Archive for October 2016

Utterly Worn Out!

October 22, 2016

Weary doesn’t begin to describe how utterly worn out I feel at this juncture in my trek to Yangon, Myanmar. Two hours yet to Singapore and we have already traveled 26 hours. After arriving in Singapore, it’ll still be about another six hours before we arrive in Yangon, Lord willing. Singapore is the way station where on at least one occasion in years past I said to Bonnie  that I didn’t want to go any farther, and a I didn’t want to go back either.

Brother Therman Hodge and I flew from Jackson, MS to Houston, TX to Moscow, Russia to Singapore. From there, we will be bound for Yangon. I’m looking forward to reuniting with dear brethren—some of whom usually meet us at the airport.

Later that day, Yangon local time, Therman and I arrived in Yangon. Brethren awaited us and took us to our hotel. Actually, that was the second time today we have been to Yangon; we flew over it on our way from Moscow to Singapore, and then we had to retrace our flight path for a Yangon landing.

The brethren and we agreed upon a work-filled itinerary that not only will have us teaching daily for two weeks at the Hmawbi Bible School, but we will teach daily at a jungle home, too. Then, on one weekend, we will travel 12 hours away into the hill country to present a two-day seminar. Within a couple of hours of arriving in Myanmar, we have more than doubled our plans for the two weeks we will be here.

Though I don’t have any pictures to accompany this short update, but especially when we go to the hill country where I have not been before, I suspect that I will come away with some interesting pictures. Where we are going, following travel by automobile, we have to complete the trip on foot – uphill! Communications will be limited over the next nearly five weeks, but I will apprise readers periodically of progress.

My biggest anticipated challenges for the balance of the day is not to fall asleep before dark so I can more nearly adjust to the swapping of night for day of the nearly 12-hour difference between home and half way around the world to Asia. I hope I don’t conk out at supper – maybe even dropping my head into my plate at my hostess’ home!

I Had a Dream

October 14, 2016
2014 trip to Mt. Rushmore: Rebecca, Bonnie & Louis -- Our final vacation together

—– 2014 Mt. Rushmore trip: Rebecca, Bonnie & Louis —– Our last vacation together

I had a dream last night. Actually, I had two dreams that I remember. Costarring in both cinematic productions was none other than my beloved, late wife, Bonnie. I was the other costar.

In the first flick, Bonnie and I were assisting a misguided, elderly couple as they wandered about in a gargantuan medical cancer treatment complex, unable to find the right people in the right place to meet their initial appointment. Helping them get to the right place in the massive anthill of a medical center that spans blocks and across and under streets complete with overhead people bridges and underground tunnels, it happened. We bumped into a healthcare worker with whom Bonnie and I had become acquainted during the years of addressing Bonnie’s fatal malignancy. Discretely so as not to hurt my love’s feelings and sensing an obligation to explain her apparent presence, I whispered to the healthcare worker, “She’s just a memory.” So real that not only I could see her and hold her hand, but so real that she appeared no different, but healthier than the last dark days of her life, to all others who beheld her, and yet, “Just a memory.” Still, it was not a nightmare, but instead, it was a pleasant dream.

Movie #2 sported the same stars, Bonnie and me. The script had us somewhere in West Virginia, where I know not, because I had neither seen nor heard of where we were.

Somehow, a Catholic priest had a cameo role, but we dismissed him as a suitable actor to officiate a renewal of our marriage vows. Nevertheless, hand in hand, we were determined to renew our devotion and love for each other by marrying each other all over again. Passing away about two months before our 42nd wedding anniversary, particularly in these shameless times, it is remarkable for a couple to sustain a marriage that long, not to mention, earnestly desiring that many more years together in matrimonial harmony.

A bladder call awoke me from my sleep and abruptly curtailed my cinema, the suddenness of my waking perhaps permitting me to remember my pleasant nocturnal musings. Ever on my mind, my dear Bonnie is ever with me, day and night – not merely tormenting me by her physical absence, but comforting me as well.

The common denominator in both of my dreamscapes was that Bonnie and I were holding hands. Most of all, I miss her companionship. She was my best friend!

Otherwise, last night was a good night for sleep. My mind was not distracted from evening rest by sundry thoughts (e.g., my soon and upcoming venture to Myanmar and India for several weeks, what I need to accomplish before I leave, my wrecked car, medical bills, insurance headaches, etc.). Neither back pains nor difficult breathing lying down attributed to stuffy sinuses interfered with my nightly lull. Happily, shooting pains through the nerves in the fingers of my left hand were not a factor preventing my evening repose either. Clean white sheets and showering prior to retiring along with the foregoing factors led to an uninterrupted six hours of sleep – and dreaming.

My days are full, especially in these weeks before my pending mission trip to Asia (October 20—November 21). The November edition of Gospel Gazette Online is nearly ready for publication, lacking two contributors’ articles and Rebecca proofreading it. Sister Barbara Oliver from her home and I from wherever I turn on my computer are well underway in the layout of Volume 91 of The Voice of Truth International; 89 just arrived, and 90 is at a printing company in India.

Yesterday, I packed my luggage for my Asian trip. Of course, it will need to be amended a little between the present and my departure, but it is mostly ready. Surprisingly, I have it compacted to one battle-scarred, travel-weary hard-shell suitcase, plus my computer carrycase and a collapsible, black canvas briefcase.

My car is still wrecked about six weeks after being rear ended at a traffic light. Weeks went by trying to get the insurer of the car to react in a meaningful way. Now, the wreckage was only on Wednesday begun to be addressed by removing the smashed parts. Again, the insurance adjuster must revisit the body shop and haggle over what can be beaten back into shape and what needs to be replaced, and for which the insurance company will authorize payment.

Still the insurance company is treating me like the villain instead of the victim and its paying client. If the responsible party in the collision has insurance, his insurance is legally responsible for my medical bills and collision repairs. If the culprit doesn’t have insurance, my uninsured motorist insurance is responsible for the personal and property damages. Instead, at this point, I am financially responsible for it all! My insurance company is denying payment to the hospital and ambulance on the basis of having reached the limit of my collision insurance for medical payments. The debacle goes on!

No doubt, my illusionary ramble in night dreams was a delightful escape from the pesky details of wakeful days as much as it was a stroll along unlikely venues and holding hands with my dear Bonnie inside my slumbered imagination. Life goes on until it doesn’t. Along the way, we get by the best we can. Along the way, Christians dedicate themselves to glorifying God and edifying one’s fellow, earthly travelers.

October 2016 Gospel Gazette Online

October 2, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen, Christians everywhere and truth-seekers worldwide, hear ye, hear ye, the October 2016 edition of Gospel Gazette Online is now ready for your reading pleasure at A total of 28 lessons by 24 faithful brothers and sisters in Christ bring you a wide variety of biblical subjects for your edification and to complement your personal Bible studies. Very shortly now, GGO will complete 18 years of continuous publication on the Internet, and it has been accessed from all of the continents (including Antarctica) and from numerous nations.

Voice of Truth InternationalWe have a print journal as well, The Voice of Truth International. Whereas GGO is without charge, there are subscription prices for VOTI either per individual subscriptions or per box of 35. Up to 40,000 are printed quarterly in the English language. Foreign language editions are available in several countries. The format is 5½ x 7½ with full color covers and throughout the 112 pages of glossy paper. Each issue is a virtual library because it contains several sections of biblically solid religious articles. If you are not familiar with The Voice of Truth International and would like a free sample copy (USA only), email your request to me at Volume 89 just arrived last week from the printers.