Archive for the ‘Back at the House’ category

Sleeping State to State!

March 17, 2017

Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!

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.

Arkansas X 2

January 9, 2017

Saturday, January 7, my wife Martha and I traveled from Collierville, Tennessee to Imboden, Arkansas. We had gone from Winona, Mississippi to Collierville on Friday evening and lodged with our daughter Rebecca. Martha and I had just popped into Winona around 8 p.m. Thursday from our 2-day trip from Ocala, Florida. We did not have much more time at our Winona home than to unload the van and pack it again for the weekend.

Our host and hostess Saturday night and half a day Sunday were brother Gevan and sister Sharon Murphy. Martha and I were comfortably tucked away in the newly refurbished guestroom. As usual, sister Murphy cooked a delicious supper for us.

The next day—the Lord’s Day—we all worshipped with the Imboden (AR) Church of Christ. I made a PowerPoint presentation during Bible class about my ministry and missions, while for worship, I preached via PowerPoint, “The Church in Prophecy.” Martha and I were very well received and encouraged. After a sumptuous lunch at the new and local Mexican restaurant, we pointed the vain toward my evening appointment to speak.

Sunday night, I preached for the Center Ridge (AR) Church of Christ with the aid of a PowerPoint, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Savior.” As always, the brethren were very gracious and kind.

All day Monday was a travel day back to Winona in Mississippi. Traveling with my good friend and new wife Martha made for a pleasant day through an otherwise bleak, winter landscape and a very lonely jaunt had I been by myself. In just two weeks if the Lord wills, we will take our travels together to a new height as we labor for the cause of Christ six weeks in Guyana. South America. Though there are no pictures today to accompany this post, pictures will be forthcoming, especially upon our return from South America. Thank you for permitting me to speak extensively stateside and abroad for our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

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.

I Had a Dream

October 14, 2016
2014 trip to Mt. Rushmore: Rebecca, Bonnie & Louis -- Our final vacation together

—– 2014 Mt. Rushmore trip: Rebecca, Bonnie & Louis —– Our last vacation together

I had a dream last night. Actually, I had two dreams that I remember. Costarring in both cinematic productions was none other than my beloved, late wife, Bonnie. I was the other costar.

In the first flick, Bonnie and I were assisting a misguided, elderly couple as they wandered about in a gargantuan medical cancer treatment complex, unable to find the right people in the right place to meet their initial appointment. Helping them get to the right place in the massive anthill of a medical center that spans blocks and across and under streets complete with overhead people bridges and underground tunnels, it happened. We bumped into a healthcare worker with whom Bonnie and I had become acquainted during the years of addressing Bonnie’s fatal malignancy. Discretely so as not to hurt my love’s feelings and sensing an obligation to explain her apparent presence, I whispered to the healthcare worker, “She’s just a memory.” So real that not only I could see her and hold her hand, but so real that she appeared no different, but healthier than the last dark days of her life, to all others who beheld her, and yet, “Just a memory.” Still, it was not a nightmare, but instead, it was a pleasant dream.

Movie #2 sported the same stars, Bonnie and me. The script had us somewhere in West Virginia, where I know not, because I had neither seen nor heard of where we were.

Somehow, a Catholic priest had a cameo role, but we dismissed him as a suitable actor to officiate a renewal of our marriage vows. Nevertheless, hand in hand, we were determined to renew our devotion and love for each other by marrying each other all over again. Passing away about two months before our 42nd wedding anniversary, particularly in these shameless times, it is remarkable for a couple to sustain a marriage that long, not to mention, earnestly desiring that many more years together in matrimonial harmony.

A bladder call awoke me from my sleep and abruptly curtailed my cinema, the suddenness of my waking perhaps permitting me to remember my pleasant nocturnal musings. Ever on my mind, my dear Bonnie is ever with me, day and night – not merely tormenting me by her physical absence, but comforting me as well.

The common denominator in both of my dreamscapes was that Bonnie and I were holding hands. Most of all, I miss her companionship. She was my best friend!

