Archive for February 2012

Earthly & Spiritual Tragedies Aplenty!

February 27, 2012

Bonnie & Louis in Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)Sunday, February 26, 2012 found us worshipping in the morning with the Leighton, AL Church of Christ. The afternoon before, Bonnie and I made our way to the home of Daniel and Joan Counts of Tuscumbia, AL. This farm family hosts us annually, lodging us and feeding us too well the night before our Sunday visit with the congregation over which brother Counts serves as one of the elders. Joan mothers us both, and we exchange gifts each year.

For Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011, apprising the congregation of where Bonnie and I had gone abroad last year for the cause of Christ. Thoughtful questions punctuated the session. During worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Despite its dwindling size, as members gradually depart the home congregation for churches of Christ nearer where they now live, the Leighton Church of Christ continues to be a significant participant financially in our mission work.

The youthful preacher family of Kyle Mashburn, who graduated from Heritage Christian University in Florence, AL, is a fine specimen of Christianity from parenting to Christian service. The elders and other members go out of their way to encourage Bonnie and me in our efforts. Truly, we benefit much more from our annual visit than does the congregation, though we both long to reacquaint ourselves with each other every year. We are coworkers in the vineyard of our Lord.

Following lunch at a local eatery in Leighton, Bonnie and I did some shopping before meandering toward Winona, MS. We had the tires on the van rotated at Sam’s Club, and picked up a few items while that was being done. On the way home, down the Natchez Trace, we paused in Tupelo, MS to buy groceries and grab a sandwich apiece at Subway. Bambi, Rudolph and all of their friends were grazing the length of the Parkway in the darkness, only illuminated by the car’s headlights and their reflection in the eyes of the potential moving hazards.

A brief stop at a gas station convenience store and restroom in Euphora, MS made us aware of a local tragedy – a missing 2-year-old. Hundreds of volunteers, safety officers and even a helicopter with an infrared camera failed to discover the whereabouts of the tyke. Sadly, only the next afternoon was the toddler’s body recovered from a pond.  A similar loss occurred the same day in a neighboring county, too.

More tragically in a real sense, are the billions of people on planet earth who are lost spiritually – headed for an unthinkable eternity without Christ as their Advocate (1 John 2:1). It is important beyond power to communicate effectively that the pure Gospel of Christ be heralded near and far; we must turn the world upside down with the message of Jesus Christ. Bonnie and I are willing to do our part personally, at home or abroad, teaching or writing – anyway in which we can be useful to the Lord. Many are they who help make what little we do possible, for which we are grateful.

Bed & Breakfast Bounce — Mississippi to Tennessee to Arkansas and Back

February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, Bonnie and I awoke in Collierville, TN at our daughter’s home. We arrived the night before, poising ourselves for Bonnie to attend the ladies’ inspiration day with the Collierville Church of Christ Saturday, before aiming our car toward Sunday appointments in Arkansas. Rebecca also extended hospitality to Bob and Martha Noland at her bed and breakfast; the Nolands spent a few days with Bonnie and me in Winona, MS following the Freed Hardeman University Lectureship.

Early Saturday evening, we arrived at the home of Garry and Melissa Polk near Center Ridge, AR. They are farmers and the parents of four grown children. Formerly dairy farmers, they are now beef farmers. Garry is a hopeless romantic; he gave Melissa a new hay rake for Mother’s Day and a new John Deere tractor with an enclosed cab for Christmas. Melissa was thrilled with both.

We are always well received by the congregation, and we enjoy our time with them. For Bible class, I presented by PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Following lunching with the Polks on a delicious pork roast and trimmings; Melissa was a little concerned that the preacher may have led to overcooking the roast, but it was fine.

Sunday afternoon, we argued with the GPS as it directed us southeast to our northeast evening destination. Lo and behold, going over the mountains instead of around them immediately cut 30 minutes from our travel time. Since when does the selection “fastest route” permit the device to opt out of hilly, curvy roads? Sometimes, GPS doesn’t have a clue! One time in Alabama, we literally ended up traveling through a cow pasture with cattle up close and personal because there were road signs on either side of the path.

Sharon Murphy had homemade cookies awaiting us upon our arrival at her and Gevan’s home outside of Imboden, AR. That evening I updated the congregation there with Into All the World in 2011. Afterward, we returned to our own bed and breakfast, Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Monday, we went back to our base of operations in Winona, MS. In the weeks ahead, we will be in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

On the road again is routine for us!

February 14, 2012

On the road again is routine for us! Sunday, February 5, Bonnie and I spent the Bible class and worship hours with the Milledgeville, TN Church of Christ. Counting the two of us, the highest attendance was 12. Kindly, brethren treated us to lunch in Lexington, TN and gave us a support check, too. I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World during Bible class, preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear in the morning and preached The Three Bears of Galatians 6 in the evening.

Freed Hardeman UniversityMonday through Thursday, we attended the annual Freed Hardeman University lectureship. We, along with coworkers from Winona, MS, set up and manned two tables in the display area – one of literature for sale (we also gave many books away) plus a display table and free literature respecting our worldwide mission work. Graciously, a brother outside of Henderson, TN lodged us in his home for the week.

Jerry and Paula Bates hauled a trailer to Henderson, but since Jerry left the lectureship early for an overseas mission trip, Bonnie and I pulled the trailer back to Winona. We did a little shopping on the way back, not the least of which was buying groceries. Very little foodstuff remained at home; we didn’t buy much before our planned, weeklong absence. Sunday, February 12 found Bonnie and me in the morning with the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. We enjoyed the fellowship meal following morning worship. Sunday evening, we were with the Union, MS Church of Christ.

Martha NolandBob and Martha Noland came to spend a few days with us following the FHU lectureship. We spent some good time with them in Henderson, and we are enjoying their time with us in our Winona home. Of course, I drug them with me on my Sunday appoints February 12th.

Phase One of Kitchen Makeover is complete!

February 1, 2012

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Phase One of Kitchen Makeover is complete! Well for the most part; there are a few spots that we have revisited with crack filler and that will need either some white or light blue touch up with paint. The brown cabinets are now shiny white, and the wood paneled walls are now a light blue (nearly white for my slightly color deficient vision). Last, we accented the cupboards with bird mirrors. Compare the before and after pictures for yourself (“before” pics appeared weeks ago).

What an improvement in lighting! The dark cabinets and walls previously, accented with one porch shrouded window, made the kitchen a dismal cavern before the makeover. With the small lights over the sink, the stove and the side of a cabinet, the kitchen is nearly as light now as it was previously with the ceiling lights on, too. The kitchen is so much brighter now that one can fix cereal, for instance, in the morning without turning on a light – which was hardly possible before.

We upgraded the light above the sink. Remaining to do are the floor and the counter. We are planning to lay porcelain tile on the floor and possibly the countertop, too. Though I have muddled my way through many home projects over the years, laying this type of tile is new ground for Bonnie and me. Not a new house, but a makeover will be an improvement – for us as well as for the maintenance of the residence.