Archive for December 2013

Barreling Up and Down the Natchez Trace

December 29, 2013

Train Museum

The alarm on my Blackberry phone sounded at 6 a.m., and we were out the door, in the car and headed for Sunday worship in Glen, MS by 6:35. Bonnie, our daughter Rebecca and I were on our way to the
Strickland Church of Christ, two and a half hours away. It was our pleasure to be with these brethren on December 29 for Bible class, morning worship, fellowship meal and afternoon worship. I was privileged to speak three times: PowerPoint presentation on “2013 Mission Trips,” “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” and “The Purpose of Preaching.”

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail2

The saints at Strickland were a great encouragement to Bonnie and me. Throughout the year, the ladies have been sending cards of encouragement to Bonnie as she was recovering from cancer treatments. The Strickland Church of Christ is the sponsoring congregation for our coworkers Jerry and Paula Bates.

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail3

Before leaving the nearby Corinth, MS area, we made a brief stop at the old railroad station, now a museum. We visited one of the famous rail “crossroads” in America, at least two of which are in Mississippi (i.e., a second is found in Moorehead, MS). The museum was open, but Louis “Scrooge” Rushmore valued the admission fee more than looking at one more gallery.

On the way back to Winona, we paused in Tupelo, MS for buying sewing needles and miscellaneous, fed the car (i.e., with gas, of course) and supper at Olive Garden. Then, we barreled down the Natchez Trace Parkway at the top legal speed of 50 MPH! (Bonnie and I have spent many hours over recent years traversing the Natchez Trace through Mississippi and Alabama.) We left that morning in the dark, and we pulled back into the driveway after dark. In for the night, awaiting the daylight, tomorrow we will apply ourselves to the duties of the day, endeavoring to serve the Lord.

My Christmas Baby!

December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas TreeChristmas Day was a quiet one of togetherness and a meal together, enjoyed by Rebecca, Bonnie and me at our residence in Winona, MS. It also happened to be Bonnie’s birthday. I have joked for years that I buy her a pair of shoes annually on her Christmas birthday—one shoe for her birthday and one shoe for Christmas. She has never found that too amusing. Actually, for the most part, we do not buy birthday and Christmas gifts for each other anymore. The best gifts we have from the other are friendship and love. (Bonnie did, though, buy me a used book not available any longer new.) That evening, we worshipped with brethren at the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS.

Thursday morning, we three headed for Jackson, MS for yet one more test through which it was necessary for Bonnie to go in her medical recovery. Predictable and overall good news, the result of a scope into Bonnie’s stomach showed her without cancer there, too; no ulcer; and confirmed the efficiency of her surgery for pancreatic cancer. Under a little cloud of anesthesia, Rebecca and I with a sleepy Bonnie made our way back to Winona. A new prescription and some new direction for selective eating may help combat digestive problems.

Friday morning, Bonnie and I proceeded to our annual physical exams, once postponed to make way for an appointment for Bonnie with her oncologist. Blood drawn for analysis, we got flu shots, tests for TB and prescriptions for Malaria prevention prior to our upcoming mission trip to Guyana, South America. Doctoring advice and other prescriptions renewed also, we returned to the office. Bonnie worked on layout of the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, while I worked on various other matters. Together, Bonnie and I brought our next newsletter near to completion. All the while, Rebecca dutifully typed articles for Gospel Gazette Online from morning until end of day. Each night when we go to the house, we dabble a little more in our mobile office, in my case, either working on the Book of Job class I am teaching Wednesday evenings at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS, or finalizing pages for the next issue of The Voice of Truth International.

My Christmas Baby (Bonnie) and I along with our daughter Rebecca are together for the holidays. Our sons Raymond and Robert, who were unable to be with us, each sent their respective cards and made their phone calls. Bonnie and I with Rebecca, too, are putting in working holidays in Winona, MS.

