels like I am standing on holy ground. It is a joy to take our friends on a tour of The Cove! Will Graham, a third-generation Graham, is the executive director of The Cove.

 

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 125 for August 24, 2019

 

I AM NOW CONVINCED!

It has taken me a long time to convince me what others have kept saying, but now I am a believer. They have said to me through the years, “Just wait until you get older and you will really see how fast time passes.” My reply has always been, “Time has always passed fast for me.” As a matter of fact, I have continually asked the younger generation, “Do you think the time is passing fast for you?” They have always replied in the affirmative, “Yes, it really is flying by.” So, therefore, I have rested my case. However, just a few days ago I had to be honest with myself and accept the facts that others have been saying. I have been converted to an amazing reality! Time really is at a fast-moving pace!

 

 

At the end of this month of August Bess and I will complete 4 months in these mountains in this year of 2019. When I counted back to the end of April, I was in total shock. I said to myself, “That cannot be right.” The calendar had to convince me, and convince me it did. It really is true!

 

Where does the time go? We have not been idle these past 4 months. We have been involved in ministry, entertaining friends, in upgrading and maintaining our cabins, visiting with friends, traveling here and there and much more. After all these years, at last, I have been converted. Time really is moving faster than I have ever witnessed. 

 

As time is passing so fast, I am reminded that time is very soon bringing our Lord to return for His Church and people. The way our nation and world are decaying, it surely must be soon! Signs are increasing that will bring our Lord back to earth. In recent days over 60 earthquakes have happened in Kansas and Oklahoma. If you know your Bible, you know that earthquakes are a major sign of the return of Christ. Earthquakes are very rare in Kansas and Oklahoma, and for over 60 to occur, it really is a major sign and happening. I am saying the same words of John the Revelator, “Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus!” My dear friend, Jerry Goff, a new resident of heaven since July 12th has challenged all of us with his great song, “I’ll See You In The Rapture!” Whatever you do, don’t miss this glorious event!

 

What A Day That Will Be!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 124 for August 17, 2019

 

 

There is no doubt in my mind that my marriage to Ferial Bess Pearson from Houston, Mississippi was a marriage made in heaven. I thought I was in love with a high school sweetheart when I first saw Bess in the college administration building lobby in Nashville in 1957. It was an immediate attraction for me. I really did like the looks of what I saw and knew I had to get acquainted. Through God’s providence Bess had her eyes on me even though I was not aware. To say the least, I was very happy when I made the discovery! It became easy for me to stop thinking about my sweetheart I had left behind in my home town of Jackson, still in high school, when my focus had moved to Bess.

 

 

 

It was time for the annual Twirp Week on campus when the ladies would ask the guys for a date. Waverly Place Church, where Bess was attending, was having an all-church picnic at a Nashville park. I was excited when Bess twirped me by asking me to go with her to the picnic. That really opened the door for us to begin dating, and soon to fall in love.

 

It did not take me long to discover that Bess really had a wonderful relationship with God, and was totally dedicated to Him. Since I was preparing for the ministry, that was a very important factor in the life of the person I would choose for a partner in ministry. It became obvious in our very first church of 3 people that I had made an excellent choice.

 

Bess had made a big revelation to me after we were engaged to be married that she had never told me or anyone else, that she felt a very special call to ministry.  From the beginning days of our ministry together, she has fit the mold of a pastor’s wife perfectly. Through the 56 years as a pastor’s wife she has been a tremendous asset to my ministry. She developed a special ministry to women in every church where we have served across America. God used her gift of compassion to encourage, bless and strengthen the women in every church. It is no wonder that Bess has been known as a model pastor’s wife. Every church has said she was the best pastor’s wife they have had through the years. It is a fact, God knew what He was doing when He reserved Ferial Bess Pearson for me!

 

Without one reservation, I can say, whatever success I have experienced as a pastor through the years, Bess has certainly played a major role. I will forever be grateful to my Lord, for the marriage He had reserved for me was a marriage made in heaven.

 

God has been good to me!

 

CHARLES KIRBY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 123 for August 10, 2019

 

A TRIBUTE TO ANOTHER SPECIAL FRIEND

 

 

Steve Stutz was a very special friend to me.  Like no other friend, he told me often how much he appreciated me and my ministry. He really was a great encourager of mine. He stood by me in one of the most trying and disappointing times I have had to face. He told me what I was going through actually was impacting his health. He reminded me continually that he wanted me to preach the message at his funeral. As a matter of fact, on the afternoon of his home going he asked me if I had his funeral message ready.  I told him it was ready, and the title was going to be “I Have Fought A Good Fight” from 2 Timothy 4. Even though he was having a struggle to breathe, he seemed pleased.

