ARCHIVES  March - April

2022

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 263 for April 30, 2022

 

THE WINDOW OF MOTHERHOOD

 

Today I am looking out of the Window of Motherhood as we are approaching Mother's Day in a few days when we will honor all mothers. My mind has stored up within it the sweetest memories of a Christian mother. Her kiss soothed away more pain than all the soothing syrup she ever administered. Her smile had the sparkle of a thousand dewdrops. Her face was the radiance of hundreds of orchestras. Her apron string was a golden cord flung out from the throne of God to anchor my sister, Diane, and me to lives of truth and virtue. 

 

As I am looking out the Window of Motherhood, I see a sanctuary of memories. My mother believed in me and prayed that God would heal me of a stuttering stammering tongue. She told me God would heal me at His appointed time. At 18 God answered her prayer. 

 

Looking out the Window of Motherhood I see a repository of conscience. It is very true, that mothers are the conscience of the world for good or for evil. To be a real mother is to achieve the highest degree. More worthwhile is the love-lighted home than the flicker

 of floodlights with the vanity and empty praise of the world.

 

My mother’s lap was a throne room of power. I am reminded of a statue in Venice of a young mother with her child on her knee and the inscription, “A woman is a queen when her realm is her lap.” We have heard it said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rocks the world.” As I am remembering my mother, her knee was my first sanctuary where my soul was set in the mold of a blessed destiny. Her godly influence lives on in my daily life. What a heritage I have as I review the anchor of Christian motherhood!  

 

In Ponca City, Oklahoma is the artist’s conception of a Pioneer Woman of the West. A Bible is firmly held to her breast with her right hand, and with her left hand, she holds the hand of a boy, while she gazes steadfastly into the future, a symbol of the motherhood that makes men, safeguards the home, builds the Church and makes secure Christian civilization. 

 

I wish for every mother God’s very best this Mother's Day and beyond.  Just remember this, you are very special!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 261 for April 16, 2022

 

WHY I BELIEVE

 

 

We are in a hopeless condition as individuals if we do not believe the best is yet to come. The only way for me to continually believe the best is yet to come is to believe there is a heaven somewhere. One thing that makes life worth living is the thought of one day receiving the final reward of eternal life in heaven. John the revelator gives us a wonderful description of what heaven will be like in Revelation Chapter 21. 

 

In the first three verses, John tells us what heaven will be like. He tells us that heaven will be a new place in verse 1. The word “New” means new in time and kind. John goes on to say in verse 2 that heaven will be a beautiful place. He uses a beautiful bride adorned for her husband and mansions in John 14 to describe. In verses, 16-17 John tells us heaven will be a place 1,500 miles long, 500 miles wide, 1,500 miles high. It will be a literal city containing 1,875,000,000 cubic miles. It would reach from Boston to Miami, from New York City to Denver, and 1,500 miles in the air. In verse 3 John tells us heaven is where God lives. It is the constant abiding presence of God that will forever dwell in heaven that will make heaven, heaven! John continues heaven in Revelation 4:8-11 as a place of continual praise to almighty God. Back to Revelation 4 and 8, John tells us what will not be in heaven. He tells us there will be no tears or crying there because Christ will wipe away all tears. In verse 4 there will be no death or mourning there. The hurt that death and mourning cause will no longer exist. John tells us in verse 4 that there will be no pain there. To prove the best is yet to come, there will be no cancer, AIDS, heart problems, back problems, no physical limitations, no wheelchairs, divorces, broken relationships, no bitterness, or evil spirits there. John tells us in verse 8 that there will be no person in heaven without Jesus! Heaven will be free from all sin and ungodliness! 

