Archive for April 2016

Whirlwind Traipsing State to State

April 30, 2016

Saturday, April 23 was a travel day from the India Workshop in Vincennes, IN, hosted by the Central Church of Christ. I was the guest of brother Roger and sister Mary Wright in their home for the week, for which I am grateful.

Riding shotgun with me from Vincennes to Madison, TN, which abuts Nashville, was sister Ruth Anne Peyton. After depositing her with a sister-in-law, I continued to McMinnville, TN, where I spent the night with brother Ray and sister Charlotte Weddington. I have been indebted to them over the years for their kind hospitality and participation with me in my undertakings for the Lord.

Smyrna Church of Christ (McMinnville, TN)

Smyrna Church of Christ (McMinnville, TN)

Sunday morning, it was my privilege to speak for the Smyrna Church of Christ outside of McMinnville, both for the Bible class and a.m. worship periods. I made my PowerPoint presentation about my 2015 Asia and 2016 South American mission trips for class time. During worship, I preached my PowerPoint sermon, “The Church in Prophecy.” These Christians gracious let me speak and also participated financially with me in my endeavors. Afterward, I returned to the Weddington home where I went to bed for a while on account of my ongoing and unbearable mouth pain.

Sunday evening, I spoke for the West Riverside Church of Christ in McMinnville, whereupon I presented my PowerPoint about the 2015 and 2016 mission trips. These brethren were encouraging and contributed to my missionary efforts in a handsome way.

Following worship, in severe pain, I pointed my car toward my next scheduled venue outside of Hamilton, AL. After driving for some time and not able to tolerate the pain any longer, I rerouted my trip to Jackson, MS where my dentist practices dentistry. I got as far as Madison, AL just west of Huntsville, AL where I lodged for the night; I had stayed overnight there at the same hotel recently while on another trip, too.

Monday morning, I drove over five hours to Jackson, MS, arriving a little after 1 p.m. Shortly thereafter, I underwent a root canal. My dentist, brother Andrew Dulaney, who is one of the elders of my overseeing congregation, advised me to spend at least one night in the area before resuming my stateside travels. As it turned out, the root canal was not completely satisfactory in alleviating my intense pain, and a second root canal was necessary; Wednesday, brother Drew Dulaney, brother Andy’s son, performed a second root canal on an adjoining tooth to the one that had recently been the object of a root canal.

A total of three night stays were required to attend to my ailment and to make sure I was satisfactorily treated before going onward. Fortunately, just a few weeks earlier brother W.E. and sister Judy Walker had made available to me a cabin on their property outside of Clinton, MS in which to lodge temporarily when in the area. It came in very handy.

Maywood Christian Camp (Hamilton, AL)

Maywood Christian Camp (Hamilton, AL)

Thursday, I once more pointed my Town & Country van toward Hamilton, AL for the 2016 Maywood Missionary Retreat, which is sponsored by World Evangelism. Each year, this program sees missionaries and interested brethren from around the world come together in a woodsy setting for a little lectureship and fellowship. Short and even shorter this year because of a scheduling error, nevertheless, all who go encourage and are encouraged.

It was good to be there, but for me a flood of memories brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. Last year, Bonnie was fervently doing her best to prolong her fleeting life long enough to assemble one final time with comrades in the ranks of fellow missionaries. She achieved that before passing away a few days later on May 18, 2015.

Friday night following the conclusion of the 2016 missionary retreat, I headed for home in Winona, MS. Again, my mouth was swelling from infection, and pain persisted relative to the two root canals that I had undergone a few days earlier. I did not feel either physically or emotionally well enough to attempt any weekend appointments, so I headed for my own bed, from which I had been absent for two weeks. I trudged on through heavy thunderstorms and flooding along the highways, but I made it home safely.

Upon arrival in Winona, I spent an hour and a half unloading the car and putting most things away. To my disappointment, I could not sleep more than an hour, and I got back up before returning to bed around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. All too soon, later in the morning, I arose for the day because I could sleep no longer.

There was work to be done, though, to which I needed to direct myself: laundry, watering the flowers and a host of things I didn’t feel like doing. The trouble was, however, that I didn’t feel like doing nothing either. Pacing myself and triaging what needs to be done, work provides needed focus to keep me from feelings of loneliness and sadness.