Sunday in Mississippi

December 22, 2013

Sunday morning, December 22, Bonnie and I, with our daughter Rebecca along for the ride, left the house in Winona, MS at 7 a.m. We were bound for the Clinton, MS Church of Christ, where we would worship with the saints there. During 9 a.m. Bible class, I presented my PowerPoint “2013 Mission Trips.” There was good interaction with the class as well following worship. Later, I preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” It, too, was well received. I had one of my tracts on that very subject available in the foyer.

Afterward, the preacher John Allan and his wife Erin and their 3-year-old boy Seth treated the three of us to lunch at McAlister’s. Seth is so smart and the most well-manner little one I have ever observed. I enjoyed him as much as we enjoyed the Christian fellowship with his mother and father.

Next, we three ventured into the foray of holiday shoppers at the new outlets mall in Pearl, MS. Rebecca was on a quest to find a pair of shoes. Bonnie and I had visited the shopping center for the first time about a week earlier and noticed several shoe stores. Our daughter views shopping as a miserable experience and from her teenage years she wearied all who accompanied her on her shopping adventures. This time, though, was different! We went into one store, she found shoes that fit and that she liked, and she bought two pair of shoes! Neither the abundance of shoppers or disappointment over the shopping experience dampened the outing.

After refueling the car for our trip home later that night, Bonnie spied a Dollar Tree store. We visited it, and she bought some empty tins in which she planned to package some homemade cookies to give a way. In addition to the mob of dollar shoppers, complications at checkout with inept employees prolonged our visit. It would be amusing if it were not pathetic that counter employees sometimes these days can’t count to “8” or refrain from asking for payment when instead they are supposed to be giving back the change for what was already handed them for payment. However, it does remind me of those occasions when I walk into a room and simply cannot remember why.

Sunday evening, it was our good pleasure to worship with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS. I again made my PowerPoint presentation about my “2013 Mission Trips.” This congregation is our sponsoring church. The elders and preacher, especially as well as many members, are supportive and encouraging.

After worship, W.E. and Judy Walker, plus two of their granddaughters, treated us to supper at Burger King. We delayed our inevitable return to Winona for some time while once more we enjoyed good fellowship with the Walkers and two other couples from church with whom we dined. Our next stop was Wal-Mart in Madison, MS along our homeward route up I-55. We often buy groceries or other commodities on our way back to Winona. Bonnie also picked up some more containers for homemade, kitchen-made holiday gifts (e.g., cookies, candy and caramel popcorn).

Bonnie and Rebecca had the options of sleeping or reading from their electronic Nook readers as I drove in the early morning or on the return trip through the darkness to home. On the other hand, I am the designated driver. Last night, I was growing very tired and my driving skills were depreciating before we finally pulled into the driveway. I was exhausted by the time we arrived home around 10:30 p.m. We three stayed up a little longer after putting groceries away. Though the alarm sounded and was silenced at 6:30 a.m., I was too tired to rise and shine just yet. I’m not stopped, but I am slowing down just a little. The real rest on which I am counting is out of this world.

The Past Few Days

December 19, 2013

Sunday morning, December 15, we worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the morning. We drove a big circle (or maybe a triangle), shopping for some clothes in Greenwood, MS (after we lunched) before driving to Grenada, MS (only to find the store closed). We completed the circuit by driving back to Winona, MS.

Sunday evening, I spoke for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I made a PowerPoint presentation about my 2013 Mission Trips to Myanmar and Guyana. As always, we were received like family. After all, we are the family of God—brothers and sisters in Christ.

Monday through Wednesday morning we attended sundry routine duties at the office. We had a Winona World Evangelism Team meeting to work out how to proceed with production and distribution of The Voice of Truth International worldwide. Shipping has become a daunting task with astronomical increases in shipping.

In the middle of Wednesday afternoon, Bonnie and I made our way down to Jackson, MS so I could teach the auditorium, adult Bible class for the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ; I’m teaching the Book of Job. On the way, we ate supper and after which found ourselves trapped in a colossal traffic jam several miles long approaching the malfunction junction of I-55 and I-20. We arrived back home after Bible class at about 11 p.m.