 

As I wrap this blog up I must ask you this very important question. Will you be in heaven? In verses 5-7 in Revelation 21 Christ gives us the invitation to a wonderful life with the best to come. He offers the water of life to the one who thirsts in verse 6 and tells us the overcomer will inherit all things in verse 7. Because Christ overcame sin through the cross and death through His resurrection, it gives me the promise that I will also be an overcomer. There is no other way but through Christ! I really do believe THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 261 for April 16, 2022

 

 

CELEBRATING THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD

 

 

The Easter season has been another opportunity to celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord once again. Ever since Bess and I made our first trip to the Holy Land in 1969, Easter has never been the same. It is impossible to walk where Jesus walked and not be transformed!  During this season we were remembering some of our tremendous highlights throughout the year and recalled the times we have spent at Caesarea by the sea. That is the place where Paul the Apostle stood before King Agrippa to give such a powerful testimony of his faith in Christ that Agrippa was so convicted that he said, “Almost you persuade me to be a Christian.” Every time I have stood in that very spot in the huge Roman Amphitheater, it has been an unforgettable experience. I have tried to illustrate that moment for all the people traveling with us. It is very close to that location that our guide, Saad, cut a limb from a crown-of-thorns bush to illustrate the pain our Lord felt when the Romans placed the crown-of-thorns on His head. It is no wonder that the blood of our Lord flowed down His face. The thorns are sharper than pins or nails. It is hard to touch them without pricking your skin.

 

The most meaningful communion experience is to partake of the Lord’s supper at the tomb of Jesus. I have had that opportunity ten times, Bess nine. Once we were given an incredible spot in the beautiful garden by the keepers of the garden. My group was seated very close and facing the empty tomb of Jesus. To say the least, it really was a transforming moment for all of us! What a place to renew our faith in the resurrected Christ!

 

Mount Olivet is a glorious place to visit in the Holy Land. It overlooks the Eastern gate and the golden dome. It is the location of Mt. Moriah where Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed and where God gave a lamb to take the place of Isaac. It really is breathtaking to stand in that holy place where our Lord will return to earth again. It is by the way of Olivet that our Lord ascended back to heaven after His resurrection. It is where two angels appeared to the disciples of Jesus as He was leaving going back to heaven, saying to them, “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.” I say with John the Revelator, “Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!” Now is the time for people to prepare for the Lord’s return. Our world is falling apart. Only Jesus has the answer! “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” ​​​

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 260 for April 9, 2022

 

THE PALM SUNDAY WALK

 

Palm Sunday took on a totally different meaning for me after I experienced the first Palm Sunday walk back in 1969. Since then, I have taken nine more of those incredible walks. It really is a transforming journey if you treat it as a personal worship ministry. It becomes a sacred time of meditation and reflection with our Lord, recalling the time when He took that walk some 2,000 years ago. 

 

Zechariah, the prophet, announced the Palm Sunday event in Zechariah 9:9 when he prophesied, “Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey,” Matthew, the disciple of our Lord, describes the  Palm Sunday triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. It all began at the Mount of Olives, and continued to the Holy City, passing the Garden of Gethsemane and the Kedron  Valley. Ten times I have tried to imagine the scene as I have taken the Palm Sunday walk. Matthew draws an amazing picture of this triumphant event in his New Testament book. He tells us that multitudes went before Jesus, and multitudes followed Him down the narrow pathway into Jerusalem. The people cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of our Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9)

 

Jesus had a major decision to make at this triumphant event in world history. Two roads were before Him, a high road and a low road. The high road led to an earthly throne and kingdom, while the low road led to a cross and a cruel death. His decision would impact all humanity, including you and me. On Palm Sunday our Lord chose the way of the cross, that would bring eternal salvation to everyone that would receive His sacrifice for sin through His death, burial and resurrection. No wonder Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week! 

 

Please join me by taking the Palm Sunday walk with our Lord.​​

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 259 for April 2, 2022

 

 

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 about were just the things that people are prone to boast about 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,” “A coat of mail,” and “A spear like a weaver's beam.” Surely if fine material equipment determines combat, 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 the touch of apparent weakness. The issue was not Goliath vs 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 this troubling time! 

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 258 for March 26, 2022

 

91st ANNIVERSARY OF WINTER HAVEN’S

INSPIRATION CENTER

Sunday, March 27, is the 91st-anniversary celebration of one of my former pastorates. I have been asked to participate in the special anniversary by pastor Bruce Oldham and I will be joining several other former pastors in the celebration. Pastor Bruce was an effective youth pastor when we both served the people together when we were both in Winter Haven.

 

Bess and I pastored the First Nazarene Church of Winter Haven for over ten years, from August 1980 to September 1990. It was an incredible ten years of exciting ministry unlike any we have experienced in our 56 years of pastoral ministry across America. 