 

Bess and I drove to Lakeland on Saturday, July 20 for the celebration of Steve’s life on Tuesday, July 23. It really was a very special service. I had the honor to officiate. Assisting me were two other ministers, pastor Bruce Oldam from Winter Haven First Nazarene, and pastor Jon Betz from Restoration Fellowship Church. Cindy, Steve’s wife, had asked Bess to lead the excellent crowd in one of Steve’s favorite songs, “Glory To His Name.” Bess also sang a solo, “A Greater Yes,” that received a wonderful reception from many people commenting on the tremendous message in the lyrics.  J. D. Hatton, a first cousin of Steve, and Jerry Davis,  Steve’s best friend from childhood, gave wonderful eulogies.

 

When Steve first began talking to me about preaching his funeral message, I began to think of a possible title. As Steve began to develop physical issues that would lead to his home going, “I Have Fought A Good Fight” from 2 Timothy chapter 4 was directed by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul’s powerful testimony nearing the end of his life was an illustration of Steve’s Christian life. Three things leap out from verse seven:

 

  1. I have fought a good fight

  2. I have finished my course

  3. I have kept the faith

As a result of these three facts, Paul says, “Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”  It is impossible for any of us to begin to understand what Steve is enjoying at the present time in his new heavenly home. A great homecoming is planned for all of us who have chosen Steve’s dear Lord as our own personal Lord and Saviour!

 

A great day is coming!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

Blog 122 for August 3, 2019

 

THE EXCITING HERITAGE OF BESS PEARSON KIRBY

 

The Pearson family reunion is always a big event. When I married into the Pearson clan of the Houston, Mississippi area in 1960 I became amazed by the event, especially since the Kirby family had never had a reunion. Perhaps the major reason is due to the size of the two families. The Pearson family is much larger than the Kirbys.  At the up-coming Pearson reunion on the weekend of August 3-4,  just the cousins will number 68.

 

The setting for the Pearson Reunion is always held at Pearson Chapel Nazarene Church in the country community outside of Houston, Mississippi. It had its beginning in the country farm home of Papa Ed and Mama Pearson, the grandpa and grandma of Bess. The children from the cotton and cornfield countryside would come to a Sunday School class taught by Mama Pearson in her home. The size of the attendance outgrew the house and Papa Ed and Mama Pearson donated some of their farmland to build a church. In 1939 Pearson Chapel Nazarene Church was organized. Since the beginning, the church has occupied four church buildings.  At the August 2017 Pearson reunion a beautiful new church building, including Sunday School rooms, a large fellowship hall with modern kitchen, and a 300 to 400 seat worship center was dedicated. It is the only church today in the country community where it had its beginning. It was exciting for Bess and me to be a part of the wonderful celebration! We were sure Mama Pearson was looking down and rejoicing over the tremendous event.

 

 

Mama Pearson, a Godly woman of God, was a dynamic example of the power of one that is dedicated totally to God.  She let God use her to accomplish incredible things. I have held two revivals at Pearson Chapel through the years before Mama Pearson went to heaven. She was an old fashioned shouting Christian that really supported my preaching.

 

I have told Bess she is very blessed to have such a Godly heritage. Heaven really is going to be a continuous celebration when all of God’s children are home at last!

 

All of us can make a difference in our world!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 121 for July 27, 2019

 

A TRIBUTE TO JERRY GOFF

 

I lost an outstanding friend on Friday, July 12.  It is always a difficult thing to give up people that mean so much to us. Jerry Goff was one of those individuals to me. When Bess and I prayed several times with little Jan concerning Jerry’s serious heart condition, we prayed for God’s mercy to be extended to him, nearing the end of his earthly journey. His wonderful Lord was a merciful God to him. I am sure heaven’s welcoming throng were all present to welcome Jerry to the eternal city.  When he arrived it had to be an amazing scene!

 

In 1972 I hosted Jerry and The Singing Goffs at Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia for the first time. It was an incredible service that I will never forget. Jerry’s brother was at the organ as Jerry, Mr. Gospel Trumpet, and two other men began the service starting down the center aisle playing “The Old Rugged Cross” on their trumpets. It was one of the most captivating moments I have ever experienced in a church service.

 

Through the years Jerry and I developed a very wonderful friendship. He was an outstanding special preacher in many of my church services. He and little Jan, both are members of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, were featured, singers. Their ministry was always anointed by the Holy Spirit, ending in a thrilling victory

 

The hundreds of people that attended the 19 year run of my ministry in Lakeland and Saturday Nights In Lakeland, became aware of our golfing times together. He was a great competitor. I only beat him twice throughout the many years we played together and with other friends. The last time we played together was in the winter of 2018. His heart was a challenge for him so we only played nine holes. Jerry Goff was one of the most outstanding promoters I have ever known. He actually became a mentor to me. His number one promotion was the Gospel of our Lord. Without a doubt, he was second to none! People that have sailed on the Singing At Sea Gospel Cruises, where he was the great master of ceremony for many years, became aware of his tremendous gift. Jerry had a contagious personality. His memory amazed me and everyone else. He was an outstanding teacher and gave lectures at several colleges and universities throughout the years. Jerry was a mentor to many southern gospel singers. He leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered for years to come.