Thursday, we worked at the World Evangelism Building in both the office and warehouse. It was kind of a frustrating day, and we closed with frustration—trying to get the printing equipment to work satisfactorily. I was able to print some order forms, but I gave up trying to print envelopes. I was hoping that the miles driven hauling hundreds of pounds of equipment to a repair site and paying money would have resolved the problems the equipment was experiencing. Unfortunately, both presses are not operating correctly to some degree; one is not operational at all. Ironically, the problem I am having with that machine was characteristic of its twin when I took them in for repair, but not this one. Now the twin works, but the other one has taken on the other’s symptom—almost like it is a contagious disease that they are sharing! Repairman assured me both machines were working; sadly, that is not the case.

This evening, I updated the links for Gospel Gazette Online. A couple of days prior, I finally caught up in posting months of lauds respecting GGO and our overall labors for the Lord. There is always something that I should have done and didn’t get around to doing it yet; the list is gargantuan. There will always be another day—unless there isn’t, and then it won’t matter anyway.

Most Recent Medical Visit: Bonnie Rushmore

December 14, 2013

Bonnie has been experiencing digestive problems since the conclusion of chemotherapy a little over a month ago that made it necessary to revisit her oncologist. She has been sicker following chemo than she was most of the time during her six months of chemotherapy.

Yesterday (Friday, December 13), we traveled to Jackson, MS for a 9 a.m. appointment for Bonnie to undergo a CAT scan. Afterward in Jackson Oncology Associates offices, Bonnie had blood drawn for analysis, and eventually, we were able to see Dr. Young. She informed us that Bonnie’s CAT scan shows that she is still cancer free. Further, Bonnie’s blood counts are all where they are supposed to be. The supposition is that either chemotherapy and lots of antibiotics have killed the good bacteria used for digestive purposes or Bonnie has a stomach ulcer, or both. For the next two weeks, Bonnie will be taking two prescriptions and an over the counter medicine to stabilize her digestive tract and restore good bacteria. In addition, Bonnie is scheduled for a scope to examine the stomach, if it is needed following medicines to restore the digestive process.

All in all, it is good news! It will be better news, of course, when Bonnie is able to eat without pain and other inconveniences. Thank you for your continued interest and prayers.

Fifteen Years Completed!

December 14, 2013

With the publication on the Internet of the December edition of Gospel Gazette Online, we have completed 15 years of publishing. Currently, each issue of GGO provides usually two articles on most of the 16 pages. In addition, typically, each month three to six religious questions are answered with biblical answers. Besides the monthly magazine publication, thousands of articles published over the last decade and a half populate the “Archive”; readers can access them variously, including with an onsite search engine.

We are thankful for the Christian men and women whose articles have graced GGO all these years. Readers from around the world continue to access the contribution of their biblical studies without any cost or obligation to them. In fact, we have received feedback from readers from every continent—including Antarctica!

Our reward is twofold. First, we at Gospel Gazette Online take this ministry very seriously and are humbled that we have been permitted to come into the lives of so many thousands of people with messages from the Holy, Inspired Word of God. Any blessings realized by readers is its own reward to us. Secondly, friends of GGO from across the globe cease not to encourage and embolden us to continue to make this monthly journal available freely to a world audience.

Readers who are homebound or in areas of the world openly hostile to Christianity use Gospel Gazette Online for spiritual edification, especially for Sunday worship. Articles from GGO regularly appear in weekly church bulletins, become the basis of Bible class instruction and adjuncts to personal Bible studies.

Through these past 15 years, we have endeavored to acquaint readers more fully with the church about which one reads on the pages of the New Testament. We have taught about the one true church of the Bible, the one for which Jesus Christ died to establish, over which He is the Head and for which He will return someday to take back with Him to heaven. Hence, all of the writers (nearly 260 of them!) are members of the “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16; cf. “church of God” 1 Corinthians 1:2). The Editors of Gospel Gazette Online invite you to visit a congregation of the churches of Christ in your community.