 

In our ten years of ministry, our time was spent reaching people, buying properties, and building buildings to accommodate the thrilling growth. During the decade of the 80s, we built two worship centers, one to seat 800 people and the second to seat 2,000. We bought the Winter Haven Art Center building, Winter Haven Taxi building, Winter Haven Transmission center, Winter Haven Moving and Storage building, and Riddle Print Shop building to accommodate the needed parking.

 

It goes without saying, I was physically exhausted and thought I needed a new challenge. I accepted the call of the wonderful First Nazarene Church in Indianapolis. I really needed a sabbatical, not a new church in a new location.  I was challenged to help them in their relocation on 27 acres on a great Interstate Highway. After almost four years, I accepted a call back to the wonderful sunshine state.

 

Let me go back to Winter Haven’s Inspiration Center. It goes without saying, the record speaks for itself. Bess and I were loved and appreciated from those beginning days of ministry in August of 1980 to the present time. Many of those people that helped us in a miracle ministry are now in heaven awaiting our coming. It really is going to be a glad reunion day when we all arrive and sing around the Throne Eternal! 

 

Reunions are wonderful.

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

Blog 257 for March 19, 2022

 

 

THE AMAZING UNBELIEVABLE UNBELIEF

 

A little boy coming out of Sunday School was confronted by the pastor who said, “Johnny, If you can tell me something God can do, I’ll give you an apple.” Johnny said, “Pastor if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole bushel of apples." 

 

Knowing who God is and what God can do, I find it unbelievable that people can still suffer from unbelief. However, unbelief is the root of all of our troubles. Unbelief results in the sinner’s doom. Unbelief results in the Christian’s defeat, discouragement, and dullness. Unbelief is simply a refusal to let God be God. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 “If you have enough faith, the size of the smallest seed known to man {mustard seed} every difficulty can be removed.”   

 

There is a great lesson on the power of belief and unbelief in Mark 5 and 6.

 

THE TIME OF THEIR UNBELIEF 

The time of these people’s unbelief is amazing. In fact, it could not have been any worse. In chapter 5 Jesus had just solved the problem of a possessed man, a perplexed woman, and a pitiful child. The possessed man said his name was Legion because there were so many of them. Jesus healed all of them because of the power of belief. One of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, had a little daughter that was at the point of death, but she believed she would live if Jesus would lay His hands on her, and when He did she lived! There was a woman that had an issue of blood for twelve years that believed if she could touch the clothes of Jesus she would be healed. When she did, the fountain of her blood dried up and she was healed.

 

THE TEACHING AGAINST THEIR UNBELIEF - VV 2-3

The first response of Jesus concerning their unbelief was that He began to teach them. WHY? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

  • Notice the teaching of Jesus - It confronted their doubt. They were confused as to who Jesus really was. To the Jews, Jesus was an imposter.

  • It created discussion in verse 3.

As they tried to determine who Jesus really was, they could not bring themselves to believe in the man who had cast out demons, healed a blood disease, and raised a dead girl back to life. 

 

THE TRAGEDY FROM THEIR UNBELIEF 

  • What it created - Their unbelief created confusion among the people. They were His relatives. They had no excuse to disbelieve 

  • What it cost - verses 5 and 6

  • Because they failed to believe, they were cheated from being a part of His mighty work

  • It cost them His person

  • It cost them His presence 

  • It cost them His power

  • How much has our unbelief cost us?       

Cost our communities?

Cost our country? 

Cost our churches? 

 

God will do what we cannot do, but He has only one requirement…ONLY BELIEVE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 256 for March 12, 2022

 

A GREAT FRIENDSHIP RENEWED 

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A few days ago I had the opportunity to renew a wonderful friendship that had been separated by miles since 1975. His name is Wayne Byrum. He and his wife, Julie, spent most of the day with Bess and me at one of our favorite restaurants. It really was a delightful reunion. 

 

 

Wayne was a great layman in the Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, after I led him to Christ. We had a thrilling ministry that included 15 buses and a thrilling outreach. He and his family moved with us to Lubbock, Texas, First Nazarene Church to become an associate pastor. He became a key in record-breaking church growth during our ministry there.

