Archive for September 2012

Busy to the Last

September 29, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012, Bonnie and I worshipped in the morning with our sponsoring congregation, the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, MS. That was our last opportunity to do so prior to our fall mission trip to Asia. We finalized some details respecting financial responsibilities for the Rushmore Evangelism Fund in preparation for our two-month absence. That evening, we worshipped with the Creekwood Church of Christ in Mobile, AL, whereupon I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011.

Saturday, September 22, Bonnie and I as well as Betty Choate met Wayne and Janet Barrier for supper in Tupelo, MS. They were accompanied by two couples from the Philippines. Essentially, our Philippine brethren were batons, passed to Betty Choate from the Barriers. After our meal at Cracker Barrel, Bonnie and I returned to Winona in preparation for our Sunday appointment, and Betty took our foreign brethren with her toward Sunday appointments elsewhere.

Sunday, September 23, I taught Bible class and preached for the morning worship at the meetinghouse of the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. We worshipped there that evening, too, when a member of the congregation preached the Sunday night sermon. We usually attend Wednesday night Bible class there, and the congregation also contributes to our foreign mission trips.

 Philippine BrethrenMonday and Tuesday, our Philippine brethren were with the Winona team, minus Jerry and Paula Bates who were abroad. Bonnie prepared a sumptuous meal for all of us on Monday night. Tuesday, Bonnie and I transported our foreign brethren to Tupelo once more to transfer them back to Wayne and Janet. We ate at a Chinese restaurant; eating often figures into fellowship as well as work for Christians.

Wednesday, September 26, Bonnie and I loaded the car with baggage for our overseas excursion, plus clothes for prior to and after our journey overseas. We had our last supper before leaving the country at our favorite restaurant – the Texas Roadhouse in Horn Lake, MS. It is always that much more special when our daughter Rebecca can grace us with her presence, and she did.

 TokyoThursday, September 27, Rebecca dropped us at the Memphis International Airport early on her way to work as a schoolteacher in Horn Lake, MS. From Memphis, we flew to Atlanta. From Atlanta, we flew to Los Angeles. From there, we winged our way across the Pacific Ocean to Tokyo, afterward flying on to Singapore. From Singapore, we flew to Yangon, Myanmar. By the time we were lodged in Yangon across from the airport, we three (Bonnie and me plus Therman Hodge) had been awake and on the move (in the same clothes) for about 65 hours. We arrived in Yangon on Saturday, September 29 – 12 time zones away from home.

No rest for the weary, we had to go downtown Yangon to the travel office to purchase airline tickets for our Tuesday flight to Mandalay in Myanmar. In addition, we received brother Jay Ahti at the Season’s Hotel where we were staying; we transferred funds to him for the publication of my book The Church Divine into the Lisu language. Unable to go this year to Myitkyina, Myanmar due to armed conflict, we will be able to send in December literature in our stead. The Christian Church congregations in that area, with whose church leaders and preachers we worked for a week in 2011, requested my lessons on the identity of the church of the Bible for use in their congregations.

Finally! Rest for the weary, before the vigorous application of ourselves in the name of Jesus Christ for nearly 60 days in Asia.


September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, Bonnie and I fellowshipped with the Charleston, MS Church of Christ for evening Bible Study. I presented my PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011. Individual members of this congregation have for years encouraged us and participated financially with us in our mission work. This occasion was no exception to past experiences.

Saturday, September 8, Bonnie and I motored to Huntsville, AL where we lodged the night with Lindell and Sharon Smith. He is one of the elders of the Farley Church of Christ where I spoke twice on Sunday morning. Brother and sister Smith introduced us to a new restaurant experience at Cheeburger. It was a 50’s setting and good cheeseburgers and onion rings. I wish I had gotten the milkshake pictured. For Sunday class, I made the Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear; this is the most important sermon I have ever preached, and everywhere I present it, brethren remark how timely and necessary it is. The small Farley Church of Christ is not a regular contributor, but some of its members are. Each of the elders participated with us financially and publicly encouraged the congregation to do the same. For lunch, Paul and Gladys Clements took us to yet another restaurant to which we had not been, though it, too, is a chain restaurant – Ruby Tuesdays. The food was good and the fellowship was even better. We had quite a protracted interaction with our server and the manager. I gave each of them our Million Dollar Bill tract with the plan of salvation on the reverse. I gave the young lady serving our table a business card with us in Indian dress on one side and the URL for Gospel Gazette Online on the other side. Paul invited her to worship with the Farley Church of Christ.

On the way back to Winona that afternoon, we stopped in Tupelo, MS for some light shopping and a long overdue carwash. Still, bugs aplenty pepper the front bumper, hood and mirrors. Being in the right place at the right time, we worshipped for the first time with the Gloster Street Church of Christ in Tupelo. The lesson was edifying and the congregation was very friendly. I spoke briefly with one of the elders, James Segars, who is brother to an elder (Doug Segars) of the West President Street Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Bonnie and I left a case of The Voice of Truth International and some Global Harvest magazines with the Gloster Street congregation.

