Whew! Glad That’s Done

Posted August 20, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Preaching Appointments, Good Eats, Good Friends, Moral Encouragement, Literature, Magazines & Books, Myanmar (Burma), India, Sri Lanka, Back at the House, Singapore, At the Office, Rushmore Newsletter, Mission Trip, Myanmar

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The week of August 10, Bonnie and I were still the lone team members in town. Our week was consumed with various office duties, including shipping out orders daily to individual Christians and congregations, preparing our newsletter digitally for sending to the printing company we use, and a BIG mailing. Wednesday and Friday combined, we had prepared and mailed 995 letters to Christians and churches of Christ, encouraging them to participate financially with Bonnie and me in our upcoming nearly nine-week mission trip to four Asian countries. Over the next four weeks, we need to gather sufficient funds to permit us to labor in the Gospel at several venues in Myanmar and India, plus single sites respectively in Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is quite a puzzle trying to schedule all of the activities, flights, land travel, lodging, etc.

Saturday morning, I was able to finalize the digital files for the next issue of The Voice of Truth International and get it mailed to the printing company. Saturday afternoon, Bonnie and I aimed the Gospel chariot toward McMinnville, Tennessee, where I was to speak at two congregations on Sunday; however, we lodged that night in Manchester, TN.

Sunday morning, Bonnie and I assembled with the Pleasant Cove Church of Christ, one of our monthly supporters. I showed the PowerPoint “2014 Guyana Mission Trip” during Bible class, and then for a.m. worship, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today?” Afterward, the congregation and we enjoyed a fellowship meal together. Often, we manage to visit a congregation (unwittingly) on potluck Sunday, or as in this case the brethren used our visit as an occasion to get together and eat. Either way, it works for me!

Sunday afternoon, Bonnie and I enjoyed the hospitality of brother Ray and sister Charlotte Weddington in their living room. They have been long time encouragers and supporters of Bonnie and me in our efforts for the Lord. Brother Ray especially likes Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com) and has been a faithful reader for many years of its 16-year history.

Sunday evening, the West Riverside Church of Christ was gracious enough to permit me to make the PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 mission trip to Guyana, South America. We are always cordially received there, too.

After grabbing a sandwich apiece in Manchester, TN, we continued a little further to Tullahoma, TN where we lodged for the evening. Heavy rain fell overnight and continued throughout the following day as we journeyed onward. We stopped for a few hours in Florence, AL where we met up with brother Wayne and sister Janet Barrier. We all conversed over a tasty meal at Red Lobster. Next, we stopped by Heritage Christian University in Florence, whereupon we unloaded two boxes of books for Joey Barrier to use in a new mission studies over which he is the director at HCU. It was good to see his sister Jenny, too, who came by. Finally, we continued toward Winona, MS, arriving back after dark on Monday.

Ditch DiggingOver the last three weeks, I have been digging a ditch to lead rainwater away from our carport and woodshop, which have been flooding. Actually, I think the ditch has been working on me as well; I’ve about come to the conclusion that at my age I have dug my last ditch! Of course, much of the time found me swinging an ax to displace pine tree roots the size of my upper thigh. If that were not daunting enough, the ground was so hard that I had to use a pickax to break up the ground. Wednesday morning, I was able to put the last of the pea gravel atop the perforated pipe that I buried and connected to other underground pipe installed last year. Lastly, I applied silicone caulk to seams in downspout connections to buried pipe, which had been leaking severely and contributing greatly to flooding in the woodshop. Whew! Glad that’s done.

Bonnie continues to face medical challenges on a daily basis. The extensive surgery under which she went to combat pancreatic cancer has left her with the inability to eat and digest her food properly. Day and night she experiences pains over which she cannot gain control. Nevertheless, she and I persist in the work for the Lord that lies ahead of us. We hope to remain tools in the hands of God as long as we live. Please pray for us.

