Archive for the ‘Back at the House’ category

16 Days on the Road

June 15, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, Martha, Rebecca and I returned to Ocala, Florida from 16 days on the road; Rebecca was 18 days on the road, counting her 2-day journey to us in Ocala. During the 16 days, we met with brethren and family in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Whew! We were like an out of control ping pong ball, crisscrossing our own travel in Ohio.

Bobby’s wedding on Saturday, June 1 to Sharon, both members of the Ashland, Ohio Church of Christ, proceeded as planned. The following day, we three travelers assembled with the Vermilion, Ohio Church of Christ for a.m. class and worship; there I spoke about missions and presented a biblical lesson. Without delay, Martha, Rebecca and I made our way to Hanoverton, Ohio for a 4 p.m. worship with the Lord’s church in that farming community. The Hanoverton Church of Christ is vibrant with young offspring populating the pews; corn and cows aren’t the only avenues of farming there. That evening, we met with Martha’s grandchildren in Chester, West Virginia.

Monday and Tuesday, we visited with my father, my brothers and one of my late wife Bonnie’s brothers in Pennsylvania and New York; James and Kay Reed and we three, per Martha’s request, visited a causeway where we fed fish and geese that congregate near a spillway between sides of a large lake. Wednesday we made the second of two visits to the grave of Martha’s late husband Bob Noland in Calcutta, Ohio. That evening, we assembled with the Chester, West Virginia Church of Christ, whereupon I spoke about missions again.

Thursday, June 6, we three drove to Mineral Wells, West Virginia to meet with several of Martha’s siblings and a brother to Bob Noland. Friday through Sunday afternoon, we lodged with my son Raymond and his family in Pickerington, Ohio. Sunday morning, we assembled with the Pickerington Church of Christ. That afternoon, we all enjoyed the combined birthday party for two of Raymond and Crystal’s children—our grandchildren, of course. Our visit to Ohio also afforded us the opportunity to see, hold and spoil our newest grandchild of about four months.

Sunday afternoon, Martha, Rebecca and I began our return journey to Ocala. Finally, we arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Whenever and wherever we go, Martha and I make sure that we visit brethren, even if we are also traveling to spend some time with family members. We are ever conscious of being a servant to our Lord Jesus Christ, at home or while traveling stateside or abroad.

The grass was really high and thick upon our return to our home. Between spurts of rain, finally, I was able to bully it back into being a law and flowerbeds. Maybe sometime soon Martha and I will able to establish a routine in our new home, but interruptions of foreign and domestic travel over the last six months has prolonged our adjustment in that regard.

I continue to submit myself to a battery of medical tests and examinations; most of my ailments thus far are simply inconvenient rather than serious. Martha is experiencing significant pain beyond the ordinary daily pain. We hope to have some satisfactory diagnosis and remedy soon.

Our next stateside travels are planned for July, whereupon we return to Winona, Mississippi for the annual World Evangelism team meeting. We will plan excursions to congregations within a radius of there or along our route of travel. Lord willing, we are still looking forward to foreign travel beginning in late September and through most of October. We are to travel to be with brethren in Myanmar (Burma) and India.

Of course, we remain diligent in the production of Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International. Others and I are working currently on volume 101 of VOTI. We rely on Christian families and the churches of Christ for underwriting financially our livelihood and labors for God. Thank you.

Traveling

May 8, 2019

The morning of Sunday, April 28, Martha and I worshipped with the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, Mississippi, and that evening, we assembled a few miles away with the Clinton Church of Christ. In the a.m., I made my “2019 Guyana” mission presentation, followed during worship with my sermon, “Youth Ministry Begins in the Home.” Well, at least, I tried to use a PowerPoint, but the church’s system failed me about a quarter of the way through the series of pictures. Without incident, Sunday night, I made the same PowerPoint presentation.

Leaving Clinton, Martha and I traveled a couple of hours to the home of our dear friends and Christian brethren Therman and Sadie Hodge—otherwise dubbed “The Hodge Lodge.” Really! There is a sign on the garage wall that says so. We enjoyed some time before retiring for the night and all of the next day with Therman and Sadie; we four also dined with brother James and sister Gail Bragg at a local Chinese restaurant.

Tuesday, Martha and I departed from the Hodge Lodge and drove to Hamilton, Alabama. A group of us on Tuesday and Wednesday participated in prepping the Maywood Christian Camp outside of town for the annual missionary retreat. Wednesday evening, Martha and I drove to the Leighton Church of Christ, whereupon I made my PowerPoint presentation. Thursday and Friday about 60 or so of us who came for the event enjoyed both physical and spiritual food. I was privileged to be one of the speakers. Everyone recharged his or her proverbial battery.

