Archive for April 2012

Two New Congregational Visits

April 30, 2012

Saturday, Bonnie and I leisurely began our day back in Winona, MS. About lunchtime, we grabbed a bite to eat in the car as we headed out of town. Since the day was so bright and sunny, we ignored the chosen route of our GPS and opted for a ride up the green corridor of the Natchez Trace. We called ahead and made arrangements to have supper with Wayne and Janet Barrier as we passed through Florence, AL; Demos Italian restaurant is one our favorite eateries.

While waiting for suppertime, we stalled two hours doing a little shopping in stores that have no presence in Winona. Shopping and supper behind us, we ventured to Athens, AL for an overnight stay in the Quality Inn (which was anything but “quality”). The first oddity that greeted us upon entering our room was that in the bathroom lined up against the opposing wall to the entry into the room was the bathtub/shower, handicapped toilet, wall phone, microwave atop a refrigerator and the sink. Bonnie added the ironing board (after the front desk clerk robbed board and iron from another room). Notice the strategically positioned mirror — behind the microwave and refreigerator. Extras in the room included ants and a silver dollar size spider in the bathroom and cobwebs hanging from the ceiling above the bed. Cross another one off the mental list!

With a little detective work on the Internet, I was able to discern the physical address of one of our supporting congregations that we had never visited – though it had been supporting us for a couple of years.

Less than an hour’s drive Sunday morning, Bonnie and I arrived in plenty of time for Bible class and worship with the Fairview Church of Christ outside of Pulaski, TN. Class and worship were edifying for us, and we enjoyed our visit. We look forward to a return visit.

Next, we drove to McMinnville, TN for evening worship with the West Riverside Church of Christ. This was our first visit to this congregation. We were well received, and members expressed appreciation for my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011.

Anticipating over a six-hour drive back home, we chose instead to drive four and a half hours to Rebecca’s home. We arrived not a moment too soon at 11:30 p.m.; I was weary. Monday, we returned to Winona, where we filled book orders mostly. I must also devote myself to making appointments for May 6 and 20, plus dates beyond. I need to purchase plane tickets for our fast approaching mission trip to Guyana, South America; both Bonnie and I need to prepare our lessons for the seminars in which we will teach in that country. Gospel Gazette Online for May begs time for its completion. Finally yet importantly, Bonnie and I need to prepare for the annual Maywood Missionary Retreat in Hamilton, AL; Bonnie needs to finalize pre-registration and I need to print the retreat booklet.

By weekend, we live out of the car. By weekday, we live out of the office. Even when we drag our laptops to the house, usually that amounts to dragging our mobile office home with us (frankly, we drag our mobile office along the highways as well, and when we go abroad, we take our laptops there, too). Work, work, work! Bonnie and I would have it no other way.

Living Principles in Foreign Languages

April 26, 2012

Literature is a large part of what Bonnie and I are about. We write for several Gospel magazines and we write religious books and pamphlets. Bonnie’s book, Living Principles, is being printed in the Telegu language of India. In addition, this title is soon to be printed in the Burmese language of Myanmar (Burma). Besides this, tens of thousands of my tracts are published annually in eight foreign languages. All of this is possible only because of Christians and churches of Christ who participate financially with us toward that end. Thank you. We are partners in the greatest undertaking on planet earth – to turn the world upside down with the Gospel of Christ (Acts 17:6).

Several additional titles are waiting for their turn to be printed in English and other languages. My book, The Church Divine, will be printed in India and Myanmar languages later this year or next year, funds permitting. Bonnie is amending two of my class books on Ruth and Esther with application lessons. We will combine the two books into one volume. Several other titles are out of print or have never been printed yet: The Cost of Discipleship (first printed in 1985), The Spirit Summarized, Preaching the Whole Counsel of God (10 volumes of full-sentence sermon outlines) and my commentary on the Book of James.

I am in some stage of writing three more books, one in collaboration with Wayne Barrier. Bonnie and I started writing our mission stories, and I envision a book entitled, Converting the Church of Christ to Christ. In that writing, I want to emphasis the conviction in conversion needed but which is often lacking in our brotherhood in the western world.