 

Jerry wrote over 500 Gospel songs that have blessed and inspired thousands through the years of his ministry. One of his most popular, and a favorite of mine, was “I’II SEE YOU IN THE RAPTURE!” As a matter of fact, Duane Kendall, our outstanding webmaster for Bess and me, has arranged for Jerry and Triumphant Quartet to close this blog singing this Holy Spirit anointed feature. They sang this song many times together through the years at Saturday Nights In Lakeland at Lake Gibson Church.  Click on the arrow in the picture below my signature.

 

Precious Memories, How They Linger!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

Blog 120 for July 20, 2019

 

 

ANDREW JOHNSON AND DONALD TRUMP

Greeneville, Tennessee is a historic Tennessee town about 25 miles from our cabins in Cosby, Tennessee. It is a very beautiful town of 17,000 people. A few days ago Bess and I drove over to Greeneville to spend some time. It was an enjoyable experience since I really am an American history buff. 

 

It begins with our nation’s first pioneers who traveled through the mountains of western North Carolina and into the lush foothills of East Tennessee.  The town of Greeneville, established in 1783, a natural destination and layover for travelers, due to its location on the great wagon trail (now U.S. Highway 321 that runs south near our cabins  and on through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge)became a popular stop for weary travelers who needed rest and recharging at the historic Grand Central Hotel, now the General Morgan Inn, before continuing their journey.  It is an elegant four-story building on the main street. Bess and I ate there some years ago on a Sunday after church, with Pat and Lois Sampson. It was a tremendous experience. We were planning to have lunch there again but did not arrive before they stopped serving at 2:00 p.m.

 

GENERAL MORGAN INN

 

Greeneville is the home of Andrew Johnson, our 17th president. Both President Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson were two of America’s best ‘rags to riches’ stories. They both grew up poor and both had little formal education. Johnson was born in a log cabin in Raleigh, North Carolina. His parents were basically illiterate. Andrew never had a formal education. He never went to school. At 17 he moved west to Greeneville, using a one-horse cart. Providentially he met his wife Eliza, who was well educated. She read to him as he worked in his tailor shop so he could learn about law and history. She taught him how to do arithmetic and to invest his money well. His background is an amazing story.

 

Andrew became the 17th president of the United States serving as the vice president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 serving one term of four years. His presidency was a rocky road like Donald Trump is presently experiencing with a Democrat House of Representatives. Just like Trump, his presidency was a continuous battle with Congress. Serving as a Democrat, his conflict was with a Republican-dominated congress. Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted by one vote of the Senate.

 

Bess and I toured the Andrew Johnson Historic Site that includes his home in Greeneville. His footprints are everywhere in the city. We saw several Andrew Johnson banks. We were very impressed with the religious climate in the city. Beautiful churches with high spires that reach up to the heavens are downtown. The ancient buildings of Cumberland Presbyterian, First Presbyterian dating back to 1780 and the modern First Baptist are very impressive. Bess and I are planning to be back to worship in one of these churches and to eat a delicious meal at the beautiful General Morgan Inn.

 

 

Thank God for exciting American History!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 119 for July 13, 2019

 

 

 

The past few days I have thought about friends as a priceless treasure. Bess and I have dear friends in all the churches we have pastored across America. We are located in two great places throughout the year. Through God’s providence, we are able to visit with so many of these wonderful people. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall everyone wants to visit the Smoky Mountains. In the winter the warm sunshine of Florida is calling. As a result of these two locations to call home each year, we are able to see and visit with friends.

 

A few days ago Jay and Pat Ahlemann came to visit with us here at our cabins. They pastor Restoration Fellowship Church in Strasbourg, Virginia. We have been dear friends for 52 years. They have followed us in two churches. We enjoyed precious time in our cabin talking about our journeys in the ministry.

 

Steve and Cindy Stutz have a wonderful cabin in Sevierville. They drive up often from Winter Haven to spend time in these mountains. Bess and I cherish the time we spend together. Steve is recovering from a physical challenge that impacted him a few days ago when we were together at Dollywood. We are praying for total healing for Steve.

 

Former college classmates, Gene, and Peggy King live nearby in Dandridge. Gene is a retired army chaplain. They have introduced us to a great place to eat catfish. Sometimes they come over to our cabin after a wonderful meal at Carver’s Applehouse Restaurant ten minutes from Majestic View.  Two other retired Nazarene pastors, J. D., and Esther Bailey, now live in Wears Valley, not far from us. We enjoy their fellowship from time to time over a meal. 

 

We are looking forward to several more friends that have booked the Snuggled-In cabin soon. The Hellers, Gary and Linda, and the Alfords, Wayne, and Joan are tremendous laymen from Indianapolis First Church where Bess and I pastored in the early 90s. Gary was a faithful member of the Indy First church board and Wayne was the Indiana State Director of the FBI. While I was at Lake Gibson Church he convinced me to have a security team and trained all of them.   

