ARCHIVES  SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER   2019

 

 

 

 

Blog 134 for October 26, 2019

 

AMERICA’S LARGEST SOUTHERN GOSPEL EVENT

 

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is host to the annual Southern Gospel Harvest Festival from September 27 - November 2. More than 500 concerts will feature a variety of singers and musicians during this event. Since Bess and I have Dollywood annual passes we can go and come as we choose. To date, we have enjoyed the music and fellowship of some of our favorite groups that include the Hoppers, Hyssongs, Tony Gore, and the Collingsworth Family. Still to come are Greater Vision, Isaacs, Karen Peck and New River, Triumphant Quartet, Mark Trammell Quartet, LeFevre Quartet, Down East Boys, Gold City, Ball Brothers, and Joseph Habedank. All of these singers we have hosted at Saturday Nights In Lakeland through the years. We always enjoy seeing and hearing them again.

 

It has been exciting to see and hear the Collingsworth Family again. We helped to introduce them to the Central Florida area through Saturday Nights In Lakeland and the winter crusades for over 10 consecutive years. It was heartwarming to see how God has blessed and used them throughout these years. We have watched the children grow up and now have children of their own. They draw record-breaking crowds everywhere they go. On Wednesday, October 9 they packed the largest auditorium at Dollywood with 2,000 in attendance. With Kim Collisngworth’s mastery of the 9’ Yamaha grand piano, they continue to draw the largest crowds in Gospel music.

 

From time to time it is fun to see people at Dollywood that recognize us from our years of ministry at Lake Gibson Church. We enjoy hearing their stories and comments. It really does make me grateful that my dear Lord gave me a 19-year ministry that I never dreamed possible through the world wide web. I will always be eternally grateful for this incredible blessing!

 

The Best Is Still Yet To Come!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

Blog 133 for October 19, 2019

 

 

 

GOLIATHS VERSUS GOD

 

From a child, I have always been fascinated with the encounter of David and Goliath. As my dad would read me this incredible story from the Bible storybook while I was sitting on his lap, it became one of my favorite Bible stories. Even to this day it remains at the top and speaks volumes about the condition of our day and time in history.

 

Goliath seemed to have everything on his side except God. The things which he boasted were just the things that people are prone to boast today. The prophet Samuel records this amazing story in first Samuel chapter 17.

 

Goliath had physical strength. His height was over nine feet. Athletics had done all they could for him, and he was a fine type of animal perfection. Modern-day athletes are good representatives of the Goliath of David’s day.

 

Goliath had splendid military equipment. “A helmet of brass,” and “a coat of mail,” and “a spear like a weaver’s beam!” Surely if fine material equipment determines combats, the shepherd-lad from the hills of Bethlehem will be annihilated. And he enjoyed the enthusiastic confidence of his political party. He was the pride and glory of the media of his day. He strode out amid their shouts, and cheers were like iron in his blood.

 

But all of this counted for nothing because God was against him. Men, political parties and nations may rise to powerful and popular places of leadership, and their political philosophy may satisfy the most exacting standards, and yet with God against them, they shall be as structures woven out of mists, and they shall collapse at a touch of apparent weakness. The issue was not Goliath versus David but Goliath versus God!

 

The God of the Bible is the Goliath of these last days. No nation or individual in the history of mankind that has ignored Him has been blessed with His power and presence. Now is the time for a great awakening to sweep across America and our world! God is waiting for people to respond to His love, mercy, and grace! That is the only transforming power available for these troubled times!

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 132 for October 12, 2019

 

A SPECIAL TREAT IN CANADA

 

A major highlight of our recent cruise to New England and Canada was time spent with Gordon and Maureen McGeorge, winter residents to Lakeland from New Brunswick. They picked us up after our ship docked in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was a perfect day for touring with warm sunshine and clear skies. Since Gordon and Maureen had lived in Halifax they knew the city and were excellent hosts.

