First Sunday in May

10th Ave. Church of ChristSunday, May 2, Bonnie stayed home to rest with our daughter Rebecca to accompany her. I, though, traveled about 80 miles east of Winona to Columbus, MS and spent the entire day with the 10th Ave. Church of Christ. This vibrant congregation of about 125 has within it all age groups represented. It was my good pleasure to speak at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.; I presented my PowerPoint on 2012-2013 mission trips, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?”, “Male Leadership in the Church” and “Why Do the Churches of Christ Rely on Freewill Offerings to Fund Themselves?”

It is always a great pleasure of mine to commune with these saints. Nowhere else on the planet to which I go do I receive as many “Amens,” handshakes and hugs in one place as here. We are family – the family of God!

Between morning and afternoon times, brother Robert and sister Emma Johnson, preacher and preacher’s wife, hosted me at Ryan’s for lunch. With us was a fine couple from the Baptist Church that had been visiting for Sunday morning worship. After lunch, I rested in the home of brother and sister Johnson before returning for an evening men’s class and worship.

The congregation prayed and prayed again for Bonnie. Several members asked me to convey their well wishes to my dear, sweet wife.

Three days earlier on Thursday, I had a doctor’s appointment in Grenada, MS. I left with a new prescription, which after only two days of use has already proved to be more effective than a previous medicine. In the weeks ahead, I will be scheduled for some tests in Oxford, MS, but it’s too early to borrow trouble or concern over what might be.

Looking ahead this week, Monday we need to make final preparation of Bonnie’s part in making ready for the Maywood May Missionary Retreat in Hamilton, AL; Bonnie will have a sitting down role in this year’s details toward that program. She must also print the “Thank You” cards on Monday for financial support received last week. I am still working on the May issue of Gospel Gazette Online, and I participate in the “Thank You” cards by printing the envelopes, stuffing, sealing and stamping them.

Tuesday, Bonnie has two appointments in Jackson, MS with an oncologist in the morning and the surgeon in the afternoon. Perhaps the last two tubes protruding from her side will be removed, as well as the last staples plucked out, too. She will learn about her schedule for chemotherapy. Tuesday’s travels nearly two hours each way and the hours spent there will completely exhaust her, I’m sure.

Wednesday and Thursday, we will be at the missionary retreat in Hamilton, AL; we will return home Thursday evening so we can greet our son Raymond who is coming Friday morning. He is flying from Columbus, OH to Memphis, TN, whereupon Rebecca will retrieve him and bring him down to Winona. It has been a couple of years since we have seen him, and he has a narrow window of opportunity to visit. He must return to the airport Sunday afternoon.

Doubtless, this will be a tiring week for Bonnie and probably for me, too. Life goes on until, simply put, it does not, and we intend to use ourselves up in the service of the Lord. Whenever someone tells me I look tired, I remark that I plan on resting in heaven. “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4 NKJV). “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

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