 

Phil and Arveta Pitts from Indianapolis will be here for a visit. They remain faithful members of Indy First. Arveta was here with her first husband, Don, who has gone to heaven. He was a great friend of both Bess and me. Arveta can’t wait to come back again.

 

Dr. David and Nancy Goldston from Lakeland will be here in August. They were faithful supporters of our ministry at Lake Gibson and are now active in Restoration Fellowship Church. 

 

Merrill and Eileen Ward from Franklin, Indiana will be here for the beautiful fall colors. They are faithful supporters of the ministry of Restoration Fellowship Church. 

 

As you can see, Bess and I are richly favored with friends. We consider all of them to be treasures of God’s abundant blessings. Just think of this. There are many more that have already been here for a visit. And then I think of Jerry and Char Pyles from Minnesota. They came to Florida near the end of last Winter. We had a great visit and a meal together. They were wonderful members of Tidewater Central  Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, serving as bus pastors. As I finish writing about all of these dear friends, I realize that I am a very rich man!

 

God has really been good to me!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 118 for July 6, 2019

 

 

CELEBRATING AMERICA’S FREEDOM AND LIBERTY

 

The week of June 30 through July 7 has been a week to celebrate the 243rd  birthday of our America. Through the years we have come to realize that freedom is never free. A tremendous price has been and continues to be paid to maintain our national freedom. No other nation in the world can equal America’s record of liberty. It is a fact, we are the envy of the world. At the present time political leaders are promoting a socialistic philosophy that would be the doom for the home of the brave and the free. Like never before in our history it is time for a huge number of Americans to rise up in defense of our freedoms and liberties! I really do wonder how many people will be willing to pay the price to save this nation.

 

My family joined our relatives in celebrating July the 4th when I was a kid. All of us would meet at Clover Creek south of Jackson, Tennessee, for a fishing exposition. The men and boys would do the fishing for catfish and the women would do the cooking on the bank of the creek. Catfish has never tasted that good. It made me a lover of catfish that continues to this day. 

 

The most exciting experience on July 4th happened at Clover Creek when I was 13 years of age. My dad discovered a huge hole in the bank of

 

the creek. He told all of us that there had to be a big catfish in there and for us to surround the hole with a big net to catch him when he came out. My dad and uncles finally ran the fish out with a big limb of a tree. He was huge! They caught him with their hands and threw him out on the creek bank. I will never forget that sight from my young boyish mind of 13. The fish was obviously mad and flopped on the bank over small trees until he was worn out, and finally lay still. He was put in the back of a pickup truck that was four feet across. It was a perfect fit for the big fish.

 

By now I am sure you are anxious to hear the rest of the story. This really  is a true story. All of our relatives came to our house, which was the nearest to Clover Creek, for a giant fish fry at the end of July 4th in 1950. The fish weighed 75 pounds. We cooked him in a big pit in the ground, and then hung him with a pulley on the limb of a tree so we could enjoy a big feast on catfish. When the family members started the preparation, disappointment set in. The fish was  tough and we could not chew it. My dad said it was like leather. The only thing for us to do was to dig a deep hole at the back of our property and bury him. To say the least, that was the end of a July 4th celebration in 1950. I still wonder just how old that fish really had to be. By the way, I have proof of this story with a picture of a cousin and me standing by the fish.

 

May God Bless and Save America!

 

Charles Kirby  

 

 

 

Blog 126 for August 31, 2019

 

THE GOLDEN RULE & A HICKORY STICK

 

 

PART I

 

Do you remember singing as a child this little song, “School Days, School Days, good old Golden Rule days…”?  My readership will know what the “good old Golden Rule” is; after all, it’s been around for hundreds of years; and they, no doubt, will have sung this childhood song.

 

School days, school days
Dear old 
Golden Rule days
'Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick'ry stick

 

 

When in doubt about what the golden rule is, go to God’s Word.  Read it for yourself.

 

Matt.7:12 says it this way.

“Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for THIS IS the law and the prophets.” 

Luke 6:31 says it like this.

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” 

 

The great Reformer, Martin Luther, applied the Golden Rule specifically to the workplace.  The Bible teaches and preaches how you should treat your neighbor. In the workplace, your tools, your goods, your scales, your yardstick, all cry out to you. Martin Luther says it this way, “Friend, use me (the Golden Rule) in your relations with your neighbors just as you would want your neighbor to use his property in his relation with you.”

 

I’m musing today; I’ve got questions.  Now, tell me, when were those “good old golden rule days”?  How long has it been? It was so, in my lifetime, in my yesteryears, long ago when I was growing up.  I was raised on its truth; and, in turn, I raised my children on this ONE of many Headlines from the SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

 

Jesus said that THIS IS the law and the prophets (see Matt. 7:12).  Another question I have is this. What does God’s Word say about “the Law and the Prophets”?  I did find in Matt. 5:17 what Jesus said,  ”Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.   I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

 

This precious rule is found all throughout the Old and New Testaments.  The first statement of the Golden Rule is in Lev. 19:18. The two greatest commandments, stated in the NT, contain this rule, when it says,  "love your neighbor as yourself".  In every book of the Bible you read, may you uncover somewhere, this GOLDEN RULE. And may we teach this to our children, and their children, from generation to generation.  Please enjoy this “SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS” YouTube “Songs of America.” I will complete Part II of “the Hickory Stick” with my Sept. 7, 2019 blog. ENJOY LIVING the GOLDEN RULE. 

