Archive for the ‘Back at the House’ category

Home Again

October 26, 2019

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Yesterday, Martha and I returned home after several weeks abroad visiting two Asian nations—Myanmar (Burma) and India. We have so many good friends in both of those countries, but we were only able to visit some of them recently. Here are just a few sample pictures depicting some of the places to which we went. They include the Shwedagon Pagoda in downtown Yangon, Myanmar and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

The journey home was tiring, as was the trek from the USA to Asia weeks ago. Each of those trips involved about 30 hours of travel via three jet airplanes. Consequently, between nations to which we went, and other countries also through which we passed, Martha and I traveled in China, Myanmar, Thailand, India and Russia. It’s good to be home in one’s own bed, though we thoroughly enjoyed our friends and Christian brethren overseas. Traveling with us was brother Nigel Milo from Guyana, South America.

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.