The content for the December 2013 issue of Gospel Gazette Online offers a wide range of biblical material sure to be of interest to students of the Bible.

Page 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Pornography Louis Rushmore, Editorial
Page 3: 
More Than a Baby Rodney Nulph, Editorial
Page 3: 
Jesus, Worthy of Our Devotion! Rodney Nulph, Editorial
Page 4:
Are You Sure Jesus Rose from the Dead? Thomas Baxley
Page 4: 
Respect for God’s Word Paul Clements
Page 5: 
Staying Busy Gary C. Hampton
Page 5: 
A Daily Spiritual Life Therman Hodge
Page 6: 
Bored or Edified? Robert Johnson
Page 6: 
Where Are You? Mark N. Posey
Page 7: 
Living in the Exclamation Points! Marilyn LaStrape
Page 8: 
He Is in Heaven Raymond Elliott
Page 8: 
Think of the Good D. Gene West
Page 9: 
How to Pray T. Pierce Brown
Page 9: 
Lydia: Energetic Servant of God Tim Childs
Page 10: 
The Truth about Water Baptism Michael Hooper
Page 11: 
God’s People Have a Place Mark McWhorter
Page 11: 
First Things First Donald R. Fox
Page 12: 
The Grace of God Provides Abundant Life Clarence L. Lavender
Page 13: 
Alleged Bible Discrepancies George Jensen
Page 13: 
Have You Been Transfigured? Adam B. Cozort
Page 14: 
Attitudes Bonnie Rushmore
Page 15: Q&A:
 Authority for Meeting on Wednesday Night Louis Rushmore
Page 15: Q&A: 
Spending the Church Contribution Louis Rushmore
Page 15: Q&A: 
Did Satan Take the Form of a Serpent? Louis Rushmore
Page 16: Q&A:
 What Kinds of Sacrifices Please God? Louis Rushmore
Page 16: Q&A: 
Taking Communion Alone Louis Rushmore
Page 16: Q&A: 
Modern Prophets Louis Rushmore

Monday Afternoon through Thursday

December 12, 2013

Monday, December 9 after dropping sister Marilyn LaStrape off at the Memphis International Airport, Bonnie and I angled down for two and a half hours to Columbus, MS. There, we picked up our two ailing, aged digital duplicators. We had a hard time finding anyone to work on them, but we did find two kindly technicians who took pity on us, though their office neither sells nor services that type of equipment. It was a long day by the time we got back to the office and unloaded (with Jerry Bates’ help) those machines; they weigh about 200 pounds each, and they are bulky—making them difficult to handle.

Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I feverishly tried to finish preparation (amidst intervening activities demanding attention) for my Wednesday evening class. I am teaching for the next several months (except while Bonnie and I are in Guyana, South America for the month of February) one of the adult classes of the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS. I am teaching the Book of Job, to be followed with teaching Song of Solomon. The classes and notes are available on the website for the congregation at

Wednesday afternoon, we traveled to the meetinghouse of the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, about two hours south of Winona, MS. Brother Gary Hampton, teaching a different class elsewhere in the building, asked me following each of the first two classes, “How did it go?” Both times, I responded that no one had thrown any fruits or vegetables and everyone took their stones home with them, too. Bonnie and I arrived back in Winona around 11 p.m., in part because we stopped for a quick supper at Arby’s on the way home.

Thursday, I worked diligently on completing the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online. It was not until a little before midnight that finally I was able to publish it to the Internet. The trouble with a monthly magazine is that it comes monthly! Bonnie is already working faithfully on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, and I need to turn my attention to it, too. In addition, we are attempting to finalize the program for the 2014 India Missions Conference; anytime dozens of people are involved in an event, much time is consumed in collaboration before something can be brought to fruition.

No Fly Zone!