First Weekend in August

Posted August 4, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Good Eats, Good Friends, Lessons by Bonnie, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preachers' Meeting, Preaching Appointments, Travel

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To my surprise, I was able to publish to the Internet on Friday evening, August 1 the August Edition of Gospel Gazette Online. It is not uncommon for the publication to be late, available well into a new month, and it has been several months behind sometimes in the past. Then, we notified the nearly 1,500 subscribers that it was ready. Immediately, hundreds begin poring over the pages, followed by the arrival of new subscription requests as well as subscription cancellations. This is a labor of love to which Bonnie and I have devoted ourselves for 16 years so far.

Saturday, one phone call that I received commended Gospel Gazette Online and requested a digital copy of my book The Spirit Summarized. It has long been out of print, but it is available in PDF format. I walked him through the procedure of going to the website (www.gospelgazette.com) and following the link for the Digital Library. There, one can find 80 issues of The Voice of Truth International and about three dozen books (i.e., study books, commentaries and sermon outline books) at no charge to the user. Simply call up any title in which one is interested, and then save it to one’s hard drive or other storage device. That’s all there is to it!

Once more this Sunday, and I traveled to assemble with the Indianola, Mississippi Church of Christ. For Bible class, I taught about the topic of “Pain & Suffering.” For both worship periods, I preached about “The Ministry of Angels.” During the evening, we took a look at the biblical references to “the angel of the Lord.”

Monday, Bonnie and I both dined with preachers and their wives in Clinton, Mississippi. Afterward, we all retreated to the meetinghouse, and I spoke to the brothers while Bonnie addressed the sisters who were present. I have more personal delight teaching and preaching (and writing and foreign missions) than anything else I could imagine – certainly more enjoyment than I could derive from such things as amusement parks and traditional recreational activities.

Tuesday, we will be back at the office. Bonnie and I are the only ones of the Winona World Evangelism Team in Winona for the month of August. The Bates are oversea, traveling to countries on two continents. Betty Choate is in California. A tractor-trailer with seven pallets of books is coming in the middle of August, but Bonnie cannot help me, and the rest have scattered. We will be calling upon interested brethren to help – or it will just take me a little while. Wednesday, we will be in Jackson, MS again for a follow up appointment with Bonnie’s surgeon. We keep keeping on with an eye on the heavenly horizon while busying ourselves as best we know how in the service of our Lord.

Garden Patch

Posted July 28, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Biblical Lesson, Good Eats, Good Friends, Literature, Magazines & Books, Mission Trip, Preaching Appointments, Travel

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Gibson Garden Patch

Gibson Garden Patch

Wednesday evening, July 23 Bonnie and I moseyed over to the West President St. Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS for Bible class. A sure enough gulley washer pounced on the delta city – literally flooding the street with water above the bottom of car doors. After an hour following class, we ventured out of the parking lot with some uncertainty about the wisdom of doing so. We still had to drive through that deep water for a ways turning away from the deepest area. Next, we had to worm our way around unfamiliar streets to avoid a downed tree that blocked our planned exodus from the area. Though we thought we would not face any more flooding once we made it to the US highway, such was not the case; more cars were stalled on the 5-lane road. After seeing other vehicles successfully navigating the flooded area, we ventured onward, plowing slowly through floodwaters high enough potentially to fill our Town & Country. Remarkably, when we arrived back in Winona, MS – two counties east, we found that no rain at all had fallen there.

Saturday, Rebecca departed Memphis, TN for Guyana, South America. However, she did not arrive in Linden, Guyana until 2:15 a.m. Mechanical problems on the airplane on which she and several others of the mission team were flying stranded them for hours in Port of Spain in the Caribbean Sea. Other than a brief text confirming their arrival and the delay, we have not heard from her or from any of the team since. We trust that she and the other Christians with whom she is traveling will serve our Lord well for the next week.

Early Sunday morning, Bonnie and I left Winona, MS in our Gospel chariot for our daylong appointment with the Indianola, MS Church of Christ. During Bible class, I made our PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 Mission Trip to Guyana, and for a.m. worship, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” That night I preached “Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?” Several members were either out of town or ill; with visitors, including Bonnie and me, 23 assembled that morning.