 

Bess and I were impressed with the beautify of Halifax. It is a very large, clean and modern city. A big feature of our tour of the city was a trip to a cemetery. A special section has been reserved for

Halifax Titanic Cemetary
 

the burial of those that lost their lives at the sinking of the Titanic ship on April 10, 1912. The ship sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic miles from Halifax. 1,496 people lost their lives. Beautiful marble gravestones list the names and ages of the people. Even though it is a special remembrance, it is a sobering experience to walk there.

 

Gordon took us through the beautiful country to Peggy’s Cove, a fishing and retirement village about 20 miles from Halifax. A big beautiful lighthouse stands near the water's edge. Nearby, Swiss Air on September 2, 1998, crashed trying to make it to the Halifax airport. All 229 people lost their lives. A very special memorial nearby honors all of these. Bess and I had our first lobster roll at Peggy’s Cove. 

 

It really is a big and beautiful world our Lord has created and left for all of us to enjoy and admire. The gospel song, “How Big Is God?” comes to mind when admiring the glories of our wonderful Lord!

 

He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands!

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 131 for October 5, 2019

 

 

I  HAVE GREAT NEWS

    ...GOD IS ON OUR SIDE!

 

It is obvious, like no other in my lifetime, our nation and the world is falling apart! Just when we think it cannot get any worse, it does. We do not have to watch and listen to much of the news to feel a spirit of depression trying to invade our spirit of optimism and faith.  That is exactly what I have been experiencing recently. When the Holy Spirit took me to what the Apostle Paul said in Romans chapter 8, climaxing with verses 31-39,  

 

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake, we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8, 31-39. NKJV

 

 

new hope sprang eternal in my spirit! I believe it is some of Paul’s most inspired, transforming and timely words that absolutely applies to where we are in American history in these last days.

 

Paul writes, “If God is for us,” and we certainly must make sure He really is taking sides with us! Have we been so busy with discouraging happenings and national concerns with many things and everybody, that we have forgotten our greatest Weapon? We must settle which side God is on in our own minds. That purpose of yours and mine, that choice of ours, that work and ministry we all have - is it hallowed with our Lord’s approval and seal?

 

And “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Nothing else really counts. It is a foolish and futile thing to count the heads in the opposing ranks. Even though it may appear they are increasing, we must weigh and estimate causes. Which of the causes provides a tent for the Lord of Hosts? Where has the truth its waving flag? The Apostle Paul leaves no doubt the flag is the Word of God.  He says nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. Our defense for opposing abortion that is slaughtering babies near their birth, same-sex marriages, socialistic philosophies, and liberal politicians that want to change the constitution, that has made our nation the greatest in the assembly of all the nations in our world, is the Word of the living God! Paul writes, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”
 

 

Hope is springing eternal in my spirit and mind!

 

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 130 for September 28, 2019

 

MY SPECIAL REPORT ON AMERICAN HISTORY

 

I really am a history buff. It all began with a teacher on history in high school. Ms. Williams planted seeds of interest in my mind that inspired me to continue this fascinating journey in college. It was there that I chose to take history under Dr. Homa Adams. His teaching on American history was outstanding, dynamic and exciting! All of my fellow students and I were captivated by the teaching of Dr. Adams on American history. He really made it come alive. It is so sad that modern-day students are denied the opportunity to take a historical journey on the history of our great nation because of political correctness. 

 

When Dr. Adams taught about the Wilderness Road that led through the Cumberland Gap, I never thought I would one day spend several months close to this incredible place. Bess and I visited this amazing slice of American history for the second time recently. We are so grateful that we only live about 75 miles away from May through October. 

 

 

Spending time at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is very rewarding. It makes me feel like I am standing on American History Holy Ground...and I really am! Standing 2,400 feet at the Gap’s pinnacle overlook, you clearly view three states. Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia are close by. It is an amazing and beautiful sight! When we were there recently it was a day with bright sunshine and blue skies. As a result, we could see for miles deep into these three states and the surrounding area.