December 9, 2013

Louis & Bonnie Rushmore, Marilyn LaStrapeBonnie and I were blessed on Tuesday, December 3rd when we pulled up to the curb for arriving airline passengers in Memphis, TN. Sister Marilyn LaStrape has been writing monthly for Gospel Gazette Online for 10 years, but we had never met her in person before. She came for a short visit that turned out to be a few more days than she had planned. The car ride back to Winona, MS was longer for her than the ride from Dallas, TX to Memphis on a jet airplane! She resides in Hewitt, TX—joined hard to Waco, TX.

Coming to visit the Rushmores in Winona, MS is a mixed bag of good eating, fellowship and hospitality with the five World Evangelism team members in Winona, and a little work, too. While she was with us, we put sister LaStrape to work preparing two small mailings (i.e., packaging, sealing and rubber stamping), counting out tract bundles for future order fulfillments, as well as trying her hand at proofing and layout of both Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International.

Eating seems to be a significant binder for Christian fellowship and work. While either traveling or working together, we ate at Cracker Barrel, a local Chinese restaurant (i.e., bigger and better in Texas, of course!), a local Mexican restaurant (i.e., bigger and better in Texas, of course!), Olive Garden, the home of Paula and Jerry Bates and our home. We got out the ‘good China and tableware!

Wednesday evening was my first class to teach of several months of teaching at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson (i.e., on the Book of Job, followed by the Song of Solomon). We three made the journey, two hours south of Winona and back after class. On Sunday, we were happy to introduce sister Marilyn to brethren and friends of two other congregations not far from where we live (i.e., the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County and the Elliott Church of Christ in Grenada County). She was supposed to return to Texas Friday morning, but inclement weather stretching from Dallas, TX through Memphis, TN to the Upper Ohio Valley created a no fly zone. Day after day, we tried to reschedule flights for her, but American Airlines had nothing in the air between Memphis and Dallas until we put her on the plane on Monday morning.

Sister Marilyn LaStrape is a special lady, and we were blessed to have some time with her in our home. We sent her back to Texas with a modest collection of books from our warehouse for her and her grown children. Sister LaStrape has been an elder’s wife for 21 years (i.e., in California and Texas). She regularly teaches ladies’ class, writes for three Christian magazines, travels to teach in ladies’ retreats (e.g., inspiration days, lectureships, etc.) and her volunteer work (i.e., twice weekly) has her teaching desperate young mothers about parenting. Sister Marilyn is a faithful Christian and hardworking servant of the Lord.

Her adult sons are faithful and fruitful workers for Jesus Christ, too. She is blessed with loving daughter-in-laws (daughters-in-love she refers to them) and precious grandchildren. Though recently widowed and grieving, sister LaStrape continues to be the inspiration for her family and Christian family and applies herself tirelessly in the service of our Lord. Yes, Bonnie and I were blessed by her visit.

Double Work Day

December 5, 2013

  Today (December 5) was a double workday! Before Bonnie and I (with sister Marilyn LaStrape in tow) made it the short the distance from our home to the world Evangelism Building, brethren Therman Hodge and Alan Barham from the Union, MS Church of Christ had arrived. We were only a minute away.

Alan Barham Building BookcasesThroughout the day, Therman and Alan built two 7-foot wide floor-to-ceiling bookcases and rebuilt one pallet to accommodate floor space between two bookcases. Actually, the shelving is not for books, but for bulk storage of tracts. Now, the approximately 100 boxes of tracts on pallets have been moved to the bookcases. This makes good use of space along the wall and frees up pallets for receiving future shipments of The Voice of Truth International and other literature.

Therman Hodge Rebuilding a PalletBonnie, Marilyn and I counted tracts into bundles of 25 and placed rubber bands on them. We probably did this with about 50 different titles. This will enable the five of us who typically work out of the World Evangelism Building to more quickly fill requests for them from day to day.

Both of these tasks ate up most of the day and involved quite a bit of physical activity. All of us were tired. Of course, we punctuated the day with lunch that Bonnie prepared (Sloppy Joes, etc.).

