Archive for March 2013

Easter Sunday

March 31, 2013

Old Union Church of ChristEaster Sunday (March 31st), our morning appointment was with the Old Union Church of Christ, deep in the woods of Carroll County, Mississippi and traversed by muddy, gravel roads. Rebecca accompanied us.

For Bible class, I presented a new PowerPoint on the recent three-week mission trip I made to Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Observe the Lord’s Supper Weekly?” It was part of a series (not presented on this occasion) that emphasizes biblical authority and that the church of the Bible belongs to Jesus Christ, which requires it to turn exclusively to the New Testament of Jesus Christ to discern what is authorized in religion.

Following worship, the congregation had a fellowship meal, in which Bonnie, Rebecca and I were happy recipients. There was also an Easter egg hunt for the children, in which I opted not to participate.

Sunday evening, I made the same PowerPoint presentation about the Guyana trip to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Guess what? Several of the members stayed at the building after worship to enjoy pizza together before parting to their various homes.

We have been staying close to home, waiting for news when Bonnie’s surgery will occur. These two appointments afforded us the opportunity to do so.

The Surgeon Says…

March 25, 2013

Not without some confusion between doctors’ offices in passing along test results, Bonnie was able to meet with a surgeon today. We made the hour and a half trip to Jackson, MS for her 9:15 a.m. appointment. The surgeon still lacks the CT scan previously made while under the care of another specialist before he can schedule surgery.

However, unless the CT scan reveals something contrariwise, the surgeon expects to schedule surgery within the next two weeks to remove the obstruction in Bonnie’s bile duct. Though unable to conclude definitively from biopsies, some medical personnel believe there is a high probability that it is cancerous. Yet, unsure whether this is the case, we are reluctant to haphazardly seek chemo and radiation, and doing nothing is not an option either. The surgeon concurs that surgery is a prudent decision.

This type of surgery certainly qualifies as being “major,” but Bonnie is healthy enough and young enough to believe she has a likelihood of responding well. Nevertheless, there is some mortality risk in the surgery itself.

The surgery will involve cutting into the stomach, the small intestine and the pancreas to gain access to the bile duct. We are unsure presently of all the ramifications of that. The surgery will last a minimum of three and a half hours, and Bonnie will be attended by two surgeons as well as other medical persons on the surgical team. Afterward, she will be required to spend seven to ten days in the hospital.

There remains the possibility that Bonnie will not have surgery if the CT scan shows it inadvisable or if upon commencing surgery the growth is found to have affected a nearby artery. In any case, as we move ahead prayerfully, we invite your prayers on her behalf as well. Thank you for your continued interest in Bonnie’s welfare.

Tentative plans for commemorating our 40th wedding anniversary are on hold for now. Our work stateside and abroad may be affected temporarily as well. We trust ourselves to the care of Almighty God, in Whose service we lend ourselves, too.

Went to the “Close” Huntsville

March 24, 2013

Huntsville Church of ChristSunday, March 24th I had no appointment to preach anywhere. So, we headed over to the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I mis-looked at my notes, and we arrive way too early – but always better to be early than to be late. It just so happened that the congregation was having a fellowship meal after morning worship, which, then, was followed by an afternoon worship. We are always warmly received by the good brethren in the “close” to the house Huntsville.

The Rushmore Newsletter

March 22, 2013

Rushmore NewsletterAt last, our most recent newsletter arrived from the printers. Bonnie and I hastened to fold, label and tab it. To our surprise, we were able to process it and get it to the Post Office for shipment today. By the time Bonnie made her way to the counter, we had five minutes before the deadline for shipping it today. We also shipped envelopes of multiple copies mostly to supporting congregations. My recent trip to Guyana was highlighted, accompanied with pictures. Go see PDF version on the Internet at Sign up for either or both Gospel Gazette Online and the Rushmore Newsletter with your smartphone by scanning the QR Code (click on it with your mouse first to get a clearer image) or by sending me an email at Code

Appointment with Surgeon

March 22, 2013

Bonnie RushmoreAfter much frustration trying to contact the doctor in Oxford, MS over two weeks and being lost in the shuffle with the surgeon’s office in Jackson, MS, finally Bonnie has an initial appointment with a surgeon Monday morning, March 25 in Jackson. Former consultation with the doctor in Oxford resulted in inconclusive analysis of biopsies and tissue samples – all coming back normal, but nevertheless the doctor is persuaded that Bonnie has cancer in her bile duct. He gave her three options: (1) Do nothing and check back in a year or two, and if the growth spread, then it was cancer, but then, it would be too late to treat. (2) Begin radiation or chemo in case the growth is cancerous. (3) Have a surgeon remove the portion of the bile duct that is affected by the tubular growth.

