Archive for the ‘Back at the House’ category

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!

Back in Mississippi

June 1, 2018

Martha and I arrived back in Winona, Mississippi around 10:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, May 31. Over the next two hours, we unloaded the van and the utility trailer, showered and retired for the night.

Earlier in the day, we paused in Meridian, Mississippi to spend time with our dear friends, Therman and Sadie Hodge. It happened again! I invited them to accompany us to supper out—and they treated us. I told Therman that the next time I wanted to eat out, I’d invite him again!

We departed Ocala, Florida on Wednesday morning for Martha’s medical appointment an hour away outside of Gainesville. On the way, we received a phone call that her doctor was called away for an emergency surgery. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the appointment for a little later in the morning. Consequently, Martha arranged a chiropractic session with another doctor just a few blocks away. So, she managed to work in two appointments—literally on our way out of town and out of the State of Florida.

Wednesday evening, we lodged in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Two congregations in that area support our mission efforts. A sister with the College Avenue Church of Christ passed away on Friday from the same illness that claimed the lives of my Bonnie and Martha’s Bob. We felt a special connection with Pam Bradford and her husband John Bradford. Therefore, we took opportunity to attend the memorial service for sister Bradford on Wednesday night. The next day—a long day—we continued onward toward Winona.

 

During our stay in Ocala, we witnessed a granddaughter graduate from high school and another granddaughter be promoted from 5th grade. Martha underwent a battery of medical tests, and all seems to be well for our ages. I was able to nearly complete two Gospel magazines, Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International, as well as our next Rushmore Newsletter. We maintained our office duties, and we visited some congregations of the churches of Christ in the surrounding area.

Over the next few months, we will continue visiting congregations out from Winona in Mississippi and surrounding states. Our annual Team Meeting will transpire in July, and at least by the first week of October, Lord willing, we will return for many weeks to two or more Asian nations. We covet your prayers.

Gospel Gazette Online Completes Another Year

December 5, 2017

A couple of hours ago, I published to the Internet the final issue of Gospel Gazette Online for 2017. With the publishing of the December 2017 edition of GGO, next month, we begin the 20th year of continuous publication. Numerous Christian men and women have lent their articles to us, which we have accumulated in our Archive—literally, thousands of them. They remain available and searchable without charge to anyone with access to the Internet. Over the decades, we have received responses from every continent, including Antarctica! Most of the responses have been positive, though some have been of a critical nature. Nevertheless, we have always endeavored to please God whether we pleased anyone else. For the foreseeable future, we intend to continue our online, monthly, religious publication, adding 16 pages and about 30 articles per issue.

We wish to thank heartily each person who has helped make GGO viable and useful by sharing their religious studies and literary efforts. We are indebted to typists and proofreaders, too. Equally thankful are we for the words of encouragement received periodically. Each bit of praise has arrived at strategically the right time to inspire us onward in this effort, which requires an investment of time as well as financial resources.

Our sincerest motive is twofold. First, we want to praise and glorify God. Secondly, we earnestly desire to contribute to the encouragement and edification of our fellow travelers in time and on God’s green earth. May God richly bless each of us.