 

 

No name is more associated with Cumberland Gap and the opening of the West than Daniel Boone. He became renowned as a hunter and rifleman. In 1775 the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals secured a large portion of the Kentucky country from the Cherokee Indians. That year Boone and 30 men marked out the Wilderness Trail from Long Island on the Holston River (Kingsport, Tennessee) through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. There he founded Boonesborough, which is nearby, and established his place in history as a frontiersman and pathfinder.

 

If you choose to stay in one of our cabins when we are in these mountains, Bess and I will be delighted to serve as a “limited guide.” I know you will be overwhelmed with American history!

 

Thank you, Lord, for our tremendous heritage!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 129 for September 21, 2019

 

NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA, HERE WE COME!

 

Bess and I have been blessed with 7 nights aboard the Norwegian Escape ship round trip from New York City. The entire trip, September 22 - 29, that begins with a round trip airline from Tampa airport, has been completely paid. It really is an amazing miracle gift, and a big dream come true!

 

 

For 15 years, Bess and I have hosted annual Singing At Sea 5 night Christian cruises, sponsored by Templeton Tours from Boone, North Carolina. It has also been an enjoyable experience for us to organize and lead these cruises. The next Singing At Sea cruise will be next January, leaving out of the Port of Tampa. This cruise has been sold out since June.

 

We are not hosting this 7 night New England and Canada cruise. We are joining cruisers that we do not know, and have no responsibilities. We will be free as a bird, enjoying ourselves and taking everything in. The Ports of Call are Portland, Me, Bar Harbor, Me Saint John NB, Canada/Bay of Fundy, Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are meeting and visiting with some Canadian friends and winter residents that spend the winter season in the Lakeland area. We will enjoy 2 days at sea on this cruise. It really would be exciting if many more of our friends were joining us! We would have some great experiences together. Who knows, if a group would like to set sail on another one of these cruises, we might consider, if the Lord is willing.

 

Retirement is not so bad, after all!

Charles Kirby 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 128 for September 14, 2019

 

WHY PEOPLE QUIT CHURCH

 

A few days ago I was talking to a businessman when the conversation changed to church and worship. I thought he was still active in the church I knew he had attended when he told me he did not attend there anymore. I was surprised and asked him why he had quit attending. He said to me, “My wife still attends because she is the treasurer and has to attend, but I don’t have to go listen to all the kids disrupt the service. They do not get anything out of the service because they do not listen to what the preacher is saying, and neither did I. The pastor does not seem to care, because he and the parents want the children in the sanctuary for the worship service. It really is time for the pastor to go, but he has no plans to leave.” He told me many people have quit attending and have left the church, and more will be leaving if things do not change. As I got in my car to leave, I thought to myself, all of this could be solved and a church saved, but it will take a unifying spirit of prayer and common sense to prevail.

 

I think one of the major reasons for people quitting the church in these last days is the style of worship. That has not been much of an issue in past years as it is today. It is causing great division in many churches. It seems to me that most churches have made the decision to feature contemporary music in the worship services without singing the old hymns of the Christian faith that have been a worship service anchor in the past. I still believe a blended music service will save churches from division and strife. Contemporary songs and hymns can be blended together to make a meaningful worship experience and inspire attendance. Bess and I have found one of those churches to attend when we are at our cabins here in the Smokies. First Baptist Church in Morristown is committed to this style of worship, and it is tremendous! The pastor and worship leader are on the same page every Sunday. Darrel Gash, my friend of many years, is one of the best I know today to lead inspiring worship to bless and challenge those that attend and want to return.

 

Preaching is another reason people quit attending church today. Preachers have the greatest research book available that will transform individual lives searching for truth in our times. The Scriptures contained in the Holy Bible have the answers to every individual human challenge and need. Bible-believing and preaching churches have an attraction over the make you feel good, current event and positive thinking preaching. Our preaching pastor here in these mountains, Dr. Dean Haun, is a great example of a dynamic expositional life-changing preacher. He really feeds the flock and us every Lord’s Day!

