Driving, Driving & More Driving

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Sunday morning, June 21 commenced with Rebecca and me exiting Winona, MS just before 7:30 a.m. We headed out of town in a southeasterly direction, completely trusting ourselves to the guidance of the car’s GPS system. Two hours later, after having traveled what was a new route for me, we arrived at the meetinghouse of the Union, MS Church of Christ moments prior to the start of Bible class.

During that study period, it was my good pleasure to speak regarding “Redemption, Forgiveness, Justification and Sanctification.” My material was a small section of my new book soon to be published, which is entitled Christianity: An Explanation. Next during the worship period, I made my PowerPoint presentation about “The Church in Prophecy.”

Admittedly, I spoke with some haste both in the Bible class and during my sermon, and we covered a lot of ground. Some verbiage from the old Smokey and the Bandit movie of decades ago resonates with me when I try to cram a lot into a little time slot: “…a long way to go and only a little time to get there.”

The occasion for an invitation to speak for the Union Church of Christ (not to be confused with the Old Union Church of Christ elsewhere in Mississippi) this Sunday was the fellowship meal following worship. Christians the world over know how to enjoy one another’s company over delicious home cooked vittles.

This pleasant congregation sent me on my way that afternoon with hearty financial support to help me facilitate the mission work to which I devote myself. Though the Union church does not support me monthly in my labors, the periodic funds that it sends my way equals and in some cases exceeds that of monthly supporters. I am truly thankful for every encouragement and participation in my labors for the Lord.

Next, Rebecca and I drove back to my Winona home. While there briefly, we used it as a way station. I took opportunity to unload and load the dishwasher, which I hadn’t taken time to attend earlier in the day.

Leaving Winona for the second time the same day, we pointed the Lord’s car toward Courtland, MS, the site of my early evening appointment. We arrived too early, but I would much rather be early than the least bit late – which sometimes has occurred when going to other destinations.

There during evening worship, I made my PowerPoint presentation “Overview and Update” regarding my stateside and overseas activities in the service of our Lord. The Courtland Church of Christ, also not a monthly supporter, nevertheless, sent me on my way with substantial financial gifts – a large sum as a memorial for my late wife Bonnie, a lesser amount for speaking and a significant gift from one of the families. A significant portion of my fundraising comes from congregations that I visit and for which I speak. With Bonnie’s illness leading up to her passing, I am about 60 appointments behind, and accordingly impoverished respecting those kind of monetary gifts.

Mounting our motorized steed once more, Rebecca and I continued north to her domicile in Collierville, TN – a suburb of metropolitan Memphis. I often use her home as a bed and breakfast to interrupt my travels northwardly or westward across the Mississippi River or when traveling in a northeastwardly direction. The reason for this particular stopover was to position us for Monday’s travel to Nashville, TN with hundreds of pounds of Bibles, books and tracts, which I am shipping to Guyana, South America.

Monday morning we said goodbye to Rebecca’s home and began another long day of driving, driving and more driving. First, we took another package of leftover medical accessories from Bonnie’s illness to the church building of the Collierville Church of Christ with whom Rebecca ordinarily worships. Distribution will be made as in the past at other times to Christians who can benefit from such.

Next, we swung by the nearby home of the congregation’s preacher and his wife, Torrey and Alexander Clark. With them in tow, we pointed my Gospel chariot toward Nashville for the purpose of delivering our precious cargo to Caribbean Shipping Service. The Collierville congregation enabled me to purchase $1,200 worth of Bibles, and I tasked brother Clark to be the representative of the church to see them shipped. We had on board 160 Gift and Award Bibles for members of the churches of Christ in Guyana who lack Bibles, plus 30 Reference Bibles for about a third of the Gospel preachers in that country who do not possess as useful of a copy of the Bible from which they can prepare and present sermons and Bible studies. Coupled with those items were 30 Hailey’s Bible Handbook, about 12 dozens copies of various issues of The Voice of Truth International, miscellaneous editions of Freed Hardeman lectureship books and 1,900 tracts. In addition, some small New Testaments and Bible bookmarks completed our shipment inventory. Later, I will return to the shipping company with nearly 2,000 copies of The Voice of Truth International for all of the churches of Christ in Guyana.

Brother Nigel Milo with whom I work directly in Guyana prefers shipments in barrels. Therefore, once more I do my best to cram rectangular boxes in cylindrical barrels – reminding me of the adage of trying to put square pegs in round holes. We managed to place everything we hauled on this occasion in two brown, corrugated barrels. Barring any complications, they will arrive in Guyana sometime in August. The shipping date will be the middle of July by oceangoing freighter.

It was a happy experience to spend precious time together with the Clarks. They introduced Rebecca and me to a Nashville area restaurant with which we were not familiar. In addition, on the way out of Nashville, they took us to McKay Books – a mammoth used and new book warehouse-like store. Although I wasn’t looking for anything, I did manage to buy a new book for $2, which was written by one of our Christian brethren. Rebecca, of course, being the book fanatic that she is as well as being a schoolteacher, left with several titles in her possession.

Finally, we made the return trip to Collierville and our temporary, one more night abode in Rebecca’s home. Sometimes in our travels, it seems that we only pause long enough to make a mess and not long enough to clean up after ourselves.

Tuesday, we will head back to Winona, MS. Work of all varieties await us in my house, at the office and on the road – driving, driving and driving some more. Later in the week I will speak for a local congregation, before traveling to Florida for preaching appointments over the next two Sundays. Please remember me in your prayers. Your encouragement and every participation with me is greatly appreciated.

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