While getting patched up in Jackson, I worked at the Siwell Road Church of Christ’s meetinghouse with my portable office, giving attention to volume 89 of The Voice of Truth International magazine. Other brethren and I also scoped out what is necessary to install a kiosk to keep my sponsoring congregation abreast of my foreign travels. Amidst all of the pain and medicines, I did a fair amount of sleeping and resting, too. I don’t know what I would do with myself or how I would manage without purpose in my life and a commitment to serving our Lord Jesus Christ. As long as physical strength permits, I will continue in such as long as I live (Philippians 1:21; Revelation 22:20).

The Usual Suspects!

April 22, 2016

96 dpi 4x6 india workshop 3The 2016 India Workshop is history now. It ran April 19-21. The usual suspects were present. I arrived Monday the 18th and will leave town, Lord willing, Saturday morning, with a passenger bound for Madison, TN. I, though, am headed for McMinnville, TN later in the day after depositing my rider.

96 dpi 4x6 india workshop 4All week, I have been battling severe mouth pain. The antibiotic that was prescribed for me prior to leaving Mississippi proved to be unproductive in the intended way and far too productive in unanticipated and undesirable ways. Not only did the antibiotic fail to remedy the infection, it made me itch all over and produced pimples and scabs on my face and head. Instead of pain subsiding, pain was unbearable. Reverting to antibiotics leftover from foreign travels and downing pain pills intended for my back did little to lessen my pain. Finally today, I started a third antibiotic that I hope will address the infection satisfactorily.

96 dpi 4x6 india workshop 5Happily, I managed to deliver my assigned lecture. My invitation said I was a “keynote” speaker, but being the last to speak, perhaps I was the “end cap” to the whole program. Many attendees had drifted away before the event concluded, but several remained to the very end.

This Sunday, I look forward to worshipping with and speaking for two congregations in McMinnville – the Smyrna Church of Christ and the West Riverview Church of Christ. Over the course of the previous week and all day Friday, I devoted my time to working on Volume 89 of The Voice of Truth International. I am thankful and appreciative to brother Roger and sister Mary Wright for their stellar hospitality during the week; he preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Vincennes, IN.

Set Course for Vincennes, Indiana

April 19, 2016

Friday, April 15
, I had intended to leave Winona, MS for Vincennes, IN, but instead I made a detour – going the opposite direction. Off and on for a few weeks, my teeth have been bothering me. Thursday night I decided that the pain was significant enough and regular enough that I needed to address that situation before embarking on a 2-week, stateside excursion. So, Friday, I made my way to Jackson, MS – two hours away – to have the dental problem examined. Brother Andy Dulaney was unavailable, and so, his son Drew took charge. The short-term solution was prescriptions for antibiotics and pain.

96 dpi 4x6 Rebecca fixing her washerWhile I was gone, seven pallets of books and The Voice of Truth International magazines arrived in Winona via freightliner. Jerry and Paula with the help of visitors Kenneth and Connie Tipton had everything unloaded and put away before I got back. Good timing on my part, huh? The local preacher lent a hand, too.

Finally, late Saturday afternoon I left Winona and headed to Collierville, TN to my daughter Rebecca’s home. Saturday night, Rebecca and I – mostly Rebecca – worked on repairing her washer. After Bible class and worshipping twice on Sunday with the Collierville Church of Christ, Rebecca and I finished mending her washer and changed out the storm windows in her doors with screens. Between worship periods, we enjoyed a very tasty lunch at Corky’s Barbeque.

96 dpi 4x6 india workshop 1Monday, I journeyed to Vincennes, IN for the India Workshop, which began on Tuesday evening. Brother Roger and sister Mary Wright are my hosts; he preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Vincennes. The last time I visited Vincennes, Bonnie accompanied me, but of course, now I am alone since her passing. The India Workshop continues through Friday, the last day really being a tour of Vincennes.

96 dpi 4x6 india workshop 2Saturday, I will be heading to the Nashville, TN area to drop off a passenger. Then, I will go over to McMinnville, TN where I will be preaching, Lord willing, at two different congregations. Tuesday, I will go to Hamilton, AL in preparation for the Maywood Missionary Retreat that will be Thursday and Friday. Eventually, I will return to Winona and return to the dentist office on May 3 to see about my teeth. All I need are some more holes in my head!

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than That!