 

Pastors assuming the leadership of new churches in many places are causing people to quit church. It is very common today for new pastors to change everything when they begin their ministry. I have talked to many laymen that have been frustrated and really broken over these happenings. One pastor had the walls in the worship center painted black with strobe lighting without the approval of the church. As you can understand it caused a mass exit of a large number of people. One new pastor in Alabama caused an exit of 400 people by changing major ministries the retiring pastor had used for tremendous growth. A Gospel music quartet and our friends have sung in a large Baptist church in Texas every year, and have told us about the new pastor asking the popular worship leader to resign because his philosophy of ministry was wrong. As a result, half of the huge choir have left the church. Satan has been jumping for glee when this happens in churches of all denominations. It is obvious a great outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on the Church of today is the only answer!

 

Dear Lord, send a great revival that will sweep across America!


Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 127 for September 6, 2019

 

TREES ARE WONDERFUL!    

 

I really do love trees. I have lived in areas that lacked the beauty and shelter of trees. The plains of West Texas is one of those areas where we have lived for six years. While we loved the Lubbock area and enjoyed our ministry with tremendous laymen, I never adjusted to the lack of trees. Out there on those plains, you can see for miles. Someone, describing the area, has said, “ there is nothing between you and the north pole but a barbed wire fence and it is down.” I was always fascinated by the nights on those open plains. Across the miles, you can see several town lights in the distance. I remember flying into the Lubbock airport at night, returning from speaking in conferences across the country, I was always impressed by the lights of several towns in the distance. There was nothing to obstruct the view but fields of grain and cotton. It really was a captivating sight, but there were no trees. I remember a friend of mine, that had spent all of his ministry on these plains, telling me how he felt smothered when he moved to Little Rock with trees everywhere. He said one day he decided to look behind some trees and all he could see was more trees. He really had a hard time adjusting. On the other hand, when our family moved to Little Rock from those plains to a beautiful parsonage on the outskirts of town, there were a great number of huge trees everywhere on the large lot. It was a wonderful sight to see, and we had no difficulty adjusting to the beauty. 

 

As I am writing these lines, I am sitting in the swing on our deck basking in the beauty of a huge number of trees...trees of all kinds, shapes, and sizes. What a sight!  I love it as I look at the incredible view of the mountains across the way with trees by the millions. What a marvelous creation by our wonderful God!

 

I cannot help but be reminded of the fact that my dear Lord died upon an old rugged tree that became a tree of life for me! I must ask you this question: have you been to the cross of Jesus? There has never been a time in human history when this is more important. Our nation and the world are falling apart. Just think what would happen if all of us would wrap our arms around the cross of Jesus, asking for His love, mercy, and grace to flood our lives. No one will make it into heaven without the way of the Tree of Life! The way of the cross really does lead home to Jesus!

 

The Way Of The Cross Leads Home!

Charles Kirby 

 

 

Blog 134 for October 26, 2019

 

A REVIEW OF OUR CANADA/NEW ENGLAND CRUISE

Part II of Our Recent Cruise

 

Hi there. Another week has passed, and, for this blog, I shall continue sharing the remainder of our cruise to New England and Canada. Hope you have enjoyed hearing about our journey.

 

Still cruising, we left New Brunswick, headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, our final port of call. There we met Gordon and Maureen (Languille) Gordon, our sweet Canadian friends. Both grew up and lived in Halifax; so they were very familiar with the territory. They were our tour guides for the day. We went “everywhere.” 

 

To historic cemeteries; saw the tombstones of many who lost their lives in the disaster of the sinking Titanic. This was quite moving for both Charles and me. When Micki was a baby, we were living in Abernathy, TX. Charles was out doing church work. Chuck and I, along with baby Micki, were at home. While Micki was taking a nap, Chuck and I watched the movie on television of the sinking of the Titanic. Charles came in and found both of us crying. We were so thankful to get to see these tombstones there in Halifax.

 

To areas where Gordon and Maureen grew up, homes, and schools, etc.

