Archive for June 2017

Replica of the Yesterday

June 27, 2017

Today (June 27, 2017), two of my children, Martha and I made the little jaunt from Lexington, Kentucky to Williamstown, Kentucky to see the “Ark Encounter.” It was a good, all-day endeavor—an hour each way and four hours to trek through the Ark and the surrounding adornments (i.e., petting zoo, etc.). We declined the donkey and camel rides. We took lots of pictures, and here are some of them.

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We took some time to smell the flowers along the pathway of life.

Best Side?

June 26, 2017

On Sunday, June 25, Martha and I took a few pictures, and for Martha’s part, apparently she was trying to capture “my best side”! Evidently, either she failed in that effort—or I don’t have a best side!

That morning, we drove a little over an hour from Morgantown, West Virginia to Belington, West Virginia. Pulling the trailer up and down hills as well as around curves on a 2-lane road was a real drag—literally. It was tiring, too.

Just to make things more interesting, I suppose, the GPS decided to play games with me, falsely promising some shortcuts that did not materialize. The shortcut through Grafton, West Virginia involved getting off of the state route on which we were traveling only to get back on the same route up the road a piece. However, the GPS repeatedly tried to get me to drive over a steep hillside where there was no road, and if there had been a road I would not have plunged my car and trailer over the cliff. I wonder if the van was weary and exhibiting a suicidal tendency.

To salvage the adventure through Grafton, we had to go down a steep, in town, winding grade, stopping at the bottom for a traffic light prior to making a hard right, banked turn. I was saying unkind things to my car’s dash, the home of my GPS.

Still up to its tricks, the GPS tried to get me to take the car and trailer over a divided, 2-lane covered bridge in Philippi, West Virginia. I stopped the car on the highway, until I spied the modern bypass and concrete bridge alternative and current route through and around the village. By the time we arrived in Belington, I didn’t know whether to trust guidance from the GPS or not. I had never been to Belington before.

Martha, Rebecca and I arrived without further incident at the meetinghouse of the Belington Church of Christ, whereupon we were greeted by one of the elders, brother Dave Everson. I doubt that we have ever received a more enthusiastic reception than we received there. I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions,” during Bible class time, and for worship, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” For lunch, we were led to a local eatery back in Philippi. The fellowship and the meals, too, were great!

Afterward, brother Mike Philips, the evangelist for the Belington congregation, guided us to the rural location of the church house for the Wilson Ridge Church of Christ. Later, once more, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” Likewise, there we were honored and appreciated for our work’s sake. For the afternoon before evening worship as well as following church services, brother Bob Jennings extended excellent hospitality to us.

Brethren Mike Philips and Bob Jennings were students at the West Virginia School of Preaching where I had taught for ten years. I count both Christian men as my friends and my equals.

Monday, we three again journeyed onward. We traveled from our overnight lodging in Bridgeport, West Virginia to Lexington, Kentucky. This was in preparation for speaking Wednesday night for the North Lexington Church of Christ. We arrived in Lexington early enough to meet up with and have supper with my son Robert. Tomorrow, the four of us, Lord willing, will drive to Williamstown, Kentucky to visit the life-size replica of Noah’s ark.

Tonight and the following night, we are lodging in a cheap hotel—to which we have applied both air freshener and bug spray. Thursday, we hope to arrive back in Winona, Mississippi. We are weary.

Morgantown, West Virginia

June 24, 2017

Pymatuning Spillway

Monday, June 19 Rebecca, Martha and I spent a little time with several family members. First, we dropped in on Mike and Donna Rushmore between Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania. My brother is bedfast (or chair-fast if “up”). One of their daughters came by with two of her children. Together, we enjoyed one another’s company and feasted on a couple of Pizza Hut pizzas that we brought with us. Next, we made the little drive to Hadley, Pennsylvania to visit with my father in his home; my mother passed away many years ago. (Last year, his furry, little friend bit a whole through my trousers into my leg; this year, we sufficed with just mutual restraint!) Leaving Hadley, we three moseyed up to Meadville, Pennsylvania and rented a motel room and cleaned up for our pending rendezvous with other family members.

Pymatuning Spillway

Cracker Barrel was our designated venue for the get together. It almost wasn’t our meeting and eating place because a charter bus patron pushed her way in front of us to demand her entire bus be seated before us, and the restaurant complied. We were close to and had already discussed choosing another eatery when we were ushered to our table. (Some people need to be muzzled and put on a leash!)

Pymatuning Spillway

Altogether, there were 13 of us comprised of one of my brothers and part of his family, one of Bonnie’s brothers and part of his family, Bonnie’s sister and her husband as well as Rebecca, Martha and me. My side of the family and Bonnie’s side of the family had never seated themselves at a table together before; this was a first, but it also helped us visit one another more expediently in the limited time available up north.