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Guyana Bound

April 26, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, Bonnie and I attempted to catch up on being absent from the office the week before at the 2012 India Workshop. Wednesday and Thursday, among other things, we worked on preparation of a mailing of letters to supporters and friends of our evangelistic work. In the letter, we directed readers’ attention to our soon, upcoming trip to Guyana, South America. Bonnie and I will be going to five sections of the country to teach preachers, their wives and other church leaders. We asked the recipients of our mailing to participate with us financially; we anticipate needing $5,000 for the seminars. Time is of the essence as we leave the US on June 1. Bonnie and I have an interest in the prayers of brethren and participation by members of the churches of Christ to facilitate our efforts for the cause of Christ.

Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky & Indiana

April 23, 2012

Ceiling Vincennes AuditoriumThe 2012 India Workshop (April 18-20) was held at the meetinghouse for the Central Church of Christ in Vincennes, IN. Roger Wright is the minister for that congregation, and he directed this year’s program. Between 60 and 70 were present for the sessions. It was my pleasure to be one of the speakers on Friday morning. Bonnie and I set up literature and a display about our overseas evangelism. We gave away cases of The Voice of Truth International magazine, plus sample tract packets, copies of my book Beverage Alcohol and copies of the Global Harvest magazine.

Louis Rushmore at the 2012 India WorkshopSaturday morning, we were part of a tour of historic Vincennes; I had not realized how crucial the history of Vincennes was to the expansion of the United States across North America. We went to a national monument and park in the city. We toured the former home of President Harrison, and we toured some of the earliest, simple buildings associated with the beginning years of Indiana Territory and later the State of Indiana. The influence of Vincennes once covered land from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from Ohio to Minnesota. Saturday, temperatures dropped and the chilly wind was unwelcome. I had brought my ice scraper just in case frost gathered on our car windshield; we escaped needing it – not by much.

Vincennes TourSunday, April 22 was a unique stateside experience for Bonnie and me as we worshipped with three congregations on the same day. We worshipped with the Main St. Church of Christ in Monroe City, IN at 8 a.m., at which time I preached, “What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life?” Bible class followed at 9 a.m., during which I made my PowerPoint presentation, “Into All the World in 2011.” The Main St. congregation is a small (very small), newly established church.

Vincennes TourAt 10:30 a.m., Bonnie and I worshipped with the Central Church of Christ in Vincennes, whereupon I preached, “Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear.” Sunday evening, we traveled to Washington, IN and worshipped with the Lord’s church there at 6 p.m. I presented our mission PowerPoint, “Into All the World in 2011.” We were received cordially at each congregation and during the workshop the preceding week.

Vincennes TourAfter Sunday evening worship, Bonnie and I drove for a few hours, stopping at Madisonville, KY at the Best Western for the night. Monday, we finished our return journey to Winona, MS.

During our outing, we were lodged graciously in the home of Gary and Kay Willis during the workshop and amply fed between their home and food provided at the church house. As time starved our schedule is for various activities, I was still preparing my lesson for the lectureship on Wednesday and Thursday of the workshop week. In our lives, every potential investment of our time must be triaged, and we simply do whatever is next!

Here We Go Again!

April 18, 2012

Friday, April 13, after a full day at the office, the highlight of which was finalizing our part of publishing the next issue of The Voice of Truth International magazine, Bonnie and I meandered up I-55 and across Mississippi 302 toward Collierville, TN. However, we paused at our favorite eatery for dead cow – Texas Roadhouse in Horn Lake; we picked Rebecca up at school and dined together before proceeding to her home – ever our bed and breakfast.

Some of my brain cells aren’t talking to each other anymore! At our daughter’s, I changed clothes and drug out the hedge trimmer I had brought from home; we were going to trim out a thicket of twisty vines in the backyard. Rebecca had just plugged in one of the extension cords that I had brought along, and I was about to plug the other end into the hedge trimmers. It turned out to be a very short exercise in futility – I had brought a battery operated hedge trimmer – without the battery, rather than an electric device. I think I have an electric hedge trimmer, but I haven’t looked to confirm that.

Saturday morning from Rebecca’s living room, I completed and published to the Internet the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online. After lunch, Bonnie and I pointed the Town & Country toward Batesville, AR – several hours westward. That night in the Best Western motel, I notified the nearly 1,300 subscribers to Gospel Gazette Online of the availability of the April edition.