We dined for lunch in the cafeteria of Mississippi Delta Community College, which essentially is across the street from the Christian Student Center, operated by brother Gene and sister Madolyn Gibson – our host and hostess for the day. Madolyn is mighty proud of her garden patch, as she should be. She gave us the grand tour, and that evening fed us from the garden with her homemade vegetable soup. Finally, we arrived back at our Winona home around 10:30 p.m.; we were tired and soon turned in for the night.

Monday was another day at the office/warehouse, wherein we interacted with our coworkers, Jerry and Paula Bates as well as Betty Choate. Among other things, we loaded a shipment of books bound for foreign countries on a tractor-trailer; we packaged orders of books and tracts for stateside churches of Christ – some of which would make its way abroad through those churches; etc. I completed the filling out of pages for and proofing of volume 81 of The Voice of Truth International; after Betty Choate reviews it also, Bonnie will put the digital document in book form, and I will digitally package the journal for the printing company. Then, we will send it through the mail to the printer in Taylors, SC.

The Bates leave for overseas this week, and Betty leaves next week for California to be with family. Bonnie and I continue to flesh out our calendars for stateside and overseas appointments through November; we will depart the USA around the first of October and return just before Thanksgiving. In the absence of other Winona team members in August, a tractor-trailer should arrive with graded curriculum all the way from the printer in Hong Kong; Bonnie is unable to assist with warehouse duty, and so, I’ll have my work cut out for me! Other heavy boxes bound for the Philippines should ship during the same timeframe, too. Of course, there will be daily shipments stateside.

These are the highlights. Each day promises to have more in store for us than we can possibly accomplish. We seldom have a reason to get bored. We wouldn’t have it any other way, as we endeavor to serve our Lord the best we can, as long as we can and in every way that we can.

On the Mend

Posted July 19, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Back at the House, Good Eats, Good Friends, Hospital, Sickness, Surgery

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duck_tapeHere it is Saturday evening, July 19, 2014. Bonnie, Rebecca and I sit in the living room of Bonnie and my Winona, MS home. We three went nearly two hours to Jackson, MS on this past Wednesday for pre-op preparation for Bonnie’s surgery on Thursday; we spent the night less than two miles from Baptist Health Systems in a hotel paid for with points from previous stays along our routes of travel for our appointments with congregations. Early Thursday morning, Bonnie underwent surgery once more; she’s getting pretty experienced at that sort of thing.

It was scheduled as outpatient surgery with an overnight stay in the offing nevertheless, depending upon the scope of surgery and how well Bonnie responded to surgery. We had plan “A” and plan “B.” Plan “A” was laparoscopic, whereas plan “B” was to reopen the previous surgery site if necessary. Despite the doctor having to proceed to plan “B,” Bonnie responded well and after surgery was almost given the bum’s rush out of the hospital – while she was still drowsy and barely able to stand; in all, within six hours we arrived, she had surgery and we were on our way back to Winona.

For the balance of Friday, Bonnie remained sleepy and what little talk she attempted had all the words in the wrong order – and sometimes just the wrong words. Otherwise, Bonnie rested in the reclining loveseat, with me beside her. I worked on and completed the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online; I like the office chair at the house – reclining loveseat – better than my chair at my office down the street.

Each day, Bonnie is improving more. She exchanged the chronic daily pain of a pinched intestine in the umbilical hernia for the temporary daily pain from the incisions – three of them. The doctor had to make two incisions in a failed attempt to do laparoscopic surgery before making a larger, third incision. We will venture out tomorrow to visit the Old Union Church of Christ for worship; we haven’t been there for so long, as we have been traveling elsewhere, that someone mused that perhaps the preacher had made us mad. Not so, of course.

