Archive for August 2015

Turkeys & Snakes

August 30, 2015

Saturday and Sunday I traveled a round trip of about seven hours, which included motoring along the National Parkway known as the Natchez Trace. The parts of the Trace along my route encompassed parts of Mississippi and Alabama. Most of the journey I found the right of ways well-manicured, which incidentally may explain why deer in Mississippi appear to be smarter than deer with which I have collided in Ohio and Pennsylvania—in which states typically the tall weeds along their highways are not trimmed back.

The greenery was pleasant and much of the time pretty blue skies were accented with marshmallow-like white clouds. In addition, twice each I spied flocks of wild turkeys adjacent to the roadway as well as snakes on the blacktop.

The occasion for my two-day jaunt was to speak for the Leighton, Alabama Church of Christ on Sunday morning. For class time, I made my PowerPoint presentation about “Update & Overview” of my participation with other brethren in World Evangelism. During worship, I preached my PowerPoint lesson on “The Church in Prophecy.” Following worship, I partook of the fellowship meal. After that, we all enjoyed singing hymns for about an hour or so, capped off with a brief devotional.

Saturday evening I lodged with sister Joan and brother Daniel Counts, as I do annually. Per usual, they also treated me to a steak dinner. Later, I worked on my lap in their living room as I plucked on the computer of my truly mobile office. I worked on the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online. The day before, I turned over to Betty Choate The Voice of Truth International files on which I had been working for several days—two issues beyond the current edition just now being shipped. It will come due while I am overseas, and so I had to do my part early. In a few days when I get the files back from sister Betty, I will finalize the edition for the printing company.

Some of the brethren from the Leighton congregation and the church itself participates financially with me on an occasional basis as I labor for our Lord stateside and abroad. Their encouragement is much appreciated, too. I look forward to seeing these fine brethren each year, and I think that they look forward to seeing me also. Bonnie and I have made friends of brethren we have had occasion to visit annually over the past several years associated with our mission work. I just know that there are friends to be made among Christian brethren that we haven’t met yet.

P.S. By the way, I fell in the bathtub Friday night and hurt myself. At first, I was afraid that I had  broken my ribs when the tub wall caught my fall, but evidently not as everything still works—just painfully so. What a predicament that would have been if having fallen I couldn’t get up—no phone handy and inside a locked house with no expectation of anyone checking up on me. Overall, then, all is well.

The Pain Never Goes Away!

August 28, 2015

Louis RushmoreThis past Sunday I worshipped with the Collierville, TN Church of Christ.  My daughter Rebecca is a longtime member there, virtually a solid fixture. The Collierville congregation is also one of my primary supporters in my labors for Christ, especially as a foreign missionary. I spent a few days with Rebecca – precious family time as well as away time from the confines of my empty, lonely Winona, MS home. My mobile office was in full swing as I worked primarily on a future issue of The Voice of Truth International, but also working on the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online, from her living room. Having no stateside appointment and approximately a month before I head to Asia for two months, I escaped from my middle Mississippi routine. Next week I will be in Alabama and weeks beyond that before my fall mission trip I will be at other congregations in Alabama and Tennessee, speaking to them about mission work. Along the way, I will haul a substantial trove of literature (The Voice of Truth International and tracts mostly) to a shipper in Nashville for shipment to Guyana, South America.

There I was Sunday, worshipping with the Collierville Church of Christ. An elderly Christian brother greeted me in a hallway and shook my hand while offering a word or two of encouragement regarding the loss of my precious wife Bonnie. He confided in me that he had lost his beloved wife ten years earlier.

A little later that day I was sitting in a stuffed chair in the foyer of the meetinghouse while I waited for time for the second worship service to begin. That’s when an old sister in Christ came over to me, leaned over putting her face on mine and wrapping her arms around me. She disclosed that she had lost two husbands and two children over the years. She, likewise, offered her encouragement to me.

Remarkably, both of these Christians without rehearsing or even being aware of the other approaching me gave me the same counsel. They concurred that the pain of surrendering one’s spouse to death, or in the sister’s case add to that the loss of her children, never goes away. Despite that the pain never goes away, they declared, eventually the unbearable pain becomes bearable. I am early in that transition, but nevertheless in transition, moving ever so slowly from the unbearable toward what seems to be the distant bearable. In the meantime, I seek to refine and improve my Christian service and Christian living—losing myself and occupying my mind in activity for my Lord. “But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord — how he may please the Lord. But he who is married cares about the things of the world — how he may please his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:32-33 NKJV).