Cooper’s Rock

Tuesday, we drove to Pymatuning Spillway outside of Linesville, Pennsylvania—where geese, ducks and fish (carp) compete for bread pitched into the water by tourists. We threw three long, fresh loaves of bread over the railing to the waiting wildlife. Thousands of fish and flocks of birds gobbled it all up. Fish were so thick that several were atop their fellows and had to flail about to submerge themselves again. Some sadness, particularly experienced by Martha, was spirited away for a while and replaced with smiles and a giddiness.

Cooper’s Rock

Afterward, we drove to Morgantown, West Virginia and once more rented a motel room. Here we were to lodge through Sunday morning. We worked diligently in our mobile, motel office/bedroom—three computers up and running—on Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, finances, thank you cards, etc.

Wednesday night, we assembled with the University Church of Christ in Morgantown—not far from our motel as it turned out. We renewed and made new acquaintances among good brethren there. Thursday, though, we went on a little expedition to Cooper’s Rock State Forest. We enjoyed ourselves, got some exercise and found out that we can spend money even when deep in the woods! Next, we traveled to Prickett’s Fort State Park, whereupon we stepped back into the history of the early American frontier. Friday, it was back to the office, as well as Saturday, too. I published to the Internet the June edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and we worked diligently on The Voice of Truth International.

Cooper’s Rock

We did laundry twice—a necessity, and I ironed my shirt for Sunday. Last week I procrastinated only to find that the ironing board was hopelessly broken; I didn’t iron my shirt a week ago very well—on a hand towel on top of the bathroom sink!

Cooper’s Rock

The trailer has been unhitched from the car for a few days now; it has been affixed for nearly three weeks as we pulled it everywhere we went. I almost didn’t know how to drive the van anymore without the trailer tugging at it from the aft! Shortly, we will hook up the trailer once more, after we pack the clean clothes in the suitcases and stuff them into the car. Our journey of four weeks is nearing its end. We are longing for familiar beds and surroundings. Lord willing, we will arrive back in Winona, Mississippi sometime on Thursday, June 29—in time for Martha to go to a doctor in Grenada, Mississippi on Friday. Sunday, we will be out for the day at Mississippi preaching appointments. Praise God that we can be found in His service here and there.

Prickett’s Fort

Prickett’s Fort

Bouncing between West Virginia and Ohio

June 18, 2017

Covered Bridge (Sandyville, WV)

Wednesday, June 14, Martha, Rebecca and I drove to Sandyville, West Virginia. There, we lodged with sister Sue and brother John Balis. Many times over the years, they have been gracious hosts, formerly for Bonnie and me and sometimes for Rebecca, too. Now, they have opened their home to Martha, Rebecca and me. He is one of the elders of the Sandyville Church of Christ, for which I spoke Wednesday evening.

Thursday, after a hearty and tasty breakfast, which rivaled supper the prior evening, we three proceeded to Gallipolis, Ohio. We drove to the meetinghouse of the Chapel Hill Church of Christ. We experienced difficulty climbing the single-width lane up the mount due to water pipeline construction where mounds of dirt and construction equipment occupied the pavement. Nevertheless, we dragged the 5×8 foot trailer to the summit. Brethren at Chapel Hill donated about a dozen boxes of mostly songbooks plus some Bible class material. Along with the several hundred pounds of literature already collected on this circuit, it will make its way overseas to English-speaking brethren.

Defective Motel Ironing Board

Friday, we visited brethren in Hanoverton and Minerva, Ohio. We tried to tend to some business in Salem, Ohio, which didn’t pan out. However, we met with another family member of Martha for lunch at a familiar Mexican restaurant. That night and Saturday, we primarily stayed in our motel room in Alliance, Ohio, whereupon we opened our mobile office and worked on various duties.

Sunday morning, Martha, Rebecca and I drove to Hanoverton for class and worship. During class time, I made my PowerPoint presentation about Martha and my 6-week mission trip throughout the South American country of Guyana. I preached about the conviction of Jesus Christ at the worship hour. Afterward, we were treated to a fellowship meal on our behalf. Martha and her late husband Bob had worked with this church for years previously. There was much fraternizing, sharing and encouragement. The Hanoverton Church of Christ have become precious friends over the years.

Despite stormy weather, we drove to Calcutta, Ohio to visit the grave of Robert (Bob) Noland. Martha hadn’t been there since his burial because she has lived in Florida for a few years now. Of course, tears as well as rain was falling. Next, we headed for Chester, West Virginia. First, we stopped by McDonalds to visit with Martha’s grandchildren.

Sunday evening, we assembled with the Virginia Avenue Church of Christ in Chester. It was my pleasure to listen to the preaching of a young, talented preacher. The elders were kind to me and requested that I lead the opening prayer. Martha has many friends among Christians at Virginia Avenue and compared it to a homecoming.

Finally, we headed for our next destination of Meadville, Pennsylvania. It was our intention to lodge there, some 2-hour’s drive. Extremely bad weather altered our plans, and we took lodging at a hotel in Pennsylvania along our route. Tomorrow, we plan to spend some time with some of my family and some of my late wife Bonnie’s family. This is a little excursion amidst our series of appointments. Sunday coming, Lord willing, I am to speak for congregations in Belington and Grafton, West Virginia. The following Wednesday, I am to speak for brethren in Lexington, Kentucky. We expect to arrive back in Winona, Mississippi on June 29—a month since we left on this expedition. Irrespective of where we are, it is our purpose to glorify God and edify our fellow man.