Gospel Gazette OnlineMonday, Bonnie and I finished the production and preparation for mailing of our September Rushmore Newsletter. Tuesday, we were able to mail numerous thank you cards to contributors over the past week. In addition, I was able to complete and publish to the Internet the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Between the time we left the office and resumed office work in the living room, Bonnie and I raced against impending darkness to continue painting the exterior of the Mission House in which we live. Just maybe, we will able to complete that undertaking before we leave the country on the 27th of this month.

Wednesday morning, I was able to craft and send out the email notifications for both the September editions of the Rushmore Newsletter and Gospel Gazette Online. Though we mailed 557 copies of our newsletter, we apprise hundreds more via email where they can obtain a PDF version of the newsletter. The notification of the new edition of Gospel Gazette Online provides a handy Table of Contents whereby readers can go directly to articles of interest. In this issue, 26 writers penned 28 articles, plus there is an audio lesson as well.

Bonnie has been working feverishly on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, which must go to the printers before we head overseas in a couple of weeks. Now, I can devote more of my time to helping her with the layout, etc. Still ahead today is getting the files for the current issue on a DVD for overseas, whereupon brethren abroad will publish copies for distribution in India. Tonight, of course, we will fellowship with a congregation during Bible Study. We are Rushmore-ing!

Kinfolks Holler

September 2, 2012

Years ago, Loretta Lynn sang about “kinfolks holler.” Well, following the Polishing the Pulpit program in Sevierville, TN, Bonnie and pointed the Town & Country toward our own kinfolks holler in western Pennsylvania. Late Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I stopped in to visit my dad in Hadley, PA. Later, we went to my brother Mike’s home outside of Jamestown, PA where my brother Martin and his family convened as well. Saturday, Bonnie and I drove to Cochranton, PA and plopped down at her brother Jim’s home, and her other brother and sister came by for a picnic. The greater occasion for the gathering of these and some of their children was the celebration of the birthday by Jim’s wife Kaye.

Saturday evening, Bonnie and I drove to Hanoverton, OH and lodged with our good friends Bob and Martha Noland. Sunday morning, we drove to Medina, OH where I spoke for the Bible class (Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation) and worship (Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear). After lunch with the Rodney Nulph family at Pizza Hut, Bonnie and I headed back to Hanoverton. We arrived just in time for me to set up our PowerPoint equipment to present Into All the World in 2011 to the congregation there.

Dennison, OH Railroad DepotMonday we accompanied Bob and Martha to their respective doctors’ appointments. Of course, we ate out, too. Tuesday, we visited the railroad museum in Dennison, OH. Since we were relatively close to the largest Amish community in Ohio, we drove to Sugar Creek, OH for lunch at one of the best restaurants anywhere as far as Bonnie and I are concerned – the Dutch Valley Restaurant. Briefly after stuffing ourselves, we visited the knickknack stores and Amish bulk foods grocery before returning to Hanoverton.

Wednesday, August 29, Bonnie and I drove to Sandyville, WV and lodged the night with Sue and John Balis. Sue fixed us a sumptuous country meal of homegrown specialties, including the tender beef steaks. After Wednesday evening Bible class, I presented the PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011 for those brethren who chose to remain for it.

Cass Scenic RailroadThursday morning, Bonnie and I took an excursion to Cass, WV and rode the Cass Scenic Railroad. It is an old logging train, powered by Shay engines, navigating the steep inclines and switchbacks to the top of Bald Mountain 11 miles each way. Bonnie and I have been talking for years about going on this trip, and we finally did so. However, we were ready for it to conclude by the time we got back down the mountain. We miss mountains as we reside in Mississippi, but we certainly got our fix of mountains in West Virginia.

Friday and Saturday, we drove south through West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia while on our way to Jacksonville, FL. Did we ever get our fill of mountains!

We lodged in motels along the way, each one costing too much and having some aggravating defect in the room, too. In Jacksonville, we lodged with Mary Fox – former missionary with her late husband and children to Thailand. We took Mary and her daughter Karen to supper. Sunday, September 2, I presented the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class and preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear for the worship. After a congregational fellowship meal, we pointed the car toward Winona, MS for the first time in several weeks. We had passed by it many times, but Sunday evening we were afforded the opportunity to worship with the Hamilton Crossroads, AL Church of Christ. Afterward, we continued to Troy, AL where we took lodging for the night. Five hours to go, but Monday – Labor Day – we should arrive back in Winona.

We have so many things to which we need to attend before our departure later this month for two months abroad in Myanmar (Burma) and India. The to do list includes on it: get the next issue of The Voice of Truth International to the printer, publish the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online, finish painting the exterior of the Mission House in which we reside, wash weeks of dirty clothes, mow the grass, print stationery for Betty Choate, publish and mail the Rushmore Newsletter, help Betty Choate produce and mail her newsletter, package and ship books, prepare our overseas lessons, etc., etc., etc. Time is running out! We will still be working on our lessons inflight to Asia!