Prisoner on Earth

August 21, 2015

old songbooksIn a sense, sometimes I feel like a prisoner on earth when I think about the fact that my dear Bonnie has gone on from this world. The real “left behind” pertains to loved ones whose departed friends and family have left them behind. The good news, of course, is that there is a heavenly reunion toward which I and others like me look for with earnest. Yet, I’m sure that even such a longed for reunion will be sufficiently overshadowed by the bliss of eternal habitation with the Godhead Three, the angelic host and the redeemed of all ages. Still the time of her leave from me has been so recent that her (and my) headstone hasn’t been chiseled and set yet. There is no pain like it, and this pain excels all others because it wracks havoc both internally and externally. This, too, I know will pass – or at least deaden over time.

The “earth” that I experience isn’t really prison-like. I have everything that I need and more than I want. My health is fairly good. There is more food available than I desire. I have an abundance of clothes and other physical blessings. I live on a relatively peaceful part of the planet. How silly of me to imagine that I am a prisoner on earth!

In the early morning moments before full consciousness I was still making as it were new memories of Bonnie and me. I dreamed that we were together on some foreign field, some place to which we had not previously gone, but ever so familiar a scenario. For a moment, we were together once more making our way to acquire some literature for our overseas brethren. Then, I awoke and began a new day because I must. Duty calls.

It was my good pleasure this past Lord’s Day to be with the Batesville, MS Church of Christ for their evening worship. I felt right at home. I was privileged to make my PowerPoint presentation “Overview & Update” about my participation in World Evangelism and a little later to offer the Lord’s invitation. Some of the brethren of this congregation participate with me materially in my efforts to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m happy to say that the next issue of The Voice of Truth International (volume 86) is ready to send to the printing company, and I am well underway working on the next edition, too. Both of these issues need to be ready for the printing company before I leave for Asia for two months beginning on September 23. In addition, I have started working on the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Beyond that, I mailed the August issue of the Rushmore Newsletter today. Over the next few days, I will be out of the office – out of Winona, MS at least. Since I have a mobile office, any place I happen to be is my office. For a few days I intend to resort to my daughter’s home for some family time and some away time before the balance of my Sunday and Wednesdays are taken up with appointments with churches of Christ before departing the USA on September 23. I will continue working on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online.

Finally, my schedule abroad is firm. With Delta Skymiles and a little cash, I purchased flights to Singapore and later from Bangalore, India back to the United States. I have accepted an itinerary with a travel agent for the balance of the flights between and in four Asian countries and will purchase those tickets as soon as the fares are presented to me. Now I need to concentrate on getting the lessons lined up to teach in the various locations to which I will be going in Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Teaching is almost the easiest part of foreign travel.

Besides distributing literature stateside and abroad, World Evangelism of which I am a part receives useable leftover Bible class and VBS literature, used songbooks, excess Gospel Minutes and House to House, old communion sets, etc. for repackaging and distribution abroad. Recently, we received some old, paperback songbooks. We cannot use them for overseas brethren, but we hate to dispose of them. They date back to 1935, 1937 and 1942. The titles are, Everlasting Praises, Number Two; Best of All Songs; and Sunrise in Glory. I placed one copy of each in my home alongside of some other old books that I have on display. If anyone out there would like to have these songbooks, I will send them to you for the price of postage and packaging; just let me know (Email:

Thank you for your encouraging words and any prayers offered on my behalf. Have a blessed day.

Not Alluring

August 16, 2015
Bonnie Rushmore

Bonnie in India

I have cleaned everything that I can clean and organized everything that I can organize at the house. I have dispersed to useful ends everything of Bonnie’s that I can disperse. I have even straightened my woodshop. The laundry and dishes are perpetually done. There is nothing left for me to do in the house to occupy my idle moments.

Most of the time I sleep surprisingly well, while at other times I drop off asleep around 4 a.m. When not busy doing something that requires physical activity and a little reflection, I think about her. When on those lonely car rides to some distant speaking appointment many hours away, Bonnie is on my mind. Yesterday, while reading an account of a fallen soldier’s last ride home, accompanied by a military escort and his closest family members, my grief over powered me like it had not since my Bonnie died – 88 days ago.

I have no earthly aspirations left to me; life itself has no alluring enticement for me. One country song’s theme is that essentially life isn’t worth living without someone to love and to hold, and I heartily agree. Another country singer belts out the bliss of growing old together in adjoining rocking chairs on the porch while appreciating the sunset sky, but my companion’s rocker is empty.

