Sunday, September 22, Bonnie and I, not having any appointment scheduled, happily worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ. Brother Mike Schmitz, Gospel preacher for that congregation, said had he known I was coming he would have had me speak. As much as I appreciate the esteem in which he and the brethren there hold Bonnie and me, I am pleased to enjoy the respite occasionally afforded sitting at the feet of other preaching brethren. Brother Schmitz has a no nonsense, practical approach to preaching and teaching that I appreciate. He is one of the better Bible class teachers and preachers that we have encountered these recent years.
Monday, Bonnie and I spent the morning working from home on our computers in the love seat. (That is my most pleasant office environment – feet up on overstuffed furniture, with no interruptions and literally beside my best friend.) The electric at the World Evangelism Building was off for some unknown reason, and therefore, we resorted back to the house while waiting for the electric company to resolve the problem. After lunch, we resumed working on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International (Volume 78) at the WE Building.
Tuesday morning, we continued to work at the office on The Voice of Truth International and preparation of my lessons for my upcoming mission trip to Myanmar (Burma). We also had two visitors for a couple of hours or so spanning lunch. They drove down from Memphis, TN, but the one gentleman is a preacher from Liberia, Africa. He gathered several books, which we were happy to give him, to take back with him for his ministry in Liberia.
That afternoon, Bonnie and I drove to Horn Lake, MS where we met Rebecca for supper, following her day of teaching school and an after work meeting. Of course, we opted for our favorite steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, and selected “road kill”; yes, that’s what it says on the menu for that glorified chopped steak. Supper over, Bonnie and Rebecca lingered in the area doing some minor shopping, and I headed for Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Bonnie taught a ladies’ class in a home in Olive Branch, MS.
Wednesday, we returned to Winona. We had a conference call between Winona coworkers and an executive for a major printer and shipper on the east coast. I also found myself troubleshooting Betty Choate’s printer in her office in her home. Yep, it’s broken; my job is done! Well, not exactly; we ordered a part and if it comes in before my departure next week for overseas, I will remove the back panel of the printer and the defective part to install the refurbished replacement part. No, I have never done this particular procedure before, but it seems straightforward and the alternative is replacing the printer at a cost of hundreds of dollars (or having it professionally repaired for hundreds of dollars). We at World Evangelism attempt to be frugal, and it appears that we can stave off a significant expenditure for a while. Wednesday, Bonnie and I also turned over volume 78 digital files for The Voice of Truth International to Betty Choate for her to proof.
Thursday, I continued to work on my lessons for overseas; time is running out. Bonnie worked on various office routines. Along the way daily, we packed and shipped stateside book orders.
Friday, we headed early to Jackson, MS. Bonnie and I both had broken a tooth within the last week or so; Bonnie’s tooth continued to break over a couple of days. Our first stop was at the dental office of Andrew Dulaney, one of the elders of our sponsoring congregation, the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ. He briefly ground a rough spot on Bonnie’s broken molar, and he confirmed that my broken tooth did not need any immediate attention. Our whole experience at the dental office – and squeezed in no less – took no more than ten minutes!
We, then, went to Wal-Mart to pick up some food and containers in which to pack the food inside my suitcases for my trip to Myanmar. I was looking for some more – maybe even on closeout sale – short sleeve pullover shirts that wick away perspiration, but, of course, all they had left were sizes that don’t fit me.
Trying to gauge our time well, we opted to eat lunch at Subway in the back of the Wal-Mart store; Bonnie must eat before chemotherapy or she becomes ill. Before leaving what my daughter more or less affectionately calls “Wally World,” we got gasoline at the onsite Murphy USA; we receive a discount on already competitive prices because we use a Wal-Mart sponsored Discover Card.
We had just about enough time left to get to the Baptist Health Systems Cancer Center in Jackson, MS for Bonnie’s 12 noon appointment. Because the Jackson Oncology Center was fully booked, we had to go one floor up to the Baptist hospital’s Infusion Center; it is cramped and takes longer than the other site because it does not have its own laboratory to analyze patients’ blood before treatment, and blood samples obtained there must compete with blood work for the hospital patients for analysis.
Per usual, we did some shopping on our way back north to Winona: Wal-Mart again (because not all Wal-Marts are created – or stocked equally) and Best Buy, both in Madison, MS. As one would imagine, traveling to Jackson, MS and back to Winona, MS consumes the better part of a day.
Saturday, we went to the local Wal-Mart pharmacy to get some medications for me in view of my three week trip abroad. I picked up one shirt for my trip, though it wasn’t exactly what I had wanted; again, the ones like I wanted that were left were the wrong sizes. Back at the house, I worked outside throughout the day – cleaning out gutters and raking the voluminous pine straw, in both cases, courtesy of the several pine trees surrounding our residence. Fortunately, I have a lawn tractor and a lawn sweeper to shorten the chore, but I had to preface that with going around the yard filling a wheelbarrow with pine tree debris. It occurs to me that my body has aged some over the past six decades, and anything I can still do is not without its share of pains. Apparently, there are some things I can no longer do or shortly will not be able to do for myself, but as long as I can, I will do what I can for myself.
A sad note: Frank Higginbotham, Gospel preacher for 60 years, died Thursday. For the last 50 years, he worked with the brethren of the Virginia Ave. Church of Christ in Chester, WV. He was a friend, and beyond that, someone for whom my respect and admiration for his work’s sake had no bounds. Surely, this godly brother in Christ has finished his earthly pilgrimage to find comfort in the bosom of Abraham.