In addition, we went to the Post Office twice, fielded phone calls and I took three neighbors who lack transportation to destinations in Winona.

Marilyn LaStrape Counting TractsAt the end of day and into the evening, Marilyn, Bonnie and I concerned ourselves with how and when sister LaStrape was going to be able to fly home. The ice storm hitting a wide swath across several states already resulted in the closure of her layover airport of Dallas, TX and is expected to affect her departure airport of Memphis, TN as well. Scheduled to fly out of Memphis in the morning, we will have to turn in the morning to the weather news and to the airline to see if and when her flight will proceed—preferably before we make the nearly 2-hour jaunt from Winona, MS to Memphis, TN.

Our volunteers keep on coming, knowing that we will put them to work. They are a great help and encouragement to us, plus they do for us what we cannot easily accomplish by ourselves and maintain our level of commitment to other aspects of the overall work. Marilyn, Therman and Alan are among that number.

Busy Day in Mississippi

December 4, 2013

Our first destination of the morning was to make a deposit at a local branch bank for the Rushmore Evangelism Fund. After picking up the office mail from the Post Office, sister Marilyn LaStrape, Bonnie and I went to the office/warehouse. Sister LaStrape and I worked for a little while proofing, formatting and publishing to the Internet a couple of articles for the upcoming December issue of Gospel Gazette Online. She wanted to see how it is put together; sister Marilyn has written for GGO for ten years now!

While we were doing that, Bonnie made “Thank You” cards for the donors whose gifts arrived at our sponsoring congregation over the previous week. She also prepared a card for the congregation with which we worshipped in Arkansas last Sunday, and who contributed toward our missionary labors. Later in the day, I finished preparing those “Thank You” cards.

Next, Bonnie and Marilyn went to the warehouse to prepare a mail out of single copies of The Voice of Truth International. They prepared over 200 and bagged them so they could be taken to the Post Office later. During the same time, I remained in the office to prepare handouts for a Bible class I was to teach Wednesday evening for the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS (two hours south of Winona). In addition, I caught up on some chronicling in office records of address changes and visits made to congregations.

I intercepted an incoming phone call when Bonnie was not around to answer it, and received a change of address for a The Voice of Truth International subscription. Finally, we took the mail bags and a box to the Post Office for mailing.

About 3:30 p.m., we got in our car and headed for Jackson, MS. An hour later, we stopped at the Olive Garden restaurant for supper. Afterward, we proceeded to the meetinghouse of the Siwell Rd. congregation where I was to begin several weeks of teaching the Book of Job and the Song of Solomon on Wednesday nights. Apparently, everything went alright since no one threw anything at me, and no one got up and left. A few expressed their appreciation of the class. The class was videotaped and a digital computer file in PDF format is available, too. Both can be obtained by going to the website for the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ at

Following Bible class, we three returned to Winona, MS, and we arrived back at 10 p.m. We need to rest overnight in readiness for the next day’s activities, whereupon besides sundry things to do, three guests are coming to build more bookshelves in the warehouse to hold bulk boxes of tracts now sitting on pallets on the floor.

During the course of the day, I also made an appointment with a congregation in western Tennessee for January 5, 2014. That night, I made another appointment with our sponsoring congregation for December 22. Presently, we are making appointments in December, January and March to be with congregations for mission reports and biblical lessons. All of February, Bonnie and I will be in Guyana, South America (God willing and if Christians and churches of Christ make it financially possible.)

(The Bates are out of town and will be for several days. They left this morning for Texas, pulling a trailer and driving a Jeep, both full of literature bound for overseas countries.) On another side note, we received a check this past week for $1,000 to help with disaster relief in the Philippines; we will pass it along, and it will be applied by Christian brethren in the Philippines. When money arrives in the hands of any of us at World Evangelism marked for something in particular such as disaster relief, 100% of those funds pass through directly to the intended recipients for the designated purposes.