When I buried Bonnie, I buried all of my earthly dreams. No longer do I have a proverbial bucket list of places to go or of things to do. Life for me has no purpose worthy of joyful continuance. All that really matters and my peace on earth is gone from me. Bonnie’s passing has sharpened the reality of life for me like nothing else before or likely anything will in the future. Her earthly remains lie silently beneath the shady grove in which I and others have secreted our dead from our tearful eyes.

I am hopelessly crushed by the loss of my best friend. I muse how can I endure, how can I go on. Time, I know, is the buffer between painful loss of today and the fortitude hoped for in the days, weeks, months or years to come. Yet, how do I get from now and here to then and there? The road seems impossibly difficult, even impassible.

A little while, not too long I hope, somewhat mechanically I go on and try my best to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. He and I may have a few things left for me to do, some service to perform or some person to acquaint with the precious Gospel. Then, it will be my turn to lie once more next to the mortal remains of the wife of my youth in the tree-shrouded meadow. Only then, will our spirits reunite, I pray in the bliss of eternity with the Godhead in that heavenly home.

In the meantime, without my compass, my dear wife, how will I chart the course? How can I possibly survive the lonely, sobbing moments between activities and in being the presence of others? As it is, I can scarcely retain my composure now even amidst tenderhearted brethren. How long will Christian friends sympathize with me before they tire of my sorrow?

If no one reads my splattering of words, maybe putting my feelings down itself is somehow therapeutic and helpful. I know already all of the things a counselor and comforter would say to the bereaved, as I have done many times myself as a Gospel minister over the decades. However, there is no grief as real and as severe as one’s own grief. There is no grief like the grief of one who is half dead from the inside out when his lifelong mate has perished; my better half is gone.

Yet, there is hope. There is hope in the hereafter based on sacred promises. For now, it seems but a glimmer, but there is hope. There is comfort in losing oneself in Christian service. There is also a fearlessness, too, to boldly push forward when life no longer presents itself as an enticing allurement. Your prayers are invited. May God lift my spirit and the sadness of all who grieve.

Need a Good Home

August 10, 2015

I’m looking for a good home for the following printing equipment. The two duplicators need servicing or are more than satisfactory for harvesting parts for other machines.

  • Qty 2 – Savin 3350 DNP digital duplicators & computer controller/interface & 1 Print Drum installed in each machine
  • Qty 1 – Extra Savin 3350 DNP Print Drum
  • Qty 2 – Blue 1000 ML Inks
  • Qty 2 – Black 1000 ML Inks
  • Qty 3 – Red 1000 ML Inks
  • Qty 2 – Savin CQ Power Surge Protectors
  • Qty 3 – Printer Cables
  • Qty 2 – Data Switches

Will consider any reasonable offer. Buyer must make arrangements for pickup. Items are in Winona, MS. I can be contacted at Email:

Piedmont, Alabama

August 10, 2015

Train Station in Piedmont, AL
Saturday, August 8
, I set out on a 5-hour drive plus stops into the morning sun toward Piedmont, Alabama. A little after 4 p.m. I pulled into the farm driveway of brother Bob and sister Peggy Rogers. Annually, I find Saturday night repose in the same bedroom. They have been my host and hostess for perhaps a decade or so. They are members of the Highway 9 Church of Christ, one of my monthly supporters.

Sunday morning I spoke for the Highway 9 Church of Christ during the Bible class and worship period. I presented my PowerPoints “Overview & Update” about my involvement in World Evangelism and “The Church in Prophecy.” After lunch, I opened my mobile office in the fellowship hall and worked on Gospel Gazette Online for August.

On the way to the second appointment and a little early, I snapped a picture of an old caboose. I believe I saw two old railway stations, but all of the tracks are gone now. One of the stations is a small museum, essentially a graveyard of sorts I’m sure, like so many other little museums in similar buildings that preserve some relics of yesteryear.

Sunday evening, it was my pleasure to make the acquaintance of the Piedmont Church of Christ for the first time. I taught Bible maps to the pew packers group before evening worship, and I preached “The Church in Prophecy” during the worship hour. Just an hour or so before, we were brethren, but we were strangers. Strangers we are not any more. The Piedmont congregation became one of my supporters in a very gracious way, and it will consider becoming a regular supporter, too.

