Archive for December 2016


December 21, 2016

96-dpi-4x5-trailer-of-books-and-computer-equipmentYesterday (Tuesday, December 20), Jerry and Paula Bates as well as Rebecca and I loaded an outbound trailer of this-and-that. First, Jerry and I placed an exercise bike—otherwise known as a clothes rack—in the trailer; Jerry and Paula are going to give it to one of their children. Next, boxes of 35 The Voice of Truth International were carefully packed around that equipment; Jerry and Paula were going to hand off around 70 of those cartons midway between Winona, MS and Springfield, MO to brother Byron Nichols. Lastly, the trailer load was completed with old and out-of-service computer equipment; Jerry and Paula will drop such off in Arkansas for recycling.

96-dpi-5x5-martha-and-shark-jawsWith only two weeks remaining before the nuptials of Martha Lynn Noland and myself, she is gallivanting around Florida at Sea World with some of her grandchildren. Days like that are her last days of freedom! Likewise, my last days of freedom intervene between the present and just a few days from now when we will be wed, Lord willing (on New Year’s Day). Truth be told, neither of us cherish them, but having made the decision, we are more than ready to proceed together in life as well as in service to our Lord stateside and abroad.

There is much to do! We have doctor’s appointments and shots to get. We have lessons to prepare. We have wedding preparations to make. We have visits scheduled with numerous congregations prior to and following our upcoming mission trip. We have insurances and various accounts to amend, and broken appliances, etc. to fix or replace. Yet, as calmly as possible, we will persevere. Together and through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:13), we can meet almost anything that may come our way (Revelation 2:10).

Thorn between Two Roses

December 19, 2016
Thorn between Two Roses

Thorn between Two Roses

Sunday, December 18, Martha, my bride-elect, and I plus my daughter Rebecca assembled with the Old Union Church of Christ in rural Carroll County, Mississippi. I made my PowerPoint presentation regarding my ministry and mission work during the Bible class period, and for worship, I preached “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Head of His Church, Head of His Body & Head of His House (Family).” I truly feel at home with these good brethren, and they are among my largest supporters for foreign missions. The moral support and encouragement that I received from them as well is a tremendous boost in so many ways to all that I attempt to do in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, the Old Union congregation has graciously accepted Martha as my partner and co-laborer, for which I am very grateful and exceedingly thankful.

96-dpi-4x6-rebecca-martha-1Monday, Rebecca, Martha and I proceeded to the Memphis International Airport. With teary eyes, hugs and kisses—PDA (Public Display of Affection) notwithstanding—Martha and I parted company for a time as she returned to her Florida home; a week later, Rebecca and I will drive to Ocala, FL. Martha came for a visit as my dear friend and left as the soon-to-be Mrs. Martha Rushmore. We have been friends for 25 years or so, and she was Bonnie’s best friend. It is almost as though I inherited her, but together we will limp through the balance of our lives and in the service of our Lord as best that we can—stateside and abroad. January 24, Martha and I leave for Guyana, South America and return March 9. Before and after that stint abroad, Martha will accompany me to preaching appointments twice in Arkansas, once in Kentucky and once in Georgia.

96-dpi-martha-louis-3Martha’s childhood fantasy was to be married in her parents’ living room on New Year’s Day. Whereas that did not come to pass nearly half a century ago when she married Robert Noland, this time around, we intend to fulfill that dream. January 1, 2017, Lord willing, we will be wed in her Ocala, FL living room. Joining us in this celebration will be our children and some Christian friends. Martha and I have each healed a hole in our respective hearts from the sorrow of having lost our spouses; though we will continue to remember them fondly, we will press forward—hand-in-hand.

When not in Asian countries or in one South American country, we will reside mostly winter months in Florida and the balance of the year in Mississippi—a summer home and a winter home on the order of the old Persian rulers of antiquity, though surely not as luxuriously. This will also facilitate visiting and speaking more easily for congregations in different regions of the country.

Though not asking for gifts, nevertheless, certainly we solicit your prayers and well wishes. May God bless you, Dear Readers, and us, too, in whatever days that may lie ahead for as long as we live or until our Lord returns to retrieve His own.

Two of Us, Again!