 

Wayne and Julie, his wife, have become outstanding members of a great church staff of over 2,000 people in a church outside of Detroit, Michigan.  Julie is involved in the music ministries department and Wayne is invaluable in a heavy schedule of counseling. They really love their church and pastor. 

 

Wayne thanked me like he has done many times for the impact I have made on his life. Every time we have been together he lets me know I am the reason for any success he has made through the years. He has always been a great encourager, and once again expressed his appreciation for the impact I have made on his life. Another such one is my other great friend, Jay Ahlemann.  All I can say is to God be the glory for flowing His Holy Spirit through me. 

 

To God be the glory for wonderful friends used by our Lord!​​​​​​

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 255 for March 5, 2022

PREACHERS AND SHIRTTAIL PREACHING 

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I have never seen a black preacher preaching with their shirttails hanging out. It is ingrained in them to honor the Lord’s Day and His Church by dressing in their  Sunday best. The pulpit area is treated as holy ground to them, and they refuse to “desecrate” it with their everyday common clothing. 

 

You will never see an attorney going to a trial, standing before a judge and grand jury, in blue jeans. Every one of them will always be dressed in a coat and tie that honors the dignity of the United States court system. Furthermore, local, state, and national judges always wear a robe. 

 

The ministry is the highest profession in the land, when, hopefully, a God-called minister of the Gospel proclaims the Word of God. It is my firm conviction that the sacred presentation of God’s Word from the pulpit area of a church should be presented with holy reverence and respect with the proper attire. If a court of law with attorneys and judges wear clothing that magnifies their office, how much more should preachers become good representatives of their calling and position?

 

It is very difficult for me to hear what preachers are saying if their dress does not magnify their position and the Word of God. I heard about a pastor that dressed up on Sundays with a coat and tie because he wanted people to know he was the pastor of the church. This pastor was a very successful pastor in this church and was loved by all the people.

Charles Kirby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 263 for April 30, 2022

 

 

WE CAN GET TO GOD FROM ANYWHERE​​​​​

 

So, where are you today?

 

Are you lower than a snake’s belly? Have you drifted too far from the shore? Are you mired in shame?  Do you feel hopeless? How deep is your hole? How hard is the struggle? How sad is the day? Will tears ever stop flowing? Where are your friends now? Does anyone care?

 

The answer is found in Jesus.  Yes, Jesus cares. God understands your heartache; and, He can solve every problem.  He’s the Way Maker. He’s the Chain Breaker. Nothing’s too hard for Him.

 

Here are some people from the Old and New Testaments that you may know, that got to God from places of struggle.

 

  1. Jacob got to God after stealing his brother’s inheritance. Gen. 25

  2. Moses got to God after killing an Egyptian taskmaster. Ex. 2

  3. Aaron got to God after allowing the golden calf to be built and worshipped. Ex. 32

  4. King David got to God after adultery with Bathsheba. II Sam. 11

  5. Solomon got to God after weakness for foreign women and their deities. I Kings 11

  6. Queen Esther got to God from timidity. Esther 3 & 4

  7. Job got to God from disaster. Book of Job

  8. Thomas got to God from doubt. NT

  9. John got to God from pride. NT

  10. Peter got to God from denial. NT

  11. Paul got to God from prison. NT…...just to name a few!

 

There is hope in Jesus’ Name.  You are never outside the reach of God.  Nothing is too hard for Him. It just takes coming to Jesus, believing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and asking Him for help.  He’s as close as the mention of His Name.

 

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 261 for April 16, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Today as I write this blog, I could cry my eyes out, if it would do any good. But I have found, having lived 83 years, and been through a lot of challenges, that crying doesn’t change the disaster, the heartbreak, the struggle.  Crying will not change my circumstances. So, what am I gonna’ do…

 

  1. Sing in the rain.

  2. Praise God anyway.

  3. Meditate on God’s Word.

  4. Pray to the Lord.

  5. Play the piano.

  6. Hug Charles.

  7. Read the Bible.

  8. Read song lyrics.

  9. Hold my chin up.

  10. Keep on keeping on.

  11. Take a walk.  Breathe fresh air.

  12. Count my blessings.

  13. Turn my prison into a palace, as Charles preached one Sunday.

 

Oswald J. Smith and B.D. Ackley wrote a great song, “God Understands.”  Some of the lyrics are these: 

 

“God understands your sorrow. He sees the falling tear; God understands your heartache.  He knows the bitter pain; He understands and cares.”