           

                                              BESS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 125 for August 24, 2019

 

EIGHT BLESSINGS

AND MANY MORE!!!

 

 

The month of August has been fruitful in the bountiful harvest of visiting CHRISTIAN FRIENDS.  Let me tell you about 8. Their names are Gary and Linda, Wayne and Joan, Phil and Arveta, Cecil and Ruby;  3 couples, from Indianapolis and 1 from Nashville. Six rented a cabin from us; the other 2 tried, but we had no openings.

 

These friends of ours have a lot in common.  They are Christian. They have been part of churches we pastored. Somehow, they took a liking to us!!!

 

These friends are unique having their own individuality.  They are unique in their appearance, in their personality traits, in their talents and gifts, in their personal preferences, in their respective careers, and in their own immediate families. 

 

Let me introduce you to our August Company.

 

 

Gary and Linda Heller, a charming couple, great personalities, and they are fun to be with.  Gary tells the story on Charles about a golf game at Hilton Head, when, due to the cold weather and Charles not having sufficient clothes to keep warm,  he had to wear Bess’s pantyhose to help him keep warm.  Charles can never live that down. It’s the experiences that we go through that bind us together for a lifetime.

 

 

 

Wayne and Joan Alford, a delightful couple, special personalities, and a blessing to know. Wayne was head of the FBI in Indiana.  He and Joan are strong churchmen. They have three great sons. Wayne and Joan, wintered at least one winter, maybe two, in Lakeland, and attended Lake Gibson Church while we were there.  He organized the Lake Gibson security group of men and taught them how it needed to be done. This is an example of how they love God’s church, always doing what they could. They have a son, Jason, & family living in Lakeland.

 

 

Phil and Arveta Pitts, a stunning couple, shining personalities, and a joy to know.  For Phil and Arveta, this is their second marriage, both having lost a spouse. We knew them when Phil was married to Mary.  My sister Gwendolyn, went with the Indianapolis team, which included Phil and Mary, on a missions trip to Papua New Guinea. They’ve always had a special place in our hearts.  Arveta and Don were special friends to us. We played “10 little Indians” a lot. It was such fun. Memories are made of this. In their great losses, God brought another great joy into their lives, each to the other.

 

 

Cecil and Ruby Felker, a great couple, fun personalities, and a blessing to know.  Charles has known them for many years, having grown up on the Nazarene Church, Tennessee District; and gone to church camps.  We both have known them from College days at Trevecca Nazarene College. This couple wintered in Florida and came to Lake Gibson Church while there, for many years.  The years come and go, but friends stay forever.

 

 

John, Lorraine & Kaye

 

 

 

Other friends we’ve seen this August are the Canadians, John, Lorraine, and Kaye (thanks to them for giving us tickets to the Saturday night event at The Gatlinburg Gathering (at $25.??, per person) a gracious gift.  Many thanks, sweet friends. Still, other friends we visited and ate with are Rony and Jean Bunn, and John and Barbara White. Oh, the value of good friends.

 

Every Friend we have is a kind friend.  Oh, the gracious hand of friends. When we can’t make it ourselves, a Friend comes alongside us and supports us with a hand extended.  I am beside myself with gratitude, love, and appreciation for the hundreds of other friends we have, just like these I’ve mentioned. We are blessed indeed.

 

All of this reminds me of my best Friend; Jesus is His Name. These earthly friends of ours, live lives pleasing to HIM. Hope you do too.  Jesus is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother (or, even a friend). Enjoy Alan Jackson’s YouTube rendition of “What a Friend We Have In Jesus.”    

 

 

Bess  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 124 for August 17, 2019

 

 

59 AND COUNTING…

 

 

In this present culture, very few young and middle-aged couples, will be able to say one day, “HAPPY 59TH ANNIVERSARY” to a dear spouse.  I’m so sorry about that. To have lived and loved one man, in my case, 59 YEARS AND COUNTING is a blessing beyond measure. To have Charles love me back is another blessing beyond measure.

 

 

To have our children come home to the same Mom and Pop for all these years, proved to be a blessing beyond measure to them.  To have our Grandsons come to the same house to see Grandpa and Grandma was also a great blessing. What a wonderful life we have had.

 

 

I love Charles.  He has been and still is a wonderful Man of God, a great and loving husband, a good and faithful father, and a top-notch grandfather. I am blessed.  Chuck and Micki are blessed, as are Kaye and Bob. Kyle, Cody, Michael, and Chase are blessed, as is Tyler. So HAPPY 59TH ANNIVERSARY dear Man of mine!  We’ve come this far by faith in God and love for each other these 59 years on AUGUST 19, 2019.

