Over the Past Several Days

Posted April 26, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Biblical Lesson, Good Friends, Gospel Meeting, India Missions Conference, Magazines & Books, Missionary Retreat, Preaching Appointments, Travel

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It has been a while since my last blog entry; several days have passed between then and now. Over the past several days, Martha and I made our way back to Winona, Mississippi from Ocala, Florida. We discovered that pulling an 8×10 trailer packed to the utmost and loading the van from window to window and from floor to ceiling exacts a terrible toll on the Pacifica’s gas mileage—dropping to as low as 15 mpg from the usual of up to 28 mpg!

Friday, April 21, we drove into the driveway of Sadie and Therman Hodge of Meridian, Mississippi around 9 p.m. Saturday was a pleasant repose during which we visited with these dear Christian friends. Sunday morning, I spoke during Bible class and a.m. worship for the Union, Mississippi Church of Christ. After lunch with several of the members at the local hospital cafeteria, Martha Lynn and I proceeded to Winona, arriving at our residence at about 3 p.m. Not long after disconnecting the trailer from the car, we headed to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi for evening worship, and as it turned out, to their Gospel meeting already in progress.

Monday, Martha and I proceeded to the office, whereupon we canvassed weeks’ worth of mail and prepared to send off the Rushmore Newsletter. The newsletter went out later in the morning.

We devoted ourselves on Tuesday and Wednesday to trying to put our house in order, and we’re not done yet! One bedroom and the living room look like warehouse space with everything stacked therein, and the laundry room is impassible! Two bedrooms, the den and the kitchen have been tamed, with the culling of a daybed, a full size bed and miscellaneous smaller items. Once more we visited the West President congregation to attend its Gospel meeting in lieu of midweek Bible class.

Maybe Thursday we will be able to complete the basic and fundamental straightening and cleaning of our Winona home. Being absent for months as well as construction mess from repairs while we were gone have added to the task at hand.

Looking ahead, Sunday coming, we will be with the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ in the morning. Tuesday and Wednesday, if our Lord wills, Martha and I will attend the annual India Workshop, this year hosted in Hamilton, Alabama. Wednesday night, we will travel to Florence, Alabama for the annual World Evangelism Missionary Retreat to be conducted on Thursday and Friday. This year, these two events overlap each other.

Gospel Gazette Online is running late, still; the April edition is not complete yet. Our calendar is slowly filling up with spotty appointments through October 20. The busyness with which we have shrouded our lives can get a little hectic, sometimes frustrating and often stressful. The yard is crying for attention, which I cannot give it right now—more pressure. Some sprigs are a foot high, and grass has grown through the carpet of pine needles to form a mesh blanket across the lawn. The 20 or so mature pines have contributed branches and pinecones as well.

Volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International was recently prepared and provided to the printing company in India. I get bored easily, and so I like to keep busy, but a little respite is certainly needed—and soon!

We Escaped!

Posted April 13, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: Good Eats, Good Friends, Postcard Perfect Picture, Travel

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Right in the middle of too busy and not enough time to finish the ever expanding “To Do List,” Martha Lynn and I briefly interrupted our busyness for four days to ourselves away from everything—mostly. We escaped Ocala, Florida on Monday, April 10 and headed for Ormond Beach, Florida. Happily for me, the journey was only about an hour and a half to our destination due east to the Atlantic Ocean. We stayed in a reasonably affordable beachside hotel that permitted us easy access to sand and surf. Being the off season for tourists, traffic was no challenge and few people populated the sandy strip that we frequented days and evenings. Especially Martha is enamored with water, particularly the salty sea.

We tried a few restaurants with which we were unfamiliar, some of which we do not plan to visit again, some that were above my pay grade—too expensive for me—and some to which we hope to return someday. One day, we visited an historic lighthouse compound—one of the tallest remaining such maritime structures in the United States. Not far from there, we also toured a small marine museum where we saw stingrays, an octopus, crabs, fish and rescued tortoises that are being recuperated from boating injuries. In addition, Martha and I walked along a paved path and wood bridge through dense tropical, seaside vegetation. That’s when we happened upon a furry critter—a raccoon—which decided to give us the right of way as it scampered into the underbrush.