We have been the beneficiaries of the kindness of brethren, through text messages, phone calls and visits accompanied with prepared meals in hand. Though neither Bonnie nor I expected or even thought of someone bringing us food, we are thankful and have dined on those kindnesses.

Rebecca returns home Tuesday in preparation for her mission trip to Guyana, South America later in the week. She has been a great help and encouragement to us, particularly in this difficult time for Bonnie and me. In her weakened and physically compromised condition, more of Bonnie’s domestic duties are now my opportunities; we have always shared each other’s responsibilities, but now I just get to share more. Soon, Bonnie will be able to resume some of those activities, but some activities at the house and at the warehouse/office she will need to relinquish permanently.

Bonnie and I will try to conclude plans for our fall trip to Asia – Myanmar and India, perhaps Singapore, too. One of the decisions we will need to make, depending on how well and how quickly Bonnie mends, is if she is going to accompany me this fall and share in the workload. I am already close to being unable to manage my own carryon bag and computer up and down airplane steps on the tarmac, and Bonnie will not be able to carry either her carryon bag or her computer. We are getting older, and we may be held together with Duck Tape, Super Glue and baling wire, but we press on. We covet your prayers.

New Signage

Posted July 15, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Sickness, Surgery, Travel, Weather Related

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96 dpi 5x7 Car Decal Installed 3Last night, we got to Rebecca’s home from the Memphis airport around 11 p.m. The rain poured from the blackened night sky and flooded the roadways, making for slow going and extreme difficulty spying out the highway striping to not only identify the respective lanes but the road itself. The brunt of the storm had preceded our arrival, and it had battered and broken numerous trees in Rebecca’s neighborhood. Fortunately though, her home was not one of the thousands without electrical power due to the storm. Bonnie and I turned in for the night around 1 a.m.

We three loaded the van once more and headed out, ultimately bound for Winona, MS. First, however, we took breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We still showed up nearly half an hour early for our 9 a.m. appointment with SpeedPro Graphics. In less than an hour, we had three vinyl signs installed on the new van. We retired our former van after 10 years of service, but the more recent minivan lasted but seven years before we thought it best to retire it. Presently, it sits by our mailbox with a “For Sale” sign offering it to passersby.

96 dpi 5x7 Car Decal Installed 2Since we have a new vehicle with many years ahead in service (Lord willing) respecting our labors for Christ, I opted to have it advertise the webpages for World Evangelism and Gospel Gazette Online. Anyone following those Internet links will find a wealth of information, especially in the thousands of studious articles found within the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. The phrase “Mass Evangelism & Follow-Up” provides a brief definition for World Evangelism, and the reference to “Romans 16:16” may signal to members of the churches of Christ that we are members of the Lord’s church – almost a secretive code. At any rate, we cannot afford to put everything on the side of the car.

Back in Winona, we returned to the office. Tomorrow, we will head to Jackson, MS for Bonnie’s pre-operation preparation for surgery on Thursday. Bonnie is scheduled to be hospitalized overnight, but the extent of surgery needed, etc. will determine how quickly we return home; we expect to return to Winona on Friday.

Bonnie and I are both anxious for correction of her umbilical hernia that brings her daily pain presently. Her light to medium duty afterward will probably be lifelong, considering this upcoming surgery as well as the previous Whipple Surgery for pancreatic cancer. Otherwise, Bonnie is cancer free, and though slowed a bit and tired frequently, she and I press ahead. Thank you for your interest and prayers on especially her behalf.

Like Precious Faith

Posted July 14, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Family, Good Eats, Good Friends, Preaching Appointments, R&R, Travel

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Anniversary in an Airport

Anniversary in an Airport

Sunday, July 13 was a little more relaxed for we three (Bonnie, Rebecca and me), and it was a good buffer between the vacation venues of the preceding days and Monday’s daylong travel toward our homes in Tennessee and Mississippi. Of course, the highlight of every first day of the week is the opportunity afforded God’s people of worshipping Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). This we did, as we had the prior Wednesday evening upon our arrival in South Dakota, with the Rapid City Church of Christ. Truly, we found these brethren on the Internet through the church’s webpage. Two other congregations vied for visitors through their websites as well, but each of the three sufficiently identified themselves whereby we are able to find those of “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1). We always opt for biblical balance over extremes either to the left or to the right.