 

To the 18th Century Halifax Citadel, National Historic Site, used by naval operations in the yesteryears, but still standing guard as it today overlooks a thriving city.

 

And to the world-famous Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse. There we ate at a restaurant and did get to eat lobster, ordering LOBSTER ROLLS. Yum, Yum, good!!!

 

We can’t thank Gordon and Maureen enough. We look forward to seeing them this winter in Florida. We left Halifax, headed for New York Harbor; homeward bound to Mulberry.

 

It was our last day at sea, Saturday morning, Sept. 28, 2019. The sun was shining; not a cloud in the sky. And, the waters were calm like glass. As we sat for breakfast at a table by the window, a crowd gathered with cameras, having seen dolphins in the distance. Excitedly, we look out the window to see a short distance away, a family of dolphins at play. And so, for a few latitudes and longitudes, we were able to enjoy seeing jumping dolphins, traveling the same direction as the ship. Who knows, they may have been migrating south. They were everywhere. What an unexpected, pleasant surprise!

 

Some people cruise, not for the ports of call, but just to stay on the ship and enjoy the food and all the activities they provide. I can understand that if one goes to the same ports of call every cruise. The thing cruisers like the most is the FOOD. It is abundant. It’s as if you can eat all day and as much as you want. That includes ice cream and all manner of desserts. But there are lots of other activities, such as shows, shopping, swimming, walking, etc.

 

Our Canadian, New England cruise was aboard the Norwegian Escape ship. It was “mega” large. There were 4,000 or so passengers on board. Our room was at the extreme front of the ship, and most of the food places were at the other end of the ship. So, we would have to walk from one end to the other. It seemed like a football field to me. So Charles and I found that we prefer a smaller cruise ship with about 2,000 passengers. Too big a ship...and too many people. Regardless, we had a great time. Enjoyed God’s beautiful world and God’s gracious people!

 

We are blessed to have a select group of Pray-ers, who always pray for our safety when we are traveling. I want to thank them SO MUCH for their great prayer ministry. It took us on the cruise and brought us back home safe and sound. PTL.              

 

See you next week.  

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 133 for October 19, 2019

 

 

A REVIEW OF OUR CANADA/NEW ENGLAND CRUISE

 

Good morning! Good afternoon! Good evening! Not sure at what time of the day you will be checking me out, but so glad you dropped by! Blessings to you and yours. We have cruised a lot in our married life. Our favorite cruise is an all Christian cruise, which this recent one, was not. However, we got to see our Canadian friends and see lots of God’s beautiful country that we had never seen before. Let me tell you about it.

 

Our ports of call were PORTLAND, ME; BAR HARBOR, ME; ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK; and HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA. We began and ended our cruise in NEW YORK Harbor on the Norwegian Escape Ship.

 

Arriving at LGA, we were transferred to the pier to board our ship by our transfer sedan package. Flying in, we saw the Statue of Liberty. It was awe-inspiring. Riding in the sedan through the streets of New York City was breathtaking to me, as well...the skyscrapers, E. 57th Street, passing Carnegie Hall, tall business buildings side by side for miles, the mass of people, the traffic, the bridges taking us from place to place, sometimes in Harlem, Manhattan, sometimes somewhere else, passed Yankee Stadium and Joe DiMaggio Parkway. And we viewed much of this from the cruise ship as we set sail. WOW!

 

PORTLAND was our first port of call. What a beautiful and big city. Here we purchased a horse-drawn wagon to take us on a tour of the city. Close by, about a 20 or a 30-minute drive, was Kennebunkport, where Former President George Walker Bush and Barbara had their summer home. Of course, it still belongs to the Bush Family. It would have been so nice to see that, but we were unable to due to time constraints and cost. Portland is so beautiful; many people have said, “Someday I would love to live in Portland…”

 

Our next port of call was BAR HARBOR, a small, wealthy, summer playground during the Gilded Age. We got off the ship and just walked around looking at the shops, galleries, restaurants, and historic architecture. There are many islands and much water; and, Acadia National Park is there.

