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





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 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, ” 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!