Around Ohio Still

June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11 dawned with us in Ohio still. Martha, Rebecca and I have been lodging for a few days with my new in-laws (the consequence of marrying Martha this year). J.D. and Denise Conley have been hospital hosts.

We departed Marietta early on our way to the Norval Park Church of Christ in Zanesville, Ohio. Once there, I made my PowerPoint presentation about mission work during the Bible class time, and I preached about the urgency with which Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth to effect human redemption. We were graciously received, and after worship, we three were the guests for lunch of sister Barbara Harris. She made homemade bread and cooked roast beef, potatoes and carrots. Completing the meal coleslaw were coleslaw, broccoli and strawberry pie.

Next, we retraced our route from earlier in the week by returning to my son’s home in Newark, Ohio to retrieve some items we left behind unintentionally. Almost immediately, we boarded our minivan to return to Marietta to be with the saints at the Harmar Hill Church of Christ for Sunday evening worship. There, too, we were cordially appreciated following again presenting our mission program. I did happen upon a rocking, stuffed recliner in the back of the church auditorium, from which I was tempted momentarily to preach with the aid of a wireless microphone.

Monday, we drove to Moundsville, West Virginia to the Hillview Terrace Church of Christ and the West Virginia School of Preaching. We delivered three boxes of new books for the library of the school and a box each of The Voice of Truth International for the congregation and the students and faculty. However, we added four boxes of excess or recovered literature, placing it in our trailer behind the van with other like material. These items will make their way to foreign sites where overseas brethren will welcome them.

The day was pleasant enough from inside the air conditioned automobile as we drove on either side of the Ohio River between locations. The sun was shining, and the blue skies accented with puffy white clouds were pleasing to view. Our health was good; we enjoyed our meals. I attended to some of the workload pending and requiring attention. Tomorrow, we must do some serious work from our mobile office atop the dining room table in our borrowed living quarters. May God be praised always.

Tuckered Out!

June 10, 2017

Tuckered out! That’s all I can say, “Tuckered out!” Today, Saturday, June 10, 2017, it was necessary to nearly unload the trailer completely to make room for reclaimed literature, songbooks and communion ware from the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio. Yesterday and last night, sisters (in Christ and familial sisters) Denise Conley and Martha Rushmore and I packaged 62 years’ worth of discarded Bible class material, songbooks, bibles and communion ware. Today, we were assisted by Rebecca Rushmore, J.D. Conley, Charlie Whalen, Kin Brewer and Paul Wells. All of us except for Rebecca are grandmothers and grandfathers! My daughter is no chickadee either!

Ultimately, all of these items will be shipped to English-speaking Christians around the world. In the meantime, Martha, Rebecca and I will be hauling them around Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky as we travel to our appointments. Then, we will pass through Tennessee back to Mississippi. Later, the recovered resources will be transported to shippers in Tennessee, Texas, etc. I hope the van pulls the trailer rather than the trailer pulling the minivan—and we have two more announced stops to pick up literature in Ohio and West Virginia!

Middle Ohio

June 9, 2017

Tuesday, June 7, Martha, Rebecca and I rode with my son Raymond from his Newark, Ohio home to Amish country for the day. On the way to and returning from Berlin and Sugar Creek, Ohio, we passed an iconic, old, dilapidated combination one-room school and church house. I took some digital pictures for later use; the sight prompted me to write an article with which I will put this photograph probably in a future issue of The Voice of Truth International.

I always enjoy a meal in Sugar Creek at Dutch Valley Restaurant. We all ate from the expansive salad, main meal and dessert buffets. It was delicious! Afterward, we wandered around in various tourist traps and antique shops throughout a 15-mile stretch of highway.

Wednesday evening, we assembled with the Pickerington Church of Christ for midweek Bible class. Following the devotional with which the church began, I spoke to the “mission team,” which was preparing to travel to Switzerland for a couple of weeks.

Rebecca, Martha and I enjoyed some precious moments from late Sunday night through Wednesday night. Thursday, we traveled to Mineral Wells, West Virginia to meet up with Martha’s family. Friday, we three caught up with family of Martha’s late husband, Bob. In both instances, we rallied at the Cracker Barrel in Mineral Wells. On Friday, we also visited one of Bob’s brothers and his wife in their home nearby the same location.

Friday and Saturday, brother J.D. and sister Denise Conley—with whom we are lodging these few days—and we are gathering literature, songbooks and communion ware to load in the trailer behind our minivan. Along with material already collected and other sites yet to be visited, we will recover additional materials, which we will ship to English-speaking brethren overseas.

Over the next couple of weeks or so, we will continue to visit congregations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Also, between meeting days, we will visit more family members—namely, my family and my late wife Bonnie’s family in Pennsylvania. We might even get up to New York and visit one of my brothers who I have not seen for years. There is work to do, for which we are thankful.