None of the options are desirous. However, Bonnie and I firmly believe the correct course for us is to have a surgeon remove the growth and analyze it. We have been told at different times by the same doctor that the growth is not and it is operable. We will now see what a surgeon has to say after reviewing the numerous tests and procedures under which Bonnie has gone since the middle of November 2012.

We are heartened by the widespread interest in Bonnie’s health. Please remember Bonnie in prayer as she meets with the surgeon on Monday, and as well as please continue to remember her in prayer as she proceeds with whatever treatment may be possible. We, but especially Bonnie, have been on an emotional rollercoaster of late.

Weekend to Alabama and Back

March 18, 2013

Winchester Road Church of ChristHaving no morning appointment for Sunday, March 17, Bonnie and I remained at our Winona, MS abode on Saturday. Instead of traveling toward weekend engagements per usual, we enjoyed our daughter’s company Saturday, too, before her return to Collierville, TN home. Therefore, Bonnie and I launched out early Sunday morning more or less toward Huntsville, AL.

For Bible class and worship, we dropped in unannounced to the Vernon, AL Church of Christ. We have passed it many times over the years, and I have had correspondence and phone conversations with brethren there. It was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of these brothers and sisters in person. Brother Eddie Finch taught the auditorium class and preached during the morning worship; later, Bonnie remarked that it had been a while since she had heard so many Scriptures used in a sermon as we travel about. I was especially impressed with the orderliness of class and worship. Both Bonnie and I appreciated immensely the friendliness of numerous members who introduced themselves to us.

After worship, we continued our jaunt toward Huntsville. Along the way, we stopped in the Moulton, AL area for a late lunch at Western Sirloin Steakhouse. Bonnie and I ate there once before as guests of brethren when I had a speaking appointment in a local congregation. As before, the atmosphere, service and food were delightful. Just look for the silo outside the restaurant in a business district, on the right side of the Hwy 157 driving just a little south of AL-24.

Following our late lunch, Bonnie and I continued our journey to the meetinghouse for the Winchester Road Church of Christ in Huntsville. I was to speak at 6 p.m. about our mission work. We arrived early enough to get some ice cream at Jack’s (fast-food restaurant) very close by and work on proofing a new book of ours – until it became to tedious and wearisome. Shortly thereafter, brethren began arriving. We were enthusiastically received, even more so than we have been in previous years. It is a great pleasure for Bonnie and me to make good friends of brethren and share with them the trials and triumphs of taking the Gospel abroad.

Being a long day for us and with many hours ahead before arriving back in Winona, MS, we opted to lodge in a hotel on the way back. We enjoyed a refreshing night’s rest and a leisurely day returning to Winona. Between my recent overseas travels to Guyana, on the heels of our extended stay in Asia at the end of last year, and Bonnie’s illness and treatments, we have been on the go endlessly it seems. We need some slowdown time. The stormy weather was of little hindrance; a good meal with friends at Red Lobster and a ride down the Natchez Trace, we happily wandered homeward.

2013 March Edition Rushmore Newsletter

March 13, 2013

Mabaruma, GuyanaThe March 2013 edition of the Rushmore Newsletter is a little longer than normal again this time because it includes text and pictures of my most recent mission trip to Guyana, South America. In addition, various other articles acquaint readers with Bonnie and my stateside trips. Still other articles speak to the unending need for printing more literature. Not least, Bonnie recounts her illness and plan for recovery.