 

Next, we arrived at SAINT JOHN, N.B., CANADA on the BAY OF FUNDY. Here we took an excursion on a trolley, seeing the area. It was most interesting. This area is famous for the REVERSING RAPIDS at the BAY OF FUNDY. The phenomenon of the Reversing Falls Rapids is only about 3,000 years old, due to 20,000 years ago when glaciers covered all of the Maritime provinces. They changed the landscape. This phenomenon is so mind-boggling that I still can’t quite grasp it. When we were taken to the Bay, it was not the time when it reverses. I wish we could have eaten at REVERSING FALLS RESTAURANT in St. John, where we would have been atop a 100-foot cliff overlooking the REVERSING FALLS RAPIDS. What a spectacular view that would have been. Our friends, Gordon and Maureen, live in New Brunswick (not St. John) but chose to meet us in Halifax, Nova Scotia. So I’ll begin there on next week’s blog, Oct. 26.

 

Hope you have enjoyed hearing about our cruise. I can’t sign off without leaving you with a scripture or a song. How about enjoying this rendition of “This Is My Father’s World”? 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 132 for October 12, 2019

 

WHAT A WONDERFUL, TRANSITION MONTH!

 

The month of October has going for it, cooler weather and beautiful colored leaves, which are waiting to fall, as October prepares us for winter.  I love October. I love seeing the beauty that abounds. I enjoy the cooler, brisk weather, even the possibility of a fire in the fireplace on those cooler nights.  October could be called the “hug and snug” month as we hold on to one another and snuggle in the warmth of a glowing fire, sipping hot apple cider.

 

In October there are all kinds of festivals and beautiful fall decorations.  Pumpkins, stalks of corn, and bales of hay are everywhere. The autumn colors, orange, yellow, red, green, and brown beautify our lives.  Here in the Smoky

Mountains, it is beautiful; and Dollywood presents “Southern Gospel Jubilee” from Sept. 27 to Nov. 2, 2019, having quartets and other gospel groups singing at the park, almost every day.  And these concerts are free. I’m so glad we have season tickets to the park. So we will be going a lot. We all know that “God inhabits the praise of His people.” So count on me to join the praise, singing and making melody in my heart to HIM.

 

And another reason October is a special month is that a baby boy was born 82 years ago on Oct. 13, 1937.  They named the boy, Charles Lee Kirby. This little baby grew up in a Christian home; and, he grew to love Jesus.  God called him to preach; sent him to college; and had a girl picked out for him. I’m glad I am that girl. We were married on August 19, 1960.  Fifty-nine years later we are still the “apple” of each other’s eye. My plaque, here at the cabin says it like this:

 

“YOU ARE...the milk to my cookie; the sun in my sky; the cream in my coffee; the cherry on my sundae; the smile on my face; the icing on my cake.” 

 

 

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY LOVE!

 

And now, to all my blog readers...Jude 24, 25:

 

Now unto Him, that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen.

 

See you next week.

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 131 for October 5, 2019

 

SEEING A LIGHT

IN THE DARKNESS

 

It seems like there’s a lot of darkness covering this earth.  Where do you find yourself today? In a dark place or running toward the light? I hope you are steadfastly planted in the LIGHT of Lights.  I’ve got a story to tell.

 

As I write this blog, it was 2 nights ago, sometime in the darkness between 3 & 3:30 a.m. that we were awakened by a dog near our bedroom window.  Charles awakened first (which is not uncommon), hearing the dog whine; then howl; then bark loudly. We jumped up wondering who was outside and why; where was the dog; why was it there; was there another dog; was it hurt? As we climbed on the bed to look out the window, we could see that it was a rather big black dog,

but not a german shepherd. It kept barking, seemed like it was trying to wake somebody up. As it moved from place to place, we would juggle window peering.  The dog looked healthy; he had a good coat and had something on his torso or back leg, which said to me, “I have a family. I belong to someone.” The dog kept barking, sniffing, looking around, and even went onto the cabin deck. Had we had renters in that cabin that night, it would have awakened them and no doubt scared them.