My opportunity to speak at the Piedmont congregation came about largely through the preacher of the Highway 9 church who served as an advocate for me. In addition, extended families are members of both congregations. Take notice that some brother or sister acting as an advocate for me can greatly assist me in acquainting other Christians and congregations with my missionary efforts. Then, they, too, may decide to participate with me, all because you were an advocate for me in my service of Jesus Christ. Think about it.

With some difficulty because of fatigue down the road—literally, I did manage to drive back to Winona, Mississippi on Sunday night. I arrived just before midnight. That enabled me to finish the August issue of Gospel Gazette Online and publish it to the Internet on Monday. I was also able to send “Thank You” cards to donors over the last few days as well as to the churches for which I preached on Sunday.

Back at the house—just another location to do the same sort of things, I will triage the workload and select something else to tackle before bedtime arrives. Let’s see what remains to be done: visa application, determining itinerary, buying airline tickets, two editions of The Voice of Truth International and finish up a couple of books for printing. Thank you for bearing with me.

Coming and Going

August 7, 2015
Booneville Church of Christ

Booneville Church of Christ

After lunch on Wednesday, August 5, I headed out of my Winona, MS driveway toward Jackson, MS. There were several items on my “To Do List” that I intended to accomplish. An hour and a half later, my first goal was simple enough – to get the oil changed in the car. Well, the quick-change oil change establishment was anything but swift between waiting to get inside the bay and having a new, inexperienced employee trying to figure it all out. As a matter of fact, the building was the same place to which I had been going of late, but none of the staff were the same. Nevertheless, I got the oil changed in preparation for my weekend foray into Alabama near the Georgia line, and I resisted “additional services.”

That crazy automated “time to change oil” message finally came on after 30,000 miles, and it was a booger to get turned off – trying off and on for three days! It’s a good thing I wasn’t relying on that nifty message on the digital dial above my steering wheel; I make sure that the oil is changed regularly irrespective of special Chrysler technology.

Next with the help of my smart phone and the car’s GPS, I found a nearby Goodwill outlet. I donated a leather briefcase and four boxes of hairdryers, heated curlers and miscellaneous items. Last week, I took children’s toys to the office for the amusement of small children who occasionally accompany their parents on workdays at the World Evangelism Building. Previously, I took Bonnies clothes, purses and shoes to a Christian friend and best friend of Bonnie in Florida, and I sent all of Bonnie’s sewing machines and accessories to a church sewing ministry in Tennessee. All that’s left are cookbooks, which two of our children will acquire eventually and a stockpile of children’s books. Everything else for now graces the walls, floors, etc. is not going anywhere soon.

Apparently, I didn’t time my expedition to metropolitan Jackson overly well since I had time on my hands before the supper hour. So, I nursed soft drinks at Chick-fil-A, careful not eat anything and spoil my supper. However, while killing time, I scrawled on a napkin paragraphs that later that afternoon would make it into my next Rushmore Newsletter. Back in the car, I penned another paragraph for the back page of The Voice of Truth International, volume 86, which back cover will be dedicated to my late and dear wife, Bonnie Sue.

Finally, it was time to force myself to eat at Red Lobster! Delicious!

Even though I got gasoline on my way to my Wednesday evening appointment, I still managed to arrive at the meetinghouse for the Clinton, MS Church of Christ way too early to see another living soul anywhere around. I climbed into the midsection of the van and fired up my laptop computer, and transferred the scribbles from napkin and tablet into digital files.

As always, I was well received by the Clinton congregation. I made my PowerPoint presentation “Overview and Update” of World Evangelism and offered the invitation. This church is one of my monthly supporters, and the elders elected to double my support!

Leaving there, I stopped for a handful of groceries and household goods on the way back to Winona. I arrived home shortly after 11 p.m.

Thursday morning, we at World Evangelism in Winona had company coming. Around 20 Christian senior citizens and two recently graduated high school seniors drove down from the Booneville, MS Church of Christ. They had come to help us do some things that the four of us in Winona cannot easily accomplish on a daily basis and keep everything else going. They worked on several projects. Some assembled over 100 packet samples of the more than 100 shirt-pocket sized full color tracts that we have available at World Evangelism. Others prepared an outgoing mail of nearly 1,000 envelopes to stuff, label and seal. Still others worked in the warehouse (i.e., inventory, bundling tracts in groups of 25, packing boxes, loading boxes of literature on a tractor-trailer, working on the fulfillment shelves for daily orders, etc.). Yes, fellowship often involves eating together, and it did on Thursday, too. Yet, fellowship is also working together. A lot goes on behind the scenes aback of visual manifestations of mission work, and all who help us in Winona know that firsthand.