 

 

We begin our future, still loving, still respecting, still appreciating, and still with faith in God. Thanks for the spent years, (We have these moments to remember.) and thanks for those to come, (We have these moments to anticipate with joy).     

 

 

Bess

 

P.S. Happy Anniversary dear Bob and Micki!  Congratulations on 33 years and counting. Bob, you are blessed with Micki; and, Micki, you are blessed with Bob. We both celebrate anniversaries in August. Love you.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 123 for August 10, 2019

 

FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS

“FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS, FELLOWSHIP DIVINE”

 

Another opportunity in the Smoky Mountains to see and hear good gospel singing and great preaching is upon us.  At the Gatlinburg Gathering, we usually see many of our dear friends and acquaintances there. Some of those are INTERNET CANADIAN VIEWERS.  Not sure just when they started watching services, but we do know it started while we served Lake Gibson Church as Senior Pastor, and had all the Saturday and Sunday night gospel concerts.

  

 

While Kaye Jeffereys, Lorraine & John Armitage have never been in a service at Lake Gibson Church in person, they know us by internet viewing.  What a treasure they are! Last year at the Gathering, we saw them, as well as many others, had them over to our cabin, and they took us out to eat a meal.

 

It’s amazing what the LGC gospel concerts and the internet ministry brought to many people all across the United States, Canada, and (who knows?) the World!  It brought spiritual enrichment, needed encouragement, happy smiles, new friends, and who knows what else.

 

Just recently we were at Carver’s Apple House Restaurant (almost a stone’s throw from our cabin), having just arrived and waiting to be seated when a lady in line to pay her bill kept looking at us as if she knew us from somewhere.  We acknowledged smiles. She finally said, “Now who are you? You look familiar.” Long story short, she said, “You’re the Pastor that was at Lake Gibson. Heard that you retired.” We talked for a long time. Found out that she and her husband had come to the concerts; things had changed for her; her husband had passed away, and she had remarried, now she and Mr. Hicks are living in a nearby town in the Mountains.

 

 

During “The Gathering,” Gerald Wolfe will have a gospel music Hymn Sing on Saturday.  If you’ve never been to one you must go some time. They are refreshing, wonderful, inspirational, and great!  There are so many fun and positive things to do here in these mountains. There is so much recognition of God here as well.  The sheriff's cars have on their car the words, IN GOD WE TRUST; and we were in an “Urgent Care” place with Charles, having them look at some type of bite on his leg, (He’s A-OK, don’t worry); and as Charles was filling out the forms and I was looking for a magazine to read, we both saw right in the middle of the top magazine shelf, the BIBLE.

 

God is good all the time; Friends are great all the time; and I bless you all, not in my own ability, but in the powerful Name, that is above all names, the Name of JESUS, our greatest FRIEND. 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 122 for August 3, 2019

 

GOING TO MY PEARSON FAMILY REUNION

 

MISSISSIPPI, HERE I COME!

 

As you read this blog, Charles & I will be at the Pearson Reunion in my hometown, Houston, MS, at Pearson Chapel Church of the Nazarene, the church to which my Grandfather and Grandmother gave the land to build the church.  My Grandmother had held Sunday School in her home for many years, prior to the District’s decision to organize a church in that community.

 

Today, the church has a beautiful new building; the auditorium seating approximately 300 to 400 people. They have a great fellowship hall with a great kitchen, nursery facilities, Sunday School rooms, etc.  And the church, after being in existence for 80 years, still carries the name, PEARSON CHAPEL CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE. I am so appreciative of my Christian heritage on the Pearson AND the Morgan side. The Morgan side is my Mother’s family.

 

It will be fun to be there and see the family.  It’s my chance to see my dear sister, Gwendolyn, my impressive brother, Fred and his delightful wife, Jo, and my deceased, loving sister, Mildred’s two wonderful daughters, Angela & Mille’, their good husbands, Danny and Glenn, and their families.

 

 

It is always a joy to go to Moore’s Restaurant in Houston and order the WHOLE CATFISH.  They have the best. We love it. Gwendolyn goes with us, and Fred & Jo meet us there after their drive from Jonesboro, AR.

  

 

Most of the time when we are in Houston, my sister, Fred & Jo, Charles & I go to MY FRIEND’S PLACE, another good eating place in Houston.  We’ve known the owners for many years. They are Christians. This restaurant’s name refers to JESUS, the owner’s Friend.

 

We may drive the short distance to Vardaman, the Sweet Potato Capital of the World.  If we go, we will pass the high school. where my Mom graduated. Should we drive further, we would run into Calhoun City, a small town where I attended on occasion during high school years, the Nazarene Church there.  If we kept driving West, we would run into the town of Grenada, where I lived as a toddler. Actually, we probably won’t do any of this due to our limited time; but have done some of this on other visits. These towns are Nola Kenwright’s (my Lakeland Baptist friend) ‘neck of the woods’.