Otherwise, last night was a good night for sleep. My mind was not distracted from evening rest by sundry thoughts (e.g., my soon and upcoming venture to Myanmar and India for several weeks, what I need to accomplish before I leave, my wrecked car, medical bills, insurance headaches, etc.). Neither back pains nor difficult breathing lying down attributed to stuffy sinuses interfered with my nightly lull. Happily, shooting pains through the nerves in the fingers of my left hand were not a factor preventing my evening repose either. Clean white sheets and showering prior to retiring along with the foregoing factors led to an uninterrupted six hours of sleep – and dreaming.

My days are full, especially in these weeks before my pending mission trip to Asia (October 20—November 21). The November edition of Gospel Gazette Online is nearly ready for publication, lacking two contributors’ articles and Rebecca proofreading it. Sister Barbara Oliver from her home and I from wherever I turn on my computer are well underway in the layout of Volume 91 of The Voice of Truth International; 89 just arrived, and 90 is at a printing company in India.

Yesterday, I packed my luggage for my Asian trip. Of course, it will need to be amended a little between the present and my departure, but it is mostly ready. Surprisingly, I have it compacted to one battle-scarred, travel-weary hard-shell suitcase, plus my computer carrycase and a collapsible, black canvas briefcase.

My car is still wrecked about six weeks after being rear ended at a traffic light. Weeks went by trying to get the insurer of the car to react in a meaningful way. Now, the wreckage was only on Wednesday begun to be addressed by removing the smashed parts. Again, the insurance adjuster must revisit the body shop and haggle over what can be beaten back into shape and what needs to be replaced, and for which the insurance company will authorize payment.

Still the insurance company is treating me like the villain instead of the victim and its paying client. If the responsible party in the collision has insurance, his insurance is legally responsible for my medical bills and collision repairs. If the culprit doesn’t have insurance, my uninsured motorist insurance is responsible for the personal and property damages. Instead, at this point, I am financially responsible for it all! My insurance company is denying payment to the hospital and ambulance on the basis of having reached the limit of my collision insurance for medical payments. The debacle goes on!

No doubt, my illusionary ramble in night dreams was a delightful escape from the pesky details of wakeful days as much as it was a stroll along unlikely venues and holding hands with my dear Bonnie inside my slumbered imagination. Life goes on until it doesn’t. Along the way, we get by the best we can. Along the way, Christians dedicate themselves to glorifying God and edifying one’s fellow, earthly travelers.

As Long as I Draw Breath

September 19, 2016

Today (Monday, September 19, 2016), I prepared 125 letters with enclosures and mailed them. They were sent to congregations of the Lord’s church in several states to apprise them of my impending trip to Myanmar and India. In the letter, I requested prayers, encouragement and financial participation. I am looking forward to being with Christian friends in Asia once more.

I also packaged and shipped several parcels of tracts and books. In addition, I copied receipts and filled out medical paperwork relating to my car accident to send back to the insurance company.

Twelve days have passed since my car and I were rear-ended at a traffic light, and my insurance company by its unresponsiveness and lack of any progress has heightened my frustration level all the way up to my eyeballs. (Please, no more opportunities to acquire additional patience.)

I really may have to rethink my decades-old relationship with this company since it appears to be a whole lot more willing to take premiums from me for renter’s and auto insurances and car loan premiums than it is to awaken from its zombie-like, deadened posture to perform due diligence in its contractual responsibilities. It appears that I need to act like the oppressed widow of Luke 18 on a near daily basis just to rouse those rascals from their slumber. The only problem with that is that for nearly two weeks now, each time I call (they never call me), I get a different claim’s person with a completely different and contradictory batch of instructions and information. It’s even more incredulous when in a single phone call with the same person that the specialist on the other end of the phone line contradicts himself or herself. How do they stay in business?

Tonight, I prepared “Thank You” cards to acknowledge and show appreciation to donors who sent funds last week for my efforts to serve our Lord Jesus Christ stateside and abroad. A little this morning and mostly this evening, there’s the ever present household duties – “I’m my own maid, chief cook and bottle washer.” One day this week – maybe – if I feel up to it and my back doesn’t bother me too much, I just might get to the yard work that’s been calling my name for a couple of weeks or so now.

Life goes on until it doesn’t. In the meantime, there are things to do, not the least of which is to seek opportunities to serve our Lord. This includes making preparation for an upcoming Gospel meeting as well as for my trek overseas in about a month. If the world still turns on the morrow – and I do too, I hope to apply myself in an honorable way before my God and each day as long as I draw breath.