Saturday, we drove to Attala, Alabama where we lodged for the night. Two of the elders and their wives from the Piedmont Church of Christ hosted us at a pleasant Chinese restaurant with multiple food bars in Gadsden. We relished our time together as well as the tasty vittles.

Yes, we were still pulling the utility trailer stuffed with the residue of our office and personal belongings; the car was full, too. (However, that didn’t stop Martha from buying things for the house along the way! I’ve got to stop eating at Cracker Barrel, since we have to walk through the “store” upon entering and leaving.)

Sunday, May 5, Martha and I met with the Piedmont, Alabama Church of Christ for Bible class and worship. Once more, I presented my newest PowerPoint and preached “Youth Ministry Begins in the Home.” Perhaps owing to a recent Windows 10 software update and possibly an update to my Microsoft suite of programs, PowerPoint began acting quirky. By the time of the 12:20 p.m. worship period with the Highway Nine Church of Christ, also near Piedmont, PowerPoint would not function; I had to borrow a computer from the preacher—which had not been updated recently.

After worship, Martha and I drove toward home. Tired and weary, we were unable to make it all the way to Ocala, Florida, and so we lodged adjacent to I-75 at Cordele, Georgia. Monday, we drove the rest of the way to our Florida home. Then, we began the process of integrating the contents of the trailer and the car into our house/office.

We are already planning our next excursion to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Without the trailer in tow this time, we leave on this journey on or about May 29. We may not be traveling nearly every week as I have been doing for years, but we are still on the move! In July, we return to Mississippi for the annual World Evangelism team meeting. The end of September, we are to travel to Myanmar and India. We travel enough that sometimes I still don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I promised Martha six Saturdays a week, but we haven’t quite achieved that yet.

By the way, Wednesday, I published with the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. My daughter Rebecca proofed the pages and guided me via phone in making the corrections; she is invaluable, and with her education degrees, we apply her skills to our literary efforts.

Warehouse with Bedrooms

January 21, 2019

I tell people that it took Martha three weeks to snag me (i.e., stalk, bag and mount me above the mantle) and two years to move me from Mississippi to Florida. I say a lot of silly things sometimes.

Nevertheless, Martha and I have moved from Winona, Mississippi to Ocala, Florida. I’ve learned not to go window shopping with Martha unless I’m willing to lug something to the car and later drag it into the house. Now I’ve learned also that just looking at some houses equates to a purchase of a new home. To my surprise, we looked at 10 houses on December 5, put an offer in on one of them the next day and closed on the house on December 31. That night, we slept on a mattress on the floor, but we lodged in our new domicile the very first night we and the loan company shared ownership of 8295 SW 56th Terrace, Ocala, FL 34476.

 

New Year’s Day, our two-year anniversary, we started back to Mississippi from Florida so we could pack and move our household. For two years, we had been hauling some of her belongings from Florida to Mississippi, and now we were carrying it all back—plus much, much more. Her son Bobby arrived in Winona with his tractor-trailer, and we, with the help of others, loaded everything from the bulkhead to the back doors of that 53-foot trailer. Still, we left a shed full of things and more things in the office to be retrieved at a later time. This, despite pulling a utility trailer and cramming the van as full as possible, too.

We constructed a 16-foot long ramp from 2×12’s and 2×4’s to accommodate hoisting things to the five-foot high truck bed. We mused that atop two furniture dollies, we essentially had a 16-foot long skate board that we could ride down the sloped driveway to the road—and possibly beyond!

Several brethren from two congregations in Florida helped us unload the tractor-trailer. Literally, our new home became a warehouse with bedrooms. Boxes and furniture filled the rooms and the garage wall-to-wall. It has been slow trying to unbox everything, and the job will not be complete until after we return in early March from our mission trip to Guyana, South America.

Martha and I are continuing our association with other team members of World Evangelism, though we have moved to Florida. The main difference is that we will not be making a daily presence at the Winona office and warehouse. I will continue to edit The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online, and we will continue to visit stateside churches, as well as continue overseas mission trips to Asia and South America. January 30, we depart for Guyana; after traversing that nation with workshops, seminars, Gospel meetings, classes for children and classes for women, Martha and I expect to return to the USA on March 4. We solicit your prayers and invite you to participate with us financially; monetary gifts can be sent on our behalf to our overseeing congregation, the Siwell Road Church of Christ, 4075 South Siwell Road, Jackson, MS 39212.

Christmas in—October!