 

At any rate, finally, the dog ran into the woods.  And, we didn’t hear or see it anymore UNTIL morning.  Upon rising, I was looking out the window and saw the dog coming back to our cabins.  It appeared it was still looking for its family. The dog soon appeared on OUR deck at one of our rocking chairs, looking in the picture window to see who was home, I guess. Then it went to the door, seeing us through the glass.

 

Charles went to the door, opened it, clapped his hands and shouted loudly something like, “Get out of here.”  The dog scampered away. And at this writing, we have not seen it again.

 

We did call the Animal Control, but the dog was nowhere to be seen when the driver arrived.  We are hopeful that the dog found its family and is safely in the bright lights of home. 

 

Now the spiritual application is this.  The dog was lost in the darkness. From a far distance, he saw a glimmer of light.  (We have an outside light, atop a pole & on a timer that stays on all night.) He ran toward the light, looking for safety and home.  That’s what any of us can do. Leave the darkness. Get out of there. Find our way back home. Go toward the light. JESUS is the Light of the world.  We don’t have to walk in the darkness. Enjoy the YouTube, “Jesus, the Light of the World” by Jesse Dixon and Guy Penrod.     

 

 Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 130 for September 28, 2019

 

GETTING MY DRIVER’S LICENSE

 

 

I’m wondering what could go wrong, as I prepare to get my driver’s license renewed?  Could I fail my eye exam? That’s why I’m going to my eye doctor before the time of my license appointment.  And for how long will they be good? I remember my dear mother, whose final driver’s license was good until her 100th birthday.  Lest you are wondering just how close I am to being 100, please mark it down. I have years and years and years to go before I reach that milestone. But for sure, I may have to start taking the “road less traveled.”  It’s so interesting that Jesus, after giving the Golden Rule in the Sermon on the Mountain to us, spoke of a “way less traveled.”

Matthew 7:13 and 14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it." (The Way Less Taken)  The choice is ours! There is for each of us a valley of decision (Joel 3:14). According to Joshua 24:15, Joshua says to the tribes of Israel “...choose you this day whom ye will serve…”

 

I’m with Joshua in the continuation of Chapter 24:15, as I join him saying “...As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Please choose Jesus. Please take the “great way” that FEW will travel.

 

Enjoy this great old song, “It’s Not an Easy Road,” Sisters of Grace, YouTube. 

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 129 for September 21, 2019

 

AN ANNIVERSARY, A TRIP, & A PRAYER

 

Today Retired Judge Charles and Vonnie Davis celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary at the Winter Haven, Nazarene Church.  What a remarkable legacy they have in their parental heritage and in their personal righteous living. They have 3 delightful and talented children and fabulous grandchildren. (Doesn’t this sound like a grandparent?)  We count them dear friends and wish them many more years of happiness!

 

We leave tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 22, flying to New York City, being transferred to the ship, and then departing by 4 p.m. for New England and Canada.  We are looking forward to seeing beautiful fall colors, having precious time together, just by ourselves, with no work to do at the cabins, and getting lots of relaxation.  We are also looking forward to seeing Gordon and Maureen in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax was long defined by naval operations. The 18th-century citadel still stands guard, but today overlooks a thriving city, whose restored waterfront features historic architecture, shops, museums, restaurants, and more.

 

Please pray for our safety.  We cruise for a week. We will be back in Florida on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.  I believe it’s Monday, the 30th, that I get my driver’s license there in Lakeland. However, soon we will head again to the Mountains, hoping for an October full of color and crisp weather.

 

Thank you for your prayers always.  God answers prayer. He taught us to pray.  And He gives us such sweet and powerful promises in His Word. He’s a keeper of Promises.  Is there anything too hard for my God? NO. NO. NO. I’m praying for you. I may not know who is reading the blog, but God does.  Watch for your miracle.