April 11, 2016
Meetinghouse of the Clinton, MS Church of Christ

Meetinghouse of the Clinton, MS Church of Christ

Friday, April 8, I completed and published to the Internet the April edition of Gospel Gazette Online. The first issue was published to the Internet back in January, 1999. We are now in our 18th year of publication of this monthly journal with an archive of all those articles in addition to new material monthly.

Sunday morning, I drove the nearly two hours from my Winona home to Clinton, MS west of the state capitol. It was my good pleasure to meet with the Clinton Church of Christ, a supporter and great encourager. During Bible class, I narrated nearly three dozen PowerPoint slides about the eight weeks I spent in Asia in 2015 and the five weeks I was in South America this year. I spoke also in the worship assembly, preaching about “Desiring and Striving for Growth.”

Sunday evening, I met with my overseeing eldership to personally apprise the elders of my labors over the past several months as well as plans for the foreseeable future as I continue laboring for the Lord. No one is more fortunate than am I respecting the encouragement and moral support that I receive of these godly men, the elders of the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS. That evening, I also conferred and was uplifted by the two deacons with whom in particular I labor in conjunction with my efforts. During the worship period, I was pleased to preach “The Church in Prophecy”; it is a lesson especially meaningful to me as it covers so many facets of Christianity. This type of a lesson identifies the uniqueness of the Lord’s church, validates divine inspiration and emphasizes the purpose of the existence of the church, namely the salvation of souls. Similar studies are responsible for my decision to obey the Gospel of Christ a few decades ago.

Following the sharing of a meal with several fellow Christians at a local eatery, I eventually made my way back home. I arrived back in Winona a little after 10 p.m. Sometimes, Winona feels more like a way station rather than one’s abode, but it is comforting and inviting. My office is a computer irrespective of where I plugin my laptop, behind the steering wheel in the Town & Country and standing up front in a classroom or auditorium where God still permits me to exclaim the Scriptures. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Huntsville Bound

April 5, 2016
Bonnie in better days in someone's home on a stateside trip

Bonnie in better days in someone’s home on a stateside trip

On Friday, April 1, I delivered Bibles, books and tracts to a shipper in Nashville, TN, which will arrive by freighter weeks later in Guyana, South America. Before leaving the city for my next destination, I decided to return to an outstanding eatery to which I was introduced on a previous occasion to ship out of Nashville. Jack’s Bar-B-Que ( on Trinity Lane is the place. As soon as one open’s the door, even before crossing the threshold, a whole lot of mouthwatering aromas overwhelm a person – almost like an invisible force. My barbeque pork sandwich with or without the sauce is unquestionably the best I’ve ever encountered. With about half a dozen different sauces from which to choose, it only gets better. This trip, I tricked out my sandwich with the restaurant’s own unique coleslaw and pecan pie. The barbeque pork, though, is better than dessert.

Happily and sufficiently fed, next, I headed south out of Nashville on I-65 toward Huntsville, AL. A couple of hours later, I arrived at my hotel in preparation for Sunday preaching appointments at two churches of Christ. Saturday, I fueled the car, had the oil and windshield wipers replaced and did a little shopping. Of course, back in my room, I fired up my mobile office – have laptop, will travel.

Though I brought food and drink with me on the journey and acquired more along the way, I did opt to eat out one meal. It was my first time to experience Five Guys, Burgers & Fries ( Simplicity fine-tuned, that’s what this restaurant is! Just a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, but tasty indeed.

Sunday morning, brethren at the Mastin Lake Church of Christ were kind enough to permit me to speak during Bible class and worship. For class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy,” and for worship, I preached, “Desiring and Striving for Growth.” Brethren were very gracious to me, and I was first in line for the meal afterward. It’s beginning to sound like eating is an important endeavor to me – as it is to most Christians who otherwise use a very small brush when they proverbially paint the town red. Out amusements as Christians are tame and lawful, in contrast to the general populace oftentimes.

Sunday evening, I was privileged to speak to the Farley Church of Christ on the south side of Huntsville. There, I presented my PowerPoint about my recent four months of mission trip to four Asian countries and my more recent five weeks of mission trip to a country in South America. Later, one of the elders and I dined at the Burger King nearby and lost ourselves in conversation.