Old Lock & DamWhile out over the weekend, we walked along a river, especially interested in the former lock and dam on the White River, now converted to production of electrical power. We snapped a picture or two of a NASCAR specimen in front of a Ford dealership on Sunday morning on the way to the meetinghouse. That afternoon, I noticed a strange city sign in Biggers, AR.

NascarSunday morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011 during Bible class at the Southside Church of Christ. I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear during worship. That evening, we had made our way to the Biggers, AR Church of Christ where I updated the congregation about our 2011 foreign mission trips.

Farm Equipment RouteHours later after battling stiff winds and sandstorms from gusts blasting across the surface of newly disked rice fields, Bonnie and I again arrive at our very own bed and breakfast. Whereas Friday night I met by request with a brother and discussed matters important to him, Monday morning, I was invited by still another preacher for a similar interchange.

Midway between breakfast and lunch times, heading toward Winona, Bonnie and I took refuge for brunch at Cracker Barrel. Pecan pancakes, hash brown casserole, crisp bacon and chocolate milk was the order of the day; mmmm!!!!! Having done all the damage we could do there, we headed for Lowe’s where we bought the materials for tiling the kitchen floor and counter. Previously, I had bought a book and read the applicable portions to my upcoming project, and then, I found a contractor – member of the church about two hours from Winona – who will do the work in May.

As soon as we get back to town, Bonnie and I must prepare a mailing to request brethren assist us financially, permitting us to accumulate the approximately $5,000 needed for a national seminar in Guyana the first week of June. We will be traveling to several areas to encourage and edify preachers, their wives and other church leaders. The wall calendar back in the office is heavily punctuated with appointments throughout the balance of the year, stateside and abroad. Even when we do not blog daily, the flurry of activity that drives our lives sometimes makes me dizzy – dizzy for the Lord, in His service, seeking His favor.

Growing Toward the Light by Bonnie Rushmore

April 17, 2012

Growing Toward the LightAs one goes out the back door onto the patio, along the side of our house there is a flowerbed where three or four small trees/bushes grew. Louis and I decided to move those bushes to the corner of fence that we installed last year. I had planted a rosebush in that location only to discover that it did not get enough light because of the overshadowing trees. So, with some difficulty, we moved the bushes to the fence and the rosebush to the flowerbed where it would get more light. This left several feet of bare ground along the house between roses and the cement pad of the patio. So, the natural thing to do was to plant more flowers.

I purchased some Lily bulbs and planted them between the rosebush and the steps into the house, stopping about three feet from the steps as that area is overshadowed by the roof. A couple weeks later, the plants started to emerge from the ground. As the plants became taller, they all leaned toward the rosebush. I soon discovered buds and then open blooms on the Lilies. However, they are still growing toward the rosebush. I underestimated the amount of light that part the flowerbed is receiving. The Lilies are growing toward the rosebush because that is where the sunlight is most prominent.

This brought a thought to my mind. Are we growing toward the Sonlight of Christ? Jesus said, “…I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 NKJV). If we are growing toward Jesus, we are walking in the light of righteousness and not the darkness of evil (1 John 1:6-7).

Just as the Lilies I planted were overshadowed by the roof, blocking the direct sunlight, sometimes we allow the cares of this world to overshadow the direct Sonlight of Christ toward us. Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” The full context (6:25-30) is a lesson on worry. Jesus shows how God cares for the flowers and the birds, and He certainly will provide for our needs as well. We will have the necessities of life – food, shelter and clothing – if we put God first in our lives and strive to daily walk in the Sonlight of Christ.

I also realized that even though the Lilies did not have direct sunlight, they grew and bloomed because they guided themselves toward the light. They are bent, but they are blooming! As Christians, we may be living our lives with the darkness of the world overshadowing us. We may be doing some good works; however, we are not as effective as we should be since we are bent toward the Sonlight not growing directly toward Christ. Our Spiritual path has highs, lows, twist and turns instead of a direct, upward road toward our Heavenly Father.

I may need to move the Lilies to another part of the yard where they can receive direct sunlight to flourish and grow. Let us learn from the Lilies. Remove the shadow of the world from our lives and grow directly toward the Sonlight of Christ, growing and flourishing in His kingdom while on this earth.