December 16, 2016
Martha Lynn & Louis Everette Rushmore

Martha Lynn & Louis Everette Rushmore

No amount of time and no one can replace my dear, sweet Bonnie, who left this life and entered into eternal life on May 18, 2015. These many months since then to the present have tortured me relentlessly. Bonnie knew better than me that it would be so, and a couple of weeks before she died, Bonnie told me that she wanted me to marry again.

Martha Lynn & Louis Everette Rushmore

Martha Lynn & Louis Everette Rushmore

On December 16, 2015, Robert Noland passed away, incidentally also because of the dreaded disease of pancreatic cancer. He left behind Bonnie’s best friend, Martha Lynn, who painfully grieved continually. Martha and Bob have been precious and close friends of Bonnie and me for decades.

To the surprise of few family members and Christian friends who know us both—and yet a surprise to the two of us—Martha and I have found comfort from our sorrows and loneliness in each other. Lord willing, we will wed on January 1, 2017 at her home in Ocala, Florida.

Immediately, we will travel together to stateside preaching appointments that I have already scheduled. In addition, on January 24, we will leave together on jet airplanes to labor in Guyana, South America through March 9. As soon as we return to the USA, we will travel to additional stateside appointments that I have scheduled. Maybe sometime thereafter we will pause somewhat and take a little honeymoon.

I never imagined that again there would be two of us waddling through life toward eternity together. There are two of us—again! We purpose to glorify God, edify our fellow man and help each other make it to heaven—together! Though not desiring any gifts or presents, we do covet your prayers and well wishes.

BTW, two pictures accompany this post. Martha likes one better than the other, and I like the other one. Can you guess which is which?

Whew! I Mailed It!

December 15, 2016
Martha Lynn Noland

Martha Lynn Noland

Long hours over two days, but Martha and I stuffed, labeled and tabbed 1,029 Rushmore Newsletters. Yesterday morning (Wednesday, December 14), we hauled the three 2-foot trays—just under 60 lbs.—of missives to the Winona, Mississippi post office. In addition, email notifications for electronic subscribers to obtain a digital copy of the Rushmore Newsletter were sent to another 669 folks.

Later that day, it was our good pleasure to visit the Siwell Road Church of Christ for Wednesday evening Bible class. Brethren Gary Hampton and Derek Broome serve the congregation as its able evangelists. Martha and I were wonderfully greeted by many dear brothers and sisters in Christ. We capped off the visit with a meeting with the church’s bishops.

Otherwise, Martha and I did some shopping—more on that later. Of course, the 2-hour trip itself each way between Winona, MS and Jackson, MS consumed some significant time as well.

Stayed tuned Dear Brethren. Updates, etc. will be forthcoming soon.

December Weekend

December 13, 2016

96-dpi-4x6-crocket-cocOver the weekend, I managed to publish the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: That marked the completion of 18 years of continuous publication on the Internet. Thousands of articles by Christian men and women remain available for free use to anyone around the world to access. Each month, a new 16-page edition adds just under three dozen additional articles. Please acquaint your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, fellow students and even your enemies with this great resource. It is our desire that all who make use of the website imbibe in the rich edification obtainable there. To God only be the glory.

Sunday, December 11, I was the evening guest speaker for the Crockett, MS Church of Christ. Hardly could one expect a better reception than what I was privileged to receive by the good brethren assembling there. I made my PowerPoint presentation “2016 World Evangelism Media & Missions” where I detailed the various activities for our Lord Jesus Christ in which I am involved: Editor of The Voice of Truth International & Gospel Gazette Online magazines, author of books and tracts, and foreign missionary. I was accompanied on the day’s outing by sister Martha Noland, my late wife’s best friend.