Leaving Huntsville and 20 miles down the road to my Winona home I asked my car to phone my daughter Rebecca, and it talked back to me, saying, “Phone not present.” A U-turn at the next exit off of the Interstate and back to the church building I went. Fortunately, I had a piece of paper in the car with me with an elder’s phone number on it, and so I borrowed a phone at a convenience store and gas station. I had used a countdown timer on my phone while preaching, and I had laid it down and forgot to retrieve it.

Now, I was really in a quandary with it being around 9 p.m. with a nearly 5-hour journey home ahead. To my surprise, with a few necessary stops to walk around and wake up, I was able to arrive home safely by about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Tuesday brought its own challenges, the chief of which was to interact with the Social Security Administration regarding the passing of my dear wife Bonnie. The problem was not with the agency, but rather, the hour and a half telephone appointment finalizing matters regarding her death was almost as unsettling to me as her funeral. It was nearly as if she died again, today! Then, I had to drive to the third county west of where I live to present our “original” marriage license to the Social Security office; it made me wonder what was the advantage of the phone meeting since I still had to appear in person with evidence that we were married.

Before returning home, I comforted myself with a cheeseburger, fries and tea at a very old and locally famous diner – The Crystal Grill ( – in the heart of Greenwood, MS. Again, not a fancy place, but good food; since everyone has to eat, it might as well be delicious. Yes, I had another cheeseburger and fries; I just haven’t had too much beef yet, I suppose in contrast to the chicken and other foods that I experienced for more than a quarter of a year in Asia and South America. No, my world does not revolve around food, but I know what I like and where to find it stateside.

Between Thursday and very early Monday morning, I made a very large circle from Mississippi to Tennessee, to Alabama and back to Mississippi. Literature and preaching, that’s my life. Thank you, those of you, who make that possible.

Pallet of Literature to Guyana

April 1, 2016

Pallet of Literature to GuyanaMy poor car! It was loaded down – literally down or riding lower to the ground than normal. As it turned out, I was hauling 52 cubic feet of literature.

Having left Winona Thursday, my first stop was at Red Lobster in Tupelo, MS. There, I met up with brother Robin Dunaway, Gospel preacher and missionary. He and I sometimes meet at this convenient center point between his home and mine to confer on literature on which he and I are working. Good eats and pleasant fellowship, followed by business.

Afterward, my beast of burden (Town & Country van) and I moseyed toward Nashville, TN to Caribbean Shipping Company. We hunkered down for the night about 30 miles west of Nashville on I-40 at Dickson, TN. The following morning, I made a quick stop at the local Walmart to pick up a few last things to include in the shipment to Guyana. Sister Jasmine Milo made me promise out loud that I would include some Rice Crispy Squares along with the balance of the freight; every time I introduce her to some snack food that I take with me to Guyana, and with which she is unfamiliar, I convert here and spoil her. Not edible, I included several DVD movies in my purchases, movies that hopefully brother Nigel Milo can use from time to time at the youth hostel residents with whom he works regularly.

The agent for the Caribbean Shipping Company in Nashville is a native of Linden, Guyana, the same city in which the Milos live. He returns frequently throughout the year. Within an hour, we unloaded my van and neatly placed all of the boxes on a pallet; most previous shipments had been de-boxed and place loose inside cardboard barrels.

The picture doesn’t reveal it, but there is an upward slope into the building from where we loaded the pallet. In addition, there is a hump at the threshold. We almost didn’t get the pallet, even with the aid of a pallet jack, into the building. We eventually thrust it through the doorway, losing a few packages in the process and disrupting the stacking of the rest. We had to restack the pallet!

On their way to Guyana are Bibles, magazines (2,000 The Voice of Truth International #86), song books, tracts, communion cups, eyeglasses, sermon outline books and other religious books. Three of the book titles are intended for every Gospel preacher and many of the church leaders throughout the churches of Christ in Guyana.

Those Christians and congregations who financially underwrite my work enable me to funnel resources and tools to Guyanese brethren in every corner (each of the 10 regions) in the nation. This complements the annual nationwide seminars that we conduct wherein we try to heighten brethren’s Bible knowledge and otherwise give them the encouragement and academic tools necessary for successful homegrown evangelism.

Our Guyanese brethren are eager to accept personal responsibility for the ongoing internal and external growth of the Lord’s church throughout all of Guyana. Couple with a willing attitude, with the help afforded me by my supporters, we help them help themselves. Thank you.