April is upon us, and Bonnie and I are as far behind as we have ever been in recent memory. If we were any further behind, we would be essentially in the position of the little red caboose on a short, circle track ringing the picturesque old-time Christmas tree of many decades past. “I can see the engine of my own train that (though pulling us along) is about to crash into the back of the caboose.” Our train is about to lap itself!
Wednesday, April 2nd, Bonnie and I journeyed once more to Jackson, MS to teach the adult, auditorium class of the Siwell Road Church of Christ. Late Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I pointed the old, weary van toward Florida; we angled down through Alabama, stopping for the night on the south side of Montgomery, AL. Saturday afternoon, we arrived at the home of Mary Fox in Jacksonville, FL; she and her husband with their family had been missionaries for several years in Thailand. Sunday morning, it was a pleasure to be once more with the Chaffee Road Church of Christ, whereupon I made my PowerPoint presentation “2014 Guyana Mission Trip” for Bible class, and I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” We all enjoyed a fellowship meal afterward. I spoke Sunday afternoon at Taylor Manor, a Jacksonville retirement home. Sunday evening, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Riverview Church of Christ in Jacksonville, at which time I made my PowerPoint presentation “2014 Guyana Mission Trip.” No one ever treated us any better than the brethren there did; several members personally helped us financially in our efforts for the cause of Christ, as well as the congregation itself.
Leaving Jacksonville Sunday night, Bonnie and I drove to Ocala, FL, where we spent the next two nights with our good friend Martha Noland. Martha and her husband Bob work with a small congregation of the Lord’s church in Hanoverton, OH; a sister in Christ from there had accompanied Martha to Florida and was there upon our arrival. Besides spending time together and eating out, the highlight of this side trip was an unplanned trip to Best Buy – twice! The graphic card in each of our new computers, as it turns out, are defective. It took several hours for sales and tech personnel to determine that the graphic card was inoperable—not only in our two, new laptops, but also in their store display models of the same brand and every other brand sporting that same graphics card. Happily for us, Best Buy took back our two defective units and traded them for two other new units of a different brand with different graphics cards from the brand of defective card.
However, that necessitated buying an external hard drive to offload data files from the two defective computers before we made the exchanges. With that, hours of transferring files ensued. Of course, after acquiring the new computers, we had to put the data back on the new computers. The programs, though, were in Winona and could not be loaded just yet.
Tuesday after lunch, Bonnie and I parted from Martha’s home, and we headed for Jackson, MS where I was to teach Bible class again on Wednesday evening. We made it as far as Pensacola, FL before we sought a motel for the night. After checking in at the Quality Inn along I-10, we sauntered down to the local Sonny’s Barbeque restaurant; this was our second time to eat at one of those eateries, and we were amply satisfied both times. With a hotel Internet connection, Bonnie and I were able to begin downloading to our newest laptops some subscription software that we use in the production of literary works like The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, tracts and books.
The first half of Wednesday, April 9 was spent traveling through Florida, Alabama and Mississippi to Jackson, MS. Upon arrival, we visited hurting brethren in two Jackson hospitals. In the interval between those hospital visits and Bible class, Bonnie bought some groceries and got gas so we could expedite our trip home later after class at the Siwell Road Church of Christ. Finally, I concluded the 42nd chapter of the Book of Job! However, we are not quite done just yet; I want to spend a little more time treating standout verses throughout the volume as well as short studies about “Satan” and “Pain and Suffering.”
After Bible class, Bonnie and I started our trip back to the house in Winona, MS. We punctuated the two-hour ride with grabbing a bite to eat and buying some perishable groceries, and Bonnie and I arrived back in Winona ten minutes before 11:00 p.m.
The times between the “highlights” through end of day on Friday have been very tedious—the jaw and neck tightening kind of details—mostly trying to install computer software, some of which says, “What is Windows 8.1? No, I will not work with that!” Don’t get me started about trying to get two computers and two (so-called) smart phones to talk to each other. At one point, I lost my digital appointment calendar; I hope that we didn’t have any appointments this Sunday!
We shipped several packages of books and tracts to individuals and congregations. We are way behind on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International. I haven’t started the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online. The 2014 India Missions Conference (April 22-25) is nearly upon us, and there are details and schedule changes that need my immediate attention. On the heels of that, we have the Annual Maywood Missionary Retreat the following week. Peppered in there, too, are speaking appointments and daily work at the office/warehouse in the World Evangelism Building.
Whew! I think the caboose and the train engine are about to meet—in a bad way!