It was our pleasure to dine one evening with good friends and Christians Gayle and Bruce Daugherty as well as with Judy and Emanuel Daugherty, Bruce’s parents. The following night, we assembled with them and other saints at the Beville Road Church of Christ.

Lastly, before leaving paradise for Ocala once more, Martha Lynn and I walked along the Boardwalk and pier in Daytona Beach. The excursion was pleasant enough as we strolled the famous spot, but these days, other locations such as one finds in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and I’m told in Branson, Missouri, outshine the Boardwalk. Martha, though, remained mesmerized by the rolling ocean waves.

Upon our return to Ocala, we lingered before driving to Martha’s Florida home. We got a bite to eat, after which we showed pictures of our South American mission trip to some church members. Of course, we stopped by a grocery store, too.

Martha Lynn and I enjoyed our time together away from pressing responsibilities for a while, though we felt awkward wiling our time away instead of attending to the “To Do List.” We are not good at down time and had to work at it somewhat. We did interact with some brethren via phone and email regarding ongoing matters that refused our inattention. However, for the most part, we took a hiatus from our usual “work” in some semblance of our honeymoon. Knowing what we each lost in the passing away of our respective spouses—Bob and Bonnie—we fully intend to the best of our abilities to make our marriage the rest of our lives our honeymoon. Together, Martha and I hope to help each other make our pilgrimage to heaven and serve the Lord the best we can in this life along the way. Back to work, now!

Providence, Maybe

Posted April 4, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: Good Eats, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preaching Appointments, Rushmore Newsletter, Travel

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Since Martha Lynn and I arrived in Ocala, Florida the evening of Sunday, March 19, the days have come and gone with a flurry. We have camped out in Martha’s Florida home and upended somewhat the lives of her son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren as well as ourselves as we all dwell together in the 3-bedroom ranch-style house. In addition, we have experienced a plumber’s dream come true as both bathrooms, the kitchen sink and the septic tank have all cried foul at the same time! If the residence were a boat, we might sink with the kitchen and bathroom leaks, and I don’t believe that there’s supposed to be a brown spring gurgling up in the yard either.

We have assembled with brethren of the Central Church of Christ and the Woodland Place Church of Christ in Ocala; the Wildwood, FL Church of Christ; and The Villages Church of Christ in Lady Lake, FL, too. The Woodland Place congregation and I pondered if God’s providence was unfolding as its preacher was unexpectedly unable to be present the day Martha and I happened to show up for Sunday a.m. class and worship; I taught class and preached. The church and I stopped short of supposing that God’s providence might also have been behind the two flat tires the preacher suffered hours away from Ocala.

Finally tonight, Rebecca and I were able to complete corrections for the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Thus, I published it to the Internet and sent around 1,800 notifications to subscribers around the world.

On a disappointing note, FedEx did it again—again didn’t do what it claims to have done! Once more this particular freight company claimed to have delivered packages to me, which in fact it did not. The packages apparently were delivered somewhere—where I know not—but they were not delivered to me at our Florida address. Remarkably, the useless phone menu answering system at FedEx and two different FedEx employees all tried to convince me that I had actually received the three boxes of printed material (i.e., Rushmore newsletters, etc.) and that they were on the front porch—on which I was standing while talking to FedEx employees! Then, he asked me, “Have you checked with your neighbors?”—throughout the subdivision of the extensive bedroom metropolis of Ocala! Within two days, FedEx hopes to get back to me about the packages. I hope that my poor little packages are safe and dry—as we experience relentless rain and thunderstorms!

Martha and I postponed our long anticipated couple of days to ourselves away—whatever that means—until next week because of doctors’ appointments this week. However, amid a frustrating moment or two yesterday, at Martha’s insistence, we drove to the shore of Lake Weir. We walked on the beach, and yes, Martha strode barefoot through the sand and waded all the way up to her ankles in the little waves of water. Cautiously, we scouted out the menu and prices for a possible supper meal at Gator Joe’s there at the beach.