We felt like we had always known the saints of the Rapid City Church of Christ. The worship was reverential, and there were neither surprises nor disappointments. One ought to fairly well know what to anticipate even when meeting with faithful Christians in an assembly not previously visited. I heartily recommend the Rapid City Church of Christ to Christians who may visit the area.

It was also my good pleasure to speak to the congregation Sunday evening; I always feel more comfortable on the speaking side of the lectern than seated on the other side – because I want to serve to the fullest at every opportunity as long as I live. Given a choice between a biblical lesson and a PowerPoint presentation about our mission work, the eldership opted for the latter. I showed pictures and narrated them respecting our month-long mission trip in February of this year.

We were very well received, and we certainly have made some new friends. Bonnie, Rebecca and I were lunch guests of the preacher and his wife (brother and sister Chuck Taylor). He is facing some serious health problems, which to the best of his ability in the near future as well as for the balance of his life he hardly allows it to detour him in the least from serving our Lord Jesus Christ. He is a writer, too, whose articles I hope to introduce shortly to The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online.

Monday has been a long, leisurely travel day from Rapid City Regional Airport to Minneapolis/St. Paul to Memphis, TN. This is also Bonnie and my anniversary (#41), and we are spending it together in airports and on airplanes; Rebecca is with us. We had a very delicious lunch meal at the Northern Lights Grill; Bonnie and I shared perhaps the best pot-roast plate we have ever had, and the portions were gigantic. Rebecca had a similar meal in sandwich form, piled HIGH! As I write this, we are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport at our Gate, which we will board in just a little while; because Delta cancelled one of our flights, we have an extended layover here of FIVE HOURS! We are vacationing at the airport, too! It’s all good. We should arrive at Rebecca’s home before 10 p.m., we think.

The protracted layover has afforded me some valuable time to work on the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Among other things, we certainly are not rushed-more.

Badlands Loop

Posted July 12, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Postcard Perfect Picture, R&R, Travel

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Saturday, July 12, 2014, Bonnie, Rebecca and I headed for the South Dakota Badlands. No, we were not on the lam as outlaws seeking some hole in the wall from which we could hide from a pursuing posse. We were merely day visitors, along with perhaps hundreds of others who ventured into the federal park for an outing or as workers. However, we did spy some regular residents inside or just outside of the reserve – mountain goats and prairie dogs.

On the way to the Badlands, we paused at Wall, SD for the purpose of moseying through the famous Wall Drug complex.

It so happened that we arrived just in time for a small town parade – the smallest and most locally spun we’ve ever experienced – all of one block long! Wall Drug itself is one block long and two blocks deep – packed with tourist-trap merchandise, fine art, food, and various curious amusements for young and old. It is a destination all its own. Remarkably, though, we didn’t buy anything. Before leaving we did the once over of the Wounded Knee Museum gift store and Native America crafts as well as a nearby novelty and touristy shop.

Like yesterday, today, we made a giant circle in the process of following the scenic drive through the Badlands National Park. The topography over which and through which we traveled varied from Great Plains prairies to irregularly eroded, layered, jagged mountains. The mountains through which we traveled the past few days were completely different in every way from these; today’s mountains seem atypical to mountains generally.

Bonnie, Rebecca and I enjoyed a picnic lunch at a shaded park table. The nearly treeless landscape afforded us no respite from the abusive sunlight beating down upon us, although the temperature was moderate at 78 degrees. Nevertheless, repeatedly, we parked the car and strolled along walkways before getting back in the car and driving to the next viewpoint.

It was another good day on God’s marvelous earth. Moreover, I spent it with my two best friends – my wife of four+ decades and our oldest child.


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