Air Brakes and Diesel Engine

December 9, 2016

96-dpi-4x6-freight-1Thursday, December 8, we were listening for air brakes and a diesel engine—circumstantial evidence that the tractor-trailer bearing 8 pallets of literature had arrived at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Onsite were Jerry and Paula Bates, Betty Choate, Martha Noland—visiting me from Florida—and members of three area congregations of the churches of Christ; of course, I was present, too.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-3Naturally, we had home cooking while awaiting the freightliner. Paula made chili and “mystery soup,” while Martha whipped up some very tasty and hearty potato soup. Betty added cornbread to the mix.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-4Two of the youngest helpers—elementary school age—did their share in unloading and carting literature into the warehouse. I entrusted them with a box knife to free the pallets of literature from plastic wrap and strapping; they excelled, and there was no bloodletting! Previously while waiting for the truck to arrive, the young men and pored over the photos of my recent mission trip to Myanmar and India. Besides that, I enjoyed interacting and discussing with them things that matter to them. These are fine, promising young men—certain to be assets to the body of Christ in the present and in the future.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-2The shipment consisted of Volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, Global Harvest, tracts and books. Now, our attention turns to distribution, especially of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest to subscribers. In addition to individual subscriptions, many congregations order bulk subscriptions for use in their churches as well as in their communities.

Since I Returned

December 8, 2016
Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Monday, November 21, I returned to the USA. While only one calendar day from New Delhi, India to Memphis, TN, nevertheless, travel time between three flights and layovers totaled around 30 hours; altogether, I was up for about 48 hours.

Besides the dreaded travel and probable jetlag, I had developed bronchitis; I introduced my international version to the domestic edition plaguing family, friends and brethren upon my arrival in the United States. Being sick compounded the discomfort of long hours and lengthy flights. As it turned out, I was in the beginning stages of illness as I returned to the USA, and I was sufficiently sick for two weeks as to impede catching up on work back at the office. I even missed one all-day preaching appointment as well as worship, too, as I stayed inside for a few days.

My daughter Rebecca, off from teaching school, not only retrieved me from the Memphis airport, but she returned me to my Winona home. There, we enjoyed one another’s company over an otherwise less than noteworthy Thanksgiving holiday. She and I were able to prepare the next edition of the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it electronically to a printing company for production.

Toward the end of my illness, I received a visitor; Rebecca and I picked up sister Martha Noland at the Memphis airport and brought her to Winona. She was Bonnie’s best girlfriend, and of course, a Christian friend of mine as well. She just had to “get out of Dodge,” as the proverbial expression goes. December is an especially bad month for her as the one-year anniversary of the passing of her husband Bob occurs on the 16th, and their anniversary is the 29th. The national holiday of Christmas falls on the 25th, too, which was my wife Bonnie’s birthday also. Some other Christian widow ladies and I have been helping each other limp through our emotional minefields, and Martha needed some extra crutches in December. We have developed a special long-distance friendship as sounding boards and sources of encouragement during difficult times of reoccurring grief over the loss of our spouses.

By day, Martha helps out at the office, and by night she resides in the warehouse/office apartment down the road from my residence. This past weekend, she traveled with me to my speaking appointment in Ooltewah, TN, and as it turned out, while I slept in Chattanooga, TN, she slept nightly in Ringgold, GA. We each lodged with a different elder and his wife of the local Church of Christ.

Martha and I visited Bonnie’s gravesite twice at the meetinghouse of the Old Union Church of Christ in rural, tree covered and Kudzu slung Carroll County, MS. On one of those occasions, we changed out the flowers on Bonnie’s grave with fresh, new plastic flowers to reflect the winter season. We both shed tears respecting our sorrow over losing our best friend on earth.

To my dismay, my wrecked automobile was not yet repaired upon my return, though the body shop had it for nearly two months. After getting my car back, I still had to return it – two counties beyond the county in which I live – to have some adjustments made; there remains two unrectified issues with the Town and Country van. Since my medical bills related to my accident – the hit and run – ran around $10,000 dollars, besides an equal amount to fix my car, I amended my auto insurance coverage upward.

Try as I might, I am far from catching up on work back at the office. I did manage, however, to ready the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online for publication. As soon as my daughter completes the proofing – later this week, I will publish and advertise it to subscribers and readers of my blog and Facebook postings. Tomorrow, a tractor-trailer is scheduled to deliver several pallets of literature to the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Incoming are copies of volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, the next issue of Global Harvest and tracts; these items were printed in India this time. Brethren from three area congregations have been enlisted to help unload and place in the warehouse these tens of thousands of literature. We are thankful for all of the help and the encouragement. Our prayer is that everything that we do will lead to glorifying God and edifying our fellow man.