 

Bess  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 128 for September 14, 2019

 

 

CANADA/NEW ENGLAND

HERE WE COME!!!

 

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, we will board the Norwegian Escape in New York Harbor for a week’s cruise to New England and Canada.  We are excited, hoping for brilliant Fall colored leaves. Here at our cabin, even in late August, we are seeing some trees turn their leaves a golden yellow, and some are putting on a “scarce” few red leaves.  As to how soon winter will be here, I’m not sure, but the Farmer’s Almanac says we’ll have a bad winter, so I’ve been told.

 

We will be going and seeing Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Bay of Fundy, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Then back to New York City; on to the airport for our flight home to Tampa on Sunday, Sept. 29.

 

We have already made contact with Gordon and Maureen McGeorge, and plan to meet them in Halifax.  Perhaps we can see some other folks who winter in Florida but live in Maine or Canada. It really has to do with how close they live to where we will be; and, if we are able to get in touch with the other.

 

They say (Who are “they”?) that we are to “get ready to chase sunsets on the waterfront and explore a world of exotic flavors with two NEW restaurants from Iron Chef Jose Garcer.”  Other adventures await us like shore excursions.

 

Please pray for our safety in the car, plane, and ship. Mark it on your calendar.  Pray for Dr. Maria Negron, who is the director of the National Day of Prayer in Florida for the I-4 corridor.  She is going to get off at certain ports of call to stand on their ground and pray for that area. She has already gotten in contact with the Maine Director.

 

Is there anybody out there, reading my blog who does not know Jesus as personal Savior and Lord?  If so, come to Jesus today. He’s the answer to your needs. Call on His Name. Repent of your sin. Have a godly sorrow for your sin.  Ask Him to forgive you, to save you, and He will. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Now tell somebody! I like that song which says, “I’ll tell the world that I’m a Christian.  I’m not ashamed…… Look the lyrics up on google; seek a YouTube of that song and listen to it. I’m saying a “Hallelujah” for someone who got saved today.

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 127 for September 6, 2019

 

THE HICKORY STICK

PART II

 

“SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS, GOOD OLD GOLDEN RULE DAYS,

READING, AND WRITING AND ‘RITHMETIC, TAUGHT TO THE TUNE OF A HICKORY STICK…”  What a delightful childhood song. I sang it in my childhood. And how true these lyrics are.

 

A long time ago, many parents, mine included, seemed to have a house rule that if you had a rendezvous with a hickory stick at school, you would have another one when you got home.  Remember those days???

 

Education, learning, teaching, all are dear to my heart.  My college degree prepared me to teach in high school. I needed students in the classroom who wanted to learn, to listen, to obey, and to discipline themselves to prepare the assignments.  My approximately 56 years of teaching took place in a variety of venues; some in public and private schools, some at home when raising our children, some in my actions and reactions to situations and circumstances, and some in our church ministry all over these United States, as a Sunday School teacher.  I love teaching. In fact, I come from a school-teaching family. My mom was a teacher. My two sisters were teachers. My brother was a teacher and principal, and I taught.

 

As I recall those years in the public school system, I have never used “the hickory stick”; but, I have used other methods of discipline. 

 

The Bible speaks to the issue. Don’t you just love THE WORD?

 

Prov. 13:24 “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Prov. 19:18 “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Prov. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Eph. 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.”

Prov. 29:15  “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

Prov. 3: 11,12 “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither be weary of His correction. For whom the Lord loveth, He correcteth, even as a father, the son in whom he delighteth.”

 

Thinking of our times and our country, have we lost our way?  Where have we gone wrong? You know the answers to those questions.  Our disciplined responsibility is to pray, pray, pray; teach, teach, teach, and be obedient to our Heavenly Father.

 

“School days, school days, good old golden rule days, reading, and writing, and ‘rithmetic, taught to the tune of a hickory stick…”  Enjoy the YouTube of this little song. You are loved.

 

Bess