 

Phyllis Michael and John W. Peterson wrote a great song, entitled “God is There.”  Some of their lyrics are here: 

 

“When I need a Friend to tell my troubles to, God is there; When I need a Friend to give me strength anew, God is there; When I need a Friend to care when I’m distressed, God is there; When I need a Friend to guide me through the night, God is there; God is there, always there, with a helping hand to lift my load of care.  When I really need a Friend, God is there.”

 

What about you? Have the pressures of life overwhelmed you? Do you feel like crying?  Well, may I present to you, Jesus? He will come through for you. He will lift your load.  He will comfort you. He will aid you. You can count on Him. Yes, you can put one foot in front of the other.  You can keep on, keeping on. Wow, what a great Friend we have in Jesus.

 

Thank you, Jesus, for being my best Friend.

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 261 for April 16, 2022

 

 

 Happy Easter

 

When I think of the Easter Season, I fall in love all over again, as I visualize my Lord, suffering for me, and all others.  

 

1.  Suffering as He prayed in the Garden; 

2. Suffering as He was betrayed by Judas; 

3. Suffering as He was led away to Caiaphas, the high priest; 

4. Suffering as they accused Him of blasphemy;

5. Suffering as they spit in His face and buffeted Him; 

6. Suffering as they smote Him with the palms of their hands; 

7. Suffering as Peter denied Him thrice; 

8. Suffering as they bound Him and led Him away, delivering Him to Pontius Pilate,   the governor; 

9. Suffering from the accusations of the chief priests and elders; 

10. Suffering from the crowd calling for crucifixion; 

11. Suffering from the scourging, the stripping, the scarlet robe, the crown of thorns, the reed in His right hand, the mocking, the spit, the hit; 

12. Suffering from His crucifixion; 

13. Suffering in His death. I am overcome at this amazing love, the price He paid for my and your salvation. This love woes me. I can’t help but love and serve Him.  The words of Bill Gaither are appropriate here. “I keep falling in love with Him, over and over again…” 

 

When I think of the Easter Season, I rejoice with exceeding great joy at our Lord’s resurrection. The grave could not hold Him. He rose triumphantly. I, too (and you, too), will rise from our deathbeds on one of God’s days.

 

When I think of the Easter Season, I see our lives mirroring His; a life born, growing, living for the Lord, suffering, dying, and then, in God’s own time, living again, BECAUSE of His resurrection.  The grave won’t hold me either, in God’s great “Gettin’ Up Morning.” “We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion. We’re marching upward to Zion, the beautiful city of God.” Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you, Jesus!  "I could never, never out love the Lord.”

Bess

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 260 for April 9, 2022

 

O WHAT LOVE, THAT HE WOULD DIE FOR ME.

 

What a week I’ve had, rejoicing in the finished work of Christ.   Page 88 in SING

Harkness

TO THE LORD, the Nazarene hymnal, you’ll find these words, written by C. Bishop and Robert Harkness (1880-1961).  They are my testimony. I hope they are yours, as well. Redemption is always available. Just call on His name. Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

 

    That God should love a sinner such as I

    Should yearn to change my sorrow into bliss

    Nor rest till He had planned to bring me nigh,

    How wonderful is love like this.

 

    That for a willful outcast such as I

    The Father planned, the Saviour bled and died;

    Redemption for a worthless slave to buy,

    Who long had law and grace defied.

 

    And now He takes me to His heart a son;

    He asks me not to fill a servant’s place.

    The “far-off country” wanderings all are done;

    Wide open are His arms of grace.

 

    Such love, Such wondrous love!

    Such love, Such wondrous love!

    That God should love a sinner such as I

    How wonderful is love like this!

 

Thank God for the plan of salvation;  Thank Him for His amazing grace. I’ve been adopted; no longer an outcast; redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  

 

Hallelujah! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!!!

 

  Bess

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Blog 259 for April 2, 2022

 

 

 

 As you think about your life today, your decisions, your desires, with what conclusions do you arrive?  ARE YOU LIVING LIFE YOUR WAY OR GOD’S WAY? WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES US WANT OUR OWN WAY? Actually, I think it has to do with “SELF.”  Here’s my story.