October 31, 2018

Christmas in—October! Why not? Martha asked a couple of days ago if we could put up Christmas decorations. I hadn’t put up any of Bonnie’s Christmas decorations since she passed away in 2015. Christmas Day was her birthday, too. Bonnie grew up without any religious upbringing, and consequently, Christmas had no religious connotations for her and her family; it was merely a national holiday, a time of gift-giving and enjoying seasonal foods. For Bonnie, it was a secular Christmas, similarly as Saturday and Sunday migrated from their pagan origins to merely secular days.

So, Martha and I hauled Christmas fare from the attic in our Winona home. We did not put all of it up, but we squeezed a good portion of Xmas décor into our living room. Christmas in October? Why not? If retailers and their patrons can attempt to celebrate Christmas in July, why can’t Martha spread a little Christmas cheer about us. Besides, we don’t expect to be in Winona during the Christmas holidays; we plan on spending that time with three of Martha’s grandchildren and their parents in Ocala, Florida.

As a sidebar, a few years ago I was visiting a young family. I asked the children if their parents hadn’t told them that Christmas (gift-giving) happens twice a year—in July as well as December. Immediately, the little ones donned critical looks as they gazed at their parents, perhaps thinking that they had been shortchanged. I was more amused than were the parents!

Happy Days!

September 2, 2018

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Martha and I have enjoyed some happy days of late. Of course, we’re always glad when Rebecca can visit us in Winona, Mississippi. Sometimes, though, we visit her in Collierville, Tennessee—often using her home as a waystation in travels for speaking appointments west of the Mississippi, north and east. For a few days, however, Raymond and his wife Crystal with two precious grandchildren in tow came by to visit us. Oh, how we played with the little ones—4-years-old and 2-years-old. There was some liveliness in this little cottage, the likes of which unknown in recent time. Balls, firetrucks, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, dollhouse, wooden blocks, cornhole, Scrabble and such provided merriment for one and all. A side trip to a small, local park amused all of the kids—of all ages.

Rebecca made brownies and pizzas—with “help” from Elaina and Bryson. Each child made a personal-sized pizza, too. Sunday, we worshipped together at the Old Union Church of Christ. On our trek across gravel roads and through the woods on our way to the meetinghouse, we dodged—not wildlife—but a stray, young steer that seemed to have nowhere to go except to mosey down the center of the country lane. I thought we might see some deer or wild turkeys, but the domesticated critter was a surprise. Returning to Winona, we reconvened at the Chinese restaurant for a delicious buffet meal. All too soon, having finished lunch, Raymond, Crystal, Elaina and Bryson headed toward their home in Ohio. Later, our son Robert called from Florida to top off the day. “Family” is another word for “love.”

Winona to Memphis to Nashville—and Back

August 1, 2018

Saturday, July 28, Martha and I departed Winona, Mississippi at our leisure. We headed for Rebecca’s home in Collierville, Tennessee. We drug along behind us our utility trailer, loaded with about $28,000 worth of literature. Since we would be in the Memphis, Tennessee area on Sunday—about two-thirds of the way to Nashville, Tennessee from where we ship to Guyana, South America—it was an opportune time to tote the trailer.

Lord’s Day morning, Martha and I convened with the brethren of the East Frayser Church of Christ for Bible class and worship. We always receive a hearty welcome, which we did this time as well. During class time, I talked about foreign mission work. For the sermon later, I preached about “Bible Authority.” Brother and sister Green, who labor with the congregation, treated us to Panda Buffet for lunch.

By 1:30 p.m., Martha and I had made our way to the meetinghouse of the Collierville Church of Christ. Once more during this church’s afternoon worship, I talked about mission work in which we are involved.

All day Monday was consumed in hauling the literature to Caribbean Shipping Services in Nashville, unloading the trailer, packing shipping barrels and driving back to Collierville. We prepared seven barrels for shipment to Guyana. After they arrive in Georgetown, South America, good Christian brethren with whom we partner will distribute the books, magazines and songbooks throughout most of the churches of Christ in that nation. This is the second shipment we have sent this year. (We welcome used but serviceable songbooks, leftover VBS and class literature, communion ware and Bibles for use among English-speaking brethren overseas. Contact me by email at: rushmore@gospelgazette.com.)

Tuesday, we arrived back in Winona in the middle of the afternoon. Wednesday, I published the August edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet (www.GospelGazette.com).

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and participation that enables us to be some service to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are partners together in any good that through our hands occurs.

Banshee Hotel

June 28, 2018

Arriving back in Winona, Mississippi from weeks in Florida, we commenced June by processing and mailing our newsletter. June 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Oil Trough Church of Christ in Arkansas; it was my privilege to speak twice on Sunday morning. We also recovered boxes of used songbooks, which we will ship to Guyana, South America for our brethren throughout that nation.