We dined on the deck above the sandy shore at water’s edge. The wind from the lake blew our menus away twice and knocked over Martha’s glass once; other debris occasionally flew from table to table and from patron to patron. I never before over the years in my dining experiences had to hold down my wax paper in my plastic serving basket to devour my victuals! It was great, though! It was just what we and especially I needed. You guessed it, upon my first experience to eat alligator, I found that it tasted just like chicken—peppered chicken. Not sure about ordering that as my entrée, I sampled Martha’s supper and ordered a very tasty fish dinner for myself. We’ll be back.

Back at the makeshift office, sometimes the dining room table and sometimes atop our bed with computers on our laps, we work at a myriad of matters (e.g., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Martha was quite proud of herself, as was I of her, too, as she completed another good article for use in one of the publications we publish or for which we write. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Martha’s like a sponge, a fast learner on everything new with which I acquaint her from mission work to publishing. She’s truly my helper in every aspect of my life.

Dashing through Georgia

Posted March 20, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: Preaching Appointments, Travel

No, not dashing through the snow in wintery weather, but on to the Dasher Church of Christ we went. From our overnight layover in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday, Martha and I proceeded on Saturday, March 18 by car to lodging reserved for us in Valdosta, Georgia. That night, as we did the evening before, we dined in our hotel room on cheese sandwiches, which were quite satisfactory and convenient for rest from the day’s travel. Before that though, we moseyed down to the meetinghouse of the Dasher congregation to set up our display and ready the PowerPoint about missions for the next day.

Sunday, we were well received by the Lord’s church. During Bible class, I apprised brethren of the ministry in which Martha and I are involved (i.e., The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, other writings, stateside speaking appointments, overseas missions, etc.). In the worship period, I preached about the “urgency” with which Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth to make human redemption possible.

Later in the day, we made the short, but protracted trip because of heavy and stopped interstate traffic, to Martha’s Florida home in Ocala. We arrived in time to worship with the Central Church of Christ. The next day, Martha and I started the adventure of amending her last name to “Rushmore” on Social Security and banking records. We failed to achieve a name change on her driver’s license because everything, it seems, is tied to Social Security data. We sought information, too, on consolidating our phone plans. Eventually, we will need to start the process of updating Martha’s passport also; she traveled with me to South America and back under the name of Martha Noland since we could not effect a change in time between our wedding on January 1 and our mission trip that began on January 24.

Lord willing, we will remain in Florida for about four weeks before returning to Mississippi. Upon going back to Winona, we will meet appointments in Alabama (i.e., India Mission Workshop and World Evangelism May Missionary Workshop). In June, we will travel to appointments in Ohio and West Virginia, as well as visit family in those two states and in Pennsylvania. The annual World Evangelism team meeting will converge on Winona in July. In September, we plan to go to the mission fields once more, perhaps on two continents before returning in late November to the USA. Between known dates, we will establish appointments with congregations across the eastern United States. Besides that, we have responsibilities regarding the publication of The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, etc.

Sometime in the next few weeks, we hope to take some time for ourselves here in Florida. Maybe we’ll call such moments along the way—our honeymoon.

Sleeping State to State!

Posted March 17, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: Back at the House, Good Eats, Good Friends, Guyana, Literature, Magazines & Books, Travel

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Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!

Winter Wonderland—Temporarily!

Posted March 14, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Good Eats, Literature, Preaching Appointments, Travel

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Sunday, March 12, 2017, Rebecca, Martha and I awoke to a temporary winter wonderland in Batesville, Arkansas. After breakfast in the hotel lobby, we proceeded to the meetinghouse of the Southside Church of Christ. There, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” The night before, I updated it to include our New Year’s Day wedding and our recent 6-week foray into the tropical flora of Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached one of my recently seminar sermons, “Emulation of Jesus Christ: His Urgency.”