 

 I sure love my family.  I’m glad God planned it all. It’s so much fun to visit them.  Not only am I a part of an earthly family, a part of the Gus Pearson Family; but, I’m a part of a Heavenly Family, a part of the Family of God. If you desire pictures and more information about my family and Pearson heritage, go to Pearson Family Info, click here.  And, enjoy the YouTube of “The Family of God,” written by Bill & Gloria Gaither. Blessings to all.

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

Blog 121 for July 27, 2019

 

A RECENT EXPERIENCE 

“TOOK THE CAKE”!!!

 

 

I GUESS MOUNTAIN PEOPLE THINK DIFFERENTLY!  Why am I saying this? Just read the following.

 

I’ve experienced a lot of frustrations while being in the mountains for an extended period of time.  The reason being that in Florida I can make a hair appointment; and, all goes well (usually)! At least I’ve had good success. 

 

To explain further, let me tell you about my “beauty shop” experiences.  In Florida, I have a weekly standing appointment. But I’ve not been able to get one here, YET!  

 

I have 3 stylists that I’ve gone to once or twice during these 12 years we’ve had these cabins.  Since being here these few months, I’ve attempted occasionally to get an appointment. Here are some of the answers and experiences I’ve received.

 

1.  I called one shop close by and talked to the owner, who had done my hair once in the past.  He said, “NO,” they could not take me.

 

2.  Then I called another girl, who said she had nothing available. I, then, asked for an available date that week.  She said that she and her family were going camping for the rest of that week. I asked what her regular hours were. She said she didn’t have any, that school was out and the family liked to do things together.  I would just have to call; and, if something was available, ok.

 

 

3.  I called to make an appointment with another girl, who had done my hair a few times before.  She told me the time to come in. So I go in, have a seat, and wait for quite a while as she keeps talking to her “finished” client.  She starts working on me. At some point, maybe after she had washed my hair, or after she had blown it dry, she said, “I haven’t eaten all day, so I’m going to get me something to eat and I’ll be back".  She left while I waited in the chair and Charles, who was waiting for me, looked on. Neither of us could believe this was happening. After 15 or 20 minutes or MORE (I can’t remember exactly), she came back and finished me, never saying, "I’m sorry" or anything like that.  Needless to say, I haven’t been back. That experience “TOOK THE CAKE”! Has your beautician ever left the building to go eat and left you sitting in the chair, not able to leave because of your hair? Another stylist was there with a customer, but no one said a word.

 

 

 

4.  Since then, we drove up to a Beauty Shop and saw it had gone out of business.

 

5.  Then on another day, we passed by a shop.  We pulled into the parking lot, sat in the car, phoned and they didn’t make appointments for a wash, blow-dry, & curling iron; just appointments for a color, perms, etc.  I would just have to walk in, and they would take me when they could work me in. Needless to say, I haven’t been there. 

 

I GUESS, MOUNTAIN PEOPLE THINK DIFFERENTLY! Pray for me. I need it. I know that Jesus loves us all, Florida Crackers, Mississippi Magnolias, and Mountain Persons. I know that I must learn, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know that in the midst of it all, I will stand and not fall, and Bless HIS Name.   

 

It’s a Joyful Journey.  

 

Bess 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 120 for July 20, 2019

 

 

 

What, in the world, happens to us, as we age?  I’m not sure you would recognize me if you could see me now!  My hair is a MESS; not the color it used to be; in fact, was told today, that my ends looked green, and the top looked a little red.  There’s no style to it; and, it’s thinning. What’s a girl supposed to do?

 

My body has changed proportions, making my clothes unwearable. My clothes are a combination of small, medium, large and extra-large.  Trying to get ready to go to church or out anywhere, I may have to dress two or three times to settle on something that, whether it looks good or not, it feels the best.

 

 

My skin has some discoloration, dark spots, moles, and skin tags. Found a skin tag removing stick the other day in my make-up supply.  May try to use it soon. My countenance is becoming wrinkled. I can’t see well enough to rid my chin of hair growth. I need a magnifying glass.

 

My toenails have thickened and curled up making buying shoes strategic. My socks don’t always match.  One leg is shorter than the other.

 

You wake up to this; can you imagine how your day goes?  I need a make-over. I need a new hair-do. I need some new clothes (that fit )!

 

But I declare to you, “DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.”  According to God’s Word, “Man looks on the outward.” UGH! Remember what Jesus said...that He looks on the heart, not on the outward appearance. YEAH!  Help me Lord, as my outward man changes, that my inner man may flourish!