 

One day God saw a little Mississippi girl, the 3rd of 4 children.  There was the FIRST-born girl with brown hair and brown eyes; next, there was daughter #2, curly-headed BLONDE with blue eyes and an infectious personality; oops, the third child was another girl (that would be me), with brown hair and brown eyes.  Then 5 years later, another child would be born. You guessed it; a baby BOY was born. God looked down on me and said, “That little girl will need help.”

 

Nestled in, with the firstborn, the blonde, and the boy, I needed to find my place.  Who am I? Where do I fit? Of what value am I? So here I was, a little Mississippi girl who didn’t know her place, her spot, her position, her purpose...what she was to do or what she was to accomplish.  I got mired in being just “another” sheep in the family sheepfold, but I didn’t like my position!

 

Early on, being in a church-going family with a rich Christian heritage, I joined Jesus’ sheepfold; tried to be an officer, a secretary, the president, a helper, just anything.  But the Good Shepherd had appointed the first and second born to be my overseers along with the head of my family, my Dad, and Mom.

 

So, life began.  When I didn’t like something, “SELF” stood up, even if it was a private standing.  My Mom and Dad would put up with NO foolishness, NO stubbornness, NO temper tantrums. My “standing up” had to be in private or else I was soon “sitting down”...if you know what I mean.

 

As I grew and developed, my outer SELF conformed.  People forever thought I was “sweet,” but God knew my heart.  His eyes saw me clearly. He could see right through me. He saw a girl who needed to surrender her will, her way, to God and His way.

 

After my early personal encounter with God, the spirit of rebellion, stubbornness, selfishness would rear its head.  I did need help. I needed a crucifixion of my SELF in order to have a resurrection of life. I guess what the old-timers used to say, applied to me. I needed to surrender my life to Him.  I needed Him to sanctify me. I needed to be filled with His Holy Spirit.

 

So I cried out to Him; put my SELF on the altar for crucifixion; yielded to Him, His way, and His will; gave up and let God take over.  My carnal self died that day and I received resurrected life in Christ.

 

Now, for me, I share these words from memory, by some author, “Not what I wish to be; nor where I wish to go; for who am I, that I should choose my way. The Lord will choose for me. Tis better far I know. So let Him bid me go or stay.” 

 

What about you? The hymn writer, Elisha Hoffman (1905), asked it this way. “Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid? Your heart does the Spirit control?  You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest, As you yield Him your body and soul.”

 

Living Life God’s Way, ​​​​​​

 

  Bess

 

 

 

 

Blog 258 for March 26, 2022

 

 

 

Do we realize?  Do we remember that God makes all the difference in the world?  What’s your dilemma today? What seems to be affecting your joy?  Are you experiencing trouble today? Just look up and live! Just remember, God makes the difference.  He will never fail you. He makes all things work for your good.

 

Annie Johnson Flint, the Christian poet of the yesteryears, wrote about God’s promises.

 

“God hath not promised skies always blue,

Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.”

 

“But God hath promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.”

 

If you are lower than a snake’s belly today;  if you are discouraged; if trouble abounds on every hand, PLEASE don’t despair.  Turn to Jesus. He cares for you. He is able to see you through. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that,

 

"They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength; They SHALL mount up with wings, like eagles; they SHALL run and not be weary; they SHALL walk and not faint.”

 

I’m putting God in my equation; how about you? 

 

  Bess

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Blog 257 for March 19, 2022

 

 

    Another beautiful season of the year is upon us.  Oh, how lovely is God’s creation. How lovely is His order...are His seasons.  Spring inspires us to open doors, breathe fresh air, listen to the robins sing, take a walk, view the budding trees, bushes, and flowers.  Spring puts the desire in us to plant something...more flowers or a veggie garden. Oh, what joy Spring brings.

  

Spring invigorates us.  It makes school students long for classes to be over, school to be out.  We are restless. Some would call it “Spring Fever.”  New life springs up everywhere.

    

Spring is a beautiful picture; an illustration of God’s Redemption.  We were dead in the cold snowy Winter of sin, but made new, made alive in the colorful, flowering Spring of atoning blood.