As always, we were well received by the good brethren at Southside. Afterward, several members and we three dined across the highway at a quaint, country eatery; I’d eaten there before, and at that time I photographed some of its décor, including a fully set table and chairs hanging upside down from the ceiling.

Later in the day, Rebecca, Martha and I assembled with the brethren at the Oil Trough Church of Christ. This small church and we three enjoyed one another’s company as once more, during worship this time, as presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.”

Leaving our appointments in Arkansas, we journeyed to my Winona, MS home, arriving at 11 p.m. Immediately, it became apparent that we were going to have to enact “Plan B.” Some repair work to the interior of the home was not complete, but instead in full swing. It was not feasible for us to lodge in the midst of ongoing construction, and so, we resorted to the apartment at the office and warehouse for World Evangelism just down the road.

Monday was filled full with trying to catchup on a number of things (i.e., going through six weeks of mail, paying bills and working on volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International). Tuesday, we packaged and shipped book orders as well as loaded about 2,000 pounds of Christian literature into a trailer. We will haul it to Nashville on Thursday, the day after our Wednesday evening appointment in Benton, KY with the Walnut Grove Church of Christ.

We traveled Tuesday to Rebecca’s home, but I stopped in Batesville, MS to get a haircut. Had I not gotten “my ears lowered,” I would have needed a dog license for as much unkempt I had become. Thursday we will travel finally back to Winona, depositing Rebecca at her home in a suburb of Memphis, TN—Collierville. Friday, Lord willing, we reload the car and leave for Valdosta, GA for next Sunday’s appointment. If not the night before, Monday, we will drive to Ocala, FL, where we will remain for about four weeks—using it as a base of operations for visiting churches of Christ.

Tired we are. Rest we need. We hope that we are glorifying God ad edifying our fellow man.

Overdrive!

Posted March 11, 2017 by Louis Rushmore
Categories: Guyana, Mission Trip, Overseas, Preaching Appointments, Weather Related

Six weeks ago about to begin the mission trip to Guyana

Things just did not go as planned! Nothing lately caused me more anxiety than the snafu involving Martha and my return from Guyana, South America. Nothing lately has been more costly than the glitch in our return from 6-week mission trip this year to “The Land of Many Waters.” Uugghh! Ratsofratso! Bless their hearts!

Surinam Airways delayed our flight from Georgetown to Miami by 7 hours! That caused us to miss our connecting flight from Miami non-stop to Memphis. Fixing up that mess cost us over $1,000 extra and put us a day later getting back to the USA—on Friday. In addition, rather than a direct flight between Miami and Memphis, we had to fly to Charlotte, NC. Layover in Miami was too short to get a hotel and too long to stay awake without somewhere to slouch even a little in the airport.

Martha and I dozed sitting upright in rigid, armrest corralled seating while in the airport, and we took advantage of plane time to check our eyelids from the inside for light leaks. Except for the catnaps, we were up for about 28 hours before arriving at our daughter Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. We had a difficult time deciding between showering, sleeping and eating, but showering won out, followed by eating some Ritz crackers. We were unable to sleep, and I proceeded to receive and make phone calls to catch up on many matters. Sleep that night was most welcome, but not quite adequate to compensate for sleeplessness leading up to it.

Saturday, Rebecca, Martha and I packed the van and headed out to Arkansas for Sunday appointments at two congregations in that state. Martha and I had left temperature highs in the 80’s, but now found the lows in the 30’s, first with rain dampening our travel—followed by big, wet snowflakes. We three lodged Saturday night in Batesville, AR, in preparation for worshipping Sunday with the Southside, AR Church of Christ in the morning and the Oil Trough, AR Church of Christ in the evening. The week ahead, Lord willing, will take us to Winona, MS; Benton, KY; Nashville, TN; Collierville, TN; Winona, MS again; across Alabama, to Valdosta, GA and to Ocala, FL. Whew! I’m worn out already! Not only is there a 2-hour time zone difference between Guyana and the USA, we need to factor in Daylight Savings Time tonight!