Archive for June 2017

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.

Another Long Day

June 8, 2017

Sunday morning, June 4, Martha, Rebecca and I awoke in our rented room in Ashland, Ohio. After our hotel breakfast, we transferred our luggage and whatnot from our tiny room to our cram-packed minivan; all available area was taken, and only necessary space for the car’s occupants remained. Nevertheless, especially Martha persistently finds one more little thing to acquire for me to strategically place in mass filling both the automobile and the 5’x8’ trailer being pulled behind!

Shortly thereafter, we assembled with the Ashland Church of Christ. We set up a display as well as some books for sale. During Bible class, I presented my PowerPoint, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” We were well received. Martha’s son Bob Noland and his family regularly worship with that congregation. In addition, Martha spent some of her childhood in Ashland and surrounding villages, and so, the area has some sentimental memories for her.

After lunch in the home of Bob and Carla Noland with their family, we parted with travel to our evening venue in mind. First, though, we drove by the children’s home in which Martha had been a resident as a child. Next, we scouted out a local destination, Grandpa’s Cheese Barn, whereupon Martha Lynn acquired another package to add to our baggage in the burdened carriage.

Finally, we pointed the Chrysler Pacifica northward in the direction of Vermilion, Ohio. Arriving a little early, we drove to the little “Main Street Beach” on the shore of Lake Erie. Wearing hose and wanting to be presentable for evening worship is all that prevented Martha from allowing the sand to come up between her toes on the way to wading in the waters’ edge.

Arriving at the meetinghouse of the Vermilion Church of Christ, Rebecca and Martha arranged the display material and books for sale. I set up the computer and projector for presenting the PowerPoint, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” I have a long history of friendship and fellowship with the congregation. For a few years, it was my overseeing congregation in my mission work. As always, we were well received and encouraged.

Following worship, we had some ice cream and cake that was for the celebration of the preacher’s daughter graduation from high school. Then, we stopped by a fast food restaurant before leaving town.

We had in mind spending the night and the next few days with my son Raymond in Newark, Ohio—over three hours away. Conferring with him by phone, we decided to head that way in the night—arriving around midnight. It was a long day, and by 12:15 a.m. we were in bed.

Upon waking the next morning, we discovered that Raymond’s dog ate four of our microwavable meals. He cleaned up after himself, leaving only the debris from the packaging! He acted just like a dog!

Raymond is at work; he left around 3 a.m. For the next few days, we will relish time spent with him before we continue on with speaking appointments and visiting family members. Too, I am spending time on Gospel Gazette Online and other miscellaneous office work—at the kitchen table. It is raining, which might affect some of the outside sightseeing we might otherwise do while visiting Raymond. Lying ahead of us are appointments in various congregations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky; we plan to visit family in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and maybe New York. We are and will be bouncing around these states like a fast-moving, mad Ping-Pong ball ricocheting off the boundaries of these several states!

Oh, by-the-way, Martha went for a little ride with her son Bob on the back of his motorcycle. I wonder if next she’ll be shopping for tattoos!

On the Road Again

June 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, Martha and I assembled for Bible class with the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi—our overseeing congregation. We took down some more items from our trips abroad for placement in the display case we have set up to represent our foreign missions. In addition, I provided two new PowerPoint kiosk presentations for the ongoing video display of our endeavors for Christ. It was a good and an encouraging visit and our last opportunity to do so for a while as we were preparing for a foray through several states over four weeks or so.

Sunday morning, May 28, my daughter Rebecca, who had joined us in Winona, Mississippi, as well as Martha and I made the 2-hour jaunt southward to Clinton, Mississippi. Heavy rains battered us and hampered unloading materials and displays once we arrived on the grounds of the Clinton Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” during the Bible class time, and for worship, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” There, we also collected several boxes of used or leftover Christian literature and songbooks, which we will ship to English-speaking brethren overseas.

We were well received and encouraged. Afterward, we were hosted for lunch with one of the elders and his family in their home. One can never get too much of that!

For the balance of the afternoon, though, we traveled diligently over three hours to our next appointment in Mobile, Alabama. Sunday evening, I presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” to the Creekwood Church of Christ. Once again, we were graciously received by precious brethren.

Monday was a long day of travel to Martha’s Ocala, Florida home. We were pulling a 5’x8’ trailer behind the van. In it, among other things, was a bed that we removed from my Winona, Mississippi home for use in Ocala. Also in the trailer was a second bed that was destined for the home of Martha’s son Bob in Ashland, Ohio.

Tuesday was a busy day of various hurried activities. Being only one day in town, Martha and I had numerous things that had to be done with haste (e.g., amending a utility bill with my name on it, buying a couple pair of trousers because I forgot to pack some, adding me to Martha’s AAA program, taking care of a billing issue for Martha on a past phone company device with Verizon, getting a new phone for Rebecca from AT&T and buying some supplies for maintenance at her house). One big task was to load to the max the trailer with a curio cabinet and miscellaneous items that Martha wants at our Winona home back in Mississippi. Added to that, we crammed into the trailer luggage for three of Martha’s grandchildren and their mother, our baggage and the literature and display materials for use in upcoming appointments.

Wednesday started early and was a long and arduous day as we journeyed from Ocala, through Georgia to Cleveland, Tennessee. I captained my ship with demands on my passengers such as no eating in the car, bottled water only to drink and assigned seats. The car was burdened under its load of Martha, Rebecca and me, accompanied by grandchildren Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren plus their mother Denise—not forgetting the loaded trailer, too. The tire sidewalls were threatening to kiss the pavement and the car groaned as it climbed the rollercoaster of Appalachian hills along Interstate 75 across the multi-state landscape. Allotting two hours for stops along the way was not enough as we doubled that for bathroom breaks, eating and fueling the car. Still, we arrived in time to check into our hotel before meeting with the Central Church of Christ.

What I failed to realize was that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m.! Nevertheless, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” As always, we were wonderfully received and encouraged by these good brethren. As in the case of recent congregations visited, there too, Martha was introduced for the first time as the new “Mrs. Rushmore”—though I have been known to say, “She doesn’t look very new!” Of course, that works both ways.

Thursday was another extremely long day of travel from Tennessee to Ohio. Between travel and necessary stops, we traveled for 12 and a half hours! Finally around 10 p.m. EST, we met the other set of grandparents in Mansfield, Ohio to deliver Denise and her three children to their custody. The younglings behaved the best that I had ever observed of them; I was proud of Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren. Therefore, we amended the rules to (1) soft drinks permitted and (2) turn off the sounds of their electronic games, in part, so I could distinguish between automobile warning tones and their amusement devices.

Friday, we unloaded the bed destined for Ashland. Without the four passengers we deposited in Mansfield the day before and the bed, the Chrysler Pacifica sighed relief. Maybe its gas mileage will improve just a little, too.

Over the next few weeks, we are scheduled to meet with brethren on Sundays and Wednesdays in Ashland, Vermilion, Zanesville, Hanoverton, Gallipolis and Marietta—all in Ohio. In addition if the Lord wills, we will visit congregations in Sandyville, Grafton and Belington—all in West Virginia. Homeward bound, we will assemble with a congregation in Lexington, Kentucky. Between appointments, we purpose to visit family—Bonnie’s family, my family, Martha’s family and Bob’s family in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If this is a vacation, it certainly is a working vacation. By the way, I’m still working on the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online.