Archive for August 2012

Sidebar to PTP 2012

August 22, 2012

Old Mill RestaurantBonnie and I love the mountains, and especially we have fallen in love with the Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area. We resort to this respite from flat land and stress at least annually for a few days. Highlight for us in addition to the stellar scenery are the special eateries that we really, really like. In 2012, we added to our favorites list the Old Mill Restaurant at 175 Old Mill Avenue in Pigeon Forge. We have eaten there three times this year, and each meal was excellently prepared. The service is superior. The décor is rustic, made so from the reuse of antique barn timbers refinished to build a multi-level dining experience on the banks of the river. The prices are comparable to Cracker Barrel, another favorite of ours – also amply represented in these towns. (We also cherish Texas Roadhouse, at which we dined once during PTP.)

The Old Mill Restaurant complex says of itself:

Welcoming visitors since 1830, The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN is truly The Gem of the Smokies. Now, family owned and operated, The Old Mill and The Old Mill Square complex of restaurants and specialty shops is a favorite Smoky Mountain destination for dining, shopping and learning. Visitors can still watch meal and flour being ground by the water powered granite French Burhr in the mill, or pottery being thrown or candy being made.

There are many delights in the Smokies, and the Old Mill Restaurant and companion shops qualify. Treat yourself to the finery offered there. Go see for yourself at

We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead!

August 22, 2012

Displays at Polishing the PulpitSome days, our workdays are traveling all day to an appointment on Wednesday evening. We did just that on August 15. Just before lunch time, we started driving from Winona, MS to Portland, TN – about six hours of driving plus necessary stops. However, before making this leg of our journey, we had to load the car for a two and a half week tour – including loading the van for 16 feet of displays at the Polishing the Pulpit (PTP) program in Sevierville, TN. In addition, following that lectureship, we are traveling to Pennsylvania and Ohio, before going to Jacksonville, FL in a roundabout way back to Winona. Thus, we had a lot of packing to do.

Buckets of Bible TimeWednesday, we were with the Fountain Head Church of Christ outside of Portland. That night, we lodged once more in the “Corn Crib,” a cottage that has been remodeled from an actual corn crib, on a farm near the Kentucky state line.

Bible MapsThursday morning, we drove toward Sevierville, around four hours away. Friday afternoon, we set up our mission work display and the literature display of hundreds of books. Saturday, we drove to Ooltewah, TN – a little over two hours southwest toward Chattanooga, TN. It was our good pleasure once more to lodge with Winston and Kathy Stringfield. Sunday morning August 19, I presented to the Ooltewah Church of Christ the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class (as I had done Wednesday at Fountain Head). During the worship period, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Sunday afternoon, Bonnie and I returned to PTP for the evening lessons.

Bonnie as Queen EstherMonday through Wednesday, between the two of us, Bonnie and I taught three children’s classes daily. Thursday, we taught two children’s classes. Not able to attend day sessions, each night Bonnie and I attended the night programs. We had much good interaction with brethren interested in our efforts for the cause of Christ. Bonnie and I renewed acquaintances and friendships, sometimes with brethren we had not seen for several years.

In some of the in between moments throughout the week, I was able to finalize some upcoming appointments stateside. After speaking at two congregations Sunday, August 26 in Ohio, the following Sunday, we will be with a church in Florida. In addition, we were able to work out some of the details for our soon trip to Asia for about two months.

I must be tired. Often by end of day and by the time Bonnie and I get in bed for the night, we are exhausted. In addition, even in the early morning often brethren tell me, “You look tired!” Well, if we fail to get all the rest one might think we need in this life, we are planning to rest eternally from this world’s labors once we lay down our bodies in the earthly clay. We’ll sleep when we’re dead!

World Evangelism Team & Friends Annual Meeting

August 11, 2012

Group Picture

Group PictureAugust 9-10, Thursday and Friday, World Evangelism Team members and friends converged on Winona, MS. One couple arrived Wednesday afternoon, but most arrivals began gathering at the World Evangelism Building before 9 a.m. and continued to straggle in throughout the morning. Aside from a scheduled discussion agenda, the chief draw was fellowship among likeminded brethren who have a love for missions, stateside and abroad. We recharge each other spiritually before departing for our various and ongoing labors for the cause of Christ.

Madolyn GibsonEach attendee was afforded an opportunity to update everyone present on what he has been doing and what plans lie ahead in the near future. Of course, we had repeated opportunities to enjoy one another over meals. A shark camouflaged as a watermelon snuck into one of our fellowship meals but fortunately no one was harmed. “Mikey-will-eat-it” Madolyn Gibson helped clean up the leftovers.

Shark AttackThe common methodology shared by most present is the fulfillment of the type of work that the apostle Paul said Apollos was doing in the first century – watering the seed of the kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:6). Though, each of us has abundant opportunity to reach non-Christians with the Gospel of Christ – and we do, many of us major in edifying struggling foreign congregations and equipping them to more efficiently evangelize their own nations. This, too, is necessary for the growth of the Lord’s church – not only internally, but also externally.

Each Christian couple or person is sponsored by a different congregation of the churches of Christ. We voluntarily cooperate with each other as equals in foreign evangelism and other efforts for the cause of Christ. Through our combined labors, we provide a well-rounded and comprehensive approach to world evangelism, which includes radio, TV, Internet, publishing and massive distribution Gospel literature, Bible schools and campaigns. Any of us would happily visit your stateside congregation to acquaint it more fully with our mission works. Email me at