Sunday, March 25, Bonnie and I were with the good brethren of the St. Joseph Church of Christ in Dyersburg, TN. We are always enthusiastically received, and my sermon Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear stirred brothers and sisters in Christ to a renewed and recommitted emphasis on worshipping God in His own appointed way. This has been perhaps the most popular sermon I have ever preached – abroad and stateside.
Following Bible class and worship, we enjoyed a potluck fellowship meal together. Bonnie and I didn’t know brethren were gathering to eat together after services, but we also delight in such occasions. That was the first time we had been in the church’s multipurpose hall.
Sunday evening, Bonnie and I imposed once more on our daughter Rebecca and stayed the night at her home. Monday morning, Bonnie and I stopped briefly at Chick-fil-A for breakfast on the way out of Collierville. After some shopping, we made our way back to Winona, MS – our base of operations. That evening, we waded into overgrown brush and bushes to retrieve a couple of azalea bushes for transplanting in our backyard. That was almost too much for me, and the sweat endlessly rolled down my face.
By day, Bonnie continued to work on the upcoming issue of The Voice of Truth International throughout the week. I worked on the March issue of Gospel Gazette Online – running late as usual. Numerous other activities interrupted our respective efforts on those magazines – which is pretty much the way every day goes.
Tuesday afternoon visitors began arriving: Ruth Orr and Jane George from Tennessee; by suppertime, Prissy Sellers, her daughter Hope Stringham and granddaughter Amelia from Missouri also arrived. Bonnie fixed supper at our house for them, Betty Choate, Jerry and Paula Bates and us. We used the good dishes, on which we put our roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, miniature homemade loaves of bread and pumpkin cake for dessert.
Tuesday through Friday, our visitors constructed boxes and packed them for future overseas shipments to the Philippines, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria. This group was self-starting and self-perpetuating – meaning that unlike most groups that come in to work from time to time, we did not have to leave other functions to work with them. Before they left, they had packed 15,000 books for destinations abroad. We will ship the boxes to various locations stateside for placement in containers or introduction into the US Postal system foreign mailbags.
Amelia either played by herself or watched children’s videos to amuse herself most of the time. The evening before, following supper, she asked me to teach her to play checkers; she spied the old, homemade checkerboard handed down through Bonnie’s family. She did well for a 4-year-old. At the office/warehouse, I acquainted her with the Bible maps (as I often do with small children in congregational settings) and taught her how to work the chairlift – a make do tame substitute for an amusement park.
Finally, Friday evening I finished the March issue of Gospel Gazette Online and sent out the email notifications to over 1,200 subscribers. Saturday, unlike most Saturdays when we are traveling for a Sunday appointment, we slowed down a bit at home. That is, if one doesn’t count the planting of dozens of flower bulbs and digging up and replanting numerous hostas. We have also planted four rose bushes. All of that was a lot like work! The work we ordinarily do doesn’t make my back hurt and I don’t have to perspire as much! I may need to go back to work just to get some rest!