 

I’ve often quoted the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.  I think it fits here. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

I’m so glad that most of these statements are false, as recorded here; but changes do take place as we age.  Hope you’ve laughed as you have read this blog. Laughter is good medicine! Take care. Keep putting on that face cream, exercising, and laughing a lot. 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 119 for July 13, 2019

 

 

 

 

FEAR is the devil’s tool to make us forget God’s might, power,  promises, love, and care. So. this week’s message to you from me is this: “FEAR not tomorrow, God is already there.”

 

It is a reality in this life that presently (NOW) we may be at peace, living and enjoying life to the fullest; while, shortly (It could be the same day), fear rears its ugly head. Now, what are we going to do?

 

FEAR is a disabler.  And it’s in that moment that we lose sight of God’s ability to help in our circumstances. 

 

(1) We must remember God’s mighty miracles.  He opened blinded eyes. He set prisoners free.  He made the lame to walk. He turned water into wine.  He raised Lazarus from the dead. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law.  He cast out demons. He fed more than 5,000 with a small lunch of bread and fish.  He walked on water. He calmed the raging storm. He, Himself, walked out of His grave.  And there are more and more and more. He’s still the Miracle Worker today.

 

(2) We must remember God’s Word and His promises. In John 6:16-20 Jesus said to His disciples, ”...it is I; be not afraid.”  In Joshua 1:9, God said, “Be not afraid. Be strong and of good courage.” I John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out FEAR.” Other promises fill our memories, like, “Cast your care on ME, for I care for you.” “Underneath are the everlasting arms.”  “As your day, so shall your strength be.” “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I’m STANDING ON THE PROMISES OF GOD!

 

(3) We must remember Divinely inspired songs of the ages like: "God will take care of you," "I’ve got confidence, God’s gonna’ see me through,"  "We will remember the works of Your hands," "Fear Not Tomorrow," and many, many others, all written from experience and knowledge of God’s might and power.

 

FEAR is the devil’s tool to make us forget God’s power and promise, His love, and care. So fill yourself up with life-changing truths of God; build your confidence in the “Man from Galilee,” Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son.  God is able, more than able, to carry you through. Turn your fear into peace...the peace that Jesus gives. Click below on the two powerful songs, via the YouTube, sung by the Collingsworth Family (Fear Not Tomorrow) and the Triumphant Quartet (We will remember the works of Your hands).   Don’t be afraid; God will take care of you. Bess 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 118 for July 6, 2019

 

A Smoky Mountain Black bear came for a visit a few days ago.    His visit was surprising; we didn’t know he was coming. Actually, we had gone to Gatlinberg to meet dear friends, retired pastor, J.D.Bailey and his wife Esther, for breakfast at CROCKETT Restaurant.  This is an unusual, special and great place to eat breakfast. They are open until 2:00 p.m., serving breakfast only. If you are in the area, you must go.

Upon returning to our cabins about 11:00 a.m., we saw our departing renters shut up in the cabin, afraid to come out. The young mother of 2 small children had seen the bear pass by the kitchen window and heard the bear at the screen door.  Needless to say, she was afraid. She closed all the blinds. Thankfully, without incident, the bear left, doing no damage to the property nor injury to our renters. In their “5 star review rating” of our cabin, she commented on seeing a bear;  after the fact, it was a great memory to take with them as they departed.

 

I have learned some things about bears, both from the BIBLE and textbooks, and from the area people. From Is. 59:11, I learned that they roar; from Dan. 7:5 they can devour flesh; from Dan. 7:5&7, their teeth are powerful; from Rev. 13:2 & I Sam. 17:34-37, they have “claw”/“paw” feet; and from Prov. 17:12 & II Kings 2:24, they are mean.  A month or so ago, a bear broke into a home in our general area, and caused lots of damage, tearing the kitchen cabinets off the wall, looking for food. We’ve learned to not put garbage bags out with food in them, nor leave a cooler containing food on the deck. We’ve learned to make noise; “yell” when we see a bear, so they run away. If in the house, we are to get pots and pans and bang them together making noise, etc.

 

 

The Smoky Mountains have over 1500 ​black bears. You might  see bears when hiking or driving in your car. They may be alongside the road, at a water hole, or up in a tree.  You may even see them when you "rent a cabin"!!!

 

I love reading about David’s life in I Sam. 17:34-37.  I love the Biblical account of David’s encounter with a lion and a bear.  David’s victory over them was stepping stones to God’s intended purpose for his life.  Which reminds me, that with God by our side, we can defeat any giant in our lives, be it a lion, a bear, a monster, or any difficult passage.  And so, our life is lived “from VICTORY to VICTORY,” ONE DAY AT A TIME.

 

It was amazing as we read our devotional scripture passage today, right there the “bear” showed up in Isaiah 11:7.  Why don’t you read verses 1-10? What an amazing day, HIS coming will be. God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,  make all the difference in this world and the world to come.

 

 I love “bearing one another’s burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ.”   Before I sign off, you must pull up in your memory the lyrics to “The Ballad of Davy CROCKETT” and listen to a YouTube rendition of it.  You know he killed him a b’ar when he was only three!

 

Take care, dear ones! 

 

 Bess