The following Lord’s Day, we assembled with the Quitman Church of Christ in Mississippi. Once again, I spoke for Bible class and preached during worship. The next day, Martha and I, along with my daughter Rebecca, headed for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of course, we traveled through Tennessee and Kentucky on the way.

Martha’s sister-in-law, through her late husband Bob, slipped into a coma before we could get to her home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Only a few days before, Martha was able to talk with her sister-in-law Shari on the telephone. We visited the family for parts of two days, after which sister Shari passed away.

Wednesday, June 20, we met with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio, whereupon I was delighted to teach Wednesday evening Bible class. Martha’s sister and brother-in-law labor with that congregation, and we lodged with them.

Thursday, we were also afforded an opportunity visit one of Martha’s brothers in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Currently, he is battling cancer that has invaded his body. The same day, we visited the grave of Martha’s late husband, Bob Noland, in Calcutta, Ohio. We set flowers and changed the batteries in the ‘eternal flame’ lamp. We also met up with another sister in Christ and longtime friend of us both, Vera Groves.

Friday, Martha, Rebecca and I drove north to visit my father in Hadley, Pennsylvania. We also visited two of my brothers and their wives respectively in Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, June 23, we three spent the day with my son Raymond and his wife in Ohio. We rendezvoused with them in Berlin, Ohio—a major destination in the largest Amish settlement in the USA. We went together to a few sites in the area before dining at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Each trip to the region, I am elated if we can visit Amish country, especially if I can eat at Dutch Valley—an eatery that is a destination itself. Repeatedly and astonishingly, we kept bumping into brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk at the hotel in which we spent a night and at various tourist stops. He serves as an elder of one of the congregations in Arkansas which participates with us in our mission work, and I have roomed with them several times when I visited the church there.

It was at Dutch Valley that we met up with Martha’s son Bryan and his wife. The seven of us investigated more of the area before Raymond and Bryan returned to their homes.

The Lord’s Day on June 24, we gathered for Bible class and worship with the Church of Christ in Hanoverton, Ohio. Martha and Bob Noland labored with this country church for several years, and through my friendship with the Nolands, I have been speaking there from time to time since 2008. This little congregation participates with us in our mission work, and they in the past as well as on this occasion gave us used songbooks for distribution to English-speaking brethren abroad. The Hanoverton congregation had a fellowship meal especially for us. I spoke three times; the second worship began at 4:00 p.m. in this farming community. Sunday night, we rendezvoused with another of Martha’s sons at a fast-food joint in Mansfield, Ohio. We also used the stop for our supper break.

Monday, we started for home. Our return route to Mississippi took us through Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately across the Ohio River lies Newport, Kentucky. There we paused for a few hours to go through that city’s Aquarium. Then, we continued homeward.

Tuesday afternoon, we stopped in Collierville, Tennessee to visit with the Gootam family. Ronnie Gootam recently completed theological training at a nearby school of preaching, and not long ago, Ronnie and his wife marked the birth of their first child. Though mother and father are citizens of India, through birth in the USA, their baby is an America citizen—making for some interesting circumstances in preparation for and upon the family’s return India. Visiting with them are Ronnie’s parents, Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India. All of the Gootams, including Ronnie’s brothers Ricky and Robin back in India, are outstanding and hardworking fellow-laborers in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday evening, we three weary travelers arrived back at my parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. We had made a whirlwind trip to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to our Mississippi home.

Wednesday, brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge dropped by for a brief visit on the way back to their home in Meridian, Mississippi. Also on Wednesday, coworkers and I finalized Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International magazine and made the files available for the printing company in India. Volume 95 is the most recent edition to be circulated, and Volume 96 is in transit from India to Winona.

Thursday, Rebecca and I devoted the day to lawncare, while Martha busied herself indoors with preparing a very nice supper and other household duties. We’re bushed—tuckered out!

Throughout our travel, we lodged mostly in hotels—some satisfactory and at least one that we want to cross off doubly from our mental list of lodging places. We don’t ever want to stay there again! We slept in Mineral Wells, West Virginia; Calcutta, Ohio; Alliance, Ohio; Dover, Ohio; Grove City, Ohio; and twice in Cave City, Kentucky. Not its real name, we dubbed the lodging in Cave City as the Banshee Hotel because the elevator there screeches each time and on every floor when its door opens or closes. Not a bad stay, the Banshee Hotel provides a little extra via that amusing oddity. Incidentally, a former hotel once stood on the footprint of the current inn before it burnt in the night!