Bonnie apprises readers of our stateside journeys in “Our Neck of the Woods.” The accomplishments of my recent foray into Guyana exceeded expectations, detailed in “Happy Unintended Consequences.” The article “My Medical Journey” by Bonnie updates her illness, tests, procedures and tentative cure. “2013 Annual Guyana National Seminar” sports an unfolding, daily narration of my adventure throughout the entire country and is accompanied by some beautiful photographs taken along the way. See a group picture of some of the volunteers who helped out recently in Winona. Note in the financial statement the negative period cash flow and the low available balance. Read about “The Ever-Ready Evangelist – Literature” and see what has been done and what plans we have for the future regarding the distribution of literature in several nations. Go directly to the Rushmore Newsletter at:

Your comments are welcome. Contact Bonnie or me for appointments (e.g., Mission Reports, Gospel Meetings, Ladies’ Inspiration Days, etc.). Use us up for the Lord in any way that we can be effective for the cause of Christ.

Still No Answers! On to the Next Medical Evaluation & Possibly Surgery

March 12, 2013

Today, Bonnie was informed that the third set of biopsies on the tubular mass obstructing her bile duct also has come back inconclusive or normal. We are told that there are three options: (1) Do nothing for a year or so and re-evaluate, which if at that time it has spread to other organs, then one can ascertain that the growth is cancerous. We do not see this as a viable option. (2) Treat the unknown growth as though it were cancer with chemo or radiation to see if it shrinks. We do not see this as a viable option. (3) Have surgery to remove the growth, whereupon it can be examined, and if necessary additional, appropriate treatment can occur. This is the only reasonable option to us, though this most certainly involves major surgery.

As soon as possible, medical records including procedures, surgeries and tests will be forwarded to a surgeon in Jackson, MS for review preceding anticipated surgery. Bonnie is young enough and sufficiently healthy yet to make this approach plausible if the surgeon concurs that surgery is a satisfactory approach.

We appreciate the ongoing moral support, encouragement, well-wishing and sometimes financial support that brethren have been extending toward Bonnie in her illness. She grew ill overseas and has been under treatment for one malady or another since our return November 13, 2012. We will keep you posted chiefly through our blog since there are a number of brothers and sisters in Christ who have expressed a keen interest in Bonnie’s well-being.

St. Joseph Avenue Church of Christ

March 10, 2013

St. Joseph Ave. Church of ChristSunday, March 10, 2013, Bonnie and I worshipped with the St. Joseph Ave. Church of Christ in Dyersburg, TN. Many of the predominantly white congregations for which I often preach are integrated with black members, and frequently other races, too. Interestingly, the St. Joseph Ave. congregation is a predominantly black congregation that is increasingly integrated with white members, too. As a matter of fact, there was a baptism Sunday of a white lady there. I am proud of churches of Christ that are less interested in racial and ethnic dissimilarities among church members than they are concerned about the precious souls (Matthew 16:26) within “every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Incidentally, 100% of the congregations for which I preach as well as the non-Christians to whom I introduce the Gospel of Christ on foreign soil are of some race, tribe or ethnicity other than what would characterize me. Recently while in Guyana, South America for three weeks, I do not recall having seen another white person until I returned to the International airport for my departure back to the USA. I didn’t think of myself as a white person but simply as a brother in Christ among 1,160 brethren (who just happened to be of East-Indian, African and Amerindian descent).

Sunday after worship, Bonnie snapped a quick photo of the St. Joseph Ave. Church of Christ. “We be brethren” (Genesis 13:8)!

Mississippi School of Biblical Studies Concludes First Quarter of Instruction

March 7, 2013

Gary HamptonThe first battery of classes by the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies came to a close on Thursday evening, March 7, 9 p.m. CST. However, all of the classes for the two courses taught have been archived, and they are available over the Internet by visiting the webpage of the Siwell Road Church of Christ at Simply follow the link “view live service.” Gary Hampton, evangelist for the congregation, taught about correct biblical interpretation or hermeneutics. I taught about Bible geography, Bible archaeology and sacred history; however, I was personally absent for four of the eight weeks on an overseas mission trip. Brethren Gary Hampton and John Allen taught my materials in my absence. New classes will resume in August with other qualified instructors and teaching additional subjects.