Archive for the ‘At the Office’ category

Winter Wonderland—Temporarily!

March 14, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017, Rebecca, Martha and I awoke to a temporary winter wonderland in Batesville, Arkansas. After breakfast in the hotel lobby, we proceeded to the meetinghouse of the Southside Church of Christ. There, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” The night before, I updated it to include our New Year’s Day wedding and our recent 6-week foray into the tropical flora of Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached one of my recently seminar sermons, “Emulation of Jesus Christ: His Urgency.”

As always, we were well received by the good brethren at Southside. Afterward, several members and we three dined across the highway at a quaint, country eatery; I’d eaten there before, and at that time I photographed some of its décor, including a fully set table and chairs hanging upside down from the ceiling.

Later in the day, Rebecca, Martha and I assembled with the brethren at the Oil Trough Church of Christ. This small church and we three enjoyed one another’s company as once more, during worship this time, as presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.”

Leaving our appointments in Arkansas, we journeyed to my Winona, MS home, arriving at 11 p.m. Immediately, it became apparent that we were going to have to enact “Plan B.” Some repair work to the interior of the home was not complete, but instead in full swing. It was not feasible for us to lodge in the midst of ongoing construction, and so, we resorted to the apartment at the office and warehouse for World Evangelism just down the road.

Monday was filled full with trying to catchup on a number of things (i.e., going through six weeks of mail, paying bills and working on volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International). Tuesday, we packaged and shipped book orders as well as loaded about 2,000 pounds of Christian literature into a trailer. We will haul it to Nashville on Thursday, the day after our Wednesday evening appointment in Benton, KY with the Walnut Grove Church of Christ.

We traveled Tuesday to Rebecca’s home, but I stopped in Batesville, MS to get a haircut. Had I not gotten “my ears lowered,” I would have needed a dog license for as much unkempt I had become. Thursday we will travel finally back to Winona, depositing Rebecca at her home in a suburb of Memphis, TN—Collierville. Friday, Lord willing, we reload the car and leave for Valdosta, GA for next Sunday’s appointment. If not the night before, Monday, we will drive to Ocala, FL, where we will remain for about four weeks—using it as a base of operations for visiting churches of Christ.

Tired we are. Rest we need. We hope that we are glorifying God ad edifying our fellow man.

We’re Outta Here!

January 21, 2017

Working feverishly in so many different directions simultaneously, well, we’re outta here anyway. Over the past few days, I finished preparing for printing Volume 91 of our quarterly religious journal The Voice of Truth International; its files are available now for printing companies in several nations. We established a cloud-based transmission portal that enabled, for instance, VOTI 91 files to be viewed instantly in India. Now, attention must soon be directed toward the production of Volume 92. The team effort to do this will require nearly a quarter to complete.

I’m sorry to say, “Something had to give!” We simply could not get everything done in a timely fashion. Gospel Gazette Online for January 2017 is not ready, and it will not be published for several days yet. Nevertheless, Lord willing, we will get back on schedule with the production of Gospel Gazette Online as soon as possible.

96-dpi-8x10-martha-guyana-shipment-1Triaging everything, it was finally time to devote the bulk of our available time to finishing preparation of our lessons for overseas in Guyana, South America. At least minimally, Martha and I are prepared, finally! Next, we directed our attention to packing our bags.

96-dpi-8x10-martha-guyana-shipment-2However, before leaving Winona, MS on Friday, January 20, brother Jerry Bates and we packed, marked, stacked and made a manifest for an upcoming shipment, chiefly of literature, to churches of Christ throughout Guyana. We amassed nearly 2,000 pounds or about two pallets. The first opportunity, though, for Martha and me to haul this freight to a shipping agent in Nashville, TN probably won’t be until late April or May 2017.

Late Friday afternoon, Martha and I departed Winona and traveled northward along I-55 toward Memphis, TN. We attempted to meet our daughter Rebecca at Cheddar’s, only to find it is no longer in business! So, we scurried into JC Penny and unceremoniously used it for a much needed “rest area.” Hello, Cracker Barrel—always a favorite of mine.

Lord’s Day, it will be my privilege to speak three times for the Collierville, TN Church of Christ. Monday, we will attend a Mission Workshop in Somerville, TN, where it will be my pleasure to participate. Early Tuesday morning, the plan is to board the first of two flights in Memphis, TN, as we wing our way to Georgetown, Guyana, South America. So far, we have 14 confirmed venues at which Martha will be teaching ladies and at which I will be speaking to men, women, children and whatever else hops in, flies through or otherwise makes its presence known. We can hardly wait; I cherish the opportunity annually to spend precious time with dear brethren in all 10 regions of the country. Martha and I are scheduled to return to the USA on March 9. The following two weeks from then will take us to congregations of the Lord’s church in Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. Whew! I’m tired already just pondering it all.

96-dpi-8x10-martha-collierville-cabinBy the way, there’s been no time for a honeymoon since Martha and I wed on New Year’s Day. We did stop by an old, old cabin—with no electricity and lacking a mattress atop the bed’s rope lattice. No toilet either, and no running water. The real reason, though, that we did not rent it is because it sits in the town square of Collierville, TN as an exhibit. Honeymoon, maybe later! Just perhaps I can convince Martha that trekking through the jungles of South America, riding fast boats up humongous rivers and cloud hopping in teeny airplanes classifies as a honeymoon to remember.

“Thank you” to the many brothers and sisters in Christ who either help us along our way stateside and abroad or extend to us moral encouragement and offer precious prayers on our behalf. To Jesus Christ our Lord and all of the Godhead be the glory!

Haul’n

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).

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: www.gospelgazette.com). 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.