Two Tuckered Out Pilgrims

Sunday, January 15, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Lake Forest Church of Christ in Walls, MS, where David Fisher is the preacher. During worship, I presented Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation about our mission trips abroad. Imitating some black Gospel preachers that I have heard do this occasionally over the years, I finally uttered aloud before the assembly, “Amen, walls!” What made it amusing to me was that I was standing in Walls, Mississippi when I said it; I had secretly wanted to do that ever since I first spoke at the Lake Forest congregation. Of course, I explained myself and the unlikely dialogue to the congregation present that morning. David Fisher, Gary Wilburn and a couple from the congregation shared lunch with Bonnie and me at a country buffet in Horn Lake, MS.

After a little shopping, Bonnie and I headed for Batesville, MS where I was to speak for the Sunday evening worship of the Lord’s church there. Since we were early, we did a little more shopping and followed that up by resorting to Cracker Barrel for dueling hot fudge sundaes. Still early, we waited in the car at the meetinghouse for the Batesville Church of Christ for the key holder to let us in. I was getting a little antsy while we paused before evening services were to begin, anticipating the arrival of the audio/visual person to facilitate lining up my PowerPoint, Into All the World. Honestly, Bonnie and I do not – I repeat, do not – plan our annual visit to the Batesville congregation based on what time of the month it hosts an evening fellowship meal. However, every year we come, the church is having a fellowship meal, to which we are invited to stay and enjoy. Some of the members are joking about and suspecting that our visits purposely coincide with their potluck feasts. In our defense, this was not the church’s regularly scheduled evening for the fellowship meal, and so we had no way of knowing about it.

New Face on an Old KitchenMonday morning, Bonnie and I began deconstructing the kitchen at the house. We have undertaken painting the wood paneling and cupboards; our aim is to lighten the walls so that what little light makes it through the roof-shaded, single window reflects better. Doubtless, the overhead light will be more effective, too, with lighter walls. In addition, we plan to lay porcelain tile on the kitchen floor and sink countertop. We are doing everything ourselves, which in some instances makes for some new experiences.

To be frugal, we used leftover paint from painting bedrooms, the hall, living room and dining room for the base coat. Consequently, the kitchen walls and cabinets were indiscriminately pink, blue and peach at the same time! (The kitchen has been in total disarray for a week during the painting and repainting process, but it is beginning to come together.)

We put progress on hold temporarily to meet and greet guests at the warehouse/office for World Evangelism. Arthur and Shirley Burnett from Hamilton, MS called me that they were on their way to Winona to pick up some books for their ministry. Pleasant interaction concluded after a while, they left and Bonnie and I resumed putting a fresh face on an old kitchen back at the house.

Tuesday, Bonnie and I finished tweaking Volume 71 of The Voice of Truth International magazine. Wednesday, we turned the digital material over to Betty Choate for her final adjustments before being sent to the printing company. I find myself behind again respecting Gospel Gazette Online; I am working on the January 2012 issue – the commencement of year 14 of publication on the Internet. Thursday, we loaded a trailer full of literature to be taken by Jerry and Paula Bates to a container in Texas, which will eventually make its way to Tanzania.

Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I drove nearly four hours to Killen, AL to be in place for the School of Missions on Saturday, hosted by the Killen Church of Christ. We chanced to make a last minute arrangement with Wayne and Janet Barrier to enjoy supper together as they were out and about in Tuscumbia. We retired for the night to a little Indian-run motel on the threshold to Killen. Saturday morning, we were at the School of Missions by 8 a.m. Perhaps 50 or so missionaries and would be missionaries were crammed in a little room where we edified each other respecting missionary preparation. Several men presented interesting and uplifting lessons over the course of the morning and through 12:30 p.m.

Bonnie and I lunched at a fabulous and affordable restaurant (Demos) in Florence, AL. The food is terrific, reasonably priced and the service is courteous as well as efficient. We did a little shopping (as we customarily do when out of the anti-metropolis of Winona, MS) and defended ourselves from the cool midafternoon with hot chocolate drinks and Crispy Crème doughnuts. Shopping and eating establishments plus more spoils me when I am in Florence; I feel like a little boy in a candy shop!

Antioch Church of ChristSunday, January 22, Bonnie and I spent the day with the Antioch Church of Christ, which assembles in the countryside outside Killen. For Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation of Into All the World in 2011 about our mission trips abroad. For morning worship, I preached What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life? Sunday evening, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Between services, we were hosted to a tasty country plate dinner on the outskirts of Rogersville, AL. Thereafter until time for evening worship, I worked on the January issue of Gospel Gazette Online.

About four hours after worship services of the Antioch Church of Christ concluded, Bonnie and I rolled up into the carport of 705 Devine Street, Winona, MS. It was nearly 11:00 p.m. Just when we thought that we would transition for an hour before going to bed by watching a little television, an explosion outside our home simultaneously signaled the loss of electricity – so we went to bed! What else was there to do on a dark, stormy night for two tuckered out pilgrims?

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