Thursday night and Friday I continued to work on The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, the Rushmore Newsletter and a book by Wayne Barrier soon to be published. I finally sent off my newsletter Friday to the printing company (in Michigan). My collaborators and I are closing in on completion of volume 86 of The Voice of Truth International and the August edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and Wayne’s book may go out Friday night to a printing company in Hong Kong; I have a new book also and The Voice of Truth International, too, will be produced in Hong Kong as well.

A little later tonight, I must pack for a three-day trip to Piedmont, AL and back. Lord willing, I will preach for two churches there on the Lord’s Day.

My days are full of triage, triage, triage! What’s next? All I humbly request of my Lord is the health and presence of mind to be a useful servant for Him as long as I live. Several of you reading this blog (my near daily therapy) make that possible, for which I thank you.

Day by Day

August 2, 2015
Peering at God through His creation was more appealing than gazing on the preacher at the Old Union church of Christ.

Peering at God through His creation was more appealing than gazing on the preacher at the Old Union church of Christ.

Day by day, I invest myself mostly in some aspect of the cause of Christ. It never ceases to amaze me how swiftly the hours of a day speed by and how little it seems that I accomplish despite the effort put forth. I guess, some things just take time!

In order to travel this fall to four Asian countries, which is my plan and on which itinerary I am working, I must have a minimum of four empty visa pages in my passport. I have four and half empty pages currently. Math has never been my strong suit. My daughter pointed out to me that upon my visit to the first country, I would no longer have four empty pages by the time I got to the next country. I would have fewer and fewer blank visa pages with each country I visited. Therefore, this week, I mailed off my passport, application fee and $82 to have the government add additional visa pages to my passport.

I am still waiting for confirmation regarding my planned trip to Singapore; I can get a better travel itinerary from the US to Asia if I visit Singapore first, and then, afterward, make my way to Myanmar. From Myanmar, then, I can travel to Sri Lanka (tentatively), and from there go to India. Trying to fly first to Myanmar involves a 19-hour layover in Tokyo, which I do not want. After plans for Singapore are cemented, I will attempt to nail down plans for Sri Lanka. I still have some loose ends in India, yet. As soon as possible, I need to apply for a visa to Myanmar and purchase airline tickets. Tentatively, my fall trip will go from September 22 through November 24.

There are troubles in some of the places to which I am planning on going this fall. Northeastern Myanmar is an often sore spot in a 60-year-long civil war that has been going on; Bonnie and I were there before during a lull in fighting and had a nice weeklong program. In addition to the same-old-same-old, the area has been hit by flooding, along with an adjacent state. Between those two states, 150,000 people have been displaced by the deluge and more than two dozen have lost their lives so far.

Furthermore, election violence in Colombo, Sir Lanka has involved a drive-by shooting of a political campaign office, which left one dead and nearly three dozen wounded. Yet alas, the USA has its dangers as well, as the headlines constantly remind us. We missionaries do our best with the help of nationals not to put ourselves unnecessarily in harm’s way.

Friday evening, I was the guest of the Mark and Sheila Shiers family; he preaches for the West President Ave. Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Other Christian brethren were present as well for a delicious, home cooked supper. What I prepare for myself does not even begin to compare to it. For entertainment and a devotional time, I drug my Bible maps out of the car, as well as my buckets of Bible time. It proved to be educational and entertaining for children and adults.

Sunday morning, I worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the Carroll County woods for the first time in weeks. Next, I scurried over to the West President congregation to speak at their early (1 p.m.) service following their monthly fellowship meal; I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church of Prophecy.” I never tire of showing the correlation between Old Testament prophecies and the establishment of the New Testament church. It fortifies Christian faith and provides confidence respecting membership in the church about which we can read in the Bible. Sunday early evening, I returned for a service with brethren of the Old Union Church of Christ.

I must help publish two issues of The Voice of Truth International before I leave for Asia, and that is progressing well. August has begun, and I don’t have this month’s issue of Gospel Gazette Online ready just yet, but I am working on it. I found a little time during my “lupper” meal (between lunch and supper) Sunday afternoon to do some more proofreading of a manuscript that a preacher and a friend sent for my review.

Looking ahead this week, more of the same regarding The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online is in store for me. We have visitors coming one day, too. Wednesday, I am scheduled to be with the Clinton, MS Church of Christ; Sunday, Lord willing, I will be with two congregations of the Lord’s church in Piedmont, AL. The plate is full – just as I would have it. Your prayers are coveted and much appreciated.