 

HERE ARE PICTURES OF SPRING

AROUND OUR CABINS

C

 

 

 

Why not plug in your vocal microphone and sing the song of Spring.  It’s a new day, a new season! He’s alive and I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide.  He’s alive. He’s alive!

 

 

 

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Blog 256 for March 12, 2022

 

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Walking through the Christian-owned HOBBY LOBBY the other day, God spoke to me through the messages on a couple of “for sale” items.  And in that store, I choked up as I worshipped God.

 

 

About a year ago, riding in our car with Charles, on the way to our Smoky Mountain cabin, God put two rainbows in the sky.  God spoke to both Charles and me as we discussed the meaning of God’s rainbows. As we turned the car toward our Tennessee home, we began praising God. The praise continued as we sat on the cabin deck looking out at the rainbows and God’s mountains.  Sitting at the table, praying in our Florida sunroom, as we do every day, God comes and we are blessed.

 

I could go on and on with illustrations of times in my life when God was where I was.  Whether talking on the phone, writing a note or letter, riding on a golf cart, meeting friends for lunch, preparing a meal for company, working out technical computer problems, singing with a church congregation those great songs of Zion, relaxing at home, dealing with troubles, waiting for surgery, getting up from being knocked down...no matter what, God can walk right into where you and I are.

 

So you ask, “Where is God?”  The final answer is: God is Everywhere. Sonny James said it this way: 

 

“I see Him in a baby’s smile. I hear Him in the wind that sighs.  He loves me and I know not why. He’s everywhere. He calls me from a world up there. I seek Him and I find Him there.  He’s in my heart; I feel Him there. He’s everywhere.”

 

He’s anywhere you need Him to be. Be comforted to know that God understands your heartache.  He cares for you. Remember, “He’s as close as the mention of His name.” The Doctor is in the house.  The Deliverer is here. Our Helper is on the way. Reach out and receive His touch.

 

Loving Him more every day,

 

  Bess

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Blog 255 for March 5, 2022

GOD’S BUCKET OF BLESSINGS

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God has provided for all of us, a blessings bucket.  I’m wondering this morning, do you know where the bucket is?  Do you know what’s in the bucket? Are you aware of God’s goodness, His mercy, His favor, His amazing grace?  I could go on and on, but it’s your time to:

 

“Count your many blessings, see what God has done. When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed; when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings - name them one by one - and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

 

Barbara Johnson, author, and inspirational speaker, in her book, “Joy Breaks,” tells about the time she bought some new make-up.  The salesgirl told her that if she would drop a single BB in the bottle and shake it before each use, the make-up wouldn’t get thick and gooey. (Yes, a BB!) So she asked her husband for one BB.  Of course, he wanted an explanation. She gave him the explanation; yet, she wondered if the BB would do the trick.

 

 

A day or so later, her husband brought home a huge plastic carton.  Inside were 10,000 BBs. “They only come in tens of thousands,” he told her.  She smiled appreciatively and took ONE.

Many moons and much later, she saw THAT PLASTIC CARTON full of 9,999 BBs laying on a shelf in the garage. Inspiration flooded her mind as to the magnitude of the number of them; as she thought, how much it’s like God’s riches, His blessings.  They are like the sand of the sea. They are new every morning. They never run out. The bucket always overflows. She thought, “We have more than enough. We have more than we’ll ever be able to use. We have forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, protection, hope, blessings, supply, rest, help, abundant resources just waiting for us to use.  And yet, we let them sit in the plastic carton out in the garage; or, let them stay closed up, recorded in God’s Holy Word."

 

A word to the wise should be sufficient.  If life gets gooey, stale, stressed to the max, we have NO EXCUSE because God’s blessings bucket is available.  It overflows. There’s a blessing for every need, every circumstance, every situation. Remember the widow of Zarephath; her oil and flour were about to run out...BUT IT DIDN’T!  When you live in obedience to God, the jar of oil NEVER runs dry; and, the bowl of flour NEVER becomes empty.

 

 

So, to finish off this analogy, put some BBs (God’s riches, His blessings) in your circumstance; in your stressed day.  Mix them up and see what God will do! He will make a way where there seems to be no way. Great is His faithfulness.

 

Getting my 9,999 BBs out of the garage and keeping them close, as I  reach into God’s Bucket of Blessings.

 

  Bess

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